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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.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Greenfield and the Battle of the Wilderness

Nancy Estes Row and her daughters. Lynchburg, about 1870.

     Although my ancestors would have likely disagreed with me, the Rows of Greenfield plantation may have been among the most fortunate of western Spotsylvania's inhabitants during the spring of 1864. During the battle of the Wilderness and the Overland Campaign that followed, many of their neighbors suffered from hunger, terror, privation, imprisonment and a permanent diminution of their financial security. By a happy confluence of circumstance and geography, the Rows managed to avoid the most serious of these consequences of the Civil War on the civilian population.  [Please note that all images in my blog may be clicked on for enlarged viewing]
     A daughter of Richard Estes and Catherine Carlton, Nancy Estes Row lived at Greenfield virtually her entire life. In the photograph above she is shown wearing a mob cap and sitting next to her oldest daughter Martha Row Williams. During the war Martha lived in Richmond with her husband James Tompkins Williams, a partner in the wholesale grocery and auction house of Tardy & Williams. Standing behind Nancy and Martha are Bettie Row Rawlings and Nan Row (known affectionately to the family as Nannie, she remained unmarried all her life).
   
Western Spotsylvania, 1863

     Greenfield, a sprawling 889 acre farm, extended northwest from Brock Road towards Orange Plank Road. In the detail of the wartime map shown above, Greenfield can be seen in the middle of the image where "Mrs. Rowe" is indicated. That portion of Greenfield which included the family home, the slave cabins and other dependencies (site of the present day subdivision of Fawn Lake) was situated far enough from Orange Plank Road and Brock Road so that it was not the focus of the most intense fighting which occurred during the battles of Chancellorsville and the Wilderness.

Sketch of Greenfield by Roger Mansfield

Map of Greenfield area by Roger Mansfield

     On May 2, 1863 Stonewall Jackson led his Second Corps on a circuitous march which culminated in the successful ambush of the Union Army's exposed right flank near Wilderness Church. A portion of this march was made on a narrow farm road that began on Brock Road near Todd's Tavern and meandered to the north until it came out on Brock Road once again near its intersection near Orange Plank Road. A section of this farm road, known today as Jackson Trail West, traversed the Row farm. In 1936 my grandfather donated to the National Park Service the section of that road that had once been part of old Greenfield.

Bettie Row Rawlings

     Bettie, the youngest daughter of Nancy Estes Row, married neighbor Zachary Herndon Rawlings in a ceremony at Greenfield in November 1860 conducted by Zachary's uncle Reverend Herndon Frazer. Zachary was one of five children born to Ann Cason and James Boswell Rawlings  of Green Hill near Shady Grove Church, seen at the lower center of the Spotsylvania map above and indicated as "Rawlings." James B. Rawlings, a large powerful man, was a farmer, slave owner, justice of the peace, miller, gold miner and a gambler whose intemperate habits caused occasional difficulties with the law.

Benjamin Cason Rawlings

     After the election of Abraham Lincoln, talk of secession and war dominated the news and the thoughts of millions of Americans. This historic tumult made a special impression upon young Benjamin Rawlings, the second son of James B. Rawlings. During Christmas 1860 Ben, still two weeks shy of his sixteenth birthday, secretly absconded from his parents' home and made his way by rail and on foot to Charleston in order to be at the center of the southern rebellion. There he joined Maxcy Gregg's regiment of South Carolina Volunteers, thereby becoming the first Virginian to join the Confederate Army.
     Soon after Virginia's secession, Maxcy Gregg's regiment came to Virginia to aid in the defense of Richmond, the Confederacy's new capital. At the urging of his father, Ben transferred to a unit nearer home, Company D of the Thirtieth Virginia Infantry. Ben's brother Zachary enlisted in Company A of the same regiment.
     The following year Ben and Zachary fought at the battle of Antietam where Zachary was wounded, thus ending his career as a soldier. After his convalescence Zachary Rawlings helped both his parents and Nancy and Nan Row and he also provided livestock and fodder to the Confederate Army. In the meantime, most of the slaves belonging to Nancy Estes Row escaped to freedom, leaving only a small handful of servants who faithfully remained behind.

Letter of Ben Rawlings, 1 March 1864

     In late November 1863 eighteen year old Benjamin Rawlings, now captain of Company D, was captured by Union forces which had surrounded his parents' house. So began Ben's dreary eleven month incarceration in a series of Federal prisons. By late winter of 1864 Captain Rawlings was confined at Point Lookout, Maryland, where he wrote a letter to his mother on March 1. He asked her to send greenbacks and chewing tobacco, both of which could be exchanged for better food. He concluded his letter by issuing this stark warning to her and his father:

     You should be careful not to allow yourselves to become in contact with the yankee army on its next advance. Save what you can. Fall back with the negroes.

     By the time Ann Rawlings received this letter, Generals Grant and Meade had already assembled a huge army just north of the Rapidan River. This blue host was poised to strike into northwestern Spotsylvania County in early spring 1864, as soon as the roads became passable. The Rawlingses of Green Hill and the Rows of Greenfield took heed of Ben's advice and laid plans to escape the inevitable onslaught.
     At some time before the Union juggernaut surged south in May 1864 the Row and Rawlings families prepared to leave and head south to the relative safety of southern Goochland County:

     Family valuables were buried, and the horses were hidden in the woods. The plantation mules were fastened in the corral. Federal troops attempted to capture these, but they became frightened and escaped. It was weeks before they were all rounded up and returned. The plantation was looted, but the residence was spared. (From Roger Mansfield's history of Greenfield)

Southern Goochland County

     By now the owners of Greenfield and Green Hill had fled to the tiny crossroads hamlet of Hadensville in Goochland (at the center of the image above), located on the Three Chopt Road, which ran from Richmond to the Shenandoah Valley (the road was so named for the distinctive notches cut into the trees when the trail was blazed in colonial times). Nancy and Nan Row, Bettie and Zachary Rawlings and their young daughter Estelle, James Boswell and Ann Rawlings and their youngest son James (future merchant and postmaster in Fredericksburg), together with a small retinue of slaves, had loaded onto wagons and carts those possessions which they could take with them and trundled south to Hadensville. Here they would live as refugees for most of the remaining months of the Civil War.
     Meanwhile, fighting raged near Greenfield as Confederate and Union troops fought for the intersection of Orange Plank and Brock Roads. Elements of Stuart's Horse Artillery fought at Greenfield:

Friday [May] 6
     Reveille early this A.M. Heard heavy firing on our left, indicating that a great struggle had commenced between Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. We were ordered up to the front. Filing left, took the Catharpin Road. Crossed the River Po. Filed to the left through the farm of Leroy Dobbins, then filed right again crossing the Po and through to Mrs. Rowe's farm. Here met with many of our wounded cavalry fighting against as great odds as yesterday.
     Our battery was soon in position and commenced firing on the enemy, their artillery returning the fire. We were too much annoyed by sharpshooters. Heavy firing on both sides was kept up till near midnight. Our ammunition giving out, we fell back to replenish which was quickly done. We, however, did not renew the fight. The enemy making no advance we parked for the night on the farm of Mrs. Rowe.
     Our casualties today were very severe. Killed, Parson W. Crouch. Wounded, Corporals John Cary and George W. McDonell. Privates James A. Musgrove, Samuel T. Preston, George Stump and Joseph H. Torrence. Also James A. Cobbs and Robert W. Irving, but so slightly they did not leave the field. 
     We also had many horses killed and wounded and among them my own, which was wounded in the face as I sat on him. A few inches to the right or left and I might have been severely wounded in the leg. I had rather a a singular experience in today's fight. While First or Orderly Sergeant I was always at the head of the battery and was foremost, generally, in all fights, but after receiving the appointment of Lieut. had charge of the caissons of ammunition which in battle were kept in the rear. Today was my first experience in the rear and having always been in front, had much curiosity to know how I would feel and what would be the results of my rear experience. The above shows the killing of one and the wounding of eight of my men at the caissons, the wounding of my horse and a minnie ball striking my clothes. While at the front no one was hurt.
     Our army in this day's contest was very successful.
["Memoirs of the Stuart Horse Artillery: Moorman's and Hart's Batteries. Edited by Robert J. Trout. From the diary of Lewis Tune Nunnelee]

Nan Row

     A month after the battle of the Wilderness, Maria Dobyns - a daughter of the Leroy Dobbins mentioned above - wrote a letter to Nan Row describing the chaos and terror that had occurred at Oakley, the farm adjacent to and south of  Greenfield. Maria affirmed the wisdom of the Rows' decision to be absent from the violence:

     A long, long time has elapsed since I heard from you, and no doubt you are anxious to hear from your friends in Spotsylvania. Many changes have taken place since you left us, and I really think you should feel that it was an interposition of Providence which caused you to leave when you did - for had you remained here no doubt you would be as most of us are now.

George Washington Estes Row (right)

     Still six weeks shy of his twenty first birthday at the time of the Wilderness fight, George Washington Estes Row - Nan's younger brother - was a private in the Sixth Virginia Cavalry. The Sixth was part of the brigade of General Lunsford Lomax , for whom George Row served as a courier. Since he left behind no diary of his wartime experiences, I have often pondered what his feelings were as he was called upon to fight - almost literally- in his own backyard. What is known, however, is that George captured a memorandum book from a trooper of the Fifth New York Cavalry, in which was described the opening phases of the battle of the Wilderness and the fighting that continued for several weeks thereafter. Moreover, in the same letter written to his sister Nan, Maria Dobyns remarked:

     George was here last Wednesday. He was looking very well. His brigade was then at Waller's Tavern. Miss Nanny, when you write or speak to him about religion he seems very much concerned indeed, and from his conversation I trust he is a converted boy. He gave me a pen knife he captured together with a watch from Gen. Custer's Adj. General.

     For those of you who may be interested, I have written detailed accounts of well documented raids on four farms in Spotsylvania and Orange: Oakley, Walnut Grove, The Oaks and Ellwood
 

Friday, January 10, 2014

"You don't have to pack cotton in your bosom"

Emma Farish

     In February 1876, about six weeks after his marriage to Lizzie Houston in Rockbridge County, George Washington Estes Row wrote a letter to his fifteen year old cousin Emma Farish. His letter displays a personal warmth and a wry sense of humor that is both endearing and modern in tone. [Please note that all images in my blog may be clicked on for enlarged viewing]

George W.E. Row, 1875

     Emma Farish was born in Caroline County in August 1860 to Charles Tod Farish and his third wife, Rachel Keeling Row. A first cousin of George Row, Rachel was born in 1819, the daughter of Carlton and Lucy Row, who were murdered by their slaves in 1820. Rachel was then raised both by her grandfather Thomas Row in Orange County and by her uncle Absalom Row at Greenfield. In 1859 she became the third wife of Charles Farish, whose farm lay in northwest Caroline near Moss Neck Manor and not far from another uncle of Rachel's, Keeling Row. It so happens that Keeling also had a daughter named Rachel Keeling Row, who married a brother of Charles Farish, a fact which has proved to be a bit daunting for unwary genealogists. Charles died in 1863, leaving Rachel and Emma to rely on their own resources after his estate was settled.
     Rachel Row Farish was well loved by her friends and relatives, as is apparent from the many mentions of her name in family letters and papers. She was admired for her abilities as a quilt maker and weaver, a craft she could practice at the log weaving house at Greenfield. At least one example of her handicraft survives. In later life Rachel worked as a house mother at the Bowling Green Female Seminary, where Emma graduated with honors, receiving the gold medal for French.

Letter of George Row to Emma Farish, February 1876


                                                                Greenfield, Feb 1st 1876

Dear Em

     Your two letters were rec'd, one from Ill. and the other some time before Xmas and I have not delayed writing because I did not want to hear from you but simply I am too lazy to write when I have time and I don't like to write much, you know. Well, to commence. Abbie [1] is shaking the table now and looking over my elbow. Cousin Nan is teaching school at Cousin John's [2]. Abbie has been going to her but has been home ever since Xmas. Will return soon since he won't learn at home. I was married just before Xmas (I have forgotten what day but it don't make any difference I am married [3]) to Miss Lizzie Houston of Rockbridge Co. She lived six miles above your Uncle Zack's [4]. She is tall has dark hair and black eyes and wears pinback dresses -- (I suppose you and your Ma have lots of  pinbacks) about 21 years old and a splendid woman. Abbie loves her dearly. You must come up and look for a better description. Well Billy Kent [5]  is still single and so is Billy Trigg [6] and if you have finished your education and still desirous of forming a matrimonial alliance I think you cause their "hearts to palpitate, give up the ghost" etc.
     How comes on Cousin R [7]?. I suppose she is the spriest widow in town and cutting you out of the beaux. Well you must give back to her as she is the oldest and may not have as many chances as you. I heard Nellie Farish was to be married to a young Woolfolk. Hear it come off? No marriages in this county now. Mr. Lucius Estes [8] has bought Marvin's place and moved to it. They moved since Xmas. Tom Dick Pulliam was murdered up in Texas by Tom Sutherland a week or two ago. They were on a drunk. Sutherland has not been caught -- and if you see him catch him as the Governor has offered one hundred dollars reward. Give me half, won't you?
     Abbie says give my love to Em and Rach & tell them I have a calf. Quite a freak of nature for a boy to have a calf. Don't you think so? Em I suppose you are a grown lady ere this and don't have to pack cotton in your bosom and wearing dresses buttoned in front and pinback behind with a pile of rags on top and striped stockings and all sich. If this should shock your duplicity you must overlook as I think I am writing to a child yet. Give our kindest and best love to dear Cousin R and believe me as ever your
                                                       Cousin George

N.B. All the neighbors are well.


    
Wedding announcement of Emma Farish

     
     Emma married a cousin, Keeling Herndon Sisson, in 1889. They settled in Richmond, where Keeling was employed by the merchandising firm of T.B. Murphy & Company. Their son, also named Keeling, was born in July 1891. Rachel's husband died just three months later, apparently from the complications of diabetes.

Keeling Herndon Sisson

     Emma lived in Richmond with her son, and later with him and his family, for the rest of her life. Emma died in 1940 and is buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.

[Photos of Rachel and Keeling appear courtesy of Wesley Higgins]



[1] Abbie Row was George Row's son with his first wife, Annie Daniel (1848-1871). Abbie's youngest son served as official White House photographer for 25 years.

[2] John Sanders Row of Orange County.

[3] Of course, George is being coyly ironic here. His epic courtship of Mary Elizabeth Houston was the focus of his life for more than a year.

[4] Zachary Herndon Rawlings was married to George's sister Bettie.

[5] Two years after this letter was written, 26 year old William Franklin Kent married Lottie Conley. A daughter of theirs, Fannie, married George Row's youngest son Horace. Horace and Fannie's youngest daughter was my mother.

[6] John William Trigg, whose family's farm Poplar Neck lay next to Greenfield, married Alice Hart in 1885.

[7] Emma's mother, Rachel Row Farish.

[8] Lucius Estes farmed at Greenfield off and on for years. He was a devoted friend of the Rows. He, his wife and his adopted son Patrick were living in one of the log buildings at Greenfield when the just married George and Lizzie Row returned late from Rockbridge on December 14, 1875. Lizzie remembered that Patrick and Abbie were engaged in a whittling match at the main house at Greenfield, and George's sister Nan was sweeping the shavings from the hearth into the fire.




Sunday, January 5, 2014

One Hundred Hands

George Washington Estes Row

     During the last eighteen years of his life, 1865-1883,  George W.E. Row at various times owned or operated two farms and two saw mills. He managed Greenfield for his mother until her death in 1873 and after that for his unwed sister Nan until his own death at age 39. Of course he also ran his own farm, Sunshine, on which he built a house for his family in 1880. All the work required at these enterprises obliged George to hire many hands over the years, and so he did - by the dozens. [Please note that all images in my blog may be clicked on for enlarged viewing]
     The ledgers he and his family kept for thirty years are a gold mine of information regarding life at antebellum Greenfield and the years of struggle after the Civil War. In my last post I presented the names of over one hundred individuals and businesses to whom George Row sold the products of his saw mill business and when possible I included a little information about each one. Since the majority of his customers were well off, well known and white I was able to find a little something to say about most of them.
     Today's look at the ledgers will utilize a similar approach as we learn about the men, women and children who worked for him. Most of his employees were poor, unlettered blacks recently freed from bondage or who, in some cases, had lived as free people all their lives.  Their names tended not to appear in the society columns of the Fredericksburg newspapers, rarely did obituaries note their passing and their graves were most often unmarked. In trying to unearth information about many of them I have not been successful.
     For others I will be featuring a liberal number of images from the ledgers and other sources as they apply to these individuals, both black and white. In doing so I hope to share a glimpse into their world. For those of you who have already read my previous post, you will see that a number of George Row's employees were also his customers. Also, I will point out here that some of them were charged for board. I assume that those people who worked at Greenfield may have at times occupied the former slave cabins during planting or harvesting times. But that is speculation on my part.
     In 1862 most of the slaves of Greenfield escaped to freedom. Five men, whose last names are unknown to us - Limus, William, Henry, Albert and Horace - remained with the Row family for the remainder of the war and for a year or two afterwards. The abrupt end of slavery in the south required a quick pivot to a system of paid labor. In 1867 George Row signed labor contracts with two families. That was the beginning of his role as the employer of those whose labor had been previously taken from them.
     The workers whose names appear in the ledgers are often treated without differentiation, although we will see that times some of them are identified as "colored". In the list below I will identify the race of the persons shown with a (b) or a (w) when I am confident of their color. In doing so I hope to be of some help to other researchers and genealogists who may be studying those family names.


Robert Atkins (b). Spotsylvania laborer. His name appears below, fourth from the bottom. Twenty five cents has been deducted from his pay for "neglect of duty" on March 25, 1880.

Robert Atkins

Arthur Bolling (w). Spotsylvania farmer.

Ralph Broaddus

Joe Broaddus

Sam Brown (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Ernest L. Buchanan (w). Spotsylvania farmer.

George Bundy (b). Spotsylvania carpenter and farmer. George was born free, the son of a slave father and a free black mother. During the Civil War George Bundy worked as the caretaker of the farm of Albert J. McCarty, who was off fighting with the 30th Virginia Infantry. In the 1870s George filed a claim for compensation with the Southern Claims Commission, which dismissed his petition as fraudulent.

Provision account of George Bundy

Petition of George Bundy to the Southern Claims Commission

Robert Cammack (w). Spotsylvania farmer.

Grason Carter (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Grason Carter's work account

Jenny Carter (b). Spotsylvania laborer and sister of Grason Carter. For a time she worked as a cook for the Row family. And a little sewing as well. The Sarah Acors mentioned here was the wife of Henry Acors, another member of the large community of antebellum Spotsylvania's free blacks.

Jenny Carter
Frank Clark (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

John Coleman

Henry Collins

Henry Collins work account 1882


Joe Collins

Charles Comfort (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Richard Poindexter Comfort (b). Spotsylvania laborer. A son of Charles Comfort. His nickname was "Deck."

Washington Comfort (b). Spotsylvania laborer and a brother of Charles Comfort. "Wash" Comfort died just two months after George Row, and his estate was credited with $11.50 due from George for some corn. Washington Comfort's estate documents are in the archive of the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center in Fredericksburg.

Washington Comfort provision account, 1876

Washington Comfort provision account, 1877

From the estate papers of Washington Comfort

Sam Cook

Sam Cook's work account


Fleming Cooper (b). Spotsylvania laborer. In 1880 Fleming was 75 years old.

Robert Corbin

Peter Cottom

Stapleton Crutchfield (b). Spotsylvania laborer. In 1869 he worked at Greenfield as horse groom and he also harvested sumac. Note that he is charged 25 cents per day for board.

Stapleton Crutchfield and partner

Stapleton Crutchfield, groom for stallion


B.T. Doswell

Jefferson Dudley (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Joe Ellis

Joe Ellis work account, 1882


Thomas Ellis

Lucius Estes (w). Spotsylvania farmer and justice of the peace. He and his wife lived and worked at Greenfield in the 1870s with their adopted son. Two years after George Row died Lucius signed a sharecropping contract with his widow, Mary Elizabeth Houston Row.

Row - Estes contract, 1885

Row - Estes contract, 1885

Larkin Ford (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Powhatan Thomas Foster (w). Spotsylvania farmer. P.T. Foster served in the 9th Virginia Cavalry with his father, William E. Foster, and his brother, Fredericksburg merchant Oregon Dallas Foster. Ironically, P.T. Foster died in a saw mill accident in 1914.

P.T. Foster work account 1883

P.T. Foster work account 1881

William Beauregard Foster (w). Spotsylvania farmer. Brother of Powhatan Thomas Foster.

Work account of William Beauregard Foster, 1882

Thomas Gatewood

Charles Gibson (b). Spotsylvania farmer. In December 1867 George Row and Charles signed a labor agreement for the following year, in which George promises to pay $100 for the personal services of Charles and his two children, Margaret and Thomas.

Row - Gibson labor contract, 1867

Charles Gibson's provision account, 1869

James Gordon

Louisa Gordon (b). Spotsylvania laborer. Daughter in law of Charles Gibson. She and George Row also signed a labor agreement in 1867, in which he promises to pay $25 for the hire of herself and her daughter Anna.

Row - Gordon labor contract, 1867

Peter Green (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Peter Green work account, 1882
Henry Hanes

Henry Hanes work account, 1881


Lucius Hanes

Leonidas A. Harris (w). Spotsylvania laborer. L.A. Harris was a younger brother of George Row's business partner, James Alfred Harris. Another brother, Thomas Addison Harris, was sheriff of Spotsylvania County.

Thad Hart (b). Spotsylvania farmer.

Fielding Henderson

William Henderson

Henry Holmes (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Charley Jackson (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Work account of Charley Jackson, 1883


Nelson Jackson (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Noah Jackson (b). Spotsylvania farmer.

Robert Jackkson (b). A son of Noah Jackson

L.H. Jewett

J. W. Johnson

J.W. Johnson work account, 1883


Martha Johnson

William Lee Kent (w). Spotsylvania farmer. William was my grandmother's first cousin. He kept his luxuriant moustache unti he died in 1949 at age 87.

William Lee Kent

William Lee Kent work account, 1881

Carter Lewis

Jim Lewis

Sandy Lewis

Thomas Lewis (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

William Lewis (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Provision account of William Lewis
James Mason

Hugh Minor (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Joshua Minor (b). Spotsylvania laborer. Both Joshua and Hugh are shown on the 1870 census to be living at Greenfield as laborers.

Margaret Minor (b). Spotsylvania laborer. In 1870 she was a cook for the Rows.

Margaret Minor, cook

Joshua Overton (b). Spotsylvania farmer.

W.C. Pannill

Dudley Robinson (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Louisa Robinson (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

John Rough

Beverly Slaughter (b). Spotsylvania laborer. During the Civil War Beverly was  a slave of William Edwin Foster. In April 1878 George Row paid him to repair his watch.

Beverly Slaughter, for fixing watch

Obituary of Beverly Slaughter, The Daily Star 8 April 1909

Henry Slaughter (b). Spotsylvania laborer. In February 1867 George Row and Henry Slaughter signed a labor agreement, which included Henry's son and "two small boys."

Row - Slaughter labor contract, 1867

Gilbert Stewart (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

James Stewart (b). Spotsylvania farmer.

William Stewart

Allan D. Sullivan (w). Spotsylvania laborer and shoemaker.

Provision account of Allan D. Sullivan, 1870


Mordecai Sullivan (w). Spotsylvania carpenter. Brother of Allan D. Sullivan.

Provision account of Mordecai Sullivan, 1870

Julian Terrill (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Julian Terrill work account, 1882

Frank Tibbs

Nat Towles (b). Spotsylvania farmer.

Nat Towles provision account, 1870

James Tunket

William P. Twyman

Ned Watkins

G.B. Wallace

Robert Ware (b). Spotsylvania farmer.

William Ware (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

James Washington (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Mansfield Washington (b). Spotsylvania farmer. In 1880 George Row paid to Spotsylvania constable John C. Mitchell the warrant costs of Lucius M. Estes regarding Mansfield Washington.

Mansfield Washington warrant costs

Walker Wigglesworth (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Daniel Wilkerson

James Williams

Jordon Williams

Mike Williams

Addison Willis

Addison Willis work account, 1882


Frederick Wormley (b). Spotsylvania laborer.

Mary Wormley (b). Spotsylvania laborer. Wife of Frederick Wormley.

Atwell Young  (b). Spotsylvania farmer. Atwell was conscripted into the Confederate army in 1864. The year after George Row died, Atwell signed a sharecropping contract with his widow, Mary Elizabeth Houston Row.

Atwell Young and brothers provision account, 1870

Row - Young contract, 1884

Humphrey Young (b). Spotsylvania farmer. Brother of Atwell Young.

Humphrey Young obituary, The Daily Star 26 October 1906