From the Richmond Dispatch, 3/5/1866, p. 1, c. 4
RIOTING AMONG THE NEGROES – A CITIZEN WOUNDED BY THEM – THREE NEGROES SHOT BY THE POLICE. – For some days past, the negroes at Chimborazo have been evincing very hostile intentions towards the citizens in that neighborhood. A few nights since, a party of young men were out on a burlesque serenade to a newly-married couple, and, in a spirit of fun, greeted their ears with noises by no means harmonious. A party of negroes from Chimborazo, who were frolicking in a house in the neighborhood, ordered them off. From this, angry words ensued. The negroes told the young men that “in a few days they would not talk so saucy, for they intended to kill every rebel son of a b---h on the hill.” The end of the matter was, that the negroes fired upon the young men, which fire was returned by them, fortunately, without effect. After that time it was noticed that the negroes held nightly meetings, and, as it appeared, drills, at Chimborazo. No actual manifestation was made by them until Friday night, when they posted sentinels on the streets with arms, who halts every person who passed. At about 9 o’clock they halted a negro man and ordered him to take a musket. He subsequently escaped and carried information to police headquarters. At about 10 o’clock, Mr. H. K. Adams, a citizen, was passing along the street, near Chimborazo, when a body of negroes ordered him to halt. He did not obey, and they fired upon him, on shot striking him near the temple, and fortunately, glancing along the side of his head, making a slight flesh wound of about two inches in length. Another shot inflicted a slight wound in his arm. Luckily, he had the presence of mind to fall on his face, or he would have been killed. His clothes were riddled with bullets. Between 10 and 11 o’clock, information of the disturbance reached police headquarters, and Sergeant Baptist, with policemen Joseph Morriss, Augustus Ball, D. H. Alley, J. C. Allen, and W. White, were immediately dispatched to the scene of action. When they reached the corner of Twenty-eighth and Clay streets, they were confronted by two negro sentinels, who were about seventy-five yards in advance of a body of about a hundred. The latter were in front of Sergeant Baptist’s dwelling. The negroes cried to the policemen repeatedly, “Halt!” Sergeant Baptist pushed rapidly forward with his squad towards the main body, which fired upon him, and retreated hastily. The policed pursued them, firing upon them as they went across the Clay Street bridge, where they attempted to rally. They were heard hallooing, “Fall in here, company A!” “Fall in, company C!” “Rally!” “Charge ‘em!” At this time, Sergeant Howard arrived with a fresh supply of ammunition. His arrival was very opportune, as the policemen had exhausted theirs. Shortly afterwards, a squad of United States soldiers arrived, under charge of a sergeant. Everything was then quiet, and the police, with the assistance of the soldiers, proceeded to search the quarters of the negroes. They there arrested ten or twelve, armed with muskets, who were placed in the Libby. The police arrested one with a musket in his hand at the gate of Sergeant Baptist’s residence. The prisoners were all brought before Judge McEntee on Saturday, and their cases were postponed until something further would be disclosed. Among those arrested, we learn the following names: Thomas Jackson, John Green, George Jefferson, Shadrack Jasper, and John Jackson. We learn that three negroes were shot by the police, one through the mouth, another in the leg, and a third in the arm. On Saturday, Major Claiborne received a communication from General Turner, stating that a detail of twenty men and three non-commissioned officers had been made, to act in concert with the police, and that the detail was under the direction of Lieutenant Merrill, of the Freedman’s Bureau. Captain Charles P. Bigger, of the Blues, in behalf of his company, tendered their services to Major Claiborne. A strict watch was kept over Chimborazo on Saturday night, and since that time all has been quiet. The conduct of Sergeant Baptist and his squad of five men in charging and pursuing a hundred armed negroes, deserves especial commendation. We take pleasure in saying that throughout the affair they acted in a manner which shows that our police are not to be trifled with.