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Hannum Petty Wilday

Letter to General Polk from Fisher A. Hannum about a Mr. Petty.

CLARKSVILLE, TENN., October 4, 1861.

General POLK: We send you in charge of Lieutenant Wilday a man named Petty who we have grounds to think may not be after any good. We attach but little consequence to him except he is known to be quite familiar with both Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers as a pilot, having acted in that capacity for many years.

As the Cumberland River is now rising quite rapidly we think it advisable to watch such characters as could pilot the Lincoln boats up our river. He is represented as a great liar and entirely unreliable, which we find is true from the statements which he makes of things at and about Paducah. He gives no satisfactory account of why he is here, and from the fact of his familiarity with the rivers as above stated we send him to you. We refer you to Lieutenant Wilday for his statements to us, who heard it all.

Yours, most respectfully,

President of the Military Board.

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

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