State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March Comes in Like a Lion- Timberlake, Young and Old.

Tuesday morning...March 15, 1864.

from the Peninsula — Kilpatrick attempting to go back by the Rappahannock.
. . .

On their route down from Richmond, after the failure of the raid, Kilpatrick's men acted in a most barbarous manner to the inoffensive and helpless people of New Kent and James City. From the Cross Roads in New Kent, where the vandals entered the stage road, down to Barhamsville, in the same county, they burnt and pillaged nearly every house. At Barhamsville, they destroyed the barn of Nelson Timberlake, burning all his corn and fodder, and stole every pound of his meat. A Mr. James Taylor, who remonstrated with them for their outrages, was knocked down, and beaten until he became insensible. Other citizens were most outrageously treated.

-The Daily Dispatch
: March 15, 1864

Map of New Kent, Charles City, James City and York counties.Gilmer collection

The map above gives you an idea of the area of easternmost New Kent in 1864; I've underlined the Timberlake and Taylor homesteads with blue lines. James R. Taylor was a farmer owning some 200 acres near the church at Barhamsville. I know rather more about Thomas Nelson Timberlake. A merchant and former postmaster of Barhamsville, the owner of  some 250 acres and 14 adult slaves, he was approximately 62 in 1864. At least one of his sons was in the Confederate army at the time(the plethora of "James Timberlake"s make things confusing.) James P. Timberlake had enlisted as a private in the Co. F, Third Virginia Cavalry in  May 1862, presumably at the age of 17, and served in that unit until March 1864. I do not know what brought him to New Kent in the winter of 1863-64, but he is listed in Union records as being captured by "Kilpatrick's cavalry" on March 2, 1864 at New Kent Courthouse.  It being winter and the time that Nineteenth Century armies would theoretically have been in camp he was perhaps on furlough. The records of the Confederate army list him as being "in hands of enemy since 15, Jan 1864." Whatever the date, young James Timberlake would spend the next year in Union prison camps before being exchanged in February 1865.

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