My parents emigrated to Wisconsin Territory in 1836 from New England. Mr. Hyer was made a judge of probate, and was a member of the State Constitutional Convention. His health demanding a warmer climate, he moved to St. Louis, Mo., in 1847 or 1848, and in 1854-5 to Texas. The breaking out of the Civil War found us in Louisiana, about sixty miles north of New Orleans, where Judge. Hyer's too outspoken Union sentiments made him a “marked man” by the Rebels. He had many friends, however, who aided him on several occasions when plots were laid against him. In the fall of 1862 we closed up our home, determined to reach New Orleans, then in control of the Union Army. At Madisonville, a small town near Lake Ponchartrain, we waited three weeks for a chance to cross to the city. Finally a small schooner loaded with charcoal arrived, which had received a permit from Richmond to cross, as they wished to send over some spies. By bribing the corporal of the Rebel guard to send off his men an hour early, we got our chance to go on board before daylight, and before dark the same day reached the entrance to the canal leading up to New Orleans. Before we were allowed to land we had to take an oath of allegiance to the United States, although we were Unionists. Judge Hyer went immediately to General Butler and showed him his plans of Eastern Louisiana, where we had been residing. Judge Hyer had been obliged to give up practicing law on account of his health, and had gone into surveying and
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