Richmond Dispatch, 3/21/1862

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From the Richmond Dispatch, 3/21/1862, p. 2, c. 3

Arrests by the Provost Marshal’s Force. – The neighborhood of 17th and Cary streets bears no enviable reputation. Assistant Provost Marshal, G. W. Alexander, having been informed that it was at times unsafe for citizens to pass in that neighborhood without being insulted, or their senses shocked by obscene conduct, produced mostly by intemperance, and it was also said to be the harbor of fugitives, Wednesday night, at 11 o’clock, the Provost Guard, 120 strong, were under arms. The detachment from below, commanded by Lt. Turner, C.S.A., the remainder of the guard, with the police, under Marshal Alexander in person, met at 18th and Main, surrounded the block of buildings between 17th and 18th, Cary, and the alley parallel to Main. The police force then entered each house in detail. Some of the scenes were revolting. Every male in the block was arrested and confined in the jail till morning, when they had a hearing by Marshal Alexander, assisted by Lts. Turner, Emack, and Semple. – The liquor found thus was poured into the streets, barrels were taken to the receiving store, and receipts given. Deserters were yesterday sent to their regiments. Shirkers from militia duty handled, and some very bad characters detained. The squad of prisoners arrested amounted to 89. Many were provided with British Consul papers, these were released after being identified. Lieut. Turner, C.S.A., and Mr. James Thomas, of the 1st Maryland regiment, deserve much credit for their energy and coolness. Yesterday, besides several soldiers arrested for drunkenness, Reuben T. Sale, an itinerant orator; William Thom, a German, and Saml Eaton, sewing machine man, were taken in custody on charges, the nature of which were not learned by us on inquiry.

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