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Chapter 13:

At this time the condition of affairs in the State of Virginia--the “Old Dominion,” as it was generally denominated-presented a most perplexing and vexatious problem. The antagonistic position of the two sections of that state demanded early consideration and prompt action on the part of the Federal Government, both in protecting the loyal people in the Western section, and of preserving their territory to the Union cause. Within the borders of this commonwealth there existed two elements, directly opposed to each other, and both equally pronounced in the declaration of their political opinions. The lines of demarkation between these diverse communities were the Allegheny Mountains, which extended through the very middle of the state, from north-east to south-west, and divided her territory into two divisions, slightly unequal in size, but evidently different in topographical features and personal characteristics. [204]

From the nature of its earlier settlement, and by reason of climate, soil and situation, Eastern Virginia remained the region of large plantations, with a heavy slave population, and of profitable agriculture, especially in the production of tobacco. West Virginia, on the contrary, having been first settled by hunters, pioneers, lumbermen and miners, possessed little in common with her more wealthy and aristocratic neighbors beyond the mountains. They made their homes in the wilds of the woods, and among the rocky formations, under which was hidden the wealth they were seeking to develop, and in time this western country became the seat of a busy manufacturing industry, with a diversified agriculture for local consumption, while the east was largely given up to the production of great staples for export. As a natural result, the population and wealth of the eastern portion, which was thus made to stand in the relation of a mere tributary province to her grasping neighbor, who selfishly absorbed the general taxes for local advantage.

The slave interest also entered largely into the creation and continuance of this antagonistic feeling. According to a census, which had been recently taken, it was ascertained that Eastern Virginia held but a few thousands. It was not a matter of surprise, therefore that secessionism should be rampant in the east, and that a Union sentiment should almost universally prevail in the west. As the institution [205] of slavery was more or less the cause of the war, here, as in other parts of the South, secession reared its most formidable front where the slave interest predominated, and treason was more alert in the centers of accumulated wealth and family pride, whose foundations were laid by the suffering and the toil of the African bondsmen. The war had been waged to defend the “Divine institution,” and it was scarcely to be expected that such a cause would be valiantly championed by men whose self-reliance and personal independence had endeared to them the rights of free and honorable manhood.

When the Convention of Virginia met to consider the question of secession, the slave-holding dignitaries were somewhat startled by the logical, but novel, declaration of one of the western members, that “the right of revolution can be exercised as well by a portion of the citizens of a State against their State government, as it can be exercised by the whole people of a State against their Federal Government.” This was followed by another, more pointed and revolutionary, “that any change in the relation Virginia now sustains to the Federal Government, against the wishes of even a respectable minority of her people, would be sufficient to justify them in changing their relation to the State government by separating themselves from that section of the State that had thus wantonly disregarded their interests and defied their will.” [206]

The convention, however, denying the pertinency of this logic, passed its secret ordinance of secession on the 17th day of April, and within a week popular movements were on foot in the various towns and counties of Western Virginia, to effect a division of the State. The people united in a unanimous protest against the efforts of the slave-holding aristocrats to carry them into a cotton confederacy, and a determination to “secede from secession,” was manifested everywhere. The loyal determination was rapidly followed by popular organization, an appeal for assistance was made to the government at Washington, who promised them countenance and support, and on the 13th day of May, delegates from twenty-five counties of West Virginia met at Wheeling, to devise such action as would enable them to fully and finally repudiate the treasonable revolt of East Virginia.

Many circumstances favored their position. The state of Ohio, immediately adjoining, was organizing her military force of volunteers, and Western Virginia was, not long after, attached to the department of the Ohio under command of General McClellan. The blockade of Washington, and other events, had operated to keep the Western troops on the Ohio line, and the Unionists of West Virginia found a protecting military force at once in their immediate vicinity, with a commanding officer who was instructed to give them every encouragement and support.

Meanwhile, Governor Letcher, of Virginia, ignore [207] ing the attitude assumed by the people of the West, had issued his proclamation calling for the organization of the state militia, and including Western Virginia in the call. Prompted by a spirit of arrogance or over-confidence, he at an early day dispatched officers to that locality to collect and organize the militia of Western Virginia. Owing to the sparsity of the population, and the hilly and mountainous situation of the country, there were but two principal localities or lines of travel, where a concentration of forces could be best effected-one of these being the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and the other the valley of the Great Kanawha river. In these districts Governor Letcher sent his recruiting agents, but they soon returned reports of a very discouraging character. The rebel emissaries found the feeling very bitter: that Union organizations existed in most of the counties, and that while fragments of rebel companies were here and there springing up, it was very evident that no local force sufficient to hold the country, would respond to the Confederate appeal, while the close proximity of Union forces at several points along the Ohio, pointed to a short tenure of Confederate authority.

This information was not at all cheering to the rebel Governor of the State, and he determined to maintain his authority in the disaffected districts with armed forces from the eastern portion of the State. To accomplish this, he detailed a few available cornpanies [208] from Staunton to march toward Beverly, from which point they could menace and overawe the town of Grafton, the junction of the main stem of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, with its branches extending to Parkersburg and Wheeling. The inhabitants showed more alacrity, however, to take up arms for the government than for Governor Letcher or General Lee. A Union Western Virginia regiment, under the command of Colonel Kelley, began to gather recruits rapidly at Wheeling, while the rebel camps between Beverly and Grafton were comparatively deserted, and Colonel Porterfield, who had been sent under orders of Governor Letcher, found his efforts at recruiting decidedly unsuccessful.

On the 23d day of May the State voted upon the ordinance of secession, and East Virginia, under complete military domination, accepted the ordinance, while West Virginia, comparatively free, voted to reject the idea of secession.

Immediately after the result was ascertained, the rebel troops became aggressive, and Colonel Porterfield dispatched several of his companies to burn the bridge on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

The appearance of these troops was quickly brought to the notice of the Federal authorities at Washington. On the 24th day of May the Secretary of War and General Scott telegraphed this information to General McClellan, and inquired “whether its influence could not be counteracted.” General McClellan [209] at once replied in the affirmative, and this was the sole order he received from Washington regarding a campaign in Virginia.

On the 26th, the General ordered two regiments to cross the river at Wheeling, and two others at Parkersburg. They were to move forward simultaneously by the branch railroads from each of these points to their junction at Grafton. The burnt bridges were restored in their passage, and after a most brilliant strategic movement, Porterfield was completely surprised, and the rebels were forced to disperse, in utter rout and confusion.

This complete success of the first dash at the enemy had the most inspiriting effect upon the Union troops, and also encouraged and fortified the Western Virginia unionists, in their determination to break away from the East and to form a new State. This movement was successfully accomplished, and early in July they elected two United States senators, who were admitted to, and took part in the national legislature.

Governor Pierpont, who was head of this provisional State government, organized at Wheeling, made a formal application to the United States for aid to suppress the rebellion and protect the people against domestic violence. General McClellan, in furtherance of this object, ordered additional forces into the State from his department.

In order to act intelligently in the matter, it was [210] necessary that some definite information should be derived respecting the country which was now to be protected, and from which it was necessary the invading rebels should be driven. For this purpose the General desired that I should dispatch several of my men, who, by assuming various and unsuspicious characters, would be able to travel over the country, obtain a correct idea of its topography, ascertain the exact position and designs of the secessionists.

For this duty I selected a man named Price Lewis, who had just returned from a trip to the South, and whom I had reason to be satisfied was equal to the task. I resolved, therefore, that he should be one of the party to make this journey, together with several others who were delegated for the same purpose. In order to afford variety to the professions of my operatives, and because of his fitness for the character, I decided that Price Lewis should represent himself as an Englishman traveling for pleasure, believing that he would thus escape a close scrutiny or a rigid examination, should he, by any accident, fall into the hands of the rebels.

Procuring a comfortable-looking road-wagon and a pair of strong gray horses, which were both substantial-looking and good roadsters, I stocked the vehicle with such articles of necessity and luxury as would enable them to subsist themselves if necessary, and at th.-same time give the appearance of truth to such professions as the sight-seeing Englishman [211] might feel authorized to make. I provided him also with a number of English certificates of various kinds, and I also supplied him with English money which could be readily exchanged for such currency that would best suit his purposes in the several localities which he would be required to visit.

Lewis wore a full beard, and this was trimmed in the most approved English fashion, and when fully equipped for his journey he presented the appearance of a thorough well-to-do Englishman, who might even be suspected of having “blue blood” in his veins. In order that he might the more fully sustain the new character he was about to assume, and to give an added dignity to his position, I concluded to send with him a member of my force who would act in the capacity of coachman, groom and body servant, as occasion should demand. The man whom I selected for this role was a jolly, good-natured, and fearless Yankee named Samuel Bridgeman, a quick, sharp-witted young man, who had been in my employment some time, and who had on several occasions proved himself worthy of trust and confidence in matters that required tact as well as boldness, and good sense as well as keen wit.

Calling Sam into my office, I explained to him fully the nature of the duties he would be required to perform, and when I had concluded I saw by the merry twinkle in his eyes, and from the readiness with which he caught at my suggestions, that he [212] thoroughly understood and had decided to carry out his part of the programme to the very letter.

In addition to these, I arranged a route for two other men of my force. They were to travel through the valley of the Great Kanawha river, and to observe carefully everything that came under their notice, which might be of importance in perfecting a military campaign, in case the rebels should attempt hostile measures, or that General McClellan might find it necessary to promptly clear that portion of Virginia from the presence of secession troops. These two men were to travel ostensibly as farm laborers, and their verdant appearance was made to fully conform to such avocations.

Everything being in readiness, the two parties were started, and we will follow their movements separately, as they were to travel by different routes.

Price Lewis, the pseudo Englishman, and Sam Bridgeman, who made quite a smart-looking valet in his new costume, transferred their horses, wagon and stores on board the trim little steamer “Cricket,” at Cincinnati, intending to travel along the Ohio River, and effect a landing at Guyandotte, in Western Virginia, at which point they were to disembark and pursue their journey overland through the country.

I accompanied Lewis to the wharf, and after everything had been satisfactorily arranged, I bade him good-bye, and the little steamer sailed away up the river. [213]

There were the usual number of miscellaneous passengers upon the boat, and added to these were a number of Union officers, who had been dispatched upon various missions throughout that portion of the State of Ohio. These men left the steamer as their points of destination were reached, and after they had departed, several of the passengers who had hitherto remained silent, became very talkative. They began in a cautious manner to express their opinions, with a view of eliciting some knowledge of the sympathies of their fellow-travelers in the important struggle that was now impending. Lewis had maintained a quiet, dignified reserve, which, while it did not forbid any friendly approaches from his fellow-passengers, at the same time rendered them more respectful, and prevented undue familiarity. Sam Bridgeman contributed materially to this result; his deference to “my lord” was very natural, and the respect with which he received his commands convinced the Passengers at once that the English-looking gentleman was a man of some importance.

The passengers all appeared to be Union men, and while they expressed their regrets that the war had commenced, they regarded their separation from Eastern Virginia, with undisguised satisfaction.

At midnight, on the second evening, the boat landed at Guyandotte, and Samuel, with a great deal of importance, attended to the transfer of his master and the equipage from the boat to the wharf. Here they [214] found a number of men in uniform, who were ascertained to be representatives of the “Home guard,” and in a few minutes Bridgeman had secured the services of two of them, to assist him in safely landing their effects. This being satisfactorily accomplished, he, apparently in a sly manner, treated them to a drop of good whisky, which formed part of the stores they had been provided with. Stopping at the hotel over night, they continued their journey on the following morning. They drove leisurely along, and at about ten o'clock they stopped at a farm-house to rest their horses. They remained here until nearly three o'clock in the afternoon, conversing with the old farmer, who seemed to be much pained at the condition of affairs, but who had two sons who had joined the rebel army. They renewed their journey in the afternoon, and in about two hours reached the little village of Colemouth, where there was a rebel encampment. On passing this they were halted by the guard, who inquired their business and destination. Lewis told him he was an Englishman, accompanied only by his servant, and that he was traveling through the country for pleasure. The guard informed them that he could not let them pass, and asked Lewis to go with him to the Captain's headquarters, which was located in a large stone house, a few hundred yards distant. My operative willingly consented, and leaving Sam in charge of his carriage, he accompanied the soldier to the officer's quarters. He was ushered [215] into a large and well-furnished apartment on the second floor, and in a few minutes the Captain came in.

He greeted my operative pleasantly, and informed him that he regretted the necessity of detaining him, but orders had to be obeyed. Lewis related in substance what he had already stated to the guard, which statement the Captain unhesitatingly received, and after a pleasant conversation, he invited the detective to accept the hospitality of the camp.

An English gentleman traveling for pleasure was not to be treated with discourtesy, and upon Lewis' accepting of his invitation, a soldier was dispatched to bring the horses and carriage and their impatient driver into camp.

Supper was ordered, and in a short time the Captain and his guest were discussing a repast which was far more appetizing than soldiers' fare usually is. During the meal Sam stood behind the chair of Lewis, and awaited upon him in the most approved fashion, replying invariably with a deferential,

“Yes, my lord.”

After full justice had been done to the repast, Price directed Bridgeman to bring in from the carriage a couple of bottles of champagne, and by the time the hour of retiring had arrived the detective had succeeded in impressing his entertainer with a very exalted opinion of his rank and standing when at home. [216]

Lewis, being an Englishman by birth, was very well posted about English affairs, and he entertained his host with several very well invented anecdotes of the Crimea, in which he was supposed to have taken an active part, and his intimacy with Lord Raglan, the commander of the British army, gained for him the unbounded admiration and respect of the doughty Captain.

From this officer Lewis learned that there were a number of troops in Charleston, but a few miles distant, and that General Wise, who was then in command, had arrived there that day.

After a refreshing sleep and a bounteous breakfast, Lewis informed the Captain that he would continue his journey toward Charleston, and endeavor to obtain an interview with General Wise. The Captain cordially recommended him to do so, and furnished him with passports which would carry him without question or delay upon the road. As they were about taking their leave the Captain put into Lewis' hands an unsealed letter, at the same time remarking with great earnestness:

My lord, I beg of you to accept the inclosed letter of introduction to General Wise; as I am personally acquainted with him, this letter may be of some service to you, and I should be only too happy if it will be so.

“ Thank you,” replied Lewis, “but you have been far too kind already, and believe me I shall [217] always recall my entertainment at your hands with pleasure.”

The valiant Captain was not aware that he had been furnishing very valuable information to his gentlemanly visitor, and that while he was unsuspectingly answering his well-directed questions, his servant, the quiet Sam Bridgeman, was unobservedly making notes of all that he heard in relation to the situation of affairs and with regard to the probable movements of the rebel troops.

A rather ridiculous incident occurred to our two travelers after leaving the camp. They had proceeded but a short distance upon their way, when one of the horses they were driving cast a shoe, which made it necessary for them to stop at a little village and secure the services of a blacksmith.

Driving up to the hotel, Lewis alighted from the wagon, while Bridgeman drove to the blacksmithshop in order to have his horse attended to. As Lewis ascended the steps of the hotel he noticed a tall, rather commanding-looking gentleman seated upon the porch, who was evidently scrutinizing his appearance, very carefully. The stranger was a man about sixty years of age, but remarkably well preserved, and the lines on his face scarcely gave but little indication of his years. There was an air of seeming importance about him which impressed Lewis with the fact that he must be one of the dignitaries [218] of the place, and as he approached him he very politely raised his hat and saluted him.

The old gentleman returned the salutation with an inquiring gaze, and Lewis, in order to pave the way to his acquaintance, invited him to partake of a drink, which was cordially accepted. In a few minutes, under its influence, the two men were conversing with all the freedom of old friends.

Lewis ascertained that his companion was a justice of the peace, an office of some importance in that; locality, and that the old gentleman was disposed to give to his judicial position all the dignity which a personal appreciation of his standing demanded. In a quiet manner, Lewis at once gave the justice to understand his appreciating the honor he had received in meeting him, and by a few well-administered flatteries, succeeded in completely winning the kind regards of the old gentleman. Their pleasant conversation was progressing with very favorable success, when Sam Bridgeman drove up with the team, having succeeded in finding a smithy and in having the lost shoe replaced.

With a deferential, semi-military salute, he addressed Lewis:

We are all ready, my lord.

At the mention of the title the old fellow jumped to his feet in blank amazement, and in the most obsequious manner, and with an air of humility, that, compared with his bombastic tone of a few moments before, was perfectly [219] ridiculous. Jerking off his hat and placing it under his left arm, he advanced, and said:

If my lord would do me the honor to accept my poor hospitality, I would only be too happy to have the pleasure of his company for dinner; my house is only a short distance off, on the road to Charleston, and will detain you no longer than to rest and feed your horses, and partake of a true Southern meal.

Lewis hesitated a moment, and then remembering that he had represented himself as traveling purely for pleasure, he did not see how he could avoid accepting his kind invitation.

“ I have heard, sir, of the hospitable character of the Southern gentlemen, and I assure you I shall be most happy to avail myself of your kindness.”

The old Justice could not conceal his pleasure at the prospect of entertaining a “live lord” in his own house, and with evident delight he accepted a seat in Lewis' carriage. He directed the way to his dwelling, which stood back from the road, surrounded by a grove of lofty pines, and then invited his guest within; intrusting the care of the team to the care of Sam and one of the servants, they entered the house, and were soon engaged in discussing the situation of affairs, both North and South. Lewis informed the old Justice that his name was Henry Tracy, of Oxford, England, and that his object was to reach Charleston, but that he was not aware that the country was so unsettled, [220] or ha would not have ventured on this trip. Hie then related his adventure of the day before, and commented favorably on the gentlemanly bearing of the Captain, and the manner in which he had been treated. They indulged in pleasant conversation, on various topics, until dinner was announced.

When they had done justice to an excellent repast, they repaired to a shaded porch in the rear of the house, and Lewis instructed Sam to bring out a bottle of champagne and a bottle of brandy. These, as already intimated, had been labeled with foreign wrappers, so that the deception was complete. The brandy was a very ordinary article, and the wine of an inferior quality, but the old gentlemen went into ecstasies over it, and under its mellowing influence, he became familiar and confidential, and gave to my shrewd operative much valuable information. Finally the justice grew profusely demonstrative, and leaning across the table, he said: t “My lord, I have never tasted such brandy as you carry in all my life, I have a couple of warm friends outside whom I have taken the liberty to send for, and whom I know will be delighted to see you, and still more pleased to taste this excellent liquor.”

“Certainly,” replied Lewis, “bring them in; I shall be happy to meet them.”

Lewis supposed, of course, that the two men whom he had referred were planters and neighbors, but imagine his surprise when the justice returned, [221] accompanied by the blacksmith and cobbler of the village.

After being introduced to “my Lord Tracy,” Lewis invited them to take a glass with them, and with evident pleasure, yet with visible embarrassment, they accepted the invitation and seated themselves at the table.

It was now that the old gentleman grew loquacious; he was loud and profuse in his praises of the brandy; he asserted again and again, that it had never been his good fortune to taste such liquor, in which encomiums the blacksmith and cobbler heartily joined. As the afternoon wore away, and the present supply was exhausted, Sam was dispatched after another bottle, and the social meeting continued until evening. Lewis was careful as to the amount he drank, and intensely enjoyed the whole affair. The idea of the blacksmith and cobbler hobnobbing with an English lord, struck him as being so ridiculously funny, that he laughed again and again at the absurdity of the situation. Often during the evening he laughed immoderately, at what they supposed their own jokes and wit, when he was really thinking of the ridiculous comedy in which he was playing the leading part. When the hour for retiring arrived, the old man begged as a special favor that he would be allowed to keep one of the empty bottles, as a memento of the occasion of his lordship's dining with him, and to remind him of the pleasure he had enjoyed [222] of drinking some rare old imported brandy (made in Cincinnati). The blacksmith and cobbler also looked so longingly at the empty bottles before them, that Lewis could scarcely refrain from laughing heartily, as he graciously complied with their request for a souvenir of the occasion. The evident satisfaction with which they appropriated a bottle apiece, as they started for home, and their hearty thanks as they bid him good-night, was heartily echoed by the old justice, who carefully laid his bottle away as a sacred relic of a never-to-be-forgotten event.

While the party were enjoying themselves on the porch, Sam Bridgeman had been using his time well among the servants, and had gleaned much valuable information from them. They remained over night with the old gentleman, and on the following morning, after bidding him a kind farewell, they started on their journey. Lewis did not forget, however, before leaving, to take a parting glass with his host, who seemed very reluctant to have them depart. They continued on their way towards Charleston, traveling but slowly, as the roads were heavy from the recent rains. About noon they arrived at a farm-house, to which they had been recommended by their host of the night before. Here they stopped for dinner, and after refreshing themselves, they again went on The afternoon was warm and pleasant, and their journey lay through a beautiful stretch of country. Driving quietly along, they beguiled the time admiring [223] the beautiful scenery spread before them, and in pleasant converse. Their enjoyment was, however, suddenly interrupted by the sound of loud voices and the clattering of horses' hoofs immediately behind him. Quickly turning around, the cause of this unusual excitement was at once apparent. A fine black horse, covered with foam, was tearing down the turnpike at break-neck speed, and evidently running away. Upon his back was seated a young lady, who bravely held her seat, and who was vainly attempting to restrain the unmanageable animal Some distance behind were a party of ladies and gentlemen on horseback, all spurring their horses to the utmost, as if with the intention of overtaking the flying steed in front of them. Intense fear was depicted upon the countenances of those in the rear, and not without reason, for the situation of the young lady was dangerous indeed.

Quick as a flash, my operatives realized the situation of affairs, and the necessity for prompt action. Without uttering a word, Sam Bridgeman turned his horses directly across the road, intending by that means to stop the mad course of the fiery charger approaching them. As he did so, Lewis sprang from the wagon, and with the utmost coolness advanced to meet the approaching horse. On came the frightened animal at a speed that threatened every moment to hurl the brave girl from her seat, until he approached nearly to the point at which my operatives had [224] stationed themselves, and then, evidently perceiving the obstructions in his path, he momentarily slackened pace. In that instant Lewis sprang forward, and grasping the bridle firmly with a strong hand, he forced the frightened animal back upon his haunches. The danger was passed. The horse, feeling the iron grip upon the bridle, and recognizing the voice of authority, stood still and trembling in every joint, his reeking sides heaving, and his eyes flashing fire. The young lady, with a sudden revulsion of feeling, fell back in the saddle, and would have fallen but that Sam Bridgemen, hastening to the relief of his companion, was fortunately in time to catch the fainting figure in his arms. Extricating her quickly from the saddle, he set her gently on the ground, and as he did so the fair head fell forward on his shoulder, and she lost consciousness.

By this time Lewis had succeeded in quieting the excited animal, and had fastened him to a tree by the wayside, and as he turned to the assistance of Bridgeman, the companions of the unconscious girl rode up. Hastily dismounting, they rushed to her aid, and in a few minutes, under their ministrations, the dark eyes were opened, and the girl gazed wonderingly around.

After being assisted to her feet, she gratefully expressed her thankfulness to the men who had probably saved her life, in which she was warmly joined by the remainder of the party. [225]

Sam Bridgeman received these grateful expressions with an air of modest confusion, which was indeed laughable, and then said:

It ain't no use thanking me, Miss, it was my lord here, that stopped the the animal.

At the words “my lord,” a look of curiosity came over the faces of the new-comers, and Lewis stepped gracefully forward and introduced himself.

“ I am glad, ladies and gentlemen, to have been of service to this young lady, and permit me to introduce myself as Henry Tracy, of Oxford, England, now traveling in America.”

The three gentlemen who were of the riding party grasped the hand of their new-made English acquaintance, and in a few words introduced him to the ladies who accompanied them, all of whom were seemingly delighted to make the acquaintance of a gentleman who had been addressed by his servant as “my lord.”

This adventure proved to be a most fortunate one for my two operatives. The gentlemen, upon introducing themselves, were discovered to be connected with the rebel army, and to be recruiting officers sent by Governor Letcher to organize such rebel volunteers as were to be gathered in Western Virginia. By them Lewis was cordially invited to join their company to Charleston, which he as cordially accepted. Suggesting that as the young lady, who had scarcely recovered from the accident, might not feel able to [226] ride her horse into town, he politely offered her a seat in his carriage, which offer was gratefully accepted, and attaching the runaway horse to the rear of the vehicle, the party proceeded on their way to Charleston, at which point they arrived without further event or accident.

The young lady whom Lewis had so providentially rescued was the only daughter of Judge Beveridge, one of the wealthiest and most influential men in the State, and upon conducting her to her home, the detective was received with the warmest emotions by the overjoyed father. Lewis was pressed to make the house of the Judge his home during his stay, but gratefully declining the invitation, he took up his quarters at the hotel, where he could more readily extend his acquaintance, and where his movements would be more free.

The young officers whom he had met upon the road had their quarters at the hotel at which Lewis had stopped, and under their friendly guidance no one thought of questioning his truthfulness, or impeaching his professions.

By this means he was enabled to acquire a wonderful amount of information, both of value and importance to the cause of the North, all of which was duly reported to me at headquarters, and by me communicated directly to General McClellan.

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