Report of the skirmish between whites and blacks at Wild Goat Cove

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

Hd. Qrs. Camp at McClungs Spring
August 24, 1869
McLoughlin, Geo. H.
Capt. 2nd Inf. Bvt. Maj. Ala.
Commanding

Reports that John Henry Evans arrived in Camp and reported that Willis Stevens has a Co. of 34 colored men, and that he had a skirmish with some white men called K. K. K. one white man killed, one (col’d) wounded, when he left the fight was still going on and requests assistance.

Hd. Qrs. Camp at McClung Springs
9 O’clock a.m. August 24″ 1869

Lieut. James Ulio/ 2nd Infty.
Post. Adjt. Huntsville, Ala.

Sir:

I have the honor to report that John Henry Evans has this moment arrived in Camp, and reports that he had to fly yesterday from Wild Goat Cove, said to be distant from here about 12 miles and 5 miles from Vienna, that Willis Stevens a white man had a company of about 34 colored men, that he had a skirmish with some white men who call themselves K. K. K. one of the white men, Willis Monroe Evans, was killed, one colored man, Henry Rivers, wounded, and the fight was still going on when Evans left. The man who was killed was brother of the man who carried the news, and from what I can learn he also belongs to the K. K. K. and Stevens is after him.

They sent to me for assistance. I await the General’s instructions in the case.

I Am Very Respy.,
Your Obdt. Seervt.
(sd.) Geo. H. McLoughlin
Capt. 2nd Inf. Bvt. Ky., Ala.
Comdg. Camp

P. S.
I sent the man back with instructions that if the disturbance was not quelled to let me know by courier.

H. McL.
Capt.

A true copy
James Miller
1st Lieut. 2nd Infantry
Post Adjutant

Hd. Qrs. Camp at McClungs Spring – August 26, 1869
McLoughlin, Geo. H.
Capt. 2nd Inf. Bvt. Maj. Ala.
Comdg.

Reports that in compliance with note from Genl. Crawford he started for Vienna to quell any disturbance if any existed & upon arriving at Vienna the people were excited so the Evanses were about 2 miles from town and had threatened to burn it – about a half dozen of the inhabitants mounted and drove the desperadoes out of Madison Co. and encloses the result of his labor.

Head Qrs. Camp at McClungs Springs
13 Miles S. E. of Huntsville, Ala.
August 26, 1869

Lieut. James Ulio, 2nd Inf.
Post Adjt. – Huntsville, Ala.

Sir: I have the honor to report that about 3 o’clock on the morning of the 25 instant I received Genl. Crawford’s orders note directing me to go to the vicinity of Vienna and quell the disturbance, if any existed there, and make reports of the facts &c. Most daylight same day I started to Vienna with two officers and forty men. I arrived at Vienna about 9 o’clock a.m. the whereabouts of which were in a ferment, as the two Evanses were reported about two miles distant from the town, and had threatened to burn it up, so soon as I arrived at Vienna about a half dozen of the inhabitants mounted and followed the desperadoes – driving them from Madison County to the mountains of Marshall County where they came from. I went to Wild Goat Cove about nine miles distant from Vienna, where the disturbance originated. I enclose you the result of my labors. I returned to Camp about 11 o’clock today, the 26″ of June 1869, having travelled with my men nearly forty miles in thirty hours.

I am Sir Very Respy.
Your Obdt. Servt.
(s-d) Geo. H. McLoughlin
Capt. 2nd Inf. Bvt. Maj. Ala.
Comdg. Camp

A true copy
James Miller
1st Lieut. 2nd Infantry
Post Adjutant

Shanult Plantation near Paint Rock, Alabama
Aug. 25th, 1869

Henry Rivers makes affidavit in regard to his being shot by Benjamin Evans on the 23 Aug. 1869

On the 23rd day of August 1869 I was returning from my brothers to where I live, about two miles and one half from Deposit towards Vienna, two men met me on the road, one of them was white, the other a mulatto. I believe that the white man’s name was Benjamin Evans, the colored man’s name was Bob Ice. The white man cocked his rifle and fired at me, the ball passing through my thigh. I never gave the man any provocation to shoot me.
(Sd.) Henry (X) Rivers

Witness Milton G. Young

Sworn and subscribed before me an officer of the United States Army at Shanult Plantation near Paint Rock this twenty fifth 25th day of August 1869.
(signed) Geo. H. McLoughlin
Capt. 2nd Infty. Bvt. Maj. USA

A True Copy
James Miller
1st Lieut. 2nd Infantry
Post Adjutant

McClungs Spring, Ala.
Aug. 26th, 1869

W. C. Stephens makes affidavit in regard to endeavoring to arrest W. M. Evans, John Evans, Robert Ice, Burgers Finnell and Green Horton on the 21st Aug./69 for disguising themselves and going to a house and forcibly taking a shotgun.

On the 21st August 1869 I had a warrant and tried to arrest on it W. M. Evans, John Evans (white), Robert Ice (col’d), Burgers Finnell & Green Horton (colored). I arrested Finnell and Horton, I also arrested Evans, W. M., but he succeeded in getting away. The warrant for arrest was issued against the above named men for disguising themselves and going to the house of N. Stevens (my father) and forcibly taking from him a shotgun. On Monday last the 23rd of August I summoned about twenty men as a posse (they were white and black) and tried to arrest W. M. Evans (white) and Bob Ice (colored) they were at Squire Bronson’s at Wild Goat Cove, I surrounded the house but they broke and ran out the back part of it, accompanied by Ben Evans, his brother. They were halted by a colored man (one of my posse) named Elliott Cottrell, when L. A. Bronson leveled his gun and fired at Cottrell, wounding him slightly. Cottrell & others then fired, shooting W. M. Evans in the arm. The parties then got away, and up to this date I have not succeeded in arresting them. All of this was at Wild Goat Cove near Fearns Ferry, Alabama.
(Sd.) W. C. Stephens

Witness: H. Morrow

Sworn and subscribed to before me an officer of the United States Army at McClungs Spring, Ala. August the twenty sixth 26th, 1869.
Geo. H. McLaughlin
Capt. 2nd Infantry
Bvt. Major USA

A True Copy
James Miller
1st Lieut. 2nd Infantry
Post Adjutant