May 30, 1865 - Testimony of Joshua S. Naylor about Dr. Samuel Mudd
JOSHUA S. NAYLOR, a witness called for the accused, Samuel A. Mudd, being duly sworn, testified as follows:
By MR. STONE:
Q. Where do you reside?
A. I reside in the Eighth Election District, Prince George’s County, Md.
Q. Will you state whether you knew Daniel J. Thomas?
A. I knew him very well.
Q. Will you state to the Court whether you knew Daniel J. Thomas’s general reputation for truth and veracity in his neighborhood, and what that reputation is, if you know it?
A. I knew his general character pretty well from report, and also from observation.
Q. What is his general character?
A. His general character is bad.
Q. From his general character for truth and veracity,—we are only speaking of his general character for truth and veracity,—would you believe him on his oath?
A. From my own knowledge of the man, I could not.
Q. How long have you known Thomas?
A. All the time since he was a small boy.
Q. State whether you did or did not know his character for truth and veracity before this war.
A. I have known him all the time, and never heard him spoken very well of any of the time.
Q. Will you state to the Court what is his reputation in his neighborhood for truth and veracity?
A. His reputation is that he never tells the truth if a lie will answer his purpose better.
Q. From that general reputation, would you or would you not believe him on his oath?
A. It is a hard thing to say of a man, but I could not.
Cross-examined by the JUDGE ADVOCATE:
Q. Did you ever know of Mr. Thomas speaking falsely under oath?
A. Not under oath: I never heard him sworn.
Q. Did you ever hear it charged upon him that he had ever sworn falsely?
A. I do not know that I ever did.
Q. The reputation of which you speak is, that he talks idly and extravagantly and foolishly and unreliably, but that reputation does not extend to any statements which he would make under oath. Am I right in that?
A. I never heard that he was charged with swearing falsely.
Q. Is he not reputed to be an honest man in his neighborhood, and a loyal one?
A. He is sometimes one thing and sometimes the other, just as the prospects of the different parties seem to be going.
Q. Have you been loyal yourself throughout the Rebellion?
A. I think I can prove that without any difficulty.
Q. I do not ask you for the proof; I ask you for the fact.
A. Yes, sir; I have.
Q. You have constantly desired that the Government should succeed in suppressing the Rebellion?
Q. Has not Mr. Thomas, within your knowledge, been an open, outspoken advocate of the Government throughout the Rebellion?
A. During the latter part of the Rebellion, he has been pretending to be a pretty warm supporter of the Government, and perhaps he might have been sincere.
Q. What grounds have you for suspecting his sincerity?
A. Mr. Adams, a neighbor of mine, told me—
Q. Never mind what Mr. Adams told you. Have you any grounds within your own knowledge for suspecting the sincerity of his loyalty?
A. Only from what I have heard that he had told other persons in the early part of the Rebellion. I do not know that I had any conversation with him about the matter in the early part of the war.
Q. Are you entirely friendly with Mr. Thomas?
A. Perfectly so.
By MR. EWING:
Q. Have you ever known of Mr. Thomas being sworn in any case?
A. I have never heard an oath administered to him.
Q. You have never known of his giving testimony in any case in the courts?
A. I have never been in court when he was testifying in any case.
Q. Therefore you cannot say as to what his reputation for veracity when he is under oath is?
A. I cannot: I have no means of judging whether he told the truth or not: I never heard him examined.
Q. Have you been an active supporter of the Government of the United States?
A. Yes, sir; I have.
Q. And supported the Administration?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. At all times?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And under all circumstances?
A. At all times and under all circumstances.
Q. Do you know the reputation in the community in which he lives for loyalty of Dr. George Mudd?
A. I have heard Dr. George Mudd spoken of as a good Union man. I have no personal knowledge of his Union proclivities.
Q. Are you personally acquainted with Dr. George Mudd?
A. Not particularly so. I have seen Dr. Mudd in Bryantown on a few occasions, but not since 1862 or 1863, or probably 1859 or 1860.
Q. How far do you live from Bryantown?
A. Seven or eight miles.
Q. You say that Dr. George Mudd is reported to be a loyal man?
A. He is, sir: I have never heard it doubted.
Q. And a supporter of the Government in the war against the Rebellion?
A. Yes, sir; I think he is. He has always spoken against the Rebellion; that is, I understand so from report. I have never heard him speak about it.
Q. He has been a supporter of the Government in its efforts to suppress the Rebellion?
A. Yes, sir: I have always understood that he was in favor of supporting the Government.
By the COURT:
Q. How far do you live from Mr. Thomas?
A. When he resided at his mother’s, I suppose he lived about two miles from me; and sometimes he lives on a farm nearer, within a mile and a half.
Q. Have you ever had any private difference with him?
A. Never in my life; only I would get tired of his talks sometimes, and would tell him to stop talking; I did not care to hear so much.
Q. Have you ever had any differences of a political character when he was a candidate for the House of Delegates in Maryland?
A. I believe he was running as a Union candidate in Charles County; but I had nothing to do with him. I live in Prince George’s County.
Q. There were no differences between you and him growing out of that?
A. No, sir.