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Con Rea Letters

 

The Constantine Rea Letter to Hon. W. H. T. Taylor, Confederate Auditor.

 

After arriving in Vicksburg, Rea attempts to explain his failure to account for Confederate Ordinance materials.  He has, no doubt, been made aware of the fact that he is being carried on a report of Ordinance Officers who have failed to render their accounts for the preceding two quarters.

He writes to the person to whom the report has been directed.  In the Office of the Secretary of the Treasury of the Confederacy, Christopher G. Memminger, the Honorable William H. T. Taylor of Louisiana, worked as the Second Auditor for Comptroller and Solicitor Lewis Cruger. He was apparently believed by Rea to be the individual assigned with the responsibility of auditing the Ordinance materials of the Confederacy

 

Exterior Lines Near Vicksburg, Mississippi

July 27, 1862
Hon. W. H. T. Taylor
Ordinance Auditor

Sir,

I have been in this place nearly three months in commission of a volunteer company [illegible] under the following circumstances while traveling under orders I was detained at Meridian awaiting transportation for ordinance stores. While there I raised the company and equipped it with the assistance of the Governor of this state, the enemy at this time was pressing us in every direction, and I believed I could be of more service to the country as Captain of a infantry company than as ordinance officer. Therefore, I accepted the commission took the company in the field, I advised the proper authorities of my actions, who were kind enough to approve it, this is my only excuse for not going to Richmond immediately after the loss of my papers. My misfortune has been a source of infinite mortification to me, but it could not have been prevented, with any ordinary care. The valise was in the custody of the baggage master and was evidently taken off by someone, who pretended to own it. The railroad gave no way checks; therefore a fraud of that sort was easy. I advertised it in the newspapers and by handbills posted up and down the whole length of the road; offering a reward of double the value of the property. Promising to ask no question, and to claim nothing but the papers, hoping that it would be forthcoming, but all in vain. The valise contains my own private papers also, besides other property. I've made every exertion a man can make to recover it and now I've given up all hope, and must beg your indulgence.

I can easily procure duplicate receipts on every bill, except the one for lead, Dr. Ridgeley being a resident of Mississippi, and I do not know where he could be found. The other parties are all citizens of Fort Smith, Arkansas and all I want is time and opportunity to see them. I would like to have time to see them, and would very much dislike to be taken from my Command to settle it now. I have long desired field service, and at this time it would be very inconvenient for me to quit it to settle up this vexatious affair. If you can indulge me, you will lay me under obligation which will not be forgotten.

I paid the money in the presence of a witness Mr. Troskalorka [spelling may be incorrect] of the ordinance dept. who was acting at the time as my clerk. Her saw me pay every item except that for lead and Mr. Troskalorka has already sworn that he saw me pay that. I think that I can also prove by Major Clark of the Quartermaster dept. that I paid the lead account.

I do not mind the trouble of going to Fort Smith after duplicate receipts, but I do not like to leave this point at this time.

Hoping that the matter can be settled without thus necessitating me I am

Yours Respectfully

Con Rea, Capt. C.S.

 

This article was developed with the research assistance of Mr. Ward Calhoun and The Constantine Rea Historical Society.

Content Copyright 2008 W.L.White and The Constantine Rea Historical Society.

 

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