War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0489 EARLY EVENTS IN MISSOURI, ETC.

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The court andjudge-advocate were then duly sworn and J. H. Norris was arraingned on the following charge and specification:

CHARGE: Violation of the laws of war.

Specification. - In this, that J. H. Norris, a citizen of Missouri, taking advantage of the unsettled state of the country with others unknown and within the lines of the United States did burn and destroy and did aid in burning and destroying one building the property of the North Missouri Railroad Company, which building was necessary to the use of said company in the transacation of their ordinary and legitimate business. This at or near Wellsville, Mo., on or about the 21st of December, 1861.

To which the prisoner pleaded as follows:

To the specification, not guilty.

To the charge, not guilty.

Captain BENJAMIN SHARP, a witness for the prosecution, being duly sworn testified as follows:


Question. What is your place of residence and your occupation?

Answer. Have been living at Wellsville, Mo. ; was railroad and express agent until I joined army. Am now captain in the Ninth Regiment Missouri State Militia.

Question. Were you atWellsville at the time the Wellsville depot was destroyed? If so state when it was and the circumstances attending it?

Answer. It was on the night of the 20th of December last. I was in the depot at the time it was set on fire. Some 60 or 100 men came there. Some of them came in a and told me to remove my private property if I had any - that they were going to burn it. They had been in Campkinsky's store before they came to depot. I removed part of my private property. Some of it (bed clothing) they took. They then fired the building, about 1. 30 o'clock at night. Some bedclothes and some money I had were taken away. The crowd remained there until about 4 o'clock in the morning.

Question. State whether you saw the prisoner J. H. Norris at or about the time of this occurrence. If so state where he was and what he was engaged in.

Answer. I saw prisoner after depot was on fire. He was on horseback. He had a gun. There was some firing done about wherehe was. I don't know whether he fired his piece or not. The firing was not at any one. Guns fired up I think. My attention was called to him particularly from the fact of his giving us a strong. They had a barrel of whisky in the street with the head knocked in. They had taken the whisky out of the depot. They were pretty drunk. Prisoner was with the crowd burning depot and committing depredations. This same crowd took goods from Campinsky's store; also blankets and things from the hotel. Meyers I think was in command.


Question. How long have you known the prisoner?

Answer. About four years.

Question. Do you know W. H. Norris?

Answer. I know several people by the name of Norris up there but do not know them by name.

Question. Where does the prisoner reside with reference to the Wellsville depot?

Answer. I think he lives six or seven miles in Callaway County, toward Fulton. I do not know, however, whether he is keeping house or not.

Question. At what hour in the night did yousee the man you took to be the prisoner; was it dark or light at the time?

Answer. It must have been between 2 and 3 o'clock. It was very lght at the time I saw him. It was thelight of the burning building by which I saw him.