“Thy Will Be Done” – Chapter 6 (Continued) Tragedy Descends on the Shepherd and Conrad families by Jim Surkamp

409 words

TRT: 8:51 Video link: https://youtu.be/2gkp3mZA8SI

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With support from American Public University System (apus.edu). (The sentiments expressed do not in any way reflect modern-day policies of APUS, and are intended to encourage fact-based exchange for a better understanding of our nation’s foundational values.


Fanny Shepherd ALLEN dau of RD Shep and Eliz.StocktonBoteler
Lizzie Shepherd

At the beginning of the Civil War, Davis Shepherd was captain of a small company of picked men appointed to guard the ford at his father’s place overlooking the Potomac River some five miles above Shepherdstown. The river was picketed on both sides and one of the Union camps was stationed directly across the river from the Lower Shepherd farm, as it was generally called.

Terrible rumors of danger to unprotected country families living in the path of the hostile army had caused the Boteler family to leave Fountain Rock and refugee in Baltimore.

Davis Shepherd’s wife, Elizabeth (A. R. Boteler’s oldest daughter), and her little ones had also been unable to remain at the River Farm while Davis was on duty at his father’s place. She and her two little children were at the rectory with Dr. Andrews, whose big heart and hospitable home were opened freely to all who needed comfort and help of any kind.

Beautiful Mrs. Tom Butler, frightened from Rose Hill by another sinister rumor of the war cry of the enemy also took refuge at the rectory with her four children, and at different times during that spring and summer others sought shelter with the well-beloved rector, counselor and friend of the whole community.

Later in July came the news of Manassas A. R. Boteler’s son, Alexander, Jr. had been wounded, but little could be learned of his condition.

Hearts were filled with anxiety for him and with grief for dear ones whose names were on the list of the slain. Tucker and Holmes Conrad, Peyton Harrison, W. F. Lee – these and others not less dear fell in that first great battle of the war.

Old Mr. Conrad had met the messenger bringing him tidings of his boys at the gate.

“Which?” he asked.
“Both” was the answer.
There was at all times a wonderful calm about those who suffered loss. No “wind of words” bore back the rising tide of sorrow following a battle.
– (1).

Brothers in blood, in faith
Brothers in youthful bloom
Brothers in life
Brothers in death
Brothers in one same tomb
Well fought they the good fight
in death the victory won
sprung at one bound to heaven’s light
and God’s eternal son
Written by David Holmes Conrad and carved on the tomb of his two sons Holmes and Tucker
July 21-22, 1861 Manassas
Pvt Henry Tucker Conrad, Sgt Holmes Addison Conrad


Elizabeth Stockton Pendleton. “A Wartime Incident – Fifty years Ago,” Shepherdstown Register, July 16, 1914; also “A Wartime Tragedy,” Shepherdstown Register, March 8, 1934.

Bradley Forbush webmaster 13thmass.org

1860 Census – National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Tombstone inscription by Holmes Conrad – findagrave.org

Military Archives – Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Image Credits:

Double Folio Civil War Wood Engraving “THE NEWS FROM THE WAR” – June 14, 1862 – by Winslow Homer

The Conversation (1882) by Edward Lamson Henry

The New Bonnet by Eastman Johnson

Monument Square, Baltimore, Maryland, June 1861, after the arrest of Marshal of Police Kane

Old Time Militia Masters by Porte Crayon. Harper’s New Monthly Magazine Volume 0057 Issue 338 (July 1878) / Volume 57, Issue: 338, July 1878, pp. 212-222.

First Battle of Bull Run, chromolithograph (1889) by Kurz & Allison – Library of Congress

NEXT: Chapters 7 & 7.1 Click Here https://civilwarscholars.com/uncategorized/thy-will-be-done-chapters-6a-the-battle-of-manassas-bull-run-is-over-william-lee-is-dying/