Digital Library of Georgia > Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868

Affidavit of Squire Acre: Albany, Georgia, 1868 Sept. 25


author: Howard, O. H.
date: September 25, 1868
extent: 3p
summary: Squire Acre, a 53-year-old freedman and plantation worker, gives O.H. Howard, sub-assistant commissioner of Georgia's Freedmen's Bureau, his personal account of the events of September 19,1868, the date of an outbreak of violence between Republicans together with freedmen and the townspeople of Camilla who opposed them. After the initial shots were fired, Acre fled the scene, though he was pursued for six miles by three or four white men until he escaped into the woods.
subjects:
repository: DeSoto Trail Regional Library (Camilla, Ga.)
collection: Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868


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State of Georgia, -- Dougherty County;

Before me, 0. H. HOWARD, Brevet Major United States Army, 2nd Lieut. 5th Artillery, S. A. Commissioner Bureau R. F. & A. L. [Sub-assistant Commissioner Bureau of Freedmen, Refugees, and Abandoned Lands], personally came Squire Acrecold [colored], who, being duly sworn, deposes and says that on Saturday the 19th inst [instant] he started from Ambrose Wright's plantation in Dougherty County to attend a public speaking atCamilla Mitchell County Geo. [Georgia] on that day. Deponent further states that he never heard there was any difficulty expected but on the contrary Mr Putney told him there would be no difficulty that they would all go there and have a civil time and all come back home and that he was not armed nor had he been told to go armed &that he went alone to China grove where Mr Putney told him to go as there would be some cold [colored] people there and to tell them not to make any disturbance nor to march but to go as they usually do and there would be no excuse on the part of the white people to disturb us. Deponent states that he did tell these people what Mr Putney told him to tell them, and they said there is but few guns and only some of them loaded and with bird & squirrel shot and they said no person will disturb us for we will behave ourselves. Deponent further states that while he was at China grove the band wagon came up & we all started for Camilla and when we was in about 3 miles of "Camilla"


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James Johns (white) came from the east side of the road in a gallop with a double barrell gun on his shoulder he came up to me and said have any of you seen Dr Jenkins riding a gray horse. me & Mr Maples was having some hewing done and a limb fell on a freedman and crippled him and he wanted a Dr. & I am on the look of him if you see him tell him to come on to town as quick as he can get there. Deponent said that Johns asked him where they were all going & when told to Camilla to have a speach he said that drum can not go into Camilla and he Deponent seen no more of Johns until he met him on the public square with a double barrell shot gun he was swearing& much excited, and said stop that drum or he would shoot into them. They stopped for a moment but commenced again when Johns fired both barrels of his gun into the band wagon. and then a squad of men fired from the 2 stores on the west side of town, and a squad from the [deleted text: town] stores on the south side of town. as soon as the fireing [firing] commenced Deponent was struck by a bullet in the shoulder and at once started to leave the town following close behind Mr Murphy & Phillip [Philip] Joiner. I had scarcly [scarcely] started when I was followed by 3 or 4 white men mounted who followed me six miles and finding my mule could not keep out of their


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reach I jumped from my mule and went to the woods and escaped. and these men followed Mr Murphy and Joiner. Deponent further swears that these men that followed him kept shouting at him until he left his mule. He further states that he seen one dead cold [colored] man on the square in Camilla just as he started from the town. Deponent states that "these men" kept after Mr Murphy & Joiner who was some little distance ahead of him when he left his mule. he states that he is 53 years old and works on the adjoining plantation to Mr Putney and Flag and that they have always at their speaking on these (gentlemens plantations), been advised to be peacable.

His mark
X
Squire Acre
Sworn to and suscribed before me, at Albany,
Ga. [Georgia], this 25th day of September, A. D. 1868.
0. H. Howard Brevet Major U. S. Army,
2nd Lieut. [Lieutenant] 5th Artillery, S. A. Commissioner,
Bureau Refugees, Freedman & Ab'd [Abandoned] Lands.

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