Interview with Virginia Wright Durrett

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From the Fort A. P. Hill Oral History interview:

Allan Morton interviewed Virginia Wright Durrett in 2007. We thought you would enjoy a portion of that interview.

“So to start with, Mrs. Durrett, you had some further recollections from last time we spoke. You had some recollection about the preacher, I think that was in Interview No. 1, where the preacher was – they took boards out of a bridge and he went through into the creek. You were going to tell me something about that.

That was the time that Mr. Jackson Jordan [pronouncing it jur den] – or Jordan [pronouncing it jor den] as it’s pronounced today – was returning from his session, outdoor session over there at Brandywine. And unfortunately waiting for him down the foot of the hill when he was getting ready to cross the creek down there, which is known as Port Tobacco Creek, with sort of a footbridge to the side because main traffic drove through the stream itself, there was no bridge. And hiding up in the bushes there were a group of young people, and unfortunately or fortunately they were related to me. And they had fixed the little footbridge so that it was not stable. So the dear Mr. Jordan came down the hill, and he was singing up a storm, and when he stepped on the bridge, the bridge just loosened up and dumped him into the stream.

He got up – and I was very much disturbed when I was being told this, and I said, “Oh, y’all didn’t.” And my cousin said, “Oh, yes, we did.” And I said, “Well, what did he say? Anything?” “He got up, brushed the water off his suit as much as he could and started singing again and went on up the hill and on his way.” And that was the nature of the man.