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1809 to 1815; that he, with his partner in business, Dennison Darling, erected, about the year 1813, at fort Bowyer, a store-house, which was of the following dimensions, viz: thirty-five feet long, by eighteen feet in width, and a story and a half in height, of good materials, weatherboarded, floored, and ceiled, and fitted with all necessary appurtenances; and that, just previous to the attack on the fort, by the land and naval forces of Great Britain, in 1814, the commanding officer had said store-house demolished, in order that it might not afford to the invaders'a shelter. * *
In testimony of the above, your petitioner begs leave to refer to the deposition herewith of Major R. Chamberlain, then of the second infantry, who was present at the attack above mentioned; and that of Mr. Curtis Lewis, the agent and clerk of the sutler. These gentlemen estimate the cost of the store-house at about one thousand dollars; but this amount is not within five hundred dollars of the actual expense incurred in its erection. By the destruction of this house, your petitioner has sustained a loss of at Jeast one thousand five hundred dollars, independently of a very considerable loss in goods, by their hasty removal and deposite in an insecure and exposed situation. Your petitioner therefore asks that the amount of his house may, with legal interest, be paid to him; and, as in duty bound, he will ever pray. Bilo Img criteni policies sit l'outboom op! Hy is visit! BENJAMIN S. SMOOT.
WASHINGTON City, Dec. 17, 1830..
MAJOR R. CHAMBERLAIN'S DEPOSITION.
Major Reuben Chamberlain is respectfully requested to answer the fol. lowing questions upon'oath. • 1st. How long did you serve in the south, and in what regiment, and with what rank? . 2d. Was Benjamin S. Smoot sutler to the second regiment during the years 1809, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15, and up to the capture of fort Bowyer, in 1815, by the British army? · 3d. How much pay was due to the second regiment in 1815?
4th. Was it disbanded without pay? if so, why was it not paid prior to its discharge?
5th. Was it not the custom to permit the soldier to take up the amount of his pay, or nearly so, from the sutler, as it became due?
6th. During the inability of the United States to pay their troops, would not their privations have been vastly increased but for the stores of the sutlers:
7th. If the United States had paid their troops agreeably to law, would the sutler have lost any thing?
8th. Did the troops, by order of the commanding officer at fort Bowyer, demolish a building of the sutler, Benjamin S. Smoot, or Smoot and Darling, on the point of Mobile, prior to the assault on fort Bowyer, in 1814? if so, what was his object in doing so, and what was the size, construction, and value of said house?
9th. Did the sutler sustain any damage by the removal of his goods,
et in doing so, the assault on for us Smoot and be
other than the destruction of the house? if so, state the probable amount as well as you can.
BENJAMIN S. SMOOT. Answers to the foregoing interrogatories. . Ist. I served in the south from 1814 to the disbanding of the army in 1915, in the second regiment of infantry, in the grades of second and first lieutenant and captain, and was promoted to the twentieth regiment in 1814.
2d. He was. 3d. There was several months' pay due, but how many I do not recollect.
4th. They were disbanded without pay, because the paymaster had no funds.
5th. It was my custom, and I believe the custom of the officers com. manding companies in the second regiment generally, to permit the soldiers, ' as their pay became due, to receive from the sutler from one-half to threefourths of the amount of their pay, and on pay day to see the sutler paid.
6th. The troops received many comforts and conveniences from the sut. ler's siore, which they could not have procured from any other. ;
7th. The sutler would have lost but little, if any thing. .
8th. Colonel (then Major) Lawrence, the commanding officer at fort Bowyer, (by the advice of his subordinate officers,) prior to the assault on · fort Bowyer in 1814, ordered the sutler's store, owned by Smoot and Darling, to be demolished; it being so situated as to afford the enemy a shelter within musket shot of the fort. The size and construction of the building I do not distinctly recollect, but I suppose that such a building, at that time and place, would have cost something like one thousand dollars.
9th. The sutler, no doubt, did sustain considerable loss by the removal of his goods, but the amount I am not able to state.
STATE OF ALABAMA, 2.
Personally came before me, Paul Deane, one of the justices of the peace for the county aforesaid, R. Chamberlain, and made oath that the above answers to the foregoing interrogatories are true, to the best of his knowledge and belief.
Sworn before me, and subscribed, at St. Stephen's, this 6th day of January, 1830.
P. DEANE, Justice of the Peace.
CURTIS LEWIS' DEPOSITION.
STATE OF ALABAMA, 2..
Personally appeared before me, B. B. Breedin, a justice of the peace in and for Mobile county, Curtis Lewis, for a long time one of the custom-house officers for the district of Mobile, to me well known, who, being duly
sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, did solemnly swear that he went into the service of Benjamin S. Smoot and Dennison Darling, who were sutlers in copartnership for the second regiment of United States' infantry, in the month of February, in the year eighteen hundred and thirteen. That the station was at that time at Mobile point; and that deponent continued in their service until the spring of the year eighteen hundred and fifteen; he thinks about the month of May. That deponent was made and continued the active agent of the said Smoot and Darling, in their sutling business; and that their assortment and stock were always extensive, and well calculated to contribute to the comfort and necessities of the regiment; that it was the uniform practice of the officers in command of companies to permit their men to trade with the sutlers, in advance of their pay, from one-half to three-fourths of the same. That, at the time the troops were disbanded in the year eighteen hundred and fifteen, as nearly as deponent recollects, there was something like one year's pay due to them; and there being no funds, the men were discharged on certificates. That Smoot and Darling built a store-house at Mobile point, in which they kept their sutler's merchandise. The house was a story and a half high, about thirty-five feet long, by about eighteen feet wide; it was a frame house, weatherboarded and ceiled inside; it was worth from nine hundred to a thousand dollars; it was the only house they ever had at Mobile point.
And further, that the sutlers, upon the troops being discharged on certificates, lost the whole of the amount which had been taken up in anticipation of their pay. un bue Pie
BENJAMIN S. SMOOT.
(To be annexed to the report of the Committee of Claims on the bill from the Senate (No.
. . 91) for the relief of Benjamin S. Smoot. ]
FEBRUARY 14, 1831.
HEAD QUARTERS, WASHINGTON,
9th January, 1831. No one is permitted to build a house or other establishment within the limits of a post, or the lands attached to it, without the approbation and consent of the commanding officer, or some other higher authority. If any one should build a house within such limits without the proper authority, the commanding officer could either remove it or pull it down. Sutlers or others, permitted to build for their own accommodation within the limits of a fort, have suitable places assigned them, with sufficient grounds.
From the size of fort Bowyer, as represented by the plan, as it was at the time of the attack, there does not appear to have been room within for the accommodation of the sutler-the area not occupied by parapets, ramparts, and magazines, being exceedingly limited.
ALEX. MACOMB, Maj. Gen.
Commanding the Army. To Colonel Smoor.
New York, 4th February, 1831. MY DEAR Sır: Having been compelled to leave Washington very suddenly, I had not time to give you the information you required. I now forward you, under cover to D. H. Lewis, Esq., the answers to your interrogatories, which I trust will be satisfactory, and shall be happy if they contribute to the adjustment of your claim. Very truly, dear sir, your friend,
SANDS. B. S. SMOOT, Esquire.
Captain A. L. Sands is respectfully requested to answer the following questions upon oath:
Ist. How long did you serve in the south, and in what regiment, and with what rank?
2d. Was Benjamin S. Smoot sutler to the 2d regimeat of infantry during the years 1809, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 1815, and up to the capture of fort Bowyer, in 1815, by the British army?
3d. How much pay was due to the 2d regiment in 1815?
4th. Was it disbanded without pay? if so, why was it not paid prior to its discharge? .
5th. Was it not the custom to permit the soldiers to take up the amount of their pay, or nearly so, from the sutler, as it became due?
6th. During the inability of the United States to pay their troops, would not their privations have been vastly increased but for the stores of the sutlers?
7th. If the United States had paid their troops agreeably to law, would the sutler have lost any thing?
sth. Did the United States' troops demolish a building of the sutler, Benjamin S. Smoot, or Smoot and Darling, on the point of Mobile, prior to the assault on fort Bowyer in 1814? if so, what was the object in doing so, and what was the size, construction, and value of said house?
9th. Did the sutler sustain any damage by the removal of his goods, other than the destruction of this house? if so, state the probable amount as well as you can?
To the accompanying interrogatories of Benjamin S. Smoot, Esq., I answer as follows, viz:
1st. My first tour of service in the south was from 1909 to 1816; my rank that of lieutenant of artillery; and in October, 1812, was attached, as ordnance officer, to the 2d regiment of infantry, with which I served until its capture at Mobile point, in February, 1815, at which time I was in command of fort Charlotte, (in the town of Mobile,) having a part of that regiment under my orders. ,
?d. Smoot and Darling were sutlers to the 2d infantry from the time of my joining it until its capture.
3d. I do not recollect exactly how much pay was due at the time of its capture, but believe something like twelve months, as I had nearly or quite two years' pay due on the arrival of a paymaster in the spring of 1816.
4th. It was disbanded without pay; the reason, of course, the want of funds in the hands of the paymaster, which were not supplied, as before stated, until the spring of 1816.
5th. It was the custom to allow the soldiers to trade with the sutler to the amount of half their pay; in many cases to a larger extent.
6th. The soldiers were dependent upon the sutlers for all their comforts, which could not have been elsewhere procured, while they were kept without pay.
7th. If the men had been paid, the sutlers could have lost nothing, as it was the duty of the commanding officers of companies to attend the pay. table, and see that their men settled their accounts with the sutler.
Sth. A frame building belonging to the sutlers at Mobile point was destroyed, by order of Major Lawrence, in September, 1814, to prevent its affording a cover to the enemy, then landing to assault the fort. The value of the building I do not know, but presume, from the difficulty and expense of transporting materials at that time, and the high wages of mechanics, it must have cost some 1,200 or 1,500 dollars. Of the 9th interrogatory, I know nothing.
A. L. SANDS,
Laie Capt. U. S. Artillery. Sworn this 4th day of February, 1931, before me,
WM. VAN HOOLE, Not. Pub.
City of Nero York.