Intelligence Gathering by Provost Marshal

Written on official paper of the “Headquarters Provost Marshal’s Office of Washington D. C.”, these appear to me to be notes taken by an investigator representing the office during interviews with one or more citizens living in Prince George’s county, Maryland. This was an area of Maryland that remained fiercely loyal to the slaveocracy and were known to harbor Confederate spies. The interviewer seemed to be interested in the nocturnal activities of local residents, the use of horses, and also enquired whether a couple of doctors remained at home on one night in particular. I don’t know if these notes date to as late as the Assassination of President Lincoln but cannot rule that out. Unfortunately there is no date (except the pre-printed 1862) attached to the document and the writer’s handwriting is so poor that I cannot be certain of the names mentioned.


Headquarters Provost Marshal’s Office
Washington D. C. 1862

John B. Huffer

I stay with Chas. Sheckers. Mrs. Saunders is known to me. Thinks they have eight horses. Eight horses required for farming. Mrs. Saunders’ daughter-in-law, Mrs. Fanfan stays there.

John Sheckells—stays with Mr. Saunders—farms there—-8 horses—horses 3 of 5 horses were all out. Mr. Miller’s son. About one mile toward Blandensburg—brought four in. The short horse belongs to Mr. Saunders. Mr. Brown’s man says he saw them going around his fence.

Henry Dodson at Mr. Saunders, foreigner, heard the horses at Mrs. Saunders’ gate—appeared to be a good many. They never went to Mr. Miller’s place before.

Henrietta Homes stay at Mrs. Saunder’s. Does all kinds of work. Dr. Fanfan & Hall were both at home last night.

Nany [?] Fox

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