Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Charles Rian & The Brewster Family, Civil War.

It should be noted Charles Rian name is marked in red.  Those mark in blue are faamily names.

Camp Lincoln, Henrico County, Va., Tuesday, June 24, 1862.

Brigadier General ANDREW PORTER,Provost-Marshal-General, Army of the Potomac: GENERAL: The following statement was made at this office this p. m. by Charles Rian, arrested by Colonel Farnsworth, cavalry, and send to these headquarters by General Porter, to wit: Charles Rian states that he is seventeen years old; born in Iowa City; left there with his parents at the age of three of four years; moved to Albany, where his father was engaged in the hide business, having a branch in Montreal. States he left Albany with his mother at the age of five years and went to New Orleans; remained there with John Brewster (an uncle); attenced school (his mother in the meantime was going to and from New York, Albany, and different other places in the North) where informant remained four years, and went to Saing Mary's Parish, about 150 miles, on the Gulf of Mexico, where he met his mother (this was in the hot season); remained with her and an uncle, Henry Brewser, about six weeks, or rether mouths, and thence to Bayon La Fourche, leaving his mother, where he remained about two years; remained with friends sporting around. In the mean time his farther had sould out his interest in Albany and Montreal and taken up his residence in Baltimore, his mohter still remaining at his uncle's at Saint Mary; s Parish. Informant went to Baltimore and met his farter; remained a month or two, and thence to New Orleans with his uncle, John Brewster; remained two or three years, going to Dolbear's Commercial Institute, until the war broke out. Left New Orleans soon after the battle of New Orleans, when he went to Baltimore; remained with his father two weeks or so (his mother still remaining at Saint Mary's); thence to Brooklyn, N. Y., where he remained in and about the city with A. C. Alexander (no relation), a commission merchant, also with Lamin Alexander (same business and place), and with other parties whose names informat does not remember, leaving, 1st of March or thereabouth, last; went to Baltimore; remained a day or two with his father, who is in the commission business, store 212 Levee; does not know what street, but his place of business is on the river; boards at a private house; the street and number he does not remeber.

Informant left the city and joined the First Maryland between Winchester and Harper's Ferry on the 18th of March last; joined Company E, Captain Bass, Colonel Kelley commanding; they were in a brigade commanded by a man with a German name; heard it, but does not now remember it. States Company E was detailed as scouts about three weeks after he joined it, and that informant was in the battle of Winchester and Front Royal; was taken prisoners and conveyed toLynchburg, where he was confined about two weeks or so, when he made his escape through the assistance of some young ladies who had called twice at the prison, evincing a great deal of friendship. While there one day one them (does not know their names)said to informant, " Why do you not escape?" Informant answered, "How can I? When the young lady said she would engage the sentinel while he a slipped out (this was in the evening). She did so, and he did slip, out went to Richmond; walked up the railroad, reaching the above city on the evening of the 18th instant, he thinks; he was four days on the way, arriving there in the evening; left the same night for Ashland. Having been to Richmond about four years since (which fact, he had forgotten previously to state), was somewhat, a very little, asquainted with the city; found a map at the library in the capitol, which he examined and left for Ashland over the county road in the night; had no trouble in leaving the city or on the road until he reached Ashland, and thted; was in the camp of the Fourth Virginia Cavalry, perhaps two miles from Ashland, in the direction of Richmond; saw the Jeff. Davis Legion from Mississippi, who were encamped directly opposite the Foruth Virginia Cavalry, informant passed directly along the road between the two encampments.

The following informant has not stated to any one before, and being informed that General McClellan would see this statement, states as follows: States after passing the above cavalry he went directly to Ashland, got upon the cars at Ashland, and went down to the burnt bridge, crossed over, and got upon the train and went to Gordonsville; there he saw two or three brigades of Jackson's immediate brigade; one of them was General Taylor's; the other two he does not remember, and in returning saw troops stationed at Louisa Court-House, and coming up to Frederick's Hall (next station) all of Major-General Whiting's troops, four brigades (General Hood's was one), General Whiting's old brigade (does not know who commands it) and another, a Georgia brigade, and the fourht does not know. These are Jackson's reenforcements, and from what he could glean they came from Richmond to Lynchburg and to Charlottesville, thence to Staunton, where they remained until Jackson's army fell back to Charlottesville; then these re-enforcements stationed at Stauton came up to Gordonsville on the cars.

Ewell's command arrived at Gordonsville before Jackson's, wna in the meantime this division (the re-enforcements) of Whiting's came up to Frederick's Hall, where informant saw them, remaining a whole day; heard officers and also privates say, "Wish to Gold it was the 28th; " does not know what they meant, unless they intended to attack us in the rear upon that day, and having heard of Stuart's operations concluded it was done to ascertain the situation of our forces. States he also heard a lieutenant say (while informant was at Frederick's Hall) that it was the intention of Johnston to make the attack in front on that day and for Jackson to co-operate simultaneously in the rear. Informant thinks it was on the evening of the 21st instan (the evening of the day he heard the above remark) that he left last-named place (Frederick's Hall) and walk [ed] to Ashland, forty-odd miles, and from Ashland informant came a circuitious route, consuming a day and a half, and reached our lines or pickets on the Certal Railroad, about four miles form the camp of the Eighth Illinois Cavalry, by whom miles, was arrested. States after leaving Ashland passed through a forest about two miles, and in coming into the Telegraph road encountered a rebel picket within a few yards, who fired upon him, when he ran one way and the picket another. Informant then pursued his course down the Telegraph road, striking a small steam (heard the name, but does not remember) running in rather an easterly direction.

Informant inquired of a farmer (who was a magistrate) just after he left Ashland what course he must the to carry him in the vicinity of the Yankee pickets, using the term Yankee and respenting that he was a scout for the Confederacy in order to convined the old fellow that he, informant, was all right. The old man marked out the course informant must take in order to reach the nearest Union pictet without exposure. Inforant followed the small steam (previously mentioned) about three miles, until he struct the Central Railroad, and followed down the railroad about three miles, and it being dark went to a house at left of the railroad, asked to stay all night, was told he could not, and then inquired how far the Union pickets were; the man then asked him who he (informant) was and informant stated he was a Confederate scout; the man then told him (which afterward turner out to be true) just where our pickets were.

Informant then left, took his direction, and got into the country road; went down about half a mile (it was dark and stormy), and while walking along brought up against a rope, which nearly threw him down, or nearly so; instanteneously informant heard the rustling of bushes and the cliek of a gun, when informant immediately prostrated himself and crawded off; going back some distance came to a haystack, where he secreted himself until morning, and in the morning early he crossed over to the Central Railroad; going down a short distance saw some cavalry, and not knowing if they were Union or Confederates, got into the bushes hastily and walked for a mile or more, thence back upon the railroad; walking a short distance saw some cavalry within sight on the right-hand side; coming nearer saw they wore our uniform; boldly stepping up told them who he was, and they conducted him to a major commanding two regiments, which proved to be a portion of the Einght Illinois Cavalry. States he was detained and asked a thousand and one questions, then sent to the colonel's headquarters (does not remember his name), where he was again questioned and well treated, and then sent to the provost-marshal of some division, and from there to these headquarters. This all happened on the 24th.

Informant states that he had our inform on when he arrived at Lynchburg; traved off the coast for the one he has on; sold the pantaloons to procure money to travel on; does net remember exactly what he received for them, but thinks is was $2 or $3. The pantaloons he purchased in Lynchburg; does not remember what he gave for them; has no west; does not remember where he got the hat (staw) that he has, but does not know if the traded for it or picked it up; knows he obtained it between Richmond and Ashland, as it bothered him when he came to get in the woods. States he wore our regular blue cap until he got the sraw hat. Informant has in his possession a 75-cent Lynchburg shnplaster. States he never studied military tactics, but has frequently looked over Gilham's and Hardee's. States the reason that he is so well posted as to geneals, brigades, division, etc., he is in the habit of making a memorandum of anything that would interest him. States he has a very good memory, and would make any memorandum that he wished to on a slip of paper retain it a few days until impressed upon his mind, then cast the paper away.

States his father, Stephen Rian (as previously stated), was in Baltimore when he left; has not beard form him since that time, and if not in Baltimore may have gone to New Orleans, or Saint Mary's where his mother was when he sast heard from her by letter directed to him at Harper's Ferry or some place in Virginia. States his morther's naem ere she was married was Mary Brewster, and that Henry Brewster, with whom she was staying in Saint Mary's Parish, is a brother of his mother's, so also John Brewster. States he has a host of relatioves living in the North and South also, but is unable to give their names, or where they reside; could if the was home (Saint Mary's Parish) by looking over old files of letters. States he is acquainted with two young men in Baltimore; one of their names is Frank Maes; does not remember the other4 one's name: "is not a very good hand to remember names," unless his attention is particularly called to it, unless it might be some person of night standing. States he does no know how many Union prisoners were confined at Lynchburg, except that there were forty confined where he was. States the battle of Front Royal was on the 23rd of May, if he remembers right.

States he never heard of Johnston's being wounded. States he has not heard anything more than there was a vight between our forces and the rebels near Richmond; did not hear the exact place where it occured. States coming here in the way he has there is no doubt in his mind that he is looked upon with suspicion, but he considers he is as good a Unioouldered a musket. States that is passing through the cavalry camps near Ashland (previously mentioned) he learned through as passing remark from some one (it was dusk or dark) the General Jackson was at or near Gordonsville, and his curiosity being excited, and he being determined to come within the lines of the Union army, determined to obtain all the information in his power that would aid General McClellan, thereby took the steps he did, and went to Gordonsville, as previously stated. States while in camp, after he joined the First Maryland, he took occasion to study the map and make himself as familiar as possible with the country, its roads, &c., and their company being selected as a scouting one, he took more paints to inform himself in order to be perfectly familiar with the country. States he does not know from whom their company received their orders, and that the captain was not always with them, that the company was mostly made up of Baltimoreas, that they scouted around to obtain information of the enemy, and some of them even went so far as to enter the lines of the enemy, but he never did; some of them even moe of a sharpshooter, and he is not sure that the name of the colonel (as given by him) is correct, or that the company was really known as belonging to the regiment. Informant states that while he was with the company (which was but a short time) they never dreilled with the regiment.

I would most respectfully state that this young man is one of the most important persons that it has been my privilege to examine, being highly educated, shrewd, and throroughly posted upon the names of all oughly posted. He has evinced great anxiety since he has come here to have an interview with Major-General McClellan, saying his only object in acting as he has since he left the prisons at Lynchburg being to asquire informaiton for the purpose of bringing it to the major-general commanding. Various inconsistencies and contradictions will be observed in the detail of his personal history, though his statement in regard to the military movements of the rebels all appear consistent, and even after a rigid eamination he still adheres with great particularity to that portion of his statement. My own impression is that he has been sent within our lines for the purpose of conveying to us the precise information which he has thus conveyed. On searching his person I find the following memorandum concealed in his drewers:



Say to him that Doct. Lumpkins is well in Richmond.
 The above memorandum is written on a printed steet, apparently of a pamphlet of a highly rebelious character. In explanation of how he came in possesssion of this memorandum he states that this was handed to him by the lady who aided him to escape from the prison in Lynchburg, to be handed by him to a person in the suburbs of Lynchburg, which would make him (Rian) known to this person, who would aid him, but that he (Rian) did not so call. I would respectfully, however, call your attention to the fact that this prisoner Rian was taken by the Eighth Illinois Cavalry, on the Virginia Central Railroad, within about one or two miles of the house of Doctor Lumpkins, who, you will find by reference to my map, resides on the Mechanicsville turnpike, at a point on that road fifteen miles from Ashland. Doctor Lumpkins has been an active rebel, and fled to Richmond upon the approach of our army, and I would respectfully suggest that it is more than probable that his intention was to go to Lumpkins for the purpose of conveying information to the rebels within our lines, or receiving information from persons at Lumpkins' or connected with Lumpkins' family, and conveying the same to the enemy. I would respectfully suggest that the information conveyed by Rian is or may be of such a character as to require immediate attention, and in conclusion I would respectfully recommend that the prisld in close confinement as a spy until the future shall develop the truth or falsity of his statement.

All of which is respectfully submitted.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

No comments: