Mt. Vernon Heir Falls, Lee Tells The Child by Jim Surkamp

A REAL AND SYMBOLIC DEATH IN THE MISTY MOUNTAINS: An Introduction

My intimate association with him for some months has more fully disclosed to me his great worth than double as many years of ordinary intercourse would have been sufficient to reveal. We had shared the same tent in morning and evening as his earnest devotion to Almighty God elicited my grateful admiration. He is now happy in Heaven. I trust with her he so loved on earth. We ought not to wish him back.

. . . Words written by Gen. R.E. Lee, September 17, 1861 to teen-aged Louisa Washington, quite possibly the first such letter Lee had to write after the Civil War began.

John A. Washington, a 40-year-old widower with seven children, sharing a tent with Gen. Robert E. Lee in the soggy hills of West Virginia, and wearing his finest on a scouting foray in the tall woods of Elkwater – was killed by three bullets fired by Sergeant J. J. Weiler from Ohio.

Because he was the great-grand-nephew of General Washington and the family member who decided in 1858 to sell Mt. Vernon to save it – his death in a Confederate uniform had symbolic overtones, echoing good and bad things: institutional dependence on human trafficking as well as a deserved pride in his ancient, accomplished state – Virginia.

His death occasioned a series of touching, profound letters written by Lee, grieving one of his first war-time losses, to Washington’s eldest daughter, Louisa – letters continuing beyond the war. By 1863, he had lost his daughter, Annie; she had lost her father, John.

Besides the days around his death, this post tolls the forty years of John Augustine Washington’s life, many aspects admirable, such as the sale to preserve Mt. Vernon, others not so much, such as his sharing the prevalent view of enslavement in his day.

We begin with the immediate last days and moments of his life relying only on accounts of those involved; then describe the military context at Elkwater in September, 1861 between Gen. Lee and his counterpart, Gen. Joseph Reynolds, including official reports and Lee’s letters about what occurred.

We then step back and let the modern-day family historian, also “John Augustine Washington,” and the written record convey John A. Washington III’s life from the beginning, with attention to Mt. Vernon, those who worked for it, and the fate that was his to be its last owner.

Wars seldom include the marks of a loss on those surviving. But here we see Lee and a grieving, orphaned daughter support one another through letters. We end with the present-day estate lawyer in the early 1970s being first thunderstruck, then delighted at the packet of old letters he found in a safety deposit box in Charles Town, Wv. These are those letters.

We thank Mrs. Louisa Smucker for her kind support of this article and her permission to let us use these letters, and Prof John F. Stealey for permission to use his published renderings of those letters.

SHOTS ARE HEARD AT ELKWATER, VIRGINIA
Friday, September 13, 1861

THE ROAD TO ETERNITY

As the war got underway, and drums were being struck and sabers rattling, the forty-year-old widower chose to take a stand with his state, and was commissioned as a lieutenant colonel on the staff of General Robert E. Lee. He then accompanied Gen. Lee west in Lee’s first campaign. Gen. Lee and Col. Washington shared a tent and field grub.

Now, this campaign led them into what is now West Virginia. Union General Joseph Reynolds had about 9,000 men near his headquarters at Elkwater, now West Virginia.

THE LAST LETTER HOME – ABOUT CHORES, AND WITH A PREMONITION

The following is John Augustine’s last letter to family, written to Doctor W.
Fontaine Alexander, one week before he was killed.

Camp of Valley Mountain Sept. 6th 1861
(Friday – ED)
My dear Doctor

I have long intended to write to you, but the uncertainty of letters reaching you or at last what I supposed was the uncertainty, has prevented me. But learning by the newspapers which sometimes reach us in this Mountain Wilderness that the Enemy no longer occupies the Valley, I write to let you all know something of me, and to request you to give some little attention to my affairs in Jefferson, provided the war has left me any thing there to be attended to.

I have been in the Mountains since the 29th of July and at this post since the 6th of August, and have rarely known as rainy a season. We have had from twenty to twenty five days rain since I came up. I have literally had my feet wet for a week at a time and though on top of a high mountain am really in all the mud and mire of an alluvial bottom, such is the soil on these mountains, a rich black vegetable mould that when the trees are cleard off a greensward (tentatively Blue grass) such as I have never seen except on the most carefully tended lawns springs up. My health has been perfect thus far, lost thirty lbs of flesh – “superfluous beef” as the estimable Reid said of Dr. Blackburn – and have come down to a solid 150 & in better condition for service than I have been for many years.

Rains & bad roads have impeded our operations and though we daily hope to advance & attack the Enemy, yet we can from no idea as to when we shall positively do so.

If I have any wheat in Jefferson to sell and there is sale for it, may I ask the favour of you to attend to it for me. Sell it if you can, pay the taxes out of the proceeds, and if there is any balance remit to Aunt Judy to assist her in providing for the wants of my children. Please also sell any corn or other grain that may be due me. In other words collect my rents in Jefferson, if I have any, and dispose of them as above requested. That is pay taxes and other necessary expenses & remit balance to Aunt J. For the purposes mentioned. Please ask her, if you remit to her, to expend it for the support of herself and her children as she thinks best & not turn it over to them.

***I don’t know when I shall leave this region, or indeed whether I ever shall do so, as of course my chances are the same as those of other men, and I know some of us will never get away.*** From the present aspect of affairs, I think we shall make our attack in a few days, but as I said above there is no certainty of it. Please give my love to Sister May (your wife must permit me to call her so) to Charlotte & the little girls. Charly I hear is in the Army & believe me my dear Doctor

Most affectionately yours
John A. Washington

[Post script]

As you see, paper is scarce, and I write to add, that if you are sending Herbert Alexander to School and the proceeds of my land in Jefferson will possibly do it after meeting taxes, I authorize you to pay his tuition out of them, & remit balance if any as requested. I regret to be unable to do more. My resources are cut down to my farm in Fauquier which I fear at the low rates of produce will give but a poor support to my family. At least, they write me that they given up tea & flour until they can have the latter ground from their own wheat. I don’t know whether I shall receive pay or not, but my own idea is that I shall get none. If I do I shall be agreeably surprised. I regretted to hear that Sister Hannah had withdrawn Dick from Waveland, for he might have been there schooled & supported without expense, which I am unable at this time to incur for him elsewhere.

Affect yours John A. Washington

[This letter is still contained in its original envelope, which is
addressed to Dr. W. Fontaine Alexander, Halltown, Jefferson County,
Virginia and shows a return address “From Lt. Col. John A. Washington, A.D.C. to Genl. Lee.” It bears a postmark of Sept. 8 in Staunton, Va.)
– (John A. Washington, Magazine of the Jefferson County Historical Society, 2007, pp. 26-28)

HE WRITES AGAIN TWO DAYS LATER – BUSINESS

Hd. Qrs. Camp on Vally Mt.
(Sunday-ED) Sept. 8th 1861

My dear Mr Myers
I received yours of the 31st Aug. some days since and am much indebted to you for it. I write now and enclose you $36.00 and a bill of Raglan + Bro for $35.35 against Gen. Lee, but in reality for articles I bought for our mess and which I neglected it seems to pay whe [struck-through] before leaving Richmond. I have thought of it several times, but expected from week to week to return, but as far as I can see we are as far off as ever – I therefore wish to pay it without further delay. Will you please pay them for me with the enclosed & apologize for my apparent neglect. Raglan and Brothers are on Main St, a square or two bet [struck-through] below the Spotswood. Our forces are advancing ["are advancing" underscored], and but that we have been so [struck-through] often disappointed I would tell you to ‘look out’ [underscored]. as it is,

***I can only say that if the Yankees are as hard to get through as the mud [underscored], we shall have terribly hard [page break] fighting before we can look through Cheat Mountain and shake hands with Genl. Jackson and have him join us in our march towards Beverly & I hope Grafton and the Ohio – However, we must soon know all that can be known upon the subject, for in strict confidence [underscored] we must fight or starve – or run away –***

With kindest regards to your family & N[ottie?]
when you see or write to him
Believe me very faithfully yours
John A Washington [underscored]

P.S. Keep Ragland’s recpt. for me.
– (Washington, John A., “John A. Washington, Hd. Qts. Camp on Valley Mt., to Gustavus A. Myers.”)

LEE’S VIEW FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS CAMP – (WVgazette.com)

LEE PENS AN UNCHARACTERISTIC LETTER – EXHORTING

Headquarters, Valley Mountain,
(Tuesday-ED) September 10, 1861.
Special Orders, No.–

The forward movement announced to the Army of the Northwest, in special orders, No. 28, from its headquarters of this date, gives the general commanding the opportunity of exhorting the troops to keep steadily in view the great principles for which they contend, and to manifest to the world their determination to maintain them. The eyes of the country are upon you. The safety of your homes, and the lives of all you hold dear depend upon your courage and exertions. Let each man resolve to be victorious, and that the right of self-government, liberty, and peace, shall in him find a defender. The progress of this army must be forward!

(signed,) R. E. Lee,
General Commanding.

– (Taylor, p. 26)

OVERVIEW OF THE SITUATION

The idea seemed good in Lee’s mind, and the goal was Cheat Mountain, where a major turnpike was situated as well as several fairly navigable mountain passes. He planned to mount a two-pronged attack, led by Col. Albert Rust and Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Anderson with each officer leading around 1,500 troops. Advance information from captured Union prisoners had led the Confederate forces to think they faced an enemy numbering 4,000; in fact, there were only approximately 300! It should have been an easy victory.

The 4,500 Confederates launched their attack against Brig. Gen. Joseph J. Reynolds’ entrenched troops on the Tygart Valley River, and simultaneously against those on the summit of Cheat Mountain.

When the weather worsened and the density of the forest entered into the equation, the three brigades began independent actions and were unable to make contact with each other. On the other hand, the Union troops defending the summit knew exactly what the terrain was and were better able to mount a defense, even with a lesser number of men.

COL. KEIFER WRITES LATER:

Rust had failed, and the two other columns having become entangled in the mountains, and not knowing how soon they would again be assailed, beat a disorderly retreat, and, like Rust’s men, threw away overcoats, knapsacks, haversacks, and guns. Lee says he ordered a retreat because the men were short of provisions, as well as on account of Rust’s failure. Had Captain Coons reached his destination a few hours earlier he would probably have captured Lee and his escort of ten men, who, in the previous night, having lost their way, had to remain unprotected near the Rosecrans house until daybreak. But few prisoners were taken on either side. The columns of Anderson and Donnelson, broken, disheartened, and disorganized, reached Loring in the Valley. There was then and since much contention among Confederate officers as to the causes of this humiliating failure.

On the morning of the 13th, at 3 A.M., Reynolds dispatched Sullivan from the Pass by the main road, and Colonels Marrow and Moss with parts of the 3d Ohio and 2d Virginia (Union) from Elk Water camp, by the path leading past the Rosecrans house, to cut their way to Cheat Mountain summit, but these columns encountered no enemy, and only found the débris of the three retreating bodies. The real glory of the fighting in the mountains belonged to the intrepid Captain Coons, who afterward became Colonel of his regiment and fell in the battle of the Wilderness.

Both Lee and Loring, deeply chagrined, were reluctant to give up a campaign so hopefully commenced and so comprehensively planned, but thus far so ingloriously executed.

They decided to look for a position on Reynolds’ right from which an attack could be made on Elk Water camp in conjunction with a front attack, and accordingly Colonel John A. Washington, escorted by Major W. H. F. Lee (son of General Lee) with his cavalry command, was dispatched to ascertain the character of the country in that direction. – (Keifer, pp. 221-227)

JOHN WASHINGTON DIES

Heavy rains and rough terrain around Cheat Mountain confused and confounded Lee’s strategy to attack Reynold’s forces on September the 12th.

So Gen. Lee’s son, then Major W.H.F. – or call him “Rooney” – Lee,
mounted his horse to go on a reconnaissance of the area. And with him, he asked for the company of Col. Washington. He did not know a similar Union scouting party was coming their way at the same time.



While passing under a smooth-bark beech tree, three bullets shattered the silence and ripped into Washington’s body and fell to the ground. Rooney Lee’s horse fell under the fire of the rifle of a young soldier from Indiana. He little knew the namesakes he was firing at.

Account of Sgt. J.J. Weiler, of 17th Indiana, who all recording eyewitnesses reported firing the shots fatal to Washington:

On September 13, 1861, Company E, Seventeenth Indiana, was ordered to go to the outposts to support the force there on duty, as the enemy, under General R. E. Lee, were reconnoitering our camp and preparing to attack us with their entire force, reported by them at 20,000 men. Soon after arriving there it was reported that the rebels were moving a force to our right and rear.

Captain K. W. Stough, of our company, was ordered to take his company and go up the valley toward Brady’s Gate about a mile and see if the report was true. I being a sergeant at the time, he gave me ten men, with orders to go in advance up on the side of the mountain, and he would follow in the road in supporting distance with the balance of the company.

***When we had advanced about a mile we met the rebels out on a scout, three of them riding in advance, and when opposite where we were they turned square to the right, when W. L. Birney, Wm. Johnson and myself fired on them, killing one, who proved to be Colonel John A. Washington,*** . . . By the death of Washington it is supposed we were saved a heavy battle. – (Weiler)

COLS. MORROW AND KEIFER TELL WHAT HAPPENED THEN – AND LATER

COL J. H. MORROW SAID THE PICKETS WATCHED WASHINGTON COMING:

The old state turnpike runs from Brady’s toll-gate, or Brady’s gap, as the point was also designated, along the valley, following the course of Elk Water River, and being on low ground, was subject to over-flow from the river in seasons of high water. On this account a new pike had been constructed on higher ground, and on this new road, at some distance below Brady’s gate, General Lee had established his headquarters. The bluffs on the opposite of the river from the old road had been heavily picketed by Federal soldiers for several miles, extending from our camp below, very nearly if not quite up to Brady’s gate. Owing to the mountainous character of the surrounding country, General Lee was imperfectly informed of the location of the Federal forces, and in order to obtain reliable information in this regard, directed Colonel Washington, with a detachment, to proceed up the new road to the forks at or near Brady’s gate and thence down the old road, cautioning him not to venture beyond a certain point. Washington, however, it appears, probably actuated by over zea1 and anxiety to be able to report valuable information, went beyond the point indicated.

His movements along the entire route on the old road were, it seems, fully observed by the pickets, and immediately after he finally started on his return, a volley was delivered from the picket-line and Washington was seen to fall from his horse, which galloped away with the retreating escort. He was apparently the only one stricken by the volley.

I was standing but a short distance from where Washington fell, and hurried to the spot and discovered him to be an officer of rank. I knelt by him and raised him so as to enable him to recline against his breast, and directed one of his men, standing near, and who wore a felt hat, to run and fill it with water from the stream. I bathed the wounded man’s forehead and endeavored to press water between his lips from a saturated handkerchief; but he could not swallow, as blood was flowing from his mouth and nose, and in a few moments later he was dead. The dead officer wore a valuable ring, a pin in his shirt bosom, and a gold watch and chain. These I removed, and also took possession of his sword and pistols, and ordered a new ambulance, under my control, to be brought at once from the camp, in which I had the body placed and taken to his headquarters, near by. – (Morrow as retold to Thornton A. Washington. Citations follow.)

COL. KEIFER’S ACCOUNT:

Colonel Washington, on the 13th, in endeavoring to get on our right came into Elkwater Valley via Brady’s Gate, and descended it with Major Lee’s cavalry as escort. A report came to me of cavalry approaching, but knowing the road ran through a narrow gorge and much of the way in the bed of the stream, little danger was apprehended, especially as the road led directly to my position. A few troops of an Indiana regiment then on picket duty were, however, sent up the Elk Water road a short distance, and a company of the 3d Ohio was dispatched by me along the mountain range skirting the ravine and road, with instruction to gain the rear of the approaching cavalry if possible.

***Washington was too eager to give time for such disposition to be carried out; he soon galloped around a curve and came close upon the pickets, Major Lee accompanying him. Sergeant Weiler and three or four others fired upon them as they turned their horses to fly. Three balls passed through Washington’s body near together, coming out from his breast. He fell mortally wounded. Major Lee was unhurt, though his horse was shot. Lee escaped on foot for a short

distance and then by mounting Washington’s horse. When reached, Colonel Washington was struggling to rise on his elbow, and, though gasping and dying, he muttered, “Water,” but when it was brought to his lips from the nearby stream he was dead.*** His body was carried to my outpost headquarters, thence later by ambulance to Reynolds’ headquarters at camp. Washington’s name or initials were on his gauntlet cuffs and upon a napkin in his haversack; these served to identify him. He was richly dressed for a soldier, and for weapons had heavy pistols and a large knife in his belt. He also had a powder-flask, field-glass, gold-plated spurs, and some small gold coin on his person. His sword, tied to the pommel of his saddle, was carried off by his horse. – (Keifer, pp. 221-227).

Washington had on his person two revolvers, a large knife, field glass, compass, gold watch, $150 in money, a map of all our works, with number of troops, and the plan of General Lee’s advance, number of his troops, etc. The articles captured were reported by General Reynolds to the War Department. In a few days orders were received complimenting me for the service rendered, and to send the navy revolver to the Secretary of War and to give the balance of the articles to me. The money and watch were sent with his body to his friends. His body was taken in an ambulance, under flag of truce, and delivered to the rebels, myself driving the ambulance. Colonel Hascall and Adjutant Kerstetter going in advance with the flag.

This is as near as I can recollect the affair. – (Weiler, U.S. Army. (1913). “Souvenir, the Seventeenth Indiana Regiment: a history from its organization to the end of the war, giving description of battles, etc., also list of the survivors.”).

TRUCE TO EXCHANGE HIS BODY

On the next day Colonel W. E. Starke, of Louisiana, appeared in front of my position bearing a flag of truce, and a letter addressed to the commanding officer of the United States troops, reading:

“Lt. Col. John A. Washington, my aide-de-camp, while riding yesterday with a small escort, was fired upon by your pickets, and I fear killed. Should such be the case, I request that you shall deliver to me his dead body, or should he be a prisoner in your hands, that I be informed of his condition.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
R. E. Lee,
General Commanding.”

Colonel Milo S. Hascall of the 17th Indiana conveyed Washington’s body, on the 14th, by ambulance, to Lee’s line, and there delivered it to Major Lee.

One of Colonel Washington’s pistols was sent by Reynolds to Secretary of War Cameron; the Secretary directed the other one to be presented to Sergeant John J. Weiler, the knife to Corporal Birney, and the gauntlets to private Johnson, all soldiers of the 17th Indiana. General Reynolds obtained the field-glass, but subsequently gave it to Colonel Washington’s son George. Hascall took possession of the spurs and powder-flask, and Captain George L. Rose, of Reynolds’ staff, retained one or more letters (now in possession of his son, Rev. John T. Rose), through which one or more of the fatal bullets passed.

COL. MORROW OF THIRD OHIO CONTINUES:

Not long after, Gen. William L. Loring, bearing, a flag, and accompanied by a two-horse wagon, arrived from Gen. Lee’s camp in order to obtain possession of and remove the body. It was then that I learned the name of the officer who had fallen, and with whom, it happened, I had been personally well-acquainted when connected with the steamboat service between Washington and Aquia Creek,

Gen. Loring desired to transfer the body from the ambulance to the wagon, but I insisted upon his taking the ambulance, when G. Loring’s driver sprang upon the box, taking the reins, with myself sitting besides him, and in this manner the body was taken to Gen. Lee’s headquarters.

The watch and chain, with ring and pin, were turned over to Gen. Loring, and later the sword and pistols were delivered to Gen. J. J. Reynolds, U.S.A., now retired, who at that time, was also serving in Gen. McClellan’s command. – (as told to Thornton A. Washington, Virginia Free Press, March 7, 1889, partly reprinted from the “Washington Evening Star” and partly in Snowden, p. 58).

COL. KEIFER CONTINUES:

Thus early, on his first military campaign, fell John Augustine Washington, born in Jefferson County, Virginia, May 3, 1821, the great-grandson of General Washington’s brother, John Augustine Washington, and on his mothers’ side a great-grandson of Richard Henry Lee, Virginia’s great Revolutionary patriot statesman. He inherited Mount Vernon, but sold it before the war to an association of patriotic ladies, who still own it.

The tragic death of Colonel Washington was a fitting close of the complex plan of campaign, which, though entered upon under most favorable circumstances, failed fatally in execution in each and all important parts, though Generals Lee and Loring, Colonel Savage, and others of the Confederate officers present with the troops, had seen much real service in the Mexican War, and many of them were educated West Point officers.

Neither Lee or Loring ever made an official report of the campaign, and both for a time were under the shadow of disgrace because of its ineffectiveness.

General Lee was not quite candid with his own army when, on the (Saturday-ED) 14th of September, he announced to it:

“The forced_ reconnoissance of the enemy’s positions, both at Cheat Mountain Pass and on Valley River, having been completed, and the character of the natural approaches and the nature of the artificial defences exposed, the Army of the Northwest will resume its former position.” – (Keifer, pp. 221- 227).

LEE WRITES THREE LETTERS

Lee had no words of blame to lay upon his subordinates. To his wife he wrote:

Valley Mount
September 17, 1861

I received, dear Mary, your letter of the 5th by Beverly Turner, who is a nice young soldier. I am pained to see fine young men like him, of education and standing, from all the old and respectable families in the State, serving in the ranks. I hope in time they will receive their reward. I met him as I was returning from an expedition to the enemy’s works, which I had hoped to have surprised on the morning of the 12th, both at Cheat Mountain and on Valley River. All the attacking parties with great labour had reached their destination, over mountains considered impassable to bodies of troops, notwithstanding a heavy storm that set in the day before and raged all night, in which they had to stand up till daylight. Their arms were then unserviceable, and they in poor condition for a fierce assault against artillery and superior numbers. After waiting till 10 o’clock for the assault on Cheat Mountain, which did not take place, and which was to have been the signal for the rest, they were withdrawn, and, after waiting three days in front of the enemy, hoping he would come out of his trenches, we returned to our position at this place. ***I can not tell you my regret and mortification at the untoward events that caused the failure of the plan. I had taken every precaution to ensure success and counted on it. But the Ruler of the Universe willed otherwise and sent a storm to disconcert a well-laid plan, and to destroy my hopes.*** We are no worse off now than before, except the disclosure of our plan, against which they will guard. ***We met with one heavy loss which grieves me deeply: Colonel Washington accompanied Fitzhugh on a reconnoitering expedition, and I fear they were carried away by their zeal and approached within the enemy’s pickets. The first they knew was a volley from a concealed party within a few yards of them. Their balls passed through the Colonel’s body, then struck Fitzhugh’s horse, and the horse of one of the men was killed. Fitzhugh mounted the Colonel’s horse and brought him off. I am much grieved. He was always anxious to go on these expeditions. This was the first day I assented. Since I had been thrown into such intimate relations with him, I had learned to appreciate him very highly. Morning and evening have I seen him on his knees praying to his Maker.***

The righteous perisheth and no man layeth it to heart, and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.” May God have mercy on us all! I suppose you are at the Hot Springs and will direct to you there. Our poor sick, I know, suffer much. They bring it on themselves by not doing what they are told. They are worse than children, for the latter can be forced. . .

Truly yours,
R. E. Lee.

– (Lee, R.E. Jr., pp. 44-46)

LEE TOLD MORE THE SAME DAY TO VA. GOVERNOR LETCHER:

VALLEY MOUNTAIN, September 17, 1861.

MY DEAR GOVERNOR: I received your very kind note of the 5th instant just as I was about to accompany General Loring’s command on an expedition to the enemy’s works in front, or I would have before thanked you for the interest you take in my welfare, and your too flattering expressions of my ability. Indeed, you overrate me much, and I feel humbled when I weigh myself by your standard. I am, however, very grateful for your confidence, and I can answer for my sincerity in the earnest endeavor I make to advance the cause I have so much at heart, though conscious of the slow progress I make. I was very sanguine of taking the enemy’s works on last Thursday morning. I had considered the subject well. With great effort the troops intended for the surprise had reached their destination, having traversed twenty miles of steep, rugged mountain-paths; and the last day through a terrible storm which lasted all night, and in which they had to stand drenched to the skin in cold rain. Still their spirits were good. When morning broke, I could see the enemy’s tents on Valley River at the point on the Huttonsville road, just below me. It was a tempting sight. We waited for the attack on Cheat Mountain, which was to be the signal. Till 10 A.M. the men were cleaning their unserviceable arms. But the signal did not come. All chance for a surprise was gone. The provisions of the men had been destroyed the preceding day by the storm. They had had nothing to eat that morning, could not hold out another day, and were obliged to be withdrawn. The party sent to Cheat Mountain to take that in rear had also to be withdrawn. The attack to come off from the east side failed from the difficulties in the way; the opportunity was lost, and our plan discovered. It is a grievous disappointment to me, I assure you. But for the rain-storm, I have no doubt it would have succeeded. This, Governor, is for your own eye. Please do not speak of it; we must try again. Our greatest loss is the death of my dear friend Colonel Washington. He and my son were reconnoitring the front of the enemy. They came unawares upon a concealed party who fired upon them within twenty yards, and the colonel fell pierced by three balls. My son’s horse received three shots, but he escaped on the colonel’s horse. His zeal for the cause to which he had devoted himself carried him, I fear, too far.

We took some seventy prisoners, and killed some twenty-five or thirty of the enemy. Our loss was small besides what I have mentioned. Our greatest difficulty is the roads. It has been raining in these mountains about six weeks. It is impossible to get along. It is that which has paralyzed all our efforts. With sincere thanks for your good wishes,

I am, very truly yours,
R. E. LEE.

His Excellency Governor JOHN LETCHER.
– (Taylor, pp. 30-31)

LEE WRITES LOUISA WASHINGTON BREAKING THE NEWS OF HER FATHER’S DEATH (HER MOTHER DIED THE YEAR BEFORE)

He wrote the news to Washington’s eldest. Louisa Fontaine Washington, the eldest child who was born at Mount Vernon on February 19, 1844 became the object of Lee’s letters because of her nominal headship of her brothers and sisters. In 1871, She would marry Colonel Roger Preston Chew, who had a distinguished Confederate military career and who became a prominent Charles Town civic and business leader. She died on July 1, 1927 and was buried at Zion Episcopal Church, Charles Town. – (Stealey, p. 32)

Camp on Valley River
(Monday-ED) September 16, 1861

My dear Miss Louisa,

With a heart filled with grief, I have to communicate the saddest tidings you have ever heard.

May ‘Our Father, Who is in Heaven’ enable you to hear it, for in his Inscrutable Providence, abounding in mercy and omnipotent in person, he has made you fatherless on earth.

Your dear father, in reconnoitering the enemy’s position yesterday, came within range of the fire of his pickets and was instantly killed. He fell in the cause to which he had devoted all his energies, and in which his noble heart was enlisted. My intimate association with him for some months has more fully disclosed to me his great worth than double as many years of ordinary intercourse would have been sufficient to reveal. We had shared the same tent in morning and evening as his earnest devotion to Almighty God elicited my grateful admiration. He is now happy in Heaven. I trust with her he so loved on earth. We ought not to wish him back.

May God, in His mercy, my dear child, sustain you, your sisters and brothers under this heavy affliction. My own grief is so great I will not afflict your further with it.
Faithfully your friend,
R. E. Lee

– (Stealey, p. 32)

NEWSPAPERS – NORTH AND SOUTH – REPORT ON WASHINGTON’S DEATH

THE NEW YORK TIMES

ELKWATER, Va., Monday, Sept. 16.

The body of Col. JOHN A. WASHINGTON was sent over to the enemy yesterday, under a flag of truce, and while on the way it was met by a similar flag coming from the enemy for the purpose of obtaining information as to his condition.

On the 12th inst., a detachment of three hundred men from the Fourteenth Indiana and Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Ohio Regiments, dispersed three Tennessee Regiments, under Gen. ANDERSON, on the west side of Cheat Mountain, completely routing them, killing eighty and obtaining most of their equipments. Our loss was eight killed. The enemy made an advance on Elk Water the same day with a force supposed to be 15,000, but was driven back by detachments of men from the Fifteenth Indiana, Third and Sixth Ohio Regiments, and shells from Loomis Battery. They have retired some eight or ten miles. A strong force of Arkansas, Tennessee and Virginia troops also threatened the east side of Cheat Mountain, but have not yet had a general engagement. A shell thrown from one of Loomis’ guns two miles into the enemy’s camp killed ten and wounded four.

The Thirteenth Indiana Regiment had a severe skirmish with superior numbers of the enemy on the 12th, and killed 10 or 12, with a trifling loss. As the enemy advanced on Elk Water the column was handsomely checked by a detachment of the Seventeenth Indiana. Lieut. MORRILL, of the Topographical Engineers, was taken prisoner by the rebels while on his way to Cheat Mountain.

********

RICHMOND ENQUIRER
(Published September 24, 1861)

ELKWATER, Va., Monday, Sept. 16

The body of Col. John A Washington was sent over to the enemy yesterday, under a flag of truce. While on its way it was met by a similar flag coming from the enemy, for the purpose of obtaining information as to his condition.

On the 12 instant a detachment of 300 men from the 14th Indiana and 24th and 25th Ohio Regiments dispersed three Tennessee Regiments under Gen. Anderson, on the West side of Cheat Mountain, completely rooting them, killing eighty and obtaining most of their equipment.

The enemy made an advance on Elkwater on the same day, with a force supposed to be 15,000, but were driven back by detachments from the 15th Indiana and 3d and 6th Ohio, and shells from Loomis’ battery. They have retreated some eight or ten miles. A strong force of Arkansas, Tennessee, and Virginia troops, also threatened the east side of Cheat Mountain, but have not yet had a general engagement.

A shell was thrown from one of the Loomis guns into the enemy’s camp, a distance of two miles, killing ten and wounding four.

The 13th Indiana had a skirmish with a superior number of the enemy, on the 11th and killed ten or eleven with a trifling loss on our side.

As the enemy advanced on Elkwater the column was handsomely checked by a detachment of the 17th Indiana.

Lieut. Morrill, of the Topographical Engineers, was taken prisoner by the rebels while on his way to Cheat Mountain.

**********

STAUNTON SPECTATOR
(published Tuesday, September 17, 1861)

CHEAT MOUNTAIN, VA.

Up to this time (Monday evening) we have received no news here of any definite or satisfactory character in reference to the Cheat Mountain expedition. The following is a Northern telegraphic despatch:

CLARKSBURG, Va., Sept. 14. (Saturday-ED) –The Confederates commenced advancing yesterday morning on both turnpikes towards Elk River and Cheat Mountain. They surrounded the fort on the summit, cut the telegraph wires, and continued to advance on Elk River until within two miles, when shells from Loomis Battery stopped them. Skirmishing was kept up all night. Two of the Confederate officers, spying around the Federal camp, were surprised by the Federal pickets, who shot one, said to be John A. Washington, of Mount Vernon.

******

RICHMOND DAILY DISPATCH
Wednesday, September 18, 1861

Description of conditions

. . . The fort on Cheat Mountain . . . is built on the summit of Cheat Mountain, in Randolph county, just where the road crosses upon a hill which has no level land on its top, but suddenly descends on both sides. The forest along the road at this point, as for many miles of the adjacent country, consists of the white pine, which are tall and stand close together, while the undergrowth is almost wholly mountain laurel, so dense and interlocked as to be almost impenetrable. Here the enemy cleared several acres on each side of the road. On the outer boundary they placed the tall pines they had cut down, partially trimmed and skinned, with their tops outward; presenting to any one approaching a mass of sharp points raised to a considerable height, and strongly interlocked. Inside of this they built a wall of logs and cut a deep ditch. In the road they built up, in line with the fortification, breastworks of great strength and mounted them with pivot guns; while in the centre they erected a block-house pierced and armed also with cannon.–On the east side from the fort to the Cheat River, one mile and a quarter distant, they cleared the road for some distance on both sides, and this can be all the way swept by the cannon. The same is the case on the road westwardly for some distance.

This powerful fort or stockade it was thought might be surprised and taken, and it was for this that the force under Colonels Rust and Taliaferro left the camp of General Jackson on Monday, the 9th inst. That camp is in Pocahontas county, on Greenbrier river at the foot of Greenbrier Mountain (and not the Cheat, as has been stated.) Taking four days provisions they marched, in high spirits, by a circuitous route which was fully twenty miles to the fort, while the direct one was only ten. This route was much of it impassable to horses, and almost to man. It lay through the pine and laurel thickets, and along the bed of the Cheat river itself, in which for miles the men patiently marched over rocks and through deep holes, as preferable to the dense forest. Wednesday night they slept on the wet ground, in hearing of the enemy’s camp. The next morning they approached it, killed several pickets, and arrested some prisoners. They got on both sides the fort and reconnoitred it fully, and decided not to attack. In the afternoon they resumed their return march, and on Friday striking a shorter route than that they had gone, they reached “Slaven’s Cabin,” on the Parkersburg Road, where they met soldiers with provisions, which were very timely, as they had only taken four-days’ supply with them. Fatigued and almost worn out, this in trepid -expedition reached the camp on Saturday, the 14th inst. There could not be a more laborious and fatiguing march than that they had endured. A good part of the time it rained in torrents, and they returned drenched, as well as weary. Col. Anderson, it is supposed, also had a march of great hardship. He left General Lee’s camp, which is, or was on the line of Randolph and Pocahontas counties, at Valley Mountain. It was understood that he was to reach the enemy at the foot of Cheat Mountain, on the West side, without observation, if possible. He therefore traveled through much such obstacles as those the troops on the other side of the mountain encountered. He accomplished his object and engaged the enemy as is known; but the result has not yet come to hand. . . .

*******

THE OFFICIAL REPORT

REPORT by Gen. Joseph J. Reynolds regarding Cheat Mountain, September, 1861

Official Record Series I, Vol. V, pp. 184-192

SEPTEMBER 17, l861.
Operations in Cheat Mountain, West Virginia, including actions and skirmishes at Cheat Mountain Pass, Cheat Summit, Point Mountain Turn pike, and Elk Water. REPORTS, ETC
No. 1. Report of Brig. Gen. Joseph J. Reynolds, U. S. Army. HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, A. 0. W. VA., Elk Water, September 17, 1861.

GENERAL: The operations of this brigade for the past few days may be summed up as follows: On the 12th instant the enemy, 9,000 strong, (p. 185) with eight to twelve pieces of artillery, under command of General R. E. Lee, advanced on this position by the Huntersville pike. Our advanced pickets, portions of the Fifteenth Indiana and Sixth Ohio, gradually fell back to our main picket station, two companies of the Seventeenth Indiana, under Colonel Hascall, checking the enemy’s advance at the Point Mountain turnpike, and then falling back on the regiment, which occupied a very advanced position on our right front, and which we now ordered in. The enemy threw into the woods on our left front three regiments, who made their way to the right and rear of Cheat Mountain, took a position on the road leading to Huttonsville, broke the telegraph wire, and cut off our communication with Colonel Kimball, Fourteenth Indiana, commanding on Cheat Summit. Simultaneously another force of the enemy, of about equal strength, advanced by the Staunton pike in the front of Cheat Mountain, and threw two regiments to the right and rear of Cheat, which united with the three regiments from the other column of the enemy.

The two posts, Cheat Summit and Elk Water, are 7 miles apart by a bridle-path over the mountains, and 18 miles by the wagon-road, via Huttonsville Cheat Mountain Pass, the former headquarters of the brigade, being at the foot of the mountain, 10 miles from the summit. The enemy advancing towards the pass, by which he might possibly have obtained the rear or left of Elk Water, was there met by three companies of the Thirteenth Indiana, ordered up for that purpose, and by one company of the Fourteenth Indiana, from the summit.

These four companies engaged and gallantly held in check greatly superior numbers of the enemy, foiled him in his attempt to obtain the rear or left of Elk Water, and threw him in the rear and right of Cheat Mountain, the companies retiring to the pass at the foot of the mountain. The enemy, about 5,000 strong, now closed in on Cheat Summit, and became engaged with detachments of the Fourteenth Indiana, Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Ohio, from the summit, in all only about 300, who, deployed in the woods, held in check and killed many of the enemy, who did not at any time succeed in getting sufficiently near the field redoubt to give Daum’s battery an opportunity of firing into him.

So matters rested at dark on the 12th, with heavy forces in front and in plain sight of both posts, communication cut of, and the supply train for the mountains, loaded with provisions which were needed, waiting for an opportunity to pass up the road.

Determined to force a communication with Cheat, I ordered the Thirteenth Indiana, under Colonel Sullivan, to cut their way, if necessary, by the main road, and the greater part of the Third Ohio and Second Virginia, under Colonels Marrow and Moss, respectively, to do the same by the path.

The two commands started at 3 o’clock a.m. on the 13th, the former from Cheat Mountain Pass and the latter from Elk Water, so as to fall upon the enemy, if possible, simultaneously. Early on the 13th the small force of about 300 from the summit engaged the enemy, and with such effect that, notwithstanding his greatly superior numbers, he retired in great haste and disorder, leaving large quantities of clothing and equipments on the ground, and our relieving force, failing to catch the enemy, marched to the summit, securing the provision train and reopening our communication.

While this was taking place on the mountain, and as yet unknown to us, the enemy, under Lee, advanced on Elk Water, apparently for a general attack. One rifled 10-pounder Parrott gun from Loomis battery was run to the front three-fourths of a mile and delivered a few shots at the enemy, causing him to withdraw out of convenient range and doing fine execution. Our relative position remained (p. 186) unchanged until near dark, when we learned the result of the movements on the mountain, as above stated, and the enemy retired somewhat for the night.

On the 14th, early, the enemy was again in position in front of Elk Water, and a few rounds, supported by a company of the Fifteenth Indiana, were again administered, which caused him to withdraw as before. The forces that had been before repulsed from Cheat returned, and were again driven back by a comparatively small force from the mountain. The Seventeenth Indiana was ordered up the path to open communication and make way for another supply train, but, as before, found the little band from the summit had already done the work.

During the afternoon of the 14th the enemy withdrew from before Elk Water, and is now principally concentrated some 10 miles from this post at or near his main camp. On the 15th he appeared in stronger force than at any previous time in front of Cheat and attempted a flank movement by the left, but was driven back by the ever-vigilant and gallant garrison of the field redoubt on the summit. To-day the enemy has also retired from the front of Cheat, but to what precise position I am not yet informed.

The results of these affairs are that we have killed near 100 of the enemy, including Col. John A. Washington, aide-de-camp to General Lee, and have taken about 20 prisoners. We have lost 9 killed, including Lieutenant Junod, Fourteenth Indiana, 2 missing, and about 60 prisoners, including Capt. James Bense and Lieutenants Gilman and Scheiffer, of the Sixth Ohio, and Lieutenant Merrill, of the Engineers. I append the reports of Colonel Kimball, Fourteenth Indiana; Captain Higgins, Twenty-fourth Ohio; Lieutenant-Colonel Owen and Colonel Wagner, of the Fifteenth Indiana.
J. J. REYNOLDS Brigadier. General, Commanding First Brigade.

THE FIGHTING EASED UP, BUT THE RAIN DID NOT – OHIO PVT. JOHN BEATTY TELLS IT.

(Beatty writes as one un-scarred by the just completed combat. He arrived a few days later.)

September 23. This afternoon I rode by a mountain path to a log cabin in which a half dozen wounded Tennesseeans are lying. One poor fellow had his leg amputated yesterday, and was very feeble. One had been struck by a ball on the head and a buckshot in the lungs. Two boys were but slightly wounded, and were in good spirits. To one of these — a jovial, pleasant boy — Dr. Seyes said, good humoredly: “You need have no fears of dying from a gunshot; you are too big a devil, and were bom to be hung.” Colonel Marrow sought to question this same fellow in regard to the strength of the enemy, when the boy said: “Are you a commissioned officer?” “Yes,” replied Marrow. “Then,” returned he, “you ought to know that a private soldier don’t know anything.”

In returning to camp, we followed a path which led to a place where a regiment of the rebels had encamped one night. They had evidently become panic-stricken and left in hot haste. The woods were strewn with knapsacks, blankets, and canteens.

The ride was a pleasant one. The path, first wild and rugged, finally led to a charming little valley, through which Beckey’s creek hurries down to the river. Leaving this, we traveled up the side of a ravine, through which a little stream fretted and fumed, and dashed into spray against slimy rocks, and then gathered itself up for another charge, and so pushed gallantly on toward the valley and the sunshine.

What a glorious scene! The sky filled with stars; the rising moon; two mountain walls so high, apparently, that one might step from them into heaven; the rapid river, the thousand white tents dotting the valley, the camp fires, the shadowy forms of soldiers; in short, just enough of heaven and earth visible to put one’s

fancy on the gallop. The boys are in groups about their fires. The voice of the troubadour is heard. It is a pleasant song that he sings, and I catch part of it.

The minstrel’s returned from the war,

With spirits as buoyant as air,
And thus on the tuneful guitar

He sings in the bower of the fair:
The noise of the battle is over;

The bugle no more calls to arms;
A soldier no more, but a lover,

I kneel to the power of thy charms.
Sweet lady, dear lady, I’m thine;

I bend to the magic of beauty,
Though the banner and helmet are mine,

Yet love calls the soldier to duty.
– (Beatty, 3rd Ohio, pp. 68-69 about Monday, September 23, 1861

LIFE GOES ON FOR THE WASHINGTONS – BARELY

Family historian John Washington continues:

John Augustine’s younger brother, my great-grandfather, is still referred to as “Uncle Dick,” because he was uncle to so many people. Uncle Dick – the good marksman – quixotically entered the Confederate army as a private even though he was thirty-nine years old and almost twice the average age of the enlistees. He felt that it was wrong to accept a commission merely because of one’s general ability, family connections, and position in the community. However when his brother was killed leaving seven orphans, Gen. Lee ordered Dick to go home and quit this nonsense and take care of his responsibilities. Uncle Dick had seven children of his own, as well as the seven orphans of his brother to be responsible for. His sister, Mrs. William Fontaine Alexander, had died followed by her widower’s death in 1862, also leaving under Uncle Dick’s strained care their four children.

This was not easy – the children were scattered at three different farms. The Mt. Vernon people were at Waveland in Fauquier County; Uncle Dick’s own family was at

Blakeley, then at Harewood. The Alexanders had Walnut Farm over on the other side of Charles Town. Travel was very difficult. It was constantly a question of whether you were going into Union territory, or from Union territory to Confederate territory, across the lines to get from one place to another. The Confederates, when they came along, had to be fed; and the Union army, when it came along, took all the food, to say nothing of all the livestock. The Union

army under orders from Gen. Sheridan deliberately burned all the fences on the farms to make it impossible to keep livestock or grow crops. They stole possessions from the houses, they stole clothes. In one instance I’ve never been able to understand, my Great-Uncle John, who was a hunchback and sixteen or seventeen years old, was herding some cattle from one field to another when the Union soldiers captured him and sent him to a military prison in Washington. His grandmother, who had been Miss Clemson from Philadelphia, got on the train and went down to Washington. She went to see Mr. Lincoln and got from him permission for the boy to come out of the prison and live with relatives, the Walter Jones family, in Washington and go to school.

LEE AND LOUISA CONTINUE TO WRITE – LEE’S OWN DAUGHTER DIES

Gen. Lee would write Louisa during the war, especially after the death in October, 1862 of his own 23-year-old daughter, Annie.

Following the battle of Antietam in September, 1862 and while managing his army’s retreat through Jefferson County and Berkeley County, Gen. Lee paused to write Louisa, perhaps in his melancholy. He had succeeded, however, in seeing Netta,

the teen-aged daughter of his first cousin, Edmund Jennings Lee from Shepherdstown. She visited his headquarters that October.

Netta Lee Goldsborough later recounted in her diary of seeing Gen. Lee before girls from Shepherdstown were to be transported by ambulance from Lee’s headquarters in Bunker Hill in Berkeley County to The Bower, an estate located

along the Opequon Creek dividing the two counties, as arranged by Gen. J.E.B. Stuart:

Now we had just returned from Bunker Hill where we had been to visit General Lee, whose headquarters were there. I had messages from my mother and Mrs. George Robinson and several others. These greetings I was not forgetful to promptly deliver to General lee, and when he told me goodbye, he graciously put his arm around me, as he sent his love to my mother saying: “Take this kiss to her, too; and here is one for Mrs. Robinson; and last but not least, this one for your sweet little self!” – (Netta Lee, “The Recollections of Netta Lee.” The Society of the Lees of Virginia, 1925, p. 12). Lee Society, Lee-Fendall House, Alexandria

Hoping to also see Louisa similarly, Gen. Lee wrote:

Camp on Washington’s Run
25 Oct 1862

My dear Miss Louisa

I Cannot express how often I think of you & how I wish to See you &
your Sisters & brother. My daily hope is that Some favourable Circumstance will occur to bring me near you & that I may have the pleasure; & yet pleasure is so rare a visitant to my Camp, that I am felling Sanguine. I have wished to write to you Since my arrival at your neighborhood, but a painful injury recd on the field of Manassa deprived me of the use of both of my hands & though it occurred eight weeks since I am now only beginning to use my right hand & write with difficulty and pain.

Tell me how you are and where you are and how I Can See you? Custis has left me now & I presume you would not be afraid even to Come to Camp. I will not let any of the young men look at you. Present me very kindly to your Sisters & little brother & believe me with much affection.

Most truly yours R. E. Lee.

Miss Louisa Washington
– (Stealey, pp. 34-35)

General Lee also responded to Miss Washington’s letter about the capture of her cousin, Charles Armistead Alexander, after the retreat from Gettysburg.

Rapidan 13 Nov. ’63

My dear Miss Louisa

I rcd last night your letter of the 4th Inst: In reference to your Cousin Charles Alexander. I am very Sorry to hear of his Condition & hope that his release may be effected & his health restored. I have written to Commr. Ould on the Subject. There is no general exchange of prisoners now, but the U.S. authorities have in Some Case Consented to the exchange of the Sick & wounded. I have requested Mr. Ould to endeavour to effect his exchange in this way. It is all that I can do.

I wish I Could See you again & all your Sisters But I do not Know when I Can have that pleasure. You must remember me Very Kindly to them & your brother. It is So uncertain whether this will ever reach you that I may add that I am with great affection most respt yours

R. E. Lee
Miss Louisa Washington

– (Stealey, p. 35)

John Washington continues:

Life was really tough for these (Washington-ED) families. When the war was over, not only was the labor gone, but all the facilities for farming and existing were gone: the seed corn, the fences, the cattle, the horses – everything was gone. That they hung on to any property was remarkable. They did for a while, but they had large families and such property as there was would be divided when someone died among a number of people. Eventually they left the farm and moved into Charles Town or many states away. They had all scattered all over the country.

After the war, Louisa, in choosing an appropriate tombstone for her father for the Zion Episcopal Churchyard in Charles Town, WV – wrote Gen. Lee for advice. Epitaphs must surely have been on his mind.

Lexington, Va: 11 Decr 1868

My dear Miss Louisa

Your letter by some untoward incident got mislaid the day of arrival & has only Come to light this morg. I hope that you will pardon the delay of my answer.

Simple inscriptions on monuments to the dead harmonize best with my feelings and are more in accordance with my taste: the name, date of birth & death on the front face, & Some Sentiment typical of their lives & characters, on the reverse, tell the impressive tale. In the case of your father, it might not be out of place to add to the inscription on the face. The last proprietor of Mount Vernon of the family of Washington and Sentiment on the reverse might embody the ancient maxim, which none felt more strongly than himself. It is honourable & glorious to die for our Country. In the present State of affairs, it would not be well I think to state more particularly his devotion & sacrifice to his state.

You must Consider what I have written merely as a suggestion, which you must reject or follow as you may think. In this matter it is proper that your sentiment & feelings should be Consulted rather than those of others, & I prefer that they be strictly Complied with.

I have been obliged to be brief & to write amid many interruptions. With my kindest regards to your Sisters & Sincere love for yourself
I am most truly yours

R. E. Lee
Miss Louisa F. Washington

(Stealey, p. 37)

TODAY . . .

LOUISA HAS THE LAST WORDS (from the second epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy, Chapter 4, verse 7 in the Bible):

LT. COL. JOHN AUGUSTINE WASHINGTON, C.S.A. Born May 3, 1821, Killed Sept. 13, 1861. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (Footstones:) J.A.W.E.L.W.

ROGER PERRY IS THUNDERSTRUCK BY THE SURPRISE IN A SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX

Roger Perry of Charles Town, WV, in the early 1970s, was handling the estate of Margaret Preston Chew, the last surviving child of “the young woman Lee once wrote to.” He reached into her safety deposit box for important effects. An odd and old packet of letters he found were these letters.

Perry continues:

I have said his daughter was Louisa Washington and she married Roger Preston Chew, who was a famous Civil War fighter. And his surviving daughter was Margaret P. Chew. I settled her estate.

(I spent six years at Washington & Lee. And Lee is God down there.) But in settling her estate and going through her lock box, I found a little package: “Letters from R.E. Lee.” For goodness sake! Here in he safe were handwritten letters from Robert E. Lee that had been written to her mother, Louisa. . . . There were a number of . . . letters, some of which inviting Louisa to come down and visit him in camp. That was the first one I read. And when I read that I said: “Oh my golly! I’ve uncovered a scandal of Robert E. Lee.” Then I realized, in reading the others, the situation there.

ROGER PERRY VISITS THE TOMBSTONE, 2011

WHO WAS JOHN AUGUSTINE WASHINGTON, WHO SOLD MT. VERNON?

John Washington continues:

John Augustine Washington, the great-grand-nephew of our first President, was born May 3, 1821 at Blakeley near Charles Town in Jefferson County.

When he reached maturity, John Augustine would become nominally the sixth owner and proprietor of of Mt. Vernon, following his widowed mother, Jane Charlotte Blackburn Washington. The following letter shows with what a firm, steady hand she managed the affairs of both Mt. Vernon and the family’s “personal” home of Blakeley, outside Charles Town, West Virginia.

Letter from Jane C. Washington at Blakeley
to Rice Levi:

February 20, 1839

Dear Sir,

I received your letter by mail yesterday evening, and hasten this morning to answer it, as it contains several important quiries with regard to our Mt. Vernon business.

1st I am perfectly willing that you should go to King George for my friend Mr. Whitall on the terms he proposes, viz. employing West Ford to take your place at M. V. – during your absence, furnishing you a horse for the journey –and the spring work at M. V.

2nd We must have some hay. I wish you had informed me the price of Mr. Whitall’s. At any rate engage to the amount of $15 or 20, a part of which must be kept for my carriage horses.

3rd The doors to the dining room may be painted mahogany, the out doors white. I hope West made a positive bargain with Mr. Rudd, and you and he will see that the work is well done. Let the present paper if not too dirty or defaced, remain on the ceiling of the dining room. On reflection I think the dours (in doors) in the dining room had better also be white. If I do not like it, it can easily be changed; of course the room is painted white, mantle piece blk., washboard marbled.

4th Sarah & Elisa to work with Phill, also William, Joe Michum and Milly your hands. When Phill has a press of work, please let Joe assist him and Milly bring water for Jenny when she requires it. John & little Joe I should think ought now to be able to assist Jenny by bringing her wood and water in attending to her fowls.

I have delayed sending the wagon down until the roads get better; but if possible will send a horse in a few days. I wish while you are below you wd. enquire the price of mules and oxen. If you could get a pair of good mules & give your note payable in sixty days–also a pr. of good strong oxen. Both mules and oxen of course at moderate prices-and young. I will take up the notes, or give you money to do so, when they become due. Mr. Gustavus Alexander wd. I am sure be yr. endorser, and give you assistance in bringing them home. You can show him this letter if necessary & say he will oblige me by rendering you any aid in his power in getting a pr. of mules, a pr. of oxen. Mules not to exceed sixty dollars a piece, oxen twenty. One of each wd. answer our purpose for the present year.

Remember me most kindly to my household at M. V., and should you see my dear sister Mrs. Alexander my love to her. By post she will hear fully from us.

Believe me truly your friend,

Jane C. Washington
– (Courtesy – The Mt. Vernon Ladies Association)

He grew to manhood, and his mother began transferring responsibilities running Mt. Vernon and Blakeley over to him. In September 1842, he entered a formal agreement with his mother, renting the land and twenty-two slaves from her.

A number of African Americans whose families originated in Jefferson County or Blakeley in particular had been relocated to Mount Vernon in the years after the death of John’s father, also “John Augustine.” Using the estate inventory of the father scholar Scott E. Casper determined a table showing these families and persons from Blakeley at Mount Vernon.

For more on Prof. Casper’s findings regarding African American families from Jefferson County at Mt. Vernon, Click Here

John Augustine met and fell in love with the beautiful Eleanor Love Selden and married her. Then they had seven children. During their budding courtship, he wrote a proper but ardent letter to her:

Oct. 16, 1842

I have endeavored to convince you how necessary a free, constant and mutual epistolatory intercourse is to my happiness and next to your society, your letters are dearer to me that anything else. You may possibly think that I speak with too much warmth and sometimes color too highly in advocating my views but I assure you that, if I know my heart and may confide in the strongest impulses, I can commend no language that will convey the intensity of my wishes. You may imagine but can never express the earnestness of my feelings . . . You must see now, my dearest Nell, how necessary for me it is that you should answer this letter as soon as it is practicable for I shall be upon thorns until I know from yourself that you have pardoned this my first offence. Do not keep me long. JAW (Courtesy – The Mt. Vernon Ladies Association)

. . . GENTLY RAISING HIS ENGAGEMENT PLANS TO HIS MOTHER, HOPING FOR HER ALL-IMPORTANT CONSENT

Oct. 18, 1842

Private and Confidential Mt. Vernon

My dear Mother,
I got down here safely on the first of this month and found everyone well but George and Edmond who are still suffering from the effects of sickness. For two or three weeks before I got down, almost everyone on the place had been laid up. Wes and Aunt Lienny were very near dying. As you may suppose from all this my work is very much behind here altho’ not later than the majority of my neighbors, about half of my wheat is sown, but I shall not finish before the fifteenth or twentieth of this month. The corn is as good as I expected from what I can see at present.

Before leaving Blakeley, I had some conversation with you in regard to a
matrimonial connection, and you approved of the choice which some of my friends thought I have made. Altho’ at the time my preference was as decided as it could have been yet unless I had been fully satisfied that it was entirely agreeable to you, nothing could have induced me to proceed one step in it. No obstacle of this kind existed but my mind was not made up as to the expediency of entering into the matter at the time, and it was not until after I had bestowed a great deal of reflection on the subject that I determined to bring it to an end and know the result at once. Accordingly upon the day I left you, instead of traveling the lower road as I had proposed, accompanied the ladies to Exeter and, upon the first opportunity that occurred, I explained my feelings to Nelly and am happy to say that they are reciprocated by her and that no objection existed on the part of the parents. We are, in the common phraseology, engaged.

For the present, it is her desire that this should not be known generally.

Please know from Burns if he intends signing the lease, if he does I will get the four of you to witness it and bring the copies down for me to sign, and then you can take one back to him. I wish it to be determined at once, for if Mr. Burns cannot make up his mind, I may find someone who can. I will also get the favour of you to receive from him any money of mine coming into his hands and also to receive from Dick any money he may get for me from the sale of my share of corn from Mr. (illegible), and yourself, of course if he wishes to use my share of the corn he makes he can, as I told him, and pay me at harvest, but if he does not want it, I will get him to sell it for whatever corn is worth and pay you the money. With my love to all, I am, Dear Mother, always your affectionate son, JAW

signature
(Courtesy – The Mt. Vernon Ladies Association)

They married. Their first child, Louisa, was born in 1844 followed by her six siblings in almost as many years.

JOHN A. WASHINGTON “RAMPS UP” PRODUCTION OF MT. VERNON, HELPED BY RELOCATED DOZENS FROM JEFFERSON COUNTY FAMILIES – ENSLAVED.

When Augustine Washington took over, 145 of Mount Vernon acres were in cultivation. he doubled that acreage within five years and tripled it in ten. From June 1849 through May 1850, Mount Vernon’s output included six hundred bushels of wheat, two hundred of oats, and a thousand of corn.” Beef cattle and hogs were raised for home consumption. “The introduction of lime and especially guano enriched the long exhausted soil. Lands that once yielded fewer than fifteen bushels of wheat an acre now produced twice as much, Washington wrote. – (Casper, pp. 44-45)

At the end of 1849 Jane Charlotte Washington formally deeded him the land. When she died in 1855, he became the owner not only of the slaves he had managed since 1841, but also of additional people she had owned. – (Casper, p. 56)

Owning more persons than he could productively employ, and shortly following the death of his mother in 1855, John Washington undertook a new policy of renting out those he owned not only to trusted friends and families known to his family, but to others from a broader sphere. – (Casper, pp. 62-63).

A WRITERLY VISITOR TO MT. VERNON LEARNS SOMETHING FROM A YOUNG WOMAN

John Townsend Trowbridge writes:

Quitting the tomb, I walked along by the old board fence which bounds the corner of the orchard, and turned up the locust-shaded avenue leading to the mansion. On one side was a wooden shed, on the other an old-fashioned brick barn. Passing these, you seem to be entering a little village. The out-houses are numerous; I noticed the wash-house, the meat-house, and the kitchen, the butler’s house, and the gardener’s house, — neat white buildings, ranged around the end of the lawn, among which the mansion stands the principal figure.


(NOTE: This is a drawing by David Hunter Strother of Betsey Sweat, who lived in the immediate region in the 1850s, but was not anyone working at Mt. Vernon.-ED)

Looking in at the wash-house, I saw a pretty-looking colored girl industriously scrubbing over a tub. She told me that she was twenty years old, that her husband worked on the place, and that a bright little fellow, four years old, running around the door, handsome as polished bronze, was her son. She formerly belonged to John A. Washington, who made haste to carry her off to Richmond, with the money the Ladies’ Mount Vernon Association had paid him, on the breaking out of the war. She was born on the place, but had never worked for John A. Washington.

“He kept me hired out; for I s’pose he could make more by me that way.” She laughed pleasantly as she spoke, and rubbed away at the wet clothes in the tub. She added: “But I don’t work as I used to; for then it was work to-day and work to-morrow, and no stop.” – (Trowbridge, pp. 95-97)

EDITOR’s NOTE: Using Prof. Casper’s extensive research and other sources, we will have a related post at Civil War Scholars.com about those enslaved at Mt. Vernon and Blakeley, and their ultimate destinies, especially following the extended family of the Parkers who originated in – and some cases later returned to – Jefferson County, West Virginia.

*******

The heir to Mt. Vernon, the last member of the Washington family to own the great president’s home, saw in the 1850s the coming division of his country. Wisely he sold the national landmark in 1859 to the Mt. Vernon Ladies’ Association, amid a crescendo of short-sighted, mis-understanding criticism.

Letter from John Augustine Washington to Ann Pamela Cunningham, 13 March 1858, agreeing to sell Mount Vernon to the Association:

Mount Vernon, March 13th, 1858

To A “Southern Matron”

Madam Your letter of March 12th has been received in which you inform me that the bill providing for the purchase of Mount Vernon by Virginia, has been defeated in the House of Delegates— and in the name and on behalf of the Mount Vernon Association you renew your offer to purchase this place. Heretofore I have only been willing to dispose of Mount Vernon to the United States or to Virginia as I believed that in the hands of one or the other it would be better protected and preserved than in the possession of any individual or association. The events of the past seven years however, seem to indicate that neither Virginia nor the United States wish to acquire the place.

Under the circumstances, and believing that after the two highest powers in our country the Women of the land will probably be the safest as they will certainly be the purest guardians of a national shrine, I am willing so far to comply with your request as to await for a seasonably limited period of time the propositions you may wish to make to me on behalf of the Association over which you preside. And I assure you that unless these proposals are inconsistent with what I believe to be my duties upon the occasion I shall be inclined to give them the most favorable consideration. With assurances of the highest respect I have the honor to be your obdt. servt.
John A. Washington


– (Courtesy The Mount Vernon Ladies Association)

After a brief stay in Fauquier County, his wife, Eleanor and their seven children returned to their ancestral home, Blakeley. Then tragedy succeeded tragedy. On Oct. 9, 1860, his wife died, apparently because of yet another pregnancy. The election of Lincoln, the secession of Virginia, and Washington’s consequent volunteering to defend Virginia when it was invaded, came, one upon the heels of the other. Father John Augustine entered the army as a lieutenant colonel on General Lee’s staff, with his children being cared for by other family members. – Family Historian John Washington

John Augustine Washington, the last time he was at Mt. Vernon, pulled up some violets to keep.

Related Videos and Local Posts:

Zion Church History With Roger Perry of Charles Town, WV: Click Here. TRT: 18:36
To see the illustrated transcript of this video, Click Here. 3015 words

70+ Washingtons Buried in Zion Churchyard – Betsy Wells Click Here. TRT: 9:09
To see the illustrated transcript of this video, Click Here. 1765 words

Death of the Last Washington Owner of Mt. Vernon: Click Here. TRT: 5:52
To see the illustrated transcript of this video, Click Here. 1195 words

References:

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Cincinnati, OH: Wilstach, Baldwin & co. Print.

Beatty, John. (1879). “The Citizen-soldier: Or, Memoirs of a Volunteer.”
Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.

Casper, Scott E. (2008). “Sarah Johnson’s Mount Vernon: The Forgotten History of an American Shrine.” New York, NY: Hill and Wang. Print.

Casper, Scott E. “Table 2: Slaves Belonging to John Augustine Washington (II), 1832-1833.” A Mount Vernon Slave Census, 1815-1861. University of Nevada at Reno. 30 Oct. 2010 Web. 22 Feb. 2012.

Casper, Scott E. “Table 3: Slaves Belonging to (John) Augustine Washington (III), 1841-1861.” A Mount Vernon Slave Census, 1815-1861. University of Nevada at Reno. 30 Oct. 2010 Web. 22 Feb. 2012.

Freeman, Douglas Southall. (1934). “R. E. Lee: A Biography.” New York and London: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Print.

Freeman, Douglas Southall. (1934). “R. E. Lee: A Biography.” University of Chicago. Bill Thayer’s Website. Start date unavailable. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.

Keifer, Joseph Warren. (1900). “Slavery and Four Years of War, Vol. 1-2.” New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons. pp. 221-227. Print

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Lee, Netta. “The Recollections of Netta Lee.” The Society of the Lees of Virginia, 1925, p. 12.

Lee Jr., Robert E. Capt. (1904). “Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee.” New York: Doubleday, Page, and Company. pp. 44-47. Print.

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“Simple Inscriptions and Sentiment Tell the Impressive Tale: Letters of General Robert E. Lee to Miss Louisa Fontaine Washington,” edited by John E. Stealey, III, Ph.D. Magazine of the Jefferson County Historical Society. Vol. XLVIII. (December 1982). pp. 31-37. Print.

Perry, B. F. (1874). “Reminiscences of Mrs. Louisa Cunningham.” Greenville, S.C., J.C. Bailey’s Book and Job Press. Print.

Perry, B. F. (1874). “Reminiscences of Mrs. Louisa Cunningham.
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Snowden, William H. (1904). “Some Old Historic Landmarks of Virginia and Maryland.” Washington-Virginia Railway Company. Print. p. 58

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Stutler, Boyd. (1961). “Death of Col. John Augustine Washington, CSA, at Elkwater.” Magazine of the Jefferson County Historical Society. Volume XXVII. pp. 15-18. Print.

Taylor, Walter H. (1878). “Four years with General Lee: being a summary of the more important events touching the career of General Robert E. Lee, in the war between the states, together with an authoritative statement of the strength of the army which he commanded in the field.” New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton. Print.

Taylor, Walter H. (1878). “Four years with General Lee: being a summary of the more important events touching the career of General Robert E. Lee, in the war between the states, together with an authoritative statement of the strength of the army which he commanded in the field.” Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 28 Feb. 2012.

Trowbridge, John T. (1866). “The South: a tour of its battlefields and ruined cities, a journey through the desolated states, and talks with the people: being a decription of the present state of the country – its agriculture – railroads – business and finances.” Hartford, Conn., L. Stebbins. Print.

Trowbridge, John T. (1866).”The South: a tour of its battlefields and ruined cities, a journey through the desolated states, and talks with the people: being a decription of the present state of the country – its agriculture – railroads -business and finances.” Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.

Washington, John A. (2007). “John Augustine Washington III et al.” with photographs provided by Walter Washington. Magazine of the Jefferson County Historical Society. Vol. XLVIII. pp. 24-34. Print.

Washington, John A. “The Washingtons of Jefferson County.” Justjefferson.com. 21 March 2004 Web. 5 Aug. 2011.

Washington III, John A., “John A. Washington, Hd. Qts. Camp on Valley Mt., to Gustavus A. Myers,” Swem Library Digital Collections. Web February 18, 2012.

“The Virginia Free Press,” March 7, 1889

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“From the Northwest.” Richmond Daily Dispatch. September 20, 1861. West Virginia State Archives. 26 Oct. 2005 Web 19 Feb. 2012.

“From Northern Virginia.” Richmond Enquirer. September 24, 1861. West Virginia State Archives. 26 Oct. 2005 Web 19 Feb. 2012.

“FROM WESTERN VIRGINIA.; THE ENEMY REPULSED AT CHEAT MOUNTAIN PASS AND ELK WATER. ANOTHER VICTORY. ARRIVAL OF THE PRIZE SCHOONER MARY WOOD, AT PHILADELPHIA. ANNIVERSARY OF THE ADOPTION OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION. PENNSYLVANIA TROOPS EN ROUTE. THE BLOCKADE AT GALVESTON, ETC.” The New York Times.” September 17, 1861. New York, NY: New York Times Publishing Co. Print.

“FROM WESTERN VIRGINIA.; THE ENEMY REPULSED AT CHEAT MOUNTAIN PASS AND ELK WATER. ANOTHER VICTORY. ARRIVAL OF THE PRIZE SCHOONER MARY WOOD, AT PHILADELPHIA. ANNIVERSARY OF THE ADOPTION OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION. PENNSYLVANIA TROOPS EN ROUTE. THE BLOCKADE AT GALVESTON, ETC.” The New York Times.” September 17, 1861. New York Times.com 18 Feb. 2011 Web. 20 Feb. 2012.

“Cheat Mountain.” Staunton Spectator. September 17, 1861. Staunton, VA: Staunton Spectator. Print.

Cheat Mountain.” Staunton Spectator. September 17, 1861. West Virginia State Archives. 26 Oct. 2005 Web 19 Feb. 2012.

Albert Rust
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web 19 Feb. 2012.

3rd Ohio Infantry
OhioCivilWar.com 24 Feb. 2011 Web 19 Feb. 2012.

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“The War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.” (1902). NOTE on authors: Robert N. Scott compiled and edited v. 1-18, 1880-87, and also collected the greater part of the material for v. 19-36, 1887-91. After his death in 1887 the work was continued by Henry M. Lazelle, 1887-89, and by a board of publication, 1889-99, consisting of George B. Davis, 1889-97, Leslie J. Perry, 1889-99, Joseph W. Kirkley, 1889-99, and Fred C. Ainsworth, 1898-99; from 1899-1901 edited by Fred C. Ainsworth and Joesph W. Kirkley. Gettysburg, Pa: Gettysburg National Historical Society. Print.

The War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.” (1902). NOTE on authors: Robert N. Scott compiled and edited. Series I, Vol. V:
No. 1. Brig. Gen. Joseph J. Reynolds, U. S. Army.
No. 2. Col. Nathan Kimball, Fourteenth Indiana Infantry.
No. 3. Col. George D. Wagner, Fifteenth Indiana Infantry.
No. 4. Lieut. Col. Richard Owen, Fifteenth Indiana Infantry.
No. 5. Capt. David J. Higgins, Twenty-fourth Ohio Infantry.
No. 6. Col. Albert Rust, Third Arkansas Infantry.
No. 7. General Lee’s orders.”
West Virginia State Archives. 26 Oct. 2005 Web 19 Feb. 2012.

Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union. (1903). Historical sketch of Ann Pamela Cunningham, “The Southern matron,” founder of “The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.” Jamaica, Queensborough, New York, Printed for the Association at the Marion Press. Print.

Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union. (1903). Historical sketch of Ann Pamela Cunningham, “The Southern matron,” founder of “The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.” Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.

Period Sources on Virginia Agriculture:

“Southern Planter.” (1841). Richmond, Va.: P.D. Bernard. Print.

Southern Planter.” (1841). Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.

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“Southern Planter.” (1852). Richmond, Va.: P.D. Bernard. Print.

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“Virginia Lands.” (Jan., 1844). American agriculturist. Vol. 3.
Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.

Flickr Set/Image Credits:

All scenes of nature are courtesy of the National Park Service.

John A. Washington – courtesy American Public University System

Scenes of the site of John Washington’s death from the air – Googlemaps

Images of Washington family members courtesy the Washington family

Drawn images by David Hunter Strother:

Betsey Sweat, by David Hunter Strother, April 11, 1856. Courtesy the West Virginia and Regional History Collection

Strother, David H. “Drawings of David Hunter Strother.” West Virginia History Online Digital Collections. 9 Nov. 1999 Web. 10 Feb. 2011.

young boy holding wood (Not used in this post)
Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 33, Issue: 194, July, 1866. p. 139. Print.

Strother, David H. (July, 1866). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

hard rain man on horse
Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 35, Issue: 207, August, 1867. Print.

Strother, David H. (August, 1867). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

music by campfire
Strother, David H. “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 33, Issue: 196, September, 1866. Print.

Strother, David H., (Sept., 1866). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

family scene
Strother, David H. “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 33, Issue: 193, June, 1866. Print.

Strother, David H. (June, 1866). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

tent
Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 34, Issue: 202, March, 1867. Print.

Strother, David H. (March, 1867). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

ruined countryside
Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 35, Issue: 210, November, 1867. Print.

Strother, David H. (November, 1867). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s Magazine. 7 May 2008 Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

engagement ring
Strother, David H., "Virginia Illustrated." Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 13, Issue: 75, (Aug., 1856). pp. 303-323. Print.

Strother, David H., "Virginia Illustrated." Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May. 2011.

wounded on house floor
Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 34, Issue: 204, May, 1867. Print.

Strother, David H. (May, 1867). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harpers Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

woman and boy sad
Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 35, Issue: 207, August, 1867. Print.

Strother, David H. (August, 1867). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

sad/angry woman’s face
Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 34, Issue: 204, May, 1867. Print.

Strother, David H. (May, 1867). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

marching woodsmen soldiers
Strother, David H., "Virginia Illustrated." Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 11, Issue: 63, (Aug., 1855). pp. 289-311. Print.

Strother, David H., "Virginia Illustrated." Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May. 2011.

Mary Lee Custis
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web 19 Feb. 2012.

John Letcher
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web 19 Feb. 2012.

Cheat Mountain
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web 19 Feb. 2012.

Taber, Walton. “Fall of the Leader.” (drawing).”Battles and Leaders. Vol. 3″. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. p. 105.
Print.

Battles and Leaders. Vol. 3” Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.

Taber, Walton. “Looking For A Friend.” (drawing).”Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4″. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. p. 195.
Print.

Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4” Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.

Taber, Walton. “Battle of Logan’s Crossroads. (drawing). “Battles and Leaders. Vol. 1.” (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. p. 546. Print.

Battles and Leaders Vol. 1.” Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.

“An 1858 bird’s-eye view of Mount Vernon shows the new family tomb (at left), the old tomb (built into the hillside, center), and the summerhouse constructed in Bushrod Washington’s day (right). Courtesy of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, Mount Vernon, Virginia. Common-Place.org. 7 Feb. 2009 Web. 21 Feb. 2012.

John A. Washington’s ad renting out the enslaved. Common-Place.org. 7 Feb. 2009 Web. 21 Feb. 2012.

Joseph J. Reynolds
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web 19 Feb. 2012.

Joseph Warren Keifer. Ohio History Central. 17 Jan. 2006 Web. 19 Feb. 2012.

Map of the Huntersville line commanded by Col. Wm. L. Jackson. Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections. 2 September 2006 Web. Web 19 Feb. 2012.

Joachim Ferdinand Richardt EAST FRONT OF MOUNT VERNON, c. 1870, Oil on canvas, glazed, Courtesy of The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, Mount Vernon, Virginia, Purchase 1977. Art in Embassies U.S. Dept. of State. 20 May 2011 Web 19 Feb. 2012.

The Mansion Piazza in disrepair, 1858.
Courtesy Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association
National Building Museum. 8 June 2011 Web 19 Feb. 2012.

two images of J. J. Weiler
U.S. Army. (1913). “Souvenir, the Seventeenth Indiana Regiment: a history from its organization to the end of the war, giving description of battles, etc., also list of the survivors.” Elwood, IN: Model Printing and Litho Co. Print.

U.S. Army. (1913). “Souvenir, the Seventeenth Indiana Regiment: a history from its organization to the end of the war, giving description of battles, etc., also list of the survivors.” Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.

John Townsend Trowbridge
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web 19 Feb. 2012.

Betsey Sweat, by David Hunter Strother, April 11, 1856. Courtesy the West Virginia and Regional History Collection
Strother, David H. “Drawings of David Hunter Strother.” West Virginia History Online Digital Collections. 9 Nov. 1999 Web. 10 Feb. 2011.

young boy holding wood (Not used in this post)
Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 33, Issue: 194, July, 1866. p. 139. Print.

Strother, David H. (July, 1866). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harpers Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

Image of Isaiah B. McDonald in later life
Welcome to Tippecanoe County, Indiana. 28 September 2008 Web 19 Feb. 2012.

Waveland Images National Register Nomination. Virginia Division of Historic Preservation. 20 Sept. 2005. Web 19 Feb. 2012.

John Beatty The Citizen-Soldier; or, Memoirs of a Volunteer
Written by John Beatty in 1879
Academic portfolio of Victor Benitez. Begun 2011, last updated 1/13/2012 Web 19 Feb. 2012.

Photograph, Camp and fort at Cheat Mountain, 1861. Boyd B. Stutler Collection, West Virginia State Archives. 26 Oct. 2005 Web 19 Feb. 2012.

Photograph, “Thunder-Storm (Big Sewell Mountain) (Reconnoissance),” sketch by J. Nep. Roesler. West Virginia State Archives. 26 Oct. 2005 Web 19 Feb. 2012.

Photograph, “The Secessionist Army – Irregular Riflemen of the Alleghanies, Virginia,” Harper’s Illustrated, July 20, 1861. Print. West Virginia State Archives. 26 Oct. 2005 Web 19 Feb. 2012.

Robert E. Lee, Jr. National Park Service 27 August 2007 Web. 20 Feb. 2012.

Rooney Lee
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web 19 Feb. 2012.

Harvest at Mt. Vernon
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web 19 Feb. 2012.

W. E. Starke
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web 19 Feb. 2012.

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