Friday, April 15, 2011

William & Mary in the Civil War

I had the pleasure recently of being interviewed for an article in The Flat Hat, The College of William and Mary's student newspaper. Written by W&M student Jill Found, the piece (entitled "War! Forgotten in Williamsburg") explored the College's role during the American Civil War, and why that aspect of its history is not better remembered. The article in its entirety is posted here.

I have spent years researching this era of William and Mary's history and find it to be quite fascinating. Unbeknownst to many, several historically prominent individuals who had a significant impact on the war (Winfield Scott, John Tyler, John C. Crittenden, James Murray Mason, etc.) were all William and Mary alumni. Along with alumni, William and Mary students and faculty served in several different military or political capacities during the war, mostly for the Confederacy.

I wrote my master's thesis about the Civil War service of the College's students, faculty, and alumni when I was a graduate student at the University of Richmond and have written and published at different times on the topic. In the coming months, I will also hope to provide updates about future plans to publish material in this area. In the meantime, thanks to The Flat Hat and to Jill Found for putting together such a great article!


  1. Hey Sean,
    My great great grandfather Dr. Daniel Ayres Jr of Brooklyn City NY, performed many operations in Wren Chapel following the May567 Battle of Williamsburg. Our family history indicates he tossed limbs out the chapel window until they reached the sill. Also, patients near those fly infested windows did poorly compared to those near windows with no body parts nearby!
    Thanks-If you want a copy of his Bio I did contact me at here in sunny Sea Cliff NY..Tim Ayres

  2. Tim,

    Thanks for getting in touch! It looks like my mother already got back with you to discuss the research we are doing. We'll keep you posted!

    1. William Perkins--wmdperkins@aol.comAugust 6, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      I just read that you are descended of the RUGGLES'. My mother, Adelaide B. RUGGLES-Perkins, father was Walter James RUGGLES (William J., James Fredrick, Thomas Gilbert, Thomas Hutchison, Richard, Brig. Gen Timothy, ...)

      You also would be related to Brig Gen Daniel RUGGLES, (b. Mass) Col USA/ B. Gen CSA...His ancestor was Edward RUGGLES, Brother of Gen Timothy.

      In Hollywood Cemetary, Richmond, Va, is the grave of Francis Dunbar RUGGLES, (b. Mass) gunner, New Orleans Washington Arty, bled out the first night of a mini ball to the spine, Marye's Hill, Battle Of Fredricksburg.

      Just thought I might tease your interest a bit.

      Bill Perkins
      (b. 1948, NYC, mig to NC, 1966)
      Raleigh, NC


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