June 2, 1864, Cincinnati, Ohio,
E. F. H. (Detective Edward F. Hoffman) to Colonel J. P. Sanderson

CINCINNATI, OHIO, June 2, 1864.


SIR: I have the honor to communicate to you the following as the result of my day's investigation: I have formed the acquaintance of a Mr. Wiehl, of Lexington, Ky. I met him yesterday, having previously seen him in company with Shepherd. He promises from appearances to be of much use to me here, and I shall therefore offer a synopsis of his antecedents. He was raised in Butler County, Iowa, and went to Kentucky, abolition in sentiments, but soon found slavery a blessing, and in the outset of the rebellion arrayed himself against his Government. He was taken prisoner, and says he has twice taken the oath of allegiance. He is still an uncompromising black-hearted traitor, says the Government has ruined him in property, but she can never rob him of his principles. With all this seeming confidence in me I think he has yet misgivings, and until I eradicate it thoroughly I shall not gain his profound secrets. A rebel trusts you by degrees. The longer you are with him the more suspicious or confidential he grows. He says the Kentucky rebels must know a man before they will confide in him; that detectives have been all through Kentucky and have ruined many of its best citizens. He says he has heard hints in Lexington of this secret organization, but thinks it does not exist there; that he is not a member; says it exists in Illinois, Indiana, and in this city; says the Democratic party of Illinois are well armed; intimated to me that there is trouble brewing in Kentucky; that there will be fighting there, and he wishes to remain near in order to participate in it. He pointed out to me Colonel Grigsby, who formerly commanded in the Federal service a Kentucky regiment; says that Colonel Wolford, commanding a Kentucky regiment of Federal troops, told the rebels that his regiment should shed every drop of its blood in defense of slavery in Kentucky. This was some time ago, but he thinks the colonel has modified his conversation. This man Wiehl says there is a negro man at the Burnet House who ran away from a gentleman in Lexington, Ky., and who will take $100 for the black man; says the negro told him for to buy him of his master and he would refund him the money. W. having told the negro that his master would take nothing less than $300, he expects to swindle the negro out of $200, you see; told me of an old lady in Missouri in whom the Federals have the utmost confidence, but who cooks for and secretes Quantrill's men. She was in Kentucky this spring, and told her rebel friends she must go back to Missouri, as she loved the bushwhackers better than any other class of men. She gives Quantrill most of his information, and brags that she has enabled him to kill many Federal officers and men. She resides probably in Buchanan or Platte County. I will get her name.


 E. F. H.

(Edward F. Hoffman)


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