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Barton family papers

Identifier: MS-0020
The collection consists of the miscellaneous papers of three members of the Barton family who attended VMI during the mid-19th century. Papers relating to Cadet Charles M. Barton (VMI Class of 1856) include a letter dated September 28, 1855 from Charles to his cousin Joseph M. Barton, in which he complains about VMI life and about his instructor Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (Jackson is described as a "hell of a fool"). Other Charles Barton material is found in a notebook (ca. 250 pages) containing poetry copied by Cadet Barton, including "The Faculty of the VMI" which describes Francis H. Smith, John T.L. Preston and other early faculty members; class notes from lectures given by Francis H. Smith; autographs of Barton's VMI classmates, and a resolution on the death of Cadet Thomas Blackburn.

The notebook described above, although pertaining largely to Charles, also contains notes on law and notations concerning legal cases and fees. This material likely relates to Randolph Barton, an attorney.

Material relating to Bolling W. Barton includes one letter from Frank [last name unknown, but a VMI alumnus], dated January 18, 1864, 6 miscellaneous documents, primarily French language exercises.

Material relating to Randolph J. Barton is a photocopy of a typescript of a speech delivered by Barton to the VMI Class of 1912.


  • 1855-1869


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Manuscript collections in the VMI Archives are made available for educational and research use. The VMI Archives should be cited as the source. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright holders. Materials from our collections may not be redistributed, published or reproduced without permission from the VMI Archives. Contact the VMI Archives for additional information.


10 items

Biographical / Historical

Charles Marshall Barton, the eldest son of David W. Barton and and Frances (Fanny) Jones Barton, was born in Winchester, Virginia on November 30, 1836. His preparatory education was received at Winchester Academy and at Episcopal High School (Alexandria, VA). He entered VMI in 1852 and graduated in 1856. He subsequently returned to the Winchester area where he was a farmer. Charles married Ellen Harvie Marshall, of Fauquier County, in 1859. During the Civil War he served with Cutshaw's Artillery Battery and was mortally wounded in action near Winchester on May 25, 1862.

Randolph J. Barton, Charles's younger brother, was born in Winchester on April 24, 1844. He attended the VMI for one year, 1860-1861, and at the beginning of the Civil War joined the 33rd Virginia Infantry Regiment. He subsequently served in the 2nd Virginia Infantry and as a staff officer for Generals Elisha F. Paxton, James A. Walker and William R. Terry. Following the war, he practiced law in Baltimore, Maryland. Randolph married Agnes P. Kirkland of Baltimore on December 29, 1869. They had nine children. He died on March 15, 1921.

Bolling W. Barton, a younger brother of Charles and Randolph, was born in Winchester on November 24, 1846. He entered VMI on September 25, 1862 and while at the Institute took part in the Battle of New Market (Virginia) on May 15, 1864. In November 1864 he joined the 1st Foreign Battalion. After the Civil War he studied and practiced medicine, and also taught Botany at Johns Hopkins University. He married Ella Jane Gibson in 1872 and the couple had no children. He died in Loudoun County, Virginia on February 18, 1924.

Physical Location

Manuscripts Stacks

Related Materials

A larger collection of Barton family papers are located at the Handley Library in Winchester, Virginia.

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450