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Posted By: Pete on: 05/10/2005 19:58:28 EDT|
Subject: Early Days of the Rat Line
Statement of George W. Smith, of Bryantown, Charles County, Md.
The secession feeling commenced about April last, 1861. The principal leaders in the secession party and those who have aided against the Government are, first, James A. Mudd; lives about one mile from Bryantown; has been conveying men and boxes supposed to contain munitions of war from Baltimore and different counties in the State to Pope's Creek on the Potomac. The men were strangers from Baltimore and other places. Mudd paid the expenses. This has been carried on since April last. Hillary Burch, at Benedict, has been running a regular line of passengers to Pope's Creek in a wagon, carrying arms, &c., daily to Pope's Creek. Robert L. Burch, of Bryantown, has been carrying arms and ammunition to Pope's Creek in his wagon, driven by Dennis Burch. Y. Posey, of Port Tobacco, has been running a regular line from [there] taking passengers, arms and ammunition from Benedict to Pope's Creek. Thomas A. Jones, of Pope's Creek, is the man who receives the men, arms and ammunition at that place and conveys them over to Virginia in his own boat and with his own negroes. Thomas Stone, at Pope's Creek, is also engaged at the same business. Stone has also been collecting men to carry over to Virginia. Luther Martin, of Allen's Fresh, Charles County, is now daily running men and ammunition from Benedict to Pope's Creek.
The boxes containing the guns abome from Anne Arundel County, Md. Supposes at least 200 have left the neighborhood of Bryantown and been carried to Virginia to the secession army. The wagon that carried the passengers, arms and ammunition from Bryantown to Pope's Creek belongs to the cavalry company at Bryantown and is in possession of James A. Mudd.
Smith states positively that he is guilty of no intentional wrong. He admits he has acted wrong, but he did it innocently, having been persuaded that there was no wrong in what he did by Mudd and others. He most piteously asks to be discharged* by taking the oath, and declares he will be true and give information of anything that may be done against the Government in that region. I would recommend his discharge, as I think this is all that can be made out of him, and he can be used hereafter if necessary.
T. B. ROBEY.
Source: OR, Series 2, Volume 2, Part 1, p. 868