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Deposition of Alexander H. Burns to Southern Claims Commission
Testimony on Facts

  1. Were you present when any of the property charged in this claim was taken? Did you actually see any taken? If so, specify what you saw taken.
  2. The said Alexander H. Burns being duly sworn deposes and says my age is 60 years. I reside in Blount County Alabama and I am a Farmer.

    I was not present at the time and I did not see the soldiers take the mare or mule but I saw the mule in the possession of a part of the Union Army after the soldiers had taken him from the claimant and I knew the mule to be the property of the claimant. I knew the claimants property well. I lived about two miles from the claimant at that time. I know that he had a mare at the time the army came through this County and after the army had passed on the claimant told me that the army had taken the mare from him that he had lent the mare to his daughter and that the army had been there and taken her and I know that I never saw the mare after that time and I have every reason to believe that the army taken the mare.

  3. Was any of the property taken in the night time, or was any taken secretly, so that you did not know of it at the time?
  4. I saw the mule in the possession of the soldiers who said that they belonged to General Wilson's army in the day time they was passing along the main public road in the direction of Myrick's Ferry on the little Warrior River on the road leading to Elyton, and I was a soldier riding the mule in the ranks with other soldiers along the Road by my house and I knew the mule belonged to the claimant and said to my wife that the soldiers had taken the claimants mule they was then passing my house.

  5. Was any complaint made to any other of the taking of any of the property? If so, give the name, rank and regiment of the officer, and state who made the complaint to him, what he said and did in consequence, and what was the result of the claim.
  6. I was not present when this property was taken.

  7. Were any vouchers or receipts asked for or given? If given, where are the vouchers or receipts? If lost, state fully how lost. If asked and not given, by whom were they asked, who was asked to give them, and why were they refused or not given. State very fully in regard to the failure to ask or obtain receipts.
  8. I was not present at the taking of this property.

  9. Has any payment ever been made for any property charged in this claim? Has any payment been made for any property taken at the same times as the property charged in this claim? Has any payment been made for any property taken from the same claimant during the war, and if so, when, by whom, for what property and to what amount? Has this property, or any part of it, been included in any claim heretofore presented to Congress, or any court, department or officer of the United States, or to any board of survey, military commission, State commission or officer, or any other authority? If so, when and what tribunal or officers was the claim presented; was it larger or smaller in amount than this claim, and how is the difference explained, and what was the decision, if any, of the tribunal to which it was presented?
  10. I know nothing of anything contained in this question.

  11. Was the property charged in this claim taken by troops encamped in the vicinity, or were they on the march, or were they on a raid or expedition, or had there been any recent battle or skirmish?
  12. This property charged in this claim was taken by troops in the march going in the direction of Elyton, there had been no battle or skirmish.

  13. You will please listen attentively while the list of items, but not the quantities, is read to you, and as each kind of property is called off, say whether you saw any such property taken.
  14. I saw the mule in the possession of the soldiers after they had taken him. I did not see the mare taken as such was in the possession of the army.

  15. Begin now with the first item of property you have just said you saw taken, and give the following information about. 1st. Describe the exact condition, as, for instance, if corn, whether green or ripe, standing or harvested, in shuck, or husked, or shelled; if lumber whether new or old, in buildings or piled; if grain, whether growing or cut, etc., etc. 2nd. State where it was. 3rd. What was the quantity; explain fully how you know the quantity and if estimated, describe your method of making the estimate. 4th. Describe the quality to your best judgment. 5th State as nearly as you can the market value of such property at the time in United States money. 6th. Say when the property was taken. 7th Give the name of the detachment, regiment, brigade, division, corps, or army taking the property, and the names of any officers belonging to the command. 8th. Describe the precise manner in which the property was taken into possession by the troops, and the manner in which it was removed. 9th. State as closely as you can how many men, animals, wagons, or other means of transport, were engaged in the removal, how long they were occupied, and to what place they removed the property. 10th. State if any officers were present; how you knew them to be officers; what they said or did in relation to the property and give the names of any, if you can. 11th. Give any reasons that you may have for believing that the taking of the property was authorized by the proper officers or that it was for the necessary use of the army.
  16. This was good property I know the property well. the mule was about 5 years old was over medium in size was sorrel in color was broken and was used to the Plow and Wagon and such kind and gentile under the saddle. The mare was about 10 years old was medium in size was bay in color was broken and worked well to the Plow and Wagon and was a good saddle animal. I think the mule was worth fully one hundred and fifty dollars ($150.00) in United States money at the time he was taken. I think the mare was worth one hundred and twenty five dollars ($125.00) in United States money at the time she was taken. This property was taken about the last day of March 1865. This property was taken by soldiers belonging to General Wilson's command of the union Army. I did not have the names of any of the officers but that of General Wilson at the time. I saw this mule in the possession of the army a soldier was riding him along the public Road in the ranks with other soldiers. I cannot say how many soldiers were in the squad but there must have been 12 or 15 of them when I saw them passing my house. The soldiers that had this mule in their possession was going in the direction of Myrick's Ferry on the Warrior River. I do not know whether or not there was any officers along with the soldiers. I did not know officers from soldiers. I did not hear the soldiers say anything about the taking of the mule. I cannot give the name of any of the soldiers. I think from the fact that the army was in the rebels lines and ******(?) they could not buy horses or mules nor supplies of any kind that they were justifiable in the taking of this property they had to have stock to supply the places of their broken down stock and I think that they was justifiable in the taking of this property and I think that the soldiers had orders from the proper officers to authorize them to take this property. I think this from the fact if they did not they could not have done anything with the stock that they taken from the citizens along this march.

    ******(?)

    I am related to the claimant by marriage and am his son-in-law. I married his daughter. I have no interest in this claim.

Further this deposition saith not.

attest James Thompson                                                           Alexander H. Burns - his mark


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