From the Richmond Examiner, 2/2/1864, p. 1, c. 2
HUSTINGS COURT – Before Judge Lyons – Monday, February 1, 1864. – The Court sat at nine o’clock, A. M. This was the seventh day of the trial of Robert S. Forde, of Kentucky, indicted for the murder of Robert Dixon, of Georgia.
Mr. Randolph made the closing speech for the defence, when Mr. Littleton Tazewell, in a speech of three hours and forty minutes, concluded and summed up the case for the Commonwealth. Mr. Tazewell replied seriatim to all six of the legal gentlemen who had spoken for the defence. His argument was able, clear and logical, and elicited the admiration of all who heard him. Even the friends of the prisoner congratulated him upon the distinguished manner in which he had acquitted himself. His effort, upon this occasion, has added greatly to his already high reputation as an orator and jurist.
The court room, throughout the day, was packed with a dense throng of lookers-on, and when, at four o’clock, the case was given to the jury, the crowd did not disperse, but lingered about the [illegible] to be in readiness to hear the verdict, in [illegible] upon one.
[illegible], and in the clerk’s office awaited the action of the jury.
Mrs. Forde, the wife of the prisoner, accompanied by several other ladies, attended the trial, until the case was given to the jury.
At twenty minutes to seven o’clock the jury signified, by a loud knocking at the door of the Sergeant’s room in which they were confined, that they had agreed upon a verdict.
The Judge resumed his seat upon upon the bench, and the Sergeant warned the immense crowd that filled the room, standing on benches, chairs and even some parts of the bar, that any person who should, in any manner, give expression to applause or disapprobation, would be instantly arrested.
The prisoner resumed his place at the bar, attended by his counsel.
The jury being asked if they had agreed upon their verdict, said they had, and the foreman handed their written verdict to the clerk.
Prisoner then being ordered to stand up, the clerk, in a clear voice, read the following verdict amid such a death-like stillness that a pin might have been heard to drop:
“We, the jury, find the prisoner guilty of murder in the second degree, and ascertain the term of his imprisonment in the penitentiary at eighteen years.”
The prisoner, as pale as marble, received the verdict without moving a muscle, or otherwise evincing the slightest emotion.
The verdict having been read, the prisoner resumed his seat. The judge discharged the jury with a compliment for the attention they had paid to the trial throughout.
Counsel for the prisoner asked time to prepare bills of exception, which was granted.
Prisoner was remanded to jail; the court adjourned, and the crowd dispersed.