Summary of John Freeland file, M346.  Freeland owned the building at the Northwest corner of 6th and Cary that was used as a Provost Marshal prison

7/31/1862 Paid $400 for “2 months rent of Factory, corner of 6th & Cary Street used as Provost Marshalls Office at $200 per month. June 1st to July 31st 1862.” R. M. Booker, Capt & Asst Pro Marshal, signs.

9/1/1862 Paid $21.50 for “Water Rent up to this date at Bookers Prison” ($18.00) and “Kegs for Factory” ($3.50) R. M. Booker, Capt & Asst Pro Marshal, signs.

11/1/1862 Paid $600 for “Rent of Factory for Western District Prison from Aug 1st to Oct 31st/62. 3 months @ 200 per month.” R. M. Booker, Capt & Asst Pro Marshal, signs.

12/31/1862 Paid $400 for “Rent of Factory on the Cor 6th & Cary St. used as Western District Prison from Nov 1st to date. 2 month @ $200.00.” R. M. Booker, Capt & Asst Pro Marshal, signs.

2/1/1863 Paid $200 for “Rent of Factory on the corner of 6th & Cary Streets used as Western District Prison from Jan 1st to date.” Jackson Warner, Capt & AA Quartermaster, signs.

4/1/1863 Paid $400 for “rent of Factory on the corner of 6th & Cary streets used as Western District Prison from Feby 1st to date (inclusive) (2 mos) at $200 per month.”

6/1/1863 Paid $200 for “2 mos rent of House known as ‘Western District Prison’ at $200 per month from Apl 1st to date.”

6/9/1863 John W. Lee, painter, provides estimate of damages to Freeland’s warehouse: 608 broken window panes ($6/per to replace) and $400 worth of painting damage.

6/20/1863 Jackson Warner summarizes alterations to Freeland’s warehouse, and conditions of the rent. Apparently in response to claims from Freeland. See below.

6/22/1863 Gorgas proposes turning “the building known as Castle Lightning, corner of 6th & Cary” into a storehouse. Freeland “is anxious that it shall not again be occupied as a prison.” See below.

6/24/1863 Gorgas directs Capt. A. W. Lawrence: “you will suspend negotiations for the store house corner 5th & Cary unless a communication is recd from Genl Winder.” Directs Lawrence to “Lose no time in securing the store house for the purpose of storing Ordnance supplies &c as indicated in my note of the 22nd. It is very important.”

6/25/1863 Gorgas directs “Capt. Lawrence” to “Go on with the arrangement with Mr. Freeland, & take possession of the building as soon as it can be delivered to you.”

7/23/1863 Robert J. Brown asserts that the warehouse was in good condition when the Confederates took over.

7/24/1863 Wm. H. & B. B. Woodward give testimony that they built Freeland’s warehouse and that following the C. S. Government’s use, they “had never seen a building so badly and [unnecessarily] damaged through carelessness & mischief.” See below.

8/5/1863 R. M. Booker writes gives testimony on the circumstances of Freeland storing private property in his building. See below.

8/25/1863 Capt. Geo. H. Fitzwilson gives testimony on the circumstances of Freeland storing private property in his building. Jackson Warner responds to criticism. See below.

10/9/1863 2nd Auditor desires information about the rent of the building from Freeland and “the settlement for the repairs made on Mr. Freeland’s Factory”

11/20/1863 Paid $500 for “Rent Building occupied by Capt. Myer C. S. 3 mos. 20 days for 22 Aug to date. @ $150.” Capt. Wm. E. Warren, Asst Quartermaster, signs.

2/29/1864 Paid $450 for “rent Warehouse occupied by Capt Myer A. C. S. from 1st Decr ’63 to 29 Feby 1864. 3 mo. @ $150.” Capt. Wm. E. Warren, Asst Quartermaster, signs.

4/4/1864 Paid $1000 by the Ordnance Bureau “for Rent of Factory Cor of 6th and Carey Streets, Richmond Va from January 3rd 1864 to April 3 1864 – 3 mos @ $4000 per annum.” Capt. A. W. Lawrence signs.

6/30/1864 Paid $600 “Rent Warehouse occupied by Capt Myer C. S. from 1st March to 30 June. 6 mos. @ $150.” Capt. Wm. E. Warren, Asst Quartermaster, signs.

10/1/1864 Paid $450 “Rent Warehouse occupied by Capt. Taylor A. Q. M. from 1 July to 30 Sept. 3 mos @ 150.” Capt. Wm. E. Warren, Asst Quartermaster, signs.

No date Hugh Martin claims that repainting the doors and woodwork of Freeland’s factory will cost $600

Austin Gentry
E. B. Elliott

Confederate States of America,
Richmond, June 22, 1863


Please to take immediate steps to remove the accumulation of valuable stores now at the canal bridge building on 7th street, to some separate stone house – to be kept for that purpose for a Commissary store.

The building known as Castle Lightning, corner of 6th & Cary is for rent. See Mr. Freeland, corner of 5th & Cary, on the subject, to-day if possible.

The building requires some repairs but can soon be made fit to occupy.

Mr. F. is anxious that it shall not again be occupied as a prison and will rent it, a good bargain, on that account.

Very Respy
Yr Obt Svt

J. Gorgas Colo.
Chief of Ord

Major W. S. Downer
Supt &c


Estimate of damage done to the painting and the glass at Mr. John Freeland factory on the corner of Cary and six street. I find 608 panes of glass broke. It will cost 6 dollars per pan to replace the glass, and it will cost four hundred dollars to replace the painting. This is correct to the best of my knowledge.

June 9 1863

John W. Lee Painter


The undersigned was in the Provost Marshal’s employment under Capt Booker at the time the Government took possession of the Tobacco Warehouse of Mr. John Freeland at the corner of Cary & 6 Streets, and that the same was in good order & condition with the exception of some window glass broken out. Richmond July 23 1863.

Robert J. Brown


In the latter parte of the year 1859 we built the Tobacco Warehouse. All of the woodwork of Mr. John Freeland at the Corner of 6th & Cary Streets all of the work done in the best stile & of the best material under the Superintendence of W. H. Exal, Architect. The building was in good order when taking by the Government & at the request of Mr. Freeland we examined the Building after it was vacated and made an estimate of the cost of damages to the woodwork. We have never seen a building so badly & unnecessarily damaged through carelessness & mischief.
We have since made partial repars on the windows & other wood worke.

July 24th 1863

Wm. H. Woodward
B. B. Woodward


Richmond 5 Aug 1863

In testimony of the substantial correctness of the annexed statement of agreement of Rent between Capt Warner & Mr. John Freeland:
I hereby certify, that I was present at the time Capt. Warner rented the building on the corner of 6th & Cary street, the property of John Freeland. The said building was voluntarily rented by Mr. Freeland, after Capt. Warner had distinctly stated, that it was to be used by the Government as a Prison & Barracks, with the Asst Prov Marshals office attached. Capt Warner told Mr. Freeland that he must remove all his private property from the building; and that the Government would not be responsible for any thing but the unnecessary abuse of the building and that all personal property was at his risk. Mr. Freeland was allowed by Capt Warner to store some of his property (tobacco samples, lumber, tobacco fixtures &c) in one corner of the basement room, as a matter of accommodation & favor and not as a right.

R. M. Booker
Capt. And late Asst Pro Marshal


Richmond Aug 25 1863

Major J. H. Parkhill
Commissioner &c:

I have read the proceedings which have taken place in the case of Freeland’s claim for damages against the Government made to the commission raised by General orders 155 Department of Henrico; and among the papers therein, filed a communication, from Mr. John Gibson, the commissioner selected by Mr. Freeland, addressed to you, which contains this language “if ever Capt. Warner’s statement is brought to the test, I think it will be rather hard for him to sustain it, in many of its specifications.” Why Mr. Gibson should think in a matter brought to his impartial decision, proofs not submitted, and intimate pretensions which the record nowhere disclosed is for him to consider as consistent or inconsistent with the position occupied in the case; But I have deemed it proper in view of the insinuation referred to, to substantiate the statements made by me; by the testimony of Capts. R. M. Booker and G. H. Fitzwilson, who were present at the making of the contract of renting and familiar with the circumstances of the occupation. They confirm, in particular, my previous statement, which I now in every point re-affirm. These statements are herewith enclosed marked A & B. It seems to me remarkable that Mr. Freeland’s vivid recollection of all other circumstances should be obscure upon those with which he should have been forcibly impressed from the repeated conversations on the subject. [page break]

General Winder will also remember that his order was to relieve the Government from the responsibility of damages for injury or loss of personal property, and that I reported to him that in the contract I had carefully guarded that point.

In a statement made by Austin Gentry, he states that I “could not have known of the existence of the culvert in the garden of Mr. Freeland” &c. The fact is that the brickmason employed by me on the privies at the prison, who had previously worked for me, informed me before the renting, of such culvert, and which determined me that the building could be made a convenient prison & barracks.

Very respectfully yours

J. Warner
Capt. & A. A. Q. M.



This is to certify that about the 20th of May 1862 I rented of Mr. John Freeland, the Tobacco Factory situated corner of sixth and Cary Streets in the City of Richmond under the following terms and circumstances, viz:

The rent was Two hundred dollars per month. It was rented voluntarily by Mr. Freeland without full knowledge that it was to be used as a Prison & Barracks. Mr. Freeland desired to store some Tobacco and other property in a part of the building, which I objected to assuring him that his property would be exposed to loss and depradation from the Prisoners & Guard, and that said property must be removed, as my instructions from Genl Jno. H. Winder were, not to expose the Government to any claim for damages to personal property and I then stated distinctly to Mr. Freeland that the Government would not be responsible for any such damages. As a matter of accommodation to him however, I allowed him to partition off the north west corner of the basement room of said building (as I did not need the same) to store his private property, but there was not right given said Freeland as to a reservation of that, or any other, portion of the building, and it was distinctly understood, that all personal property, thus stored in the building was at Mr. Freeland own risk. [page break]

I stated to Mr. Freeland, at the time of renting said Factory, that it would be necessary to run the privy pipes outside the building in order to enter a large culvert which runs through the garden adjoining the building; to do which, it would be necessary to cut the brick work of two windows down to the floor, as doors to the privies.

The damages for this alteration was paid for by me, Mr. Freeland accepting the same. Some months afterwards Mr. Freeland complained that these privies were exposed to view from his garden, and Genl Winder, on inspection of the ??? ordered a fence to be built eight feet high which necessarily cut off a narrow strip of garden running along the Factory building.

J. Warner
&A. A. Q. M.

Richmond June 20th 1863.


Assistant Quartermaster General’s Office,
Richmond, Va., 25th August 1863


I have been requested by Capt. Jackson Warner A. A. Q. M. to state what I know relative to the occupation by the Govt of the building owned by Mr. John Freeland, at the S. W. corner of Cary and 6th Streets, in this city.

During a portion of the summer of 1862, Capt W & I boarded in the same house (on Cary bet 2nd & 3rd Sts.) and frequently walked down together on our way to our respective places of business. ON one occasion I stopped with Capt. W at the building referred to, while it was being fitted up for use as a prison and barracks. Met Mr. Freeland in the basement, he asked permission of Capt W, to store some tobacco strips & other property in the basement. Capt W. replied that he had no objection to his storing the property in that corner (pointing at the time to the N. W. corner of the building) provided he would fence it in so as to make it secure, but that the Government would not be responsible for any private property in the building. Some days afterward I stopped again to look at the building with Capt. W, and noticed some workmen engaged in building a fence around a lot of lumber in the corner named. I, of course, cannot repeat the conversation verbatim – but the substance was as stated above to the effect that any private property left in the building after its occupation by Govt would be at owner’s risk [page break] and that Govt would not be responsible for its safe keeping.

Very Respectfully
Your Obt Servt

Geo. H. Fitzwilson
Capt & A. Q. M.


Messrs J & G. Gibson
To paint the wood work of the Doors & Windows of Mr. Freelands Factory, the new two coats and old one, will cost Six hundred Dollars ($600.)

Hugh Martin

Austin Gentry Statement of the Condition of the Factory


This paper is wholly written by Mr. Freeland himself & signed by Mr. Gentry; it sets forth that “the building (Factory) was in complete order & good condition from the roof to the basement,” and yet Mr. Freeland confesses himself that 34 panes of glass were broken out, when the Factory was rented by him to the Gov. These facts weaken its evidence as to the true conditions of the building, at this time.

John H. Parkhill
Maj Q M

The undersigned had charge of Mr. Jno Freelands Tobacco Stemmery, situated on the corner of 6th & Cary Sts, from the date of its completion to the date of its Improvement by Capt. Warner for the use of the Confederate Government; the building was in compleat order & good condition from the roof to the basement; all the interior arrangements, fixtures, & purchase & use of Lumber was made by & under my supervision as Captn Warner agreed to the reservation of a small portion of the basement for the purpose of storing Lumber & some fixtures & also a Box containing the Samples of all Tobacco that had been put up by me, during the past year – the said Box was nailed up & a strong close partition to protect the property enclosed therein; on looking through the building, with Captn Starke when taken by the City Battalion, I found the partition broken, the Box open & the Tobacco Samples (except 14) carried off; their weight would be four or five hundred pounds & their value, (as Samples) the Tobacco being unsold, cannot be correctly estimated; another small portion of the building on the second floor was also reserved, it was used as a stage, used for the purpose of working the screws, was put up by me, about three feet in height, fourteen feet in width & forty in length, covered with [page break] thick plank, with uprights, & cross timbers, underneath this structure, I had stored a large quantity of Susquehannah Boards (1611 feet) a number of Blocks of various kinds used at the Tobacco Presses, & various kinds of Lumber & other articles; the place was closely nailed up & well secured. The whole of this Lumber was used for the Government & the blocks, burnt or destroyed while in the occupancy of the Government.

Austin Gentry

It appears from an endorsement made by Major Parkhill on the back of a statement made by me in relation to the condition of the Freeland Tobacco Stemmery to that the same should be regarded as weakened in its character as evidence because of the omission, in relation to the number of panes of glass broken, & the further fact that the same was in the hand writing of Mr. Freeland: I was at the time of the transaction to which they refer, in the employment of Mr. Freeland & all the facts were well known to both of use. They were written down by him and submitted to me, I read them carefully and found them to be substantially true. As I thought and still think, with the exception of the words underlined, which I added, that is, “a portion of the blocks,” were used or destroyed and not the whole; the Omission of broken glass was accidental, though I had previously mentioned this fact to Major Parkhill & Elliott, in the month of April last at which term I went through the whole building with these Gentlemen. I pointed out to them at the request of Mr. Freeland, the damages that had up to that time been done to the building when the Government took possession. I counted the broken panes of glass and made a memorandum of it at the time; I will here mention that a portion of the blocks destroyed were my individual property and I have a small interest in the Tobacco lost; I distinctly recollect and know that Mr. Freeland had refused to rent the building as an Hospital and that there were several applications made for it to me; After the Government took possession, I was told by Capt. Warner that the Privy culvert was choked up and that he would be compelled to make a larger one, where I told him there was a large culvert in Mr. Freelands Garden and which was intended to drain the whole building, including the Privies. I know every thing connected with the construction of the house and culverts being engaged to take charge of it long before its [page break] completion (in 1859) and remained in charge up to the time of its occupation by the Government; the culvert out side is large and is below the foundation of the house, And I think that an enlargement of the inside culverts would with care & a full supply of water have rendered the construction of Privys outside the walls unnecessary; I do not think Capt Warner could have known of the existence of the culvert in Mr. Freelands Garden when he took the building for the reason stated above.

This statement

This addition to my former statement is made at the request of Mr Freeland. He having shown me other statements made in relation to this transaction.

Austin Gentry

Richmond 30 July 1863

In the month of May 1862 (the precise time not recollected) I was applied to for the house corner of Cary & 7th sts occupied jointly by J. M. Bailey & myself to be used as a guard house, to which I replied, I had already given up two houses to the government, and, that it would be a very hard case to compel me to change my place of business three times in one year; and, further suggested that Mr. Freeland could better spare his, on the corner above. A few days after this, Mr. Freeland expressed his regret to me, that I should have done so, as he could not spare his house, and furthermore seeming somewhat displeased with me, went into an argument to show that I would be less inconvenienced that he would.

As regards the condition of Mr. Freeland’s house at the time the Government took possession of it, I will state I was frequently in it, and immediately preceding that time, without seeing anything, save a few panes of glass [page break] broken that showed it had been at all injured. Indeed being well acquainted with the business carried on there, I do not see how it could be otherwise, with anything like ordinary care in its use. His manager, Mr. A. Gentry has always had the reputation of being a very reliable & careful man.

Jas. Fisher Junior

At the request of Mr. John Freeland, I make the following statement respecting his Lumber house on the corner of 6th & Cary St. –

During the spring and summer of 1861, Mr. Freeland was engaged in stemming Tobacco for me, and I had constant access to said Lumber houses, where my Tobacco remained until May 1862 and according to the best of my knowledge & belief, the said Lumber house was then in every respect in good order and repair.

Mr. Austin Gentry, Mr. Freeland’s manager, I have known for many years, and his statements regarding said Lumber house may be received with the utmost confidence.

William Marshall
Richmond 28th July 1863

Richmond July 28th 1863

John Freeland Esqr

You ask me to state what I know of your Building corner of 6th & Cary Streets when the Government took it in May 1862. I know it was one of [the] best buildings in the city was nearly new and could not have been much injured by it regular use as a Tobacco stemmery. I was through it I think in 1861 and think it was then in complete repair. It was built under my superintendence and no expense was spared on the part of yourself or the builders to make it complete and I know a large sum was paid beyond the contract price to make it so.

Your obt servt
Henry Exall

QM Office
Richmond Va 17 July 1863

Genl Geo W. Randolph


The undersigned beg leave to refer to you as ????, the accompanying papers for your decision. Knowing that you are closely engaged with the duties of your profession, it may be that you will not find it concurrent to act. If so please inform us by letter, that some other gentleman may be selected.

The importance of the principles involved in this case, is its effects upon the interests of the Government, by seeing as a precedent for decision in

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