William Colvin and his Southern Claims Commission Records.

I took out an annual subscription with Footnote.com in order to access their digitised imaged of primary source records. My primary motive for doing so was to review the Southern Commission claim of William Colvin, then in his late 60s, (son of Richard Colvin, Sr.) The file is lengthy but the contents are revealing. According to his lengthy deposition, William’s 387-acre farm, located near Catletts Station in Fauquier County was, essentially, raided by Union troops during the war when their supplies ran low. Although he was provided a few receipts by officers, (at other times, unsupervised infantry just took what they wanted,) he was also at the mercy of their threats as well as those to his daughter (one solder threatened to “run [her] through with his saber” if she didn’t release the reigns of a horse she’d grabbed trying to save it from being taken,) In many cases he could only stand by while clumsy infantry emptied his barns of hundreds of bushels of grains, chopped down some 90 acres of virgin forest, slaughtered his herds of livestock, and do nothing even as they tore down miles of rail fencing along the borders of his farm — all while encamped on his lands.

Perhaps most surprising, however is that, William admits he was against the Virginia Act of Secession but was influenced to vote for it by the populous idea; that he was, in fact, originally “sympathetic” to the United States. This failed to sway the Commission; in the end, his claim, which totaled some $1,750.00 (more than $30, 400.00 in 2006 dollars) was rejected because it was felt William was, ultimately, a Confederate at heart.

The file is lengthy, (more than 50 pages, most of that in the form of his own and neighbors’ depositions) but I have uploaded the 1st and last pages which contains the inventory of damages and the final outcome as decided by the SC commissioner to the Flickr database. I will upload additional images in due course.

In addition there are additional digitized records from Compiled Service Military Record files of the Colvins of this line who served in the CW. One of those images, the 1st of 9 Index Card entries in the CSMR of George M. Colvin, (grandson of Richard Colvin, Sr. via his son, George,) has already been uploaded. Additional images will likewise be uploaded in due course.

Digital images of contents of file # 21015, William Colvin, claimant, filed 17 June 1873, Warrington, Virginia. [scanned by Footnote.com from: National Archive microfilm case # 21015, roll 040, Southern Claims Commission]


About Alex Colvin

Senior, History, minoring in Anthropology, University of Houston. Charter President, Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society, (Webb UH Main 2014-2015) University of Houston. Additional credentials can be found in the CV / Services tab.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.