From the Richmond Dispatch, 9/22/1862, p. 1, c. 5-6


Mayor’s Court, Sept. 20, 1862. – A full examination of the parties concerned in the riot of Thursday last, was bad this morning. Preston Nichols a member of the Provost Guard, went into the store of a man named Longenotti, wishing to buy some apples. Longenotti not being able to change his money, he put back all the apples he had taken, except one which he had bitten, when he was ordered to leave the store. He started out, and, without giving them any provocation whatever, the three Longenotti (father and sons) assaulted him, and, in the words of Hicks, one of the witnesses "were out a tea kettle over his head." He finally broke away from his assailants and seized the door bar, and inflicted some damage on the other party with it. The Provost Guard soon came up, and in endeavoring to clear away the large crowd that had assembled, knocked Tim Callahan down with a musket while he was advising Nichols to go to his house and wash himself; and broke the right and wounded the left arm of a man named Ryan, who Mr. J. W. Frayser testified, was utterly unable to get out of the space the guard wished to keep clear. The guard finally broke open the door and arrested the Longenotti, who had hidden themselves in the back yard.

The evidence of the other side showed the reputation of the accused as a quiet and orderly family, and accounted for some blows the assailants had received. John Fagan testified that he saw Nichols pull the elder Longenotti out into the street and "fetch a wind" at him with the bar, which Longenotti dodged. He saw no blood until Nichols rose from the gutter, in which both parties to the scuffing had fallen. Martha Daly saw Nichols slap Mrs. Longenotti in the face. Lizzie Loman, a young girl, gave an entirely new explanation of the whole affair. She said she saw Nichols go in the store drunk, and heard him tell Joseph to give him some apples. Joseph gave him one, but he insisted on having two or three dozen. Joseph told him he couldn't afford to give him so many. Nichols then cursed Mrs. L., and struck her on the arm, and the fight then continued as before stated; but this witness persistently declared that she saw nobody strike Nichols, but on the contrary Nichols struck and bit both the Longenotti.

Upon the conclusion of the evidence his Honor announced that he would take time to investigate the authority of military law in this city, and bailed the accused to appear before him on Monday. George W. Rhodes, James Russell, and another having shown that they embroiled themselves with the guard only and had no connection with the fight were dismissed; as was also Frank Botto, who proved that he was not there at all, although he had been taken from his bed at night and put in custody by some of the guard.

John Jaiser, charged with assaulting and beating a man named Vaughan, was dismissed at Vaughan's request.

Charles Lewis and Michael Powers, two soldiers, were charged by Alexander Quesenberry with garroting him and robbing him of a pocket-book containing $60 in Confederate fives, $1 on a North Carolina bank, and two or three shinplasters. Quesenberry testified that as he was on his way to Camp Winder the two prisoners met him, and one held out his hand to shake hands with him. He took it and the other put his arm about his neck and choked him while the first robbed him. They were handed over to Capt. Alexander for safe keeping until Monday morning when his Honor will decide the question of jurisdiction between his Court and Court-martial over offences committed by soldiers in this city.

Josephine DeMerritt, Anna Lewis, Kate Clinton, Mary Brown, and Agnes Richardson, charged with keeping a house of evil name fame, and reputation, &c., were required to give security in the sum of $300 to answer an indictment.

Alonzo, slave of H. W. Murray, was ordered twenty lashes for beating Elizabeth Cosby, a free woman.

Julia Ann, for using abusive language to and beating a white child, was ordered 15 lashes.

A negro named William was ordered 15 lashes for smoking a cigar in the street and running from the watchmen.

Jackson, slave of Chas. C. Ellett, was charged with huckstering in the market, but the offence consisting of the purchase and sale of only one watermelon, the prisoner was discharged.

Court of Hustings.—A special session of this Court was held Saturday morning for the examination of John T. Ellis, charged with stealing $99 from Wm. B. Layne. The Court were of opinion that Ellis should be tried before Judge Lyons, and remanded him to jail until November 1st.




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