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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

Before me personally appeared the undersigned James Cannon Mitchell who upon being duly sworn deposes and says.

My name is James Cannon Mitchell. I am a discharged soldier and live in the city of Memphis, State of Tenn. on River Street near South. I have been a slave and previous to my enlistment in the Federal Army was a servant in the employ of two officers in the rebel army. On the 1st day of May 1866 I was standing in my yard in front of my residence when I saw John Pendergass (white) with two Derringers in his hand and with them he shot a man on Rayburn Avenue. He was a white man and a fireman of the Engine near the "Gayaso House." He (Pendergass) said "God damn it I am sorry I shot this man, I thought he was a God damn yeller nigger." Immediately after Pendergass turned and called a soldier who was running away to come back that he would not hurt him. The soldier came back and Pendergass shot him dead. On the 2nd of May while near my house I saw Roach (a policeman) hit a colored soldier with his revolver, the soldier warded off the blow and Roach then shot him, he (the soldier) falling, when Roach & Jim Halloway started after another soldier and in coming near him, ordered him to halt, he disregarded the order and continued to run. When they ceased pursuing and returned to the other who was wounded (he was wounded so badly that he could not stand) when Jim Halloway shot him unto death.

I saw Cash with the party and saw him firing with them.

James (X) Cannon Mitchell

Subscribed and sworn to before me this the 19th day of May 1866.
F. M. H. Kendrick
Capt. & Asst . Inspt. Genl.