250 Southern Historical Society Papers.
struction had lasted about fifteen minutes a rain came up and the negroes dispersed. Here, then, was reasonable ground for Mr. Butler to complain. The militia had not only, in violation of the law, ob- structed the highway, but had added outrage and insult to the illegal act, and if this company was not a lawful militia the offence was an aggravated one. On the following day Mr. Butler called on Prince Rivers with a complaint against Doc. Adams for forcibly and out- rageously hindering him from peaceably pursuing his way through a public street. Mr. Butler, the father of the complainant, lived about two miles from Hamburg, and had occasion, either himself, some of his family or his servants, to pass almost daily through the town. Frequently annoyed at the usage they had received at the hands of these militiamen, he determined to try on this occasion whether the law would not protect him against these repeated annoyances. When, therefore, the case was adjourned to the 8th he sent for General But- ler to act as his legal adviser.
On this summons General Butler went to Hamburg. He called on Prince Rivers, but could not learn whether the case was to be a civil or a military one. He seemed to be either unwilling or unable to proceed against the unruly Captain, who had posted himself in a brick house which was used as an armory and drill-room. He was attended by a large body of his men. Several persons (negroes) came to General Buder to offer to accommodate matters, to all of whom he gave ready ear. They went off on their mission of peace, but did not return. General Butler and his client declared dis- tinctly that all that they wanted was that the outrages complained of should not be repeated. While thus waiting for a settlement General Butler went to Augusta on private business, and there in answer to inquiries did not hesitate to declare that matters looked very badly in Hamburg, and that he thought a collision of races was imminent. He asked for no help, though it is not unlikely 'twas his declared opinion induced many to go over. On his return to the town Prince Rivers requested an interview. At first he refused, because Rivers had more than once failed to keep his appointment ; but more moderate coun- sels prevailed and he went. He then told Rivers that Adams's com- pany was not a military body organized under the laws of the State, had no right to the arms in their possession, and that they must be given up and sent to the Governor. Rivers asked Butler whether he would be responsible for their delivery if surrendered Butler replied in the affirmative, and said that he was willing to give a bond to that effect with any amount of security. Rivers wished to know whether