Valley Southern Claims Commission Papers

Southern Claims Commission: Claim of George W. Hollar, 1876, Claim No. 21,827

Summary: George W. Hollar filed this claim in 1876 for $175, claiming Union forces under General Hunter took one horse in 1864. George was a 47 year old farmer who lived near Mt. Sidney during the war and moved to Rockingham County afterwards. He was a member of the Dunker church, helped neighbors escape to the Union and lead a party of 18 pacifists through the mountains to escape Confederate service. They were captured by Confederate soldiers and imprisoned in Harrisonburg until the Fine Act was passed in 1862 that allowed their release because of their faith. Included is testimony from John Flory, a Dunker preacher. The commission allowed $125.

Items Claimed:

Item Claimed: Amount Claimed: Amount Allowed: Amount Disallowed:
1 Mare $175.00 $125.00 $50.00

Claims Summary:

The proof of claimant's loyalty is ample. He was drafted in the winter of 61-2 into the Army. He started to go through the mountains to escape to the north, was captured with 18 others who had joined him, was brought back & imprisoned for 5 weeks, when in Apl. '62 the fine law was passed & he (being a Dunkard) paid his fine & was released. -He was active in helping refugees & deserters to escape. On one occasion 30 of them met by appointment at his house, took supper there & started that night with a pilot & got through to New Creek. His life was threatened, he was molested & had property him on acct. of his Union sentiments. D. Bowman & John Flory testify to his loyalty.

The horse was taken by Genl. Hunter's forces-in June '64-a good young horse well broke & worth $125.00.

AO Aldis, JB Howell, O. FerrisCommrs of Claims

Testimony: George W. Hollar

Deposition of Claimant

1 My name is George W. Hollar. I am 47 years old. I am a farmer, live now 3 miles east of Dayton Rockingham CoVa. During the war I lived 4 miles from Mt Sidney in Augusta Co.

3 I was born in Shenandoah Co.

5 I sympathized wholly with the north and with the Union cause all the time.

6 Not to my knowledge

7 I was willing to do anything consistant with my religious faith.

8 I have harbored and fed refugees and deserters and have helped them to escape. I have given them money to go with. I have gone with them in the night to show the way. Two Confederate soldiers staid at my house about two months while on parole, and I persuaded them to go north and gave them money to go with, and put them in the way. I collected about 30 refugees at one time who met at my house by appointment for supper and started the same night for the mountains with a Pilot named John D. Sheets who took them through to New Creek. There were various depots among the farmers about the country were these refugees were harbored and kept. I suppose I knew of as many as 300 who were run through by this route.

9 & 10 No sir.

11 Yes. I gave money in gold and silver to get my brother out of the army. I gave money and service to help refugees and deserters escape.

12 & 13 I took the side of the Union. I voted for the Union delegates to the Richmond Convention. On the day of the election for Secession I left home and went to Harrisonburg. I knew that if I voted I should vote for the Union, and I was afraid of my life if I did. There were terrible threats against Union men if they voted against Secession or if they refused to vote for Secession and Union men were intimidated into voting for secession all through teh country. There were two men who voted for the Union at my precinct and they were near being killed. I heard men talk of hanging them; a man named William Howell and others offered to furnish the rope and stand between the law and any man who would hang them.

I did not vote for secession.

14 I was sadly disappointed at the result of the battle of Manassas. But my faith was unshaken in the ultimate triumph of the Union cause. I was rejoiced with the result of the battles of Vicksburg and N. Orleans.

15 & 16 No

17 James Todd, a Wm Snead, Samuel Kline Christian, Joseph and John Kline, Noah Earley were all loyal men living within a few miles of me. Any of these could testify to my loyalty but are too far away.

18 My life was threatened by confederates for rejoicing over a Union victory.

19 No sir.

20 Yes. They took a large quantity of property of different kinds. Wheat, corn, Hay, horses, &c. They paid me for a little hay once, but not for the other property. They singled me out because I was a Union Man.

21 & 22 No sir

23 I was drafted and started to go through the mountains to New Creek to escape from the Confederacy with 18 others who joined me. We were all captured in the mountains, and brought back to Woodstock and Harrisonburg where we were imprisoned for 5 weeks and nearly frozen and half starved until the first Fine law was passed in April 1862 when I paid my fine and was released.

24 to 35 No Sir.

36 Yes I had two brothers in the army. One, I hired to run away as before stated. The other was captured with me in the mountains and not being a member of the church was put in the army, and run away and I concealed him.

37 & 38 No Sir

39 Yes I took the Amnesty Oath at Staunton.

40 to 43 No Sir

44 I voted for the Union candidates for the Richmond convention, but did not vote on the question of secession. I was afraid of my life if I voted my sentiments.

45 to 51 No Sir.

In answer to questions concerning property deponent says.

I had a mare which I loaned to my brother-in-law John Flory who was living near Deyton in Rockingham Co. where I now live. His horses having been taken by the Union forces.

This mare was taken from his place by some troops of Gen Hunters army in the summer of 1864. While I was living in Augusta County about 12 miles distant.

He was a young bay Morgan Mare of good size and style, in fine order and well broke. I valued her at $175. I think she would have brought that price. I have no one in this country to prove the taking except John Flory and his wife, and further deponent saith not.

G W Hollar

Testimony: John Flory

Deposition of John Flory as to the Loyalty of George W. Hollar

1 I am 43 years old a farmer and Preacher in the Dunker Church. I live near Mount Crawford.

2 I am a brother in law to claimant, but not interested in his claim.

53 to 56 I have known him all my life nearly. Saw him often during the war, talked with him many times about the war and kindred topics. He was a very decided union man, he always opposed secession and supported the cause of the Union. On the evening of the election on the question of Secession He was at my home and said among other things, "To night the sun goes down on our liberties."

57 He came to my house one night with a party of 10 to 12 refugees and took supper and started for the mountains that night. He was the leader of the party, and was joined by others making 18 all of whom were captured in the mountains by the rebels while on the way to New Creek. This was in the Spring of 1862.

60 He was well known as a union man all through this section. I was a union man all the time and claimant knew it.

64 & 65 Such as I have stated.

And further deponent saith not.

Attest Isaac P. Baldwin Special Commr.

John Flory

Testimony of John Flory on the taking of the Property of G. W. Hollar.

1 I am 43 years old, a farmer, live near Mount Crawford.

2 I am a brother in law of claimant, but have no interest in the claim.

72 I was present and witnessed the taking of the property.

It was in June 1864, while the army of Genl Hunter was passing up the valley towards Staunton. A large body of cavalry was halted nearly opposet where I lived then, and two of the men rode to my place and went directly to the stable searching for horses. I had but one on my place, and he belonged to claimant who had loaned him to me to use, as my own horses had been taken before then. This horse of the claimants was taken by one of these men who took the saddle from his one and put it on claimants and rode him while leading his own. He told me his own was near giving out and he must have another. No receipt was given, nor asked for. The horse was young, good size fair condition, well broke, and worth about $125 to $150. And further deponent saith not.

Attest Isaac P. Baldwin Special Commr.

John Flory

Testimony: Frances Flory

Deposition of Frances Flory as to the Property.

I am 37 years old, I live now near Mount Crawford. During the war I lived near the valley pike 2 1/2 miles from Dayton on the place where the claimant now resides.

In the summer of 1864 I saw the soldiers on horses come to our stable and take from it a horse that claimant had loaned to my husband, and ride him off toward the pike where there was a large body of cavalry going up the valley towards Staunton. My Husband went out and talked with the men taking the horse. I could see them precisely from the house. I did not hear what was said. The man who rode ours away, led his own.

I am a sister of the claimant, but have no interest in the success of this claim and further deponent saith not.

Attest Isaac P. Baldwin Special Commr.

Frances Flory

Testimony: Daniel Bowman

Deposition of Daniel Bowman concerning Loyalty.

I am 61 years old. I live at Dayton about 2 1/2 miles from the present residence of claimant. During the war he lived about 8 miles from me. He was a member of our church and we frequently met.

2 I am not related to him and have no interest in his claim or in its success.

56 I had frequent conversations with him on war matters. All his language was decidedly loyal to the United States. He was a straight out Union man all the time. Was strongly opposed to secession and the rebellion.

57 He refugeed and went off with a party of 18 refugees and deserters he had collected. All of whom were captured in the mountains and brought back to Harrisonburg, where I saw claimant taken a prisoner.

58 Nothing against the Union.

60 He was well and generally known as a very decided Union man.

63 I heard of his keeping refugees repeatedly. I am a union man - have had a claim allowed by the commissioners.

And further saith not.

Attest Isaac P. Baldwin Special Commr.

Daniel Bowman

Bibliographic Information : Southern Claims Commission: Claim of George W. Hollar, 1876, Claim No. 21,827, Source copy consulted: National Archives, College Park, RG 217, claim #21827.

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