Deposition of Samuel Grigsby

Aged 80 years. I have been a farmer but at present allowed to do but little except lending a little money and collecting the interest. I am not related to the claimant and have no interest in his claim.

I have known the claimant about 40 years - and during the war I lived at Cleveland and the claimant lived 2 1/2 miles from Cleveland. And during the war I was on intimate terms with him and got my firewood from his land and often talked to him about the war and I always found him a staunch and consistent Union man.

I was acquainted with Leonard Carrouth and he consulted me about purchasing the tract of land near the claimant and borrowed about five hundred and seventy-five dollars from me to make the first payment for said tract of land.

I know that Mrs. Shaot (Shoat?) lived in the house on the place where she lived till the war closed in 1865 and Mr. Leonard Carrouth did not move to said land, nor get possession of it till she moved out which was sometime in 1865.

I often talked with Leonard Carrouth about the claimant and I know that Leonard Carrouth always regarded the claimant as a Union man from the time he came here till I sued Carrouth and collected my money out of him last summer or fall.

When I sued him he told me that the claimant would go his security for the money. I saw the claimant and he refused to go security or to stay the judgement. This seemed to disturb Carrouth and he gave me a deed of trust on the land to secure (me?).

Samuel Grigsby
before, John W. Ramsey - Special Commissioner



Deposition of Andrew J. Maples

Aged 38 years, residence Cleveland Tennessee. I am a blacksmith not related to the claimant and have no interest in his claim. I was a federal soldier in Company (G?), 9th Tennessee Cavalry, and am now a pensioner for wounds received during the war. In May, 1864 I was at home in Cleveland, where I had been raised, on furlough from my wounds and was sent by Lt. Scott-Post Quartermaster at Cleveland with an orderly out to the claimant William Cate’s farm to look out the best pasturage for the Head Quarter horses. I went with the orderly to the claimant’s farm. The first of claimant’s fields that I came to was about ten twelve acres and was filled with convalescent horses. We then went to other fields of the claimant and found a field of 20 to 22 acres of excellent pasture well set with clover and timothy. The Head Quarter horses were sent to this field the next morning. I saw our considerable lot of horses sent. At the time I was out there, I saw another field of about 20 or more that had horses in it and seemed pretty well eaten out and tromped down. This had wheat in it that year.

These fields were all first crop upland - just about as good as can be found in this county.

There were more or less horses in alll the fields except the one into which we put the Head Quarter horses.

In the preceeding February or March this same orderly asked me to go out to Mr. Cate’s farm to show him the best way to haul hay and oats from his farm. But I excused myself on account of my wound. I saw the wagons start for his place saying that they were going to Mr. Cate’s place after hay and oats and I saw the wagons return loaded with hay and oats. I saw them return from that direction for several days. I recollect that when the people of this county were proving their claims under the Tennessee act to prove such claims before County Commissioners appointed by the Governor, that myself and claimant were setting near the door of the house when these commissioners were proving their claims, when Mr. J.C. Steed came up and asked Mr. Cate if he recollected certain property that was taken away from Mr. Steed by the federals and Mr. Cate replied he did. Mr. Cate then asked if he had filed his claim and my recollection is that Steed said he had not but was going to do so in a day or two.

Steed then asked Cate if he had filed his claim and Cate said he had no confidence in that business and did not think there was any money in that court and Steed replied he thought it would put their claim in better shape for the future and to get up the evidence up on it.

I had known the claimant from my youth and I lived at Cleveland all the time I was at home during the war and had for years before and have lived here ever since. I regarded the claimant as a Union man, always heard him so express himself during the war and since and I think that I know his public reputation for loyalty and it was that he was loyal to the cause of the United States. I never heard it questioned except by one man. I never doubted it myself.

A.J. Maples
before, John W. Ramsey - Special Commission



Deposition of John A. Hague

Aged 29 years, reside 6 miles from Cleveland but was brought up in Cleveland and lived there during the war. I enlisted in the Federal army in the fall of 1862 in the 4th Tennessee Cavalry but in 1863 I was mustered into “Company I” though I always remained in Company “E”. I have an honorable discharge on the close of the war.

In the spring of the year 1861, after the fall of Fort Sumter, the people of Cleveland concluded to put up a Union pole.

Myself and father, who is now dead, hauled this pole, it was 90 feet high and was a big job. Myself and father was running a livery stable at that time and the claimant got us to haul the pole and paid us five dollars for hauling this pole. And he was active in putting it up on the courtyard square. It was set six feet in the ground. I was present aiding to raise the pole.

On the 18th day of September 1863, I was at home in Cleveland acting as pilot for the Michigan United States soldiers when there was a battle or skirmish in and around Cleveland about daylight that morning and the federal troops were put to rout. I lost my horse and ran out north 2 1/2 miles to the claimant’s house for safety. (When I got to his house he had just got from a strawstack where he had just carried them their breakfast.?) Myself, James Campbell and Enoch Shipley got to his house together. Shipley was a soldier and Campbell went into the army a few days after. We all knew the claimant and fled to his house for protection.

And I saw the three soldiers that he had hid at the stack and which he enabled them to escape from the rebels.

The rebels were in pursuit of us and I understood that a party of rebels had been there when I got there and had gone on as they supposed in pursuit of them.

In the spring of 1865, I was sent out to get some horses that the Federals were then pasturing on claimant’s farm and brought the horses away from his farm.

I had known him from my childhood and during the whole war knew him well and never doubted his loyalty to the federal government and I am satisfied that the neighbors all regarded him as a Union man and I have never heard his loyalty doubted.

John A. Hague
before, John W. Ramsey - Special Commission



Depostion of Herman Foster

Aged 55 years. I was examined before in rebuttal and answered such questions as were asked me. This as I understand was before the claimant had seen the depostions of Carrouth, Blount, Larrison and others. Now in answer before the questions says, during the few weeks I spent at the claimant’s house beginning the latter half of September, I met Captain Ainsworth E. Blount at least twice at the claimant’s house and heard conversations between claimant and Capt. Blount about the war and other subjects and I had private conversations with him and obtained the impression that claimant was one of the most firm and consistent true blue Union men of our county.

In our conversation the claimant told us about his various losses during the war and that if he had not used a little cunning his losses would have been still heavier.

He said that a small portion of his wheat had got spoiled and he, after putting his good wheat into a large garner, he then put this spoiled wheat on top of it and when the rebels first came they went and examined the top of his wheat and left and that the rebels came the second time with a number of wagons for the wheat but when they examined it again, went off and left the wheat and that he saved this and when the was over he sold it for good money.

My understanding both in these conversations in which Capt. Blount and I was present and other conversations was that claimant’s losses have been heavy.

During my stay at Mr. Cate’s, he introduced me to Mr. J.C. Steed, whom we met near Mr. Steed’s dwelling and that in conversation between them and myself as to our losses here and in Missouri where I had come from and I heard their statement and understood that Mr. Cate’s losses had been very considerable. They seemed to sympathize with each other and I recollect that Mr. Steed stated in that conversation that their losses would have been greater if it had not been that their neighbors were nearly all Union men and protected each other.

During the time that many of our citizens were making out and filing their claims before the State Commissioners appointed to investigate these claims, I recollect that Mr. J.C. Steed and the claimant had a conversation about their losses during the war.

Mr. Steed stated he was going to file his claim before those commissioners but the claimant said he did think their was any money in that concern. And Mr. Steed suggested that it might put them in better shape as men were constantly dying and moving away from the county and he insisted it would be better to file their claims.

I was engaged in the (nursery?) business and I got acquainted with the neighbors and found them generally Union men.

I heard the conversations between the claimant and Mr. Leonard Carrouth in which the sick wheat question came up, and it was talked over, as to how the claimant managed to deceive the rebels in regard to his wheat by having the spoilt wheat on top of it. The yankees were not mentioned in conversation with the spoilt wheat.

I heard this wheat matter talked over several times and it was alway stated as rebels and not as yankees that were fooled.

I never heard the claimant speak of having any wheat between the weatherboarding and ceiling in his house. I know the house well enough to know this could not be the case. But he did show me where he had his wheat hid.

I recollect that claimant and Mr. Carrouth talked about their losses as Union men and sympathized with each other, and that Mr. Cate’s losses were considerable. I never heard Carrouth speak of the claimant in any other way than as a Union man.

Herman Foster
before, John W. Ramsey - Special Commission



Deposition of Thomas L. Cate

Age 42 years. I am a farmer and merchant. I reside in Cleveland and have resided there for the last 11 years and have resided in Bradley county, Tennessee for about 19 years. I am a nephew of the claimant and have known him all my life. I have no interest in his claim.

I was arrested about the 7th of December 1861 and sent to Tuscaloosa Alabama where I was confined several weeks under the notorious Captain Weiz. There were some 15 or 16 Union men of us sent by the rebels from about Cleveland to that place. We remained at Tuscaloosa about a month and then we were sent to Mobile from that point released about February the 3rd or 4th 1862.

Mr. Thomas H. Calloway upon my return told me that he had some petitions got up and signed by a few rebels who were kindly disposed to us to try to get us out, that he put the petition into the hands of John C. Burch who was a high officer of the confederacy and to whom he paid twenty five hundred dollars and that through the exertions of Burch we were released. I paid Calloway what was my pro rate of the money, which if I recollect right, was about one hundred and sixty six dollars. He did not mention the names of the Union men who assisted him.

Question by Commissioner - Was the claimant loyal.

Answer - I knew him well and talked with him and I know that he was always a Union man from first to last. I knew his reputation and it was that he was loyal with United States. I never heard it doubted till he voted for Seuter for Governor in 1869.

T.L. Cate
before, John W. Ramsey - Special Commissioner



Deposition of James McGhee

Aged 53 years. Residence three miles and a half from Cleveland. I am a farmer. I am not related to the claimant and have no interest in his claim.

I have been acquainted with the claimant ever since he came to this county, having lived myself nearly all that time in Cleveland.

Question by the claimant - State what you know about my carrying a petition around in the winter or early spring of 1862 to leading rebels about Cleveland to sign it asking the rebel authorities to release a number of Union prisoners that were confined in southern prisons.

Answer - I recollect the claimant came to John N. Cowan’s one Sunday about that time with a petition to release some Union men from Cleveland and Bradley county Tennessee. James M. Cowan and myself were present at James N. Cowan’s at the time. I distinctly recollect the claimants showing the petition to us to try to get these Union men out of prison. After it was read over to us, John N. Cowan and James M. Cowan signed it, and my recollection is that I also signed it.

Question - State what names do you recollect seeing on this petition?

Answer - My recollection is that the names of Dr. J.P.R. Edwards name was on it, besides other leading rebels of the town of Cleveland before we signed. John N. Cowan, James M. Cowan were honorable leading rebels and I also acted with that side, but at heart I was always a Union man.

Question - State what you know about these Union men from Southern prison being released from Tuscaloosa and coming back home and give the names of some of the prisoners.

Answer - I recollect that it was not long afterwards that these Union men were released and came home. Among these prisoners were Col. Stephen Baird, Thomas L. Cate, Dr. John G. Brown, Dr. William Hunt and Seth Bradford and some others came back at that time.

Question - State what you know about this petition being presented only to the rebels who were best disposed fowards their Union neighbors.

Answer - I recollect when we signed the petition that James N. Cowan said that he did not know whether he had done right or not in signing it but that the claimant Uncle Billie (as he called him) was his neighbor and a clean man. And the men to be got out were clean men and he signed it anyhow as it was a private matter. The two Cowans and Dr. Edwards are dead.

Question - State what you know about how James N. Cowan regarded me as to loyalty and as how you regarded me.

Answer - I recollect that at one time when I had been two or three days out trying to save a wagon and team that the rebels had pressed as they were being driven out of this county by the federals and had left a mule with a Mr. Tucker, a Union man, and Tucker got uneasy and sent it to the claimants. The mule belonged to Cowan and (Company?) of whom I was one. I saw James N. Cowan and told him I had the mule in claimant’s parts, and James N. said it was all right for Uncle Billie was a good Union man and would save him if he could.

I know that Cowan always considered claimant a Union man. I always regarded claimant as a Union man.

Question - State what you know about J.C. Steed being a brick mason and how long has he followed it for a living.

Answer - He is a brick mason and he has to my knowledge followed it for thirty years for a living.

James McGhee
before, John W. Ramsey - Spec. Comm.



Deposition of Thomas Rains

Aged 48 years and reside at Graysville, Georgia. I am now Railroading but have for years engaged in sawmilling. I am not related to the claimant and have no interest in his claim. At the beginning of the war I resided in Murray county Georgia and was a neighbor to Leonard Carrouth. But I was raised about Cleveland Tennessee and have been acquainted with claimant for 22 years.

I was a Union man and I began taking or piloting Union men through the rebel lines to the Union army in the spring of 1863. And I continued piloting men to the federal army as a recruiting officer till I went into the 5th Tennessee Mounted Infantry in September 1864 and continued in that Regiment till the close of the war. I was (Capt./Corp.?)

Question by the claimant - State what you know about the Union element or men in Murray (next line missing).

Answer - Murray county Georgia voted strong for the Union but after the state seceded some of the Union men went with the state, but the district in which myself and Leonard Carrouth lived all went for the Union except four; and I scouted through that district till the close of the war and so far as I know the Union men of that district all remained faithful to the Union cause.

Question - State what you know about Leonard Carrouth leaving Murray county; when he left and where did his family live? And what you heard about his reporting some Union men.

Answer - My recollection is that Leonard Carrouth left Murray county Georgia in 1864. I was in his neighborhood just at Christmas 1863 and he was there at house in Murray. His wife and family came up to Bradley in the early part of 1864. I know that Carrouth did no do any fighting for the Union cause. And I heard the report or rumor that was out among the Union men of Murray county that Carrouth reported Union men to the rebels.

Question - State what you know about the claimant’s loyalty.

Answer - I knew the claimant well and I always understood him to be a Union man and I talked with him repeatedly during the war and I never heard anything else but that he was a Union man. I never heard his loyalty questioned.

Question - State what was the condiditon of many of the conscripts that came from Murray and other northern counties of Georgia.

Answer - Many of them were in a most destitute condition. Many of them were without shoes and sometimes nearly naked. I took many of them through to the Union lines.

Thomas Rains
before, John W. Ramsey - Spec. Comm.



Deposition of D.B. Oneal

Aged 46 years, residence Cleveland. I am a merchant. I am not related to the claimant and have no interest in his claim.

I was made Deputy Clerk of the County Court of Bradley county, Tennessee about the 1st of the year 1862 and acted as Deputy till I left for the Union lines in the summer of 1863.

I recollect that the office of the County Court Clerk - Joseph H. Davis, was the usual place of meeting of the Union men of Cleveland and surrounding country, and I recollect that the claimant was one of the Union men that constantly met at the office. I also recollect that these Union men frequently contributed to aid the Union men that were reported to them to be lying out to wait for pilots to conduct them through to the federal lines.

I cannot now recollect any particular instance but I recollect that he did his part in contributing to aid these men. These Union men were not associated together under any oaths of security but bound together by Union ties and sympathies and we never trusted any man that we did not think true, and we seldom after the spring of 1862 ever talked together on the steet and when several of us met we shut the doors and went out one by one. Such men met at this office as Dr. G.B. Thompson, J. H. Gaut, esq., James H. Norman, A.A. Clingan, Elijah Wize, Samual Wyrich, William Cate, William Craigmiles, John F. Hayes, William Low, A(he) Henry, Dr. A. McNabb, and many others often met there.

Question by claimant - Did you ever see Justus C. Steed, J.F. Larrison, Leonard Carrouth or Captain A.E. Blount present at any of these meetings of Union men?

Answer - I don’t recollect ever seeing any of them there.

Question - How long have you known me and what do you know about my loyalty?

Answer - I have known William Cate for about 22 years and have lived all that time, except the few months that the rebels ran me away, within about two and a half miles of him and have been all the time well acquainted with him and I always recognized him as a Union man and I never doubted his loyalty nor did I ever hear of its being doubted till a few weeks ago. And I was never more surprised at a report than at the report that he was not loyal. I thought I knew his public reputation for loyalty about Cleveland and I never heard his loyalty with Union cause doubted.

D.B. Oneal
before, John W. Ramsey - Spec. Comm.



Deposition of Thomas A. Cowan

Aged 26 years. I am the son of John N. Cowan, deceased, and reside on his farm with my mother since his death. This farm is broadside adjoining the farm of the claimant and I am not related to the claimant and have no interest in his claim. I am the oldest living child of my deceased father.

My father was a rebel in the late war, and I know that he always regarded the claimant as a Union man and I hever head him speak of him in any other way than as a Union man and I have heard him speak of him often.

I am satisfied that the rebels of our neighborhood all regarded him as a Union man.

Question by the claimant - Does Mr. Leonard Carrouth’s farm join yours and how near does he live to you and when did he move to that place?

Answer - Our farms join. Our houses are not a quarter of a mile apart. He moved to that place to the best of my recollection in the spring of 1865. Mr. Carrouth’s place also joins the claimants farm.

Question - Do you know how the said Carrouth regarded me after he came into my neighborhood - as to loyalty? Till he left?

Answer - My recollection is he always spoke of the claimant as a Union man. I don’t think he ever spoke of him in any other way as long as he lived here.

T.A. Cowan
before, John W. Ramsey - Spec. Comm.


Continued Testimony-page 3