Claiborne Correspondence

Claiborne Correspondence, &c.
Fort Pike, Sept. 4, 1862

J. F. H. Claiborne (Image Wikimedia Commons)

J. F. H. Claiborne (Image Wikimedia Commons)

[From Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Zama Plantation, Sept. 4th

Colonel:

I take the liberty of enclosing to you a letter for Captain Buck, and one for Mr. Converse, in reference to the business which lately brought him here, by your Fort, under a permit from Headquarters. He requested me to write to him under cover to you. The person who carries this letter is a trustworthy man. We are here under the espionage of Guerillas, and he makes the trip secretly — will arrive at the fort after night and wishes to return immediately. He does not wish to come under the observation of O’Rourke (one of your prisoners), who he fears will find means to apprize the guerillas of his visit to the fort; and, at all events, will be certain to denounce him (and the writer likewise), when he is discharged.

I noticed a steamer from the Fort at Brown’s Mill, yesterday. Mrs. O’Rourke informed me the day previous that the steamer would be at the mill and at Pearlington, and it appears that her information was correct almost to the hour. Through the same channel, the information reached Pearlington, and I have since heard that some 35 guerillas were covertly posted nearby. I communicate this to you as a curious incident; the information about the boat must have been brought by one of the contrabands who accompanied Mr. Converse. How it reached Mrs. O’Rourke I do not know. There are now 400 of these guerillas, with double barrel guns and two 6 pounders, and you should be on the qui vive. They talk likewise of attacking the transports from Ship Island in small boats, near the mouth of Pearl River, or about the east end of the Rigolets.

I must request you, Colonel, in view of the contingencies of War and of accident, to destroy this communication at once.

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[Capt. Rockwell’s Rules for Camp on Pearl River]

Camp Pittsfield on Pearl River, Miss.
September 5th, 1862

Rules and Regulations Governing Camp, and
Which Must be Strictly Obeyed.

1st. The Guard will consist of two Corporals and nine Privates, divided into three reliefs, who will strictly attend to their duties, and by their vigilance insure the safety of the Camp.

2d. There will be two Roll Calls each day, one at five o’clock a.m., and one at half past eight p.m.., when every member of the Company must be present and answer to his name.

3d. Inspection of Arms will take place whenever the Commanding Officer may deem necessary, and no guns will be fired in or around Camp, except by special permission from him.

4th. All boats, or skiffs will be kept in front of the quarters of the Commanding Officer, and will not be used, except permission be first given by him.

5th. Care must be taken not to waste the water in the cistern, and none must be taken from there except for dining or cooking purposes. This is important, and will be strictly enforced.

6th. All property belonging to the gentleman on whose place this Camp is located will be held sacred by us, and the first instance of anything to the contrary will be disposed of in a summary manner.

By Order of

William W. Rockwell,
Capt. 31st Mass. Vol.,
Comdg. Post

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[Capt. Rockwell’s Report]

Sept. 6th, 1862
Camp Pittsfield, Pearl River, Miss.

Col.

I have the honor to report my safe arrival at this place, and that all is well. I like the situation for a camp very well — no drawbacks except the mosquitoes, which are some and no mistake. I went up the country this morning and captured two young cattle, which I killed and brought in.

I went to see Col. Claiborn, and he wished me to say to you that in about two weeks he wanted a force sent up to his plantation to take his cotton, as he is afraid the rebels will destroy it. I found that the Col. knew my father very well, and I had quite a pleasant time at his place.

I have collected all of the boats which I could find, and have now ten in all. Two runaway slaves came in last night and I have set them to work in the mill which I am running with good success. I do not apprehend any attack, but if it comes, I am ready for them. I am told that a Ram is being built at Gainesville, but do not think it will amount to much. During my expedition this morning I skedadled a squad of mounted Confederates, but shan’t brag much of it, as they ran as soon as they saw us. Remember me to all at the Fort.

With kind regards, I have the honor to remain,

Wm. W. Rockwell,
Capt., 31st Mass. Vols.
Comdg. Camp.

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[Capt. Rockwell’s Report]

Camp Pittsfield, Pearl River, Miss.
Sept. 9th, 1862

Col.

I send you by Steamer Brown the Schooner Falster of Perlington, which I captured on the night of Sept. 7th in a bayou three miles above Perlington. I found her about a mile up the bayou, hid from sight, and the passage somewhat obstructed. I took with me on the expedition eighteen men in two boats, and as I had my oars muffled, I passed the town both in going and returning, without being discovered. I have had her loaded with lumber from this mill. All of my Co. are well.

I have the honor to remain

Wm. W. Rockwell,
Capt. 31st Mass. Vols.
Comdg. Post.

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[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Sept. 10, 1862

Memorandum

Three more companies have joined Steed’s battallion, now 650 men. Steed and three companies are camped on Wolf River, 30 miles N.E. of Gainsville, and have scouts about Pass Christian. Three companies and a detachment with two 8-pounders are ten miles above Gainsville, and their Scouts have been as far as Claiborne Plantation nearly.

They anticipated an attack on Gainsville, but think, from the crookedness of the river and the heavy timber on its banks they can successfully resist the attempt. They would embarrass your return by felling timber across the channel.

Boats continue secretly to arrive at Campbell & Sharps near the mouth of Mulatto Bayou and Pearl River. They come vice the Mexican Gulf Railway (Proctorsville), a run of about four hours. A Mr. Leggett arrived last week with a large quantity of Quinine for Mobile. Sharp took it up Mulatto Bayou to Mr. Russ, who conveyed it to Steed’s camp. Sharp proposes to go next week to the city to buy provisions for himself, Campbell and Russ (a member of the guerillas), and hopes to pass in the character of an Englishman. He is naturalized, and has often voted here in the city. I think you should take their, boats, smacks, &c. They have cattle, hogs and potatoes.

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[Capt. Rockwell’s Report]

Camp Pittsfield, Pearl River, Miss.
Sept. 11th, ’62.

I have the honor to report everything quiet at this place. I send to you under guard Private Joseph Sandro of my Co., charged by me with wilfully disobeying orders and using insulting language toward his superiors. I consider his an aggravated case and think he should be severely punished for it, as he is one who knows better. I have punished him to some extent, but think he deserves more. I thought sending him to the Fort would be a salutary lesson to the rest of my men, and have accordingly done so. I wish you would do with him what in your judgment seems most proper. The Mill broke down day before yesterday, and we have not got it started yet, but expect to get it going today.

I have the honor to remain, Sir,
Your obedt.,

Wm. W. Rockwell,
Capt., Comdg. Post

For Lieut. Col. Chas. M. Whelden

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[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Sept. 15 1862

Mrs. O’Rourke has had several visits from the guerillas. She has obtained permission to send to the Fort, and in return has promised to collect all the information she can for them, and to apprise them whenever your men come to my place. This two of my servants overheard. Her sons I regard as little better than spies. They can bring mischievous messages from their father. I hope you will not allow them to visit the fort.

I am told O’Rourke professes loyalty. I have the proof that he acted as a spy — a plunderer — and that he means to go to Gen. Forney at Mobile the moment he is discharged.

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Charles M. Wheldon

Charles M. Wheldon

[Col. Whelden to Col. Claiborne]

Sept. 19th, 1862

Col. Claiborn
Dear Sir,

I have not seen Mr. C. as yet. When I do, which will be this week, I will get the bill of Ac. What is Campbell doing? Can you use your influence to have those bodies that have drifted ashore at Cady’s buried? Of the passengers of the Ceres one was an officer.  If his body can be found and sent here, the parties will be paid for it.  Many thanks for the poultry and eggs.

Yours,

Chas. M. Wheldon, Lt. Col.
Com’d, Fort Pike

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[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

24 Sept.

Colonel,

Mr. Tooner of the Mills was at my house today. He says that a few days since, one of his negro men, Riley, was returning from his farm above Gainesville to the Mills, and that he was taken on the Brown and detained. The man is a good smith. He says that, as he does not consider Riley a fugitive, he hopes you will let him have him again, if he is disposed to come, or pay him for his labor, if you need it, and then return him. I write this at his request, and I believe that in his feelings he is all right.

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[G. W. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Col.

I beg to present to you Mr. Lewis, a citizen of New Orleans, who has long been striving to rejoin his family there.  He is a highly respectable Frenchman, who has nothing to do with affairs, and will feel deeply indebted to you for the favor of getting to the city.

I have the honor to be, with deep respect,

Your most obedient,
G. W. Claiborne

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[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Dear Colonel:

Have you heard anything from Mr. Converse, or from Col.Schaffer, about my cotton or the goods that I expected? My colored folks are greatly in need of their shoes, winter clothing, and provisions.

I will send to the Fort next Thursday, and hope I shall hear definitely from those gentlemen. If I do not, I will wait ten days from that day on them; and then I must beg you to move the cotton for me to the city.

Did you receive my letter, sent by the Brown, the day Capt. Rockwell left the Mill?  It contained some money belonging to the colored people, which I begged you to lay out in provisions.  If you have been able to do so, perhaps the bearer can bring them; or they can be left at Toomer’s mill for me.

I beg you not to let loose that fellow O‘Rourke. He would swear my life away in three days. I have every proof of his treachery, and his family are no better.

With great respect,

Your friend and
J. F. W. Claiborne

P.S. I have a couple of fine turkeys for you.

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[Col. Claiborne to Whelden]

Thursday, 30th Sep.

Colonel:

I am truly obliged to you for the articles sent me last week. I now send $100, current bank notes. Please lay it out in heavy mess pork in good tight barrels, full of brine.

One of my negro men sends $7, and begs you to have purchased for him a barrel of flour.

Perhaps you can find some way of getting these things to us, or at least as far as Jackson’s Landing.

I have not heard from Col. Shaffer or Mr. Converse. Of course, intelligence of them must reach me, if at all, thro’ you. If I do not hear from them, I must beg you, in ten days from date, to remove my cotton. I do not think it will be safe to let it remain here longer; besides, I am anxious to get it to the city and obtain shoes and clothing for my people. They are nearly naked.

I will send to the Fort before the 10 days expire, or about that time.

The proceeds of the $107 can be brought at that time.

With great respect,

Yours very gratefully.

Confidential

Colonel:

A few months ago Mr. Converse came out here with a permit from Gov. Shipley, and proposed to exchange certain supplies for wood and charcoal. Instead of being grateful for this humane offer, the guerillas, at the instance of Capt. Wm. I. Portermine chased him from Gainesville to Pearlington, and he narrowly escaped arrest, notwithstanding the permit he brought with him.

The same men, pressed by their own necessities, have now determined to send to the city for supplies. They have raised the schooner Experiment (which was sunk above Pearlington to conceal her from your search), and have loaded her with wood on the pretext of honest trade, but the real object is to supply the guerillas with salt, flour, pork, etc. But for their own wants and the wants of their chief supporters, this vessel would never be allowed to leave. Other citizens, who proposed to trade to the city, had their vessels burned, their wood destroyed, and their chattels and even their negroes, seized, carried to camp, and divided among these desperadoes. Others have been threatened with death. They have forbid correspondence with one’s nearest relatives in the city; object to anyone from the city coming here; and have refused distressed women and children and ministers of the gospel the privilege of seeking refuge there.

Yet now, under their own eye, within a few miles of their camp, they allow Wm. J. Portervine, S. Kimball, Luther Russ and Capt. Christy Kock to load the “Experiment”. She belongs to Christy. He is a naturalized citizen; came here poor, has accumulated a good deal, has been back to Europe under the passport of the Republic, and manifests his loyalty by putting his son in the guerillas and supplying horses to two employees employees, thus enabling them to join the same corps.  He has besides at his house a number of valuable articles, public property, brought by him from Fort Pike.

Russ, Christy, Portervine, and Kimball are brothers-in-law. Portervine is the mainstay of the guerillas. His nephew is Captain, one son a lieutenant and the other in command of two 6-pounders, stationed at Kimballs. Kimball acts as a sort of commissary, providing beef, etc. Russ has recently joined them, and has promised two horses. All these men send for supplies by Christy, and send money or orders, verbal or written. Portervine has a quantity of molasses and sugar, probably in the hands of Shaw & Zuntz, his agents, which he has long been anxious to get out. Salt, however, is the most indispensable article to the guerillas. It can’t be had in Mobile, and they have nothing but fresh beef. Flour, pork, shoes, clothing, coffee, medicine, and liquor are all badly wanted, and powder and caps, which are to be secreted, if possible.

The parties engaged in this enterprise, knowing that my negroes are naked and without shoes or pork, are very willing to mix me up with them, and would bring my freight to my door. But I know their purpose is not honest trade. It is selfish entirely. I know that after profiting by the humanity of the Federal authorities, they will repay it with curses and be ready to shoot down in ambush any man who marches under the flag.

Pressing as are my own necessities, therefore, I have decided to have nothing to do with them. I prefer to rely on you to see that I do not suffer.

A trade with the city in wood, coal, tar, rosin, &c., would have excellent results, but not when the many are prohibited and the guerillas only are allowed (under a mask) to carry it on for their own benefit.  They want nothing better than this to obtain the “sinews of war.” Christy has been selected to go because it is hoped you may take him for an unnaturalized citizen, and for the same reason they will put one or two Germans in the vessel. They are all naturalized.

Sharp, (the partner of Campbell, whom I wrote you about), who has gone or is going to the city, openly boasts that he means to claim protection from the British consul, though I have seen him vote. He is a first-rate carpenter, and you ought to have him at work. There is a regular communication between Campbell’s and the city, and between Campbell and the Guerilla camp; thence to Mobile.

Colonel, you know the risk I run in doing my duty, and giving you this information. Let me beg you to destroy my manuscripts and not expose them to any hazard of loss.

C

If this part of the Country is rigorously excluded from getting salt, &c., the Guerillas will soon be starved out. They will leave, and then the people will be glad enough to supply wood, tar, coal, and rosin, and to express their honest sentiments. But if the Guerillas are fed from the city, we shall never get rid of them.

On board the Experimenter as passengers are two of my neighbors, White and Litchfield. No harm in either of them. White, I suppose, is after supplies for his father. Litchfield is a very poor man with a starving family. Has relatives in town, and is seeking them for aid.

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[Col. Whelden to Col. Claiborne]

Oct. 7th

To F. H. Claiborne, Esq.
Sir:

Information having been received at the Fort that the guerillas intend to burn your cotton, and you having this day refused to sell it, giving as your reason, “The sum offered not being sufficient,” it becomes my duty to seize and remove the whole lot, 40 (be the same more or less) bags and bales, for the benefit of the commerce of the U.S. You will probably receive your pay, provided it does not appear that you have sent for the Guerillas to destroy it.

Charles M. Whelden,
Lt. Col., 31st Mass. Vols.
Comd. Fort Pike

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[G. W. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Oct. 10th, ’62

Private

Dear Colonel:

The bearer, the faithful messenger who has often been to the fort, has been drafted in the militia and ordered to appear in Gainesville today. He prefers to report to you, and I respectfully solicit for him a passage to the city. He was for seven years in the employment of the National Telegraph Co., and is an honest and efficient man.

The news of your removal of the cotton is just beginning to circulate. I have not yet heard the comments. The freight was all stored before daylight.

Cap. Christy was here to see me today. He is acting in behalf of Mr. Kimball, a man of some capital. He tells me that both himself and Kimball are loyal at heart. One is a Dane, the other a Massachusetts man. They are both good men. They seem extremely anxious to be allowed to carry wood, coal, &c., to the fort, in exchange for other articles. They can afford to pay well for the privilege, and would willingly do it. I told him everything depended on you, and advised him to wait on you next Thursday. He will be there on that day. If my health permits, I will go with him, as I presume Mr. Converse will have closed my matter by that time.

I have always thought it would be good policy to allow trade between this coast and the city. It would soon open the eyes of people to their interest and their duty.  The only difficulty I now see is to prevent supplies from reaching the Guerillas. Some stringent arrangement might be prescribed, or an oath exacted. Salt is now selling in the country at $50 and $75 a sack. Kimball and Christy can well afford to pay a pretty bonus for the privilege of introducing it and other articles.

I send you a couple of turkeys that have been running in my pea-field, but had better be cooped a fortnight or so.

With great respect,

Yours most faithfully,

G. W. Claiborne

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[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

I have known the bearer, John Arman, for  7 years, as a faithful and efficient employee of the National Telegraph Line, and can confidently recomment [sic] him as intelligent, sober, honest and industrious.

J. F. H. Claiborne
Zama Plantation,
Hancock Co, Miss.
Oct. 12, 1862

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[List of Articles Taken by Capt. Rockwell]

Fort Pike, La., Oct. 11th, 1862.

Articles taken from Mr. ——  on East Pearl River, by Capt. Rockwell, Co. I, 31st Mass. Vols, on the night of October 10th, 1862.

1 rifle, 2 shot guns, 1 drum, 2 knapsacks, 1 cartridge box, 1 artillery socket, 1 haversack, 2 powder horns, 1 lot shot.

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[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Monday Morning.

Colonel:

On Saturday evening last, an officer of Guerillas and 15 men were at my house, examined the landing and the grounds about. They left, as they said, for their camp, but they spent the night about Jackson’s Landing and came to my house yesterday about breakfast time, some five of them. The officer informed me that he had fired on a pirogue containing two men, but that they escaped. W. Poitevent passed Toomer’s mill about sundown Saturday evening, I am informed. It is probable he was the party fired on.

I am satisfied these guerillas intend to keep a regular picket about the Jackson landing, with the view to ambush any party coming from the Fort. The point is the only eligible one on the bayou for that purpose.

Mr. Litchfield will venture down for me occasionally, and if hailed by them, will claim to have been to Toomer’s to buy of him some provisions.

The statement you so kindly left with me relating to the seizing the cotton, proved a satisfactory explanation. To keep appearances, I applied to the Guerilla officers for their certificates that I had not invited them to burn the cotton, which certificates were necessary to enable me to receive the proceeds. The certificates have just been received.

Please close my transaction with Mr. Converse as soon as possible, and I beg you to retain $100 of the amount and expend it in some suitable memorial by which I can typify my gratitude to you for your kindness and protection.

Ever with high regard,

Your faithful servant,

J. F. W. Claiborne

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[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Colonel:

The bearer is a Christian Brother, a most excellent man from Bay St. Louis, who has come to me and solicited to be sent to the Fort. My letter to Gov. Shipley will explain his object. I most respectfully ask for him your good offices.

With great respect,

Yours faithfully,
C.

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[H. M. Converse to Col. Whelden]

New Orleans, Oct. 18, 1862.

Colonel:

Herewith please find enclosed a letter for Col. Claiborne, which I will thank you to forward by first safe conveyance to him. I have a package of money for the Col., containing $840 76-100 Doll., which he desires should reach him through you. I now hold it subject to your order, or will retain it and hand it to you in person, when you next visit the city, as you may prefer.

Can’t that machine, of which we had some conversation about, be put in operation soon? It seems to me it ought to be without much trouble, for others are running the same kind at different points and doing a paying business. If you can secure the services of the engineer, Christie, or Johnson, I can furnish the machinery and oils to start with. Please let me hear from you.

Yours truly,

H. M. Converse

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[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Sunday Night

Colonel :

I hope you have collected my money from Mr. C., according to promise. I sold him the cotton for half its market value. He was to pay in gold and silver — I have his written agreement. He has failed to comply with it, and if he does not, I will apply to friends in the city. I desire to close the matter without delay, and before I go to town. If he has paid you, please send by Mr. L., who will receipt to you.

I have important matters to communicate to you that concern you. Can we have an interview? The best and safest place is the Isle au Pois, (Pea Island) mouth of Mulatto Bayou and of East Pearl River, close by Green’s, English Lookout. You might come in the steamer within 1-4 mile, and then take a small boat for the island. A column of smoke will tell you where to land. Name the day and hour, and Litchfield will carry me down.

I enclose a letter to a distinguished lawyer who enjoys Gen. Butler’s confidence. I am very anxious to get it safely to him and to get his reply.

What am I to do about my negroes ? Am I to lose them all after the first of January because I live in Mississippi?  I am no Secessionist, I have remained here, claiming the protection of the U.S., and now wish to know what to do.

You have two of my men at the Fort. They ran away without provocation. One of them was never scolded in his life. Neither ever received a blow. As I suppose they are lost to me, I beg you not to let them come here on any of your boats.

Yours truly,

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[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Colonel:

Mr. Litchfield goes down to apply for leave to exchange some farm produce for provisions of any kind,—

And to know if Capt. Christy will be permitted to carry wood to the Fort or to the City.

With great respect,

Your most obt. Servt.,
J. F. W. Claiborne

Col. Whelden,
Commanding Fort Pike.

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[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Colonel:

In conformity to your request, I went down to the scene of the recent disaster to the Ceres, and searched the beach along and around Point Clear, where the bodies of the lost were reported to have drifted. Mr. Litchfield accompanied me. We first ascertained that three bodies had come ashore, locked together, nearly naked, mutilated by birds of prey, or by sharks, though a fragment of clothing on one of the bodies indicated that one of them was an officer, no doubt the Lieutenant of the Maine regiment.

Someone plundered his body, it is said, of money and a watch. Report says it was Nathalie Caddy, alias Lafontaine, a depraved youth, brother to one of your guerilla prisoners, who from his thievish propensities is called “Coon Caddy.” These bodies, after being plundered, were left unburied. When Dr. Eager, a friend of mine at the Bay, heard of it, he sent two persons down and had the remains interred on the beach. They were so mutilated, it was impossible to remove them, or to identify the officer.

Two other corpses washed ashore on Point Clear island, and their bones lay scattered and bleaching on this sand when we found them. We interred them where they lay, deep in the sand.

Another body had washed ashore, four days after the disaster, on the small island occupied by Mr. Green, at the mouth of the Pearl River, torn and mutilated. He immediately consigned it to the earth and notified me of it. We could neither discover nor hear of any other bodies, after two days of diligent search and enquiry, from Point Clear to mouth of Pearl River.

Mr. L. gave me his time and his boat on this expedition of humanity, and as he is a very poor man, I hope you will remunerate him with a barrel of flour or some other article of food for his family.

Respectfully submitted,

Thursday, Oct. 30, ’62

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[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Thursday

Colonel:

At the request of Capt. Poitevent I write this note. He says that in compliance with his engagement, he lodged 218 bbls. rosin at Brown’s Mill, in readiness for the Lubeck which was to have come for it about this time. He came down yesterday to see about it, and heard at Pearlington that the “Brown” had been up and removed the rosin, some wood and the flat. He wishes to know if this was done by your orders; if so, he presumes that circumstances unknown to him induced you to remove it, the better to carry out the arrangement agreed upon. But in this case, he cannot conjecture why you removed the flat, his only means of transportation.

After his interview with you, he went to work with energy and in good faith, and in the face of some pretty strong threats, he delivered the first instalment of rosin, and had made engagements for cotton in exchange for salt; but he finds himself suddenly cut off from transportation. Please say what are your wishes in relation to the future. Will  his flat be returned? Shall he put cotton, etc., in motion? Can he get salt? Salt will command cotton, but he can well afford to pay more than $12.50 for salt.

I have not the interest of a dime in this matter.  I know it is a good arrangement for the U.S.; and I know, if it goes on Poitevent and the cotton planters above will be embroiled with the guerillas and we shall finally get rid of them.

Mr. E. L. Bernard, a merchant, Gainsville, New Yorker by birth, wishes to go to the city to take the oath and to purchase a schooner to run in the Pearl River trade. I presume you will allow him to pass.

With great respect,

C.

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[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Colonel,

Mr. Wm. J. Poitevent of Gainsville will have the honor of presenting this note.

He can do more to bring out the products of the Pearl and Pascagoula river country than any other man in the state. I beg to recommend him to your kind offices.

I have the honor to be, with very great respect,

Your most obt. svt.,

J.F.H. Claiborne

Col. Whelden, U.S.A.
Commanding Fort Pike

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[Rockwell’s Memoranda]

MEMORANDA
by Capt. W. W. Rockwell

The Guerillas have all been camp for a week, two companies above Gainesville, & three on Wolf River. Your seizure of the Farves [sic: Harvest?] has inspired them with wholesome terror. They are grumbling about not being paid, but Luther Russ, a member of the corps, has advanced $5,000 to pay them. He resides half a mile from Mulatto Bayou, has a fine farm, plenty of cattle and horses, arms, &c., and two or three guerillas usually stay with him. You have his man, Paul, who is a thorough pilot on the river & bayou. A detachment brought on the Brown at night to Jackson’s Landing, then in yawls to Russ’s Landing, might effect an important capture. He is the bitterest man in this community, and would pay $1000 for his ransom.

Quinine. This trade is going on briskly. A man named Bouge, formerly secretary to the Pontchartrain R.R. Co., recently landed near Pontchatoula and passed through Gainsville, en route for Mobile, with 250 oz. packed in bladders. A man by the name of Fassman, known in N.O. as the proprietor of Fassman’s Cotton-tie, office on Carondelet St., who, it is said, has taken the oath of allegiance but is at present with his family at Pass Christian, lately smuggled 200 oz. and sold it in Mobile. This is the talk at the Pass, and at Bay St. Louis.

Sharp, a partner of Campbell (who pretends to be an unnaturalized Englishman, but who has often voted here), has just returned from New Orleans. He brought quinine and other things, which were delivered to Luther Russ and by him carried to Dr. Griffin, surgeon of the guerillas. He lives at Campbell’s, near the mouth of Mulatto Bayou. A man by the name of Gaspar, formerly of Bay St. Louis, is running a small schooner to that place, and has recently received several women whose husbands had been driven off by the guerillas. At Bay St. Louis, there is an Englishman by the name of Chapman, a merchant or speculator, who has lately been to Mobile — claims to have a permit from Gen. Forney to go to New Orleans, and is now in the city purchasing goods. He runs a line of wagons between the bay and Mobile, and has made several trips to N.N. [sic: N. O.?] How is it that Gen. F. permits Chapman to go and refuses distressed women?

Lieut. Wilkins, of Miller’s Guerillas, and one or two of the band, have paid a second visit to the house of Mr. Dewees at the Bay, and completely gutted it. They talk of burning the house.

Mr. Dewees is an old and estimable citizen of N.O., and his crime is that he has been appointed Chairman of the Bureau of Finance in the city of New Orleans by Gen. Butler. This Lieut. Wilkins has considerable property in the city. Mr. James Weaver, son of Weaver of the Lubec, is arranging to run a schooner up Mulatto Bayou for wood and, I suppose, to bring supplies. Luther Russ and other Guerillas are bringing (secretly), wood on the bank. These supplies will go direct to the Guerillas. Old Weaver needs watching.

————————————————–

[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Received of Col. Whelden Eight Hundred and Forty dollars in gold, it being the balance due on cotton removed from my plantation.

J. F. W. Claiborne

Nov. 1, 1862

————————————————–

[Capt. Rockwell to Col. Whelden]

Fort Pike, La., Nov. 2nd, ’62

To Col. Chas. M. Whelden,
New Orleans.

Your telegraphic despatch is received. The line is out of order and I have to answer by Capt. Bridgman.

Weaver brought his papers this a.m., and has gone on. The schooner Independence, from New Orleans for Pensacola, with supplies for the navy and four bags of cotton seed for Farragut, is at this place. I have sent the master to the city for the proper papers, as he had them not. Shall hold her till his return. Nothing with cotton on board has arrived.

Gen. Butler’s dispatch regarding Quinine received. Will keep a sharp lookout.

Capt. Bridgman will give you a letter from Col. Claiborne. Litchfield brought it yesterday.

Everything O.K. as regards this fort. The Q.M. [Quartermaster] had the coal unloaded on the spiles in the channel. When about two-thirds of it was on, they sank, and the coal is safe in the bottom.

I have the honor to remain, Sir,

Wm. B. Rockwell,
Capt. 31st Mass., Act. Comdr. Post

——————————————————-

[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Nov. 4

Col.:

This will be handed you by my friend, Mr. Barnard, a New Yorker by birth, who wishes to live under the protection of the U.S.  I recommend him to your kindness as a gentleman and a man of talents.  With great respect,

Your obedient,

J. F. H. Claiborne

——————————————-

[Col. Whelden to Maj. Gen. Butler]

Fort Pike, La., Nov. 4, 1862

Maj. Genl. Butler.
Sir :

I delayed one day longer in the city than I intended for the purpose of getting information as to Fassman. I have got sufficient to convict him and the owner of the boat. This owner, whose name is William Purrington, a native of Maine, has been running his boat since July on this route. The boat is iron, her gunwhale is hollow; she is about 40 feet long. The bottles of quinine are string together like sausages. When she gets to the Pass, she is anchored till night, the canvas aft on her gunwhale is taken up. The bottles are drawn out. She has two water casks; the heads is [sic] taken out. Two airtight tins, 6 inches in diam., about 2 feet long, are taken from each. What they contain I have not found out. This Purington has been carrying on this smuggling trade all summer.

By detaining all boats that have no passes, I have picked up a great deal of information. If I had the low pressure boat, I could do still more. If she were here tonight, I could take the other two Fassmans at Pass Christian. The negro I send you is an old servant of the Fassmans. He knows all of this affair, as he assisted to unload the schooner on all the trips she has made for the Passmans. The mate of schooner I also send you, says he knows nothing of the trips, as this was his first trip. He was placed on the wharf to watch when this material was landed.

—————————————–

[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Colonel:

I beg to call your attention to the enclosed letter in relation to the cotton settlement. I am not at all satisfied with the arrangement, and I think you will agree with me, on reading my letter. I would have had no difficulty in getting an order from Gen. Butler for the removal of my cotton and its sale in New Orleans, or shipment to New York.

I have nothing new to tell you. Gen. Pemberton’s order has created great excitement among the Guerillas. They accuse me of having instigated it. Your man Weaver is giving them substantial aid by the supplies he is bringing them, or to his A. for them. I cannot understand the policy of supplying open enemies. If this question of supply was managed well, this whole country and for one hundred miles above, would be set right.

The Mr. Barnard I introduced to you is a keen, shrewd man. I understand that a Mr. Kimball, Mr. Stanley, Mr. Johnson and Christy have formed an association to run down cotton, wood &c., and bring in salt, &c., substantially the same thing that Poitevent proposed. He may be interested sub rosa, but he says not, and don’t like some of the parties. Barnard left on Weaver’s schooner, and goes over, he says, to get a schooner and make arrangements.

I think Mr. Weaver and his son talk too freely to bitter enemies of Government about what takes place at the Fort and in town.

Mr. Monet and a party of ten Guerillas of Bay St. Louis, seized a small trading schooner there a few days since, and sent the master and a passenger or two, to Jackson. It is said they accepted a present from the master, and then captured them.

A man was sent to me a few days since, wearing an artillery cap and uniform, saying that he wanted to get to Fort Pike. One of my servants recognized him, and had seen him the day before with a party of guerillas.  It was a trick to try and get some hold of me in event of my agreeing to send him to the Fort. I handcuffed him, put him on coarse fare for three days, and wrote to them to come and get their deserter. They won’t try that trick again.

Mr. Russ is now at home — horses, cattle, and in his potato field.

I told Poitevent the contents of your note about the rosin. He left here Tuesday morning for Toomer’s mill, to see Weaver, whose schooner was there; said he would there determine what to do. I have not seen him since.

———————————————

[Col. Claiborne to Col. Whelden]

Colonel:

The writer of the within is one of the best men I know, true and reliable.

It was this gentleman who buried your drowned men. He is now suspected and watched by the Guerillas.

I earnestly recommend him and his family to your protection and kindness.

Mayor Monet of Bay St. Louis (report says) declares that everyone who holds communication with you should be hung. He has a valuable law library and papers, &c.

———————————————–

[R. Eager to Col. Claiborne, enclosed in above of same date]

Shieldsboro’, November 15th, 1862.

Dear Sir:

Having been formerly U.S. Collector of this Port and Superintendent of Lights, I have on hand the books of the office, a quantity of oil, etc., which I should be glad to turn over to the proper authorities. The military authorities then at Ship Island ordered the keeper to extinguish the light and remove the oil and lamps, a portion of which are deposited with me. I have maintained a strict reserve in regard to these articles, lest they might be seized by the Guerillas. I have been anxious to transfer them to the U.S., but had no medium of communication. Having ascertained your relation with the Federal officers, and fully sharing your sentiments, I avail myself of your kindness to give information of these stores in the proper quarter.

Yours truly,

R. Eager.

————————————————

[Claiborne Notice]

100 DOLLARS

Will be paid to anyone who will point out either of the gang of thieves who were in my cornfield on Tuesday night.

J. F. W. Claiborne

———————————————

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