From the Richmond Examiner, 1/1/1866, p. 3, c. 5


The Record of Twenty-Four Hours – Attempted Murder of a Woman – Probable Murder of a Policeman in Attempting the Arrest of the Would-be Assassin – Robbery and Attempted Murder on Broad Street – Garroters on the Rampage.

The last twenty-four hours has furnished a record of crime, such as we were wont to think could be furnished only by New York, or Chicago, or St. Louis, or other crime-blown cities North or South. We care not to comment upon the bloody atrocious record, but, unless the citizens rid themselves by some stern effort, some general resolve of the rowdy, rampant element of outlawry and murder that stalks forth at midnight, and unblushingly at midday, then farewell to future peace and commercial prosperity. In the several bloody instances which we blushingly record below, the city police did their duty nobly and fearlessly. At least one of them lies in the agonies of death, if he is not already dead. A second meritorious officer escaped miraculously, and three or more of the outlaws are in, we hope, the relentless grasp of the outraged law.


At a late hour on Saturday night, the carnival of blood and outlawry was inaugurated at the old United States Hotel, corner of Main and Nineteenth streets, which, since its evacuation by the authorities, has been converted into a brothel of the worst description and the highest proportions. Women of the lowest strata of prostitutes infest it like moral vermin, and rows, and assaults, and cutting and stabbing cases have been of frequent occurrence there.

Saturday night, a notorious desperado and thief, named William Hatch, with half a dozen aliases, went to the house above indicated, and got into a dispute with one of the females, named Fanny Bell, and remorselessly shot her with a pistol, the ball entering the fleshy part of one of her thighs, inflicting a bad wound. The desperado escaped, and the wound of the woman was dressed by a physician. We visited the hotel yesterday, but could learn no further particulars, the inmates refusing to give any information, or to divulge anything.

The police were soon in pursuit of Hatch, which pursuit was continued through the night and yesterday, up to noon. Now comes the sequel of the woman-shooting.


About one o’clock, yesterday afternoon, Captain David J. Jackson, of the Chief of Police Headquarters, and reserve man James M. Tyler, who had been dispatched in search of Hatch, discovered him lounging on Seventeenth street, at the mouth of Baker’s alley, between Main and Cary street. Policeman Tyler approached him; laid his hand on his shoulder, saying: “I want you,” thus effecting his arrest. Hatch drew away, remarking: “You do, do you,” and, drawing in an instant a six-shooter, for a holster behind his coat, shot policeman Tyler through the abdomen. He then turned upon Captain Jackson with a hellish expression – “G-d d-n you, I want you” – and fired two more shots, in point blank range. One ball, a heavy slug, passed through Jackson’s left arm sleeve, grazing the skin, and the other ball is supposed to have pierced his cape, as it is perforated in half a dozen places, where the folds met. Captain Jackson was not idle, but drawing his pistol, gave Hatch two leaded compliments in return for his. Hatch then sprang off, and ran down the middle of Baker’s alley, burst through the door of a house and an adjoining lot, and got into a stable stall, where he covered himself up with hay. Policeman William A. Fordham, bravely following in his tracks, found him here, and with his six-shooter at a present, called on him to surrender or die. The desperado at bay, handed out his pistol to the policeman, butt foremost, came out himself, gave himself up, and was handcuffed. On his way to headquarters, he asked about the policeman he had shot; said he regretted shooting Tyler; said it was Captain Jackson he wanted to get a “discharge” for. At headquarters an elegant gold watch and gold chain almost six feet in length, was taken from his person; also, a splendid rose diamond pin – both evidently the proceeds of robbery. He was locked up for an examination before the Mayor this morning, at eleven A. M.

We understood from Captain Jackson, last night, that he recognizes in Hatch a New Orleans rowdy, thief and outlaw, who there went by the name of James Ennis, alias Curley, whom he, Captain Jackson, assisted to expel from New Orleans because of his outlawry. This fact explains his regret at shooting Tyler instead of his old enemy, Jackson. As it was the latter made an exceedingly narrow escape. A very serious demonstration was made to kill Hatch, alias Ennis, alias Curley, anyhow, after his surrender, and but for the interposition of Captain John Poe, Jr., he would probably have been shot. He is indebted to that officer for his miserable, worthless life.

Policeman Tyler, immediately after being shot, fell, and was carried to the dwelling of his father hard by the bloody scene, and Drs. Richardson and Jackson were called to render what surgical aid was in their power. Upon examination they found that the ball had entered the abdomen, about three inches above the navel, and passing through had lodged in the muscles of the left side, above the kidneys. By a slight incision the ball was extracted. It was very uncertain last night whether the ball had cut the intestines or not, but the physicians expressed the probability that the missile had glanced upward in its passage, and that no vital intestine or organ had been touched. Late last night the patient was reported as easy, with Dr. Cullen in attendance upon him. Tyler has been married only about two weeks, and his young wife is absent in the country. She has been sent for.

The shooting, and subsequent pursuit and capture of the outlaw, created much excitement in the vicinity of the First Market, and large throngs of citizens were collected thereabout for several hours thereafter, discussing, we hope, the expediency of a “Vigilante Committee” for Richmond.


Between eleven and twelve o’clock on Saturday night, two white men, in uniform, entered the little store of Henry Watkins, negro, on Broad street, adjacent to Lumpkin’s Jail bridge, and the man being alone, without ceremony demanded his money. One of them took out his pistol, and Watkins refusing to produce his money, the fellow resolved on the alternative – his life – and snapped the pistol twice at Watkins’ head, who, taking advantage of the opportunity, raised the window, and hallooed “murder!” The robber then fired, and shot him in the left shoulder blade, very near the arm socket. The men then rushed around the counter, and one of them seizing a book containing $25 in greenbacks, lying under a table, made his escape. Watkins, disabled as he was by the shot, grappled with the other robber, and shouting “murder,” and “help,” at the top of his lungs, soon brought to his and Captain Jackson, (one of the actors in another tragedy) who arrested the robber, and would-be murderer. He gave his name as A. Johnson, and hails from that repository of thieves, New York. From his person was taken two pistols. His accomplice, with the money, as so far escaped wit the money. Johnson, being a United States soldier, will have a hearing to-day before the Provost Court.


Silas McCowan, company C, Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment, was arrested, charged with knocking down Michael Hunt in the Old Market, and attempting to rob him. He was sent to Castle Thunder, but escaped therefrom through the connivance of one of the guard. James Newman, of the same regiment, who threw down his musket and went off with him. Both were apprehended last evening.

We close here the twenty-four hours of crime, but know not what another twenty-four may bring forth.


The condition of Mr. Tyler is slightly improved, and some hopes are now entertained of his recovery. Curley’s real name is said to be J. J. Holt.

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