On Memorial Days in the 1930s, the author helped her father with the decoration of J. E. B. Stuart's monument on the Yellow Tavern battlefield in Virginia. The area called Yellow Tavern cannot be located on any modern map. Yellow Tavern is now defined by the action that took place there, along the roads that passed through it, the railroads that encircled it, and by the lives of the families who lived there during the eighteenth century. It is the author's intention by this treatise to try to look at the strife through the eyes of the women as they wove the threads of their lives and those of their loved ones through the events that transpired there.
Yellow Tavern and Beyond preserves the story of this region during its grimmest years. Mrs. Atkinson uses a diverse selection of first person sources - many not publicly available - as she follows the area's families during the course of the war. Her collection begins with the author's grandfather, Tom Francis, his three brothers, and their brother-in-law, Charles Terrell who left home to serve in the Fifteenth Virginia Regiment. Out of their concern for those left behind, they wrote letters telling of their experiences during the Civil War. Some of them did not live out the war, but their letters have been cherished by the women in the families and passed down as tangible evidence of their personalities and the times in which they lived. In those letters and other journals, often written in the dialect of Virginians, the words spelled phonetically, this generation who never knew them, can still hear their ancestors speaking. A full index, with subjects, names, and places, adds to the value of this book.
Dorothy Francis Atkinson
2006, 5½x8½, paper, index, 454 pp.