I have the honor to offer the above as my report upon the charges made against General Neal Dow. My plantation was adjoining to that of Mr. La Barre, and I know nothing of my own personal knowledge.
CHAS. LE BRETON.
[Inclosure Numbers 4.]
MOBILE, August 18, 1863.
Captain E. J. FITZPATRICK, Judge-Advocate:
SIR: In answer to your request that I should state what I know of the charges made against the Federal General Neal Dow, now a prisoner in this city, allow me to state that I know nothing of my own personal knowledge to substantiate any of said charges.
General Neal Dow was in command at Camp Parapet, above Carrollton, La., in the spring of 1863. I had occasion to see him once at his headquarters under the following circumstances:
One of my sons had been arrested under charges made against him by some of his grandfather's negroes. I applied to General Neal Dow, offering to give security for the release of my son until he could be tried. General N. Dow received me not only with courtesy, but even with marked kindness. As my son was sick he ordered every attention to be paid to him and his orders were punctually executed.
The above is all I know personally of General Neal Dow.
I remain, sir, your obedient servant,
[Inclosure Numbers 5.]
When I first saw the boat on which General Neal Dow left Pointe a la Hache I was at my house, situated at about one-half a mile from the court-house of the parish of Plaquemines, from which I saw a squad of negro and white soldiers, under command of a white sergeant, enter Mr. Arroyo's house, situated at about one acre from mine. The house was surrounded by four negro soldiers and two others, and the white ones entered the house, and after having remained there about one-half four, they left for the boat, which had crossed from Mr. Laussade's plantation, where it first landed, to the court-house, which is situated on the same side of the river where I land. I then proceeded to the court-house to see what was going on, and when I arrived there I saw Mr. Neal Dow in the parish jail with Mr. S. Martin, the sheriff, and heard him asking the said sheriff by what authority he kept in jail negroes that were there. The sheriff answered that they had been sent by their masters for safe-keeping. Upon hearing that the said Neal Dow ordered him to open the jail and told the negroes, "Come out of here, boys, and go on board of the boat; you are free. "
The above circumstances took place inside of the jail, and the negro soldiers, about twenty-five or thirty, in uniform, with muskets and bayonets, were on the levee when the boat was at about 140 yards distant. When the negroes who were in jail for safe-keeping were turned out by order of General Neal Dow they marched on board of the boat and were there received with great joy by the negro soldiers; after which Neal Dow went himself on board of the boat, and they all left, the boat proceeding down the river in the direction of Forts Saint Philip and Jackson, at which it was generally understood that Neal Dow was in command at that time.
I heard the negro soldiers on board of the boat advising the planters' slaves that were standing on the leave at the time to come along with them; that they were all free. That occurred in the presence of Neal Dow, and close enough for him to hear what was said.