James Madison University
Libraries & Educational Technologies
BURRUSS, MARGARET B. COLLECTION. SC# 2097
CARRIER LIBRARY, JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Compiled by Chris Bolgiano, September 1990
SCOPE & CONTENT
This collection consists of one Hollinger box of letters and a few family records and photos, 1786 to 1912; one 1/2 Hollinger box of Civil War letter transcripts; and the Hanna family Bible.
The bulk of the collection is in Series 1, which is composed of six folders of Civil War correspondence between Reuben A. Scott and his fiancee and (after September 12, 1861) his wife, Mary Catherine Saufley (called Mollie). Both Scott and Saufley lived near Port Republic in Rockingham County, VA, and were in their twenties. According to the donor, Mollie was slightly older than Reuben, and was well educated, having attended Fair View Academy and Miami Seminary in Missouri while living with an uncle there. Scott had joined the Confederate forces (private, Company B, 10th Regiment, Virginia Infantry) at least by April, 1861; was wounded in the arm at Chancellorsville in May, 1863; was taken prisoner of war at Port Republic in September, 1864; and was paroled May 23, 1865. His letters describe camp life, preparation for battles, and his assignment to search out and arrest deserters. Mollie answered with news of family members. Scott returned to live a prosperous life as a farmer at Port Republic, where he died in 1912. Series 1 also contains a few documents relevant to the correspondence, such as the April 7, 1861 note from Mollie's father giving permission to marry, a leave of absence for Scott in September, 1861, and copies of Scott's muster rolls. Transcripts of letters in Series 1 are filed in Box 1A. Series 2 contains miscellaneous letters (most from 1850's & 60's) from members of the Whitmer, Ewing, Brown, Graham, and other families, including the Scott and Saufley families. Letters from both R.A.Scott and M.C.Saufley to various relatives are filed here. Also filed here are miscellaneous documents such as notes of debt, as well as R.A. Scott's will and obituary. Transcripts of these letters are also filed in Box 1A. Series 3, Miscellaneous, contains M.C.Saufley's Daybook, 1859-1867[?] (prayers, notes on weather, occasional list of letters); and a pamphlet, The Soldier's Mission in the Crisis of 1861, with a note by R.S.Scott, "found on battlefield..." This folder also holds the originals of several clippings that were photocopied onto preservation paper for placement with the letters they accompanied. The photographs in Series 4 consist of three cased photos (one daguerreotype) of R.A.Scott; one cased photo of Mollie Scott identified and dated by the donor as 1861; and one mounted photo of R.S.Scott in his casket. Envelopes are filed in Series 5. Some further genealogical information from the donor is available in the control file.
Donated to the Library in July 1990 by Mrs. Margaret B. Burruss, a great granddaughter of R.A. and M.C. Scott.
ORGANIZATION Box 1.
Series 1: Scott-Saufley Corresp., 4/7/1861-5/23/1865 (& undated), Fold. 1 - 6
Series 2: Family letters, 1786 [1851-1869] 1912 (& undated), Fold. 7 - 9
Series 3: Miscellaneous. Folder 10.
Series 4: Photographs. Folder 11.
Series 5: Envelopes. Folder 12. Box 1A.
Transcripts of Series 1 Civil War letters, folders 1-6; & Series 2, Family letters, folders 7-9.
Hanna Bible. T.p. missing. Has 2 p. of genealogical data, 1786-1912.
James Madison University Libraries & Educational Technologies