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Statements: Jeremiah Artis A Real Deserter From The Confederates

I have told you that it required experience and skill to determine who

were honest deserters, sick of the Confederate service, and seeking

homes in our lines, or who were refugees, entitled to a refuge, or who

were spies. Under the head of spies were placed those who came North to

visit friends, or gain a remount intending to return to the Confederate

lines; these latter were not being especially employed as spies, but

they were persons who might carry valuable information. But it was the

real official spy that we were after.

By a "remount" I mean those who were granted leave of absence by the

Confederates for the purpose of remounting. These were mounted men who

having lost their horses, were given a "remount pass" which was

practically authority to come within our lines and gain a horse by any

means; therefore without desire to weary you I will give you the

examinations of one of each class, to wit: Jeremiah Artis, a real

deserter; Wm. J. Bradley, a refugee; Charles E. Langley, one of the most

expert and successful official spies, who is the one I referred to in

the Emmerich case as the "pal" of the conductor on the Baltimore and

Ohio railroad.

In reading these statements, you will notice jumps, or gaps, where these

occur; it indicates a question from me eliciting the statement


Statement of Jeremiah Artis (real deserter).

"I kept store in Smithville, St. Mary's County, seven or eight

miles from Point Lookout, about one and a half miles from the

Bay. I joined the 1st Va. Cav., then was transferred to the

1st Md. Cav., was then transferred to the 2nd Md. Infty.,

Com'd by Capt. Crane. Lt. Col. Herbert is the field officer. I

left Md. Sep. 1861, crossed the Potomac at night. I first

heard of the President's proclamation, saw it in a Baltimore

paper sometime early in the spring of 1864, the paper was an

old one. I was in Maryland at the battle of Antietam or

Sharpsburg, was also at Gettysburg, was transferred from

Cavalry to Infantry but wouldn't stay, rejoined the Cavalry,

was with Bradley T. Johnson at Chambersburg; had no hand in

burning it, was kept outside of the city. I had been arrested

while trying to cross the Potomac in July, was kept in

Richmond awhile, then sent to my Regiment. Got as far as

Winchester when Early came into Maryland. When I was arrested,

I was trying to get home to stay; was on the Virginia side at

the time I was arrested by the conscription officers. When I

was in Maryland I would have deserted but had no chance.

I left my Regiment this last time about Sept. 22 or 23d, in

the Shenandoah Valley, near Port Republic, crossed Brown's

Gap, then through Green County, Madison, Orange,

Spottsylvania, Stafford, King George, Westmorland Counties, to

Northumberland County to the Potomac River, crossed over to

Britton's Bay. I had no furlough or pass. The Confederate Army

was moving at the time and I had no trouble in going through

the country.

If I had been arrested I would have said I belonged to no

regiment, as my time was out. I walked from Britton's Bay

direct to the Patuxent River to Spencer's Wharf, and took

steamboat to Baltimore, arrived there at 11 at night and slept

at a hotel; next morning I reported to the Provost Marshal's

office. I had no uniform except a jacket that I threw away in

Virginia, near the river. I bought a coat from some young men

I saw there.

D. Hammell came with me all the time. I expected when I

reported to be allowed to take the oath of allegiance and to

be allowed to remain at home. I prefer soldiering to anything

else in the world, and if I was as strong a Southern man as I

was when I first went away, I would stay in the Rebel army, no

matter how much hardship I would have to endure. I think I

could be a truly loyal citizen.

When I landed at Britton's Bay I did not go home because I

wished to come to Baltimore and report. I knew there was a

Provost Marshal to report to in Baltimore. Have seen no new

recruits from Maryland in our regiment lately. We got a few

recruits while in Maryland this last time. I did not know any

of them, or where they were from; there were very few. I don't

think our Company got any of them. Captain Brown was formerly

our Captain; he was killed."

Statement of William J. Bradley (a refugee), a Californian:

(Dec. 31, 1864.) "I left Richmond, Virginia, on Dec. 11th. I

was given the following directions and a pass by order of the

Rebel Secretary of War, to come North; the directions were

given by the Chief Signal Officer, viz: get off the cars at

Milford, see Boles at Bowling Green, Gibbs at Port Royal,

Rollins at Port Conway. I went to Oak Grove one and a half

miles from the Signal Camp. The Signal Camp is on Bridge

Creek, five miles from its mouth. At a point on the creek

where there was an old bridge which was burned, is where you

strike the road that leads to camp, which camp is about three

hundred yards from the creek, and on the site of the birth

place of Washington. They have a boat there in which they

cross the Potomac; it is about twenty-six feet long, and

capable of carrying about sixteen persons; they keep it about

three-quarters of a mile above, on the creek.

At the Signal Camp I saw about twelve men, commanded by

Sergeant Harry Brogden; they were armed with revolvers. They

collect passes that are granted in Richmond, run the mail and

Rebel agents North, and back again. They told me they were

expecting some twelve or fifteen parties back from Maryland

again, very soon.

When I came over in the boat it was manned by four oarsmen and

one steersman, and as passengers, Norris, an Englishman and

myself, and brought over a mail. We landed at Cobb Neck.

Morris said he would start back from the other side of the


The following are additional names of members of the Signal


---- Rowley.

---- Reed, formerly a boatman on the Potomac.

---- Brockenborough.

These men said they were daily expecting members of Mosby's

command on the Neck."

The route Bradley came was the exact route of the regular spies; but the

information he gave me was of a character to prove that although he came

by the official route, he was being honest with me. Some of the

information was new, and all of it was true and valuable. I drew out the

detailed information about the signal camp to guide me. I was determined

to capture it, and in April following my expedition was planned to

start, but was prevented by the assassination of the President.

Baltimore City Jail,

Dec. 23, 1864.

Statement of Charles E. Langley (official Confederate spy).

"I was born and raised in Winchester, Virginia. I resided in

Baltimore some time previous to the breaking out of the war. I

was in Washington at the Inauguration of President Lincoln;

was keeping a butter store in Baltimore.

In the summer of 1861, or perhaps early in the fall, I went to

Winchester; my parents resided there. The cars ran through to

Winchester. I went on the cars, no passes were required from

me on the road. The Confederate troops occupied Winchester at

the time. I went to work on the Winchester Railroad after I

arrived; worked a short time. I remained at Winchester all

that winter; was not in the army.

The next spring (1862), I went to Richmond. Went to work

driving an express wagon. Worked at that until the next fall.

I worked for the Southern Express Co.; a man named Holbrook,

from Baltimore, was at work for the Express Co. at the same

time. The draft came off that fall and I left for Winchester

to escape it. I tried to pretend I was from Maryland, and

therefore exempt, but as I was too well known it would not

work. I did nothing after I returned to Winchester, and staid

there till Christmas. The town was then occupied by Union

troops. About the last of Jan. 1863, I visited Baltimore and

tried to get a situation; I remained in Baltimore about two

months, doing nothing. I stopped at Mann's Hotel, that is, I

got my meals there, as I wanted them. I stopped part of the

time with "Bonis," a tinner, out Fayette street; I used to

board with them before the war.

I went back to Winchester about the first of March, but could

get nothing to do. I staid about a couple of weeks and then

came back to Baltimore. I tried again to get work here, tried

to get on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. I worked on that road

before the war, about three or four years. I offered my

services to Mr. Smith, Master of Transportation, as a kind of

scout for them, to ascertain when the road was injured, and

where, and other information relative to the safety of the

road. I did go up the road for him on several occasions in

1863 and gave him satisfaction.

I went up the road for Mr. Smith at the time Lee was crossing

into Maryland; could not get back, and went home to

Winchester; the Rebels occupied the town. I was arrested for

being in Maryland, as a Yankee spy, was kept about a week and

then discharged, as they had no proof and my friends in

Winchester got me off.

In the fall of 1863, when the Rebels left, I came back to

Baltimore. I went to see Mr. Smith, but could not get any work

from him. I remained in Baltimore until about Nov. 1st, when I

went on to New York to make arrangements with Mr. Sydney H.

Gay, to obtain Richmond papers for him. Mr. Gay is connected

with the Tribune; I went to work for him, used to go down the

valley to Winchester and obtain papers from parties down the

valley, further south than Winchester. I was successful in

obtaining papers but could have done better if I had had an

assistant. I don't think I gave my employer justice, but I

remained there to do the best I could. I continued in this

business until April 1st, 1864. I was stopped part of the time

on account of want of means; my pay was not sufficient to

enable me to make proper arrangements.

I remained in Winchester about two weeks trying to make

arrangements. I would not tell who I obtained the papers from

in the valley. I used to bring the papers as far as

Kearneysville. I always reported to the Provost Marshal at

Kearneysville when I arrived there, of any information I had

obtained of the (Rebel) enemy.

I went down the valley to a friend, near Strausburg, to see

about getting the papers more regularly. I got inside the

Rebel lines and could not get out. I remained inside their

lines at New Market, with some friends, about six weeks. I

staid there until the fight with Sigel. That very day

Breckenridge had me arrested for holding communication with

the Federal troops. I was kept in confinement two months, and

afterwards in arrest under three thousand dollars bail for

five months.

About Sept. 1st, I came up to Winchester to my home, and was

ordered back again. I went back and staid until about October,

the last of the month. I then crossed the Ridge and made my

way to Harper's Ferry. I got on the cars at Van Kleeve's

Station, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and came on to

Baltimore. I arrived here about the last of October. I stopped

at Mr. Perigoy's, No. 34 George street; his wife is a distant

relative of mine. I was not doing anything in particular,

intended to go to New York to see Mr. Gay. I was also trying

to find out who caused me to be arrested by Breckenridge, as I

was confident some Rebels in Baltimore were the cause of it.

I also heard that Breckenridge said a citizen of Kearneysville

had reported me as having given information to the A. Adjutant

General at Harper's Ferry.

I was arrested Sunday night on the street on my way home, by

Government detectives. I gave them a false name. I never was

in the Rebel army. Have never taken the oath of allegiance;

have never been asked to take it; think my arrest was not


(Signed) CHAS. E. LANGLEY.

I followed this man a year. After I arrested him very powerful interests

tried to frighten me; tried to make me believe the prisoner was such an

important person that his name must be whispered only. That, in fact, he

was Mr. Lincoln's personal man, and reporting only to Mr. Lincoln. They

threatened to have my commission taken from me. Finally the prisoner

himself offered to give up the "hotel burners" of New York, if I would

let up. I answered that I thought "a bird in hand worth two in the

bush," and I held him.

Upon his person I found his authority from the New York "Tribune" to

collect news at the front. This authority had been his open sesame

through our lines. I came to New York and saw Mr. Sidney B. Gay, of the

"Tribune"; he informed me that he remembered such a person, that he came

to him highly recommended; that he gave him the authority but had never

heard from him. I learned later that the powerful interests that were

working on me to compel his release were the same that had highly

recommended him to the "Tribune." He was a very successful and dangerous

spy until I interfered.

I will not tell you who the powerful interests were; suffice it to say

they were Confederates, doing good work for the Confederacy all the

while. Yet they had the entree of the departments at Washington, having

very powerful influence there. There were no other parties in the United

States so strongly allied. Through their medium many strange things were

manipulated. I will not mention their names, for they are all dead now.

I consider Langley's arrest one of the most important.

Of all the newspapers the "Tribune" was the very best to conjure with.

Any person who could show credentials from that paper would undoubtedly

be welcome anywhere on our lines.

Langley knew that I would visit the "Tribune," hence his efforts in his

statement to account for why he had not served them.