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War! War!!  So read The Scottsville Register's headlines on Saturday, April 20, 1861.  Three days earlier in Richmond, the Virginia State Convention adopted an ordinance of secession from the Union.  That evening the Scottsville Guard, a militia unit commanded by Captain Henry Gantt, received a telegram ordering them to arms.  Their immediate assignment was to board a Charlottesville train destined to capture the weapons and storage arsenal in Harpers Ferry.  Although Gantt's unit could not reach Charlottesville in time, his men began drilling on Scottsville streets.  By Saturday, the Howardsville Blues joined the Scottsville Guard, forming two companies of the 19th Regiment of Virginia Infantry.

Scottsville eagerly donated money to these soldiers, and women produced uniforms, tents, and knapsacks.  After days of drilling, these two militia units joined up with their regiment and departed for Manassas in early May 1861.  Their departure from Scottsville was accompanied by a tremendous public outpouring of celebration and grief.

By June 1861, the call went out for more soldiers to join the Confederate Army.  Although pressed to its emotional and physical limits, Scottsville produced another company, called the Scottsville Grays, with the help of a few recruits from neighboring Fluvanna County.  The Grays soon became Company D (later Co. E) of the 46th Virginia Infantry and were commanded by Scottsville's Captain James C. Hill, the proprietor of a local lumber company.  Hill's company left Scottsville for western Virginia in late June, receiving a more subdued farewell from townspeople, who perhaps realized by then that the war would be long and costly.

From Civil War letters and first-hand accounts, we have a fascinating glimpse of Scottsville life during the war.  Families and friends of our soldiers occupied themselves with earning a living in a largely agricultural environment with a male workforce consisting of boys and old men.  Eyes and hearts were always focused on our soldiers on the battlefront.  Spare food and clothing were sent to the troops at the front, supplementing the soldiers' meager rations in an army without a well-established supply infrastructure.  Many times the food sent to local soldiers meant meals were sparser on Scottsville plates.  Still, town thoughts were of its soldiers and aiding the Confederate cause.  On the front lines, Scottsville soldiers did their duty and thought of home.  Occasionally, soldiers returned to Scottsville on leave or disabled; others returned in coffins.  As the war continued, many local boys coming of age ran off to join up with Confederate units such as the 19th VA and 56th VA Infantries.  Thirteen young men alone departed Scottsville to join Mosby's Rangers, including the underaged Henry H. Harris and Zach Jones.

After four long years of war, the enemy and devastation came to Scottsville.  On March 6, 1865, Major General Philip H. Sheridan's expedition of nearly 10,000 Union soldiers departed Charlottesville.  Their mission was to destroy the James River Canal and the Virginia Central Railroad.  The expedition separated into two columns with Sheridan and Brevet Major General George A. Custer leading the 3rd Cavalry southwest through North and South Gardens to destroy the railroad.  Brevet Major General Wesley Merritt and Brigadier General Thomas C. Devin headed south to Scottsville with the 1st Cavalry and orders to destroy the canal, bridges, mills, manufactories, and rebel food stores.

(L to R): Maj.Gen. Sheridan, Chief of Staff Forsyth, Bvt.Maj. Gen. Merritt, Brig. Gen. Devin, Maj.Gen. Custer The destruction of Scottsville began at 3 p.m. on that March day, as noted in General Devin's official report: "At this point, three canal boats were captured, one loaded with shell (9600) and two with the Government commissary stores and tobacco. These were totally destroyed and burned, together with a large cloth mill, a five-story flouring mill, candle factory, machine shop, and tobacco warehouse. Each of these buildings was crammed with products of its manufacture to a surprising extent, and all were totally destroyed." The intense heat of the flour mill fire charred nearby homes, although no loss of life occurred. Canal locks and bridges above and below town also were destroyed or severely damaged. The last of Devin's men departed Scottsville on March 7th and headed west up the towpath to continue their canal destruction duties and join Sheridan's column at New Market (Norwood).

On March 8th, Sheridan's united command moved back down the James River towards Columbia, arriving in Scottsville on Thursday night, March 9th.  The roads were horrible due to the spring thaw and heavy rains, and the soldiers were tired and hungry.  Legend has it that Sheridan and Custer rested the night at Cliffside while Merritt commandeered Old Hall.

By this stage of the expedition, Sheridan's men were down to their last 'coffee and sugar' rations, and their horses suffered from fatigue and hoof rot.  They relied on the Scottsville countryside for 'subsistence and forage' and ransacked and looted homes, barns, and any potential hiding place for food, horses, and valuables.  Cliffside's carriage house and barn were torched, although the jewelry, which Mrs. John O. Lewis buried earlier near their chicken house, went undiscovered.  Yankees stuffed hams in their knapsacks and strapped dead chickens to their saddles.  At age 5, Fannie Patteson stood at a second floor window and watched her backyard fill with strange men, who upset their beehives and crammed honey into their mouths.  As the Yankees snatched up every horse they spotted, twelve year-old Luther Pitts hid two local horses in the basement of the Barclay House on Main Street.  Miletus Harris and his son, Charles, beat back the flames on their Main Street store as the nearby Columbian Hotel went up in smoke.

Finally on March 10th, Sheridan's army departed Scottsville and continued along the James River to Columbia, leaving Scottsville charred and hungry.  It would take forty years for the town's economy to recover.

To learn more about Scottsville in the Civil War, please click on each image below for a larger view and more information.  Also, if you have a story to tell about a Scottsville Civil War soldier, we'd love to learn more.  Please contact us at smuseum@avenue.org

Dr. Oriana Moon, A Confederate Doctor

Dr. Oriana Moon and Dr. John S. Andrews, ca.1861 Oriana Moon was an exceptional Scottsville woman, who was awarded a medical degree from the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1857.  She returned briefly to her Viewmont home near Scottsville and then traveled with her Uncle James Turner Barclay to Jerusalem in 1858.  Oriana ministered to the medical needs of the Bedouins, who lived just outside the Holy City's walls, before returning home to Virginia more than 14 months later.  When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Dr. Moon volunteered her services to the Confederacy and ran a ward at the Charlottesville General Hospital.  It was at this hospital that she met John Summerfield Andrews, a surgeon in the Confederate Army and her future husband-to-be.  In November 1861, Oriana Moon married John Andrews, beginning a marriage and medical collaboration that survived the war and positively affected many people from Virginia to Alabama.

For the full feature article, visit Dr. Oriana Moon, A Confederate Doctor.

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum

A Scottsville Family in Love and War:  Mollie Harris

Mollie Harris This is the story of a woman who lived in Scottsville 150 years ago.  By modern standards she was quite provincial.  She was not beautiful, accomplished, or well traveled, but her life was anything but ordinary.  She lived in a time of national crisis, and she and her family were caught up in the tragedy that rent the nation.  She watched her husband and brothers march off to war and at war's end found herself a widow with three small children.  Further misfortunes were to follow.  Tragedy is so common in the simple annals of the poor that this story would scarcely merit our attention were it not for the character of Mollie Harris, herself.  She possessed unusual resilience and met adversity with a courage and fortitude that enabled her and her family not only to survive the hardships of their lives but also to triumph over them.

For the full feature article by Captain Bruce R. Boynton, visit Family in Love and War.
 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum

A Scottsville Teen in Mosby's Rangers:  Henry G. Harris

Henry G. Harris "They had for us all the glamour of Robin Hood and his merry men, all the courage and bravery of the ancient crusaders, the unexpectedness of benevolent pirates and the stealth of Indians."  Thus wrote Sam Moore, a young man from Berryville, of the fascination held by the people of western Virginia for Confederate Colonel John S. Mosby's Partisan Rangers (43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry).  With such a reputation, it is no wonder that Mosby found it easy to attract recruits.  The life of a Ranger, the changing scenes, the danger and wild adventure lured many men to the battalion.  Officers in other units gave up their commissions to enlist as privates.  Old soldiers and those who had been discharged as unfit for further service also joined.  Some recruits to the unit were too young to enlist in the regular Army, while others had been foreign soldiers of fortune.  Among the Battalion's youngest members was a 16-year-old Scottsville boy named Henry G. Harris.

For the full feature article by Captain Bruce R. Boynton, visit A Mosby Ranger.
 
 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum

Major J.C. Hill, Soldier of Scottsville

Major James C. Hill "A good many tents are to be seen on Kiawah Island ... The enemy are burning up the woods to the North ... There are 2 gunboats, 3 small  steamers, 9 schooners ... in the Stono River ... J.C. Hill, Capt."

Thus read an 1864 intelligence report, submitted by Captain, later Major,  James Christian Hill. Before the War, Hill was a successful businessman of  Scottsville; during the War, a caring and effective leader of its men in  uniform; and after the War, an honored editor and citizen.

For the full feature article by Connie Jo Geary, visit Major J.C. Hill.
 
 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum

Confederate General Hospital and Moore's Hill Confederate Cemetery

Confederate Monument at Moore's Hill cemetery During the Civil War, Scottsville housed a general hospital for the Confederacy. Available records indicate over 40 Confederate soldiers died in the Scottsville hospital and are buried nearby at the Confederate Cemetery on Moore's Hill.  Today, questions remain about the identities and exact number of soldiers buried at the Moore's Hill cemetery.

For the full feature article by Richard L. Nicholas, visit Hospital.

 
 

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


John Everett Dickerson, Englishman in the 19th VA Infantry

John Dickerson, Co. C, 19th VA

Date:  ca. 1890

Image Number:  SDT01cdSDT01

Shown at left is John Dickerson, Co. C, 19th VA Infantry.  John was an Englishman in Scottsville when the Civil War broke out in Virginia in April 1861.  John enlisted in Company C where he served 15 months before being discharged on 16 July 1862 by reason of his being a 'Foreigner and having served out his time of enlistment.  John Dickerson then moved to Tennessee and reenlisted in the Confederate Army by joining Company F, 12nd Battalion of the Tennessee Cavalry, in 1863 where he served as an orderly.  John's company was serving in eastern Tennessee in 1865 when they were ordered to reinforce General Lee in Virginia.  Enroute to help Lee, Co. E. learned of Lee's surrender to the Union Army, and the 12th Battalion, Tennessee Cavalry, then surrendered to Union General Thomas at Knoxville in April 1865.  The conquered Confederates were given free transportation to any point in the North that they might choose.  John chose Iowa where his father, Samuel, and two brothers then lived.

For more information on John Dickerson's Civil War service, visit John Everett Dickerson.
 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


George Walker Gilmer, 2nd Virginia Cavalry and Mosby's Rangers

George Walker Gilmer, 1863

Date:  June 16,1863

Image Number:  PM01cdPM01

Comments:  George Walker Gilmer volunteered as a Private in Company C, 2nd Virginia Cavalry on June 16, 1863.  As was often the custom of those war days, George had his photograph taken on the day he joined the Confederate Army.  George was twice severely wounded and lost an eye at Gettysburg.  His commanding officer, Colonel Thomas T. Mumford, noted that George was distinguished for gallantry and devotion to duty.




Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Zachariah Fleming Jones, Mosby's Ranger

Zachariah Jones, ca. 1864

Date:  ca. 1864

Image Number:  JW01cdJW01

Comments:  Zachariah Fleming Jones enlisted in Company D, 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry, Mosby's Command in 1864 at the age of seventeen.  He was a dashing figure in his Confederate uniform, and in later years, Zack often spoke of the daring exploits and narrow escapes of Mosby and his men.  Mosby's Rangers included some of the best horsemen in the country, who frequently traveled by night on raids about the countryside.  Again and again, Zack's horses were wounded under him.  During a March 1865 battle at Leesburg, Virginia, Jones narrowly escaped death when his horse reared up and took the bullet intended for his rider.  Zachariah Jones was paroled at Columbia, Virginia, at war's end and spent the rest of his life in Scottsville.
 
 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Dr. Powhatan Bledsoe, 32nd Virginia Regiment

Dr. Powhatan Bledsoe, ca. 1864

Date:  ca. 1861

Image Number:  DPB01cdDPB01

Comments:  Powhatan Bledsoe was born in Fluvanna County, VA, in 1832, and graduated from the University of Virginia Medical School as a medical doctor in 1858.  When the Civil War broke out in early 1861, Dr. Bledsoe was living in Henrico County, VA.  His record as an assistant surgeon in the C.S.A. began that spring when he passed his examination before the Army Medical Board in Richmond, VA.  In 1908, Dr. Bledsoe recorded the highlights of his CSA medical career to support the membership application of his niece, Mary E. Beal of Scottsville, to the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Virginia.

To learn more about Dr. Bledsoe's service as an assistant surgeon in the CSA and in his own words, visit Dr. Powhatan Bledsone. .
 
 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


War Comes to Scottsville

General Phillip Sheridan, Courtesy National Archives 2015 will mark the 150th anniversary of one of the most important events in the history of Scottsville since its official founding in 1818.  It was during the week of March 6-10, 1865, that Scottsville was occupied by Union soldiers under the command of Civil War General Philip H. Sheridan.  While the event was of little significance within the context of the overall Civil War, it had an enormous, enduring, and very personal impact on the people of Scottsville and the neighboring countryside that were caught in the path of ten thousand marauding Yankee cavalrymen.  What follows is a summation of that historic tragedy with emphasis on some of the people in our community who were directly affected.

For the full feature article by Richard L. Nicholas, visit War Comes To Scottsville.
 
 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum

Andrew Mahoney, 19th Virginia Infantry

Andrew Mahoney, ca. 1890

Date:  ca. 1890

Image Number:  PW03cdPW01

Comments:  When the War Between the States broke out in April 1861, Andrew Mahoney was a 35-year old carpenter for the James River and Kanawha Canal and the father of five children under the age of eleven.  He enrolled for active service as a Sergeant in Company C (Scottsville Guard), 19th Virginia Infantry on April 17th, 1861.  Andrew was elected to Captain of Company C on November 6, 1861, and served in that capacity until 28 April 1862 when he retired.  Andrew later appeared on the roll of POWs paroled at Columbia, Virginia.


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Joseph Russell Beal, Mosby's Rangers

Joseph Russell Beal, ca. 1890

Date:  ca. 1890

Image Number:  JJW03cdJJW01

Comments:  Private Joseph R. Beal served with Mosby's Rangers, 43rd Virginia Cavalry, Company D.  Joseph was born in Scottsville, VA, on 5 May 1847, and was the son of Joseph Russell and Mary Elizabeth (Flanagan) Beale.  Joseph's older brother, John D. Beal, also served with Company D under the direct command of Captain R. P. Montjoy.


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Jonathan Pitts, 19th Virginia Infantry

Jonathan Pitts and Friend, ca. 1905

Date:  ca. 1905

Image Number:  M48acdKM03

Comments:  In this circa 1905 photo, Jonathan Pitts sat with an old Civil War friend on the back porch of his home on Main Street.  On April 17, 1861, Virginia seceded from the Union, and Jonathan joined the Scottsville Guard, a local militia unit destined to become Company C, 19th Virginia Infantry.  Jonathan was thirty-eight years old.  He served in the 19th VA until he was discharged on July 16, 1862, because his term of service expired and he was over forty years old.


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Colonel Henry Gantt of Valmont, 19th Virginia Infantry

Gravemarker of Col. Henry Gantt at Valmont

Date:  1884

Image Number:  RN01cdRN01

Comments:  Colonel Henry Gantt commanded Co. C, 19th Virginia Infantry, that entered the Civil War on April 17, 1861.  Gantt was severely wounded at Cemetery Ridge during the battle of Gettysburg.  After Appomatox, he returned to his Valmont home in Scottsville.


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Thomas H. Childress, 1907

Thomas H. Childress, 1907

Date:  1907

Image Number:  DRT01cdDRT01

Comments:  Thomas H. Childress was born May 4, 1840, at 'Seven Oaks' near Esmont, VA.  He was the son of Robert M. and Lucy Overton Childress, a couple of some means in Albemarle County, VA.  When the Civil War came, the 20 yr. old Thomas wasted no time in enlisting in Capt. Albert Gantt's company of Virginia volunteers called the 'Scottsville Guard."  Eventually this company would form Company C, 19th Virginia Infantry.  On 5 July 1863, Thomas transferred to the 15th Virginia Cavalry.  Thomas was paroled on 21 May 1865 and returned to Ablemarle County, VA, where he later became a justice of the peace.


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Confederate Veteran Reunion at Buckingham Courthouse, 1908

Confederate Reunion at Buckingham Courthouse, 1908

Date:  1908

Image Number:  B40cdB15

Comments:  The 1908 Reunion of Confederate Veterans at Buckingham Courthouse drew soldiers and their families from Buckingham County, Albemarle County, and the surrounding area.  See larger image for a partial list of reunion attendees plus the identities of Scottsville area soldiers.

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Confederate Veteran Reunion, 1908

Confederate Reunion, 1908

Date:  July 21, 1908

Image Number:  RollTwoNeg16

Comments:  The 1908 Reunion of Confederate Veterans in Scottsville drew 128 soldiers from the Virginia counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, and Nelson.  See larger image for identities of some reunion attendees from the Scottsville area.


 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Confederate Reunion Dinner Committee, 1908

Confederate Reunion Dinner Committee, 1908

Date:  July 21, 1908

Image Number:  B80cdB17

Comments:  The Confederate Reunion Dinner Committee, consisting of 40 ladies led by Mrs. W. D. Patteson and Chairman Samuel R. Gault,served a bountiful feast to the 128 veterans and a hungry crowd of over 2000 spectators.  More than 300 food baskets were donated for the dinner, some of which can be seen on the food-laden tables in this photo.  


 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Confederate Reunion, 1908

Confederate Reunion, 1908

Date:  July 21, 1908

Image Number:  B06cdB18

Comments:  A Grand Rally and Reunion of Confederate veterans was held at Scottsville on July 21, 1908.  This Burgess panorama was taken on Valley Street, looking west at the intersection of West Main and Valley Street, and shows some of the over 2000 people who gathered to greet the veterans.  See larger image for the identities of these buildings.


 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Crowds at the Confederate Reunion, 1908

Crowds at Confederate Reunion, 1908

Date:  July 21, 1908

Image Number:  RollTwoNeg1

Comments:  Over 2000 spectators gathered in Scottsville for the 1908 Reunion of Confederate Veterans.  Pictured here against a backdrop of south Main Street are some veterans and their friends engaged in eloquent discourse.  See larger image for the identities of these buildings.


 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


George Allen Tapscott, 1922

George A. Tapscott, 1922

Date:  1922

Image Number:  B244bcdB24

Comments:  George Allen Tapscott is shown in this 1922 photo taken at a Confederate reunion in Richmond, Virginia.  Born in Buckingham County, Virginia, in 1850, George enlisted in Company D, 56 Virginia at the age of 15 years.  He served first at Chaffin's Farm near Richmond and later at Cold Harbor where his health was broken.  George left service after Cold Harbor and returned to Scottsville. 

 
 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Peter Johnston White III, 1924

Peter Johnston White III, 1924

Date:  1924

Image Number:  WW01cdWW01

Comments:  Peter Johnston White is shown in his uniform as commander of the R.E. Lee Camp of Confederate Veterans, Richmond.  He posed for this painting on the occasion of his golden wedding anniversary on December 12, 1924.  Despite his youthful age of 14 years, Peter enlisted in Company G, 5th Virginia Cavalry on July 24, 1864, and participated in numerous engagements with Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry.  After the war, Peter returned to Scottsville and later lived at Red Hills in Fluvanna County, Virginia. 


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum




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© 2001 by Scottsville Museum