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Julia Pendleton Allen Civil War letter

Identifier: RG-13-Alumni Files-AllenJW/1849
Transcription of a letter from Julia Pendleton Allen to her sister-in-law, discussing wartime life in Winchester, Virginia.


  • 1862



1 items

Biographical / Historical

Julia A. Pendleton, of Jefferson County, West Virginia, married James Walkenshaw Allen in February 1856. Allen, an 1849 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute taught at both VMI and elsewhere for several years following his graduation, but after his marriage he and his new wife settled on a farm near Summit Point, West Virginia, where they lived until the outbreak of the Civil War. The couple had one son, Hugh Pendleton Allen, born in 1858. During the Civil War, Allen left his farm to command the 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment, which became part of the celebrated "Stonewall Brigade." He commanded the force that seized Harpers Ferry on April 18, 1861, and was wounded in action at First Manassas on July 21. At the time Julia wrote this letter to her sister-in-law, the Stonewall Brigade was in winter quarters at Winchester, Virginia, and she had joined her husband until fighting resumed in the Spring. She writes of food shortages, army politics, and other aspects of life in wartime Winchester. These were to be her last months with James---her husband was killed in Battle at Gaines' Mill on June 27, 1862, a few days before his 33rd birthday. The widowed Julia survived her husband by only two years. The couple's orphaned son, Hugh, lived to adulthood. He eventually settled in Pittsburgh, PA, where he died in 1921 at age 63.

Physical Location

Archives stacks, Record Group 13, Historical Alumni, Faculty, and other Biographical Files

Existence and Location of Originals

The original letter from which this text was created is privately owned. The owner gave permission for the VMI Archives to publish the text for research use.

Existence and Location of Copies

A photocopy of the original letter is located in the VMI Archives biographical file for James W. Allen, Class of 1849. VMI does not own the original letter.

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450