On June 9, 1867, Samuel McKee notified John D. Young that he intended to contest Young's right to a seat in Congress because he, "did not remain loyal to the government of the United States,"during the late rebellion" and awowed himself, "in favor of raising and arming troops in Kentucky to resist the federal government .."
One of the documents contained in the papers was a deposition given by Benjamin Franklin Bennett, of Greenup County, KY. Bennett, a native Ohioan from Scioto County, who had settled in Greenup County in December of 1855, after purchasing the saw and cornmills at the old Globe Furnace on Tygert Creek, then known as Darlington Mills. Bennett rebuilt the mills, installed new equipment and produced the first flour in Greenup County. His business became known as Bennett's Mill. With the help of his brother Pramley, Bennett also built a covered bridge over Tygart Creek in order to accommodate their customers.
Located on the East side of SR 7
0.9 miles north of SR 10(AA Highway)
When the Civil War began, Benjamin F. Bennett enlisted in the 56th OVI and saw action at Fort Donelson, Pittsburg Landing and Corinth, Mississippi. Bennett fell sick and was discharged on July 25, 1862, on account of disability, with the rank of sergeant. In Aug. 1863, after having regained his health to some degree, Bennett entered the U.S. Service as a Deputy Provost Marshall for the 9th Congressional District of Kentucky and served in that capacity during the war. In March of 1866, having read law during his convalescence, Bennett was admitted to the Bar as a practicing attorney and opened an office in Greenup.
On August 14 and 15, 1867, Benjamin F. Bennett was called upon to give a deposition in Greenup in the Samuel McKee - John D. Young election dispute case. The following is a transcript Bennett's statement:
Deposition taken at the office of John Seaton and before Judge McCoy, in the town of Greenupsburg, Greenup county, Kentucky, on the 14th day of August, 1867, to be read as evidence in the case wherein Hon. Samuel McKee is contesting the right of John D. Young to a seat in the fortieth Congress of the United States.
By George M. Thomas, attorney for Mr. McKee:
Q. State your age, and how long you have lived in Greenup county, Kentucky, and state your occcupation.
I will be 38 years old in October, 1867. I have lived in Greenup county twelve years next December. I am a practicing lawyer at this time.
Q. State, if you know, whether any persons voted for John D. Young for Congress, in May last, in Greenup county, who had been in the rebel army; and if so, give their names.
The following named persons, I understand, were in the rebel army, who voted at the last May election in Greenup cunty for John D. Young, as appears from the poll books which I have examined, viz: Williams S. Kawns (Kouns), David Smith, Edward Howe, Henry C. Horton, David E. Carroll, Enick Lewis, James K. Music, P. B. Byrne, Charles Wamack, William Sanford (Lanford?), Ridan Butram, William Bagby, R. W. Cooper, Robert Gibbs, Joseph C. Blenthinger (Blentlinger), Henry E. Huffman, John Cooper, B. F. Huffman, Aaron Huffman, J. C. Huffman, J. Huffman, Solomon Huffman, S. P. Felty, W. H. Clifton, William Huff, G. W. Hurst, and David Colley, making in all twenty-seven, (27) Some of the above named persons have informed me that they had been in the rebel army, and the balance were generally understood in the county to have been in the rebel army, and I never heard it disputed.
Q. State if you know of any persons who voted at the last May election, in Greenup county, for John D. Young for Congress, who had been in the Union army and deserted the same?
(Excepted to by Young)
The following named persons voted for John D. Young in May last, in Greenup county, who were reputed to be deserters from the Union army, viz: David McNeil, T. J. Soper (Loper), Nelson Traylor, and James T. Bagby, and Joseph Fisher. I think hat McNeil, Soper (Loper), Traylor, and James T. Bagby belonged to the 22d Kentucky infantry, and Fisher belonged to the 2d Kentucky cavalry. I was special agent of the provost marshal during a part of the war.
Q. Do you know of any persons who voted for John D. Young in May last, in Greenup county, who started to the rebel army and were captured on their way or returned?
Samuel Wamack, John White, Robert Stuart, Amos Thompson, and Columbus Kirtly voted for John D. Young in May last, in Greenup county. I understand that they started to the rebel army and were captured and brought back. I have heard Kirtley speak of his capture.
Q. Do you know of any persons who voted for John D. Young in May last, in Greenup county, who were arrested during the war upon charges of treason and disloyalty, and sent to Camp Chase and other prisons?
(Excepted to both questions and answer)
The following named persons, viz: J. M. Bevins, Milton Boyd, Eli Cooper, William A. Wamack, E. F. Cooper, and Thomas Warring voted for John D. Young last May. I saw all of the above-named persons, except Warring, while under arrest and charged with disloyalty, and I heard Warring say he was arrested and sent to Camp Chase. I know he had a suit pending in this court against the parties who arrested him, and Bevins has a suit pending in this court at this time against the parties whom he charges arrested him.
Q. Do you know of any persons who voted for Young in May last, in Greenup County, who had no right to vote by the laws of Kentucky?
A. G. W. Marshall voted for Young at the May election. I understand he is under twenty-one years of age. Joseph Morgan voted for Young at the election in May last, and I understand he had been here but about eight months, and he came from Ohio. I see a great many names on the poll-book that I know nothing about.
Cross-examined by Young:
Q. State, if you know, how many rebel soldiers voted for John D. Young on the 4th of May last for member of the 40th Congress of the United States, who were in the rebel army at the close of the war.
I think Lanford, David Smith, Hurst, H. C. Horton, P. B. Byrne, and Music are the only ones that remained in the army at the close of the war.
Q. State, if you please, how many of the rebel soldiers you state voted for John D. Young at last May, came home under President Lincoln's proclamation, and how many took the amnesty oath?
I do not know of any who came home under President Lincoln's proclamation; Dr. W. S. Kouns was gone only about six weeks, and then returned; the balance not named above served one year and then returned and remained at home.
Q. State how many rebel soldiers voted at the last May election in this county for Samuel McKee.
I don't know of one.
Q. State how many soldiers served in the Union army from the county of Greenup during the war.
In my judgement there were from seven to eight hundred soldiers in the Union army from Greenup county.
Q. State, if you know, at what time in the year 1861 or 1862 there was a rebel raid on Boone furnace in this county, and by whom made?
It was made in the fall of 1862; I think it was made by Colonel Trigg's command; Boone furnace was in Carter county in 1862.
Q. State whether any other raid was made in the county of Greenup, or no any other furnace during the years 1861-1862, or at any other time during the war.
I think there was a raid made on Pennsylvania furnace in the year 1863, after harvest; by whom I do not know.
Q. For whom did you vote for member of the 40th Congress of the United States on the 4th day of May last?
By McKee's attorney:
Q. At what time was the line between Carter and Greenup changed so as to include Boone furnace in Carter County?
I think it was in 1860 or 1861.
B. F. Bennett
August 15, 1867
Met in pursuance to adjournment; B. F. Bennett being recalled by Mr. Young:
Q. State whether there was any raid at any time during the war made on Racoon furnace in Greenup county; and if so, by whom?
I know of no rebel raid having been made on Racoon furnace in Greenup county; there were some arrests made at or about said furnace, but by whom I do not know; I do not think they were rebels who made the arrests.
Q. State whether or not the rebel soldiers who you spoke of having voted for John D. Young, and had served in the rebel army for twelve months and returned home, did not have to take the amnsety oath, or the oath to support the United States, &c., before they were permitted to remain.
I do not know whether they took any oath or not; some of them were arrested and taken to Camp Portsmouth, Ohio, and were released.
Q. How do you know that these men joined the rebel army?
From reputation; some of them told me so themselves. One of the above-named persons, viz: W. H. Clifton, after he returned home from the rebel army was indicted in this court under the State law for invading the State to make war on the same, which indictment was disposed of in some manner, how I do not know; he afterwards enlisted in the Union army, as I understand.
B. F. Bennett
Closer examination of Bennett's list revealed that a number of men had, indeed, served in the Confederate Army. For others, no records could be found, which does not necessarily indicate that these men did not serve, given the lack of records that may have survived or simply were not kept. This applies especially to Confederate records.
David Smith, Pvt. 5th Kentucky Mtd. Infantry
Henry C. Horton, Sgt. 5th KY Mtd. Inf./Partisan Rangers
Enick (E.M.?) Lewis, Sgt. 5th KY Mtd. Inf./Partisan Rangers
P.[Payton] B. Byrne, Pvt. 5th KY Mtd. Inf.
Charles Wamack (Womack), Pvt. 5th KY Mtd. Inf.
Ridan (Redman/Ridden) Butram, Pvt. 5th KY Mtd. Inf./Field's Partisan Rangers
Robert Gibbs, Pvt. Pvt. 5th KY Mtd. Inf./Field's Partisan Rangers
Aaron Huffman, Pvt. 5th KY Mtd. Inf.
Henry E. Huffman, Pvt. 5th KY Mtd. Inf.
Solomon Huffman, Pvt. 5th KY Mtd. Inf.
S. P. (Simon) Felty, Field's Partisan Rangers
W. H. Clifton, 1. Sgt., Ficklin's Battalion
G. W. Hurst, Pvt. 5th KY Mtd. Inf.
James M. Bevins, 2. Lt. by brevet, 10th KY Cavalry (Diamond's)
James T. Bagby, 16th KY Infantry [US]
Thomas J. Loper, 22nd KY Infantry [US]
Nelson Traylor, 6th Kentucky Cavalry [US]
Joseph Fisher, 2nd KY Cavalry [US]
Deposition transcribed and researched by Marlitta H. Perkins.
Papers in the case of Samuel McKee against John D. Young. Ninth Congressional District of Kentucky. Date: 1868-01-01; Publication: Serial Set Vol. No. 1349, Session Vol. No. 1; Report: H. Misc.Doc. 13; pp. 34 - 36
Photograph of Bennett's Mills: Library of Congress, Prints and Photograph Division HAER: KY-49-1