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Full text of "Account of the great hanging at Gainesville, 1862"

GEORGE WASHINGTON DIAMOND'S 



ACCOUNT OF 



THE GREAT HANGING 



AT GAINESVILLE, 1862 



Edited by 
SAM ACHESON 

AND 

JULIA ANN HUDSON OCONNELL 



THE "GREAT HANGING 
OF NORTH ' 




to 

/6 -/ -/ 



KG" AREA 

XAS 




K E 

• GAINESVILLE 



SHERMAN 



GRAYS 





~-l 



LINCOLN ROOM 

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 
LIBRARY 




MEMORIAL 

the Class of 1901 

founded by 

HARLAN HOYT HORNER 

and 

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 

Austin, 1963 
The Texas State Historical Association 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 



http://archive.org/details/accountofgreathaOOdiam 




George Washington Diamond 

(1835-191O 



George Washington Diamond's 

Aeeount of the Great Hanging 

at Gainesville, 1862 



Edited by 
SAM ACHESON 

AND 

JULIE ANN HUDSON O'CONNELL 



Austin, Texas 
THE TEXAS STATE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 

1 963 






H-d-r^^ 



CONTENTS 

Foreword xi 

Introduction 1 

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 

ix 



CONTENTS— Continued 

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 

Conclusion 90 

DeLemeron's Case 92 

Death of James Dixon 99 

Index 101 



Foreword* 

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. 

xi 



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 
in 1911. 

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 
South. 

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 



Xll 



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 



xin 



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 

xiv 



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 

xv 



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. 



XVI 



INTRODUCTION 

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. 

[1] 



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, 
1961) . 

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." 

£2} 



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, 
XXIX, 1-18. 

f5] 



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. 

£6] 



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 
hereafter detailed. 

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. 



m 



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 
a reality. 

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 

[8] 



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 
bounds") . 

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, 
Texas, 65. 

[9] 



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 
design. 

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. 

CIO} 



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. 



{11} 



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." 



[121 



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- 
ments. 

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, 

tl3} 



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. 

[14} 



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. 

{15} 



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 
the South. 



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. 

f 16} 



COUNTERACTING MOVEMENTS 

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 
purposes. 

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 
fifty-seven-year-old farmer. 

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 

{17} 



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. 

£18] 



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." 



{19] 



McCURLEY'S TESTIMONY 



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. 

[20} 



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. 

T21} 



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 
be killed." 

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. 



[22] 



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 
his friends. 

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 
intercourse. 

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 
and wickedness. 

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. 

[23] 



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 
unpretending countryman. 

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. 

{24) 



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. 



C25} 



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, 
131. 

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. 



{26} 



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 

[27] 



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) , 
86-87. 

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 
County, 32. 



128 3 



THE ARREST 

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 
Texas." 

Large quantities of ammunition and fire arms were captured 
in the possession and upon the persons of the accused. 



[29} 



DOC EDMONSON 

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. 



130] 



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. 

[31] 



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) . 

{32} 



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 
Christianity. 

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. 

[33} 



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. 

C34] 



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. 



{35} 



PUBLIC MEETING 

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) . 

t36] 



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. 
Ibid. 

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, 

[37] 



Stone, 37 whose appointments were then unanimously endorsed by 
the meeting. 

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 
Court." 

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 
County, 25. 

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 
Library) . 

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 

[381 



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 
be inflicted. 

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. 
Peery, Secry. 



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. 



{39} 



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 
the other. 

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 

C40) 



"MONTAGUE GROVE" 

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 
whites. 

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. 

141} 



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 
his profession. 

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. 



{42} 



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. 



(43] 



[TRIAL OF HENRY CHILDS] 

The first prisoner brought before the Court was Dr. Henry 
Childs to whom reference has already been made. 



The People 

Against 

Henry Childs 



Conspiracy and 
Insurrection 



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 
{44} 



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- 
words. 

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 
your statements. 

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, 
prospects. 

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." 

{45} 



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 
at liberty. 

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 

£46} 



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 
of treachery. 

£47] 



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. 



[48] 



CROSS EXAMINED 

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 
emergency. 

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. 

[49] 



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 

{50] 



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 
your soul. 

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 
gallows. 

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. 



[51] 



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 



The People 

Against 

Henry & Ephraim Childs 



Conspiracy 
Insurrection 



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. 

[52} 



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 
man. 

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 

[53] 



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 
all hearts. 

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. 



£54} 



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. 



£55} 



[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. 



The People 

VERSUS 

Ephraim Childs 



Conspiracy and 
Insurrection 



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.") 

£56) 



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 
[sic]. 



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 



£57} 



DEATH WARRANT 

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. 

Daniel Montague 
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 
existence. 



£58} 



[TRIAL OF A. D. SCOTT] 



The People 

VERSUS 

A. D. Scott 



Conspiracy and 
Insurrection 



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 
them? 

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 

C59} 



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. 



{60} 



[TRIAL OF] M. D. HARPER 



The People 
vs. M. D. Harper 



Consp. 
& Ins. 



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 

{61} 



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 
citizens. 

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- 
le ] 



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. 



{63} 



[TRIAL OF HENRY FIELDS] 



The State 

vs. 

Henry Fields 

(Shoe Maker) 



Disloyalty, & 
Treason. 



Henry Childs sworn. 

[Witness.] I iniated [sic] the prisoner Henry Fields into this organ- 
ization. 

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 
follows: 

["]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, 
he said: 

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 
destroy it. 

{64} 



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." 



£65] 



[TRIAL OF I. W. P. LOCK] 



The State 

vs. 

I W. R Lock 



Disloyalty & 
Treason 



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) . 

{66} 



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 
"Order." 

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 
shaken. 

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." 

[67] 



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 
heart. 



(68) 



[TRIAL OF W. W. MORRIS] 



The State 
vs. 
W. W. Morris 50 



Disloyalty & 
Treason 



[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. 



£69} 



[TRIAL OF RICHARD ANDERSON] 



The State 

vs. 

Richard Anderson 



Disloyalty & 
Treason 



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. 



£70) 



[TRIAL OF ELI THOMAS] 



The State 

vs. 
Eli Thomas 36 



Disloyalty & 
Treason, 



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: 

Gainesville Texas 
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. 

Eli Thomas 

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. 



[71] 



[TRIAL OF EDWARD HAMPTON AND JOHN A. MORRIS] 



The State 

vs. 

Edward Hampton 

and 
John A. Morris 



Disloyalty & 
Treason 



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. 



[72} 



[TRIAL OF JOHN M. CRISP] 



Disloyalty & 
Treason 



The State 
vs. 
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. 

{73} 



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 

follows: — 

_ , 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 
forthwith. 

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. 



[74] 



[TRIAL OF SAMUEL CARMICHAEL] 



The State 

vs. 

Samuel Carmichael 58 



Disloyalty & 
Treason 



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. 



£75} 



[GROUP TRIAL] 



The State 

vs. 

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") 



Disloyalty, & 
Treason 



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. 



[76} 



[TRIAL OF RAMEY DYE] 



The State 

vs. 
Ramey Dye. 5£ 



Disloyalty or 
Treason 



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 
purpose. 

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. 

[77] 



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 
then afraid. 

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. 



[78} 



[TRIAL OF D. M. LEFFEL] 



The State 

vs. 
D M Leffel 



Disloyalty & 
Treason 



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. 



[791 



[TRIAL OF JAMES A. WARD AND W. B. TAYLOR] 



The State 

vs. 

James A. Ward and 

W. B. Taylor 



Disloyalty & 
Treason 



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 
password. 

Found guilty, and hung. 



{80} 



[TRIAL OF H. J. ESMAN] 



The State 

vs. 

H. J. ESMAN 



Disloyalty & 
Treason 



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. 



[81} 



[TRIAL OF W. W. JOHNSON] 



The State 

vs. 

W. W. Johnson 



Disloyalty & 
Treason 



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. 



{823 



[TRIAL OF RICHARD N. MARTIN] 



The State Disloyalty & 

vs. Treason 

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 
password. 

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. 

C83} 



[TRIAL OF BARNABAS BIRCH] 



The State 
vs. 
Barnabas Birch 64 



Disloyalty & 
Treason 



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 
dream dreams.' 

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. 



£84} 



[GROUP TRIAL] 



The State 

vs. 

Curd Goss, Wm Anderson 

John Miller, Ar[phax] Dawson, 

and M. W. Morris. 



Disloyalty & 
Treason. 



These prisoners all acknowledged their guilt, giving the signs, 
grip, and password, and were active members of Capt Ramey 
Dye's company. 

All found guilty and hung. 



{85] 



[1 RIAL OF DR. JAMES FOSTER] 



The State 

vs. 

Dr James Foster (39) 65 



Disloyalty & 
Treason 



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. 



£86 3 



[TRIAL OF A. N. JOHNSON AND JOHN COTTRELL] 



The State 

vs. 

A N Johnson, and 

John Cottrell. 



Disloyalty & 
Treason. 



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 

T871 



in prison and the bride (only such, by virtue of the ceremony) 
weeping and blushing and wasting much sweetness on the 
desert air. 

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 
Shreveport. 

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 

Lemuel Gooding 
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 

£88) 



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. 



[89] 



[CONCLUSION] 

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 
crime. 

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 
denied. 

So imminent was the danger of an outbreak that it gave the de- 

{90] 



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 
purpose. 

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. 



191] 



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 

[92] 



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. 

Dist. Attorney. 

20th Judicial Dist. 
State of Texas. 

Testimony 
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 
death. 

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 

{93} 



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). 

{941 



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 

C95] 



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 
Union. 

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 
the River. 

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. 

[96] 



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 
Gainesville. 

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 
such persons. 

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 
great value." 

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 

£97] 



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, 
Dist. Judge 

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 
Foreman 

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 
the South. 



[98] 






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. 



{99} 



INDEX 



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 
of, 70 

Anderson, William, 66; bio- 
graphical sketch of, 66n; 
trial of, 85 

Andrews, W. H., 93 

Arizina (Organization Pass- 
word), 66 

Atkinson, O. B., 78 

Austin, 25 

Baily, J. M., 73 

Baily, Mansell, 73 

Baker, Parson, 73 

Baker, Thomas: trial of, 76 

Barnes, Ben F., 77; trial of, 

76 
Barrett, Reverend Thomas, 

38, 41-42, 67; biographical 

sketch of, 38n; book by, 

xi-xii, xvi, 2n 
Bewley, Reverend Anthony, 



-, 98 



Bicknell, - 

Birch, Barnabas: biograph- 
ical sketch of, 84n; trial 
of, 84 

Blain, S. A., 97 

Bluff Springs, 94 

Bonham, xiv 

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 
of, 77n 

Boyles, Mrs. William, 94 

Bradley, George, 93-96 

Brown, John, xiv, 14 

Brushy Creek, Fannin Coun- 
ty, xiv 

Bumpass, Captain [John 

K.?], 33 
Burr, Aaron, 10 
Butler, Benjamin F.: New 

Orleans Proclamation of, 

64 

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 
of, 44-51 

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 

Collinsville, 83 

Comanche Indians, 14 

Committee of Public Safety, 
see Texas: Secession Con- 
vention 

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 
of, 73-74 

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- 
cis, 94 



Democratic National Conven- 
tion of 1860, xiv 

DeMorse, Charles: biograph- 
ical sketch of, 32n 

Den. Hollow, 93 

Denton, 23 

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 
of, In 

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, 

xvi, In 
Esman, H. J., 73, 78; trial 

of, 81 
Essman, H. J., see Esman, 

H. J. 

Fannin County, xiii-xv 
Fields, Henry, 76, 89; trial 

of, 64-65 
Floyd, "old man," 69, 89 
Forks of the Trinity River, 

xii, xv 
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 
Citizens' Court 

Galveston, 21, 25 



[101} 



Garrison, Reverend Captain, 

33, 34, 74, 95-97 
Gilman, Harry, 77-78 
Gilmore, John T. : statement 

of, 88 
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, 

xi, 2n 

Hamill, John William, 38, 
41, 67 

Hampton, Edward: trial of, 
72 

Harlan, Harry, xii 

Harlan, Mrs. Harry, xii 

Harper, M. D., 34, 69, 70, 
76-77, 82; biographical 
sketch of, 34n; trial of, 
61-63 

Harper's Ferry, Virginia, 
xiv, 14 

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, In 

Henderson Times, In 

Hibert, Charles, 74 

Hill, Aaron, 37, 43; bio- 
graphical sketch of, 37n 

Hinkle, Eli, 73 

Houston, Sam, xiii-xv, 21, 
24, 25 

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 

Jefferson, 49 

Johnson, , 87 

Johnson, A. N.: trial of, 87- 
89 

Johnson, W. W., 61, 63; trial 
of, 82 

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, 

30, 47 
Keechi Indians, 14 
Kickapoo Indians, 14 

Lamar County, xv 

Lane, James Henry, 21, 24, 
25; biographical sketch of, 
21n 

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 



McCarty, Dr. 



73 



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, 
76 

Magill, W. B., 74 

Marshall, Captain [A. B. or 
A. M.?], 33 

Martin, Joseph, 74 

Martin, Richard N.: trial of, 
83 

Martin, "Squire," 71 

Martin's Partisan Ranger 
Battalion, 33n 

Methodist Episcopal Church: 
ministers of, xiii-xv 

Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, xiii 

Miller, John: trial of, 85 

Missouri, 47 

Montague, Daniel, 27, 38, 40- 
41; biographical sketch of, 
27n; foreman of grand 
jury, 93; president of the 
Citizens' Court, 42, 44, 52, 
57, 58 

Montague County, xiii, xv, 
xvi 

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 
of, 69 

Mounts, I. H., see Mounts, 
Jackson H. 

Mounts, Jackson H., 66; bio- 
graphical sketch of, 66n 

North Fork of the Canadian 
River, 95 

(102] 



North Texas: pre-Civil War 
politics in, xiii-xv; new 
state of, proposition for, 
8-9; see also Citizens' Court 
and Unionism 

"Order," see Unionists 

"Organization," see Union- 
ists 

Overland Mail Route, see 
Butterfield's Southern 
Overland Mail 

Ozmont, I. L., 83 

Password of Unionists, see 
Unionists 

Patton, Colonel [S. P. C.?], 
33 

"Peace Party Plot," see 
Unionists 

Peery, James M., 28, 36, 39, 
43; biographical sketch of, 
28n 

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, 
76 

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, 

96-97 
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?], 

32, 34 
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 
Texas 

Secessionists: in North Tex- 
as, xiii-xv 

Seminole Indians, 14 

Shawnee Indians, 14 

Sheegog, J. A., 43; bio- 
graphical sketch of, 43n 

Sherman, In, 16, 41. 46, 61, 
66, 69 



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 
Butterfield's Southern 
Overland Mail 

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- 
iment, In 
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 
Safety, xv 
Texas legislature, xvi, In 
Texas State Historical As- 
sociation, xi 
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, 

32 
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 
of, 76 

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 



C103} 



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OF NORTH T 



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