From the Richmond Examiner, 12/19/1865, p. 3, c. 3
CHARGED WITH ARSON – A MERCHANT CHARGED WITH SETTING FIRE TO HIS OWN STORE. – Between 9 and 10 o’clock on Saturday evening, the employees of the St. Charles Hotel, corner of Main and Wall (or Fifteenth) Street, had their attention attracted to liquor flowing from the store No. 5, under the Hotel, occupied by Messrs. Edwards & Collins, grocery and liquor merchants. Supposing that burglars were operating therein, assistance was obtained, and a forcible entrance effect. It was then discovered that the store was on fire that a half dozen candles were burning in close proximity to a vast quantity of liquors and fluids that covered the floor. It was evident at a glance to those who entered, that the object was to destroy the store and stock; that the plan had been well laid, and that the flames should not ignite and burst out until after midnight, thus the more certainly to effect their their work.
The police authorities were notified, and a warrant issued for the arrest of Overton W. Edwards, one of the partners, who was taken into custody at an early hour yesterday morning, at his dwelling, Third Street, between Main and Cary streets. We understand that he denied all knowledge of the origin of the attempted arson, but contradicted himself. He was lodged in confinement, and his examination will take place before the Mayor this morning. Edwards is 52 years of age.