State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Travails of a Assistant Subassistant Commissioner

Capt. A. M. Brooks was the Assistant Subassistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands i.e. the Freedmen's Bureau for New Kent and Charles City. Stationed in Barhamsville and then New Kent Courthouse he served from March 1866 to December 1867.
His command consisted of one orderly.

New Kent C. H. Va.
June 10th 1866

Gen. S. C. Armstrong
Dear sir.

    My orderly Prvt. Wilson has failed to report with his team from Yorktown as ordered and I wish him to be relieve from duty with me. 
    I send herewith bills which he has contracted and ask that they be stopped from his pay. In regard to the bill for Board of horse the facts are as follows. When I went to Richmond I gave him orders to meet me with the horses at Yorktown on Wednesday. He left here on Sunday taking with him everything but his equipment,saying "Damned if he was coming back until he got his pay." One of the horses was taken sick on the road but instead of bringing him here as he should have done, he left him with a man at Barhamsville at an expense of $1. a day.
    The Bill for cooking, washing & etc is I think just as Elvira Meekins subsisted him as claimed. The bills for Medical attention are I know just as he has an aggravated case of Syphilis and both the physicians attended him.
    My bill against his him is partly for money which I loaned him, and partly which he appropriated to his own use from money forwarded to me by him from Portsmouth, without my knowledge or consent.
    He took with him a violin belonging to Mrs. Geo. T Bromley of this county leaving his own here, which I would request you to return.
    There was taken from the Hotel a valuable silver soup ladle with the initial "B" engraved on it, on the evening before he left. From conversations he held with the servants in regard to its value and what it could be sold for, on the same day it was taken, suspicion falls on him.
    I can get no clue in regard to the letter he spoke of, so can make no claim for it, he is lazy and insolvent and no reliance whatever can be placed in his assertions, but there is nothing to substantiate charges if he was tried by Court Martial.

Very Respectfully
Your Obt. Servt.
A. M. Brooks
Capt. & Asst. Supt.

I somehow feel that Captain Brooks enjoyed writing this letter..

Transcribed by myself with relish from the Virginia Freedmen's Bureau Correspondence, 1865-1872
 As a side note, Armstrong High School in Richmond is named for General Armstrong who founded Hampton University.

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