1863: Samuel Dagnell Sworn Statement

This statement, testifying to the death of a slave boy named Robert while employed constructing rebel fortifications on James Island, was made by and sworn to by Samuel Dagnell who I believe was a civilian overseer at the time but had formerly served as a private in the 5th South Carolina Reserves, Co. E, for 90 days during the winter of 1862-63. Samuel Dagnell (spelled Dagnal) was enumerated in the Edgefield District of Edgefield county, South Carolina, as a farmer with his wife Cathrine in the 1860 US Census.

We learn from the letter that the slave belonged to William Francis Prescott (1822-1877) of Ivey Island, Edgefield county, South Carolina. William was a captain of Co. I (the “Red Field Guards”), 7th South Carolina Infantry during the Civil War.


Personally came before me Samuel Dagnal and after being duly sworn sayeth that Robert the slave of W. F. Prescott was placed under his care whilst working on the fortifications around Charleston. That he was well when he received him and remained so for about two weeks after he had been sent to James Island to work on fortifications by Confederate authority.

That said boy Robert was sick in quarters for some days before he was sent to the Hospital by order of the Surgeon. I saw the boy afterwards in the hospital sick.

South Carolina
Edgefield District

Personally came before me Samuel Dagnell and on oath says that the within statement relative to the slave Robert belonging to W. F. Prescott is correct. Sworn to this December 6th 1863, before B. M. Martin, M. E. D.

Samuel Dagnell X his mark

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