Inclusive dates
Diary, 1862-1863, of William F. Broaddus (1801-1876) of Fredericksburg and Charlottesville, Virginia, containing entries covering his arrest and incarceration in Old Capitol by the Union army during the Civil War. His entries contain descriptions of his fellow prisoners including Belle Boyd (1844-1900). Broaddus chronicles his efforts to obtain freedom for himself and many of his neighbors. He also details his efforts to minister to wounded soldiers after his release. Also includes entries covering his efforts to minister during the war to his Baptist congregations in Fredericksburg. His entries also contain news about various battles and events
Member of
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  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • William F. Broaddus was born in Culpeper County, Virginia 30 April 1801. Taught by two half-brothers, a brother, and another teacher, Broaddus became a teacher himself at age 16. While a teacher in Shenandoah County, Virginia, Broaddus became a member of the Baptist Church and served congregations in Shenandoah, Culpeper, and Frederick Counties, Virginia. He also continued to conduct school for both boys and girls. Broaddus became involved in a controversy with Baptist churches in northern Virginia which opposed missions and Sunday schools, while Broaddus was a strong advocate of both. Eventually he won the struggle. In 1840, Broaddus moved to Kentucky and opened a school in Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky, where he remained for 12 years. After the death of his second wife and after his school burned down, he returned to Virginia, accepting the pastorate at the Fredericksburg Church. He was living in Fredericksburg when the Civil War began, and was arrested by Union troops 29 July 1862 and held as a prisoner at Old Capitol Prison in Washington D.C. until released in exchange for prisoners held by the Confederates 26 September 1862. Broaddus accepted a position at the Charlottesville, Virginia, church, and moved his family there in 1863. A constant visitor to Confederate hospitals during the war, he began efforts to educate the orphans of Confederate soldiers after the war. In 1865, he declined an offer to return to his former church in Fredericksburg, but moved to the city where he continued his efforts for education. In his last years, Broaddus suffered from blindness and declining mental health. He died 8 September 1876 in Fredericksburg and was buried in the city cemetery.
  • Broaddus married first, Mary Anne Farrow (ca. 1804-1850) of Shenandoah County, Virginia, 28 October 1819, and they had 6 children. He married second, Susan Burbridge (d. 1852) of Franklin County, Kentucky, 29 July 1851. Broaddus married third, Lucy A. Semple Fleet (1813-1881) of King and Queen County, Virginia, and they had 1 child.
Cataloging source
Form designation
  • The Library of Virginia
Immediate source of acquisition
Ryland, Garnett
Reproduction note
Photostats (negative).
Type of unit
v. (43 leaves).

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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