Letter: Captain Sally’s heroism remembered
Upon seeing the photograph of Marilyn Iglesias impersonating Captain Sally in the March 14 issue of the Gazette-Journal, it reminded me of a friend of mine who said she was (and I believe ’tis true) a descendant of the family of Sally Tompkins.
My friend was living in Albuquerque, N.M., at the time she first came to Richmond for a visit in the ’70s; she very soon told us that she was anxious to visit a church where there was a memorial window honoring Sally Tompkins, who had lived in Mathews County, Virginia.
Although my friend lived in Illinois and New York most of her life, it seems that during the Civil War, male members of the Tompkins family refused to fight with the Confederacy and moved to Illinois. Although they left Virginia, it seems these Tompkins family men remembered their roots, knew about Sally’s participation in the war, and passed the stories of her heroism down through the family.
By the time we tried to visit the plantation where Sally grew up, Yoko Ono was living there and we were chased off the property; but we visited other sites connected with Sally over the 20 or so years our friend visited. She died in her 90s a few years ago; her family name was Hollister, and she too had been a nurse in the public school system in and around Albuquerque. So, Captain Sally was known for heroic efforts during the Civil War in many more families and in many places other than in Virginia.
(still part time in Hudgins)