Lest We Forget - African American Military History by Researcher, 
					Author and Veteran Bennie McRae, Jr.

SAULSBURY

CONTRABANDS

Report #2

LETTERS, REPORTS AND ORDERS
(Complete and Excerpts)
 

SOURCE: United States War Department. THE WAR OF THE REBELLION: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. 128 Volumes. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.  


SAULSBURY, TENN., June 25, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report:

Started at daylight on morning of 21st, on the Holly Springs road, by way of Chulahoma, scouring the country thoroughly for horses and mules. We captured 98 horses and mules, burned large cribs of corn, wheat, and other means of subsistence, one large blacksmith-shop and wagon-shop, a large number of wagons, and several hundred bales of cotton, receiving to our force 90 contrabands to assist in bringing up captured horses and mules. I pushed forward, making good the work of destruction to subsistence and transportation. Passed through Holly Springs at about 4 p.m.

B. D. MEEK,

Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Fourth Cavalry Brigade.

Col. J. K. MIZNER,

Chief of Cavalry.


VICKSBURG, MISS., July 17, 1863.

  Brig. Gen. T. E. G. RANSOM, Comdg. U.S. Forces, Natchez:

Gunboats will be passing up and down the river, and by having your steamboats loaded and ready, they can be sent up when the gunboats are coming this way. With regard to the contrabands, you can say to them that they are free, and that it will be better for them, especially the women and children, old and infirm, to remain quietly where they are, as we have no means of providing for them at present. With regard to the men (black) who are strong, able-bodied, and will make good soldiers, you can bring them along with you if they are willing to come and will leave their families behind them.Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[JAS. B. McPHERSON.]

HEADQUARTERS RESERVE CAVALRY BRIGADE,
Near Front Royal, July 21, 1863--5 p.m.
  Lieut. Col. C. Ross SMITH,
Acting Chief of Staff, Cavalry Corps:
COLONEL: Contrabands living in this vicinity report that Longstreet's (rebel) corps marched into Front Royal this morning, and  that he has forces moving to the right and left of Front Royal, i.e., to Chester Gap and to this point.
G. A. CROCKER,
Captain, and Aide-de-Camp.

WINCHESTER, July 22, 1863.

GENERAL: I arrived here this morning. Mitchell's division is at Fayetteville. Long's brigade is at Pulaski. Minty's brigade, with Turchin, is at Salem. Long will go to Lawrenceburg and farther, if he can hear anything of Biffle, and attack him. I brought away in all about 300 contrabands, collected about 500 cattle, and the same number of horses and mules. The mules are good, the horses not so good. A force of 10,000 could be subsisted in the Huntsville country--plenty of corn, mutton, and beef, and if we don't eat it the rebels will. We need many new saddles.

D. S. STANLEY,

Major-General.

Maj. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS.


HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION,
Amissville, Va., July 25, 1863--1 p.m.
Major-General PLEASONTON,
Commanding Cavalry Corps:
From citizens and contrabands living in the vicinity of Gaines' Cross-Roads, I learned that my attack at Newby's Cross-Roads spread great consternation through the entire rebel column extending beyond Gaines' in the direction of Chester Gap.
G. A. CUSTER,
Brigadier-General, Commanding
 

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Morris Island, S. C., August 26, 1863.
SIR: I have to report no essential change in the condition of affairs here since my letter of the 24th instant. No guns have been mounted on Fort Sumter, as far as I can judge from appearances.
Three contrabands came in from Fort Johnson yesterday. They were officers' servants, and report, from conversation of the officers there, that north and northwest faces of Fort Sumter are nearly as badly breached as the gorge wall, and that many of our projectiles passed through both walls, and that the fort contains no serviceable guns.
Q. A. GILLMORE,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, Washington, D.C.
 

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION,
September 2, 1863.

It was reported by contrabands at Middleburg that a heavy cavalry force passed through Upperville on Wednesday and marched into Shenandoah Valley.

THOS. C. DEVIN,

Col., Sixth New York Cavalry, Comdg. Second Cav. Brig.

Capt. A. J. COHEN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
OFFICE OF CHIEF QUARTERMASTER,
Camp near Culpeper, Va., September 28, 1863.

While on Peninsular affairs, I omitted to state that white laborers were soon found to give out from sickness and exhaustion at our depots on the Peninsula. While at White House I took effective measures to secure the services of contrabands, drawn mostly from the vicinity. They proved invaluable, though we thus became encumbered with many women and children. On the evacuation of White House I took away all my colored force, and increased it cry considerably while at Harrison's Landing by sending for negroes to Williamsburg, Charles City, Norfolk, &c. On the evacuation of the Peninsula I must have taken away 2,500 males. The women and children were provided for near Fortress Monroe. Many of these negroes have other situations now; but we still retain, at our depots here, some 1,250; they are industrious, obedient, and tractable. They are considered free, and obtain $20 per month for their services. This narrative covers the chief events of the fiscal year.

RUFUS INGALLS.

General M. C. MEIGS.


HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Iberia, La., November 14, 1863--11 a.m.

Contrabands coming in report that Price and Magruder are on the way to re-enforce the rebels in your front. They say that the rebels know that re-enforcements have been sent to Texas. Reports say that the rebels are building a bridge on Bayou Vermillion, in the neighborhood of Abbeville. Could they not cross at Perry's Bridge? Could they not also pass down in the rear of Saint Martinsville, and get below me? I have not sufficient cavalry here to watch both points. I will send 100 cavalry out this evening; they will camp 1 mile this side of Saint Martinsville; scout beyond to-morrow.

S. G. BURBRIDGE,

General, Commanding.

Major HOFFMAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Nineteenth Army Corps.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF PENSACOLA,

Barrancas, Fla., December 5, 1863.

Brig. Gen. CHARLES P. STONE,

Chief of Staff, Headquarters Department of the Gulf :

GENERAL:

Several contrabands, who succeeded in reaching our lines, were added to the Fourteenth Regiment, Corps d'Afrique. One of them came in with a heavy iron bar on his leg, wandering with it three weeks through woods and swamps.

Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

ASBOTH,

Brigadier-General.



HEADQUARTERS,
New Berne, N.C., December 18, 1863.
GENERAL:

On April 20, thirteen days before the conclusion of the siege, he ordered all the boats to Hill's Point for safety, 7 miles from Suffolk, against which I protested, and some sharp correspondence ensued. Besides the distance the densely-wooded banks of the Nansemond were unfavorable for forming a judgment of the numbers and labors of the enemy, everywhere screened in timber. The whole country was one vast forest, out of which I had to cut a field of fire for my artillery. Admiral Lee thinks that Longstreet brought a force of negroes for building his extensive line of works. On his arrival the negroes ceased to come into my lines, and parties were sent out to bring them in for information, but without success.
After his repulse on May 3 and night retreat some blacks escaped from Franklin and informed me that all the contrabands, except servants and drivers, were left at Franklin, across the Blackwater, to prevent their escape. They also stated that they prayed very loud that "Massa Longstreet might be whipped by you folks."
JOHN J. PECK.
Major-General HALLECK,
Commander-in-Chief, Washington, D.C.


HDQRS. PROVISIONAL DIVISION, SHERMAN'S ARMY,
Blair's Landing, S.C., February 28, 1865.
Captain BURGER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the South
I have information from contrabands of a force of rebels said to number some 300 to 500, composed of infantry and cavalry, commanded by Colonel Roberts (of Colonel Colcock's command of cavalry) and Captain Mickler, with a squad of infantry. They are near Beech Branch (twenty-five miles northwest from Coosawhatchie Station) and are scouting the country in that direction.The sergeant in command of twenty-three men at Garden's Corners reports the station attacked with musketry for three hours night before last. No loss. I have sent a company there to remain and reconnoiter.Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HENRY PRINCE,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
 

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Category: Civil War | Subcategory: Contrabands | Tags: Texas , Washington
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