Robert Taylor Preston Papers
Scope and Content
The Robert Taylor Preston Papers consists of 218 letters, military orders, notes, certificates of military appointments, and other items, collected or created by Preston between 1849 and 1871, with the majority from the period between May 1861 and December 1862during the American Civil War. The materials include several military orders signed by such members of the Confederate Army as Jubal Early, John B. Floyd, and George E. Pickett, as well as orders written by Preston himself. Also included is a manuscript draft of a broadside written by Preston from Solitude on May 13, 1863, as a call to arms to the men of Roanoke and Montgomery County to repel the Union Army which was in the immediate vicinity; and a pardon signed by President Andrew Jackson on September 10, 1865, granting Preston amnesty for his offenses committed in the recent rebellion.
- 1849 - 1871
- Majority of material found within 1861 - 1862
Language of Materials
The materials in the collection are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open to research.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.
Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.
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, Robert 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 American 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 (now Virginia Tech) on the condition he and his wife could live in the house until their deaths. Robert Taylor Preston died in 1880. Mary Preston died in 1881.
0.2 Cubic Feet (1 box; 1 oversize folder)
The collection consists of 218 letters, military orders, notes, certificates of military appointments, and other items, collected or created by Preston between 1849 and 1871, with the majority from the period between May 1861 and December 1862.
The collection is arranged chronologically.
Source of Acquisition
The Robert Taylor Preston Papers were donated to Special Collections in July 1994.
Existence and Location of Copies
This collection has been digitized and is available online.
Rights Statement for Archival Description
The guide to the Robert Taylor Preston Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-lwork/public-domain/cc0/).
The processing, arrangement, and description of the Robert Taylor Preston Papers commenced and was completed in April 1996. Additional description was completed in October 2009.
- Robert Taylor Preston Papers, 1849-1871 (Bulk 1861-1862)
- Christopher Gwaltney, Student Assistant, and Laura Katz Smith, Manuscripts Curator
- 2009 (CC0 1.0)
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2023-01-18: LM Rozema updated notes to new standards, added FA author, updated links in related note, deleted EAD Location, and added classification.
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US