Update to Yesterday’s Mystery Posting

Oct. 9th 2012

Thank you to all of you for the help you are giving me on this mystery. Today I did some more research today following the new insight I got from some of your comments yesterday. I started looking at Vandenburgh and Vanderburgh. I was able to find a link with the National Park Service that allows you to search for a soldier by name and side. So I searched both names on both sides. Here are my results:

For the Confederate side:

R.K.W. Vanderurgh – General and Staff Officers -Non-Regimental Enlisted Men, CSA

For the Union side:

Minard A. Vandenburgh – 2nd Regiment, Wisconsin Cavarly

Martin Vanderburgh – 168th Regiment New York Infantry

Martin Vanderburgh – 2nd Regiment New York Heavy Artillery

Martin Vanderburgh – 9th Regiment New York Heavy Artillery

William Vanderburgh – 20th Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps

William Vanderburgh- 22nd Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps

William C. Vanderburgh- 3rd Regiment California Infantry

William H. Vanderburgh – 177th Regiment New York Infantry

William J. Vanderburgh- 56th Regiment New York Infantry National Guard

William H. Vandenburgh – 5th Regiment New York Infantry

William H. Vandenburgh- 125th Regiment New York Infantry

William Vandenburgh- 22nd Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps

William Vandenburgh- 15th Regiment New York Cavalry

William Vandenburgh- 1st Regiment Engineers and Mechanics Michigan

William Vandenburgh- 91st Regiment New York Infantry

William C. Vandenburgh- 3rd Reigment California Infantry


The good thing about this link is that it lists the service duty stations of each of the Regiments. So I pulled all the information on the service duty station and I was able to narrow it down to just two that could have come close to the plantation and would have had a chance to meet Carrie.

1. William H. Vandenburgh – 125th Regiment New York Infantry – Served in Washington DC. Was ordered to join the Army of the Potomac in the field and joined 2nd Army Corps. Served on the lines of the Rappahannock and Rapidan. Served in Spotsylvania.

125th Regiment New York Infantry Soldier                (not Vandenburgh)

2. William H. Vandenburgh – 5th Regiment New York Infantry – Was in Baltimore, Maryland. Served in Falmouth, Virginia. Was in the Battlefield of Fredericksburg December, 1862 Back to Falmouth. Was in the Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5, 1863. Mustered out on May 14, 1863, expiration of term.

5th Regiment New York Infantry      (not Vandenburgh)

Of the two, I am thinking number 2. He had more time in the general area. He was never stationed at Port Royal or Port Conway from what I could see. But Fredericksburg is only 20 miles away. Could they have meet in Fredericksburg?

Also the first William was a private and the second William was a drummer. When I read that, my first thought was that the second couldn’t be it. My thought was that most drummers were between the ages of 13-15. But in doing some research into drummers during the war, the average age was 17-21. That would place him closer to her age during that time. Carrie would have been 14-15 between 1862 and 1863.

Cavalry at Rappahannock

But then could it be the first William who served on the lines at the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers? It doesn’t say just where they were on the Rappahannock. Could they have been at Port Conway?

So the question is….

Could it be the Private that served at the river’s edge or was it the little drummer boy?

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 36 Comments »

Pieces of the Past

Sep. 19th 2012

Belle Grove Plantation
during the restoration process
1997- 2003

When Belle Grove went through the restoration process between 1997 to 2003, the manor house was taken apart and restored piece by piece. The construction crew took off the slate roof that was crushing the house and took the house down to the studs. While they were working they discovered two pieces of paper. These pieces of paper look to date back to the Turner family (1839 – 1900).

The first piece of paper is a small section of an envelope. You can’t make out the full address, return address or post mark. From what we can see, it looks to be addressed to S.A. There was only one S.A. during the Turner family’s time. Susan Augusta Rose Turner, wife of Carolinus Turner. Could this have been for her?

The second piece of paper looks to be an advertising card for “Mourning Dyeing”  “A Specialty”. The company was established in 1868. The card is for “R.C. Douglas” and the address is for 1336 14th St. Bet. N St. and R.I. Ave. I have looked for this company or the representative, but I haven’t been very successful. But this isn’t the best part of the paper.

Written across this piece of paper seems to be some kind of note. Who it is written to or the exact message is unclear. There are missing bits of paper and some of the writing is too faint to read. Here is what I can make out of the writing:

“If you _____________________ you _________

knife can cut in too.

Kiss me quick and kiss me ____________ (looks like curr ?)

ing (looks like a carry over from the last word) I think I hear my mother (or could be brother)


Hear I sta (could be stand) ____________ little ________ (looks like knife)

come and ____________ little ________

lifes. Dear little _________________ sweat

as a rose you ___________________

no body.”

My thought is that since this card is dated around 1868, could this be a note to Carrie from the unknown person “Vanderburgh” whose name appears in the window with Carrie’s? Could this be a note from Carrie to “Vanderburgh”? Or could it not be a love note at all, but a note of distress? Maybe a note contemplating suicide? Maybe it could be Carrie writing of her sadness after losing “Vanderburgh”.

Etching in the Window
“Carrie Turner
W (or M) Van der burgh
May 18, 1869″

I guess we have another mystery to add to the writing in the window!

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 47 Comments »