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Deposition of James Vanderford to Southern Claims Commission

The following questions will be put to every person testifying to the loyalty of claimants or beneficiaries:

  1. In whose favor are you here to testify?
  2. The said James Vanderford being first duly sworn deposes and says my age is 50 years and I reside in Jefferson County Alabama and I am a Farmer.

    In favor of the claimant.

  3. How long have you known that person altogether, and what part of that time have you intimately known him?
  4. I have known the claimant about 20 years and I have been intimate with him as a neighbor most of that time.

  5. Did you live near him during the war, and how far away?
  6. I lived about two (2) miles from the claimant all the time during the war.

  7. Did you meet him often, and about how often, during the war?
  8. I saw the claimant often during the war. I would see him sometimes two or three times a week and then I would not see him again for a week. I think that I saw him on an average of one a week during the war.

  9. Did you converse with the claimant about the war, its causes, its progress, and its results? If so, try to remember the more important occasions on which you so conversed, beginning with the first occasion, and state, with respect to each, when it was, where it was, who were present, what caused the conversation, and what the claimant said in substance, if you cannot remember his words.
  10. I conversed with the claimant often about the war and its causes and progress, he was bitterly opposed to the war and the Confederacy. I do not remember of any special conversation that we had we talked so often about the war and the Confederacy that it is impossible for me to recollect any special conversations that we had but I know that he was a strong Union man and opposed to the war. ***(this line black and can't be read)**** not succeed, that the war was wrong on the part of the South and that he hoped that the rebellion would be put down and the leaders all hung and the government ********(?), these conversations was always private or at least we were very cautious about whoever we let hear us talk about the Confederacy. I think that the claimant was true Union man and a friend to the cause of the Union his language to me was all the time in favor of the Union cause.

  11. Do you know of anything done by the claimant that showed him to be loyal to the Union cause during the war? If you do, state what he did, when, where, and what was the particular cause or occasion of his doing it? Give the same information about each thing he did that showed him to be loyal.
  12. Anything more than his talk to me and I saw him with two Union soldiers that was at home on furlough and they were not afraid to see and talk to him the two Union soldiers was William A. Black and William Campbell that was in the fall of 1864.

  13. Do you know of anything said or done by the claimant that was against the Union cause? If so, please state with respect to each thing said or done, what it was, when it was, where it was, and what particular compulsion or influence caused him to say it.
  14. No sir, I do not.

  15. If you have heard of anything said or done by the claimant, either for the Union cause or against it, state from whom you heard it, when you heard it and what you heard.
  16. I never heard of the claimant saying or doing anything against the Union cause.

  17. What was the public reputation of the claimant for loyalty or disloyalty to the United States during the war? If you profess to know his public reputation, explain fully how you know it, whom you heard speak of it, and give the names of other persons who were neighbors during the war that could testify to his public reputation.
  18. That of a strong Union man and a friend to the cause of the Union he often told me that he was and I heard Thomas Campbell, Asa Burrell, William A. Black, Druy James, Thomas B. Robbins, John B. Robbins and others whose names I do not now remember say that the claimant was a strong Union man and loyal to the United States government. I think that William McCrary, Cleveland McCrary, David Rhodes, James Drummond, William Rouse or Rice(?) and Alexander Burns and Ananias N. Thomas all Union men could testify to the claimants public reputation.

  19. Who were the known and prominent Union people of the neighborhood during the war, and do you know that such persons could testify to the claimant's loyalty?
  20. William Meagan(?), Asa Burrell, Thomas Campbell, James Drummond, Thomas B. Robbins, Ephraim N. Robbins, L. M. Robbins, Doug James, William A. Black and John Sullivan I think that any of these persons could testify to the claimants loyalty during the war.

  21. Were you, yourself, an adherent of the Union cause during the war? If so, did the claimant know you to be such, and how did he know it?
  22. I was and the claimant did know that I was. I often told him that I was a regarded him as a strong Union man and I confided in him as a Union man.

  23. Do you know of any threats, molestation's, or injury inflicted upon the claimant, or his family, or his property, on account of his adherence to the Union cause? If so, give all the particulars.
  24. No sir, I do not.

  25. Do you know of any act done or language used by the claimant that would have prevented him from establishing his loyalty to the Confederacy? If so, what act or what language?
  26. I think from the fact that the claimant said so much about the rebellion and the Confederacy that he could not have established and maintained loyalty to the Confederacy if it had been established as a separate government.

  27. Can you state any other facts within your own knowledge in proof of the claimant's loyalty during the war? If so, state all the facts and give all the particulars.
  28. No sir, I can not.

(Special) Written by the Claimant.

Are you or have you been a claimant for property taken from you during the war by the Union army? If so, what action has been taken on your Claim.

I was a Claimant for property taken from me during the war by General Wilson's command of the Union Army. My claim has been acted upon by the Commissioners of Claims and has been allowed and I have secured the money on the same.

I am not related to the Claimant in this case or any manner. I have no interest in this claim.

Further this deposed saith not,

Attest James Thompson                                      James Vanderford - his mark


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