New York Herald, 1/27/1868, p. 5, c. 4
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE OF THE HERALD.
Murderous Attack Upon a Colonel by a Soldier – Fearful Struggle – The Soldier Overpowered and Nearly Killed – Supposed Cause of the Attack – Colonel Rose.
LYNCHBURG, Jan. 24, 1868.
The garrison at Camp Schofield, near this city, was thrown into a state of great excitement yesterday afternoon by a bold and daring attempt on the part of a soldier to murder his superior officer, Colonel Thomas E. Rose. The circumstances are that late in the evening the soldier called at the quarters of Colonel Rose requesting a few moments’ private conversation with him outside. The colonel, in compliance, soon emerged from the door of the building, whereupon the soldier instantly levelled his musket at the colonel and fired, the ball passing between the arm and body and through the sleeve of the coat without inflicting any wound. A violent and deadly struggle now took place, the officer closing with his antagonist, and seizing his musket, to which both held on with terrible energy, knowing that life or death depended upon the loss or possession of the weapon. The colonel, however, soon succeeded in wresting it from his wood-be murderer’s hands, and with the butt end of it struck him a powerful blow on the head, breaking his skull. This ended the struggle, and for a while it was believed the man was dead; but shortly after he exhibited signs of life, and was taken to the hospital. It is believed he will not recover. No cause is assigned for this attack, and as the man was perfectly sober it is hard to divine his real motive in attempting the murder of his commanding officer. Some of the soldiers think the attack was premeditated, as he had been at the colonel’s quarters a short time previously, and returned to his own to arm himself for the perpetration of his bloody deed. Others are of opinion that the man was the chief of a gang of conspirators against Colonel Rose. This officer, it will be recollected, was recently the Superintendent of Registration and Elections at Richmond, where charges were made against him. After a thorough investigation by a Court of Inquiry appointed by General Schofield, and of which General Stoneman was chairman, Colonel Rose was fully acquitted, when he rejoined his command here. The colonel, too, is the officer to whose scientific attainments, energy, perseverance and undaunted bravery the escape of the seventy-five officers through the tunnel from the Libby in 1863 is altogether due.