War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0286 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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I then turned round and seeing some men taking my rails I went after them to prevent them, when they cursed me. As I went down to our house I met Perkins, and I looked back and saw the bridge on fire and a lot of men around the bridge-say twenty or twenty-five men-some standing on the bridge, the flames ablazing up on the side, and other men standing on the embankment on Jefferson County side. There were also about twenty-five men on the other side of bridge beating and hammering, as if they were tearing up the thack. I then went to our house and staid there about one and one-half to two hours and then went from our house to Blackwell Station, saint Francouis County. There I met a lot of men, citizens of the county, who had come in on hearing the firing. Saw bodies of two secessionists lying on the platform who had been killed by Lippincott's men. Captain Lippincott (Illinois volunteers) had come to re-enforce Captain Elliott's company at the bridge. There had been a fight early in the morning, about 7 a. m., between Captain Elliott's company and the secessionists, and the former, about forty in number, were taken prisoners by the latter. The secessionists then moved toward Blackwell Station where they were met by Captain Lippincott, both parties firing. I did not see but heard the firing. The bridge was burnt about 8 a. m. about the 15th of October, 1861. The bridge was burned while some of the secessionists, mostly cavalry, were on their way to Blackwell Station.


Questio. Were there any officers in command of the men who burned the bridge?

Answer. I suppose there were. Some had swords, some had long knives. Heard and order given by one man with captain's straps on his shoulder and saw the order obeyed.

Question. Do you belong to any secret order or society of men by which you are bound by oath to do all in your power to punish Hearst as a deserter from the army of Jeff. Thompson?

Answer. I decline to answer.


Questio. How near to bridge was accused when you saw him with firebrand in his hand, and did you see him apply the torch?

Answer. He was about thirty or forty yards from bridge. I spoke to him as he passed. Other men had just preceded him fifteen or twenty steps with firebrands in their hands. I did not know who they were. I did not see him apply the torch.

Questio. Were the secessionists in uniform, or part of them only, and what proportion so far as you could judge?

Answer. I did not see any persons in uniform except the person who called himself Jeff. Thompson and the captain I have allunded to. The best part of them had overcoats on of different colors, and may have had uniforms on under them for all I know.

There being no further questions to propose to the witness the evidence he had given was read to him and he wad dismissed.

WILLIAM BLACKWELL, a witness for the prosecution, was duly sworn


Questio. State your name, occupatio, and residence.

Answer. William Blackwell, of Saint Francois County; and reside on Iron Mountain Railroad.

Questio. How far do you live from Big River bridge?

Answer. Some 300 or 400 yards southeast of bridge.

Question. Do you know the accuse, and how long have you known him, and were you accustomed to see him often?

Answer. Yes; some ten or twelve years. Saw him occasionally, at one time frequently, and at another time, when he moved to a greater distance, not so often.