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Monday, February 1, 2016

Farming Starts Again at White House- 1865


W.H.F. Lee from the Library of Congress
 The Richmond Republic speaking of the White House Plantation in New Kent county, Va, says "Here Gen. Washington married the Custis, whose family it was even  in those days, the ancient homestead. It descended to her son, the late George Washington Park Custis, by whom it was bequeathed to the children of Gen. R.E. Lee. The dwelling house, from which the plantation derived its name, was used by the Federal army as a depot in 1862,and was burnt by Gen. Stoneman during MeClellain's retreat from the the line of the Chickahominy. From that time to the conclusion of the war it was uncultivated, being at all times occupied by the troops of one or the other of the hostile armies. After the surrender of Gen. Lee, his son, William H. F. Lee, without loss of time, repaired to the White House, determined, notwithstanding the lateness of the season, to attempt to make a crop of corn. Armistead and William Christian, two young men formerly of his command, and Andrew Shackelford, of the late Confederate artillery, attended him.
A German and an Irishman and two freedmen were subsequently added to their force. They began plowing on the 29th of April, and have made a splendid crop of corn, which is estimated at fifteen hundred bushels."

-Alexandria Gazette- 23 August 1865


Both Armistead and William Christian show up on the roster of the New Kent Cavalry of the 3rd Regiment of Virginia Cavalry. As for Andrew Shackelford we have a more extensive biographical report. From  Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia of 1884 . . .

Andrew J. Shackelford - was born in King and Queen county, Virginia, March 6, 1844, and his parents, Richard and Mary F. (Stubbs) Shackelford made their home in New Kent county while he was very young. He grew to manhood in this county, and was one of its volunteers for the defense of Virginia in the civil war. He enlisted in 1862, in the Pamunkey Artillery, Custis Lee's division, and served until taken prisoner in April, 1865, at Sailors Creek, Prince Edward county, Virginia, receiving parole at Point Lookout June 22, 1865. In New Kent county, March 19, 1868, Frances W. Mason became his wife. Her birth was in Caroline county, Virginia, December 17, 1841 the date, and Joseph R. and Mary (Atkinson) Mason her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Shackelford are the parents of seven children, born to them on the following dates: Emma V., January 27, 1869; Edward A., September 27, 1870; Joseph B., September 2, 1872; Julia F., December 7, 1873; Lewis J., May 26, 1875; Fannie S., June 17, 1876; Mary Lee, March 13, 1878. The subject of this sketch is one of the prosperous farming residents of St. Peters district with post office address at White House, New Kent county, Virginia.

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