Waterview at Gloucester Point

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A Civil War Story of "Waterview" at Gloucester Point
Submitted by J. Edward Thornton

     Hayes and Allied Families of Gloucester County, Virginia--The Descendants of William Hayes and Elizabeth Foster compiled by Melinde Hatfield, is an interesting account, which includes the quotation below.

     Margaret Mary Hayes, was born 26 February 1824 in Gloucester County to Joel and Margaret Billups Hayes.  She married William Dobson on 18 April 1844 at "Waterview" [DAR].  William was the son of John and Susan Stoakes Dobson of Gloucester and made his living as a cabinet maker [1860C].  Joel Hayes gave the couple "Waterview" plantation. (p. 69).

     This experience told by their granddaughter, Lucy Dudley, a century later.

     My mother was the daughter of William Dobson and  Margaret Hayes Dobson.  The latter died on a visit to us in 1880 and was buried here in Oakwood Cemetery (Richmond, VA).  Her husband, who survived her twenty years and moved to Richmond and is buried beside her.  My mother was in her early teens when Margaret Hayes Dobson was seized  by the Yankees and taken to Yorktown to General McClellan's headquarters where she was kept as a prisoner till the end of the war.  My grandfather had left the home on some business and his wife and my mother's younger brother were the only members of the family at home when the Yankees made the raid.  The oldest son, John W. Dobson about 16 yrs. of age was in Lynchburg with General Rosser's Brigade.  A group of Yankee soldiers stationed at Gloucester Point raided the home, stole all the silver and grabbed whatever they could, but when they went to the stable to steal the horses,  my grandmother saw them about to march off with her own horse, in Mexican side saddle.  She was so enraged she grabbed a pistol and shot, naturally missing her aim.  She was immediately arrested and carried over to Yorktown.  Imagine my grandfathers anguish in trying to locate her.  She was finally allowed to be taken to the Mill and see her husband and children for one hour, once a month, in the presence of guards.  She was kept until the end of the war,  but she admitted that General McClellan showed her every courtesy and allowed her the use of his headquarters.  Returning to "Waterview," she found her home burned to the ground and everything desolate.  But she was very brave and the family finally got together.  Later, a new house was built at "Waterview"..After her death the place was sold and is now "Little Richmond." (p. 69-70)

[from a letter to Clarissa Thornton by Lucy Dudley].

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