John Reid

On the evening of May 13, 1906, a violent confrontation occurred between the African American members of Troop B, Tenth United States Cavalry Regiment, and the townspeople of Crawford, Nebraska. A year before, Crawford marshal Arthur Moss and Sergeant John Reid of Troop B had come close to blows after a July 4th horse race. The animosity between the two men continued. On the evening of May 13, Moss was sent to break up a soldier’s beer party near the city park on the west edge of town. Moss ordered the party to quiet down or disperse. An altercation broke out between Moss, Reid, and Pvt. Jordan Taylor, also from Troop B. During the brief scuffle, Reid shot Moss with a .38-caliber revolver. Reid and Taylor fled into town and took refuge at the home of Edna Ewing, an elder black resident. While making their escape, the soldiers were followed and fired upon by several civilians. Art Moss died shortly after being shot. As a crowd gathered at the Ewing house, Taylor suddenly bolted and ran towards Fort Robinson. Before getting very far, he was fatally wounded. Reid was captured and taken under guard by the city jail. Rumors spread through Crawford that soldiers from Fort Robinson had threatened to storm the jail and free Reid. City officials feared a civilian mob might seize and lynch the prisoner. So, they decided to move Reid to the Chadron jail for safety. Before he could be transported, word came from the fort that several men and rifles from Troop B were missing. Colonel Augur quickly sent Troops I and K into town to prevent further violence. Soldier guards surrounded the jail. Tensions remained high into the next day. The seven men who were reported absent from the B Troop barracks were placed in the post guardhouse and fourteen rifles were found concealed near the town limits. Reid was moved to the Chadron jail. He was eventually tried and convicted of manslaughter for the death of Arthur Moss and sentenced to 7 years at the Nebraska State Prison.

  • Prison ID Number: #4747
  • Criminal Offense: Manslaughter
  • Offense Location: Nebraska State Prison

John Reid Mugshot

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

Recent Archeological Work at Ft. Atkinson

Recent Archeological Work at Ft. Atkinson

Willie Nelson FarmAid Concert

Willie Nelson FarmAid Concert

Marker Monday: Nehawka Flint Quarries

Marker Monday: Nehawka Flint Quarries

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.
Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.