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November 16, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Reconstruction in Buckingham County, Part III

In early 1867, a dozen men were recommended by Lieut. Col. John W. Jordan as fit for leadership in Buckingham County’s new Reconstruction-era government.  Their names are listed here:

Reconstruction in Buckingham County, Part II

When the Buckingham County courthouse burned in 1869, records documenting the county’s immediate post-war transition were irreplaceably lost, making Jordan’s recommendations for new public servants all the more valuable.  Whether or not these men ever served their county is another matter.

Census records, historic newspapers, Jeanne Stinson’s abstracts of the county’s “Board of Supervisors minute book 1870–1887,” and other scattered sources offer clues to Buckingham County’s postwar experience.

Following the surrender at Appomattox, in July of 1865, elections were held in Buckingham County. Robert K. Irving continued in his job as County Clerk. Dr. Charles E Davidson, one of the men on Jordan’s list, was elected to join the “Overseers of the Poor.”

On August 22, 1865, a revealing article was printed in Richmond’s Whig entitled, “Virginia. Expressions Of Public Sentiment.” Dr. Davidson, chaired the committee, expressing fidelity to the Federal Government. Buckingham County’s statement read as follows:

Public meeting in Buckingham. — At a meeting of the citizens of Buckingham county, convened at the Court House, on the fifteenth instant, on the motion of Col. W. W. Forbes, Dr. Chas. E. Davidson was called to the chair, and Ro. K. Irving was appointed Secretary.

On the motion of Col. W. W. Forbes, the following preamble and resolutions were submitted, and unanimously adopted, viz:

Whereas, since the surrender of Generals Lee and Johnston, the fidelity of the people of Virginia to their pledges solemnly made to support the Federal Government, is questioned, we therefore adopt this mode of expressing our opinions and vindicating our loyalty.

Resolved, That, as honorable men, we will, in good faith, abide by all the legitimate results of our defeat.

Resolved, That our pledges of fidelity to the State and Federal Governments were honestly made, and will be faithfully observed.

Resolved, That the conduct of President Lincoln and President Johnson since the close of the Rebellion, has been characterized by a spirit of moderation and a laudable desire to adjust conflicting opinions and existing difficulties upon a firm and solid basis.

Resolved, That Governor Pierpont has gained our good opinion by conciliatory deportment, and we cheerfully tender him our thanks for his efforts on behalf of our State, and trust he may speedily affect our restoration to the Union, and full participation in all its advantages.

Resolved, That the foregoing resolutions to be published in the Richmond newspapers, and a copy be forwarded by the Secretary of this meeting to Governor Pierpont.

Ch. E. Davidson, Ch’n.

Ro. K. Irving, Sec’y.

City papers please copy.

Coming next: Reconstruction in Buckingham County, Part IV

2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne Yeck / Nov 20 2017 2:20 pm

    Thanks. Watch for a post about Osceola following the Reconstruction series. Joanne

  2. L D Phaup / Nov 20 2017 9:36 am

    Joanne a drawing of Osceola home of John R Gilliam is in the Pennington Scott book of buckingham. Osceola was spelled incorrectly by my uncle.

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