Col George Hairston

Col George Hairston

Bedford County, Virginia, USA
Death 5 Mar 1827 (aged 76)
Henry County, Virginia, USA
Burial Henry County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 17965969 View Source
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Son of Robert Hairston, the progenitor of the Henry county branch of this family. Robert Hairston was born in Ulster, N. Ireland. He took the oath of allegiance in 1776, having served as the first High Sheriff of Henry county. He married Ruth Stovall, daughter of George & Elizabeth Stovall.

George Hairston, son of Robert was a man of great firmness of character combined with elegance of manner & appearance. In 1776 he built his grand home, Beaver Creek, near Martinsville in Henry county, Virginia on a King's Grant of over 30,000 acres which he purchased from Col. Abraham Penn.

George Hairston was born at the family seat of Marrowbone, the home built by his father. On 1 January 1781 he took as his bride Elizabeth Perkins Letcher, widow of William Letcher. They had 12 children. Prior to this he had served well in the Revolution. He was the captain of a company of Col. Abram Penn that, in March of 1781, hurried from Beaver Creek to the assistance of Gen. Nathaniel Greene at Guilford Court House near Greensboro, NC. Although the fierce battle of 15 March was a victory for the British under Gen. Cornwallis, their losses were so heavy the result was a strategic victory for the Americans. The British march northward was halted & the battle proved to be the high water mark of British military operations in the southern colonies.

On 2 August 1780, Hairston's friend Capt. Letcher, went home on furlough to see his wife who was ill. As he entered his home he was shot dead in the presence of his wife & daughter by a band of Tories who had lain in wait. Hairston heard of this, immediately gathered his men, caught the Tories and convicted them before a drumhead court martial. To this day the spot in Patrick county is called Drumhead. In 1781, Hairston led his regiment in the final battle of Yorktown, the final battle of the war.

Hairston married the widow Letcher and raised the infant daughter Bethenia as his own. The child married and had a daughter who married Archibald Stuart. The son of this couple was Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart.

After the war Hairston gathered great wealth quite rapidly. He served as a brigadier general in the War of 1812, commanding the 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th Virginia and the 85th North Carolina regiments. (He was a colonel, not general in the NC regiments. He saw much service & was in the engagement that repulsed Gen. Robert Ross who burned Washington DC & was killed at Bladenburg.

Following this he served as sheriff of Henry county, and was later elected to the legislature. He died a peaceful death at his beloved Beaver Creek.

(Source: The Hairston's, An American Family in Black and White, Henry Wiencek, St. Martin's Press, 1999)