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Surry County, Virginia, Historical Society and Museums, Inc.
P. O. Box 262, Surry, VA 23883   Phone (757) 294-0404
E-mail address: surryhistoricalsociety@gmail.com.
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Newsletter and December 2002 Meeting Notice.

Please note that the meeting will be December 9 at 7:00 P. M. at the Surry County Va. Recreation Center.

Our Speaker will be Norman Beatty, Director of the 2007 Celebration of the Jamestown Settlement. Yes, it is coming fast, and Surry County will be a part of this 400th celebration of our first permanent English settlement and the beginning of our great country. Several years have been spent planning for this celebration, and we will hear of these plans. Surry County's location and early Settlement, beginning in 1607 will ensure our part in this celebration. Don't miss this program!


The Society is saddened to announce the death of one of our founding members and Board member, Lillie Ellis Fields. Lillie died on August 27, 2002, and was buried on their family farm near Carsley, Virginia, on August 31, 2002. Unfortunately, we did not get word of her death in time to include in our last newsletter.

President's Report

My wife Hannah and I were fortunate to be part of the tour to Surrey, England from Surry, Virginia. A group of over twenty-five people left Surry Oct. 1 and were bussed to Dulles International Airport. We left Dulles and flew directly to Heathrow Airport outside of London. We stayed in a very nice hotel in the Surrey town of Guildford. During our stay we went to such historical places as Windsor Castle, Hampton Court, Canterbury, Bath, Salisbury, and Stonehenge. Our group bonded well and we had a very good time.

As we got to know more about Surrey, England, we gained respect for our sister county. Surrey's History Center, which houses the records for several centuries before Jamestown was settled, was a sight to behold. The records are frozen and fumigated for any minute paper-eating insects before they are examined. The many thousands of books, maps and documents are stored in a special vault with regulated temperature and humidity control.

The Society wishes to thank Society member and tour director Alice Elmore for her hard work in heading up the Surrey, England tour. Our British guides, James and Anna Morris, were knowledgeable, fun and accommodating.

Our Society in Surry, Virginia, has a long way to go to emulate our friends in England. However, our local society has made remarkable strides during its first four years. We expect this progress to continue.

The Surry County, Virginia Board of Supervisors has approved giving the Society three buildings, The old Jail, The Academy and the Commissioner of Revenue building. They will pay for moving them to our lot. All three are on the State and National register of Historic Places. This is predicated upon the proposed expansion of the Courthouse taking place.

The Courthouse expansion is contentious within the county and the Society is staying out of the politics. If the move happens, the Society will have to do some very serious fund raising. In any event, the next year will be an exciting one for the Society. - Bo Bohannan

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ROGERS' STORE

As this is being written, the restoration of Rogers' Store approaches completion. Roger Atkins is doing a superb job on this project.

Rogers' Store has been painted on the exterior, rewired, front porch repaired with new steps and all windows repaired and re-glazed. The back porch has been completely rebuilt, with a handicap ramp added. The office and rear porch have a new metal roof. A stair rail has been installed along with a safety rail around the skylight in the upstairs floor.

Gwaltney's Store, Ca. 1820, has been completely rebuilt structurally. Foundations were rebuilt, floor joists repaired or replaced, wall and roof framing replaced where rotted or broken. Siding has been repaired or replaced, the exterior painted and a new metal roof built over the entire building. It has been re-wired.

Of special interest is the fact that old timbers were used for most repairs. A good example is floor joists in the front room of the original part of Gwaltney's Store. Found locally were hand hewn joists of nearly the same dimensions and age as the original ones.

Most counters and display cases have been returned to the first floor of the store. The pot bellied stove has been returned to its original place. Nothing of value has been lost. Roger and his crew have saved nearly every scrap uncovered in this restoration.

Once completed, we expect to organize a group to clean up, sort and prepare the store for opening next spring. Much work remains, but among the items our budget would not cover was a heating system. As winter approaches, some work will remain undone until spring.

We need to put up signs and repaint the kerosene pump and reinstall it. We need a good repairable Ten Gallon Visible gas pump to put in front of the store, as was the original.

We have the [unrestored] shutters [20] from the second story windows of Rogers' Store. We hope to get them restored and painted sometime soon. Help needed!

JEA

Help!

The Society will be facing great financial needs in the upcoming months. We plan to open Rogers' Store. We have several books that need to be printed and published. It is likely we will have three buildings, The Academy, the Old Jail and The Commissioner of Revenue Building, to be moved to our lot across Church Street. Please keep your dues up to date. Your expiration date shows on your mailing label. 11-02 or earlier means you need to renew your membership. Thanks.

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A letter from Alice Epes Elmore, Society member and Tour Director of our Surry to Surrey tour.

Dear Friends of Surry,

Recently a group from your Society and the County of Surry had the unique experience of a "reverse pilgrimage" to the County of Surrey, England. The tour visited many places of historical significance relating to the settlement of "the colonies" and we had an opportunity to view an original Magna Carter document that forms the basis for much of our freedoms that we enjoy today. Every day was filled with a fabulous learning experience and great fun discovering our differences and similarities with our English "cousins".

The tour participants were: Mary Lee Anderson (Raleigh, N.C.), James & Peggie Atkins (Richmond, Va.), Susan Atkins (Richmond, Va.). Ann Bell (Manteo, N.C.), Gordon & Hannah Bohannan (Surry, Va.), Dyanne Brantley (Ivor, Va.). Eugene and Virginia Cervi (Yorktown, Va.), Eugene Dewell (Cary, N.C.), Wally and Barbara Eger (Dendron, Va.), Alma Fowlkes (Los Angeles, Calif), Patsy Hopper (Claremont, Va.), Norma Johnson (Surry, Va.), Nancy Layden (Smithfield, Va.), James & Judy Lyttle (Surry, Va.). Sue Manhart (Richmond, Va.), Barbara Moore (Surry, Va.), Janet Seward (Elberon, Va.), Frances Stamatas (Spring Grove, Va.), Helen Van Cleef (Manteo, N.C.), Izetta Walton (Culver City, Calif.), and Josiane Wheeler (Surry, Va.). I can't begin to tell you what a joy they were... each one having something special to contribute to the enrichment of the tour.

We visited many inviting properties: Clandon Park (The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment is based here), Windsor Castle, Runnymeade of Magna Carta fame, Hampton Court, Canterbury Cathedral, London, Stonehenge and Bath. We were entertained by The Lord Mayor of Canterbury and had a beautiful dinner party for our Surrey hosts. Our last day was undoubtedly the highlight of our tour. We visited the Heritage Center in Woking and were treated to an guided tour of this wonderful facility. In the evening we were honored with a reception at County Hall. WOW!!!!! Nobody does "pomp and circumstance" like the English. There were 11 mayors in full regalia and many important dignitaries as well as Dr. Coffin, chairman of Surrey County Council and Dr. Robinson, director of the History Center. It was truly a lovely event. And while I am singing the praises of our hosts, I might add that you would have been very proud of your past president, Jim Atkins, your present president, Bo Bohannan, and the representative from your county government, Judy Lyttle. They all had a part to play and did it with great aplomb and dignity. Congratulations are in order for a job well done!

And finally, I would like to express my deep gratitude for the opportunity of planning and executing this tour. Hopefully, it met the expectation of all who joined us and created a bouquet of beautiful memories to store in your cerebral treasure chest!

Sincerely,

[Alice Epes Elmore]

November 12, 2002

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The following article was supplied the Society by our member, Frances Reibsamen. She is a direct descendant of Charles Coker Richardson. It is our belief that this information has never been previously published. Mrs. Reibsamen, thank you for this important record of our past. We also thank Dennis Hudgins for transcribing this article.

A FEW REMINISCENCES OF MY EXPERIENCE IN
THE CIVIL WAR, AS A CONFEDERATE SOLDER
AND MEMBER OF THE SURRY LIGHT ARTILLERY.

By: Charles C. Richardson.

The writer of this sketch was born October 30, 1844, and was reared in Sussex County, Virginia . My early years were spent as the average country boy on the farm of that time. Soon after I arrived at the age of eight years I was enrolled, as a pupil, in a one room private school, and continued to attend similar private schools until I was nearly fifteen years old. At this age I worked in a country store about a year and then returned home, in January 1861, to work on the farm .I continued to work on the farm until I arrived at military age.

In the year 1863, I enlisted in the Confederate army, by joining the Surry Light Artillery (Hankin's Battery). This, with two other companies, formed the battalion commanded by Colonel C. E. Lightfoot. At the time I joined the command was encamped just beyond the city limits, northwest of Richmond. The new winter quarters was northeast of the city, near the Mechanicsville turnpike.

On the first day of March 1864 our command was called to the north west of the city to oppose the advance of a detachment of Sheridan's cavalry, under the guidance and direction of Colonels Kilpatrick and Dalgren. The other two companies of our battalion were sent to other points on the inner lines of fortifications around the city. This dash, on the city seems to have been poorly handled, by the Federal officers in charge, and it ended by their being routed, in a north easterly direction. The next morning Dahlgren was killed, in a skirmish with a few confederates, in King William County. Our battery came back to camp before the second night. Nothing of importance transpired, worthy of mention, except that occas[io]nally we would have to go out to meet scouting or raiding parties of the enemy, until the Butler campaign began near Petersburg. This was on the 6th of May 1864. Our battery was ordered to Port Walthall on that day. Threatened by activities in another direction had kept the other two companies of our battalion on the north side of the James River. They joined us at Fort Stevens. On the 14th. of May the fighting was, during the day, almost an artillery duel.

On the 15th the shelling was not as severe, although it continued through the day. During this second day Butler seemed to be trying to push his right flank farther north and nearer to Drewry's Bluff.

I was sick in camp when Butler's campaign began, in May 1864, on the southside of the James. I rejoined my company on the 14th at Fort Stevens. This fort was on the lines of breastworks through Chesterfield County to Swift Creek. On the day I rejoined we were engaged with Butler's forces all the day and at times it was almost an artillery duel. His sharp-shooters, perched in the tall pine trees, in front,were picking off our men, in the fort. Several of our men were wounded that day, one or two severely. Sergeant G. K. Hargrave's horse was killed by "minnie" ball. At night the activities ceased and Butler extended his line to his right, and nearer to Drewry's Bluff. On the 15th. Activities were repeated but the fighting was not as severe as on the previous day, although it continued throughout the day. After dark on the 15th of May our artillery was withdrawn from the fort, back to the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike. We rested there that night.

The next morning, the l6th of May, at dawn, we were astir, though quiet. At daylight we left the turnpike. We went east, a mile or more and then turned, at right angle, up a hill to where Butler's right flank had rested the previous night. Our advanced sharpshooters had surprised them and were following in their flight. As soon as our artillery reached the top of the hill the guns were unlimbered, and we began shelling the fleeing enemy, until we had to move forward to elevated ground to avoid shelling our own infantry.

The Confederates were following the fleeing Yankees, who were retiring. They did not, however, stop sending their "minnie" balls back to us until they had gotten too far. Our artillery continued shelling until they had gone beyond the reach of field artillery. By noon of that day Butler's mortar shells were being hurled at us. This was continued all that day and for several days and nights afterward.

Thus Butler's "On to Richmond" campaign proved to be a total failure. It was said that President Lincoln in speaking of this defeat re-marked that Lee had bottled up Butler and put in the stopple. This complete victory over Butler, and his well equipped army and navy of several gunboats, was planned by General Beauregard and his assistants.

While the activities of war were going on south of the James River, General Lee, at times was being hard pressed by Grant, on the north side from the wilderness down to the James River. Our artillery was picketing and guarding the bridges on the Chickhominy River. At times the enemy's wagon trains were in full view, on the opposite side of the river. Our artillery remained on the north side of the James river after these engagements. Our summer camp, for this summer, was in an oak grove near Richmond, and on the Williamsburg road. Lightfoots Battalion at this time was attached to General Gary's Brigade of Cavalry, and our camps were not far apart.

On Sunday afternoon April 2, 1865, at an unusual hour the bugler blow the assembly call. The men fell in promptly and, after the roll call, the officer of the day ordered that the men prepare two days rations, pack their belongings, and be ready to leave camp the next morning at dawn. By early dawn the horses were hitched to the guns and everything ready to move. We started to Richmond by way of Rockets, which was the extreme eastern part of the city. When we were caused to hault for several minutes we could see, all around, the light and smoke from burning camps and government buildings, in the city and could hear the explosions of several ammunition magazines at the outer forts. We were detained here while several commands passed. After getting up in the city it was difficult to move along, on account of the fire, smoke, and turmoil. Much confusion was caused by the citizens.

When the evacuation of Richmond was begun the Confederates crossed the James River over Mayo's bridge and took the road that leads through Chesterfield, Powhatan, and Amelia Counties. We also passed through a portion of Buckingham County. The first three days retreat were without any special events to mention, except the miscarriage of General Lee's order to side-track a supply train from the South, at a way station, with food for men and feed for the horses. From some cause the train was not stopped and when the army arrived there was no food for man or beast. That was the reason Lee's men were retreating without food. Although footsore and discouraged the men still followed Lee. We were practically flanked, and at times surrounded by the foe, at times stopping, waiting for orders to proceed. On the third, or fourth, day of our march we came to where the enemy had broken into our wagon train and had parked a number of wagons and ambulances by the side of the road and burned them. On Thursday morning, before starting on our days journey, one of our guns was cut down, spiked, and left on the ground. This had to be done on account of the weakened condition of our horses. On Friday when we stopped for the night, in an oak grove near the road, we found some infantry troops there when we arrived. There was one well to furnish water for all. A small flock of sheep, during that days march, were pressed into service for food. These were roughly butchered, and laid on the oak leaves and ground to cut each man's small portion. I could get only one canteen full of water in which I undertook to boil my little piece of sheep meat. It simmered until my kettle was dry. I took it out of the kettle and after picking the trash and dirt from it cut it into pieces with a pocket knife. In this shape it had to be eaten without salt or bread. I was indead grateful that I had this small morsel to eat, even if it was not very well done.

On Saturday we again were ready to proceed on our retreat. We moved, as usual, slowly with frequent and extended stops. At a little past noon we parked our battery, of three guns, in a small field, near the road. The horses and men ate their meagre rations and we remained in this small clearing all the afternoon. Just before night the drivers were ordered to water, harness, and hitch their horses. While my horses were drinking I heard musketry at the battery that I had just left about two or three hundred yards behind. I hurried back to that point, as rapidly as my worn and jaded horses could carry me, and immediately we harnessed and hitch[ed] to the gun. By the time we mounted and were ready to move we were ordered to unhitch and take the horses to a ravine near the road. In the meantime "minnie" balls were flying a round the men and horses. We took the horses to the ravine and by the time we reached it orders came to return to the battery and take it off the field. We had started to the battery when one of our officers came and reported that the Yankees had taken the gun.

On this occasion they pounced down upon us unaware. We had posted no guard and no infantry was very near that perementer, although I believe there were infantry pickets near us. We had no casualties, but they captured the gun which I was driving. After the capture of my gun one of our commissioned officers ordered that I put my horses to one of the guns in Captain Thornton's Company. This gun was at that time in need of more horse power. I did, as ordered, and soon as I had hitched to this gun I mounted my saddled horse balanced myself and went to sleep. When I awoke I had fallen off between my two horses. At his time we were near Appomattox Court House. After standing in the road for a long while we finally went forward and must have passed Appomattox Court House in the night, as I have been informed that we were four miles beyond the town the next morning. On Sunday morning the 9th of April we could hear the fighting going on in front of us. About the middle of the morning our battallion assembled as Colonel Lightfoot rode a few paces in front of us. He briefly informed us that General Lee was arranging terms of surrender to General Grant. Colonel Lightfoot said that he was not going to surrender his command, but disband us, leaving each man to do as he preferred. He ordered that each driver could take his best horse and give his other to a cannoneer. Then he pulled his cap over his eyes and extended his hand to any who chose to take it. Many of the men gladly accepted and shook his hand. Very soon afterward the drivers had saddled their mounts, giving to a cannoneer the other horse. Thus we mounted and started north to the James River.

Some one showed us the way to a ford in the James and we decided to cross this when we left Appomattox. We came to this decision on account of the fact that we wished to avoid the army followers who we knew to be following the Union Army. The followers were known to us as robbers and destroyers. We had been warned against them, and had known before that there were such bands of followers, who came after the army in its movements. Upon arriving at the ford it looked as though the stream was vary rough and fast. The place we entered was on a ledge of rock that extended out half-way across the stream. Thus far the water was from ankle to knee deep. At the farther side of this rock ledge the water was very swift and turbulent. When the horses stepped off the rock they were in water up to their breasts. One of the horses, in our party, fell as he stepped down and the water was running so swiftly he could not get on his feet again. His rider reached down, unbuckled his saddle, and pulled the bridle off. The horse went struggling down the stream. On the other shore, with our horse-less comrade, who had shouldered his saddle and bridle, we started out from the river on to the road.

We had not proceeded far when we came to a small field with two horses grazing it it. Our horse-less comrade bridled one of them and rode along as if nothing had happened. He did this in the spirit that all things are fair in war. We traveled until nearly dark and stopped for the night in the foot-hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Nelson or Amherst County.

It should be noted here that the first thing we did at night was to look after the needs of our horses. First we gave them water. Next we tied them to small oak trees near at hand and raked up large piles of oak leaves around the trees, which they soon ate. They also ate all the bark from the ground up as high as they could reach. We gave them feed again before retiring, which was done by giving them new trees and new piles of leaves. As soon as we aroused the next morning we repeated the same good treatment.

While we were watering our horses at the little creek hard by the place we had stopped for the night, I spied a flat rock, in the bottom of the stream, and at once decided it would be a chance to cook my one hand full of corn meal, made into a hoecake. I brought it to our little fire and dug, with my hands a hole in the ground, lining it with a piece of dirty old cloth for my bread tray. I cooked the handful of meal and ate it. It was the very last I had of anything that could be converted into food. I had a little Confederate script, that was worthless. One silver dime was all the real money I had, with me at that time. Truly we were in a strange land and stranded.

We started the next morning on our journey before break-fast, because there was no certainty that the cook would have breakfast early enough for traveling men. Thus we started out on the 10th of April, without breakfast and with sharp appetitites. Whenever we passed a farm home that looked as thouh they could give us something to eat we would call by. Some-times we were successful at this and at other times we would fail, the people saying they did not have it to give to us. Thus we rode on.

At night we stopped at a farm home and asked the land-lord if he would give us something to eat for ourselves and horses. He said he would give us feed for our horses and would give us something to eat, but he had nowhere to give us to sleep. He had already promised to take care of six of General Picket's men, one of them being a chaplain. This was the reason he could not give us lodging. We pointed toward his barn and told him that was much better than we had been used to. This was on the tenth of April. He took us to his weaving house and said that if we could make out with that his family would soon have supper ready, and we could go to the dwelling to eat. They gave us enough good substantial food and we retired to our quarters, spread our blanketes, and were soon fast asleep. We rested well until the sun was two hours high the next morning. This was our first good night's rest since we left Richmond.

We were aroused by one of our men who had looked out of a window and exclaimed, "I don't see but three horses in this yard." His exclamation aroused all of us. Someone suggested that perhaps they had gotten loose and were grazing somewhere on the farm. The landlord said he had seen none. When we inquired about Picket's men he told us that they had left early in the morning. This seemed to be another incidence to prove that all is fair in war.

After enjoying a hearty breakfast, in the home, we started again on our journey. Six of our little party were walking, and three on horseback. These mounted members soon parted from us and rode on. They rode into Richmond and were there taken as prisoners of war. They were sent to Newport News and were not paroled until July of that year. Those of us walking were T. B. Bell, J. H. Bell, J. E. Bell, and J. T. Nelms of Surry County, W. H. Turner of Isle of Wight County, and myself of Sussex County. This party of six footmen tramped during the next four or five days and I do not remember that we spent more than one night in a house. We would frequently stop at the homes along the road, begging something to eat, sometimes successfully and other times unsuccessfully. The route we travelled on the north side of the James River was the same route Sheridan's Cavalry had taken two months before, on his march from the valley to join Grant at Petersburg. It was my opinion that the passage of Sheridan's army along that road, two months prior to this time, was the cause for the scarcity of food, when we passed along. Still we, the stranded Confederates, continued to tramp a-long.

We crossed from the north to the south side of the James River at a place called Scottsville, and thence on through Powhatan and Chesterfield Counties. When we approached the river we saw that the Blue Coats were on the other side. They hailed, to know if we desired to cross. They came with a canoe to take us over. They then put us in a tobacco barn, in Dinwiddie County, as prisoners of war. We were kept in this prison two nights and one day. The second morning we were escorted under guard down the Norfolk and Western Rail-way tracks to Petersburg. Here we were placed in the Atlantic Coast Line warehouse, still as prisoners of war.

On the morning of the 19th of April we were paroled and that afternoon walked down the Norfolk and Western tracks to Disputanta Station. We spent the night there. The next morning, early, we continued our journey. We reached my home at about ten o:clock, on the morning of April 20th 1865. Break-fast was speedily prepared and once more we ate, with a soldier's keen appetite. After a warm and fraternal good-bye my comrades left and continued on their way home.

This entire paper is written from memory in the eighty-fifth year of my life. I am, at his time, one of the three surviving members of the Surry light Artillery. When it left Richmond on the 3rd day of April, 1865 it had a membership of one hundred, or more.

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES COKER RICHARDSON

I was born on the 30th. day of October 1844. At this time my father Benjamin Richardson and his wife Mary Anne Coker Richardson were living on a four hundred acre farm in Sussex County Virginia. This farm is located on what is now the Norfolk and Western Railway, at a spot about midway between Wave[r]ly and Wakefield. I had two brothers and five sisters. The farm was equipped and manag'd very much as the general farm of that time. My childhood days were spent playing and performing the household chores suitable to my age. I entered a neighborhood private school, when I was eight years old, and continued in this and similar elementary schools for about seven years. The neighborhood school of that day was a modest affair.

It was equipped with crude desks and simple furniture. My mother died at the time I was five years old. It was during this period of my life that I remember seeing the line surveyed for the Norfolk and Petersburg railway. The road later became known as the Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio and is now known as the Norfolk and Western. The roadbed crossed on section of my fathers land.

In November my father married the second time. By this union there were three children. During the same year I went to work in a country store. It was a tipical store of that time, located about one mile west of the site of the town of Dendron. After being in this place about one year I returned to the farm and worked for two years. At this time the Civil War was in its ascendency. Of my own free will I enlisted in the Surry Light Artillery, in the year 1863, thus becoming a soldier in the service of the Confederate States. At the time I joined the company was stationed at Richmond. This company with two others, formed Lightfoot's Battalion of Light Artillery. I continued in service, with the same outfit until the end of the war April 9, 1865. Our active service, as a company, terminated at Appomattox Court House when Lee surrendered. The command was dismissed by Colonel Lightfoot, with the privilege of making our way to Johnstons Army in North Carolina, or going home. He also directed that each driver could take his best horse and give the other to a canoneer. I was a driver and left camp with a horse, which was stolen from me en route, on the second day. After this it was necessary to walk the remainder of the distance to my home. Once during this part of the trip we were captured and held as prisoners of war for three days and nights. I reached home on the 20th. day of April. After reaching home I spent some time in visiting friends and generally renewing acquantances among my neighbors. At the conclusion of this brief rest period I went back to work on the farm. Feeling the need of a more complete education I entered school at Marabl[e]'s Crossroad. In order to attend this school it was necessary to ride a horse seven miles each morning and night. The school was taught by J. Harper Shelton, who later became judge of the County Court of Sussex County.

Soon after entering school this second time my father died and for the last time I left School, in order to help harvest the crop of that year. My step-mother was entitled to one third of the property as a dower. During the year 1866 I rented the other two-thirds of the farm and with my step-mother cultivated the farm for one year. In November of the same year the farm was sold. During the same year, 1867, I cultivated a farm in Surry County, near Spring Grove.

In November 1867, I bought, at public auction, the farm known as the Old Holloway Place. The purchase of this farm marked an important milestone in my life's story. My new homestead was in the Spring Hill community of Sussex County. It was the home in which Joseph Thomas, a pioneer preacher in the Christian Denomination, used to preach while making his rounds. He was known as "The White Pilgrim", and his circuit included Sussex, Surry, Southhampton, and Nansemond Counties. The year after taking this farm I was married to Mary E. Cox, of Sussex County. By this union were born ten children, one of which died in infancy. The other nine lived to maturity and were all happily married. It is singular that three of these children have died in the fifty-third year of life.

On September 11, 1869 I joined Spring Hill Christian Church, and on October 30th. of the same year was elected secretary of the church. I had the privilage of serving in this capacity for forty-one years. On November 11, 1900 I was ordained a Deacon of this church.

After the infirmities of age had incapacatatied [sic] my and my wife for the duties of life on a farm, we decided to sell the old home place. The farm was sold on April 10, 1914, and my wife and I moved to Wakefield. We lived in a small cottage in this town until her death, which occured on the 25th. day of July 1921, which was just five days after the death of my eldest son. At this time it became necessary to dispose of the remainder of my household effects, and since that time I have resided with my sons and daughters. During the active period of my life I was blessed with excellent health. My first confinement in a hospital was during the eight[y]-first year of my life. This was a result of accidentally breaking my leg. Two years later, 1928, I was again confined to the hospital. My second visit was a result of illness.

All of this sketch is written from memory, during the eighty-fifth year of my life, and during the second month of the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and thirty. At this time I am enjoying health commensurate with my age.

His autobiographic sketch was made in 1929, when Richardson was 85 years old. He was one of the last three surviving members of the Surry Light Artillery. When it left Richmond on 3 April 1865 it had a membership of 100, or more.

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Thanks for a great celebration!

As the year 2002 winds down, we express deep appreciation to Janet Appel and P. J. Watson for their inspiration, dedication and just plain perspiration in leading our Celebration of Surry County's 350th birthday. It has been a job well done. We thank you, and all of the people who helped you in planning and executing our great celebration.

Only by the work of volunteers such as you has Surry County been able to properly celebrate our past. Your hard work, along with the support of the County, makes these celebrations possible. As December closes out this great year, you deserve some rest, but only for a short time. Surry County needs your abilities.

The Dendron Historical Society is building a museum behind the town office. Soon they will have a place to showcase the history of the town, the Surry Lumber Company and The Surry, Sussex and Southampton Railroad. They have collected an immense amount of memorabilia and history of Dendron. We wish them well.

Help needed. I am writing an article on Moonshine, Surry County style. I would appreciate any tales you can supply. Names will not be used.- Jim Atkins


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