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The Freedmen's Bureau Online

Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Tennessee
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1869
National Archives Microfilm Publication M999, roll 34
"Reports of Outrages, Riots and Murders, Jan. 15, 1866 - Aug. 12, 1868"

Affidavits regarding the 1866 Memphis Riot

Ditts, Rachael A. - Affidavit - States that the riot began in a fight between the Negroes and policemen. Saw policemen brake his pistol over one Negroes head.

Before me personally appeared the undersigned Miss Rachael Ditts and being duly sworn deposes as follows:

My name is Rachel Ditts. I live on Causey St. No. 152 in the city of Memphis.

I saw the commencement of the riot on Monday April 30, 1866. The Negroes tried to get away. I saw one of the Policemen brake his pistol over the head of one of the Negroes. I do not know the origin of the difficulty. The first thing I saw the Negroes running and the Police after him. The Negro made no resistance but tried to get away. On Tuesday I saw the crowd pass my house (Police and citizens).

I saw the Police strike some of the colored persons on the head who were entirely innocent.

(sgd) Rachel A. Ditts

Subscribed and sworn before me this the 9th day of May 1866.
(sgd) Michl. Walsh
Supt. and AAA Genl. and P. M. Freedmen

A True Copy
Lt. R. H. Kendricks
Supt. and AA Genl.

Ditts, Mrs. S. E. - Affidavit - States that she witnessed the assault on Negroes by policemen without any provocation on the part of the Negroes.

Personally appeared before me the undersigned Mrs. S. E. Ditts who upon being duly sworn deposes as follows:

My name is Mrs. S. E. Ditts, I live in the city of Memphis, Tenn. My place of residence is at No. 152 Causey Street. On the evening of Monday, April 30th, 1866 I saw four policemen pass the place I resided, while several Negroes were near, and the Negroes stepped off the sidewalk to allow the policemen to pass. The police followed the Negroes when one of the colored men fell and a policeman fell over him - the policeman then drew out their revolvers, when the colored men started down the street. One of the policemen followed and struck one of the Negroes on the head with his pistol, breaking it (the pistol). One of the colored men then hit one of the policemen, then a third policeman hit that man (colored) with a brick. The party then parted, the policemen going one way and the colored men another.

(sgd) S. E. Ditts

A True Copy

Lt. W. H. Kendrick
Capt. and A. A. G.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this the 18th day of May 1866.

Capt. and Ad. Genl.