Ann Mariah <I>Hempstone</I> Sellman

Ann Mariah Hempstone Sellman

Loudoun County, Virginia, USA
Death 23 Apr 1928 (aged 84)
Frederick County, Maryland, USA
Burial Beallsville, Montgomery County, Maryland, USA
Plot Boundary Ave South, Lot 1, Site 9
Memorial ID 7342525 · View Source
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- Christian Townley Hempstone [1810-1890]
- Mary Rebecca (Dade) Hempstone [1815-1888]

Married John Poole Sellman on February 13, 1866 in Loudon County, VA.

Mother of:
- Florence May Sellman [1867-1945]
- Ida Lee Sellman [1870-1893]
- John Poole Sellman, II [1874-1943]
- Marie Dade Sellman Pearre [1877-1943]
- Anne Estelle Sellman [1880-1894]

The Frederick Post - April 24, 1928

Mrs. Anna Hempstone Sellman, widow of John Poole Sellman, late of Montgomery county, died Monday morning at 2:30 o'clock at her home, 206 Rockwill Terrace.

Surviving her are a son, Dr. John Poole Sellman, Washington, Indiana; and daughters, Miss May Sellman and Mrs. George A. Pearre.

Funeral Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock from the house, and interment at Beallsville, Montgomery county. Thomas P. Rice, funeral director.

Experiences of a War-time Girl

The following article was written for the "Confederate Veteran" [January, 1927] by Mrs. John Poole Sellman (nee Annie Mariah Hempstone) in 1926 when she was in her eighty-third year. Her grandson, Hunton Dade Sellman, has in his possession a letter written by John P. Sellman to his bride-to-be on November 10, 1864, while he was a prisoner of war in the Old Capitol Prison, Washington, D.C., as related in the article.

Early in July, 1864, my friend, Mrs. [Sarah Elizabeth Gott] White, wife of Col. [Elijah Veirs] White, commanding the 35th Battalion of Virginia Cavalry, C.S.A., called at the home of my father, Mr. [Christian Townley] Hempstone, near Leesburg, Va., to invite me to spend a few days with her at "Temple Hall", the home of Mr. Henry [Adams] Ball, where Mrs. White, her children, and nurse, stayed for many months, just as they did at my father's home. That afternoon we planned a little trip across the Potomac River into Montgomery County, Md. The Yankee pickets having been withdrawn from the "Banks of the Potomac," we deemed it safe to make the trip to procure clothing for our dear Maryland boys in gray.

With Betty Bell and Kate Ball and their brother, George Bell, we went in a two-horse open wagon to the home of Mrs. White's mother, Mrs. [Mary Elizabeth Trundle] Gott, of Gott's Mill, near Dickerson. In the afternoon, George Ball returned home, and Mrs. White's brother, John Gott, and I went on horseback to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Sellman, near Clarksburg, who gave us cloth and boots. Their two sons were in the Confederate army, Alonzo [Sellman] being in White's 35th Battalion, and Wallace [Sellman] in Company A, 1st Maryland Cavalry.

On the outskirts of Barnesville, we stopped at the home of Capt. and Mrs. William [Oliver] Sellman, whose oldest son, John Poole [Sellman], ran away in the spring of 1861 from Brookville Academy where he was a student and crossed the Potomac into Virginia to fight for State Rights and constitutional liberty. He joined Company K, 1st Virginia Cavalry. After serving in it one year, he and eighteen young men met at Hanover Junction, Virginia, and organized Company A, 1st Maryland Cavalry, which was the nucleus of one of the most famous cavalry commands in the Confederate army.

Capt. William Sellman's daughter, Mary Jane [Sellman], slipped a bundle of calico under my saddle as I sat on my horse, and we returned to Mrs. Gott's and spent the night. The next day we tied the cavalry boots to our hoop skirt and wound the cloth and calico in and out until we were burdened with weight. Thinking all was safe for our return, we started for home, but before reaching the Potomac, we learned that pickets had been placed there again. Our hearts were full and we trembled in fear of losing our treasured collection. We returned to Mrs. Gott's and hastened to secrete our much-valued articles by stringing them on ropes and suspending them in cuddy holes in the wall. We made ourselves comfortable, trusting for an early opportunity to return to Virginia, but ere the lapse of another day, Mrs. White was arrested by order of Major Thompson and taken to Muddy Branch, where he was stationed. Late that night he sent an ambulance with four guards for the Ball girls and me. It was well after midnight when we joined Mrs. White. We spent the rest of the night in a guarded house, which was infested with vermin. We kept our tallow dip burning, but the pests swarmed all the more. Early next morning we were taken in an ambulance to Washington and placed in Capitol Prison in close confinement, as we were accused of being spies and were threatened with hanging. Mrs. White and I were in room No. 4. Our furniture consisted of iron cots with straw beds; the rough gray blankets we hung at the window to shade our eyes for the glaring sun. White there, kind friends living in Washington visited us and did what they could to make us comfortable. I still have several cards that come with baskets of fruit and delicacies, which I shared with the soldiers confined in Capitol Prison.

Mrs. White was taken ill, and as soon as she was able, was moved to a boarding house, and I was sent to nurse her. A Dr. Ford attended her. After three weeks we were paroled and given a pass. We first went to the home in Georgetown of a Mr. Williams, a relative of Mrs. White, who brought us in his carriage to Rockville, a distance of twelve miles, where we dined with Mrs. Bouie, and then went on to Mrs. Gott's. There we obtained our same collection of supplies and left for home, notwithstanding the Potomac was heavily guarded. Mr. Gott took us to Edward's Ferry as the safest place to cross the river. Mr. Will Jones, who was clerking in a store there, came out to help us out of the wagon. As he lifted me, I whispered, "Lift me down carefully, or my hoops may tilt and show the boots and materials."

The many letters I received from soldier friends while in prison I was unwilling to give up, so, in packing my valise, I placed them on top, that they might be seen by the Yankee guards who would search our baggage. When they opened my valise and the letters rolled out by the dozen, which I purposely arranged to aggravate the inspector, I laughed, which was considered a great insult, and he exclaimed in anger, "If I had my way, I would send you straight back to prison where you came from."

We crossed the Potomac in a skiff. I was obliged to stand, on account of the cavalry boots dangling from my hoop skirt. When we reached the Virginia shore, we walked to a house on Goose Creek, where we had dinner. I have forgotten the name of the people, but they kindly sent us in a one-horse wagon to my home in Leesburg, where we were heartily welcomed by our loved ones. In a few days, our dear boys in gray of Colonel White's Battalion, hearing of our return, came to see us in my father's home, and we distributed the supplies we had collected.

It was in the Episcopal Church in Leesburg that I first saw John Poole Sellman; he was with Mr. Horatio Trundle. My sister, Jennie [Sellman], whispered to me, "There is Johnny Sellman." That evening he came to my father's home and spent the night, leaving the next morning for Charlttesville to join the army. In October, after my return from prison, Mr. Sellman procured a furlough and came to Leesburg to spend a few days, and while at my father's home, a squad of Yankees invaded the town. Hearing they were near, he mounted his horse and fled to a near-by corn field, where he was captured, taken to Old Capitol Prison, and placed in close confinement, under threat of being hanged. In February, he was sent to Old Point Comfort, and from there on to Richmond to be exchanged.

While in prison, Johnny Sellman took from his tin cup of soup a small beef bone, form which he made with his pen-knife a Maltese Cross, carving his initials upon it, and filling them with red sealing wax, using a common brass pin to make pin and catch, so that he might wear the cross on his coat. This cross in now one of my most cherished possessions. On February 13, 1866, I married him, and we lived near Barnesville until his death in 1908, after which, with my two daughters I came to live in Frederick, Md. My only son, his father's namesake, John Poole Sellman, II, lives in Washington, Ind.

In 1862 I made a small Confederate flag, the "Stars and Bars", for Mr. Sellman, which he carried through the war. It was used by my little grandson, Hunton Dade Sellman, when he helped unveil the Confederate monument in Rockville, Md. On June 3, 1913.

After the Battle of Manassas, July 21, 1861, the 13th, 17th, 18th, and 21st Mississippi Regiments and the 4th South Carolina Regiment encamped near Leesburg until March 7, 1862. As soon as they arrived, several boys who were ill of typhoid fever were brought to my father's home and remained for weeks. Among them were Adjutant [Samuel Timothy] Nicholson, 18th Mississippi; [Thomas H] Tip Williams, [John] Charles Russell, and Capt. Rev. Edward Fontaine, all of Company K, 18th Mississippi. Captain Fontaine was an Episcopal clergyman, and preached one Sunday in St. James Church, Leesburg. When able to leave us, he received a furlough and went home, unfit for active service.

After the Battle of Ball's Bluff, October 21, 1861, a hospital was established in the clerk's office in Leesburg, where my mother frequently went with one of her servants to carry food and minister to the comfort of the wounded and dying soldiers. In this battle, [Corp. John A.] Jack Pettus, son of the governor of Mississippi, [Pvt. L. M.] Holloway, [Pvt. William E.] Terrett, and other of Company K, 18th Mississippi were killed. They were buried in Leesburg [Union] Cemetery, and my sister and I took care of their graves. The best of all we had was kept for "out boys in gray."

Our growing crops were destroyed by the Yankees, fields of wheat just ready to harvest were trampled down, hogs butchered, and horses driven off. Several times there were threats to burn our home.

I was a young girl then, now I am in my eighty-third year, but have never forgotten the horrors of the War between the States nor the love for the Confederacy.

Special thanks to Ethel Sellman for contributing this artifact

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  • Created by: Paula J
  • Added: 9 Apr 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7342525
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ann Mariah Hempstone Sellman (17 Feb 1844–23 Apr 1928), Find a Grave Memorial no. 7342525, citing Monocacy Cemetery, Beallsville, Montgomery County, Maryland, USA ; Maintained by Paula J (contributor 46489742) .