Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September 21, 1861 (Sunday): Native Americans in Eastern Virginia

General John Bankhead Magruder

Richmond, Va., September 21, 1861.
Brigadier-General Magruder,
            Commanding Army of Peninsula, Williamsburg, Va.:
   GENERAL:  I am requested by the Governor to acquaint you there are remnants of Indian tribes in the counties of King William and King and Queen, which may possibly, by uninformed persons, be confounded with persons of color.  These Indians are not to be held to labor, as would be the case in certain contingencies with free negroes.  But the Governor is of the opinion that, if a call is made upon the chief (Wynne), he will cheerfully furnish laborers to aid in the common defense.
    I am, &c.,
                                                                                    GEO. DEAS,
                                                                        Assistant Adjutant-General.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 51, Part 2, Page 306

The irony of the letter speaks for itself.  The tribes involved would be most likely the Mattaponi or Rappahanock.

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