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

  "I found the effect of the letter from Senator FORAKER to Conyers
extremely obstructive.  He seemed to regard it as a mandate to adhere
to the false story told by him before the Senate Committee on Military
Affairs, and as absolving him from any and all obligations to aid in
uncovering the truth.  Similar influences were encountered at many
points, adding largely to the difficulty of obtaining admissions of even
the most obvious facts relative to the raid.
                                            "HERBERT J. BROWNE."
  Subscribed and sworn to before me this 9th day of December, 1908.
  [SEAL.]                            J. B. RANDOLPH, Notary Public.
                             THE GUARD.
  Analyzing the admitted facts and recorded testimony concerning the
guard on the night of August 13-14, 1906, the following is presented:
  The guard consisted of 17 men, to wit:
  Sergt. J. R. Reid, Company B, in charge.
  Corpl. Ray Burdett, Company B.
  Corpl. Anthony Franklin, Company B.
  Corpl. Samuel Wheeler, Company D. on post.
  Musician Hoyt Robinson, Company D.
  Pvt. Boyd Conyers, Company B.
  Pvt. Carolina de Saussure, Company B.
  Pvt. Lawrence Daniels, Company B.
  Pvt. Frank Bounsler, Company C
  Pvt. R. L. Collier, Company C.
  Pvt. Joseph Rogers, Company C.
  Pvt. Andrew Mitchell, Company C.
  Pvt. S. M. Battle, Company D.
  On post:
  No. 1, Pvt. B. F. Johnson, Company D.
  No. 2, Pvt. Joseph Howard, Company C.
  No. 3, Pvt. Charley Hairston. Company B.
  No. 4, Pvt. Alexander Ash, Company D.
  None of the men on post is implicated in the charges as active partici-
pants in the raid.
  Of the men on relief Pvt. Boyd Conyers's statements directly affect
himself and Pvt. Carolina de Saussure as two of the principal partici-
pants and ringleaders, and Sergt. J. R. Reid as having guilty knowledge
before and after the raid, using his position to aid in covering and pro-
tecting the raiders.
  There is strong circumstantial evidence pointing to the participation
of Pvt. R. L. Collier in the raid and guilty knowledge after the raid on
the part of several of the guard relief.  Of the relief guard, noncom-
missioned officers and men alike, none could have escaped some knowl-
edge of the more or less incriminating evidence against the guardsmen
now directly charged with participation in the raid.
  The guardhouse, situated cast of the center of the parade, had a west-
front entrance, with rooms for the noncommissioned officers to the right
and left of the entrance, a general bunk room for the privates, a rear
door leading into a sally port which crossed the building entirely from
north to south, open at each end, and separating the front portion from
the prison cells in the rear. This rear door of the front portion fur-
nished an easy and safe exit and entrance for the conspirators without
 passing the sentinel in front. The latrine was at the rear of the build-
ing, separate therefrom, and the men customarily went out the rear door
and through the sally port to reach it.  An absence of ten or fifteen
minutes would not attract especial attention.
  There was a bright light from a lamp in the guardroom, according
to the testimony of Pvt. Joseph Rogers, who claims to have been read-
ing a novel when the firing began. His original statement was that
he was asleep on his bunk when the firing began and that he was
awakened by Sergeant Reid. His various statements are confused and
contradictory--he is evidently lying--but as to there being a light in
the guardhouse, there has been no denial. Rogers had been court-mar-
tialed five times. The existence of the light is also proved by the
statement of Private Johnson.
  Attention is directed to the singular fact that no statement under
oath was taken from Sergt. J. R. Reid, though a vitally important wit-
ness.  On page 75, Senate Document No. 402, appears a brief summary
of his statement (not under oath) to Maj. A. P. Blocksom, to the
effect that he did not have the call to arms sounded until the shots
came so fast that he thought the post was attacked.  He stated also
that be formed the guard before having the call sounded.
  From this point Reid disappears as a witness.  He was serving his
fourth enlistment.  He was discharged without honor November 16,


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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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