From the Richmond Examiner, 3/5/1866, p. 3, c. 4
RIOT AMONG THE NEGROES ON CHIMBORAZO HILL – COLLISION WITH THE POLICE – THE POLICE COMPELLED TO RETIRE – THE MILITARY ORDERED TO THE SPOT – ONE WHITE MAN AND SEVERAL NEGROES SHOT. – Much excitement existed in the lower part of the city on Saturday morning in consequence of the generally credited report of a serious disturbance, amounting to a riot, among the negroes on Chimborazo Hospital hill, on Friday night. True it was, that great uneasiness existed among the residents of the hill, and the Chief of Police office and Judge McEntee’s court was besieged by ladies seeking guarantees of protection. We repaired to the vicinity of the hill at noon on Saturday, and found the ebony population in a perturbed state, jabbering negro lingo in reference to the last night’s occurrence. From the police and white parties, who witnessed Friday night’s occurrence, we learned the following particulars: Between 9 and 10 o’clock on Friday night, some white boys, who during the evening had been annoying the negroes by throwing stones into their quarters, were set upon by the negroes with fire-arms, and one young man, named Allen, was shot twice – once upon the wrist and once upon the side of the head. Information of the disturbance was dispatched to police headquarters, and Major Claiborne, the chief, sent out Sergeants Baptist and Callahan, who, as they were approaching the hill with a posse of eight or ten men, were unexpectedly met by a volley, fired from muskets, “bob-tails,” and old horse-pistols. The police returned the fire, and between fifty and sixty shots must have been exchanged. The negroes were mostly concealed, and fired from ambush, while the police were approaching by the bridge at the foot of the hill. After exhausting their fire, the police fell back, and a messenger was sent in haste to headquarters for more ammunition. Sergeant Howard went out with the cartridges, and the police reloaded. In the meantime, Sergeant Baptist captured a negro with a musket in his hand. He had just fired. He confessed that he did not know exactly how he had gotten into the difficulty; said the negroes seized him, put a musket into his hand, and told him to shoot. The negro was taken to the police station. By the time the police were supplied with ammunition, the military guard arrived, and entered the hospital enclosure, to which the negroes had retreated. In a moment two separate volleys were heard inside, and it was said that two of the negroes were shot, but our inquiries failed to establish the fact, though it was generally asserted that two negroes were killed by the guard. Quiet was thereupon restored for the night.
The negroes who participated in the riot were between fifty and sixty in number. The following were apprehended by the guard – John Wright, Matthew Banks, George Smith, William Jackson, William Johnson, Shadrach Jasper, George Jefferson, William H. Lewis, Tom Jackson and Tom Green. Some of them had weapons upon them at the time of their arrest. The negroes had a partial examination on Saturday morning before the Provost Court, Judge McEntee, who committed them to the Libby until to-day, when the whole affair will undergo an investigation.
Saturday morning, Captain Betts, aide to the Chief of Police, had an interview with Col. Brown, of General Terry’s staff, at the Baptist Institute, with regard to preparations for a renewal of the emeute on Saturday night. Colonel Brown referred Captain Betts to Lieutenant Merrill, of the Freedmen’s Bureau, who said he would consult with General Terry. Saturday afternoon the Chief of Police received a message from Colonel P. A. Davis, of General Terry’s staff, announcing that he had made a detail of three non-commissioned officers and twenty men, to be stationed on the hill to preserve the peace, and requested that the police act in conjunction with them.
Saturday night passed off without a renewal of the disturbance, and yesterday all was reported as quiet among the negroes, the presence of the military having had the effect of calming the turbulent spirits of the negroes.