Source Type: Newspaper
Publisher: The Tuscaloosa News
Place of publication: Tuscaloosa
Date of publication: 12/1/1919 0:00

TWO NEGRO SOLDIERS KILLED IN A BATTLE WITH GUARD SUNDAY Escaped Negro Soldiers Had Shot Guns and Fired on the Squad Jack Williams, Warren and Jim Durrance, negro soldiers, who escaped from guards at Camp Jackson, were encountered by a squad of white soldiers two miles from Cottondale at daylight Sunday morning and am a result, the two former are dead and the latter was seriously shot through the right wrist. The negroes were being taken to Fort Leavenworth prison and were left at Camp Jackson for a short stay under guard. While working around the camp they eluded the guards and made a get-a-way. It was only a few minutes till they were found missing and a detachment was sent out in command of Sergeant Benton, an overseas soldier. The trail led to Cottondale and all night Saturday the soldiers scoured the country around for the negroes. Just after daylight Sunday morning, the soldiers ran upon the negroes in a mountain trail and they were ordered to surrender. Instead of surrendering, the negroes opened fire with shotguns but the shots went wild and no one was hit. The soldiers responded with a 1 volley from rifles and Williams, a big black burly fellow, fell with seven balls in his body. Warren received several shots and was killed instantly and Durrance received an ugly flesh wound in the right wrist. The negroes were under long sentences charged with insurrection and were to serve them in the military prison. Additional charges were made against them when they escaped and now Durrance will more than likely face a firing squad for attempting to kill the soldiers. Sergeant Benton who was in command of the military forces who killed the negroes is an overseas soldier and lost an arm while in action. He was in a hospital for over a year, having received besides losing his arm several other severe wounds.