Interview with Gov. John Patterson
QUESTION 2
INTERVIEWER:

DID YOU MAKE ANY PREPARATIONS OF ANY KIND, AS A…

Gov. John Patterson:

Yes, Floyd Mann who was my director of public safety at that time, and I got together and talked about it and Floyd sent in plain clothes a investigator from the Department of Public Safety of Alabama, Mr. E.L. Cowling was his name. Sent him to Atlanta and he caught the bus out of Atlanta with the Freedom Riders. And he was on the bus when the bus got to Anaston. And he was on the bus when the bus was stopped just outside of Anaston on the way to Birmingham, where it was ah, set afire. And Mr. Cowling drew his pistol and made the crowd back away from the bus and made them let the passengers off of the bus. And no one was injured, but the bus was burned just outside of Anaston. But we had and investigator on the bus, his name was E.L. Cowling.