Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Steam-boat Philo Parsons & Island Queen.

There has been a lot written about the Steamer Philo Parsons and the Island Queen, so much so that there is not much to add, so I will not try. I thought it would be best for those who were there to tell their own story.

The Philo Parsons.

The Philo Parsons is a side-wheel steamer of 222 tons, built in 1861, and is worth about $16,00. She is owned principally by Mr. Fox, who resided on North Bass Island. She runs regularly between Detroit and Sandusky, leaving the former place at 8 a. m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday, and the latter at the same hour on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. She stopped regularly at Malden, on the Canada shore, when signaled. Her other regular stopping places were the three Bass Islands and Kelly's Island, all within twenty miles of Sandusky.

The Island Queen.

The Island Queen is a side-wheel steamer of 173 tons, and valued at $12,000. She is owned on Kelly's Island. She runs regularly from the Bass Islands to Sandusky every morning, stopping at Kelley's Island, and returns to the Bass Island every afternoon.

James Denison.

Steam boat Philo Parsons.

James Denison, being duly sworn, deposeth and saith, that he is twenty-eight years of age, and is engineer of the steam-boat Philo Parsons. Deponent further saith, that he was on board said vessel on her trip from Detroit to Sandusky on the 19th day of September, A. D. 1864; that said steam-boat left the dock at Detroit about 8 o'clock in the morning, with about thirty-five passengers on board. The boat, after stopping at Sandwich and Malden, and taking other passengers, put out into Lake Erie for Sandusky. After we left Kelly's Island, and about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, I was in the fireman's room. I heard a noise on the boat and came out on deck. I then heard a man, armed with a revolver, call to Campbell, the wheelman, who was then ascending from the main deck to the upper deck, to stop and go down in the fire-hold. Campbell did not stop, and the man then fired at him, but did not hit him.

There were eight or nine others, armed with revolvers, on the main deck, yelling and driving most of the passengers down into the fire-hold. After most of them were driven below they put down the hatches and put a lot of iron on the top. All the crew of the main deck, except the fireman and myself, were driven below. I was ordered to work the engine just as they wanted me to. The boat was then steered out into the lake in a northeasterly direction. After running about eight or nine miles, they put her about and came back to Middle Bass Island, having previously inquired of me if I had wood enough to run seven or eight hours, to which I replied that I had not. They made fast to the dock at Middle Bass Island. I heard them fire five or six shots, but could not tell what they fired at. They then commenced wording up, with the assistance of some of the crew, whom they had released from the fire-hold.

While so engaged the steamer Island Queen came alongside. I heard them firing again shortly after, but did not know till afterward that the engineer was wounded. They then drove all the passengers on to the Parsons, and put them into the fire-hold with the rest. I heard them then parole some of the passengers and soldiers on board that they would not fight against the Southern Confederacy until exchanged. Besides those they put into the fire-hold, they put a good many, including several ladies, ashore. The Parsons then started out with the Island Queen in tow; and after taking her beyond Ballast Island they scuttled her, and she sank.

After leaving her we ran beyond Mardlehead Light about two miles, and then turned back and ran for Detroit River. A little above Malden the life-boat was sent ashore, loaded with stuff taken from the boat. At Fighting Island, all of the passengers and crew, except three of the latter, were sent ashore in two boat-loads. This was about 8 o'clock in the morning. We then ran up to Sandwich and made fast to the dock. They then took a piano, three looking-glasses, and an easy chair out of the boat. They then cut the injection pipes and left her to sink, and all came off the boat. They appeared to be under the command of a man they called captain.

Michael Campbell.

Steam boat Philo Parsons.

Michael Campbell, being duly sworn, deposeth and saith, that he is twenty-one years old and wheelman of the steam-boat Philo Parsons. Deponent further saith, that he was on board said steamer on her trip from Detroit to Sandusky on Monday, September 19, 1864, and that the following circumstances took place, as nearly as deponent can recollect: The boat left the dock at Detroit at 8 a. m., with from twenty-five to thirty passengers on board. I saw one man, whom I afterward recognized as the ringleader of the band, come over on the ferry-boat from Windsor about half an hour before the Parsons started with another man, another of the pirates.

He then saw the captain and asked him to stop at Sandwich and Malden, as there were some more men to get aboard there. The boat did not generally stop at Sandwich unless there were passengers there. I saw five others get on board at Sandwich. I heard the man who got on board at Detroit inquire of those who got on board at Sandwich "where the rest of them were." One of them replied that "they did not come." About fifteen more got on at Malden. I observed nothing suspicious until after dinner. One of the men who came on board at Detroit spoke to me twice during the forenoon, asked me some questions about the course I was steering, the distance to the island, and borrowed my glass to look around with. Just after dinner I observed two of them on the pilot-house, two on the wheel-house, and two aft on the hurricane-deck.

About 4 o'clock, and just after we left Kelly's Island, as I was standing in the saloon, I heard a shot, a yell, and then another shot. I then ran onto the main deck, and saw a man run after the fireman with a cocked revolver in his hand, shouting to him to go down the main hatch, or he would shoot him. The fireman escaped, and the man turned to me and made the same order. I hold him to "go to hell," and he shot at me, the ball passing between my legs as I was ascending from the main to the upper deck. On reaching the upper deck I saw five others with revolvers in their hands driving the passengers forward and detaining them. They then ordered them back to the cabin, commanded them to give up their arms, and searched some of them. From the cabin they were driven down to the main deck and down the fire-hold.

I was driven down with them. Soon one whom they called colonel came and inquired up to thrown over the cargo of pig-iron. They then asked me if I could fetch her back the same way she came. I told them I could; went to the wheel-house and turned her back. She had been running during the excitement for perhaps half an hour in the same course she was running when the outbreak occurred. They inquired where I could get wood, and on my replying that it could be obtained at Middle Bass Island, they ordered me to steer there. We reached there about dark and laid alongside the wharf. they fired two or three shots there at the owner of the wood and two other men who were standing on the dock, and refuse to help unpitying wood on board. The captain of the boat, who was on shore at the island that day, came down when he heard the shorts fired, and was seized and put into the cabin.

The steamer Island Queen soon came alongside. They made a rush for her at once. She was seized, and the passengers driven on board the Parsons. The Queen was then taken in tow, and both boats started for Sandusky. About half was between Middle Bass and Kelly's Island they let go of the Queen; told me they scuttled her, and I saw no more of her. When opposite Marblehead Light I told the one who they called colonel that it was dangerous to run into Sandusky Bay by night. He told me if I thought I could not get in then not to try it, as he did not want to get aground. I told him the channel was too narrow. He then called his men forward, conversed with them a few minutes, and then came and told me to head the boat for Malden.

They told me that everything they met on the was up they were going to destroy. They established a regular watch on deck, and I turned the boat toward Malden. We saw but one vessel near to us as we went up; they told me to go alongside of her, and then asked what waters she was in. When I told him she was in British waters, they said they would not touch her. We reached Malden between 4 and 5 in the morning. About three miles above that place two of the men took one of the Island Queen's yawl-boats, filled her with plunder, and went ashore. They told me to keep as near as possible to the British shore. They took all their plunder, piled it aft, sent ashore all the crew and the captain and engineer of the Queen at Fighting Island, and kept on toward Detroit.

We stopped at Sandwich; made fast to the dock. The rebels put ashore their plunder, including piano, morrows, chairs, and trunks and bed clothes. Heard one of them say that if no one else would go he would take the boat across the river and burn her. They would not do this; but took the engineer below and made him cut the injection pipes for the purpose of sinking the boat. One of them then told me to come over that evening to Windsor, as they were going to have a great spree there. I said probably I would, but did not go. The colonel then came to me, remarked that I had been faithful to them, and he would make me a present. He handed me a half dozen spoons and eight silver forks. Said he had no money. The engineer and I started for Windsor; some of the party were before and some behind us, each with his load of booty. They were all young men, between twenty and thirty, and all armed with two revolvers and an ax.

Sylvester F. Atwood.

Steam-boat Philo Parsons.

Sylvester F. Atwood, being duly sworn, saith, that he is fifty-eight years of age, a sailor by occupation, and master of the steamer Philo Parsons; was on board on her trip from Detroit to Sandusky on Monday last. Just after we left the dock the clerk informed me there was a man on board who wonted me to stop at Sandwich to take on some of his friends there. I saw this man, and asked him why he did not bring his friends to Detroit. He replied that one was lame, and could not well cross the ferry, and remarked it was not out of my way to stop. I stooped there, saw six or eight persons on the dock, and should judge four or five men came on board. One of them, a young man, walked lame, but soon revolved from it.

The man who spoke to me about stopping at Sandwich was a stout, thick-set man, about twenty-five years old, a little under medium height; wore British clothes, and was apparently Scotch or English. In going down the river he spoke to me about stopping at Malden; said that there would be some men to get on there; that there was a party going to Kelly's Island to fish and have a time. I touched at Malden, and I should think twenty men got on board, all young men except one, who told me afterward he was a surgeon. I could not see whether they brought anything with them or not, as I was on the upper deck. I thought most of them appeared to be Southerners or Northern refugees.

Nothing particular occurred to my knowledge going down, except that ten or twelve of them kept constantly on the upper deck. I left the boat at Middle Bass Island, where I reside. I do so as often as once a week. The boat went on, and I saw nothing more of her until a little after 7. I did not see her coming in, but a little boy came running up very much frightened; said that they were shooting there and killing his father; and said the Parsons had come. I immediately started for the dock; saw a number of men running about there; went up and asked them what in hell was up. Three or four pistols were at once pointed at me, and I was ordered aboard the boat. I refused to go, and replied that I was captain of that boat myself. Two of them shoved me onto the plank,and I walked aboard. They followed me to the cabin, and I saw the crew and passengers sitting there guarded by men with pistols.

I asked Mr. Ashley, the clerk, what it all meant; and he replied that the boat was seized by the rebels, and there was no use resisting. Pretty soon one of them, the oldest man of the party, invited me to sit down beside him; and on my asking him what it all meant, replied that he could not tell me; that he was a surgeon in the Confederate Army; that it was an unpleasant affair to me, but he had his duty to perform; that I had better take the thing cool, and that I should not be hurt. I requested permission to go and see my wife, pledging my honor that I would return; but he refused. I then asked to see the captain, and he said he would introduce me to him, and that the captain wished to see me. He said he thought I'd get my boat again. About this time I heard the whistle of the Island Queen. I heard the order, "as many as could be spared from the cabin, come this way."

The Queen came alongside, and a rush was made for her. I soon saw the passengers of the Queen passing on to out boat, under the direction of the rebels, and our cabin was soon filed with them. This man who came on board at Detroit stood at the door, ordered the passengers to come out, three at a time, under guard, and to be put into the hold. Most of the men were sent below in this manner; the women and children, and a few of the men were left in the cabin with me. The commander soon came along, and the surgeon introduced me to him. He said he wished to see me alone.

We went forward to my room. He asked me to pledge my word I would not leave the island in twenty-four hours, unless my boat came back; said he wanted me to go ashore and take charge of them; said he did not want me on board. It was then 8 o'clock, and a bright moonlight. I told him I wished to take some of my clothes; but he said I need not, as the room would not be disturbed. I gathered up a coat and a few little articles, and went ashore with the ladies. I took my house full, and made them comfortable. I soon after went toward the dock; saw other passengers coming off the boat; and the boats both left in about half an hour, the Parsons towing the Queen. I watched them till they passed Ballast Island; and about one and a half or two miles beyond there they parted with the Queen. The Queen soon after drifted out of sight.

In the conversation with the campaign he said he should probably burn the Queen; and that my boat I should get again. They wanted to get rid of the Queen. I begged that the passengers might be sent ashore. I saw the boat pass up again about 1 o'clock, running very fast. When I next saw the boat she had been nearly stripped of furniture; a portion of it was returned on Saturday night. I should judge there were twenty-five pirates, who came on at Detroit, Sandwich, and Malden. They were most of them armed with two revolvers, and many of them with hand-axes.

Walter O. Ashley.

Steam boat Philo Parsons.

Walter O. Ashley, being duly sworn, saith, that he is twenty-eight years of age, and is clerk and part owner of the steamer Philo Parsons. Deponent further saith, that he was on said steamer on her trip from Detroit to Sandusky on Monday last. On the evening before, about 8 o'clock, a young man, about twenty-five years old -evidently Scotch or English, stout, thick-set, a little below medium height, dressed in English clothes, very light hair, very thin, light-colored beard - with the address of a gentleman, came on board the boat, called me by name; said he and a party of friends were going to take a pleasure trip to Kelly's Island in the morning, and wished the boat to stop at Sandwich and take on his friends, one of them, being lame, did not like to come up.

I told him if he would be at Detroit in the morning himself to let me know if the men were going the boat would stop and take them. I told him further that they could take no baggage, as there was no custom-house on Kelly's Island. The steamer Philo Parsons left Detroit on the morning of September 19, at 8 a. m., with about forty passengers. Immediately after leaving Detroit this same young man, whom I had frequently seen before, came to me, and calling me by name, said there were four passengers who wanted to take the boat at Sandwich, a small town on the Canadian side of the river, some three miles below Detroit. I reported the same to Captain Atwood, and he stopped and took them on. They said when they came on board taht they were taking a little pleasure trip, and intended to stop at Kelly's Island.

All the baggage they had was a small hand-satchel. At Malden, twenty miles down the river on the Canada side, where the boat stops regularly, there were about twenty men came on board and took passage for Sandusky. As it had been quite common of late to take on nearly that number of passengers at this pint nearly every trip - most of them being skedaddlers from the State of Ohio, and getting starved out in Canada and returning home - I at once set the party down as a lot of skedaddlers returning home. A large old fashioned trunk, tied up with ropes, constituted the baggage of the party. Everything went off quietly during the day. The boat stopped at a number of the islands, taking on quiet a number of passengers. Captain Atwood stooped off the boat at Middle Bass Island, where he resides. Shortly after leaving Kelly's Island, between the island and Sandusky, I was standing in front of my office, when four of the party came up to me, and drawing revolvers, leveled them, and said if I offered any resistance I was a dead man.

At the same time the old black trunk flew open, and in less time than it takes to write it the whole gang of about thirty-five were armed to the teeth with revolvers, hatchets, &c. I then told them that they apparently had the strongest party, and guessed I should have to surrender. They then stationed two men to watch me, the remainder rushing into the cabin and threatening to shoot any one that offered any resistance. There was a large number of ladies on board, who were very much frightened. The boat wa then headed down the lake for about an hour; then turned around and ran to Middle Bass Island. While lying there the steamer Island Queen came alongside and was instantly seized. Quite a number of shots were fired, and a number were struck with hatchets, but I think no one was killed. The passengers of both boats were then put ashore, and a portion of the baggage. After taking what money I had, they requested me to go ashore. They allowed me to take my private property, but none of the books or papers belonging to the boat.

The boats were then started out in the lake, the Parsons towing the Queen a short distance into the lake and then let her go adrift. From observations at Kelly's Island next morning, the Queen was supposed to be seen ashore on Middle Island. After putting off the passengers at Middle Bass Island, the Philo Parsons headed for Sandusky and was gone about four hours. She afterward returned under a full head of steam, and after passing Middle Bass headed for Malden, Canada, and steering in that direction as long as she could be seen.

The crew of both boats were retained and made to do the bidding of the parties in possession. I heard the captain of the gang say that he would place myself and the passengers where we could give no information until morning, and before that time their work would be completed. He said it was their intention to run to the mouth of Sandusky Bay, and if they received the proper signals it was their intention to run in, attack the U. S. steamer Michigan lying off Johnson's Island, and then release their friends imprisoned at that place. The men who got on board at Sandwich appeared to be English gentlemen; all well dressed in English clothes; two wearing kid gloves; inquired about the grapes and wines on the islands, and were sociable with the passengers. Think these four were Southerners dressed in English costume to disguise themselves. The party which came on at malden had nothing to do with those that came on at Sandwich, and did not appear to recognize them. Their clothes were worn, some of them ragged, and all had apparently seen hard service. The trunk was brought on by two of the hardest looking of the crowd. Nearly all paid their fare singly in greenbacks.

On arriving at Kelly's Island I remarked to the Sandwich party that I supposed they were going to get off there. Just then three or four men came to the gangway from the dock, and speaking to the Sankwich party said, "We have concluded to go to Sandusky." One of that party said, "We will go with you," and all came aboard. The Kelly-Island party proved to be a part of the same band. After the seizure the boat was steered down the lake directly away from their course to Sandusky, and in plain sight of Johnson's Island and the steamer Michigan. Some of them seemed to wish to burn the Parsons, others did not. This Scotchman I have spoken of said the boat would burn, or he would die. He seemed to be a ringleader, and bent upon all the destruction possible. He said he had been lieutenant in the navy, but did not say what navy; others also told me so.

He took charge of the deck, and seemed well versed in the business. They said part belonged to John Morgan's band, and one was named Morgan. There were about twenty-five unarmed soldiers on board the Island Queen when she was taken-returned 100-days' men from Ohio, going to Toledo to be mustered out. They were not under command of an officer. The engineer of the Island Queen resisted, and was instantly shot, but not killed. The number of our men, including crew, at the time the Parsons was captured, did not exceed thirty-five. The trunks of passengers were not generally plundered; most of it was sent ashore at Middle Bass Island. The cargo of thirty tons pig-iron, some furniture, and tobacco, was thrown overboard. I saw fire-balls of hemp, which the porter told me he was ordered to make - some to burn the Parsons, and some to burn Mr. Ives' house, on Grosse Isle.

De Witt C. Nichols.

Steamer Philo Parsons.

De Witt C. Nichols, of Middle Bass Island, in the State of Ohio, mate or pilot of the steam-boat Philo Parsons, plying between Detroit and Sandusky, maketh oath and saith, that on Monday, the 19th day of September instant, he was on board the said boat, and acting in said capacity, from about 8 a. m. on said day, when said boat started from Detroit for Sandusky, until the capture of said boat, as hereinafter mentioned. Said boat was stopped and took in passengers as follows: At Sandwich, Canada West, four passengers; at Malden, twenty to twenty-five passengers, with luggage, especially one corded pine box, which seemed heavy; at North Bass, a few passengers, who seemed to belong to that island, where the owner of said boat resides; at Put in Bay, some passengers; at Middle Bas, at Kelly's Island, several passengers, leaving said island at 4 p. m. About three-quarters of a mile, and from fifteen to twenty minutes after leaving Kelly's Island (deponent being then at the pilot-house, on the hurricane-deck, and in charge of the ship, the captain having gone ashore for the night at Middle Bass), and the ship being on her straight course for Sandusky, the said Philo Parsons met and passed the Island Queen, passing at about twenty rods distance; passed her in the usual way, and without any communication or signal, private or otherwise, being exchanged to deponent's knowledge.

Immediately after passing her, and deponent being still at the pilot-house, he was accosted by one of the passengers - a man about five feet eight or ten inches high, fair complexion, brown hair, no side whiskers or mustache, wearing Kossuth hat, and apparently thirty years of age, who appeared afterward to be the chief of the party who seized said boat as hereinafter mentioned. He presented himself suddenly before deponent, and asked, "Are you captain of this boat?" To which deponent replied, "No, sir; I am mate." He then asked, "You have charge of her at present, have you not?" Deponent replied, "Yes, sir." He then said, "Will you step back here for a minute? I want to talk to you." Deponent then walked aft with him to near the smokestack, on the hurricane-deck. He then said: "I am a Confederate officer. There are thirty of us, well armed. I seize this boat, and take you as a prisoner. You must pilot the boat as I direct you, and" - pulling a revolver out of his pocket and showing it to deponent - "here are the tools to make you. Run down and lie off the harbor" - meaning the harbor of Sandusky, then about twelve miles distant.

Deponent then sat down on top of the pilot-house, an armed man being placed beside him by the said chief - who seemed to go by the name of Captain Bell - to keep guard over deponent. The said boat was then kept by said Bell's directions a little to the east of the true course for Sandusky, and run so for about eight miles, until a good view into the harbor at about eight miles, until a good view into the harbor at about eight miles distant from the bar, near Cedar Point, was obtained. It was then about 5 p. m., and the U. S. vessel Michigan was plainly visible, and many questions were asked of deponent by said guard in relation to said Michigan and her position within the harbor.

After having examined the harbor thus, said Bell ascertained by inquiry from deponent that there was not fuel enough to take the boat very far, and that it was not usual to have more on board than enough to run the boat from the Bass Islands to Sandusky and back. Thereupon, and after some conversation among themselves, they ordered the wheelman to turn back for wood, and they accordingly reached the wording station at Middle Bass between 7 and 8 p. m., and did not transmit orders to the wheelman through deponent after having so put about, but gave him direct orders, permitting deponent to remain in the cabin until after the seizure of the Island Queen, as hereinafter mentioned. About half an hour after reaching said wording station, the Island Queen came alongside to land freight and passengers, and was boarded by said Bell's party, and her passengers, except the women and children, put down into the hold of the Parsons. But before leaving said station, all except the captain, clear, and engineer of the Island Queen, deponent, the wheelman, and some others of the crew of the Parsons, were allowed to go on shore on engaging not to speak of what had occurred for a certain length of time.

After leaving Middle Bass the second time, and having the Island Queen in tow, they shaped a course for Sandusky, and when between Ballast Island and Kelly's Island they cut off the Island Queen, and said they had cut her pipes, so that she would sink. Immediately after this, all said persons excepted above, except the engineer and wheelman of the Parsons, were ordered into the hold; and deponent saw nothing more until, after hearing said boat foul something (which deponent afterward learned was the in closure of a fish-pond off Middle Bass Island), deponent was ordered on deck. On reaching the deck deponent found said vessel off Middle Bass Island, on her second return from off Sandusky harbor; and while below deponent was told by the engineer that they ran about two or three miles beyond marblehead on the straight course to Sandusky; but deponent heard nothing, and can conjecture nothing as to the reason for the said second return form off Sandusky harbor.

Deponent was desired to pilot said boat for Detroit River, and did so. On entering the said river said Bell pointed out certain vessels to deponent, and inquired what waters they were in; and being informed that they were in Canadian waters, remarked that it was a good thing for them that they were, otherwise that they would have boarded them. They there inquired for one Ives, a banker residing at Grosse Isle, and said it it had not been so late they would have robbed him; and desired deponent, as it was so late, to take the boat up the British channel. Deponent piloted said boat accordingly until reaching the head of remained until taken off to Ecorse by a small boat, getting on board the Pearl at Ecorse, and stopping at Sandwich.

He there was the Parsons, and took possession of her, and sent word by the captain of the Pearl to Detroit of what had happened. Deponent saith that the second in command of sid party was a man of middle stature, apparently about thirty years of age, wore a small mustache, and no other whiskers or beard; fair complexion, sandy-haired; wore a woolen cap, with a net peak; spoke with a Scotch accent, as well as deponent can judge; and appeared to understand the details of the engine fixings. The whole party were young men except one, who called himself a surgeon, and were generally fair-complexioned and rather full-bodied men. Two of said party left the said boat in a small boat belonging to the Island Queen, after having passed Malden, the Patrons being slowed for that purpose; and deponent saw them shape their course for a point about a mile north of Malden, where there is a mile kiln. Deponent was robbed by said party of clothes and other effects which he could not replace for $200.
De Witt C. Nichols.

Henry Haines.

Steamer Island Queen.

Henry Haines deposes and says, that he is engineer of the Island Queen, a steamer running regularly from Sandusky to Kelly's Island and the Bass Islands. The boat left Sandusky last Monday at 3 p. m., her usual hour, for Kelly's Island. As we were nearing Kelly's Island we met the Parsons, about a mile from Kelly's Island, and seemingly bound for Sandusky. After passing us she turned to the east, went down the lake, and turned and came back again, and then steered her course for Middle Bass, where she arrived before us, and was lying at the dock. We came alongside of her, and men came on the Island Queen from her. I was in the engine room attending to the working of the engine. I heard some one exclaim, "Shoot the son of a bitch," and was immediately shot, the ball passing my nose and through my left cheek.

The bell rang, and I stopped the engine, and came out on deck. I there met two men, one of them bearing a globe lantern lit, and a revolver, and the other armed with two revolvers. This latter one asked me what was the matter with me. This was about 8 p. m. He passed me on board of the Parsons, saying to the man on guard at the gangway of the Parsons, "This is one of our prisoners." Mr. Woolford, a passenger on the Island Queen, and a prisoner on the Parsons, told the men who passed me on board the Parsons, that I was the engineer of the Island Queen, and should be permitted to remain on board the Island Queen to take care of the boilers. I was thereupon put back on the Island Queen, with a guard over me.

One of the capturing party, who was called Captain Morgan, asked me where the valves were. I showed him the pony pipe in the hold, and he thereupon chopped it off. He then took a big sledge hammer and broke the big cock off the side of the boat and let the water in. Captain Morgan was aided by the man who stood guard over me, and they then passed me a second time on board the Parsons. Before this pipe was cut the guard had asked me how I was going to vote. I told him that I was going to vote for "Old Abe." He asked me what McClellan's chances were, and I replied that I thought he had none. After placing me on the Parsons they took the Island Queen in tow, towed her about five miles toward Kelly's Island, and then let go of her. We were then placed in the hold, and the capturing party seemed to be deliberating as to whether they should attack the Michigan. The boat was kept on her course to the mouth of the bay. She was then turned and went back toward Detroit, and I was landed with other men on Fighting Island.
Henry x Haines
His mark.


Leslie said...

The Island Queen was built by the men of Kelleys Island and its story appears in the new book about Kelleys Island. A first-hand account of the seizing of the Island Queen will appear in the next installment of the Kelleys Is. saga. ( It seems that the soldiers were awaiting discharge in Toledo and decided to take 'French leave' to visit their families. It was while they were on the Queen that it was seized.

islandqueen said...

Henry Haynes is my great great grandfather. This account & his deposition are not new to me, but I appreciate finding it here. Henry's wound plagued him until his death in 1895. Apparently he tried to get a gov't. pension for the injury, but was denied. He did receive a letter of commendation from the War Dept. for bravery, however.

James "Bubba" Smith said...

The man described as older and a Surgeon in the raiding party was my Wife's great great grandfather, John Slick Riley. He led the mutiny against captain beall to scuttle the operation and I have the letter announcing the mutiny. John Slick riley signed it first, as "Surgeon". He escaped to Canada and eventually made his way to havana and then home to Texas by Christmas 1864.