War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0446 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

CHARGE 2: Destroying telegraph lines.

Specification. - In this, that the said William Shearin on or about the 20th day of December, A. D. 1861, in the counties of Montgomery and Audrain in the State of Missouri and within the lines occupied by the regularly authorized military forces of the United States did unlawfully, wilfully and maliciously cut donw and destroy the telegraph wires, poles and offices of the U. S. military telegraph along the line of the North Missouri Railroad in said counties contrary to the laws and customs of war in like cases.

CHARGE 3: Violation of the laws and customs of war.

Specification. - In this, that the said William Shearin on or about the 20th day of December, 1861, at the county of Montgomery in the State of Missouri and within the lines occupied by the lawfully authorized military forces of the United States did unlawfully and of his own wrong take up arms as an insurgent and commit acts of hostility against the said military forces, the said William Shearin not then and there being a soldier belonging to any lawfully authorized and organized military forces at war with the United States and without thereto commanded by any competent civil or military authority, contrary to the laws and customs of war in like cases.

M. ARMSTRONG,

Captain, Judge-Advocate, &c.

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

To which the said William Shearin pleaded as follows:

To specification to charge 1, guilty.

To charge 1, guilty.

To specification to charge 2, not guilty.

To charge 2, not guilty.

To specification to charge 3, not guilty.

To charge 3, not guilty.

The prisoner here made a written statement of some facts in his case which is herewith returned, marked Exhibit A.

The commission then proceeded in the examination of the case of William Shearin as follows:

BENTLY HAY being produced, duly sworn and examined on the partof the United States testifies as follows:

I know Mr. Shearin. I have know him some three or four years. He lives in Motgomery County about three or four miles from Danville. He belonged to Meyer's company. I think he joined it on the 13th of December, 1861. I thik he joined at Mr. Harvey's. I think he was sworn in by Mr. Meyers. He was along the time the railroad was torn up I think. I did not see him at Wellsville. I saw him on the railroad. There were some who did no go into Wellsville. They stopped about a mile from Wellsville. We began at the section-house below Wellsville and destroyed the road up to Wellsville. We destroyed the telegraph lines along the road. I saw Mr. Shearin at the section-house where we began the work of tearing up the road. I next saw him the day before Christmas at Laile's pasture. I could not say whether he was at Danville. I cannot say of certain whether I saw him after the railroad was torn up until after the fight at Mount Zion. I saw him running I know. I know [he] was in the Mount Zion fight.

Cross-examination by PRISONER:

I will not swear that I saw you at Wellsville. I will not swear that you went on the railroad any further than Rollin's fence; nor that I saw you but once at Laile's pasture. I could not swear to any certain man cutting down telegraph poles; I only know that they were cut down. I could not be positive of your being in Danville.

WILLIAM COOMBS being produced, duly sworn an examined on the part of the defense testifies as follows:

I was at Wellsville. I will swear that you were not there, and that I left you at Rollin's fence and that you were not in Danville. I was at Lail's pasture. You were there but once-that was before the railroad was torn up. I never saw Meyers' commission. I saw you sworn in to Meyers' company.