ROANOKE DAILY RECORD.
Thursday, September 21, 1893
CITIZENS SHOT BY THE MILITARY
Ten Citizens Dead and Many Others Severely Wounded.
THE AUTHORITIES UNABLE TO CONTROL THE MOB.
Intense Excitement and Threats of Further Violence.
THE NEGRO IS LYNCHED
Details of the Horrible Affair and Full Particulars of the
Riot and Lynching.
An Attempt to Rescue a Prisoner for Murderously Assaulting
an Aged Lady Is Resisted by the Military, who, With
Others, Fire Upon the Crowd With Disastrous
Effect--The Negro Burned.
Roanoke is in mourning today. A funeral pall, as black as night, hangs over the city.
Men are sleeping the sleep that will know no waking until the resurrection trumpet awakens them to life and the final judgment.
Men are suffering upon couches with wounds more or less serious. Some of them will die, others will be crippled for life.
Mothers, wives, sisters, sweethearts are mourning for sons, husbands, brothers and lovers, some of whom are dead; others suffering agony.
Roanoke never before experienced such a night as September 20th, 1893. The most impious will pray God that she may never experience another like it. It is a dark, sad chapter in our history, besmeared with innocent blood, the shedding of which might have been averted.
BEGINNING OF THE TROUBLE.
The readers of the Record are familiar with the cause of this unprecedented harvest of death, but for the benefit of many, who may perchance, not be familiar with the facts we give a brief resume of the particulars of the assault.
Yesterday morning, early, Mrs. Sallie A. Bishop, wife of Henry Bishop, a farmer of Botetourt county, came to the city with products of the farm and garden to sell at the city market house. She brought some wild grapes, which had been gathered by her children, and these were displayed with other fruits and vegetables. Thomas Smith, a very black negro, who is married and lived in Vinton, approached her stand and inquired the price of the grapes, which was given. He said he would give 60 cents for them, if she would deliver them to Miss Hicks, near by, who wanted them for preserving. This Mrs. Bishop consented to do.
Smith was the woman's guide to Miss Hicks. He carried the grapes, and Mrs. Bishop, thinking he was honest, followed him without any suspicion of the thought of murder which lurked in his black heart. He led the way to Randolph street overhead bridge, and down the steps then to an alley way and into a building. As soon as they entered, Smith closed the door behind him and secured it. His next move was to turn suddenly upon the unsuspecting and unarmed old woman and peremptorily demanded her money.
Mrs. Bishop handed the negro her pocketbook, containing about $2 in money and asked him not to kill her. Heedless of her appeal, he drew a razor and grabbed her, with the intention of cutting her throat. A desperate struggle ensued in which Mrs. Bishop wrested the razor from Smith's hand and threw it to one side. He then grabbed up a brick bat, struck her over the head, how often no one knows, choked her into insensibility, and, supposing she was dead, left the scene of his crime.
Smith left the building and attempted to board a hopper of a coal train which was passing under the bridge, but he was pushed off by a colored brakeman. He then turned, broke into a dead run in the direction of Woodland Park.
A PITIFUL SIGHT.
How long Mrs. Bishop lay in her own blood upon the floor she cannot say, but she thinks it was fully half an hour, if not more, before she recovered consciousness. Blinded with blood, the sight of one eye temporarily destroyed, she groped her way to the street and in the direction of the market house, reaching the corner of Nelson street, directly opposite when she related her terrible experience to Jeff Akers, who occupies the corner store room. Others were there and heard her, and with the rapidity of lightning the tale of horror spread among the crowd usually found about the market, losing nothing in its passage from mouth to mouth, but as is always the case receiving increased coloring every time in it was repeated.
PURSUIT OF SMITH.
W. P. Blount, a cousin of Mrs. Bishop, to whose house on Tazewell Avenue she was subsequently taken, was standing near his house conversing with Samuel Ailiff. They noticed the fleeing negro and at the suggestion of the former determined to pursue him, knowing full well that there was some good cause for his headlong flight.
Just as Blount and Ailiff started after Smith they noticed a man rapidly approaching on horseback. He was Will G. Baldwin; chief of the Norfolk and Western detective force, who was at the market house, and learning of the crime, obtained a horse and started off with Jas. A. McConnell in a buggy, L. Blair, Sr., and others on horses to capture the assailant, who was overhauled near the Wood Novelty Works, by Baldwin and brought back to the city.
THE IDENTIFICATION COMPLETE.
Detective Baldwin, with the negro, behind and hugging him tightly around the waist with both arms, rode swiftly to a saloon to which Mrs. Bishop had been carried by sympathizing friends and was having her wound dressed. He whisked Smith off the horse and into the room, asking Mrs. Bishop if he was the man who assaulted her. One eye was useless and the sight of the other impaired. After a glance she said: "He looks like him; I think he is the man; if I could see his hat I could tell." Smith hastily took his hat from his head and threw it behind him, but the detective quickly picked it up and handed it to Mrs. Bishop, who, after examining it said: "He is the man."
ANOTHER RACE FOR LIFE.
Baldwin took Smith by the arm and came out into the crowd of now thoroughly maddened citizens, clamoring for blood. The intrepid detective led them to believe that Mrs. Bishop had failed to identify his prisoner as her assailant. Mounting his horse, the negro sprang up behind him and then began the second race for life.
Baldwin, after capturing Smith, had to gallop his horse through excited crowds of men, dogs, rocks, and call out frequently not to shoot. It was a perilous rid to saloon where Mrs. Bishop. . .from her to the jail was more. . . , if that be possible.
Off up Salem Avenue to Commerce, up Commerce to Campbell Avenue, went Baldwin. His horse was not a rapid runner, but it is safe to say that no course of training, however scientific will ever enable the animal to excel the time he made yesterday. As soon at the turn was made up Campbell avenue toward the jail a great shout went up. "Look out," "There comes Baldwin with him," "Make way," were some of the expressions heard, and the street was cleared.
It only required a few seconds for Baldwin to turn his horse around the corner of the jail and halt before the hall door on the west. Smith rolled off and Baldwin after him, and before the people realized what was being done the two men were behind the heavy door and Smith was being hurried to the steel cage on the second floor.
The Record has already acquainted the public with occurrences of the afternoon. From 1,000 to 2,000 people hung around the jail, quiet, but determined to have the life of Smith. Commonwealth's Attorney Hardaway and Mayor Trout made short speeches, each pleading their word that if the prisoner was the guilty man he should be punished to the full extent of the law. This seemed for the time being to have a quieting effect, but not for long. In less than an hour the vacant lot on the west of the building, and Campbell Street from Roanoke to Commerce were crowded.
It was apparent to the most casual observer that the people were only awaiting nightfall to make an attack on the jail. The authorities were advised to send Smith out of the city, but declined to do so, having determined to uphold the integrity of the law with the aid of the soldiery.
The Roanoke Light Infantry and the Jeff Davis Rifles, of Salem, were notified by Lieut. Col. Pole, of the Second Virginia Regiment, to hold themselves in readiness to respond to a call for their services.
Later in the afternoon a rumor obtained circulation that it was intended to send the prisoner to Wytheville for safe keeping, and the people quietly entered the jail yard and surrounded the building, determined to prevent this.
The Roanoke Light Infantry marched to the front of the jail and took up a position. This proceeding added first fuel to the flame, and many were the harsh expressions heard about those who had "called out the soldiery to protect a negro murderer."
NEWS FROM THE COUNTRY.
Occasionally a man would dash up Campbell Avenue on a horse, call some one from the crowd, whisper to him awhile, then wheel and dash away again. It soon became apparent that communication had been established between the city and the country. Later it was developed that several men had mounted horses and gone to the vicinity of Mrs. Bishop's home in Botetourt, and a large crowd of her friends and neighbors were expected to arrive in the city after nightfall. This accounted, in a measure, for the quiet demeanor of the mob, and the failure to attempt to take Smith from jail before the infantry arrived.
AN OMINOUS CHEER.
A few minutes after 7:30 a Record reporter was informed by a stranger that a meeting would at once be held on Jefferson Street, and at once hastily turned his feet in that direction. Near Henry, he heard a mighty cheer go up, to be succeeded by yells from hundreds of throats elsewhere. It was taken up and re-echoed by a thousand men and boys at the jail, and two men on horseback dashed up Campbell Street, shouting, "Rally men, Botetourt is here."
Campbell Street, between Jefferson and Henry, was a mass of surging humanity, moving rapidly toward the jail.
THE FIRST ATTACK.
Capt. Bird stationed six men in front of the entrance to the police court, instructed them to permit one to enter. The face of each soldier was set with a determination to obey. The mob gathered closer and finally made a rush, but the boys in uniform refused to give an inch and by using their bayonets, repulsed the mob. Comparative quiet was restored and jokes were exchanged between the members of the attacking party and the defenders in front.
THE SECOND ATTACK.
At 8 o'clock a wild rush was made for the west side of the building, it having been agreed to make the attack there. The soldiers on the streets were withdrawn into the police court room and four stationed at the window near the partition which separates it from the entrance hall to the cells. There was one more policemen in the room. Col. Pole, Judge Turner and several others whose names the reporter does not remember.
The mob first attacked the hallway door, striking several licks against it with some heavy instrument, before any attack was made on the window.
Presently a glass in the window, the lower sash of which had been removed, was shattered, and then came another crash. At this juncture.
THE HARVEST OF THE BLOOD COMMENCED.
There are disputes about where the first shot was fired from, some saying an upper window of the jail, others the window upon which the assault was made, and where the members of the Light Infantry were seated with the muzzles of their muskets pointed in the face of the besiegers, and still others that it came from among the mob.
Snap shots could be heard over town all afternoon, and frequently last night, but they were not directed at anyone. The reporter was in the police court room and may, perchance, be mistaken, but he is quite certain, and in this he will be borne out by not less than 1,000 people, that the first gun was fired from the inside of that room.
There was a volley, report succeeding report in rapid succession, and probably 150 shots in all were fired. The reporter, after partial quiet had been restored, stepped to the front door and saw a man lying dead on Campbell avenue, his feet towards the north. On the payment there was another body lying motionless. He started toward the body in the street, but was waved to come back by one of the Light Infantry.
S. A. Vick, proprietor of the St. James Hotel.
William Sheets, a fireman of the Norfolk and Western.
Charles Whitmyer, a conductor on the Norfolk and Western.
J. B. Tyler, of the Blue Ridge, a section master on the Norfok and Western.
George White, shot through the leg and bled to death.
W. E. Hall, fireman on the Norfolk and Western.
W. Jones, engineer on the Norfolk and Western.
John Mills, of Back Creek, Roanoke county, a farmer and a stiller
George Settles, of Vinton, shot in the head.
Emmett J. Small, of Northwest Roanoke.
O. C. Falls, member of Friendship Fire Company mortally wounded.
Will Eddy, shot through the groin.
George O. Munroe, shot in the head.
Frank Wills, shot in the arm.
Thomas Nelson, leg shot off.
Leroy White, shot in the back.
J. B. McGehee, shot in the leg; flesh wound.
_____Sheppard shot in leg.
E. J. Small, shot in the stomach.
J. E. Powell, shot through the body.
J. E. Wayland, clerk in the post office, shot in the leg.
George Leigh, clerk at the Ponce de Leon Hotel, flesh wound in the leg.
Waller P. Huff, knocked down and ankle badly sprained.
Mayor H. S. Trout, shot in the foot.
J. H. Campbell.
C. P. North.
O. B. Taylor.
N. E. Sparks.
T. E. Nelms, foot shot off.
Charlie Moten, colored.
A colored woman, name unknown, shot in the head.
Wm. Berry, shot in the leg.
George O. Munroe, shot in the back of head.
W. H. Karnes, wounded in right hand.
Sarah Dooley, colored, shot in hand.
David Kennedy, wounded over right eye.
M. N. White, flesh wound in the thigh.
N. Dooley, slight wound in hand.
Wilson Wertz, wrist hurt.
VENGEANCE CLAIMS ITS OWN.
But though baffled for a time by the removal of the prisoner from jail, the mob was not to be cheated of its vengeance. Dispersing in squads through the city, the residence of every city official and policeman was vigilantly guarded, as well as every point along the railroad where it would be possible to put the prisoner on a train.
Deceived by the apparent quietude, Sergeant Griffin and Officers Austin and Eakin, who had hurried the prisoner through the rear yard of the courthouse and across the river beyond the south-western limits of the city, endeavored about 3 o'clock to return with Smith to the jail.Near the corner of Commerce Street and FranklinRoad some twelve or fifteen men sprang suddenly from the weeds in a vacant lot, and, with cocked guns and revolvers, demanded the surrender of the prisoner.
The officers looked into the eyes and pistol barrels of the group, and seeing the men meant business and that there was no hope of effectual resistance, turned the prisoner over to the men who gave the police a gentle hint to take another direction, and hurried Smith up FranklinRoad and into the Mountain Avenue.
ON TO THE TREE.
D. V. Reed, who resides at the corner of Franklin Road and Mountain Avenue, saw a group of a dozen men come up the avenue, followed by half dozen more, who were dragging the negro. When immediately beneath the electric light lamp the negro shouted: "Oh, Lord, have mercy upon me!" but his captors hurried him on a few steps to a hickory tree, adjusted a noose about his neck, swung him to a limb, and fired a volley, which was succeeded by two straggling shots. The tree which bore such ghastly fruit is nearly opposite Officer Talley's house, where, as it will be remembered, Lavender was seized on the night of his lynching in January, 1892.
Many of the neighbors saw the hanging, and the shots soon attracted an immense crowd, which swelled constantly until by daylight it seemed as though the entire city had poured out to view the swaying form of the negro, his soiled shirt, front dabbled with blood, a true hangman's knot adjusted beneath his ear, on his back a card bearing the inscription: "Mayor Trout's Friend," and lower down another inscribed: "Do not cut him down. By order of Judge Lynch," While to his coat tail was pinned a copy of the Times containing an account of the lynching.
His eyes protruded from their sockets, his tongue hung down upon his chin and a more horrible spectacle never greeted a glorious autumn sunrise than the body of the wretch on account of whose crime half a score of gallant men had laid down their lives, and twice as many more been wounded.
The scene was viewed by thousands of curious spectators, many of whom eagerly struggled for small pieces of the rope, or stripped fragments from the coat of the dead man until, the upper portion of the body was almost devoid of clothing.
AT THE MORGUE.
An immense crowd was gathered until a later hour of the night in the front and rear of Oakey and Woolwine's undertaking establishment, peering through the windows at the ghastly sights within. A reporter's face is the "open sesame," however, to almost every imaginable scene of pain or pleasure, and the Record representative was readily admitted into the morgue, where a few friends were gathered sadly and angrily around the stiff, stark forms, which were receiving the last ministrations at the hands of Mr. Woolwine and his assistants, who busied themselves in sewing up the bleeding wounds, and preparing the bodies for the last long slumber.
On this table lies the body of S. A. Vick, an old citizen and well known hotel keeper, on another is that of W. E. Hall, a fireman of the Lynchburg division, close at hand is the corpse of Jos. B. Tyler, track walker, and here also are the bodies of C. A. Whitmire, a conductor on the Radford division, W. C. Sheets, fireman of passenger train No. 210, on the Roanoke and Southern railroad. The later was shot in the head, but all the rest were wounded in the breast, side or back, the terrible bullets ploughing their way entirely through the bodies of some of the stricken men.
THE CORONER'S JURY.
About 9 o'clock Coroner Dr. H. V. Gray summoned the following jury to hold an inquest over the body of Smith.
W. P. Camp, F. O. Williams, W. A. Burke, J. H. Curry, D. H. Summers, E. W. Staples.
The jury assembled and viewed the body as hanging from the tree. Their verdict, as ascertained from the evidence, was that Thomas Smith came to his death at the hands of parties unknown to the jury, who took him from the custody of the officers of the law and hanged and shot him until he was dead.
SMITH'S DEAD BODY.
The body was ordered to be taken in charge by the city, but before this could be done a crowd of over two hundred present at the time of holding the inquest rushed forward and some among them cut down the body. A coal cart passing near. . .
THE MOB DISSUADED.
It was then hauled to Mayor Trout's residence, on Campbell Avenue it seemingly to be the intention of the mob to bury it in his front yard. At this critical moment Rev. W. C. Campbell appeared upon the scene and told the mob that such procedure would never do. He spoke kindly to them, and at last dissuaded them from carrying out their plan.
THE BODY BURNED.
The body during this time had not been removed from the cart, so at the suggestion of some one in the crowd, they took the body over to the edge of the river to burn it. The place the selected was between the narrow gauge railroad and the river just beyond the narrow gauge bridge. Fences were torn down, store-boxes taken and some one with an ax cut down several cedar trees near by. The dry wood was laid in a large pile, but arranged so it would burn freely, and on this heap the negro's body was laid. On top of all the cedar boughs were thrown, and then, just before touching the match to it, two gallons of coal oil were poured on the dry wood. The match was touched to it and the flames from the burning oil shot rapidly up. It was an awful sight and all present felt as if the fiend had met his just punishment. It was not long before the crowd dispersed, but all the morning long men and sometimes an occasional woman, were seen going toward the place of burning in squads of three to five. Every one that went seemed to wish to contribute something to the blaze by throwing a twig or chip on it. All that was remaining of Smith at noon was a few ashes and here and there a bone, but the fire was still burning fiercely and those standing around said that is should burn till there was not a vestige left.
THE INQUEST TO BE CONTINUED.
The same coroners jury resolved to hold the inquest over the bodies of those killed in the riot last night, and for this purpose adjourned till 2 o'clock this afternoon.
Thomas W. Miller, offered his services to the jury as a legal advisor and said he would furnish also a stenographer. Like offers were also made and accepted from W. A. Glasgow, Jr., and Judge William Gordon Robertson.
[Further particulars will be given in the regular edition of the Record at 4 p.m.]
The Richmond Planet
Richmond, Virginia, Saturday, September 30, 1893
THE MOB AT ROANOKE
They Burn their Victim.
Nine of the Lynchers Shrouded.
Mayor Trouts Position.
Captain Bird Carried Out His Sworn Obligation.
Militia Men Obey Orders.
Roanoke, Va. Sept. 21. - The colored man, Thomas Smith, who is alleged to have robbed and beaten Mrs. Rallie Bishop yesterday morning in this city met an awful fate.
The infuriated mob, driven almost to frenzied madness by the fearful slaughter of nine of the their number by the military last night, redoubled their numbers and energies until the officers and soldiers were pigmies at their bands. They were not content with hanging the man by the neck until dead, but went further, and wreaked out their awful vengeance by burning the lifeless body until only a handful of ashes and broken bones were left, when they turned and went their way.
VENGEANCE FOR THE MAYOR.
The hope of the conservative citizens that the mob, after exterminating Smith would be satisfied, was not realized. The next object of the ungovernable wrath was Mayor Trout, whom they deemed responsible for the death of the nine citizens last night and it was not until they were assured, beyond all doubt, that he was not in the city did they cease their search for him. Had he been caught by that frenzied mob at that time no power could have saved him.
Now that the excitement is over, reaction and retrospection follow, bringing with it scenes so appalling as to beggar description.
DETAILS OF THE AFFAIR
The mob held possession of the streets all night, parties searching every portion of the city for Mayor Trout and the prisoner; Thomas Smith, who had been spirited away while J. Allen Watts and Judge Woods, of the Hastings Court, were addressing the crowd, who were taking arms and ammunition from the hardware stores of Nelson & Myers and Evans and others. Feeling ran high against Mayor Trout, who had he been caught and unable to point out Smiths whereabouts, would have speedily been hanged beyond doubt. Mr. Trout and nearly every member of the Roanoke Light infantry had meanwhile left the city.
THE COLORED MAN GIVEN UP.
Officers Eaken and Austin who had the colored man secured in bushes on the banks of the Roanoke River one and a half mile from the jail, started towards the Courthouse square.
While proceeding along FranklinRoad, near Ninth Avenue, and about half way between the starting point and the prison, ten or fifteen men sprang up and out of the high weeds in a vacant lot over the fence and demanded the surrender of the Negro. The officers surrendered him.
THE VICTIM'S AGONY.
The now cowering man was dragged a short distance back up the avenue to a hickory tree beneath an electric street light.
Here he exclaimed, "The Lord have mercy on me." The hangmans noose was quickly adjusted around his neck, the other end thrown over a limb, and soon the unfortunate man was dangling between heaven and earth. Pistols flourished in the air, and the swaying body became a target for the bullets, five landing in the breast and two in the head.
A DISGRACEGUL INSCRIPTION
One placard was placed beneath the dead mans shoulders bearing the inscription: "Mayor Trouts friend." Another on the middle of the back was inscribed "Dont cut him down. By order of Judge Lynch." Pinned to the waistband of the pants was a copy of the Times, issued at 4 A. M., giving an account of the execution.
The lynchers returned quietly to the jail and mingled with the great crowd which still lingered there and near. Daylight came and with it a steady through of people moving toward the scene of the lynching.
Thousands of men, women and children were begging for a piece of rope, the Negros clothing or a twig from the tree. A man stood by with a knife in hand and handed each a momento of the tragedy.
THE BODY BURNED TO ASHES
About ten oclock this morning a large crowd of the rioters reassembled around the tree on which Smith was hanging, cut him down, dumped the body into a passing coal cart, which was impressed into service, and took up the line of march to Mayor Trouts residence. It was first proposed to drag the body there with a rope, but Rev. Dr. Campbell of the First Presbyterian Church, and Rev. W. A. Hammer, of Green Memorial, each made a short address, begging that this be not done. The mob yielded to their entreaties.
TO BURY SMITH IN THE MAYOR YARD.
On arriving at the Mayors home, on West Campbell Avenue, preparations were hastily made for digging a grave in the front yard and interring the body there. Again Dr. Campbell came forward and dissuaded the mob from this purpose. Again the line of march was taken up, the crowd moving westward with the cart and its deadly freight. Arriving on the river side near the palatial residence of R. H. Woodram a halt was called. Immediately plank fences were torn down to build a funeral pyre.
Planks were piled up there covered with dry cedar boughs, and on the whole several gallons of kerosene was poured. Preparations were completed and the body dragged to the pile and laid upon it. A lighted match was applied and the combustible material and the body was soon enveloped in flames. When the fire burned low more plank was thrown on and around it. When a member of the body became separated from the rest it was pushed back with a pole. This performance was kept up until all that remained of Thomas Smith was a small pile of ashes.The
MISGUIDED LEADERS OF THE MOB.
The scene at the morgue of Oakey and Woolwine was distressing in the extreme. The bodies of B. A. Vick, W. E. Hall, Joseph B. Tyler, C.A. Whitmore and W.U. Shouts, all with the exception of the first named, employee of the Norfolk and Western railroad, some stretched upon boards and undergoing the process of embalming. The building was surrounded by hundreds of friends and relatives clamoring for admittance but only a few were gratified. In the drug stores of Fox and Christian and Charles Lyle, and in the offices of Drs. Luck and Gale, there were several dead and dying. Rev. Hammer passed from one place to another administering the consolation of religion to the sufferers.
CAPTAIN BIRD'S CROSS EXAMINATION.
Just after Mayor Trout left us, Mr. Baldwin came and asked me to send a squad down to Nelson Myerss and charge the mob who were getting arms there, and I told him I had no orders to do so, therefore I could not. I asked him to go and quietly get thirty men and bring them to police headquarters and I would arm them, as I had plenty of arms. He said it would be impossible to get that many men. I then said I would stay there and hold the jail. The order to fire was only given to the squad of four men at the west window. Ten rounds of ammunition were placed in the boxes, and when the second squad arrived at police headquarters ten more rounds were placed in each box, thus filling the boxes.
THE POWER OF A CORONER'S JURY.
A split then took place between Mr. Williams, of the jury, and the coroner as to having the Commonwealths Attorney present before the jury and giving advice or a statement as to the legal points involved.
Mr. Hardaway: A coroners jury was to obtain the information as to how, when, why, and by what means a party came to his death; a grand jury indicts a coroners jury cant do this. A thorough investigation will be made by a special grand jury and while I do not want to derogate anything from the importance of the coroners jury, for this is very important, I do not think it necessary for the coroners jury to accuse any particular person or persons, for they have not the power to punish one.
From the conduct of the crowd in front of the jail, asked Mr. Williams, and to the west of the jail could you distinguish a citizen from the mob.
WHO CONSTITUTES A MOB.
I considered them all citizens till they broke through my picket line, when I considered them all as part of the mob, and their conduct showed them to have been such.
How long after this door at the west side of the jail was attacked did the firing commence?
The only way I can judge is by what I did during the time: it was no less than ten minutes. I could not see what they had to pound on the door with, but I thought they had a ram. The pounding was considerable. I considered it my duty to order the squad to fire to protect the door.
THE CAPTAIN GAVE THE ORDER.
I ordered the squad to get ready and aim in a loud voice, so all could hear and get away. I ordered "fire" low, so it could not be construed as a general order to fire, I only gave one order to the squad in front, and that was "cease firing."
Do you know whether or not the other squads did fire? I heard shots, but do not know whether they fired or not, as I saw no empty shells. They may have been ordered to fire, as there were three officers there who had the authority to order them to fire-Lieutenant Monn, Colonel Pole, and the Mayor.
HE WOULD HAVE SHOT THEM.
I do not know whether any of the citizens who asked me to leave the jail for our lives were in the mob or not but they came after all the people had cleared away, and I considered them citizens; but there were men in that mob who, had they attempted to come into the jail I surely would have shot them. I did not consider it necessary to have orders from Mayor Trout to fire; as I was to guard the prisoner at my peril, and so considered that when necessary I could order to fire.
MAJORITY OF THE LAW.
I did not read the order before I was ready to leave the armory, and then I found that the order was not witnessed by two citizens, as required by law, so I sent Lt. Moss back to Mayor Trout to have them properly witnessed which was done, and I did not move my men till this was done.
This concluded the Captains testimony. The orders were called for, but had not yet been received by Colonel Pole. When they come into his hands, they can be seen by the jury.
Some excitement was caused here this morning by a type written communication received by the members of the Roanoke Light Infantry who were on duty Wednesday night at the jail. It was as follows: Headquarters Vigilant Committee, Roanoke, Va. Sept. 22nd , 1893, To - City.
Sir. Prepare yourself to meet your Creator, one day longer in Roanoke and you will sleep the sleep of the brave, We want your blood. You shot our friends.
Yours for the administration of justice. 168 CITIZENS.