The Board met pursuant to the above order, all the officers present, and proceeded to business by an examination of the following witnesses, who, having been duly sworn according to law, do testify as follows:
Testimony of Captain A. D. Clark, of Company D, One hundred and twenty-second Regiment U. S. Colored Troops:
I was officer of the day and was passing through the prison camp in company with the officer of the guard on the night of the 20th of April, 1865; heard the sentinel on post No. 47 hail in the following manner: "Halt! You had better halt! God damn you halt!" In about ten seconds heard three shots fired in rapid succession. I then took a relief around to the sentinels on posts Nos.46,47, and 48; was informed by the sentinels that they had shot at a prisoners and that he had gone in the direction of the camp. I then returned with the relief andwent to where I heard the wounded man was, sent for the surgeon, and had the wounded prisoner removed to the hospital. A short time previous to the shooting of the prisoner I heard a shot fired. I went to learn the cause; found it to have been fired by the sentinel on post 47; found the sentinel reloading his piece and two prisoners standing within eight or ten feet of him. I asked the prisoners what they were doing there; received no reply. I then ordered them to go away from there. They did not obey until I drew my saber on them and compelled them to do so.
Testimony of Second Lieutenant George B. Everett, Company A, Second U. S. Colored Cavalry:
I was officer of the guard on the night of the 20th of April, 1865. I gave the sentinels on post orderes to hail and halt all persons approaching their posts, and if they did not half after being hailed twice, to fire at them. I also gave the sentinels orders not to allow any persons to approach his post nearer than fifteen paces without being satisfied who they were. I was passing through the camp in company with the officer of the day on the night of the 20th of April, 1865, when I heard the sentinel on post No. 47 heil as follows: "Halt! You had better halt! God damn you, halt!" In went immediately to the guard-house and turned out a relief; left one-half of the at the guard-house and took he other half around wit me to post 47. Was told by John Gains, the sentinel on the post, that a man approached his post and that he, the sentinel, hailed him three times, when, failing to halt, he fired at him. The sentinels on posts 46 and 48 also told me that they fired at the man. I then went to the prison camp and found that one of the prisoners had been wounded. The officer of the day sent for the surgeon and had the man sent to the hospital.
Testimony of Private John Gains, Company D, One hundred and twenty-second U. S. Colored Troops:
I was posted as a sentinel on post No. 47 of the prison camp on the night of the 20th of April, 1865. I received orders to halt all persons approaching my post. While on post I saw a prisoner running toward post. There were ten or fifteen other prisoners close behind him. I ordered him to halt. He did not do so, but turned away from me. I them shot at him. I feel certain that the man I shot at was trying to escape.
Testimony of Private Jack Eubanks, Company D, One hundred and twenty-second Regiment U. S. Colored Troops:
Was on post in the prison camp on the night of the 20th of April, 1865. During the night several of the prisoners approached my post as if trying to escape. I halted them and ordered them back to camp. I saw a man run from post No. 47 and I saw three or four more men behind him. They also ran. I saw John Gains fire his gun. I also fired my gun; don't know whether I shot any person or not. I took aim at the crowd. I received orders from the officer of the guard to halt all persons approaching my post, and if they did not halt when ordered, to shoot at them.
Testimony of Private Lewis Burris, Company D, One Hundred and twenty-second Regiment U. S. Colored Troops:
I was on post No. 48 in the prison camp on the night of the 20th of April, 1865. I received orders from the officer of the guard to hail all persons approaching my post and to halt them within ten paces, and if they did not halt, to shoot them. During the time I was on post the prisoners kept coming close up to post No. 47, where John Gains was posted. I told them to keep away; that I did not wasnt to hurt them. I saw a man running toward John Gains' post and there were at least five or six behind him running also; heard John Gains order him to halt several times. He did not halt, but kept approaching his post. I then saw Gains shoot at him. I