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Sam Lovelace
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Fri May 15 2020, 11:56AM

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Sam Lovelace began receiving a Confederate pension in 1933. He gave material aid to the cause by collecting farm produce for Lee's army. He lived in the town of Chatham, Virginia. He will eventually be Pittsylvania County's last Confederate pensioner. In 1957, the citizens of Chatham turned out to celebrate his 104th birthday. He lived through the Mexican, War Between the States, Spanish American, World War I and II plus the Korean War. He passed away at the age of 107.


Ex-slave Sam Lovelace received Confederate pension
Register & Bee ^ | Feb 16, 2003 | JOHN HALE
Posted on 2/17/2003, 12:33:48 PM by stainlessbanner

CHATHAM, Va. - Gathering food for Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's troops earned Sam Lovelace a rare reward.

In 1933, Lovelace began drawing a Civil War pension - $300 a year - for his service to the Confederate States of America.

Lovelace collected the pension for his work as a teen-aged slave in the Chatham area during the Civil War. He is believed to be the last Confederate pensioner in Pittsylvania County, according to Herman Melton's book, "Thirty-Nine Lashes - Well Laid On: Crime and Punishment in Southside Virginia 1750-1950."

The annual pension was the result of an act passed by the Virginia General Assembly that awarded pensions to ex-slaves.

According to Gretna resident Eunice Bennett, Lovelace's first cousin, the $300 annual pension was a sizable sum at the time.

"He worked hard and he saved his money. He put it away and didn't drink it up," Bennett said. "He was a good father and took care of his family."
Lovelace also had a penchant for remembering details. He told a WPA historian in 1936 about 400 Union prisoners of war who were marched through Chatham to prisons in Danville. He also told the historians about the days when Chatham was a village of 18 homes, listing the names of each resident.

"He was a gold mine of history," Melton said.
Bennett remembers Lovelace sitting and telling stories for as long as he had an audience.

"He remembered down through his childhood, working at Chatham Hall," Bennett said.
Lovelace, who died in 1953 at the age of 107, was married and had four children - daughters Emma and Marie and a son, Thomas. A second son died during childhood.
He ate what he grew on a small plot of land located in the shadow of the Wooding Plantation, where he was a slave until the end of the Civil War.
Lovelace's work ethic never waned.

"He cut his own firewood (for his log cabin home) until he died," Melton said. "He was a pretty remarkable man."


Source: Library of Virginia Digital Collection

Name:: Sam Lovelace, Age 86 As Of 1933, Collected Provisions For The Army; Mater
At Time Of Service: Mrs. Polly Wooding, Living Relative: Mr. Wooding Mustain,
Grandson Of Latter? Comrade: L. H. Ivey.

Pittsylvania County, Va--Chatham

Member Of: Worked For The Commissary. Worked Until The Surrender, Began Service
In 1864.

Affidavit Found In File: During The War, I Drpve A Ox Team And Collected
Provisions In The District Of Pittsylvania In Which My Mistress, Mrs. Polly
Wooding Lived And Delivered The Same To The Commissary At Tight Squeeze,
Pittsylvania Co. The Provisions Were Then Taken To The Depot At Ringgold. I Do
Not Remember The Name Of The Officers Because The Instructions Were Given To My
Mistress And She Would Explain Them To Me And I Went To The Different
Plantations And Hauled What Was Given Me To Tight Squeeze Where A Receipt Was
Hand Me Which I Carried Home To My Mistress. This 19 June 1933. Signed By Mark
Of Same Lovelace. Subscribed And Sworn To E. E. Friend, Deputy Clerk Of
Pittsylvania Circuit Court, Va.

[ Edited Fri May 15 2020, 11:56AM ]
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