Union Report On Scout From Stevenson To Caperton's Ferry, Alabama, And Vicinity.
Report of Maj. Lewis R. Stegman, One hundred and second New
HDQRS. 102D NEW YORK VETERAN VOLUNTEERS,
Stevenson, Ala., April 12, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that in conformity with the
orders and instructions received from your headquarters, dated April
10, 1864, 1 proceeded with a detachment of 60 men and 3 commissioned
officers to arrest several prominent citizens residing on the
south bank of the Tennessee River, near Caperton's Ferry.
The detachment commenced its march at 4 a.m. on the morning of
the 11th, and proceeded directly to the north bank of the river. There,
with the aid and assistance of Lieutenants Merriam and Brown, One
hundred and forty-ninth New York Volunteers, we were quickly
embarked in scows, dug-outs, and pontoon-boats, and, after much
difficulty, succeeded in effecting a crossing. Immediately upon
reaching the south bank I deployed a strong line of skirmishers,
under command of Lieutenant Kelsey, and marched swiftly up the
road to our first point of destination. In the mean time, however,
I had captured two young men lounging near the river bank, and
impressing one to act as a guide I forwarded the other to the north
bank under guard, to be held as hostage for the good behavior of
his brother. We reached the residence of Mr. Hugh Caperton, and,
discovering said person in an adjacent field, I immediately arrested
him. Following the lower mountain road, under the direction of
our guide, I filed to the right, halting for a moment at the house of
a Mr. Marshall, a citizen desirous of taking the oath, and, after
some conversation, gaining information, I proceeded onward, arresting
Mr. Adam Caperton, and discovering by search and inquiry that
Mr. Thomas Caperton, one of the parties noticed for arrest, was a
soldier in the rebel service, and had not been at home or seen in his
immediate neighborhood for several months past. Retracing our
steps, throwing out another line of skirmishers to our then front
and holding our former first line as rear guard, I advanced to the
left of Mr. Hugh Caperton's (as noted on appended diagram*) and
advanced to the residence of Mr. John E. Caperton. This person I
discovered to be absent from home having gone to the top of the
mountain. From searching
inquiry I became convinced that this
man has been endeavoring for more than a week to reach Stevenson
for the purpose of taking the oath of allegiance. We then
proceeded to the late residence of Mr. Sam. Norwood, finding,
however, that he had long since vacated, removing to some inner county,
his presemit place of residence. I arrested the man who at present
occupies the premises first named, a person named John Loweree.
The house noticed on the map as Norwood's house, near the coal
bank, on the mountain top, has been utterly destroyed by fire. In
each case I made thorough investigation, searching the premises for
all articles contraband of war, but discovered nothing. Houses and
outhouses, pens for animals, everything bearing the look of a
depository for guns or Government property were diligently scrutinized,
Having accomplished the object of my mission, to the extent of
my ability, and believing that further search would be as ineffectual
and fruitless as previous search has proven, I returned to the ferry
and north bank of the river, thence to Stevenson, where I delivered
the persons of Messrs. Hugh and Adam Caperton and Mr. John
Loweree into your charge and keeping.
In the course of my investigations I became acquainted with the
fact that a strong guerrilla rendezvous exists at Raccoon Creek,
about 7 miles from Caperton's Ferry, under the leadership of a
person named Cox. This man, with some 15 or 20 comrades, had dashed
through the valley on Thursday or Friday last, committing serious
depredations. This man is the same person who attacked the
detachment of the Sixty-sixth Ohio a few weeks ago.
A rumor prevails in the valley that some 1,500 of Morgan's men
are congregated in the mountains.
Numerous individuals in the valley and on the mountains are
desirous of taking the oath of allegiance.
The arrested Caperton brothers are considered the wealthiest and
most influential men in the valley. Both have nephews and sons
in the rebel army; Mr. Loweree has two sons in the service of the
The roads are in execrable condition, miry and rocky.
I must render proper thanks to the officers and men assisting me,
all from the Sixtieth New York, for alacrity and obedience to every
command and the endeavor to do more than I required. I cannot
too highly compliment them.
The expedition is under many obligations to Lieutenants Merriam
and Brown, of the One hundred and forty-ninth New York, for their
diligence and attention in ferrying the command over the river and
I am, captain, with great respect, your very obedient servant,
LEWIS R. STEGMAN,
Major 102d N.Y.V.V., Comdg. Detch. 60th N.Y.V.V.
Capt. S. B. WHEELOCK,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
*Diagram not found
SOURCE: Offical Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 32, Part 1.
Promote Your Page Too