Jill’s 3rd cousin 6x removed,
Col. John W. Gilliam, married Mary Elizabeth Coleman Goodwyn who had inherited the original Coleman house, Burnt Quarter, from her parents (Mary Coleman and Joseph Goodwyn), around 1840. Col. Gilliam lived at Burnt Quarter until his death in 1853.
Burnt Quarter, the oldest Coleman house in Dinwiddie, is located on Five Forks Battlefield five miles down the road from our property….
“Named for British colonel Banastre Tarleton’s burning of a grain quarter while raiding during the Revolutionary War, Burnt Quarterwas built for Robert Coleman in the early 18th century. The home received several additions in the years following construction of the central portion. The home was used as Union Army headquarters during the Civil War Battle of Five Forks (April 1, 1865). The home is on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.” (Plans for Burnt Quarter, Dinwiddie County, Virginia. Library of VA card catalogue page )
The Library of Virginia has copies of the architectural plans for the house drawn up by Robert Coleman in 1737. I haven’t made it down to the library yet to get copies, but will add them here once I make it down there.
“Burnt Quarter (026-0025), also listed in the National Register, was probably built for Robert Coleman in the late eighteenth century. The frame house has undergone many changes since it was built… The house appears to have begun as a single-pile, side-passage-plan house in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries. The flanking wings have Flemish-bond foundations. The house is sheathed with beaded weatherboard.” (A Survey of Historic Architecture in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, page 53)
“The plantation of “Burnt Quarter” encompassed lands surrounding the Five Forks and was at the time of the Civil War one of the largest estates in Dinwiddie County. The plantation represented an example of descent through the female lineage, passing from the Colemans to the Goodwyns and ultimately to the Gilliam family. Much of the land that currently forms the Five Forks Unit was purchased from a descendant of the Civil War owner of “Burnt Quarter.” The house and surrounding farm lie south of the boundary of the park, although an easement has been granted to the National Park Service. The house represents the sole surviving dwelling dating prior to the Civil War in the immediate vicinity of Five Forks and as such is of importance both historically and architecturally. Family portraits that were slashed and damaged by Union cavalry during the battle of Five Forks still hang upon the walls of the house, presenting dramatic and timeless images concerning the impact of warfare upon the domestic scene.” (http://thomaslegioncherokee.tripod.com/battleoffiveforkspetersburgnationalbattlefieldvirginia.html)
“The battle of Five Forks, April 1, 1865, was largely fought on Burnt Quarter‘s fields. Federal General Merritt used the “big house” as his headquarters and as a military hospital., With Confederates in the peach orchard back of the house and Federals in the field at the front, the dwelling was in the line of fire during part of the battle, as is testified by bullet holes still plainly visible in the walls of several rooms. A cannon ball nearly demolished the great chimney at the end of the drawing room. On the walls of this room hang family portraits that were slashed by Union soldiers, the cut pieces having been pasted back in place. General Hancock, visiting the house several years later and viewing the damage, offered to have the portraits restored. Mrs. Gilliam, the mistress of the house, refused this offer, saying: “Let them stay as they are.”
With her two daughters and youngest son, Mrs. Gilliam occupied the house while battle raged roundabout. The story has been handed down that, exhausted by the harrowing experiences of the day, Mrs. Gilliam retired early as the night shadows were falling. But firing had not wholly ceased, and a musket ball passed through the wall of her bedroom, through the pillow on which her head lay, and through the opposite wall, without the slightest injury to herself.” (http://www.vagenweb.org/dinwiddie/misc/homes.htm)
The Coleman family of Colemans Lake
The last known Coleman to live on the lake was Ned Coleman. His father, Edward Wayne Coleman Jr, or “Buster” Coleman, ran the lake’s recreational facility in the early to mid 1900’s. If you are interested in the family genealogy, here is a link to their family tree on ancestry.com: http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/51308237/family
The following is an excerpt from J. P. Coleman’s book, The Robert Coleman Family; from Virginia to Texas 1652-1965
“On April 2, 1963, and again on February 22, 1964, I had the pleasure of visiting in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Wayne Coleman, Jr., Ford, Virginia. Mr. Edward Wayne Coleman is of the Amelia County Colemans, who moved over into Dinwiddie. This branch of the Amelia County Colemans originally lived near Sayler’s Creek Battle Field. Mrs. Eva Orgain and Mr. Will Coleman, of Chester, Virginia, are members of this family. I had the pleasure of visiting with them in Chester on February 23, 1964. Mr. Edward Wayne Coleman lives at Coleman’s Lake, about seven miles Northwest of Dinwiddie Courthouse.”
I’m still working on the connection between this family and the Coleman’s of Burnt Quarter and will post it here as soon as I have more definitive proof.