A Guide to the Micajah Woods Papers Woods, Micajah. 10279

A Guide to the Micajah Woods Papers

A Collection in the
Special Collections Department
Accession number 10279


University of Virginia Library

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4110
Phone: (434) 243-1776
Fax: (434) 924-4968
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© 1997 By the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. All rights reserved.

Funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Special Collections Department Staff

University of Virginia. Library. Special Collections Dept. Alderman Library University of Virginia Charlottesville, Virginia 22903 USA
Collection Number
Micajah Woods Papers 1847-1926
ca. 760 items
Mrs. Thomas H. Fox

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

See the University of Virginia Library’s use policy.

Preferred Citation

Micajah Woods Papers, Accession 10279, Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library

Acquisition Information

The collection was given to the library by Mrs. Thomas H. Fox on 24 April 1978.

Funding Note

Funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Biographical Sketch

Micajah Woods , the son of John Rodes Woods and Sabina Lewis Stewart Creigh , was born on May 17, 1844, at " Holkham , " his parents' residence near Ivy Depot , in Albemarle County, Virginia . The eldest son of a family of ten children, he received his early education at Lewisburg Academy , the military school at Charlottesville , and the Bloomfield Academy . In August 1861, at the age of seventeen, he joined the Confederate Army as aide-de-camp on the staff of General John B. Floyd in West Virginia . He spent the winter of 1861-1862 at the University of Virginia , being under military age. In May 1862, Woods joined the Second Virginia Cavalry (Co. K) and fought under "Stonewall" Jackson at Port Republic , under J. E. B. Stuart in the Northern Virginia raids, and in the battles of Second Manassas , Crampton's Gap , and Sharpsburg .

In October 1862, he was appointed first lieutenant of cavalry in the Virginia State Line , recently organized by General Floyd. He spent the winter of 1862-1863 involved in campaigns in West Virginia and Kentucky . From April 1863, to the close of the war he served as first lieutenant in Jackson's (Virginia) Horse Artillery , participating in the battle of Gettysburg , July 3, 1863, and the battles of New Market , Second Cold Harbor , Lynchburg , Fisher's Hill , and Monocacy .

After the war he returned to the University of Virginia where he studied for three sessions, receiving a Bachelor of Law degree in June, 1868. He began his practice in Charlottesville ; and, in 1870 was elected commonwealth attorney, a position he held until his death in 1911. In 1881 Woods was elected and commissioned captain of the Monticello Guard , and commanded the company at the Yorktown Centennial in October of that year. In 1889, the John Bowie Strange Camp, United Confederate Veterans , was organized with Woods as commander. In 1909 he served as president of the Virginia State Bar Association .

On June 9, 1874, Woods married Matilda ("Tillie") Minor Morris , the second daughter of Edward Watts Morris and Matilda E. Coleman of " Clazemont , " Hanover County, Virginia . They had five children: Edward Morris , b. March 17, 1875; Sallie Stuart , b. June 5, 1876, m. April 28, 1910 to William James Rucker of St. James, Missouri; Matilda (Maud) Coleman b. August 23, 1877, d. August 24, 1910; Mary Watts , b. August 9, 1880, m. February 13, 1908 to Frank Lupton of Birmingham, Alabama; and Lettie Page , b. October 23, 1888, m. June 1, 1921 to Martin E. Rehfuss . Edward Morris Woods , the couple's only son, disappeared after 1902 and apparently died sometime before 1911. The Woods' daughters were renowned for their beauty; Maud Coleman Woods was one of the two women chosen to typify the beauty of North and South America on the official emblem of the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo in 1901.

Scope and Content

This collection, consisting of ca. 760 items, (5 Hollinger boxes, 22-1/2 linear shelf inches), includes the papers of the Woods Family of Albemarle County, Virginia , from 1847 to 1926. Correspondence comprises the major part of the collection and deals with a variety of subjects. The correspondence between Micajah Woods and his parents during the Civil War includes detailed descriptions of the campaigns and battles in which he fought, among them the battles of Port Republic , Second Manassas , Crampton's Gap , Sharpsburg , New Market , Second Cold Harbor , Lynchburg , Fisher's Hill , and Monocacy . The men under whom he served included "Stonewall" Jackson , J. E. B. Stuart , and John Floyd . A portion of the post-Civil War correspondence regards Civil War Veterans' Reunions and recollections of battles and campaigns.

The correspondence between members of the Woods Family mainly concerns family matters such as the 1864 execution by Union soldiers of David S. Creigh , Micajah Woods ' uncle, and the selection of Woods' daughter, Maud Coleman Woods , as the first Miss America in 1901. Correspondence regarding the Pleasants-Ritchie duel of 1847 includes an eye-witness description. A separate section of the correspondence deals with genealogy, principally that of the Woods , Buster , Rodes , and McDowell families. The major family correspondents are Micajah Woods ; his parents, Dr. John Rodes Woods and Sabina Lewis Stewart Creigh Woods ; Woods' wife, Matilda ("Tillie") Minor Morris ; and his children--Morris, Sallie, Maud, Mary Watts, and Lettie.

The papers are of several kinds and deal with numerous topics. There are two Civil War diaries belonging to Micajah Woods , one entitled "Sketches of the Campaign of General Floyd," Woods' class notes, his 1864 account book, certificates, and notes regarding genealogy. There is an article written by Micajah Woods about Abraham Lincoln and copies of several speeches delivered by Micajah Woods . These include an address to the Augusta Memorial Association in Staunton, Virginia ; "Woman and Vacation," which was delivered at the Albemarle Baptist Female Institute in 1890; an address he made at the 1895 Great Confederate Reunion in Lewisburg, West Virginia ; the memo of a speech given before "colored people"; a speech to the Washington Society of the University of Virginia ; and a copy of the address given by Woods before the Virginia State Bar Association in 1909 entitled "The Necessity for General Culture in the Training of the Lawyer." Also included in the manuscripts section are two short biographical sketches of Micajah Woods , a Muster Roll of Jackson's Battery of Horse Artillery , and a ten-page statement dictated by General John Floyd detailing the acts of B. A. Witcher and his band of followers during the Civil War.

A four-page printed biographical sketch of Micajah Woods can be found in the printed section along with several programs and memorials. The collection also includes nine scrapbooks primarily containing newspaper clippings, and dating from 1882 to 1926. One of the scrapbooks deals with the trial of ex- Charlottesville mayor Samuel McCue for the murder of his wife (at which Micajah Woods was the prosecuting attorney). There is also a small collection of prints and memorabilia, principally related to the Civil War.


The collection is divided into four series: correspondence, manuscripts, printed material, and scrapbooks. The correspondence is arranged chronologically and is divided into two sections: general correspondence and correspondence regarding genealogy. Manuscripts include speeches, diaries, biographical sketches, genealogical notes, notes regarding the Civil War, and an account book. Manuscripts and printed material are arranged alphabetically. A small collection of prints and memorabilia appears at the end of the collection. A Masonic apron, and cat 30 Civil War medals were removed from the collection, and are stored elsewhere in the department. (Separation sheets have been filed for these items.) The letterbooks of Micajah Woods' law practice can be found in accession number 1444 and an additional scrapbook dated 1895-1902 can be found in accession number 1379.

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

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Significant Places Associated With the Collection

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Container List

General Correspondence
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Correspondence re Genealogy
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Printed Material
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