L To R, Josh Perkins, Elmer Willis, Solomon Doyle, Mae Ashworth Willis, Nora Ashworth Griffin, Shelby Ashworth

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Old CV Logging Camp Fight , Another View




Thanks is in order for a new Internet friend, David Thompson, that was gracious to share with me a second report that he had found in the Atlanta Georgia newspaper, "The Atlanta Constitution" about The CV Logging Camp Fight that took place at the Smokey Cove settlement here in South West La. in August of 1891.
There was no way to copy and paste the article here at this site. So I have taken the time to transcribe it word for word and post it here to enable everyone to read the full article.

The Atlanta Constitution
Atlanta, Ga.
Wednesday Morning, August 5, 1891


The photos of the two men posted with this story are my two GG Grand Fathers. Owen Ashworth is in the top photo. Josh Perkins is in the bottom photo.

RIOT IN LOUISIANA IN WHICH SEVEN MEN WERE SLAUGHTERED

The Redbones and the Whites have a hostile meeting in the woods along the Calcasieu River--- The Bloody Battle and the tragic results.

Lake Charles, La. Aug. 4, 1891

Lock Moore and Co's logging train camp was the scene of the most fatal fight between two factions ever recorded in the annals of Louisiana Sunday Night.
Seven men were killed and thrice that number wounded in the conflict. The scene of the conflict was visited here this morning. The following was learned as to it's cause and fatality.
The Scene Of The Tragedy

The logging camp where the battle was fought is situated on the Calcasieu River, twenty miles north east of this place in a sparsely settled, but heavy timbered country. Five hundred men are employed in the camps by Lock, Moore and company, lumber manufactures. Four hundred of these men are a nationality known as REDBONES. They live in a semi barbaric state, spending their time in pilfering from their neighbors and gambling. They derive their name from being descended from a tribe of Indians which once inhabited the territory on the Calcasieu River.
During the past half century the tribe has retrograded so that today is can claim no nationality as it's own. Being illiterate, cowardly, indolent, their presence has caused a great deal of fear in West Louisiana and several times have the law abiding citizens endeavored to rid the country of them by lawful means.
The remaining one hundred employees living at these camps are white men from Texas and this state also, who are industrious and prosperous. On that account the REDBONES have a bitterly hated them, and at times threatened the lives of the whites. This feeling has existed for years and during that time the whites have been fearful of their lives.
THE CLIMAX REACHED

Friday night the climax was reached when a member of the REDBONES slapped the face of a little buy of a white man and at the same time told it;s father that should he be found in the camp the next morning, it would be at the peril of his life.Threats were also made against the entire population of the place. The whites being in the minority, took steps towards self-preservation, and at the same time dispatched a messenger to Lake Charles asking for assistance. Saturday being the day it was thought the factions would meet, not a man could be found willing to work. In consequence the camps never closed.

THE REDBONE AFFAIR

The REDBONES, heavily armed themselves and walked through the village, defiantly insulting the whites as they passed. As night approached, the REDBONES assembled at a small saloon, owned by a white man and began drinking. The whites became fearful and congregated at one place, hourly expecting the attack from the REDBONES. The night waned and nothing was done. At Daylight eight of the white men returned in the direction of the saloon and were meet at the door by a body of REDBONES, numbering eleven, who accosted them and began abusing them. The leader of the REDBONES attempted to shoot one of the white man with a Winchester rifle, which failed to work.

THE FUSILLADE BEGINS

This was a signal for the beginning of a general fusillade which lasted some thirty minutes. The first shot was fired by a white man, who's life at that time was saved by the failure of Jesse Dyson Winchester failure to operate. The ball struck Dyson above the left eye piercing his head, killing his instantly.
Jesse Ward of the white fraction, fell dead during the first volley from the REDBONES. His body was riddled with bullets.Four of the white men being unarmed, they attempted to escape, three of whom did, the fourth being shot through the shoulder as he reached the woods.
The volley from the remaining four white men made a telling effect upon the forces of the REDBONES, five of the total number engaged {Eleven} being killed while only one white man suffered death from them.

THE FIGHTERS RETREAT

The REDBONES, after standing the fire of the whites thirty minutes, retreated into the woods to reconnoiter. The whites also retreated in the direction of the white settlement for the same purpose.
On the arrival of the surviving members of the white fraction, at their, settlement, the fight was made known and women and children became frantic, well knowing their numbers to be in the minority and themselves at the mercy of the REDBONES.
Another messenger was dispatched to Lake Charles post haste for Doctors and Officers, the former to attend to the wounded, of whom there were three, the latter to protect their homes from the ravages of the enraged half breeds. The expected renewal of the battle of the morning did not materialize, the whites remaining huddled together during the day and the half breeds ambushed, eagerly awaiting an opportunity to shoot the whites on sight.

A VENTURE OUT

An old man by the name of Swan, seeing no one, attempted to walk from his house to the river, but had gone but a few steps when his body was riddled with bullets. Dupree, {The Saloon Owner} also returned to his home and was shot through the body by someone ambushed. His little son, scarcely eight years of age, seeing his father fall, attempted to reach him and was shot through both legs. Thus matters remained until the following morning, when officers and Doctors from Lake Charles arrived.

THE DEAD AND THE DYING

The two white men killed the day before were picked up by the officers and removed to an old house where an inquest was held, from which they were buried. The dead and wounded of the REDBONES fraction also remained on the field until the following morning, when they were removed by the survivors of the party and an additional number of about two hundred followers. Five of their numbers were picked up and interred, and thrice that number of wounded removed into the thickets where they are now concealed.
The survivors of the white party who were engaged in the fight came here today and surrendered to the sheriff of this parish.
They will have a preliminary trial tomorrow, when it is thought they will be discharged. No arrest has been or can be made of the REDBONE faction, they having concealed themselves in the dense thicket where death would surely meet the officer pursing therein. More trouble is expected and should an attempt be made to corral the mob, a great loss of life will be the result.

LAKE CHARLES, La. Aug. 10th

THREE OUTLAWS CAUGHT

The Forces Watching The "REDBONE" Outlaws

Sheriff Reid and posse returned this morning from the logging camps, where a battle was fought with fatal results between the white employees and a band of Outlaws last week.Since the fight the outlaws have organized and concealed themselves in a dense thicket in the vicinity, and sent daring messages to the white people, threatening to kill anyone entering therein.
The sheriff accompanied by twelve brave assistants, has been in the vicinity for the last forty eight hours awaiting an opportunity for action. Last night it presented itself, when three of the outlaws left their place of hiding in search of food. The posse being concealed, the outlaws walked in only a few feet of them and were captured without the firing of a shot by the posse.
Their names are OWEN ASHWORTH, JOSH PERKINS, DEMPSE ASHWORTH. The first named ASHWORTH is known to be the murderer of the first white man killed in the fight, while JOSH PERKINS is accused of killing old man Swan.
Six white men have received notifications from the outlaws known as "REDBONES" to leave. Each of them have families, who were compelled to leave them at the mercy of the outlaws. Public feeling is running high and should they again attack the whites, the result will be very disastrous to their forces.

2 comments:

Houston said...

It appears to be a re-writing of the piece in the Lake Charles paper. So besides Lake Charles, we know the story was picked up in St. Louis and now, Atlanta.

Our people sure have a colorful history. Still, it's a bit of a shock when we see just what the good White folks thought of us.

LeNelle D. said...

thank you so much for sharing these stories. Jesse Dyson is one of my great grandfathers