Original Author: Zachary Goodrich Durfey
Created: 1930

Memories of the Battle of Williamsburg

In a 1930 interview conducted by the Reverend William Goodwin, the director of the restoration of historic Williamsburg, Zachary Goodrich Durfey recalls memories of the Battle of Williamsburg that took place on May 5, 1862, near his family's house, Bassett Hall. Durfey, fourteen years old at the time of the battle, remembered his father bringing wounded Confederate soldiers back to their house. Among the soldiers they nursed to health was Captain John W. Lea of the 5th North Carolina Infantry, who had been found on the field by his West Point classmate, the Union officer George Armstrong Custer. Three months after the battle, Lea married Durfey's sister in Williamsburg and Custer served as best man.