War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0061 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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near Brooke's Station, in Stafford County, Virginia, concerning payment for property taken by the army and protection for his home and growing crop. State who were present on the occasion and what was said.

Answer. A Mr. Hoffman, of Belle Plain, asked General McDowell, at Brooke's Station kept our of a field of growing grain, and that the Government cattle were tramping down the grain. He stated he had already received and order to have his field protected, and had applied to the officer commanding at Belle Plain to no purpose. General McDowell told me to write to the officer commanding at Belle Plain to furnish guards to protect Mr. Hoffman's property, to rebuild the portion of fence burned and around the growing grain, and to report compliance with the order to these headquarters. General McDowell said that he could not pay for the property that had been taken-the grain; told Mr. Hoffman to get receipts from the quartermasters who took it.

There were present at Brooke's Station at the time Mr. Hoffman was there the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of State, and some gentleman accompanying them. There were two gentleman within hearing, and whom, I think, approved the order written-the Secretary of the Treasury, and I do not remember the name of the other. There was another gentleman there.

Question by General McDOWELL. Does the witness recollect hearing General McDowell say why he would not pay the claimant?

Answer. I do not recollect.

Question by General McDOWELL. Have you a copy of the note that you wrote on that occasion?

Answer. I gave it in at the adjutant-general's office headquarters.

Question by General McDOWELL. Was the guard detailed to protect Mr. Hoffman's house and growing crop in the vicinity of it or his whole plantation?

Answer. The guard was merely to protect what was necessary to the sustenance of Mr. Hoffman's family and the buildings they lived in.

Question by General McDOWELL. Does the witness know the whereabouts of Mr. Hoffman's house?

Answer. I do not, and never was there.

Questions by General McDOWELL. Was the strength of the guard specified or was it left to the discretion of the commanding officer?

Answer. The strength of the guard was no specified.

Question by the COURT. State whether you have knowledge that any other orders, similar in stringency, were given by General McDowell for the protection of the property of loyal citizens.

Answer. I know that in all cases when it was possible General McDowell protected growing grain and gave orders to that effect.

Question by the COURT. In giving such orders did he discriminate between rebels and Union men; that is, in his orders respecting growing grain?

Answer. I do not remember the orders sufficiently well to answer.

General McDowell here admitted to the court that he protected all growing grain.

Major SAMUEL BRECK, assistant adjutant-general, U. S. Army, a witness, was duly sworn.

Question by General McDOWELL. What position did you occupy in May last on the staff of General McDowell?