A Ku Klux Raid, and What Came of It, Monday July 11th
The following data is extracted from Trinity College Historical Society .
At ten o'clock, Monday, July 11th, we were taken into the courthouse for trial before Commissioner A. W. Shaffer. F. H. Busbee, Esq., was counsel for the prosecution, and Ex-Gov. Bragg and R. H. Battle, Esq., were counsel for the defense. The court room was crowded to its utmost capacity. The three men who were absent from home when called for on the previous Saturday were now on hand of their own accord and responded in the trial. The defense put in the plea of no jurisdiction, but the plea did not satisfy the court, and so the trial proceeded. The witnesses introduced by the prosecution were the wife of Prince and her mother, who was residing at the home of Prince at the time the raid was made upon him. The testimony of the mother was naught, so far as connecting any one of the prisoners with the crime. The wife testified that she recognized in the raiding party at least four of the men, Johnson, Truelove, George Sloan and Buck Sloan; that she knew these men well and could identify them; that she knew Johnson very well, and would recognize him anywhere. On being asked to identify Johnson she pointed out myself. That there might be no mistake as to whom she intended to point out, I was asked to stand up. "Yes," said the woman, "that is Norman Johnson." I was then asked to state to the court my name. "My name is William H. Pegram," said I. The effect of the witness's mistake was like an electric shock; it broke the force of her evidence, relaxed the high tension to which all minds had been wrought, and brought the evidence on the part of the prosecution to an end. The defense offered no testimony, feeling that there was no evidence to rebut and that no case had been made out against us. The court soon rendered its decision. Eight of the prisoners were discharged, and four were bound over to court in a bond of $2, 000 each. The latter part of the decision was regarded as utterly unjust, and the bail as excessive. The bonds were promptly given, and we dispersed to our homes. The men appeared at the next Federal Court, but the case was not called; and upon inquiry it was found that no true bill against them was found by the grand jury. And thus the "Ku Klux Raid and What Came of It" came to a close.
Source: Trinity College Historical Society