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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.

l 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


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


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.


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,


"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


"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


"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


"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


"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


"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."