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Ordered To Northern Neck Of Virginia The Day Before President Lincoln's Assassination





At this time in 1865 General Lee was about surrendering. All the people,
North and South, were rejoicing at the prospect of peace, excepting
those bitter, poisoned-with-their-own-venom conspirators hid away in
dark corners, who were rehearsing for the closing scene.


Headquarters, Middle Department,
8th Army Corps.
Baltimore, Apl. 13, 1865.

Special Order No. 61.

1st Lieut. H. B. Smith, in accordance with instructions
received from the Hon. Secretary of War, will proceed to that
part of Virginia known as the Northern Neck, with two of his
men, and prisoner, M. V. B. Morgan, for the purpose of
arresting certain outlaws in that part of Virginia.

Military and Naval commanders will please give all assistance
required.

By command of Bvt. Brigadier General W. W. Morris.

WM. H. WIEGEL,
Major & Actg. Provost Marshal.


This was to be my first opportunity to set foot in the district I had
been seeking to. I had intended to capture in detail every known
blockade-runner, and lock them up until the end of the war, but now that
the war was practically over, my purpose was to capture the contraband
goods to be found hidden in hay stacks, barns, etc.

Martin Van Buren Morgan had been with these blockade-runners, and had
himself been somewhat in their ways, so I had become satisfied he would
serve me, for pay. An order was placed in my hands, to be used under
certain conditions. If he proved loyal and valuable, it was not to be
used. If he was not valuable, I could use it and send him north. If he
proved disloyal, I had verbal instructions to use my own judgment as to
his disposal. This was the order:


Headquarters, Middle Department,
8th Army Corps.
Baltimore, Apl. 13, 1865.

Special Order No. 61.

2--M. V. B. Morgan, citizen prisoner, is hereby ordered to
proceed north of Philadelphia, Pa., and remain during the
war, provided he takes the oath of allegiance to the United
States Government.

By command of Bvt. Brigadier General W. W. Morris.

WM. H. WIEGEL,
Major & Actg. Provost Marshal.




Morgan's Statement.

"My name is Martin Van Buren Morgan. I was born in Palmyra,
New York State. My father was named Irvin Morgan, my brother
is named Francis Morgan. My father one year ago was in
Nashville, Tenn. I was so young I can not remember when I
lived in Palmyra; as far back as I can recollect I was in
Oswego. When three years old we moved to Cleveland, Ohio. When
about sixteen I moved to Wheeling with my mother. From
Wheeling I ran on the river from Cincinnati to Pittsburg.

"In November, 1860, I was in Cleveland, Ohio. I voted for
Abraham Lincoln. From Cleveland I went to Cincinnati, to
Pittsburg, and then to Queen's County, Virginia, in January,
1861.

"On March 4th, 1861, I was still in Queen's County, Virginia.
I did not vote in Virginia. Mr. Thompson took me to Virginia.
I never belonged to any regiment in the South. I lived in
Queen's County until last spring, lived there all the time. I
worked there at farming and oystering. I own a little place of
about ten acres. I worked for Mr. Richardson and Captain
Baggs.

"Since last spring I have been living in Westmorland and
Northumberland Counties. They ran me away from Queen's County.
I lived near Union, in Northumberland. I used to oyster on the
Wicomico River, &c.

"When the raid was made last June, on the Necks, I was there.
They did not find my boat that I oyster with, as it was hauled
up and covered with pine boughs. I remained hid. I saw a few
colored soldiers. Have seen conscripting officers and I always
ran away from them. Have never been to Richmond since 1861.

"I sent a letter by George Booth across the river and heard
from my father the same way. The carrier who works from
Rap---- to Potomac, is named James Wilds; I don't know the
points he stops at. Charles or George Booth carries the mail
across the Potomac.

"I addressed the letter I sent to my father to Nashville,
Tenn. I have a brother in the Southern army; he belongs to the
fourth Georgia regiment; he is a Captain. I received an answer
to the letter I sent my father. I never wrote to him again,
and have had no letter from him since.

"I left Northumberland County last August, and crossed over
to the Maryland side. I came across in an oyster punt, at
night. The boat belonged to me. I came over alone, brought
nothing with me; landed on the Maryland side, at the barns,
near Marshal's store, on the St. George's Island. Bennett and
King live there.

"When I landed on the Maryland side, I saw Ben. King, Bennett,
and Mr. Snyder, who all came to the barn. I went over to
Maryland to get shoes and to dredge, but could get no work and
had to come back. I also got some sugar; I got Ben. King to
get it for me. I got one pair of shoes, one pound of coffee
and one pound of sugar. This is all I could get. I paid five
dollars for the shoes, seventy-five cents for the coffee and
thirty cents for the sugar. I bought these things for Mrs.
Kent: I was living with her. King has been driven off the
Island. I stayed in Maryland a week and then paddled back to
old Virginia, to old Virginia shore.

"About the 1st September I came to Maryland shore again,
paddled over on a dark night, brought nothing over with me,
again landed at the same place. I came over for stuff. Pickets
were on the shore and I could not land, and had to put back. I
carried over forty dollars in greenbacks.

"After about a week I went over again, taking over the same
thing; nothing. I landed this time at Chicken Cock, above
Smith's Creek, a _leetle_. I got my goods at Mr. Bean's. Mr.
Bean keeps a store. I got a pair of boots for eight dollars,
one pair pants for five dollars, one fine-tooth comb for
fifteen cents, and also a bottle of hair oil at thirty or
forty cents, and had three or four glasses of whiskey.

"I treated a Lieutenant and a Captain who were there from
Piney Point. I had to lay in the bushes about two days, the
weather being so rough I could not cross. I spent about thirty
dollars.

"On last Monday night I came over again; came over alone, and
in a canoe worth one hundred and fifty dollars; left the canoe
on the beach. I bought this canoe about a week before I came
over. I bought this canoe to run the blockade with. I was
going to run Jews across for Mr. Dawson. Mr. Dawson lives at
the head of Large Creek, Yocomico River. Colonel Claybrook, of
Home Guard, lives on the road from Large Creek to Union
Village.

"I saw in Northumberland County about three months since,
Albert Klockgether, who gave me his address in Baltimore, and
desired me, when I came over, to call and see him. Bill Hayden
carried over Klockgether, in one of Dawson's boats.

"I left my boat near Britton's Bay, on the beach. Bill Hayden
has been captured twice, and is now back in Virginia. I came
to this city on the West River boat, and landed this
afternoon. I bought this shirt I have on from Mr. Wm. Hudson,
a blockade runner; paid him six dollars for it about three or
four weeks since. I have heard that Hudson is now captured.
Bought my hat for five dollars from the same one. I bought my
satchel from Richard King, a blockade runner. I bought the
revolver from a Jew in Virginia; paid twenty dollars for it.

"A man named Brown is a blockade runner. I heard that he
brought over a load of Enfield rifles, in a sloop; the Home
Guard are armed with them.

"A Jew named Rosenfield is connected between Wilmington and
Canada and England, in running the blockade. A woman named
Mrs. Hays, of Baltimore, was with Rosenfield; she had a trunk
and satchel; she came over to Dawson's. She was coming from
Richmond.

"Rosenfield said he was going back. I knew three Jews by
sight, who have brought medicine across--I think from Eastern
shore. I don't know their names.

"A Rebel officer, Captain Berry, came over to the Maryland
side in full uniform, and came back again. I have seen him
lots of times; he is stationed above Boler's, who lives at
the ferry over the Rappahannock, about twenty miles from mouth
of the river.

"They have large flat boats to carry over men, oxen, wagons,
&c.--have two there now. This ferry is about fifty miles from
Richmond. There is a large camp of Cavalry about eight miles
from the ferry on the south side of the river. Gunboats can
come up as far as Boler's. Captain Moon lives opposite the
guard ship, on the Virginia side, at the windmill.

"Foster Maynard took the oath at Point Lookout, and is now
conscript officer; he is a Captain. Maynard lives about one
mile from King's Sail. King's Sail is on the Yocomico River.

"About two weeks since, Bill Hayden and Joe Cooper came over
to Britton's Bay, to a little creek this side of the Bay, just
above Piney Point; a white house is on the shore. The house
right by the saw mill is the house they go to. They go to this
house to buy goods to run the blockade with. I bought a little
cutter from this place; bought over three sacks of salt, hats,
caps, boots, shoes, and a jug of whiskey.

"Richard King, of Northumberland County, a blockade runner,
comes to this side of the river and buys canoes and yawl
boats. King has been over here for the last three weeks. About
four weeks ago King got a canoe from Alexandria, and took it
over to Dawson's and sold it to him. He came to Baltimore
once, on a pungy.

"John Olison owns a pungy; dredges around St. George's. He
lives on the Virginia side. Elias Steele, blockade runner,
lives in Westmorland County. Captain Wm. Dawson lives at Large
Creek.

"Union Village is where the mail comes. It comes every week
(not certain). Mrs. Frank Lewis gave me the letter addressed
to Mr. Steele, to give to Mr. Steele. (I never gave it to
him.) Union Village is about eight miles from the beach. I
found out that Mr. Steele had crossed the Potomac.

"I have seen large quantities of tobacco hid under corn
shucks, and I know he has a large sum of money and a number of
watches in his house (Dawson's house).

"At Dawson's house are the following persons: Mr. Dawson, Sr.,
Mrs. Dawson, Miss Dawson, Mrs. Nancy Clarke and her daughter,
and Dawson, Jr. (a boy).

"There are two canoes at Dawson's."





Next: Capture Of Samuel B Arnold One Of The Conspirators Sent To Dry Tortugas

Previous: The Chase After The Steamer Harriet Deford Which Was Captured By Pirates Supposedly To Supply A Means Of Escape To Jefferson Davis From The Crumbling Confederacy



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