Arthur H. H. Bernard was born in Spotsylvania County, VA, the son of William Bernard (1770-1841) and his second wife, Elizabeth “Fanny” (Hooe) Fauntleroy Bernard (1774-1870). William Bernard’s father, also William Bernard, fought in the Revolution, and trained the future President James Monroe in his law office. Arthur attended the University of Virginia in sessions 1-2 (1825-1826). During this period, Thomas Jefferson often invited a number of the students enrolled in the University to dinner at Monticello. In a 1891 letter to his niece, Arthur wrote about an occasion when he had been a dinner guest at Monticello, saying Jefferson had spoken very highly of the Revolutionary William Bernard, stating that his only flaw was that he was too modest.
Arthur Bernard was a farmer or planter and lived at a plantation he had inherited from his father. It was called Mannsfield, located near Fredericksburg, on the Rappahannock River. During the Civil War battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862, the house was used as a hospital. It was on this property that the portion of the battlefield called “The Slaughter Pen” was located. “Unlike his brother, Alfred, Arthur Bernard remained at home and seemed appalled by the Federals trampling his gardens. He accosted General Reynolds demanding satisfaction. Reynolds had him arrested and removed to Aquia Landing for safekeeping.” (O’Reilly) The house suffered damage from the artillery shells, and was destroyed soon after. In the 1870 U.S. Census, Arthur appears in Richmond County, VA, as a “landholder.” There is no evidence that Arthur H. H. Bernard ever married.
- O’Reilly, Frank A., “The Real Battle of Fredericksburg; Stonewall Jackson, Prospect Hill, and the Slaughter Pen.” Blue and Gray Magazine, v.25, no.5 (2008-2009). http://www.bluegraymagazine.com/fburg2/fburg21.html (Accessed 5/13/2011).
- Tiernan, Charles B. The Tiernan family in Maryland. Baltimore, 1898.
- University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
- 1850-1880 U.S Census. Virginia, in Ancestry.com. United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.