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Tapscott (John Baker) Papers
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Papers belonging to Confederate soldier, civil engineer, and surveyor John Baker Tapscott and his family.
Background
John Baker Tapscott was son of Baker Tapscott and Eleanor Morrow Tapscott of Shepherdstown, Virginia. In the early 1850s, Tapscott left Virginia for Tennessee and settled in Clarksville. Between 1855 and 1857, he was employed by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Co. as an engineer and then worked as Division Engineer for the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville Railroad Company. In 1859, he became the City Engineer for Clarksville and occupied this position until February 20, 1861. On January 14, 1862, Tapscott was in Richmond where he applied for an officer's position at the Corps of Engineers of the Confederate Army. He received his commission as First Lieutenant in March 1862 and was immediately ordered to proceed to New Kent County to conduct surveys of the lands around the Pamunkey and Chickahominy rivers. In August 1862, Tapscott was ordered to Petersburg to report to Charles H. Dimmock, at the 1st Division of the Defenses before Petersburg. Except for occasional trips to North Carolina, he remained at the defenses of Petersburg until April 1865 when the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered at the Appomattox Court House. After the war, Tapscott returned to Clarksville. Later in 1865, he and Robert L. Cobb entered a partnership; the firm Cobb & Tapscott advertised their services as "Civil and Topographical Engineers, Architects and Surveyors." The partnership soon fell apart; Cobb returned to railroad work, and Tapscott worked as an independent engineer and surveyor. On March 4, 1868, Tapscott married Cobb's sister, Mary (Mamie) Aurelia Cobb (1844-1869). Their only child Mary (Maimie) Cobb Tapscott was born in December 1868; Mary Tapscott died in 1869. In the late 1860s, Tapscott began seeking employment in Missouri and Louisiana. In 1870, while in New Orleans, Tapscott met Kate Andrews Pegram (born 1854), daughter of George Pegram (1815-1877), one of the most prominent businessmen of the Mississippi region. John Baker Tapscott and Kate Andrews Pegram were married on December 4, 1872, in New Orleans. The couple made their home in Clarksville, but Tapscott continued to seek employment in the West. In 1874, he was in Waco, Texas, and later served as a mineral surveyor for the U. S. General Land office in Pueblo, Colorado. By the early 1880s, he had returned to Clarksville and remained there until his death in 1900. The Tapscotts had three children - John Pegram (born 1873), Anna (Annie) Baker (born 1877), and Virginia (born 1879). John Pegram Tapscott left Clarksville settling first in Lewiston, Idaho, and then Astoria, Oregon where he began working as an office boy for his mother's uncle Benjamin Rush Pegram. He then became a purser on the Steamer Harvest Queen, and then was promoted to the general agent and then receiving clerk of the O-W. R. & N. Co. He and his wife Frances had one child, Katharine Tapscott Rohrbough (1908-2001).
Extent
7.5 Linear Feet (5 boxes)
Restrictions
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Availability
Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.