Report of Joseph Lee, Deputy Sheriff, Moulton, Lawrence County, Alabama

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

Sheriffs Office Moulton, Ala.

To. Genl. Crawford
Commanding U. S. Forces
Huntsville, Ala.

Kind Sir,

This is to inform you of the outrages that have been and are being perpetuated since October last in our County. There has been three colored prisoners taken out of our County Jail, two executed and one set at liberty by a party of disguised men, the one set free made an attempt to murder one of the most Loyal Citizens and one who took an active part in President’s election. This freedman was no doubt prevailed on to murder this gentleman by the click. This gentleman to whom I allude was Dr. Wm. B. Irvin. He was confined to his room 3 or 4 months on account of the wounds received.

We cannot without being molested have any public speaking especially while being discussed by the Republican Party. On the month of April last there were six houses consumed by the torch & women and children driven from their homes without permission to remove anything from their houses especially if they were in possession of firearms or whiskey or anything of that kind. The wines, money and firearms were always distributed amongst the disguised party.

In the month of May last a man by the name of Sapp was hung by the neck with Hickory Bark until dead by a disguised party. In the month of June a party consisting of eight in number was arrested and carried to Jail to await their trial and while in Jail 3 of the number turned States evidence, and a few days previous to the trial 15 or 30 disguised men made a raid on the Jail for the purpose of releasing a part of the prisoners and executing the remainder who had turned states evidence. 3 of them have been arraigned and tried and committed to Jail and were sent to Limestone Co. for safekeeping. On the 14 of this month a disguised party went and demanded the keys of the Jail and released the murderers and house burners.

We have many truly Loyal citizens who wishes to execute the laws but are so intimidated by this clan that they are afraid to express their sentiments or give aid to the sufferers. I do not think these are the original Ku Klux Klan, but only assume their uniform to do their own mischief. Capt. W. C. Garrett, the Sheriff of the County has endeavored his utmost to suppress this lawless band and enforce the law. This and of disguised men has been pressing horses into service while in pursuit of mischief. I have been acting as Deputy Sheriff since October last, and have ascertained that affairs get no better but worse continually.

Yours Most Respy. & Obediently
Joseph Lee
Deputy Sheriff
Lawrence Co., Ala.

A true copy
James Miller
Lt. 2nd US Infty.