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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Benjamin Bowering Rediscovered

Benjamin Bowering letter to Lizzie Houston Row, 10 June 1884

     The roster of names of Fredericksburg's leading citizens, who strode across history's stage during the last half of the nineteenth century, is long and distinguished. Sadly, their stories are often only half-remembered, the patina of their accomplishments obscured by the fine dust of time. [Please note that all images in my blog may be clicked on for enlarged viewing]
     Today I hope to remedy that obscurity for one such man, Benjamin Bowering.
     For reasons which will become evident at the end of today's post, I have for the last week or so been combing through the historical record to learn all I can about this able man who helped transform Fredericksburg and whose handiwork was utilized throughout the region.
     Benjamin's story, and that of his accomplished son Andrew, is one of compelling interest and the many contributions he made to his adopted country and city are worth remembering.
     Benjamin Bowering was born in Trowbridge, England in November 1819. Named for his father, a carpenter born in 1795, young Benjamin accompanied his family on their voyage to America and settled in Paterson, New Jersey. In that city the junior Bowering met Lucinda Voorhees (born in August 1822), whom he married in September 1841.
     About Benjamin's life in New Jersey I know very little, save for the fact that his only child, Andrew Benjamin Bowering, was born there on 6 August 1842.
     In 1849 Bowering and his family moved to Fredericksburg, where for the next fifty four years he would make the highest use of the talents he brought with him.
     Located at the intersection of Princess Anne and Charlotte Streets, Hope Foundry was owned in the late 1840s by a partnership of three men: John H. Roberts, John Francis Scott and John H. Herndon. In 1849 they made the smartest business decision of their lives when they hired Benjamin Bowering as the foundry's manager.
     By May 1851 Mr. Roberts sold his interest to the remaining two partners, who published this advertisement in the 2 May 1851 edition of the Fredericksburg News:


     The partnership of Scott & Herndon operated Hope Foundry until 1857, when John F. Scott bought out Mr. Herndon's interest. Scott would operate the business as its sole proprietor until the end of the Civil War. Wisely, he retained the services of his master machinist and superintendent, Benjamin Bowering.
     The advertisement shown below, published on the eve of Virginia's secession and the onset of war, announced - with misplaced optimism - the variety of machines manufactured at the foundry which were available for purchase by the public. Soon enough, however, the foundry's sole customer would be the Confederate army.

Fredericksburg News 29 January 1861

     As early as June 1861 John F. Scott was manufacturing and repairing artillery equipment for the Confederate army, and this would account for most of his business for the next three and a half years. In the National Archives can be found dozens of invoices for Scott's work. A few examples are shown here:

     Scott's efforts on behalf of the rebellion were interrupted twice during the war. In August 1862 he was among about nineteen male citizens of Fredericksburg who were arrested by Federal troops occupying the town at the time and were taken to the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C. They were seized as hostages to guarantee the safety of several Unionists who had been arrested by the Confederates and imprisoned in Richmond. After an exchange of letters and the plaintive pleas of those incarcerated in Washington, a solution was found and John F. Scott and the others were released.
     Scott was arrested a second time when Federal forces occupied Fredericksburg on 2 May 1863. The record shows that the reason given for his arrest was due to the fact that he was "disloyal." He was released on 20 May 1863.
     Understandably, Scott made himself scarce in May 1864 when the Union army again took control of the town during the battle of the Wilderness. This time he avoided capture.
     Since he did not own the foundry at the time, Benjamin Bowering's name does not appear on any of these Confederate invoices, but he doubtless continued to manage production for Scott during the war. Evidence of this is found in the record of his parole, given at Salisbury, North Carolina after the surrender of General Joseph Johnston on 26 April 1865. He is shown as enlisted in the Virginia Reserves and "detailed at the artillery shops." The circumstances regarding his presence in North Carolina at the end of the war are unknown. But doubtless this was a most intriguing situation for a forty six year old English immigrant to find himself in.

Parole of Benjamin Bowering

     Meanwhile, Benjamin Bowering's son Andrew was having his own unique experience during the Civil War. Prior to Virginia's secession, Andrew was a music teacher in Fredericksburg. When hostilities began, Andrew was mustered into the 30th Virginia Infantry, where he led the regimental band. At the funeral of Stonewall Jackson in Richmond in May 1863 Andrew conducted the band in playing music he composed for the occasion, as well as Handel's Dead March from "Saul."
     Andrew Bowering served in the 30th Virginia until Lee's surrender at Appomattox. At that place Andrew blew the final recall of the Army of Northern Virginia. He placed his trumpet on the limb of a tree and walked home to Fredericksburg.
     When he arrived there he discovered that his father was in Salisbury. And so he made his way to North Carolina. The Bowerings returned home soon thereafter.
     After the war Andrew continued to teach music and conducted open air concerts in Fredericksburg. He served as president of the city school board and for almost fifty years was commissioner of revenue. He died in 1923.
     Reunited once again, John F. Scott and Benjamin Bowering laid plans to reopen Hope Foundry as a commercial enterprise open to the public. This time Benjamin would at long last be a partner in the business.

Fredericksburg Ledger 1  December 1865

     And they remained partners until 6 February 1871, when John Francis Scott died. The index to the historic court records of Fredericksburg indicate that Scott's estate was settled in 1876, and that is when it appears Benjamin acquired sole ownership of Hope Foundry.
     For the remainder of his active life, Benjamin was connected to Hope Foundry and its successors. Among the many projects for which he deserves to be remembered:

- the manufacture of the court house vault door
- the design of the gates of the Confederate cemetery
- the manufacture and installation of the vane atop the Baptist Church
- the manufacture and installation of the bell of the Presbyterian Church

Fredericksburg Ledger 13 September 1870

- the manufacture of all the equipment used in the Germania Mills
- the manufacture of the machinery used in the Washington Woolen Mills, of which he was a director
- the manufacture of the machinery for the City Electric Light Works.
- the manufacture of the steam heating system for the Hotel Dannehl

     Benjamin was also active in the civic life of Fredericksburg and served for years on the city council.

     Benjamin sold Hope Foundry to Charles Tyler of Baltimore in January 1891. The foundry was then renamed the Progress Engine and Machine Works. Benjamin stayed on for a year as manager.
     Progress was later named Southern Foundry and at the age of seventy eight Benjamin went back to work for them for a time in 1897.
     Benjamin Bowering died at the home of his son on 13 July 1903. He is buried at the Fredericksburg Cemetery.

     Over the years I have taken a personal interest in Bowering because my great grandfather had bought from him the steam saw mill and boiler that he used in his lumber business in Spotsylvania. After his untimely death in 1883, his widow wound down his business as the adminstratrix of his estate. In the letter written by Bowering to my great grandmother in May 1884, which appears at the top of today's post, he pledges to help her find a buyer for the mill machinery. The invoice below is among the business papers of Lizzie Houston Row:

Bowering invoice to Lizzie Row 10 June 1884

So what has prompted my renewed interest in Benjamin lately?

     Recently an artifact of Benjamin Bowering - a virtual time capsule - was discovered in a tributary of Chopawamsic Creek on the Marine base at Quantico. This was brought to my attention by the base's forester, Ron Moyer, who came across previous mentions of Bowering on Spotsylvania Memory while conducting research. Quantico intends to restore this equipment and display it on the base. The link to Quantico's press release:

     Mr. Moyer asked for my assistance in gathering as much information as possible regarding Bowering's work, a task I undertook with great pleasure. Ron Moyer shared with me several photographs of Benjamin Bowering's handiwork and with his permission they appear  here today:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jehu Williams

Jehu Williams

     In about 1720 young David Shion Williams, born in Wales in 1699, boarded one of the many sailing ships plying the Atlantic in those years and sailed west to the New World. He would establish himself in New Castle County, Delaware where he raised his family and lived out his years until his death in 1786. One of David's sons, Jesse, was born there in 1750. [Please note that all images in my blog may be clicked on for enlarged viewing]
     By the 1770s Jesse Williams was living in Baltimore, Maryland, where he married Rachel Gott on November 24, 1774. Less than two years later Jesse would be mustered into service to fight soldiers from his father's native country sent to suppress the rebellion that spread throughout all thirteen colonies. During the American Revolution Jesse Williams would serve in several regiments, as he would be called on to re-enlist after his original term of service expired.
     In 1780 Jesse and Rachel Williams and the first two of their eight children moved to Culpeper County, Virginia. The following year Jesse was again called upon to serve the cause of the Revolution and he enlisted one more time.
     The Williams family remained in Culpeper until about 1791; at least four of Jesse's and Rachel's children were born there, One of these, Jehu Williams, arrived on October 11, 1788.
     From Culpeper the Williams family moved to Orange County and from there to Stafford. It was while living in the latter place, in 1799,  that eleven year old Jehu met the family of six year old John Victor (1793-1845). It was this auspicious meeting that transformed the lives of both boys.
     Young John Victor was the son of John Victor, Sr. and Sarah Tankersley, who married in Caroline County sometime between 1777 and 1780. Like Jesse Williams, the senior John Victor also served during the Revolution, first as a lieutenant with Baylor's Regiment of Horse and afterwards as an adjutant. It was in this latter capacity that John Victor, Sr. recruited and trained new soldiers in Fredericksburg.
     In 1789 John and Sarah Victor moved from Port Royal to Fredericksburg. Here the former cavalryman gave expression to an entirely different set of talents. Victor, by now an accomplished musician, gave lessons in harpsichord, pianoforte, spinet and guitar. He was also a tuner and repairer of these instruments. He was particularly popular for the concerts he performed in Fredericksburg in the early 1800s. John Victor, Sr. died in 1817.
     Jehu Williams and John Victor developed talents of their own, and by 1813 had established themselves in business in Lynchburg. It would be here that Williams & Victor would over the following thirty years achieve a reputation as two of Virginia's most gifted jewelers, silversmiths and clock makers.  An advertisement for their business, seen below, was published in "Image of an Age," The Lynchburg Fine Arts Center, 1963.

     Just four months after the appearance of this notice in the Lynchburg newspaper, Jehu Williams married Hettie Row of Orange County on Christmas Day, 1814. Hettie was the youngest daughter of Thomas Row, my third great grandfather. Although her name is spelled variously as either Hetty or Hettie, her parents opted for the second spelling, which appears in the record of her birth in her mother's (Rachel Keeling Row) Book of Common Prayer, shown below. (Incidentally, Jehu's younger brother David married married Hettie's older sister Elizabeth in Orange County in 1817).

Birth record of Hettie Row

     By this time Jesse Williams and the rest of his family had moved from the Fredericksburg area to Kentucky, ultimately settling in Rockcastle County, which had been founded in 1810. Here the old Revolutionary War veteran would spend the rest of his life. On September 29, 1835, at the age of 84, Jesse Williams died after being kicked by a horse he had been trying to shoe. (Many thanks to Dee Blakeley for this detail of his death. Dee is a direct descendant of Jesse Williams and hosts her own family history blog, which is quite good.)
     Jehu's first two children, twins Mary Ann and Sarah Jane, were born on March 3, 1816. Mary Ann lived but three months. Sarah Jane and the other ten children of Jehu Williams would all live to adulthood.
     Over the next seven years Hettie gave birth to three more daughters, the last arriving on February 7, 1823. Hettie died just three weeks later on March 3, the birth date of her twins. Her last daughter, whose photo is seen here, was named Hettie Row Williams in her honor.

Hettie Row Williams (1823-1905)

     Young Hettie's mother, whom she would never know, is buried at Spring Hill Cemetery in Lynchburg (photo by Darrell Landrum):

Hettie Row Williams

     After a decent interval of six months, Jehu Williams married Susannah Sanford Tompkins on September 11, 1823. Susannah was the daughter of Reverend James Tompkins, Lynchburg's first Presbyterian minister, and Mary Hurt. Jehu and Susannah were married by Reverend John Early, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Susannah bore Jehu five more daughters and, at last, two sons. The oldest of these was James Tompkins Williams (1829-1900), named for his grandfather.

James Tompkins Williams

     In 1850 James T. Williams married Martha Jane Row of Spotsylvania, who was a niece of his father's first wife Hettie. While Martha was no blood relation of James, I always thought it curious that, given his matinee idol good looks and mercantile success, he did not cast a wider net in his quest for a wife.

     Jehu Williams and John Victor were both artisans of the first rank and generous contributors of their talents to the Lynchburg community. Williams & Victor silver tableware was much in demand during the first half of the nineteenth century and is still highly collectible today. One of their clocks stands in the reconstructed Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg. The mechanisms for their case clocks were imported from England; Jehu and John built the cases. Below are photographs of their handiwork taken by me at the Lynchburg Museum in 2010. The clock has since been relocated to nearby Point of Honor in Lynchburg. The clock I photographed contains the highly accurate Regulator clockworks. This particular clock is believed to have been the shop clock of Williams & Victor and would have been used to set all the other clocks.

Williams & Victor clock, Lynchburg

Williams & Victor silver, Lynchburg Museum

     During his tenure as the mayor of Lynchburg in the 1820s, John Victor engaged the services of Albert Stein, who had built America's first gravity-fed municipal water system in Philadelphia, to design a similar system for Lynchburg. Although the townspeople were shocked by the $50,000 price tag, the system worked as promised when it was completed in 1829.
     During his forty six years in Lynchburg, Jehu Williams also contributed a great deal to the civic life there. He was an ardent Methodist and a member of Court Street Methodist Church. He was president of Lynchburg Savings and helped organize the Lynchburg Hose Company ("Lynchburg and it People," William Asbury Christian, 1900). Jehu was a supporter of the Lynchburg Music Society. And both he and John Victor were members of the Lynchburg Colonization Society in the 1830s. This organization, which had branches throughout the South, proposed sending freed slaves to Liberia as a humane alternative to the unlikelihood of them ever being successfully integrated into white society. This plan, futile though it proved to be, was looked on approvingly by many in the years before the Civil War, including Abraham Lincoln.
     Inevitably, the colonization plan proved futile for Jehu Williams personally. In 1850 he owned six slaves, presumably most of whom were servants at his fine brick house at 616 Church Street. The Williams family were accustomed to having household servants and employed them through the generations. After the Civil War Jehu's son James normally had at least four at his home at 822 Federal Street, including Ellen Upshur, an eleven year old girl whom James purchased from his mother in law Nancy Estes Row in 1857 and who remained with the Williams family for many years after Emancipation.
     Jehu Williams continued to ply his trade after the death of his friend and business partner John Victor in 1845. He would one day change the name of his business (located at 8th and Main Streets) to J. Williams & Son when his youngest son, Jehu, Jr. (1834-1906) became old enough to assume some responsibility. With the exception of the time he spent in the Confederate army during the Civil War, the never married younger Jehu Williams worked all his life as a merchant in various enterprises in Lynchburg, and lived for a time at his father's old house on Church Street.

Jehu Williams, Jr. 

     Jehu Williams's second wife Susannah died at the age of forty one on October 7, 1843 "after an illness of only a few hours." Though he would father no more children, the ever vigorous Jehu -at age 59 - married his third wife, Elizabeth J. Robinson, on August 2, 1847.
     Vigorous he may have been, but Jehu Williams was not immortal. His obituary, kept in his family Bible, tells us that: "For a large portion of his life he was permitted to enjoy almost uninterrupted health, but for the last two or three years his naturally strong constitution had been gradually yielding to the hand of disease and for the last six months he had been the subject of the most intense suffering, which he bore with calmest Christian fortitude and resignation.
     "The most untiring and devoted attention of his children and the skill of his attentive physicians could not for a moment arrest the progress of his disease, which continued to invade his system until Thursday evening the 31st day of March [1859] at a quarter past eleven o'clock, death came and terminated his earthly suffering."
     Jehu Williams lies in Spring Hill Cemetery near Hettie. (Photo by Darrell Landrum)

Jehu Williams


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Taking of Jacob Lyman Greene

Jacob Lyman Greene

     Two years ago I wrote a detailed analysis of the letter written by Maria Dobyns of Oakley plantation in Spotsylvania. Written on June 17, 1864 to my great grand aunt Nannie Row, Maria's letter describes the fighting, suffering and chaos that occurred at Oakley during the battle of the Wilderness. She also mentioned the fact that Nannie's brother, George Washington Estes Row of the 6th Virginia Cavalry, had given her the pocket watch and pen knife of Custer's adjutant.
     Not being a Civil War historian as such, I did not know who would have been Custer's adjutant at  the time. However, lately I have been reading Thom Hatch's book on George Armstrong Custer, Glorious War, and at long last I believe I have identified the man from whom my great grandfather obtained his trophies.
George Washington Estes Row, right

    Jacob Lyman Greene, who was also a personal friend of Custer,  was captured at Trevelian Station in Louisa County on June 11, 1864. He was stripped of all his personal belongings, including his flute and spurs (as well as the items taken by Private Row).  Greene was taken to Libby Prison first, and from there spent time as a guest of the Confederacy at several prisons until he was paroled in December 1864.
     After the Civil War Greene served with Custer in Texas. In 1878 he became president of the Connecticut Mutual Insurance Company.
     An excellent biography of Jacob Lyman Greene by Charles Raymond Howard can be read at Uncle Jacob's Civil War.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Wilcox & Kinsey

Wilcox & Kinsey, 1870s

     Sometimes something as simple as a business card piques my interest and spurs me to dig a little deeper to see what, if anything, I can learn about persons who are otherwise unknown to me. Among the papers of George Washington Estes Row was today's featured item. [Please note that all images in my blog may be clicked on for enlarged viewing]
     GWE Row operated a large saw mill in Spotsylvania near Todd's Tavern until his untimely death in 1883. It is possible that Row may have supplied lumber to Wilcox & Kinsey, although their names do not appear within his ledgers or among his cancelled checks. Still, he kept this card so I do not rule out a possible business connection.
     Albert Gallatin Wilcox and his family came to Spotsylvania from New York about 1870. He was a "manufacturer of spokes," according to the 1870 census. That same census shows that his neighbor was a fellow New Yorker, Allen Hakes, also a manufacturer of spokes. In 1873 Wilcox was appointed postmaster at Spotsylvania Court House. The Wilcox family did not settle permanently in Spotsylvania, and by the 1880s were living in Hillsborough, Florida, where Albert Wilcox died in 1894.
     Wilcox's partner in this enterprise was Edward Wood Kinsey, born in Chester, Pennsylvania in 1842. Kinsey served in Company A of the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry during the Civil War. Like Albert Wilcox, Kinsey moved to Spotsylvania by 1870 and worked for a number of years in Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg as a merchant and grocer. His first wife died in 1883 and he married Henrietta Hall in 1885. That same year he ran afoul of the law by espousing his political views in public without proper clearance from the town fathers. From the Free Lance, dated 15 September 1885:

     Mr. Kinsey divorced wife number two at some point and married Agnes Jennett Morrison Eastburn in Washington, D.C. in 1902. There he made his home for much of the rest of his life. The index to the historical Fredericksburg newspapers shows that in 1924 his grandson Edward Walter Kinsey was selling used cars there.  From selling wagon spokes to automobiles, the business life of the Kinseys seemed to have come full circle.
     Edward Wood Kinsey is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
     Kinsey's son, Fredericksburg auctioneer Nathaniel Bacon Kinsey, was a witness to the will of GWE Row's son, Horace Row (my grandfather) in 1927.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ancestors at the Museum

Photo courtesy of John Cummings

     Recently Terry Dougherty, director of the Spotsylvania Museum, and museum specialist Liz M. Clayton produced a multi-panel display commemorating the 150th anniversary of the battle of the Wilderness. Included in their presentation is one panel devoted to my ancestors [please click on this image for enhanced viewing].
     Long time readers of Spotsylvania Memory know that I have been an earnest advocate for telling the story of my ancestors, who arrived in Virginia from England in 1621, and describing their place in state and local history. My family is no more or less special than that of anyone else. But because their experience is so well documented, their lives can in many respects be viewed as emblematic of their time and place.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"I would charge hell itself"

General John Gregg

     One of the most emotionally charged moments of the Civil War occurred on Widow Tapp's farm on Orange Plank Road during the battle of the Wilderness on May 6, 1864. Unwisely waiting for the expected arrival of Longstreet's troops, A.P. Hill's soldiers were poorly prepared for the onslaught of the Union forces. The Rebels were thrown into confusion and at just the most crucial moment the Texas Brigade of Longstreet's corps, commanded by former Texas district judge John Gregg, arrived on the scene.
     What occurred next was recorded by Private Robert Campbell of the 5th Texas Infantry:

..."Attention Texas Brigade" was rung upon the morning air, by Gen. Gregg, "the eyes of General Lee are upon you, forward, march." Scarce had we moved a step, when Gen. Lee, in front of the whole command, raised himself in his stirrups, uncovered his grey hairs, and with an earnest, yet anxious voice, exclaimed above the din and confusion of the hour, "Texans always move them."
...never before in my lifetime or since, did I ever witness such a scene as was enacted when Lee pronounced these words, with the appealing look that he gave. A yell rent the air that must have been heard for miles around, and but few eyes in that old brigade of veterans and heroes of many a bloody field was undimmed by honest, heart-felt tears. Leonard Gee, a courier to Gen. Gregg, and riding  by my side, with tears coursing down his cheeks and yells issuing from his throat exclaimed, "I would charge hell itself for that old man."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Corporal William White and the Wrong Man

Western Spotsylvania County, 1863

     Today's tale comes from the superb Civil War diary of artillerist William S. White, which is included in Contributions to a History of the Third Richmond Howitzer Battalion, published by Carlton McCarthy & Co. in 1883. I heartily recommend to the history enthusiasts out there that they read his diary in its entirety. White fought in twenty one battles, from Bethel Church to Appomattox. His detailed descriptions of those engagements, his depiction of camp life and the articulate manner in which he shares his views make this journal a compelling read. It can be found online here; White's diary begins on page 84. [Please note that all images in my blog may be clicked on for enlarged viewing]
     We will be looking at a three month period of White's experience, which occurred December 1862 to February 1863. Corporal White was assigned by the provost marshal to take charge of the case of fellow soldier John Edwards of Spotsylvania, who had been convicted of desertion in the face of the enemy and was sentenced to be "shot to death by musketry."

Verdict and sentencing of John Edwards

     Corporal White's efforts on Edwards' behalf obliged him to travel on horseback in deep snow through western Spotsylvania, among other places. In the course of his travels he had occasion to spend two nights at Greenfield, the plantation of my great great grandmother, Nancy Estes Row, the only person he knew in Spotsylvania. In the group portrait below, Nancy Row is seated at left next to her daughter Martha Row Williams. Standing behind them are Nancy's daughters Bettie Row Rawlings and Nannie Row.

Nancy Estes Row and her daughters, c. 1870

     William S. White was born in Richmond in 1840, a son of Phillip Barrett White, a merchant in that city. The senior White was raised in Hanover County and was buried at his family's ancestral home there after his death in August 1851. Eleven year old William was then sent to Lexington, Virginia to live with his uncle, Reverend William Spottswood White, pastor of Lexington Presbyterian Church. (After the Civil War Reverend White retired from the ministry and became principal of the Ann Smith Academy, a school for girls attended by my great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Houston).  Young William White's Sunday school teacher was future Confederate general Daniel Harvey Hill, in whose division White served during the Civil War. Hill was an instructor at Washington College 1849-1854.
     In January 1854 White was one of the witnesses to the fatal stabbing of VMI cadet Thomas Blackburn by Washington College law student Charles Burks Christian. The slaying took place across the street from Reverend White's church. This sensational event and the trial that followed are the subjects of the excellent book by my friend Dan Morrow, Murder in Lexington, available from History Press. In October 1862, as fate would have it, Corporal White and his company camped in Clarke County, Virginia on the farm of Dr. Richard Scott Blackburn, the father of the slain cadet.
     Although stricken with illness several times during the war, White was fortunate to avoid being wounded or captured. In 1862, during the battle of Ellerson's mill, White found himself at his family's estate in Hanover County and fought for three hours within a few yards of his father's grave.
     John Edwards, for whose survival Corporal White worked so hard, was a laborer in Spotsylvania as shown on the 1860 census. He was by no means young - he was in his mid fifties - and was described by the provost marshal (to aid in his capture, no doubt) as five feet five inches with a dark complexion, blue eyes and sandy hair. In the map detail presented above, Edwards (whose name does not appear on the map) would have lived north of Todd's Tavern between Catharpin Road and the unfinished railroad.
     Some of the other individuals who appear in White's narrative are:

     -"Mrs. Rowe," my great great grandmother Nancy Estes Row. White knew her thanks to his friendship with Nancy's daughter Martha and her husband James Tompkins Williams, who lived in Richmond 1851-1867. James T. Williams was a partner in the firm of Tardy & Williams, auctioneers and wholesale grocers. Nancy's home, Greenfield, is seen in the lower center of the map as "Mrs. Rowe."

     -William A. Stephens and Joseph Trigg, neighbors of Nancy Estes Row. Their farms are shown on the map north of the Row place, adjacent to the unfinished railroad.

     -Leroy Wonderful Dobyns (yes, that was his real name) was the owner of Oakley, the farm immediately south of Greenfield. His home was the scene of chaos and violence during the battle of the Wilderness, as described in a well known letter by his daughter Maria.
     -Robert C. Dabney, Spotsylvania clerk of court. During the war he buried the county's records, thereby saving them from being destroyed by rampaging Federal troops.

     -William Stone Barton was an attorney and ardent secessionist in Fredericksburg before the war. He served as a major in the 30th Virginia Infantry before becoming judge advocate of the Confederate army. After the war Barton was judge of the 10th Circuit (where he heard a number of cases relating to my family) and Assistant Court of Appeals.

     I cannot improve upon the quality of William S. White's prose, so I will allow him to tell his tale in his own words:

                                             Jan 31


     The John Edwards that Major Barton knew was John B. Edwards, a musician in Company A, 30th Virginia Infantry. This John Edwards did indeed serve in the Mexican War.