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Aylett, William Roane, 1833-1900



  • Existence: 1833 - 1900

Biographical Note

William Roane Aylett was born in May 1833 to Colonel Philip and Judith Page (Waller) Aylett on the family plantation, Montville, in King William County, Virginia. His paternal great-grandfathers were influential Revolutionary War figures Patrick Henry and William Aylett. Aylett was the second of three sons and one of seven children. His early education consisted of private tutors and attending the Rumford Academy. He went to college at the University of Virginia, from which he graduated with degrees in French language and literature and in moral philosophy in 1854. He was admitted to the bar in 1854 and began practicing law privately. His reputation had spread throughout a number of Virginia counties by 1860.

In 1860, Aylett married Alice R. Brockenborough (1838-1985). Between 1861 and 1880, they had twelve children, seven of whom lived past infancy: Sarah (Sallie) (b. 1861), Martha (Pattie) Waller (b. 1862), twins, names unknown (1866?-1869?), Philip (b. 1867), Alice Page (b. 1868), Patrick Henry (1870?-1871?), William Roane (b. 1871), Elizabeth (Bessie) (1873-1948), Patrick Henry (1876-1943), Eugenia (1878?-1879?), and Moore Brockenborough (1880?-1881?).

In December of 1861, he helped organize the Confederate 53rd Regiment, Virginia Infantry, and was elected as captain. He was quickly promoted through the ranks, eventually becoming a colonel in 1863. He continued service with the regiment after being wounded at Gettysburg. He attempted to resign in 1864, disappointed at not being promoted to General, despite shining recommendations, but was denied. At Sayler's Creek, he was captured on April 6, 1865 and was later paroled from Johnson's Island, Ohio, on July 15, 1865. He returned to his home and to the practice of law, rebuilding his business and the ruined family plantation. From 1870-1886, he was a Commonwealth's Attorney. Aylett died in at Montville, King William County, Virginia, in August 1900.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

William Roane Aylett Letters

Identifier: Ms-1992-033

The collection contains seven letters written to William Roane Aylett between 1852 and 1887, as well as five undated letters and four envelopes. The collection includes letters from family and friends, as well as business correspondence.

Dates: 1852-1887, n.d.