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DAVID NELSON - Deserter
Source: Crawfordsville Daily Journal Nov 6, 1914 p 1
David Nelson, deserter from the United States Army, was arrested here at noon today by Detective Leslie A. Lyons and his deputy James W. Green, the detectives being accompanied by Sheriff Frank Wren in making the arrest. Lyons left with Nelson at 2 this afternoon to turn the deserter over to the officials at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis. Nelson, who was born and raised in Crawfordsville deserted from his troop at Columbus, NM last December. He had served five years and a half and his time would have been up in June of this year had he remained at his post. The action, as Nelson himself characterized it this afternoon was a fool stunt. He said he just grew tired of army service and slipped away. Nelson has been in NC since leaving the army and it was only a desire to see his relatives here that prompted him to take a chance and return to Crawfordsville. He came in on a Monon freight train shortly before noon and started at once to the home of his grandmother, Mrs. Mary Largent, Chandler's Lane. Before he had reached his relative's home, Detective Lyons had received a tip that he was in town. Lyons, Green and Wren went to the Largent home in an auto at once. As they approached the place the detective and his deputy jumped from the car and one ran to each side of the house. Nelson calmly and smilingly walked out and spoke to Lyons. He made no attempt to resist arrest. In talking of his experience since deserting the army Nelson declared that he had not been near Indiana until this week. He seemed to derive a great deal of enjoyment out of the description of the local police force making a search for him southwest of the city early this year. The police received a tip that Nelson was in the county. Five of the officers loaded into an auto one night, carrying guns and apparently anticipating all sorts of trouble. They made a search for the deserter in the country near here and returned with the statement that the man had gone. "Gee, they must have thought I was desperate, taking all that artillery out with them," Nelson laughingly remarked. Nelson did not seem to worry over the situation into which his desertion and capture had led him. "I know what I am up against,' he said. "I don't blame this man here (pointing to Lyons) for catching me. I only blame myself for being fool enough to come back to Crawfordsville where I am known. I have no excuse to offer for deserting and admit that I was a fool for doing it with only six months to serve." I had one narrow escape on the way up here, the prisoner remarked. I was traveling on a freight with a fellow I met on the way when the authorities in a small Arkansas town got after us. We got away and I afterwards learned that there was a reward of $2,000 out for the other felt low. I soon separated from him. My only wish is that the authorities will keep me confined at the fort in Indianapolis, for if they do that I will get to see my mother and grandmother occasionally. I realize that they will put me at hard work and I will pay dearly for my desertion. The deserter said he had not had anything to eat since Wednesday night. He was give a feed at the lunch room in the traction station and ate ravenously. He continued to laugh and talk until he and the detective boarded the car. "Remember me to the boys here" he said to a reporter as he left. Nelson's mother is Mrs. Nancy Pawley of this city.
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