Dear Friends:

I’m down here in lovely St. Petersburg, Florida, working and loving every minute of it.  I’m also walking with my friends again—doing three miles!  It’s so good to be able to walk again and get back in shape after breaking my leg this past winter.

I visited the new Salvador Dali Museum on Tuesday with friends.  It opened at its new location several months ago, and we waited for the initial crowds to lessen before taking our turn.  The original museum opened in 1982 at 1000 Third Street, S., and eventually outgrew the location.  The new building is eight blocks north on the downtown waterfront at 1 Dali Boulevard and is beautiful both inside and outside.  The gardens are gorgeous, too!

Two most beautiful quilts just arrived at P. Buckley Moss Galleries, Ltd., in Mathews, Virginia.  When I participated in Quilt Camp at Sea’s Cruise for a Cure in 2009, I gave two of my hand-painted quilt centerpieces to Jackie Wolff of The Quilting Bee, Inc., and Lori Hein of Cool Water Quilts, both of Spokane, Washington, to design quilts around.  Jackie and Lori volunteered to design the quilts to benefit the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education.  They have done a magnificent job in designing the quilts, and the quality of the quilting, which was done by Laurie Burgess, is equally impressive.  A huge thanks to Jackie, Lori, and Laurie!

Lori Hein of Cool Water Quilts (left) and Jackie Wolff of The Quilting Bee, Inc., (right) in Spokane, WA, designed these two magnificent quilts for the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education.  Not pictured is quilter Laurie Burgess.

I was asked by members of the Mathews County (Virginia) Historical Society if I would create a print in honor of Captain Sally Tompkins in conjunction with the observance of the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the start of the War Between the States, or Civil War as it is more commonly called.  No war is without controversy, especially that one, and I prefer for the focus of my art to be on the more positive elements of life.  However, when I heard Capt. Sally’s story, I realized how dedicated she was to easing the suffering of others and how she made that the mission of her life.  Good deeds and selfless acts should be recognized.

Capt. Sally Tompkins, Angel of the Confederacy celebrates the heroic efforts of Capt. Sally Tompkins, who treated 1,333 soldiers at her Robertson’s Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, during the years of 1861-1865, losing only 73 patients.  Her hospital returned more men to the battlefield than any other medical facility.

Sally Louisa Tompkins was born on November 9, 1833, at Poplar Grove Plantation in Mathews, Virginia, which is where the “Poplar Grove” in Poplar Grove Lane comes from—P. Buckley Moss Galleries, Ltd., is located on the same lane.  By the time the war started, Sally was living in Richmond, Virginia, which is where train loads of wounded soldiers were brought for treatment after the First Battle of Manassas, also known as the First Battle of Bull Run.  Hospitals were immediately overwhelmed, and the Confederate government called for those who were able to take the wounded into their homes for care.  Judge John Robertson, a friend of Sally’s family, donated a home for this purpose, which Sally ran from 1861 until her last patient was discharged in June of 1865.  During that time, Sally treated 1,333 soldiers and lost only 73.  Her standards of cleanliness and care earned her the title “Angel of the Confederacy”, and her reputation was so well-known that commanding officers requested that their wounded men be taken to Capt. Sally’s “if at all possible.”  Even though her hospital was often overflowing, Capt. Sally never turned away a soldier from Mathews County or its neighboring County of Gloucester.

Soon after private hospitals began operating in 1861, it was discovered that resources were not necessarily being used for the full benefit of the soldiers.  The Confederate government created a regulation that all hospitals had to be run by military personnel and private hospitals were to be shut down.  When Sally heard this news, she took her very carefully maintained patient log book to Confederate President Jefferson Davis who realized that Robertson’s Hospital, under Sally’s management, was returning more soldiers to the field than any other hospital and that Sally was using her own funds to do so.  To circumvent the law that would shut down Sally’s hospital, Jefferson Davis commissioned her a Captain in the Confederate Cavalry, unassigned, on September 9, 1861.  Capt. Sally was the only commissioned female officer in the Confederate army.

The war, her continued charity work, and her generous hospitality to veterans eventually exhausted Capt. Sally’s fortune.  In 1905, Capt. Sally moved into the Confederate Women's Home in Richmond as a lifetime guest and passed away at the age of 82 on July 26, 1916.  She was an honorary member of the R. E. Lee Camp of the Confederate Veterans and was buried at Christ Church in Mathews with full military honors.

A portion of the proceeds from my print edition will benefit the Capt. Sally Tompkins Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, #2626, Scholarship Fund.

Earlier this week I heard the sad news that Jeanne Kleinert of Southington, Ohio, passed away unexpectedly.  Jeanne was the President of the Western Reserve Chapter of the P. Buckley Moss Society and a sincerely kind and loving person.  She will be greatly missed.



This is a picture of me on the ladder going up to the balcony of the theater at Virginia Tech’s new Center for the Arts that I visited a couple weeks ago.  I can’t wait until it’s finished; it’s going to be great!  As you can see, my leg is doing okay.

The Moss Portfolio
74 Poplar Grove Lane
Mathews, VA 23109
(800) 430-1320
©P. Buckley Moss 2011

Past Issues

Contact us