April 29, 1863

26Wednesday.  Spent the day as a member of a Military Commission appointed by  Genl. Emory, consisting of Col. Jerrard, self & Capt. Long, of the 52nd Mass.  Maj. Lieber of Gen’l. Emory’s Staff, Judge Advocate.  Engaged all day, trying the case of a creole named Theodate Melancon, who is charged with leading a gang of armed negroes in plundering & outrage on the citizens of St. Martinsville.  Examined a large number of witnesses who all testified that the prisoner was with the gang, which was commanded by a negro named Pierre—that they were all apparently in liquor, & that on being fired upon by the people in the village of St. Martinsville when their leader & another negro was killed, the rest took to flight.  The prisoner was not seen when the gang was fired on, & was arrested on the prairie a mile east of the Bayou while apparently trying to escape.  He was alone, the negroes having fled in other directions.  The witnesses were nearly all French & their testimony had to be interpreted to the Court.  The case was not closed today and from all the testimony thus far, it seems probably that the accused, as he claims to have been, was compelled by the negroes to join them.   Tomorrow is the day of “muster for payment,” but the Col. has decided to omit it.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

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