Monday, December 10, 2018

Albert Boisseau Home Burned

One never knows what one will find while browsing through old newspapers. Today, while looking through old issues of the Richmond Enquirer via an online platform, I happened on a report "FROM PETERSBURG" in the Friday, October 7, 1864 edition. In it are mentioned some activities related to the Battle of Peebles Farm, which occurred as part of Gen. Grant's Fifth Offensive at Petersburg (Sept. 30-Oct.2, 1864).

During the fighting, which ranged over a few miles, the Union army's V and IX Corps pushed back the Confederates and established a new line of earthen fortifications just a couple of stones throws south of where Pamplin Historical Park is today.

Part of the property where this action occurred was owned by Dr. Albert Boisseau, son of Tudor Hall plantation patriarch, William E. Boisseau, and brother of Tudor Hall's war-time owner, Joseph G. Boisseau. During the engagement, Dr. Boisseau's home happened to be between the lines and was probably used as cover for sharpshooters/skirmishers on both sides as the battle raged back and forth.

According to this article, Dr. Boisseau's house was burned on Tuesday, October 4, during "several small skirmishes" that occurred after the main fighting had ended. I had always assumed that it was burned during the days of the main battle. It is also interesting, but not particularly surprising, that the report states that the home was vandalized before it was burned. Houses and outbuildings were often dismantled for materials used to erect fortifications, and or winter quarters.

I will be looking for other pieces of evidence to corroborate this particular report, but I have no reason to doubt its validity at this point.

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