KKK Lynches Confederate Veteran

Disclaimer: This page is offered only as an interesting sidelight on family history.

Quoted from The Memphis Daily Appeal, Saturday, 16 January 1869:

KU-KLUX
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Ex-Rebel Soldier Hung in Overton County.
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[From the Nashville Union and American.]
_ We learn that on Wednesday night last, at Livingston, the county seat of Overton county a young man named Wm. German was forcibly taken from his place of residence and hanged near that place.
_ German had served through the war as a member of the 25th Infantry, Confederate army, and at the time of his death was employed on the farm of Mr. Allison, near that place. His brother, Lum German, was arrested by the federal authorities just before the close of the war upon the charge of being a bushwacker, was found guilty before a military commission, and suffered the extreme penalty of the law.
_ What will our Radical friends think of this last act of the Ku-Klux, whom they charge to be rebels? We are inclined to think that the other branch of the Order, which had its origin in Union League is disposed to operate for a little amusement.


Quoted from The Memphis Daily Appeal, Tuesday, 19 January 1869:

MORE MYSTERY
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The Execution of Bill German in Overton County.
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_ The Union and American of Saturday says: "By a private letter from a trustworthy gentleman residing at Cookville in Putnam County, we give some further information in regard to the recent execution near Livingston, in Overton county, by a body of supposed Ku-Klux, of the young man Wm. German, an account of which we published Thursday morning. He says that a few days before the execution, German shot and badly wounded, and supposed he had killed, a negro man living in his neigborhood. The shooting took place in a public road, and the negro managed to crawl to the house of his employer, where he told who had shot him. The negro had the character of being a quiet, peaceable man, and as there had been no previous trouble between him and German, it was supposed the crime was perpetrated in pure wantonness. It is thought that the persons by whom German was killed were members of a secret organization, to which he also belonged - but whether Ku-Klux or not, nobody in the neigborhood appears to know. The body of the men concerned in the execution numbered about two hundred, and none of them were identified by citizens who witnessed their appearance and departure."

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Hand-me-down accounts report Bill German was found hanged in a nearby barn; a sign posted there declared, "Hung for shooting ... Bill Cullum and violating the laws of Ku Klux."

Anyone who has additional info about these people or about this incident is asked to contact John L. German. Please send email to: german@jarman.net or snail mail to: 2631 Kitley Road, Wanamaker, IN 46239


Updated 28 July 1996
Disclaimer added 20 October 1999