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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/11/2019

This is a incredible story and pardon by Andrew Johnson for a Francis M. Hight signed and dated by Andrew Johnson and William Seward June 13th , 1866.What makes it quite intresting is the story behind the murder. It happened just after the civil war when reconstruction was going on and Georgiw they where not exactly happy with all that was going on.

A Alexander Heasley still commanded Co. E when it arrived in Augusta. He may or may not have been an abolitionist, but he definitely supported federal and private efforts to improve economic opportunities for former slaves.

On July 20, 1865, Heasley resigned from the 33rd USCT to take a position with the Freedmen’s Bureau. He likely had sealed his fate by that Thursday.

There lived in Augusta “a beautiful mulatto woman” (as she was later described in the Northern press) named Sarah Jane Blakeley. He fell in love and wanted go mary her. But she was withn Hight at the time. Below is some information out of the New York times when it happened.

The Murder of Captain Alexander Heasley

From the New York Times:

But to the murder of Capt. ALEX. HEASLEY, who, instead of being murdered in cold blood, should have been put in charge of the fool-killer. Well, to be brief, Capt. HEASLEY, Company E, Thirty-third Colored Infantry, got acquainted with HIGHT's negro girl and engaged to marry her. This was deemed an outrage by HIGHT, the girl's paramour, and he and two other young men -- CHARLES WATKINS and JOSHUA J. DOUGHTY -- armed themselves with revolvers and Bowie-knives, and went to the house of the girl, where they found HEASLEY, whom they shot and stabbed to death.


Of course, notwithstanding the folly of HEASLEY, great indignation was felt by the military, and Gen. STEEDMAN had the murderers arrested and brought to trial. He felt sure they would be convicted, and he was determined to hang them, although during the trial he was several times threatened with personal violence by anonymous writers.


After a protracted trial the commission found DOUGHTY guilty and acquitted WATKINS. The following is the closing part of the order issued by Gen. STEEDMAN:"Two-thirds of the members concurring in the conviction; and the commission do, therefore, sentence him, the said FRANK HIGHT, 'to be hanged by the neck until he is dead, at such time and place as the Commanding-General may appoint,' two-thirds of the members concurring in the sentence."

2. The proceedings, findings and acquittal of the Military Commission in the case of JOSHUA J. DOUGHTY, citizen, are approved.

3. In the case of CHARLES WATKINS, citizen, the Major-General-Commanding, after a careful perusal of the evidence, is unable to concur with the commission in their findings.

The proceedings in this case are approved, the findings and consequent acquittal disapproved.

JOSHUA J. DOUGHTY and CHARLES WATKINS will be released from confinement.


The proceedings, findings and sentence of the Military Commission in the case of FRANK HIGHT, citizen, are approved; but, inasmuch as CHARLES WATKINS, whose guilt the evidence in the opinion of the Major-General-Commanding clearly establishes, has been acquitted, the sentence is modified to imprisonment in the Penitentiary at Auburn, N.Y., or such other place as the President of the United States may direct, for the period of fifteen years.


I have been made the recipient of much information concerning this trial, which has not yet seen light. It seems to have been proven that HIGHT was chief actor in this affair, and that he went deliberately to the girl's house to kill HEASLEY, taking WATKINS and DOUGHTY along as assistants. HEASLEY had three bullets put into him and was stabbed in three places. The girl was the important witness, and testified that three men came there, two of whom she recognized in the persons of HIGHT and WATKINS. WATKINS was in favor of killing HEASLEY as soon as he made his appearance. The latter ordered the ruffians out, and they both fired. All this the girl saw. Now, of course, HEASLEY had no legal right to order HIGHT out of his own house, and notwithstanding the latter got up the murder, WATKINS was certainly as much to blame as HIGHT, because he shot and stabbed HEASLEY. But the commission, it seems, did not think so, and WATKINS 

got off. Had both of these murderers been convicted, as, of course, they should have been. Gen. STEEDMAN would have hanged them both, if the President gave his approval. So be tells me, and he further informs me that all but two of the commission were in favor of convicting WATKINS. Those two who were opposed to convicting him boarded at the house of the lady to whom Watkins was engaged to be married; and it is further stated, that one of these officers, during the progress of the trial, was to be seen, night after night, seated between two ladies upon a sofa, listening to their entreaties in behalf of Watkins. This is the reason why Gen. STEEDMAN has commuted HIGHT's sentence to fifteen years' imprisonment. The friends of the latter are about to petition the President for his release, on the plea that he is the sole support of a widowed mother.


General Order Number 22

According to General Order Number 22, Headquarters, Department of Georgia, Frank Hight, Joshua J. Doughty, and Charles Watkins, all citizens of Augusta, Georgia did "purposely, willfully, maliciously, and of their premeditation and malice an assault did make, and with certain pistols, commonly called revolvers, and with certain dangerous and murderous knives, commonly called Bowie-knives . . . did shoot with the pistols . . . and did strike and stab with theknives" Heasley inflicting "four mortal wounds." Hight was found guilty and incarcerated at the Penitentiary at Auburn, New York before being pardoned by President Andrew Johnson.


Andrew Johnson Pardon For A Murderer Of A Civil War Captain Who Was Caught With Another Man's GirlfriendAndrew Johnson Pardon For A Murderer Of A Civil War Captain Who Was Caught With Another Man's GirlfriendAndrew Johnson Pardon For A Murderer Of A Civil War Captain Who Was Caught With Another Man's GirlfriendAndrew Johnson Pardon For A Murderer Of A Civil War Captain Who Was Caught With Another Man's Girlfriend
Andrew Johnson Pardon For A Murderer Of A Civil War Captain Who Was Caught With Another Man's Girlfriend
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $200.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,209.50
Number Bids: 12
Auction closed on Thursday, April 11, 2019.

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