GEORGE WASHINGTON DIAMOND'S
THE GREAT HANGING
AT GAINESVILLE, 1862
JULIA ANN HUDSON OCONNELL
THE "GREAT HANGING
OF NORTH '
/6 -/ -/
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
the Class of 1901
HARLAN HOYT HORNER
HENRIETTA CALHOUN HORNER
George Washington Diamond's
Aeeount of the G^t Manging
at Gainesville, 1862
A PUBLICATION OF
THE TEXAS STATE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
Printed in the United States of America
The Texas State Historical Association
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
George Washington Diamond
George Washington Diamond's
Aeeount of the Great Hanging
at Gainesville, 1862
JULIE ANN HUDSON O'CONNELL
THE TEXAS STATE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
Origin of the Order 5
Effects upon the People 8
The Time of Organization 12
The Extent of the Order 13
Counteracting Movements 17
McCurley's Testimony 20
Review of McCurley 23
Further Progress of the Citizens 26
Col. N. J. Chance's Testimony 27
The Arrest , 29
Doc Edmonson 30
Heavy Rain Fall 31
Public Meeting 36
Character of Court 40
Organization of the Court 43
Trial of Henry Childs 44
Cross Examined 49
Execution of Dr. Henry Childs 52
Col. N. J. Chance 55
Trial of Ephraim Childs 56
Death Warrant 58
Trial of A. D. Scott 59
Trial of M. D. Harper 61
Trial of Henry Fields 64
Trial of I. W. R Lock 66
Trial of W. W. Morris 69
Trial of Richard Anderson 70
Trial of Eli Thomas 71
Trial of Edward Hampton and John A. Morris 72
Trial of John M. Crisp 73
Trial of Samuel Carmichael 75
Group Trial 76
Trial of Ramey Dye 77
Trial of D. M. Leffel 79
Trial of James A. Ward and W. B. Taylor 80
Trial of H. J. Esman 81
Trial of W. W. Johnson 82
Trial of Richard N. Martin 83
Trial of Barnabas Birch 84
Group Trial 85
Trial of Dr. James Foster 86
Trial of A. N. Johnson and John Cottrell 87
DeLemeron's Case 92
Death of James Dixon 99
A unionist "peace party plot" aimed at revolt against the
Confederate government in Texas was discovered in Sep-
tember, 1862, in the North Texas area including Cooke,
Grayson, Wise, Denton, and Collin counties. Prompt action by
local authorities broke up the organization in October, 1862.
Following a declaration of martial law in Cooke County, a "Cit-
izens Court," or jury, of twelve men composed of army officers
and civilians was formed at Gainesville. It found thirty-nine of
the participants guilty and sentenced them to be hanged for con-
spiracy and insurrection. Three other prisoners who were members
of military units were permitted trial by court martial as they
requested and were subsequently hanged by its order.
Since that time the only reliable and lengthy account of the
awesome event has been the one written by a member of the jury,
Thomas Barrett, The Great Hanging at Gainesville , Cooke
County, Texas, October, A. D. 1862 (Gainesville, 1885) . An ex-
tremely rare item of Texana, it was reprinted in 1961 by the
Texas State Historical Association.
Soon after the "Great Hanging," George Washington Diamond,
a newspaper editor and publisher of Henderson, who had joined
the Confederate Army, took leave from his regiment, the 3rd
Texas Cavalry, to visit in Cooke County where his brother, James
J. Diamond, lieutenant colonel of the 11th Texas Cavalry, had
assisted in the discovery of the conspiracy. George W. Diamond
was asked by his brother and other members of the Gainesville
court to write a full account of the "Peace Party Plot" and the
trials of the conspirators. The original records of the court were
turned over to him to be used as the basis of his chronicle. Shortly
after the end of the Civil War, he began this account, the final draft
•The editors wish to express their appreciation for the assistance and counsel in
editing the manuscript of memhers of the Diamond family and of H. Bailey Carroll.
They also wish to thank Kathryn S. Hughes and Ruth Harris of Dallas for
transcribing the manuscript for publication. Full responsibility for all decisions
and interpretations of textual matters in the editing is assumed by the editors. The
author's sentence structure and punctuation have been carefully preserved.
of which was completed, as internal evidence indicates, sometime
between February 1, 1874, and December 20, 1876. Diamond was
then living at Whitesboro, Grayson County, where he died
Since Diamond's death, the unpublished manuscript in his
handwriting has remained in the custody of his heirs. Its existence
was made known recently by a granddaughter, Mrs. Harry Harlan
of Dallas. Because of the author's intent expressed in the manu-
script to lay his compilation before the bar of history, Mr. and
Mrs. Harlan have allowed the work to be edited for publication.
By reason of its generous detail, it is a valuable complementary
piece to the Barrett account.
Behind the Great Hanging at Gainesville lies a sequence of
events and movements— local, state, and in the broadest sphere of
the nation itself— that bear significantly upon its occurrence.
They were the same developments that had led already to the
secession of Texas and other Southern states, the formation of
the Confederacy, and the outbreak of war between North and
As early as the annexation of Texas to the Union in 1845, the
state and its people had become embroiled directly in the bitter
intersectional disputes then raging over the question of slavery.
But it was not until the late 1850's that the area of North Texas
in which Gainesville and Cooke County lay became a battleground
in the preliminaries to armed conflict. The reason for this delay
is indicated largely by the character and background of most of
its inhabitants at the time.
The settlers in this isolated, frontier region of Texas were
mainly small farmers and mechanics, most of them drawn from
Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri, and other border
states by the lure of free land to Texas. Few of them owned any
Negro slaves. Most were indifferent, or even opposed, to the insti-
tution of slavery. Cooke County was only one of some ten or
eleven contiguous counties settled in whole or in part by persons
with the same general background. The counties comprised what
had long been known as the Forks of the Trinity (River) area.
Measuring roughly one hundred miles square, it extended south-
ward from the Red River to a line below the cities of Dallas
and Fort Worth. There was also settled within it a small but
forceful minority with differing background and outlook. These
persons had come chiefly from the longer settled areas of eastern
Texas or from states in the Deep South. They tended to prefer
land in the rich bottoms of the main river courses rather than in
the open prairie country. Their farms were basically cotton plan-
tations. This minority group owned almost all of the Negro slaves
introduced into the area, and it was as strongly pro-Southern in
sentiment as any group of Mississippi or Georgia cotton planters.
Viewed nationally, it was obvious that the opening of the
Territory of Kansas to white settlement in the 1850's had pro-
duced a bloodstained rehearsal of civil war itself. Reverbera-
tions of that struggle between Free-Soil partisans and Abolition-
ists on the one hand and pro-slavery, extreme state's rights men
on the other were felt sharply in North Texas. The people in
the northernmost counties of Cooke, Montague, Grayson, and
Fannin were closer, in fact, to the bleeding ground of Kansas
than to their own state capital at Austin. Little more than two
hundred miles of Indian Territory, present Oklahoma, separated
them from the fratricidal strife to the north.
Reflections in North Texas of the troubles in Kansas were con-
fined at first to nonviolent contests for the minds of inhabitants.
The principal threat, in the eyes of the pro-Southern extremists,
was found in the Abolitionist evangels from beyond the state.
Most of these were itinerant preachers of various denominations
who urged an end to slavery on moral or religious grounds.
Ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, by then referred
to as the Northern Methodist Church, were especially suspect.
The northern counties of Texas also were the only part of the
state in which this parent branch of American Methodism in-
sisted upon maintaining a conference, or organization of local
churches, in the face of objections from the younger Methodist
Episcopal Church, South.
The contest on a statewide scale between pro-slavery extremists
and die-hard Unionists in Texas remained primarily political as
expressed at the ballot box. But it reached a new high in 1859
when Sam Houston as the champion of Union and the Constitu-
tion defeated Hardin R. Runnels' bid for a second term as gov-
ernor. Houston had no more solid support than in the North
Texas counties, whose people felt that his victory at the polls
largely had settled the question of Texas taking part in any
rift of the Union.
But pro-slavery leaders in the North Texas area by that time
felt goaded to register their sentiments outside the polling
booths. In April of 1859 tne annual conference of the Northern
Methodist Church embracing northern Texas met on Brushy
Creek in Fannin County. A mass meeting held simultaneously in
the county seat of Bonham denounced the conference. Several
hundred members then proceeded by horseback the five miles
to the conference meeting. There the mob forced the Reverend
Anthony Bewley, chief minister on the Texas mission, and other
delegates including the presiding bishop, to disperse. The church-
men were warned that blood would flow if they continued their
ministry in Texas. The temper of the pro-slavery men was in-
flamed further the same year when John Brown staged his raid
on Harper's Ferry in Virginia some months later.
It was the presidential contest of i860, though, that hastened
a showdown in the long intersectional dispute. The ill-fated
Democratic National Convention, meeting at Charleston that
spring, split hopelessly over the selection of national standard
bearers, thus opening the way to victory for nominees of the
recently formed Republican Party. The Republican nomination
of Abraham Lincoln for president was taken as a direct chal-
lenge to Southern secessionists, a turn viewed with the gravest
concern by pro-Southern leaders in North Texas.
In the interval between Lincoln's nomination and his election
in November, i860, public opinion in North Texas was greatly
agitated by an unexplained civil commotion. Early in the after-
noon of Sunday, July 8, a series of fires broke out at almost
the same moment in Dallas, Denton, Pilot Point, Waxahachie,
Kaufman, and several other towns in North Texas. No one knew,
or would admit, who started the blazes. The economic loss, par-
ticularly in Dallas where the fire got beyond control, was heavy.
Although Governor Houston minimized the importance of
the fires, pro-Southern leaders of the area pointed to them as
part of a projected slave uprising planned and fostered, it was
charged, by Abolitionist preachers. At Dallas a vigilante com-
mittee of fifty-two tried and hanged three Negro slaves accused
of complicity. At Fort Worth, another mob captured and hanged
the Reverend Anthony Bewley, following discovery of a letter
purporting to link the presiding elder of the Northern Methodist
Church with a secret order, referred to as the Red Circle. The
order was said to be dedicated to the extinction of Texas slave
owners and their followers.
Lincoln's election in November led to demands for immediate
secession in Texas and other Southern states, but the firm Unionist
stand by Governor Houston delayed the issue from coming to a
head in Texas until February 23, 1861. On that date, a state-
wide referendum was held on an ordinance adopted by the state
secession convention at Austin to sever the union of Texas with
the United States. James J. Diamond was one of Cooke County's
three delegates to that convention. He also was named a member
of the convention's Committee of Public Safety which, during
a six-weeks' recess of the convention, became in effect the revo-
lutionary government of Texas. Through its agents and armed
forces, it compelled the surrender of all United States troops
and forts in the state even before the statewide vote on seces-
sion was taken.
Although Texas as a whole voted for secession by a margin of
46,129 to 14,697 ballots, nineteen of the 122 organized counties
cast majorities against it. Eight of these opposing counties were
in North Texas, including Cooke County, which voted 221 to
137 against withdrawing from the Union. Grayson, Collin, Mon-
tague, Fannin, Wise, Jack, and Lamar counties also rejected the
ordinance of secession. But Dallas, where the worst of the fires
of the previous year had occurred, voted by a margin of 741 to
237 votes for secession. Tarrant County, in which Bewley had been
executed at Fort Worth, followed the lead of Dallas by a vote of
462 to 127.
In spite of this split among the counties in the Forks of the
Trinity area, public opinion appeared to be unified there in
support of the Confederacy, once the two sections of the nation
were plunged into war. Notwithstanding the heavy registration
of opposition to secession in Cooke and adjoining counties, most
of the men of fighting age rallied to the armed defense of their
state and the Confederacy. Many of those who had been most
pronounced against secession took up arms against the Union.
After the firing upon Fort Sumter in April, 1861, the state
government at Austin moved to put Texas on a war footing. In
May, Colonel William C. Young, a veteran of the Mexican War
and a Cooke County planter living in the Sivil's Bend area along
the Red River, was ordered to raise a regiment of 1,000 men
from ten North Texas counties, including Cooke, Grayson,
Collin, and Denton counties. Designated for the protection of the
northern border, Young's 11th Texas Cavalry moved shortly into
the Indian country to capture the United States outposts of Forts
Washita, Cobb, and Arbuckle, thus becoming the occupying force
that held the area between Kansas and Texas.
By December, 1861, the Texas legislature passed a general act
providing for the internal security of the state. Thirty-three
brigade districts were created by the act. District Number 1 com-
prised Cooke, Montague, Wise, Denton, Jack, and thirteen other
north and northwestern counties, with headquarters at Gaines-
ville. As commanding officer of the district, William Hudson, a
forty-year-old native of South Carolina and a longtime resident
in Cooke County, was appointed brigadier general.
It is significant that although Confederate state authorities took
for granted that North Texans were united in loyalty to the new
government, the military units raised in the area were officered
primarily by those with long-held Southern sentiments. This
policy extended from the commanding general at Gainesville
through the companies raised in each county. Thus in and from
Cooke County were such undoubted Southern spokesmen as
Hudson, William C. Young, James J. Diamond, James G. Bour-
land, the aging Daniel Montague's son-in-law, William C. Twitty,
and others equally reliable in strategic command of military
units in the area.
It is against this background of events and movements that
the "Peace Party Plot" was discovered and acted upon in the fall
of 1862. In writing his account of the Great Hanging, George
W. Diamond sought to justify the establishment of the court and
the severity of its judgments. In his mind, as in those of members
of the court who aided him in the preparation of his narrative,
the "Citizens Court" was not an extra-legal viligante group, or
mob, but an orderly constituted body which acted with regard
for due process of law in carrying: out its frightful duty. In this,
the Diamond account differs markedly in tenor from the account
written some ten years later bv Thomas Barrett, with which the
reader may compare it profitably.
In introducing the following pages to those who may wish to
read them, the writer 1 deems some explanations necessary in order
that the stirring scenes therein detailed may be properly under-
stood and the design of their publication appreciated by an un-
biased, discriminating public.
Immediately after the adjournment of the "Citizens Court,"
and after the return of the writer then on leave of absence from
the army, [he] was placed in possession of all the records of the
tribunal whose judgments and verdict had sent more souls to
eternity in a shorter period of time than ever known before to
modern civilization. Before the adjournment of the court, a com-
mittee was appointed by it to take charge of these records, for
JGeorge Washington Diamond, newspaper editor, lawyer, and author of this
document, was born to James and Nancy Diamond in De Kalb County, Georgia,
on December 26, 1835. After his graduation in 1857 from Albany University
(presently New York University) , with a law degree, he followed five brothers to
Texas. They were James J. Diamond, John R. Diamond, and William W. Diamond,
who settled in Grayson and Cooke counties and Greene Diamond and Eli Franklyn
Diamond, who lived in other parts of the state. George W. Diamond located first
in Rusk County, where he became a partner in the publication of the Henderson
Times, previously the East Texas Times.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, George W. Diamond sold his interest in the
newspaper at Henderson and joined Captain R. H. Cumby's Company B, 3rd
Texas Cavalry Regiment, as a private on May 7, 1861. He saw service in the initial
phases of the war in Missouri under General Ben McCulloch. On leave from his
unit late in 1862, he visited his brother James J. Diamond in Cooke County shortly
after the events described in this narrative. Garland Roscoe Farmer, The Realm of
Husk County (Henderson, 1951), 50, 130.
Subsequently, George W. Diamond was transferred to the 11th Texas Cavalry,
of which his brother James J. Diamond was colonel. In the spring of 1863 he
raised a cavalry company on the lower Brazos River and served as a captain
in Terrell's Texas Cavalry Regiment. He fought with this unit in the battles of
Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, on April 8-9, 1864, in which Confederate
forces turned back Major General Nathaniel P. Banks' Red River campaign, the
last Union attempt to invade Texas.
Returning to Henderson at the end of hostilities, George W. Diamond was
elected state representative from the district embracing Rusk County in the 11th
Texas Legislature. Because of the military reconstruction of Texas, this body was
not permitted to convene until 1870. Meanwhile, George W. Diamond moved with
his family to Whitesboro, Grayson County, where he continued to make his home
until his death on June 24, 1911. He practiced law in the county seat of Sherman
during Reconstruction, held several public offices in the county, and was a member
of the staff of the Whitesboro News.
the purpose of preserving them and so disposing of them that the
history of its transactions might be perpetuated and justice done
to those who participated in its deliberations.
The writer, at the urgent solicitations of this committee, com-
piled the following memoranda from those records; and in obedi-
ence to the request of the "Court," there expressed, they are now 2
offered to the public as a just vindication of the conduct of those
whose acts have been the subject of unjust criticism from one end
of this broad land to the other.
After arranging those records in the form in which they are
here submitted, the committee assembled all the members of the
court, and after a careful reading and examination gave them their
unanimous and unqualified approval. It was left discretionary
with the writer as to the proper time for their publication.
During the war it was not regarded wise or proper to further
inflame the minds of a people already swayed by the passions and
prejudices, incident to a gigantic, internecine struggle for sec-
tional supremacy by the publication of a work calculated to fur-
ther impress them with the wrongs and injustices which the)
conceived had been inflicted upon them. And the publication
being to some extent political in its character, it has not been
deemed prudent or politic to circulate it among a people engaged
in a mutual struggle to heal the wounds and quiet the passions
engendered by a long and bloody war.
But now since peace and quiet has been restored, all the states
having resumed their constitutional relations to the genl. govt.,
and the people all united again as in a common brotherhood
pledged to a faithful allegiance to the national flag, the publica-
tion of these pages may be regarded as a duty this writer owes to
unwritten history to offer them to the future important historians
of this country north and south, who may deal with the facts
2 In spite of Diamond's expectation of early publication, his compilation of
"memoranda" was not committed to print during his lifetime, or later. It may be
presumed that the state of local public feeling in the decades immediately following
the end of the Civil War did not encourage it. The reception of another account,
published in 1885 by the Reverend Thomas Barrett, a member of the "Citizens
Court," may have been part of the deterrent. Thomas Barrett, The Great Hanging
at Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas A. D. 1862 (Gainesville, 1885; reprint, Austin,
Since the author's death more than half a century ago, his manuscript has been
preserved by members of his family, who feel that it should be made available at
last in print to "an unbiased, discriminating public."
contained in them upon a broader and more comprehensive
scale, submitting them to a wider and more universal circulation
for the opinion and candid judgment of Mankind.
The only merit the writer claims for his work is its unvarnished
truth. It only contains the actual proceedings of the "Court," with
the letters, confessions, speeches and military operations of those
engaged & essentially connected with it, without any attempt on
the part of the writer to warp the text to suit his own taste or to
attract the reader.
It being a truthful statement of all the circumstances connected
with the exciting scenes enacted on that bloody theatre, the writer
appeals to those who may differ with him in opinion, as well as
those whose friends or relatives may have died upon that fatal
limb, if it is anything but justice to them that the whole truth
should be published so that, as before stated, an impartial public
might correctly judge between the right and the wrong. Hundreds
yet live to attest the truth of what is herein detailed; and being
thus fortified, the writer challenges denial or evasion on the part
of any one who may desire to question any important or material
statement herein contained.
Those who participated in the events of that period believed
then, and believe yet, that under all the circumstances they did but
their duty to themselves and their families. None regretted the
necessity of their action more than themselves; and having herein
made known to the world all the facts which governed them in
the discharge of their solemn duty, they rest their case and will
patiently abide the decision of a generous public.
i « l
ORIGIN OF THE ORDER
Early in the year 1858, after the organization and establishment
of the "Overland Mail" 3 through Texas, people of every shade of
opinion and men guilty of every species of crime began to pour
into the State from all quarters of the globe.
This magnificent enterprise that reached "from the rivers to
the ends of the earth" entered the State in Grayson County on
the north and passed beyond her western boundary at El Paso.
With St. Louis as the great north-western depot, immigration
teamed into Northern Texas by this line to an extent hitherto
unknown. So rapid was this influx of a heterogeneous population
that in a short time the character of the citizenship in Cooke and
Grayson counties was materially changed. Until that time this
section was thinly settled, with a quiet, hardy, industrious popu-
lation which had not been excited and disturbed by political
divisions and discussions. This sudden and rushing tide caused
alarm among the older inhabitants; not because they did not
desire immigration; but because the actions and conduct of so
many strangers in their midst created suspicions and fears that
the interests of the old class would not harmonize with the new.
This increasing volume of immigration continued until the
question of secession became open for discussion and after the
people, with great unanimity, pronounced for the right of seces-
sion, immigration in a great measure ceased. And finally, upon
the suspension of the Overland, and the withdrawal of the coaches
and stock belonging to the Company, many of those who had
a John Butterfield's Southern Overland Mail Route between St. Louis, Missouri,
and San Francisco, California, began operation on September 15, 1858. It con-
tinued as a contract mail, express, and passenger stage line operating across Northern
Iexas until March 1, 1861. It entered Texas by way of Colbert's Ferry on the Red
River eight miles east of Preston Bend. It ran fifteen miles south to Sherman, thence
fifteen miles west to its next relay point, Diamond's Station (the homeplace of
John R. Diamond, one mile west of present-day Whitesboro, Grayson County) .
Its third relay point was Gainesville, seventeen miles to the west in Cooke County,
from whence it continued by way of Jacksboro, present-day Graham, and other
points in West Texas to El Paso and on to the Pacific coast. Rupert N. Richardson,
"Some Details of the Southern Overland Mail," Southwestern Historical Quarterly,
come to Texas under its auspices returned to the North, taking
with them their property and families.
But many of those who remained seemed to be restless and
adventurous in their dispositions, manifesting an unfriendly spirit
toward the older settlers. This produced its natural result, and
in a short time mutual distrust and dislike, criminations and
recriminations characterized the intercourse between the two
parties. And it may be truly said also that many who had resided
for several years in this section of the state, from the South as well
as the North, espoused the cause of theft, rapine and murder, and
became leaders and helpers in their wicked crusade against the
peace, the property and the lives of good citizens.
It would, therefore, be unjust as well as untrue, in fact, to
charge the crimes of the order to the population of any one section
of the country. The political sentiments of the immigrant from
the North, no doubt, had much to do in stimulating and urging
forward the daring and impulsive desperado from the South. The
bold denunciation of the act of secession by the Northern immi-
grants, also by a small class of the Southern people, was the foun-
dation upon which unscrupulous men bent on ruin and plunder
based their criminal conduct.
They used this political sentiment, openly advocated, as a
pretext for their movements, and instead of entertaining a mo-
ment's thought or care for the "Union," or its perpetuity, they
rejoiced that the general disturbance and confusion had given
them an opportunity to gratify their revenge against a neighbor
and sordid lust for plunder.
These two classes readily formed an alliance, offensive and
defensive and, as the sequel will show, began a regular system of
robbery, rapine and murder unparalleled in the history of this
country. It is no good or sound argument to say that they only
killed a few men in the course of their proceedings, and that,
therefore, the punishment of their crimes was too severe, too sum-
mary in character and too extensive.
It may be answered by the confessions of many of them as their
dying declarations that they intended to kill all the people in this
section, and when the Northern army came in, they would be
quieted in their titles to the homesteads of those killed and
driven from the state.
They expected this result as the legitimate tendency of their
zealous cooperation and harmonious action with the invading
armies of the North which, they supposed, would reward their
fidelity to the flag of the nation by a system of confiscation and
agrarianism, which too often, as history shows, attends the tri-
umphs of the conquer[or] over the conquered. Their own volun-
tary confessions prove this beyond dispute.
Many of those engaged and belonging to the "Order,"* some
tried and found guilty, some acquitted, and others who fled the
country, came from the State of Kansas, where but a few years
before no doubt they had been engaged in the domestic troubles
of that Territory. And it appears from their operations in Texas
that they designed in the outset to form a nucleus around which
might gather from all sources and all parties a body of sufficient
power and influence to produce a like degree of domestic violence
in the section which had but recently given way to legitimate and
organized government in that state.
Many who participated in the operation of the "Order," and
nearly all the leaders, came to the section but a few years or
months previous to the organization; and though coming from
different quarters, there appeared to exist a congenial sentiment
between them from their first acquaintance, which finally resulted
in a combined movement for the accomplishment of the objects
And but for the prompt and decisive action of the people in
thwarting their design, it may reasonably be supposed that the
scenes of Kansas would have been reenacted on Texas soil. The
people of this section viewed with great alarm the dangerous
tendency of a concentration of this class of citizenship in their
midst, and very wisely determined to adopt the necessary meas-
ures to avert the mischief designed to be inflicted upon them.
•*The group of Union sympathizers in Cooke and other North Texas counties,
banded together in behalf of the restoration of the Federal Union, are referred
to variously by Diamond as the "Order," "Organization," and "Institution." This
Yankee underground, or resistance group, may have been an outgrowth, in part,
of the secret Abolitionist group active in North Texas in 1858-1860.
EFFECTS UPON THE PEOPLE
In pursuance of a general understanding to watch their move-
ments, nothing was said or done on either side to disturb quiet
and peaceable relations between the two parties. The "Order"
had committed no acts of violence, or made any demonstrations
indicating its objects, aims & future policy of its operations. Thus
matters rested, each party watching and suspicious of the other,
until the final disruption of the Union and war had become
Many of the states had seceded from the General Government
and declared themselves free and sovereign in their own right.
And it will be remembered by Texans that after many of the
states had passed ordinances of Secession, and secession had be-
come a fixed fact, Texas, through her delegates in Convention
assembled, submitted a like ordinance for the ratification by the
people of the state; 5 and that simultaneously with the discussion
upon the subject, and before the day selected for the vote on the
ordinance, a proposition emanated from some of the North
Western counties, through a Sherman newspaper 8 strongly favor-
5 The Secession Convention of Texas met in Austin on January 28, 1861. and
two days later submitted an ordinance to repeal the annexation ordinance of
1845 for approval or rejection by the voters of Texas. The statewide election was
set for February 23, 1861, the ordinance to become effective on March 2. if the
referendum was favorable to it. E. W. Winkler (ed.) , Journal of the Secession
Convention of Texas, 1861 (Austin, 1912).
6 The Sherman Patriot was the principal Whig newspaper in North Texas during
the 1850's, with the exception of Charles DeMorse's Northern Standard at Clarks-
ville. It strongly opposed the secession of Texas. Graham Landrum, Grayson County.
An Illustrated History of Grayson County, Texas (Fort Worth, i960) , 24-25.
No copy of any detailed "proposition" to organize a separate state in North
Texas is extant, although such action was foreshadowed in a document dated
January 15, 1861, at Austin on the eve of the Secession Convention of Texas. Said
to have been issued from "the Unionist ring at Austin," that document was
widely circulated in Collin and other North Texas counties and published in the
Southern Intelligencer (Austin) , January 31, 1861. It served notice that if the
then approaching state convention should disregard "the wishes of the Conserva-
tive Union men of the State of Texas, and especially the Northern portion of the
state," by declaring the State of Texas out of the Union "without submitting
their action to the people of Texas for ratification at the ballot box," Union men
were resolved "as a dernier resort to make an effort to unite a sufficient number of
the northern counties into a state, and make application at the proper time for
ing, and earnestly recommending the organization of a new state.
This scheme seems to have been the result of mature reflection
and calm deliberations, as the meets [sic] and bounds of the new
state were properly & systematically designated, embracing quite
a respectable portion of the state.
The paper in which this proposition had its practical origin
was published by one Capt. Foster, 7 who was notorious for his
hostility to the Southern people, and who was afterwards killed
by some unknown persons in the streets of Sherman.
From whence this proposition originally came, it is not deemed
necessary to inquire. If the project was ever entertained in good
faith by any good men, it certainly was a most unfortunate stroke
of policy at that particular time and particular locality chosen
for the accomplishment of such a purpose. The scheme was a
bold one, openly advocated and seriously recommended to the
confidence and support of the people.
No doubt its advocates at that particular time resorted to it to
attract the attention of the people from the important question
then pending— the adoption of the ordinance of Secession— and
by not committing themselves to the policy of secession and
resistance to the General Government, they would more readily
command the aid of that government in their scheme to cut them-
selves loose and establish their new state by violence and the
bayonet, as was done in the case of West Virginia.
It certainly did accomplish much in the way of neutralizing
and allaying the enthusiasm in favor of secession, though it
signally failed to effect the general result. It will be remembered,
however, that in this portion of the state, which has been the
admission to the Union." Claude Elliott, "Union Sentiment in Texas, 1861-1865,"
Southwestern Historical Quarterly, L, 449; J. Lee and Lillian J. Stambaugh, A
History of Collin County, Texas (Austin, 1958) , 62.
As noted, the convention at Austin did submit the secession ordinance to a vote
of the people of Texas. The "proposition" referred to by Diamond was outlined
subsequently with specific demarcation of proposed boundaries ("meets and
7 E. Junius Foster, editor of the Sherman Patriot, was shot and killed in October,
1862, at the doorstep of his print shop in Sherman, following publication in his
newspaper of comments approving the assassination of Colonel William C. Young,
a principal in the organization of the "Citizens Court" in Gainesville. A number of
years later the colonel's son, James D. Young, made confession in court that he
shot Foster after the editor's refusal to retract comment on the elder Young's
death. Landrum, Grayson County, An Illustrated History of Grayson County,
theatre of violence and general civil disturbances, the vote on
the ordinance of Secession was largely in favor of the Union. 8
There were men at the head of this scheme, bold intelligent
and ambitious; but the adventure, like that of Aaron Burr, failing
in its incipiency, it will probably never be known who matured
the plan, nor what was the full scope and extent of the original
The operations of Burr on Blennerhassett Island, though insig-
nificent in themselves and carried forward by only a handful of
adventurers, were, however, the result of a magnificent plan, rec-
ognized by the Government in which he had held the highest
office but one as the stepping stone to Empire.
The evidence elicited on the trial of Burr in the U. S. Supreme
Court, for treason, discloses simply an intention on the part of
Burr to revolutionize the sentiment of the people of the West,
win them from their allegiance and establish and organize a
separate government of which he should be the acknowledged
head. Parties to a similar undertaking in Texas did not even
receive public denunciation, but were allowed to assert and pro-
mulgate their treasonable doctrines with the greatest impunity.
This bold dash in defiance of the Constitution and laws of the
state gave the enemies of peace and good government in this
section fresh courage, and with this moral weight in their favor,
their operations were pushed forward with renewed energies.
The prospects of the "Order" were evidently in the ascendent
until the final adoption of the Ordinance of Secession. This
seemed to strike a fatal blow at the very root of their enterprise.
The almost unparalleled unanimity of the people of the State
in favor of disunion, and the enthusiasm manifested throughout
the country in view of the establishment of a Southern Confed-
eracy, caused a general panic and disquietude among them. Many
of the Union men began to remove northward, and finally,
under the proclamation of President Davis extending to such
8 The statewide vote, based on returns reported by 122 counties, was 46,129 for
secession; 14,697 against. Nineteen of these counties reported majority votes against
withdrawing from the Union, eight of which were in North Texas: Collin, 948
against, 405 for; Cooke, 221 against, 137 for; Fannin, 656 against, 471 for; Grayson,
901 against, 463 for; Jack, 76 against, 14 for; Lamar, 663 against, 553 for; Montague,
86 against, 50 for; Wise, 78 against, 76 for. Winkler, Journal of the Secession
Convention of Texas, 1861, p. 88.
the privilege of removing beyond the limits of the Confederacy,
a great number returned to the United States.
Deprived of this great moral support, the members of the
"Order" thought best to defer active operations, and those who
remained were silent and passive, submissive to the rules of order
and obedient to the mandates of the law.
But when war, relentless war, called the gallant sons of Texas
from their happy homes and firesides and confined them to the
tented field, the worst [fears] of those who watched the move-
ments of the domestic enemy began to be realized. Many of the
members went into the army, apparently in good faith; but after-
wards, it was ascertained, they designed only to obtain an oppor-
tunity to confer with the Northern army upon subjects connected
with their organization. And through the active agency of those
hanging on the flanks and rear of the invading forces in Missouri,
many of whom were well acquainted with this country and the
members of the band, those who remained at home were kept
constantly advised as to the progress of the "Order."
Looking with ardent hope for a strong force to reach Texas
from Fort Scott through the Indian Territories, they at once
began a vigorous prosecution of their favorite enterprise. They
then began to contemplate the successful issue of their cherished
design to subvert the state government, murder the innocent and
unoffending women and children of Southern men, and destroy
all property both public and private which could not be used to
advantage in their scheme of rapine and plunder.
THE TIME OF ORGANIZATION
It has not been definitely ascertained at what exact time this
wicked combination was dignified by the name of "Order,'' "Or-
ganization," or "Institution," as many of their leading members
termed their association.
From the best information derived from various sources, they
must have assumed their corporate existence and perfected their
ritual at some period early in the spring of 1862. I. W. P. Lock, 8
under the limb, stated that he originated the "Order" himself;
but the confessions of others clearly contradict this statement. It
is quite probable that Capt. Lock had full authority to swear in
and receive membership in his own immediate department, very
much in his own way; but the volume of evidence shows the
existence of the "Order" before Lock was in any manner con-
nected with it. It is pretty clearly settled that they began opera-
tions under their "charter" early in 1862.
91. W. P. Lock was one of the prisoners condemned by the "Citizens Court"
and subsequently hanged. As will be seen in the text, he testified that he and
Jackson Mounts "were the first starters of this order."
THE EXTENT OF THE ORDER
Before introducing any of the particulars connected with the
progress of the "Order," it may be proper to inform the reader
of the extent of its operations, and the scope of its designs.
None except those who are intimately acquainted with the par-
ticular incidents connected with it, the character of those engaged,
and the localities selected for the field of their operations could
ever possibly appreciate its magnitude.
The poor deluded wretches in Texas who fell victims to their
own egregious folly were but tools in the hands of a more powerful
wing of the same "Institution." They were but pioneers in the
work, and to the premature &: over-zealous efforts of a few to
accomplish a purpose requiring the cooperation of all their forces,
may be attributed their sad and untimely fate.
With the largest number that they ever claimed as belonging
to the organization in Texas, they could not have hoped for success
by their own efforts alone; and hence, it has ever been a source
of profound wonder to those who are not acquainted and advised
of the facts. The reader at the outset is astonished that so few
should attempt such a hazardous work— that so few should contem-
plate the overthrow of a State government and murder indis-
criminately its unoffending citizens; that so few should band them-
selves together in the face of a people already in arms, acquainted
with war; and renowned for their prowess and military achieve-
But this astonishment yields when the mists of error are dis-
pelled by the light of truth. It was ascertained beyond question
that this insignificant band was in full fellowship with a like
combination in the Federal army of the West, and linked with
every hostile tribe of Indians then in arms against the South, and
especially against Texas.
It is useless to attempt to vindicate their extraordinary con-
duct upon any other hypothesis than a direct assurance of timely
aid from other sources. Strange as their conduct may seem,
stranger things have occurred in our own country, and for the
accomplishment of similar purposes.
Who, with a properly [sic] and well-balanced mind, endowed
with reason and intelligence could have been induced to believe
that old John Brown, the martyr, with but a squad of followers
would have marched into the very heart of the Old Dominion, in
time of peace and public tranquility, with fire and sword, slay-
ing, burning and destroying whatever fell in his path? . [The
writer here goes into an extensive discussion of John Brown's
capture of Harper's Ferry, concluding:] Nobly did the Old
Dominion meet the danger and vindicate the majesty of her laws
and the liberty of her people by a practical application of her
motto, "Sic Semper Tyrrannis."
So, in this instance in Texas, the promised and anticipated relief
was not forthcoming in the hour of peril, and hence those who
meditated the ruin and destruction of the fairest portion of this
great state fell victims to their own criminal folly.
This organization was in league also with the nine tribes of
Reserve Indians, except the Tonkawas; to wit, the Keechi's, loni's,
Waco's, Wichita's, Caddo's, Towokona's, Anodarco's, and Co-
manche: The organization was also in communication with the
hostile tribes of Shawnee's, Delaware's, and Kickapoos; and, also,
the disaffected portion of the Cherokee's, Creeks, Seminole's and
other tribes. It was not originally understood by the members of
the order that they were to cooperate with the Indians. The "In-
stitution" was more intimately connected with the northern Army,
in which they claimed many members, principally those who had
fled and escaped public justice in Texas.
The fact [is] that such an organization existed and it's designs
were, by duly appointed messengers, properly laid before military
commandants in the Federal Army, and their cooperation secured.
In reply to the assurances made by these couriers, that Texas was
vulnerable and utterly defenseless, the Federal Officers, very nat-
urally engaged to assist them. But, aid from this source coming too
slow, and finally becoming doubtful, whether it [would] come at
all, the organization turned its attention to the Indians and opened
correspondence with them.
After some time had elapsed in perfecting thier 10 plans, opera-
tion began about the middle of August 1862. The hostile Indian
tribe (s) begun [sic] to make demonstration upon Fort Cobb,
which caused the Chickasaw Battalion stationed there to retire to
Fort Arbuckle, and a general rush of citizens back into the in-
terior. In consequence of this formidable attack, it was naturally
and reasonably expected that the militia of the border counties
would be called out to drive back the savage, which was accord-
ingly, and very promptly, done by Brig. Genl. Wm. Hudson."
Thus the traitors saw their plans working admirably.
It was understood among them that they should all respond to
the call, apparently in good faith; and when the militia were or-
dered far beyond the limits of Texas, those who were necessarily
in the ranks, upon a given signal and signs from the enemy, should
band together and turn their weapons upon their neighbors;
while as many as possible were to remain at home [to] take advan-
tage of the helpless condition of the country and murder, pillage
and destroy; and if, finally, unable to hold the country, they were
to join their friends in the enemy's camp.
But, luckily, the demonstration of the Savage being timid and
undecided in its character— and considering the distance, the
scarcity of provisions and forage, and the uncertainty of a suc-
cessful pursuit— Genl. Hudson countermanded the order and the
expedition was abandoned.
This circumstance alone, checked an outbreak at that time.
Thus chagrined, and cheated of their spoil, the members of the
order became bolder and more defiant than before. They openly
denounced the Government, and vowed organized resistance to the
i°A consistent idiosyncrasy in Diamond's manuscript is the misspelling of the
possessive pronoun "their." All subsequent instances have been corrected.
"William Hudson was born in South Carolina in about 1820 and settled in
Cooke County in the 1850's after living for several years in Missouri. He and his
wife Mary Jane are listed as family no. 10 in the i860 census of Cooke County,
in which he is described as a "Land Locater." When the Texas legislature in
December, 1861, passed a general act to put the state upon a war footing, he was
appointed a brigadier general in command of one of the thirty-six brigade dis-
tricts created by the act. He was placed in command of District 1, which included
Cooke, Montague, Jack, and fourteen other northwestern counties, with headquarters
in Gainesville. Clifford D. Cates, Pioneer History of Wise County (Decatur, 1907) ,
117. On disclosure of the "Peace Party Conspiracy" in late September, 1862, he
declared martial law in the district and issued orders requiring every able-bodied
man not already in the military service to report for duty. Elliott, "Union Sentiment
in Texas, 1861-1865," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, L, 451.
Conscript Law. 12 They became a terror to their southern neigh-
bors, mechanics among them refused to work for southern men,
while their whole conduct evinced a spirit of hate and revenge
too intolerable to be borne. They now conceived the bold design
of striking the blow themselves, at all hazards.
A large quantity of powder and other ordnance stores being
deposited at Sherman and Gainsville 13 their first step was to obtain
possession of it. This accomplished, they, [dejsigned to hold the
country, take possession of all the property or fight their way to
the Federal Army. So perfect and systematic were their plans that
they had parcelled out the property of Southern men among each
other, and had decided upon the unfortunate young women who
were marriageable and handsome, who should be spared for wives;
the rest to be put to death, together with the children.
Some, under sentence, were asked, why so foul a purpose? Why
murder the helpless women, and innocent little children? They
answered that the women might interfere with them in the en-
joyment of their new estates; and if order should ever be restored,
[they] might dispossess them entirely. As for the children— as nits,
if not destroyed, would turn to lice, so the offspring of bad men
must follow in the footprints of their sires.
Other objects which might have been contemplated by them
are not sufficiently developed by the evidence to warrant a notice
of them here. If they had succeeded in this, other plans of still
greater magnitude might have been built upon it. But, as their
success could only have been commensurate with the success of
northern arms in this quarter, it is not probable that they would
ever have added another degree to their ritual, or another oath,
to bind the consciences of men.
It is thought by many, however, that the scheme compre-
hended, as its ultimatum, the organization of a free state embrac-
ing northwestern Texas and the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations—
thus annihilating the only Indian tribes faithful and true to
i2The Confederate Congress passed its initial conscript law affecting able-bodied
men 18 through 35 years of age on April 16, 1862. Alan C. Ashcraft, Texas in the
Civil War: a Resume History (Austin, 1962) , 14.
isThe word "Gainesville" was misspelled by Diamond throughout his manu-
script. All subsequent instances have been corrected.
About the first of September, 1862, the first steps were taken to
ferret out the designs of the domestic enemy and devise measures
of protective defense. It was only a short time previous to this
that the people had ascertained that these restless men had
really organized for their destruction and that they were bound
together by the most solemn oaths to execute their wicked
This fact was ascertained beyond doubt from a gentleman who
had received propositions to go into the order, accompanied with
promises of a rich reward in the way of plunder and exemption
from all liability to aid and support the cause of the South.
Accordingly, Genl. Wm. Hudson, Col. James Bourland, 14 Col.
James J. Diamond, 15 Capt. Wm. C. Twitty, 16 Capt. C. L. RofF
"James G. Bourland, born in South Carolina in 1803, settled in the Red River
Valley in Texas during the Republic of Texas. He was appointed collector of
customs for the Red River District in 1842. On the outbreak of the Mexican War
he helped William C. Young raise a regiment of 1,000 volunteers in the Red River
area. Bourland was appointed its lieutenant colonel. He served as a state senator
in the First and Second Legislatures of the State of Texas. In 1856 he was con-
ducting a general store in Bourland's Bend of the Red River in Cooke County in
partnership with Austin Brooks. The i860 census of Cooke County lists him as a
Upon the secession of Texas Bourland returned to military service and subse-
quently commanded a regiment organized for the protection of the northern
frontier of Texas against marauding Indians and federal guerrillas. Units of his
regiment were stationed on the Red River, principally at Preston in Grayson
County and at old Warren in Fannin County. He died in 1868. Mattie Davis Lucas
and Mita Holsapple Hall, A History of Grayson County, Texas (Sherman, 1936) ,
87, 128; Biographical Souvenir of the State of Texas (Chicago, 1889), 98.
15 James J. Diamond was the eldest of six brothers who moved to Texas from
their native county of De Kalb, Georgia, before the Civil War. He settled in
Grayson County near present-day Whitesboro. A cotton planter and slave owner
in the Red River valley portion of northwestern Grayson County, he was the
leading spokesman in that area for Southern rights and views in the days imme-
diately preceding the Civil War. He attended the i860 Democratic National Con-
vention at Charleston, South Carolina, as a delegate from Texas and bolted as a
member of that delegation upon the nomination of Douglas for president.
Upon the election of Lincoln in November, i860, James J. Diamond was instru-
mental in calling a public meeting of Grayson and Cooke county citizens at Whites-
boro on November 23, i860, "to take into consideration the present political con-
dition of the country." His brother John R. Diamond was called upon to preside.
James J. Diamond, as chairman of a committee of fifteen named by the meeting,
offered a resolution calling upon Governor Sam Houston "to ascertain the will of
and others met in the town of Gainesville, Cooke County, for the
purpose of maturing some plan by which they might obtain the
secret schemes and operations of the conspirators.
After a long consultation, they agreed to appoint, or designate,
some suitable person to make application and receive a regular
initiation into the order, obtain the signs, grip & password and all
information necessary to a full understanding of the character of
that class of citizens with whom they had to deal, as well as the
names of those of which the "Order" was composed.
In the first instance, they very properly selected J. B. McCurley
to whom propositions had been made to join the organization.
Mr. McCurley, 18 a good citizen and a gentleman of fine intelli-
gence, proceeded at once, under full instructions to the discharge
of the duty assigned him. He made application, and was duly re-
the people ... by convention, or otherwise" on the question of Texas remaining
in the Union. He also moved that a company of 100 men be organized at once in
the two counties to help defend "Southern interest and Southern equality in the
Union, or out of it." Both resolutions carried with only four votes against them.
James J. Diamond attended the Secession Convention in Austin as one of Cooke
County's two delegates. He was named a member of the Convention's Committee
of Public Safety, which in effect took revolutionary control of the state in the
interim between the recess of the convention on February 4, 1861, and its re-
assembly on March 2 to announce the ratification at the polls of the ordinance of
secession. He was named lieutenant colonel of the 11th Texas Cavalry upon its
organization in the spring of 1861, participating in its occupation of the Indian
Territory. He succeeded to its colonelcy upon the death of Colonel William C.
Young in October, 1862. He died in Houston, Texas, during the yellow fever
epidemic of 1867. Lucas and Hall, A History of Grayson County, Texas, 125.
16 William C. Twitty was born in Kentucky in 1801 and lived for a number of
years in Louisiana before moving to Texas in the fall of 1836. While in Louisiana
he married Elizabeth Montague, daughter of Daniel Montague. Twitty was among
the first settlers in Cooke County west of Gainesville. He died a few years after
the end of the Civil War, and his widow made her home at Marysville. Cooke
County. A. Morton Smith, First 100 Years in Cooke County (San Antonio, 1955) , 20.
17 In October, 1862, Charles L. Roff was captain of a cavalry company in Brig-
adier General William Hudson's brigade of state troops, and later served as major
of Bourland's Cavalry Regiment. C. N. Jones, Early Days in Cooke County
(Gainesville, 1936) , 67.
i 8 J. B. McCurley, from Tennessee, was a forty-eight-year-old farmer in Denton
County in i860. He and his family had come to Texas in the 1850's by way of
Illinois. U. S. Eighth Census, i860 (Returns of Schedule 1, Free Inhabitants, for
Denton County, Texas, microfilm, Dallas Public Library) . In Diamond's opinion, as
given in his "Review of McCurley," this carrier of the mail between Gainesville and
Denton provided the initial clue in the discovery of the "Peace Party Conspiracy."
Previously published accounts have credited Newton J. Chance with having first
discovered the existence of the Unionist resistance group in Cooke County. Elliott,
"Union Sentiment in Texas, 1861-1865," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, L, 449.
ceived and admitted into the order and made acquainted with all
the secrts [sic] & mysteries connected with it.
How he proceeded in the part assigned him may be better and
more fully explained by his testimony given [before] the "Citizens
Court" on the trial of Dr. Henry Childs. 19 And it may be proper
to remark here that nowhere in the proceedings of the Court has
any testimony been incorporated in this report, (except the vol-
untary confessions of the parties condemned) unless it has been
sanctioned by an oath, administered under the forms of law by
officers authorized to administer oaths and elicited according to
the rules of evidence.
in Henry Childs was the central figure in the "Peace Party Conspiracy," in view
of the author of this narrative. His opinion also reflects the views and convictions
of members of the "Citizens Court." Diamond himself was not a participant in
the events he chronicles or a resident of Cooke County at the time of the Great
Hanging at Gainesville, although, as explained in his "Introduction," he arrived
at the scene shortly afterward. The absence of the name of Henry Childs in
available contemporary records of Cooke County, including the federal census
of i860, may be explained by Diamond's statement that Childs "came from Missouri
to Texas but a few years anterior to the war between the States."
I met Ephraim Childs 20 at the Hotel in the town of Gainesville,
sometime in the month of September 1862. After some conversation
he remarked to me, "Would you like to go into a Society for the good
of our country?" He then, before any remarked [sic] made by me,
continued — "You are a good union man, are you not? I told him I
had been one. He then said, "Come into the room, it may be that
you are one still."
We went into the room, and he gave me some signs, which I did
not understand and of course, could not answer them. He then re-
marked, "You know nothing about it." We then walked out on the
porch, when he said further: "If you want to know all about it, my
brother, the Doctor, is one of the head men and he will initiate you."
I told him perhaps at some future time, I would stop and endeavor
to learn something for the good of the country, for, I thought it in
a condition to need all the aid that could be extended to it, and that
I was anxious to do all the good in my power. He then said, "These
d d rebel rascals about town (and there are a good many of them)
have a large quantity of ammuni[tion] and we Union men intend to
have it, and that d d soon."
I made no reply and left him. I informed Col. Bourland of what
I had heard and he advised me to go on, join the order and get all
the information I could on the subject.
About two weeks subsequent to the time of the interview with
Childs I came to Gainesville, and Col. Bourland loaned me a horse
and I rode out to the residence of Doctor Henry Childs, finding
him at home. I inquired about some estray stock which (as I told him)
I learned run in his neighborhood. After some conversation, I told
him I had formed an acquaintance with his brother in Gainesville,
and that he had informed me of the existence of an organization in
the country, which he styled the Union party, and that being myself
a Union man, the idea pleased me very much. I then stated to him that
his brother told me that he (the Doctor) could give me all informa-
tion and full instructions regarding said organization. This seemed
to please him, and without any further remarks on my part he replied,
"I must first swear you to secrecy."
At his bidding I then raised my hand and took the following obli-
gation: "You, J. B. McCurley, in the presence of Almighty God, do
most solemnly promise and swear that you will forever keep secret
20 Ephraim Childs, the brother of Dr. Henry Childs, was credited with unwittingly
first having revealed the existence of the secret order.
the revelations now about to be made to you, and that you will obey
all the orders of the society into which you are now about to be
initiated. So help you, God."
I then told him that his brother had informed me of an intention
on the part of the Society to rise very soon and capture all the ammu-
nition deposited in town, and that I desired to know when the seizure
was to take place. He replied, "there is a talk about it," but he thought
they would delay it awhile longer. I then asked him how many his
Order numbered. He said they not only numbered hundreds, but
they were counted by the thousands — that their Institution reached
from the north to the South, through the northern and Southern
armies, and that within the last eight days he had sworn in and
initiated over fifty members.
I asked him if he had taken their names. He replied, "No; but
we know each other by the signs." He then drew from his pocket a
small blank book and showed me that they used dots, or characters
other than words, as he said, to avoid detection.
He then read from the book the obligations which bound them
to protect and defend each other at all times and under all circum-
stances, even unto death. He said they would not probably take up
arms against the State until the Northern army should come in, when
they were to rise and fight against the Secessionists, or fall in the rear
of the Federal army. He said that a new governor would soon be in-
augurated and take his seat in Austin — that Jim Lane 21 of Kansas was
talked of for the place, but that he thought Sam Houston would be
selected, as the most available man & popular with all parties.
I then inquired of him from what quarter the Northern army was
to come into Texas. He said from above this place, or from Kansas
and Galveston, the two divisions of the army to meet at Austin —
that there was a regular correspondence kept up between the Order
and the Federal army, the latter being well and fully posted as to the
strength and objects of their organization and the weakness of the
rebels, and that through the energy and influence of the Society, the
Northern army & our friends were informed that they might now
enter Texas in perfect safety.
Having spoken of "our friends," I asked him who were our friends?
He answered, "the Union men." I asked who were our enemies. He
answered the Southern secessionists. Having in the conversation used
the word "tories," I asked him who he called tories. He replied, the
secession party [of the] South. I asked him what would become of
them, in the event of the success of the order and the occupation of
zijames Henry Lane (1814-1866) resigned from the United States Senate as a
Senator from the State of Kansas in 1861 to command a brigade of volunteers
as a brigadier general. Born in Indiana, he served as lieutenant governor of that
state and then as a representative in Congress before emigrating to the Territory
of Kansas in 1855. He was a close friend of Abraham Lincoln and an organizer
of the Republican Party.
the country by the Northern army. He said in reply that "when our
friends come in, if they should not submit, the last one of them would
He then informed me that he could give me signs, words and grips
by which I might know any member of the order, if I would consent to
be sworn again. He said he desired to swear me, and give me power
to swear in others, I declined for the want of time then, but told him
I would call again soon, and learn all about the organization.
REVIEW OF McCURLEY
In reviewing the testimony of this man McCurley, many re-
markable features in the design and operations of the order are
prominent and quite noticeable. While McCurley was nothing
but an implement in the hands of others to detect and expose the
inside workings of the "Order," he was nevertheless a man that
stood fair among his neighbors and whose evidence was received
as the truth, and not questioned or denied by the accused or
He was a man of ripe age & at that time was engaged in carrying
the mail between Denton and Gainesville. He was known to be
fond of a social glass with his friends at times, but ever on the
alert and quite sound in his suspicions of those with whom he had
Had it not been for the exceeding volubility of the younger
Childs (Ephraim) superinduced by an overflow, or overdose, of
bad Confederate whiskey, he would not in all probability have led
the sagacious McCurley to suspect the worst from the organiza-
tion in which he boasted of being an active member. And but for
these voluntary communications, he might have lived to be useful
in his favorite "Institution," and witnessed its triumph in crime
Being intoxicated, he felt equal to any emergency and forgot
for the time being the oath of secrecy and the necessity of that
caution so necessary to carry out purposes for which they were
organized. His object was to gain the sympathies of McCurley by
referring to his record as a Union man. McCurley discloses no dis-
position to learn or go into any thing further than to frankly
admit that he would be pleased with the restoration of the Union
upon any fair or honorable means. But when he was informed
that this was to be accomplished by means of signs, grips and
passwords, and the murder of his neighbors and the betrayal of
his section into the hands of an unscrupulous, heterogeneous,
reckless organization, he seems to shudder at the idea and declined
to receive any further information.
At his first interview with Childs, not withstanding he pressed
the matter with such earnestness, McCurley's conduct shows that
he did not clearly see any "good to the country" in the move-
ment suggested for his endorsement and cooperation. He could
see no "good to his country" in attacking and sacking the town
with fire and sword, and the killing of neighbors, the "rebel
rascals" designated as objects of revenge. Therefore, he "made no
reply and left him."
After introducing himself to Dr. Henry Childs at the sugges-
tion of citizens heretofore mentioned, McCurley discovered that
the oath taken before him led him on one step further into the
secrets of the order. He was to "obey all orders of the Society."
He then seems inclined to [have] avoid[ed] any further oath-
taking, and introduced a system of inquiry based upon the infor-
mation already obtained in a manner worthy of the most erudite
and cunning barrister. It was at least creditable to a plain and
The strength of the order rapidly spreading was put down by
Childs at thousands, which he probably thought sufficient to
guarantee any member against capture or punishment. When
asked the names of those in this section belonging to the society,
Childs very properly declined to give them, fearing no doubt that
McCurley would recognize the names of many with whom he
would scorn to associate with as "Union men." This dodge doubt-
less seduced many into this order who, at the first blush, would
not have consented to have attached themselves to the organiza-
tion if all the plans had been submitted and explained to them.
That "Union Men" were thus approached who emphatically de-
clined [to join] cannot be denied; but it seems that when once
in, they accorded their active assistance and full fellowship with
the "Order" in the vilest and darkest transactions.
But [the joiner] had still another step to take— "to protect and
defend each other to the death."
The suggestion that Jim Lane of Kansas, or Sam Houston of
Texas would be inaugurated in Austin at an early day was a piece
of deception palpably as transparent as it was ungenerous and
unjust to the name and now the memory of the great, and distin-
guished lamented General Sam Houston.
The association of these two names together, the one infamous
and the other illustrious, was done for a two-fold purpose: First, to
induce the applicant to believe that Jim Lane, then in Command
of the Federal troops in Kansas & West Missouri, was actually
making preparations for a movement against Texas (which was
probably really the case) and that, in the event of such a move-
ment, the order and its members were sure of success.
Secondly, if the great Houston should stand at the head of a
general movement to resist the organized state and Confederate
Governments, that his powerful name and universal popularity,
connected with the military operations of his associate, Jim Lane,
would assure the success of the scheme beyond peradventure. The
representation that this would be consummated by the Federal
armies approaching from the north and by way of Galveston,
and a final juncture at Austin, was not without reasonable plausi-
bility, and it is well known that military operations at that time
really indicated such a purpose.
The announcement by Childs that when the Federal Army
should come in, all who did not quietly submit would be killed,
appears to have staggered McCurley for the second time in the
progress of his work, and pleading want of time to go any further,
left the Doctor to ponder over the events of the approaching rev-
olution, as they should transpire; and instead of receiving the
signs, grips and passwords which were offered him he hastened
from his presence to join a committee of friends to relate what
he had heard.
FURTHER PROGRESS OF THE CITIZENS
These statements of a man in whom all confidence could pos-
sibly be placed caused the gentlemen before referred to, to doubt
no longer the full scope and designs of the "Order." But still
unwilling to hazard a general disturbance of the apparent tran-
quility, and apprehensive of doing injustice and violence to any
innocent persons, the committee thought proper to make further
inquiries and ascertain if possible the full details, and the names
of the members of the organization. It was resolved, therefore,
to select Col. N. J. Chance, 22 a man full of bone and muscle,
courage and intelligence who, under the instructions of the com-
mittee, made the necessary application, joined the Society and
obtained in detail its inside workings.
22 Newton J. Chance, a resident of Wise County, was stationed in Gainesville as
a member of Brigadier General William Hudson's command at the time the
existence of the secret order was first reported to military authorities. Smith,
First 100 Years in Cooke County, 35; Elliott, "Union Sentiment in Texas, 1861-1865,"
Southwestern Historical Quarterly, L, 451; Cates, Pioneer History of Wise County,
Some quarter of a century after the Great Hanging at Gainesville, Chance was
apprehended and tried at Sherman for the murder of E. Junius Foster, editor of the
Sherman Patriot, in October, 1862. Chance subsequently had become a minister in
the Christian Church. He was acquitted following the surprise confession in the
trial by James D. Young that it was he, not Chance, who had fired the fatal
shotgun blast that ended the life of the editor. Landrum, Grayson County, An
Illustrated History of Grayson County, Texas, 65.
COL. N. J. CHANCES TESTIMONY
Immediately after being appointed to this delicate and respon-
sible trust, Col. Chance visited the residence of Dr. Henry Childs
and was regularly initiated, took all the degrees & received the
signs, grip, and passwords, and was duly commissioned to swear
in others. When he had obtained the secrets of the "Institution"
and had learned a great many of the names of its members, he
reported to the Committee.
As the testimony of Col. Chance will appear in the proceed-
ings on the trial of Dr. Henry Childs, it is not deemed neces-
sary to introduce it here. His evidence strictly corroborates that
given by McCurley, fully confirms the Committee in their appre-
hensions of an immediate outbreak. The organization had so far
attained its ends, that nothing was lacking but a fit opportunity to
make known its designs only in their execution. While this com-
mittee was by day and by night earnestly engaged in the prosecu-
tion of a well-planned project to defeat the Conspirators and save
bloodshed, the people generally were very prudently kept from
a knowledge of its operations; in fact, no one knew anything con-
cerning the existence of such a committee except the very few
employed to aid and further its progress.
Accordingly, there being no further time to lose, the following
named citizens met together to consider how to avoid the impend-
ing danger— to wit: Col. James Bourland, Col. Daniel Montague, 23
'-^Diamond's narrative throws additional light on the life of Daniel Montague,
one of the most important leaders in North Texas during the Republic of Texas
and in the early years of Texas' statehood. Montague County was named for him
upon its creation in 1858.
Montague was born on August 22, 1798, in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He moved
to Louisiana in 1820 and was a surveyor there during the next fifteen years. He
set out to aid the Texas revolutionists in their struggle against Mexico in 1836 but
arrived too late to take part in the Battle of San Jacinto. Returning to Louisiana
to gather his family around him, he moved to the Republic of Texas later that
same year, settling first at old Warren on the Red River in present Fannin County.
Ho conducted a general merchandise store in partnership with William Henderson,
then accepted the post of surveyor of the Fannin Land District that included
much of present Cooke, Grayson, and other North Texas counties. He was a noted
Indian fighter. Upon the outbreak of the Mexican War he helped raise a regiment
of Red River volunteers and commanded a company as captain.
Daniel Montague moved westward along the Red River in the late 1840's, taking
Col. N. J. Chance, Col. W. C. Twitty, Major C. L. Roff, William
Peery, 24 J. M. Peery, 25 J. C. Chance, Samuel C. Doss and others.
How well they laid and executed their plan of operations, the
subsequent pages of this work are designed fully to show. They
resolved to meet the danger at once and to meet it boldly. They
selected from the good people of the county a sufficient number
of men, in the vicinity of each member of the order, to seize upon
the person named at a certain hour on a certain day. These true
and good men having received their orders through the proper
medium and the time fixed for their execution, the critical mo-
ment had at last arrived.
up land in Cooke County, of which he became county surveyor. He also had sur-
veyed much of the area that became Montague County. The 1850 census of Cooke
County, Texas, lists him as 52 years of age, engaged in farming, and possessed of
land valued at $5,000.
Montague's principal service to the Confederacy, as this narrative discloses, was
as president of the "Citizens Court" that tried, condemned, and hanged the thirty-
nine prisoners charged with disloyalty and treason to the State of Texas. Montague
is also shown as foreman of the grand jury which in November, 1862, returned
an indictment against Joel Francis De Lemeron on a charge of treason. The case
was tried in the fall term of 1862 before the district court at Gainesville.
Montague was among the ex-Confederates who refused to accept the outcome of
the War Between the States and emigrated to Mexico in 1865. He lived for the
next eleven years in the valley of the Tuxpan River. He returned to Texas in 1876
to make his home with his widowed daughter, Elizabeth Montague Twitty, at
Marysville, Cooke County, where he died on December 20 of that year. His return
to Texas and subsequent death are significant in establishing the probable date
of Diamond's final draft of his narrative, as is obvious from the text of his
manuscript. Lucas and Hall, A History of Grayson County, Texas, 40-41; Z. T.
Fulmore, History and Geography of Texas as Told in County Names (Austin, 1915) ,
24William Peery, a native of Kentucky, was enumerated as a sixty-year-old farmer
living in Cooke County, in the i860 federal census. He had lived for a time in
Missouri before moving to Texas with his wife and three children in 1851. U. S.
Eighth Census, i860 (Returns of Schedule 1, Free Inhabitants, for Cooke County,
Texas, microfilm, Dallas Public Library), family no. 551.
25Presumably a brother of William Peery, James M. Peery was a member of the
Masonic Lodge at Gainesville in 1859. He served as a member of the patrol at
Gainesville as provided by state law in 1861. Smith, First 100 Years in Cooke
Accordingly, precisely at daylight on the morning of the first of
October, 1862, every one so far as known (except those who had
escaped) were seized and placed in custody, "in the name and by
the authority of the people of the County of Cooke, State of
Large quantities of ammunition and fire arms were captured
in the possession and upon the persons of the accused.
Many escaped through the treachery of one Doc Edmonson.
Being a son-in-law of one of the oldest and best citizens then
residing on the western line of Grayson County, and who was
himself a native of Illinois, he was informed of the contemplated
arrest by those whom he had induced to regard him as a friend.
As soon as he could shun his friends, he mounted his horse and
notified many of the members of their danger. So zealous was
he in the execution of trust and faithful in observing his oath
he forgot to be merciful to his beast; for it is well known that
the poor animal was so violently urged on his mission that he
died early the next day. Edmonson fled but at the close of the war
came back to the country. After enjoying the friendship and hos-
pitality of his old friends and neighbors for several years, [he]
returned to Kansas.
Some, however, who had the advantage of Edmonson's warn-
ing refused to take his advice, and after the first arrest gave
themselves up voluntarily, believing the "Order" strong enough
to release them.
HEAVY RAIN FALL
At the very hour when the arrests were made all over the
county a perfect deluge of rain was falling, and the heavens
darkened with a raging storm cloud. But the guards were true to
their trusts and, not withstanding the drenching rain, they never
faltered in the discharge of their duty.
Large quantities of powder, lead and cartridges were found
concealed in beds, ladies' wearing apparel & in every conceivable
secret place. The weeping wives of the accused evinced great alarm
and the deepest concern for the safety of their husbands from the
beginning. They owned to entertain strange presentments that
their husbands could not escape punishment while some of them
seemed to be well instructed concerning the organization, and
failed to appreciate the danger or properly consider the punish-
ment due such transgressions.
The most intense excitement now prevailed throughout the
county. There was a general motion of guards, prisoners, citizens,
screaming women and children, from every section toward Gaines-
ville—a rush of those who escaped to places of rendezvous to or-
ganize for the rescue, while the citizens grasped their guns and
organized for defense. All were active and fully alive to a sense
of the danger & peril of the next act in the exciting drama.
If there was one class of participants in that rushing throng,
in that Babel of excitement and domestic disorder, that was more
calm and impurterbed [sic] than another, it was that composed of
the prisoners. They, between sixty and seventy in number, were
marched by many different roads into the town of Gainesville,
lodged in a strong prison home and orders for their safe detention
rigidly enforced. But they seemed confident of the power of their
friends to release them, saying there were enough members of the
"Order" to rescue them upon a given signal. So implicitly did
they rely upon the courage and strength of their brotherhood that
they defiantly informed the guards and people that they were
not at all alarmed and only went into prison as a matter of choice
—to give their friends a better opportunity to release them without
danger to themselves.
They were encouraged in this belief by a circumstance that
occurred in Gainesville in the preceeding [sic] month of July. At
that time a charge was preferred against one of their number, (as
was afterwards ascertained) who was arrested by Col. James
Bourland, Provost Marshal. After proper investigation, the ac-
cused was discharged. It was observed while his trial was pending
that an unusual assemblage gathered around the marshal's office,
unwarranted by any ostensible object, there being no cause for
public excitement at that period. It was also a mysterious and
noticeable fact that nearly all who assembled on that occasion
"happened to bring their guns along."
And when it was discovered that the prisoners were so confi-
dently relying upon their friends to rescue them, the people could
look back to the trial of Cottrell 26 before the Provost Marshal and
connect them with the strange popular assemblage of that day.
And by this circumstance the fact was plainly developed that if
Cottrell had been ordered to prison, the Society was then ready
and able to rescue him.
A dispatch had been sent to Fort Washita calling upon the
Commander of that post for assistance. And other neighboring
commands [were] promptly notified of the situation of affairs in
Cooke County. These commands having readily responded to the
call made upon them and the citizens having organized for safety
and defense, the excitement and anxiety was measurably allayed.
The following commands soon reached Gainesville, in the
order in which they are named: A militia company from Grayson
County, commanded by Capt. Russell; 27 one company from Col.
Charles DeMorse's 28 Regiment, CSA, commanded by Capt. [Nick]
26john Cottrell was one of two Cooke County soldiers in Captain James D.
Young's company of Major J. S. Randolph's battalion, Partisan Rangers, who were
subsequently arrested in connection with the "Peace Party Conspiracy." Insisting
upon a court martial, they were convicted by such a court and hanged.
"Probably John Russell, since a John Russell served as a captain in the nth
Texas Cavalry and three John Russells are listed in the U. S. Eighth Census, i860
(Returns of Schedule 1, Free Inhabitants, for Grayson County, Texas, microfilm,
Dallas Public Library) .
28 Charles DeMorse was the founder and long-time editor of the Northern
Standard at Clarksville. He took up arms in behalf of the Confederacy after stren-
uously opposing the secession of Texas and its adherence to the Confederate States
of America. In 1862 he organized the 29th Texas Cavalry, of which he became
colonel. He had been born in Leicester, Massachusetts, on January 31, 1816,
and had come to Texas in the summer of 1836. He died at Clarksville in 1887.
Ernest Wallace, Charles DeMorse: Pioneer Editor and Statesman (Lubbock, 1943) .
Wilson; the entire militia of Denton County, commanded by Col.
Patton; 2 ' two Companies from Fort Washita, C.N., under Capts.
Marshall and Bumpass 30 and one company from Major Randolph's
Battalion, CSA, under Capt. [James D.] Young. The prompt and
meritorious conduct of Major Randolph in the premises, is fully
explained in the following dispatch to Cols. Bourland and Young:
The dispatch reads:
Camp Tishomingo, October 4, 1862, Gentlemen.
I am informed that quite a number of men, belonging to this Bat-
talion, are implicated by your investigation of the treasonable plot in
Cooke County. If so, please give me a list of their names. All who are
implicated here, are subject to your orders, and it will be my greatest
pleasure to arrest them, and if necessary assist you in hanging them.
If you need any more assistance, my services, and those of every true
southern man here, are at your disposal. Please forward at once the
names of every one who should be arrested. Respectfully, J. S. Ran-
dolph, Major. Comdg. Bat. Par Ran. CSA.
In the meantime, the militia of Cooke County had been organ-
ized under the able supervision of Brig. Genl. Wm. Hudson, and
placed under the command of that gallant Col. W. C. Twitty.
Sentinels were placed on every road approaching the town and
the troops kept constantly in line of battle. Reliable information
had been received that the members of the "Order" had organ-
ized and were preparing for an immediate attack upon the town
under the leadership of the Rev. Capt. Garrison, a Northern
minister, whose short residence in the country had inspired his
neighbors with more fear of his villainies than respect for his
On the night of October 2 1862, the citizens' picket encoun-
tered Capt. Garrison's force about eight miles from Gainesville,
a few shots exchanged, when Capt. Garrison halted for the pur-
pose of reconortering [sic]. At this juncture, one of the order de-
serted from town and informed Capt. Garrison of the strength
of the citizens' forces. This caused his retreat into Red River
bottom, where it is thought in a short time he disbanded his
29Probably S. P. C. Patton, who served as a captain in Bourland's Cavalry
Regiment and is listed in the U. S. Eighth Census, i860 (Returns of Schedule 1,
Free Inhabitants, for Denton County, Texas, microfilm, Dallas Public Library) .
•''"Probably A. B. or Abner M. Marshall and John K. Bumpass, captains in
Martin's Partisan Ranger Battalion.
forces and left each man to provide for his own safety. This com-
pany numbered about eighty men. Lock, Harper 31 and other prom-
inent leaders in different portions of the county having been
arrested & imprisoned, their respective commands did not cooper-
ate with Capt. Garrison in time to effect the release of the pris-
oners until the opposing strength became too formidable for any
hope of success. Hence the abandonment of the attempt on the
part of Garrison. Though for several days afterwards it was
asserted by the prisoners and their friends that there still existed
an organized, well-armed force strong enough to effect their escape
and that they were sworn to do it, or die in the effort.
Pending these extraordinary proceedings an incident occurred
which illustrates the great alarm felt, and the bold determination
of the people to defend themselves and punish the guilty.
Before any assistance had arrived the sentinels reported the
approach of an armed force from the West. 32 Not knowing whether
it was friendly or hostile, Col. Twitty rode out to meet it. Gal-
loping up in speaking distance, he addressed the officer in com-
mand as follows, "What command, sir?" "Capt. Russells Com-
pany," was the reply. "Where from?" demanded Col. T. "Gray-
son County." "Where are you going, sir?" "To Gainesville." "For
what purpose?" "We have understood you needed help; and have
come to aid you." "The people of Cooke County have not called
upon the people of Grayson for help," [said Colonel Twitty]
"therefore I would inquire by what authority you come." Capt.
Russell then advanced and in a firm tone said, "We are Southern
men, sir, citizens of Grayson Co., and have come in the name of
the Southern people to aid the good citizens of Cooke County
in their efforts to vindicate the laws and to uphold them in their
right of self defense." "Welcome," replied Col. Twitty, and taking
Capt. Russell by the hand thanked him for his sympathy and
timely aid of himself, and company.
31 M. D. Harper was a thirty-three-year-old carpenter born in Virginia, who
settled in Cooke County after 1850, according to the i860 federal census. He
was condemned and hanged by order of the "Citizens Court." U. S. Eighth Census,
i860 (Returns of Schedule i, Free Inhabitants, for Cooke County, Texas, micro-
film, Dallas Public Library) .
32The author may have erred in stating the direction from which the armed
force arrived from Grayson County, which lies to the east of Cooke County.
Simultaneously with the order of arrest, a county meeting
was called, which was attended by almost the entire adult male
population of the county. The meeting was held on the same day
the arrests were made.
In pursuance of a general notice a meeting of the citizens of
Cooke County was held the ist day of October 1862. The follow-
ing proceedings were recorded to wit— On motion, Col. W. C.
Young 33 was called to the chair, and J. M. Peery appointed secre-
tary. Col. Young being requested to state the object of the meet-
ing, arose and addressed the audience as follows:
Fellow Citizens. The information having been received by the
people of Cooke County that a vile and secret organization existed in
their midst, having for its objects the overthrow of the government
both State and Confederate, the seizure and destruction of property,
both public and private; the perfecting of an alliance with the invad-
ing armies, both civilized and uncivilized now gathering upon our
borders, and the indiscriminate slaughter of ourselves, our wives and
children, it becomes our duty to adopt some plan to stay these impend-
ing evils, and marshal our strength in self defense.
33William Cocke Young was born in Davidson County, Tennessee, on May 12, 1812.
He came to Texas during the days of the republic, settling first near Pecan Point in
present Red River County in 1837. He was the first sheriff of Red River County
and served as district attorney for the Seventh Judicial District by appointment of
President Sam Houston.
Young was a member of General E. H. Tarrant's expedition that routed the last
Indian settlement in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 1841. He was a delegate to the
convention at Austin in 1845 which accepted the terms of the annexation of
Texas to the United States. During the Mexican War he raised and commanded a
regiment of 1,000 Red River volunteers.
In 1851, Young moved to Grayson County, where he practiced law and occupied
land formerly embraced in Shawneetown adjoining the present city of Denison.
He served a term as United States Marshal. He moved from Grayson County to
Cooke County in 1858, having established a new plantation home in the Sivil's
Bend area of the Red River.
Upon the secession of Texas, Young was called by President Jefferson Davis to
Montgomery, Alabama, first capital of the Confederacy, for consultations. On
return to Texas he organized, in May, 1861, what was to become the 11th Texas
Cavalry, composed of companies from Grayson, Cooke, Collin, Denton, and seven
other north and northeast Texas counties.
Young was home in Cooke County on leave from his regiment because of poor
health in the fall of 1862 and participated in moves to apprehend and punish
members of the "Peace Party Conspiracy." It was from his river plantation that
he went to rescue James Dixon only to meet his own death at the hands of
unknown persons in the "brakes" of the Red River. Young County subsequently
was named in his honor. Lucas and Hall, A History of Grayson County, Texas, 67;
Landrum, Grayson County, An Illustrated History of Grayson County, Texas, 64;
U. S. Eighth Census, i860 (Returns of Schedule 1, Free Inhabitants, for Cooke
County, Texas, microfilm, Dallas Public Library) .
How wisely and well these plans were laid is now sufficiently devel-
oped in their successful execution. The result is, quite a number of
those who cherished the wicked designs to accomplish our utter ruin
have been arrested and confined in prison. The price of liberty is
eternal vigilance, and I thank God that through the patriotic zeal,
extreme caution and vigilance of the citizens of Cooke County, this
infamous plot was discovered in time to save the country from the
ruthless hand of the domestic traitor, robber and murder[er]. I under-
stand the object of this meeting to be to advance by proper and legiti-
mate means the work already begun. I am quite confident that you
will all agree with me when I say that something must be done to check
these conspirators in their villainous schemes and arrest the further
progress of their wicked machinations. This is due to ourselves, to
God and humanity.
As for me, while my whole heart is honestly earnestly enlisted for
the defense of my common country, I regard it as my first duty to stand
by my family fireside and not abandon my wife and children to the
lawlessness and violence of my designing neighbors; and I am well
assured from the number of good men of the County of Cooke as-
sembled here today that the people are of the same mind. While I
hope that wisdom & moderation may characterize our further proceed-
ings, I still hope that no man will falter in this hour of trial. We have
met to act. There is a duty for every one to perform. Something must
be done; and trusting confidently to your wisdom and virtue, and
having a common interest with mine, I ask you in the name of hu-
manity what shall be done?
On motion, it was unanimously resolved that a committee of
five good and true men, citizens of Cooke County, be appointed by
the chairman, whose duty it should be to select twelve good true
and lawful men citizens of the county to act as jurors, empow-
ered to investigate, examine and decide upon all cases that should
be brought before them.
Whereupon the chair appointed on said committee William
Peery, Jas. B. Davenport, 34 R. G. Piper, 35 Aaron Hill 36 and J. B.
3 *James B. Davenport was born in Kentucky in 1801 and took up land for
farming in Cooke County in the 1850's. He served as a member of the town patrol
at Gainesville in 1861. Smith, First 100 Years in Cooke County, 32; U. S. Eighth
Census, i860 (Returns of Schedule 1, Free Inhabitants, for Cooke County, Texas,
microfilm, Dallas Public Library) .
35 R. G. Piper, Chief Justice of Cooke County in 1862, was born in Virginia in
1815. He moved to Texas after 1850, taking up land for farming in Cooke County.
36 Aaron Hill was born in South Carolina in 1795. He moved to Texas with his
family in 1848, receiving a patent in 1850 for 640 acres in Cooke County. He is
listed in the 1850 Census, Grayson County, Texas, family no. 159, but moved,
Stone, 37 whose appointments were then unanimously endorsed by
This com. retired and after consultation, recommended as the
Jury of twelve the following names: 38 Samuel A. Doss, John W.
Hamill, 39 Reason Jones, 40 Ben Scanland, 41 J. P. Long," W. J.
Simpson, 43 Wiley Jones, 44 Thomas Barrett, 45 Danl Montague, J. A.
apparently, to Cooke County the same year, being elected district clerk of Cooke
County in 1850. Smith, First 100 Years in Cooke County, 31; Seymour V. Connor,
The Peters Colony of Texas (Austin, 1959) , 282; U. S. Seventh Census, 1850
(Returns of Schedule 1, Free Inhabitants, for Cooke County, Texas, microfilm,
Dallas Public Library) , family no. 159; U. S. Eighth Census, i860 (Returns of Sched-
ule 1, Free Inhabitants, for Cooke County, Texas, microfilm, Dallas Public Library) .
37 J. B. Stone was born in Virginia in 1823. He was a practicing physician in
Gainesville at the time of the Great Hanging in 1862. Ibid.
38Reference to each of the twelve jurors is made below by the author under his
heading of "Character of Court."
39 John W. Hamill was one of the two ministers named to serve on the "Citizens
4 °Reason Jones was born in Tennessee in 1813 and settled in Cooke County as a
farmer in the 1850's. U. S. Eighth Census, i860 (Returns of Schedule 1, Free
Inhabitants, for Cooke County, Texas, microfilm, Dallas Public Library) .
"Ben Scanland was born in Tennessee in 1818. He settled in Cooke County after
1850, taking up land to farm. He was named a member of the first grand jury
empanelled in Cooke County (1858) . Ibid.; Smith, First 100 Years in Cooke
42 J. Pope Long, a land owner in the Sivil's Bend area in Cooke County, was one
of two physicians appointed on the "Citizens Court." He later moved to the Coesfield
community of Cooke County. Ibid.
43 W. J. Simpson was born in Tennessee in 1812. He moved to Texas after 1850,
taking up land in Cooke County to farm. U. S. Eighth Census, i860 (Returns of
Schedule 1, Free Inhabitants, for Cooke County, Texas, microfilm, Dallas Public
44 Wiley Jones, a fifty-six-year-old farmer in i860, was born in North Carolina.
He was a member of the commissioners court of Cooke County in 1861. Ibid.; Smith,
First 100 Years in Cooke County, 243.
45 Thomas Barrett, physician and minister, was born in Anson County, North
Carolina, on June 21, 1809. After residing in Missouri for a number of years, he
moved with his family to Hopkins County, Texas, in 1848. He moved to Gainesville,
Cooke County, in i860. He began the practice of medicine in 1838 and was ordained
later as a minister in the Disciples of Christ.
Barrett's account of the events narrated by Diamond, The Great Hanging at
Gainesville, was the only known summary of those events from a contemporary
observer, or participant, until George W. Diamond's chronicle in manuscript form
came to light in 1962. (Publication of the Diamond account is made possible by the
interest in Texas history of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Harlan of Dallas, Texas. Mrs.
Harlan is a granddaughter of George W. Diamond.)
The Reverend Thomas Barrett wrote in 1885 that he was opposed to the hangings
in 1862 and served on the "Citizens Court" under duress. As a result of threats arising
from his lukewarm attitude, he felt it necessary to leave Gainesville shortly after-
wards, moving to Vernon in 1863 and to Bell County in 1865. During the opening
phases of Reconstruction in Texas he removed to Tennessee, where he remained
Hughes, Jas. Jones 46 and Thos. Wright, 47 whose appointments
were unanimously confirmed by the meeting.
Resolved — That the committee thus constituted shall constitute a
tribunal to be styled the "Citizens Court," which shall examine into
all crimes and offenses committed in said co., and try saparatily [sic]
all cases brought before it, hear the evidence, determine the guilt or
innocence of the party accused and pronounce what punishment shall
Resolved — That the party accused shall in all cases be allowed to
employ attorney and to send for and introduce such witnesses in his
defense as he may desire, and may be confronted with any witness
for or against him, and each witness shall be sworn by a Justice of
the Peace, or other officer authorized by law to administer oaths.
Resolved — That the proceedings of said Court shall be private or
kept secret so far as possible, from the enemy, and may at its discre-
tion suppress any and all such testimony as may be deemed prudent
and proper for the public safety.
Resolved — That the court shall be empowered to appoint a clerk
& constable to assist in the transactions of its business, and may reg-
ulate the time of its own meetings and adjournments.
Resolved — Unanimously that we the citizens comprising this meet-
ing pledge ourselves individually to sustain the proceedings of said
Court and assist in carrying out its decisions in all things.
On motion the meeting adjourned. Wm. C. Young, Chm. James M.
until the end of 1866. Barrett then returned to Gainesville where he, with other
members of the "Citizens Court," were subsequently tried and acquitted in civil
court of any crime in connection with their participation in the work of the "Cit-
izens Court." He continued the practice of medicine until 1878 and continued to
preach until his death in Gainesville in 1892. Barrett, The Great Hanging at Gaines-
ville; Biographical Souvenir of the State of Texas, 50-51.
46 James Jones, born in North Carolina in 1812, took up land for farming in
Cooke County after 1850. U. S. Eighth Census, i860 (Returns of Schedule 1, Free
Inhabitants, for Cooke County, Texas, microfilm, Dallas Public Library) .
4 ? Thomas Wright was born in North Carolina in 1812 and became a farmer in
Cooke County sometime after 1850. He entered active military service of the Con-
federacy toward the end of the war, being named a second lieutenant in Captain
James Hill's company of frontier guards on January 30, 1864. Ibid.; Smith, First
100 Years in Cooke County, 44.
CHARACTER OF COURT
The proceedings of this meeting furnish an unanswerable refu-
tation of the charge that the Court was a self-constituted mob,
and convince of their error [those] who had supposed that it was
chosen by partisans in passionate haste and rashness. It was
appointed after careful and mature deliberation and sustained by
the calm and unimpassioned judgment of the people. It was com-
posed of men selected from all portions of the co., not for their
strong southern or secession predilections, or enmity toward
Union men or those who would most likely be brought before
them. But, on the other hand, they were chosen for their known
moderation, intelligence and virtue as men and citizens.
What Texan, who is acquainted with the history of his country,
does not revere the memory of Wm. C. Young, the talented, brave
and generous spirit that presided over the meeting that ap-
pointed this Court? Who can attach to him who was so univer-
sally beloved, the ignoble purpose of attempting to sway its
deliberations in a channel other than that in which a sense of
duty and responsibility would naturally dictate? He offered him-
self a sacrifice to his country and but for the love he bore his
State and his people, the writer would have been spared the
penning of the bloodiest sequel of these pages.
What reader of Texas history is not familiar with the name of
Montague, the chosen president of the Court? His name is asso-
ciated with other scenes in the early history of his adopted State.
And it is perpetuated & honored by being given to one of the
counties of his adopted State in memory of his worth.
He was always distinguished whether in public or private life,
his usefulness in the one only being excelled by his virtue in
To show further in what estimation he was held by the people
of Texas we copy the following, reproduced from an editorial
in the Sherman Texas Courier, of date. Feby ist 1874: 48
*«The date of this item from the Sherman Texas Courier included in Diamond's
manuscript indicates that he completed it sometime after February 1, 1874. The
It is not genarally known by the newer portion of our citizens, that
Sherman possesses a spot sacred to the commemoration of the early
struggles of Texas. But such is the case. About two miles South of the
square on the high prairie just to the right of the Mantua Road stands
a grove of trees, covering several acres and plainly to be seen from
the northern end of the city. This grove was the scene of a fierce
Indian fight in the days of the Republic, some thirty years ago. The
Indians, true to their instincts, had raided down upon the frontier —
then several counties east of here, and had stolen all the horses they
could drive off. There was no "Government policy" to interfere and
a party of settlers headed by Daniel Montague, followed on their trail
and overtook them about dusk one evening at said grove where Indians
were camped, waiting until dark. They came down upon the unsus-
pecting Indians in style that only frontiersmen can, killed quite a
number of them, recaptured their stock and learned the Indians a
lesson that they remembered for years. Since then the place has been
known as "Montague Grove," in honor of the leader of the whites,
who before & afterwards by his heroism and bravery won many an
honored place among Texas patriots. He was for many years a resi-
dent of the County which was named for him, but at the close of the
late war he removed to Mexico, where we believe he has since died.
Rev. John W. Hamill was a shining light in the ministry— a gen-
tleman of fine talents and of the highest integrity. He was for
many years a missionary and Government agent among the In-
dians, and who accomplished much toward civilizing the untutored
tribes and reconcile[d] them to a friendly relationship with the
Rev. Thos. Barrett, the acknowledged head of the Christian
Church denomination in Northwestern Texas, is a gentleman of
newspaper item itself recites that Montague moved to Mexico at the end of the
"late war," with the editor adding, "where we believe he has since died."
Daniel Montague's return to North Texas and Cooke County in 1876 was a matter
of widespread interest and a welcome surprise to the many who thought him dead.
His death on December 20, 1876, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth
Twitty, at Marysville, Cooke County, was widely reported throughout Cooke and
adjoining counties, including Grayson County. It may be presumed, therefore, that
George W. Diamond, then living at Whitesboro, Grayson County, completed the
final draft of his account of the Great Hanging before the dramatic return and the
actual death of Daniel Montague in 1876, or sometime between February 1, 1874,
and December 20, 1876, at the latest.
rare intellectual endowments and highly distinguished for the
religious culture of his mind.
Dr. Long is widely known as a physician of high standing in
The Jones' are men who rank among the most substantive
citizens of Cooke County. Hughes' popularity has been tested by
his election to the position of County Clerk in his County. Doss,
Scanland, Simpson 8c Wright are all men of intelligence who stand
high in the estimation of the people and [are] distinguished for
their sobriety and good moral character.
In all the county of Cooke there could not have been twelve
men selected who stand higher in the confidence and esteem of
the people than the high-toned gentlemen who composed this
court. It is believed they are all living yet, except the lamented
president, Danl. Montague, and they still enjoy that same notoriety
for honesty and integrity that characterized their lives at that
time. So much then in refutation of the widespread rumor that
the conspirators were hung by the rabble, or mob of lawless
persons, who were prompted in their action by motives political,
biggotry [sic] and revenge.
ORGANIZATION OF THE COURT
The court organized at once by appointing James M. Peery
and R. G. Piper clerks and Wm. W. Bourland constable. The
court was then sworn by R. G. Piper, chief Justice of Cooke
County, to try all cases brought before it fairly & impartially,
and render its decisions according to the evidence. Whereupon
it was ordered by the Court that R. G. Piper, Aaron Hill, J. E.
Shegog," 9 & Cincinnatus Potter 50 be appointed and constituted an
examining committee, charged to examine witnesses [and] write
down the evidence, first being sworn to discharge said duties
impartially and to the best of their ability.
The bare mention of the names of the officers of the court
among the people where known is a sufficient warrant for the
intelligence and consciencious [sic] regard for truth and justice
on the part of those selected by the Court to discharge their
important duties, in obedience to its orders.
The Court, being organized, proceeded at once to the inves-
tigation of the cases reported ready for trial.
* 9 A misspelling, apparently, of the name of J. A. Sheegog, who was born in Dublin,
Ireland, in 1807. He appears to have emigrated to Texas about 1850, first having
lived for a time in Tennessee and then in Louisiana. His occupation was farming.
U. S. Eighth Census, i860 (Returns of Schedule 1, Free Inhabitants, for Cooke
County, Texas, microfilm, Dallas Public Library) .
50 Cincinnatus Potter was a farmer in Mississippi before he moved to Cooke County
in 1858. One of the largest landholders in that section of the state, Potter also
served as a county official and as commander of a company of the local militia
organized to fight Indians. He later served as major in the state militia. Frank W.
Johnson (Eugene C. Barker and E. W. Winkler, eds.) , A History of Texas and
Texans (5 vols.; Chicago, 1914) , IV, 1681, 2072.
[TRIAL OF HENRY CHILDS]
The first prisoner brought before the Court was Dr. Henry
Childs to whom reference has already been made.
The President — Dr. Henry Childs, you have been brought before
this Court organized by the people of Cooke County charged with the
crimes of conspiracy and insurrection; Have you any, or do you de-
sire any counsel?
The Prisoner — I have no counsel and deny that this court has juris-
diction in the case.
The President. This Court is sustained in its jurisdiction by the
unanimous voice of the people — are you ready for trial.
The Prisoner — Probably as ready now as I shall ever be.
President — Listen to the reading of the charge — :
The State of Texas
County of Cooke
In Citizens Court
Oct. ist 1862
In the name and by the authority of the people of the County of
Cook [sic] and State of Texas, the citizens Court, duly selected, organ-
ized and sworn to examine and inquire into all crimes and offenses
committed in said county and state aforesaid, on their oaths present;
That on or about the 1st of September 1862 as well as long before
and after that time, one Henry Childs, he then being a citizen of the
county and state aforesaid, did commit the crime of treason in this
that he did combine with other evil disposed persons, well knowing
the design and intent of such combination, and did engage in and
incite open and hostile opposition to the Civil Authorities of the
said State and county, and attempted and advised resistance to the
execution of the laws thereof. And that on the day and year afore-
said in the State and County aforesaid and before and after that time
the said Henry Childs did commit the crime of conspiracy; in this that
he did combine with other evil disposed persons, well knowing the
design and intent of such combination, and did engage in and incite
others to engage in and attempt to carry out the object of a certain
order or organization, counselling [sic] and advising the killing of
good citizens, the destruction of property, the disturbing of the public
peace, contrary to the public safety and the peace and welfare of the
P eo P le - Danl Montague
Prest Citizen Court
President. Dr. Henry Childs — You have heard the charges pre-
ferred against you; what say you, guilty or not guilty.
Prisoner — Not guilty.
N. J. Chance Sworn
Ques. by the examining committee — Do you know anything con-
cerning a secret organization in this country.
Ans. I know of such an order existing recently.
Ques. How did you obtain a knowledge of such organization.
Ans. By being initiated and receiving the signs, grips and pass-
Ques. Do you know what was the object of said organization.
Ans. I know the objects which all the members initiated were sworn
to carry out.
The President. Please state to the court how you came to be
initiated — and fully & particularly all the information you may have
concerning said organization, giving the clerks time to write down
Witness. In the month of September last, while in conversation
with Col. Bourland of this County, he informed me that he and
others had received information concerning a secret organization in
the country and that a council had been held privately in Gaines-
ville, and upon consultation had chosen myself as the proper person
to undertake to find out the secrets of said organization, and the
names of those attached to it, as he informed me, for the purpose of
saving the country from disturbance and violence, and bringing the
members of the Order to justice.
Acting upon this suggestion, on the 26 day of September 1862, I
started to Dr. Childs' residence. Meeting him on the road, I intro-
duced myself, and after some conversation, he asked me if I was the
Mr. Chance who had recently returned from the Southern Army.
After answering him in the affirmative, he asked me a great many
questions in regard to the Confederate Army, its numbers, situation,
I then remarked that a friend of mine had informed me that there
was a secret union or peace party existing in the country and that he
(Childs) was the very man to whom my friend had recommended me
for full information on the subject. I told him, if there was such an
organization as had been represented to me, it was the very thing I
was hunting for. We then rode some distance together and dis-
mounted when he informed me that If I desired to receive any com-
munications from him I would be required to take an oath of
secrecy. I requested him to proceed. He then administered to me the
following oath: "You do solemnly swear in the presence of Almighty
God, that you will forever keep secret the information now about
to be communicated to you, so help you, God."
He then continued — "My friend — I propose to tell that ours is a
secret organization existing in this country, and it is believed by all
good men to be necessary for the protection of life and property. Its
greatest good may not be realized or appreciated for awhile; but when
the northern army comes into this country, and it most assuredly will
in a very short time, this organization will be the means of saving the
lives and the property of those attached to it & able to give the signs,
grips and passwords."
I then asked him questions generally, concerning the origin and
main objects of the organization. He replied that the Order had its
origin in the necessity for organized resistance to the Confederate
Conscript Law, and all laws passed by the so-called Confed. States
without authority of the United States, and for the safety and pro-
tection of those who maintain the indestructibility of the Union.
And sustained all means and measures of coercing the seceded states
into obedience and subjection to the national authority, and that
having conferred with military commandants in the Federal Army,
the order through them had been circulated far and wide. That the
design of the Organization was to avoid fighting against the North
and on the first opportunity to rise in masse and fight the rebels and
drive them out of the country and take their property. He then in-
structed me [in] the duties and obligations of the members and gave
me, in detail, the plan of the order, saying in substance that each and
every member of the order should recognize each other as brothers,
and when any member should be arrested by the local authorities, all
the other members were required to rally to his rescue, and set him
He said that every member had more or less of ammunition, and
it was the intention to organize to [sic] companies and seize some
public ammunition then deposited at Gainesville and at Sherman, in
Grayson County — that a time had been once fixed to capture the
ammunition but it was concluded to postpone it for awhile. He said
the ammunition was watched very closely by members of the order,
and that it was impossible for the rebels to remove or conceal it. He
said that they intended to act on one of two plans; first if the Nor-
thern Army came near and the militia should be ordered out from
the border counties, they were to march into the ranks organized into
companies and move on cheerfully until the ammunition should be
issued, and the order of battle given, when they were to rally to them-
selves at a certain signal from the Northern Army, and turn their guns
upon the rebels, and kill them or take them prisoner.
Secondly, if this plan should not be adopted, they intended to get
all things ready at a very early day and before the militia were called
out, hold meetings and set a time, and at a certain hour, march to
the places where the ammunition was deposited and demand it civilly;
if given up, all right — if not they were to take it by force of arms in
retaliation against the rebels for seizing the forts, arsenals, arms &
belongings to the United States. As soon as this was done they were
to kill off the rebel party here, as there would be but few of them left,
there being over two-thirds of the fighting male population of the
country belonging to said order, except the soldiers then absent in
the Confederate Army. He continued: "We will commence the fight
here at home, against these rebels, if the Northern Army should not
come in, and take such property as we may desire. Then, if unable
to make a stand here long enough to cooperate with the Northern
Army, we will start our families before us, and fight the rebels back
until we reach the Federal lines. We have already sent messengers to
our friends in the Federal Armies in Missouri and Kansas, to inform
them of our contemplated movements, and assure them that a large
majority of the men in this country are ready to join them, and fight
by their side for the old Union and Constitution.
["]Some of the messengers have procured passports to go to St.
Louis under the pretense of buying goods but their real object is
to bear dispatches to the Federal Army concerning the condition of
this country, and the strength of the order and its designs. We have
signs, grips and passwords to distinguish us. And when the Federal
Army comes in they will be recognized by, and they will know us as
friends to their cause. ["] I then requested him to give me those signs,
grips and passwords. He replied, "I cannot do so unless you consent
to be sworn again."
I requested him to state the nature of the oath. He then read over
the obligation, which was written on a small piece of paper, and then
informed me that if I did not wish to proceed further I could then
withdraw and not be considered a member, but that the oath of
secrecy must be kept sacred & invioble [sic]. I informed him that I
had made application to him for initiation into the Order if it turned
out as it had been represented to me; and discovering that so far it
accorded with my feelings, I desired to proceed. He then administered
to me the following oath: ["]You do solemnly swear in the presence of
Almighty God, that you will use all your endeavors to reestablish the
Old Constitution and Union, and to defend and protect every mem-
ber of this Institution agt [sic] any arrest or seizure by the authorities
of this State, and stand by them to the death; and if any of the mem-
bers of this Order should be killed in their struggles to carry out its
objects, you will do everything in your power to defend and pro-
tect their families, until otherwise provided for, so help you God."
He told me that the penalty for revealing any of the secrets of the
Order was death, and in case any of the members should betray its
existence and designs, it was solemnly enjoined upon every member
to hunt him or them to the ends of the world. And that the most
horrible death conceivable would be inflicted up[on] those guilty
I asked him if he had any leading men in the Order. He replied,
yes, many of them, and that [they] could be admitted and invested
with the signs, grip & until they had taken the obligation above given
that any persons, who might give me those signs, grip and passwords,
was a full member, and that any information coming from such a
source I might rely upon as being correct and legal. Here he gave me
the signs, grip and passwords. (The witness here gave the Court the
signs, grip and passwords as received from the accused.)
He remarked that the members of the Institution had been forced
to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, and that they did
not consider it binding — that Jeff. Davis with his rebel army had, in
their acts, been worse than murders and theives [sic] — that he and his
army would soon be compelled to surrender; in no small degree, by
the means and influence of the order — that the organization was
spreading rapidly through the Southern Army — that they were six
hundred strong in the city of Austin — that they were very strong in
Grayson County; that a majority of the men in Sherman (except the
soldiers) belonged the Order — that they were quite strong in Collin
County, and in many counties in North Texas.
He then informed me that I might consider myself fully initiated
and authorized to initiate others — such of my friends and acquaint-
ances as I thought would do. I desired to have my brother, Joseph C.
Chance, initiated. He regarded the proposition with serious doubts,
saying my brother had been a rabbid [sic] secessionist and rebel. I
allayed his apprehensions by telling him that my brother had changed
in his political sentiments, and that he was willing and anxious to
join. He gave me permission to initiate him. I requested him to do
so, and on the following day he initiated my brother in my pres-
ence, repeating to him the same in substance, as have stated.
The prosecution here tendered the witness to the accused.
Ques. by accused. How do you [know] that there was a secret
organization as stated?
Ans. By being initiated by Dr. Henry Childs, representing himself
as an initiating officer, from whom I learned the secrets, plans, etc.
Ques. Did you learn anything concerning this Order from any
others of its members, if so, state what you heard.
Ans. I cannot say that I learned anything further than stated from
other members, but I have the same signs, grip and password received
from Dr. Childs given me by quite a number of men in this county.
I answered the signs and was recognized as a member in good and
regular standing. And since the arrest and the members of the Order
have learned of my exposition of the plot, they have talked to me
in prison freely, in regard to their plans and some of them stated
they were initiated by the accused, Dr. Childs.
A. D. Scott 51 Sworn
Ques. Do you know of Dr. [Henry Childs].
Answer. I was sworn into this organization by Dr. Henry Childs.
I took an obligation to keep secret all information given me and to
fight for the establishment of the Old Constitution, and defend the
members of the order and rescue them from prison. He gave me the
signs, grip and password, and said the punishment of revelation was
certain death. He said the object was to drive the rebels out of the
country or kill them, and that the first thing to do was to get posses-
sion of plenty of ammunition — that there was a quantity of powder
in Gainesville and a load on the way from Jefferson and probably
had arrived in Sherman. I do not remember the day I was initiated.
Dr. Childs stated the attack might be made the next night to get the
powder. He said the signs would protect us when the Northern Army
should come in, and enable the members to act together in any
The Court. Dr. Henry Childs, Do you know of a secret organiza-
tion in this county, of the character referred to by the witness.
Ans. I know there is a secret organization in this country organized
for the purpose of protecting life and property and to prevent the
shedding of blood, mobs, Jay-hawking, etc.
siA. D. Scott, one of the prisoners tried before the "Citizens Court," was born
in Kentucky in 1821 and came to Texas, probably by way of Tennessee, sometime
before i860. U. S. Eighth Census, i860 (Returns of Schedule 1, Free Inhabitants,
for Cooke County, Texas, microfilm, Dallas Public Library) , family no. 389.
Ques. Does this organization have signs, grips and passwords by
which the members know each other?
Ans. It has not.
The testimony here closed, the prisoner is found guilty and
the accused remanded to prison.
Being brought before the Court a second time to receive his
sentence, he requested the privilege of correcting his former state-
ments. Being again sworn he deposed as follows:
"There are signs, grips and passwords in the Order which will
afford protection when the Northern Army comes in, and by which
the members know each other ["].
The Court. Henry Childs, you have been tried upon the charges
preferred against you, by twelve men selected from among your neigh-
bors, and by them you have been found guilty. This court has en-
deavored to extend to you every right and privilege known to the
laws of the laws of the County. That it has acted fairly and impar-
tially in all its proceedings, and has shown no disposition to abuse the
extraordinary powers granted to it by the people, themselves your
neighbors, we feel assured will not be questioned by any one, not even
yourself. We feel the grave responsibility resting upon us and have
pursued with solemn and melancholly [sic] step the path of duty
assigned us. Although our proceedings have been conducted in the
midst of considerable confusion and excitement, we have not shared
its influences to that extent privileged to those who have lighter and
much less serious obligations to discharge to the people. Those on the
outside have performed their duty — Ours yet remains to be done.
Theirs was a duty of actions. Ours is a question of conscience. Theirs
was a matter of personal safety, while ours involves the life or death
of a fellowman, our neighbor. Having discharged their duty faith-
fully, we must discharge ours conscienciously [sic]. You were duly
notified of the charges preferred against you, and on the trial was
confronted with all the witnesses against you. The truth of their
statements you did not only fail or attempt to disprove, but now come
before us and acknowledge them correct. And if true and correct, they
place you beyond the protection of any law known to the civilization
of the present day. In the discharge of our last said duty to the people,
let us assure you that you may not expect reprieve or extenuation of
the judgment now about to be pronounced, and while it is yet time,
may you use it in an assiduous effort to prepare for Eternity. This
world is but of to-day — the one beyond, that of forever; and may you,
in expiating the crimes against the laws of mankind, propitiate and
appease the anger [sic] offended majesty of the Great Lawgiver of the
Universe. In accordance therefore, with the decision of this Court,
you will be taken from your place of confinement, on the 4th day of
October '62 between the hours of 12 and 2 o'clock of said day, and
hung by the neck until you are dead, and may God have mercy on
The prisoner listened to the sentence attentively, without seem-
ing to fully appreciate or comprehend its meaning in all its
terrible reality. Though evincing much concern at the strange and
peculiar surroundings he appeared not to realize his situation, and
the full import of the fatal words addressed to him. This strange
indifference may reasonably be attributed to the novelty of the
proceedings, and a still bouyant hope that some fortuitous circum-
stance would intervene in his favor, and screen him from the
Being the first one tried, he was not aware of the determined
and resolute character of the tribunal which had condemned him
to death. He probably cherished the delusive hope of rescue or
deliverance until brought to the place of execution.
EXECUTION OF DR. HENRY CHILDS
Full preparations having been made previously, he was taken in
an open carriage surrounded by the guards to a large widespread-
ing elm tree, about one half mile East of the town of Gainesville,
which then formed the centre of a large concourse of citizens
resting upon a file of soldiers forming a hollow square. In sad and
gloomy silence the cortege moved slowly through the rushing,
crowding throngs of people, the carriage finally halting imme-
diately under a large strong limb branching out at right angles
from the trunk of the giant elm. To this limb a rope was attached
and the pendent end adjusted around the neck of the condemned
man. In the meantime he began to realize his situation and to feel
the force of the address of the president of the Court. The mock-
eries of this world began to fade from before his view and the dim
outline of the new and unknown to peer above the horizon of
Time's limited boundaries. The prospect of so sudden a change
shook his strong frame with fear; while pale and trembling he
listened to the last earthly voice, a death knell, sounding the
Warrant of Execution
Henry & Ephraim Childs
Capt. A. Boutwell/' 2 You are hereby authorized and commanded in
the name and by the authority of the people of the County of Cooke
and State of Texas to take into custody the body of Henry Childs
and him safely keep until the 4th day of October 1862, and at 2
o'clock p.m. on said day you will execute the sentence of this Court,
by hanging the said Henry Childs by the neck until he is dead dead
dead. And may God have mercy on his soul.
Danl Montague, Prest.
The carriage was then driven from beneath the limb, and in a
^Alexander Boutwell, the first sheriff of Cooke County, was born in Arkansas in
1825. He was a member of the Peters Colony and took up land as a farmer in Cooke
County before its organization in 1848. Connor, The Peters Colony of Texas, 197;
Smith, First ioo Years in Cooke County, 13; U. S. Seventh Census, 1850 (Returns
cf Schedule 1, Free Inhabitants, for Cooke County, Texas, microfilm, Dallas Public
Library) , family no. 2.
moment more the body of Henry Childs dangled in the air, while
the branches of the obstinate and unyielding elm trembled like
an aspen under the weight and shuddering motion of the dying
After life became extinct the body was taken down and placed
in possession of the weeping family and friends, who with appro-
priate ceremonies gave it decent sepulture.
Thus died Dr. Henry Childs. He came from Missouri to Texas,
but a few year anterior to the War between the States and was
regarded by his neighbors as a man of upright deportment, and
possessing a degree of intelligence above mediocrity. It cannot be
said of him, however, that his conduct & associations were of that
kind to warrant an opinion in his favor, beyond a mere negative
conception of the man as an individual having the mind unde-
cided as to his character.
His countenance was of that peculiar cast, calculated to create
vague conjecture as to whether he might be a man prone to good
or evil. About forty two or three years of age, stout [of] build
though not corpulent; shoulders slightly stooped, brown hair, and
blue eyes, he seemed the embodiment of good health, and but for
his connection with this "Order," might have lived an honorable
and useful life.
After he had sworn in Col. Chance, he was told by his best
friends & members that they were fearful that he had dug the pit
for their destruction— that they feared Chance's treachery, know-
ing him better than he (Childs) could possibly know him. He
persisted that Chance had been sufficiently wrought upon to
change his mind, and that he entertained no question of his good
faith and integrity. After being arrested he talked freely with Col.
Chance & appeared to harbor no ill will or revenge against him.
He made no confession of guilt, beyond a determined purpose
to resist all Confederate laws and to aid the Northern Army when-
ever an opportunity offered, let it cost what it might in carrying
out such a purpose. He indicated no disposition to communicate
anything regarding the "Order," and though positively denying
that it had signs, grips and passwords, without any interference
on the part of others, requested the privilege of withdrawing this
statement and giving an affirmative answer to the question. It had
never been ascertained what induced him to make this statement
willfully false, and afterwards desire to correct it. He died with
the secret in his soul, and is known only to the great Searcher of
Drawing the mantle of charity over his deeds and his life, let
his body rest beneath the green prairie sod, in peace, and let those
who cherish a memory of his faults also remember that; To err
is human— to forgive, divine.
COL. N. J. CHANCE
The testimony of Col. Chance, while applying directly in the
trial of Dr. Henry Childs, sheds much light upon the whole plot
of the conspirators.
From his evidence, it is plain to be seen that he was the right
man for the discharge of the hazardous work assigned him. From
first to last he stood by the citizens, and to his caution, courage
and integrity may in a great measure be attributed the success of
the plans to check the progress of the "Order." He was a man
of only a short residence in Texas, but volunteered in the Confed-
erate service at the beginning of the war. Possessing a sound
and discriminating judgment, he was nevertheless uneducated.
He was quite communicative in his disposition, and in his inter-
course with friends frank, open and candid. Kind in his nature
and generous beyond his capacity to give and bestow.
Many of the accused called him to their side while in prison to
ask his advice, and to aid them in presenting their defense to the
Court, while many under the gallows addressed their last words
to him as a friend, none seeming to remember him as the prime
author of their ruin.
At the close of the war, many speculations were indulged in on
the subject of the dangerous position he occupied, many prophesy-
ing that he would fall a sacrifice to the revenge of those whom he
had betrayed. But so far from this being the case, no citizen
seemed more indifferent upon the subject of his personal safety;
though in a short time after quiet had been restored, he with his
family and brother removed northward. In giving his testimony
before the Court, the accused would give his statements the
closest attention, and in no instance did they attempt to deny his
answers. They all accorded to him honesty and veracity.
[TRIAL OF] EPHRAIM CHILDS
Ephraim Childs, brother of Dr. Henry Childs, the first mem
ber of the order to uncautiously and unwittingly expose its exist-
ence and designs, was the second brought before the Court for
trial. He was regarded as among the zealous and active members
of the "Organization" and was often appealed to for counsel and
assistance when the interests of the organization were in any
way involved. His over-zealous conduct and premature revela-
tions of the designs of the "Institution" opened the way to detec-
tion and final ruin of himself, his brother & his friends.
Being brought before the Court and the charges read, he entered
the plea of not guilty.
J. B. McCurley sworn.
[Witness.] Some time in the month of September last, I met the
accused at the hotel in the town of Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas.
He asked me if I did wish to go into a society for the good of the
country, and continued by asking me if I were not a good Union man.
I told him I had been one. He then said let us go into the room. It
may be you are one still. After entering the room he gave me signs,
which I did not understand, and of course could not answer them. He
walked out of the room, remarking "You know nothing about it." He
said if I desired to know all about it, his brother, the doctor, was one
of the head men in the Society, and would take pleasure in initiating
me. He stated that these d d rebels about town (and there were a
good many of them), had a large quantity of powder, and that they
intended to have it. And that very soon. He said the order had signs
grips and passwords by which they knew each other and that the
order was spreading rapidly, & insisted that I should see his brother
and be initiated.
W. W. Reeder Sworn.
[Witness.] Ephraim Childs informed me that his brother, Dr.
Henry Childs, was invested with full authority to initiate persons into
this secret organization. He gave me the signs, grip and password.
(Witness then gave them to the Court, which were recognized as being
those of the "Order.")
Dr. Henry Childs Sworn.
[Witness.] I initiated my brother, E. Childs, into this secret Order,
of my own choice, and gave him the signs, grip and password.
A volume of evidence might be introduced to show the active
connection of Ephraim Childs with the "Order." The main
features of the testimony in this case being about the same as those
exhibited on the trial of Dr. Childs, it is not deemed necessary
to repeat here, in detail, the long and connected chain of cir-
cumstances which placed the accused beyond the hope of acquital
DECISION OF THE COURT
The prisoner, Ephraim Childs, is found guilty, and is sentenced
to be hung on the 4th day of October 1862 at 2 o'clock p.m. of said
day until he is dead. Danid Montague
Prest Citizens Court
Capt. A. Boutwell: You are hereby authorized and commanded
in the name and by the authority of the people of the County Cooke
and State of Texas to take into custody the body of Ephraim Childs
and him safely keep until the 4th day of October 1862, and at 2
o'clock p.m. of said day you will execute the sentence of this Court,
by hanging the said E. Childs by the neck until he is dead.
Prest. Cit. Ct.
While sentence was being pronounced he remained quiet and
apparently unmoved by the solemn warning given him by the
venerable president. Like his brother, he remained true to the
oaths he had taken and refused to make any confession or state-
ments regarding the order, as he had been advised to do by many
of his fellow prisoners.
He was several years the junior of his brother, and a man de-
cidedly more affable and companionable. He was a man of strong
will, obstinate and unyielding when opposed, and dangerous
when angry. He appeared, as did his brother, to take no notice
of his critical situation until near the closing scene of his mortal
[TRIAL OF A. D. SCOTT]
A. D. Scott
The President — A. D. Scott — You have been brought before this
Court charged with the crimes of conspiracy and insurrection. Are
you now ready to hear these charges read and defend yourself against
Accused. I am ready to be tried, though I have no defense to make.
After the reading of the charges and questions as to his guilt or
innocence, he said:
I belong to a secret order known by its members as a Union party.
I know of no other object than that we were to fight for the Union, &
in doing so, were to take possession of the country, and kill those at
home who did not favor our purpose, as I stated in my evidence on
the trial of Dr. Henry Childs.
I engaged generally in the meetings and took part in the business
of the Order generally. My understanding was that we were to resist
the Conscript law, and all laws passed by Confederate authority. I do
not know what was the object or intention of others, only as I ob-
tained information on the subject of the order in our meetings. I re-
ceived the signs, grip and password. This is all I know in regard to
the Order. And if I am judged guilty by these statements, why, then
I am guilty. If these statements condemn me, I shall not regret that
I made them. I make them voluntarily, and desire that they may be
used only against myself, without prejudicing the cause of others.
The President. Then do you want the Court to understand that
you plead guilty to the charges.
The Prisoner. I wish the Court to understand the statements I
have made, and if they sustain the charges I have no doubt that the
Court will adjudge me guilty. I not I hope to be released [sic].
The Pres. Do you wish to introduce any witnesses in your defense.
Prisoner. I do not. I see no use in introducing any testimony in my
own behalf, as it would be impossible to obtain the evidence of any
witness better acquainted with the facts than myself, and they are as
I have stated to the Court.
He was found guilty and sentenced to be hung. Arriving at
the place of execution he confessed his guilt and exhorted the
people to continue their work to break up the "Order," which
had so ignominiously terminated his existence.
He viewed calmly the preparations for his execution. And when
the last awful moment arrived he jumped heavily from the car-
riage; and falling near three feet, dislocated his neck, he died
without the violent contraction of a single muscle.
[TRIAL OF] M. D. HARPER
vs. M. D. Harper
After hearing the charges read, and being asked the usual ques-
tions, he answered, "Not guilty."
Henry Childs Sworn.
[Witness.] I was initiated into this secret organization by the ac-
cused, M. D. Harper. He told me what the designs of the Order were,
what it proposed to accomplish & what it ultimately hoped to attain —
the overthrow of the Confederacy, and the establishment of the Old
Union and Constitution.
W. W. Johnson Sworn.
[Witness.] I belong to a secret society. My first information of the
order was received from Enoch Welch, who told me I could get into
the Society by applying to the prisoner, M. D. Harper. I visited Mr.
Harper in company with Welch, and I requested him to tell me all
about the organization, its objects, etc.
He said, above all things, we were to stand by and take care of each
other and if any of the members should be arrested or taken up, we
were to rescue them. He said we were to bring this war to a close —
and said something about reinstating the old Constitution. He then
administered to me an oath to keep secret everything told me. I took
another oath finally but do not know exactly what it was. I will say as
near as I can that the oath was to band together for self defense
against the secessionists, protect each other and hunt down any traitor
to the cause. He gave me signs, grips and passwords. I heard some
hints of a correspondence between the Northern Army and our Order,
and was told by Harper that the signs were to protect the members
when the Northern Army came into the country. We were to get am-
munition at Gainesville, Sherman and fight our way out of Texas if
we could not hold the country. If we could hold the country, the
rebels were to be killed or driven out, and we were to take possession
of their property.
At this stage of the proceedings the Court adjourned, and upon
meeting again Harper made full confession of his guilt. He said:
I entertain the highest respect for the opinion and judgment of this
Court. I sincerely acquit you of any attempt to do me any injustice
and commend you to the confidence of my neighbors and yours for
this fearless performance of your duty. I humbly beg your forgiveness
and the pardon of those whom I may have wronged by my connection
with this order.
I done all in my power to further and promote its objects. I was a
Union man and desired the restoration of the old government, and I
am now grieved to know that my efforts to resist the march of seces-
sion have led to results ruinous to the peace and happiness of the
community in which I live.
I did not think a desire or an honest effort to reestablish the Union
could be termed criminal; but the order soon discovered that its
organization would result in failure unless certain steps were taken
to reach the end contemplated. The measures adopted to carry out
its designs, I am sorry to say, if successful, would have terminated in
crime and bloodshed, and the destruction of property.
I hope the people will forgive me for aiding and advising the cause
pursued by the order, though many of its acts and the conduct of
many individuals I did not approve. I can only say that I deeply
regret the past and, if spared, I hope to strive to redeem my character
by better conduct in future.
He was found guilty and listened to the reading of his sentence
with calm and stolid indifference, but when retiring from the
court-room he assumed an excited and defiant appearance, exhib-
iting the true character of his disposition— bold, determined and
undaunted in time of peril. Although about forty-five or fifty years
of age, he had little of his manhood. He was tall, rawboned, strong
and active for a man of his age; and being resolute and uncom-
promising in whatever he undertook, he was regarded as one of
the main pillars of the society. He was very officious and active
in his duties as a member of the "Order," as will appear hereafter
on the trial of others. His arrest caused several meetings of the
different companies to systematize a plan for his release; but the
scheme failed in consequence of the prompt organization of the
Like Dr. Childs and others who were convicted and hung, he
seemed to place his reliance in the success of the Union Army and
to console himself in his crimes with the reflection that no act
could be termed criminal per se which was the necessary result
of a purpose to aid the Federal Army in reestablishing the old
Constitution and Union. He hints this belief very strong in his
statement to the Court. To this shrewd subterfuge to avoid Cott-
viction he was probably indebted to Dr. Childs, for while Childs
was much less active and zealous than Harper, he done the
thinking for those acquainted with him, while they done
the work of the order. Childs, after being condemned by the tes-
timony of unimpeached witnesses, clearly connecting him with the
darkest designs of the conspirators, could only say in his testi-
mony against Harper that he only told of a purpose to overthrow
the Confederacy and reestablish the Union. Childs being initiated
into the "Order" by Harper, and only instructing him to the
extent stated by him to the Court.
At this trial of Harper, does it not appear strange to any sound
mind that Childs should give in detail the designs and the objects
of the "Order" more comprehensive as well as more heinous in
their character? This version of the order of things would present
the strange anomaly of the creation being endowed with more
power than the creator. Harper did tell Johnson however, that
they were to kill the rebels or drive them out of the country, and
take their property. Upon the evidence of Johnson and the con-
fessions of the prisoner himself, the Court could only do as it did
and find him guilty and sentence him to be hung.
After the bodies of Henry and Ephraim Childs had been re-
moved, Harper was conducted to the place of execution and
there in the midst of a multitude of people and a weeping family
remained unmoved, and obeying the directions of the executioner
in a business-like manner stepped off the carriage, and in a minute
more nothing but the perishing mortality of M. D. Harper was
left on earth.
Whatever his errors or crimes may have been, let his dust rest
in peace, and a spirit of sincere remission linger about his house
and lowly bed.
[TRIAL OF HENRY FIELDS]
Henry Childs sworn.
[Witness.] I iniated [sic] the prisoner Henry Fields into this organ-
J N. Helm sworn.
[Witness.] In a conversation with Henry Fields recently he stated
that he was in favor of the North. On one occasion he said, if the
Conscript Law was raised to include men of his age, he would hang
before he would fight. I remarked that if he should see the rope
coming, he might probably change his mind.
He replied, "I would hang." He also stated, that he endorsed the
proclamation issued by Maj. Genl. Butler, U.S. Army, upon his occu-
pation of the city of New Orleans. I borrowed a newspaper containing
said proclamation from the prisoner, who requested me to return it as
he wished some of his family to read it.
The Prisoner. I do not belong to a secret organization having for
its objects the overthrow of the Confederate Government and the
reestablishment of the Old Union.
Being brought before the Court a second time, he deposed as
["]I was partially initiated by Dr. Childs, but refused to take the
degree in full; but afterwards did go through."
He was found guilty, and hung.
Fields was called by his neighbors a clever man, and a useful
citizen. His implication in this secret and wicked plot astonished
the people, more perhaps, than any others.
After being sentenced he made full confession of his guilt.
When brought to the place of execution, addressing Col. Chance,
I am guilty of the charges against me. I am guilty of whatever crim-
inality may be attached to this organization. I am guilty of disloyalty
and treason against this government, of a purpose to subvert and
The punishment before me seems awful to him who is about to
suffer it. But it is due for the crimes I have committed. My crimes
have been many and great; and I am sorry, that they have been so
great that I cannot hope to obtain forgiveness from the injured
people. I think the people and jury have done their duty, so far. I
hope they will continue their work, until every one that belongs to
this order shall be brought to justice.
Tell the Jury their verdict is a just one approved by me and sanc-
tioned by high Heaven. Tell them, I thank them, and accuse them of
no injustice; but, that I acquit them, as I do all mankind, of any
wrong done me.
I hope the people will not remember my transgressions against
those who bear my name, and are attached to me, by kindred ties. Let
them rather favor the kind offices of charity in washing away the stain
and rewarding memory with whatever virtue there is in the deepest
contrition of spirit; try to forget how I have lived, but remember that
at least I died humbled and pentinent.
His last words to the people, were: "Go on with the work you
have so fearlessly begun."
[TRIAL OF I. W. P. LOCK]
I W. R Lock
I. H. Mounts 63 sworn.
[Witness.] I was sworn into this society, by I. W. P. Lock. At the
same time, he swore in P Q Russell, Wm Anderson, 54 George Ander-
son, John Tourly, and Richard Anderson.
E. F. Anderson sworn.
[Witness.] I know of a secret organization in this country. The
prisoner, Wm Lock, told me it was to afford us protection when the
Northern Army should come in. Mr. Lock gave me the signs, grip,
and password. Lock told me that we were to get powder at Sherman.
The design of the organization, was the reconstruction of the old
Constitution, and Union.
The Prisoner. Jackson Mount swore me and I swore him into this
organization. I introduced the password "Arizina," and the signs, and
grips of the order. Mount and myself were the first starters of this
order. I have heard that there was an organization to break up both
armies. I have heard since that it was the same as this; and that the
signs and password would protect us when the Northern army come.
Mount and myself took two oaths. We were to kill, or assist in kill-
ing, every man who should reveal either the existence of the order or
its plans and designs. I advised my men, (Lock had a company,) not
to go to the war.
Dr Eli Thomas sworn.
[Witness.] In a conversation with the prisoner last night (in per-
son) I made a clean breast of the whole matter. Lock said he had
scruples about doing so himself, on account of the oaths he had taken
in the order.
He was found guilty and hung.
53A misspelling, apparently, of the name of Jackson H. Mounts, a member of the
Peters Colony who moved to Texas before 1844. He was born in Illinois in 1823. He
was a resident of Collin County in 1850, being listed in the census for that year as
family no. 312. Connor, The Peters Colony of Texas, 347.
5 *A "William Anderson," twenty-seven-year-old farmer born in Tennessee, is listed
in the U. S. Eighth Census, i860 (Returns of Schedule i, Free Inhabitants, for Cooke
County, Texas, microfilm, Dallas Public Library) .
After he was condemned, his fellow prisoners urged him to
confess his guilt and make a clean breast of it, as most of them
had done. He was sufficiently wrought upon to induce him to send
for a minister of the Gospel to advise him in the matter. He sent
for the Rev. Win. Hamill and the Rev Mr Barrett, both members
of the Jury. He laid before [them] the oaths he had taken, his
action under them already developed, and the state of his mind
in reference to a revelation of all the plans and designs of the
They assured him that they did not desire to sit upon such a
delicate question; it being as far from their wish, as from their
competency to decide matters of conscience for other men— that
they, also, were members of the tribunal who had condemned him
to die, which fact, alone, seemed [to] be sufficient to disqualify
them for such a delicate trust. He refused to entertain these ex-
cuses saying; that he had ever known them to be good men and,
more recently while on trial for his life, he had discovered them
to be men of upright judgments, and he believed had done
justice between him and the country.
They told him that the crime for which he had been con-
demned consisted in going into the society, that the crime con-
sisted in taking the oaths, in the first instance; and in no wise
could he be held responsible, as a moral being, for going out of
the order, no matter what revelations might become necessary in
his abandonment of an association which, by the laws of the land,
had been held to be criminal and desperately wicked. With this,
they introduced the doctrine of repentence as taught by the Bible
and left him a victim to his own melancholly [sic] reflections.
He continued from time to time, to defer making any revela-
tions until the hour arrived for his execution; and notwithstand-
ing the repeated efforts to relieve his mind of any doubts as to
his moral obligation to reveal the names and secrets of the
"Order," he died with his fidelity to the cause only partially
His own statements before the Jury were disconnected and
evidently showed a disposition to evade the truth. He spoke boast-
ingly of himself as being the author of the main secrets of the
order; but afterwards admitted that he heard the signs, grip, and
password were the same in the Northern wing of the "Order."
From other facts, it is clearly ascertained that he is not entitled
to the distinction he claims in the order. His conduct through-
out revealed all the elements of a depraved nature, and he died
upon the tree exhibiting that defiance of death that usually seizes
hold on the last moments of a depraved, wicked, and abandoned
[TRIAL OF W. W. MORRIS]
W. W. Morris 50
[The Accused] plead [sic] guilty, making the following state-
ment to the jury:
I was initiated into this secret organization by M. D. Harper. This
organization has for its object the reconstruction of the old Constitu-
tion and Union of the United States. I was sworn to secrecy, in the first
place, with old man Wernell and Floyd. And, secondly, I was sworn
to do every thing in my power to reconstruct the old Union and re-
instate the old Constitution Harper gave us the signs, grip, and pass-
word. He informed us that the organization originated in the Nor-
thern Army, and was sent South. He told us of the plot to procure
powder at Sherman. We were told that we would not have to fight
against the North. The powder was to be used against the South.
He was found guilty and hung.
55"Wesley Morris," thirty- two-year-old farmer born in Tennessee, and "William
Morris," fifty-year-old farmer born in Georgia, are listed in the i860 federal census
for Cooke County. Ibid.
[TRIAL OF RICHARD ANDERSON]
The evidence against this prisoner being the same in sub-
stance as that against Harper & Lock, it is deemed unnecessary
to repeat it here. He was found guilty, and after [being] sentenced
to be hung, made full confession of his guilt.
[TRIAL OF ELI THOMAS]
Eli Thomas 36
The testimony against Dr. Thomas being the same as in the
foregoing trials, he was found guilty, and after being sentenced
to die, he addressed the Court the following letter:
To the Honorable Court of Oct 18th 1862
Inquiry, sitting at Gainesville
I request the Honorable Court to reconsider my case. The evidence
given by Wett, if given correctly, would be decidedly in my favor. If
I were permitted to appear in Court with Wett, Peters, Hays & Crisp,
I think I could convince the Court that I am not so bad a man as the
Court takes me to be.
The intention of others, I cannot help. I want every man brought
to justice; and will pledge myself to do all that I can to search into,
and expose, the low cunning of man, if I am released. I am willing
to have 'Squire Martin,' 'Squire Helm' and others of my neighbors
to look at my former conduct. My last will and testament is that I will
be true to my Country.
My interest is here. My protection is the law, and I intend to be
subject to the laws that be; for it is ordained of God. My book teaches
this. If I have had bad designs, I call upon God to take that part
from me; which he has promised to do, to those who love him.
Before his death, he confessed his guilt, and entreated the other
prisoners to do the same thing; telling them that it was an awful
thing to die, but more awful still to die with a lie in their mouths.
56 Dr. Eli Thomas, a physician born in Ohio in 1823, moved to Cooke County prior
to 1860. He had lived previously in Kentucky and Iowa. Ibid.
[TRIAL OF EDWARD HAMPTON AND JOHN A. MORRIS]
John A. Morris
The testimony in these cases is the same as in its preceding trials.
They were all found guilty by the Court, and at the gallows they
acknowledged their crimes, and exhorted the people to continue
the work to break up the order that had so ignominiously termi-
nated their existence.
[TRIAL OF JOHN M. CRISP]
John M Crisp 57
Eli Thomas sworn.
[Witness.] John M. Crisp swore me into a secret organization
having for its object the reconstruction of the old Constitution and
Union. He gave me the signs, grip and password.
Crisp, himself, when brought at before the Court, admitted
that he had been initiated into the organization. Pending his trial,
he addressed the Court the following letter;
Fully believing this to be the last time that I will be permitted to
communicate with the Honorable tribunal by which I am to be tried,
I adopt this method to do so; and for this reason: Having never
before been brought before a Court, and my natural disposition and
constitutional powers being so framed, the presence of that august
body has the effect to scatter my mind. And while in your presence I
cannot collect my thoughts, I will now make in writing these further
statements in behalf of my injured Country:
Some time in the month of August, 1862, Dr Thomas, and Parson
Baker, came to my shop; and being there a short time, went out and
seated themselves some distance from me. They returned and re-
quested me to initiate him (Thomas), I understanding him to mean,
to enter as a member into the Secret institution to reinstate the old
Constitution, I refused, pointing to Baker, [and] told him to get Baker
to do it. Thomas laughed, and said no; but for me to do it. I told
him I was awkward but would do the best I could. Not having a reg-
ular form of oath, I framed one, in like manner, as I have stated
before your Honors heretofore; giving him the signs, grip, and pass-
word. Parson Baker and myself, about one week before the above
stated time, were initiated by Dr McCarty. McCarty told Baker he
could initiate also.
A few days after this I was informed that each member had the
right to initiate his neighbor. I have initiated six persons, in all, to-
wit: Sam'l Crisp, H. J. Essman, Eli Hinkle, I. M. Baily, Mansell Baily,
and Dr Eli Thomas. I suppose Essman and Hinkle are not yet ar-
r7 John M. Crisp, a blacksmith, emigrated to Texas, probably by way of Missouri,
prior to i860. He was born in Kentucky in 1824. Ibid., family no. 407.
rested. Dr Thomas informed me that he had initiated an old man, by
the name of Parson Howard.
I desire to explain one other thing, which I named to one of your
honorable body just as I left the jury room. James Harryman came
to my house the day before I was arrested and informed me that they
had held a secret meeting, and said that Capt. Garrison, or Lock, had
been to a Mr Love's in the Chicasaw [sic] Nation and had initiated
him; and that he had plenty of powder that the order could have
whenever they wanted it. And now, I acknowledge my wrong and im-
plore you that while examining the testimony I have given, if I have,
or seemed to quibble, I pray you to remember the situation of my
mind, and deal with me in mercy. John M Crisp
After being condemned, he again addressed the Court as
_ , TT ,, ,_ Gainesville, Oct. 18th 1862
To the Honorable Court
now in session, at Gainesville:
Whereas, through the mercies of Almighty God, and the Court,
my life has been prolonged to this present time, I greatly desire the
patience of the Court, yet a little longer.
I hope the Court will condescend to hear my imperfect petition and
offered obligations to my injured country. I do not expect to influence
you; but implore you, for mercy — that my life may be spared.
First, if in your wisdom and mercy you see fit to spare my life, and
I ever again show any signs of not being true to our Southern Con-
federacy, then I will not plead for mercy any more; but will submit
my life, to pay the forfeit.
Secondly, I desire to be placed under the watch-care of some of our
truest and best Southern men, that they may from time to time ex-
amine into my conduct; and if they find any thing wrong, report me
Thirdly, I am willing and anxious at any time to do any thing in
my power to sustain the independence of our Country. And forthly,
if we can have any correct of the future by the past, I would refer
your honorable body to Capt. Roff, Harry Howeth, W. B. Magill,
Joseph Martin, Wm. West, and Charles Hibert, and let them say
what my actions have been heretofore in giving aid to the volunteers.
I now submit by begging your forgiveness for the wrongs which I may
have done; and I promise you that if my life is spared, I will never
commit wrong again. John M Crisp
He was hung in accordance with the sentence of the Court and,
no doubt from the record before us, died a much better man than
he had lived.
[TRIAL OF SAMUEL CARMICHAEL]
Samuel Carmichael 58
It is in evidence that Carmichael was well informed as to the
objects and purposes of the organization, but the testimony does
not develop the fact that he was ever sworn in. When the detail
was made to go to Fort Cobb during the Indian excitement in
that quarter, Carmichael peremptorily refused to go, saying that
he would fight to the death at home, first.
He was an outspoken enemy to the South and, in every way,
considered a dangerous and bad man in Society. He was found
guilty and hung.
ssSamuel Carmichael, a carpenter born in Tennessee in 1821, settled in Cooke
County prior to i860. He probably had moved to Texas by way of Alabama. Ibid.,
family no. 33.
C. A. Jones, ("hump back") James Powers
("carpenter") Eli M. Scott, Thomas Baker
("old man") Geo. W. Anderson, Abraham
McNeese, Henry Cochran ("30"), C. F.
Anderson, Wm Wernell, B. F. Barnes ("35 or
40") Wm Rodes, and N. M. Clark ("25")
The testimony against the above mentioned conspirators cor-
responds with the testimony herein before produced on the trial
of Childs, Fields, Harper, Lock, and others. They all acknowl-
edged their connection with the organization, and made full con-
fession of their guilt at the gallows.
[TRIAL OF RAMEY DYE]
Ramey Dye. 5£
Arphax Dawson 60 Sworn
[Witness.] Ramey Dye came to my house and told me that M. D.
Harper had been arrested on the charge of being connected with
our society; and that there would be a meeting held that night, (ist
Oct. 1862) near Lattimer's and Richie's steam mill, for the purpose
of consulting how to rescue Harper. He wished me to attend and
bring my gun, which I did. The meeting was attended by Ramey
Dye, John M. Wiley, 61 Isham Welch, 62 Wm Boyles, 63 John Ware,
H. Gilman, Robt Duncan and others.
He talked about the rescue of Harper. We came to the conclusion
that the force at Gainesville was too strong for us to accomplish our
Ben F. Barnes sworn.
[Witness.] There was a meeting at Steam Mill last Wednesday
night. Some members observed we had better go to the Northern army
where we could fare better. They were to hold a meeting the next
night, somewhere. Ramey Dye was appointed captain. The meeting
was to be held in the bottom of Jordan Creek, near Alveads.
I. W. Morris sworn.
[Witness.] I was at the meeting at Richie's Mill. Dr. Foster said
the object of the meeting was to rescue Harper; and he wanted
ssRamey Dye, a farmer, was born in Kentucky in 1819 and migrated to Cooke
County sometime before i860. The author of this narrative noted beside Dye's name
in the manuscript: "Guarded the others (prisoners) for several days." Ibid.
60 Arphax Dawson was born in Georgia in 1805. He was one of the first settlers in
Cooke County. His daughter Mary was married to Ramey Dye. Smith, First 100
Years in Cooke County, 135.
61 John M. Wiley was born in Tennessee in 1815 and moved to Texas in 1854.
Landrum, Grayson County, An Illustrated History of Grayson County, Texas, 175.
« 2 Isham Welch was born in Missouri in 1826 and moved to Grayson County,
Texas, in 1856. Ibid., 173.
es William Boyles was born in Kentucky in 1826 and migrated to Grayson County,
Texas, prior to July 1, 1848, as a member of the Peters Colony. He is listed as a
farmer in the 1850 federal census of Grayson County (family no. 14) . Connor, Peters
Colony of Texas, 198.
us to take our guns and go — myself and Ramey Dye. The reason we
did not go to rescue Harper was because a messenger (Essman) told
us that there were a great many soldiers in Gainesville and we were
Gilbert Smith sworn.
[Witness.] I was at the meeting on Wednesday night. Present:
Ramey Dye, James Powers, Moses Powers, John Ware, John W
Morris, Dr. Foster, H. J. Esman, Harry Gilman, Arphax Dawson,
O. B. Atkinson, and Wm Boyles. We were all ordered to bring our
guns. I loaded mine after I got there. I suppose there were twenty-
eight men in all.
Our object was to come here, (Gainesville) and rescue the pris-
oners. Ramey Dye was chosen captain. We concluded to get away
when Essman came and reported the number of men in town. We
adjourned to meet again the next night and consult what to do. I
understood we had spies out. Mr. Welch started up here to see how
many men were in town. He was sent by the company. Some men
were sent out two or three times to spy out and see if any body ap-
proached. Old Man Cochran went over to Red River to see how many
members of the order there were over in that section. Snodgrass was
there when I arrived. I understood that the signs would protect us
when the Northern army came.
Dye was found guilty and hung.
[TRIAL OF D. M. LEFFEL]
D M Leffel
Leffel being arraigned before the Court, pleads guilty and says:
"I was sworn by Wm Boyles, who gave me the signs, grip, and
password. I was sworn to support the old Constitution and Union."
Leffel was connected with the Ramey Dye meeting for the
rescue of the prisoners. He was found guilty and hung.
[TRIAL OF JAMES A. WARD AND W. B. TAYLOR]
James A. Ward and
W. B. Taylor
On being arraigned before the Court [they] acknowledged their
connection with the order— took the oath to support the old Con-
stitution and Union. They gave the Court the signs, grip, and
Found guilty, and hung.
[TRIAL OF H. J. ESMAN]
H. J. ESMAN
Reference in this case is made to the trial of Ramey Dye. He
was courier for Capt. Dye, and but for the bold manner in which
he performed his wicked task, the Ramey Dye party would doubt-
less have been captured. He passed through the lines into Gaines-
ville, unmolested, but dreading the risk of encountering the picket
on his return, he waited till after dark; then he stripped himself
of hat, coat, and boots and crawled a half mile, like the serpent,
across the prairie; and escaped the notice of the picket.
Found guilty & hung.
[TRIAL OF W. W. JOHNSON]
W. W. Johnson
The prisoner confessed his connection with the order and gave
the signs, grip, and [pass] word; took the oath to support the Old
Constitution; was in the meeting at the Steam Mill, called for the
purpose of rescuing Harper and others.
Found Guilty, & hung.
[TRIAL OF RICHARD N. MARTIN]
The State Disloyalty &
Richard N. Martin
I. L. Ozment sworn.
[Witness.] R. N. Martin told me that there existed a secret organi-
zation in the Country; and if I would go with him, he could take
me in an hour where I could learn all about it. I consented to go.
He took me to the residence of Wm. Boyles; and after going a short
distance from the house Boyles initiated me. He swore me to support
the old Constitution and Union. He gave me the signs, grip and
Martin was found guilty and after being sentenced confessed
his crimes. Upon the scaffold, in the presence of citizens and
soldiers, he delivered the following address:
Gentlemen: When I first joined the secret organization, I did not
fully understand its objects and intentions. But afterwards I received
a document containing its plans. Although I am to die upon this tree,
before I am hung I want to tell all I know concerning this order;
and I desire it made known to the world.
You commenced the work to break up this secret order in good
time. By this time it would have been too late for you. It was our
intention to rise up and kill all southern men, women and children
and take possession of their property. To the very best of my under-
standing this was the purpose.
Now, I pray that you will go on with this work, until every member
of this order is brought to justice. I can refer you to one whom I de-
sire shall be punished as I am punished; I want him hung to the
same limb to which I am hung — my brother-in-law, Wm. Boyles. He
is the author of my ruin. I took his counsel, and being a bad man,
he gave me bad advice. (Here, he informed the people, where Boyles
might be found.) Hunt him to the end of the world, or finish him, for
his crimes. I hope I may be forgiven. Although I have injured the
people so much I die with the consolation that in the end I done my
duty to them.
Here his time expired and he was launched into eternity.
Boyles [was later] killed at Collinsville.
[TRIAL OF BARNABAS BIRCH]
Barnabas Birch 64
On being arraigned he confessed his guilt, giving the signs, grip,
and password. He was a participant in the Ramey Dye meet-
ing. While his trial was pending he addressed the court as follows:
One night recendy I had a remarkable dream, which run this way:
I thought that the North had overrun and surrounded the South which
disheartened me. I could see no way for the South to escape. This
dream, with what I heard (of the organization,) determined my
course. I further dreamed that the Federals took me prisoner, and an
officer gave me some liquor and I drank it; and it proved to be the
best liquor I ever drank in my life.
Truly, 'the old men shall see visions, and the young men shall
Birch was found guilty and hung.
6 *Barnabas Birch enlisted in the company of volunteers organized at Gainesville.
May 23, 1861, by Captain W. C. Twitty. Smith, First 100 Years in Cooke County, 31.
Curd Goss, Wm Anderson
John Miller, Ar[phax] Dawson,
and M. W. Morris.
These prisoners all acknowledged their guilt, giving the signs,
grip, and password, and were active members of Capt Ramey
All found guilty and hung.
[1 RIAL OF DR. JAMES FOSTER]
Dr James Foster (39) 65
Dr. Foster, having been brought before the Court, was after
trial ordered back to prison. While passing from the Court room
to the prison, he attempted to escape and was shot by the guard.
He lived only a few hours.
05 Dr. James Foster was one of two physicians tried and condemned to death by the
"Citizens Court." He emigrated to Texas from Missouri and was a resident of
Grayson County in 1862.
[TRIAL OF A. N. JOHNSON AND JOHN COTTRELL]
A N Johnson, and
The prisoners on being arraigned before the Court desired to
be carried to Grayson County for trial. They were accordingly
turned over to Capt. James D. Young, Com'g Company, Ran-
dolph's Battalion, Partizan Rangers.
Being members of this battalion, they were court martialed
together, with Wm. McCool, who had been arrested on charges
of treason, and all condemned and hung.
The history of Cottrell, is not a little diversified with adven-
ture and romance. When the "Over Land Mail Route" was
established in 1858, one of the employees, Mr Hawley, a genuine
down-Easter, moved his family to Gainesville. His family con-
sisted of Mrs Hawley and her daughter. These ladies were received
in Society, and attracted no small degree of attention. They were
evidently accomplished. Doubtless they were handsome, for both
herself and daughter were distinguished by the enviable sobriquet,
the beautiful Mrs Hawley and her pretty daughter.'
Soon after the breaking out of the war, Mr. Hawley fled the
Country, going, no doubt, to his native home in the North. The
lovely Mrs Hawley was left with no consolation but her wit, and
no dowry but her beauty.
It was afterwards ascertained that she was left as a spy, and at
the proper time she was to go to Missouri and, perhaps rejoin her
husband. In the month of July 1862, (the pretty Miss Hawley,
having united her destiny with a Mr Johnson in the holy bonds
of wedlock,) Cottrell, Mrs Hawley, Johnson and his adored
Armarylis set out for Missouri.
The citizens, thinking it unproper to give them a passport at
that particular time, arrested their movements and lodged Cot-
trell and Johnson in prison.
Thus was spent the first night after marriage— the bridegroom
in prison and the bride (only such, by virtue of the ceremony)
weeping and blushing and wasting much sweetness on the
Again, just before the arrest of the prisoners on the ist of Oct.,
Mrs Hawley attempted to escape north, taking the said Cottrell
for her guide and help. This time she started east, sending out
the information that she was going to Shreveport, La. How far she
succeeded is partly explained by the following statement, of Mr
Gilmore, of Gainesville:
I called on an old friend of mine recently in Grayson County, six-
teen miles east of Sherman. While there I was asked by the lady if I
knew Dr. Cottrell of Gainesville. I told her that I knew a Mr. Cottrell,
who was before the Provost Marshal when I saw him last. She then
asked me if I knew Mrs. Cottrell, the widow of Mr Hawley, late of
Gainesville. I told her that I knew Mrs. Hawley, but that she was not
a widow, her husband having left our town on account of his Northern
sentiments; and that Mrs. Hawley and Mr. Cottrell had gone to
She then told me that not long since Cottrell called at her house and
asked to stay several days with his family — that their youngest child
was sick and the family very much fatigued. Mr Cottrell said that he
had some business in the Indian Nation and wished them to stay
until he returned. That night they demeaned themselves as man and
wife, occupying the same room.
Cottrell left the next morning. During the day, Mrs. Hawley took
from her trunk a likeness of Dr Cottrell and asked one of the children
if she [did] not love her good Papa. The lady of the house remarked
that none of the children favored their father.
Mrs Hawley replied that the Doctor was not the father of the chil-
dren; that she was a widow, and the Doctor a widower; that her hus-
band died in California and the Doctor's wife died in Missouri, and
moved to Texas at the beginning of the war; and they were married
about three months previous to that time. She said that as soon as
times would permit, they intended to go to Missouri. All the children
called Cottrell their good Papa. The Doctor did not return. I know
the family who related this to me to be highly respectable and their
statements worthy of credit. [signed j John T Gilmore
Sworn to and subscribed before the undersigned authority, this 19th
day of October 1862, at office in Gainesville Texas
Clk C C. C. C.
This story of Cottrell and his wayward paramour was an in-
genious fabrication, a lie from beginning to end. Cottrell had a
wife in Cook [sic] County and Mrs Hawley a husband in the North.
Cottrell only went to Red River to take observations and ascer-
tain, if possible, the most eligible point for crossing the river and
escaping detection. In this undertaking he was discovered and
arrested; and consequently never had an opportunity to return
to his family.
William McCool, 98 who was hung with Johnson and Cottrell,
was the son-in-law of Henry Fields, who was hung early after the
organization of the Court.
Mrs. McCool, the daughter of Fields, is a lady much esteemed
for her modesty, beauty and virtuous refinement. She was attached
to her husband by the strongest ties of affection. But a short time
previous she had secretly abandoned her father's roof, to join
her destiny to her bold and determined lover. How sad and
melancholly [sic] the reflection that she who loved so well could
not have loved more wisely. Or, why could he not, 'Taste the
honey, and not wound the flower.'
A Mr Floyd who was arrested on the charge of being a member
of the organization attempted to escape, and was fired upon and
killed by the guard.
esWilliam A. McCool enlisted in Captain W. C. Twitty's company of volunteers at
Gainesville on May 23, 1861. Ibid.
We have now written what we designed to write concerning the
proceedings of the "Citizens Court." The Jury as well as all others
who were connected with the scenes of that day desired that all
the evidence in each case should be published. It is to be re-
gretted that it has not been done.
But it is the opinion of all that a complete transcript from the
record of the Court would have been unnecessary to vindicate
the course pursued, and would also have made a volume of too
large a size for general public notice.
The evidence reveals a plot which, for its magnitude, infamy,
treachery, and barbarity, is without a parallel in the annals of
The testimony, while it has satisfied the public of the exist-
ence of an organized body of men associated together for the
purpose of the overthrow of the government and the destruction
of life and property, also justifies the citizens in the course they
pursued in bringing the offenders to justice.
It is objected by some that the measures adopted by the citizens
were rash, hasty, and unwarranted by any urgent necessity, con-
tending justice would have been meeted [sic] out to the crim-
inals in due time by due process of law. But we feel assured that
those who make this objection have not been advised of the facts
as they are now shown to the world.
But still, some will condemn the action of the citizens and jury;
but it will be only those who sympathise with the conspirators and
who would have given aid and comfort to their infamous designs.
The guilt of the conspirators is questioned by none. That they
deserved death is granted by all. To have given them time to have
matured their plans for the accomplishment of their purposes
would have condemned the citizens to eternal infamy. That their
designs would very soon have culminated in open acts of violence,
bloodshed, robbery and the most wanton licentiousness cannot be
So imminent was the danger of an outbreak that it gave the de-
tectives but little time to mature their plans to discover and round
up the "Order."
It is owing to this fact that the full range of this widespread
scheme was not ascertained, and more counties than Cook [sic]
purged of conspirators and traitors.
After the arrests had been made, the prisoners confined to jail,
it was ascertained that it was a fundamental element in the order,
sustained by solemn oaths, to rescue its members from the author-
ities when arrested by them. To this information was added the
alarming intelligence that meetings were being held at the hour
of midnight, attended by many armed men, for the purpose of
planning an attack upon Gainesville, and [of] rescuing the pris-
oners. One of those companies came within a few miles of town;
but the prompt and efficient soldiery deterred them from their
In the mean time, intelligence had been received from adjoin-
ing counties that they were alarmingly infected with the same
clan of desparadoes [sic].
The gallant sons of Cook [sic] being in the army, the county was
almost destitute of sufficient strength to restore quiet and con-
fidence. Something had to be done and the guilty had to be pun-
ished. The proceedings of the Citizens Court are characterized
with as much wisdom, justice and moderation as may anywhere
be found in the history of criminal procedure.
Out of sixty-eight cases brought before the Court, thirty-nine
were condemned and hung and the others turned over to the
Provost Marshal, or finally discharged from custody.
A careful examination of the testimony will show that many
were implicated who were discharged, indicating the spirit that
should prevail with all tribunals: that if error was [to be] com-
mitted, they desired it should be on the side of mercy.
DE LEMERON'S CASE.
It will be seen from the proceedings in this case, tried before
the Dist. Court, that the proceedings of the citizens Jury con-
form to the rules prescribed by the Statutes and laws of the State
in the trial of criminal causes before the organized Courts of
Justice. It may be clearly seen that the Jury was governed by no
testimony which was not held admissible under the strict and
guarded rules of evidence [as] known [under] both statute and
common law of the land. DeLemeron's case is considered a mild
case when compared with those upon which the Jury acted.
The proceedings in the case of the State vs. DeLemeron are
founded upon the charges contained in the following:
Bill of Indictment.
The State of Texas
County of Cook [sic]
In the Dist. Court,
Fall Term,, 1862.
In the name and by the authority of the State of Texas, the Grand
Jurors for the County of Cook [sic], duly selected, empanelled, sworn
and charged to inquire of offences committed in said County of Cook
[sic] and State of Texas, upon their oaths present;
That on the 3rd day of November, in the year of our Lord, One
Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty Two, and long before and con-
tinually from thence, an open and public war was, and is yet prose-
cuted and carried on between the United States of America and the
Confederate States of America, our said State of Texas being one of
said Confederate States;
to-wit: in the County of Cook [sic] and State aforesaid, that one Joel
Francis DeLemeron, a citizen of our said County and State aforesaid,
then and there, well-knowing the premises but not regarding the duty
of his allegiance, nor having the fear of God in his heart; and being
moved and seduced by the instigations of the Devil, as a false traitor
to and against our said State, and wholly withdrawing his allegiance,
fidelity and obedience, . which every true and faithful citizen of our
said State should and of right ought to bear toward our said State,
and contriving, and with all his strength intending, to aid and assist
the said United States, so being an enemy to our said State, as afore-
said, in the prosecution of said war against our said State of Texas,
to wit: On the third day of November and in the year aforesaid, and
on numerous other days, before as well as after, with force and arms
in the County and State aforesaid, maliciously and traitorously was
adhering to, and aiding and comforting the said United States, being
then an enemy to our said State as aforesaid; and that in the prose-
cution and performance of his treason and traitorous adherings as
aforesaid, he, the said Joel Francis DeLemeron, was such traitor as
aforesaid during the said war; to wit: On the day and year aforesaid,
and on many other days, did then and there materially aid the said
enemy, and adhere to the same, by consulting, advising, and bearing
information, with and to them, the said United States by entering into
secret, vile, traiterous [sic] and treasonable associations for the over-
throw of our said State, and for the destruction of the lives and prop-
erty of the good citizens, thereof, by drilling, directing and instruct-
ing the aforesaid enemy with arts of war,
to wit: in the use of fire arms and other implements of war.
And further in the prosecution, performance and execution of his
treasonable and traitorous adherings as aforesaid, the said Joel
Francis DeLemeron, afterwards and during the said war;
to wit: On the third day of November in the year aforesaid and
on divers other days in the County and State aforesaid did adhere to
the said enemy of our said State and give them aid and comfort by
furnishing said enemy, the United States of America; to wit: horses,
bridles, saddles, blankets, guns, ammunition and provisions in large
numbers and quantities, and of great value.
The above charged treasonable and traitorous acts are special overt
acts of adhering to, aiding and comforting the enemy aforesaid, and
are specially so charged, contrary to the Constitution and the Statute
in such cases made and provided, and against the peace and dignity
of our said State of Texas Danid Montague
W. H. Andrews, Foreman, Grand Jury.
20th Judicial Dist.
State of Texas.
Dr. George Bradley sworn.
[Witness.] On the 30th day of Oct. 1862, I went to the house of Joel
F. De Lemeron, residing in Cook [sic] County Texas, for the purpose
of ascertaining the whereabouts of two gentlemen, Ware and Boyles.
I found Mr. De Lemeron, his wife and another lady in the house.
I told them that my name was Miller, brother to the Miller who was
executed at Gainesville; and that I was laying a plan to avenge his
I told them I had one hundred men in Den. Hollow, and was there
trying to find a man by the name of Ware, with his men, as it was my
intention to burn Gainesville on Saturday night and take the prin-
cipal men who were engaged in the execution of my friends.
He then directed me by a secret path to Mr Ware's house but said
it was almost impossible for me to get round Mr. Dister's, his nearest
neighbor. I then asked him some questions about Mr. Dister's wealth
and his horses. He answered that he was rich and had good horses. His
wife requested that I should not take any of his horses, as he was
a good neighbor.
De Lemeron said no, that he was French; and Dister [was] Dutch,
and they had nothing to do with this family quarrel — that they were
neutrals. His wife wished me great success and said her husband
could do so, too, if he were not afraid. De Lemeron said that he had
to lie low and say nothing.
He said he had gone to Mrs. Ware's contrary to orders from Southern
men, and had repaired her wagon — that he had loaned Mrs. Boyles his
horse under the cloak of being hired from the old widow lady living
with him, and that he intended to assist them. (Ware and Boyles be-
longed to the clan, and had ran [sic] away, and DeLemeron was assist-
ing their families to get to Missouri).
I then got some men to go with me to Bluff Springs in search of
Ware and Boyles. We went to De Lemeron's house that night be-
tween midnight and day. He opposed the course of the Southern men
in Cook [sic] County in bitter language. But he said he had to lie low
and say nothing; for if a man lived in Rome, he had to do as Romans
done: and as he lived in Texas, he had to do, as Texans done.
I then remarked to them all that I did not believe DeLemeron would
inform on us. He said he would not. His wife then said, "If the truth
must come, my husband is as good a Union man as I am a woman —
and I am as good as they ever make 'em."
De Lemeron said that he was not so stuck with southern men as to
obey all calls. When I left, he told me to call at any hour of the night,
and I should have what information and provisions I wanted; and if I
saw Ware, to tell him he need not be afraid to come to his house at
any time, for information or provisions.
On the 31st of Oct. 1862, I went to see John Wisdom and told him
what had transpired, and to get some men; and if I possibly could, I
would meet him at Mr. Strouds that night. If I could not, for him to go
on and sound the Frenchman on his northern principles. On the 1st
November, 1862, I met De Lemeron at Mr. Robinson's in company
with Messrs Stroud and Wisdom. De Lemeron took me to one side
and asked me if that man (pointing to Wisdom) was one of my party.
I told him he was. He then said that Wisdom came to his house and
represented himself as such, but he thought he might be a Gaines-
ville spy and would give him (Wisdom) no satisfaction. Upon which
he took him, De Lemeron, prisoner, for fear he (De Lemeron) would
betray him, (Wisdom).
I told him, he might consider him released, as those men were true
and faithful Union men.
Wisdom told De Lemeron that he had a company and some of his
men had no arms, and he desired to get some guns. De Lemeron at
once offered his gun, shot pouches and ammunition. He then said,
that he, with twenty or twenty-five of his neighbors at the head of
Elm, were ready last summer to join the order, but no one had ever
mentioned it to them — that they were all strong Union men and spoke
of coming down in this country to join, as they had heard such a
party spoken of. He then said he was willing to go with us to Gaines-
ville and burn it, and take the principal men prisoners, and commit
any deprivations we thought advisable.
He spoke of being a good drill officer. I told him he was the very
man I wanted, as I was ignorant of military matters. He desired, if we
gave any offices, to get the Adjutant's place. Wisdom and myself prom-
ised him that office in our Regt. It was then suggested that we should
drill some before going into action. Upon which De Lemeron pro-
posed to meet us at Mr. Stroud's spring on Sunday night, and for
Wisdom and myself to bring our lieutenants, and first seargeants [sic],
as they would be sufficient.
We met at the time and place appointed and received instructions
in the arts of war from De Lemeron. He then proposed to muster
what strength we could and make our way to the Northern army,
then stationed on the North Fork of the Canadian River. He pro-
posed further to go by where Capt. Garrison was, with his men, and
if we deemed our united strength sufficient, we would return and
avenge our wrongs. If not, pursue our course to the Northern army.
We then agreed to meet again the next night. We met and De
Lemeron told me he had purchased two horses from Mr. York, to be
paid for in Cook [sic] County, or State, serif) — that he had borrowed
a gun from Mr. Dister under the pretense of guarding the Gainesville
and Pilot Point road that night.
De Lemeron's advice was to take every man prisoner we met, to
go by Col. Bourland's, and if he should be willing, take him along;
if not, we will shoot him. I then administered to him the oath to
support the Constitution and government of the United States. It
was then proposed to drill again, as Capt. Shannon (Wisdom) had
not arrived. He then drilled us about two hours.
I then informed him that my name was Bradly, instead of Miller;
that I was a southern man, and so were all my men, and that I in-
tended to carry him to Gainesville to be tried before the District
Court then in session.
Robt. Wheelock sworn.
[Witness.] I met the prisoner at the bar on the 30th day of Oct.
last, at Stroud's spring in this County, to lay plans (as he said) for
crossing Red River. I was introduced to him as a friend of De Lemeron.
He said we must join Capt. Garrison and organize; and if strong
enough, to fall upon Texas and go fighting and take what we wanted.
He said go by Col. Bourland's, and if we could not make him go with
us, he would shoot him down and leave him kicking. Dr. Bradly
administered to him the oath to support the old constitution and
He brought with him two horses and one gun, which he exultingly
said he had bought from York and paid him in Quartermaster's re-
ceipts. He said he could find Capt. Garrison in two or three days;
that he was below Bourlands' [bend], on this or the other side of
George Dister sworn.
Question. Do you know the prisoner at the bar?
Ans. I do.
Question. Where did you see him last before meeting him here?
Ans. At his own house, on the 3rd day of Nov. last. He was saddling
two ponies and said he had been appointed picket guard on the
Gainesville and Pilot Point Road. He asked me for a rifle gun and
promised to return it the next morning.
Question. Did he return the gun.
Ans. No; the men who had him in custody returned it to me.
A. H. York sworn.
[Witness.] I sold two horses to De Lemeron on the 3d day of Nov.
last. He told me he was appointed agent by Genl. Hudson to buy
property for the government. He promised to come to Gainesville and
get a Quartermaster's receipt for the amount the horses were valued at.
J. L. Wisdom sworn.
[Witness.] De Lemeron told me that after perfecting an organiza-
tion with Capt. Garrison's men, we would then come back to Gaines-
ville and take it, as it would be a light jot> — that the plunder of the
town was ours already.
Geo. C. Wright sworn.
[Witness.] On the night of the first of Oct. 1862, I went down to
the Dripping Springs as a scout for the Command at Gainesville. I met
Capt. Garrison at the head of a company of armed men. He halted
me and said: "Who comes there?" I answered: "Wright," and repeated
his inquiry; adding, "is that Capt. Garrison?" He answered in the
affirmative and asked what I wanted. I told him I was a police-man,
and he knew my business. "Well," said he, "if that is your business
here, you had better leave. We have wronged no person or property.
So I want you to leave, and if you desire to get away, you had better
go quick." I did leave quickly and reported to the commander at
S. A. Blain sworn.
[Witness.] There are persons at large in the vicinity of Red River
where Capt. Garrison is reported to be by the prisoner at the bar.
Southern men have been ambuscaded and fired upon by them. I have
seen such persons; was nearby, in sight, when they fired upon and
killed Col. Wm. C. Young of this county. At that time we were hunt-
ing the body of James Dixon, who had previously been killed by
Judge Waddell's Charge to the Jury.
The State of Texas
vs. For Treason
Joel Francis De Lemeron
The constitution of the State of Texas defines treason thus: "Treason
against the State of Texas shall consist in levying war against it, in
adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort."
The Indictment charges; "that on the 3rd day of November, 1862,
the accused committed treason against the State of Texas, in the
County of Cook [sic], by then and there adhering to our enemies, the
United States of North America, and furnishing them horses, bridles,
saddles, blankets, guns, and ammunition in large quantities, and of
It further charges; "that he then and there joined a treasonable
association for the overthrow of the State of Texas." A mere con-
spiracy, or intention to adhere to the enemy, is not treason — actual
adherence must be proved. The Jury will weigh well the evidence in
this case, and must be satisfied that the association into which he
was sworn was treasonable, and for the overthrow of our State, and
that the accused entered it well-knowing that the object of the con-
spiracy was treasonable, and that he entered it voluntarily, and not
by compulsion. The evidence must further satisfy the Jury that the
accused actually adhered to our enemies, the United States, and did
furnish them the articles specified above, at the time and place
specified in the Indictment; and with a traitorous intent. And if you
should so believe, from the evidence, you will find him guilty of
treason; and if you so find, you will in your verdict also say whether
the punishment shall be death, or confinement in the penitentiary
for life. If the Jury believe from the evidence that the accused had
voluntarily determined to betray the State of Texas, and attempted to
get to the enemy with the articles as charged in the Indictment, and
was arrested, and by that arrest was prevented from reaching the
enemy, he is as guilty as if he had reached the enemy's lines. The
citizens of Texas have the legal right to disguise themselves as the
enemies of the country in order to discover the treasonable machina-
tion of those whom they may regard as untrue to our government,
and it is also, their duty to take such lawful steps. If upon a survey
of all the evidence in the case, the Jury have a reasonable doubt as
to the guilt of the accused, it is their duty to acquit — the law estab-
lished maxim being; "it is better that ninety and nine guilty men
should escape, than that one innocent man should suffer."
R. S. Waddell,
Verdict of the Jury
We, the Jury, find the Defendant guilty, and assess his punish-
ment — confinement in the Penitentiary for life.
I A Moore
Having thus ended our notice of the criminal proceedings
against the Conspirators, we will refer to some of the consequences
of this wicked conspiracy, against the peace of the State and the
lives of its citizens.
Our eyes are at first met by scenes of horror and bloodshed; the
commission of crimes unexampled and unsurpassed in the annals
of atrocities performed through human agents, make up the record
of this organization.
In our first glance at its melancholly [sic] results, our hearts at
once entwine around the memory of the brave, the generous and
lamented Col. Young, who fell at the hands of those who fed at
his barn yard and eat at his table.
We are called upon to morn the death of that noble and useful
citizen, James Dixon. We are called to view the horrible deeds
of the merciless savage, led on and inspirited in his insatiable thirst
for blood by those whom we blindly called friends and patriots.
We are called upon to record the death of Bicknell and others at
Fort Cobb— the destruction of property and the indiscriminate
slaughter, and almost entire extermination of the Tankaway [sic]
tribe of Indians; the only tribe of the "Reserves" true and loyal to
DEATH OF JAMES DIXON. 87
The first victim of this infamous plot was James Dixon. Mr.
Dixon was a quiet and peaceable citizen and had taken little or
no part in the arrest and trial of the members of the order. After
the general arrest had been made, and pending the trial of the
prisoners, Mr. Dixon visited his friend on Red River. It was soon
proposed to go hunting. When they had reached the river bottom,
they discovered a man in the edge of the timber, whose strange
conduct attracted their attention. They approached the swamp
and (the man having concealed himself) began a search.
Immediately they were fired upon by a body of men in ambush,
and Dixon fell from his horse, mortally wounded.
His friend made his escape, and soon obtained sufficient strength
to recover the body of Dixon. When he returned with his neigh-
bors, Dixon was dead. He had evidently received some attention
at the hands of his murderers— perhaps died under the sting of
their insults and wicked menaces and execrations.
He had been removed from the spot where he fell and placed
in the shade of a swamp oak, his hat placed over his face; and
other circumstances plainly indicated the presence of the mur-
derers at the site of the dying man.
His wife, so highly esteemed for her many virtues and exemplary
and Christian character, became a prey to inconsolable grief and
died with a broken heart soon after the murder of her husband.
Death of Col Young 68
67 James [M.?] Dixon was born in North Carolina in 1826 and migrated after 1850
to Cooke County, Texas, by way of Missouri. U. S. Eighth Census, i860 (Returns of
Schedule 1, Free Inhabitants, for Cooke County, Texas, microfilm, Dallas Public
Library) , family no. 32.
6 8\Vith this heading on the last extant page of his manuscript, George W. Diamond
indicated his intention to include a recapitulation of the circumstances of the death
of W. C. Young, as he had of the death of James Dixon. If Diamond wrote such an
addendum, it has not been discovered among his papers, or elsewhere.
Abolitionists, xiii-xv, 7n
Anadarko Indians, 14
Anderson, C. F.: trial of, 76
Anderson, E. F., 66
Anderson, George W., 66;
trial of, 76
Anderson, Richard, 66; trial
Anderson, William, 66; bio-
graphical sketch of, 66n;
trial of, 85
Andrews, W. H., 93
Arizina (Organization Pass-
Atkinson, O. B., 78
Baily, J. M., 73
Baily, Mansell, 73
Baker, Parson, 73
Baker, Thomas: trial of, 76
Barnes, Ben F., 77; trial of,
Barrett, Reverend Thomas,
38, 41-42, 67; biographical
sketch of, 38n; book by,
xi-xii, xvi, 2n
Bewley, Reverend Anthony,
Birch, Barnabas: biograph-
ical sketch of, 84n; trial
Blain, S. A., 97
Bluff Springs, 94
Bourland, Colonel James G.,
xvi, 17, 20, 27, 32, 33, 43,
45, 95, 96; biographical
sketch of, 17n
Boutwell, Captain Alexan-
der, 52, 58; biographical
sketch of, 52n
Boyles, William, 77-79, 83,
93-94; biographical sketch
Boyles, Mrs. William, 94
Bradley, George, 93-96
Brown, John, xiv, 14
Brushy Creek, Fannin Coun-
Bumpass, Captain [John
Burr, Aaron, 10
Butler, Benjamin F.: New
Orleans Proclamation of,
Butterfield's Southern Over-
land Mail, 5, 87
Caddo Indians. 14
Camp Tishomingo, 33
Carmichael, Samuel: bio-
graphical sketech of, 75n;
trial of, 75
Carroll, H. Bailey, xi
Chance, Joseph C, 28, 47
Chance, Colonel Newton J.,
26, 28, 53. 55, 64; bio-
graphical sketch of, 26n;
testimony of, 27, 45-48
Cherokee Indians, 14
Chickasaw Battalion, 15
Chickasaw Nation, 16, 74
Childs, Ephraim, 20, 23-24,
52, 63; trial of, 56-58
Childs, Henry, 19-22, 24,
27, 55-58, 61-64, 76; bio-
graphical sketch of, 19n;
execution of, 52-54; trial
Choctaw Nation, 16
Citizens' Court, xi, xvi, 1-3,
19, 92; members of, 37-42;
organization of, 43; pro-
ceedings of, 44-91; records
of, xi, 1-3
Clark, N. M.: trial of, 76
Cochran, "old man," 78
Cochran, Henry: trial of, 76
Collin County, xi, xv, xvi, 47
Comanche Indians, 14
Committee of Public Safety,
see Texas: Secession Con-
Confederate States of Amer-
ica, 10; Army of, xvi, 15,
32-34, 45-47; Conscript
Law, 16, 46, 59, 64
Cooke County: events in, 1-
99; see also Citizens Court,
Gainesville, and Unionists
Cottrell, John: first trial of,
32; second trial of, 87-89
Creek Indians, 14
Crisp, , 71
Crisp, John M. : biograph-
ical sketch of, 73n; trial
Crisp, Samuel, 73
Dallas, xii, xiv, xv
Davenport, James B., 37;
biographical sketch of, 37n
Davis, Jefferson, 10, 48
Dawson, Arphax, 77-78; bio-
graphical sketch of, 77n;
trial of, 85
Dawson, Mary, 77n
Delaware Indians, 14
DeLemeron, Joel Francis:
trial of, 92-98
DeLemeron, Mrs. Joel Fran-
Democratic National Conven-
tion of 1860, xiv
DeMorse, Charles: biograph-
ical sketch of, 32n
Den. Hollow, 93
Denton County, xi, xvi
Diamond, Eli Franklyn, In
Diamond, George Washing-
ton, xi, xii, xvi, 1-3;
account of the Great Hang-
ing, xi, xii, xvi, 2-3, 40n-
41n; biographical sketch
Diamond, Greene, In
Diamond, James, In
Diamond, James J., xi, xv,
xvi, In, 17; biographical
sketch of, 17n
Diamond, John R., In
Diamond, Nancy, In
Diamond, William W., In
Dister, George, 93, 95-96
Dixon, James [M.?], 97-98;
biographical sketch of,
99n; death of, 99
Dixon, Mrs. James, 99
Doss, Samuel C, 28, 38, 42
Dripping Springs, 96
Duncan, Robert, 77
Dye, Ramey, 79, 81, 84-85;
biographical sketch of, 77n;
trial of, 77-78
Edmonson, Doc, 30
Eleventh Texas Cavalry, xi,
Esman, H. J., 73, 78; trial
Essman, H. J., see Esman,
Fannin County, xiii-xv
Fields, Henry, 76, 89; trial
Floyd, "old man," 69, 89
Forks of the Trinity River,
Fort Arbuckle, xvi, 15
Fort Cobb, xvi, 15, 75, 98
Fort Washita, xvi, 33
Fort Worth, xii, xiv, xv
Foster, E. Junius, 9, 26n
Foster, Dr. James, 77-78;
biographical sketch of,
86n; trial of, 86
Gainesville, xi, xii, xvi, 16.
18, 20, 23, 31-33, 46, 49,
52, 56, 61, 74, 77, 78, 81,
87, 91, 93-97; see also
Galveston, 21, 25
Garrison, Reverend Captain,
33, 34, 74, 95-97
Gilman, Harry, 77-78
Gilmore, John T. : statement
Gooding, Lemuel, 88
Goss, Curd: trial of, 85
Grayson County, xi-xiii, xv,
xvi, 5, 30, 32, 34, 46, 47, 87
The Great Hanging at
Gainesville, Cooke County,
Texas, October, A.D. 1862,
Hamill, John William, 38,
Hampton, Edward: trial of,
Harlan, Harry, xii
Harlan, Mrs. Harry, xii
Harper, M. D., 34, 69, 70,
76-77, 82; biographical
sketch of, 34n; trial of,
Harper's Ferry, Virginia,
Harris, Ruth, xi
Harryman, James, 74
Hawley, , 87-88
Hawley, Miss , 87-88
Hawley, Mrs. , 87-89
Hays, — , 71
Helm, J. N., 64, 71
Henderson Times, In
Hibert, Charles, 74
Hill, Aaron, 37, 43; bio-
graphical sketch of, 37n
Hinkle, Eli, 73
Houston, Sam, xiii-xv, 21,
Howard, Parson, 74
Howeth, Harryi 74
Hudson, General William,
xvi, 15, 17, 33, 96; bio-
graphical sketch of, 15n
Hughes, J. A., 39, 42
Hughes, Kathryn S., xi
Indian Territory (Okla-
homa), xiii, xvi, 11
Indians, 14-16, 41, 74, 98
"Institution," see Unionists
Ioni Indians, 14
Jack County, xv, xvi
Johnson, , 87
Johnson, A. N.: trial of, 87-
Johnson, W. W., 61, 63; trial
Jones, C. A.: trial of, 76
Jones, James, 39, 42; bio-
graphical sketch of, 39n
Jones, Reason, 38, 42; bio-
graphical sketch of, 38n
Jones, Wiley, 38, 42; bio-
graphical sketch of, 38n
Jordan Creek, 77
Kansas, xiii, xvi, 7, 21, 25,
Keechi Indians, 14
Kickapoo Indians, 14
Lamar County, xv
Lane, James Henry, 21, 24,
25; biographical sketch of,
Lattimer and Richie Steam
Mill, 77, 82
Leffel, D. M.: trial of, 79
Lincoln, Abraham, xiv, xv
Lock, I. W. P., 12, 34, 70,
74, 76; trial of, 66-68
Long, J. Pope, 38, 42; bio-
graphical sketch of, 38n
Love, , 74
McCool, William A.: bio-
graphical sketch of, 89n;
court-martial of, 87, 89
McCool, Mrs. William, 89
McCurley, J. B., 18-25, 56;
biographical sketch of, 18n;
testimony of, 20-22
McNeese, Abraham: trial of,
Magill, W. B., 74
Marshall, Captain [A. B. or
A. M.?], 33
Martin, Joseph, 74
Martin, Richard N.: trial of,
Martin, "Squire," 71
Martin's Partisan Ranger
Methodist Episcopal Church:
ministers of, xiii-xv
Methodist Episcopal Church,
Miller, John: trial of, 85
Montague, Daniel, 27, 38, 40-
41; biographical sketch of,
27n; foreman of grand
jury, 93; president of the
Citizens' Court, 42, 44, 52,
Montague County, xiii, xv,
Montague Grove: Indian
fight at, 41
Moore, I. A., 98
Morris, I. W., 77
Morris, John A.: trial of, 72
Morris, John W., 78
Morris, M. W.: trial of, 85
Morris, W. W. : biograph-
ical sketch of, 69n; trial
Mounts, I. H., see Mounts,
Mounts, Jackson H., 66; bio-
graphical sketch of, 66n
North Fork of the Canadian
North Texas: pre-Civil War
politics in, xiii-xv; new
state of, proposition for,
8-9; see also Citizens' Court
"Order," see Unionists
"Organization," see Union-
Overland Mail Route, see
Ozmont, I. L., 83
Password of Unionists, see
Patton, Colonel [S. P. C.?],
"Peace Party Plot," see
Peery, James M., 28, 36, 39,
43; biographical sketch of,
Peery, William, 28. 37; bio-
graphical sketch of, 28n
Peters, , 71
Piper, R. G., 37, 43; bio-
graphical sketch of, 37n
Potter, Cincinnatus, 43; bio-
graphical sketch of, 43n
Powers, James, 78; trial of,
Powers, Moses, 78
Rain storm, 31
Randolph, John S., 33; bat-
talion of, 33, 87
Red Circle (secret order), xv
Red River, xvi, 33, 78, 89,
Red River Campaign, In
Reeder, W. W., 56
Republican Party, xiv
Richie Steam Mill, see Latti-
mer and Richie Steam Mill
Robinson, , 94
Rodes, William: trial of, 76
Roff, Charles L., 17. 28, 74;
biographical sketch of, 18n
Runnels, Hardin R.. xiii
Russell, Captain [John?],
Russell, P. Q., 66
St. Louis, Missouri, 47
Scanland, Ben, 38, 42; bio-
graphical sketch of, 38n
Scott, A. D.. 49. 50; bio-
graphical sketch of. 49n;
trial of, 59-60
Scott, Eli M.: trial of, 76
Secession Convention, see
Secessionists: in North Tex-
Seminole Indians, 14
Shawnee Indians, 14
Sheegog, J. A., 43; bio-
graphical sketch of, 43n
Sherman, In, 16, 41. 46, 61,
Sherman Patriot, 8-9
Simpson, W. J., 38, 42; bio-
graphical sketch of, 38n
Sivil's Bend, xvi
Slavery: dispute over, xii-xv
Smith, Gilbert, 78
Southern Overland Mail, see
Stone, J. B., 38; biograph-
ical sketch of, 38n
Stroud, , 94, 95
Tawakoni Indians, 14
Taylor, W. B.: trial of, 80
Terrell's Texas Cavalry Reg-
Texas: annexed to the Unit-
ed States, xii; election of
1859, xiii; secession of,
xv-xvi, 8-10, vote on, lOn;
Secession Convention, xv,
8, Committee on Public
Texas legislature, xvi, In
Texas State Historical As-
Third Texas Cavalry, si, In
Thomas, Dr. Eli, 66, 73, 74;
biographical sketch of,
71n; trial of, 71
Tonkawa Indians, 14, 98
Tourly, John, 66
Trinity River, xii, xv
Twenty-ninth Texas Cavalry,
Twitty, William C, xvi, 17,
28, 33, 34; biographical
sketch of, 18n
Unionists: in North Texas,
before the Civil War, xi-
xvi, 5-7; organization of,
arrest of members, 29-31,
extent of, 13-16, oath of,
66, origins of, 5-7, 12,
password of, 66, purposes
of, 6-7, 11, 15-16, 20-22,
46, 49, 59, 61
United States: Army of, 14,
16, 21, 25, 46, 47, 49, 50,
53, 61, 62, 69, 77, 78, 95;
sectional dispute in, xii-xv
Waco Indians, 14
Waddell, Judge R. S., 97-98
Ward, James A.: trial of, 80
Ware, John, 77, 78, 93, 94
Ware, Mrs. John, 94
Welch, Enoch, 61
Welch, Isham, 77-78; bio-
graphical sketch of, 77n
Wemell, William, 69; trial
West, William, 74
Wett, , 71
Wheelock, Robert, 95-96
Whitesboro, xii, In
Whitesboro News, In
Wichita Indians, 14
Wiley, John M., 77; bio-
graphical sketch of, 77n
Wilson, Nick, 33
Wisdom, John L., 94, 96
Wise County, xi, xv, xvi
Wright, George C, 96-97
Wright, Thomas, 39, 42; bio-
graphical sketch of, 39n
York, A. H., 95, 96
Young, Captain James D.,
9n, 26n, 33, 87
Young, Colonel William C,
xvi, 9n, 33, 36, 39, 40,
97-98; address of, 36-37;
biographical sketch of, 36n;
death of, 99
THE "GREAT HANGI]
OF NORTH T