Richmond Dispatch, 11/18/1862

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From the Richmond Dispatch, 11/18/1862, p. 1, c. 4

The Late Murder on Cary Street – Inefficiency of the Police. - The jury of inquest summoned in the case of J. O. Withmell, killed on Cary street, between 14th and 15th streets, Saturday night, met yesterday at room No. 153 Exchange Hotel, at 10 o'clock, pursuant to adjournment, when the following additional testimony was given in:

William R. Cauthorn, (one of the night watch,) sworn, deposed: On Saturday night about 12 o'clk, I was standing at the corner of 15th and Main sts.; heard a gun fired; started up and met three men coming towards 15th street; one was taller than the others; had on a slouch hat, turned up at the side. I afterwards went to Ann Thomas's, asked her if any fuse was going on; she said no, but that three men came, and when they were going away she heard a pistol fired; asked her if she knew either, said yes—one Tom Hiltzhimer. I went down and saw Lieut. Carter, then came up to the Exchange and heard the details of the shooting.

Ann Thomas: I heard the report of a pistol, but was in bed, and did not get up. I knew one of the parties—Mr. Hiltzhimer--having recognized his voice; knew none of the others. They had not got out of the alley before I heard the pistol.--There was no one in the house for an hour or more previous to the visit of these gentlemen.

Maggie Clarke: I did not know anything about it at all until the officers came. I did not hear the pistol. I know Mr. Hiltzhimer.

Jennie Barnes deposed to the same effect.

Nellie Porter: I went to the door when the gentlemen came; saw that there was a crowd; told them they couldn't get in Heard a pistol, then, and said to myself, "they are mad, now, because I wouldn't let them in." In fifteen minutes or more, the guard came, and searched the house and yard. When Mr. Hiltzhimer and party knocked and couldn't get in, they went away. I have no idea who did the shooting. There was a gentleman in the house previous, who left an hour before. Don't know his name. I never saw deceased; never heard Miss Ann say she saw him. No one could get out the back way through the alley; the fence is very high.

Dr. L. R. Waring: Was called to see deceased about 12 o'clock Saturday night. Found him lying on bed in No. 218, suffering a good deal of pain.--Examined the body, and found that the ball had entered the back near the spinal column, a little below the right kidney. The ball passed almost directly through the body, and was extracted near the navel. Death was the result of the shooting.—The deceased had no suspicions as to who shot him.

Emma Marsh being sworn deposed: Was in the parlor when some one knocked at the door. Didn't go to the window. Don't know who knocked.—Nellie called Mr. Hiltzhimer's name. Don't know any of those in the parlor. Don't know deceased. No gentleman was in witnesses' room that night.—Three men were in the house. Two went out. The one left was a captain.

Lucretia Bywaters deposed: Had been sick. Was in my room asleep Had not been in the parlor for two weeks. Heard no pistol. Knew Mr. Hiltzhimer. He visits the house. Knew none of the parties who were with him.

Mary Davis deposed: Went to bad at 11 o'clock. Heard the report of the pistol. Did not get up. Do not know what direction it was in. Did not know that a man was shot until next morning.

Mary Jones deposed: Don't know anything about it. Went to bed at 11 o'clock. Heard no noise or knocking at the door. Did not look out. Had no curiosity. Heard no one making any observations. Have no recollection of having seen the deceased.

Lizzie Hodges deposed, that she know nothing about the shooting. Heard no knocking or nothing until the next day.

Sarah Smith deposed, that she knew nothing of the affair. Heard no pistol shot off. Retired to bed early and was asleep.

Having heard the above testimony, the jury returned a verdict that the deceased came to his death from a pistol-shot wound, the ball entering his back and passing through his body, and that it was fired by some person to the jury unknown.

Afterwards the jury drew up and signed the following paper as an addenda to the verdict:

"The jury of inquest in the case of J. O. Withmell, a stranger, assassinated in the city of Richmond, on the night of Saturday, in view of the negligence and inefficiency displayed by policemen, who should have been in that neighborhood on that occasion, do resolve that the Mayor, in pursuance of his duty, be requested to ascertain the names of the said derelict officers, and visit summary punishment upon them.

"As citizens of Richmond, we would respectfully urge upon the authorities the appointment of additional police force, if the present number is inadequate. Every means should be adopted to bring back order and law to the once orderly and quiet city.

"The jury further resolved, that inasmuch as murder and robbery have become of daily occurrence in this community, as a step towards its suppression, the Mayor be requested to offer a reward of $500 for the detection and arrest of the murderer or murderers of the deceased, J. O. Withmell."


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