October 9, 1915
Crawfordville, Georgia
Charles Rackely is shot and killed following a dispute in which he was not involved

Before the shooting, two employees of the Winsley sawmill had gotten into a confrontation with a boy or young man named Evans. As Evans was Black while the employees were white, it was speculated the incident was racially motivated. A group of men, angry at the treatment Evans’ had received, visited the sawmill with the intention to shoot and kill the men involved. They encountered Rackely first. Rackely was shot and killed, the remaining employees at the lumber camp scattered, and the shooters left. It was later revealed Rackely had not been a participant in the altercation with Evans.

Several men were arrested in connection with Rackely’s murder, three of whom — Sam Hardin, Jake Turner, and Guy Young — were sentenced to death less than 3 weeks after the shooting. Two more, whose names were not recorded in newspapers, pleaded guilty to being accessories and received sentences of 1 year in a chain gang (a group of prisoners chained together, tasked with manual labor including breaking rocks, building roads, or driving in spikes for railways).

Hardin, Turner, and Young were executed together on November 8, 1915, just under a month after Rackely’s shooting. None of the condemned men left behind a recorded final statement, though each reportedly quietly prayed in their last moments.

The Morning Star [Wilmington, North Carolina]. October 13, 1915
via newspapers.com

Hearn, Daniel Allen. Legal Executions in Georgia. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2016
“Triple Hanging in Georgia.” St. Albans Daily Messenger. November 8, 1915
“Murder at Lumber Camp.” The Indiana Progress. November 3, 1915
“Shot in Georgia.” The Morning Star [Wilmington, North Carolina]. October 13, 1915
“Taliaferro Black Is Taken From Jail For Safekeeping.” The Constitution [Atlanta, Georgia]. October 12, 1915

9 thoughts on “Man shot, killed after a possibly racially motivated attack in which he was not a participant

  1. “As Evans was Black while the employees were white,”. Why would you write black with a capital letter, and not white? What rascist principle is that based upon?

    And why don´t you mention the fact that Rackely was shot purely on the basis of him being white, thus clearly making this a rascist murder? I´m pretty sure you wouldn´t hesitate to point that out if it was the other way around….


  2. I use the Associated Press Stylebook as a basis for my writing style, and they currently employ the capitalization of Black but not white.

    As for your second question, I only report what is known from contemporary or historical sources and not speculation. Sources indicate Rackley was killed as he was the first convenient person the group encountered, rather than on the basis of his skin color. Additionally, in this very article I mention the confrontation which was the motivation for Rackely’s murder *may* have been racially motivated, again because that is what the contemporary sources indicated, so I in fact did hesitate to point out racial factors when the victim’s ethnicity was reversed.


    1. Thank you for your reply.

      as to 1.: just because the Associated Press Stylebook is rascist it doesn´t mean you have to be, does it?

      As to 2.: you wrote “Before the shooting, two employees of the Winsley sawmill had gotten into a confrontation with a boy or young man named Evans. As Evans was Black while the employees were white, it was speculated the incident was racially motivated. “.

      I assume the “incident” refered to in this sentence is the aforementioned “confrontation with”, is it not?

      So although you do assume and point out it “may have been a rascist attack” on evans based solely on the fact that evans is black, you do not, in fact , point out the racial factors (rackelys murder based on him being the first White person they met) when the victims ethnicity was reversed, exactly as I pointed out.

      Just trying to understand what factors are in play for this to happen, not saying you yourself are rascist, merely that this article has some rascist inuendo that I don´t appreciate.


      1. 1) I don’t believe it to be racist. The B in Black is to denote a cultural group of people who, unfortunately, don’t have the luxury of knowing which areas of the world their heritage originates.
        2) Yes, the incident and confrontation are the same. Again, the speculations of the motivations are from the contemporary sources rather than my own. And the contemporary sources speculate Rackely’s murder was based on convenience rather than race.


      1. Ah ok, thats odd, I had written a lenthy reply 😦 Sorry about that, feel free to remove these last two comments 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s