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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Rows of Caroline County-Part 2

Will of Keeling Row. Courtesy of CRHC

     In 1869 new neighbors--and Northerners at that--bought a ninety three acre farm near William and Rachel Farish. Michael Jones Smith, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, and his wife, the former Caroline Gifford, were among the many Yankees who came south after the Civil War seeking new opportunities among the economic ruins of the old Confederacy. Michael was known as "Mitchell" to his neighbors in Caroline County because that is what his wife called him. She thought "Michael" sounded "too Irishy."
     Keeling Row died on July 25, 1869. He was eighty four years old. In his will he named his son James as his executor. James was also appointed trustee of the tract of land "purchased by me [Keeling] of W.H. Farish, on which the same Farish resides, for the sole benefit of my daughter Rachel K. Farish during her life." Keeling's property was divided among his three other children. As far as I can tell, James got about 200 acres, Mary received 319 acres and Robert Beverly got 400 acres.
     On December 8, 1868 James Row married Jennie Bunbury Sanford and moved to Orange County. James and Jennie raised two boys, Carlton and Sanford Row, and apparently enjoyed prosperous lives on their farm.
Mary Row to Nan Row, September 1870
     The 1870 census shows that Mary and Robert Beverly Row lived at home with their mother Fannie and two black servants, thirty five year old Elsie Manuel and her ten year old son Nathaniel. In a letter to her cousin (and my great great aunt) Nan Row dated September 23, 1870 Mary wrote: "I hope your cook has not left, or if she has, that you have been able to get another. Wish you could get such a one as we have. She has been here nearly five years & will stay again & she is very obliging and good. Indeed I have many trials to contend with, but we are blessed in having good servants around."
     Mary went on to offer her unsubtle opinion of the Northerners who had settled in Caroline: "We have plenty Yankee neighbors, cousin Nan. I don't like them at all. Cannot get over my prejudice against the whole nation. Then too they are so coarse and unrefined. And those who come here are the riff-raff."
Mary Row to Nan Row, February 1873

Mary Row to Nan Row, February 1873

     A second letter written by Mary to Nan Row, dated February 28, 1873, survives. Mary conveys her sympathy to Nan on the death of her mother (my great great grandmother) Nancy Estes Row. Apparently Mary and her niece Catherine Row Farish had recently encountered difficulties in pursuing their teaching aspirations and she avails herself of the opportunity to again fulminate against the Northerners in her midst: "The public school near here was offered to her & me & the trustees intended locating it between here and Round Oak [Baptist Church] so she would live with us and teach alternately, but the intolerant Yankees who have been meddling with other people's affairs since the Mayflower landed on Plymouth Rock, and in this instance being the principal patrons of the school, wished to have the school at the church & they are now squabbling about it. Glad of it. They are, or seem to be pious people & a good many have joined Round Oak; but their go-a-head-a-tive-ness is too much developed for the prejudiced Virginians of my stripe."
     Caroline Gifford Smith, who insisted on calling her husband "Mitchell," died of dropsy on December 4, 1882. She was forty five years old. She and Michael had married in her hometown of Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1859. By that time Michael Smith was already an experienced seaman. Caroline and Michael had been childless.
     Michael J. Smith joined the United States Navy on December 28, 1863. He served as acting ensign aboard the U.S. steamship Bermuda. This iron hulled ship began its existence in England, where it was built in 1861. Flying the British flag, Bermuda was used to smuggle war supplies to the South and to bring cotton back to Great Britain. In 1862 on her second voyage across the Atlantic she was seized by the Union screw ship Mercedita and her contraband cargo--consisting of cannons, ammunition and gunpowder--was captured as well. She was commissioned a U.S. warship the following year.
     After his two year stint in the Navy Michael reunited with his wife and as we have already learned they made their way south and established themselves in Caroline County by 1869. If the attitude of their new neighbors was anything like that revealed in the letters of Mary Row, then their welcome must have been a frosty one indeed.
     But times change, and people do, too.
     Mary Row was still a spinster when her mother died in 1883. Her unmarried brother Robert had probably done what he could to sustain the viability of his farm and that of his sister, but it is likely that by then inevitable decay had already taken hold. By 1884 Mary was nearly forty two years old and her prospects were not brilliant. On January 22, 1884, in a ceremony officiated by Reverend A.B. Dunaway at Round Oak Baptist Church, Mary Row became the wife of Michael Smith, one of the Yankees she once scorned.

Marriage license of Michael Smith and Mary Row

     At age forty three Mary gave birth to their daughter on July 3, 1885. The fact that Mary had become the bride of a Northern interloper was no doubt a surprise to many who knew her. The name given to their newborn daughter was perhaps even more so. The couple named her Carrie Gifford Smith, the name of Michael's deceased wife.
     But this period of presumed domestic happiness for the Smiths would be short lived. Michael died of erysipelas--likely arising from an infected tooth-- on November 8, 1887. He was attended by Dr. R.G. Holloway, who had also treated his first wife and delivered his daughter Carrie.
     Three years later Mary Row Smith applied for a widow's pension due to her under the provisions of the Act of June 27, 1890. As Michael's widow she was entitled to ten dollars per month and Carrie would receive two dollars per month until she turned sixteen in 1901. These payments commenced November 8, 1890, exactly three years after Michael's death.
     This should have been the end of this bureaucratic episode in Mary's life. It was only the beginning.     As you might expect, one of the difficulties that arose had to do with the real name of the former acting ensign of Bermuda. Because his first wife always called him "Mitchell," no one in Caroline--including Mary--ever knew him by any other name. Mary was now required to prove that Michael J. Smith and Mitchell J. Smith were one and the same person. Mary mailed to the Pension Bureau his discharge papers, his Masonic membership and even their marriage license. Testimony was taken from her neighbors in Caroline and Michael's family and acquaintances in New England.

From the files of the Pension Bureau

From the files of the Pension Bureau

     Over the years Mary was inundated with requests for documents, verifications of wealth and income, details of her late husband's life in Maine, and on and on. The partial index of this blizzard of paperwork shown above only hints at the effort required of Mary to keep her ten dollar per month pension as well as the two dollars per month for Carrie. Her file in the National Archives consists of 163 pages of affidavits, depositions, powers of attorney and information from the Caroline County clerk of court attesting to her marriage and land ownership. She even brought her family Bible with her to one meeting to validate some point.
     One salient fact that emerges from all this turmoil is the low point to which Mary Row Smith, once the daughter of one of the most well to do men in the county, had fallen. Mary was destitute. While Mary may have been "land rich" in terms of the sheer acreage she owned, most of it had fallen into disuse and was no longer arable. She did not have a way of deriving a living income from her land. She still owned the 319 acres inherited from Keeling and another 237 1/2 acres from her brother Robert when he died in 1898 (he also left 100 acres to then thirteen year old Carrie). And she also retained a widow's right to her late husband's 93 acre farm.
     Sadly, the old Row plantation, once a prosperous and bustling enterprise supported by the labor of dozens of enslaved blacks, had fallen on hard times. The land was now of poor quality and overgrown by pines and scrub oaks. Mary received a few barrels of corn each year from the sharecroppers who farmed the land near her house. The once rich bottom land now regularly flooded and she could not afford to ditch the creek. She received the equivalent of $100 per year from "colored tenants." Michael's old farm was rented for $25 per year. Mary had some furniture, her brother Robert's old horse, a cow and a few pigs. And that was all.
     Well, perhaps not all.
     Keeling Row's daughter still had her integrity. An investigator for the Pension Bureau who met her in 1905 "found the claimant to be a perfect lady and am satisfied that she is the person she represents herself to be."
     At long last, the United States government decided to allow Mary to keep her pension.
     Mary's daughter Carrie married Charles W. Cassidy, a nephew of Michael J. Smith, on February 7, 1906. They had two daughters together. Charles died in 1914 and Carrie later married William Vernon Bradshaw (I went to school with their descendants). Carrie outlived William by thirty years and died in Fredericksburg in 1975.
     Mary Elizabeth Row Smith died on June 6, 1913 at the age of seventy one.

Carrie's letter to Pension Bureau, 1913

Carrie's letter to Pension Bureau, 1913


Monday, May 28, 2012

The Rows of Caroline County-Part 1

Birth record of Keeling Row

     Keeling Row was born in Orange County on February 25, 1785. He was the sixth child of Thomas and Rachel Keeling Row and an older brother of my great great grandfather Absalom Row. The image of his birth record, seen above, comes from the Rows' Book of Common Prayer. The original is located in the Special Collections Department of the Library of the University of Virginia, Keeling, Rowe and Farish Family Papers 1765-1877, Accession # 11144.

Detail of map of Caroline County, 1863

     Keeling moved to Caroline County as a young man. The large plantation he established there was located in the northwest part of the county, about two miles south of the Rappahannock River. On the map detail shown above, you can find his farm near the bottom-center of the image where it says "Bow." Keeling married Rebecca Dillard, the first of his three wives, in Caroline on January 10, 1811. They had two daughters, Alice (born 1815) and Rachel Keeling (1817-1895).

War of 1812

     During the War of 1812 Keeling served in Captain Duvall's Company of Virginia militia. After his death his widow Fannie Bates Row applied for a widow's pension based on his service. The cover sheet for that file is all that I have been able to find. However, Keeling's service is mentioned in The Row Family of Virginia by Marie Clark: "Keeling was drafted and served as Pvt. in Captain Duvall's Company of Virginia militia, commanded by Col. Hungerford in War of 1812 and received an honorable discharge. His widow applied for and received a pension of $8.00 per month, also a land warrant under the Act of 1855 for about 160 acres of land."
     Rebecca Row died sometime before 1822. Keeling next married Fanny Brumley on March of that year. There are no known children of that union and Fanny died before 1836.
     Keeling married for the third and final time on February 8, 1836, taking as his bride Fannie Bates (1797-1883). Keeling and Fannie had four children together: Carlton (1838-1864), James (1840-1901), Mary (1842-1913) and Robert Beverly (1844-1898).
     Keeling's daughter Rachel also wedded in 1836, marrying neighbor William Hayter Farish on January 27. (One of Rachel's cousins, also named Rachel Keeling Row, married William's brother Charles Tod Farish). William and Rachel had six children: Catherine Row (1837-1910), Keeling Row (1839-1911), William Duval (1842-1914), John Thomas (born in 1844), Joseph Thomas (1845-1889), and Fannie Alice (1851-1896).

1860 slave census, page 1

1860 slave census, page 2

     By 1860 Keeling Row was one of the wealthiest men in his section of Caroline. He owned two named farms, "Rowe's Cottage" and "Headlong." The 1860 census shows that the value of his real estate was $27,000 and his personal property was valued at $53,105. Much of his personal wealth was tied to the value of his fifty four slaves.
     Keeling's two oldest sons joined Company B of the Ninth Virginia Cavalry (in which my great grandfather also served for the first eleven months of the war). The youngest son, Robert Beverly, may have served in the Thirtieth Virginia Infantry, but that is not clear from the record.

Runaway slave affidavit

     On May 19, 1862 Keeling Row submitted an affidavit which stated that eighteen of his slaves were "abducted and harbored by the enemy." Depositions supporting his claim were provided by his son in law William Hayter Farish, his overseer William Edwards and his neighbor R.H. Buckner. Fifteen of these slaves escaped en masse on April 24: Henry, Addison, Simon, Griffin, William, Robert, John, Willis, Joe, Reuben, Presley, Lacy, Lucinda, Margaret and one whose name is not legible. On May 14 Rillis and Isabella and her infant child "disappeared in like manner." Mr. Edwards, the overseer, testified regarding the three who escaped on May 14: " of Mr. Corbin's servants told me that these three passed by his house on their way to the enemy. Mr. Corbin lives near the [Rappahannock] river. I saw at this servant's house some bacon and furniture left by the three slaves & identified these." The depositions of Farish, Buckner and Edwards were taken by justice of the peace M.T. Campbell who said this task fell to him because "there is no judge of the Confederate States, nor any commissioner of the court thereof, nor any notary public within the said county."

Page from Keeling's claim for damages

     In 1863 Keeling suffered further economic hardship, this time at the hands of the Confederate Army. During the winter of 1863 General A.P. Hill's Division had camped on the Row property. Thousands of panels of fencing were taken apart and used for firewood. Acres of trees were cut for firewood and also used to corduroy roads. Corn and stacks of fodder were seized by Confederate troops. Keeling submitted a claim for damages totaling $7,948.80. A year later this still claim still had not been attended to. A written explanation was provided by Colonel A.S. Pendleton: "Hd. Qtr. 2nd Army Corps, Mar. 14 '64. I certify that the enclosed account of damages to the farms of Keeling Row by the troops of Gen. Jackson's command is correct...I give this certificate because the account was not presented to Gen. Jackson in his lifetime, and as I was his Adjutant General I was cognizant of the facts."
     Of course, the war also brought a human cost that had to be borne. Keeling's younger son James, a private in the Ninth Cavalry, was captured during the Gettysburg campaign. Some of his records show that he was taken in Montgomery County, Maryland on June 28. Other documents indicate that his capture occurred on July 2. Either way, James was hauled off the to Old Capitol Prison in Washington City, where he stayed until his transfer to the prison at Point Lookout in Maryland on August 22. There he languished until he was exchanged on Christmas Day 1863. Once released, James rejoined his regiment. His name last appears on a company muster roll dated September 30, 1864. He is marked as present.
     James's older brother Carlton was promoted to second sergeant of Company B of the Ninth Cavalry. He was hospitalized at Chimborazo Hospital No. 4 from January 1 to May 1, 1864 with a diagnosis variously given as "scabies," "camp itch," or "morbis cuti." The fact that he was kept on the disabled rolls for four months tells us that this was no laughing matter. Sergeant Row then rejoined the Ninth, with whom he served for the rest of his short life. On August 16, 1864 he suffered "a gunshot wound of the left side in the Battles of the 16th at Wheeler's Tavern." Carlton was admitted to the Receiving and Wayside Hospital, or General Hospital No. 9, in Richmond. His situation was dire: "Wounded in lines Aug. 16 by a minie ball in back. Ball entered two inches to the right of the spinal column, passed inwards, then outwards and lodged as near as could be ascertained immediately behind the anterior superior process of the ilium. There was paraplegia below the wounds." Carlton Row died on August 27 and was buried in Hollywood Cemetery. His brother James claimed his personal effects and Keeling was listed as Carlton's legal representative.
     Three of Keeling's grandsons also served in the Ninth Cavalry.
     Keeling Row Farish enlisted in Company B with his Row cousins on May 6, 1861. Keeling was captured in Caroline on April 25, 1862 and appears on a roll of prisoners aboard the steamer Coatzacoaclos. He was exchanged at Aiken's Landing on August 5, 1862. In December of that year his black mare was killed in action during a fight at Barker's Crossroads in Fauquier County. On June 10, 1863 the muster rolls show that Keeling was "on detail to nurse his wounded brother." He rejoined the Ninth a month later.
     Joseph T. Farish enlisted in Company B on June 3, 1863. Six days later he was shot in the knee during the battle of Brandy Station. His leg was amputated that same day. He recovered in a "private hospital," (that is, his home) and was cared for by his brother Keeling. Once he was well enough Joe Farish served in the Invalid Corps. He received his parole in Bowling Green in May 1865.
     William Duval Farish enlisted in the Ninth Cavalry on May 1, 1861. He received a medical discharge on May 16, 1862 for "hypertrophy of the heart." He reenlisted on March 5, 1863. Like his brother Joe, William was wounded at Brandy Station, but his injury was not serious and he was back on active duty within a month. He was hospitalized again in December 1864, suffering from rheumatism. William was paroled at Bowling Green on May 3, 1865.

Letter of Martha Row Williams, 6 March 1865

     A month before the surrender at Appomattox Martha Row Williams wrote a letter to her sister Nan and mother Nancy Estes Row, who were living as refugees in Goochland County. She mentioned her brother (my great grandfather, George W.E. Row): "I was so glad to see George & he looked so happy while here. I suppose he told you all about his dance & how he liked it. The girls were mightily pleased with him." Then Martha goes on to write about her Caroline relations: "Joe F[arish] was here that night & left the next morning for Caroline. Mr. [William Hayter] Farish was here the day before George was here. He says Uncle Keeling is not looking so well but is heartier than he ever knew him & he don't have neuralgia in his face at all. Jim [James Row] is at home on furlough & Joe sorter talked like he was going to be married. I don't know whether it is so of if Joe was only telling to get a laugh on Jim."
     With the end of the Civil War Keeling and Fannie Row, together with their three adult and still unmarried children, faced a present of loss and devastation and a future that held little promise in a world turned upside down. The Rows may have still been wealthy compared to their neighbors, but that wealth had shrunk to $14, 250 from a pre-war high of $80,105. Life would be very different from now on.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

James Roach

James Roach (1834-1913)

     Farmer, soldier, sheriff, four times a husband and the father of ten children, merchant and auctioneer. The life of James Roach is the story of an able man of many dimensions whose lifelong connections with my Row ancestors are as varied as they are important. In the only image of him I have been able to locate James is seen in the Confederate uniform he wore during his service in Company I of the Sixth Virginia Cavalry. The "OR" on his cap stands for "Orange Rangers", the name given to the troopers of Company I, which was the outfit of my great grandfather, George Washington Estes Row.
     James Roach's story began in Orange County on June 12, 1834 when he was born to Robert Roach and the former Mildred Jones. The 1850 census shows that young James was a farmer still living with his parents and two sisters. Ten years later he was still living at home but by now he was, together with John S. Row, a deputy sheriff of Orange County, serving under Sheriff James L. Robinson about whom more can be read here and here.
     On December 8, 1859 James married Adelaide Row, the youngest daughter of Elhanon Row, who had himself been the first elected sheriff of Orange County in 1852 (Elhanon's son John was the second sheriff and James L. Robinson third, having assumed office in 1859). The union of James and Adelaide would be a short one, as she died on June 27, 1860. She was just twenty three years old.
     Soon after Virginia voted to secede from the Union in 1861 James Roach joined the Confederate army, enlisting in Company I of the Sixth Virginia Cavalry on May 4. James served with my great grandfather as well his two former brothers in law, John S. Row and Dr. Elhanon Winchester Row. Likely because of their experience as deputy sheriffs, James Roach and John Row received quick promotions. John became captain and commanded Company I and James rose to second lieutenant.
Certification of James Roach as Sheriff, May 1862
     On May 22, 1862 James Roach stood for election in the contest for the office of sheriff of Orange County, replacing James L. Robinson. James then had a little over six months to prepare for the beginning of his term, which began January 1, 1863. James tendered his resignation on October 4, 1862, which was approved to take effect on December 1. At the request of Sheriff Robinson, Captain John Row also resigned on September 12, 1862 in order to resume his duties as deputy.
Resignation of James Roach

Resignation of James Roach (reverse)

     During his first year as sheriff James took a second wife, marrying Henrietta Henderson in August 1863. Unfortunately, as was the case with Adelaide Row, this marriage also proved to be short lived as Henrietta died in 1864.
     James Roach married a third time while still sheriff of Orange, taking as his bride Jane Gordon Willis on February 19, 1867. During their fifteen years together they had six children.
     James' career as a lawman ended in 1869 and the federal census of 1870 indicates that he was farming in Orange County. But his abilities and ambitions exceeded those of a farmer's life and within several years his life had taken yet another turn.
     By the late 1870s James and his family were living in Fredericksburg. Editions of the Virginia Star published in late 1878 show that James Roach was now established as a merchant and auctioneer in Fredericksburg. These new roles would define his life for the next thirty years.

The Free Lance 22 October 1889

     As an auctioneer, James conducted estate sales and real estate auctions. He also a partner in a retail enterprise known as Moore & Roach, which sold groceries and general merchandise. This store also bought produce from local farmers like my great grandfather George W.E. Row, as seen in this invoice dated March 1882.

Invoice of Moore & Roach to GWE Row, March 1882
     This check written by George W.E. Row drawn on his account with the banking house of Conway, Gordon and Garnett shows that he did  business with James Roach as auctioneer:

Check of GWE Row to James Roach, April 1881

     In February 1881 George and Lizzie Row had their third child, Robert Alexander. Sadly, his time would be short and he departed this life on October 7, 1881. My great grandfather bought a four dollar coffin for Robert from his old friend James Roach (a lock of Robert's blond hair survives among the family's effects).
James Roach receipt to GWE Row, October 1881

     James's third wife Jane died May 6, 1882. A year later on June 14, 1883 James married for the fourth and final time. Mary Jeanette Ellis was originally from New Scotland, New York. She would bear four children and she had the additional distinction of being the wife who outlived James Roach, surviving him by fifteen years.
     George Washington Estes Row died on April 18, 1883. My great grandmother needed a capable auctioneer to handle the estate sale and James Roach was the logical choice. James conducted the sale at the site of George W.E. Row's saw mill, located on Joseph Talley's farm near Finchville in Spotsylvania, on September 25, 1883. A great many items were sold that day, but it would be some time before Lizzie Row found a buyer for the steam engine and boiler purchased from Benjamin Bowering. The page below is one of several related to the estate sale and is kept at the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center.

From the estate sale of GWE Row

     By the end of the following year Lizzie Row, acting as administratrix of her late husband's estate, had managed to pay off most of her creditors, including Moore & Roach.

James Roach receipt to Lizzie Row, June 1884

     In addition to his successes as a merchant in Fredericksburg, James Roach was also an active participant in the civic life there. Like my great grandfather, James was a member of the Masonic Lodge No. 4, A.F and A.M. In 1885 James served as Registrar of the city.
     At some point James and his family moved from Fredericksburg and by 1900 were living in Stafford. He was still advertising his business in The Free Lance in the early 1900s. However, two incidents reported in the paper in 1909 show that his active life was drawing to a close.

The Free Lance 19 January 1909

The Free Lance 25 December 1909

     James Roach died on April 6, 1913. He is buried in the Confederate Cemetery in Fredericksburg.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

June 21, 1863

Letter of Martha Row Williams 21 June 1863

     Last year I wrote a piece about my great grand aunt Martha Row Williams in which I featured a letter written to her brother, my great grandfather George W.E. Row. This letter was written on George's twentieth birthday and his sister marked the occasion by dispensing some sisterly advice. She reminds her younger brother that he is the man of the family and has responsibilities to his mother Nancy Estes Row and his unmarried sister Nan. Martha also admonishes him to stay clear of those temptations which bedevil young soldiers in all wars. Today I want to go into more detail about the persons and events that are mentioned in the letter.

Martha Row Williams (Courtesy of Ellen Apperson Brown)

     Martha married Lynchburg merchant James T. Williams in Spotsylvania in December 1850 and for the next sixteen years they made Richmond their home. James was a partner with Samuel C. Tardy in the wholesale grocery and auction house of Tardy & Williams, located at 13th and Cary streets.


     For at least part of the 1850s James and Martha lived in the Clifton House on 14th Street. Its design is attributed to Benjamin Latrobe, the architect most well known for his work on the U.S. Capitol building. By the 1860s the Williams family was living elsewhere in the city and it is said that this stately boarding house was utilized as a hospital during the Civil War.

Clifton House

     Samuel Tardy and James Williams sold goods at auctions advertised in the Richmond newspapers. At this they made a good living indeed. During the war they added to their wholesale customers the Confederate government and military. They also served as an outlet for goods brought up the James River on ships after having eluded seizure by the Union blockade. Below is one of their many receipts found in the archives. This one was signed by auctioneer and Fredericksburg native Gabriel Johnston, who returned to his hometown after the war.

Tardy & Williams

     In the late 1850s two young men from Lynchburg also worked at Tardy & Williams and they figure prominently in Martha's letter to George.

Transcription of Martha's letter

Transcription of Martha's letter

     "Tip" was Tipton Davis Jennings (1841-1915). Jennings enlisted in the Eleventh Virginia Infantry in April 1861. The details of his service coincide with what Martha wrote of him. He was wounded in September 1862 and for the next several months he was absent on leave due to ill health.

Tipton D. Jennings
     Jennings is marked "present" in the June 1862 muster roll when Martha writes that he is on his way to rejoin his regiment in Culpeper. But he had not fully recovered and within a month he was again too ill to serve in the ranks. In November 1863 Sergeant Tipton Jennings was "Permanently exempted by the examining board from Field Service." He spent the remainder of the war working as a clerk in the quartermaster department.

Williams, Urquhart and Jennings

     After the war Jennings returned to Lynchburg and for a time was a partner with James Williams, as reflected in the letterhead shown above. Jennings married Annie Seay, a niece of James Williams, and lived near the Williams' house on Federal Street in Lynchburg. Tipton Jennings served in the House of Delegates in the early 1900s and was active in Confederate veterans' organizations.

Garland-Rodes Camp No. 1521

     "Dick Adams" was Richard Henry Toler Adams (1839-1900). Like Tipton Jennings, Adams also joined the 11th Virginia Infantry in April 1861.

Richart Henry Toler Adams (Lynchburg Museum)

     The following year Captain R.H.T. Adams was serving on the staff of General A.P. Hill as his signal officer. In her letter Martha was obviously hoping to use this connection to coax her brother out of the Sixth Virginia Cavalry and seek safer work in the signal corps (in this well-intended effort she was not successful). Adams was fiercely loyal to General Hill and found himself a casualty of Stonewall Jackson's wrath when he was caught up in the long running feud between Jackson and Hill. Adams was present the night General Jackson was wounded at Chancellorsville. While General Hill attended to the bloodied Jackson Adams gave Hill a flask of whiskey. The usually abstemious Jackson gratefully took a swallow before being carried off to a nearby field hospital.
     In June 1863 Private George W.E. Row was a courier for General W.E. "Grumble" Jones, also mentioned in the letter. Martha refers to the grand cavalry review (actually there were two, one on June 5 and the other June 8) held in Culpeper. My great grandfather was present for these impressive (some would say ostentatious) displays of the Confederate cavalry at the zenith of its power.
     Early on the morning of the 9th Union General Pleasonton stole a march on Jeb Stuart and his troopers, who were likely still tired from all the parading of the day before. Union cavalry under the command of Pleasonton splashed across the Rapidan River, catching the southerners off guard. A Confederate battery lay exposed and was in danger of being captured by the Yankees. Troopers of the Sixth Virginia Cavalry--some without their boots on and their horses unsaddled--flung themselves on their mounts and rode to the sound of the guns. Prominent among these were the men of Company I--my great grandfather's outfit--which the year before had been led by his cousin Captain John S. Row. Lieutenant Jonathan T. Mann led the charge of these unprepared Confederates against their attackers. Mann was one of the very first casualties of the Battle of Brandy Station when he died from a gunshot wound to the face. J.T. Mann was a friend and neighbor of John Row and for years afterward John did what he could for the widow Mann.