May 6, 2017

Three Regulators Shot in Attack on Residence, Lincoln, 1868


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[October 14, 1868] -

LOUISVILLE, October 13.

Last night a party of eight or ten men went to the negro cabins near Hanging Fork, in Lincoln county, this State, a water station on the Crab Orchard road, between Stanford and South Danville, for the purpose, as is alleged, of hanging two negroes. They broke in the door of one of the cabins, when they were fired upon by the inmates, and one of the scoundrels killed and two seriously wounded. The others fled, leaving their dead and wounded on the ground. One of the negroes was shot through the hand and shoulder. He got on the train to come to this city, but was arrested at Lebanon by the Sheriff and sent back to Stanford. 

The attacking party was composed of roughs who live in that vicinity, and claim to be Ku-Kluxes. The above are all the facts that could be gained from passengers on the train.

There is intense excitement in the city to hear the result of the elections to-day. The streets are thronged, and the newspaper offices are crowded with eager inquirers for the returns. [1]


[October 14, 1868] -

Murder near Danville.

A Party Fired into by Negroes--One Man Killed and Two Seriously Wounded.

The stories about Kuklux bands set afloat by the radicals to subserve party ends have so worked upon the superstitious  minds of the negroes, that in many of the country districts they imagine they see in every stranger who approaches them a terrible ghoul, coming to devour them. When their fears are thus wrought upon they often commit outrages, the penalties for which should be visited upon the incendiaries who thus jeopardize the lives of the people for the sake of their own aggrandizement.

From a gentleman who arrived in the city yesterday evening by the Lebanon train, we learn of an affair which occurred near Danville Monday night, in which one man was killed and two others dangerously wounded, being the victims of two negroes who believed themselves about to be attacked by the ghostly Kuklux. It seems that three white men were going to a house in which negroes were living upon some business or other, but, our informant assures us, with no hostile intent, and when a short distance from the house, were ordered to halt, and were almost simultaneously fired into by the negroes, killing one of the party instantly, as stated above, and wounding the other two. Considerable excitement prevailed in the neighborhood as soon as the facts became known, and a party was formed, who shortly after effected the arrest of two of the negroes, who were taken to Lebanon and placed in jail. The negroes stated, after being arrested, that they thought they were about to receive a visit from the dreaded Kuklux, which was the cause of their firing into the party. [2]


[October 14, 1868] -


Three[?] Lynchers Shot Down in Lincoln County.

Arrest of Two Negroes.

News reached the city yesterday of a tragic affair said to have occurred some time during night before last, not far from the water tank on the Lebanon branch of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, between Stanford and South Danville. The particulars are rather meager, and no complete and reliable statement will probably be brought out. The facts, so far as we have been able to learn them, are as follows.

Some time during the night mentioned, a part of seven or eight men made a descent upon a house in which were two persons whom they designed lynching for some offense committed in the neighborhood, and, breaking open the door, were met by a negro, armed with a large revolver, who at once fired upon them, killing one of the intruders and dangerously wounding two others. The fire was returned, and the negro was wounded in the hand, but the attacking party was almost immediately withdrew, taking with them their fallen comrades. They were not seen again.

Yesterday morning two negroes, one of whom was supposed to have done the shooting, were arrested on the Lebanon train and taken to Lebanon. The hand of the latter was bleeding from a wound which he declared he had received in using an knife carelessly. He seemed very much frightened.

The wounded men and the dead body of the man who was killed were yesterday lying in one of the railroad buildings, not far from the scene of the occurrence. The one who was killed is said to have been not more than eighteen years of age. He followed the occupation of a horse trainer, and led a wandering life.

From the few facts thus far made known in reference to the affair, it does not appear who the persons were who were sought by the lynchers, or what offense had been committed. The negroes arrested are now in jail at Lebanon, and will probably be tried before the United States Commissioner on a writ of habeas corpus. [3]


[October 15, 1868] -

The Tragedy Near Danville.

Full Particulars-Regulators Repulsed by Negroes, and Two of the Party Killed.

We have obtained the following particulars of the affair mentioned in the JOURNAL of yesterday, in which one man by the name of John Mastison was instantly killed, and two others, named James Cash and ---- Coffey, were seriously wounded, the former it is thought mortally. The scene of the encounter is about midway between Stanford and Shelby City.

A party of about fifteen men, the three above mentioned included, on Monday night called at the house of two negroes, John and Willis Thurman, who sustain a very bad character, doubtless with intention of punishing them, and had captured and placed under guard one of the two, when Cash, Mastison, Coffey, and others proceeded to the house to effect the capture of the other. The door was forced and Cash was the first to enter. He was shot through the abdomen by the negro, and fell mortally wounded. Mastison sprang in next and was shot dead by the negro, who then rushed out and was wounded slightly by Coffey, whom he turned and shot. In the excitement both negroes escaped, took the train at Shelby City Tuesday morning, and were as far on their way to "Abraham's bosom" as Lebanon when they were arrested and lodged in jail, a telegram having overtaken them.

The negroes John and Willis are reported to be thieves and scoundrels of the first water. One of them, it is said, drew a pistol on a gentleman in that neighborhood a few days ago, threatened to shoot him, and demonstrated largely, as he wielded all the weapons. [4]


[October 17, 1868] -


The Negroes Guarded by Soldiers.

[From the Stanford (Ky.) Banner, October 15.]

On Monday night last a party of several men, all supposed to be white, went to a negro cabin at Freetown, on the Hanging Fork, in this county, near the water tank between here and South Danville, for the purpose, it is supposed, of inflicting a flogging upon an negro man for some alleged misconduct upon his part, we know not what. The assailing party were about to enter the cabin when the negro shot young John Masterson dead, shot young Cash, and, it is thought mortally wounded a young Mr. Coffey. It is thought the latter will recover, but the second, it is thought, will not.

These young men had never before been known to engage in any bad conduct, nor do we now know that they acted without just provocation in attempt to visit summary punishment upon the negro, who has taken the life of one of their number and so dangerously wounded the others.

These frequent outbreaks among and against the negro population, are the fruitful results of Radical teaching that a negro is as good as a white man.

We deprecate mob violence, but we are not prepared at this writing, to say that the negro was justifiable in shooting down three white men. The negro attempted to flee the country, and got aboard the down train from Crab Orchard, but was arrested at Lebanon. Our sheriff went after them, with a writ, and brought them back to this place. (There were two negroes fleeing) and they were accompanied by a file of twenty soldiers, who now have their tents spread in our jail yard. We presume their orders are to see that no violence is used toward the prisoners. We hope none will be attempted. None is anticipated, as every one seems desirous that the law, in its majesty, may be vindicated.

We will give all future developments in the sad affair. The estimable parents of the wounded men have the sympathy of the entire community. [5]


[1] Excerpt from "From Louisville." Cincinnati Daily Gazette, Cincinnati, OH. October 14, 1868. Page 4.

[2] "Murder near Danville." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. October 14, 1868. Page 4.

[3] “Regulating Regulators.” Louisville Daily Courier, Louisville, KY. October 14, 1868. Page 3.

[4] "The Tragedy Near Danville." Louisville Daily Courier, Louisville, KY. October 15, 1868. Page 4.

[5] "The Lincoln County Regulators." Louisville Daily Courier, Louisville, KY. October 17, 1868. Page 8.


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