The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963 Page: 406

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

designs would very soon have culminated in open acts of violence,
bloodshed, robbery and the most wanton licentiousness cannot be
So imminent was the danger of an outbreak that it gave the de-
tectives but little time to mature their plans to discover and round
up the "Order."
It is owing to this fact that the full range of this widespread
scheme was not ascertained, and more counties than Cook [sic]
purged of conspirators and traitors.
After the arrests had been made, the prisoners confined in jail,
it was ascertained that it was a fundamental element in the order,
sustained by solemn oaths, to rescue its members from the author-
ities when arrested by them. To this information was added the
alarming intelligence that meetings were being held at the hour
of midnight, attended by many armed men, for the purpose of
planning an attack upon Gainesville, and [of] rescuing the pris-
oners. One of those companies came within a few miles of town;
but the prompt and efficient soldiery deterred them from their
In the mean time, intelligence had been received from adjoin-
ing counties that they were alarmingly infected with the same
clan of desparadoes [sic].
The gallant sons of Cook [sic] being in the army, the county was
almost destitute of sufficient strength to restore quiet and con-
fidence. Something had to be done and the guilty had to be pun-
ished. The proceedings of the Citizens Court are characterized
with as much wisdom, justice and moderation as may anywhere
be found in the history of criminal procedure.
Out of sixty-eight cases brought before the Court, thirty-nine
were condemned and hung and the others turned over to the
Provost Marshal, or finally discharged from custody.
A careful examination of the testimony will show that many
were implicated who were discharged, indicating the spirit that
should prevail with all tribunals: that if error was [to be] com-
mitted, they desired it should be on the side of mercy.
It will be seen from the proceedings in this case, tried before


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963, periodical, 1963; Austin, Texas. ( accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.