with matters of greater moment, I felt it would be an unwarranted intrusion to approach him with the matter.
Judge Reagan gave me an order on Captain M. H. Clark (a bonded officer whom he had authorized to disburse the funds), for $1,500 to be paid to the naval escort, and for $300 to be handed to Lieutenant Bradford, of the marines, who was under orders for the trans-Mississippi Department.
General Bragg, Colonel Oladouski, Captain Clark and myself went to the specie train together, and General Basil Duke took a small bag of gold from one of the boxes and paid us the amounts called for by the orders we held.
While in Washington I learned that about $100,000 of the coin had been paid out to the cavalry at or near Savannah river bridge, about half-way between Abbeville, S. C, and Washington, Ga. Captain Clark disbursed the balance, as I have learned from him since.
After drawing the money as above stated, I turned over the $300 to Lieutenant Bradford, and the next morning left for Abbeville, and paid off the naval command there. On my return to Washington I heard that a considerable amount of gold had been captured near that place a night or two before, which I took to be that belonging to the Richmond banks, as I heard that the bank officials who had it in custody from the time of the evacuation of Richmond left Washington with it after the president took his departure from there.
I was with the Treasury Department continuously, from the evacuation of Richmond to its final disbursement, with the exception of a few hours, and from personal knowledge can say that any statement which charges or insinuates that Jefferson Davis used any part of it for his personal benefit is without the slightest foundation, and considering the ease with which a full knowledge of all the facts could have been had, any such statement is not only unwarranted but unjust, if not wickedly malicious.
John F. Wheless.
Rev. J. Wm. Jones, D. D., Southern Historical Society, Richmond, Va.