Pamunkey River

Pamunkey River
The Pamunkey River in 1864

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Big Thank You . . .

. . . . to the New Kent Historical Society for the warm reception I received at my talk of July 19th. It was an honor to address the Society.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Simcoe on the Peninsula 1781

John Graves Simcoe
"The Queen's Rangers returned to Petersburg that evening; and his Lordship's whole army arrived there the next day, the 20th of May[1781]: they marched opposite to Westover, and passed the James river on the 24th. Lt Col. Simcoe, while at Westover, received a letter from Gen. Lee, with whom he had been acquainted whilst that gentleman was prisoner in the Jersies, pointing out the enormities committed by the privateers: the proper representation was made to Earl Cornwallis, who took measures to prevent the future misconduct of these licensed miscreants, by representing them to Sir Henry Clinton.
 The army marched towards the Chickahominy, and arrived at Bottom bridge on the 28th. Lt Col. Simcoe, with his cavalry, by a circuit, passed the Chickahominy, and patrolled to New-Castle, where he seized some rebel officers; and on his return, imposed upon and took several Virginia gentlemen, who were watching the motions of Earl Cornwallis. In the evening his Lordship marched; and Lt Col Simcoe halted during the night, and then followed the army; perhaps not without utility, as the rear was uncommonly long, and the road running, in many places, through thickets, patroles(sic) of the enemy might easily have taken a great many stragglers. He divided his cavalry into small parties, left them at different distances, and collected the tired men as well as possible, which was not in the power of the infantry, that formed the rear guard, to effect. Capt Cooke's troop joined the Queen's Rangers, from New-York, but army halted near New-Castle on the 29th, and marched to Hanover Court-house the next day, where some large brass cannon, without carriages, were found, and attempted to be destroyed."

-from Simcoe's military journal : a history of the operations of a partisan corps, called the Queen's Rangers, commanded by Lieut. Col. J.G. Simcoe, during the war of the American Revolution

More on Simcoe and the Queens's Rangers

Monday, July 20, 2015

Burning Boats 1864

Meeting of the Council.
A communication received by the Mayor from certain citizens of the county of New Kent, as also resolutions adopted by the County Court of Charles City, asking that some steps be forth with taken to induce the Confederate Government to desist from the contemplated plan of destroying all the bridges and boats on the Pamunkey and other rivers running through those counties, and also for the protection of their fisheries, was read and referred to a committee of three, consisting of Messrs. Walker, Haskins, and Glazebrook. [As the city of Richmond is largely interested in the successful operation of these fisheries, the object in bringing the matter before the consideration of the Council was that body might take some notice of it previous to its reference to the President of the Confederacy.] It being a subject of some urgency, the committee waited upon His Excellency President Davis soon after the adjournment of the Council.

-The Daily Dispatch: March 24, 1864.

These gentlemen would be, 1) Richard O. Haskins, a director of the Farmers Bank, from Jefferson Ward, 2) Richard F. Walker, printer at the Examiner, from Madison Ward, 3) Larkin W. Glazebrook, a lumber dealer, from Monroe Ward.

Monday, July 13, 2015


From the New Kent County Calendar . . .

July 19 New Kent Historical Society Meeting 2:30 pm at the Historic Courthouse at New Kent. Speaker: Scott McPhail, author of numerous articles on New Kent History.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

At a meeting of the committee for New Kent County . . .

The Laird' himself

At a meeting of the committee for New Kent county, at the courthouse, the 3d of May, 1775. 

Resolved unanimously, that Lord Dunmore's conduct, in removing the powder from the magazine of this colony, on board an armed vessel, at the time and in the manner it appears to have been done, was an ill advised and arbitrary step, tending to disquiet the minds and endanger the safety of his Majesty's loyal subjects of this colony in general, and of the inhabitants of the city of Williamsburg in particular.
Resolved, that his Lordship's verbal answer to the address of the Mayor, Alderman, and Common Council of the city of Williamsburg, was unsatisfactory and evasive*; and that his Lordship's not returning the powder, agreable(sic) to their request, and the known desire of the people of this colony, is a sufficient proof that he was influenced by the worst motives.
Resolved, that this, and other parts of his Lordship's conduct, which have lately transpired, evince him to be an enemy to liberty and the true interests of this colony, and a zealous supporter of tyranny and despotism over the people who have the unhappiness to live under his government; and that he has, thereby, forefeited all title to their confidence.
Resolved, that the city of Williamsburg are entitled to the ready and cheerful assistance of this county, in case they should be in danger from an invasion or insurrection.
Resolved, that the thanks of this committee are due to the committee of Hanover, for communicating their order of the 2d instant; that this committee are sensible of the dangers that threaten us from the Governour's conduct, as well as from other quarters, and will co-operate with a majority of the counties of this colony in such measures as shall be adopted for their defence and preservation.
 It appearing to this committee, that a body of armed men, from the county of Hanover, have marched through this county, in order to make reprisals upon the King's property, to replace the gunpowder taken from the magazine,
Resolved, that such proceedings make it particularly necessary for the inhabitants of this county to prepare for their defence, against any dangers that may ensue in consequence of it, by keeping their arms in the best order, and the greatest readiness, to act on any occasion.
Resolved, that it be recommended to the inhabitants of this county immediately to form a company of volunteers, to be assembled at the lower part of this county, ready to act on any emergency, as may be found necessary.
        By order of the committee.
                          (A copy) WILLIAM SMITH, clerk.

- from the Williamsburg Virginia Gazette

 *"That hearing of an insurrection in a neighboring county, he had removed the powder from the magazine, where he did not think it secure, to a place of perfect security; and that upon his word and honour, whenever it was wanted in any insurrection, it should be delivered in half an hour; that he had removed it in the night time to prevent an alarm, and that Captain Collins had his express commands for the part he had acted; he was surprised to hear the people were under arms on this occasion, and that he should not think it prudent to put powder into their hands in such a situation."