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David Coffman residence, FruitlandFrom the December 21, 1926 edition of the Page News & Courier, I located an article titled “A Soldier’s Son Who was Born at Luray.” The subject of the article was the birth of a son to Elijah Viers White and Sarah Elizabeth Gott White at the David Coffman home, “Fruitland,” near Ida in Page County, Virginia.

During the war, White’s home near Leesburg was behind Federal lines, and wanting his family out of harm’s way, “he placed Mrs. [Sarah] White and an older child at the home of David Coffman” at Fruitland. “When Mrs. White went to the Coffman home it was commodious, but the residence burned and a small frame structure was fitted up for occupancy.” During her stay there, she gave birth to a son on April 6, 1864.

There is some confusion as to whether this son was Elijah Brockenbrough White or Col. Elijah V. WhiteBenjamin Viers White. Nonetheless, Dr. William H. Miller (1832-1881), formerly of Co. D (“Massanutten Rangers”), 7th Virginia Cavalry, delivered the child. Mrs. White and her children remained for about a year in all, not leaving “until the close of the war.”

Page County had one company under White’s command in the 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry – Company E, which was commanded by Capt. John H. Grabill of Shenandoah County, and later 1st Lieutenant Harrison Monroe Strickler of Luray.

Fruitland is site #102 in the map below.

fruitland-102-map-closeup

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