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

Affidavit of William Outlaw: Albany, Georgia, 1868 Sept. 23

author: Howard, O. H.
date: September 23, 1868
extent: 4p
summary: On September 19, 1868, William Outlaw, a twenty-four-year-old carpenter and the drummer in Peter Hines's band, accompanied a procession to a Republican politcal rally in Camilla, Georgia. In Albany, Georgia, on September 23, 1868, Outlaw gives his affidavit to O.H. Howard, subassistant commissioner for the Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia. Playing in the band, Outlaw was directly targeted in the violence that broke out in front of the Mitchell County Courthouse in Camilla on September, 19, 1868. Though he attempted to shield himself with his drum, he was wounded in the chest and the hip. In spite of his wounds, he was able to escape through a field and to hide safely in the swamp the remainder of the night. In closing his affidavit Outlaw states that the freedmen did not come to Camilla with intent to do violence, that most were unarmed, and that those who had arms had only a single round of ammunition or none at all.
repository: DeSoto Trail Regional Library (Camilla, Ga.)
collection: Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868

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Affidavit of William Outlaw, (colored.)

State of Georgia, -- -- -- Dougherty County;

[added text: 10X] Before me, O. H. HOWARD, Brevet Major United States Army,
2nd Lieut. [Lieutenant] 5th Artillery, S. A. [Sub Assistant] Commissioner Bureau R. F. & A.
L. [Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands], personally came William Outlaw, (Colored) P who, being duly sworn, deposes and [added text: [illegible text]] says that he is 24 years of age, that he is by occupation a carpenter, that on or about the 13th day of September 1868, he received a notice of a political meeting to be held at Camilla, Mitchell Co, Georgia, which meeting was to be addressed by Capt, Wm, P. Pierce, and others, that he, deponent went to Camilla, as a member of a band, to "beat the drum", and to hear the speaking, that the band was accompanied by a crowd of colored men women and children, that when the party were near Camilla, they were told that some freedmen in the advance had been told by whitemen from Camilla, to "come on," that they (the whites) were "ready for them", that deponent, was told that this was said by one James Johns ; that soon after

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this some men in buggies met the procession, and said that the "speaking". must be held at the place of [deleted text: [illegible text]] Dr Dasher, out of town, that deponent did not hear what was said, but was told by freedmen who were near these men, that about "One fourth of a mile from town", they, the freedmen, were met by a man on horseback, said to be the Sheriff of the County, who did not attempt to stop the procession ,but "wheeled his horse around" and rode for a short time by the side of the buggy in which were Capt. Pierce and Mr Putney, that as the band wagon entered the town, a man came toward the wagon, with a double barrelled shot gun in his hand, and said "Stop that music, if you dont stop it I'll shoot into you and shoot some of your brains out", that the music having stopped for a moment. to hear him, again "struck up", that deponent was looking directly at this man, and as the music began

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playing, this man raised his gun, and taking aim at the musicians, fired, that deponent, seeing him aiming, turned his drum to his side, to shield himself from the shot, that the instant this shot was fired, a volley was fired by the whites, that it was not until after being fired on by this party of whites; that the freedmen began to fire in return, that, deponent, was shot in the breast, and in the hip, that, he escaped into an old field, and fled to a swamp, that he saw, parties of whites pursuing the fugitive freedmen, through the fields, that these whites were all mounted, and shot down the fugitives as they overtook them, that deponent lay in the swamp till night, and then started for Albany, arriving about 4 oclock P,M, the next day,

Deponent further swears that the freedmen had no idea or intention of any trouble occurring, that a large portion of them had no arms

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and that many who had guns, had not loaded them at all, and that there was no ammunition, to load a second time, even among those who had charges in their guns,

William [added text: his] X [added text: mark] Outlan [Outlaw]
Sworn to and subscribed before me, at Albany,
Ga., 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] Commisioner [Commissioner],
Bureau Refugees, Freedmen & Ab'd Lands [Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands] .

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