COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY- Collected by Jerry A. Johnson

 

Mitchell Hurt PETITION

 

To His Excellency

Gov. Thomas E. Bramlette

 

Your petitioner Mitchell Hurt states that in the breaking out of the rebellion just terminated, he entered the 3rd Ky Regt of Infantry, as he had a right to do for the purpose of putting treason & rebellion: that during the whole of said war he remained in the service of the United States.

 

After the close of the rebellion he returned to his home hoping and believing that the men whom he had met and successfully overcome upon the battlefield and their co-adjutators who remained at home during said struggle would not annoy or trouble him any further, but this as will hereinafter appear was only a delusion fondly but erroneously indulged in.

 

On the first Monday in August (6th day of Aug., 1866) he came to the town of Lancaster, his voting precinct, for the purpose exercising his right as an American freeman in casting his vote for the men of his choice.

 

Political excitement was very great on that day, so much so in fact as to endanger the persons of all who were present. During the evening of said day, a political difficulty arose between Wm. Barnett who was a Captain in said 3rd Regt Ky Infty, and Alex Arnold a member of the other party.

 

Arnolds friends who were asking for a difficulty, ____him in the conflict and crowded about him with drawn weapons. Your petitioner who had bee associated with said Barnett and who was under his command during the war, and who was naturally attached to him walked up by the side of said Barnett to see that he should have a fair chance. he however said not one word, nor did he draw any weapon or make any hostile display. At this juncture James A. Arnold, one of the friends and relations of said Alexander Arnold drew his pistol upon this petitioner, took deliberate aim and attempted to fire but the weapon refused to do it, __________as intended, - Arnold then-the second time directed said weapon at the bosom of your petitioner, who fearing that some one near him might be injured requested said Arnold if he desired to continue the difficulty to step aside. Arnold readily accepted the proposition- stepped several paces & raising his weapon again attempted to take the life of petitioner, but the weapon misfired the second time: Arnold then cocked the pistol, revolved it and took aim for the third time at petitioner who then and not till then, shot him the said Arnold.

 

He avers that said shooting was done in his necessary self-defense and that he waited until the last moment before he fired. He further avers that in a few days after said difficulty, he was arrested by due process of law, brought before A. M. Merrill and __________two duly elected and qualified justices of the peace for Garrard County. was tried and acquitted. He makes a copy of said proceedings part hereof and files the same herewith marked B.

 

Said trial was full, fair and complete. But afterwards find, at the August term of said Court he was indicted by the Grand Jury of said County for shooting with intent to kill. He most positively and solemnly avers that this prosecution, or rather persecution is the offspring of political prejudices, hate and rage, that the proceedings were gotten up by men of high political prejudices not for the purpose of justice, but for the low and mean purpose of satiating political revenge. He comes before your Excellency with as he thinks and knows, clean hands and a clear conscience.

 

Therefore he prays that your Excellency interpose and save him from hasty spite and malice, so that the ends of justice instead of party be attained.

 

/s/ Mitchell Hurt

 

We concur with the above statement & hope the Gov. will pardon said Hurt.

/s/ S. Henderson, ___Burrnam, James Henderson, ____Denny, George Denny, Andrew Price, William Sellers.

 

I was one of the Attorneys in the defense of said Hurt; the evidence as stated in the petition is substantially correct; the magistrates who tried said Hurt are absent from Lancaster, but were honest men & acquitted him as charged. I was also an eyewitness of the difficulty and state that the facts so set out as by the petition are about correct. I have been called upon to make this statement to your Excellency & hope you will excuse the liberty I have taken. Respectfully,

Wm O. Bradley