Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of South Carolina
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1870.
National Archives Microfilm Publication M869, Roll 34
"Reports of conditions and operations July 1865-Dec. 1866"
Anderson, S. C.
July 21, 1866
Anderson, Mil. Post of.
1st Lt. 8" Inft.
Statement in regard to a murder committed at Cokesbury, Abbeville Dist. on the 19 July 66 by man named of Reuben Golding of Abbeville and that the Governor of the State has offered a reward of 250 dollars for his arrest. Mentions cases showing the bad character of the man.
Headquarters Mil. Post of Anderson
Anderson So. Ca.
July 21, 1866
Lieut. Col. H. W. Smith
Asst. Adjt. General
Hdqrs. First Separate Brigade
Charleston, So. Ca.
I have the honor to state, that while on my way to Abbeville, July 20th, 1866 I learned of a horrible murder that had been committed on the morning of July 19, 1866 at Cokesbury, Abbeville District, by a desperate and ruffianly character by name of Reuben Golding of Abbeville. While at Abbeville I learned that this man has always borne a bad character and was much dreaded by the people of the neighborhood, he having shot three persons at different times since the close of the Rebellion. It is known that he left Abbeville on the morning of the 19th inst. heavily armed, that is, with a double barrel shot gun and pistol, with the intention of visiting Cokesbury, and I have heard, for the purpose of shooting a Negro, the name of whom I could not learn.
While at Cokesbury, he deliberately, and without provocation, as plenty can testify, shot a Negro by name of A. Payton, who, from the effects of said shot, died that evening. This Negro always bore a good character in this neighborhood and has always been free. He has been absent in Canada and New York for the last five or six years, and at this time was returning to his home at Anderson. After shooting this Negro, Golding left town and was pursued by several Citizens of the place. The people of the County are naturally shocked at the brutal murder, and consider it a great disgrace and are mortified that it has taken place. The Governor of the State has issued a reward of $250 for his arrest, the prospects of which are very good.
If I had but a few Cavalrymen I should immediately make pursuit, but with Infantry it is needless. I learn that he has crossed the Savannah River opposite Abbeville and gone into Georgia, somewhere in the vicinity of Washington. Several parties are now on his track and will no doubt soon arrest him.
I am Colonel
Your Obedt. Servt.
1st Lieut. 8th Infty.