Research Spy or deserter-Lt. Col. Eugene Lamar sentenced to be hung, escaped Ft. McHenry

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Did he desert or was he a spy? His escape was recorded in a Baltimore Sun news article and on the record I've located, it says Lt. Col., 14th La. Inf. Reg. (RCS IX, p. 276 only). On the back of the card is says "disguised as a civilian and without permit or proper authority".

He's never found after the war so I suspect he changes his name. I also suspect that he was from Georgia as he initially joined Longstreet's brigade as a 1st Lt.

Does anybody know what RCS IX is? If so, what is on p. 276. Every good mystery deserves a good ending and I hope to find one for this spy/escapee.
 
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Update! April 16, 1864 the Richmond Enquirer reports that Col. Eugene Lamar with Gibbons, Compton and Sherrer arrived in Richmond after escaping Ft. McHenry on 15th of May.
After that I find nothing!
If anybody runs across his name, possibly back in his Louisiana company or Longstreet's, please let me know. .
 

John Hartwell

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Back on Jan. 5, 1864, we read in the Louisville Courier-Journal:
1618111484884.pngHe apparently lacked proper papers proving his 'paroled' status.

The only cards in his CMSR file at fold3 are extracted from Union POW records ... nothing from Confederate sources. Peculiar. Aside from that mention in the Richmond Examiner (which, btw, dates from June 16, not April), which identifies him only as "an officer," I can find nothing at all from the South. His name does not appear in the list of Field Officers of the 14th Louisiana, nor, indeed, of any Confederate unit from any state. [see SOURCE]

He seems to be something of a phantom.
 

Lubliner

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Update! April 16, 1864 the Richmond Enquirer reports that Col. Eugene Lamar with Gibbons, Compton and Sherrer arrived in Richmond after escaping Ft. McHenry on 15th of May.
After that I find nothing!
If anybody runs across his name, possibly back in his Louisiana company or Longstreet's, please let me know. .
Have you tried tracking out his three associates? If he had made claims that were insupportable and could be vouchsafed only by the confederate government, they would agree to any claim made with supportable evidence upon the spot. His return could be with those proper papers and passes to support whatever claim he was making. So his second capture as a spy could be hoodwinked by false documentation, though supportable, if found necessary.
Lubliner.
 

John Hartwell

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Have you tried tracking out his three associates? If he had made claims that were insupportable and could be vouchsafed only by the confederate government, they would agree to any claim made with supportable evidence upon the spot. His return could be with those proper papers and passes to support whatever claim he was making. So his second capture as a spy could be hoodwinked by false documentation, though supportable, if found necessary.
Lubliner.
If they had met while prisoners, they might only have known/believed what Lamar had told them.

Apparently there were five men "who escaped at the same time." Another Examiner article (June 17) does identify Lamar as a LtCol from Louisiana, but states that the escapees had all ready returned to their regiments except Lamar. Why not him, too?
1618150011973.png

There is a CMSR for First Lieutenant Eugene F. Lamar, ADC, of "Longstreet's brigade," captured at Gettysburg, July 3. Again, all from Union records. 6 cards:
1. on a roll of POWs at Harrisburg, July 7, 1863.
2. arrived Fort Delaware, July 10th. Forwarded July 18th to Johnson's Island.
3. July 20, 1863, list of prisoners at Sandusky, Ohio, en-route from Ft Delaware.
4. July 21, 1863, arrived Johnson's Is., forwarded to Point Lookout.
5. forwarded from Pt Lookout to Ft Delaware, arrived there April 28, 1865.
6. took Oath of Allegiance and released, June 10, 1865. "Place of residence: Aston, Ga."
This man, apparently at Pt. Lookout from July 1863 to April 1865, is clearly not the same Eugene Lamar, as that who escaped from Ft McHenry in May of '64.

Confused yet? There's something going on here. But what???
 

Lubliner

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They came to Maryland from France in 1663. About half of the third generation went to Georgia and SC near Augusta with a lot sons whose progeny ended up with 61 plantations and 9 Colonels or Lt. Colonels in the CSA, 6 KIA.
I've told the stories in "Rebels in my Tree", all but Eugene that is.
So why would he be in a Louisiana regiment? That wouldn't make sense.
Lubliner.
 

lelliott19

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Update! April 16, 1864 the Richmond Enquirer reports that Col. Eugene Lamar with Gibbons, Compton and Sherrer arrived in Richmond after escaping Ft. McHenry on 15th of May.
How did the Richmond Enquirer report 16 April on an escape that happened on 15 May 1864? They reported it before it happened? Or are these dates transposed?

I'm guessing you have already seen this but it does contain some interesting information. In case you can't read it:

Roll of Political Prisoners Rec'd at Fort McHenry Md from the 5th to the 14th of January 1864
No. 1
Name Lamar, Eugene
Rank Lt Col
Regiment 14th La Inf
Where Captured Baltimore Md
When Captured Dec 29, 1863
When Rec'd Jany 7, 1864
Where from Prov Marshall Balt Md
Supposed Spy
This man was sent here Jan 7 by order of Genl Lockwood Department Commander of Middle Department. who directs him to be tried by Military commission. He was arrested by the Provost Marshall in Baltimore a few days before at the Fountain Hotel in citizen's clothes. The evidence goes to show that he is an officer in the Rebel army - and that he is guilty 1st of being within our lines without authority and 2nd Hint he is a spy__ All Prisoners of war or persons in the military service of the Rebels. who are charged in addition with breaking violating the laws of war are classed as political Prisoners. The nomenclature is not a ____py one and includes persons who have violated the laws of war, the laws of congress and military law.
1618371173424.png
1618371259240.png
Here's the left side of the sheet
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And the writing on the outside as folded
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1618372618566.png
 
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lelliott19

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And one more
1618372799591.png
Political​
Roll of ^ Prisoners of War at Fort McHenry Md from the 5th to the 14th of Jany 1864
Name Lamar, Eugene
Rank of Town Lt Col
Regiment or County & State 14th La Inf
Co _____
Where Captured Baltimore Md
When Captured Dec 19, 1863
When rec'd Jany 7, 1864
Remarks Chgs and C Prov Marshal Balt, Md

This man was sent here Jany 7th 1864 By order of Gen'l Lockwood's Dep't Commander of Middle Dep't. who directs him to be tried by Military Commission. He was arrested by the Provo Marshal in Balt. a few days before at the Fountain Hotel in Citizen's Clothes. The evidence goes to show that he is an Officer in the Rebel service army, and that he is guilty 1st of being within our lines without authority and 2nd that he is a Spy -- All Prisoners of War, or persons in the Military Service of the Rebels, who are charged in addition with violating the laws of war, are classed as Political Prisoners. The nomenclature is not a happy one and includes persons who have violated the laws of War, the laws of Congress & military law --
 
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Lubliner: In the hundred years after they arrived in Georgia and SC, some family members went to Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Your question hits to the heart of the matter: "So why would he be in a Louisiana regiment?". I have looked in the 1840 and 1850 "slave census" and I believe there were Lamars but I didn't find a Eugene Lamar.

There are other possibilities:

1) His name is really Lamar and from Louisiana, but his family didn't have had a plantation. (I didn't check non-slave census records.)

2) He had a different name and for spy cover he was given the name Eugene Lamar who was then a Union POW. This could make sense if he had been captured earlier and paroled by the Union under his correct name. As a spy planning to go behind Union lines he was at risk of re-capture.

I don't know the correct answer but I do know it continues to be a mystery!
 

Fairfield

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According to an article in the Baltimore Sun (17 May 1864), he was a native of Louisiana and had been tried shortly before by a military commission.

According to Booth's Records of Confederate Soldiers and Confederate Commands, repeated on Ancestry, he had been arrested in Baltimore on 29 Nov 1863 (dressed as a civilian but found to be a Confederate officer). He escaped on the evening of 15 May 1864 "through the negligence of a guard".
 

Fairfield

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I found RCS in the bibliography of Confederate Yankee. According to this book, RCS is a series of 6 volumes edited by Lillian Henderson: Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Georgia. Published 1955-56 by Longine & Porter in Hapeville GA.
 
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"through the negligence of a guard" sounds like a well paid guard. All of the guys who broke out travelled through Maryland, got through Union lines and returned together to Richmond.

The fact that they could do this during war increases my suspicion that they had a plan, cash and people to help them. He's looking way too lucky to not be a spy.
 

Fairfield

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"through the negligence of a guard" sounds like a well paid guard. All of the guys who broke out travelled through Maryland, got through Union lines and returned together to Richmond.

The fact that they could do this during war increases my suspicion that they had a plan, cash and people to help them. He's looking way too lucky to not be a spy.
I agree. Also, were he a deserter who had earned such disfavor from a military commission, he'd have been a Union soldier (I can't find a Union solder of that spelling or variation in the Union army in either HDS or NPS.
 
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