Thursday, November 18, 2021

November 18, 1859

Nashville – After eight days of editorial warfare between George G. Poindexter of the Nashville Union and American and Allen A. Hall of the Nashville News, a political controversy became a deadly clash.

Following a scurrilous comment by Poindexter in the Union and American, Hall had let it be known that he resented the calumnies printed in that paper and that “I shall go on with a thorough exposure of all misstatements, misrepresentations, and falsehoods which may appear in the Union and American…and [I am] fully able and prepared to protect my person against assault and to punish the assailant.”

On the morning of the 18th, Poindexter, carrying an umbrella that concealed a navy pistol, walked toward the offices of the News. When he got within 30 feet, Hall stepped out with a double-barrel shotgun, and shouted three times for Poindexter to halt, commands his rival did not obey. Hall raised the shotgun, took deliberate aim, and emptied one of the two chambers in to Poindexter’s torso, killing him instantly.

Hall was never tried for the killing. He later became the United States minister to Bolivia (1863-1867) where he died. 

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