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Thomas W. Russell & Mary Engler Stem Clippings

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Some Biographical Information on Thomas W. Russell
Contributed by Jane Russell Johnson

Born January 23, 1825, on farm two miles north of New Market, Maryland. Member of Society of Friends. Listed in 1850 Virginia census as living in hotel in Winchester operated by William D. Gilkerson; his brother Isaac was living there also while involved in building road across North Mountain. In U. S. Census of 1860 he was living in High View, Frederick County, Virginia, and his occupation was listed as coach maker.
A letter [reproduced exactly as written-JRJ] to his brother Isaac follows:

"Back Creek Valley, Virginia
5th mo.
15th. 1861.
I. S. Russell

My dear Brother,
     I received a letter from thee last fifth day, and it stated you had not received one from me since the first of last mo. I write once a week, I think some of my letters got lost, particular in going East. Thee said something concerning the lumber. It is all at the mill and likely to be without a change in this country, A great time here now getting troops in defence of our State. They have raised a volenteer company in this neighbourhood of 50 men they are adding every day, they were training here to day. They have taken my little waggon, and I fear will take my horse if so I cannot do much, I am not doing much, having no help. buisness has stoped, nothing doing, but to get ready for fight. Virginia I fear will have as much as it can get along with, all the Southern troops are coming here, great many come to Winchester on their way to H. Ferry-The Western part of Virginia held a Convention this week, and 25 counties have united themselves to Ohio provided Virginia goes not for the Union, I have my doubts about it. Frederick Co. is in arms every where, If there be any fighting almost all our men will be gone, and but few left to take care of their homes we have what they call home gards (may be called pad-rolers) I thinke I will unite to that. for I think it highly necesary. My travels will not be very extensive, I will not be liable to be drafted then, I thought a few days ago I wuld leave the State, that will not do. I would be ruined, and I fear I will be any how, Archa Robinsons three oldest boys have left, and a good many more will leave, we will be ruined with Taxes. if suffered to hie. This county Appropiated last second day $10,000 for the use of the companies many farmers are not putting in any corn, taken away from their homes-I think the Union side [this last word inserted above the line - JRJ] the strongest here there has been several knock downsvery exciteable times, one cannot express himself without being in danger-
     I will finish this ready for the mail
     Next fifth day will be a great day in Virginia. An Election to deside our difficulty, only wish it would deside the matter, it is hard for some to say what they will do. changing from one side to the other-In conclusion I will say I hope in the future, that something will result good, nothing more at present, they lumber will be attended to as soon as can with safety-write often, cordially thy brother
My love to all,
say to them not
to be uneasy about

Thos. W Russell

On October 26, 1861, Isaac Russell wrote in his diary, "Bro. Thomas came home from Virginia, the land of rebels." Another entry, dated April 6, 1865, states, "...The draft came off in Frederick today. I was missed, so were Henry and Samuel, but Thomas was not so fortunate." Four days later, on April 10, 1865, he wrote ..."Lee and his whole army surrendered yesterday..." Married Mary Englar Stem on December 26, 1866, in Uniontown, Maryland. From Isaac Russell's diary entry of December 26: "Brother Thomas and Mary Stem were married at 8 oclock A.M. at Union town, then came to Samuel's..." Lived in Union Bridge, Maryland. In 1870 U. S. Census he owned real estate valued at $6000 and personal property of $1000. Died November 18, 1910.
Buried in Pipe Creek Friends Cemetery, Union Bridge, Maryland.

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