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February 13, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: 1861-1865

Buckingham_Civil-War

Photo by Joanne Yeck

Among the Buckingham County-related manuscripts held at the Library of Virginia is a speech given in 1937 entitled “The Contribution of Buckingham [County] to the Confederacy.”  Delivered before the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the manuscript is unsigned and attributed to William Shepard. Looking back on the war years, he remembers many aspects of life in Buckingham including social life and customs, education, religion, and slavery.  The speech also mentions Buckingham’s support of secession and various companies from Buckingham County that served in the Confederate Army, discussing particularly Buckingham’s role in the battles of Fort Donelson, Cold Harbor, Gettysburg, and the siege of Petersburg.

Opening his talk, Shepard reminded his audience of some basic Buckingham statistics as of 1860:

Population: 6,041 (white), 360 (free blacks), and 8,811 (slaves)

Size of the county: more than 300,000 acres

Cash Value of farm lands: just under $4,000,000

In upcoming posts, various sections of William Shepard’s speech will be highlighted.

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