Monday, January 31, 2011

Trial of James N. Lane Boone Co. Missouri.

Trial of James N. Lane for aiding in the destructive of railroad property.

The commission proceeded to the trial of James N. Lane, a citizen of Boone County, Mo., who being called into court had the above order* read in his hearing, and was asked if he object to be tried by any member named in the detail to which he replied in the negative.
The commission was then duly sworn in the presence of the accused and the judge-advocate duly sworn by the president also in the precense of the accused.
The accused was ten arraigned on the following charge and specification:

CHARGE: Aiding and abetting in the destruction of property of the North Missouri Railroad Company.

Specification. - In this, that James N. Lane, a citizen of Boone County, Mo., did join with a band of armed men engaged in the destruction of the property of the North Missouri Railroad and by his presence did aid and abet the destruction by fire or otherwise of certain rails, ties, brisges and tuimber belonging and necessary to the use of said company in the transaction of their ordinary and legitimate business. All this at or near Sturgeon, Boone County, Mo., on or about the 21st day of December, A. D. 1861.
To which the prisoner plead as follows, viz:

To spcification, guilty.

To the charge, guilty.

The prosecution here rested, and the prisoner in open court made the following statement which with a full knowledge of its consequence to himself he states to be a voluntary and full confession of his crime:

My name is James N. Lane. I will be twenty-one years of age the 8th day of April next. I wish to make a frank and full explanation of my case to the court. On the Friday before Christmas of December, 1861, while I was at home in my father’s house about six miles northwest of Columbia of this State I was called on by Dr. Coleman -who then resided about six miles north of Columbia but I know not where he is now - who told me to get rear; that they were going out on a scout for two or three days and that then they would come back again. By the word "they" Dr. Coleman meant Captain Watson's company. Dr. Coleman had given me notice also on the night previous, Thursday night, that they would perhaps go on a scout.

He did not tell me what they were going to do. In Captain Watson's company there were about twenty-five or thirty persons as near as I can remember who went with us. The whole number that went on that night was about 400 or 500. We started at about 1 or 2 o'clock, and Captain Watson's company was I think the hindmost though there may have been another company behind that. I do not know who commanded the whole expedition. I knew only one of the officers of our company besides Captain Watson and his name is George Williams. He was sergeant. Dr. Coleman went along. We went along - that is Captain Watson's company - toward the railroad, and on our not know the names of their officers. We reached the railroad before daylight.

They stopped awhile before they began to tear it up but I had no hand in tearing it up; and if I had know what they going to do I would not have gone along, and a heap of the others who did not know what they were going to do did not take any hand in it. They began to tear it up at Sturgeon. They then burned the Sturgeon bridge and another one pretty near to Centralia; after which we came back to the edge of the timber where we took breakfast and fed our horses and staid about an hour. We were then attacked by Captain Moss' company I think. We all ran and I came home. About two weeks before Dr. Coleman called on me as I have already stated, Samuel Langdon who lived about half a mile from my father’s dwelling called on me and said that the South had the power over Missouri and would draft me if I did not go willingly and join the army of Price.

I did not wish to be drafted, and so agreed to go willingly and was sworn in by Captain Watson to join the army of Price. This occurred on the day we went to the railroad. Hos Houchens also was along. Barney Lynch was another. He lives about ten miles from here in a sort of northwest direction. Charley Holten was also along. He lives about a mile and a half northwest from my father’s house. George Nichols also was along. He lives about half a mile from Holten's, above named. James Quinsbery lives about five miles west from here and was along. Dr. Coleman is a physician. He lives about half a mile from my father‘s. Samuel Langdon lives about half a mile from my father’s He is a carpenter and stonemason. he took an active part in getting persons to join Price's army.

John McKinney, brother of Colonel McKinney, was also along. I saw him knocking them off from the end of the bridge. Harvey Palmer had a sledge hammer breaking up the ties and knocking them off from the road. He lives about a miles and a half northeast frommy father‘s. Thomas Tolsen was also along; was in the fight. He lives about six miles northeast from my father’s. Sant Haggart was also along and was in the fight. He rolled up a great bunch of the telegraph wire and threw it in the fire. He also made a fire around the posts which supported the bridge and helped to burn them. I also saw him cut down a post of the telegraph. James Nichols, brother of George, was also along. He cut one of the sills of the bridge about would likewise here state that it was my wish to do what was right and to serve my country and that I was misled by others and I deeply regret the course I have pursued.

The court was then closed and after mature deliberation confirmed the plea of the prisoner and finds him, the prisoner, James N. Lane -

Of the specification, guilty.

Of the charge, guilty.

And the court do therefore sentence him, James N. Lane, to be shot to death at such time and place as the major-general commanding the department shall direct.

1 comment:

DJ Watson said...

Thank you so much for this piece. My husband's Great Uncle was Captain James Watson of the Midway area of Boone County, Missouri.