Alabama Burning – A list of Murders after the Civil War ended
The list below describes murders and other crimes against blacks in Alabama the year after the Civil War ended. It was compiled by the Freedmen’s Bureau.
Obviously, the South was no place to be if you were black. Some of these descriptions are quite gruesome:
List of Murders in the Dist. of Alabama 1866
- Freedman killed in Sumter County, January.
- Freedman killed in Russell County, February.
- Freedman killed near West Point, March.
- Freedman killed with an axe in Butler County. Three freedmen killed by two brothers in Shelby County, April.
- Freedman killed in Montgomery County, April. Freedman & freedwoman killed, thrown into a well in Jefferson Co., April.
- Freedman killed for refusing to sign a contract, Sumter Co., May. Freedman killed in Butler Co., clubbed, April.
- Freedman found hung by a grapevine in woods near Tuscaloosa, May.
- Freed girl beaten to death by two white men near Tuscaloosa, July.
- Freedman murdered between Danville & Somerville.
- Freedman shot dead while at his usual work, near Tuscaloosa, Sept.
- Freedman killed in Pike County, Sept.
- Negro murdered near Claiborne, Alabama, June.
- Freedman brought to hospital in Montgomery, shot through the head by unknown parties – died in few hours, Dec.
- Freedman murdered in Montgomery City, Jan. ’67.
District of Alabama, 1866
Jan. 4 – Bob Foreman cut at Union Springs.
Jan. 2 – Alfred killed in Sumter County.
Febry. 14 – Richard killed in Russell County near Columbus, Ga.
March – Freedman killed near West Point.
March – Bradley killed freedwoman with an axe. Montgy.
March – Guard fired on & driven off when attempting to arrest the murderer, Butler Co.
April 3 – Woman taken by three men out of her house in middle of night to swamp & badly whipped – beaten on head with pistol &c.
April – Freedman killed near Saw Mill near Montgomery.
April 27 – Freedman shot by Confed. Soldier wantonly near Livingston, Sumter Co.
May 7 – Moore taken to woods & hung till nearly dead to make him tell who robbed a store, at Tuscaloosa.
May 29 – Colored man killed by Lucian Jones for refusing to sign contract, in upper part of Sumter Co.
May 30 – Mulatto hung by grapevine near roadside between Tuscaloosa & Greensboro.
May 29 – Richard Dick’s wife beaten with club by her employer. Richard remonstrated – in the night was taken from his house and whipped nearly to death with a buggy trace by son of the employer & two others.
June 16 – Mr. Alexander, colored preacher, brutally beaten & forced to leave his house at Auburn, Ala.
July – Band armed men came to house of Eliz. Adams, threatened to kill her & her sister if they did not leave the county, abused & beat them. (illegible) Franklin & (illegible) started to report outrage, not heard from afterward.
July 16 – Black girl beaten to death by Washington and Greene McKinney, 18 miles west of Tuscaloosa.
July 23 – White man named Cook murdered a Negro between Danville & Somerville.
Sept. 14 – Black man picking fodder in a field shot dead — & another who had difficulty with a white man abducted & supposed to have been murdered near Tuscaloosa.
Sept. 3 – Murderous assault upon returned black Union soldier in Blount Co.
Sept. 12 – Assault & firing upon a freedman in Greenville.
Dec. 18 – R. S. Lee of Butler Co. brutally assaulted a freedwoman of Sumner.
Dec. 18 – Same man assaulted with intent to kill Peter Golston, freedman.
Dec. 18 – Wm. Lee, son of above shot Morris Golston on 10th December.
Dec. 17 – Enoch Hicks & party burned school house in Greenville in Sumner – assaulted Union soldier &c. Judge Bragg & son mercilessly beat wife & daughter of James, freedman & drew pistol on James. Kell Forrest beat wife of colored man George.
July 16 – Mrs. Prus beat Eve & her children. Henry Calloway beat freedwoman Nancy with buck, wounding her severely in the head. J. Howard & nephew beat & shot at Frank. Jno. Black attempted to kill Jim Sneethen with an axe. Jack McLeonard whipped his freedwoman mercilessly. Lee Davidson tied freedwoman up by wrists & beat her severely. Frank Pinkston cutting freedman Alfred with knife. Louisa’s husband murdered by unknown white man.
July 26 – Jno. Dunn beat freedwoman severely – trial a farce. Jas. Pryor, 8 miles from Greenville, assaulted freedman & committed outrage on a freedwoman.
July 18 – One Yerby set fire to colored chc. Near Tuscaloosa, threatened to kill black man who saw him do it.
June – Negro murdered by one Humphreys residing near Claiborne, Ala. Miss. J. B. Peck, Wetumpka, reports outrages on a family of freedmen by one Jennings.
August – Gang of ruffians in Clarke Co. set fire to house & fired on family as they ran from it – one killed, two wounded.
February 1866 – Freedwoman beaten with club by her employer near Selma, head cut in most shocking manner.
June 1866 – Freedman shot while at his usual work by his employer for threatening to report his abusive conduct to the authorities of the Bureau – Mobile.
June 1866 – Freedwoman severely burned by a Policeman while in the guard house – Montgomery.
July 1866 – Demopolis, colored boy 13 years old struck violent blow in eye with club in hand of his employer.
Sept. 1866 – Demopolis, freedwoman wounded in arms, head by heavy club in hands of her employer.
Sept. 1866 – Freedwoman wounded in hand by violence from her employer Wm. Robinson.
Sept. 1866 – James Thompson, frme., severe wounds on breast & side by knife in hands Dormer Thomas.
December 1866 – Freedman killed by parties unknown, brought to hospital in dying condition, shot through brain.
January 25 – Freedwoman stabbed by Ballard six miles below Montgomery.
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Alabama
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865 – 1870
National Archives Publication M809 Roll 23