Richard Thompson Archer (7 Apr. 1797-30 Oct. 1867) was born at “Woodlands” in Amelia County, Virginia. He emigrated to Claiborne County, Mississippi in 1824, and accumulated several plantations and hundreds of slaves in Holmes and Claiborne Counties. In 1834, he married Ann Maria Barnes (11 Aug. 1818-11 Feb. 1892), and in 1837, the couple moved to Anchuca Plantation near Port Gibson, MS. Before the Civil War, the Archers were one of the richest planter families in the South. Richard and Anne Archer had seventeen children, of whom only nine survived childhood. Abram B. Archer was their eldest son.
Abram “Abe” Barnes Archer (29 Sept. 1836-24 Jul. 1913) was born in Philadelphia, PA. He attended the University of Virginia in sessions 31-32 (1854-1856). He followed in his father’s footsteps as a farmer and planter, but when the Civil War began he enlisted and served in various cavalry regiments from Mississippi, including Magruder’s Partisan Rangers. After the war, he continued to manage the family plantations in Holmes County, MS. On 10 Feb. 1864, he married Anna E. Marye (1843-1912), a relative of his mother. The couple had the following children: Florence V., Mary A., Edward S., Anna E., Jane R., Julius M., Marona, and Barnes Archer. (1880 & 1900 U. S. Census) Both Abe and Anna were buried in Wintergreen Cemetery in Port Gibson, MS.
Edward “Ned” Stephen Archer (1 Mar. 1836-1 Jul. 1862) was born in Mississippi, the son of Richard Thompson Archer’s brother, Stephen Cocke Archer (1795-1837), and his wife, Catherine (Voss) Barnes (d. before 1847), a widow. He was raised by his Uncle Richard and Aunt Ann. He attended the University of Virginia in sessions 31-32 (1854-1856). He enlisted in the Confederate Army, in Company I of the 21st Mississippi Infantry, and died in the Battle of Malvern Hill, on 1 July, 1862. (Note: Though his tombstone gives “July 5, 1862” as his death date, a description of his death in a family letter (see Hammond) states that he died instantly in battle.) He was buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA.
- Archer family graves at Wintergreen Cemetery and at Archer Cemetery, both in Port Gibson, MS, and Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA. Findagrave.com (accessed 5/16/12)
- Burin, Nikki Berg. A Regency of Women: Female Plantation Management in the Old South. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 2007.
- Familysearch.org. 1880 & 1900 U.S. Census. (accessed 5/16/12)
- Hammond, Carol D. Richard Thompson Archer and the burdens of proprietorship: The life of a Natchez District planter. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of North Texas, 2001.
- Mississippi, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865. Familysearch.org. https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.2/11NH-R6B/p_10587242618, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.2/11NZ-GY9/p_10587298111, & https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.2/11NK-J1B/p_10587553698 (Accessed 11/4/11)