Mary Randolph Custis Lee

Wife of Confederate General Robert E. Lee Mary Anna Randolph Custis, great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, was born on October 1, 1808, the only surviving child of George Washington Wash Custis and Mary Fitzhugh. Wash was raised by George and Martha Washington after the death of his father (Martha’s son from a previous marriage). In 1802 he had settled his family in a quaint four-room brick home he named Arlington. As Mary grew, so did Arlington, as Wash invested time and money in its expansion. Mary usually found willing playmates among the children of the Arlington slaves. It’s interesting to note that neither Wash nor Molly supported or believed in slavery. Molly, like many abolitionists, set out to change things, and…

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Martha Ready Morgan

Wife of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan Martha Ready was born near Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on June 21, 1840. She was the sixth of eight children, and the second of four girls born to Colonel Charles Ready, Jr. and Martha Strong Ready. Affectionately known as “Mattie,” she was described as a “very attractive young woman of medium height, with a shapely figure, a fair, creamy complexion, large blue eyes, and dark hair.” Mattie attended the very prestigious Soule College in Murfreesboro and the Nashville Female Academy during the 1850s where young ladies could receive a traditional Southern education in cultural studies and social graces. As the teenage daughter of Charles Ready, a U.S. Congressman from Tennessee, Mattie Ready was caught up…

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Fannie Lawrence Ricketts

Civil War Nurse Fanny Lawrence was the daughter of an Englishman of wealth, J. Sharpe Lawrence, who owned large estates on the Island of Jamaica. Her parents were married at Elizabeth, New Jersey, and after some years of migratory life between England and the West Indies, decided to remain. There their third daughter Fanny was born. Image: Fanny and James Ricketts In January, 1856, Fanny Lawrence married James B. Ricketts, a distant relative on her mother’s side who was then a captain in the First Artillery, U. S. Army. James was a career soldier who held the rank of captain. He was a graduate of West Point, and fought in both the Mexican and Seminole Wars and served in various…

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Mary Anna Morrison Jackson

Mary Anna Morrison Jackson

Wife of General ‘Stonewall’ Jackson Anna met her future husband while visiting her sister, Isabella Morrison Hill, wife of future Confederate General Dana Harvey Hill, in Lexington, Virginia, where Jackson was a professor at the Virginia Military Institute. Image: Anna with daughter Julia Laura Jackson Mary Anna Morrison – called Anna by friends and family – was born on July 21, 1831, in Charlotte, North Carolina, at Cottage Home, the plantation home of Reverend Robert Hall Morrison and Mary Graham Morrison. Her father was the first President of Davidson College in Charlotte. Anna grew up very differently than her famous husband. Her parents had a large family, ten children who survived to adulthood. Life on the plantation was carefree for…

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Arabella Griffith Barlow

Civil War Nurse and Wife of General Francis Barlow Arabella Griffith Barlow became a Civil War nurse after her husband, Francis Barlow, joined the army in 1861. Barlow began the war as a private in the Twelfth Regiment of the New York Militia. Arabella became attached to the Sanitary Commission in 1862, but nursed her husband back to health after he was wounded several times. She cared for the wounded following several battles, including Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, but soon her own health began to suffer. Arabella Griffith was born in February 1824 in Somerville New Jersey. She was raised and educated by Miss Eliza Wallace of Burlington, New Jersey, a relative on her father’s side. Francis Channing Barlow was 27…

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Hetty Cary

Wife of Confederate General John Pegram Hetty Cary (1836–1892) was the wife of CSA General John Pegram. She is best remembered for making the first three battle flags of the Confederacy (along with her sister and cousin). Henry Kyd Douglas, in I Rode With Stonewall, described Hetty as “the handsomest woman in the Southland – with her classic face, her pure complexion, her auburn hair, her perfect figure and her carriage, altogether the most beautiful woman I ever saw in any land.” Hetty Cary was born in Baltimore on May 15, 1836. She was related to two of Virginia’s most influential families, the Jeffersons (through her mother’s family) and the Randolphs (through her paternal grandmother, Virginia Randolph Cary). When the…

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