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 :: Anecdotes ::
Anecdotal information about life in Richmond, VA during the Civil War.

This page contains sources that are too good or too entertaining not to preserve in some way, though they may not pertain in any way to a physical site in Richmond.

Richmond Dispatch

10/30/1860; John Gorman, sailor on USS Brooklyn passes out drunk and taken to the Mayor who lets him go

Richmond Dispatch

10/31/1860; notes on the wool manufacturers of Virginia, especially Crenshaw Woolen mills.

Richmond Dispatch

11/1/1860; more on John Gorman, the drunken sailor

Richmond Dispatch 8/1/1861; reflection on the religious nature of the Civil War - declares that the war is a religious war
Richmond Enquirer

10/5/1861; two Texas companies arrive in Richmond, the “Texan Aids” and the “Polk county Yankee Hunters.”

Richmond Enquirer

10/5/1861; Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Gen. Johnston are not as bad off as was previously supposed after their accident.

Richmond Dispatch 10/8/1861; Geo. Sheridan, Ala. soldier, goes crazy, runs through streets in underwear, leaps to death in canal at "Armory Bridge"
Richmond Dispatch 10/17/1861; J. H. Greanor's slave George attacks Dr. Wellford's slave Phebe with an axe, in the bottom near the Central depot
Richmond Dispatch 10/18/1861; details on case of axe-wielding slave of Capt. John H. Greanor
Richmond Dispatch 10/21/1861; description of the celebration of the anniversary of the Battle of Yorktown - Armory Band and Public guard put on festivities in Capitol Square
Richmond Dispatch 10/25/1861; "Extraordinary Freak" - man in drag appears on Main street
Richmond Dispatch 11/1/1861; Entrenchers near Blakey's Pond find buried cannon & shells
Richmond Dispatch 11/1/1861; Gen. Robert E. Lee has returned to the city from western Virginia
Richmond Dispatch 12/12/1861; duel takes place at the Broad Rock Race Course
Richmond Dispatch 1/30/1862; George S. Patton in town - brave, gallant, etc.
Richmond Dispatch 2/6/1862; rumor of Stonewall Jackson's resignation is false
Richmond Dispatch 2/8/1862; paragraph explaining how Stonewall Jackson got his nickname - “one or two” explanations
Richmond Dispatch 2/10/1862; rumor that the Govt has stopped the Stearns & Co. distillery
Richmond Dispatch 2/10/1862; “John Taylor, charged with exposing his person in the street, was committed for want of security for his good behavior”
Richmond Dispatch 2/10/1862; ward-room steward on the "Patrick Henry" advertises for a substitute
Richmond Dispatch 2/11/1862; adv from E. Porter Alexander asking citizens to turn over war trophies
Richmond Whig 3/18/1862; description of the laying of the cornerstone of the new Richmond Theater, and the contents placed therein
Richmond Dispatch 3/20/1862; lamentation about the large number of frivolous lawyers abounding in the city
Richmond Dispatch 3/25/1862; paper advocates using the cannon that are on the street corners to be recast
Richmond Dispatch 3/28/1862; Shockoe Hill Cats and Butchertown Cats are engaging in rock battles, but have not been caught yet
Richmond Dispatch 5/6/1862; owners of the YMCA hospital, established "next to Crawford's old saloon" complain about "resort for lewd females" across the street
Richmond Dispatch 5/7/1862; paragraph on plans for burning warehouses if Yankees get to Richmond
Richmond Dispatch 5/13/1862; excellent description of the proliferation of prostitution in Richmond, of "both sexes."
Richmond Dispatch 5/24/1862; Lowe’s balloon visible in city
Richmond Dispatch 6/7/1862; frame work of Mayo Bridge threatened by flooding; flood produced 2 ft water in basement of Libby Prison & CS Machine Ship (Talbott’s) had 3-4 feet.
Richmond Whig 6/7/1862; the James River is higher than it has been since 1847; the water is up to the hubs of wagons wheels on Cary street “opposite Talbot’s foundry”
Richmond Dispatch 6/17/1862; guard has been established on the James River bridges – no one allowed across after 10 PM
Richmond Dispatch 6/18/1862; Prof. Jas. C. Patton of Petersburg authorized to construct balloon for army
Richmond Whig 6/20/1862; humorous inscription on a Yankee’s headstone outside Richmond.
Richmond Dispatch 6/21/1862; great story about family & dog near Rocketts
Richmond Dispatch 6/24/1862; Josephine Rupert, lady making “equipments for the soldiers” at St. Paul’s Church falls through trap door in belfry - not badly injured
Richmond Dispatch 6/24/1862; young ladies plan fund-raising fair at James D. Brown’s home, Pratt’s Castle
Richmond Dispatch 6/27/1862; fair for benefit of wounded soldiers to be held at Pratt’s Castle tonight – Armory Band to play, and ice cream to be served
Richmond Enquirer 7/8/1862; humorous tombstone of a Yankee found on the battlefield
Richmond Dispatch 7/21/1862; Dr. Read (future GH#4?) arrested at #51 American Hotel for selling whiskey from room
Richmond Dispatch 7/22/1862; Fake provost officer murders a man - paragraph within testimony from Lt. Booker describing Provost Procedure for arrests
Richmond Dispatch 7/23/1862; Pamunkey Indians reportedly aided Yankees in May-June, as guides
Richmond Dispatch 7/23/1862; important paragraph on the naming of battlefields - particularly ridicules the use of the term “Fort Darling” for “Drury’s Bluff”
Richmond Dispatch 7/28/1862; City Water consumption has doubled since Summer 1861
Richmond Dispatch 8/1/1862; government detectives arrest disloyal Pamunkeys in King William County.
Richmond Dispatch 8/1/1862; notes on the wells being sunk in Richmond – 11th and Main, and 20th and Franklin.
Richmond Dispatch 8/1/1862; Confederate soldier in the streets of Richmond in Union uniform. Officer stops him and advises “him to procure another suit as soon as possible.”
Richmond Dispatch 8/11/1862; James Graham, Ritter’s Battery, dies on the spot at Oak Hall Restaurant, Franklin Street
Richmond Dispatch 8/16/1862; humorous - local children steal some powder and detonate their large bomb on 21st street
Richmond Dispatch 8/19/1862; Humorous – two women fight, corner 9th and Broad
Richmond Dispatch 9/1/1862; police raid Cary St., especially “that prolific locality” between 17th and 18th
Richmond Dispatch 9/3/1862; 200 exchanged Confederates arrive on 9/2, including N. R. Fitzhugh & Belle Boyd
Richmond Dispatch 9/5/1862; Loafers at corner of 14th and Main sent to Castle Thunder by Winder
Richmond Dispatch 9/6/1862; loafers from 14th Street & one other discharged from Castle Thunder
Richmond Dispatch 9/8/1862; “Of Evil Name &c” Woman arrested for “indulging in horseback exercise on one of the public streets of the city in company with a person said to be a Lieutenant in the army, to the disgust of decent people…” Witnessed by the Mayor, woman was sent to jail.
Richmond Enquirer 9/8/1862; hilarious account of a man who believes he is the devil and a negro who exploited him
Richmond Dispatch 9/20/1862; soldier stabs & kills another soldier at T. R. Stewart’s bowling alley, 10th between Main and Cary
Richmond Dispatch 9/27/1862; Old Fair Grounds called Camp Maynard – bull being put out to stud nearby.
Richmond Dispatch 10/8/1862; gang of thugs roaming Church Hill
Richmond Enquirer 10/17/1862; sunset from Church Hill rivals those in other parts of the world
Richmond Dispatch 11/1/1862; S.C. hospital depot is on Main St.
Richmond Dispatch 11/1/1862; thieves rob City Hall
Richmond Dispatch 11/3/1862; O. F. Manson thanks Ed. Ruffin & family for donations to Wilmington sufferers.
Richmond Dispatch 11/4/1862; Mayor’s Court: Man shot in street dies at Louisiana Hospital; Edward C. Rice, 25VaBn, fined for breaking tray of dishes over negro woman’s head, in street, & slapping her
Richmond Dispatch 11/4/1862; Surg. G. S. West, “General Hospital No. 26, Masonic Hall, 25th street” looking for a wet nurse “with a fresh breast of milk”
Richmond Dispatch 11/13/1862; Government raids houses near Cold Harbor
Richmond Dispatch 11/17/1862; details on murder of Lt. J. O. Withmell, CSA, from England & St. Louis, killed in “alley on Cary Street, between 14th and 15th streets.” Col. B. D. Harmon present at the shooting. “The public clock” is at corner 14th and Main
Richmond Dispatch 11/18/1862; “Fast Riding” through the streets has become a problem. Police receive orders from Mayor to enforce the speed limit of six miles per hour.
Richmond Dispatch 11/26/1862; wanted adv for a wife!
Richmond Dispatch 12/2/1862; Frederick Lindsey, 1TX & Mathew Pitman, 1GA, both arrested for drunken fracas at Rockett’s. Pitman to Castle Thunder, Lindsey left behind, “having had his skull broken by a skillet in the hands of a female whose house he had entered.”
Richmond Dispatch 12/11/1862; E. W. Allen adv headboards for soldier graves
Richmond Dispatch 12/17/1862; Maxcy Gregg’s body arrived 12/15 – placed in Provost Marshal’s office. City Battalion & Public Guard, with full band, escorted it to R&P RR depot 12/16 afternoon. Route of parade given. No Hollywood.
Richmond Sentinel 3/11/1863; "Richmond will be thus well prepared with means to prevent destructive conflagrations" with the new fire engine donated to the city by various insurance companies
Richmond Sentinel 3/23/1863; J. E. B. Stuart has been in town; Col. Rosser is recuperating in Richmond, and N. G. Evans is here also.
Richmond Sentinel 6/24/1864; boys are throwing stones at the Washington and Clay monuments and each other. The mayor clamps down and orders all offenders arrested. Brief description of a rock battle between boys on Gamble's and Penitentiary hills
Richmond Examiner 6/30/1864; hilarious account of a "fistic scene."
Richmond Sentinel 7/1/1864; house of "ill fame" is broken up by police. Women there "exposed their persons in the windows, and halloed at, threw at and spit upon all passers by."
Richmond Sentinel 7/6/1864; two boys are accidentally killed while playing with an unexploded shell at Yellow Tavern
Richmond Whig 7/8/1864; Praise that "the military authorities have determined to give passports to all the old women who may wish to go to Yankee land" because there is a "superabundance" of them
Richmond Sentinel 8/5/1864; items from the Mayor's docket: two negro girls are thrashed for calling a white man "poor white trash;" a boy escapee from the Alms House is sent back there after stoning a man at the Petersburg depot

Richmond Sentinel

11/7/1864; two boys arrested near the Second Baptist Church for throwing rocks. They are members of the "basin cats."

J. M. Daniel duels

Richmond Whig 6/28/1862; J. M. Daniel, editor of the Examiner, had his arm “shattered” by a ball at Gaines’ Mill.
Richmond Sentinel 8/17/1864; a duel was fought yesterday between John M. Daniel of the Richmond Examiner, and R. C. Elmore, of the Treasury department. Daniel was wounded in the right leg
Richmond Whig 8/17/1864; description of the duel between J. M. Daniel and E. C. Elmore
Richmond Sentinel 8/18/1864; details of the trail of R. C. Elmore, for duelling with J. M. Daniel. Dr. Peticolas, the physician at the duel, refuses to testify on the grounds that he might incriminate himself. Counsel gets a change of venue because the duel was fought in Henrico, not in the city.
Richmond Whig 8/18/1864; description of the duel examination before the Mayor - mentions Dr. Peticolas' protest
Richmond Whig 8/19/1864; more details on the Daniel/Elmore duel
Richmond Sentinel 8/22/1864; more details on the recent duel - Dr. Peticolas continues to refuse to testify
Richmond Whig 8/22/1864; more details of the Daniel/Elmore duel in a Henrico court - Dr. Peticolas refuses to testify
Richmond Sentinel 8/29/1864; arsonist torches the stable of John M. Daniel
Richmond Sentinel 8/29/1864; more details on the recent duel - Dr. Peticolas continues to refuse to testify and is recommended to be held in contempt of court
Richmond Whig 8/29/1864; more details of the Daniel/Elmore duel trial - including Dr. Peticolas' refusal to testify
Richmond Whig 8/29/1864; fire at the stables of J. M. Daniel
Richmond Sentinel 8/30/1864; more details on the recent duel - Dr. Peticolas continues to refuse to testify after being ordered to do so and is thrown in jail
Richmond Whig 8/30/1864; Dr. Peticolas is declared to be "bound to testify" in the Daniel/Elmore duel trial
Richmond Sentinel 8/31/1864; details on the habeas corpus case of Dr. Peticolas' refusal to testify
Richmond Whig 8/31/1864; more on Dr. Peticolas' refusal to testify in the case of the Daniel/Elmore duel
Richmond Sentinel 9/1/1864; Dr. Peticolas is out on bail awaiting Judge's decision on his refusal to testify
Richmond Whig 9/1/1864; more on Dr. Peticolas' habeas corpus case over his refusal to testify in the Daniel/Elmore duel case
Richmond Sentinel 9/3/1864; Judge determines that Dr. Peticolas is not bound to testify and he is released
Richmond Whig 9/3/1864; Dr. Peticolas is declared not bound to testify, and is released
Richmond Sentinel 9/5/1864; more details of the trail of R. C. Elmore, for duelling with J. M. Daniel.
Richmond Whig 9/5/1864; more on the Daniel/Elmore duel case
Richmond Whig 9/15/1864; E. C. Elmore pleads guilty for betting at faro
Richmond Sentinel 1/31/1865; description of Dr. Peticolas' case before the Virginia Supreme Court regarding his right not to testify in the J. M. Daniel duel case

Page last updated on 07/17/2008