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Freedmen's Burau Records Relating to Murders and Other Criminal Offenses Committed in Texas

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
"Miscellaneous Records Relating to Murders and Other Criminal Offenses Committed in Texas 1865 - 1868"

The State of Texas
City of Austin

Mark Walker, colored, being duly sworn testifies as follows:----

I used to belong to William Hines. I have been living ten years in Freestone County. This year (1868) I rented ground and a cabin on the place of Dr. Gibbs in said county, in the same yard with James Eaton Haynes (colored). About the last of April I think, about seven or eight men (white) came to my house, and called "Mark, Mark, come out"---- stating that they had a Captain in their company and were ordered take me to Fairfield by the Bureau from Waco. They said "We understand that you have two revolvers," and they ordered me to take them (revolvers) with me, and get ready as quick as possible. About this time, or a little before, I heard the voice of Eaton Haynes crying "Help, Help." I was asleep when they first came, and the first thing I heard was the call "Mark come out." My wife called me the same time. I did not recognize any of them 'til Cap. Davy stepped upon my gallery and said "Mr. Sheriff is this what I ordered you to do, God damn you?" He then broke down the door and came in and said Mark you know me don't you? I said "Yes Captain I do." He said that he was ordered by the Bureau at Waco to take me to Fairfield. Says I, "Cap. Davy will you let me make up a light to get my clothes," he replied, "No." I said "I am naked and I cannot go without my clothes." My wife then said "Please let my old man get his clothes." He said to her, "Shut up your G---d d---m mouth." He then said "Mark I want you take them two revolvers I understand you have, and if you want to go to shooting we are all ready for you." My wife then got my five shooter and handed it to me. Then he gathered me in the bosom and said "Come out of here I'll wait on you no longer." By this time quite a number of men were in the house, I recognized three of them, Cap. Davy, Jim Oliver and Jno. Dunn, they dragged me out of the door, threatening to shoot out my brains if I resisted. I said I would not resist, that I did not know what I had done for which they should carry me to Fairfield, they then said , "O no, I reckon not."

They carried me out over the fence and made go along with them, on the road in a trot, and one of them jerked my five shooter out of my hand. They kept saying "let us shoot him." Cap. Davy said "men obey orders, don't shoot till I give the word." They then asked me if I prayed. I told them I did. They asked me if I ever preached. I said no. They asked me if I ever fished with man's bait. I said I had not. Cap. Davy said "You went fishing Saturday didn't you?" I said I had. This was on Monday night. They then said "You caught a right smart string." I said I did. They said "You can go a fishing again tomorrow" and "you can fish with your own bait." By this time we were passing by their horses where they were hitched in a wood pasture. I said "there are some horses," they told me to shut up my mouth and come on. They took me about 3 hundred yards off the road into a bottom and made me sit down on the ground --- and Cap. Davy having sat down too by me on left side, put his pistol to my left ear and jabbed it to my temples and asked me how I would like that and then said "You can report to your friend Culver tomorrow about us. He is in hell and we going to send you there too G---d d---m him." He cocked his pistol and started to put it to my temple again. I said "Mr. Davy don't shoot me, don't shoot me for God's sake," I threw up my hand and knocked the pistol off. I then jumped and run, got off about 5 feet and the pistol fired hitting me in the left leg. I fell. They said "he is down." I then got up and continued to run. They firing at me. They tried to surround and head me off but I managed to get away from them. They shot at me about a dozen times. I returned to my own house and called to my wife --- she was not there. I hunted her up --- she was among the colored men trying to get them to hunt me up. I then got my gun and went to Dr. Gibbs and showed him my wounds and told how it was done. He said to me that he had heard men talking about killing me for reporting to Capt. Culver about the burning the colored school house. He further said that the white people were all mad with the colored people for letting the Yankees fool them and for joining the Leagues, and as the troops were gone they would now have satisfaction.

I then left and came to Waco & from there to Austin, and went back to my home with some soldiers, and leaving my crops and many of my things came back to Austin with the soldiers. On our way back the prisoners were delivered up to some armed men. I cannot stay at home. They would kill me there.

I had no quarrell with any of these men who assaulted me. They told me that it was because I reported the burning of the school house (colored) to Capt. Culver and because I was head of the League.

During the night when I was in their hands, they told me that they intended to kill Col. Lippard and Ed Dillard and Fred Miller because they were all League men.

(signed) Mark (X) Walker

Sworn to and subscribed before me this the 18th day of June 1868.

(signed) Thad. McRae
Clerk Court on Lawlessness

A True Copy