War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0968 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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West, and that I was a general agent for the Government and a traitor and should be hung. These reports were spread extensively without my knowledge. The excitement occasioned by these few was the means of preventing Captain Aulder, of this place, who supplied citizens and troops here with beef for years, of being furnished with beef-cattle from neighborhood of Tampa as formerly, although Captain Aulder informed me that the governor and Mr. Mallory had written them of their approval of his doing so; and as I controlled all the beef-cattle and put up wharves, &c., at Charlotte Harobr I told Captain Aulder that he could be supplied at Charlotte Harbor by me, and then he could supply Key West and Tortugas, for which accommodation Captain Craven and Major French would alow me to pass and continue my business to Havana as formerly.

About the 20th of May I was asked by Major French it I could not take Judge Douglas and family as also several others, some of whose vessels had been seized here, and carry them to Tampa or rather to Cedar Keys. I told him if he desired it I would by being allowed to call at Tampa and obtain some wood, as some time previous to this I was informed that I could not go to Tampa with my steamer. I carried the persons to Cedar Keys as requested, for which I received or collected from them $180, my trip costing me $300; but many of them had no money. On my return from Cedar Keys to Tampa for wood Captain Hartstene, of the C. S. Navy, called on board my steamer and looked around her, but did not say anything in relation to purchasing. This I informed, I believe, Judge Marvin, of here, as also Major French. On my return from Havana about the 6th of June Commodore [Commander] Mervine seized or rather detained my vessel and crew, stating that she must not go to the mainland, neither must I myself. This was a serious loss to me as I had twenty men and horses gathering my cattle and they would be in readiness, which they were, for me and after keeping them for two weeks' herding let loose again. A few days after the vessel was seized by the commodore [commander] the quartermaster, Lieutenant Gillem, asked me how much my boat cost me a day for men's wages. I told him about $38 per day. He said he wished some stores from Tortugas and would send her down there. At his request I went and performed his desire. If I desired to d wrong I had then the power of taking my boat home, but if I had done so there was no security for her as I could not then nor since place her in safety in Tampa or Charlotte Harbor and all okaded as where she could go the most of the Government vessels could go and take her away, hence the folly of my at any time being desirous of taking her there as is now represented. The vessel was therefore kept and crew by the quartermaster and used, and I was permitted myself to go and see my family at Tampa in a fishing smack in company with the Catholic priest who was returning to Tampa. On our arrival at Tampa or soon after some twelve men armed, at the suggestion I understand of these enemies of mine, seized the smack, stating that she belonged to Union citizens of Key West. I considered myself morally bound for the vessel as they had kindly placed myself and the priest home and as such I immediately informed the governor of the case who immediately sent down a person to release the smack. Upon this information being received these enemies made up their mind that she should not be delivered and that night they burnt the smack and threatened violence to the men who came with her. I immediately in connection with the agent of the governor procured a boat which I sent my son in down the bay and got the emen safe off. By this time the reports concerning