Valley of the Shadow
The War Years
Spring 1861–Spring 1865

Letters & Diaries


McGuffin and Baylor Families (1861-1865)

Before the war, Charles W. McGuffin worked as a clerk and lived in the household of merchant Preston Hogshead. Another member of the McGuffin family was a farmer and another was a cabinet maker. Brothers Charles W. and John B. McGuffin both served in the military during the Civil War. John B. McGuffin enlisted as a private in company L of the 5th Virginia Infantry on April 17, 1861. He also served in the 33rd Virginia Regiment in which he was promoted to the rank of sergeant. John died near Winchester in 1865 from wounds. Charles W. McGuffin enlisted the same day as his brother as a private in company D of the 5th Virginia Infantry. He worked in the Quartermasters Department in Winchester and Petersburg and was wounded in the back at Gettysburg. Near the end of the war, or soon thereafter, Charles married Mary C. Baylor, the daughter of an Augusta County farming family. After the war, Charles and Mary lived with David C. Baylor, probably Mary's father, on the Baylor family farm.

The following links provide access to the most likely matches in the Valley of the Shadow databases:

John B. McGuffin Household

Charles W. McGuffin Household

Geraldine McGuffin Household

Templeton McGuffin Household

George W. Baylor Household

Mary C. Baylor Household

In these letters, members of the McGuffin and Baylor families discuss family affairs, courtship, politics, Staunton news, and crops. Soldiers John B. McGuffin and Charles W. McGuffin wrote to their mother, Martha L. Roadcap, and their soon-to-be brother-in-law, George W. Baylor, wrote to his sister, Mary C. Baylor, about upon troop movements, battles, casualties, and camp life. Other correspondents included cousin Geraldine McGuffin, another cousin named Rush, Maggie Heist, who was John B. McGuffin’s sweetheart, and friends Gotlip Dalius, Gerald E. Crist, James W. Gabbert, David B. Zimmerman, James J. Waggoner, and S.E. Zimmerman.