Local Commentary

Delegate Scott’s Richmond Report

Weekend before last, my wife and I traveled more than 300 miles to Rural Retreat for the biennial re-union of the Southwest Virginia Scotts.

Southwest Virginia Re-union

Weekend before last, my wife and I traveled more than 300 miles to Rural Retreat for the biennial re-union of the Southwest Virginia Scotts. As a native of Galax, approximately 70 miles from Rural Retreat, I always look forward to a visit the home areas of the first Scott families in that part of Virginia.

According to the three-volume family history researched and written largely by the Rev. Pike Thomas (his mother was a Scott) of Shreveport, Louisiana, the first James Scott, a somewhat ne-er-do-well Irishman, married Rachel Holmes of Scotland and brought her to Virginia. Ms. Holmes, 17 years Scott’s junior, came from a well-to-do Scotch family.

The Scotts settled in Smyth County, near Marion, in 1771. A son, William, was apparently my great-great grandfather. His son, Andrew, and my great-grandfather, had an arm shot off in the battle of Cold Harbour. The arm is now in the possession of the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond.

I am pleased to say that many of my ancestors were teachers, who attended Virginia colleges. Some attended Emory and Henry College near Abingdon, and Radford Teachers College, now Radford University. One aunt on my mother’s side of the family taught the current President of Radford U. in the fourth grade. Virginia’s current Secretary of Education Dr. Tom Morris was a president of Emory and Henry, and like me, a resident of the City of Galax.

It was a delightful weekend. After a picnic at the regional park near Rural Retreat, just off I-81, we visited the homes of a number of Scott descendants who live in Sugar Grove and Blue Springs, as well as the graves of ancestors. The hillside graves of Rachel and James, along with several of their children lie in a pasture not very far from Mt. Rogers, the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River at a height of 5729 feet.

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