Report of John W. McCuen, B Co, 3d Inf. Okla. Natl. Guard

“B” COMPANY 3d INFANTRY OKLAHOMA NATIONAL GUARD

TO: Lt Col L.J.F. Rooney

SUBJECT: Duty performed by Company 3d Inf Okla National Gd at Negro Uprising May, 31st, 1921 .

  1. Reported for duty at Armory at 11 :00 PM May 31st. All arms and equipment under double lock and key. Armorer on duty uniformed and armed. Telephone in order. 16,000 rounds of rifle ammunition in vault. Eighty Springfield rifle Cal.30 Model 1906. Six .45 Colts, auto pistols and necessary ammunition. Six Browning automatic rifles.
  2. None of my guns or ammunition had been issued or were afterwards issued to any person other than National Major Bell ordered me to report with 20 of my men who had come in, to Col. Rooney’s headquarters at police station. These men were fully uniformed, armed and equipped for riot duty. On reaching the police station I reported to Col. Rooney and was assigned to posting guards to keep people from entering 2nd street between Main and Boulder Ave. This duty required continual attention from me for several hours when I was ordered by Col. Rooney to proceed with him to the vicinity of Elgin and Detroit Ave on the Service Co army truck. From this point we advanced east to a depth of two blocks taking a few negro prisoners. While surrounded by negroes near Gurley hotel on Greenwood Ave Sgt. Hastings of “B” company was wounded by rifle fire, the bullet inflicting a scalp wound. After some scouting work in this vicinity we fell back to Detroit Ave in order to establish a base line and await reinforcements from the Armory. We formed a skirmish line on Detroit Ave. We executed a flank march to the right at this point and halted with our right flank at Archer St thus throwing our left flank midway between Brady Stand Cameron St. This skirmish line moved north and south continuously from Archer St to Cameron St. The army truck was with us and had an old machine gun mounted on it, but it was not fired, for the reason that it was in bad shape. It was an old machine gun that I understood some ex-service officer had brought from Germany as a souvenir.
  3. While patrolling Detroit Ave a large number of negro prisoners were taken by us from the houses on Detroit Ave, Elgin Ave, Cameron Stand the rear out-houses of this area, and these negroes were turned over to the police department automobiles that kept close to us at all times. These cars were manned by ex -service men, and in many cases plainclothes men of the police department.
  4. Some time after day light, it may have been 8 or 9 o’clock in the morning, by urgent request of the police department the service Company and “B” Company moved north to Sunset Hill to stop negroes from firing into white peoples’ homes on Sunset Hill from the Negro settlement further northeast. We advanced to the crest of Sunset Hill in skirmish line and then a little further north to the military crest of the hill where our men were ordered to lie down because of the intense fire of the blacks who had formed good skirmish line at the foot of the hill to the northeast among the outbuildings of the negro settlement which stops at the foot of the After about 20 minutes “fire at will” at the armed groups of blacks the latter began falling back to the northeast, thus getting good cover among the frame buildings of the negro settlement. Immediately we moved forward, “B” Company advancing directly north and the Service company in a north-easterly direction. Little opposition was met with until about half way through the settlement when some negroes who had barricaded themselves in houses refused to stop firing and had to be killed. At the northeast corner of the negro settlement 10 or more negroes barricaded themselves in a concrete store and a dwelling and stiff fight ensued between these negroes on one side and guardsmen and civilians on the other. Several whites and blacks were wounded and killed at this point. We captured, arrested and disarmed a great many negro men in this settlement and sent them under guard to the convention hall and other points where they were being concentrated.
  5. From the time “B” Company reached Detroit Ave as earlier mentioned herein until we were relieved about 11 :00 A M Jun 1st, fires were started in all parts of both negro settlements and a continuous discharge of fire arms was in progress. Very often it was difficult to tell where bullets came from owing to the fires and also to the fact that so much ammunition exploded in the building as they were being consumed.
  6. I did not have all of my company with me for the reason that a number of them reported at the Armory and were held there by Maj Bell for various duties. At all times our men were under close control and acted like veteran soldiers, as many of them were. At all times I warned them not to fire until fired upon as we had been ordered by Col. Rooney to fire only when absolutely necessary to defend our lives.
  7. To the best of my knowledge all firing and raiding had ceased by 11:00 A M Jun 1st in this area although it had begun to diminish along about 9:30AM. The reason for this, of course, was that practically all of the negro men had retreated to the northeast or elsewhere or had been disarmed and sent to concentration points.

[signed] John W. McCuen

Capt “B” Co 3d Inf

 

 

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Report of Bryon Kirkpatrick, A.G. Dept., Okla. Natl. Guard

Tulsa, Okla., July 1, 1921.

From: Byron Kirkpatrick, Major, A.G . Dept. Okla. Nat’l Gd.

To : Lt. Col. L.J.F. Rooney, 3d. Inf. Okla. Nat’l Gd .

Subject: Activities on night of May 31, 1921, at Tulsa, Okla.

  1. On the night of May 31, 1921, at the hour of approximately ten o’clock P. M. I was sitting on my porch, which faces south, at 514 South. Elgin Avenue, Tulsa, Oklahoma, with members of my family. At said time a young man named Brewer, who rooms· at .my house drove up in his car and reported that a large number of armed negroes, approximately 150 had congregated at the corner of 5th and Elgin. Within a few moments, possibly five, my attention was attracted to a number of trucks ·and automobiles, heavily laden with armed men, driving at a high rate of speed, in an easterly direction on Sixth Street. At the same time a number of shots were fired from the mob at 5th & Elgin. These shots, so far as I can learn, were fired into the air, and no casualties occurred therefrom. I at once went to the telephone and called Col. Rooney, and explained the situation to him, so far as I was advised at that time. At the direction of Col. Rooney, I placed a long distance call for the Adjutant General at Oklahoma City. At about the hour of ten o’clock, and ten minutes, an automobile containing Col. Rooney, Capt. Vann, and others drove up in front of my house, and not having completed my long distance call, I asked Col. Rooney, to have the car return for me at once. At 10:13, I reached the Adjutant General on the long distance wire, and explained briefly the situation to him. Advising that in my judgment great disorder was to be apprehended, and was instructed by him to report to the Armory and assist in mobilizing the troops and render such assistance to the civil authorities as might be required, when legally called upon.
  2. At approximately 10:20, the car returned and I was driven to the Armory, I found several members of the guard, possibly 25 or 30 already assembled, and strenuous efforts being made to get in touch with other members in the city. At this time the service truck of the Service Company was being loaded to go to the City Jail, it having been reported by the Chief of Police that a large mob had surrounded the jail. The truck was loaded with a squad of men, the exact number of which I do not recall. Probably ten, or fifteen. The truck was driven to the Police Station, and Col. Rooney reported personally to Chief Gustafason, who verbally instructed to hold his men about the station, and assist in removing the crowd from the street. I accompanied this party to the police station.
  3. Under your direction, sentinels were established at 2nd and Main, and at Boulder & 2nd for the purpose of holding back crowds, and preventing traffic from using the street . Also at your direction I assumed charge of a body of armed volunteers, whom I understand were Legion men, and marched them around into Main Street. There the outfit was divided into two groups, placed under t:he charge of officers of their number who had all had military experience, and ordered to patrol the business section and court-house, and to report back to the Police Station at intervals of fifteen minutes.
  4. It being reported that a mob had broken into McGees Hardware Store, in company with yourself and other members of the guard, I went to this point and assisted in removing the mob from store, and locking the doors. To the best of my judgment, our forces arrived at the police station about 10:45 but I cannot be positive as to the time.
  5. After patrols had been established, as set out in paragraph three, at your directions I established your headquarters in the office of the Chief of Police. My orders were to remain at that point in order to keep in touch with Oklahoma City.
  6. At 12:35 A.M. June 1, 1921, I succeeded in again getting General Barrett on the phone and reported to’ him the conditions as I knew them. At your direction I recommended that two rifle companies, and one machine gun company be sent at once. In this conversation I also talked with the Governor, who was on the line.
  7. In the conversation above referred to, I was instructed by General Barrett to prepare and send a telegram to the Governor, asking for the National Guard to be called out, and to have the same signed by the Chief of Police, a District Judge, and by the Sheriff of the County, Mr . McCullough. In accordance with this order I prepared the telegram, a copy of which is attached, had the same signed by the Chief of Police, who was present at his office, then took the telegram to the court-house to have it signed by the sheriff. I had great difficulty in getting to him, he and his deputies being barricaded in the jail on the 4th floor of the building. He signed the telegram and I then took it to the residence of Hon. V. W. Biddison, District Judge, 1215 North Cheyenne, and secured his signature. I then returned to the police station, and had the message sent. It shows to have been received at 1:46 A.M. June 1, 1921.
  8. At 1:15 A.M. June 1, 1921, I again talked with General Barrett, along the same lines as previously stated, advising of the general situation, so far as known to me at that time.
  9. I also talked with General Barrett at 2:15 A.M. June 1, 1921, in which conversation he stated that our telegram had been received, and the Governor had authorized the calling of the guard. That B Company, and Service Company had been called, and that he would leave Oklahoma City by special train at 5:00 A.M. with approximately 100 men. He further directed me to remain at the police station and report developments at once.
  10. There were other calls from the Adjutant General during the early morning, one advising of time of arrival of special train ·at Tulsa. I have no record of these calls, the same having been placed in Oklahoma City. At all times, after 11:30 P.M. May 31, 1921, I remained at the Police Station, in charge of your headquarters, being only absent therefrom.to secure the signatures to the telegram referred to.
  11. At 9:15 A.M. June 1, 1921, General Barrett, with National Guard Troops, arrived from Oklahoma City, by special train, and upon his arrival I reported to him for duty in my department, remaining in charge of his headquarters until Friday, June 3d. at 5:00 P.M. at which time I was relieved.
  12. I wish further to state that at no time during the day or night of May 31st, 1921 did I receive any intimation of trouble to be apprehended. I am well acquainted with police and county officials of Tulsa County, Oklahoma. None of these said anything whatever about mobilizing the guard or getting ready for possible trouble. If such information could have been had, I have no doubt that we would have mobilized a sufficient force to have handled the situation. Coming as this order did, after 10:00 at night, after the men had gone home, it was a matter of great difficulty to get word to them, and secure their attendance. I am sure that officers in charge of this work are entitled to great credit for mobilizing such force as we were able to get together, under the circumstances

(Signed) Byron Kirkpatrick.


Extracted from: Halliburton, R. The Tulsa race war of 1921. San Francisco: R and E Research Associates, 1975.

 

Report of LT. Roy R. Dunlap, Batt. C, 2nd FA, Okla. Natl Guard

Battery “C” 2nd, F.A.
July 1st, 1921
Tulsa, Okla.

From: Lieut. Roy R. Dunlap
To: Lt. Col. Rooney

Subject: Report on Negro Uprising, May 31st, 1921.

  1. I was notified about seven A.M. (7. A.M.) June 1st., to hold the battery in readiness for assignment to duty. And about seven-thirty (7:30) A.M. the battery was assembled and were issued arms and ammunition the same being in first class condition.
  2. 2. About fifty percent of the battery reported for duty of which some of these men were assigned for duty at the armory and others on sentry duty in various stations in and about the city.
  3. On or about June 3rd., 1921 the battery was relieved from duty. I would say that Battery “C” obtained the fullest co-operation from the infantry units stationed in Tulsa and the conduct of Battery “C” was most commendable.
  4. My command, as you are aware, has not been Federalized and is not uniformed, or equipped. I did the best I could under the circumstances and all· my men exhibited a fine spirit.

 

Roy R. Dunlap
1st Lieut. Battery “C”
Commanding Battery “C” 2nd.F.A.


Extracted from: Halliburton, R. The Tulsa race war of 1921. San Francisco: R and E Research Associates, 1975.

Report of Major C. W. Daley

Tulsa, Okla.
July 6, 1921.

From: Major C. W. Daley
To: Lt. Col. L.J.F. Rooney

Subject: Information on activities during Negro Uprising May 31, 1921.

1. Pursuant to communication of June 27, 1921 from the Adjutant General I beg to submit the following report:

On May 31st, 1921 about 8:30 P.M. as near as I can find out the first inkling of trouble between the black and whites was noticeable. At this time I was out of the City, being called to Sapulpa, Oklahoma, 14 miles distant. Upon leaving the City I left a memorandum on the Chief of Police’s desk stating I would be out of the City for a few hours. I left Sapulpa about 11:10 P.M. by auto and arrived at West Tulsa Bridge at 11:45 P.M.

I was stopped by several men on the bridge and informed that hell was breaking loose and that the negroes were trying to take the City. I immediately drove to the Court House and upon arriving there, there was between two and three hundred people gathered in front. I talked to the crowd a few moments and requested them to disperse and go home. I then drove to the Police Station and upon arriving took charge of the situation in the handling of the crowd and other details. At this time which was about 12:05 A.M. several people were gathered in front of the station running with guns of all kinds. It was at this point that I requested all men to stand still and I picked out a half dozen ex-service men to act as my assistants. Separating the crowd placing men with pistols on one side and men with rifles on the other, and gave final instructions that all men under 21 years of age be disarmed as the City would not be responsible for any accidents that might occur in the discharge of firearms in the hands of boys.

At this point I discovered Lt. Col. L.J.F. Rooney in the middle of the block on Second Street with several members of the Guard standing beside a truck belonging to the Service Company National Guard. I immediately reported to Col. Rooney. I was directed by Col. Rooney to continue as I had been and to organize the automobile patrols and keep them organized and report the number available.

At this time I was informed by Col. Rooney and Major Bell, and Capt. McCuen were on duty at the Armory as there had been an attempt to secure the rifles and ammunition. Major Kirkpatrick was on duty in the Chief of Police’s office. Capt. Van Voorhis and Lieut. Wood were on duty with the troops under command of Col. Rooney. Upon receiving these instructions and Col. Rooney notifying me he would remain with the troops I again assumed charge of the crowd gathered at the station. At this point runners were sent out by me to assemble all automobiles at the Police Station as I had been informed they had been running wild over the City without any

head or any one to give instructions.

While this was being done there was a mob of 150 walking up the street in a column of squads. That crowd was assembled on the corner of Second and Main and given instructions by myself that -if they wished to assist in maintaining order they must abide by instructions and follow them to the letter rather than running wild. This they agreed to do. They were split up at this time and placed in groups of from 12 to 20 in charge of an ex-service man, with instructions to preserve order and to watch for snipers from the tops of buildings and to assist in gathering up all negroes bringing same to station and that no one was to fire a shot unless it was to protect life after all other methods had failed.

The patrols were assembled and distributed over the City in automobiles with instructions to pick up all negroes on the streets and to go to servants quarters and gather them in, for I thought some of the bad negroes may set fire to homes of white people causing a lot of destruction to property and a possible loss of life. The instructions to the men in patrol cars were the same as above stated to the walking patrols in regards to the discharge of firearms. In each patrol car was placed an ex-service man and where it was possible an officer from the Police Department for the purpose of having some semblance of po1ice authority, thereby helping to maintain order. With the result that the negroes were gathered in.

About 2:30 A. M. a patrol of cars which numbered over a hundred and patrols of men were very well organized. Upon receiving information that large bodies of negroes were coming from Sand Springs, Muskogee and Mohawk, both by train and automobile. This information was imparted to the auto patrols with instructions to cover the roads which the negroes might come in on. At this point we .received information that a train load was coming from Muskogee so Col. Rooney and myself jumped into a car, assembled a company of Legion men of about 100 from among the patrols who were operating over the city, and placed them in charge of Mr. Kinney a member of the American Legion and directed him to bring men to the depot which was done in a very soldierly and orderly manner. Instructions were given that the men form a line on both sides of the track with instructions to allow no negroes to unload but to hold them in the train by keeping them covered. The train proved to be a freight train and no one was on it but regular train crew. I then informed Mr. Kinney to take his men and use them to the best of advantage in-maintaining order throughout the City. Just prior to going to the M.V. depot Col. Rooney had with Capt. Van

Voorhis and Lieut. Wood and men of the Guard with a truck established a guard line on Boston Avenue and Brady Street for a period of about two blocks. There was a large crowd gathered at this time. There were two small buildings burning and some damage had been done to a few stores on Boston Avenue north of the depot. Fire Department had been called to handle the fires and at this point had been fired on, the firing coming from the interior of the black belt. The Fire Department returned as I understand after many shots had been fired at them making their work very dangerous.

At this point I arrived and found Col. Rooney in command giving instructions and maintaining order among the mob. After investigating around the fire I discovered on the inside of a small shack just adjoining a large brick building that an additional fire had been started which might terminate in a great amount of damage by continued fires. I notified the Chief of the Fire Dept. of this finding and requested one truck be sent there which was done and upon arriving a guard of six men were placed around the firemen and they with fire extinguishers entered the building and put out the fire. · This was about 3:15 A.M. At this time heavy firing started over by the Frisco depot. I immediately went to the depot and found a large crowd gathered on the platform of the Frisco station also on the Frisco tracks where several of the men were firing over into the black belt. At this point I called for volunteer guards to handle this crowd and to prevent further shooting. About twenty men with rifles stepped forward. They were placed in a triangular formation from Boston Avenue to the end of Frisco platform on Cincinnati Avenue, and back across the Frisco tracks with instructions to keep the crowd back and to prevent any further firing over into the negro district.

At this point I made an investigation of the interior of the Depot and around the baggage room to see that there was no danger of fires being started, following which I reported back to the police station and found things running along in good shape.

I have received information from different quarters that the guard rendered a splendid service in the protection of life and property at the time the attack was made by the negroes on the white section on Sunset Hill. On many other occasions the officers and men were exposed to rifle and pistol fire both from the arms of the blacks and stray shooting from portions of the whites.

The local American Legion men and sixty-two from Cleveland, eighteen from Drumright and seven from Broken Arrow rendered invaluable service at all times. Many splendid citizens of the city also volunteered the use of their automobiles and did other patrol and guard work.

In my judgment at least 5,000 people were under arms in this city between the hours of 9 P.M. of May 31st and 9 A.M. June 1st.

On the arrival of the Adjutant General and Col. Markham with the troops from Oklahoma City at 9:10 A.M. June 1st I found Col. Rooney and Major Kirkpatrick at the railroad station to meet the Adjutant General and Col. Markham. When these troops arrived I reported to the Adjutant General and escorted Col. Markham to the police station, Col. Rooney’s Hd. Qrs., and from that time forward was with him until he left the city. My actions can be best covered from this time by a report from Col. Markham as I took direct orders from him immediately upon his arrival.

Respectfully submitted,

Chas. W. Daley
Maj. I.G.D. Okla Nat’l Gd.


Extracted from: Halliburton, R. The Tulsa race war of 1921. San Francisco: R and E Research Associates, 1975.

Report of Paul R. Brown, San. Det. 3d INF, Okla. Natl. Guard

July 1st, 1921.

From: Paul R. Brown, Maj M.C. Commandg. San Det. 3rd Inf.

To: The Adjutant General of Okla.

Subject: Work of the San Det. During Riot in Tulsa.

1. In compliance with letter of the A.G.O. dated June 27th, 1921, the following report is submitted.

2. I was in the Armory in Tulsa when the Riot broke out and upon becoming convinced of the seriousness of the trouble about 9 or 9:30 P.M. ordered two of my Sergeants who were at the Armory to get the men of my detachment together at the Armory. As soon as I saw Maj. Bell shortly after this, I told him what I had done and he agreed with me that it was the proper thing and told me to go ahead.

3. When the troops left the Armory I took a Sgt. and two men and accompanied them, leaving a Sgt. in charge at the Armory with instructions to get in the rest of the men and to hold them there.

4. I was told by Maj. Bell that application had been made to him for help by the Civil Authorities, and knew that shortly after this he was in communication with the Adjutant General in regard to this.

5. The Armory at the start of the riot was in its usual condition, the arms in the Arms Racks and the Ammunition in the Magazine.

6. I do not know personally whether or not any Arms or Ammunition were issued to the Civil Authorities but Capt. McCuen told me that he had been ordered to turn over some Rifles to them.

7. As there was only one slightly wounded man among the troops I started to dress the Negro wounded who had began to come in, at first at the Police Station and later at the Armory to which place I later removed all Negro wounded. As soon as it was possible to obtain Hospital operating facilities at one of the Hospitals, I asked some of the leading Surgeons of the City to take over this end of the work, which they did: Three operating teams were at once organized and went to work on the most seriously wounded whom I had already sent in.

The wounded were given first aid at the Armory, tagged according to the seriousness of their wounds, and removed to the Hospital in this order. In the meantime a number of Physicians who had reported to me had been set to work as dressers as had the members of the San. Det. and some Nurses who had been sent in by the Red Cross.

8. Upon the arrival of the Adjutant General ·I was put in charge of the Medical and Surgical situation in the City with authority to take over whatever Hospital facilities needed . Acting under this authority I took over the old Cinnabar Hospital then in use as a Rooming House and with the help of the Red Cross cleared it of its occupants and furniture and at 5 P.M. had it equipped as a Hospital to which all the seriously wounded Negroes were removed the next morning. At the same time I took over a house in the Negro section and fitted it up as a station for walking wounded. I also took over 6 beds in the Okla. Hospital and 6 in the Tulsa Hospital for Negro Women who were about to be confined.

At 5 P.M. the day following the Riot all cases had been removed from the Armory to Hospitals, and I then took up the question of the sanitation of the Refugee camps at the Ball Park, the Fair Grounds and the Churches leaving them in fair shape when they were turned back to the Civil Authorities at the termination of Martial Law.

9. The men of the San Det. of the 3rd. Inf. reported promptly and worked hard and faithfully as Dressers and as men in Charge of Trucks used as Ambulances and are all entitled to a great deal of credit.

PAUL R. BROWN

Extracted from: Halliburton, R. The Tulsa race war of 1921. San Francisco: R and E Research Associates, 1975.

Report of James A. Bell. 1st BN, 3d INF, Okla. Natl. Guard.

1st Battalion 3rd Inf. Okla. Natl. Gd.,
Tulsa, Okla.
July 2, 1921

From: Major Jas. A. Bell, Tulsa, Okla.
To: Lt. L.J.F. Rooney, Tulsa, Okla.
Subject: Report on Activities of the Nat!. Gd. On the Night of May 31st and June 1st, 1921.

1. In beginning this report I wish to emphasize the difficulty of remembering time of the different orders ·and action taken. As everything happened so fast and unexpectedly I have a very hazy idea of the time and can only give it approximately.

2. About 9 o’clock P.M. on May 31st. two members of the guard, Sgt. Payne of the Battery and Pvt. Canton of the “B” company, came to my door and reported that a crowd of white men were gathering near the Court House and that threats of lynching a negro were being made, and that it was reported the negroes in “Little Africa” were arming to prevent it. As I had heard rumors of this kind on other occasions that did not amount to anything serious I did not feel greatly worried. However, I instructed these men to return to town and get all the information they could; see what the crowd was doing; whether they were armed or not and report back to me at the Armory. I then went to the Armory and called up the Sheriff and asked if there was any indications of trouble down there. The sheriff reported that there were some threats but did not believe it would amount to anything, that in any event he could protect his prisoner. I then called the Chief of Police and asked him the same questions. The chief reported that things were a little threatening, that it was reported that negroes were driving around town in a threatening mood. I then notified the commanding officers of the three Tulsa units, who were in the Armory getting ready for camp, to hold all men in the Armory, have them get into their uniforms, get all arms and ammunition ready so that if it became necessary and the Governor called us we would be ready. I, also, notified them to quickly but quietly, notify all members of the guard to report at the Armory without giving an alarm. I then returned to my home, just across the alley from the Armory, for my uniform. However, before I could get into it a runner came to my door very much. excited and reported that a mob was trying to break into the Armory. Grabbing my pistol in one hand and my belt in the other I jumped out of the back door and running down the west side of the Armory building I saw several men apparently pulling at the window grating. Commanding these men to get off the lot and seeing this command obeyed I went to the front of the building near the southwest corner where I saw a mob of white men about three or four hundred strong. I asked them what they wanted. One of them replied “Rifles and ammunition”. I explained to them that they could not get anything there. Some one shouted “we don’t know about that, we guess we can”. I told them we only had sufficient arms and ammunition for our own men and that not one piece could go out of there without orders from the Governor, and in the name of the law demanded that they disperse at once. They continued to press forward in a threatening manner when with drawn pistol I again demanded that they disperse and explained that the men in the Armory were armed with rifles loaded with ball ammunition and that they would shoot promptly to prevent any unauthorized person entering there. By maintaining a firm stand backed by Capt. Van Voorhis, Sgt. Leo Irish of the police department, a citizen by the name of Williams and the members of the guard inside this mob was dispersed. I then ordered an adequate guard thrown around the building with one man on the roof. I again called the chief of police and asked if any call had been made for the Governor and he informed me that they were trying to get in touch with him at that time. The chief asked me if I could send some men up town to clear the streets of negroes. I informed him that we could only go out as National Guardsmen with the Governor’ ·s orders and urged haste in getting in touch with the Governor before it was too late. This was, as well as I can remember, about 10 o’clock P.M. In spite of the late hour and demoralized conditions, the officers of the three units, “B” Co., Service Co., and the Sanitary Detachment had been active in getting in men and all supplies in shape. At this hour there was approximately 50 men all told in the Armory and others reporting right along. I had already instructed Capt. McCuen to have his Automatic Rifles ready and manned and plenty of ammunition laid out. (I will state right here, however, that we never sent these Automatics up town at any time because of the danger to non-combatants long distances away if we attempted to use them.) Approximately 110 serviceable rifles and 16000 rounds of rifle ammunition were ready for use at the Armory at this time, all under lock and key and strong guard. The Sanitary Detachment had supplies laid out. So much ·for our action before the Governor’s call.

3. About 10:30 o’clock, I think it was, I had a call from the Adjt. General asking about the situation. I explained that it looked pretty bad. He directed that we continue to use every effort to get the men in so that if a call came we would be ready. I think it was only a few minutes after this, another call from Adjt. General directed that “B” Co., the Sanitary Det. and the Service Co. be mobilized at once and to render any assistance to the civil authorities we could in the maintenance of law and order and the protection of life and property. I think this was about 10:40 o’clock and while talking to the General you appeared and assumed command.

4. When you moved with the first truck load of men to the police station you directed that I remain at the Armory getting the men out as rapidly as they reported and sending them to you. This I did, sending out detachments from time to time as you called for them. Under these instructions, I sent a non-com and four men to the Public Service Co.’s plant on West First Street and a like detachment out to the Water Works plant on the Sand Springs Road. I also sent a squad under Sgt. Hastings of “B” Co., to the Sand Springs substation on Archer between Boston and Cincinnati where the snipers had run the employees out causing the cutting off of the current from several buildings, among them the Brady Hotel. In the discharge of this duty Sgt. Hastings was wounded. As well as I can figure now, we had on duty from the Tulsa units by 6 o’clock approximately 125 men.

5. About 11 o’clock A.M. June 1st the negro wounded, prisoners and refugees began to arrive at the Armory when we turned it into a hospital making preparations to take care of them the best we could. All cots needed as well as blankets were ordered turned over to the Sanitary Detachment. Water and ice to take care of their needs was ordered. The citizens, church societies and Salvation Army brought in coffee and sandwiches for the men on duty and prisoners and refugees.

6. No rifles or ammunition were furnished to civilians at any time except the 2 rifles and 40 rounds of ammunition furnished to Capt. Galoway of the American Legion on request of Commissioner Adkison, and two rifles that had been loaned to the police department several weeks before by Capt. J . W. McCuen on my suggestion: at the request of the chief of police and Major C. W. Daley.

Jas. A. Bell,
Comdg. 1st Bn. 3rd In£. Okla. Nat’l Gd .


Extracted from: Halliburton, R. The Tulsa race war of 1921. San Francisco: R and E Research Associates, 1975.

Martial Law Orders

These have been transcribed (with corrected spelling) from

Barrett, Charles Franklin.  Oklahoma after fifty years: a history of the Sooner state and its people, 1889-1939 … Hopkinsville, Ky.; Oklahoma City, Okla.: The Historical Record Association, 1941.

Hower, Robert N.  1921 Tulsa race riot and the American Red Cross, “Angels of Mercy.” Tulsa, Okla.: Homestead Press, c1993.


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The Martial Law Declaration in the collection of McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa.

MARTIAL LAW DECLARED

Headquarters Oklahoma National Guard
City Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 1, 1921.

Following telegram from Governor J.B.A. Robertson received at these Headquarters at 11:29 a.m. places Tulsa and Tulsa County under Martial Law:

‘Chas. F. Barrett. The Adjutant General
c-o City Hall, Tulsa Oklahoma. June 1, 1921

I have declared martial law throughout Tulsa County, and am holding you responsible for maintenance of order, safety of lives and protection of property.  You will do all things necessary to attain these objects.

J. B. A. Robertson, Governor.’

THEREFORE, By authority of this order, I hereby declare the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County from and after the hour named in the telegram to be under Martial Law, which will be enforced with all the rigor necessary to accomplish the purpose of restoring peace and order within the boundaries of this City and County.

The people of Tulsa and Tulsa County will retire immediately to their homes and remain there, so far as possible, until this order is modified or revoked.

All persons, except sworn officers of the law, found upon the public streets of Tulsa or in any locality in Tulsa County, will be promptly arrested and punished as a military court may direct.

All business houses in the city will close on or before 6:00 o’clock P.M. today and will not re-open until 8 A.M., June 2nd, and will observe these hours from day to day until further orders, unless granted permission by the commanding officer of the Oklahoma National Guard.

Services of necessity, such as grocery stores, drug stores, dairies, meat markets and other agencies that contribute to the comfort of the people will be excepted from the provision requiring permission to render such service.

It is the hope of the commanding officer that a prompt compliance with this order will result in a speedy restoration of the public peace, and that the order can be so modified that there will be no interference with the ordinary process of business and commercial life in Tulsa or any surrounding city in Tulsa County.

Every good citizen should lend his or best efforts to secure a prompt compliance with this order.

Automobiles, trucks and other conveyances, except those used by doctors, officers of the law, members of the Red Cross and other individuals or organizations contributing to the health and welfare of the people will not be allowed on the streets between the hours of 7:00P.M. and 6:00A.M.

Sufficient military forces are on hand to rigidly enforce this order, and it will be done.

Equal protection under this order is guaranteed to all persons, without regard to race or color. After the publication of this order, the man or woman, white or black, found with arms in their hands without written permission from military authority or by virtue of proper commission under the civil law will be considered as public enemies and treated accordingly.

Police offices and members of the sheriff’s force will report through their chiefs to Brig-Gen. Charles F. Barrett for further orders.

Chas. F. Barrett, Brigadier General,
Commanding Oklahoma National Guard.’


Headquarters Oklahoma National Guard
City Hall, Tulsa, Okla. June 2nd, 1921


Field Order No. 1

Rules and regulations governing the enforcement of the martial law now in effect in Tulsa and Tulsa County will be further modified to enable the civil authorities of the county to begin and pursue such investigation of crimes and offenses alleged to have been committed by parties now under arrest or by those who should be arrested in connection with the riotous and unlawful conduct that has taken place in connection with the present emergency, and for performing such other functions and duties in connection with their offices as the civil law directs except that peace officers will not interfere with military orders in relation to guard duty or other service of the military authorities.

By Command Brig. General Barrett
(signed) Byron Kirkpatrick, Major A.G. Adj.


Field Order No.2

The Rules and Regulations provided in the order declaring martial law in Tulsa and Tulsa County are hereby modified to the extent that all normal business and society activities will be allowed, and guards will be withdrawn from the business area during the day of Thursday, June 2nd.  People will not be allowed to congregate on the streets nor engage in heated controversy or interfere with the right of the public the streets.

All street car service will be resumed on regular schedules.  All theaters, taxi lines and agencies of comfort, health and other businesses will go on as usual.  All white people are restricted and barred from visiting the burnt area of the negro district unless proved with military pass.  All negroes provided with the card showing police protection will be allowed to go into the burnt district or negro quarters on presentation of the card.  All negroes living outside of the city and now detained in the various refugee and detention places will be held under detention and brought before the authorities at city hall for investigation.  The commission named as a military commission and the Red Cross will work in cooperation in the work among the refugees.

By Command Brig. General Barrett
(signed) Byron Kirkpatrick, Major A.G. Adj.


Field Order No. 3

Owing to the present conditions in Tulsa and Tulsa County—funerals of those killed during the riot will not be held in the churches of the city.  Many of these churches are in use as camps for the refugees and it is against the policy of the military department to allow the use for same for funerals under the conditions of emotional stress which still prevailed within the city.

By Command Brig. General Barrett
(signed) Byron Kirkpatrick, Major A.G. Adj.


Field Order No.4

All able-bodied negro men remaining in detention camp at the Fair Grounds and other places in the city of Tulsa will be required to render such service and perform such labor as is required by the military commission and the Red Cross in making the proper sanitary provisions for the care of the refugees.

Able-bodied women, not having the care of children, will also be required to perform such service as may be required in the feeding and care of the refugees.

This order covers any labor necessary in the care of the health or welfare of those people who, by reason of their misfortunes, must be looked after by the different agencies of relief.

By Command Brig. General Barrett
(signed) Byron Kirkpatrick, Major A.G. Adj.


Field Order No. 5

To Commanding Officer, 3rd Infantry.  You will detail a Non-Commissioned Officer and 12 men to act as guard at Fair Ground Detention Camp, this detail will be armed and fully equipped will report to Clark Field at American Red Cross Headquarters.  From and after 1.P.M. this date detention camp at McNulty Camp will abolish and camps will be removed to Detention Camp at Fair Grounds.

By Command Brig. General Barrett
(signed) Byron Kirkpatrick, Major A.G. Adj.


Field Order No. 6

[There is no currently known copy of this order.]


Field Order No. 7

By authority of the Governor and Commander-in-chief of Oklahoma it is hereby ordered that the provisions, rules and regulations contained in the Military Order Putting into effect “Martial Law” in the County of Tulsa Oklahoma be and the same hereby suspended, and the authority and responsibility imposed upon me as Commander of the National Guard, by the governor is, by this order transferred to the mayor and city commissioners of the city of Tulsa and to the sheriff and board of county commissioners of the county of Tulsa, Oklahoma who have taken over all the duties and power conferred upon them by the statutes and constitution of the state. They will exercise with vigor and vigilance the police powers entrusted to them and will take proper care of all wounded, sick and distressed people, who, by reason of the tumult, riot and unlawful conduct of others have become a public charge.

The National Guard unit brought to the city of Tulsa from other section of the state have been relieved from active duty in this field and will repair under the competent orders of their commanding officers to their home stations, subject to orders already in hand to proceed to the Annual Encampment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

The local units of the Oklahoma National Guards will remain on active duty and be subject to call under orders transmitted to Lieut. Col. L. J. F. Rooney by the Adjutant General of Oklahoma. These Tulsa units of the 3rd Infantry will be relieved from further active duty in connection with the present late disturbance at Tulsa, at 9:00 o’clock A.M., Saturday, June 4, 1921, but will be subject to orders already in hand for the Annual Encampment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Battery B, 2nd Field Artillery, Tulsa, Oklahoma, will be held in readiness to obey orders to co-operate with city and county authorities of Tulsa and Tulsa County in case their services are required but will not act as an organization until orders are received to that effect from the Governor and Commander-in-Chief.

By Command Brig. General Barrett
(signed) Byron Kirkpatrick, Major A.G. Adj.

 

Tulsa Coal Mines

One of the stories about the riot and aftermath was that the coal mines were used to hide the bodies.  I haven’t looked into it much, but I wasn’t convinced.  I was just sent an article from the Tulsa Gal blog.  She has looked into the history and it looks like that’s an easily busted story since the coal mines are all after 1921.  

More women of the KKK

Concurrent to the W.A.P., as it appeared in Tulsa in October 1922, also on 1 October of 1922, the following article appeared in the New York Times about the Ladies of the Invisible Empire (LOTIE), a different women’s auxiliary that was more ancestral to the eventual Women of the Ku Klux Klan (WKKK). All text after this is quoted from the newspaper article, 1 Oct 1922, p. 23:

Women Klan Members Reveal Family Life

Those who would join Ladies of the Invisible Empire must answer many questions.

Special to the New York Times.

BALTIMORE, Md. Sept. 30.– In a questionnaire sent to the Baltimore women who seek to join the Ladies of the Invisible Empire, the feminine organization modeled after the Ku Klux Klan, are queries concerning many ramifications of the life of the applicant and her family.  Officials of the local organization declare that many Maryland women have answered these questions.

Baltimore’s centre of “female invisibility” is at the home of Alfred Holt, deputy organizer.  At the top of the application blank he issues this declaration:

“I. the undersigned, a true and loyal citizen of the United States of America, being a white woman of sound mind and a believer in the tenets of the Christian religion and the principles of ‘pure Americanism,’ do most respectfully apply for affiliation in the Ladies of the Invisible Empire.

“I guarantee on my honor to conform strictly to all rules and requirements regulating my initiation and the continuance of my membership and at all times a strict and loyal obedience to your constitution and laws of the order. If I prove untrue to my obligations, I will willingly accept as my portion whatever penalty your authority may impose.”

The sum of $10 must accompany this application as a voluntary contribution.

Among the questions the applicant is required to answer are:

“Are you serious and unselfish in seeking membership in this organization?

“Are you past 18 years of age?  Married?  Single? Widowed? Divorced?

“Have you any children?

“What is your religious faith?  Catholic, Jew, Protestant, or Mohammedan?

“With what secret organization is your husband, father, son, or brother affiliated?

“What is the religious faith of your husband?

“Of what church are you now a member?

“Can you keep a secret? Will you do so?

“What are your political affiliations?

“Are you a registered voter?

“Do you owe any allegiance to any foreign nation, Government, Institution, people, or ruler?

“Do you esteem the United States of America, its flag and Constitution above any other nation, flag and Government, and will you ever be loyal in supporting same?

“Can you always be depended on?”

Having answered all these interrogations, the applicant must subscribe to the following:

“I most solemnly assert and affirm that each question above is truthfully answered by me, and in my own handwriting, and below is my signature.”

Women’s Klan in Tulsa

While researching something else this morning, I came across this image, from the Sunday, 15 October 1922 Tulsa Tribune.  As a note, W.A.P. meant White American Protestants according to Women of the Klan: Racism and Gender in the 1920s, by Kathleen M. Blee.  All text after this is quoted from the newspaper article accompanying.

Members of the Tulsa KKK and the WAP at the inaugural meeting, October 1922. -- Tulsa Tribune, 15 October 1922.

Members of the Tulsa KKK and the WAP at the inaugural meeting, October 1922. — Tulsa Tribune, 15 October 1922.

Good Morning Mrs._____; Are You In This Picture?

This is the first photograph ever published of members of the women’s Ku Klux Klan.  It was taken a few days ago at the organization of the Tulsa Chapter of the W. A. P., the Women’s Auxiliary of the Klan.  The robed figures at the left are Klansmen,  The women at the right and in the rear are charter W.A.P. members.   Can you pick out yourself?  What W.A.P. stands for is a secret.

The accompanying picture of the first class of Tulsa women into the W.A.P., the women’s Ku Klux Klan, was brought to The Tribune by a woman who said she was a member.  This is the third class of the kind organized in the United States, it is said, and the first pictures of members of the women’s organization to be published anywhere.

As can be seen in the picture, the W.A.P. has at least the semi-official sanction of the Ku Klux Klan.  Members of the local chapter of the klan are here presenting the American flag to the women, who have just banded together to further the same principles advocated by the invisible empire.  The photograph was taken a few days ago.

The W.A.P., said to be the only women’s organization that has received commendation in the klan national papers at Atlanta, Ga., and Washington, D.C.,was organized at Claremore a few weeks ago.  National headquarters have since been established in Kansas City.

The order claims a membership of 4,000 in Oklahoma.  It is said to have chapters at Claremore, Miami, Tulsa, Vinita, Muskogee, Oklahoma City, Pryor, Wagoner, McAlester, Henryetta, Okmulgee, Haskell, Sapulpa, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Skiatook, Collinsville, Avant, Bigheart, Pawhuska, Pawnee, Stillwater, Perry, Oilton, Drumright, Yale, Cushing, Stroud, Chandler, Guthrie, Edmond, Yukon, El Reno, Kingfisher, Enid, and Ada, in this state,  while others are being organized almost daily.