Wilson N.C., Sept 7, 1867
Lt. J.F. Allison, Goldsboro N.C.,
Sir, Yours 2nd Inst. asking information as to the particulars of the Complaint made against Calvin Barnes Col’d & the circumstances causing his arrest & imprisonment. In Reply the warrant issued for this arrest was granted upon the oath of Edward Gordon a young man of respectability that he was assaulted by Calvin Barnes with a Gun while on his way from school to his place of residence some three miles in the Country, the provocation upon his (Gordon’s) part being that he ordered this man Calvin Barnes off the land of Joshua Barnes, the gentleman with whome he lives, having discovered him in the act of trying to shoot some of the said Joshua Barnes’s hogs, his attention being drawn by the hogs hurdling up & eating some corn that had been thrown to them to attract them & seeing this man Calvin Barnes standing by the field fence near the hogs, he asked him what he was doing there, whereupon the said Calvin leveled his Gun at him as in the act of shooting when Gordon jumped behind a tree. Calvin advanced upon him he ran off towards home & Calvin pursued for some distance threatning & abusing. He (Gordon) testifies that he has known Calvin for 3 or 4 years that he lived upon the farm adjoining the one on which he lived for this length of time & that he is positive as to it being him. Upon the trial of the case before the Magistrate, Calvin denied the fact of its being him, & reported that he was at the shop of one Isaac Strickland Col’d. in this place from 10 or 11 o’clock AM of that day until about two hours in the night which he proved by the oath of the said Isaac Strickland, whose testimony was slightly varied upon cross examination, E. Jennings Piggott Eqr. testified that Calvin Barnes whome he recognized as the person under arrest, worked at his house until 12 o’clock of that day & Edward Gordon upon second Examination testified that he returned to town immediately after this occurrence & called at the shop of Isaac Strickland (above refered to) about twilight & made Enquiry for Calvin Barnes & was informed by some one whome he did not recognize, and in the presence of Isaac Strickland that Calvin Barnes had just come up from the Rail Road & had gone on home some fifteen minutes since, (the assault was made on the Rail Road about 1 ½ miles from this place). The Magistrate committed him to jail for the lack of security on a Bond of One Hundred Dollar for his appearance at the next term of our Court. He gave Bail on yesterday & was was discharged from jail. Any other information that may be desired I shall be pleased to furnish.
I am Very Respectfully Your Obdt Servt., Jos. W. Davis, Shff, Wilson Co
Wilson N.C. Nov 14 1867
Major C.E. Compton, Goldsboro N.C.
Dear sir, Your favor 2nd Inst just read. In reply to a communication from Lieut. J.F. Allison dated Sept’r 2 1867 I gave the particulars of the arrest & the evidence upon the preliminary examination of Calvin Barnes Col’d & of his committal to Jail. He remained in jail only a few days, was discharged on the 4th Sept. upon giving bond for his appearance at the Oct. Term of our County Court. The case was called on Thursday 31st & the only Witness introduced was Edward Gordon the young man upon whome the assault was made & who is a gentleman of unimpeached veracity of the highest respectability. He testified that as he was going to his place of residence about 4 miles distant from this place in the latter part of August (probably the 28th) his attention was attracted by a number of hogs that was hurdled in the field near which he was passing belonging to the gentleman with whome he was living (Genl. J. Barnes) & while his attention was drawn to them he saw corn thrown to them by some one concealed in the briars & bushes about the fence & upon closer examination he saw some body squatted in the bushes with a gun in hand that he spoke to the person and asked what he was doing there, whereupon the boy Calvin Barnes came out and pointed the gun directly at him & in a threatning manner. He (Gordon) thereupon jumped behind some bushes & ran off & was pursued some Two Hundred yards by Calvin Barnes, that soon thereafter he heard the gun discharged & he shortly returned to town & learned that Calvin Barnes had just returned from the direction where this thing occurred.
I will take the liberty of saying that there can be no doubt about the identification of this defendant as young Gordon has lived on the adjoining plantation to where he lived for several years & is familiarly acquainted with him & also that he (Calvin Barnes) does not where he is known to bear a very enviable character.
I have embodied in a report made out this forenoon the particulars of his Escape from the Custody of the Jailer after his conviction & sentence, which will reach you with this.
I am Very Respectfully, Your Obdt. Servant, Jos. W. Davis, Shff, Wilson Co.
[I have not yet located the report of Barnes’ escape.]
North Carolina, Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1863-1872, http://FamilySearch.org; Records of Assistant Commissioner of the State of North Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives; Freedmen Bureau Records of Field Offices, 1863-1878 [database on-line], Ancestry.com.