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

1906, with the rest of the battalion. His testimony was not taken at
any of the subsequent courts-martial and investigations.   He simply
disappeared from view.  Efforts to locate him have been unsuccessful.
He is constantly on the move, and acts like a fugitive from justice.  We
have followed him into seven States, and spent more time and money
in the search than on any other man.  For some months shortly after
his discharge he was traveling with a negro minstrel troupe through
the South in company with John Holloman.
  Boyd Conyers declared that Reid was informed that they were going
to shoot up the town that night.  Reid is reported to have said:
  "Boys, if you are not satisfied, you will have to go and get satis-
  And later, when Reid posted the guard:
  "Boys, don't you go down there and let the 'crackers' get the best
of you."
  Reid seems to have understood that the raid was to be started by
these men while on sentry duty and not while on relief, for Conyers
declares that, after he (Conyers) returned and threw himself, out of
breath, on his bunk, Reid came in and dragged him out declaring, with
an oath, that he would have to stand for it or be court-martialed.
  Conyers further declares that when John Holloman brought around
the extra cartridges before inspection the next morning, to avoid detec-
tion, Reid attended to their distribution.
  It is obvious that if Reid intended to protect the raiders he would
post them away from the front of the guardhouse, where they could re-
cover  breath and clean their guns without being under observation.
The printed testimony bears this out.
  Senate Document No. 402, page 156: Boyd Conyers testifies that he
was posted in the rear of the guardhouse after the guard was formed.
Does not remember who or how many were in line when the guard was
  Senate investigation, page 706, Conyers says he and Lawrence Daniels
were posted at the rear of the guardhouse, and that he lay down on
the ground to avoid the bullets, though he doesn't claim to have heard
any coming that way; had been off post about half an hour.  Daniels
testified that he was posted at the guardhouse, but does not say
whether front or rear.
  Senate Document 402, page 152, Pvt. R. L. Collier, of Company C,
testified that he had just come off post, and was in the closet when
the firing began. (S. I., pp. 1260-1263.) His statement is confused as to
when he came off post or how long he was at the closet, or who was in
the guardhouse. He was out of sight for an indefinite period, and was
likewise posted at the rear of the guardhouse.  He testifies that Ser-
geant Reid, in calling the roll, called up to No. 13 instead of calling by
fours.  No one else supports this assertion, and it is highly improbable
that he was in line when the first call was made. He could not tell who
was in the guardhouse.
  Senate Document 402, page 158, Pvt. Carolina de Saussure was
sent after the alarm and guard call with Corporal Wheeler and Privates
Mitchell and Battle toward quarters, and he was later stationed over
near the officers' quarters, where he had ample opportunity to clean his
gun.  (S. I., p. 676).  De Saussure is very uncertain about whom he
saw in the guardhouse.  The time that he was sent toward quarters
was later than he claimed. He admits that he had his gun and am-
munition in bed with him, but says nothing about being in the same
bunk with Boyd Conyers. He says there was no rack for guns in the
  Conyers declares now that he and De Saussure were in the same bunk
and both had their guns in bed and their ammunition belts on, though
this important fact was not brought out in his testimony.  He said that
his gun got "jammed" in Fourteenth street by the Cowen house as he
came out of the Cowen alley, and that De Saussure fixed it for him.
This corroborates the testimony of Herbert Elkins, clerk in the Leahy
Hotel. (See Senate Doc. 402, Part II, p. 51, last paragraph; Penrose
court-martial, p. 443; S. I., vol. 3, p. 2313.)  Conyers was a recruit and
not very familiar with his weapon, while De Saussure was serving his
third enlistment.
  The published testimony of the noncommissioned officers on post bears
evidence that they were embarrassed by conflicting purposes--to satisfy
the inquiries being made and yet not betray the guilty men. The guard-
house was well lighted, and its inmates easily to be seen and identified.
As stated, there is no testimony from Sergeant Reid, in charge of the
guard.  Corporal Wheeler, on post, testified (Macklin trial, p. 67) that
Sergeant Reid was asleep in the noncommissioned officers' room, that he
himself was in the guardhouse awake, but that (S. Doc. No. 402, p. 120)
he didn't know who was in the guardroom.


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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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