WARTIME LETTERS OF LOUISA COUNTY, VIRGINIA: THE COOKE FAMILY PAPERS, 1859-1866
transcribed and annotated by Pattie Cooke. 1997, 158 pages, photos.
The Cooke family legacy consists of the letters
and family papers of Arthur Bledsoe Cooke, which begin with his mother's teenage years in 1859, prior to the Civil War, and end
with his death in 1947.
This book includes a set of letters written at the time of the Civil War. The war letters were written
to Sallie Farrar Anderson Cooke before her marriage, between 1859 and 1866.
Arthur Cooke was born into a home which was part of a large community of cousins, aunts and
uncles. The earliest letters delve into that world.
Beginning in 1859 the correspondence to Sallie Farrar Anderson introduces the
many people who made up her world, most of whom were also important in her son's life.
There are no letters from Sallie during the 1859-1866 period. The only letters from Sallie started when Arthur
was at The University in 1894 and continued until her death in 1899. This book contains only the Civil War
letters. They concern Sallie's family and friends, who later became the adult models of Arthur's childhood and
formative years. It is from this family and rural community that he found the strength to excel.
The families represented in the letters consist of small farmers and artisans. Sallie's
Uncle William Carter was the only one who professed a desire for a higher status, striving for
the "plantation" life.
The letters are not the only sources of information. Sallie's first cousin, Pattie Carter Dettor wrote
a "diary" later in life about her youth. Sallie's brother Carter S. Anderson wrote
articles about his service on the Central Virginia Railroad during the war. These articles were
later made into a book called Trains running for the Confederacy. Her uncle
William Scott Carter wrote long letters to the editor in the Gordonsville Gazette
in the 1870s. It is rare to find such a large amount of corroborating information concerning the
life of a small farm family. Also Arthur Cooke wrote a book for his children about life in postwar Virginia. He
best and most eloquently captured the spirit of the community.
The topics broached in the letters are consistent with any generation of young single and married
people. They write about everyday life, their dreams and feelings. The young men joined the army because of
their loyalty to independence and because it provided jobs.
Through the letters the reader comes to know three communities, two in Louisa; Melton's and Gum Springs,
and one in Albemarle county, Ivy Depot. The two newest communities, Melton's and Ivy Depot were
dependent on the railroad for jobs and transportation. The railroad was also a factor in their day to day life.
All the writers made very clear their reliance on religion to sustain them through the tragedies in their life and
the extra burden of war. The letters reveal the co-dependency of men and women and the communities
reliance on their family and neighbors. The result was an interlocking network that blurred the lines of
possession between one family and another. Members felt as wealthy as their wealthiest neighbor.
The Anderson family letters capture the intangible quality and intensity of rural
Community feeling and religion in a time of strife. Throughout the letters are examples of
families sharing losses, goods, labor and love. It was this mutual support that made the war
bearable, and, with the help of God, they survived the war with remarkably few scars.
FREE BLACKS OF LOUISA COUNTY, VA: BONDS, WILLS & OTHER RECORDS
transcribed by Janice Luck Abercrombie. 1993, vi, 193 pages, index. Ms. Abercrombie pulls
together in this volume records on free blacks in Louisa, drawing from a number of sources as
early as wills in the 1780s and records of free blacks during the Civil War. An important volume
for black researchers and social historians interested in this aspect of Virginia's rich cultural
LOUISA COUNTY, VIRGINIA 1850 FEDERAL CENSUS
Transcribed by Marty Hiatt & Craig Roberts Scott. 1995, 201 pages, index. A faithful
transcription of the first census which included all family members and not merely heads of
households. Includes age, sex, race, occupation, place of birth, and valuable fiscal data.
Louisa Co. 1815 Directory of Landowners
by Roger G. Ward. 2005. 34 pages, map, 5 1/2X8 1/2.
For a full description of the 1815 LAND DIRECTORY Records and a listing of available counties, see:
Individual County Booklets, 1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners
Louisa Co. Revolutionary Public Claims
transcribed by Janice L. Abercrombie and Richard Slatten.. 2005. 73 pages, 5 1/2X8 1/2.
For a full description of the Virginia Revolutionary Public Claims and a listing of available counties, see:
Revolutionary "Publick" Claims series
Also available as a digital e-book in PDF format:        HOW TO ORDER
For more records pertaining to LOUISA COUNTY, VIRGINIA see also:
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