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

Affidavit of Lochran Hunter: Randolph County, Georgia, 1868 Sept. 28

date: September 28, 1868
extent: 3p
summary: This is the affidavit taken in Randolph County, Georgia on September 28, 1868 from Lochran Hunter, an eyewitness to the Camilla Riot and a twenty-five-year-old laborer in the employment of Robert Bacon of Mitchell County. Hunter states that although word of the violent intent on the part of the Camilla, Georgia townspeople towards the Republicans and freedmen who planned to hold a political rally in their town on September 19, 1868 was sent to his employer by Eppa Lawson, Hunter did not receive it in time and went to Camilla that day carrying a pistol, though no one had told him to do so. He states that it was James Johns who fired the first shots at the bandwagon and that those shots were followed by the shots of another white man before general firing began. Hunter escaped with other freedmen to the woods. In closing, he says that Republican party candidate for elector John Murphy and Republican congressional candidate Willaim P. Pierce told the procession prior to entering the town "to behave well, be quiet make no noise, go in orderly and shoot no guns."
repository: DeSoto Trail Regional Library (Camilla, Ga.)
collection: Civil Unrest in Camilla, Georgia, 1868

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State of Georgia
Randolph County [added text: ]]

Personally came before me Lochran Hunter Col'd [colored] who being duly sworn deposes and says that he is 25 years old and in the employment of Robert Bacon of Mitchell County that Robert Bacon went to Camilla on last Thursday and sent word to him by Eppa Lawson Col'd [colored], not to go to Camilla on Saturday to the Speaking as there would be trouble and difficulty there in store for them and that he told a good many of his hands the same thing to keep them at home,

Deponent further swears that he did not receive this information in time and that he went to Camilla armed with a pistol but did not receive any instructions or order from any body to take arms along, that he did not apprehend any difficulty there although he had heard it rumored amongst the colored people, that it had been said in Camilla

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that the colored people and Murphy and Pierce should not come there to hold a meeting, swears further that the wagon was stopped by James Johns who told them that he was commander of that town that they must stop the music and that he was going to shoot if they hit that drum another time and as he said it he fired at the wagon elevating his gun the muzzle of which had been pointed towards the ground in the direction of the wagon, After Johns firing one white man about five yards in front of the music Wagon fired immediately after him before any one else fired and with his fire a regular fire commenced from both sides - Deponent run off, got into the woods made his way home, was followed about 300 yards then got off in the woods and was not pursued any further, got home saturday night about Midnight.

Deponent further states that Mr. Pierce and Murphy

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told them before going into Camilla to behave well, be quiet make no noise, go in orderly and shoot no guns --

(Signed ) Lochran [added text: his] X [added text: mark] Hunter
Sworn to and subscribed before
me this 28th day of Sept. 1868 .
a true copy

[Signed] W. Frank Gallagher

Bvt Capt. [Brevet Captain] USA [United States Army] - AAAG

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