We put in twenty-four lively hours with the "jumpers" and thieves at Callery's. One may wonder how a decent man could associate with such characters and not betray himself. It is a wonder, but somehow I managed to fit the niche under any circumstances.
Learning that Deegan had gone to New York and would probably be at his brother John's saloon in East 38th Street, I proceeded there.
I used the names "George Comings" or "I. K. Shaffer" usually, and they became familiar to me. In this case I was "George Comings."
To have something to recommend me to John Deegan, I wired to myself from Philadelphia to New York, using "R. Callery's" name (without permission), I have the telegram, which was done by the House Printing Telegraph (in type on long strips, or tape, much like the present ticker tape). It reads:
Phil Nov XIth
Geo Comings. Wm Deegan is at John Deegans Thirty Eighth Street Second and Third Avenues. Please take that note to him (Battell's note.)
Hund wenty six Callowhill St.
We associated with the "jumpers" who hung out at John Deegan's to accomplish our purposes. Wm. Deegan had gone to Boston.
Bounty jumpers in New York were on every corner. The city was infested with them. Our appearance and conduct secured us recognition by them, so much so that my men became anxious on account of our popularity.
I made arrangements with Major Leslie, the Chief Paymaster in New York, for the capture of Deegan, which was accomplished shortly afterwards. When I called on Major Leslie at his residence in 9th Street, I was somewhat shocked at first at his incivility. I had overlooked the fact that my personal appearance (my clothes, etc.) did not merit confidence. However, as soon as I made him know me everything went on all right. I must certainly have looked tough.
Headquarters, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Nov. 15, 1864.
Lt. Col. Woolley, Provost Marshal.
Colonel.—I have the honor to submit the following report of my trip to Philadelphia and New York, in search of William Deegan and others charged with forgeries.
Among other steps that Major Elting took, previous to giving the matter into my hands, was to telegraph the Provost Marshal at Philadelphia to visit certain places and arrest, if found, William Deegan.
I arrived in Philadelphia on Thursday morning and immediately called on the Provost Marshal to ascertain what steps he had taken, and I requested him to withdraw his men from the job.
I ascertained to a certainty that Deegan had gone to New York, and also that the officers from the Provost Marshal's office went there (to the haunt of Deegan), dressed in uniform, stating they were connected with the Quartermasters' Office, and wanted to see Deegan. This was sufficient to scare any guilty man out of the country; accordingly I left for New York, where I visited Deegan's haunts. On Friday evening there, I ascertained that Deegan and his pigeons were gone, either to New Jersey or Boston.
On Saturday I visited Major Leslie, Chief Paymaster at New York, and posted him as to the actions of Deegan and his associates, and recommended that if discharges purporting to come from the 6th United States Cavalry were presented it would be well to detain the parties presenting such discharges and final statements until he could ascertain if they were genuine; and would then probably be able to catch some of the pigeons, and perhaps Deegan. I also requested him to telegraph to Chief Paymaster at Boston, which he promised to do.
Deegan's forgeries seem to be confined to the 6th U. S. Cavalry; he was formerly a member of that Regiment. He operates with "jumpers."
I think this job was spoiled by the actions of the Officers in Philadelphia. I am quite positive we were not suspected, as we were at all times current with these "jumpers," that infested Deegan's haunts.
I visited these places until yesterday, when I became satisfied that Deegan is too badly scared to remain about.
In addition to my report I wish to give you a brief outline of the state of affairs in the Provost Department in New York and Philadelphia. Wherever I went in search of my man I met "Bounty Jumpers," who openly avowed themselves such, and seemed to defy the authorities. Dick Callery, who keeps a groggery at No. 126 Callowhill street, Philadelphia, stated he was aware of Deegan's transactions. Most of Callery's customers were "jumpers."
In New York we could go but a short distance without meeting these characters. From what I could see I should think one thousand a low estimate of their numbers; they are very bold. They pay this Department quite a compliment, i. e., they say if they can only get clear from Baltimore they are all right.
If about fifteen or twenty pigeons could be thrown into New York and Philadelphia to co-operate with a strong force of Detectives and Military, hundreds of these "jumpers" would be brought to justice.
These jumpers without an exception are the firm support and backbone of the Copperhead Clique, and the same parties that caused the riots in New York last year. The arrest and punishment of these parties would cause rejoicing among respectable people. From my observation I can see that this class of men before the war were pickpockets, burglars, &c., but now resort to this last and easier means of stealing, i. e., "bounty jumping," at the same time they please the "Copperheads" by filling successively, the quotas of different districts, and not furnishing the Army one soldier; thus defeating the object of the Draft.
I am, Colonel,
Very respy. your obdt. servt., H. B. SMITH, Lt. & Chief.
My report and recommendations were so highly esteemed by General Wallace that he had a copy sent to General N. L. Jeffries, the Provost Marshal General of the United States, and by him were my suggestions acted upon. Colonel Lafayette C. Baker was sent to New York with a force of men and very ample money; a very vigorous and extended raid was made, partially successful, but I think my plan of putting fifteen or twenty men in with the jumpers, to actually "jump" with them, thus obtaining evidence to convict, would have been more successful. The current newspapers treated this matter as of great importance, using the findings of my report, saying: "Our quotas are being fraudulently filled, and furnishing no men for the army, etc."
General Wallace's letter to secretary of war, Charles A. Dana (afterwards editor of the New York "Sun") asking for an extension of territory for my work, incidentally introducing Colonel John S. Mosby, giving a list of his men and their home addresses—A train robbery, paymasters robbed—I recapture part of the money—Commissions in promotion declined.
Coleman's Eutaw House, Baltimore, Nov. 19, 1864.
(Unofficial.) Hon. C. A. Dana, Asst. Sec. of War.
Dear Sir.—Lt. Smith, my Chief of Detectives, will hand you this note.
It is necessary to one of his schemes, based upon a late discovery, that he should have a pass from the Secretary of the Navy to go through the lines of the blockade on the Potomac. The pass should cover a vessel, a crew of six or seven men and two or three hundred dollars' worth of goods.
I have every confidence that Lt. Smith will uncover a good thing.
About his honesty there is no doubt.
Very truly, Your friend, LEW WALLACE, Major General Commanding.
The above letter is in General Wallace's own handwriting. I prize it more than any commission or brevet commission that I have.
I needed just such an extended privilege as General Wallace asked for, and in March following I obtained it.
Colonel John S. Mosby's Guerillas were the most annoying and expensive antagonists we had. He operated along the line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad west of Washington, and also with a detachment between the Potomac and Rappahannock. My probings extended into the territory covered by him. I made a study of his tactics and was preparing to counteract him. His men were at home in the district; it was, in fact, their home. They were, or many of them were, farmers, who might be innocently tilling the soil as our scouting parties passed, but who, at Colonel Mosby's whistle, if the chance was propitious, would jump on horse and surprise us before long. Small bodies of troops were taken unawares. They never offered a front to large bodies; they would swoop down on a defenceless train, or destroy railroad bridges.
Mosby was a valuable asset to the Confederacy, worth many times Harry Gilmor's Raiders.
I think, without doubt, it took twenty or thirty thousand of our men to guard against his intermittent incursions.
Mosby was an educated man. An impression was abroad then that he was a barbarian; he was not. He was loyally doing for the South what I would have done for the North. I captured his foraging order, on one occasion and it opened my eyes for it was evidence of as civilized methods of war as was ever manifested. In this order he provided for payment for private property which he took.
I planned to organize a body of men to compete with Mosby, and I asked for a command to operate independently of district lines, or military commanders.
I had been locating Mosby's men (their homes), from all sorts of sources of information, preparing to capture them in detail. I was planning to take them at their disadvantage, when they were at the plough, and not when they were in the saddle. Here is part of my list so tabulated:
"Members of Mosby."
Wm. Robinson, Wend Robinson, John Robinson—Three miles above Front Royal, on the Culpepper Pike. Father is a farmer. Geo. Reger—Black Rock below the Pike, with his brother, John Reger. Jack Downing—1/2 mile from Geo. Reger's on Black Rock, in a fine brick house. William Wright—Four miles below Front Royal, on the Linden Road, with his Grandmother, Luanda Wright. James Fold—Below Flint Hill, six or seven miles from Front Royal near the Pike. Father is a farmer. James Hawes—On Culpepper Pike, seven miles from Front Royal, is a laborer, lives in Mr. Gibson's house. Bresley Esom—Seven miles from Front Royal, one mile from Culpepper Pike. George Esom—Same place as Bresley. John Clark—Nine miles from Front Royal, to right of Culpepper Pike, on the mountain. Father is a farmer. John Maddox—Four miles from Front Royal on Hominy Road, is a farmer. George Leech—Three miles from Front Royal, on the Culpepper Pike. Shoemaker shop. James Bolton—Eight or nine miles from Front Royal, on Culpepper Pike, left hand side. Father is a blacksmith. James Anderson—Resides with Bolton. William Blackwell—Formerly on Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
You will see later on in Paine's statement that I quizzed him on the same subject. I presume my information was not always reliable, but was nearly so.
The following is quoted from an interrupted Confederate letter, in speaking of Mosby:
"He is well off for Greenbacks since he captured those paymasters on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad line. When the plunder secured on that occasion came to be divided up every officer and man who assisted got $1,922.50. A good deal of this money you have already got back. I will tell you how. Old men and women residents in the neighborhood of Upperville, who have gone within your lines and taken the oath of allegiance, have been sent by Mosby and many of his men to Berlin, to purchase goods: such as hats, &c., and have paid for these in captured Greenbacks, and got the goods out to the Battalion."
This information was correct. I captured one man's part of the plunder entire, or nearly so. The money was yet in its original shape, as issued to these paymasters from the Treasury Department. I took it there and they were able to identify the packages.
The capture was made in this way: One of Mosby's men named Dr. John A. Kline, of Loudoun County, Virginia, came to Baltimore. He was accompanied by his mother, Mrs. Mary A. Kline, and a niece, Nannie O. Bannon. He became intoxicated, talked too much, and the whole party was arrested. They were searched, the women by one of my female officers, and the money, about two thousand dollars, was found on the mother, in a belt worn next to her skin. We confined the women in a hotel, but were finally forced to send them to jail, as the mother got intoxicated, and so disturbed the other guests.
Kline was sentenced to ten years hard labor. The mother was confined until the close of the war.
Appleton, for 1864, speaks of the train robbery, on page 156, as follows:
"All that district of country west of Washington and immediately south of the Potomac River, was infested with guerrillas throughout the year. Colonel Mosby was their leader. Many of their expeditions were conducted with great boldness. Sometimes they came within a few miles of Washington.
"On one occasion during the year they captured a passenger train on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, between Harper's Ferry and Martinsburg. A rail was removed, and the train thus running off the track was brought to a stop. Their proceedings have been thus graphically described," etc.
"They then made a final search, and saw the work was complete; the train had been burned, a paymaster with sixty-three thousand dollars robbed, the passengers plundered of their hats, coats, boots, watches and money, and locking and burning the mail, express, and baggage, they made us a boisterous farewell."
The matter of my suggestion for a party to compete with Mosby, went through all the channels, up to Major General Halleck, the President's military adviser. I was informed that General Halleck approved of it, to give me a commission as Captain and Assistant Adjutant General, to report to the Adjutant General. This was suggested to overcome rank restrictions. The matter, however, was delayed (I will refer to it again in March, 1865). The war ended without this scheme being accomplished. Meantime I declined to accept several tenders of commissions in promotion, expecting to realize this greater recognition.
The following tenders of promotion were declined:
Headquarters 8th N. Y. Arty. before Petersburg, Va., Nov. 22, 1864.
How are you old boy and how have you enjoyed yourself since I last saw you? I am well, and full of fight as ever. We have done some fighting since we came into the field, and would like to have you with us.
There is a Captain's commission waiting for you if you will accept it. If you will send answer to me immediately, I will get it for you.
The officers of the Regiment would like to have you come. The Regiment is commanded by Major Baker, our Colonel (Willett) Commands the 1st Brigade, 2nd Div. 2nd Corps.
We have some good times and some d——d hard times, but I think it will pay.
I hope you will join us as Captain.
Good Bye, J. W. HOLMES, Major 8th N. Y. H. Arty. 2nd Brig. 2nd Div. 2nd Corps.
Harper's Ferry, Va. Dec. 15, 1864.
I suppose I have the right to address you by the above title now. Your Commission as Captain came yesterday and you will receive it by same mail as you do this.
Your Friend, J. H. GRAHAM.
Headquarters, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Nov. 20, 1864.
Special Order No. 171.
Lieut. H. B. Smith, 5th N. Y. Arty. Comdg. Detective Corps 8th Army Corps, and one man as guard will at once proceed to Washington, D. C., in charge of prisoner J. J. Chancellor, on arrival at that point he will report with Chancellor, without delay, to Hon. C. A. Dana, Asst. Secretary of War. Having completed his duties at that place he will at once return with the guard to these headquarters.
Quartermasters will furnish necessary transportation.
By command of Major General Wallace.
WM. H. WIEGEL, Capt. & Asst. Provost Marshal.
Capture of Confederate bonds and scrip—Arrest of Pittman, Brewer and Fowler; Lieut. Smith, alias I. K. Shaffer, alias George Comings, led them, victims, into a maze, to their undoing.
I will now tell you of the Confederate bond matter. Special Order No. 172 enabled me to make my arrangements at Willard's Hotel:
Headquarters, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Nov. 20, 1864.
Special Order No. 172.
Lieut. H. B. Smith, 5th N. Y., and one man will proceed to Washington, D. C., on secret service. On completion of his duties he will report with his guard at these headquarters.
By command of Major General Wallace.
JOHN WOOLLEY, Lt. Col. & Pro. Marshal.
Office Provost Marshal, Baltimore, Nov. 24, 1864.
Lt. Col. Woolley, Provost Marshal.
Colonel.—I have the honor to report the arrest of J. S. Pittman, Dr. D. R. Brewer and T. S. Fowler.
I herewith hand you a carpet sack, containing Confederate Bonds and Scrip amounting to $82,575, which was collected in different ways from these parties. Also $22 from Dr. Brewer and $280 from Pittman, in currency, and a trunk said to contain 23 dozen cards (cotton and woolen cards) from Brewer's house.
Herewith I hand you several statements in reference to the case.
I would respectfully call your attention to Mr. Fowler's statement, viz.: that "that they sell this stuff to Jews, &c., that run the blockade," and that "it is all done for the benefit of the U. S. Service," and then to Pittman's statement that he did not know the New York man who was to buy of him in Washington, and then to my statement, i. e., that I told him that I was from New York, and gave him my name and address in writing, and also told him how I intended to use the funds with blockade runners. Putting all these statements together I should conclude that if he is doing all this "for the benefit of the service," that he would have informed the authorities of my intentions.
Pittman's and Brewer's statements were made under oath. Brewer stated to me that the cards were bought to send to Dixie. In his sworn statement, after arrest, he declined giving the history of them, as it might injure his friends.
I am, Colonel, Very respy. your obdt. servt., H. B. SMITH, Lt. & Chief.
This story is quite complicated. During the progress of this case, I was known to the parties as "Comings," "Shaffer" and Lieutenant Smith, and to show how complex it was, although Pittman and Brewer were together in prison, until trial came they had not been able to understand that the three names were for one person.
When I was about to go on the stand in their trial, their counsel asked me if Comings and Shaffer would be present? I answered yes; but when on the stand I began and told the story, their counsel claimed the Government had taken an advantage of them in concealing the facts.
Captain Hassing was my medium for getting into the case. It was a Baltimore gang, but either from suspicion of Hassing, or for other reasons, they would not meet the New York party (me) in Baltimore, so I arranged for a meeting in Washington, at Willard's Hotel. I went over and engaged a room there and registered; the following wire came:
Baltimore, Md., Nov. 20, 1864.
I. K. Shaffer, Willards, Washington.
Have seen the parties arrangements are made for to-morrow be here to-night.
In reply, I wired:
Washington, D. C., Nov. 20, 1864.
Capt. Hassing, German St. Green House, Baltimore.
Telegram recd will meet you to-morrow evening at place appointed cannot close up my business with my friend here until morning.
I. K. SHAFFER, Willards Hotel.
The above telegram and the one following were for Hassing to exhibit to the gang, to show my earnestness:
Willards Hotel Washington, Nov 21 1864
I. K. Shaffer Telegraph Office Barnum's Baltimore
Disposed of documents as you desired will see you in New York on 26. Your telegram recd.
G. B. LYMAN.
I "fixed up" and went over to Washington on the same train with Pittman. I entered a forward car and Hassing saw to it that Pittman took one in the rear. At Washington I took a cab and landed in Willard's Hotel ahead of Pittman. Willard's, as you know, is in the shadow of the Treasury Department.
I was a sight to look upon; I wore a beaver, had my hair curled, had a birth mark on one cheek, and carried a cane; I was a New York swell in appearance surely. It almost made me sick to look in the mirror.
We introduced ourselves, each to the other, and then we went to my room. Pittman was very cautious; he said every other person in Washington was a detective. I assured him of my sympathy and told him that in New York we did not suffer from such surveillance. He said he was happy to become acquainted. He said he was so timid that he did not dare bring his bonds and scrip along, until after meeting me, when his confidence came to him, and said he would go over to Alexandria and return in the morning ready to do business.
We went down stairs; my two officers (Babcock and Horner), who were following me to make the arrest when I indicated the propitious moment, were there. Pittman passed out the side entrance, and then Babcock and Horner invited him into their carriage. He protested, of course, but to no use; in the carriage they searched him and then hurried him on to Baltimore. They could not get out of him who had been with him up stairs in the hotel.
I then went into the barber shop, had my curls straightened, washed the birth mark off, and went to bed. In the morning I wired myself, using Pittman's name. The telegram I used as an introduction to Dr. Brewer, as follows:
Washington, D. C., Nov 22 1864
Geo. Comings Washington Hotel Baltimore
Go to see Dr. Brewer yourself. I will come on as soon as I see my mother in Alexandria. Telegraph me the result of your visit.
J. T. PITTMAN.
Dr. Brewer resided at the corner of Sharp and Conway Streets, not far from our office. I rang his bell and he responded. I unceremoniously rubbed my telegram under his nose as an introduction, giving him no chance to survey me. After considerable talk, explaining the necessity for my early return to New York, he said he would go and get the bonds and scrip. Having previously engaged a room at the Maltby House, I offered to walk with him, hoping thus to learn where the bonds were deposited, but that did not work. He later met me at the Maltby House, and we went up stairs to count over and settle; the two officers following to make the arrest when signalled, remained in the rotunda.
It took until dark came on to finish our business. We packed it all into a carpet sack. I gave Brewer $1,300 in currency, and then we went down stairs. The arrangement had been for my men to arrest him after he got far enough away from me, but so much time had elapsed, I presume my men had become careless, at any rate they were not in sight. I did not dare let Brewer get out of my reach, so I proposed to walk with him, to get some fresh air. When near his home, and when I had about made up my mind that I would have to make the arrest, to recover my $1,300, my men appeared; I skipped, and they made the arrest. Brewer was obstinate, but finally assumed a more reasonable attitude.
In their defence they tried to lighten the case by claiming the paper was forged, but when the Government demanded to know where they got the paper, they failed to inform.
Arrest of T. A. Menzier and expose of a prominent railroad official— Arrest of Barton R. Zantzinger, involving Milnor Jones—Arrest of John Henry Skinner Quinn, alias J. Y. Plater, alias Simpson, a spy—Arrest of E. R. Rich, a spy.
Headquarters, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Dec. 4, 1864.
Capt. W. H. Wiegel, Asst. Provost Marshal.
Captain.—I have the honor to report that by direction of General Wallace, I arrested Mr. T. A. Menzier and locked him up in this jail, and ordered the officer of the Navy that was in company with him, Surgeon L. J. Draper, of the Receiving-Ship "Princeton," Philadelphia Harbor, to report to you at ten o'clock A. M. to-day. These parties were in town yesterday morning and intend to return to Philadelphia this evening; neither of them had papers. Menzier's sister, at whose house I arrested them is a rebel.
The rebs were having a grand jubilee over his visit. The Doctor had no arms.
I am, Captain, Very respy. your obdt. servt, H. B. SMITH, Lt. & Chief.
I found in this house a number of prominent citizens, among whom was a very high officer in a big railroad company. He begged me not to report his presence, with which request I complied, in my written report, but did not, of course, fail to report verbally to General Wallace. This man was in confidential relations with the departments at Washington.
Menzier was a Rebel assistant surgeon. Both were turned over to Commodore Dornin, for the Navy's disposition.
Headquarters, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Dec. 5, 1864.
Capt. W. H. Wiegel, Asst. Provost Marshal, 8th Army Corps.
Captain.—I have the honor to report that I confined Barton R. Zantzinger, from the Rebel Army.
Herewith I hand you his statement, which places Mr. Milnor Jones in a worse fix than ever. Perhaps this corroborative evidence will be sufficient to convict Jones of blockade running.
I think Zantzinger should be detained as a witness, if for nothing else.
I am Captain, Very respy. your obdt. servt, H. B. SMITH, Lt. & Chief.
Headquarters, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Dec. 6, 1864.
Capt. W. H. Wiegel, Asst. Provost Marshal, 8th Army Corps.
Captain.—I have the honor to report the arrest of John Henry Skinner Quinn, alias J. Y. Plater, alias Simpson, on charge of being a spy.
I hand you two sworn statements that he made to me, also his memorandum book in which is a partial description of his first visit to Baltimore, also some entries, some of which he explains in his statement. I also hand you his furlough, which he said he did not have, in his first statement.
On this trip he registered at Miller's Hotel as "Simpson." On 23d April last, he registered at same hotel as John Y. Plater.
You can see by his statements that he tries to conceal the Rebel sympathizers of this Department, and some he positively refuses to name, but asks me to kill him, and not ask him any more questions.
He came to this office to report as a Rebel deserter, but when he found that I had been on his track, he owned up, but refused to implicate his friends.
I am, Captain, Very respy. your obdt. servt., H. B. SMITH, Lt. & Chief.
As General Wallace had said, it was our duty to ascertain by every means, the status of all persons; our archives were crowded with information, which materially helped us to avoid the dilemma General Schenck described.
Headquarters, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Dec. 7, 1864.
Capt. W. H. Wiegel, Asst. Provost Marshal, 8th Army Corps.
Captain.—I have the honor to report the arrest of E. R. Rich, of the 1st Md. Rebel Cavalry, on the charge of being a spy. He came to this office to report and take the oath of allegiance, but I think he did not come until he heard from his friend Quinn, with whom he came to this city. I hand you herewith his sworn statement, memoranda and pocket book, which show his character.
You will also see an entry in his memoranda where Skinner Quinn (now in prison) started for Baltimore last spring, which corroborates Quinn's statement. You will also see that he registered under several names.
The memorandum book shows that it was his intention to return for good to Virginia.
Very respy. your obdt. servt, H. B. SMITH, Lt. & Chief.
Both Quinn and Rich were sentenced to be hanged, but their sentences were finally commuted to imprisonment during the continuance of the war.
Statement of Illinois Crothers, giving valuable and reliable information, implicating Mr. William Mitchell and a Mrs. Keenan, of Winchester, Virginia—Report on Daniel W. Jones and Joseph Bratton—Am given unlimited access to prisoners in Baltimore city jail.
Headquarters, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Dec. 10, 1864.
Lt. Col. Woolley, Provost Marshal.
Colonel.—I have the honor to hand you statement made by Illinois Crothers, of 1st Md. Rebel Cavalry, who came to this office to report.
I questioned him closely and on every point of importance, he seemed very ignorant. He was in this city several days without reporting, and to all appearances is as bitter a Rebel to-day as ever.
I took from him a document marked "A," which shows that it was generally known to the authorities in Virginia, that he was coming to Maryland, and unless they were sure he would return, he would not have been granted the liberty. You can also see that he came an unusual route, for a deserter, i. e., by the way of Richmond.
I have reliable information that all of the Rebel Spies, commissioned as such, are from the Signal Corps.
Harry Brogden, named in the document, was once in our hands, tried as a spy. Herewith I hand you Brogden's history.
I think that this document shows that he, (Crothers), came with the consent of the Rebel authorities, and with the intention to return.
I am, Colonel, Very respy. your obdt. servt., H. B. SMITH, Lt. & Chief.
P.S.—Mrs. Keenan, of Winchester, should be arrested.
This is not the first transaction of the kind implicating Mr. Wm. Mitchell. (H. B. S.)
It required experience and skill to cull out the spies from among real deserters and refugees. Spies would swallow the oath of allegiance as easy as water. One of the best tests of probabilities, was to ascertain the route travelled in coming out from the Confederacy.
Harry Brogden was the Confederate secret signal officer on the Potomac. No real deserter or refugee came by his way. I knew him, and if my operations had been extended to the peninsula between the Potomac and Rappahannock, as we desired, I would have caught him; personally he was a fine fellow. He was a prisoner at Fort McHenry under me; he and I joked about turning our "arms into ploughshares" many times. He was certainly as loyal to his side as I to mine.
The following is a report made from the records in my office, and it serves to show how thorough in detail our data had come to be:
Headquarters, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Dec. 13, 1864.
Lt. Col. John Woolley, Provost Marshal, 8th Army Corps.
Colonel.—I have the honor to give you a history of the previous arrests of Daniel W. Jones, and Joseph Bratton, of Somerset Co., Md.
The first arrest of Daniel W. Jones was made in 1862, and he was placed in Marshal McPhail's custody, under charge of attacking an enrolling officer. He was afterwards released on giving bonds to the amount of $2,000 to keep the peace, and to deport himself in every way becoming a loyal citizen. A copy of the bond is on file in this office.
He was again arrested by General Lockwood, May 7, 1864, on charge of having violated his parole; on this last charge four sworn statements are on file in this office, one to the effect that he drew a revolver on a Union man because said Union man declared his sentiments.
Joseph Bratton was arrested March 31, 1864, on the charge of disloyalty, and aiding the Rebels. A sworn statement now on file in this office shows that Bratton aided an escaped prisoner from Point Lookout to evade military and get back within the Rebel lines.
I am, Colonel, Very respy.-your obdt. servt., H. B. SMITH, Lt. & Chief.
The following gave me unlimited access to our prisoners confined in the city jail:
Headquarters, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Dec. 19, 1864.
Col. Thomas C. James, Warden, City Jail.
The bearer, Lieut. H. B. Smith, 5th N. Y. H. Arty., who commands my detective Corps, is permitted to see any prisoner in the City Jail who belongs to this office, and at such times as he may deem necessary for the good of the service.
He will be permitted to have private interviews if he desires them.
By command of Major General Wallace.
JOHN WOOLLEY, Lt. Col. & Pro. Marshal.
Statements: Jeremiah Artis, a real deserter from the Confederates—William J. Bradley, an honest refugee—Charles E. Langley, an official Confederate spy—Langley, personating a correspondent of the New York "Tribune," was a most successful and dangerous spy.
I have told you that it required experience and skill to determine who were honest deserters, sick of the Confederate service, and seeking homes in our lines, or who were refugees, entitled to a refuge, or who were spies. Under the head of spies were placed those who came North to visit friends, or gain a remount intending to return to the Confederate lines; these latter were not being especially employed as spies, but they were persons who might carry valuable information. But it was the real official spy that we were after.
By a "remount" I mean those who were granted leave of absence by the Confederates for the purpose of remounting. These were mounted men who having lost their horses, were given a "remount pass" which was practically authority to come within our lines and gain a horse by any means; therefore without desire to weary you I will give you the examinations of one of each class, to wit: Jeremiah Artis, a real deserter; Wm. J. Bradley, a refugee; Charles E. Langley, one of the most expert and successful official spies, who is the one I referred to in the Emmerich case as the "pal" of the conductor on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad.
In reading these statements, you will notice jumps, or gaps, where these occur; it indicates a question from me eliciting the statement following.
Statement of Jeremiah Artis (real deserter).
"I kept store in Smithville, St. Mary's County, seven or eight miles from Point Lookout, about one and a half miles from the Bay. I joined the 1st Va. Cav., then was transferred to the 1st Md. Cav., was then transferred to the 2nd Md. Infty., Com'd by Capt. Crane. Lt. Col. Herbert is the field officer. I left Md. Sep. 1861, crossed the Potomac at night. I first heard of the President's proclamation, saw it in a Baltimore paper sometime early in the spring of 1864, the paper was an old one. I was in Maryland at the battle of Antietam or Sharpsburg, was also at Gettysburg, was transferred from Cavalry to Infantry but wouldn't stay, rejoined the Cavalry, was with Bradley T. Johnson at Chambersburg; had no hand in burning it, was kept outside of the city. I had been arrested while trying to cross the Potomac in July, was kept in Richmond awhile, then sent to my Regiment. Got as far as Winchester when Early came into Maryland. When I was arrested, I was trying to get home to stay; was on the Virginia side at the time I was arrested by the conscription officers. When I was in Maryland I would have deserted but had no chance.
I left my Regiment this last time about Sept. 22 or 23d, in the Shenandoah Valley, near Port Republic, crossed Brown's Gap, then through Green County, Madison, Orange, Spottsylvania, Stafford, King George, Westmorland Counties, to Northumberland County to the Potomac River, crossed over to Britton's Bay. I had no furlough or pass. The Confederate Army was moving at the time and I had no trouble in going through the country.
If I had been arrested I would have said I belonged to no regiment, as my time was out. I walked from Britton's Bay direct to the Patuxent River to Spencer's Wharf, and took steamboat to Baltimore, arrived there at 11 at night and slept at a hotel; next morning I reported to the Provost Marshal's office. I had no uniform except a jacket that I threw away in Virginia, near the river. I bought a coat from some young men I saw there.
D. Hammell came with me all the time. I expected when I reported to be allowed to take the oath of allegiance and to be allowed to remain at home. I prefer soldiering to anything else in the world, and if I was as strong a Southern man as I was when I first went away, I would stay in the Rebel army, no matter how much hardship I would have to endure. I think I could be a truly loyal citizen.
When I landed at Britton's Bay I did not go home because I wished to come to Baltimore and report. I knew there was a Provost Marshal to report to in Baltimore. Have seen no new recruits from Maryland in our regiment lately. We got a few recruits while in Maryland this last time. I did not know any of them, or where they were from; there were very few. I don't think our Company got any of them. Captain Brown was formerly our Captain; he was killed."
Statement of William J. Bradley (a refugee), a Californian:
(Dec. 31, 1864.) "I left Richmond, Virginia, on Dec. 11th. I was given the following directions and a pass by order of the Rebel Secretary of War, to come North; the directions were given by the Chief Signal Officer, viz: get off the cars at Milford, see Boles at Bowling Green, Gibbs at Port Royal, Rollins at Port Conway. I went to Oak Grove one and a half miles from the Signal Camp. The Signal Camp is on Bridge Creek, five miles from its mouth. At a point on the creek where there was an old bridge which was burned, is where you strike the road that leads to camp, which camp is about three hundred yards from the creek, and on the site of the birth place of Washington. They have a boat there in which they cross the Potomac; it is about twenty-six feet long, and capable of carrying about sixteen persons; they keep it about three-quarters of a mile above, on the creek.
At the Signal Camp I saw about twelve men, commanded by Sergeant Harry Brogden; they were armed with revolvers. They collect passes that are granted in Richmond, run the mail and Rebel agents North, and back again. They told me they were expecting some twelve or fifteen parties back from Maryland again, very soon.
When I came over in the boat it was manned by four oarsmen and one steersman, and as passengers, Norris, an Englishman and myself, and brought over a mail. We landed at Cobb Neck. Morris said he would start back from the other side of the Wicomico.
The following are additional names of members of the Signal Corps:
—— Rowley. —— Reed, formerly a boatman on the Potomac. —— Brockenborough.
These men said they were daily expecting members of Mosby's command on the Neck."
The route Bradley came was the exact route of the regular spies; but the information he gave me was of a character to prove that although he came by the official route, he was being honest with me. Some of the information was new, and all of it was true and valuable. I drew out the detailed information about the signal camp to guide me. I was determined to capture it, and in April following my expedition was planned to start, but was prevented by the assassination of the President.
Baltimore City Jail, Dec. 23, 1864.
Statement of Charles E. Langley (official Confederate spy).
"I was born and raised in Winchester, Virginia. I resided in Baltimore some time previous to the breaking out of the war. I was in Washington at the Inauguration of President Lincoln; was keeping a butter store in Baltimore.
In the summer of 1861, or perhaps early in the fall, I went to Winchester; my parents resided there. The cars ran through to Winchester. I went on the cars, no passes were required from me on the road. The Confederate troops occupied Winchester at the time. I went to work on the Winchester Railroad after I arrived; worked a short time. I remained at Winchester all that winter; was not in the army.
The next spring (1862), I went to Richmond. Went to work driving an express wagon. Worked at that until the next fall. I worked for the Southern Express Co.; a man named Holbrook, from Baltimore, was at work for the Express Co. at the same time. The draft came off that fall and I left for Winchester to escape it. I tried to pretend I was from Maryland, and therefore exempt, but as I was too well known it would not work. I did nothing after I returned to Winchester, and staid there till Christmas. The town was then occupied by Union troops. About the last of Jan. 1863, I visited Baltimore and tried to get a situation; I remained in Baltimore about two months, doing nothing. I stopped at Mann's Hotel, that is, I got my meals there, as I wanted them. I stopped part of the time with "Bonis," a tinner, out Fayette street; I used to board with them before the war.
I went back to Winchester about the first of March, but could get nothing to do. I staid about a couple of weeks and then came back to Baltimore. I tried again to get work here, tried to get on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. I worked on that road before the war, about three or four years. I offered my services to Mr. Smith, Master of Transportation, as a kind of scout for them, to ascertain when the road was injured, and where, and other information relative to the safety of the road. I did go up the road for him on several occasions in 1863 and gave him satisfaction.
I went up the road for Mr. Smith at the time Lee was crossing into Maryland; could not get back, and went home to Winchester; the Rebels occupied the town. I was arrested for being in Maryland, as a Yankee spy, was kept about a week and then discharged, as they had no proof and my friends in Winchester got me off.
In the fall of 1863, when the Rebels left, I came back to Baltimore. I went to see Mr. Smith, but could not get any work from him. I remained in Baltimore until about Nov. 1st, when I went on to New York to make arrangements with Mr. Sydney H. Gay, to obtain Richmond papers for him. Mr. Gay is connected with the Tribune; I went to work for him, used to go down the valley to Winchester and obtain papers from parties down the valley, further south than Winchester. I was successful in obtaining papers but could have done better if I had had an assistant. I don't think I gave my employer justice, but I remained there to do the best I could. I continued in this business until April 1st, 1864. I was stopped part of the time on account of want of means; my pay was not sufficient to enable me to make proper arrangements.
I remained in Winchester about two weeks trying to make arrangements. I would not tell who I obtained the papers from in the valley. I used to bring the papers as far as Kearneysville. I always reported to the Provost Marshal at Kearneysville when I arrived there, of any information I had obtained of the (Rebel) enemy.
I went down the valley to a friend, near Strausburg, to see about getting the papers more regularly. I got inside the Rebel lines and could not get out. I remained inside their lines at New Market, with some friends, about six weeks. I staid there until the fight with Sigel. That very day Breckenridge had me arrested for holding communication with the Federal troops. I was kept in confinement two months, and afterwards in arrest under three thousand dollars bail for five months.
About Sept. 1st, I came up to Winchester to my home, and was ordered back again. I went back and staid until about October, the last of the month. I then crossed the Ridge and made my way to Harper's Ferry. I got on the cars at Van Kleeve's Station, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and came on to Baltimore. I arrived here about the last of October. I stopped at Mr. Perigoy's, No. 34 George street; his wife is a distant relative of mine. I was not doing anything in particular, intended to go to New York to see Mr. Gay. I was also trying to find out who caused me to be arrested by Breckenridge, as I was confident some Rebels in Baltimore were the cause of it.
I also heard that Breckenridge said a citizen of Kearneysville had reported me as having given information to the A. Adjutant General at Harper's Ferry.
I was arrested Sunday night on the street on my way home, by Government detectives. I gave them a false name. I never was in the Rebel army. Have never taken the oath of allegiance; have never been asked to take it; think my arrest was not justified."
(Signed) CHAS. E. LANGLEY.
I followed this man a year. After I arrested him very powerful interests tried to frighten me; tried to make me believe the prisoner was such an important person that his name must be whispered only. That, in fact, he was Mr. Lincoln's personal man, and reporting only to Mr. Lincoln. They threatened to have my commission taken from me. Finally the prisoner himself offered to give up the "hotel burners" of New York, if I would let up. I answered that I thought "a bird in hand worth two in the bush," and I held him.
Upon his person I found his authority from the New York "Tribune" to collect news at the front. This authority had been his open sesame through our lines. I came to New York and saw Mr. Sidney B. Gay, of the "Tribune"; he informed me that he remembered such a person, that he came to him highly recommended; that he gave him the authority but had never heard from him. I learned later that the powerful interests that were working on me to compel his release were the same that had highly recommended him to the "Tribune." He was a very successful and dangerous spy until I interfered.
I will not tell you who the powerful interests were; suffice it to say they were Confederates, doing good work for the Confederacy all the while. Yet they had the entree of the departments at Washington, having very powerful influence there. There were no other parties in the United States so strongly allied. Through their medium many strange things were manipulated. I will not mention their names, for they are all dead now. I consider Langley's arrest one of the most important.
Of all the newspapers the "Tribune" was the very best to conjure with. Any person who could show credentials from that paper would undoubtedly be welcome anywhere on our lines.
Langley knew that I would visit the "Tribune," hence his efforts in his statement to account for why he had not served them.
Patrick Scally, an honest deserter from the Confederate service—A sketch of the defences of Richmond.
The following statement is interesting as showing how a poor, ignorant, drunken man was hurried off with Gilmor and Bradley T. Johnson, in July, '64, when they retreated from north of Baltimore.
I feel sure the whiskey was paid for by Judge Grason, or Mr. Cockey, or some of the other disloyals spoken of in Mr. Kremer's and my own former reports. They undoubtedly gave him the horse, also:
Baltimore, Md., Dec. 23, 1864.
Statement of Patrick Scally:
"I was born in Ireland. I lived in Texas, Baltimore County, for five years before I went South; my father and mother live there. I am a laborer.
I went South on the tenth of last July, that is, I joined Gilmor's command at Texas. I joined Company C, Second Maryland Battalion. They gave me a horse, carbine and sabre. The second day after I joined them I was in the fight in front of Washington, but did not like the fighting much.
I was drunk when I joined them and didn't know what I was doing.
I deserted from them on the 1st day of August between Hancock and Cumberland, and went to work for a farmer named McLean, a good Union man; he didn't know that I was a deserter. I worked for him about two weeks. I then went to Cumberland, and then went to Pittsburg and there worked for Wood, Matthews & Co., nearly four months. I was afraid, while at work for Mr. McLean, that the Rebels would catch me and shoot me.
I didn't report at Pittsburg because I didn't know there was any necessity for so doing; the people in Pittsburg did not know that I had been with the Rebels. I was only with the Rebels three weeks, they never gave me a uniform; they once paid me ten dollars in Confederate money.
I was sworn into the Rebel service the same day that I enlisted, while I was drunk. I wore the same citizens clothes that I wore from home, while with the Rebels. I would have deserted the next morning after I joined them if I could, but could not get any chance.
I left Pittsburg last Sunday night, got home to Texas yesterday evening. My father told me I would have to come here and take the oath and if I did not I would be arrested as a spy. I knew I had to give myself up before. I came in town this morning and gave myself up.
I cannot read or write. I have heard the newspapers read, but not often. I never heard of the President's Proclamation, don't know what it is."
his (Signed) PATRICK X SCALLY. mark
Below is a sketch of the fortifications bounding Richmond on the east and north. The information came to me from Dr. A's brother, who had just arrived from Richmond. The source of information being so reliable, a copy was made and forwarded to General Grant. The date of its transmission I have not.
* * * * *
When General Grant made the assault on Richmond, on the east and north, on Sept. 26, 1864, the colored troops under General Birney encountered this ditch.
I quote from reports:
"On Sep. 28th a movement was made by General Grant on the North of the James. It was predicated on the belief that only a small force of the enemy occupied the works on the North side of the river."
"General Birney was ordered by a rapid movement at daylight, to capture the enemy's work in front of Deep Bottom, and gain possession of the New Market road leading to Richmond."
"Two Regiments only, of the Colored Division, reached one of the Rebel forts, where they found a ditch ten feet wide and eight feet deep between them and the parapet.
More than a hundred of these brave fellows jumped into the ditch and assisted some of their comrades to mount the parapet by allowing them to climb up on their shoulders, about a dozen succeeded in mounting the parapet by this means. But this force which had bravely pushed on, was far too small to capture the fort, and was, therefore, compelled to retire, leaving their comrades in the ditch of the fort.
But these were unable to make good their escape, as it would have been certain death to leave the ditch and return to the troops, and were afterwards compelled to surrender.
About 800 men were lost in this assault in killed, wounded, and prisoners."
I regret not having the date upon which my information was forwarded to General Grant, but it evidently was not in his hand by September 28th.
Confederate Colonel Harry Gilmor, the raider, telling how he did not "come back" as a conquering hero; of the sword he never received; of his capture, etc.—The arrest and conviction of the fair donor.
Colonel Harry Gilmor, who commanded a regiment of cavalry in the Confederate service, was a Baltimorean. He was the beau ideal of its "blue blood" ladies, or many of them; he was their hero who was to ultimately capture the Monumental City, who was to march down Charles Street Avenue as conquerors only return. He had earnestly tried to produce the closing scene of his drama in July, but failed; when, to cheer him to renew his efforts, they proposed to present him with a magnificent sabre. They purchased the best to be found from Messrs. Schuyler, Hartley & Graham, arms dealers, then in Maiden Lane, New York (now on Broadway), paying for it one hundred and twenty-five dollars in gold.
I was told the dainty creatures were so anxious for the safe custody of their token of war, that they placed it under the British flag, pending the opportunity to get it to the Colonel; that is, they left it with Mrs. Frederick Bernal, wife of the British Consul at Baltimore. The sympathies of many of the Britishers were decidedly with the South.
Gilmor was a born raider. He used to raid the hearts of these Blue Belles "befo de wah," on Charles Street Avenue. His command was made up largely of Marylanders, and Maryland was frequently the victim of his incursions. Our desire to "possess" him was perhaps as great as that of any of his lady admirers.
On November 1st, 1864, I intercepted the sword on its way to Harry. From the person of the messenger I got a letter which was to make him "solid" when he should arrive in the Confederate territory. Gilmor was understood to have been wounded, and as being then laid up at the Inglenby Mansion, three or four miles from Duffield Station, Virginia, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (the Inglenby family were descendants of one of the original colonists).
The letter was somewhat blindly framed, it did not mention the bearer, except to say that "he is perfectly reliable" or something to that effect.
I proposed to General Wallace that I would be the messenger, using this letter, and would thus locate Gilmor, so that he might be captured.
With one man, Mr. Kraft, I started for Harper's Ferry, reported to General Stevenson, engaged one of his scouts, Corporal George R. Redman (who at one time was of my corps) to go with me and equipped with the below described pass, I started out on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for Duffield Station.
Office Provost Marshal, Military District of Harper's Ferry.
Nov. 5, 1864.
Guards and Pickets will pass bearer in and around this Military District. Good for three days.
By order of
Brigadier General STEVENSON, Commanding.
A. D. PRATT, Capt. & Provost Marshal.
It was my custom never to have about me anything to indicate my name or identity. And to conceal my passes, I frequently hammered them down into a small wad in the finger of a glove. This pass shows such an appearance. The pass did not indicate Duffield, because that destination was a secret.
Duffield was a small way station, and any stranger alighting there, especially in those days, would be noted. Many of the employees of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad were Confederate sympathizers (some were quite active). To give no chance for warning, we waited until just after the train started up, and then we dropped off, on the far side, covering view of us until the train was again under headway.
We separated and I went ahead, across fields, until I was so far away as to apparently have no connection with my men, who were following; we had about three or four miles to go thus. Finally, when I reached the Inglenby house, my boys were near enough to be in sight, yet concealed.
At the house I introduced myself and presented my letter. For the purpose, I represented myself as a Baltimorean, of course—a "hack driver at Barnum's Hotel," I learned that Gilmor had been there, but only recently had gone down the valley. I told them of the sword, that the donors wanted to learn how to reach Colonel Gilmor, accurately; hence my trip. They treated me very nicely, prepared a good meal for me with true Virginia hospitality; finally I departed.
When I arrived where the boys were concealed, I found them extremely anxious to get away from that section. While they were laying there a man had approached them, saying that he knew they were "deserters from the Yanks"; the boys admitted it. He asked them if they wanted to go South. They told him "yes." He told them he knew it, and after it got dark he would take them. He told them that some of Mosby's men were just over on the road. My boys were not really hungry to go South, but wanted to start across the country for Harper's Ferry without delay, which we did, arriving there late in the evening, in the custody of our own pickets, who had captured us at Halltown.
Had I reached Gilmor I believe I might have tried to capture him, had I found the odds favorable. He was a giant in stature. How game he was I do not know. I will give you a reproduction of his photograph, which I have.
Upon my return to Baltimore I arrested the representative fair donor of the sabre, as General Wallace has told. She resided in the ultra fashionable neighborhood, not far from Monument Square. After I had searched her house, she accompanied me to the sidewalk, but absolutely refused to enter my carriage. I informed her that it would be much more agreeable to ride than to walk, but still she refused. I then told her that I would be gentlemanly if allowed, but I insisted that she must get into the carriage. She finally complied.
The lady was tried before a military commission of which Lieut. Colonel J. H. Barrett was president. She was sentenced to five years imprisonment at Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and to pay a fine of five thousand dollars.
A Mr. William J. Ives, who purchased the sword in New York, was also tried. He escaped punishment on the plea that he was ignorant of the purpose for which the sword was purchased.
One of Gilmor's officers I subsequently captured. He had come into our lines, having one of those "remount" leaves from his command. It was not proposed to treat him as severely as a spy, but to hold him as a prisoner of war. I did not make him aware of this, however, but left him under the stress of the impression that he might fear the worst, and I proposed to him that we would permit him to return to his command provided he would agree to make it easy for General Sheridan's scouts to capture Harry. I knew my man and had confidence he would carry out his part of the bargain, especially since the stake played for was, as he supposed, his life. I let him go, and advised General Sheridan of the arrangement. The following is the acknowledgment of my communication:
Provost Marshal's office, Headquarters, Middle Military Division. Winchester, Va., Jany. 25, 1865.
Dear Sir.—I have submitted your communication to General Sheridan, and he has taken action in the case.
With respect, JOHN A. GERNOS.
The expedition connected with the following pass through the pickets at Harper's Ferry was pertaining to Gilmor's capture:
Office Provost Marshal, Military District of Harper's Ferry. Jany. 27, 1865.
Guards and Pickets will pass Capt. H. B. Smith to any place about the Ferry, Sandy Hook, or Berlin.
Good for two days.
By order of Brigadier General Stevenson.
A. D. PRATT, Major & Provost Marshal.
On February 6th, 1865, Gilmor was captured by General Sheridan. Major Young, Chief of his Scouts, brought him to Colonel Woolley's office, on his way to prison in Fort Warren. Mr. W. G. Woodside, paymaster of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, a mutual (?) friend of Gilmor and myself, came to my office and invited me to be introduced, saying that Harry said he knew me. General Woolley's office was crowded. Gilmor was asked by Mr. Woodside to point me out, but he could not. I had never advertised my face very much; it better suited my purposes to be unknown.
Gilmor said to me, if he had had the sword, he would have killed many a Yank with it. A safe enough proposition under the circumstances. Gilmor in appearance was attractive, as a soldier, tall, fairly stout, but he had one defective eye and was rather coarse in manners.
After the war I saw the officer of Gilmor's regiment who had been our prisoner and who agreed to surrender Gilmor, or rather make his capture possible. I was sorry to see that he had become dissipated. He told me the cause was his social ostracism by the "Blue Bloods." I have never mentioned his name, and never will. I have, I think a fair amount of moral tone, and I cannot see that this man's act was low. He supposed that he was obtaining the privilege to live, in exchange for the mere incarceration of Gilmor. It was not the trading of a life for a life. I sincerely trust the young man has not suffered a lifetime for the act.
On June 15th, 1873, I received from Gilmor the following letter:
Baltimore, Md., 15th June, 1873.
Lt. H. B. Smith, New York.
My Dear Sir.—I have been trying for some time past to learn your address, and hope I have at last succeeded, with the assistance of Major Wiegel.
My object in writing is to know whether or not you still have in your possession the sword which the ladies of Baltimore intended for me, but which fell into your hands.
If you have the sword still, and would be willing to dispose of it, will you say what you will take for it, as I would like very much to own it, if it did not cost too much.
I have been lately elected to the Command of a Battalion of Cavalry in this city, composed of men who were on both sides during the "late unpleasantness," and am very anxious to make a fine battalion of it.
If you will do me the favor to communicate with me on this subject I will be very grateful.
Address, very truly yours, HARRY GILMOR, Cor. President & Fawn Streets, Baltimore, Md.
At that time everything was being done to "heal the wound" and I was disposed to do my little part. I was disposed to present the sword to him, first getting General Wallace's approval. But on conferring with Union people of Baltimore, I concluded not to; they thought any ostentatious display of the sword would help keep the wound open.
Steam tug "Grace Titus"—Statement of George Carlton, containing valuable confirmatory information.
Depot Quartermaster's Office, Baltimore, Jany. 16, 1865.
Captain, Steam Tug "Grace Titus."
You will proceed with your tug as directed by Lieut. H. B. Smith, who will hand you this.
Upon completion of the service demanded by Lieut. Smith, you will return to this port and report to me.
Respectfully, A. M. CUMMINGS, Capt. & Quartermaster.
I cannot recall what the expedition was for. Incidentally, I may say, I am continually recognizing that many good stories will be omitted from lapses of memory, but you will not lose much, as the ones I am furnishing serve to show the general varied character of my work. My own personal work and the work of my men, employed in every direction, kept me busy. I had a man on every steamer plying Chesapeake Bay.
In glancing over subpoenas to attend courts, I find name after name, none of which occur here; but the most important proposition before me was to gather information that would assist me in my proposed work to cripple Mosby's damaging work in the territory known as "between the lines." It was the country outside our lines and outside the Confederate lines, peopled by our enemies, always willing to serve the Confederacy, never serving us; acting as a sponge to draw supplies from us by means of blockade-running, which could in turn be absorbed by the Confederates. The efforts of our gunboats to stop the traffic were futile, as I have heretofore remarked.
Office Provost Marshal, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Jany. 19, 1865.
Statement of George Carlton, deserter, Battery Baltimore, Rebel Horse Artillery, says:
"I am a native of Brooklyn, New York. Went South in the year 1859; went to Mobile. I was engaged in a dry goods store. In May, 1862, I was put in the Rebel Army at Richmond, which place I was taken to from Mobile. I had the chance to join what command I pleased and I joined the Baltimore Battery in Richmond. I staid in the company two weeks, then was detailed in the Quartermaster's Department at Gordonsville, Va.
"I remained there until the spring of 1864, when I was sent to my Company, then in the valley, under Early. I stayed with the Company until Oct. 1864, when I deserted from my Company and came to Westmorland County, Va., and then took a boat and crossed the Potomac River and landed in St. Mary's County, Md., and from there I walked to Baltimore.
"I was afraid to attempt to desert before that time. (Oct. '64.) I deserted during Early's retreat. The Battery that I was a member of lost all their guns. I heard officers say that they lost forty-four pieces.
"I had a hard time getting through Westmorland County. I did not cross the river until about two weeks ago, and during that time I have been on my way from St. Mary's County to this city.
"Now I wish to give certain information to the Government: John J. Spaulding, who lived near Leonardtown, Md., and now lives on the Virginia side, at Westmorland Court House, six miles from the Potomac River, and boarding with a Mr Harvey, who keeps tavern at the Court House, brought me over the river and eight persons besides myself.
"He brought us over in the night; he seemed very much afraid, and kept out of sight, and landed at Caywood's Bluff, near Britton's Bay.
"Spaulding is a blockade runner, and keeps a large store of blockade goods at Westmorland Court House. He brought a large lot over the river a few days before I arrived at the Court House. He keeps his boat in Poor Jack Creek, and in a small gut. From what I heard, I think when he comes over after goods he goes to St. Clemmen's Bay in St. Mary's County, up to a certain Merryman's store, and I know that Merryman sells goods to Spaulding and a much larger quantity to Watkins & Pumphrey, two blockade runners at the Court House.
"Pumphrey did belong to my company; Watkins to the 1st Maryland Infantry (Rebel) and deserted, and they are now running the blockade.
"Watkins and Pumphrey were over about a month ago, and while on their way up St. Clemmen's Bay, while landing in a creek near Merryman's store, the Federal Cavalry, being informed by a citizen came near capturing them, but they hid in their hiding place, and then they went in the night to Merryman's store; he told them that if they were not more careful, he would not sell them goods.
"Pumphrey told me about it when he came back to the Court House. They bought at that time about five hundred dollars' worth of goods; Pumphrey showed me the bill made out by Merryman. The kind and quantity of goods were, sugar, coffee, dry-goods, gray cloth, hats, boots and shoes, gun-caps, powder spices and other goods, shot, &c.
"I have seen them haul the goods from the boat to the Court House, and have seen most of the things, including the powder and caps on Merryman's bill. The powder came over in cans, weighing about five pounds each. The party who hauls the stuff from Merryman's store to the boat is named Bows, or Bowers, who lives near Leonardtown.
"Jarboe and Molacy, blockade runners who were captured, bought their goods of Merryman, sometimes. Certain vessels running wood from near Leonardtown to Washington or Alexandria as a pretext, drop in on the Virginia shore and land goods and recruits for the Rebel Army, so I learned at the Court House.
"John J. Spaulding had a brother, a Doctor, in Leonardtown, who forwarded goods to the river shore for his brother John; he, Dr Spaulding, was drafted and ordered to report. He deserted and went over to the Virginia shore to his brother, and took Blair, Bailey Bowers, a son of the man who hauls goods, and Hayden; they were all drafted men.
"Since Dr. Spaulding left this side, his wife, Mrs. Dr. Eck Spaulding, has attended to all the business in that line; she has the name on the Virginia side of being the smartest of the three in that business. The Spauldings told me that she forwarded stuff to them.
"They understood that I had a furlough and that I was on my way to Maryland to make what I could and return to Virginia. John Harvey, the keeper of the tavern, runs refugees over the river, but I can't say whether he brings goods back or not, but runners say he does.
"While I was at Westmorland Court House, some four companies out of seven, of Mosby's men, came down and camped at Heathesville, some twenty or twenty-five miles from where I was. They intended to winter their horses there. Mosby was not in command; they were commanded by a Major. I heard Mosby was wounded.
"John J. Spaulding showed me a bill of exchange, fifteen pounds sterling, on Brown Brothers and Company, Baltimore, in favor of Thomas Levering. John J. Spaulding, on arrival on this side, passed it into the hands of Dr. Spaulding's wife, for collection.
"About six weeks ago Spaulding brought over to the Md. shore, a Lieut. Smith, of Mosby's command, and Russel Low, and Daniel DeWolf Low, and at another time Wm. H. Sweeney, of Washington; he is engaged to get married, and came over to get wedding clothes. Sweeney has been over before, in company with Watkins.
"Spaulding also brought over a man by the name of Richy, who was a detective in Richmond, and has carried two Rebel mails to Richmond from Maryland. Spaulding also brought over one Carroll, of Baltimore; also some Jew blockade runners, and a great many others. The Jews run a great deal of medicine for the Confederate Government.
"It is my opinion that a cavalry force, landed above on the Neck, could cut Mosby's four companies off, and capture them in the position they lay.
"There is a Signal Post on the Potomac River, near Mathias Point, Va., in charge of Captain Caywood, of the Confederate Signal Corps. He has a boat, and in good weather he comes over twice a week. He carries the regular mail and the foreign mail; it is a regular government concern.
"I tried to find out who assisted him on this side, but could not do so. I found he would carry no one over without a pass from the Secretary of War. In crossing the river they sometime pass within 1200 yards of a gunboat."
(Signed and sworn.)
The pungy "Trifle" (one of the captures)—Colonel McPhail—Major Blumenburg and his corrupted office—"Boney" Lee, Bob Miller, and other thugs.
Office of Provost Marshal General for Maryland. Baltimore, Jany. 19, 1865.
Capt. Smith, Asst. Provost Marshal.
Sir.—The pungy "Trifle" now stands in the name of Conrad Prince. She changed owners on the 10th of June, last.
She had not cleared by permit since then, but may have done so by manifest.
Yours, &c., MCPHAIL.
Colonel McPhail was the Civil Provost Marshal of Maryland, having exclusively to do with enrollments and drafts; the office was entirely separated from the military service. He was a very clean, upright, honorable man. There was, however, a district under him, having at its head a Major Blumenburg, that was very corrupt.
Soldiers were fleeced out of bounty money. Substitutes, quite frequently colored men, were paid large sums as bounties, more money than they had ever seen before. By collusion between officers and clerks in Blumenburg's office, and the substitute brokers, the substitutes were induced to invest in valueless gewgaws, sometimes paying for a two-dollar Oride watch as much as one hundred dollars.
One of the largest substitute brokerage concerns tried to reach me with an offer of five hundred dollars a week, for a period as long as I would let them alone. The offer was not "dangerously near my price." I cleaned up the whole business very soon.
Blumenburg appointed a lot of cut throats with authority to arrest deserters, paying them ten dollars for each deserter brought in. Their operations were conducted this way: One of these fellows would hail a soldier who was out on pass take it away from him, pronouncing it fraudulent, but would allow him to proceed on his way; shortly he would be hailed again, by a "pal," and having, of course, no pass to exhibit, he would be arrested charged with desertion.
I was over in Anne Arundel County one night with three or four of my men, intending to look after some blockade-runners, when four or five of Blumenburg's thugs picked us up, supposing we were deserters or else persons come to invade their territory. They were going to do all sorts of things to us and pulled out their revolvers. I made no parade of mine though my hand was on it all the time. I quietly informed them of their error, and promised them, each and every one of them, to give them a chance to "play checkers with their noses," and I kept my word, for within a short time I caught them in their nefarious treatment of honest soldiers.
The party was composed of "Boney" Lee, Bob Miller, —— Fletcher, and two others, each one was known to have "done time," yet Blumenburg licensed them. I broke it all up, and they became as meek as lambs.
Statement of James Briers, Bollman, McGuarty and Welsh—U. S. Marine Corps.
Office Provost Marshal, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Jany. 26, 1865.
Statement of James Briers, late of Richmond, Virginia, who says: "I am a native of England, came to this country about 1853, remained in Baltimore, Md., about six months then went to Richmond, and went into the employ of the Virginia Central Railroad Co., and remained with them up to this time.
"About December, 1863, I was sent into Lancaster County, by the Railroad Company, to buy pork for them. I remained about three weeks, bought a great many hogs.
"November 20th, 1864, was again appointed agent to buy hogs for the Railroad Company, and was sent to Lancaster, Westmorland and other Counties, where I bought about one hundred and fifty head in Lancaster and Richmond Counties, and then returned to Richmond on night of 25th of December.
"I was sent back about January 9th, 1865, into the same Counties, to buy pork. Then having a chance to escape I made my way to Westmorland Court House, and there crossed the river into Maryland.
"I stopped with Harvey, who keeps the tavern at the Court House, and who has a boat, with which he runs the blockade. John J. Spaulding, a blockade runner, keeps a store at the Court House; he runs over a great many goods; comes over twice a week for goods.
"I came over with Spaulding. He thought I was coming over on business for the Railroad Company, and he was to have his boat over for me, and some goods, in two days' time. I was to be in the neighborhood of Caywood's place; he, Caywood, was recommended to me as all right. Spaulding charged me fifty dollars in gold and was to bring me back. Gilson, a blockade runner, came over with me. He is a noted blockade runner, and he is in this city now. He ships his goods from here by vessel, marked to New York. The vessel on the way puts out the goods; I have seen the goods. A Confederate Captain also came over with me; he intended to get a boat and cross the Bay to the Eastern shore of Maryland, on a visit.
"Watkins and Pumphrey, two blockade runners at the Court House, also run the blockade on a large scale; also a man by the name of Hayden.
"Dr. Spaulding, a brother of John J. Spaulding, came over a few days since and took his wife over the river with him; she lived near Leonardtown.
"Judge Irving, Captain Thomas, and Fred. Smith, an old blockade firm on the lower river, are still in that business, with the exception of Smith, who was captured by Colonel Woolley with a large lot of tobacco, and now said to be in Fort McHenry. Their goods are marked for New York, and landed down the Bay, so Gibson says, and then run to Smith's Point Light-house, to a man called James Sutton, who lives on the Virginia shore of the creek running between Smith's Point and the Virginia shore.
"Bows, Wells, Hayden and Pumphrey, a party of blockade runners, have a plan laid to bring over to the father of a late Confederate soldier, living in St. Mary's County, a noted horse upon which the son was killed in battle; they are to come over the first dark night when the ice gives away in Poor Jack Creek.
"The names of the blockade runners I know are J. J. Spaulding, Dr. Eck Spaulding, Frank Simms, Warren, Hayden, Bowers, Wells, Watkins, Pumphrey, Harvey.
"The blockade runners generally sink their boats in the creek, when not in use."
(Sworn and subscribed.)
460 15th Street, Washington, D. C. Feb. 3, 1865.
Lt. Smith, Chief of Detectives.
Sir.—I desire to call your attention to the cases of Bollman, McGuarty, Welsh and another, privates in the U. S. Marine Corps, wherein I submitted affidavits to you some weeks since.
Their commanding officer has once or twice enquired of me what disposition had been made of their matter. I told him that I had in accordance with the instructions of Colonel Woolley, submitted the papers to you and that you had told me they would be attended to in due course of business. He is, however, very anxious to have the matter disposed of as soon as possible, as the men are at any moment liable to be detailed on distant duty.
If you will, kindly inform me, as soon as practicable, what determination you have come to in these cases.
Very respy., SELDEN HETZEL, Attorney at Law.
I cannot recall the cases.
General W. W. Morris in command in General Wallace's absence—General Sheridan's order to arrest E. W. Andrews, formerly adjutant general to General Morris.
General W. W. Morris, who had been in command of the First Brigade, with headquarters at Fort McHenry (of whom I have spoken before), was placed in command of the Department.
To make himself familiar with the work in the departments, he interviewed the heads; finally he wanted to see me. He made the call pleasant by saying: "I hear your work well spoken of," for which I of course thanked him. I told him I had been Assistant Provost Marshal under him at Fort McHenry. The old soldier brightened up and remarked: "Oh, yes, now I remember; my Adjutant General blamed you for all his troubles. Do you think Andrews was wrong?" I answered: "Yes, he ought to have worn the grey."
Not many days after, I received a telegram from General Sheridan, directing the arrest and confinement of E. W. Andrews, captain, and formerly Assistant Adjutant General.
Believing that if Andrews was in Baltimore he would first call on General Morris, I went there at once, and showed the General the telegram. Very soon Andrews, with his usual pomp, came in. He espied me at once. I showed him my authority from General Sheridan, to arrest him. I permitted him to see General Morris—in my presence, however—and extended him all courtesies I consistently could; finally taking him in a carriage to Fort McHenry, I obtained the following receipt:
Feb. 25, 1865.
Recd. from Captain Wiegel, E. W. Andrews, a prisoner, for safe keeping.
DAN. MACAULEY, Col. 11th Ind. Vet. Vols., Commanding Brigade.
This receipt was given me in the room formerly occupied by E. W. Andrews, as Adjutant General. What a fall was there!
This was Andrews's exeunt, for I have never seen him since. I subsequently, however, learned of his offense in the Valley. It was more flirting with the enemy. Some of Mosby's men had been captured, and Andrews came to their rescue and vouched for them as being peaceful citizens, upon which they were released, but in a few days they were again captured while committing warlike depredations.
Ordered to New York—Interviewed Secretary of War Stanton relative to an independent command and extension of our territory—Major Wiegel's weakness exposed.
Headquarters, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Feby. 10, 1865.
Special Order No. 27.
Lieut. H. B. Smith, 5th N. Y. H. Arty. and Commanding Detectives, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps, with one man, Lucius Babcock, of his force, will proceed to New York City, on special government business. After transacting same, he will at once return to these headquarters.
Quartermasters will furnish transportation.
By command of Bvt. Brigadier General Morris.
WM. H. WIEGEL, Capt. & Actg. Provost Marshal.
The following refers to my seeking extended territory:
Headquarters, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Feby. 21, 1865.
General Morris desires you to write a letter about Lieut. Smith, asking such an appointment as will suit him. Address it to the Adjutant General and send it to me and I will get the General to put an endorsement on and forward it.
Don't you think you could take it to the Secretary and accomplish something?
Yours truly, SAMUEL B. LAWRENCE, Assistant Adjutant General.
To Capt. Wiegel.
Pending the issuance of a commission which was to give me an independent command, to operate in the Shenandoah Valley, and also south of the lower Potomac, I had been striving to get authority to extend our operations to the Rappahannock, to avail ourselves of the valuable data we had accumulated.
Captain Wiegel and I went to Washington, as suggested by Colonel Lawrence, to see Secretary Stanton. When we arrived at Mr. Stanton's door I discovered the mental makeup and character of Wiegel. Mr. Stanton, in manner, was not pleasant to interview. He was brusque, rough, and appeared to think the world was made for him. Wiegel had much avoirdupois, but not deep brain convolutions. He had been on General Butler's staff in New Orleans. He was full of egotism, but when he approached Mr. Stanton's door he wilted, and asked me to do the talking, while he listened.
Mr. Stanton did not eat me, and on March 20th our request was granted. I have always found it pleasanter to do business with the proprietor than with the man that sweeps out.
There is no doubt but that Secretary Stanton made many critics by his brusque manner. One did not need to waste words with him, but if a communication was couched in terse language it pleased him. He disliked a cringing interviewer. I did not dislike to have business with him, nor have I ever with men similarly constituted.
Wiegel was a domineering blusterer to his subordinates, but a cringing sycophant to those over him. Stanton's office was not a congenial climate for him.
Secretary Dana was a most agreeable gentleman and no less an executive than Stanton.
Paine, who was afterwards one of the conspirators in the assassinators' plot, in my custody—Miss Branson appeared to plead for him—Paine released on parole, lacking evidence to prove him a spy.
I will now introduce the material from which was builded an actor. Lewis Paine, who brutally hacked at Secretary Seward while Booth was assassinating the President. He was one of the characters produced for the closing scene in that greatest tragedy.
Headquarters, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Mch. 12, 1865.
Major Wm. H. Wiegel, Actg. Provost Marshal.
Major.—I have the honor to report the arrest of Lewis Paine, a refugee from Fauquier County, Va.
He was arrested at the house of Miss Maggie Branson, No. 16 North Eutaw Street. She is a noted Rebel.
I was promised evidence to prove that he had been in Baltimore before, but the witnesses are not forthcoming, and I believe him innocent of that charge, but I think it would be well to remove him from that family. I would respectfully recommend his release.
Very respy. your obdt. servt., H. B. SMITH. Lt. & Chief.
When I entered my office on Friday morning March 10, 1865, Captain Webb, my clerk, was trying to obtain from Paine some part of his pedigree, but was baffled by the prisoner's dumbness. Then I tried with the result as follows:
Baltimore, Md., March 10, 1865
Lewis Paine, refugee from Fauquier County, Virginia, my parents reside near Orleans, in that County. I am eighteen and a half years old. I have not been out of Virginia since the war commenced, until this time.
I was never in the Rebel army. Mosby used to stay at the house of Joe Blackwell, until his house was burned.
Willie Tung, of Warrenton.
Daniel Moffit, of Fauquier County, members of Mosby's command.
Miss Maggie Branson, with whom I was stopping, is related to me by marriage.
I bought the coat and vest of grey cloth in this city, since I came here; my pants of grey I bought in Washington.
I don't remember of hearing any disloyal remarks from any of the boarders at the house No. 16 North Eutaw Street. I whipped a colored woman at that house on Monday last, because she insulted me; her name is Annie.
(Signed) L. PAINE.
Sworn and subscribed to, before me, this 10th day of March, 1865.
H. B. SMITH, Lt. & Chief.
Paine was a sullen, dumb looking, overgrown young person. To get anything out of him I alternately prodded and fondled; he was a cross between a big booby and a sullen animal.
His statement is disjointed. Between the joints you must imagine my questions, eliciting his words; for instance, "I am eighteen and a half years old," was in reply to my query about his pretensions to never having been in the army. To my remarks about his new grey clothes, certainly pointing their use, where grey was worn, he tried to explain his innocence, etc, etc.
While in the midst of his examination, Miss Branson, accompanied by a Mr. Shriver, came in. Miss Branson pressed right up to my desk, enquiring what charge was against Mr. Paine. She said he was her cousin, and that she knew he had never been north before, etc.
I informed her that her word on such matters was not valuable, since I had her history for disloyalty in my cabinet. I said to Mr. Shriver, whom I knew to be reckoned as a loyal man, that he should not have lent his presence.
I was not in good humor because persons who had promised to testify that Paine had been in Baltimore before had failed to respond. I felt in my bones he was a spy, but could not prove it, and therefore could not hold him, hence my recommendation for his release. Finally, on the 12th, he took the oath of allegiance, before me, and I paroled him, inserting in the parole, "to go north of Philadelphia and remain during the war."
After the assassination, this paper was found on Paine, but he had obliterated the restriction "to go north of Philadelphia," etc.
I took from him his pass and parole, issued at Alexandria, Virginia, January 13th, 1865. In it he was described as of dark complexion, black hair, blue eyes, height six feet one and a half inches.
I will now leave Paine until after the assassination, which was just one month later, April 14th, 1865.
I presume my order to go to New York (following) may have hastened my disposition of Paine.
Missionary E. Martin, an agent of the Confederate treasury department, arrested, his big tobacco smuggling scheme exposed—Kidnapped him from General Dix's department—Manahan involved.
Headquarters, Middle Department, 8th Army Corps. Baltimore, Mch. 12, 1865.
Special Order No. 44.
Lieut. H. B. Smith, 5th N. Y. Arty., and Commanding Detective Corps, 8th Army Corps, with one man of his force, will proceed to New York City, arrest a certain man, and return to these headquarters without delay, with his assistant and prisoner.
Quartermaster's Department will furnish transportation.
By command of Bvt. Brigadier General W. W. Morris.
WM. H. WIEGEL, Major & Actg. Provost Marshal.
The cause for this trip will be explained by the following copy of a letter, and a contract.
New York, Mch. 10, 1865.
It is said Fredericksburg and tobacco is captured. I feared this.
Have written to Maddox and sent him a copy of contract. I enclose yours.
Now it is for you to go to work at once and see that this property is taken care of. I believe you will both do it; see to it that no innocent parties suffer. Act promptly, for I assured my friends that the property was safe at that point, and I did it on your representations. Let me hear from you, care of Burnett & Funkhouser, this city.
Yours truly, M. E. MARTIN.
Baltimore, Md., Dec. 8th, 1864.
I hereby agree to deliver to Mess. Maddox & Manahan, during the month of Feby. and March, 1865, at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on the Rappahannock River, Four Thousand Boxes (4,000) of good sound merchantable tobacco, to be paid for on delivery, by my Agents at said point, in United States currency, at the rate of Forty-seven and a half (47-1/2) Cents per pound.
Said tobacco to be of the quality known as good manufactured Virginia Leaf. I reserve to myself the privilege of increasing the quantity to 5,000 boxes, if I see proper.
(Signed) M. E. MARTIN.
Manahan was of the firm of J. F. Manahan & Co., No. 17 South Charles Street, Baltimore, Md. This letter, by mistake, fell into my hands on March 12th. It was necessary to act quickly in order to intercept communication twixt Martin and Manahan, and for that purpose I left Baltimore on the 12th, and had my man wire to Martin, as follows:
Baltimore, Md., Mch. 13, 1865.
M. E. Martin, c/o Burnett & Funkhouser, New York.
"Your letter here. Shaffer, my friend, will call to-day. Let me know the result by telegraph immediately."