Gray area shows 98th Regiment. The non shaded area was the 22nd Regiment
While researching my ancestors in Mecklenburg County, many of the records I have found pertaining to my family show that they were located in the the 98th Regiment. I have not been able to find a map that showed what the boundaries of the 98th Regiment were, so I decided to research it and map it out myself. I created a layer on my map, and shaded the boundaries of the 98th Regiment (according to the results of my research) in gray.
Lewis Parham was made the sheriff of Mecklenburg county in August 1819. He appointed my ancestor, Newman Dortch to be a Commissioner of the Revenue and also a coroner for the 98th Regiment. Mecklenburg Order Book 19, page 435 told about this:
I also found a page in Mecklenburg deed book 18, which states that Newman Dortch was a Commissioner of Revenue for the 98th Regiment. I was surprised and excited to find Newman’s appointment and a description of the Regiment in the deed books.
18 Sep 1820, Mecklenburg Deed Book 18, page 365 says:
“The 98th Regiment of Virginia is bounded as follows: Beginning at the Carolina line on Taylor’s road, thence along the same, across Roanoke River at his Ferry, thence along the said road by Boydton, thence the road by Greensborough to Barry’s bridge on Meherrin River, thence down the said river to the Brunswick line, thence with the said Brunswick line to the North Carolina line, thence along the said Carolina line to Taylor’s road at the beginning.”
This description looks like something that would be in the order book, but I actually found this description of the 98th regiment’s boundaries in a deed book.
I tried to locate where it looked like Taylor’s Ferry Rd and the Taylor’s ferry was, around the Roanoke River area. I studied maps of the area from before the Kerr dam was put in.
I was puzzled for awhile about where Greensborough Rd could be. I knew the road couldn’t be a road going towards Greensboro North Carolina, which was over 100 miles south and west from Boydton. The Greensborough Road in the 1820 deed description was going north, towards Lunenburg to Barry’s bridge. I believe Greensborough Road was known as Old Cox Road (660) from Boydton to Barry’s Bridge.
1860 map showing Greensborough. Title: Volunteer militia and eastern army guide. One hundred and fifty miles around Richmond.(Library of Congress website)
The road is not nearly as straight as shown on the map above. The book “Life on the Roaring Roanoke” says, “Greensboro or Greensborough, named for the Green family, was a settlement on Allen’s Creek & Cox Rd. The name of the community was in use as early as 1795 when William Wills Green was granted a license to operate an ordinary there. It was also a post office, in 1813, and from 1819 to 1843.” (Susan L. Bracey. “Life on the Roaring Roanoke, A History of Mecklenburg County, Virginia.” c.1977, pg 136.)
1870 Finch map showing Barry’s Bridge (Library of Congress website)
Barry’s Bridge is no longer standing, in fact the 1870 map above shows that the bridge was already down. Comparing this 1870 map with present day Google Maps, Barry’s bridge looks to have been a little east of Bluestone Creek, and almost directly north of Mt. Horeb Church.
French & Indian War to the formation of Mecklenburg County
Virginia’s Royal Governor, Robert Dinwiddie, formed the Virginia Regiment in 1754. The purpose being to protect the frontier border during the French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years’ War. Officers of the militia also collected taxes. Newman Dortch, for example, was an Ensign and a Quartermaster Sergeant during the War of 1812, prior to him being a commissioner of revenue, a deputy clerk and an under-sheriff .
Henings Volume 6 documents changes made to the militia in 1754 in order to better protect the Virginia colony. Among these, all officers in the militia now had to reside in the county of the militia they were leading. Rules and regulations were set up about officers’ commissions, money collection, uniforms, types and funding of weapons, and patrols. The French and Indian War (1754 to 1763) required large sums of money to carry out. This 1754 Act helped to raise money and better enable the militia to protect Virginia’s borders in the early days of the war. (William Walter Henings. “The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia from the First Session of the Legislature in the year 1619. Volume VI, pages 530-544.)
“Thursday the 17th day of October, in the 28th year of his majesty’s reign, and in the year of our Lord 1754, and then held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg.”
“An Act for raising the sum of twenty thousand pounds for the protection of his majesty’s subjects against the insults and encroachments of the French.”
“Whereas the subjects of the French king have, in open contempt of the treaties subsisting between the crowns of Great Britain and France, invaded this colony, and with armed force taken possession of a fort built on the river Ohio, for the protection of his majesty’s subjects and in the most hostile manner attacked the forces sent out by his majesty’s command, to build forts on the frontiers of this dominion.”
The bill goes on to say that the support of the people living along the Mississippi River was not sufficient enough, and that “notwithstanding the extreme poverty of the people, and the grievous burden of a poll tax, willing that it may be enacted.”
“The sum of two shillings and six pence, or thirty pounds of tobacco…shall be paid by every tithable person within this Dominion, on or before the tenth day of April now next ensuing to the sheriff of each county.” (William Walter Henings. “The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia from the First Session of the Legislature in the year 1619. Vol VI, pg 434, image 432 of 602.)
Revolutionary War & Post War
Order book page listing officers from the two battalions from Mecklenburg.
I believe that each of the battalions corresponded to one or the other of of the regiments, the 22nd or 98th. I haven’t yet discovered when these Regimental numbers began. The earliest reference I find to the 22nd Regiment and the 98th Regiment were in an 1804 newspaper article.
1804 militia units printed in the Virginia Argus Newspaper:
8 Aug 1804: Virginia Argus (Richmond VA)
This numbered map shows the counties represented as the 15th Brigade:
War of 1812
Newman Dortch was from the 98th Regiment, but during the War of 1812, the militia units of Mecklenburg (and other neighboring counties) were part of First Virginia Regiment Militia.
Civil War & Reconstruction
Virginia continued to use the same militia unit numbers through the Civil War.
Civil War militia units. (Listed about half way down the page.)
The 1870 Census was the first Census that does not show does not show the Regiment number.
“The Army Appropriation Act of 1867 disbanded the white militias in all of the former Confederate states except Tennessee.” (Mark L. Bradley “The Army & Reconstruction 1865-1877“. Center of Military History, United States Army, Washington, D.C., 2015)
Mecklenburg had two regiments in Virginia for 102 years! From the day the county officially began, 1 March 1765, to the year 1867 when the militias in Virginia were disbanded.
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