War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0451 EARLY EVENTS IN MISSOURI, ETC.

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Finding approved. The commission having urgently recommended the prisoner to mercy and in consideration of his youth and his frank acknowledgment of guilt the sentence will be mitigated. He will be released from arest upon his taking the oath of allegiance and filing a bond in $2,000 with proper securities for future good behavior and loyalty to the Government.



Trial of James N. Lane for aiding in the destructive of railroad property.

The commission proceeded to the trial of James N. Lane, a citizen of Boone County, Mo., who being called into court had the above order* read in his hearing, and was asked if he object to be tried by any member named in the detail to which he replied in the negative.

The commission was then duly sworn in the presence of the accused and the judge-advocate duly sworn by the president also in the precense of the accused.

The accused was ten arraigned on the following charge and specification:

CHARGE: Aiding and abetting in the destruction of property of the North Missouri Railroad Company.

Specification. - In this, that James N. Lane, a citizen of Boone County, Mo., did join with a band of armed men engaged in the destruction of the property of the North Missouri Railroad and by his presence did aid and abet the destruction by fire or otherwise of certain rails, ties, brisges and tuimber belonging and necessary to the use of said company in the transaction of their ordinary and legitimate business. All this at or near Sturgeon, Boone County, Mo., on or about the 21st day of December, A. D. 1861.

To which the prisoner plead as follows, viz:

To spcification, guilty.

To the charge, guilty.

The prosecution here rested, and the prisoner in open court made the following statement which with a full knowledge of its consequence to himself he states to be a voluntary and full confession of his crime:

My name is James N. Lane. I will be twenty-one years of age the 8th day of April next. I wish to make a frank and full explanation of my case to the court. On the Friday before Christmas of December, 1861, while I was at home inmy farther's house about six miles northwest of Columbia of this State I was called on by Dr. Coleman -who then resided about six miles north of Columbia but I know not where he is now - who told me to get rear; that they were going out on a scout for two or three days and that then they would come back again. By the word "they" Dr. Coleman meant Captain Watson's company. Dr. Coleman had given me notice also on the night previous, Thursday night, that they would perhaps go on a scout. He did not tell me what they were going to do. In Captain Watson's company there were about twenty-five or thirty persons as near as I can remember who went with us. The whole number that went on that night was about 400 or 500. We started at about 1 or 2 o'clock, and Captain Watson's company was I think the hindmost though there may have been another company behind that. I do not know who commanded the whole expedition. I knew only one of the officers of our company besides Captain Watson and his name is George Williams. He was sergeant. Dr. Coleman went along. We went along - that is Captain Watson's company - toward the railroad, and on our not know the names of their officers. We reached the railroad before daylight. They stopped awhile before they began to tear it up but I had no hand in tearing it up; and if I had know what they going to do I would not have gone along, and a heap of the others who did not know what they were going to do did not take any hand in it. They began to tear it up at Sturgeon. They then burned the Sturgeon bridge and another one pretty near to Cen-


* Special Orders, Numbers 160, p. 448, convening and making detail for the commission.