Montgomery Slaughter (1818-1897) was the mayor of Fredericksburg during the American Civil War. He was a flour merchant prior to becoming mayor in 1861. As the wartime mayor of the Southern city, Slaughter was a loyal servant of the Confederate cause, though he had a background in the then-defunct Whig Party, rather than the more typical Democratic affiliation of most stalwart Confederates at the time. He briefly spent time in Old Capitol Prison in August 1862 for his Confederate loyalties, but was released, and continued to serve as mayor throughout the war, including through multiple Union military occupations of the town. As mayor, he was in charge of representing the interests of the people of Fredericksburg to the Union authorities during these occupations. When the Confederates controlled the town, Slaughter cooperated with the Army of Northern Virginia in gathering intelligence on the Union Army positioned to the North and oversaw the security of the river area, personally granting or withholding passes to any civilians travelling north to Union lines. After he was removed from office by Union military authorities in 1868 as part of Reconstruction, he became a judge on the Corporation Court of Fredericksburg.
The letters in this collection are primarily addressed to Slaughter in the period after the Battle of Fredericksburg. The letters themselves ask for aid and other assistance from the mayor to help residents and repair damages.
Sources for Information and Image Above:
“Judge Montgomery Slaughter." Find A Grave. Accessed April 26, 2016. Click here
"Slaughter, Montgomery." Social Networks and Archival Content. Accessed April 26, 2016. Click here
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