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

have been coming to me letters written by one of these dis-
charged soldiers--I hold a bundle of them in my hand--inform-
ing me how men claiming to be detectives representing the
United States Government  (of course not secret-service men,
for they could not lawfully be so employed, but nevertheless
detectives, as they turned out to be--at least claimed to be)
visited them, engaged them in conversation, dwelling and abid-
ing with some of them, telling them what different members of
the battalion had already stated in the nature of confessions,
and appealing to them, if they would save themselves from
prosecution, to make a like confession.
  I will not detain the Senate to read at length, but I have,
through my stenographer, copied out in typewritten form, which
I will send to the desk, omitting all names that might lead to
the identity of the person, a sample of these letters. This let-
ter is from a soldier who has told how he has been approached
by two or three different detectives on two or three different oc-
caisions, and how various things have been told him to persuade
him and to induce him and then to threaten him into making a
confession of some kind.
  Do you know an ex-soldier (by the name of) -------?
  I said, "No, sir; I don't know him."
  He said, " Well, he knows you, and said you and ---- and ----
said you were going to shoot up that town."
  I said, "I haven't seen that negro; haven't told him anything; fur-
thermore, I was ----- that night and couldn't have ----- if I wanted
  He said, "Remember, you are not the only soldier talking; we have
20 talking, and they are peaching, too; as I said, I will protect you.
  "Tell us the story; don't be afraid; we have almost got it like we
want it, and remember the Government never gives a thing up until it
is finished."
  He said. "We have been able to prove that B Company did the shoot-
ing, and what I want you to tell me is just the men that did the
shooting.  I know you can, if you will.  We already know three men
that did it, but we want the whole gang."
  I omit some paragraphs:
  He said: "I want to ask you a few more questions. I want to know,
and I want you to tell me the truth; tell me who talked with you in
Washington before you went on the stand?"
  I told him no one.
  "Now," he said, "isn't it true that Mr. FORAKER told you all how to
swear before you went in committee room?"  I said, "No, sir.  I
saw him passing, and some one said there goes Senator FORAKER."
  He said, "Who met you at the train when you went to Washington?"
I told him no one.
  Then he wanted to know if I had any letters from Mr. FORAKER.
  There seems to be a good deal of curiosity about my corre-
  I said, " Sir, I have only one letter from him."  Then he asked me
if I had it with me.
  I said, "No, sir; but I can get it as quick as you ever saw anybody
get anything, if you think it will do you any good."  He said, "I will
be glad for you to go and get it; I would like to see some of the Sena-
tor's writing."  I came home and got the letter and showed it to him.
He read it, and quickly folded it, and handed it back to me, and said,
"There is nothing there to hurt anyone." Then he asked me to give
him the names of all the ball players in B Company.
  He asked me did I have a group of the boys. I told him I did. He
told me he would like to see it; for me to go and get it, if it wasn't
much trouble. I told him it wouldn't be any trouble; so I got it and
showed it to him. Then he took their names down, right to left,
like they were on the picture; then he begin to point out some of the
men on the picture to Mr.  ------ that he thought was implicated in
the matter; then he wanted to know if I had any of the rest of the
soldiers' pictures; if so, he wanted to see them. I showed him all I


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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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