Robert Taylor Preston Papers (Ms1992-003)


Robert Taylor Preston Papers (Ms1992-003)


Blacksburg (Va.)
Civil War
Local/Regional History and Appalachian South
Montgomery County (Va.)
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865


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.

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.


Preston, Robert Taylor, 1809-1880





Bibliographic Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Robert Taylor Preston Papers, Ms1992-003, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Collection Tree


Invitation to Miss Virginia T. Preston to the Grand Inauguration Ball of Zachary Taylor (U.S. President) and Millard Filmore (Vice-President), March…

Lynchburg, Statement of assumption of command of the Virginia Volunteers mustered into service in Lynchburg. Col. R.C.W. Radford will take charge of…

Head Quarters, Virginia Volunteers, Lynchburg. Orders, Collection of the votes of all persons in the military service of the State regarding the…

Camp Lee, Reminder to those applying to at the Head Quarters of the commandant, Regiment is reminded office hours are strictly limited to times noted…

Head Quarters, Va. Volunteers, Order No. 8, Instructions that Capt. Jordan's and Hughes' companies are no longer attached to Col. Robert Preston's…

Order No. 10, Instructions for the camp to be ready to march out at 4 o'clock tomorrow morning. By order of Col. Robert T. Preston, May 26, 1861.

From: Head Quarters, Department of Alexandria, Camp Pickens. Special Order: List of men temporarily detailed on extra duty in the Quarter Masters.…

From: Head Quarters, Department of Alexandria, Camp Pickens. General Orders: List of eighteen regulations observed in this camp without variation…

From: Head Quarters, Department of Alexandria, Camp Pickens. General Orders: List of eighteen regulations observed in this camp without variation…

From: Head Quarters, Department of Alexandria, Camp Pickens. General Order: In accordance with Special Order No. 149 of the Head Quarters of Virginia…

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