ALD, The War Came

Abraham Lincoln was nominated president. We still held to the Union but when Lincoln made a call for soldiers and then set the negroes free, the manhood of Virginia, loving their state more than the Union and feeling that the U.S. had no owner, finally uprose.

My cousin, Robert H. Logan was at West Point in his fourth year, left with his other companions for their homes. They asked no leave and our U.S. soldiers, among them the General (then Colonel Lee) resigned. It is said that Colonel Lee walked the floor all night before he resigned and a sad heart decided in favor of his state. He and my father thought alike in politics but after they decided for their state they were heart and soul for Virginia.

Mr. Burk announced at the breakfast table that he was going to join the Southern Torries. We had wondered what he would do. He said his mother’s family was from Maryland so he would enlist, I think, in the second Maryland regiment. My father gave him his proper equipment. We made his bedding, etc. He was greatly excited and joined his company and regiment forthwith. We were all so busy, knitting, making shirts, etc. We had no supplies so we tore our sheets into strips for bandages for soldiers, scraped out linen shetts* and tablecloths into lint. We felt we were defending our rights. We had no hospital stores. At first we got on fairly well, but soon our little store was exhausted. We had no factories and soon needed clothes as well as food. I cannot appempt** from memory after fifty years to give correctly any statement, so I shall only give my personal experience. We were so interested and worked making shirts, pants, knitting socks, sweaters, and making bandages.

(*sheets, **attempt)

My sister and I went to Richmond, as we knew so many there. All the cabinet and their families and the President. There were many soldiers also, Richmond being the capital. They were frequently there. General Robert E. Lee, J.E.B. Stuart, Fitzhugh Lee and company. I knew President Davis and his family well, also General R. E. Lee. His daughter Mildred I knew very well. We often sent boxes the first and second years of the war. After that we had nothing to send. Our hospitals were crowded and very poorly equipted*, so the people in the country established hospitals, caring for those wounded and sick and they recuperated. So as our Rectory was vacant, (our Rector having gone to war) we furnished it with cots, provided a matron, and each day two ladies of our Church provided everything for their day. We always went with Mrs. John C. Rutherford. They had sent us all we could accommodate. They improved rapidly and went back to fight and others came in their place. We enjoyed doing for these men, most of them from Georgia and North Carolina. Several were ill and only one died and was buried in our church yard at St. Paul’s Church.


This year in the summer my sister Mollie visited in Lynchburg and from there went to Lexington to see our brothers George and John who were at Virginia Military school. She had an illness which developed into typhoid fever. My father and mother were summoned to her bedside. My youngest brother was just a year old and had never been weaned. I volunteered to take care of him and urged my mother to go. My sister was ill many weeks and got so homesick the doctor said she would never get well there. So in December he let her come home.

My dear beautiful sister was so wasted and worn. I had charge of everything. Fifty hogs were killed and I had all this to see to. The lard had to be rendered up and there was a house full of company. My father and Aunt Martha all had to go to my sister. The servants did their part well and were respectful and obedient, so I got along. My baby was very troublesome for about a week and then slept pretty well. He missed his mother so much, I always felt that he was my child. We were always together. He graduated at sixteen and a half. He went to school to* me until he entered Roanoke College. After he graduated he went to New York where he lived, a bright newspaper man. After serving in the bank for two years he was a reporter for the Commercial Advertiser and New York World. He reported Gen. Grant’s illness and death and his work was highly appreciated. He was presented by the paper with a gold watch and chain with the inscription, “In token of services rendered.” My brother Joe has the watch and chain. My family was absent six weeks and then brought my sister home.


I will never forget her wan face and the smile she gave me the night she arrived. The fever left her and the Doctors Harris and James were more hopeful and saw no use to continue visits but in a few days she died of exhaustion. The doctors said I could not nurse her as I wanted to, as the little boy was so attached to me, and my poor mother so worn with nursing my sister I had to keep him in his waking hours, but whenever I could I was ministering to her. She loved me to run* her limbs and one night as I rubbed her she talked of her joy at being home. “Oh Anna, I am so glad to be with you, I missed you so.” Then she moaned and I arose and called the family in. She knew no one to speak but seemed to know we were all there. In a few moments she was quiet and her spirit had gone to be with her Savior she loved and truly worshipped. She was a lovely Christian, beautiful in character and lovely in person, as our minister wrote in her obituary:


Beautiful as sweet

Young as beautiful

Soft as young

As gay as soft

As merciful as gay.

She was greatly missed, being loved by both young and old. Her funeral I shall never forget, when she was borne to the grave by our slaves. I could not leave my boy, so all left the house. I could see them wind through the field, followed by so many friends, and all the children. After the burial services the servants who had borne and followed her to the grave asked permision* of Marster to sing, which of course was granted. The sound floated top* to me at the house, That night the servants came and asked me to come in the hall and asked to pray with Master and Mistis and the chillums. That prayer is still in my mind and heart. Those golden days were saddened when she left us.

(permission*, up*)

Our lives went on. We had had a governess since October who was engaged by me in the absence of my parents. I watched her closely and did not think her efficient as a teacher nor faithful in her services, so when she left for Christmas I told her so and requested her not to return. It developed that she intended leaving in a few weeks to be married. I was glad she was to be provided for. Now I taught them. My sister Jeanie went to school in Richmond.

We missed my sister. Besides her lovely companionship she kept the house always bright with company. She was so greatly admired she was never at Dungeness that her friends did not crowd around her. Wherever she went there was a train of followers. Conditions were entirely different. It was no burden to entertain and our home was open door to all. A friend of my sister’s Mr. William Aunas of New York did not forget the hospitality he had enjoyed with us and was kind to my brother George when in prison. So was our former tutor, Rev. Wendell Prime. They searched for him and found him at Lookout Mountain. We did not know for four months whether he was living. Owing to illness he could not write.

My brother George went into the War the spring of 1863, joining the 4th Virginia Cavalry commanded by Colonel Harrison and was in General Litz Lee’s division. He was scattered at Fort Kennon, sometimes called Fort Wilson on James River Peninsula. General Lee ordered troops to go and stop negro devastations in that sector. He did not require his troops to go, but asked for volunteers. My brother and Mr. Sam White and many others did so. Mr White later married my sister Jeanie. After the fight my brother’s name was in the list of wounded and missing. I went to Richmond and General Custis Lee went with me to camp to see a soldier who had returned from the fight, who said he must be dead, for when he saw George last he was dreadfully wounded.

ALD, The End of a Civilization

Another fall, the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church convened at St. Paul’s church. I was allowed to go very often, and though young, about 15 years old, I enjoyed the services. The number of Bishops awed me and I recall even now some of the sermons. I knew some of the Bishops, Bishops Meade and Johns of Virginia both grand in mind, manner and appearance, Bishop Johns a fine orator, Bishop Meade unique in his simplicity and rugged strength. I remember Dr. Dix of N.Y. and Dr. Hodges of N.Y. whose wonderful voice and elocution held all spellbound. I recall these personalities distinctly, and the whole thing made a vivid impression upon me. Thank God for these beautiful memories. I never saw a convention that made a like memorable memory. I think it was the next summer I was confirmed at Old Beaver Dam Church. At that time our church, St. Paul’s, had no clergyman so the confirmation was held there. I recall a little circumstance — when I tried to untie my bonnet, the strings would not untie. The dear old Bishop Meade saw my confusion and said, never mind child, just push your bonnet back. My realife* at his considerate kindness gave me joy then and will never be forgotten. Venerable old Patriarch, I wonder how many hearts have been gladdened by your ministrations. Read more

ALD, The Fall of 1855

In the fall of this year, 1855, my sister and I went to boarding school in Richmond. Mr. Hubert Pierce Lifefors*, who was trained to the Jesuit Faith and destined for their ministry, by some incluence*, I know not what, departed from the religion of his fathers, escaped from his surroundings to Virginia where he soon rose from visiting master to the head of a female school (Mrs. Meeds.) He was a most accomplished and elegant man, being physically and mentally gifted. He was the best educator I ever saw. He left his Jesuit religion behind him in France and was a devoted Episcopalian. He had a wonderful school, having pupils from Southern states. When the Civil War came upon us, he moved to Montgomery, Alabama, but did not live very long. His first wife, Miss Mary Williams, was a relative of my mother. His second wife was a lady of Montgomery, who after his death moved to Baltimore, and had a fashionable school called Madam Lefebres*. My sister and I went together there and always stood at the head of the class, she first and I second. Our school days were happy and provitable.* I developed a fine voice, sung solos at all concerts and led choruses. My sister was a fine performer. We both played in all concerts. Excuse my part of this compliment, but alas, there is no one living to do it, so I simply tell the truth. After two years, my sister stopped school. I went two years more. It was the custom for girls to stop school at eighteen. Then when I reached the required age, my sister, Jennie, was out. We all three made many friends, some have been lifelong. Even now at 76, I have correspondents — Mrs. Charles H. Dummock, Lizzie Sedlen of Glancester County; Miss Sallie Coles of Albemarle, Mrs. Julia Randolph Sage — I have letters from them now in 1919. It would take a column to tell of my many friends there and probably interest no one but myself. Read more

ALD-The Summer of 1850

The summer of 1850 my father and mother took their northern trip. I don’t know what they would’ve done without our dear aunt who was so efficient in every way. I remember their account of their trip to Saratoga, N.Y. and to Niagara through the Great Lakes to Montreal. I well remember the lovely wax dolls which they brought us. We never had many toys, as children didn’t in those days, and had never seen a wax doll. Our delight was unbounded. Those wax dolls, oh the joy they gave us. Read more

ALD, My Girlhood at Dungeness

My Girlhood at Dungeness

I do not remember what year we went to Dungeness. I stayed principally at Retreat with Aunt Polly and my Aunt Martha until the death of Mrs. Payne when we all, Aunt Martha and the servants of the household went to Dungeness, as Aunt Polly gave my father the personal property. The estate Retreat was by my Grandfather’s will to be sold to pay the legacies to his nephews and nieces. The house at Dungeness was a plain wooden one with only four rooms. I always wondered why the Randolphs did not have a better one, but we lived in it until I was fourteen and it was then remodeled and greatly improved. One little incident which happened I have not forgotten. My sister and aunt rode in the coach and four, we, like all children were exuberant at the change. She clapped her little hands and said, “Us is gong to us’s house!” I corrected her and said, “That is not the way to say it, Sister. You should say, “We is going to we’s house.” So many years ago, and yet I remember it! Read more

ALD-The Henrys and the Jeffersons at Our Home at Dungeness

Record of the family of James W. Logan of Dungeness, Goochland, Va.

Nathaniel West Dandridge married Dorothea, daughter of Governor Alexander Spotswood and Jean Butler. Son William married Anne Bolling fourth. Daughter Jean Butler married Reverend Joseph D. Logan, son James William married Sarah Strothers, Born 1815, Jan. 15, Born 1819, May 3, Married 1838, Golden Wedding 1888. Read more

Last Christmas

I have three Best Christmas Ever memories.

Christmas 1972, 1975, 1972

Going to my Grandma and Papa’s house for Christmas every single year. (I don’t remember a single childhood Christmas in my own house) All the cousins came too, so when you walked into the living room on Christmas morning, the presents Santa left for everyone literally covered the entire floor. At least… that’s how I remember it. Read more

ALD, By Marriage to the First American President

William Dandridge married Unity West, daughter of John West of Westforth, niece of Lord Baltimore. They had several children. Nathaniel West married Dorothea Spotswood, second daughter of George Alexander Spotswood. Sons: William and Nathaniel West. Daughters: Martha, Elizabeth, Dorothea and Mary. Of these three daughters, three married Raynes, Archibald Philip and George Roodson Payne. Dorothea married first Winston, second, Patrick Henry. Read more

The Warpath

PC: Instagram @deebryl

I finished a good book today, one that I’ve been reading for a few weeks now. I will not insert its storyline here because I don’t want this blogpost turning into a book review. But let me assure you, I slammed the stupid thing shut when I finished it, tossed it dismissively onto the floor in disgust and haven’t been able to shake its frayed ending out of my mind since. Read more

What The Waves May Bring You

Photo Credit: Instagram @frankabbottphotography.

Life took yet another sucker punch at me yesterday when someone I love deeply was critically injured in a motorcycle accident. The layers of scarring that a heart can accumulate reminds me of the backs of whipped slaves. After the delivery of so much bad news, I have trouble now differentiating between which scars belong to which death, which hospitalization, which divorce, and the chapter in my life in which it occurred. All of my pains seem to stack themselves one on top of the other like a big tangled pile of ugly, stinking laundry, weaving in and out of thrashed and bloodied knots.

I survived these emotional beat-downs each time because of my faith, and like I always do, I turned to prayer to get me through figuring out how to sort through my feelings.

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