Threatened me with punishment if I done so again.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

Daniel Manuel filed claim #5535 with the Southern Claims Commission.  He was 54 years old and had lived 10 miles west of Fayetteville for the previous 5 years.  Sometime during the war, he moved about 30 miles from Bladen County, where he was free-born, to a place about 6 miles west of Fayetteville.  Before the war, he lived in Sampson County.  He was a farmer and cooper, but only farmed during the war.  

He worked for 4 months at the Confederate arsenal in Fayetteville “very much against my wish.”  He was “on the union side all the time but could not say anything being a col’d man not entitled to a vote or allowed to talk.”

He named Hardy West, Arch’d Buie and John Buie, all white men, as witnesses to his loyalty, but all refused to testify.  “So,” he said, “I have to call on my own col. for that proof.”

“While I was at work at the arsenal I was arrested and taken before the com’d officer and examined on the charge of talking in favour of the union cause with some of my own col. I confessed that I had expressed myself in that way the officer threatened me with punishment if I done so again.  He turned me loose and I went back to work” in the blacksmith shop.  His nephew George Manuel was also forced to work at the arsenal.

Marshal White, aged about 47, lived about 5 miles west of Fayetteville and worked as a cooper.  For the last two years he had lived on the the same plantation as Daniel.

Peter Owen, aged about 40, had lived 8 miles west of Fayetteville for 4 years.  Before that, he lived at 3 different places.  During the war, he lived with William Owen and farmed.  He had known Daniel since he was a small boy and lived on the same plantation as Daniel about 2 years before the war.

Richard Lovitt, 51, had lived in Beaver Creek, about 6 miles west of Fayetteville for over 19 years.  He farmed and distilled turpentine.  He had known Daniel since 1861.