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

Affidavit of Plenty Arnold: Dougherty County, Georgia, 1868 Sept. 25

author: Howard, O. H.
date: September 25, 1868
extent: 2p
summary: Plenty Arnold, a 31-year-old freedman and plantation worker, gives O.H. Howard, sub-assistant comissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia, his personal account of the events of September 19th 1868. On that day in Camilla, Georgia, violence broke out between Republicans together with freedman and the townspeople who opposed them. Arnold particularly details his fate, and that of several other freedmen, as they fled the town and were pursued by whites following the initial episode at the courthouse.
repository: DeSoto Trail Regional Library (Camilla, Ga.)
collection: Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868

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Affidavit of Plenty Arnold, (Colored.)
State of Georgia, -- Dougherty County;

[added text: 7X] 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 Plenty Arnold Cold [colored] who, being duly sworn, deposes and says that he is 31 yrs old and works on Fish & Flagg's Plantation. that he went to Camilla on the 19th of Sept. to attend a public speaking. that he did not expect any difficulty and thinks none of the freedmen on Mr Fish's Plantation did as only one of them had any arms and it was a little pistol, but on reaching Camilla he was with the wagon that had the music. and as soon as the wagon reached the public square a man (and the same one who met us three miles from town who I heard called Johns) came up to the wagon and orderd [ordered] the music stoped [stopped]. and threatened if it was not at once stopped he would he would shoot into them. He took his gun in his hands as though he intended to shoot & the music stoped [stopped] a moment but commenced. and Johns at once fired into the men in the wagon. and at the same instant a crowd of white men from the west side of town at a store fired about fifty shots and at the same time a Squad us from the south side at a store fired on us [deleted text: the crowd]

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I at once started for home on a mule but I was pursued by four white men on horse back [horseback] who I found would overtake mine & I jumped from my mule & went into a corn field near China Grove Church I stoped [stopped] in the field and when these men got to the Church they called to a freedmen to come out from under the church but not seeing [deleted text: the man] him they rode on following with their guns above their heads. they were following close onto Mr Murphy & Joiner who was only a short distance ahead of me. I left my mule and came through the woods reaching home about 9 oclock the same night. Deponent further swears that Mr. Murphy, Pierce & Putney told all of us that we must be orderly and give the people of Camilla no cause [deleted text: of] to trouble us and we would have our speeches and go home quietly. Murphy Pierce & Putney told us this at Tinsleys Mill where they overtook us. which was about five miles from Camilla

Plenty Arnold
His Mark
Sworn to and subscribed before me, at Albany,
Ga., this 25th day of September, A. D. 1868.
0. H. Howard
Brevet Major U. S. Army, 2nd Lieut. 5th Artillery, S. A. Commissioner,
Bureau Refugees, Freedmen & Ab'd Lands. [Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands]

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