A Guide to the Papers of the Stuart Family Stuart Family, Papers Mss. 2001.3

A Guide to the Papers of the Stuart Family 1831-1865, undated

A Collection in
Kegley Library
Accession Number Mss. 2001.3


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Special Collections, Kegley Library, Wytheville Community College

Special Collections
Kegley Library
Wytheville Community College
Wytheville, Virginia 24382-3308
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Processed by: Special Collections Staff

Repository
Special Collections, Wytheville Community College
Accession number
2001.3
Title
Stuart Family Papers 1831-1865
Physical Characteristics
This collection consists of eight folders.
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Stuart Family Papers, Accession #2001.3, Special Collections, Kegley Library, Wytheville Community College.

Acquisition Information

The original provenance of the letters is unknown. Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood procured the letters through purchase or donation. In 2001 his widow Ruth Anne Chitwood donated the Stuart Family Papers, as part of the W. Randolph Chitwood Collection, to Wytheville Community College.


Biographical/Historical Information

A resident of Cook County, Tennessee, George Stuart (1789-1862) had several children by his first wife including James H. Stuart, Mary Stuart Benham, David Stuart, John H. Stuart, and George Stuart Jr. On 14 February 1832 he married Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward (1796-1864), the wealthy widow of James Ward (1781-1823) and daughter of prosperous Evansham merchant William Hay (1763-1839). Margaret Stuart inherited valuable estates in land, slaves, and money from her father and her first husband; her second husband George Stuart purchased interest in the estates both of James Ward and William Hay. George traveled frequently to Nashville, Tennessee in order to collect debts and conduct legal transactions pertaining to these estates. In 1853, the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad Company appointed him to their Board of Directors; Subsequently, he journeyed to Lynchburg, Virginia frequently on railroad business.

The Stuarts raised five children including Jane Stuart (1832-1868), James Ward Stuart (1835-1920), Margaret Stuart (1837-1856), William Stuart (1839-1888), and Laura Stuart Thomas (1841-1870). Stuart enjoyed prosperity until his death in 1862. The 1850 census shows him with an estate worth $15,000 and the 1860 census show his assets worth $25,000 in real estate and $75,000 in personal property.

James Ward Stuart attended law school at the University of Virginia but did not graduate. He worked instead a merchant and farmer, accumulating modest wealth. The 1860 census shows him living with his father and worth $800 in real estate and $6,000 in personal property. Stuart joined Co. A. of the 13th Va. Battalion of Light Artillery, participating in campaigns in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and Petersburg. Returning to Wythe County after the war, he married Minerva Margaret Buchanan with whom he had four children. After Minerva's death, he married her sister Martha Caroline Buchanan in 1879; they had four children. Stuart was a general store merchant in the Black Lick district. In 1870, W. C. Aumann and W. A. Stuart sold him their store on the Black Lick Turnpike. He died in 1920 at Wilmore, Kentucky and is buried in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

William Stuart worked as a clerk before and after the Civil War. He joined Co. A of the 4th Va. Infantry Regiment in April 1861 as a private and advanced to ordnance sergeant in November 1863. Serving with the famed Stonewall Brigade, he participated in major battles of the Civil War including the Valley Campaign, Seven Days Campaign, 2nd Bull Run, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania. Unfortunately his letters during these battles are not extant. However, he does describe actions of the 4th Va. Infantry Regiment at Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, and the Petersburg Campaign in letters in this collection. After the war, Stuart married Nannie Hancock and lived in the Black Lick district of Wythe County with his father-in-law L. D. Hancock. The 1870 census lists him with $5,000 in real estate and $2,000 in personal property. The 1880 census lists him as working as an engineer. No information has been found regarding children born to Nannie and William Stuart. He died in 1888 and is buried in East End cemetery in Wytheville, Virginia.

Laura Stuart lived with her father, mother, and sister Jane in Wytheville during the Civil War. She married Charles Benton Thomas on 15 March 1870 in Wytheville, Virginia in a Presbyterian ceremony conducted by Rev. James T. Leftwich. Thomas, son of wealthy Smyth County entrepreneur Abijah Thomas, graduated from Emory and Henry College in 1861. Throughout the Civil War he managed his father's tannery and iron works (known as Sparkling Mountain Tannery and Onondaga Tannery and the Marion Magnetic Furnace). Until January 1866, she remained at the family home in Wytheville while her husband supervised the construction on their house near Onondaga Tannery near Marion, Virginia. The couple lived in Marion until November 1867 when Charles Benton Thomas assumed management of his father's Mount Vernon Cotton Factory.

Unfortunately, the cotton factory proved a liability and the Thomas family moved to Norfolk, Virginia in April 1869. The family returned to Wytheville two months later but Charles Benton Thomas continued working for the George J. Rogers Cotton Broker Purchasing Agency in Norfolk. As a cotton agent, he traveled excessively and left Laura and his son Edward in Wytheville.

Laura Stuart Thomas and Charles Benton Thomas had two children, George Stuart (1866-1869) and Edward A. (1868-1921). Both sons are buried in St. John's Lutheran Church cemetery beside their mother who died in October 1870 of consumption.

After the death of Laura, Thomas studied law at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, graduating with his degree in 1872. He practiced both in Wytheville and Rural Retreat. On 24 July 1878, Thomas married Elizabeth Pierce Crockett and settled near his brother-in-law Willliam Stuart in the northern Black Lick district (known as District III in the 1880 census). Elizabeth (known as Lizzie) and Charles Benton Thomas raised seven children including Elizabeth Thomas Hanson, William Crockett Thomas, Laura Thomas Hickok, Charles Benton Thomas Jr., Robert P. Thomas, Charles Mitchell Thomas, and David Graham Thomas.

Thomas remained a devoted member of the Presbyterian Church throughout his life, serving as an elder and clerk of the Session. He attended Royal Oak Presbyterian Church as a youth and then joined Wytheville Presbyterian Church where he worshipped until his death on 15 February 1923.

Crockett, Mary Harrison Bowyer. Born [7 May]1801. Married 1) Henry Bowyer [unknown]. Married 2) Charles Lewis Crockett [1822]. Died 17 February 1875. Buried East End Cemetery, Wytheville, Virginia. Mother of Robert Henry Crockett, James Lucian Corckett, Madison Crockett, Maria Crockett Gleaves, Josephine A. Crockett, Mary Crockett, and Edward L. Crockett.

Hart, William A. Died 2 May 1912. Buried Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland. Member Co. A, Otey Battery, 13th Virginia Regiment of Light Artillery.

Slaymaker, Henry C. Born 5 December 1843 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Married Anna L. [unknown]. Died 27 February 1880 in Alexandria, Virginia.

Slaymaker, William A. Member Co. A, Otey Battery, 13th Virginia Regiment of Light Artillery.

Stuart, George. Born 5 November 1789 in Tennessee. Married 1) [unknown]. Married 2) Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward 14 February 1832. Died 8 March 1862. Buried St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery, Wytheville, Virginia. Father of (1st marriage) James H. Stuart, Mary Stuart Benham, David Stuart, John H. Stuart, and George Stuart Jr.; (2nd marriage) Jane Stuart, James Ward Stuart, Margaret Stuart, William Stuart, and Laura Stuart Thomas.

Stuart, James Ward. Born 23 February 1835. Married 1) Minerva Margaret Buchanan 27 November 1867. Married 2) Martha Caroline Buchanan 28 November 1879. Died 12 October 1920 in Wilmore, Kentucky. Buried in Nicholasville, Kentucky. Son of George Stuart and Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart. Father of (1st marriage) George S. Stuart, Robert Crockett Stuart, John Buchanan Stuart, Minerva Stuart; (2nd marriage) Mary Elizabeth Stuart, Martha Hay Stuart, James Ward Stuart Jr., and Blanche Buchanan Stuart. Member Co. A, Otey Battery, 13th Virginia Regiment of Light Artillery.

Stuart, Jane. Born 25 November 1832. Died 13 April 1868. Buried in St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery, Wytheville, Virginia. Daughter of George Stuart and Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart.

Stuart, Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward. Born 5 January 1796. Married 1) James Ward 18 March 1817. Married 2) George Stuart 14 February 1832. Died 30 July 1864. Buried St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery, Wytheville, Virginia. Daughter of William Hay and Martha Buchanan Hay. Mother of Jane Stuart, James Ward Stuart, Margaret Stuart, William Stuart, and Laura Stuart Thomas.

Stuart, William. Born 24 January 1839. Married Nannie D. Hancock [unknown]. Died 2 September 1888. Buried East End Cemetery, Wytheville, Virginia. Son of George Stuart and Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart. Member of Co. A, 4th Virginia Infantry Regiment.

Thomas, Charles Benton. Born 11 November 1837 *. Married 1) Laura Stuart Thomas 15 March 1865. Married 2) Elizabeth Pierce Crockett 24 July 1878. Died 15 February 1923. Buried in East End Cemetery, Wytheville, Virginia. Son of Abijah Thomas and Priscilla Cavinette Scott. Father of George Stuart Thomas and Edward A. Thomas.

* [Mack Sturgill in Abijah Thomas and His Octagonal House gives this date but Dr. W. R. Chitwood in Tombstone Inscriptions: East End Cemetery gives 4 November 1837.

Thomas, Edward A. Born 15 April 1868. Married [unknown]. Died 26 April 1921. Buried St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery, Wytheville, Virginia. Son of Charles Benton Thomas and Laura Stuart Thomas. Father of Lawrence Thomas and Virginia Thomas.

Thomas, George Stuart. Born 6 April 1866. Died 11 August 1869. Buried St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery, Wytheville, Virginia. Son of Charles Benton Thomas and Laura Stuart Thomas.

Thomas, Laura Stuart. Born 21 December 1841. Married Charles Benton Thomas 15 March 1865. Died 10 October 1870. Buried St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery, Wytheville, Virginia. Daughter of George Stuart Sr. and Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart. Mother of George Stuart Thomas and Edward A. Thomas.

Walton, Waldo W. Member Co. A, Otey Battery, 13th Virginia Regiment of Light Artillery.

Scope and Content

The Stuart Family Papers chronicle the life of wealthy Wythe County farmer George Stuart, his wife Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, and their children James Ward Stuart, William Stuart, Laura Stuart, and Jane Stuart. The collection consists of antebellum and Civil War correspondence between family members and friends. Also included are several letters to Laura Stuart from her fiancé and husband Charles Benton Thomas of Smyth County, Virginia. Wartime letters from William Stuart (Co. A, 4th Virginia Infantry Regiment) and James Ward Stuart (Co. A, Otey Battery, 13th Virginia Battalion of Light Artillery) to Laura and Jane Stuart provide researchers information on the life of Confederate soldiers during the East Tennessee campaign, battle of Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, and the Petersburg siege. Fellow soldiers of her brother James Ward Stuart including William A. Slaymaker, Henry C. Slaymaker, and Waldo W. Walton also wrote Laura Stuart.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into ten folders comprising correspondence (1831-1865, undated). Folder 1 (Correspondence, 1831-1854) contains letters written in the early 1850s from George Stuart to his second wife Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart regarding his business transactions in Nashville, Tennessee and his service with the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. Also included in Folder 1 is an 1831 letter from Mary Harrison Crockett to Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart regarding childbirth complications. An 1854 letter from James Ward Stuart at the University of Virginia to his parents is also contained in this folder.

Folder 2 (1855-1860) contains letters written by George Stuart to his wife Margaret Stuart regarding the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, letters to Laura Stuart from her parents, a letter from James Ward Stuart at the University of Virginia to his parents, and a letter from Alex S. Mathews to George Stuart regarding the turnpike. Also included is a letter from Mary [unknown] to Margaret Stuart and a letter from J. L. Hay, a student at Emory and Henry, to Jane Stuart.

Folder 3 (1863), Folder 4 (January - March 1864), and Folder 5 (April - July 1864) are comprised of letters from James Ward Stuart, W. A. Slaymaker, Henry C. Slaymaker, Waldo W. Walton, and William A. Hurt to Laura Stuart regarding camp life and campaigns of Co. A, Otey Battery, 13th Va. Battalion of Light Artillery, as well as instructions from James Stuart regarding family business, slaves, and agriculture.

Folder 6 (August - September 1864), Folder 7 (October 1864), and Folder 8 (November - December 1864) contain letters of Charles Benton Thomas to Laura Stuart regarding their engagement, his work at Marion Magnetic Furnace, and the Battle of Saltville. Letters from James Ward Stuart in these folders continue a chronicle of his Confederate service including the siege of Petersburg. Letters from William Stuart describe the battles of Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek and the participation of the 4th Va. Infantry Regiment. James Ward Stuart also advises his sister regarding management of slaves, crops, and business interests in Wythe County.

Letters from Charles Benton Thomas to Laura Stuart regarding their marriage and his work at the Onondaga Tannery and Marion Magnetic Furnace, and business transactions of his father Abijah Thomas are found in Folder 9 (January - April 1865) and Folder 10 (June - December 1865). Also contained in these folders are letters from James Ward Stuart, Waldo W. Walton, and William Stuart to Laura Stuart and Jane Stuart that provide insight into the Petersburg campaign. Post-war letters from William Stuart provide a glimpse into his life in Mount Airy, Virginia. Finally, letters from Jane Stuart to Laura Stuart Thomas give information on her illness and treatment by Mrs. Spiller, and household matters.

Contents List

Correspondence 1831-1854
  • Mary Harrison Crockett, Landerdale, [unknown] to Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward, Wythe Court House, Virginia. 24 February 1831.
    Box-folder: 1:1

    2 p. Re: birth of her latest child, childbirth and nursing complications, and illness of her son Madison and daughter Maria. Infant was Josephine Crockett.

  • George Stuart, Grainger County 1 1/2 miles west of Rutledge, Tennessee, to Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 16 January 1850.
    Box-folder: 1:1

    1 p. Re: his trip home interrupted by rain, his business transactions in Nashville with Thomas Harding, George Harding, and Henry P. Harding.

  • George Stuart, Nashville, Tennessee to Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 2 May 1852.
    Box-folder: 1:1

    2 p. Re: his business in Nashville, his insomnia, plans to attend church in Nashville, and her Sunday School class.

  • George Stuart, Nashville, Tennessee to Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 4 May 1852.
    Box-folder: 1:1

    4 p. Re: his attempts to get money owed him by Joseph T. [Desnoss?] from Harding claim, cable bridge in Nashville, new capitol building, excessive mourning of Mrs. James Knox Polk, Mrs. Hoppess in Nashville, and girls' school at Rogersville

  • George Stuart, Nashville, Tennessee to Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 6 May 1852.
    Box-folder: 1:1

    2 p. Re: filing of petition in court to procure his share of sale of Harding land, hiring of lawyer, [Sckelt Desnoss?], and plans to return home.

  • George Stuart, Lynchburg, Virginia to Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 27 October 1854.
    Box-folder: 1:1

    1 p.

  • James Ward Stuart, University, Charlottesville, Virginia to George Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 14 December 1854.
    Box-folder: 1:1

    2 p. Re: construction of Virginia and Tennessee Railroad near Wytheville, weather, school, and cost of wood.

  • George Stuart, Lynchburg, Virginia to Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 24 [unknown] 1854.
    Box-folder: 1:1

    1 p. Re: trip home.

Correspondence 1855-1860
  • Alex S. Mathews, Wytheville, Virginia to George Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 17 April 1855.
    Box-folder: 1:2

    1 p. Re: request to borrow surveyor's chair to measure "turnpike road."

  • James Ward Stuart, University, to George Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 24 June 1855.
    Box-folder: 1:2

    1 p. Re: plans to return to Wytheville.

  • George Stuart, Lynchburg, Virginia to Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 7 [unknown] 1855.
    Box-folder: 1:2

    1 p. Re: safe trip.

  • George Stuart, Lynchburg, Virginia to Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 26 [unknown] 1855.
    Box-folder: 1:2

    1 p. Re: meeting about Virginia and Tennessee Railroad Company.

  • Mary [unknown], Jeffersonville, Virginia to [Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia]. 1 January 1856.
    Box-folder: 1:2

    2 p. Re: return trip from Wytheville, farm business, and using herbs for remedies. Mentions Mr. Yonce, Mrs. Winton, Mr. Shannon.

  • George Stuart, Lynchburg, Virginia to Margaret McCutchon Hay Ward Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 18 March 1856.
    Box-folder: 1:2

    1 p.

  • J. L. Hay, Emory, Virginia to Jane Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 27 September 1858.
    Box-folder: 1:2

    4 p. Re: visit of James Greever and him to see Marcellus [unknown], White family, William White, and marriage of John [unknown].

  • George Stuart and Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia to Laura Stuart. 21 September 1860.
    Box-folder: 1:2

    3 p. Re: departure of summer visitors from the South, and difference in agriculture in the Deep South and southwestern Virginia.

  • George Stuart and Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia to Laura Stuart, [unknown]. 23 September 1860.
    Box-folder: 1:2

    3 p. Re: visit of H. S. Mathews and his daughters, Lucy Spiller, Mr. McDonald, Mrs. Morrison, and Miss Long to Sunday School, and recovery of Mariah Spence. [Frances Mariah Spence died 23 October 1860]

Correspondence 1863
  • W. A. Slaymaker [William A. Slaymaker], camp near Bull's Gap, Tennessee to Mrs. Stewart [Stuart], Wytheville, Virginia. 18 January 1863.
    Box-folder: 1:3

    4 p. Re: thanks for her hospitality, health of James Ward Stuart, and walk of fifty-two miles to winter quarters.

  • H. C. Slaymaker [Henry C. Slaymaker], camp near Saltville, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 21 September 1863.
    Box-folder: 1:3

    1 p. Re: crochet needle he made her.

  • J. D. Mitchell, Lynchburg, Virginia to Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 5 November 1863.
    Box-folder: 1:3

    4 p. Re: thanks for her hospitality during his summer visit, his improved health, Rev. Leftwich, and religious sentiments.

Correspondence January - March 1864
  • James Ward Stuart, camp near Bull's Gap, Tennessee to Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 19 January 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:4

    2 p. Re: return trip to his battalion and march of fifty-five miles.

  • W. A. Slaymaker [William A. Slaymaker], camp on the Nolichucky [Tennessee] to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 28 January 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:4

    4 p. Re: her brother James Ward Stuart, description of his tent quarters, prospects for battalion to return to Virginia, and description of Nolichucky River.

  • James Ward Stuart, camp near Morristown, Tennessee to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 19 February 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:4

    2 p. Re: his journey to camp through Glade Spring, Bristol in train that derailed and in a car "without fire and the slop out."

  • James Ward Stuart, camp at Carter's Station, Tennessee to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 27 February 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:4

    1 p. Re: army of General James Longstreet in East Tennessee, the "Mudwall" Brigade, and his improving health.

  • [William A. Slaymaker], camp near Carter's Gap, Tennessee to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 29 February 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:4

    4 p. [fragment]. Re: boredom in camp - "Mr. Longstreet seems to think us of so little consequence that instead of ordering us to the front in case of battle, he orders us to the rear," proposed visit of James Ward Stuart to his "Union friend" in Elizabethton, reduction of wagons to transport equipment, and rumors of move into Kentucky.

  • W. W. Walton [Waldo W. Walton], camp near Carter's Depot, Tennessee to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 4 March 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:4

    3 p. Re: readiness of guns to be loaded onto cars at the depot, and rumor of move into Kentucky.

  • James Ward Stuart, camp near Greenville, Tennessee to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 10 March 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:4

    1 p. Re: visit to Jonesboro, seeing pretty daughters of Mr. Maxwell, mentions Henry Crockett, his weight gain that makes him look "bloated," advice to hire out slaves Alf and Mat, and agreement with Ben Beville about wheat.

  • James Ward Stuart, camp near Bull's Gap, Tennessee to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 19 March 1864. Capperson, and gift of smoking tobacco and sack from Mr. Paulett.
    Box-folder: 1:4

    2 p. Re: small skirmish with Federal forces near Greeneville, expectations of soldiers that "this campaign to win them the war," Gus Crockett, request for Laura to repair his boots by W. H.

  • W. A. Slaymaker [William A. Slaymaker], camp near Greeneville, Tennessee to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 24 March 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:4

    4 p. Re: rumors of return to Virginia, Wharton's Brigade, snow, hardship of winter quarters especially for James Ward Stuart, and teasing by James Ward Stuart for excessive letter writing of Slaymaker and Waldo W. Walton.

Correspondence April - July 1864
  • James Ward Stuart, camp about 7 miles west of Bristol, Tennessee to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 2 April 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:5

    2 p. Re: evacuation of East Tennessee by Confederate forces, instructions for business transactions with [unknown] Sexton in Wytheville (whom he deems an "infamous swindler"), and a runaway slave Elijah owned by Jno. Stuart.

  • James Ward Stuart, camp near Col. J. H. Earnest's, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 4 April 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:5

    4 p. Re: camp near Glade Spring, horse obtained by Mr. Bonham, insurance on the Mt. Airy "stone house," request for leather from Mr. Paulett, request for leather from Mr. Paulett, request for Laura to take care of his apple trees, visit of Mr. Leftwich in Abingdon, and cough of his mother.

  • James Ward Stuart, camp 4 miles east of Bristol, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 13 April 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:5

    4 p. Re: sermons by Rev. Brown of Abingdon and Chaplain Mosely, rumors regarding battalion to be sent to armies of Gen. Breckinridge or Gen. Buckner, return of runaway slave Elijah to his master Jno. Stuart, his plans to "secede" from his mess when Henry C. Slaymaker joins the battalion - "I am satisfied that he & I can't get along together," and crop of sorghum molasses.

  • James Ward Stuart, camp 4 miles east of Bristol, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 21 April 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:5

    3 p. Re: suggestion to lay in supplies for the coming season, scarcity of provisions near Bristol and East Tennessee, and request for newspapers.

  • Waldo W. Walton, camp near the line of battle, Hanover County, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 8 June 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:5
    3 p. Re: James Ward Stuart being in the trenches, firing along the line, movement of Ulysses S. Grant, mentions William Stuart and Jay Hanson and John Roberts, and assignment of Col. John Floyd King to command of Gen. Breckinridge.
  • James Ward Stuart, camp near Petersburg, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 12 July 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:5

    4 p. Re: ill health of their mother, request to take their mother to Dr. Seldon or Dr. Moore, the Petersburg campaign -- "I think the present campaign will end the war & I hope to return," description of trenches and line of defense, and his illness of diarrhea.

  • William A. Hart, camp near Petersburg, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 21 July 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:5

    2 p. Re: hospitalization of James Ward Stuart for diarrhea.

Correspondence August - September 1864
  • Charles Benton Thomas, Marion Magnetic Furnace, Smyth County, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 14 August 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:6

    4 p. Re: death of her mother Margaret McCutcheon Hay Ward Stuart, and request for her answer to his proposal of marriage.

  • Charles Benton Thomas to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 30 August 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:6

    4 p. Re: her acceptance of his proposal of marriage, his displeasure at her insisting to postpone the marriage, planned marriage of his sister Virginia Ann Thomas to Dr. John Davis Carter, and his hopes for marriage before Christmas.

  • James Ward Stuart, in the trenches, Otey Battalion, 13th Va. Battalion Artillery, Longstreet's Camp, Petersburg to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 29 September 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:6

    2 p. Re: his trouble finding his camp in Petersburg, mentions Waldo W. Walton, work digging trenches, poor chances for an early engagement with the enemy, collection of debts and payments from Charles Crockett, James Brown, and request for her to send by Henry Crockett the overcoat of William Stuart.

  • Charles Benton Thomas, Bachelor's Headquarters, Marion Magnetic Furnace, Smyth County, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 29 September 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:6

    3 p. Re: reported movement of Federal forces towards Saltville, and his entreaties for her to marry him sooner.

  • William Stuart, Waynesboro, Augusta County, Virginia to Jane Stuart and Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 20 September 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:6

    2 p. [faded and torn]. Re: battle of Fisher's Hill, and capture of George Hanson and Harold Mathews by Federal troops.

Correspondence October 1864
  • Charles Benton Thomas, Marion Magnetic Furnace, Smyth County, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 1 October 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:7

    4 p. Re: his orders from Gen. Echols to return his men to work at the furnace since it is in blast, advancement of Federal forces, and his dismay at her postponement of their wedding.

  • James Ward Stuart, camp near Petersburg, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 7 October 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:7

    2 p. [faded]. Re: life in the trenches and lines around Petersburg, request for information of battle at Saltville, reports of reinforcements to Grant's army, and requests her to hire out the "negroes ... before they eat you out of house & home."

  • William Stuart, New Market, Rockingham County, Virginia to Laura Stuart and Jane Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 21 October 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:7

    4 p. Re: detailed description of battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia [19 October 1864], secondary skirmish at Fisher's Hill, casualties of the 4th Virginia Infantry Regiment, and his nighttime escape from capture by Federal forces.

  • Charles Benton Thomas, Marion Magnetic Furnace, Smyth County, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 29 October 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:7

    1 p. Re: his dismay at her not writing to him.

  • James Ward Stuart, trenches, Petersburg, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 31 October 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:7

    4 p. Re: daily occupation of digging trenches, description of life in the trenches including food and cooking, description of artillery and infantry armament, "detailed" men being put into ranks, Fort Gregg "2 1/2 miles to our right," health of "Mammy," inquiry about "Miss Marion," hiring of slave Alex to Mr. John Buchanan, and his slave Charles cooking for the soldiers.

  • William Stuart, camp at New Market, Virginia to Laura Stuart and Jane Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia . 31 October 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:7

    4 p. Re: chastisement for lack of communication, and their bad writing and spelling.

Correspondence November - December 1864
  • James Ward Stuart, camp 4 miles of S. W. of Petersburg, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 11 November 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:8

    2 p. Re: bad weather, battalion being placed in reserve, wounding of Thomas M. Fendley, Onslow B. Sims, John William Haney, and Henry C. Slaymaker, nighttime alarms in the trenches, and requests that she hire out slave Martha "at once."

  • Charles Benton Thomas, Headquarters Bachelor's Division, Marion Magnetic Furnace, Smyth County, Virginia] to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 28 November 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:8

    4 p. Re: a "grave charge against your fidelity," visit of Rev. J. T. Leftwich, deer hunting, Rev. Leftwich's wife -- "I do really think he does glory more in the golden chains as he calls them by which he is bound up by that little Yankee wife of his then any man I ever saw," and his continued dismay at the postponement of their wedding.

  • James Ward Stuart, Camp Walker, 4 miles S. W. of Petersburg, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 29 November 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:8

    4 p. Re: duties of cleaning camp, building winter huts, digging wells, inquiry about return of his slave Charles to Wytheville, his cooking duties, his request for Mr. Paulett to send him two bushels of beans, and request for her to send potatoes, apples, onions, molasses, red peppers, apple butter and beans. He also inquires about hiring out of slave Martha, payment of tax-in-kind, date of slave Mammy's death, hiring of slave Alex to Jno. Buchanan, and reason for postponement of wedding to Charles Benton Thomas.

  • Charles Benton Thomas, Marion Magnetic Furnace, Smyth County, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 7 December 1864.
    Box-folder: 1:8

    4 p. Re: his missing her, his continued dismay over postponement of wedding, and his admonishment for her not to show "partiality to other young gentlemen after I gave you such a good lecturing about it."

Correspondence January - April 1865
  • Charles Benton Thomas, Mountain View, Smyth County, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 15 January 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:9

    3 p. Re: her role as his guardian angel, and visit to cousin Vic [Victoria Apperson Hull] and Pauline Hull and their knowledge of the engagement.

  • Charles Benton Thomas, Mountain View, Smyth County, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 22 January 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:9

    3 p. Re: assurance that she will come to love him "I don't think I have ever yet failed to gain the affectionate regard of any worthy person with whom I have long associated."

  • Waldo W. Walton, Fort Gregg, near Petersburg, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 22 February 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:9

    3 p. Re: mentions possibility of J. Williamson McGavock joining battalion -- "I hope he will succeed I want him down here so I can take care of him," return of William A. Slaymaker to duty, Henry C. Slaymaker in Wilmington, N. C., and marriage of Mary Sanders.

  • Charles Benton Thomas, Marion Magnetic Furnace, Smyth County, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 3 March 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:9

    2 p. Re: plans for wedding on 15 March 1865, and location of Rev. Leftwich.

  • James Ward Stuart, Camp Pegram, Virginia to Laura Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia. 13 March 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:9

    2 p. Re: marriage of William Stuart and Nannie Hancock, approval of admittance of J. Williamson McGavock into battalion, and state of war "it seems to me this campaign must end the war on way or the other."

  • William Stuart, Camp Ewell, Petersburg, Virginia to [Jane Stuart], Wytheville, Virginia.. 16 March 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:9

    3 p. [faded]. Re: mentions Nannie Hancock, and correction of her belief that battalion will go to North Carolina.

  • William Stuart, in the trenches immediately in front of Petersburg, Virginia to [Jane Stuart], Wytheville, Virginia. 19 March 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:9

    2 p. Re: location of James Ward Stuart near Burgess Mill on the Boydton Plank Road, and request for her to attend to his business.

  • Jane Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia to Laura Stuart Thomas, Smyth County, Virginia. 21 April 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:9

    2 p. Re: health of William Stuart who returned from Mt. Airy and request to send Alf to the depot to pick her up.

Correspondence June - December 1865
  • Charles Benton Thomas, Mountain View, Smyth County, Virginia to Laura Stuart Thomas, Wytheville, Virginia. 11 June 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:10

    2 p. Re: working on mill, her more "judicious" love for him, mentions Mr. Benham, Jim Byars, and Virginia Ann Thomas Carter and Dr. John Davis Carter.

  • Charles Benton Thomas, Smyth County, Virginia to Laura Stuart Thomas, Wytheville, Virginia. 24 September 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:10

    4 p. Re: construction of tannery near Marion in Smyth County, successful business trip of Abijah Thomas in New York City, "he thinks that the leather business will be very profitable," sale of his iron, plans to buy house in Marion, property of George Venable for sale for $2,000, thoughts of going in to business with Scott Staley, and extraction of her tooth.

  • William Stuart, Mount Airy, Virginia to "Ollie & Benton" [Laura Stuart Thomas and Charles Benton Thomas], Marion, Virginia. 2 November 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:10

    3 p. [faded]. Re: encouragement to shop at his store, Mr. Paulett, and Minerva Margaret Buchanan.

  • Jane Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia to Laura Stuart Thomas, Marion, Virginia. 11 November 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:10

    2 p. Re: chastisement for not writing her, plans to rent out the family house, her plans to board with the buyer, departure of her cook Rose, and visit of Mr. Lacy.

  • William Stuart, Mount Airy, Virginia to Laura Stuart Thomas, Marion, Virginia. 17 November 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:10

    2 p. Re: news of his family - "My family are well & getting along very well & don't fight hardly any. Hope you & your man have quit fighting," trip of James Ward Stuart to the northern states, former cook Rose working for Bob Preston at the "Depot," and Waldo W. Walton. NOTE: on the reverse of this letter is another letter written by Waldo W. Walton.

  • Waldo W. Walton, Mt. Airy, Virginia to [Laura Stuart Thomas?]. 10 Nov. 1871.
    Box-folder: 1:10

    2 p. Re: trip of William Stuart and himself to visit.

  • Jane Stuart, Wytheville, Virginia to Laura Stuart Thomas, Marion, Virginia. 31 November 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:10

    2 p. Re: her illness of cough and cold, treatment of her by Mrs. Spiller with morphine, her praise of Mrs. Spiller -- "I think Mrs. Spiller a much better Dr. than her distinguished brother. I showed her the medicine I had been taken which he sent me & she advised me to take no more of it."

  • Charles Benton Thomas, Marion, Virginia to Laura Stuart Thomas, Wytheville, Virginia. 11 December 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:10

    2 p. Re: illness of Priscilla Scott Thomas, death and funeral of "Uncle Edward" [possibly Edward A. Scott], furniture for their house, property in Alexandria [probably the Mount Vernon Cotton Factory] -- "I have no confidence whatever with the success of the enterprise," and his father [Abijah Thomas] giving him "a start at the tannery & then turn the entire management of it over to me."

  • Charles Benton Thomas, Marion, Virginia to Laura Stuart Thomas [Wytheville, Virginia.] 18 December 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:10

    4 p. Re: health of infant nephew Thomas Martin Carter [son of Virginia Ann Thomas Carter and John Davis Carter], visit of Colonel Carter, construction work on their house, his desire to enter business partnership with James Ward Stuart, his wish that she join the church, possibility of Lucy [unknown] to work for them, hiring of former slave Sam [unknown] for work at tannery "I could give him the same wages I am giving the common white laborer in my employment," and good conditions for employees in shoe factory of Galahan [Gollehon].

  • Charles Benton Thomas, Marion, Virginia to Laura Stuart Thomas, Wytheville, Virginia. 20 December 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:10

    2 p. Re: completion of construction of their house, and work at tannery.

  • Charles Benton Thomas, Marion, Virginia to Laura Stuart Thomas, [Wytheville, Virginia. 23 December 1865.
    Box-folder: 1:10

    2 p. [fragment] Re: sawing shingles for house, work on portico, butchering of hogs, inquiry about her plans to move into new house, and inquiry about hiring of former slaves Lucy, Fount, and Sam, and Mose White a former servant of Oral Sprinkle.

  • [unknown] to Jane Stuart and Laura Stuart Thomas [unknown]. N.d.
    Box-folder: 1:10

    2 p. Re: baby of Laura Stuart Thomas [George Stuart Thomas], spread of whooping cough among children in town, and Tom [unknown] and Wesley Paulett.