Recorder’s Court.

November 1, 1862, Nashville Dispatch (Tennessee)

The most important feature of yesterday’s proceedings was the trial of Mrs. Buchanan, Miss Winnie Buchanan, James Buchanan, and William Buchanan, “charged with disturbing the peace of one Mistress Doyle, by violent and abusive language and words calculated to provoke a breech of the peace.” M. M. Brien, Esq., appeared for the defence, and the City Attorney conducted the prosecution.

The first witness called was Mrs. Nicholas Doyle, who said she lived opposite the barracks on College Hill, and testified that on Sunday evening, about three weeks ago, the above-named defendants hurrahed for Jeff. Davis, and said that Col. Morgan was to be made Governor of Kentucky—that she (the witness) was to be tarred and feathered and ridden on a rail—that witness replied she would not be tarred and feathered so long as Governor Johnson was here—that they replied that “Governor Johnson was played out,” and that one of them was to kill Governor Johnson—that Mrs. and Miss Buchanan called her a d——d Union woman—that one of the boys waved a rebel flag in presence of all the defendants, etc., etc.

Mr. Nicholas Doyle being called, testified in substance the same as his wife, and in addition that they had called him a d——d Union pup, and his wife a d——d Union slut, threw rotten apples at them, and threatened violence toward them, unless they would leave the place, because of their Union sentiments.

Several witnesses were examined for the defence, who testified that the defendants had removed from their residence near Doyle’s three weeks ago on Tuesday; that witness (William Gallimore) was raised in the family, and had never seen a flag of any description in the house, or in the hands of Mrs. or Miss Buchanan; never heard Mrs. or Miss Buchanan swear or use language such as that imputed to them by witnesses for the prosecution; never saw apples thrown by any one at the house of Doyle.

Lieutenant Buchanan, an officer in the Federal army, testified that he had made the acquaintance of Mrs. Buchanan and family some two months ago, and had visited them frequently, spending an hour or more at each visit. Gave them an excellent character; believes them to be all Union people; can tell a Union lady when he meets her in the street; they appear more sociable and agreeable than secesh ladies.

Mr. Brien asked permission to examine Miss Winnie Buchanan. Mr. Smith objected. Recorder overruled the objection.

Miss Winnie testified that she had never heard her mother use such language as that imputed to her; denied the expressions imputed to others in her presence, and denied that a rebel flag was ever seen in her hands, or waved by any of the persons named, in her presence.

Marshals Chumley, Wilkinson, and Steele, were examined, and testified that they had known the defendants many years, and had always considered them quiet and orderly people—unusually so.

Mr. Smith submitted the case without argument.

Mr. Brien insisted that the witnesses for the prosecution could not be believed on account of their contradictions—that they were evidently angry with defendants, and desired to persecute them. After some further remarks, he submitted the case to the judgment of the Recorder, who discharged all the defendants.


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