["Berry Hill Version 2"] by Kenneth H. Cook.
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8 grim sense of satisfaction in leaving the world at that particular time, as he knew nothing but ruin was in store for his class. The war which he saw as the death-knell for Virginia's slave based aristocracy reached Berry Hill in several ways. When it was learned that Union troops were approaching the county, a movement that ended in the little-know encounter known as the Battle of Staunton River Bridge, Mr. Bruce and his family, excepting his son, Alexander, evacuated the plantation. Alexander, who had studied at V. M. I. under General Stonewall Jackson, served for a time in the Confederate army, but was released to return home and manage the plantation. The South was just as in need of food for the troops as it was for troops themselves. He, along with other men and boys, helped to defend the vital railroad bridge on June 25, 1864, in the only battle ever to take place on county soil. Two of Alexander's brothers die fight in the Southern army, and both gave their lived for the cause. Charles, a captain, was killed in the battle of Malvern Hill, and Thomas, a lieutenant, died in September of 1861 at his residence, Tarover, of a disease, thought to have been malaria, which he contracted early in camp. The great silver collection from Berry Hill was buried deep in the woods on the plantation, and when Mr. Bruce tried to tell Aleck Bank, the faithful old butler, of its exact location, he asked not to be told, saying that he did not want to be unfaithful to his master, nor did he want have to lie about it. Uncle Aleck was, however, ordered to burn the mansion if Union troops should come and try to occupy it. Troops, a small band under a General Merritt, did come, but it was said they made no attempt to gain entry. Following the surrender General Merritt was for a time stationed at Berry Hill.