Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Arrest Of.

Here are some civilians that were arrested for one reason or another. By reading their arrest report you can learn a lot about them and their believes on the war.

Andrew Tennison.

Andrew Tennison. -Says he was born in Fairfax; believes he was arrested from a malicious charge preferred by Henry Sartain. Says when the Federal troops were going to Bull Run they took him and Joseph Lyles prisoners, destroyed his garden, and used his parlor as an office. Afterwards, when the confinement of his wife was approaching, she begged him to go to the store and get her some rice and other articles. On his way met Horace Edsal guiding a party of Federal soldiers under command of Colonel Taylor. Edsall said prisoner was a good secessionist and could guide part of them and he would go with the others. He tried to beg off, saying if Sartain saw him he would be sure to report him. Taylor then drew his pistol and threaened to shoot him if he did not guide them. He submitted and went with them to the brick house.

They brought him back to the railroad and discharged him. Sartain saw him on the way and told General Stuart prisoner was guiding the enemy. Says he is a Southern man in his feelings and went with Virginia. Refers to Captain Murray mason, of the Navy, as a man who knew he was a Southern man. Says he is a Souhern Methodist and never agreed with the Northern men. Mr. Huntt gives him a good character. I think this case cannot properly be investigated here. If evidence exists to fix improper intercourse with the enemy on the prisoner it must be found at Manassas. No specific charge is made against him. If the prisoner is to be judged on his own statement then all that statement must be taken and on his statement his guidance of the enemy was compulsory.

I advise he be returned to Manasas with direction if there be other prof against him to have it taken and the facts on which he is detained ascertained. If there be no specific charge against him of criminal connection with the enemy he ought to be discharged on the ground that his long imprisonment is a sufficient punishment for a venial offense. If there be criminal conduct which amounts to an offense against military law he ought r to a military tribunal for trial. If the offense be against the civil laws he ought tobe turned over to the civil tribunals for trial. I would suggest that in every case in which a prisoner is hereafter sent to headquarters at Richmond a statement of the facts and names of the witnesses be sent with him.

William Workman.

William Workman. -Aged forty; borne in Boone and now lives there. Says no great division in his county on the Union and secession question until recently. Some men in his neighborhood made a stir, six or seven gathered together, filled a part of the road; never heard of a fortification until he was brought out; saw it then about two miles from where the road was obstructed. He says he has not been to Kanawha; has been to Peytona. Says after Boone Court-House was burned Mrs. Smoot wished him to get her husband released from confinement as a prisoner taken by the Federals at Boone Court-House. Says he went to Peytona, where he saw a captain of the federal army, who went to Charleston and informed him on his return Smooth would be exchanged. Says afterward he heard Smoot and Miller, who was taken with him, and had got back and he left home to see if he could do anything for them. He went over to Coal and turned up a small creek to get his breakfast. After breakfast he saw two companies of the Federal troops passing down the road and the cavalry was immediately behind them. He galloped on and saw Augustus Pach, who had been taken prisoner by them with his cattle. Some salutations passed and he told Pach the cavalry would be on him in a minute. He galloped on and went to Peytona. He says the Federals did not go to Peytona. Declares he does not know what became of the troops engaged in the battles.

Says he saw some at Peytona who might have been there. Says the Federal troops he passed when pach was released were all strangers to him. Says he returned from Peytona home Friday morning and was arrested on Sunday morning at home. States there were men passing through the neighborhood not belonging to either army who would press horses in the name of the army and take them for their own use. To put doenw these thieves and protect their property he says a company was formed in the neighborhood to which he belonged. Says his brothers, Floyd Cook, four Gunnoes, William Walker and others belonged to it. This man's examination impressed me with the belief he was a very cautious and cunning man; but his account of himself was very confused and unsatisfactory.

I examined Mr. McDonald, who states he has no personal knowledge of Workman's conduct since the secession question arose, but says immediately after General Wise withdrew from the Kanawha River it was generally believed Workman had gone to Kanawha and opened communications with the Federalists. The neighbhrood was an unsound one. A company was fomred there that placed obstructions in the road, fortified themselves on River and threatened to burn the town of Oceana. They took prisoners two of the militia scouts sent out to ascertain the state of thigs; took them inside of their breast-works and swore them. The scuts were Morris Cook and Henry Clay. One of these scouts professed to be a Union man and learned they expected the arrival of a regiment of Union men and that Workman had gone after them. I think this man ought not to be discharged, but if on further inquiry the evidence of Pach and the scouts can be obtained he should be brought to trial in the C. S. court at Wythe, or in county of Wyoming, Va.

Floyd Cook or Cooke.

Floyd Cook. -Born in Giles County, now Boone, near where he now lives; living near William Workman. Says a company was oraganized to protect their property from horse-thieves. Was arrested one mile and a half from home. Had gone to Amos Workman's to persuade the men assembled there to disperese. Saw some men there; saw John Gunnoe (not the one in prison), B. F. Perry and some men from Raleigh he did not know. Saw another Perry and Micajah White. These men had assembled because they were informed a horse-stealing party would be in their neighborhood in a few days. This party had Morris Cook and Clay in custody as prisoners. Does not know what party left Amos Workman's and was arrested on the road home.

William Workman was arrested immediately afterward. The party then proceeded to Amos Workman's. He does not recollect who he saw there at that time except his son who had just gone in from the mountains. Says the Gerald byos were arrested soon after he was. They had been out hunting cattle. Says he saw where some trees had been cut across the road and he saw some brush thrown up on the side of the mountain which were any logs and stones in it. Says he was a member of the company organized in the neighborhood to keep off the horse-thieves. Says his son, William Workman, Amos, James and Lawson Workman were members; also M. G. White and his two sons; the Gunnoes, W. Walker, B. F. Perry and Benj. Workman; does not remember the others.

Had nothing to do with the Southern or Northern army or the Union men. Is willing to take the oath of allegiance. Mr. McDonald knows nothing of his own knowledge of Floyd Cook's course since the act of secession, but says it was understood in the neighborhood Cook was a member of the company which obstructed the road, fortified it, threatened Wyoming with invasion. Says Morris Cook and Henry Clay, the militia scouts who were arrested and disarmed by this party, say Floyd Cook was the principal actor and that it was done within the breast-works.

I think this man ought not to be released. His examination compaed with Workman's satisfies me he was a member of a most dangerous and treasonable organization. They were attempting to take possession of mountain passes at the head of Coal River on the most direct route from Kanawha to East Tennesse. If the organization is not broken up it may give the Federal army most important aid in any movement toward Tennessee. I think inquiry ought to be made if testimony of the facts states by McDonald can be procured, and if it can be procured the man ought to be put on his trial.

Samuel Clothier.

Samuel Clothier. - Born in Winchester, Va., and lived in that vicinity till he was twenty-one. Went to Lewis County, Va. Was taken at foot of Powell's Mountain, in Nicholas County. Says he went from home to the post-office. While from home a company of Northern troops on the way to Cross-Lanes impressed his wagon and team and his son as driver. Says his son was in bad health, and he could not procure his release except by taking his place. He was promised his release at Sutton. Was taken on to Cross-Lanes and Gualey. There he was discharged on the urgent solicitation of friends from his county, whose teams had also been impressed. On his return a party of scouts from Meadow Bluff arrested him.

His team was confiscated and he was sent here as a prisoner. Says he had always been a Democrat, but voted against secession. Never had had anything to do with the Whelling government. Voted for Jackson Arnold to come to the legislature in Richmond. Arnold was not elected, but went to Wheeling. He is willing to take the oath of allegiance, and as far as he can support the South. Belongs to the old Methodist Church. Did not see cause to quit it when it spilt. James Bennet, surveyor of Lewis County, former member of the legislature, testifies: Clothies has always been a man of good character for veracity. Had the character of a Union man. His sons, who were of age, were acting as guides and pilots for the Northern troops. Has no doubt if Mr. Clothier takes the oath of allegiance he will firmly adhere to it. He thinks in the present condition of that county Mr. Clothier's discharge on taking the oath will be beneficial. His connection is large and divided. He thinks Mr. Clothier if discharged will procure the release of several secessionists who are prisoner.

Has known Clothier thirty years. Mr. J. M. Bennett, auditor of Virginia, has known Clothier near twenty-five years. Says he is a man of truth and honor. If he takes the oath of allegiance will adhere to it. Says he think his release will have a good effect. Concours in the reasons assigned by James Bennett. Mr. Brandon, State sentor, has known Clothier twenty years. Says as a man he stood high in society. Is a man of truth. Says when our difficulties occurred he was considered from his associates indetified with the Union party. Says Clothier belongs to a church which has created most of the difficulties in that county. Mr. Brandon concurs with Messrs. Bennett in the opinion the Clothier's release now will be beneficial. Rev. Mr. Crook's, a Southern Methodist preacher, who was two years ago preacheing in Lewis County, concurs in the opinions of Clothier's character expressed by the other witnesses.

He and Clothier belonged to different churches. Has been absent from Lewis County two years, and can express no opinion on the effect of his release. Believes if he takes the oath of allegiance he will firmly adherre to it. In this case the circumstances under which Clothier was arrested make him clearly liable to be held as a prisoner. The question of his relase is therefore one of mecry and policy. Of this question I am not able to judge from information before me; but as the tree gentlemen who recommend his release are all leading men in this region, men of character, intelligence, influence and actively indefitied with our cause in the county, in deference to their judgment and as matter of mercy and good policy I recommend his relase on taking the oath of allegiance.

Simeon Nelker.

Simeon Nelker. - Born in Kalish, Russian Poland. Educated in part in Kalish; completed his studies at Berlin; Jewish rabbi. In pursuance of the arrangements of his church traveled before he could assume the ful functions of his order. Traveled through Great Britain and in May, 1860, came to New York; staid there two or three weeks, then went through several other cities to New Orleans; went from New Orleans to visit Solomon Franklin of Richmond, Ark., who he says in his cousin. Returned to New Orleans; thence to Mobile; traveled through Alabama; went back to New Orleans; then to Saint Louis and through to Canada. Visited the cities of Canada as far as Quebec. Then back through Detroit, Chicago, Saint Louis to New Orleans; then came to Tennessee and through Lynchburg to Warrenton, Fraquier.

On his return from Fraquier he was arrested on the cars and sent to Richmond. Says he wishes to go to Solomon Franklin's, in Arkasans, and remain there until the war is over or until can return to his own country. Says his father is a man of great wealth. Says he never inquired into the condition of our armies, or gave any iformations, directly or indirecly, to the enemy. I inclose with this examination Provost-Marshal Boyle's order sending him here. Jacob Peck, of Richmond, tailor, testifies: He knew the prisoner in Kalisch. They went to the same school.

He is the son of a rich merachant in Kalisch, and was educated as a rabbi. Witness came to the United States several years ago, and has lived in Richmond two years. Samuel H. Rich testifies that he (witness) came to Richmond two years ago. Was to have came to the United States when Nelker left Kalisch but could not get off. Says he knew Nelker. He was educated as a rabbi and traveled according to the regulations of the church before he was fully inducted into his position. Colonel Robert Johnson, member of Congress from Arkansas, informs me Solomon Franklin is a firm friend of the South. I recommend Nelker be discharged and be furnished when he requests it with a passport to go by Memphis and Nepoleon to Richmond, in Arkansas.

G. Thornton, alias Thornton Gunnoe.

G. Thornton, alias Thornton Gunnoe-This man was examined before me on the 7th of January and then stated: He was born in Morgan County, Va; was raised in Morgan. Lives on Sir John's Run; shoemaker by trade, but sickly and unable to follows his trade. Has worked for several years for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad repairing track, &c., quit work when the bridges were destroyed. After he quit work on railroadwent to Berkeley County to work in the havrest field for Pitzer and for Sybert. Says he never had anything to do with the Northern men or their friends. Says he went to see his sister-in-law in Federick, Mid., and in so doing passed through the Northern amry at Williamsport. Says he was recommended by Richard Greogry, of Hancock, to Mr. Kennedy who gave him a written pass.

The men who arrested his destroyed Gregory's letter. On his return came through Middleton, cut off from Hagerstown and Williamsport, and crossed the river way below; does not remember where. Came up through Hancock and around home. His brother, one of the company raised by General Carson's orders, was shot by Rector, a Union man. Says he voted for Michael to go to the legislature and Kennedy to go to Congress. On the 10th (to-day) he was called up again for examination in the presence of Mr. Sherrard, the delegate from Morgan. He had previously passed in prison by the name of G. Thornton. Mr. Sherrard recognized him as Thornton Gunnoe, of Morgan County. Prisoner said he had told the cleark of the prisoner several times his name was Gunnoe.

He said he forgot when examined to tell me so. Gave the same account of his brith and residence he gave on his first examination. Said his brother was killed by Cornelius Springs and Henry Rector. Says he got over the river by a pass procured by Gergory. Says Shanks was with him when he was arrested, but Shanks made his escape. Denied he belonged to Dyke's Union company. Had not seen Dykes for four days before his arest. Says he ran when he arrested, but did so because he was scared. Admits he was one of the party guarding Capon bridge to prevent it being burned by a parcel of rowdies; but says John B. Stuart, the superintendent, ordered them not to resists if the Confederate troops came to burn it.

Mr. Sherrard says Gunnoe is an ignorant man led by the employes of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and others. Says he is a through Union man. Says Gunnoe's brother who was killed by Spriggs and Rector was a Union man and was supposed to be killed by mistake, the design being to kill Hunter, a secessionist. Says Gregory who procured the pass for Gunnoe to go to Maryland is now provost marshal of the United States at Hancock. Says Gunnoe was regarded as a harmless, inoffensive man before these difficulties, and his chief fault is his devoltion to the Stars and Stripes and being the dupe of the mischievous men who hae brought the enemy into that country. I think this man ought not to be released.

Thomas H. Duke.

Thomas H. Duke. - Born in September; raised there, and worked in the mill of Alexander Boteter until July, 1860; then went to Antietam Mills, in Maryland. Staid there till Christmas, 1860; then returend to Shepherdstown and worked for two months for William Sherrard; then went back to Antietam Mills and worked off and on there until haverst; then went back to Antietam and worked until he came over to see him mother, when he was arrested. Says he got there on Thursday and was taken on Friday, and taken to Colonel Ashby's camp. This boy is strongly suspected to have guided the party that seized Captain Alexander Boteler when he (Captain Boteler) was taken by the Massachusetts men. Duke acknoweldges he came over that might and returned the next morning.

He denies all connection with the affair, and says the party was led by one Kezer, a deserter. He is also suspected to have come over when he was taken as guide to a party intending to attack Colonel Ashby's camp. He admits he was with the party, and escapted them by promising to return; but says he gave information to prevent Ashby's surprise. Says he was withe the some party when they crossed the river some nights before; that he was compelled to go with them but pretended he did not know the road and they turned back. I do not like this boy's manner, and strongly suspect him to be in complicity with the enemy in these two affairs. He is near twenty-one years old. Is willing to take the oath of allegiance and is desirous to enlist. I think the best disposition that can be made of him is to permit him to enlist provided he is sent to the South.

James Morris Fayettee.

James Morris Fayettee. - Says he was born in Patrick County, Va. When he was twelve years old his father moved to Marsh Fork of Coal River. Prisoner says he new lives on Sand Lick Creek, a fork of Coal River. Says he was arrested at home by a part of Phelps' company. They stated he was deserter from Captain Adams' company. Says he was with Adams'company awhile, perhaps a month. Mustered with them out never signed a paper or was sworn in. Says he was never regularly mustered into service. He says when While retreated from Kanawha his captain gave his company leave to go home, but to meet again to go to Greenber. Says only twenty-four met a place of rendezous. He want sent by the captain to get fifteen of the men to return. Names eight only of them.

He represents he was riding about the county hunting for these men until he was arrested. Says he went three times at Jacob Petries'. Was on Paint Creek the 15th of October; cannot tell why. Was as Brownstown purchasing goods for his family. Does not remember from whom he bought them or whether it was from and old store or one newly established. Will not tell where he was the day before him arrest. (Note. - He was arrested on the 25th of October; the 24th, the day before, was the day of the election held by the usurping government of Wheeling.) Captain Bailey says he knew the prisoner as a citizen and a soldier. As a citizen he was generally regarded as a dissipated men. As a soldier all he knows was stated by Captain Admas before a court-martial in which this man's case was heard. He was regarded as a faithful soldier until this desertion. Says the case was postponed by the court until further evidence.

After the prisoner was sent to the guard room Doctor Moss, who had been requested to appear as a witness, appeared. Doctor Moss said he came to the prisoner's house immediately after his arrest and the soldiers who arrested him found an Enfield musket and a Northern uniform in his house. The prisoner was re-examined and stated the musket and uniform were left the night before in his absence by one William Workman, a cousin of the man now in prison. What they were left at his house for he does not know.

I called at the adjutant-general's office but the adjutant-general and Colonel Chilton were out and I was informed there were no returns of Adams' company in the office, but the clerk made no examination. In this case I am satisfied that Morris is a deserter from Adam's [company], Floyd brigade, and that after his desertion he was actively going about the country and among the disaffected tories and was no the Kanawha near the enemy. He does not account for the uniform and Enfield musket found in his possession. I think he should be held and further inquiries be made to bring him to justice as a deserter who joined the enemy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Letter By Jeannie Scarber. Nov. 17, 09.

I receive a lot of letters from those looking for help or just to tell me how grateful they were to see I had some information on their ancestors, and this is the case with Jeannie Scarber, and her ancestor “Joseph McElvain”. After she read what I had, she sent me this letter with a lot of interesting information. As a surname researcher I am always looking for names that may help others. Her letter was very interesting, so much so that I’m passing it on to you researchers of the “McElvain” families.

So thank you Jeannie Scarber.

Those of you who have information on this family or whish to learn what else she may have on this family can reach her at the following, I know she will be glad to hear from one and all.


I stumbled on your blog and will tell everyone I know about it. I've been working on my genealogy for a while and I'm surprised I hadn't found this earlier! It is so interesting to find my ancestors and relatives and then research the places, times and events that influenced them. I just spent the last hour skimming the blogs and adding your blog to my favorites list.

One name I searched for "McElvain" in your blog and found the brother of my 4X-great grandmother, Nancy Agnes McELVAIN (she married Moses POWELL),He intrigued me because I wondered why someone born in Columbus, Ohio in 1824 would die near Albuquerque, New Mexico in July 10, 1847? I did quite a bit of research on him a few years ago to find the answer.

I found Joseph in your Nov 8, 2008 blog on a promotion list (I found this earlier at the library of congress site, too)

PROMOTIONS. August 7, 1846. First Regiment of Dragoons. Brevet Second Lieutenant Joseph McElvain to be second lieutenant, June 30, 1846.

A few times the name Joseph McElvain is read into the congressional minutes. It's when he graduted from the miltary acadamey, when he recieved promotions and when he was replaced.

This may not interest you, but you may be enjoy some of the sites. For instance- Jane Van Gundy has transcribed some letters written by Joseph McElvain’s nephews-Nelson Erastas Powell and James Andrew Powell, when they were soldiers during the civil war.



Joseph graduated from West Point Academy as a Lieutenant, supposedly the same year as Gen US Grant. His appointment to the academy was received as the result of efforts of Bishop Charles Petit McIlvaine, former Chaplain and instructor of the Academy in 1816, a close family friend and possibly a relative. It was claimed that he held a temporary commission as Colonel of Volunteers in the First Mexican War when he was killed.
The Ohio newspaper carried the story of his death:

The following letter brings the sad news of one of the bravest and most esteemed young men in the Dragoon service. His brother details the melancholy tidings to his numerous kinsmen here in appropriate and touching language.

Young McElvain was destined to a higher sphere in the Army and the honors of his country had he survived. The father of these brave young men was killed in the Black Hawk war while pressing forward in the thickest of the fight. Their memories should be cherished by every good and patriotic citizen, for the advancement of their beloved country.

Lieutenant McElvain was one of the most active officers last February in the two battles under General Price at and near Taos, and for his valor and good conduct received the commendation of his general and those of his comrades who survived. He was close by the lamented Captain Burgwin in the bloody attack on the church in Taos when the Captain received his death wound. Previous to entering the town of Taos, where the bloody conflict occurred Lieutenant McElvain was ordered to drive the enemy from the heights which overlook the place and guarded the road. In a letter soon after, written by himself to his Uncle, Col. John McElvain of this city, he speaks of that part of the expedition.

Following Lieutenant McElvain's letter was this one from his brothers:
Santa Fe, July 22, 1847.

Dear Brother: I have but a few moments to write and what I do write will be sad news to you and all of our relatives. Brother Joseph died on the 10th of July last of a wound received in the left arm while in pursuit of Navajo Indians. The Indians had come to a Spanish town where he was stationed and stole their stock, women and children and the Spaniards came for help. Joseph, with the 35th Dragoons immediately started in pursuit of them. He had followed them for several miles when he had occasion to dismount for a moment or so, when his gun went off and shot his arm off near the shoulder. He was brought back to Albuquerque, but the weather being so hot, it was too late by the time he got back, for the doctor to do anything for him He was wounded on the 4th and died on the 10th. I was not with him, having been ordered to Bent's Fort with 14 men and did not get back until the 10th. I have talked with several officers that went to see him. They say he was reconciled to his fate.

I also found references to his life and death at these sites:

This is from
Missouri: Western Frontier
The story of Mail Communications
West of the Mississippi River in the 19th Century
Illistrated With Unique Artifacts of the Period
A Philatetelic Exhibit" by Thomas J Alexander
On page 132 is a photo of the letter written in July 1847, by Capt. William N Grier to Brigid Genl R. Jones in Washington D.C. telling of Lt. McElvain's accidental death. He was going after marauding indians when his carbine discharged.


found at
The account reminds me of a John Ford/John Wayne movie.
Here is a paragraph about the Taos rebellion

"In this exposed situation, Captain Burgwin received a severe wound, which deprived me of his valuable services, and of which he died on the 7th instant. Lieutenants McIlvaine, First United States Dragoons, and Royall and Lackland, Second Regiment Volunteers, accompanied Captain Burgwin into the corral, but the attempt on the church door proved fruitless, and they were compelled to retire behind the wall. In the meantime, small holes had been cut in the western wall, and shells were thrown in by hand, doing good execution. The six-pounder was now brought around by Lieutenant Wilson, who, at the distance of two hundred yards, poured a heavy fire of grape into the town. The enemy, during all of this time, kept up a destructive fire upon our troops."

Updated November 20, 09.

John Toney, my great great grandfather. A distant cousin shared my great grandfather's obituary(also John Toney born in Kansas between 1867and 1869, died Newton, Iowa 1927) saying his father died 3 years before him, that put his death about 1923-1924. My grandmother always talked about going to Cuba, Illinois. With those two clues I finally found the pension information at John Tony died 12 March 1923, he was born in Pike county, Illinois in 1842. This explained why my great grandfather was born in Kansas.

Civil War information:

John Toney or Tony, Rank private Company B Unit 14 IL., U. S. Infantry Con., Residence ELKHORN, BROWN CO, IL., Age 22, Height 5' 9, Hair LIGHT, Eyes GRAY, Complexion LIGHT, Occupation FARMER, Nativity PIKE CO, IL., Joined When FEB 15, 1865, Joined Where MT STERLING, IL., Period 1 YR., Muster Out SEP 16, 1865, Muster Out Where FT LEAVENWORTH, KS., Remarks ONE MONTH PAY PROPER STOPPED BY FIELD OFFICER COURT MARITAL

24 Feb 1891 Invalid application #997888 certificate 721.191
May 13, 1912 living at old Illinois Old Soldiers and Sailors Home resident,
13 Aprl 1923 Widow application # 1,204.310 Certificate# #934.324


Co B 14th Regiment Illinois Infantry
1891 Feb 24 Invalid application #997888 La 2age certificate # 721.191
1923 Apr 13 Widow application number 1,204.310 La 5120 Certificate # 934.324
A.r.c. I.O 594,1000 wW. O. 656,692 Harrison Cather 757 IL Inf
Died Mar 14 1923 at Cuba, Illinois.

Marriage record:

TONEY, JOHN CATHER, MAMIE MRS 10/20/1888 00F/0048 00000226 FULTON
(Mrs Mamie Cather is his 2nd wife, her husband, Harrison Cather was a soldier in the civil war also) John Toney married Mrs Susan Toney 18 Apr 1864 in Pike County Illinois, I don't know her maiden name, but she is my great great grandmother.)