From Recollections by R. T. W. Duke Jr. (1899)


In this excerpt from volumes 1 and 2 of Recollections, the five-volume, unpublished memoir of R. T. W. Duke Jr., begun in 1899, Duke recalls the Union occupation of Charlottesville. A native of Charlottesville and a graduate of the University of Virginia, Richard Thomas Walker Duke Jr., known as Tom, served as a judge of the Corporation Court (later the circuit court) from 1886 to 1901 and as commonwealth’s attorney of Albemarle County from 1916 to 1920. He was eleven years old in 1865. Duke’s dates for the occupation are incorrect; Union troops arrived in Charlottesville on March 3 and left by March 6, 1865.


Sheridan’s Raid

I do not recall much more of the year 1865 until March. Then came an event indelibly impressed upon my mind and never to be forgotten. Rumour after rumour of disaster reached us & finally early in March the news came that the Yankees had won a victory in the [Shenandoah] Valley & were on their way to Charlottesville. The news froze our blood. Was it—could it be—possible that these awful creatures were to come to us. We had heard of [Union general Philip] Sheridan—of his ruthless plundering—burning of dwelling houses & all the fiendish acts which characterized his raids in the Valley of Virginia. We dreaded his approach & could not believe it to be true. But as the certainty of the fact was impressed upon by one or more persons it was determined to send my brother away with what silver plate we had & with father ‘s horse which he had sent home for the winter. So the solid silver was boxed up, and on the morning of the 8th of March—I think—Willie mounted old Noble and with the box of silver on the pommel of his saddle & his shot gun on his shoulder started off to go to Buckeyeland to the house of Uncle Kit Gilmer, which being off the line of the public roads and ten miles from Charlottesville, we thought would be out of the line of the enemy’s march—as indeed it was. Willie—as he afterwards told us—met [Confederate] General Jubal A. Early and a few of his staff on the Southern outskirts of Charlottesville. He accompanied them across Monticello Mountain where they separated. With them was one poor Federal prisoner that had been captured and whom they were taking along. From Genl Early Willie learned of our defeat at Waynesboro. I may say en passant, that Willie reached Uncle Kit in safety & the Yankees never got to Buckeyeland—On the morning of the 9th, I think it was, of March [Duke’s slave Caesar & I were playing under the oaks in the back yard, when a squadron of men rode up to the gate and asked us a question. They had on grey uniforms, and we supposed they were Confederates. They were really “Jesse Scouts”—that is Union Soldiers in Confederate uniforms.

Since writing the above my brother informs me that I am mistaken as to the day he left and as to the time he met Genl Early. He left on Friday morning March 9th & rode halfway up Monticello Mountain—then took the road across the Mountain side up to the Gap & then crossing above the Crank place went to Uncle Gilmers that way. As he rode along the Mountain side he saw the Yankees enter Charlottesville. He heard the shots fired by some fools who met the advance guard & fired on them & then ran away. He saw the smoke arise from the C & O. Depot, which Sheridan burned & then he hurried on. It was on his return home that he met Genl Early, who had “side stepped” somewhere after the defeat at Waynesboro & was in the rear of the raiders. Willie had overtaken Lewis Garth & one or two others who had captured a straggler—They all rode down to the Woolen Mills to see the ruins of the railroad bridge and Mill which the Yankees had destroyed. Returning they met Genl Early & a few of his staff & turned the prisoner over to them. The poor fellow was killed that night, attempting to escape, it was said.

But to return to my own recollections. The Jesse Scouts rode off without coming in the yard and after a question or so, & Caesar and I played on under the trees—Presently we heard faintly borne on the wind the sound of martial music. It came from the University road and at once Caesar & I with Jane the cook & one other servant started off and ran across the hill and up on the hill just back of Brown’s—now [Confederate] Genl [Thomas L.] Rosser‘s. From this point we could see very plainly the road. A long blue line of horsemen filled it as far as we could see & the band which was playing loudly was just about the foot of Carr’s Hill. I never shall forget the horror & rage and indignation with which I looked upon these dreadful invaders. Disgust, fear anger, sorrow, all struggled in my boyish bosom as I saw the hated Yankee coming as a conqueror on our “sacred soil”. We stood watching the long—seemingly endless— column—move along, like a great blue snake: No one spoke: The negroes seemed as much awed as we did; and after a little while we returned slowly and sadly home, to tell them that the news was true & that the Yankees had really come. Mother took my sister and myself into her room and sat down. She had an air of agonized expectancy and fear upon her face. I don’t think she spoke a word whilst we sat there. All of a sudden the chamber door was opened and Aunt Fanny came in, a long meat hook in her hand & the top of her turban—a red bandana handkerchief—on her head quivering with indignation. “Miss Liz”, she screamed, “Fo’ God, I’se never seen sich folks in all my life. Don’t you think they’s done come in the kitchen and took the meat out’n the pot”.

And she shook the meat hook in the air as if she wanted to hit somebody with it. Mother got up & went into the passage, my sister clinging to her skirts and I following her. She turned to walk towards the door which opened out to the kitchen when it was kicked open and in rushed a lot of men clothed in blue uniforms with dirty yellow trimmings. The man in front was a hideous jimberjawed creature, with a dirty face, a hooked nose & one of the most horrible faces I ever saw—This wretch—without any rhyme or reason I could see—caught my mother by the throat & yelled out “G— d-mn you, woman, where’s your bread?” My mother gave a wild shriek, & tearing herself away, pointed to the store-room door which happened to be right at her side; The devil who had seized her immediately kicked that door open & followed by what was now a yelling crowd rushed in the room & began to loot.

I am not, as a general rule malicious or unforgiving, but to my dying day I shall hate & despise the miserable wretch who caught hold of my mother. I think I would know his brutal mean face today. I would like to kill him even now—forty two years after the event—and I would like to do it slowly & with deliberation. Something “slow & lingering”, boiling oil, or a rusty case knife to saw his throat with. Mother went right away & taking Mary called to Aunt Martha & begged her to come with her & they would go to the Andersons where Mr Anderson might be able to protect us. Aunt Mat refused but told Mother to go with Mary & let me remain with her. Mother did so & did not return until night. In the meantime the looting devils went on with their robbery—They went in the bed rooms—took off the pillow cases and using them as sacks put everything in them they could lay hand on. Aunt Mat followed them fearlessly—upbraiding them for their conduct & now & then asking them to forego their depredations as she was saving this, that & ‘tother “for sickness”.

She snatched preserve jars our of their hands, & one or two other things—The climax came when one fellow had a pillow case filled with dried apples & started away with it.

“Don’t take those apples”, said Aunt Mat: “We need ’em for sickness”. The fellow roared with laughter & Aunt Mat left the room.

There was indeed very little to take—What little bacon we had was hidden under the kitchen floor & up the parlour chimney and escaped the spoilers—But they made a clean sweep of everything else. They went into the bed-rooms—opened the wardrobes & bureaux—They took out our poor little dresses and tore them up in sheer wantoness. They went into the room where Father’s books & papers were stored & threw papers & books on the floor & then broke over them some large bottles of “elder berry” ink; Ink we had made by pressing the juice of elder berries into vinegar. One man broke a molasses jug over the heap & another with a yell emptied a pillow case of meal on the heap, which soaking up molasses and ink really saved some of the books & papers. Evidently some man in the crowd knew the value of some rare books my father owned—for a Venetian Boccaccio and several Elzivers [early Dutch publisher Elzevirs] disappeared that day. All over the house from top to bottom they went tearing up everything, kicking doors open & breaking locks and furniture. One fellow put a silk hat on his head over his cap & another father’s wig—an adornment he gave up—with the beginning of his first campaign. One wretch went in the parlour & with his drawn sword whacked at the furniture & pictures. He was drunk & didn’t do much harm. He started to slash, with his sword an oil painting of my mother’s sister—Aunt Maria—Uncle Lindsay Walker’s wife—an exquisitely beautiful woman—the portrait was exquisitely beautiful. He raised his sword & as frightened as I was I, who had followed him into the parlour, was about to beg him not to destroy the picture, when the uplifted sword was dropped. He peered at the picture & muttered “You’re too d-mn pretty to hurt,” & then left the room.

I ran out into the yard which was full of men—mounted and unmounted—one man was just in the act of mounting his horse—from the large rock which is near the oak tree that is now the only one left of the noble seven of my childhood. Under one arm he had a jar of preserves, in his hand a pillow case filled with flour. He got one foot in the stirrup & had the other half over the saddle, when there came the sound of rushing troops & quickly with the sound the “bang”, “bang” “bang” of pistols and carbines. Down went the jar of preserves & the pillow case of flour and off rushed this “gallant”—thief, his foot caught in the slit of his McClellan saddle. There was a loud yell of “Mosby”, Mosby” and then such a route “A hurrying to & fro”—

In a moment the yard was empty—Troopers on foot and on horseback were scurrying away for dear life & in ten minutes not a Yankee was in sight. Down to our back gate rode half a dozen men, one or two in grey—the rest in citizens clothes. Upon a horse one held a poor federal trooper all covered with mud & blood, his head hanging down & his limbs limp. It was not Mosby, nor any of his men—but a lot of citizens & soldiers, who had ridden down the road into a squadron of marauders just above our gate. Shots were fired; this one poor yankee wounded—he died afterwards at the Hospital in Charlottesville—and all the Yankees fled—thinking Mosby had attacked them.

The men looked into our yard & then turned and rode away carrying the wounded man with them. I cannot describe my feelings. Joy at thinking that there was going to be trouble for the Yankees—fear that a battle might take place on our place and the house be destroyed—amazement, and a little sense of pity for the poor wounded man—all these sentiments were in my heart. It was not long, however, before fear became the predominant sense. Out of the woods on the hill between [the Duke estate of] SunnySide & the University, on the land I now own—tho’ the woods are gone—cautiously filed out a few troops. They advanced slowly, their carbines unslung & by the time they had reached the branch—a company or more came out of the wood—& formed on the hill.

The advance guard came cautiously & slowly up the hill in the lane & halted at the gate a moment—Then went up the public road & then a Company came & formed partly in the lane & partly in our yard. I rushed into the house—Aunt Mat came out, and an officer in rear of the Company kindly spoke to her & told her that they were sent to meet an attack, which he believed was only an assault by “bushwhackers“, But if a fight came off she had better go away. Presently—probably half an hour later some troops came back & I suppose a report was made.

Sheridan’s Raid—continued—from Vol I.

The officer then spoke to my Aunt & told her that what he supposed was true—that it was merely an attack by Bushwhackers. But he added, that as a man had been shot near our house there was danger of some marauding party burning the house out of revenge. He therefore urged my Aunt to send me to get a Guard—saying that he knew General Devins [Thomas Devin], who was in command of our section of the Camp, would gladly give us one. That he thought Genl Devins’ headquarters were in a large brick house on a hill near us. I at once agreed to go, and as the nearest large brick house was Mr Andrew J. Brown’s (now Genl Rosser’s) I trotted off down the road towards it. Just beyond Meadow Creek beginning at the line, between Genl Rossers and what is now my land a tract of woods then stood & the woodland extended up to the top of the present Meadow Creek long hill, about opposite the Country Club building. You could not then, see the Brown house from our house as you can now. About halfway up the hill there was a gate and a wood road which led to the stable—which is still the same as in Brown’s day—only added to a good deal. That stable was then just on the edge of the woods. I trotted along up the hill thro’ the gate and along the wood road, until I came to the stable— On looking up to the house I saw that it was being looted. Men were coming out of it with arms full of various things and there was a stir & bustle about & around it, that child as I was, I knew would not be about a house where a General had headquarters. A trooper, evidently drunk, was riding down towards the stable flourishing a large bottle and shouting in a maudlin sort of a way. I turned to go back, when he saw me & yelled—”Halt, there, Halt there, d-mn—you”. I did not halt: On the contrary I turned & trotted briskly back along the wood road. To my horror & dismay, the trooper put spurs to his horse and followed me yelling “Halt! I tell you Halt” At that I ran like a deer & the drunken wretch drew his revolver and began to fire at me. It seemed to me every ball came right by my head. Ye Gods how I did run, but he came after me, emptying his pistol. At a turn of the road I dashed out into and struck across the woodlands—I ran until I came to the Creek jumped into it and crawled under one of the banks, where I had often gone after rabbits when the snow was on the ground. High water dug a sort of cave under these banks in many places, & being high & dry at low water & completely sheltered, rabbits often crouched there during snow storms. I found a dry place & stretched out with a heart beating so loud it seemed to me it could have been heard in Charlottesville. I laid in this shelter probably half an hour & hearing no more shots or hoof beats, I crawled out & went home by the path which led from Morea. When I reached home another fright confronted me. The house was entirely surrounded by troopers on horseback. A silent line that stood at attention. I crawled thro the line no one seeming to notice & found Aunt Mat: talking to an officer on the back porch. As I got on the porch, he saluted, bowing very politely & walked away to where an orderly held his horse. He mounted, gave a sharp quick command, & the troopers were soon gone—Aunt Mat: who was frightened out of her wits, told me that she couldn’t understand what was the matter. That the troops rode up, surrounded the house and the officer came down & told her he wanted “General Duke” & that she had better tell him to come out & give himself up. Aunt Mat: assured him that “Colonel” Duke whose house this was, was not there, but away with his regiment. The officer then said he would have to search the house, which, with several other men, he did. Finding no one, he made an apology & told my Aunt she ought to have a guard as she was there alone. He told her that Genl Devins’ headquarters were on the Staunton road at a large brick house in a Southerly direction from our house. He then very politely & courteously took his leave. Aunt Mat: then told me she thought Devins’ headquarters must be at the “Jewry” house—the residence of two old ladies known as the Misses Jewry—the house afterwards dubbed “Seymour”, by Judge Goodyear who bought it of a German named Haze, who bought it of the Jewrys. Senator Thos S. Martin has lately purchased the property. So I told Aunt Mat I would go there and off I started, but this time with leaden feet, for I had to go thro’ the long stretch of the Poorhouse woods, and the sun was about setting. But the thought of SunnySide in flames, stirred me & spurred me. I first went to Mr Anderson’s, where I found mother & Mary & told her of my errand. I begged little Dick Anderson to go with me, but his mother wouldn’t hear of it. Mr Anderson said he would sent old man Hearst—one of the paupers—with me, & old man Hearst came & off we went up the wood road & by the Barbecue Spring. Old Hearst was a thin, undersized old man—almost bald, with a thin gray beard and the expression of one to whom Fate had done her worst, and who no longer cared for anything in this world. We walked along in the darkling woods—for the sun was about down, & I do not think either of us spoke a word. We reached the Jewry house & here a sight met us, that seemed to paralyse old Hearst, for he stopped as tho’ shot and stared, at the figure of a man swinging to a small tree just a foot or so from the side door of the house. I saw, however, that the man was suspended by his thumbs—his feet just touching the ground—or rather the tips of his toes. He was groaning mournfully, & two or three men stood near him joking at him. One of the men saw Hearst and asked him sharply what he wanted. Hearst was struck dumb. He simply pointed at me with his finger & muttered something. I then spoke up & told the men that I must see Genl Devins on important business—They took me into the dining room—then in the basement & I found it filled with soldiers laughing & chatting. One of them—with stripes on his arm—was told my errand—He asked me what I wanted with the General—I told him, and he began to joke me. Asked if we had any apple jack at my house—Now I had never heard of “apple Jack” in my life, but I knew that a yankee had taken off a great jar filled with “apple butter” despite Aunt Mat’s plea that it was absolutely necessary to have it “in case of sickness”. So I thought this was what he meant & I indignantly said “We did have a big jar of it, but you miserable fellows stole it all & my mouth watering for it too”. There was a roar of laughter at this. “By-G— Sergeant,” said one of them. “Give the little rebel a drink”, and the sergeant held his canteen out to me. “Take a swig, boy”, he said, “I like your pluck. This is some fine”. But I pushed the canteen away & told them I wouldn’t drink with them. This of course raised another shout & I felt perfectly at ease & began to talk with them as boldly as if I was a man. The merriment at my speeches, must have been rather loud, for presently a young man with shoulder straps on his coat came in asked what was the matter & why all this noise. There was silence & I—being then decidedly “cocky”—spoke up & said “I want to see Genl Devins at once. I’ve talked to these men long enough”. The young man took me by the hand and led me up stairs into the room on the left of the passage as you go in. In this room were several men in handsome uniforms & seated in their midst was a man with a heavy square cut beard. The officer with me spoke to him. “Genl Devins”, he said, “this boy wants a guard for his house”. Devins simply looked at me & said, “Send him to Custer” [Union general George Armstrong Custer], and went on talking.

The young lieutenant—for such he was—took me out of the porch & pointing down the railroad said “Go to Genl Custer’s headquarters down yonder in the house back of the University & tell him Genl Devins sent you, & he will give you the guard.” I went back to the lower room, found old Hearst & off we started.

About the time we got upon the railroad track night had fallen & so we trudged along in the dark, neither speaking a word, until we got to what was then known as the Carr’s Hill crossing—a point just about where the boys now cross the C & O R.R. track to go to the Athletic field. Here we turned off & scarcely had we taken half a dozen steps when we heard the rattle of a gun and a man stepped out of the shadow & said sharply “Halt! Who comes there?” We stopped in our tracks & I answered promptly “People to see Gen Custer, sent by Genl Devins.” “Advance & give the countersign”, said the sentry—for it was a sentinel. “I don’t know it,” I said, “I’m only a boy”. The sentry walked then closely up to us—his gun slung into position across his body. “Stand where you are.” He said. You can well imagine we stood.

“Corporal of the Guard,” he shouted, “Post No—” I’ve forgotten the number. An answer came & presently two men approached. I told my story, & the Corporal bade Hearst & myself follow him. We did so & he led out to what I knew as the McCoy house—The house Dr Chancellor afterwards bought—then Col Peters—who added to it, and where now resides Dr [Edwin A.] Alderman (1907) [later Saint Paul’s Memorial Church] The House was then entirely different from what it is now. It was then a rather small brick house—a passage on the left hand side and the parlour on the right. On the right side of the yard, about where the Booker house now stands, was a two story tenement house for students—a single room depth and a portico two stories high running along its front. Into one of these rooms the Corporal led me, and I was again subjected to a good deal of good natured guying. I suppose the Corporal had sent a messenger to the General for by and by a man came in & told me to go with him, bidding Hearst remain where he was until I returned. I was then taken in the McCoy house parlour which was crowded with officers. One of them who looked to me like a boy & who had long yellow hair like a womans, spoke to me. “Well boy; what do you want?” “I want a guard”, I replied boldly & I expect somewhat pertly—”Your men have insulted my mother, robbed our house and they say are going to burn it tonight.” “Where’s your father?” said this young man looking at me with a rather amuzed glance. I suppose he must have thought I represented very little that needed guarding. I was barefooted: Had on a pair of muddy & stained trousers & a thin patched jacket with which the briars had played havoc—”He’s with his regiment” I replied. “Where he ought to be—for he’s Colonel of it.” His whole manner changed at once. “Is your father a field officer?” he asked.

“I don’t know what that means,” I replied—”He is a Colonel in the Confederate States Army & his name is Duke.”

“Well!” said he—”that’s quite a different matter. Where do you live?” I told him. He turned to a man & said “Orderly bring so & so here”. The man saluted & in a short while returned with a huge six-footer. He told him to go with me and remain at my father’s house until the rear-guard left & to see to it that we were not molested in any way.

He then told me that this man would take care of us and bade me go with him.
I recall hardly anything of Custer’s appearance beyond the fact that he looked very young and had long yellow hair, hanging down below his coat collar & I think on his shoulders. I never saw him afterwards.

I followed my Michigander, who went out to get his horse. I then picked up old Hearst & with him & our guard—who rode his horse—we went across the fields & soon got home. I found mother had returned, but she was wild with anxiety over my absence so late in the night.

Our guard & my safe return seemed to have a very happy effect & we were all soon sitting down by the fire chatting away. This soldier was a large, tall, pleasant looking man, quite a talker.

He told us, the war would soon be over, that Richmond—which he said was entirely surrounded by Mountains with only one outlet, was now bound to fall, as this raid had effectually closed up that only exit. And the joke on mother was, that she forgot her geography and moaned over the fate of the City. But I remember very little more—for the excitement of the day & my two long trips had worn me out. I faintly recall Mammy Rose washing my feet in warm water, and moaning over “de po’ chile’s feet cut with rocks & torn with briars.” I was soon asleep in that happy sleep of childhood & the Yankees & the robberies & the anxieties & troubles of the day faded into nothingness.

It seemed our Guard had failed to get from the proper officer any papers stating his position & several times during the next day he was asked for his “papers” by one or two impudent marauders whom he prevented from coming into the house: About 12 o’clock a stubby little Irishman came over to visit him & he asked this Irishman to remain and take care of us until he could get his papers. Off he rode and in half an hour was back with his papers: But during the interval four or five men rode up the stable and began to take out what little hay was left in it. Down went our little Irishman & told them the “General’s” orders were that nothing was to be molested on this place, and that he was the Guard.

“Where are your papers?” asked one of them—As quick as a flash the little fellow jerked out a long “naval” revolver. Click went the lock, as he cocked it. “Here dom ye,” said he. “Here’s me papers”. The fellow looked into the muzzle of the revolver and laughed “They’re good, Paddy,” said he—”Come along boys.” and off they rode minus any hay. Our guard left the next day towards noon & we were told that the yankees were gone. About three or four I walked over to the camp near the University & saw everything in motion & came back to give the news.

The following morning I was playing in the yard under the big oaks, when I heard a familiar voice say “Tom”. I couldn’t believe my ears. It was my father’s voice. I looked around & there he stood in his grey uniform smiling at me.

My joy at seeing him was tempered by the thought of the danger he was running from stragglers or men left behind as a sort of a rear guard. So as I ran to kiss him I said, “Oh! Papa come in the house quick & hide: The Yankees may not be all gone”. He laughed at my fears & taking me in his arms kissed me & bade me not to be uneasy. Mother was of course overjoyed to see him, but like myself terribly frightened at the thought of the risk he ran. He told us that he had obtained a furlough & started home. When he reached Gordonsville he heard of the raid & at once went across the Mountain between Gordonsville and Barboursville to the house of a Mr Ben: Johnson who had married his cousin. He borrowed a horse from him and rode to Gilbert’s farm & thence around, making careful enquiries as to the raid, & learning that the rear guard had gone he ventured home. He did not know what had happened: Was afraid they had burned the house, and of course was in great trouble & anxiety. As he came down the road he could just see the tops of the chimneys, & not until he heard the “quack, quack” of some ducks in the yard did he feel assured. “If they haven’t taken the ducks,” he said to himself, “they have hardly burnt the house,” so he rode joyously up to the gate & saw all was safe & me at play. He had hardly been in the house an hour when we heard a man’s step on the back porch. He started to go out, but mother threw he arms around his neck & begged him not to go out. “Go: go:” she said to me, “and it is a yankee or any one you do not know, call loudly for me—If you know him come right back & tell us who it is.” I rushed out & to my great delight saw that it was Prof Wm H. McGuffey of the University. Dr McGuffey was Professor of Moral Philosophy in that Institution. Being a Presbyterian Minister & the University practically closed, he had charge of the Church in Charlottesville & had come over to see how mother—one of his parishioners—had fared, after the raid. I didn’t wait to report but ushered him immediately into the room. He was very much surprised to see father but much pleased. He told him he thought all the yankees had gone & that he was perfectly safe, but that before Father exposed himself to general view or went into town it was important to know that all the troops had left: That there was really more danger from stragglers & camp followers, than from the troops. The latter might capture, but the former would murder. So it was suggested that I should accompany him back to the University & remain at his house whilst he went on a reconnoitering tour & would send me back with a report.

So after a little chat, off we went—the Doctor & I—across the fields to his house, the last pavillion on the left hand side (West Lawn) of the Lawn as you face the Rotunda. He turned me over to the tender mercies of Mrs McGuffey & went off to learn what he could of the Raiders whereabouts. Whilst he is out I might as well here say something of the man—For in my judgment he was the greatest teacher I ever knew and a most remarkable man in every way.

Born & I believe reared in the State of Ohio, he came to the University of Va in 18[ ] and no son of Virginia was ever more loyal to her than he was. He filled, for awhile the pulpit of the Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, whilst carrying on his duties at the University. He was Pastor when I was born & christened me. A thin spare man, bald as a bat, close shaven a little below the average height—with a keen incisive gray-blue eye—A quick walker—Seemingly stern & grave he was really very tender hearted & full of fun and jokes. As a preacher he was dry, & “lectury”, tho’ he used to weep very often in the midst of his sermon. He shook his head very much both in preaching and lecturing, and had a curious way of smacking his lips between sentences. He taught moral philosophy and logic and political economy—turning the latter over to Prof Holmes when the chair of History & Literature was established. His sermons were dry, as I have said, but wonderfully logical, I have heard. My grandfather used to say that he never knew a man who could “dovetail” a subject like the Dr. He was the author of the celebrated and widely used McGuffey’s spellers and Readers—books which I used entirely when I was a boy, and a complete set of which he gave me after the war. Like a fool I let them get away from me. Of the man as Professor I will write more fully—if I am spared and have energy enough to complete these random reminiscences thro’ my college days, asI hope to do.

The Doctor came back about dinner time, & told me I was to stay to dinner and then return home and tell my father that no vestige of the yankees was left, and that some Confederate Soldiers were now in the town, & he thought all danger was over. So after a bountiful meal I scurried across the fields with the news.

My brother Willie came in the next day I think with news of the safety of our Buckeyeland kin & some funny stories of Uncle Kits excitability. I do not remember how long Father stayed with us. It must have been a very short while. I remember distinctly going with him to the Junction—as it was then called, now the Union Station & saw him walk up the Railroad track towards Lynchburg. I think he walked the greater part of the way & from Lynchburg went to Richmond by train. I did not see again for over four months & then after the surrender of Genl [Robert E.] Lee & his own imprisonment in Johnson Island Prison.

The month which elapsed between Sheridan’s Raid & the Surrender must have gone very rapidly.

Beginning this year, R. T. W. Duke Jr., of Charlottesville, composes his memoir Recollections in five leather-bound volumes. They are never published.
APA Citation:
Duke Jr., R. T. W.. From Recollections by R. T. W. Duke Jr. (1899). (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Duke Jr., R. T. W.. "From Recollections by R. T. W. Duke Jr. (1899)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 20 Jul. 2024
Last updated: 2021, January 28
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