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The Pulpit Not Loyal

Headquarters, Middle Department,
8th Army Corps,
Baltimore, May 21, 1864.

Lt. Col. Woolley,
Provost Marshal.

Colonel.--I have the honor to report the arrest of A. H.
Covert and F. W. Farlin, as per order annexed.

I have it from a reliable source that Mr. Alexander Civin went
to Philadelphia this morning, I therefore telegraphed to the
Provost Marshal there, for his arrest, and to send him under
guard to this place.

I am, Colonel,

Very respy. your obdt. servant,
Lieut. Comdg. D. C.

To discover persons engaged in creating sentiments of disloyalty, or in
pandering to such sentiments, was a part of our duty; the pulpit was not
always loyal.

Headquarters, Middle Department,
8th Army Corps,
Baltimore, May 22, 1864.

Col. Woolley,
Provost Marshal.

Colonel.--I have the honor to report in regard to the sermons
of the Reverends Harrison and Poisal: Neither preached a
political sermon nor dealt in any way with the affairs of the
country, except in one or two instances Mr. Harrison spoke of
the present deplorable condition of affairs in this country
and seemed to be very much downcast in both preaching and
praying. He (Mr. H.) did not utter one word of prayer for our
President, Army or Government.

I know of Mr. Poisal's being a correspondent of some of the
Rebel prisoners in Fort McHenry.

At both sermons they had very slim audiences.

I am, Colonel,

Very respy. your obdt. servant,
Lieut. and Chief.

On one occasion it was my duty to attend a State conference in one of
the churches; it was rather slimly attended. We were invited to come
nearer the altar, and I, with the rest, complied.

We were then asked to in turn arise and announce what district in the
State we represented, and report on its condition. I was embarrassed,
but kept my eye on the ceiling or on the floor. I presume my dumbness
excused me. The closing hymn was No. 701, on page 417, and the first
verse was:

"Jesus, great Shepherd of the sheep,
To thee for help we fly,
Thy little flock in safety keep,
For O! the wolf is nigh."

They were correct in the guess, about the wolf, but I did not say so out

A very laughable report was made to me by one of my officers who was
sent into the country to a meeting in the woods. This officer knew more
about guns than about religious meetings. He reported nothing disloyal
was said, but urged the necessity of going there next Sunday, as they
said: "they would have some big guns there then." The officer was used
to guns, and so he assumed that they meant cannons, whereas they were
referring to popular speakers who were to be present there the following

General Wallace was just the man to administer the affairs of a
department so complex in sentiment. No better illustration can be
furnished than the following circular letter issued to the churches at a
time when the public mind was so wrought up by the assassination of the
President. It is too fine a document to be lost. To the General's memory
I insert it here:

Headquarters, Middle Department,
8th Army Corps,
Baltimore, Md., April 19, 1865.


The conduct of certain clergymen in this city has in some
instances, been so positively offensive to loyal people, and,
in others, of such doubtful propriety, to say nothing about
taste, as to have become a cause of bad feeling with many
well-disposed citizens.

As you must be aware, the recent tragedy, so awful in
circumstance, and nationally so calamitous, has, as it well
might, inflamed the sensibilities of men and women who esteem
their loyalty only a little less sacred than their religion.

In this state of affairs you will undoubtedly perceive the
wisdom of avoiding, on your own part, everything in the least
calculated to offend the sensibilities mentioned. You will
also perceive the propriety of requiring members of your
congregation, male and female, who may be so unfortunate as
to have been sympathizers with the rebellion, not to bring
their politics into the church.

So profound is my reverence for your truly sacred profession,
that, in the sincere hope of avoiding any necessity for
interfering with the exercise of your office, I choose this
method of respectfully warning you of the existing state of
public feeling, and calling upon you, in the name of our
common Savior, to lend me your influence and energetic
assistance, to be exerted in every lawful way, to soothe
irritations and calm excitements. You know that what I thus
request I have the power to enforce. You ought also to know
that, to save the community from the dishonor and consequences
of a public outbreak, it would be my duty to exercise all the
power I possess, without regard to persons or congregations.

If you feel that you cannot yourself comply with this
fraternal solicitation, or that you are unable to control
evil-disposed members of your flock, I suggest that it is
better, far better, in every respect, that you should close
the doors of your church for a season at least.

I have no fear that the kindliness of my purpose in thus
communicating with you will be mistaken; and that you may not
understand yourself as accused, or specially selected from the
mass of your professional brethren, you are informed that a
copy of this note has been or will be addressed to every
clergyman in the city.

Very respectfully,
Your friend,
Major General Commanding.

The firm referred to in the following two documents was one of the
largest stationers in the city. Their reputation for disloyalty was well
understood by us. An important part of their business was the
dissemination of articles which tended to have the kindergarten effect
of schools of disloyalty.

Headquarters, Middle Department,
8th Army Corps,
Baltimore, Md., May 23, 1864.

Lieut. H. B. Smith.

Sir.--We have the honor to report that this afternoon we went
into the book store of Kelly & Piet, No. 174 W. Baltimore
street, and told them that we were book agents on the
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and had just arrived from
Frederick City. We asked Mr. Piet if he had any books of
Abraham Lincoln Trials; he hesitated for a short time, then
told us that he had. We then asked him if he had any of the
Life of Jackson; he said he had a few, and said he would send
and get us some more in half an hour. He then showed us some
different books and also some playing cards with the
different Rebel Generals on the face of them, which he offered
to sell at $4.50 per dozen: also some writing paper and
envelopes with the Rebel Flag on, which we bought and you will
find the bill enclosed.

We are, Lieut., your obdt. servants,
I. W. STERN and

The bill attached was $34.24.

Headquarters, Middle Department,
8th Army Corps,
Baltimore, May 23, 1864.

Col. Woolley,
Provost Marshal.

Colonel.--I have the honor to report that I this day seized
and searched the store of Kelly & Piet, No. 174 West Baltimore
street, and enclosed hand you a list of contraband articles
seized. I also enclose the report of the detectives.

Mr. Piet states that he has been arrested before on a similar

I brought to our office Messrs. Kelly & Piet, but did not lock
them up. I have the key of their store in my possession.

I am Colonel,
Very respy. your obdt. servant,
Lieut. Comdg. D. C.


90 Assortments of photos. 212 total.
19 Vols. Morgan and His Men.
2 Vols. Life Stonewall Jackson.
1 Vol. 1st Year of the War.
4 Vols. 2nd Year of the War.
97 Pamphlets Trial Abraham Lincoln.
2 Vols. Rebel Rhymes.
4 Vols. Three months in Southern States.
5 Vols. Confed. Reports of Battles.
3 Vols. Southern History of the War.
1 Package note paper, Rebel flag.
1 Package envelopes, Rebel flag.
8 Steel Engravings, Rebel Generals.
57 Packages Playing Cards, Confed.

All of this was inflammable matter.

The Captain Bailey, spoken of in the succeeding report, was the same
Bailey that I captured in March previous. I had found him to be an
excellent sailing master, and a man whom I could trust. The sloop "R. B.
Tennis" was one of my fleet.

Office Provost Marshal,
Baltimore, May 28, 1864.

Major H. Z. Hayner,
Provost Marshal.

Major.--I have the honor to submit the following brief report
of the seizure made by sloop "R. B. Tennis," Capt. Bailey,
with three detective officers on board.

Enclosed I hand you report of Detective Lewis, who was placed
in charge, which report is not quite so full as it should be,
covering all remarks and acknowledgments made by the

I will state that they said several times that they were
blockade runners by occupation.

Enclosed is the statement made to me by Fred. E. Smith, who, I
think, is rather faint hearted in his profession.

Harrison acknowledged to have run the blockade several times,
but don't seem willing to talk much, as he thinks "he might
implicate some near and dear friends," he has talked a deal to
some of the officers, whose statements I shall get when they
return to the city.

Alexander refuses to talk, but I shall be able to get it all
out of them soon.

I received from Detective Lewis the following which he states
was all that was taken from the parties:

Gold and silver, $188.75.
U. S. Currency, $159.00.
Southern States money, $190.00.
Northern States money, $1.00.
1 gold watch.
1 silver watch.
23 large and 2 small boxes tobacco.
1 large yawl boat.

I have stored the tobacco in the store of W. W. Janney, a
receipt for which is annexed. The boat is in charge of guard
on board the schooner "Travers."

I will get fuller statements from all the detectives as soon
as possible, and give to you. The prisoners are Fred. E.
Smith, Powell Harrison and Robert Alexander.

I am, Major,
Very respy. your obdt. servant,
Lieut. and Chief.

Attached to this report is a memorandum of statements made to me:

Fredk. Smith:

"I am from Northumberland County, Va. I left Northumberland
County on Wednesday last. I was with Mr. Harrison and Mr.
Alexander, no one else with us. I am a citizen. I have been
about eight months in Va., all of that time in Northumberland
County. I was formerly from Caroline Co., Md. I started to
come North for clothes and things. I had some orders for goods
for families in Northumberland County, which I threw overboard
after we were hailed, also had twenty odd boxes tobacco.

Mr. Harrison has lived in Northumberland County since I have
been there, but has been north of the Potomac three or four

I don't know much, of Mr. Alexander, except that he came from
Maryland with Mr. Harrison on one of his (Harrison's) trips.

I came over as a passenger with Harrison and Alexander. Some
of the tobacco belongs to me. I had about $250 in gold, and
about $100 or more in greenbacks, and $50 or $60 in Virginia
money. Had no particular point of destination. I was to pay
Harrison and Alexander $200 for my fare. I think they intended
to land on the Eastern shore, Md., or perhaps on Western
shore. I think Harrison and Alexander are blockade runners by
profession. They intended to return to Virginia. I think we
were about going into Choptank river. I think at about James

I started for Little River, Virginia. I think another party of
two or three started at about the same time; they had some
tobacco. I did not know their names; they were in a little
sloop, dark color. I saw them again about Point Lookout. I
think perhaps they had about two or three thousand pounds. The
sloop and sail looked rather old. It was Wednesday night that
I last saw the sloop. I think Mr. Harrison was over about
three or four weeks since."

Powell Harrison:

"Northumberland County, Virginia. I am a farmer, I have lived
there about three or four years. I have been north of the
Potomac three times since the War."

Robert Alexander:
(Made no statement.)

You will notice the brevity of Harrison's statement, and that Alexander
made no statement. Alexander and one other man, named Bollman (if I
remember right) were the only ones who defeated me in my efforts to
learn something about them from their own lips.

The tobacco was best Virginia plug, worth about one dollar per pound
(about three thousand dollars' worth). This little yawl (with a dirty
sail), worth about twenty or thirty dollars, was earning two hundred
dollars in one night in carrying Smith and his tobacco over.

As I said before, the Potomac was patrolled by gunboats, and the north
shore was garrisoned at many points with troops, yet these little
fellows would creep right in between them. My plan was to go equipped as
they were, and meet them on their level.

We did not consider the neck between the Potomac and the Rappahannock as
the enemy's country, yet the Confederates had a signal station on the
Potomac all through the war; it was in charge of Harry Brogden, whom I
knew. When I get along in my stories to June 30th, I will show you how
well it was understood in the Confederacy.

Next: Two Of My Officers Captured By Union Pickets

Previous: Ordered To Seize All Copies Of The New York World Bringing In One Of The Great War Episodes The Bogus Presidential Proclamation

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