Memphis, Tenn., Sept 13th 1865.
Statement of Archy Vaughn. Last spring  I was living with Bartlet Ciles about 8 miles from Somerville–near McCulloughs and one eving some Confederate soldiers or Guerillas came along and he told me to feed their horses. and I was at the barn gitting corn. and staied longer than he thought I should and when I went back to the house–he told me he was going to whip me in the morning– that night I took an old mare and went to the ferry across Wolf River. I was going to Laffayette Depot to get into the federal lines and Andrew Johnson who lives close to the ferry. took me and kept me until Billy Simons came along and he gave me to him to carry me back to Bartlet Ciles. When he Ciles took me down to the woods. and tied my hands, and pulled them over my knees and put a stick through under my knees. and then took his knife and castrated me and then cut off the lop of my left ear, he made a colord man named Dallas help hold me– he drove me off from his plantation some time in June–I think.
Archy X Vaughn
Affidavit of Archy Vaughn, 13 Sept. 1865, Affidavits & Statements, series 3545, Memphis TN Provost Marshal of Freedmen, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives. The names of five witnesses to the assault are appended. Endorsements indicate that Freedmen's Bureau authorities in Memphis investigated the case but took no further action at that time. Early in 1866, however, the bureau superintendent at LaGrange, Tennessee, forwarded additional testimony in the case (a portion of which dated the incident as having taken place in January or February 1864) to the Tennessee assistant commissioner's headquarters. A staff officer replied: “One blushes for humanity when he reads the record you give of the case. You should arrest Kyle, fine him heavily, and compel him to pay exemplary damages to the boy. ‘Castration’ and ‘ear cropping’ are crimes which ought to call down the vengeance of the civil law, but the consciences of our civil authorities, in matters in which negroes are concerned, appear to be callous.” (S. H. Melcher to Lieut. J. F. Alden, 16 Jan. 1866, enclosing testimony in the case of Bureau vs. Bartlett Kyle, 16 Jan. 1866, M-19 1866, Registered Letters Received, series 3379, TN Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives; Bt. Lt. Col. J. E. Jacobs to S. H. Melcher, 28 Jan. 1866, vol. 9, p. 217, Press Copies of Letters Sent, series 3373, TN Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives.)