Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865 - 1869
National Archives Microfilm Publication M821 Roll 32
"Registered Reports of Murders and Outrages Sept. 1866 - July 1867"
Freedmen's Bureau Report of Freedmen and Union Men Killed & Outrages Committed in DeWitt Co., Texas Since the Close of the Rebellion
Clinton, DeWitt Co., Texas
September 18th 1866
Col. W. H. Sinclair
Asst. Adjut. General
In obedience to order dated Head Quarters, Bureau R. F. and A. L. State of Texas, Galveston, September 11th 1866, I have the honor to make the following report according to my best knowledge of the facts hereafter stated.
There have been murdered since the close of the rebellion in the County of DeWitt or its next vicinity, the following named Union men, viz:
1. hr Riedel (an old man) was shot dead by an unknown murderer because he freely expressed his Union sentiments.
2. Frank Riedel (son of the former and a discharged Union soldier), was killed by a shot. The murderer unknown.
These two were murdered near Yorktown in DeWitt Co., I think, in April 1866.
3. & 4. Two privates of the 18th N. Y. Cavy. were murdered near Yorktown in May 1866-Buck Taylor or men of his gang are supposed to be the murderers.
Adolfus Riedel, a brother of Frank Riedel and also a discharged Union soldier, was shot through the face-near Yorktown, in April 1866. Captain Nolan of the 18th Cavy. N. Y. Vols. and one of his sergeants were also wounded sometime in April 1866-by Taylor's gang. I am not able to state the dates, as the officers than in command have left no records.
No Freedmen have been murdered in this county or its next vicinity.
Several outrages have been committed on Freedpeople, since I have been Sub. Asst. Commissioner at Clinton.
1. Gilbert Gay and associate whipped most unmercifully two colored girls, Betty and Rosa Brown. This in April 1866.
2. W. R. Henderson knocked a colored woman, Elvira Hammons, down, so that she was senseless for some time. This June 26th 1866.
3. W. P. Barton struck a Freedman, Peter Hills with a stick on August 6, 1866.
Since that time no cases of assault and battery have been reported to me. There have many cases come to my knowledge when employers refused to pay wages to Freedmen or women-more will without doubt turn up when the two parties have to divide their crops.
I am Colonel
Your Obed't Servant
Albert A. Hetzner
Lieut. And Sub Asst. Comm'r
Bureau R. F. and A. L.