Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865 - 1869
National Archives Microfilm Publication M821 Roll 32
"Registered Reports of Murders and Outrages Sept. 1866 - July 1867"
Freedmen's Bureau at Meridian (Texas)
September the 25th 1866
L. K. Morton A. A. A. Genl.
Sir I received yours of the 11th inst. Calling for a report of all murders of Union men and Freedmen and outrages committed on them in my district since the close of the rebellion. There has been no Union men killed here since the rebellion that I know of but several a short time before, as to the Freedmen there has been several. Harrison Hendricks killed one in August 1865. Gipson killed one about the same time. Wm. Richards whipped a boy early in 1865 until he died in August from the effects by the name of Luke Adams he also whipped a Negro man nearly to death and supposed he did as he was never seen any more. Two other Freedmen was found hung to one tree. I have been unable to find out who committed the act. These is all the murders that has come to my knowledge since the rebellion has ceased----as to the abuse of Freedmen the following cases have been reported to me and some of them has been tried and fined.
First is a freedman named Tony McCrary was taken by a mob and castrated in August 1865. Doct. Bell castrated him for an attempted rape on his young mistress. Judge Thos. Ford witnessed the operation and knows all the parties.
As to flogging it has been common. Wm. Patillo flogged Minerva in August 1865 and has not paid her for her work he now resides at Miligan. John G. Heath forced two freedmen to give him receipts without paying them for their labor last February he has run to Arkansas. Martha Page flogged two Freedmen in Sept 1865. Wm. Richardson flogged Anthony a freedman in July 1865. Jas. Abby flogged a freedwoman in Sept 1865. Geo. F. Sparks shot at a freedwoman namedMariah in Oct 1865 for claiming her freedom at S. D. Greens residence. Jane Galthing flogged the following Freedmen since June 1865: Susan and Nolsa in August 1865; Hannah & Gavin in Sept 1865. J. D. Number flogged Caroline in August 1865. James Byrd shot at a Freedman named Alex Ander in February 1866. Richard Davison flogged Jinny on Jany 1866. Johnathan McFadden flogged Enoch in April 1866. A. C. Pearce flogged Daniel gave him 1000 lashes last April for an attempt to commit a rape and flogged another Freedmen nearly to death for saying he was as free as anyone. John O'Dell flogged Joe Shelton and James Regan in July 1866. Robert Bicknell flogged Hannah & Albert, Freedmen. Jesse Willbanks flogged Nancy Robinson in August 1866.
There has been some trafick in Negroes since the rebellion ceased. Peter Hickman sold two to Doct. Thomas Womack in Sept 1865 he also sold two to Simpson Holoway and two Wm. Richard. I have had the following of the above up and tried them and fined them, Martha Page, James Abby, J. M. McFadden, T. C. Alexander, Robt. Bicknell, Jesse Willbanks, John Odell all the others is at large and without troops I can do nothing with them. I must refer you to my report to your office of last August for the particulars in the cases of Hendricks, Richards and the Pearces. The case of Gipson he simply killed the Freedman and left this part of the state. Please not let my name be made use of in any action the government may take against these parties as a man would not live one week if it was known that he had reported them. I hear of two men above here some 40 miles that yet holds their Blacks in bondage their names are John Anderson and Alford Loyd. I sent them orders to release the Blacks, they sent word back they had paid for the Negroes and the government should not rope them in any such way.
Philip Howard Sub.
Asst. Com. B. R. F. & A. L.