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Black Battalion: Speech of Hon. Joseph B. Foraker of Ohio in the Senate of the United States, 1908

it can be covered in three minutes.  Allow a minute for delays in firing
and it is all done in four minutes.  The raid was carefully planned
and well timed.
  There is a confusion of testimony as to the use of revolvers by one or
more of the raiders.  No evidence  has been obtained that service re-
volvers had been surreptitiously taken and used: but it is well known
that at Fort Niobrara a search was made and several revolvers collected
from members of the battalion. They could have had them, and prob-
ably several of them were used. One bullet from a pistol was dug out
of a post near the Crixell saloon. Its source was not well established.
Testimony as to the sound of pistol shots was, under the circumstances,
not conclusive, nor of great importance.
                           JOHN HOLLOMAN.
  John Holloman, the chief conspirator and organizer of the raid, is an
interesting character.  He was serving his fourth enlistment, and had
been previously discharged with "character good," "character excel-
lent," "character very good."  His reputation among his fellow-soldiers
does not bear out his official character.  Said to be the offspring of a
small Jewish trader and a mulatto woman in middle Georgia, his posi-
tion as the battalion Shylock is accounted for.  He was not only a
money lender, charging 20 per cent usury and upward for fractions of
a month between pay days, but he was a successful gambler and card
  Half the battalion owed him money.  Even the impeccable first ser-
geant, Mingo Sanders, was in his debt at the time of the raid. He was,
moreover. the financial backer and half owner of the Allison saloon.
What of the battalion money he didn't get in usury and card playing he
received over the bar of his "bodega."   Boyd Conyers acted as one of
his clerks and runners.
  Perhaps the most singular omission in the record of the raid is in his
case. John Holloman's testimony was never taken at Brownsville or
anywhere else by army officers, government officials, not even by the
representative of the Constitution League. He appeared at neither the
Macklin or Penrose courts-martial nor before the Senate committee.
After his discharge-he disappeared in company with Sergeant Reid, one
of his chief aides in the conspiracy. They traveled for some months in
a negro minstrel troupe and then separated. Holloman is now in
Macon, Ga., where he is known to very few, even among his own color.
He keeps very much to himself. He lives with a woman who passes as
his wife and runs a small grocery in a negro suburb.
  It is worthy of note that John Holloman, at Macon; Boyd Conyers,
at Monroe;  Carolina de Saussure, at Savannah;  R. L. Collier, at
Barnesville; and John Brown, at Atlanta, brought five of the prin-
cipals into close touch. They have kept track of each other ever since
they were discharged.
  It is further noteworthy that it has been comparatively easy to
trace up the location of the former members of Companies C and D
and extremely difficult to find men of Company B, especially the
                                               HERBERT J. BROWNE.
             War Department, Washington, D. C.

                                       LOUISVILLE KY., May 6, 19O8.
W. G. BALDWIN, Roanoke, Va.:
  Arrived here this morning.   Have located James Howard at 1015
Thirteenth street, and will try to get board in the neighborhood.
  May 8.--Have gotten board two doors from Howard. Have met him
and hope to be able to get some information.  Have arranged to go out
with him either to-night or to-morrow night.
  May 10.--Was out with Howard last night. Talked freely over the
Brownsville matter, but does not seem to know very much about the
shooting. He tells me that he was not a member of Company B, but
that he was in Company D, and knew nothing whatever about the
shooting. This man is either telling the truth or he is a great deal
smarter than I gave him credit for being when I first saw him. I
have an engagement to go out with him to-night, and will try to sound
him further.
  May 11.--I was out with Howard last night and got him full of
whisky, and am satisfied now that he knows absolutely nothing about
the shooting.  He said that the soldiers had been badly treated by the
white people in Brownsville, and that he did not blame them for shoot-


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Black Battalion: Speech of Hon. Joseph B. Foraker of Ohio in the Senate of the United States, 1908



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