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Preston family (Solitude, Blacksburg, Va.)


Biographical Note

Robert Taylor Preston was born at Smithfield Plantation in Blacksburg, Virginia, in 1809 to James Patton and Nancy Ann Taylor Preston. He was a student at Hampden-Sydney College from 1825 to 1828. He qualified as a captain of the 75th Regiment of the (Virginia?) Militia in 1830 and was commissioned as Justice of the Peace of Montgomery County in 1837. In 1833, he married Mary Hart (1802-1882) and they had three children: Virginia Ann Emily (1834-1898), Benjamin Hart (1836-1851), and James Patton (1838-1901). Robert Taylor Preston built his residence "Solitude" in the early 1830s. At the start of the Civil War he was appointed a colonel of the volunteers in the Provisional Army of Virginia. In July 1861, he was appointed a colonel of the 28th Virginia Infantry, Confederate States of America, where he served until the infantry's reorganization in April 1862. Beginning in August 1864 he served as a lieutenant colonel and then a colonel of the 4th Virginia Reserves, and surrendered with the troops of General J. E. Johnston in North Carolina in April 1865. In 1872, he sold the land to the state to establish the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College on the condition he and his wife could live in the house until their deaths. Robert Taylor Preston died in 1881. Mary Preston died in 1881.

Found in 259 Collections and/or Records:

Letter, To Robert T. Preston, Change of Employment, signed F. B. Deanefor, June 19, 1862 (Ms1992-003)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms1992_003_PrestonRobertT_B1F10_DeaneforFB_1862_0619

Letter, W. B. Preston to Robert T. Preston, Richmond, March 4, 1862 (Ms1992-003)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms1992_003_PrestonRobertT_B1F8_PrestonWB_1862_0304

Letter, W. B. Preston to Robert T. Preston, Richmond, March 9, 1862 (Ms1992-003)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms1992_003_PrestonRobertT_B1F8_PrestonWB_1862_0309

Letter, William Watts to Col Preston, Camp Withers, January 23, 1862 (Ms1992-003)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms1992_003_PrestonRobertT_B1F8_WattsW_1862_0123

List, Number of Extra Guns and Cartridges in the Companies, undated (Ms1992-003)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms1992_003_PrestonRobertT_B1F13_ExtraGuns