Major Robert Lewis Dabney
Portrayed by Wayne Ritter

Robert Lewis Dabney Was born in 1820 on the 5th of March in Louisa County, Virginia. His father Charles, fathered four boys and four girls. He was the sixth child and the third son. His father died in 1833 at the age of 48. Robert received his early education in local preparatory schools created by my father and his neighbors. In 1836 at the age of 16, he entered Hampden-Sidney College and this is where he was converted to Christianity. He left after 16 months to help his mother with the farm. In December of 1839 he entered the University of Virginia. After 2-1/2 years he received a Master of Arts Degree at the age of 22. In 1844, he entered the Union Theological Seminary to study the ministry. Dabney received his licensed to preach from the West Hanover Presbytery on May 4, 1846.

He was called to be pastor of Tinkling Springs Presbyterian Church located in Augusta County, Virginia. Here he met his wife, Miss Margaret Lavinia Morrison, and they were married March 28, 1848. Dabney called it "the first love and last love affair of my life" Margaret gave Robert six sons of which three died from diphtheria. Margaret and Anna Morrison Jackson were sisters.

During the first year of the Civil War, he sold his estate Stony Point for $4,000 and lent the money to the Confederacy and lost it without regret. Robert served as Chaplin of the 59th Virginia during the summer of 1861. He returns home during this time due to an attack of camp fever. In March of 1862, General Jackson wrote him asking him to join his staff. Again on April 8, Jackson wrote for him to take the position as his Chief-of- Staff with the rank of Major. Military life was trying due to long severe marching conditions with Gen. Jackson. Still half sick from a prior attack of camp fever further caused his health to break down. This brought on another severe spell of camp fever, which brought him close to death. He was no longer fit for service and was forced to resign in November of 1862.

He offered moral support to defending the South with his pin and wrote "A Defense of Virginia and the South". After the death of her husband Stonewall Jackson, on May 10th 1863, Mrs. Anna Jackson employed Maj. Dabney to write her husband's biography. He managed to finish the biography shortly before the surrender at Appomattox.

After the war at the age of 36, he returned to Union Theological Seminary at Hampden-Sidney University, this time as professor for the next 30 years. He resigned the University in 1890 due to failing eyesight. He traveled and lectured, until his death on the 3rd of January 1898. He was returned and buried at Hampden-Sidney University in Virginia.

 


Robert Lewis Dabney prptrayed by Wayne Ritter

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