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Statement Of Illinois Crothers Giving Valuable And Reliable Information Implicating Mr William Mitchell And A Mrs Keenan Of Winchester Virginia





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.





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Previous: Arrest Of T A Menzier And Expose Of A Prominent Railroad Official



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