When the War Between the States broke out in April of 1861 with the capture of Fort Sumter in South Carolina by the Confederates, Virginia quickly threw herself into the war on the side of the Confederacy. The folks of the tiny farming community of Princess Anne County were one of a handful of counties in that state that voted unanimously to leave the Union. Unfortunately it would come back to haunt them, and little over a year after the war started, they would be under Union occupation. This occupation would last the rest of the war. After several attempts to get the citizens of Princess Anne to take sides with the occupying forces by taking the oath of allegiance, the Yankees finally gave up. A few would side with the Yankees and sign the oath, but for the most part, the folks of Princess Anne refused to have any dealings with them. After all, their loved ones, husbands, sons, brothers, cousins, uncles, and friends were all off fighting for the Confederacy. By refusing to turn their backs on them, they created hard times for themselves. The occupying forces would ravage the countryside by sending regiments of colored troops and contrabands into the area to commit widespread depredations, robbing, looting, stealing, and in some cases, burning the citizens of Princess Anne County right out of their homes. Over seven-hundred men from this tiny farming community would go off and fight in what would become this country’s bloodiest conflict. Sadly, many of them would not return, and many that did would be scarred either physically or mentally for life. The war divided this tiny community and pitted neighbor against neighbor, creating hard feelings that in some cases would never heal. This book takes a look back during this sad time in our history. It is the story of how the good folks of Princess Anne County learned to cope with the occupying Yankee forces and what they did to protect their loved ones at home, as well as those off fighting for the Confederacy.
Kenneth Harris was born in Norfolk Virginia on December 4th 1956 and resided in Princess Anne County until 1963, when at the age of six it became today’s modern day Virginia Beach. Harris has resided in that city ever since. He has researched and studied the subject of the Civil War and its impact on the once tiny farming community of Princess Anne and its inhabitants for over ten years now. He is a self-proclaimed historian of that area of Virginia. Harris graduated from Kellam High School and worked in the construction field most of his life. He is now retired after twenty years as a building/construction inspector for the city of Virginia Beach. He resides in the southern rural section of Virginia Beach with his wife Pam of twenty-six years, who also graduated from Kellam High School. Their twenty-three year old daughter, Samantha, also a graduate of Kellam High School, is now attending a local college.
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