Twenty-seven Shots, Five Hits, and No One Killed

On Saturday night last and dance and candy pull was given at the hovel of Sam Morton, colored, living at New Liberty, and forgetting the approach of Sunday, the dance continued until about 1 o’clock a.m., when the efficient town marshal, James Todd, of New Liberty, appeared and ordered the music stopped.  He approached Sam Morton, who drew a pistol and fired into Mr. Todd’s face, barely grazing him.  He fired again, and Mr. Todd through up his right hand, and the ball passed through the second finger.  Whereupon Mr. Todd drew a small pistol – 22 caliber – that he had borrowed a day or two before to make an arrest, which he fortunately or unfortunately had in his pocket at the time.  He fired at Jo. Tevis, who was firing at him from behind, the ball striking Tevis under the eye, passing around under the skin, coming out at the back of his neck.  The lights being extinguished by this time, a general firing commenced, and a general stampede followed, Mr. Todd going it alone in a dark room with some dozen negroes. He emptied his pistol, as likewise did the negroes, after which, Mr. Todd was knocked down and held by one negro while another negro went for an axe “to finish him.”  In the meantime, however, he extricated himself from the negro’s grasp, and being unarmed, he left to have his wounds cared for.  The next morning the house was examined and 27 bullets found embedded in the walls.  The following negroes were wounded: Joe Tevis, shot through the head and neck.

Fannie Willis, shot through the arm. Unknown negress, shot through the mouth, knocking several teeth out. An old woman, ear pierced with a bullet. Mary Crouch, a grazer along the top of the head by a bullet, which made a natural parting of the hair. Mr. Todd himself only fired three shots, but every shot was fruitful.  The trial is set for next Monday.  We will say here that it is a great pity that Mr. Todd did not have a better revolver, that he could have produced better work, by sending the attacking party to a hotter clime.


Reprinted from the Owen News in the Carrollton Democrat, June 19, 1880.