From the Richmond Dispatch, 8/8/1864, p.1, c. 6
Mayor’s Court, Saturday – The important case which came before his Honor on Saturday was that of the negroes implicated in the robbery of the residence of Hon. Alexander R. Holladay, about one mile beyond the corporation limits, on Broad street, of six thousand dollars’ worth of groceries. The robbery occurred on Monday, two weeks ago, at to-night, and among the articles stolen were five hundred pounds of rice, and a large lot of butter, lard, salt, &c. The mode of entering the building was by forcing open the window to the basement, where the provisions were kept, and removing them therefrom. Even since the night of the robbery officers Deal and Jenkins have been unremitting in their efforts to ferret out the perpetrators of the deed, and after an arrest for nearly every other day they finally succeeded, on Thursday night last, in taking the whole party into custody and lodging them in jail. The following are the names of the negroes who were arraigned on Saturday morning before the Mayor: James, Charles and Samuel Harris, free negroes; Henry, slave of Mrs. Tinsley; George, slave of Reuben A. Lacy, and Henry, slave of Mrs. Fanny Wingo. A great deal of testimony was given as to when, where and how the robbery was committed, but only one witness testified positively who were the guilty parties, and that was one of the prisoners, named George, slave of Mr. Lacy, who made the following statement: Last Monday, one week ago, a bargain was made between himself and the negroes named above (save Sam Harris) to rob Mr. Holladay’s residence that night. Accordingly, between ten and eleven o’clock, they repaired thither, and after first deputing one of them to break in that portion of the house where the groceries were kept, the rest stood by ready to follow suit. They all entered after their leader forced open the window and helped themselves to the articles enumerated above, some taking bags of sugar, others carrying away flour, and the rest loading themselves with the remainder. Altogether they were in the house from eleven at night till two o’clock in the morning, at which hour they had swept the storeroom of its contents, and then started across the old field in the direction of Screamersville. About midway between Mr. Holladay’s and Buchanan Springs they halted, and after waiting till about five o’clock in the morning, part of the plunder was offered for sale to a lady named Elizabeth Krux, living nearby, but she refused to purchase it, and drove them off. The witness, (George,) Charles Harris and Mrs. Tinsley’s Henry then started to Bacon Quarter Branch, where they sold about fifty pounds of sugar for one hundred and fifty dollars. The purchaser was a man named Biney. George stated that it was agreed upon between them that the stolen articles should be sold, and the proceeds divided among them. He was not the instigator of the robbery but was a participator in it. Why he made the confession which he did was because his master told him when first arrested that if he knew anything about the robbery it was best to tell the truth. Sam Harris, he said, was not engaged with them. Upon hearing this testimony, the Mayor remanded all except Sam for examination before the Hustings Court (Many robberies have been committed in this neighborhood lately, and the developments in this case leaves little doubt that these fellows are the thieves.)
Lewis, slave of Lucy Phillips, and Reuben, slave of Charlotte Wright, was charged with stealing three hundred dollars’ worth of furniture and one hundred dollars’ worth of wearing apparel, the property of Robert H. Davis, and also aiding Leslie, his slave, to escape to the Yankees. During Mr. Davis’s absence from the city, Lewis entered his kitchen and took away all the furniture belonging to Leslie, his slave woman, and afterwards carried her off also. A few days since the trio were overhauled in the neighborhood of Old Church, Hanover, where they were awaiting an opportunity to escape the Confederacy. On the person of Lewis was found one hundred and twenty dollars in greenbacks and thirty dollars in gold. The Mayor remanded the for examination before the Hustings Court.
Erasmus, slave of E. C. Epps, and William, slave of Louisa Burton, charged with going at large, and believed to be runaways, were committed to jail to await investigation in their cases.
Joseph Abrams, charged with stealing one hundred and fifty-three dollars and fifty cents in Confederate States Treasury notes from Catherine Achs, was sent on for examination before the Hustings Court.
The charge of obtaining fifteen hundred dollars, under false pretenses, from Lina Castleburg, alleged some time since against John Head, was again taken up, when the Mayor, after reviewing the evidence previously elicited before him, considered the offence nor fully made out, and thereupon discharged him from civil prosecution; but subsequently turned him over to Captain Doswell to be tried for attempting to run persons through the lines.