From the Richmond Whig, 11/26/1867, p. 4, c. 1
THE ROSE TRIAL. – The court of enquiry in the case of Colonel Rose, U. S. A., who superintended the election in this city for members of the convention, and has been charged with a multitude of wrong acts in the discharge of the duties assigned him, was continued yesterday. General Stoneman, president, and all the members of the court, including Judge Advocate Layton, were present. Col. Rose is represented by Major Hennissey, Assistant U. S. District Attorney for Virginia.
Mr. Sturdivant, one of the Conservative candidates for the convention, was the first witness called. He testified that, while he had his back turned to the poll, at City Hall, where the whites of Madison Ward voted, and was in conversation with some gentlemen, he heard the announcement that the polls were closed. He thought the voice announcing the fact was that of Mr. E. J. Crump, one of the conductors of the election, but was not certain. On turning, however, he saw the window let down; the table in front of the window was removed and carried into the passage by Mr. Norris Montgomery, assisted by another gentleman. The gentleman of the Conservative party acting as canvassers also at this time left the stations they had occupied in front of the poll during the day, as did the lieutenant with his guard. He held a few moments’ conversation with this officer in regard to the custody of the ballot boxes. He did not know whether the window where the colored votes were polled was closed. He subsequently learned that the polls were said to be not closed, and, in company with a number of gentlemen of this city, sought an interview with Colonel Rose in reference to the matter, when Col. Rose stated that the poll was not closed, and Mr. Crump acquiesced in what he said. Mr. Daniel then said to Crump, “Come out and confront those who said you closed them.” The witness then said to Colonel Rose, “If you persist in keeping the polls open, under the circumstances, I will feel it my duty to report you to General Schofield.” This poll was closed at the time indicated, and we all had retired satisfied that the day’s work was done. – Colonel Rose responded in substance, “I suppose it was in consequence of your thinking this that you made the hell of a noise I heard a while ago.”
Witness replied – The noise was in consequence of the fact that a negro who had voted the Conservative ticket, and been pursued by a mob of his color not of his way of thinking, had succeeded in making his escape without injury. Col. Rose said he had not closed the polls.
During the interview witness admitted, without being questioned, that his manner was excited.
In reply to the assertion of Col. Rose, above stated, he said it is obvious that your purpose is to defraud and swindle us in this election, and I shall see that you conduct is properly exposed. Some gentlemen chimed in with witness, when Col. Rose turned to the Lieutenant in command of the guard and ordered him to clear the north passage of City Hall – where the interview took place – which he did. Witness got Messrs. R. T. Daniel, Archer, and others who were present, to go and see General Schofield in regard to the procedure. He had no personal altercation with Col. Rose at the polls.
On his cross-examination he stated that he went to Mr. Crump a few minutes before sundown, and asked him pleasantly how long before the polls would be closed, when Mr. Crump replied, with a smile appreciating the spirit of the inquiry, “in about fifteen minutes, I reckon.”
On his cross examination, Major S. further testified that he had but one interview with Col. Rose; that Colonel Rose denied that the polls had ever been closed; of his own knowledge he did not know who ordered the polls to be closed in Madison ward, or whether any voter, white or colored, was not permitted by Colonel Rose to vote.
Mr. William Lawson was next called, and testified that he was present on the evening of the 23d October, about seven o’clock, when Major Sturdivant and Colonel Rose had a conversation in regard to the closing of the polls in Madison ward. The interview took place in the passage in City Hall, leading from Broad street to the Hustings Court room, and separating the polls from the office of Mr. Hobson; Colonel Rose said he had not ordered the polls to be closed; Mr. Andred Jenkins and others present said they had all heard the same response from inside the voting place, to wit: the announcement of the closing of the polls; Mr. R. T. Daniel remarked, “Bring out those who receive and register the votes;” Mr. Crump said he wouldn’t come; he didn’t think it safe; Colonel Rose then slammed the door, shutting Mr. Crump up in the voting room; Colonel Rose then turned to the Lieutenant commanding the guard and ordered him to clear the passage; the officer obeyed the command, and the passage was cleared; there were two soldiers present, one of whom came to a charge bayonet; there were no negroes in the passage, according to the recollection of the witness.
Among the persons thus driven out by the military whom the witness could call to mind were Messrs. R. T. Daniel, R. T. Daniel, Jr., N. A. Sturdivant, Andrew Jenkins, James Archer, N. B. Clapp, John A. Elder and himself.
On the 24th of October, between 10 A. M. and 4 P. M., he went to Monroe Ward polls and heard Colonel Rose order the city police to make every white man leave the polls who had voted, which order they complied with promptly. At the same time he noticed on Second street, fronting the negro place of voting, a number of negro men and women who were not, to his knowledge, driven away. The whites were driven down Grace toward Third street.
R. T. Daniel, Jr., was next called. He was at Madision Ward polls nearly all of the afternoon of the 23d of October. He saw the window where the white vote was polled closed, and immediately went to the corner of City Hall to see if the negro window was also closed; discovering that it was not, he returned and went through the passage already described and took a seat in Mr. Hobson’s office; he had been there but a short time, however, before he was attracted by loud talking in the passage, and went out; he found a party of gentlemen, among them Major Sturdivant, in conversation with Col. Rose; they were asking him how it happened that the white poll was closed and the black open; the door to the voting room was half open, and Mr. E. Jackson Crump in view; he said he had not closed the polls; a member of the party said, “Bring that man out and let him say whether he did close the polls or not.” Col. Rose turned and shut the door.
Some of the gentlemen present remonstrated at his conduct, when he ordered the Lieutenant in command of the guard to clear the passage, which was done. Witness was also at Monroe Ward when, at the instance of Colonel Rose as above described, whites were compelled to leave the polls, which, he stated, was done by the military marching in line of battle down Second street, leaving a triple line of negroes extending from the negro place of voting to the junction of Franklin and Second streets. How far up Franklin street, he did not ascertain. A suggestion was subsequently made to Colonel Rose to clear the streets of negroes, as had been done in regard to white persons; but he did not act upon it. After this, witness was standing at the corner of Franklin and Second streets, when Colonel Rose came up and ordered him away; he protested, because he was not retarding the voting by standing there or interfering with the business of the day.
The court was several times cleared during its session of all except its members during the consideration of questions propounded by Major Hennissy, and objected to by the Judge Advocate.
The court meets again to-day at the usual hour.