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Capture Of Confederate Bonds And Scrip

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.


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


Herewith I hand you several statements in reference to the


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.,


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.


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.


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


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


Washington, D. C.,

Nov 22 1864

Geo. Comings

Washington Hotel


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



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.