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Chancellor Edwards McCabe Rodgers

Confederate Memoranda on James E. McCabe, taken the Plains, Virginia. Circa 1861-1862.

James E. McCabe.-Born in Leesburg, Va.; was engaged as overseer of negro hands employed on works for the army. These negroes were always placed under a guard. When our troops moved to the Plains Lieutenant Atkinson selected the quarters and placed the negroes in it under guard. Afterward Colonel [Lorman] Chancellor arrived with some militia and ordered prisoner to give up the quarters to the militia. Prisoner remonstrated on the ground the negroes were placed there by direction of the provost-marshal and if they were turned loose some of them might run off, and asked him to refer the matter to General Hill. [Lorman] Chancellor refused to refer it to General Hill, saying he would take the quarters by force. Prisoner went to find General Hill and did not find him, but found his aide, Mr. [A. H.] Rodgers. Mr. [A. H.] Rodgers told him not to give up the quarters without General Hill's orders, and gave him two more negroes to put under guard. Prisoner returned with them. [Lorman] Chancellor had forced the quarters and the negroes were under guard in the yard. Prisoner opened the gate to put the two additional negroes under care of the guard. [Lorman] Chancellor resisted him and struck him with the hilt of his sword and continued to press on him. It was dark and from the noise of the sword prisoner thought Chancellor was drawing it to strike with the edge. Several of the bystanders called on him to fire. He believed it was necessary to preserve his life and did fire. [Lorman] Chancellor was wounded. Prisoner was arrested and General Hill considering it was a case proper for investigation by the civil tribunals declined investigating it. I submit the written statement of Mr. Thomas L. Edwards, who I know is a gentleman of as much character as any in Loudoun. I have learned from many sources that McCabe is an honest, good man. His bearing and demeanor under examination were that of a gentleman. He is faithful to the South. McCabe is not under the Articles of War and the writ of habeas corpus had not been suspended then. General Hill therefore properly considered his case one for examination by the civil authorities: but an examination by the proper authorities cannot now be had. The discharge from custody will not exempt him from prosecution if hereafter one should be instituted. I do not think his case one which requires confinement indefinitely. If discharged he may be useful to our cause. I recommend his discharge on taking the oath of allegiance.

SOURCE: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 2, pg. 1488-1489

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