War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0365 EARLY EVENTS IN MISSOURI, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

otherwise it apears from the proof that some of the home guard were in uniform before that period; but I had been away recruiting and at Leavenworth and had not seen a home guard for a long time, so that in fact I did not know whether they wore uniform or not. It was my first visit to Georgetown for a long time and it was the last I expected to make for some time to come, as my purpose was to leave for the army with my recruits. Of course I expected a larger force than had appeared at the time I shot. I had been informed by my men who went to look from the top of the court - house of a big dust coming in the direction from Sedalia. When so informed I sent two scouts on horseback to the brow of the hill which overlooks the Sedalia road for accurate information. Besides I could not conveive of an attack which embraced only there or four assailants. My expectations are justified by the actual proof of a large force.

I think I may fairly claim from the commission an acquittal of the first material averment of the specification to the first charge. If I was a legitimate belligerant I had the right according to all the laws of war to reper such attack when made. If I was not a legitimate belligerent the right of self - defense is not denied to a civilian. In either case the shooting by me was neither wanton nor malicious.

The third material fact averred in the specification is the " killing of George W. Glasgow, a sergeant," &c. There is not proof in the cause establishing the given name of the soldier who was killed. In the civil courts of the country the absence of such proof would be fatal to the prosecution. I know not how a military comission acts in such case; but I cannot stoop to any technical defense. My life has been manly and shall be so to the end. I put my defense to this charge on higher grounds. If my shot killed the sergeant - a fact which I do not know and perhaps never will know - I insiist that I killed him in conformity to the laws of war and the universally recognized laws of self - defense.

The second charge touches me more nearly than the first for it involves mu honor which I told dearer than my life. I have lived to the age of -, and no human being can truly say that I ever knowingly forfeited my word.

Second charge: Violation of parole. The first material averment of the specification necessary to support the charge is that " on about the 10th day of December I gave my parole of honor not to resume arms against the Government of the United States in consideration of having received a safeguard dated the 10th day of December. " Is this averment supported by the proof? It is not pretended that this alleged parole was given at any other place or time than at the house of Colonel Hughes on the interview between Colonel brown and myself on the night of the 9th December. The only two witnesses introduced by the prosecution on this subject were Colonel Brown and Colonel Hughes. They are both gentlemen of the highest integrity and they are at substantial variance on the point in question. Colonel Brown says I gave my parole. " I took his verbal parole that he would not in the meantime take up arms against the United States nor give information to the enemy. " Colonel Hughes says with equal affirmation that I gave no verbal parole and with marked emphasis he says that he was present and heard the whole conversation between Colonel brown and myself from the time the subject was broached to its close. It will be remembered that no safeguard was written at that interview. A practical safeguard to my home was furnished by both gentlemen who conducted me in safety to my wite. Colonel Hughes did not know what a parole was. He confounded it with a wholly different thing -a passport or