report the facts and circumstances connected with the shooting of a Confederate officer, a prisoner of war, by Sergt. Edwin Young, Company A, Second Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers, on the 20th of March instant.
Detail for the Board: Colonel Charles E. Hapgood, Fifth New Hampshire Volunteers; Major Samuel P. Sayles, Second New Hampshire Volunteers; Lieutenant H. Q. Sargent, Twelfth New Hampshire Volunteers.
By command of Brigadier General G. Marston:
J. N. PATTERSON,
Captain and Provost-Marshal.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS,
Point Lookout, Md., March 22, 1864-10 a. m.
The Board met pursuant to the above order. Present: Colonel Charles E. Hapgood, Fifth New Hampshire Volunteers; Major Samuel P. Sayles, Second New Hampshire Volunteers; Lieutenant H. Q. Sargent, Twelfth New Hampshire Volunteers. Sergt. Edwin Young, Company H, Second New Hampshire Volunteers, was also present.
The order convening the Board having been read aloud by the recorder, Sergeant Young stated that he had no objection to any member named therein.
The Board were then duly sworn by the recorder, and the recorder was duly sworn by the president.
Lieutenant JOSEPH H. WILKINSON, Second New Hampshire Volunteers, was then called before the Board, and being duly sworn, testified as follows:
I am commissary to prisoners of war at this post. On the evening of the 20th instant, at about 5 o'clock, learning that some Confederate officers, prisoners of war, had arrived, I went into their camp to find out in regard to their rations. I found them grouped together in lots of six or eight. After having ascertained all I wanted to know, I was passing out of the camp when I saw Captain Peyton, a Confederate officer, in a controversy with some of his comrades in regard to the settlement of some debt. He had in his hand a $1 bill which he called a "greenback. " He was swearing very heavily in regard to that being the right amount which was his due.
He stated that he would be damned if he would take a $1 bill with the profile of "Abe Lincoln" upon it, and insisted upon the man from whom he received it taking it back. I was tempted to remonstrate with him in regard to his conduct and language, but afterward thought he was irritated and it might not be best to do so. I immediately left the camp and went to my own quarters in the camp for privates and non-commissioned officers. Before reaching them I heard the discharge of a pistol. I returned immediately to the officers' camp and saw and saw the officer of the day going down the street where the body lay. I followed the officer of the day down to where the body lay, and think he was just breathing his last.
All that I have here stated I think took place in the space of five minutes. I have no doubt but that the officer who was shot was in a state of excitement when he came in contact with Sergeant Young. I suggested that they put the body in the cook-house, and afforded them all the facilities required to watch over it during the night.
In a conversation in the evening of the same day, at about 8 o'clock, with two of Captain Peyton's comrades, I remarked to them that I thought he was a little under the influence of liquor. They admitted that he might have had something to drink. I went in again at about 9 o'clock with Doctors Thompson and Russell, who examined the body. I asked his comrades if they required anything more for their comfort. They said no, and I left them.
I know of no way by which Captain Peyton could have obtained liquor at this post, and it was only on account of his excited state that I thought he might have been taking some.
I know of no Union officers or soldiers that were present at the time the Confederate officer was shot. I did not hear any conversation at any time between the officer that was shot and Sergeant Young. The name of the Confederate officer that was shot I understood to be Captain Peyton.
I would further state that I have always regarded Sergeant Young as a young man possessing an exemplary, mild temper, and I was surprised on learning that he was the one who had shot Captain Peyton. This reputation in favor of Sergeant Young I think can be sustained by prisoners in camp with whom he had to do.