Roulette

Thursday, February 7, 2013

'Looked Like Somebody Been Killing Hogs There'

Atlanta, Georgia, October 21,1871.
TILDA WALTHALL (colored) sworn and examined.


By the Chairman:
Question. State your age, where you were born, and where you now live.

Answer. I am twenty-one years old; I do not know where I was born, but I live in Haralson County.

Question. When did you come here from Haralson County?

Answer. I do not recollect now what day it was; a few days ago.

Question. Are you a married woman?

Answer. They killed my husband.

Question. Who killed him?

Answer. The Ku-Klux.

Question. When, and where?

Answer. It was in Haralson County, in May.

Question. Tell us all about it, and who they were.

Answer. I do not know but two of them.

Question. Who were they?

Answer. Old man Monroe and Ben, his son.

Question. How many of them were there?

Answer. I do not know how many there were.

Question. Did you see the crowd?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Were they riding?

Answer. They were riding, but they left their horses.

Question. Were they disguised?

Answer. They were disguised.

Question. How?

Answer. They had on great big gowns, and great big, long sleeves, wide sleeves.

By Mr. Scofield:
Question. Were their faces covered?

Answer. Some were, and some were not.

By the Chairman:
Question. Now, tell us all that they did.

Answer. They came and hallooed to open the door; my husband got up and got out of the house; he crawled in under the house. Then they came around and went into the garden and pulled off a plank, and he was lying there; and they shot him.

Question. Do you know who shot him?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. How many shots did they fire at him?

Answer. They never fired but once.

Question. Did that shot kill him?

Answer. He lived until the next night about dusk, when he died. They beat him after they shot him. The report was, that they said they gave him three hundred.

Question. With what?

Answer. With sticks.

Question. Did they beat him with his clothes on, or did they take them off?

Answer. His clothes were off or pulled up. He did not have on anything but his drawers and shirt, and they pulled his drawers down and his shirt up.

Question. Did they beat him on the naked flesh?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Was that in the night-time?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. At what time of the night?

Answer. Well, when they left, chickens were crowing for day.

Question. Did they give any reason for treating him in that way?

Answer. No, sir, they did not say.

Question. Did your husband say before he died whether ho know my of them or not?

Answer. No, sir; he never said a word about them; nary word.

Question. Was he able to talk much?

Answer. Ho did not say much.

Question. Where have you been living?

Answer. On old man Wyatt Williams's land.

Question. Do you know of anybody else who was interfered with by the Ku-Klux?

Answer. There are some more up on the mountain, about six miles from us, that were interfered with.

By Mr. Bayard:
Question. You stated that old man Monroe and his son Ben were there?

Answer. Yes, sir; Duncan Monroe.

Question. Did you know him and recognize him?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. What had he against your husband?

Answer. Lord knows; I don't.

Question. What was your husband's name?

Answer. John Walthall.

Question. Did he know anything those people were afraid he would tell?

Answer. If he did, I did not know it; I had not been married very long.

Question. How many of those people were there?

Answer. I do not know how many there were.

Question. How many did you see?

Answer. I do not know how many; I did not count them; I could not give any idea of how many there were.

Question. Did you know the faces of any of those who were in disguise?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. Had they anything on their horses?

Answer. We did not see them; they were tied up the road a piece from us.

Question. You have no idea what made them commit this act?

Answer. No, sir; I could not give any idea at all.

By Mr. Scofield:
Question. Was there anybody else in the house but yourself and husband?

Answer. Nobody there but me and my husband; they pulled two men up there on one of their houses up to my house to keep them from going off; they were Jasper Carter and Charles Little; they whipped them.

Question. Were they colored men?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Did they whip them at your house?

Answer. No, sir; they took them away from their houses.

By Mr. Bayard:
Question. How did you know that?

Answer. Jasper said so.

Question. You did not see them whip them?

Answer. No, sir; I only saw his back that he was whipped.

By the Chairman:
Question. Was his back much hurt?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Atlanta, Georgia, October 21,1871.
HESTER GOGGIN (colored) sworn and examined.


By the Chairman:
Question. How old are you, where were you born, and where do you now live?

Answer. I am about sixteen years old; I do not know where I was born; I live in Haralson County.

Question. Do you know anything about the killing of John Walthall?

Answer. I was not up there when they shot him.

Question. Where were you that night?

Answer. I was at Charley Little's house.

Question. Did you see anybody go along by there that night?

Answer. Yes, sir; they came right by there; that was the first place they stopped.

Question. Who were they?

Answer. There were three I knowed; old man Monroe and two sons.

Question. How many were there altogether?

Answer. About fifteen or twenty.

Question. What did they do at Charley Little's?

Answer. They came in and took him out: two staid in the house and made me and two more girls get up and kindle a light. They asked us if we had any gun there, and we said no. They looked behind the door, and said that if they found any gun they would kill us; they found none, and stepped out of doors and told us to show them where Jasper Carter and John Walthall lived; we showed them, and they went on; they came on back, and then whipped us.

Question. Did they whip you?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Who whipped you?

Answer. Neil Monroe, Ben was the other, and old man Monroe were all I knowed.

Question. Did the others whip you?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. How much did they whip you?

Answer. They gave me about ten or thirteen licks.

Question. With what?

Answer. It looked to me like a hickory withe; I do not know what it was.

Question. Did they whip you over your clothes?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Why did they whip you?

Answer. They said to make us stay at home; and we were already at home.

Question. Did they whip anybody else besides you?

Answer. Yes, sir, Charley Little's wife.

Question. Had she any children?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. How old were they?

Answer. There was one about seven, and another thirteen or fourteen.

Question. Were they there?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Did they trouble the children at all?

Answer. They never interfered with the smallest one.

Question. How much did they whip Charley Little's wife?

Answer. The gave her two or three licks, and snatched her across the bed.

Question. Did they whip anybody else there?

Answer. No. sir.

By Mr. Scofield:
Question. Where was Charley Little himself?

Answer. They took him up to John Walthall's house.

Question. What month was that?

Answer. I do not know what month that was.

Question. Was it in the summer or in the spring?

Answer. It was in warm weather.

Question. Did Charley Little come back?

Answer. Yes, sir, after they went off.

Question. Was it daylight when he got back?

Answer. No, sir, it was not daylight.

Question. Did they whip him?

Answer. No, sir, they never touched him.

By Mr. Lansing:
Question. Did yon ever hear what they shot John Walthall for?

Answer. No, sir, I never heard.

Question. Did you hear Charley Little say?

Answer. No, sir. Question. Was he there at Walthall's when they shot him?

Answer. Yes, sir, he was there.

Question. Did you learn what they took him up to Walthall's for?

Answer. No, sir.

By Mr. Scofield:
Question. Is Charley Little here?

Answer. Yes, sir.



Atlanta, Georgia, October 21,1871.
RENA LITTLE (colored) sworn and examined.


By the Chairman:
Question. How old are yon, where were you born, and where do you now live?

Answer. I do not know how old I am. I was born in Haralson county, and live there now.

Question. Do you recollect the night when John Walthall was killed?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Where were you that night?

Answer. I was at home.

Question. Where was that?

Answer. Down on the Tallapoosa River.

Question. Are you married, or a single woman?

Answer. I am single.

Question. What kin are you to Charley Little?

Answer. He is my step-father.

Question. Did any one come to your house that night?

Answer. Yes, sir. Question. Who were they?

Answer. Ben Monroe, and Neil Monroe, and old man Monroe.

Question. Was anybody else there?

Answer. Yes, sir; a whole crowd of them; but I did not know who they were.

Question. Why did you not know the others?

Answer. They were strangers.

Question. What did they do at your house?

Answer. They whipped me, and my sister, and my aunt.

Question. How much did they whip you?

Answer. I reckon they gave me about forty or fifty licks.

Question. What did they whip you with?

Answer. With some kind of whip; I do not know what it was.

Question. Did they whip you as they were going on to John Walthall's house, or as they were coming back?

Answer. As they were coming back, after they had done shot him.

Question. What reason did they give for whipping you?

Answer. They never said what they whipped us for; just whipped us and told us to stay at home, and wo were already at home.

Question. Did they whip you over your clothes?

Answer. Yes, sir.

By Mr. Lansing:
Question. Did you hear any reason given for shooting Walthall?

Answer. No, sir; I never heard what they shot him for.

By Mr. Scofield:
Question. Were the men disguised who came to your house?

Answer. Some of them were, and some were not.

Question. Did the Monroes have anything on?

Answer. Old man Monroe, the first time they came into the house, had something on his face; but the last time he came in he did not have anything on his face.

Atlanta, Georgia, October 21,1871.
LETITIA LITTLE (colored) sworn and examined.


By the Chairman:
Question. How old are you, where were you born, and where do you now live?

Answer. I do not know how old I am, or where I was born; I live down at Williams's Mills, in Haralson County.

Question. Where were you at the time that John Walthall was shot?

Answer. I was down in my ma's house.

Question. Whoso house is that?

Ansteer. It is one of Mr. Williams's houses.

Question. Who is your mother?

Answer. Jane Little.

Question. Did any parties come to your house that night?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Did they say what they came for?

Answer. They said they came there to kill uncle John Walthall.

Question. Who said that?

Answer. The Ku-Klux said so.

Question. Did you know any of them?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Which ones?

Answer. Ben Monroe and Neil Monroe.

Question. Did they say what they were going to kill him for?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. Did they trouble you in any way?

Answer. They whipped us.

Question. Did they whip you?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. When was that; as they were going, or when they were coming back?

Answer. When they came back.

Question. How many blows did they strike you?

Answer. I do not know.

Question. Why did they whip you?

Answer. They just whipped us and told us to stay at home.

By Mr. Lansing:
Question. Were you going to any school at that time?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. Did they say where you had been that they complained of?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. Have you told us all they said?

Answer. Yes, sir.

By Mr. Bayard:
Question. You do not know how old you are, or where you were born?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. Did you know what you meant when you swore on that Bible?

Answer. On the Bible?

Question. When that gentleman put the oath to you did you know what he meant?

Answer. Put the oath?

Question. Do you know what an oath is?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. Do you know what that gentleman meant when he said something when you first came into the room?

Answer. No, sir.

By the Chairman:
Question. Do you know what swearing to tell the truth is?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Suppose after you are sworn to tell the truth you should tell a lie; what would be done to you?

Answer. I do not know.

Atlanta, Georgia, October 21,1871.
MARIA CARTER (colored) sworn and examined.


By the Chairman:
Question. How old are yon, where were you born, and where do you now live?

Answer. I will be twenty-eight years old on the 4th day of next March: I was born in South Carolina; and I live in Haralson County now. Question. Are you married or single?

Answer. I am married.

Question. What is your husband's name?

Answer. Jasper Carter.

Question. Where were you on the night that John Walthall was shot?

Answer. In my house, next to his house; not more than one hundred yards from his house.

Question. Did any persons come to your house that night?

Answer. Yes, sir, lots of them; I expect about forty or fifty of them.

Question. What did they do at your house?

Answer. They just came there and called; we did not get up when they first called. We heard them talking as they got over the fence. They came hollering and knocking at the door, and they scared my husband so bad he could not speak when they first came. I answered them. They hollered, "Open the door." I said, "Yes, sir." They were at the other door, and they said, "Kindle a light." My husband went to kindle a light, and they busted both doors open and ran in -- two in one door and two in the other. I heard the others coming on behind them, jumping over the fence in the yard. One put his gun down to him and said, "Is this John Walthall?" They had been hunting him a long time. They had gone to my brother-in-law's hunting him, and had whipped one of my sisters-in-law powerfully and two more men on account of him. They said they were going to kill him when they got hold of him. They asked my husband if he was John Walthall. He was so scared he could not say anything. I said, "No." I never got up at all. They asked where he was, and we told them he was up to the next house. They jerked my husband up and said that he had to go up there. I heard them up there hollering "Open the door," and I heard them break the door down. While they were talking about our house, just before they broke open our door, I heard a chair fall over in John Walthall's house. He raised a plank then and tried to get under the house. A parcel of them ran ahead and broke the door down and jerked his wife out of the bed. I did not see them, for I was afraid to go out of doors. They knocked his wife about powerfully. I heard them cursing her. She commenced hollering, and I heard some of them say, "God damn her, shoot her." They struck her over the head with a pistol. The house looked next morning as if somebody had been killing hogs there. Some of them said, "Fetch a light here, quick;" and some of them said to her, "Hold a light." They said she held it, and they put their guns down on him and shot him. I heard him holler, and some of them said, "Pull him out, pull him out." When they pulled him out the hole was too small, and I heard them jerk a plank part off the house and I heard it fly back. At that time four men came in my house and drawn a gun on me; I was sitting in my bed and the baby was yelling. Thev asked, "Where is John Walthall?" I said, "Up yonder." They said, " Who lives here?" I said, "Jasper Carter." They said, "Where is John Walthall?" I said, "Them folks have got him." They said, "What folks?" I said, "Them folks up there." They came in and out all the time. I heard John holler when they commenced whipping him, They said, "Don't holler, or we'll kill you in a minute." I undertook to try and count, but they scared me so bad that I stopped counting; but I think they hit him about three hundred licks after they shot him. I heard them clear down to our house ask him if he felt like sleeping with some more white women; and they said, "You steal, too, God damn you." John said, "No, sir." They said, "Hush your mouth, God damn your eyes, you do steal." I heard them talking, but that was all I hoard plain. They beat him powerfully. She said they made her put her arms around his neck and then they whipped them both together. I saw where they struck her head with a pistol and bumped her head against the house, and the blood is there yet. They asked me where my husband's gun was; I said he had no gun, and they said I was a damned liar. One of them had a sort of gown on, and he put his gun in my face and I pushed it up. The other said, "Don't you shoot her." He then went and looked in a trunk among the things. I allowed they were hunting for a pistol. My hushand had had one, but he sold it. Another said, "Let's go away from here." They brought in old Uncle Charlie and sat him down there. They had a light at the time, and I got to see some of them good. I knew two of them, but the others I could not tell. There was a very large light in the house, and they went to the fire and I saw them. They came there at about 12 o'clock and staid there until 1. They went on back to old Uncle Charley's then, to whip his girls and his wife. They did not whip her any to hurt her at all. They jabbed me on the head with a gun, and I heard the trigger pop. It scared me and I throwed my hand up. He put it back again, and I pushed it away again.

Question. How old was your baby?

Answer. Not quite three weeks old.

Question. You were still in bed?

Answer. Yes, sir; I never got up at all.

Question. Did they interrupt your husband in any way?

Answer. Yes, sir; they whipped him mightily; I do not know how much. They took him away up the road, over a quarter, I expect. I saw the blood running down when he came back. Old Uncle Charley was in there. They did not carry him hack home. Thev said, "Old man, you don't steal." He said, "No." They sat him down and said to him, "You just stay here." Just as my husband got back to one door and stepped in, three men came in the other door. They left a man at John's house while they were ripping around. As they came back by the house they said, "By God, goodbye, hallelujah!" I was scared nearly to death, and my husband tried to keep it hid from me. 1 asked him if he had been whipped much. He said, "No." I saw his clothes were bloody, and tho next morning they stuck to him, and his shoulder was almost like jelly.

Question. Did you know this man who drew his gun on you?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Who was he?

Answer. Mr. Finch.

Question. Where does he live?

Answer. I reckon about three miles off. I was satisfied I knew him and Mr. Booker.

Question. Were they considered men of standing and property in that country?

Answer. Yes, sir; Mr. Finch is married into a pretty well-off family. He is a good liver, but he is not well off himself.

Question. How is it with Mr. Booker?

Answer. I do not know so much about him. He is not very well off.

Question. How with the Monroes?

Answer. They are pretty well-off folks, about as well off as there are in Haralson. They have a mill.

By Mr. Bayard:
Question. You said they had been looking a long time for John Walthall?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Had they been charging John with sleeping with white women?

Answer. Yes, sir; and the people where he staid had charged him with it. He had been charged with it ever since the second year after I came to Haralson. I have been there four years this coming Christmas.

Question. That was the cause of their going after him and making this disturbance?

Answer. Yes, sir; that was it. We all knew he was warned to leave them long before he was married. His wife did not know anything about it. When he first came there he was staying among some white women down there.

Question. Do you mean living with them and sleeping with them?

Answer. He was staying in the house where they were.

Question. White women?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Were they women of bad character?

Answer. Yes, sir; worst kind.

Question. What were their names?

Answer. They were named Keyes.

Question. How many were there?

Answer. There were four sisters of them, and one of them was old man Martin's wife.

Question. Were they low white people?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Had John lived with them for a long while?

Answer. Yes, sir. They had threatened him and been there after him. They had gone there several times to run them off. My house was not very far from them, and I heard them down there throwing rocks.

Question. Was it well known among you that John had been living with these low white women?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Did he keep it up after he was married?

Answer. No, sir; he quit before he was married. I heard that a white woman said he came along there several times last year and said he could not get rid of them to save his life.

Question. Did John go with any other white women?

Answer. No, sir; not that I know of.

Question. Was he accused by the Ku-Klux of going with any of them?

Answer. They did not tell him write down their names. I heard them say, "Do you feel like sleeping with any more white women?" and I knew who they were.

By the Chairman:
Question. These women, you say, were a low-down class of persons?

Answer. Yes, sir; not counted at all. Question. Did white men associate with them?

Answer. It was said they did.

Question. Did respectable white men go there?

Answer. Some of them did. Mr. Stokes did before he went to Texas, and several of the others around there. I do not know many men in Georgia any way; I have not been about much. I have heard a heap of names of those who used to go there. I came by there one night, and I saw three men there myself.

Question. You say John Walthall had been going there a good while?

Answer. Yes, sir; that is what they say.

Question. How long had he quit before they killed him?

Answer. A year before last, a while before Christmas. He was still staying at old man Martin's. I staid last year close to Carroll, and when I came back he had quit.

Question. Did he go with them any more after he married?

Answer. No, sir; he staid with his wife all the time. He lived next to me.

Question. How long had he bcen married before he was killed?

Answer. They married six weeks before Christmas, and he was killed on the 22d of April.

Question. Did they charge your husband with going after any white women?

Answer. No, sir; I never heard them say anything to him at all. The next morning I asked him what they whipped him for. He said they told him that he stole corn from old man Monroe. He staid at Monroe's a year and a half—so I was told; I do not know. People said that Monroe never paid him anything.

Question. How long before this was he living at old man Monroe's?

Answer. We have been married four years, and it was before we were married. I think it was the second year after he was free.

Question. Were any of these men along that night who had been going to see these low women?

Answer. I do not know; I heard that Mr. Murphy's sister said that he was in the crowd that night—his little sister—and I know he used to go there.

Question. Is he one of those who have gone to Texas?

Answer. No, sir.

By Mr. Bayard:
Question. You know that because somebody told you so?

Answer. Yes, sir; that much. I do not know it myself; I heard some one else say it.

--From the Report of the Joint Select Committee of the United States Congress to Inquire on the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States (1872)

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