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TRANSCRIPTION OF CLAIMS LETTER FOR JOSIAH W. WARE PRESENTED BEFORE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE HENRY EDWARDS

Transcribed by: Judy C. Ware
Judy C. Ware March 2009

Original copy owned by Jane & Scott Dudgeon


                                                                                              State of Virginia

                                                                                                County of Clarke

1.  Personally appeared before me, a justice of the peace in and for said county, George Fields and Franklin Randolph - both citizens of said county all their lives, many years, and made oath that in May 1862, William Henry Bell (a colored man) took two fine horses and a good wagon of J.W. Ware to take his family to Winchester.  There the quartermaster took them into the U.S. service and were never returned to him.   All could not have been worth less than ($450.00) four hundred and fifty dollars; they think they would have brought more in market and harness for two horses - fifty dollars.

2.  They also state that late in November or early in December 1862, General Stahel, in command of U.S. troops, crossed the Shenandoah River and drove from J.W. Ware’s field 17 head of very fine, large, fat cattle - the property of said Ware, crossed (breeding term) deeply with Devon and improved Durham shorthorn and cheap for ? at seventy five dollars each.

3.  They also state that in 1862, they think in April, a body of German or Dutch U.S. troops passing through this county, encamped for a short time and got of J.W. Ware 430 bushels of oats worth ? cts. per bushel.

4.  They also state that in the summer of 1863, J.W. Ware put his crop of wheat in the barn of William D. Smith on and near the road leading to Harper’s Ferry, to preserve it from the leaking condition of his own, having a written safeguard for it, the crop being as near as we can estimate it 1,600 bushels, that after being there some month of so, General Milroy, whose headquarters were in Winchester, sent down a large number of wagons (30 or 40) and took all away - worth at that time $2.50 per bushel. 

5.  They also state that in 1864, late in August or early in September when General Early returned from Maryland through Loudon County and was followed by the 6th Corps of U.S. troops - after a battle at ?, Early fell back leaving his wounded and sick prisoners one mile north of said Ware’s house in the woods (his hospital), and as the 6th Corps did not come in for some days after, they would have died from starvation and suffering had it not been for said Ware and other citizens.  The 6th Corps of the U.S. Army, after crossing to the west side of the Shenandoah River, encamped in a very valuable body of timber belonging to said Ware -  of all kinds of oak and hickory, valuable for machinery, wagons and vehicles of all kinds.  We should say the destruction and use of the timber was a loss to said Ware of $500.00 but if only valued for firewood, $300.00.  There was no corded wood; it was mostly standing when they reached it.  They took from said (Ware) two mares, highbred racing mares worth $1,000.00 each and three fillies bred, three years old, worth more than $150.00 each; he always sold both thorough and past breeds at higher prices.  They also state that at the same time they (6th Corps) took for consumption said Ware’s flock of sheep (75 head).  They were stock sheep, bucks and ewes - all pure Cotswolds, 3 years old, some past, very superior.  They were imported from England at great expense, won the high prizes there and also in the U.S.  We do not know how to value these - we know he sold some for $500.00 each, many at $100.00 each of his own raising from imported prize winning parents, but these must have cost him much more to buy and import.  He has always sold his yearling past bred muttons at not less than $10.00 each.  His 2 year olds of same at $25.00 each, 3 years old of same at $35.00 each, all on the farm.  Butchers of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington came for them, said Ware was always universally known to be particularly careful in having the best blood in all animals he kept.  No other officer or command either took from here this blooded stock or permitted it. 

6.  They also state at the same time they took from said Ware 1,500 pounds of home cured bacon and hams - well worth 25 cents per pound and 2 tons of hay worth then 20$ per ton.

7.  They also state at the same time $50.00 worth of vegetables were taken by the same; this being late in the war and many troops of both sides having frequently passed through this country as well as being stationed here -provisions of all kinds were scarce and high.

We give these statements from our personal knowledge, living there at the times they occurred, and witnessing the whole of it.  We have no interest of any kind in this claim.

Henry Edward                        F. (X) Randolph
                                                 
his mark      

                                              George (X) Field
                                                 
his mark

Sworn to, acknowledged and subscribed before me at Berryville, Clarke County, Virginia, and I certify I have no interest in the above claim.

                                             Henry Edwards, JP   (Justice of the Peace)

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*** By the end of the war, the chances were almost nonexistent of getting any lost properties returned.  Grant’s “Scorched Earth” policy had not only crippled the South but had ultimately won the war for him.  Josiah never regained his former affluence and actually ended up selling his plantation because he could no longer afford the taxes on it.

***I would like to thank Jane & Scott Dudgeon for allowing me to copy & transcribe this letter for my historical research.  I am deeply grateful.


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