Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 34.djvu/170
162 Southern Historical Society Papers.
From the Times-Dispatch, March 18, 1906, and July 15, 1906.
YANKEE GUNBOAT "SMITH BRIGGS."
Survivor, in Search of Information, Learns how it was Captured by Rebels.
Some Interesting War History, with Additional Particulars in a Letter of Mr. B. A. Sowell.
The correspondence below would be interesting, merely as an exchange of letters. It is doubly interesting in that it brings out some war history that otherwise might be forever lost.
This letter is given just as it was received by the head citi- zen of the -town of Smithfield, Va.
PHILADELPHIA, PA., February 22nd, 1906.
To the Mayor or Head Citizen of the Town of Smithfield, Isle of Wight County, Virginia:
Dear Sir, i am Seeking Information on Something occurred Some 42 years ago if you were not then a Resident of the Town Perhaps Some one to whom you Show this Letter Can help you out with the information That i Desire on the first Day of Feb- ruary 1864 i was taken a Prisoner of War in the town of Smith- field along with 12 New york Calvary and a Detachment of the 99th New york Infantry and Some of my Battery A 3rd Pa. Heavy artillery and some of Battery B 3rd Pa. artillery making some no all told and one of our Light Draught Gunboats -Named Smith Briggs was Blown up By the Soldiers opposing us.
our Commander By the Name of Captain Lee a Newyork man was a Coward and he Drew us up in Line on the first road Next to the Little River which i think was Called Pagan Creek told the Boys all who were in favor of Surrender Hold up their Right Hand the -New yorkers Hands went up almost to a man only one Pennsylvanian Sent up his hand the New yorkers had the Strongest Side So Captain Lee Signed the Surrender Look-