Richard Henry Dulany personally
equipped a company of mounted riflemen, the Dulany Troop, in
July 1861. Thus he began a commendable military career. The
thrice-wounded Dulany rose to temporary command of the Laurel
Brigade, yet the young widower was also a father and brother
and son whose concern for the well-being of his extended
family at Welbourne, his historic country estate near
Middleburg in Loudoun County, Virginia, was foremost in his
heart and permeated his thoughts and letters.
The writings of the colonel, his
father, his children (who ranged in age from five to twelve
years old when the war began) and other family members who
flowed in and out of Welbournes spacious rooms reveal
the touching activity of daily life maintained despite the
chaotic times. Their words reveal the gravity of the their
situation, yet they also note lighter moments and give thanks
for small triumphs.
Meet John Peyton Dulany, the
colonels father, the patriarch who anchored the family;
Mittie Herbert, the plucky cousin who boldly recovered some
livestock taken by the Federals; C.E. Weidmayer, the Swiss
tutor who crossed the lines to conduct Dulany business
clandestinely and brought back vital food and other supplies;
Ida Powell Dulany, the colonels sister-in-law, who
lived at nearby Oakley; the colonels children, whose
adventures are chronicled in their own letters and journals;
and many more, including John Singleton Mosby and his men,
who often took shelter at Welbourne.
Welbourne remains in Colonel
Dulanys family today, open to the public as a
bed-and-breakfast inn. Its walls cannot talk, but the letters
and journals left behind by its residents tell an amazing
Peggy Vogtsberger, born at West Point,
New York, has lived in Hampton, Virginia, for 27 years. She
attended the College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Va.).
Founder of the John
Pelham Historical Association; former
editor of JPHA newsletter, The Cannoneer. Founder
of the Peninsula Civil War Round Table. Past president,
Williamsburg Civil War Round Table.
Recognized in 1996 by the Civil War Education
Association for fostering the study and appreciation of
American Civil War history.
Vogtsberger Talks About The Dulanys of Welbourne
I first came to Welbourne because of my long
interest in Major John Pelham, the young Civil War
artillerist. In one of those serendipitous moments that color
our lives, I once read that Pelham at been at Welbourne
during the war, not in a book about the war, strangely
enough, but in a biography of the novelist Thomas Wolfe. In
1980, I was looking through the Historic Garden Week book
(each April the Garden Club of Virginia sponsors tours of
historic homes and their gardens). Much to my surprise,
Welbourne was open to the public. I drove up that very day.
No one can enter Welbourne without being aware of
its history and Colonel Richard H. Dulany. His almost
life-size portrait is in the library. However, that day I had
very little interest in him. I introduced myself to the owner
and explained my interest. She graciously invited me in, and
I saw the window where the gallant Pelham had
etched his initial with a diamond ring, the window I had read
about years before in Wolfes biography. That initial
meeting led to friendship with the owners, Mr. and Mrs.
Nathaniel Morison. Mr. Morison is Colonel Dulanys great
In 1988, a cousin of the Morisons passed away. His
house, Pelham, was named for John Pelham by
Colonel Dulanys daughter, Mary. As the house and
property went out of the family, Mr. Morison was given
anything and everything relating to Colonel Dulany. Much to
his own surprise, the shoeboxes and file cabinets contained
more than 100 Civil War letters.
The letters were detailed and exciting. They were
not the story of a colonels military career, or a
biography of a Confederate colonel, but an entire
familys experiences during the most harrowing times in
their lives. The uncertainty of the future was never more
dim, yet they knew they lived in exciting and historic times.
It was Mr. Morisons confidence in a friend
that led to the letters being published. The chance of any
historian or researcher uncovering such a cache of letters,
still in private hands and not yet in any institutional
archives, is almost nil. It was a great honor to get the
chance to edit and publish these letters. I got to meet the
Dulanys, their relatives, their friends and neighbors in
Loudoun County, and I hope that by reading the book, you will
get to know them too.
What the family
endured ... comes forth here in ... an extraordinary
collection of material. Editor Margaret Vogtsberger has
demonstrated ably how family writings ought to be
organized. James I. Bud Robertson,
Jr. in the Richmond Time-Dispatch
Readers will gain ... a
deeper understanding of what the war was like in rural
northern Virginia. The editor has done a graceful job of
identifying people and places, and the publisher deserves
commendation for a page layout that places the explanatory
notes next to the relevant passages in the text.
The author has done an
excellent job using diary entires to amplify events in the
letters. ... There is ... real insight into how the war
affected a wealthy southern family. ... A very readable and
worthwhile book. Duane Benell, The
Civil War Courier
The writings ...
reveal the touching activity of daily life maintained despite
the chaotic times. Middleburg
The Dulanys of Welbourne is a
wonderful book, rich in the human details of life in a
section of Mosbys Confederacy. The letters and diaries
are fascinating, filled with military actions, family
concerns, and love. This is a most welcome book.
Jeffry D. Wert, author of Mosbys
Rangers and General
The reader experiences the
adventures and emotions of a family caught in the middle of
the conflict swirling about them. Lake
Charles (La.) American Press
from The Dulanys of Welbourne: A Family in
The Dulanys were
strong Unionists, as were many Virginians. William H.
Dulany of Fairfax County was elected as one of two
delegates to the state convention on a platform that was
moderately Unionist, defeating the secessionis candidate,
Loudoun County delegate John Armistead Carter of Crednal,
Dulany voted against secession but did, however, declare
that he would never consent to purchase peace at
the price of the honor and the interest of
Virginia passed an
Ordinance of Secession on April 17, 1861, five days after
the fall of Fort Sumter. Six weeks later Richard Henry
Dulany of Welbourne, ready to protect his home from
Northern agression, wrote to his sister Mary Whiting, who
was at Richland, her home in Stafford County, of his
May 31, 1861, Welbourne
My Dear Sister,
William was the son of
Daniel French Dulany and a cousin to Richard Dulany of
leaves in the morning, so I have an opportunity of
sending you a few lines.
John F. Thompson, an
overseer. (1860 US Census)
I received your letter yesterday and was truly glad to
hear that you were all well. I hope that as the weather
gets warmer Carlyle will improve in health. Mr. Anderson
will make no [wheat] cradles and for fear Carlyle may be
disappointed I send two of mine and Mr. Thompson thinks
he can get one from his brother.
George William Carlyle Whiting.
Possibly Alfred B. Anderson (1860 US Census). An A.
Anderson residence is noted near Welbourne on a Civil War
We are all well and are in good spirits as the state of
our country admits. All the young men in the neighborhood
have joined the army. All the young Carters and John
deButts are in Welby Carters Co. I spent a day and
night with them and Ashbys Co. at the Point of
Rocks [Maryland] a few days since. The boys had rather
hard fare, straw and a blanket being their only bed, but
they all seemed to be willing to put up with anything if
they could only get a fair fight with Lincolns men.
His nephew, John Peyton
deButts. Richard Welby Carter, called Welby, a cousin of
Dulanys late wife, lived across the road from
Welbourne. He was captain of a militia company organized
prior to November 1859 that became Co. H, 1st Virginia
Cavalry, on detached service with the legendary Turner
Point of Rocks is on the Potomac River north of Leesburg.
John deButts has the hardest time of any of them as one
Sergeant is sick and he does the work of two; he is up
all night every other night in the week as he has to post
all the sentinels which is done every two hours. He has
but little fear if he can get within pistol shot as he is
the best shot at the Point.
All our friends are well. Mittie took Mr. Weidmayer to
drive her to Vaucluse this morning. A willful woman can
be turned when water is taught to run uphill. I am very
sorry now that I did not send her down by Jeffries [sic]
but really was so surprised at her going that I did not
think of it until she had gone.
Mittie Herbert, Dulany's cousin, lived at
Welbourne. Mr. Weidmayer was the Swiss tutor. Vaucluse
was the Fairfax County home of Constance Cary,
Mitties cousin.4 Jeffrey Moriarty, age 70, was the
coachman at Welbourne.
Clarence is well but very
serious to join the army. I do not know what his
intentions are as he seems to confide only in himself. I
have volunteered to prove to him that the State did not
need his services in the ranks and that he stood the same
chance of a commission that I did of General Lees
place. I think his idea [was] that by offering himself at
[Manassas] Junction he could get a commission.
Tell Carlyle that the military ambition
that he saw in me so long ago has at last broken out. I
have written [for] permission to raise a company of
mounted riflemen which shall equip itself and after being
thoroughly trained fight when they cant help it. I
want the compy to act as a mounted police until the
state requires more volunteers. I think we being well
mounted stand but little chance of being shot as we shall
follow the precedent set by Stafford [County]. I am truly
glad to hear that eighteen of her armed men had too much
magnanimity to fight six of the Yankees who had come
ashore and ran away rather than hurt them.
son, Clarence Carlyle Whiting.
Give my love to Carlyle, cousin Ellen, Julia, Nina, et.
your attached brother
R H Dulany
A few days
later Mary Whiting received a second letter from
Welbourne, this one from her father, John Peyton Dulany:
3 June 61
My Dear Mary
I would have
written by Thompson, but as your Bro. wrote to you I
thought it would be better for me to write at some other
Ellen Marr Whiting
(1817-1903), sister of G. W. Carlyle Whiting. Julia and
Nina are two of Carlyle and Marys six daughters.
I sincerely regret to
inform you that Clarence has joined Richard Carters
Company. I did every thing that I could to prevent [him]
but without success. He certainly is the most willful Boy
I ever met with. Perhaps after all it is best, so [he]
will at least learn one lesson, to learn to obey. Richard
Carter I am sure will take every care of him.
Richard Henry has
applied for a commission and expects to raise a Company
of Cavalry. He intends to go today to the Point of Rocks
to commence learning to drill. There will be hardly a
young man left in this neighborhood.
I think from the
present appearances Genl. Lee intends to move on
Washington. If he does not, I fear that the Yankees will
take Richmond. If they should, it would be most
disastrous to the Southern States, both as to our foreign
relations and on the yet undetermined [states] with
respect to the course they intend to pursue.
Carter of Glen Welby.
There has been a brush
near Fairfax above Hearn[don, Virginia] between one Troop
of Yankees and one Troop belonging to Prince William
County, and by a Company commanded by Capt Marr who was
killed. Our men as usual ran away from a much inferior
force. I find they are much better at boasting than
Marr, captain of the Warrenton Rifles, was killed in a
skirmish at Fairfax Court House June 1, 1861. 5
Captain Pinkney and
Rebecca lest us nearly two weeks ago. I do not think
Rebecca can possibly live much longer. She is so much
reduced that you would hardly know her.
& Mr. Weidmayer started for the District (Alexandria)
on Tuesday last. I tried to prevail upon her not to
subject herself and Weidmayer to the probability of
perhaps insult and indignity, but is was useless, go she
would, and I am now anxiously waiting to hear from them.
Rebecca Rogers deButts,
Pinkney, wife of Capt. Robert F. Pinkney of the U.S. Navy
was a distant relative.
I heard from your Sister a few days since. She made
affectionate inquiries after you. She says she has
written frequently to you without receiving an answer.
John deButts is very highly spoken of, I have no doubt if
he has an opportunity he will distinguish himself. Love
to all. When I can visit you without danger of losing my
horses, I shall see you, love to all, you are too
numerous to mention by name.
sister, Julia Dulany deButts Roszell lived at Wheatland,
a farm near Hillsboro, about fifteen miles north of
The Northern Army have
taken possesion of Shuters Hill and have nearly
received permission to raise a troop on July 1, 1861. Men
from Loudoun and Fauquier counties enlisted at the small
hamlet of Union (now Unison), Virginia, on July 24th.
Like many Southern units, this one took the name of its
commander, although the Dulany Troop was also known as
the Loudoun Rangers.
men were the sons of Dulanys neighbors; if he did
not know them personally, he was well known to them.
Amanda Virginia Edmonds of Belle Grove in Fauquier
County, when she learned that her brother Sid had joined
the Dulany Troop, wrote:
He has a good
Captain and an able one. His men will not suffer for want
of anything that he can procure. He is a kind hearted and
a very moral man. As long as Sid is going I am glad he is
a member of his company.7
Dulany kept a
meticulous record of his company, listing the names
alphabetically in a register and recording the exact cost
of everything: horses, blankets, pots and panseven
a quid of tobacco for each man.
July 25, 1861, the Dulany Troop began its march to
Ashland, Virginia, about fifteen miles north of Richmond,
where a camp of instruction had been established. It took
four and a half days for the new recruits to march the
125 miles, and near Fredericksburg Dulany became
temporarily separated from his command. His men joked
about Dulanys lost company.8
In a letter to his
daughter Fanny, postmarked August 5, 1861, Dulany give
some details of the companys first march, but there
is no mention of the mishap:
Cavalry Camp, Ashland, Va.
My dear Fanny,
I received your most welcome and well written
letter on Friday evening, I had been so constantly
occupied since that time, that I have been unable to
write to you until this morningthis being the only
day (Sunday) in the week in which we have no drill.
After I left on Thursday we marched within two
miles of Warrenton and encamped for the night. I had then
to see that all the men cleaned and fastened and fed
their horses properly, after which we took our supper,
some of the men sitting on a log others on the grass and
officers at a table.
Shuters Hill was
occupied by John Peyton Dulanys nephew, Henry
Rozier Dulany. Once the site of Fort Ellsworth, it is now
the Masonic Memorial to George Washington. 6
At nine oclock Mr. Gibson, our first Sergeant,
placed a guard of two men over the horses to see that
none of them got loose or were taken away. The guard was
composed of two men, each having a loaded gun, and after
they had walked for two hours up and down the long line
of horses they were relieved by two other men who
performed the same duty until they were relieved after
having been on guard for two hours. In this way our
horses and wagons were kept safely every night during our
We got here in four and a half
days. On the way we were treated very kindly by the
people. Some of them would give us food night and morning
for all our horses (79) and supper and breakfast for all
the men and then refuse to take any pay.
from Upperville, would be promoted to captain in the 6th
Virginia Cavalry and captured at the battle of Yellow
Tavern on May 11, 1864. He was one of the "Immortal
Six Hundred," Confederate prisoners used by the
Union as a human shield in their defense of Morris
Island, in Charleston Harbor, S.C.9
The first day we halted for dinner near Salem. The
farmers brought us corn and large buckets of milk and
tubs of ice water. These acts of kindness warm our hearts
very much toward our people and make us the more anxious
to prepare ourselves as soldiers to drive back to their
own country the Yankees who wish to oppress us.
is now called Marshall, Virginia.
Take your map and ask Mr. Weidmayer to show you which are
the Northern and which [are] the Southern States and to
point out to you the place where the battle was fought
two weeks ago and where our Merciful and Kind Father in
Heaven gave us the victory over our enemies. It is now
said by the Northern papers that their loss was ten
thousand. Ask Cousin Mittie to show you the short
accounts of the battles in the newspapers and try and
recollect the names of the principal officers and the
Manassas (Bull Run), July 21, 1861.
When we arrived here the officers gave me a large shed
for our quarters; the men have a blanket each and some
straw to lay upon. Your Uncle Hal sleeps in his hammock
and your Cousin Robert and I have a place about as large
as two stalls in Grand Pas stable boarded off from
the other quarters, with a dirt floor with a few planks
for our bedstead and straw for our bed and one blanket to
cover us. I gave my blanket to one of the boys who had
Uncle Hal is
Henry Grafton Dulany of Oakley, near Upperville,
Dulanys late wifes brother. Cousin Robert
Carter, a lieutenant of Co. A, 6th Virginia Cavalry,
would later be promoted to captain and serve as
I must now close my letter as I wish to go to church.
Give much love to Grand Pa to Mary, Jonny, Hal, Dick and
Mr. Weidmayer, Cousin Mittie and Cousin Mary. Also to the
servants. Try my darling child to be obedient to Cousin
Mittie and your Grand Papa, as well as to Mr. Weidmayer.
Be careful about your dress, your teeth and nails and
never forget to read your Bible and to pray earnestly for
your father as well as yourself, for unless we are sincere
Christians and strive
to do duty, evey blessing that we receive in this life
will be render us all the more miserable in the next.
That a good God may bless and keep you is the sincere
prayer of your devoted father.
Mary, Jonny, Hal and Dick were
Dulanys other children. His elderly, widowed
cousin, Mary Ann Evans lived at Welbourne.