War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0427 EARLY EVENTS IN MISSOURI, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

The prisoner has now given you all the points of defense he has in this case. He trusts you will take them and weigh them carefully and give to him that justice which he may except from his fellowman in so fearful a crisis.

JOHN W. OWEN.

Trial of William Combs, accused of destroying railroads and railroad property.

DANVILLE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MO.,

January 31, 1862.

The military commission met pursuant to adjournment.

Present: Lieutenant Colonel Samuel A. Holmes, Tenth Missouri Volunteers; Captain Richard Y. Lanius, Eighty-first Ohio Volunteers; Captain A. C. Todd, Tenth Missouri Volunteers; Captain M. Armstrong, judge-advocate, Eighty-first Ohio Volunteers.

William Combs, the accused, also present.

The judge-advocate having read the order convening the court asked the accused, William Combs, if he had any objection to any member named thereon; to which he replied, "I have not".

The commission was then duly sworn by the judge-advocate and the judge-advocate was duly sworn by the presiding officer of the court in the presence of the accused.

The accused here, by permission of the commission, introduced Walter L. Lovelace, esq., as his counsel.

The charge were then read alund by the judge-advocate as follows:

CHARGE 1: Destroying railroads and railroad property.

Specification. - In this, that the said William Combs on or about the 20th day of December, A. D. 1861, at the town of Wellsville in the county of Motngomery in the State of Missouri and within the lines occupied by the troops of the United States did unlawfully, wilfully and mliciously tear up, burn and destroy the rails, railroad ties, track, bridges, depots and other buildings of the North Missouri Railroad (so called) and the property of said railroad company contrary to the laws and customs of war in like cases.

CAHRGE 2: Destroying telegraph lines.

Specification. - In this, that the said William Combs on or about the 20th day of December, 1861, at the town of Wellsville in the county of Montgomery in the State of Missouri and within the line occupied by the troops of the United States did unlawfully, wilfully and maliciously cut down and destroy the telegraph wires and poles and burn and destroy the telegraph office at the town of Wellsville of the U. S. military telegraph along the line of the North Missouri Railroa in said town of Wellsville and county of Montgomery contrary to the laws and customs of war in like cases.

M. ARMSTRONG,

Captain and Judge-Advocate.

The judge-advocate then asked the accused, William Combs: "You have heard the charges preferred against you; how say you, guilty or not guilty?"

To which the accused, William Combs, pleaded as follows:

To specification to first charge, not guilty.

To charge 1, not guilty.

To specification to second charge, not guilty.

To charge 2, not guilty.