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Remembrances of the War Between the States by Mrs. A.E. C. Partin of Portsmouth, Virginia., 1916

 File — Box: Small Collections Box 27, Folder: 1
Identifier: id32569

Scope and Contents

Remembrances of the War Between the States by Mrs. A.E. C. Partin of Portsmouth, Virginia. Handwritten memoir by Anna Eliza Caroline Partin about her experiences in Petersburg and Richmond during the Civil War, particularly the siege of Petersburg.

She lived near the Confederate Hospital on Sycamore Street in Petersburg, Virginia. Her husband was a member of the Artillery which was a Petersburg Company. She had young children and six slaves. During the Battle of Leven Pines, near Richmond, her Father, Henry W. Neville, came from Portsmouth to Richmond to help since he was too old to fight. All the available men from Norfolk and Portsmouth were sent to this battle. Her Father found W.A. Neville on the battlefield and brought him to her to nurse. While she was nursing him, he yelled “unfavorable words” against “the heads of the D--- Yankees.”

During the winter of 1862 and 1863 her family became ill with smallpox because of their proximity to the Confederate Hospital. Her youngest son Harry died of this disease. They buried him February 19, 1863 at her husband’s mother’s plantation located about four miles away in Chesterfield County. Conditions worsened. Her father was assigned to City Defenses and her husband and his three brothers were still at war. The Hospital was shelled and she moved her family to the front of the yard, “because it was better to be killed all at one time rather than being smothered with bricks and plaster.”

She remained in the city until June 30, 1864 when she went to her husband’s old home in Chesterfield County. General Robert E. Lee is stationed near by and she spoke with him many times. She appealed “to Captain Granby for some of his men to protect our place at night” because the “Yankee Boys” were looking for her silver and valuables. She tells where she hides the valuables and the food and how all the horses are taken.

After General Lee evacuates, she and Uncle Isaac, a family slave, hitch up a carriage and look for her husband in the troop camps and hospitals outside Petersburg. When they find him, he is “sick, dirty and in a fearful condition” but he was not allowed to return. She later attempts to get a pass to cross enemy lines in Petersburg, “which is now under the Yankees and the Negro Soldiers.” The Provost Marshall would not give her a pass unless she took an oath to “aid and help the Federal Government” which she said she would never do.

At the end of the narrative, she writes that she is leaving a “charge to my children to be ever loyal to the Ideals and Principles of our Confederacy which I have stood by and loved.” Signed Anna Eliza Caroline Partin October 4, 1916. Member of Portsmouth. Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy.


  • Creation: 1916


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Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.


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Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository