State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Gallow's Ball - Prologue

For the Halloween season this website will present an extended series on the Lacy murder of the winter of 1879 and the subsequent trial, executions, and, . . .well,  . . .strange occurrences that followed.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Reuben Burrell and the Champagne, Sep- Oct 1918 - II

More on Reuben Burrell

In addition to the 369th Infantry Regiment (old New York Fifteenth) and the 370th (old Eighth Illinois), the 371st and 372nd Regiments, also composed of colored troops, were brigaded with the French during their active service overseas. It had been first decided by the United States War Department that these four colored regiments should form the nucleus of the 93rd Division (Provisional), but it was finally decided not to organize the 93rd Division, but to brigade these four regiments with French troops.
The 371st Infantry was organized August 31, 1917, at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, in compliance with War Department General Order No. 109, of August 16, 1917, as the First Provisional Infantry Regiment (colored). Col. Perry L. Miles assumed' command of the regiment September 1, 1917. All the officers of the 371st regiment were white. On September 5, 1917, fourteen colored men from Pensacola, Florida, were received as the first recruits for the regiment. The time of arrival of recruits for the regiment was delayed by the War Department for about a month, because of the shortage of labor in moving the 1917 cotton crop. It was not until early in October that the first considerable body of recruits was received. By November 20, 1917, however, 3,380 men had been received by the regiment. These men were not all received at once, but in varying sized draft increments at different times. Of this number, 1,680 men were transferred to labor organizations and 500 to a combat organization at Camp Upton.

Under a staff of French officer instructors and interpreters the 371st Infantry was reorganized on the French plan, soon after its arrival in France (April 23, 1918), with 194 men to the company and three machine gun companies to the regiment instead of one as on the American plan. All the American equipment was turned in, and the men were given the French rifles, bayonets, helmets, packs, and other equipment of the French soldier. Only the American khaki uniform remained. After a few weeks' instruction in this new equipment and in French tactics, the regiment went into the trenches as part of the 157th French Division under General Goybet. It remained in line for over three months, holding first the Avocourt and later the Verrières. subsectors (northwest of Verdun). The regiment, with its division, was then taken out of line and thrown into the great September offensive in the Champagne. It took Cote 188, Bussy Ferme, Ardeuil, Montfauxelles, and Trieres Ferme near Monthois, and captured a number of prisoners, 47 machine guns, 8 trench engines, 3 field pieces (77s), a munition depot, a number of railroad cars, and enormous quantities of lumber, hay, and other supplies. It shot down three German airplanes by rifle and machine-gun fire during the advance. 

Flag of the 157

During the fighting between September 28 and October 6, 1918, its losses---which were mostly in the first three days---were 1,065 out of 2,384 actually engaged. The regiment was the apex of the attacking salient in this great battle. The percentage of both dead and wounded among the officers was rather greater than among the enlisted men. Realizing their great responsibilities, the wounded officers continued to lead their men until they dropped from exhaustion and lack of blood. The men were devoted to their, leaders and as a result stood up against-a most gruelling fire, bringing the regiment its well deserved fame.

-Scott's Official History of the American Negro in the World War- Emmett J. Scott, A.M., LL.D.
Secretary of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. (Eighteen years Private Secretary to the Late Booker T. Washington )

For its extraordinary service in the Champagne offensive, the entire regiment was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm.  In addition, three of the officers of the 371st were awarded the French Legion of Honor, 123 men won the Croix de Guerre and 26 earned the Distinguished Service Cross.  Corporal Freddie Stowers won the Medal of Honor.

"I grappled the Boche at the throat and made him yell for mercy. Our glorious comrades who died are well avenged. ”- General Goybet, commander of the 157th Division

General Mariano Francisco Julio Goybet

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Reuben Burrell and the Champagne, Sep- Oct 1918 - I

Private, U.S. Army
Machine-Gun Company, 371st Infantry Regiment, 93d Division, A.E.F. 
Date of Action: September 30, 1918 
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Reuben Burrell, Private, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action in the Champagne Sector, France, September 30, 1918. Private Burrell, although painfully wounded in the knee, refused to be evacuated, stating that if he went to the rear there would not be enough left for his group to function.
General Orders No. 46, W.D., 1919
Home Town: Conshohocken, PA

 His birthplace is listed as New Kent, Virginia.
This would be the same Reuben Burrell listed in the Census of 1910 as part of the household of Nathan Burrell in Cumberland District

Head Nathan W Burrell M 65  
Son         Rebedee Burrell M 23  
Daughter Ada Burrell F 21 
Daughter Josephine Burrell F 26  
Son         Ruben Burrell M 16  
Son         James H Burrell M 14  
Son         Clarence Burrell M 12

Some of the Burrells went to the Philadelphia area (Conshohocken is between Philadelphia and King of Prussia) around the time of first World War. 

Next-  more on Burrell and the 371st Regiment

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Happy September Ninety-Nine Years ago

New Kent People Are Happy.
Providence Forge. Sept. 20- September is making a record for itself. The magnificent days that have followed one another the past week, have added much enjoyment to those visiting our hustling little village.
Sora are being killed in small quantities. Messrs. J H. Christian, E.F. Gill, J.B. Richardson and W.F. Gilliam were in Bradby's Marsh, near Windsor Shades, last
week, but the sora came up missing. 
Protracted meetings are in progress this week at Oliver Presbyterian church. Rev. Osborne officiating. 
The Masonic Lodge is being rapidly built. It promises to be quite a nice building. 
Mr. J. B. Richardson has returned from the White Sulphur Springs very much benefited in health. 
Mrs. W. F. Gilliam and son, Blair, and Miss Mary Taylor Gilliam, of Richmond, were visitors in Williamsburg a few days since. 
Miss Josie Oliver, of Richmond, is the guest of her brother here. 
Miss Clara Bock, of Pennsylvania. is visiting her brother, Fred S.Bock. 
Mrs. G.C. Edwards and daughter of Richmond. have returned to their home, after spending some time at the former's parents. 
Mrs. Julia Anderson and two children, of Portsmouth, are on a visit to her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Robertson. 
Miss Fedora Haxall has left for college in Red Springs, N.C. 
Mr. Home, the popular proprietor of the Windsor Hotel, Boulevard, and Mr. S.C. Burnette were in our village Saturday. 
Mrs. E. B. Townsend, of Washington. D.C., will arrive here Oct. 1st. to straighten up the late Col. E.B. Townsend's estate. he leaving all his property to his widow, who is sole administratrix.

Roxbury. Va.. September 20- 
A larger crowd of admiring friends of Mr. C.D. Binns, the young merchant of this place, at Roxbury Wednesday to congratulate the young man and his bride, but were doomed to disappointment when the young merchant got off the train alone looking sad. As he told of his disappointment, tears would force their way down his rosy cheeks. He told of his travels to far away Cincinnati with the fond hopes of bringing back a fair rose, out from the west, but the sweet thing changed her mind and took another. Yet the young man is not discouraged and says "if you wont another will; if none do not, it's better still." Cheer up, Charlie, "faint heart never won fair lady." 
The roads in New Kent have completed and the fine teem is hauling telephone poles.
September 28th will be court day for New Kent. Court will be held in a storehouse as the new courthouse is not completed. The most important case to be tried this is that of two negro boys for holding up and robbing a Syrian woman peddler some time ago.

-Virginia Gazette, September 23, 1909

Thursday, September 20, 2018

"Man By the Name of Wilson"

 It is a wonder that so much information can be teased out about a man's life from one small advertisement.

$50 REWARD FOR WILSON.- Absconded from the subscriber, in the month of April, 1836 man by the name of Wilson. From information received, it appears that Wilson was raised in the county of New Kent, about 8 miles below the C.H., by a gentleman named Ratcliffe, and by him sold to a gentleman named Taylor, living 13 miles above Williamsburg, on whose farm he had a wife and several children. Mr. Taylor sold him to Mr. Slater, living near the New Kent and James City line, who, in consequence of removing to Alabama, left him, and when retaken was sold to John M. Gregory, Esq. of Williamsburg, Va., and afterwards purchased by his present owner, from Thomas McCargo & Co., of Richmond. Nothing was heard of him until last November,(1837) when I was informed he had been taken and put in New Kent jail, but afterwords made his escape, by burning out, and has not since been heard of. Wilson is about 5 feet 6 inches high, slender made, bushy head, dark yellow colour, pleasing countenance, and about 36 years old. The above reward will be paid for his apprehension, and placed in any jail in the State or United States, so that I obtain him again.  
Cunninghams's Store, N.C. Nov. 1838 59-w6w

 -Richmond Enquirer, December 14, 1838

Some notes

A) I wonder if the Ratcliffe named is the owner of the tavern of the same name that was in the Quinton area.

B) John M. Gregory, was soon to be Lieutenant Governor, and was Acting Governor of Virginia from March 1842 until 5 January 1843. He was later a judge.

C) Yet another burning of New Kent's jail.

D) Thomas McCargo was a slave trader based out of Richmond.  He gained a measure of notoriety in November 1841 when while transporting slaves down the coast on the brig Creole, the slaves rose up, took control of the ship and sailed it into Nassau, the Bahamas leading to an international incident.

E) Rather shockingly(at least to me) I had no trouble discovering more about the advertiser.

"Alexander Cuningham of Petersburg, Va (1776 -1849) was the owner of Cunningham Store in Person County. His father was also named Alexander Cuningham and was from Edinburgh, Scotland. He ran a wholesale merchandise business in Petersburg, Va with his brother Richard. and speculated in land in many states.
. . .
In 1814 He married Mary (Patsey) Wilson (1792-1886) daughter of John Wilson who built Dans Hill near Danville, Va. In the early 1820's he opened Cunningham's Store along the border with Halifax County, Va and Person County, NC.
. . .
 Alexander and his son John Wilson Cuningham (born Petersburg, Va 1820- 1887) built up the plantation to include 8000 acres and became one of the wealthiest planters in the area. He owned at one time 193 slaves. The Cuningham home called Waverly still exists on Cuningham Road in Person County along with the cemetery where Alexander Cuningham and 7 generations are buried." 

F) As for Wilson, well I would say the man did not want to be found

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Governor at Bridge Opening-1926

                                                         Opening Of New Bridge. 
Richmond. — Governor Harry Flood Byrd, John R. Saunders, attorney general and H.G. Shirley, state highway commissioner. were among the speakers at the opening of the Pamunkey River Bridge at West Point on Monday. September 20. The bridge joins West Point and New Kent county. It connects the section with the national highway to points north. It leads over the Washington route to Bowling Green. Mangohick and King William Courthouse, through to Newport News and Old Point. Outside of this connection with the national highway Richmond is connected with the sections between the Rappahannock and York rivers.
-Northern Neck News, 24 September 1926

Sunday, September 2, 2018

New Pages- New Rosters

You will see on the left, as part of an ongoing program, links to pages with rosters of the New Kent Cavalry (Co. F, 3rd Virginia Cavalry) and the Barhamsville Greys ( Co. B, 53rd Virginia Infantry).

Here are the direct links

Barhamsville Greys

New Kent Cavalry