GENERAL JOSEPH EGGLESTON JOHNSTON. Joseph Eggleston Johnston was the eighth son of Peter Johnston and Mary Wood, who was the daughter of Colonel Valentine Wood, of Goochland County, whose wife was Lucy Henry, sister to Patrick Henry. He was born at Cherry Grove, Prince Edward county, February 3, 1807. He was named after Joseph Eggleston, a military associate of his father, and the Captain of the company of Lee's Legion of which his father, Peter Johnston, was Lieutenant.

In 1811, Peter Johnston, with his family, removed to a place he named "Panecillo," on the edge of Abingdon. This removal was consequent upon Johnston's appointment as a judge of the General Court of Virginia.

His education was begun by his parents, both of whom were distinctly competent to give it. This was the custom in those days, amongst the "gentry." This work was carried on by the parents until the lad was old enough to enter the Academy at Abingdon; a fairly good classical school. Young Johnston was a good student, and made the most of the opportunities afforded him, both at home and at school. He ever maintained a fondness for the classics. Homer was his favorite.

In 1825, when he was eighteen, he secured, through the influence of James Barbour, United States Senator from Virginia, and Secretary of War under President John Q. Adams, the appointment to the Military Academy at West Point as a cadet. He thus obtained an entrance into the field of his cherished ambition, for he had long desired to be a soldier. He was descended from a long line of Scottish Clansmen.

In the above year, having successfully passed the necessary examinations, Joseph E. Johnston was admitted as a cadet at West Point. He was one of the one hundred and five who were so fortunate as to enter in that year. Robert E. Lee, slightly older than himself, and the son of the commander of Peter Johnston, young Joseph's father, in the War of the Revolution was one of his fellow students. Their tastes and habits being of the same character, they soon became fast friends, which friendship continued throughout their lives. Seven other young Virginians were fellow students of the two friends, all of whom dropped out, leaving young Johnston and Lee to pursue their studies together as the sole representatives of their beloved State. They graduated together, the only remaining representatives of the Old Dominion, in 1829, Lee standing second to Charles Mason, of New York, in the class of forty-six. Johnston, hindered in his studies by a serious affection of the eyes that precluded his studying at night, stood thirteen.

Young Johnston's first military service was a second Lieutenant in the Fourth Artillery; the next, in garrison at New York; which was followed by similar duty at Fortress Monroe. This period extended from 1829 to 1832, when his actual active campaigning began in the Black Hawk expedition of 1832, under General Scott.

In so brief a sketch as this must of necessity be, it is manifestly impossible to follow, in any detail, the stirring military career of this favorite son of old Prince Edward county, and no effort will be made to do so.

On July 10, 1845, when he was 38 years of age, Johnston, having attained the brevet rank of Captain, was married to Miss Lydia McLane, a young woman of remarkable beauty, and great personal accomplishments. The family to which Mrs. Johnston belongs is one greatly distinguished in the annals of Delaware and Maryland. The union was a singularly happy one, and the fact of the absence of offspring seemed but to draw them closer together.

During the progress of his military career it was the misfortune of General Johnston, that a serious estrangement subsisted between himself and President Jefferson Davis, of the Confederate States, which caused him to be often superseded, so that he was ever preparing campaigns from which others reaped much of the glory and most of the reward. He possessed a singular ability to subordinate himself for the good of his beloved Southland, and a patience that finally reaped its just reward in the esteem of his contemporaries, so that, scarcely second to the immortal Lee, he is entrenched in the affectionate regard of the peoples of the South, and respected by the erstwhile enemies of his people, as one of the great Generals of all time.

At the conclusion of the hostilities, that marked the defeat of the South in the War between the States, General Johnston took service with a railroad, and later with an express company. Later still he engaged in the insurance business in Savannah, where he remained for nearly a decade.

In 1877 he returned to his native State, taking up his residence in Richmond. In 1878 he received the nomination of the Democratic party and was triumphantly elected to Congress where he served for one term as a member of the House of Representatives. He seldom spoke in the House, but was an honored and influential member throughout his term, at the close of which he was appointed as Commissioner of Railroads under President Grover Cleveland, retaining his residence in Washington.

On February 22, 1887, his beloved wife died at their residence in Washington. This was a crushing blow, so that he could never afterward trust himself to speak her name, and his house remained from the time of her death exactly as she had left it. A union of singular happiness was thus brought to a pathetic close. Mrs. Johnston had, for a long time, been a martyr to suffering, during which her husband's attentions were as unremitting as those of a youthful lover.

From the time of the death of Mrs. Johnston, the old general gradually became weaker, though he still maintained his upright posture and steady gait. On the night of March 21, 1891, he peacefully passed away at his residence, 1023 Connecticut Avenue, in the city of Washington. The immediate cause of his death was heart failure. He was in his eighty-fourth year when he died. He was buried in the Greenmont Cemetary, Baltimore, beside the wife he loved so dearly.

Nothing marks his resting place save the simple inscription, selected by himself:

Son of
Judge Peter and Mary Johnston of Va.,
Born at
Longwood, Prince Edward C., Va.,
February 3, 1807.
Died March 21, 1891.
Brigadier General, U.S.A.
General, C.S.A.

From "History of Prince Edward County, Virginia, From its Formation in 1753 to the Present" by Charles Edward Burrell Published in 1922 by The Williams Printing Co. in Richmond, Va.

DR. JOHN PETER METTAUER        Born 1787, Died 1875.

The father of John Peter Mattauer, was a surgeon, who with a brother, followed the fortunes of Lafayette. After the battle of Yorktown, the French army was quartered at various points in Virginia. With one regiment, sent to Prince Edward county, were the two brother surgeons. Francis Joseph Mattauer, one of these brothers, obtained permission to remain in Prince Edward county, rather than return to France. Later on he married Eliza Gaulding and to them was born in 1787, John Peter Mattauer.

Comparatively little is known of his early childhood or of his youth, save that he was raised in an atmosphere of surgery. He very early imbibed a love for surgery and resolved to make that work his profession.

he embryo surgeon was sent to the neighboring college of Hampden-Sidney for his literary training; from which institution he graduated with the degree of A.B. in 1806. He then went to the University of Pennsylvania for the study of medicine and graduated with the degree of M.D. in 1809. Young Mettauer was exceedingly fortunate in selecting this University, for medical work was then being conducted under the most favorable auspices at Pennsylvania. The ablest instructors then obtainable were on the staff of that institution. He also was so fortunate as to enjoy a very extended practice in the Philadelphia Dispensary during his stay in that city.

Returning to Prince Edward county, the young doctor at once entered upon the practice of general medicine. Soon, however, his preference for surgery and his marvelous skill in that branch of his work, attracted wide attention and patients from great distances began to seek him out. From all parts of the United States they came, some even from abroad. Into Prince Edward Court House (Worsham), a representative village of "ye old time," came pouring an ever increasing stream of the sick and the ailing, in quest of the skillful aid of the young surgeon. These were sufficient, with their varied retinue of personal attendants, to tax to the utmost the modest accommodations afforded by the private hospital operated by Dr. Mettauer, and by the two houses of entertainment at Kingsville and Worsham, referred to in the terms of that day, as commodious "taverns."

In 1837 Dr. Mettauer organized his Medical Institute, which later on, became a part of Randolph-Macon College. Most of these young students were from points in Virginia and numbered amongst them, many who in later life attained eminence in the practice of medicine. This Institute was kept up until 1848, when it became the Medical Department of Randolph-Macon College, located in Mechlenburg county.

Dr. Mettauer was a voluminous writer, though many of his most valuable works were never published. He was a daring inventor of surgical instruments, making many of them at old Peter Porter's shop in Farmville with his own hands.

He was a man of striking appearance, being tall, well-forned, and robust. Unlike most of the young physicians of those days who rode horseback in making their rounds, young Mettauer used a carriage for that purpose. His most striking pecularity was his insistence on wearing a preposterously tall "stove pipe" hat, upon any and every occasion. He never attended services in the churches, doubtless because that would necessitate the removal of his head-gear. He even objected to removing his hat when testifying in a case in court. He even left instructions that he was to be buried with his hat on, with the result that it required a special coffin of a trifle over eight feet long to contain his remains with this favorite article of head-dress and the considerable number of special instruments and the large parcel of letters from his first wife, which, by his special direction, were buried with him. He even wore this hat at meals it is said!

Piercing black eyes, were over-shadowed by an heavy over-hanging brow, above which rose a high and most intelligently shaped forehead.

Eccentric in action and commanding in appearance he was a marked man in any assemblage.

His passion for his home county of Prince Edward amounted to almost an obsession. He tried a brief settlement at Norfolk and engaged as professor of surgery at Baltimore, in Washington University, but the pull of "home" soon had him back in Prince Edward county where he stayed until he died.

In November of 1875, being then eighty-eight years of age, Dr. Mettauer was called to attend a case of morphine poisoning. A short walk through wet snow made his feet wet. As a result he developed a deep cold, which soon resolved itself into pneumonia, from which, in two days, he died. Alert and erect, he laid down his work while still in the harness. A most useful life was thus crowned with an heroic death. Close to the scenes of his useful endeavors for his fellows he lies buried, a strong, unselfish soul, taking a well-earned repose. Prince Edward county is justly proud of her surgeon son.

From "History of Prince Edward County, Virginia, From its Formation in 1753 to the Present" by Charles Edward Burrell Published in 1922 by The Williams Printing Co. in Richmond, Va.

JAMES NELSON, D.D., L.L.D.         Born, August 23, 1841; Died, November 13, 1921.

Although Doctor Nelson was not a native of Prince Edward County, so much of his labor was done in, and for, the county, that it is fitting that this notice shall be taken of him here.

He was born in Louisa county, Virginia, on August 23, 1841. The War between the States began when he was still at school. He joined the Confederate Army and was for four years Chaplain of the Forty-fourth Virginia Regiment. What was known as "the great revival" began in the brigade to which young Nelson was attached, and it is said that hundreds of Confederate soldiers were converted through his labors.

With the close of the war he entered Columbian College, Washington, and graduated at the head of his class. He then served as pastor of a church in that city, and later became general evangelist for the Baptists of Maryland. In 1875 he accepted the pastorate of the Farmville Baptist Church and began at once to establish a Normal School for women there. He repeatedly appeared before the Legislature and the Governor and finally won out in his project and the Female Normal School of Farmville, the progenitor of like schools at Radford, Fredericksburg, and Harrisonburg, came into being.

In 1881 he went to London, England, as a delegate to the World's Sunday School Convention, and while in that city, preached in the church of the famous Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

In 1885 he left Farmville to accept the pastorate of the Baptist Church at Staunton, Virginia, where he lectured before the Staunton Female Seminary and other schools in addition to his duties as pastor of the Staunton Church.

After leaving Staunton, he was for nearly thirty years President of the Woman's College of Richmond. The school, when he took charge of it, was near extinction. Its long history, its old prestige, and its multitude of alumnae alike seemed unable to save it. Dr. Nelson, in a few brief years, re-established it on a sure footing, made it for many sessions a most useful agency and, at the proper time, most generously stood aside and closed the college that Westhampton College might be opened.

In choosing his teachers, Dr. Nelson was guided by a sure instinct that even he could not explain. Dr. J.A.C. Chandler, now President of the College of William and Mary, was picked by Dr. Nelson while still a very young man, as one of his teachers. Among other of his teachers, were Hiss Lenora Duke, later Mrs. Chandler; Dr. M.A. Martin; Dr. W.A. Shepherd; Dr. F.C. Woodward; Dr. Emory Hill; Christopher Garnett; Miss Mary Carter Anderson, now Mrs. Charles S. Gardner; Miss Marian Forbes; Miss Addie Garlick; and Miss Catherine Ryland, now Mrs. Garnett.

Dr. Nelson was the despair of every college executive, for it was said of him that he could do more work with less money than any college president in Virginia. He had a marked spiritual influence over the student body of the college.

Dr. Nelson died on Sunday, November 13, 1921, at 904 Grace Street West, Richmond, Virginia, and was buried at Hollywood Cemetary, in that city.

From "History of Prince Edward County, Virginia, From its Formation in 1753 to the Present" by Charles Edward Burrell Published in 1922 by The Williams Printing Co. in Richmond, Va.


He was the son of Dr. Henry Ruffner, a distinguished Presbyterian preacher, who was, for many years President of Washington College, now Washington and Lee University. Thus, the subject of this sketch was reared in a home of culture. From the college of which his father was President he, in 1845, received the degree of M.A. He afterward studied theology at Union Theological Seminary, and at Princeton, New Jersey. He was at one time Chaplain of the University of Virginia, and later became pastor of Seventh Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia. In 1853, on account of broken health, he withdrew from the ministry.

He wrote much on educational and agricultural subjects, and was at one time editor of the Virginia School Journal, and of the New England Journal of Education. He was State Superintendent of Public Instruction in Virginia, from 1870 to 1882. This office had just been created and he was the first to occupy it. His difficulties were mutliplied from the fact that he had to provide for two distinct races of people at a time when feelings were apt to run high; moreover the War between the States, that presented that problem, had left his constituency almost too poor to be taxed for education. In founding the new system he wrote, traveled, lectured, visited schools, held meetings, and organized teachers' institutes, until 1882, when a change in the politics of the Administration brought about his retirement. Iin was from this retirement and with his vast experience behind him, that he was called in 1884 to undertake a new pioneer work, and he became the first head of the State Female Normal School of Virginia, located at Farmville. He was also helpful in founding the Agricultural and Mechanical College, and Miller School,and was at one time a member of the Board of Hampton Institute (Colored).

What Horace Mann, thirty-three years before him, had done for Massachusetts, Dr. Ruffner did for Virginia.

He lived to a good old age and died November 24, 1908, beloved and honored by all.

From "History of Prince Edward County, Virginia, From its Formation in 1753 to the Present" by Charles Edward Burrell Published in 1922 by The Williams Printing Co. in Richmond, Va.

JUDGE FRANCIS NATHANIEL WATKINS. Born April 14, 1813. Died 1885.

Judge Watkins was born in 1813, and spent his entire life in Prince Edward county. He was a member of the Virginia Legislature in 1867-1868, and Judge of the County Court of Prince Edward for fourteen years. He was Secretary and Treasurer of the Board of Union Theological Seminary for forty years, of Hampden-Sidney College fourteen years, and of the State Normal School for the first year of its existence, when his valuable and active life was brought to a close in 1885. He was an ardent friend of education, especially of the common school system.

From "History of Prince Edward County, Virginia, From its Formation in 1753 to the Present" by Charles Edward Burrell Published in 1922 by The Williams Printing Co. in Richmond, Va.

DOCTOR PETER WINSTON. Bon in Richmond, Va., June 5, 1836. Died at Farmville, Virginia, January 30, 1920, and buried at Farmville, Virginia.

Doctor Peter Winston was born at Richmond, Virginia, June 5, 1836. He was graduated from Hampden-Sidney College, Prince Edward County, with the degree of A.B.; attended the University of Virginia for one year, and also the University of New York, where he graduated in Medicine. Then he was for one year a student in Paris at the University of France, from whence he returned, in obedience to his country's call, in 1861, to become a surgeon in the Confederate Army, which position he held through the period of the War between the States. He afterwards located in Farmville, Virginia, where he practiced medicine to the time of his death in 1920. He was mayor of Farmville in 1873-1874, and was a Delegate to the State Legislature in 1914, 1916, 1918 from Prince Edward County.

He was moderator of the Appomattox Association of Baptist Churches in 1873 and 1874, and again in 1914 and 1915. He was a prominent and deeply interested member of the Farmville Baptist Church for many years.

He was for twenty-four years physician to the State Female Normal School, at Farmville, Virginia, and was a trustee of Hampden-Sidney College for a great many years, as well as of the State Board of Correction.

He had reached the ripe age of eighty-four when he died.

On September 15, 1868, he married Miss Mollie Emma Rice in Farmville, Va., and she survived him at his death.

From "History of Prince Edward County, Virginia, From its Formation in 1753 to the Present" by Charles Edward Burrell Published in 1922 by The Williams Printing Co. in Richmond, Va.

REV. DANIEL WITT, D.D. 1801 - 1871.

This noted divine was the son of Jesse Witt and Alice Brown, then living in Bedford County, near to what is now Bedford City, then known as Liberty. He was born, November 8, 1801. As a result of hardships endured during the Revolutionary War, his father was compelled to use crutches and found it a difficult matter to care for his large family on the small farm that he had managed to purchase. He was a man of vigorous and rather remarkable intellect. Both father and mother were ardent Baptists. Under the circumstances of the family, the boy Daniel, received but limited educational advantages, his early school days extending but little over three years. Of a rather delicate physique, the outdoor life made necessary by demands of the little farm and the large family, was a most fortunate thing for him, as it gave the needed strength for the work of the after years.

Until the fourth Sunday in August, 1821, nothing particularly striking occurred in the life of the young man. On this day, however, a "section meeting"; a religious gathering much after the fashion of the "protracted meeting" of later days, but conducted by a designated section of the Baptist Association of Churches, held at Hatcher's Meeting House, and at which Elders Davis, Leftwich, Harris and Dempsey were the preachers, was being held. The meeting lasted all day and resulted, on October 21, 1821, in his avowal of conversion. To get to this meeting he journeyed farther from his home than he had ever before done; some twenty miles.

On the second Sunday in December, 1821, with the ice on the water, the subject of our sketch, and his older brother, Jesse, were baptized and received into the fellowship of the Little Otter (now Bedford City) Church. Almost immediately he began to preach and met with much acceptance, although it is said that he then possessed but ONE sermon. On April 13, 1822, his Church licensed him to preach. He was soon preaching throughout the counties of Henry, Patrick, Pittsylvania and Campbell. Upon the organization of the General Association of Baptist Churches in 1823, young Witt, with Jeremiah B. Jeter, his lifelong friend, were designated its first missionaries and set apart for work in the western part of the State, included in their field being the counties of Franklin, Henry, Patrick, Montgomery, Grayson, Giles, Wythe, Monroe, Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Alleghany, Bath, Rockbridge, and Botetourt.

He was formally ordained to the ministry, in his home Church, Little Otter, on August 7-8, 1824.

In February, 1827, he preached at an Associational meeting of the Appomattox Association of Baptist Churches, held at Sandy River, Prince Edward county, in Sharon Baptist Church, and this led to his acceptance of a call to that Church. And thus began a ministry, unique in many ways, that was to extend over a term of forty-five years, to he terminated only by the death of the devoted pastor. He purchased a modest home near to his Church where he spent the rest of his years and in which he died, November 15, 1871.

The honorary degree of D.D. was conferred on Mr. Witt by Columbian College, Washington, D.C. He was the Moderator of the Appomattox Association of Baptist Churches for eleven of its sessions, and was President of the General Association, at its Petersburg session in 1861.

He was thrice married. In 1829 he was married to Miss Mary C. Cooke, of Cumberland county, who died in 1834. In 1836 he was married to Miss Mary A. Woodfin, who died in 1842. In 1849 he was married to Mrs. Mary Ellen Temple, who survived him.

His family consisted of four sons.

Upon the wish of his Church, Dr. Witt was buried near the pulpit where for so many years he had proclaimed the message of life eternal. Shortly after his death, a handsome marble shaft, suitably inscribed, was erected by Sharon Church and other friends, and there he sleeps.

From "History of Prince Edward County, Virginia, From its Formation in 1753 to the Present" by Charles Edward Burrell Published in 1922 by The Williams Printing Co. in Richmond, Va.


The subject of this sketch was born in Buckingham county, Virginia, May 29, 1878. His father was Henry C. Brock, for thirty-two years a professor at Hampden-Sidney College; and his mother, Mary Carter Irving, daughter of the late Robert Kincaid Irving; at one time a member of the Virginia House of Delegates; of the State Senate, and Clerk of the County of Buckingham. He is a nephew of the late Robert A. Brock of Richmond, for many years Secretary of the Virginia Historical Society, and of the Southern Historical Society.

He graduated from Hampden-Sidney College in 1897 with the degree of A.B. He then taught for one year in Surry County, and for one year in Halifax County. For four years he conducted a private school in Charleston, West Virginia.

He received his legal education at the University of Virginia. Is a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. Was at one time the president of the Alumni Association of Hampden-Sidney College.

He began the practice of law in Farmville in 1904 where he soon formed a partnership with Judge A.D. Watkins, which has continued to the present time.

He was elected to the Senate of Virginia in 1912, where he served for four years as a member of the Committees of Finance; Schools and Colleges; Courts of Justice; and Fisheries and Game, of that body.

He was a delegate to the State Democratic Convention in 1908, 1912, 1916, and 1920, and was the alternate delegate to the National Democratic Convention in St. Louis in 1916.

He was Chairman of the Prince Edward Chapter of the Red Cross from the time that the Chapter was organized during the Great War, which office he still holds. He was Chairman of the Legal Advisory Board of Prince Edward County during the War.

He is Secretary of the Prince Edward Public Health Association; and of the Electoral Board of the County; Examiner of Records for the Fifth Judical Circuit since 1918; and Secretary-Aduitor of the Virginia Normal School Board since October 1919.

He volunteered for service in the Great War in the spring of 1918, making application for admission to the Third Officers' Training Camp, but was rejected. He applied again to the Fourth Officers' Training Camp, and received appointment to Camp Lee; was inducted into the service before the local Draft Board; and was ordered to report, November 13th, 1918. Through the signing of the Armistice on the 11th of that month, this appointment was cancelled.

Mr. Brock stands high in the estimation of his fellow-citizens of Prince Edward county for his splendid public spirit and devotion to duty.

From "History of Prince Edward County, Virginia, From its Formation in 1753 to the Present" by Charles Edward Burrell Published in 1922 by The Williams Printing Co. in Richmond, Va.

Deb Murray