Diamond's Account of the Great Hanging
Hudson, William C. Young, James J. Diamond, James G. Bour-
land, the aging Daniel Montague's son-in-law, William C. Twitty,
and others equally reliable in strategic command of military
units in the area.
It is against this background of events and movements that
the "Peace Party Plot" was discovered and acted upon in the fall
of 1862. In writing his account of the Great Hanging, George
W. Diamond sought to justify the establishment of the court and
the severity of its judgments. In his mind, as in those of members
of the court who aided him in the preparation of his narrative,
the "Citizens' Court" was not an extra-legal vigilante group, or
mob, but an orderly constituted body which acted with regard
for due process of law in carrying out its frightful duty. In this,
the Diamond account differs markedly in tenor from the account
written some ten years later by Thomas Barrett, with which the
reader may compare it profitably.
In introducing the following pages to those who may wish to
read them, the writer' deems some explanations necessary in order
that the stirring scenes therein detailed may be properly under-
stood and the design of their publication appreciated by an un-
biased, discriminating public.
1George Washington Diamond, newspaper editor, lawyer, and author of this
document, was born to James and Nancy Diamond in De Kalb County, Georgia,
on December 26, 1835. After his graduation in 1857 from Albany University
(presently New York University), with a law degree, he followed five brothers to
Texas. They were James J. Diamond, John R. Diamond, and William W. Diamond,
who settled in Grayson and Cooke counties and Greene Diamond and Eli Franklyn
Diamond, who lived in other parts of the state. George W. Diamond located first
in Rusk County, where he became a partner in the publication of the Henderson
Times, previously the East Texas Times.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, George W. Diamond sold his interest in the
newspaper at Henderson and joined Captain R. H. Cumby's Company B, 3rd
Texas Cavalry Regiment, as a private on May 7, 1861. He saw service in the initial
phases of the war in Missouri under General Ben McCulloch. On leave from his
unit late in 1862, he visited his brother James J. Diamond in Cooke County shortly
after the events described in this narrative. Garland Roscoe Farmer, The Realm of
Rusk County (Henderson, 1951), 50, 130.
Subsequently, George W. Diamond was transferred to the 11th Texas Cavalry,
of which his brother James J. Diamond was colonel. In the spring of 1863 he
raised a cavalry company on the lower Brazos River and served as a captain
in Terrell's Texas Cavalry Regiment. He fought with this unit in the battles of
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed December 20, 2014.