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Deposition of David Thomas to Southern Claims Commission
Testimony on Facts
The following questions concerning the ownership of property charged in claims will be put to all claimants, or the representatives of deceased claimants:
The said David Thomas being first duly sworn deposes and says my age is 75 years and I reside in Jefferson County Alabama and I am a Farmer.
I was the owner of the property at the time it was taken. I had raised the mule on my farm and I had bought and paid for the mare.
My Farm and residence is in Jefferson County Alabama near the Little Warrior River about eight (8) miles from Myrick's Ferry on the main public Road leading from Jasper in Walker county to Elyton in Jefferson County. I owned 80 acres of land. I had cleared about 30 acres. I had it all in cultivation and the balance was woodland.
No Sir, I have not.
The following questions will be put to claimants and witnesses who testify to the taking of property, omitting in the case of each claimant or witness any questions that are clearly unnecessary.
I was present at the time and saw the mule taken but did not see the mare taken. She was from house at a widowed daughters and was taken from her premises as my daughter afterwards told me. I had loaned her that mare and after the army had passed she told me that the army had taken the mare and I have every reason to believe that the army did take her.
The mule was taken in the day time and my daughter told me that the mare was taken publicly so that they could all see and show that she was taken. The mule was taken publicly so that we could all see and know that he was taken.
No sir, I did not make any complaint to the soldiers about the taking of my mule and if my daughter made any complaint about the taking of my mare she did not tell me about it.
I did not ask for any receipt or voucher for my mule and the soldiers did not offer or give any thing and if my daughter asked the soldiers for any receipt she failed to tell me about it. I failed to ask for a receipt from the fact that I did not know that the soldiers would give me a receipt and I did not know that a receipt would be of any use to me at the time.
I have never secured pay for this property or for any part of it nor for any other property taken from me at the same time that this property was taken or for any property taken from me at any time during the war. This property has never been included in any other claim. I have never filed(?) a claim to Congress or to any department or officer of the United States government or to any State officer or department of any State. This is the only Claim that I have ever prosecuted(?) for payment of property taken from me at any time during the rebellion.
The property was taken by troops on the march going in the direction of Elyton, but they afterward encamped at Myrick's Ferry on the Warrior River about 8 miles from my house where they remained for two or three days. There had been no battle or skirmish since then.
I saw the mule taken but did not see the mare taken. She was taken from my daughter about two (2) miles from my house. My daughter has left this County, and I cannot find out when she *****(?) *****(?) if living, the last time that I heard from her and her children they were in the State of Illinois and I cannot produce her or any one of her children as witnesses in this claim. If my daughter or any of her children were here I could prove the taking of the mare.
This property was good(?) ******(?) property and in good condition the mule was fat and the mare was in good working order. I had lent her to my daughter only two or three days before she was taken. The mule was five (5) years old and about 15 and a half hands high and was a medium size was a sorrel in color was well broke and worked kind and gentle to the Plow and Wagon and was kind and gentle under the saddle. The mare was 10 years old was a full medium size was bay(?) in color. She was well broke and worked well to the Plow and Wagon and was a gentle saddle *****(?) mare. The mule was in my house ***(?) and the mare was at my daughters about two miles from my house. I know that the soldiers taken our mule and I have every reason to believe that they taken the mare as I have already stated. I think that mule was worth fully one hundred and seventy five dollars ($175.00) in United States money at the time he was taken. I think the mare was worth fully one hundred and twenty five dollars ($125.00) in United States money at the time she was taken. This mule and mare was taken on the 27th day of March 1865. they was taken by soldiers belonging to General Wilson's command of the Union army. I did not hear the names of any of the officers except that of General Wilson. The soldiers came to my house and out to the lot and put a bridle or halter on the mule and a soldier rode the mule off in the woods where they left and my daughter told me that the soldiers came to her house and went to the lot and taken the mare and carried her off when they left her house. The mule was carried off by a squad of soldiers on horseback one of them sitting(?) the mule and my daughter tells me that the mare was taken and carried off by a squad of soldiers belonging to General Wilson's army. I can't state the precise number of soldiers that was at my house at the time but there was 12 or 15 of them. They did not remain at my house but a very short time not longer than 15 minutes. They carried the mule of in the direction of Elyton. If there was any officers present I did not know them as officers. All that the soldiers said about the taking of the mule that they had orders to take him for the use of the army. I cannot give you the names of any of them. I think from the ***(?) that the Union army was marching through the **********(?) county and not being able to buy or purchase horses for their uses to aide and supply the places of broken down stock that they had proper orders from the proper officers to take such stock ***(?) ******(?) supply the places of broken down stock and I think that they was justifiable in taking this stock and all *********(?) supplies for the use of the army.
Further this deposition saith not.
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