National Archives Microfilm Publications Microcopy No. 666
Letters received by the office of the Adjutant General
(Record Group 94)
(MAIN SERIES) 1871 -1880
Roll 67, 1872
Papers relating to crimes committed by the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama, 1869 – 1879
Aug. 27, 1869
Gallagher, N. F.
Bvt. Capt. U. S. Army
Reports result of visit to Greene County, Ala. in accordance with instructions from comd’g officer Post of Huntsville.
Aug. 27, 1869
Lieut. James Ulio, Post Adjt.
I have the honor to report in compliance with instructions from the comdg. officer Post of Huntsville. I proceeded to Eutaw and other points in Greene County, Ala. to investigate the conditions of affairs and report as to the necessity of stationary troops in that section, and respectfully submit the following result of my observations.
I found considerable excitement existing among all classes of citizens, and a bitter spirit of hostility prevailing against all white and colored citizens who voted the Republican ticket throughout the several counties I traversed in route to Greene. The feeling of enmity against Republicans has been greatly increased and embittered by the result of the recent Election, and in lieu of the calm which usually succeeds these occasions of political excitement, I found the majority of the white people encouraging, tacitly, by their lethargy and feeble condemnation, the lawless spirit that prevails, and pursuing an unjust system of prosecution against the freedmen who differ with them politically. The majority of these outrages are perpetrated upon the few industrious and intelligent freedmen of the county, and evince a determination to prevent the prosperity of this race, and eventually crush out entirely this class, in order that the larger number of ignorant freedmen may be made completely controlled by the whites.
The Civil Authorities of the several counties through which I traveled have done very little towards bringing the perpetrators of these outrages to justice, and are passive through policy or intimidation. Some instance was related to me by Hon. Charles Hays, M. C. 4th Dist., and other gentlemen of Greene County, where freedmen had endeavored to indict white men for assault &c., but the latter had without difficulty proven alibis, and then arrested the complaining freedmen for perjury, and throw them into prison to languish for months until the proper courts could investigate the charges. Such Justice deters the freedmen from complaining, and placed them entirely at the mercy of unscroupulus men, and the districts where the blacks predominate, as in Greene County, those unscrupulous practices must sooner or later, arouse the dormant sensibilities of this race, and they will cease to bear this burden of injustice and oppression, with the patient endurance which now characterizes them; and though I consider affairs in Greene much more satisfactory than in the adjoining counties, and believe the civil officers are desirous of protecting all in their rights regardless of race or color, I would recommend that a company of troops be stationed at Eutaw, to aid them in accomplishing this and prevent the possibility of outbreaks between the races, which are inevitable as matters now stand.
I am Lieut.
Your Obdt. Servant
N. Frank Gallagher
Bvt. Captain U. S. Army
2nd Lt. 2nd Infantry