Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The incredible story of Thomas G. Boyd Part 1

Thomas G Boyd was born on April 4, 1840. He married Louisa Thomas and lived in Monroe County. He was a Civil War veteran, serving in the 3rd Regiment, Tennessee Mounted Infantry (Lillard's).

After the war, he placed ads to help people obtain government pensions.

Photo Credit: The Sweetwater forerunner. (Sweetwater, Tenn.), 20 Aug. 1868. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. Link

Readers unfamiliar with the Boyd case will need some explanation of his attempted escape and rumored assassination. Indicted in some eighteen cases for frauds on the United States in making out and collecting fraudulent pension claims he was bailed by friends in the sum of $36,000.
Finding the evidence against him accumulating and the charges weighing upon him, he grew desperate, as his counsel explained it, and determined to escape. It is charged that his frauds amount to some $50,000. In order to protect his bondsmen from paying his bail money, he desired it to appear that he was "assassinated."

On Sunday, the fifth of last September, information was telegraphed from Sweetwater to Knoxville that Thomas G. Boyd had been murdered the Friday previous on Laurel Branch, near the North Carolina
State line, by masked kuklux, who after threatening his companions with instant death, shot Lloyd in their presence and mysteriously disappeared, when after the lapse of several hours the men with him, Reagar and Hensley, were released from their bonds and told to leave.
They told this tale, but people were slow to believe it and rigid investigations were made, which resulted in the finding of a body horribly burned, which some few accepted as the remains of Boyd, who, us they professed to believe, had been murdered, and all traces of the crime attempted to be obliterated by an approved modern suttee.

The case was industriously worked up by Col. Whitney, a Government detective, and the charred remains identified as those of Samuel Bowles, a colored man who had died a short time previous ut Sweetwater, and whose corpse had been packed in charcoal, us is alleged by Boyd's direction, and taken to Eleazar church for burial, which is a comparatively short distance from where it was found.
Then followed its burial and the opening of the grave of the colored man which was found empty, succeeded by the examination of Reagan and Hensley before the officials of the government, together with other circumstances, all of which taken together placed the mysterious disappeared in a very unenviable light. It was supposed that Boyd had gone South and conjecture was right, for he went direct to New Orleans without halting, intending to go to Mexico, but the unsettled condition of affairs in that country induced him to change his mind and he concluded to brave the rigors of a Canadian winter in preference.

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