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Child of the Rebellion: West Virginia Sesquicentennial
Civil War Union Militia Correspondence

Charleston West Va
June 30th 1864

To His Excellency
A.P. Boreman
Gov of West Va

Dear Sir,
A short time ago two citizens of Putnam County – informed me that Capt. Jno. M. Ball had sent a squad of men and took a horse from each of them – as “contraband property.” The horses had been broken down and left by the Rebels last fall. These men had taken charge of the horses (or had bought them from some one that had recruited them up through the Winter, and were endearing to make a crop with them, Capt Balls men stated to Miss Myres & Brisere (The citizens from whom they took the horses) that Capt Ball had authority to take “Contraband Horses.” I wrote to Capt Ball that I did not think that Your Excellency intended to give him authority to take horses, that had been abandoned by Rebels as worthless – and had been taken up by recruited all winter by citizens – now if they did prove to be of some values afterwards and that I thought he had best return the horses, as they would be of but little value to the government – and would put the parties from whom they were taken to very great inconvenience – perhaps cause them to them to lose their crops as horses were scarce and high – and they were four men, and likely not able to buy others [illegible]. Capt Ball returned the horse – and then came to me, I directed him to write to you, for further instructions in regard to this matter – which I foreseen he has done, I have heard nothing more from him. A few days ago, a Mr. Henson of Buffalo came to me and stated the [sic] he had a horse, that had been left by Morgan last summer with a man in Ohio – in exchange for one that Morgan took from the man, that the authorities in Ohio permitted the man to keep a horse, and that the horse had been traded some half dozen times before he came into his (Hensons) possession. That a few days ago, a squad of Capt Naterson Company called upon him (Henson) for the horse, Henson stated the case, and they did not take horse, but said they would get him another time. I wrote a note by Mr. Henson to Capt Naterson requesting him to leave the horse with Mr. Henson, until I could write to Your Excellency to ascertain what were your instructions in regard to this kind of property – not knowing what were your orders I did not like to order them to return or not to take these kind of “contraband horses.” Therefore merely requested them-

The Rebels have left horses in my immediate neighborhood – I could have had some myself in place of in place of horse they stole from me but did not think they were worth wintering. They are generally picked up by men who are not able to by[sic] who think a poor broken down horse is better than no horse,

Genl Crock [questionable] with a portion of his Calvary came in yesterday – Infantry are coming in this morning – Genl Hunter I understand will be here to day [sic]. The forces are -scattered along the river from here to Gauley – The command has had a fretly[sic] hard time have done a good deal of damage to Rail [illegible] without any great loss of men or horses – I suppose they will recruit here for a few weeks and try it again. We have had very dry weather lately – river getting quite low. ‘Tis rainy finely this morning, with [illegible] of plenty. Yours very respectfully

Geo.C. Bowyer

Transcription by Victoria Souhala, undergraduate student enrolled in Dr. Billy Joe Peyton’s Fall 2010 “Introduction to Public History” at West Virginia State University

Militia Box 10, Folder 3

West Virginia Archives and History