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

402, p. 121.)  Anderson claims to have been asleep (S. Doc. 402, p.
153), and John B. Anderson, his "bunkie," says that he saw him when
he awoke.  Very little testimony of identification was brought out, and
it would have been of very doubtful value at best, if for no other reason
than that the barracks were in total darkness.  Sergeant Jackson claims
to have unlocked the racks by aid of a tallow candle.  Jimerson testi-
fied that he was asleep.  (S. Doc. 4o2, p. 149.)  Cooper, Johnson, Jones,
and Lemons  gave identical testimony that they were asleep.  This was
all before Lieutenant-Colonel Lovering at Brownsville, September 25,
1906.  They do not appear again.
  Henry Jimerson had a bad reputation as a trouble maker and tough.
  Henry Jones was a bully and notorious from picking quarrels with
  William Lemons was a tough.  He deserted at Fort Reno, was cap-
tured and given six months in prison.
  Carolina de Saussure was notably a hard case and reckless.  He as-
saulted a member of the band at Niobrara and was given six months
in the guardhouse.
  James Bailey's case needs special examination.  He was supposed to
be in the hospital.  The hospital was under charge of First Sergt. F. L.
Oltmans, Hospital Corps (white), and located about 100 yards south
of the guardhouse.  Oltmans was in his quarters beyond the hospital.
(S. Doc. 402, Part II. p. 128.)  He was awakened by the firing,
dressed, and went to the hospital.  He saw his orderlies, Privates
Nolan and Sanborn, and four colored patients.  The firing, he says, was
over when he got to the porch.  He does not state how long it took
him to dress and get to the hospital, but does not seem to have hurried.
  Orderly William C. Nolan (white) was in bed, in the hospital, got
up, lighted the lamp, and then went out on the porch, then went to
Sergeant Oltmans's house to call him, then went back to the hospital.
(S. Doc. 402, Part II, p. 126.)  He says there were three or maybe four
patients in the hospital, but identifies none of them.
  Orderly Sanborn identifies no patient by name, and merely refers to
the records as to how many men were there.
  Pvt. John Kirkpatrick, Company C, who was in the hospital, testifies
that there was only one other patient, William Harden, of Company B,
and an orderly.  Harden was a patient there, and was also cooking at
the hospital.  He makes no reference to Bailey.
  So, apart from Bailey's own statement, he is not identified definitely
as having been at the hospital at the time of the firing.  He could
have been absent and returned without attracting attention.
  In summary, there is no reliable direct evidence precluding a single
one of the suspects from having been on the raid.  The circumstantial
evidence would admit of every one of the list having been out.
  In the annexed material, reports of Captain Baldwin's detectives, fair
samples of a much larger list, it will be seen that very different opin-
ions are held by several of the ex-soldiers from the ones appearing in
their official testimony.   The  admissions  are somewhat  remarkable.
Private Howard, Corporal  Franklin, Corporal Thornton, and Pvt.
Joseph L. Wilson express the opinion that it was done by the soldiers.
  Many of the men make statements similar to those of Sergt. George
Jackson, Corpl. Anthony Franklin, and Temple Thornton that "their
Senator," or their attorney, had told them not to talk. Of course, if
they had no guilty knowledge they could tell nothing to harm them.
  The circumstances of the firing from B barracks, from the ground
inside the wall, and the general comment which ensued among the men,
makes absurd any theory that the members of the battalion in barracks
B, C, and D could have failed to know that soldiers did the shooting.
The general resentment among them at the hostile attitude of the citi-
zens of Brownsville was sufficient to initiate the conspiracy of silence.
Added thereto was the fact that a murder was committed, and that the
State of Texas was taking a hand in seeking to punish the criminals.
The discharge of the whole battalion, salutary and necessary as it was,
made a racial issue.  Had the battalion been of white soldiers instead of
colored, no maudlin sympathy would have been aroused over its dis-
charge without honor, and the whole affair would have blown over in
a month.
                      THE CARTRIDGE SHELLS.
  The expert evidence submitted to the Senate committee identifying
certain cartridge shells picked up in the Cowen alley after the raid as
having been fired from guns issued to members of Company B is con-
clusive.  The sole flaw seemed to be in the identification of one of the
guns issued to Private Blaney and supposed to have been locked up in
an arm chest in the storeroom of B barracks.  The records of gun issues


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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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