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

Affidavit of Goliath Kendrick: Albany, Georgia, 1868 Sept. 23

author: Howard, O. H.
date: September 23, 1868
extent: 4p
summary: Goliath Kendrick, a twenty-four-year-old freedman and a worker on the Orr plantation in Mitchell County, tells of his survival of the Camilla riot in his affidavit given to Freedmen's Bureau subassistant commissioner O.H. Howard in Albany, Georgia on Sept. 23, 1868. The Camilla Riot took place when Republicans together with freedmen came to Camilla, Georgia on September 19, 1868 and were met there with violent opposition from the townspeople. Kendrick, along with four or five others from the Orr plantation, joined the Republicans and freedmen in the procession to Camilla that day. He states that neither he nor the others were anticipating any violence, though he clearly saw James Johns fire the shots when the incident began. He and his friends fled quickly with the other freedmen, but he seperated from them and went home through the woods to the Orr plantation. His friends did not survive.
repository: DeSoto Trail Regional Library (Camilla, Ga.)
collection: Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868

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Affidavit of Goliath Kendrick (Freedman)

State of Georgia, -- -- -- -- Dougherty County ;
[added text: 14x]

Before me, O. H. Howard, Brevet Major United States Army, 2nd Lieut. 5th Artillery, S. A. [Sub Assistant] Commissioner Bureau R. F. & A. L. [Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands], personally came Goliath Kendrick, a freedman who, being duly sworn, deposes and says that he is about twenty four years, old, that he has been at work during this, year at the Orr plantation in Mitchel [Mitchell] County until yesterday morning. Deponent states that he learned from a printed advertifsment [advertisement] that there would be a speech there, that he read it himself, that he never was told by any body to bring arms along and did not previously learn that anybody in Camilla objected to their coming there to speak. He went [added text: with four or five others] from the Orr place to China Grove Church [deleted text: by himself], there he met five or six men of which one had a double barrel shot gun. A waggon [wagon] with [deleted text: a] men, who had fifes and drums followed by a small number of colored men and a good many women and children pafsed [passed] by while deponent was there, deponent went on towards Camilla on a by road with the men he met at China Grove Church, he did not hear any body whatever speaking of the probability of a fuss or disturbance

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taking place in Camilla, Deponent further states that about six miles from Camilla they met an other crowd of colored people numbering about twenty five or thirty [deleted text: [illegible text]] mostly men of which ten or twelve had double barreled shotguns, but the majority of them only walking sticks. None of them expressed any knowledge of the probability of a fight in Camilla but seemed very anxious for the speakers to come on and make their speeches as they wanted to get back home as soon as possible as they had a good deal of cotton to pick.

Deponent was not present, when James Johns [deleted text: [illegible text]] met the colored people on the road, neither did he hear the Sheriff of Mitchel County talk to them. Deponent states further that he was within a few steps of the band waggon [wagon], when James Johns, whom he knows personally as a watch repairer in Camilla, walked up tow ards the waggon [wagon] within about eight or ten steps holding [added text: & moving] his gun over his head crying: ,, Stop beating that drum" cursing at the same time, the drum was stopped

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a moment and a colored man [added text: Sam Dickerson] on a mule, [deleted text: hold] near the band waggon [wagon] spoke to Johns : Mr [deleted text: [illegible text]] Johns you know me, we do not mean any harm". Johns replied: God d - n you, do'nt [don't] tell me nothing, if you want to fight here is your mule and while saying this he took up his gun which had been directed to the ground and cursing [deleted text: and] fired it off holding, [added text: it] straight forward in the direction of the waggon [wagon] . Deponent states positively that he saw the flash of the gun that it was the first one fired and was not [deleted text: [illegible text]] fired towards the ground but straight forward in the direction of the waggon [wagon] Deponent further states that immediately after this shot a heavy volley was fired from and about Heeths Store, about fifteen white men standing outside and a much larger . number inside of the store, of which he saw several firing at that moment.

While this firing was going on the colored people generally discharged their firearms but many had already comenced [commenced] fleeing and it was [deleted text: not] but a very short time, at [deleted text: [illegible text]] his best judgement [judgment] not more than one third or one half a minute at best until all the colored people were in full fleight [flight] deponent amongst them. He fled through fields

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, John Slaughter, Doby Daniels and Robert Robertson cold [colored] ; some white men in pursuit of them came nearly up with them in a field of Dr Dashers and shooting at them rapidly [deleted text: [illegible text]] He separated there from his friends and took the woods by himself . The dead bodies of Monroe Jurdan from Fred . Polhills place, and of John Watson and John Slaughter were seen in their coffins at Camilla by Robert Elliss cold [colored] and Albert Morris [deleted text: [illegible text]] [illegible text] Sunday. last at Camilla ., while engaged in carrying away the body of Barney Morris .

.When deponent left them they were about two miles from Camilla some distance from Dr Dashers house. Deponent got to the Orr place [deleted text: Sunday] [added text: Saturday] a little before Sun down; but receiving information through the colored people, that James Collins, a white man near by had said that [deleted text: [illegible text]] deponent [added text: had] better look out as him and Chelsey Hooper cold [colored] would be killed before the end of the weak [week] for having acted prominently as Secretary etc for the Republican Club and having drilled the colored people after night in the yard, which deponent says is a falsehood as far as the drilling is concerned, left the plantation.

[Signed] Goliath Kendrick

Sworn to and subscribed before me, at Albany,
Ga. [Georgia], this 23d day of September, A. D. 1868 .

[Signed] O. H. Howard

Brevet Major U. S. Army,
2nd Lieut. [Lieutenant] 5th Artillery, S. A. [Sub Assistant] [Commissioner], Bureau Refugees, Freedmen & Ab'd Lands [Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands] .

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