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Robert Taylor Preston Papers,

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-1992-003

Scope and Content

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 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.

Dates

  • 1849 - 1871
  • Majority of material found within 1861 - 1862

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish from the Robert Taylor Preston Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Biographical Information

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.

Extent

0.2 Cubic Feet (1 box; 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

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.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically.

Acquisition Information

The Robert Taylor Preston Papers were donated to Special Collections in July 1994.

Alternate Form Available

This collection has been digitized and is available online.

Related Materials

Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Montgomery County Branch Papers, Ms1962-001. Finding aid available online.

John Preston Deed, Ms2005-014.

John Preston Papers, Ms94-034. Finding aid available online.

Preston Family (Alice Preston Moore Collection) Papers, Ms62-004.

Preston Family (Charles Peale Didier Collection) Papers, Ms1985-020. Finding aid available online.

Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers, Ms1997-002. Finding aid available on the Virginia Heritage database.

William Preston Land Grant, Ms94-027.

Willard Preston Genealogy, Ms2009-121. Finding aid available on the Virginia Heritage database.

George Green Shackelford Papers, Ms1983-008. Finding aid available online.

Processing Information

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.

Title
Robert Taylor Preston Papers, 1849-1871 (Bulk 1861-1862)
Status
Completed
Date
© 2009 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Contact:
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US
540-231-6308