War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0271 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

were negroes there without arms or uniform who were drilled by non-commissioned officers wearing the uniform and purporting to belong to the Seventh Vermont Regiment, the drilling being inside of the picket-lines of the enemy and sometimes in the town of Pensacola. I knew one negro named Ben, the property of Dr. John Brosenham, who represented himself as captain of a company, and whom I have seen conducting a company of negroes as commanding officer, or officer in charge, to the ground for drill. I heard this negro, Ben, recruiting among the slaves and trying to get them to enlist. I know that negroes who came into Pensacola were carried into the office [of] General Dow while he was there, and, after being brought, were sent to the "contraband quarters" and put to work on breast-works and the Government works, and were allowed to draw rations from the military supplies there. Of these negroes I knew one named George, who belonged to Captain Alexander Bright; one named Caesar, generally reported to be a slave, but whose I do not know; another named Bob, belonging to William H. Baker, and probably fifteen or twenty others whom I knew to be slaves, but whose names and owners' names I cannot now recollect.

I knew a negro named Vemp belonging to John McCloskey, of Pensacola, who was generally addressed as and understood to be a lieutenant. Bob Baker, mentioned above, was generally understood to be an orderly sergeant. I heard Neal Dow make a speech on a presentation by him of a flag to a Maine regiment in which he spoke, substantially, among other things, as follows:

"Fellow-men of Maine: Just to think that these people down South have been in the habit of whipping these poor colored slaves simply because they are colored and they have been under their thumbs. The way we will revenge ourselves will be to lay the lash on them". This was said in the presence and hearing of a large number of negroes. There were no negroes there that I know of except such as had fled to Pensacola from different parts of the Confederate States. If any had been brought in there from anywhere else I think I should have known it. All negroes there were required by orders, made known by notices posted on the streets, to take the oath of allegiance to the United States. I saw numbers of them take that oath. These things were all during General Dow's command at Pensacola, which began about August 1, 1862, and ended in March or April, 1863.

THOMAS B. SMITH,

Private, Company C, Third Florida Battalion of Cavalry.

HENRY P. SMITH,

Private, Company C, Third Florida Battalion.

[Inclosure Numbers 3.]

MOBILE, August 18, 1863.

Captain E. J. FITZPATRICK, Judge-Advocate:

SIR: After reading carefully the charges made against General Neal Dow, of the U. S. Army, and upon which you desire to have a statement from me, I have to state that I do not know of my own personal knowledge any of the facts mentioned in said charges. My plantation was within short distance of Camp Parapet, where General Neal Dow had his headquarters; but I could not go through the lines for want of a pass, which was only granted to those who had taken the oath of allegiance, and therefore I know nothing of what was going on in the camp except by hearsay.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. L. LA BARRE.