At half-past nine on the morning of the 18th of March Ferre was at No. 6, Rue des Rosiers, opposing the departure of the prisoners of the Republican Guard, by obtaining from the Commander Bardelle the revocation of the order for their dismissal, which was known to have been issued. He went to the council of the Chateau Rouge, whither General Lecomte was about to be taken, and made himself conspicuous by the persistency with which he called for the death of that general. On the morning of Monday, the 24th May, a witness residing at the Prefecture of Police saw Ferre and five others going up the stairs of the Prefecture of Police. Ferre said to him, “Be off as quick as you can. We are going to set fire to the place. In a quarter of an hour it will be in flames.” Half an hear afterwards the witness saw the flames burst forth from two windows of the office of the Procureur-General. When Raoul Rigault was installed during the insurrection, a woman saw some persons washing the walls of the Prefecture of Police with petroleum. Seeing them going out by the court of the St. Chapelle, she noticed among them one smaller than the rest, wearing a grey paletot with a black velvet collar, and black striped trousers. On the same day a police agent went to La Roquette to order the shooting of Mgr. Darboy and the other prisoners—the President Bonjean, the Abbe Allard, the Pere Ducoudray, and the Abbe Deguerry. On Saturday, the 27th, Ferre installed himself in the clerk’s office of the prison, and ordered the release of certain of the criminals and gave them arms and ammunition. Upon this they proceeded to massacre a great number of the prisoners, among whom were 66 gendarmes. Several witnesses saw Ferre that day at the prison.
At the trial of Ferre, August 10, Dr. Puymoyen, physician to the prison for juvenile offenders, opposite La Roquette, gave the following graphic evidence:—
“Immediately after the insurgents, driven back by the troops, had occupied La Roquette, they installed a court-martial at the children’s prison opposite, where I live. It was from thence I saw the poor wretches whom they feigned to release, ushered in to the square, where they encountered an ignoble mob, that ill-treated them in the most brutal manner. I was told that Ferre presided over this court-martial. Its proceedings were singular. I saw an unfortunate gendarme taken to the prison; he had been arrested near the Grenier d’Abondance, on a denunciation. He wore a blouse, blue trousers, and an apron, and was charged with having stolen them. The mob wanted to enter the prison along with him, but the keepers, who behaved very well, prevented the invasion of the courtyard. The escort was commanded by a young woman carrying a Chassepot, and wearing a chignon. I entered the registrar’s office with this unfortunate gendarme. One Briand, who was charged to question the prisoners summarily, asked