I have here the March 1866 report of Assistant Sub-Assistant Commissioner Newton M. Brooks of the Freedman’s Bureau . . .
“Bureau R F & A L
Hd. Qrs Sub Dist. New Kent and Charles City Cos.
New Kent C.H. Va March 15th /67
Brig Gen. O. Brown A.A.A.G.
In reply to your communication of March 8th, received on the 14th inst. I have the honor to suggest the following named gentlemen and freedmen with the P.O. Addresses of each set opposite his name.
New Kent County.
C.E.Troutman New Kent Court House
John Mays MD ”
M.C.Tustall Tunstall’s Station
Volasco Vaiden New Kent Court House
Thomas J. Turner Barhamsville
The above all gentlemen of the first respectability and possess the confidences of the people. Mr. Troutman served for two years as an Officer in the Union forces, and has lately purchased a farm her on which he resides. Dr. Mays, opposed secession, but when Virginia passed the Ordinance, accepted a position as Colonel and Aid-de-Camp to Governor Letcher which he held until the close of the war. He endorses the Military Bill, and is in favor of educating freedmen, and the Civil Rights Bill. Messers Tunstall, Morris and Turner opposed secession, took no active part in the war and sincerely accept the situation. Mr. Vaiden, opposed secessionism, was a member of the Legislature some years before the war; entered the Confederate service and served as a private during the war, but was during the whole time an object of suspicion on account of his previously expressed Union sentiments. The freedmen whose names are submitted are the most intelligent in the County, but as far as I know not one of them can read or write; they are however, honest and respectable. During the war the best of the negroes left here and very few have returned, so that of those here now, I do not know of one whom I can recommend for a position of trust and responsibility. The following are the best fitted, of any in my knowledge
Carter Lewis New Kent Court House
Levi Henderson ”
Logan Waller ”
John P. Pearman New Kent Court House
Harris Cumber ”
William Dixon ”
Communications for this had better be sent through this office to ensure safe delivery. Levi Henderson, is from the north and served in the Union forces during the War. Logan Waller left here and was employed by the Q.M. Dept. at Yorktown during the war. The rest have never left the County, and all are enterprising men but have no business knowledge at all. At present I am not able to suggest names of parties in Charles City County, but will forward at[sic] list at an early date. I have the honor to be
Respectfully Your Obt. Servt.
Capt. Asst. Supt.
The March 1866 report of Captain Brooks is just as interesting for what it leaves out as for what it includes. He fails to mention that he and C.E.Troutman served in the same regiment together, and in fact was his brother-in-law. C.E.Troutman’s twin brother Linn(or Lynn) also immigrated to Virginia where he was briefly Sheriff of New Kent(before absconding with poor house funds; I have a copy of the Circuit Court judgement)
Volasco Vaiden (spelled in records many, many ways) was actually in the House of Delegates DURING the war, the 1861-62 session. He was a private in the 3rd VA cavalry before this, and in the 5th VA cavalry afterwords. However, he was a Major in the militia (52nd Regiment) before the war and during the first few months of hostilities. A letter exists to Governor Letcher telling how he has seized a schooner owned by Northerners in the Pamunkey and asking what to do with it. For remainder of his political career he was known as Major Vaiden.