Little - John - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Little - John

Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal 21 Aug 1873
John Little, who was killed by Campbell at Alamo last week was a member of the 9th Indiana Battery.

Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal 21 Aug 1873 p 1

A shocking tragedy occurred on the evening of the 18th, resulting in the death of John Little, a citizen of that place, at the hands of John Campbell, another citizen. Campbell was arrested and brought to this place and lodge in jail to await a preliminary examination. The examination was commenced before esquire Canine last Tuesday and is still in progress, Prosec Pierce and Messrs Kennedy & Bruth for the state and MD White and DW Voorhees for the defense. The case has not been concluded at the time we go to press. The evidence for the state shows substantially the following facts: Campbell was in Alamo on Wed the 13th inst.  He met Little, the deceased and denounced him for being a Union soldier; said the Union soldiers were all cowards that he (Campbell) was a rebel at heart and had always been. Afterward, he and Little talked about lighting, and did enter into a little contest but apparently made friends with each other and Little then went to his father-in-law’s. Campbell afterward went to where Little was, without any very well defined purpose but threatening to whip or kill someone.  On the way he took out his knife, opened it and put it in his waistband or side pocket. Arriving at old Mr. Fishero’s Little father-in-law, he called to young Fishero to come out, saying he wished to whip him. Young F. told him to go away and behave himself, remarking that they had had trouble enough. A married daughter of Mr. Fishero’s also interfered to get Campbell away. Little, hearing the confusion outdoors came out much excited, took a stone from Sam Fishero and started toward Campbell.  Campbell told him to stop and immediately struck him with a stone. Little then threw a stone at Campbell, missing him. The two then clinched and Campbell commenced using his knife, inflicting several wounds, all of which were fatal. At this point, Fishero struck Campbell with a rock on the head and Little and Campbell feell to the ground. Little got up, took out his knife and opening it, walked away from Campbell and soon fell and died. At the time of the first fight, Campbell had his open knife concealed in his clothing. This is substantially the proof on the part of the state. It may be varied by the defendant’s witnesses.

The following is the Review’s account of the affair.  Last Wed evening a difficulty occurred at Alamo, this county between John Campbell and John Little, which resulted in the death of the latter at the hands of the former. SO far as we have been able to gather the facts last Wed afternoon Campbell, who was intoxicated drove to Ckar’s drug store and asked Little who was under the influence of liquor, to ride with him, which he declined doing. The two then engaged in a scuffle during which Campbell’s shirt and Little’s pataloons were torn. In the evening Campbell went to Fishero’s hotel where Little was and showed a disposition to quarrel with some person first we believe, with a young Fishero a brother-in-law of Little . When Little made his appearance Campbell threw a stone and struck him in the face. Little then threw a stone at Campbell, but missed him when the two clinched, Little with a wagon spike in his hand and Campbell with a pocket knife with a blade about 3” long. While clinched Campbell cut Little three times with the knife, once in the pit of the stomach and twice in the left breast. One or both of the two last cuts are supposed to have entered the heart or severed a main artery.  During the fight Campbell was struck twice on the head with a stone by Fishero which probably had some thing to do with stopping the murderous affray. After Little was cut he said to Mr. Elmore, “Man, I want peace,” walked a few steps, fell and died in a few minutes.  Mr. Little was about 40 years of age, married and the father of six or seven children. Mr. Campbell is about 35 years old married and was two children. He appeared to regret the deed very much; says he did not do it; that another man committed the deed, but he will hang rather than inform on him. The affray was wintess by about 50 persons.

PS Since writing the above we had a conversation with Mr. Campbell at the jail. He said he had no recollection of any difficulty with Little; he was drunk and when under the influence of liquor is crazy; he has tried to stop drinking but his good resolves always failed; he regarded Little as his best friend, never had a difficulty of any kind with him; has frequently traded with him; traded with him last Sunday, after killing Little he went home and went to bed; he was made acquainted with what he had done when he was arrested at the time Dr. French dressed the wounds on his head, he thinks about 2 a.m., that morning, he has been told that when he went to the taver Geo’ Fishero’s sister took him by the arm and led him up the street about 50 yards when Goerge Fishero and Little followed him, but was not told whether he was struck with a stone before or while fighting with Little; he thinks Little was drunk, if he was not he would not have noticed him.  In regard to the report that he took off his shirt and greased himself for a fight, he has no recollection of doing so, but on several occasions he has torn his shirt of while drunk.  He appears much concerned, inquired of public sentiment in regard to the matter, the day appeared a week long; he would give the world, if possible, to place John where he was the day previous; he expressed a desire for a preliminary examination, hoping to be admitted to bail, as that he could attend to affairs at home. He said it was his intention to employ DW Voorhees and MD White as counsel.

Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal Thursday 19 February 1874
The trial of John Campbell for the murder of John Little at Alamo on the 13th of August, 1873, was in progress when we went to press on Wednesday evening of last week. The examination of witnesses, commenced on Tuesday, was concluded on Thursday morning, when it was arranged that the arguments of the counsel should be made in the following order: Prosecutor R. B. F. Pierce opening for the State, followed by M. D. White and D. W. Voorhees for the defense, and Gen. Ben Harrison closing for the State. The speeches of Pierce and White were made in the court room on Thursday. The crowd was so large that Judge Davidson thought best to adjourn to McClelland Hall. When the court met on Friday morning the hall was crowded with persons from all classes, eager to hear the eloquent and justly distinguished counsel who were about to deliver the final arguments in a case on the result of which would depend the liberty, and possibly the life, of the prisoner. Mr. Voorhees spoke about two and a half hours, with usual eloquence, but possibly with less than his usual force. Gen. Ben Harrison, of Indianapolis, had only fairly opened with the closing speech, when the court adjourned for dinner. His clear arguments and cutting retorts only made the crowd more eager to hear the speeches through to the end. Accordingly at 1 o’clock, the hour to which the court had adjourned, the hall was again crowded to its full capacity, some forty or fifty ladies occupying seats on the stage as in the morning. Gen. Harrison spoke about two hours, making what is universally conceded to be one of the best speeches ever made in a court in this county. The speech was distinguished alike for its fairness and for its strength of argument.
At the conclusion of Harrison’s speech Judge Davidson read his instructions to the jury, who soon after retired to their room, with directions to report their verdict to the court room.
All speculation as to the nature of the verdict was soon ended. The jury at the end of half an hour returned with a verdict of guilty of murder in the second degree, fixing the penalty at imprisonment for life.
The prisoner was completely overcome and gave way to tears and sobs when the verdict was read to him.
A motion for a new trial was overruled by Judge Davidson. Sentence was passed upon the prisoner and on Monday morning he was started to Michigan City in charge of Capt. Jack Ross, to spend the balance of his days in confinement.

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