Finding Aid to the Mollie Woodson Letters

Text

JONES MEMORIAL LIBRARY
2311 MEMORIAL AVENUE
LYNCHBURG, VA 24501
(434) 846-0501
MOLLIE WOODSON (1845-1940) LETTERS
The collection includes letters to Mollie WOODSON, Appomattox County, Virginia,
from her cousin, Samuel N. PAYNE, and her brother, Drury A. WOODSON. The letters
of 29 October 1860 from PAYNE in Danville, Virginia, and 25 December 1860 from
WOODSON in Richmond, are about politics and secession. The letters of 24 January
and 31 March 1862, both from PAYNE, are about a soldier's life and work. The letter of
2 April 1867 from WOODSON, of Prince Edward County, is about his prospects for a
ministerial post and about his school.
MOLLIE WOODSON (1845-aft.1920)
Mary ("Mollie") WOODSON, daughter of Drury and Louisa (HENDRICKS)
WOODSON, was born in March, 1845, in Appomattox County, Virginia. [Census 1850,

Appomattox County, VA, National Archives and Records Service, M-432, Roll 933, p. 189, Stonewall
district, Household 306, Family 306; Census 1900, Appomattox County, VA, National Archives and
Records Service, T-623, Roll 1699, p. 275, Stonewall District, Household 177, Family 185.]

Molly E. WOODSON married in 1867 Charles T. MOSES, born ca. 1844 in
Cumberland County, Virginia, the son of Joseph H. MOSES. [Vicki Jamerson, et als,
Appomattox County Marriages 1854–1890 (Appomattox, VA: Authors, 1979), p. 62. The date is given as "
-22-1867" (month not given). Molly E. WOODSON is listed as the daughter of "W. Drury WOODSON."
D[rury] A. WOODSON, brother of Molly, was the officiating minister.]

Charles T. MOSES served in Company H, 18th Virginia Infantry ("Appomattox
Grays"), during the Civil War. He was captured at Sayler's Creek and was paroled at
Point Lookout Prison on 8 June 1865. [James I. Robertson, 18th Virginia Infantry, 1st ed.
(Lynchburg: H. E. Howard, 1984), pp. 3, 70.]

Charles T. MOSES died 23 November 1896 in Appomattox County, Virginia. He had
served as president of the Farmers Alliance and on the Board of Supervisors. He was
buried in the Liberty [Baptist] Church cemetery. [Appomattox & Buckingham Times, 26

November 1896, p. 3 col. 3.

Mollie (WOODSON) MOSES died 15 January 1940. [Census 1920, Appomattox County,
VA, National Archives and Records Service, T-625, Roll 1879, p. 70, Household 39, Family 41, Rose
Bower Road, Stonewall District.; N. R. Featherston, History of Appomattox, Viginia (Marceline, Mo:
Walsworth Brothers, 1948), p. 227]

(Continued)
MS1496

JONES MEMORIAL LIBRARY
2311 MEMORIAL AVENUE
LYNCHBURG, VA 24501
(434) 846-0501
MOLLIE WOODSON (1845-1940) LETTERS (Contd)
DRURY ALEXANDER WOODSON (1835-1887)
Drury Alexander WOODSON, son of Drury and Louisa WOODSON, was born 20
November 1835, in Buckingham County, Virginia. [George Braxton Taylor, Virginia Baptist

Ministers, 4th Series (Lynchburg: J. P. Bell, 1913), pp. 35-36; Census 1850, Appomattox County, VA,
loc.cit.] The family lived on David's Creek, in that section of Buckingham County which
became part of Appomattox County when it was formed in 1845. [Harriett A. Chilton,
Appomattox County, Virginia, Tax Lists, 1845 (Falls Church, VA: Author, 1975), p. 13.]

Drury A. WOODSON was educated at Richmond College and later became a
schoolmaster at Clover Hill in Appomattox County. [Taylor, op.cit.] By 1860, he had
become a Baptist preacher. [Census 1860, Appomattox County, VA, National Archives and Records
Service, M-653, Roll 1332, p. 492, Household 496, Family 496.]

Following the Civil War, WOODSON moved to Prince Edward County, Virginia,
where he directed the Sandy River Church Academy. He also assisted Rev. Daniel WITT
in several churches in the area. [Taylor, op.cit.]
Drury A. WOODSON married 30 September 1866 Ella S. BRUCE, daughter of
Samuel B. BRUCE and Elizabeth Ann WOOTTEN, of Prince Edward County, Virginia.
[Ibid.; Census 1860, Prince Edward County, VA, National Archives and Records Service, M-653, Roll
1371, p. 55, Household 18, Family 18; "Marriage of Samuel B. BRUCE and Elizabeth Ann WOOTTEN,"
29 May 1829, Marriage Bonds, Prince Edward County, 1754-1850, Microfilmed record, The Library of
Virginia.]

WOODSON moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia where he served in churches of
the Accomac Association. His wife, Ella (BRUCE) WOODSON, died in 1873, while he
was pastor in Sussex County, Virginia. [Taylor, op.cit.]
Drury A. WOODSON moved to North Carolina where he pastored churches in the
counties of Hertford and Davie. On 1 February 1877, he married Emma W. BRUCE,
sister of his first wife. After returning to Virginia to pastor churches in Princess Ann
County, WOODSON contracted malarial fever and died on 11 August 1887. [Ibid.]
(Continued)

MS1496

JONES MEMORIAL LIBRARY
2311 MEMORIAL AVENUE
LYNCHBURG, VA 24501
(434) 846-0501
MOLLIE WOODSON (1845-1940) LETTERS (Contd)
SAMUEL N. PAYNE
According to information from the letters to "Cousin" Mollie WOODSON, Samuel N.
PAYNE was born 11 November 1842. [Letter, 29 October 1860, The Mollie Woodson Letters,
MS1496, Jones Memorial Library, Lynchburg, VA. "I am not quite 18 yet...I will be the 11 of next
month..."]

PAYNE worked in a store in Danville, Virginia, in 1860, with his "uncle Jim" and a
"Mr. TAYLOR." [Ibid., "Mr. TAYLOR, one of the partners, was married the other night and uncle Jim
is out on a trip to Campbell and I have the store all to myself..."]

Samuel N. PAYNE appears to have served in the military during the Civil War,
perhaps from Danville, or Pittsylvania County, in the same unit with his uncle Jim. [Letter,

31 March 1862, The Mollie Woodson Letters, loc.cit. "...We have reorganized our Company; had quite a
change of officers. Uncle Jim was promoted from a private to 1st Lieut..."]

The signature of the letter of 29 October 1860 appears to be that of Samuel N.
PAYNE. Based on the preponderance of the evidence, however, there is a possibility that
this individual is one Samuel M. PAYNE, rather than Samuel N. PAYNE.
Samuel M. PAYNE, clerk, enlisted in Co. A, 18th Virginia Infantry, "Danville Blues,"
on 23 April 1861, at age 18. [Robertson, 18th Virginia Infantry, p. 73.]
In his letter of 29 October 1860, Samuel N. PAYNE stated that he would be 18 on 11
November 1860. [Letter, 29 October 1860, The Mollie Woodson Letters, loc.cit.]
Samuel M. PAYNE was appointed corporal on 23 April 1862. [Robertson, 18th Virginia

Infantry, loc.cit.]

"Sam" PAYNE, in his letter of 31 March 1862, written from Camp Taylor near
Orange Court House, stated that he "must go out and drill my squad of recruits..." [Letter,

31 March 1862, The Mollie Woodson Letters, loc.cit. Drilling a squad of recruits would perhaps indicate a
promotion to corporal.]

Samuel N. PAYNE died 1 June 1862 at the Battle of Seven Pines. He was the son of
Robert G. PAYNE and Sarah Pannill MILLER. [Robertson, 18th Virginia Infantry, loc.cit.;
Lynchburg Daily Virginian, 10 July 1862, p. 3 col. 2; Marriage of Robert G. PAYNE and Sarah Pannill
MILLER, 4 December 1839, Marian D. Chiarito, Marriages of Pittsylvania County, Virginia 1831–1861
(Nathalie, VA: Author, 1982), p. 135.]

(Continued)

MS1496

JONES MEMORIAL LIBRARY
2311 MEMORIAL AVENUE
LYNCHBURG, VA 24501
(434) 846-0501
MOLLIE WOODSON (1845-1940) LETTERS (Contd)
SAMUEL N. PAYNE (Contd)
Sarah Pannill MILLER was the daughter of Samuel T. MILLER and Frances E. F.
PATRICK [FITZPATRICK?] of Pittsylvania County, Virginia. [Chiarito, Marriages,

loc.cit.; Marriage of Samuel T. MILLER and Frances E. F. PATRICK, 30 December 1817, Kathleen Booth
Williams, Marriages of Pittsylvania County, Virginia 1806–1830 (Danville: Author, 1965), p. 105.]

In 1850, the household of Samuel T. MILLER, teacher, and wife Fannie, of
Pittsylvania County, Virginia, included one James MILLER, aged 15 years. [1850 Census,

Pittsylvania County, VA, National Archives and Records Service, M-432, Roll 968, p. 184, Household 196,
Family 196.]

James Ball MILLER, merchant, enlisted in Co. A, 18th Virginia Infantry, "Danville
Blues," on 23 April 1861, at the age of 25 years. On 23 April 1862, he was elected First
Lieutenant of the company. [Robertson, 18th Virginia Infantry, p. 69.]
In his letter of 31 March 1862, "Sam" PAYNE states that "Uncle Jim was promoted
from a private to 1st Lieut[enant]." [Letter, 31 March 1862, The Mollie Woodson Letters, loc.cit.]
On 28 August 1860, J. B. MILLER, age 26, merchant, was enumerated in the
household of J. J. CREWS of Danville, Virginia. Also included in the household was
Albert G. TAYLOR, age 32, merchant. [1860 Census, Pittsylvania County, VA, Danville, National

Archives and Records Service, M-653, Roll 1370, p. 473, Household 185, Family 185.]

In his letter of 29 October 1860, Samuel N. PAYNE writes of working in a store with
his "uncle Jim" and a "Mr. TAYLOR, one of the partners." [Letter, 29 October 1860, The
Mollie Woodson Letters, loc.cit.]

Thus it would appear that James Ball MILLER, born ca. 1835, is a brother to Sarah
Pannill (MILLER) PAYNE, mother of Samuel M. PAYNE, and would be "Uncle Jim."
Based on the evidence presented, it would appear that Samuel N. PAYNE (1842- )
may, indeed, be Samuel M. PAYNE (1842-1862).

MS1496

Dublin Core

Title

Finding Aid to the Mollie Woodson Letters

Subject

Finding aids
Woodson, Mollie, 1845-
Secession

Description

Finding aid to the Mollie Woodson Letters held at Jones Memorial Library in Lynchburg, Virginia. The collection includes letters from 1860 regarding the secession of the south from the United States.

Creator

George M. Jones Memorial Library (Lynchburg, Va.)

Publisher

George M. Jones Memorial Library (Lynchburg, Va.)

Date

2023

Rights

George M. Jones Memorial Library (Lynchburg, Va.)

Format

pdf

Language

English

Identifier

MS1496FA

Citation

George M. Jones Memorial Library (Lynchburg, Va.), “Finding Aid to the Mollie Woodson Letters,” Digital Collections, accessed July 24, 2024, https://digitaljones.omeka.net/items/show/552.