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Caperton Loweree Norwood Stegman

Union Report On Scout From Stevenson To Caperton's Ferry, Alabama, And Vicinity.

Report of Maj. Lewis R. Stegman, One hundred and second New York Infantry.

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, without effect.
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 rebels.
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 return.
I am, captain, with great respect, your very obedient servant,

Major 102d N.Y.V.V., Comdg. Detch. 60th N.Y.V.V.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

*Diagram not found

SOURCE: Offical Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 32, Part 1.

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