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6th Vermont Infantry
AFFAIRS IN BRUNSWICK COUNTY.
A communication from Lawrenceville, Virginia, states that while a political meeting was being held there last Monday several rebels interposed, drew pistols, and attempted to break up the gathering, threatening at the same time to drive the speaker, Mr. George Tucker, of Pittsylvania C. H., from the stand. The colored men at once arose and drew pistols, when a riot seemed imminent, but by the prompt interposition of Lieutenant F. M. Kimball and others the danger was averted, order was restored and the rioters withdrew. After the meeting was over and nearly all had gone home, four white men named Robert Hawkins, Robert Turnbull, and James and Walker Larkley, came to the residence of Lieutenant K., and made an unprovoked assault on him and a Mr. James W. Jones, a Union citizen of the county.
Two of them beat Mr. Jones over the head with a cane very severely, while the other two caught and held Kimball, who, however, as soon as he could liberate himself from them, started to the assistance of Jones, when he in turn was assaulted. Mrs. Kimball hearing the affray rushed to the assistance of her husband and presented a pistol at the head of one of the rebels who was fighting him, and was about firing when the pistol was seized. Assistance arriving the assailants retreated. Later in the evening several freedmen being on their way home heard of the affray and turned back to see what was up, when they saw a Mr. Thomas Flournoy, who was one of those who attempted to break up the meeting, a short distance from K.'s residence. Flournoy turned his horse and fired on them, and when they "went for him" he put spurs to his animal and escaped, followed by a few scattering shots in the rear. The freedmen in large numbers then gathered about the residences of Messrs. Kimball and Burbank, laboring under great excitement fearing an attack. Being assured that nothing of the kind need be apprehended, they returned peacefully to their homes. There is not a conservator of the peace in Brunswick county, and not an officer authorized to make an arrest. How much longer will free speech be denied and life and property imperiled?
(in pencil-26 April 1869)