Town of
Pompey Historical Society

    Established 1976



   The Pompey Historical Society publishes three 8 page newsletters a year (Winter, Summer, Fall) for our members.  Below are excerpts from our Winter 2013 newsletter.  If you are not a member and would like to receive a copy (while supplies last) please request a copy by using the Feedback Form on this website - see button at top. Please be sure to give us your mailing address, or better yet become a Member!
This form is also available using the Membership button above.

Below is a partial listing of our 2 page article:  
"Major Civil War Events during the Winter and Spring of 1863"
(Also Dec. 31, 1862 to April 27, 1863)

May 1, 1863 - The Battle of Chancellorsville took place. The Army of the Potomac gathered in a dense undergrowth known as the Virginia Wilderness. Lee ordered “Stonewall Jackson to attack. He overwhelmed the right flank of the Union Army.

May 2,1863 - The Union Army was dispersed and pushed back towards Chancellorsville.. Late in the day, Gen. Jackson was wounded in the left arm by friendly fire.

May 3, 1863 - General Lee halted Union General Sedgwick at Salem Church.

May 4, 1863 - Gen. Hooker ordered all of his troops to withdraw across the Rappahannock River.  Gen. Jackson’s arm was amputated. Davis telegraphed Lee praising his success.

May 10, 1863 - Gen. Thomas Jackson died at the age of 39 from pneumonia at Guinea’ Station, VA, leaving behind his wife and young daughter

(For a more graphic description of the Battle at Chancellorsville, read the following letters from a soldier from the North and one from the South) During this time, Gen Grant pushed into the area south of Vicksburg

May 17, 1863 -At the Battle of Big Black River Bridge, Pemberton attempted to slow Grant’s progress by burning the bridges. The next day, the Siege of Vicksburg began

May 18, 1863 - The Siege of Vicksburg began.

May 28, 1863 - The 54th Massachusetts Volunteers, a black regiment, left Boston to train at Hilton Head, SC.

June 3, 1863 - Lee decided to stage an invasion of the North. 

                                     (To be continued in our June issue)

Above is one of our Civil War displays at Pompey Town Hall

Below are excerpts from two gripping letters home reviewing the Battle of Chancellorsville

The Battle of Chancellorsville as viewed by a Confederate Soldier:

Camp near Deep Run

May 13th, 1863

Dear Fanny:

I rec'd your letter yesterday ad must try to answer it today. I wrote to you last week but it is so uncertain about your getting my letters that I must try again...It was the awfullest fire I was ever under yet. Co. I lost 17 men out of 30 that went into the fight. Sunday evening the skirmishers were called out again and from that time till Wednesday morning we were fighting constantly without any intermission. On Wednesday morning I tried to get our line to advance but Lt. Morgan who had been detailed to relieve Lt. Prophet (Ira J Profitt), our old skirmish officer who was broke down and sick, was a coward and instead of listening to my report and advancing as I wanted him to do insulted me for leaving my post and threatened to report me for leaving to go to the front as a scout. I told him if he did I'd report him for cowardice. I then went up the line to the skirmishers of Archer's Tenn. Brigade and reported the result of my reconnaissance during the preceding night. The officer in command immediately sent off dispatch to Genl Archer. And then turning to me said he'd be d-d if it should ever be said that a Tennessee officer was afraid to follow where a N.C. private led the way.  ..... 

Letter home from a Union soldier:

Camp of the 149th Regt NYSV

Near Acquia Landing VA May 9th 1863

I have been through a terrible battle and seen men lying wounded in every conceivable shape.  The bass whizzing around my head sounding like a swarm of bees! And men falling on ever side, but thanks to god fortune escaped uninjured. We lost out of our Company eleven wounded and five missing probably taken prisoners four of them went out on picket Saturday night have not been heard from. They were probably taken prisoners. Dave Orr was one of the four. John Heath was slightly injured by a shell bursting near his head jarring him considerable and causing the blood to run out of his ears and nose. He went to the hospital but came back to the Company yesterday and reported fit for duty. Those were ALL FROM Pompey that were injured. ..... 

Jerome Family: Rooted in Pompey, but World Citizens

There have been many requests for information about Jennie Jerome, mother of Winston Churchill, and her connection to Pompey — and many misconceptions. Pompey is the home of her father and grandparents, but Jennie herself never visited her upstate roots, nor did Winston Churchill. However, he did express on several occasions that he would have liked to. 

So, what are the facts? Most of the following information came from Ralph G. Martin's Jennie: The Life of  Lady Randolph Churchill. Volume one was completed in 1969 and volume 2 in 1971. The story is as much about her father, Leonard, as it is about Jennie. It is an American success story, starting with Leonard  Jerome, who was Pompey-born and bred. 


Leonard quickly became a prominent figure in New York society. A notable and flamboyant stock market speculator, he made and lost millions, then made them again, earning him the nickname, “King of Wall Street.”  He was a patron of the arts, founding the American Academy of Music. His private passion was music and he financed the careers of many promising young singers — particularly if they were female and pretty. The famous Jenny Lind was one of his favorites; hence, the origin of the name of his second daughter, Jennie.


Jennie Jerome with sisters Clara and Leonie
Jennie (on the left) was the mother of Winston Churchill

Other content of the Newsletter includes;

The Winter Newsletter has a feature article on Sylvia Shoebridge, our Historian Emeritus who just celebrated her 90th birthday! There is also a short article on “A Quick Look at Pompey’s Past” which describes our evolution over the decades as well as a population track. Again, go to for excerpts and for our Programs and Events dates.  



















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