John Buie's Deposition - 1873

John M. Buie's Deposition Filed in the Southern Claims Case of Mary Lemons Buie
October 1873
Lincoln County, Mississippi
Transcribed by Linda Durr Rudd

John Mercer Buie was the son of Daniel and Mary Lemons Buie.


Testimony Of John M. Buie in the case of Mary Buie (deceased) who appeared being duly sworn doth depose and say my name is John M. Buie. I am 38 years of age reside 5 miles from Caseyville and am by occupation a Planter. My father died on the 17th day of September 1862. I was appointed administrator of the estate of my father, Daniel Buie, but in the lifetime of my mother consented that she should make claim against the government for the property taken. The property of my father the late Daniel Buie descended to myself, Daniel Buie aged 30 - Z. T. Buie aged about 26, Mary C. Buie same age as Z. T. they are twins. My mother in her life time enjoyed the widow’s dower and now we four are the inheritors of all property of the estate equally. My father left no will. I make this claim as administrator of the estate on the behalf of myself and my two brothers and sister. Copy of letters of administration filed herewith. Lincoln the name of the county I am now living in was formed from parts of Copiah and other counties -- Our place was then situated in Copiah - but since the formation of the new county it has been merged into Lincoln. I resided during the war from the 1st of April 1861 to the 1st of June 1865 upon our place containing about 1200 acres of land about one half of which was in cultivation in a high state of cultivation the balance was woodland and situated 5 miles southwest of Caseyville during the time I resided upon the place. And occupied myself as much as I possibly could in trying to help the family cultivate the land. I was the manager and have been for the past 18 years.

I was never required to take any oath. The only oath that I took that I am now aware of was one that I took previous to becoming a registered voter in the year of 1867 or 1868.

I was a soldier in the Confederate army about two weeks in the year of 1863 at Caseyville - in the county. I left the service at the expiration of two weeks. I was conscripted in the years of 1863 as stated was required to report at Caseyville - I done so - I was determined not to go into the Confederate service nor fight against the Union. I bought my discharge at that time. I had the pecuniary means to keep out.

The drafted (conscripted) man could always hire a substitute if he could afford it. Starting in 1862, the U.S. government allowed this escape from military service on the theory that, so long as each name drawn from the wheel produced a man, it made no difference whether the drafted person or one hired to take his place appeared for muster. The Conscription Act of 3 March 1863 legalized this method of draft evasion. Until the act of 24 February 1864, the conscript could choose between hiring a substitute or paying the government $300 as commutation of service. Thereafter, the government only permitted substitution, except for conscientious objectors. Furthermore, exemption by furnishing a substitute extended only until the next succeeding draft, at which point the principal again became liable. Immediately, the prices of substitutes rose far above the $300 to which the commutation clause had held them. For this reason, legal draft evasion became the prerogative of only the unusually well-to-do.

I was arrested by the Confederate government or by its conscripting officer, at the time I was conscripted and taken under arrest to the camp where I was kept two weeks. I have said I was a soldier. Caseyville was simply a camp of instruction and I was drilled daily without being mustered in. At the end of two weeks I purchased a furlough for six days when I cam home, after which I stopped there. Did not intend to go back once I got away.

The Confederate authorities took five horses and mules, a lot of corn, can’t tell how much. I suppose they took it for the use of their army. They took probably four or five hundred bushels. Never paid me a cent for it.

I had two brothers in the Confederate army. One is now dead, both were conscripted. One was named Neal H. and the other Daniel. Neal H. is dead. Furnished them with no military equipments and did not contribute in any way to aid or support them.

Did not receive a pass, except the pass I once received in the shape of a furlough good for six days. At the beginning of the rebellion I sympathized with the Union cause. I voted against secession. Always adhered to the cause of the Union, and never for one moment supported or sympathized with the Confederate government. Solemnly declared from the beginning of the rebellion against the U. S. to the end...and never of my own free will or accord did anything to injure said cause. Had the circumstances permitted I would have helped it by all means in my power. Our whole family, and connections as far as I know were Union people and opposed to secession. My brothers, sister, father and mother never counter secession and never aided it in any way.


NARA - Record Group 123 - United States Court of Claims - Congressional Jurisdiction - Southern Claim File of Mary Buie - Case # 2568

Southern Claims Case of Mary Buie

Remembering Their Names