Maps, Ships and Architecture

Dr. William Fontaine Carrington

Dr. William Fontaine Carrington

Dr. William Fontaine Carrington

Dr. William Fontaine Carrington

Dr. Carrington was the second son of William Allen & Sarah Scott Carrington.  The death of his father in 1829 while he and his siblings were young and the decision by his mother to continue managing the plantation brought maturity to all of the children at an early age.

His father named him after Colonel William Winston Fontaine who served during the Revolutionary War.  Colonel Fontaine and other members of the Fontaine family were active during that time frame and had plantations throughout the counties where the Carringtons lived.  It may be that {his grandfather?} Paul Carrington Jr. served under Colonel W. Fontaine who he admired.  His father, William Allen Carrington, met the Colonel who lived from 1753 until 1810.

William decided to pursue a medical career in the U.S. Navy after he graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and the University of Pennsylvania for medicine.  He and his cousin, Elizabeth Venable, their mothers were sisters, were married in Prince Edward County, VA on 5/28/1845.

As an assistant surgeon, naval duty took him abroad on federal warships in the English Channel, Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean.  Journals of his experience aboard the U.S. Frigate of St. Laurence with Commander, Captain Hiram Paulding of the United States Navy in 1848 can be seen here (work in progress).  He also spent three years (1857-1859) aboard the newly razeed U.S.S. Cumberland, flagship of the African Squadron which included the Dale, Vincennes & Marion.  As one of the surgeons he had to deal with a number of medical maladies to include a smallpox outbreak. Meanwhile his growing family stayed at his wife’s family’s home, “Longwood”, in Prince Edward County.  By 1860 the Carringtons were stationed at Pensacola. When Virginia seceded in April 1861 he resigned his post on 5/5/1861 and followed his native state into the Confederacy.  He was commissioned at Montgomery, AL in the CSA navy on 5/26/1861.  His new duties took him to Mobile as assistant surgeon aboard the CSS Baltic, hospital inspector at Wilmington, NC and finally to the James River Squadron as surgeon aboard the ironclads Richmond & Virginia II.  His ability as a surgeon was recognized by General Lee in 1862 when he was asked to serve temporarily on the general’s staff during the Battle of Malvern Hill.

dr William Fontaine Carrington

Dr. William Fontaine Carrington

By the spring of 1865, the Army of Northern Virginia’s defensive line was stretched to the maximum, and on April 1 the southern portion of the Petersburg line under the command of General Pickett was broken during the Battle of Five Forks.  This breach precipitated Lee’s retreat from Richmond. Dr. Carrington’s ship, the flagship, Virginia II, was scuttled 4/3/1865 in order to prevent its capture.  The doctor then marched with the sailors towards Appomattox; but a day before Lee’s surrender, the doctor was sent by General Lee with an order to General Joe Johnson in N.C.  He got only as far as Halifax County when word reached him of the surrender at Appomattox and he then did likewise.

As the end of the Confederacy terminated his military medical career, he gathered up his family from “Longwood” and took them to “Mildendo” where he worked to scrape out a living as a farmer and country doctor.  By 1880 “Mildendo” was heavily in debt,  his beloved first wife dead, and his children were seeking new lives in the West.  With renewed hope he remarried on 2/25/1880 in Middleburg, Loudoun County, VA and in 1882 left VA with his wife for Hot Springs, AK to start a new life.  This move proved shortlived as he passed away unexpectedly in his new home leaving behind his young wife, Georgianna B. Adams, 27 years his junior, and five month old daughter, Anne Fontaine.

Birth: Jan. 26, 1822 Halifax County Virginia, USA
Death: Sep. 14, 1883 Hot Springs Garland County Arkansas, USA

William Allen Carrington (1796 – 1829)
Sarah Embra Scott Carrington (1800 – 1872)

Elizabeth Goodridge Venable Carrington (1823 – 1874)
Georgianna B. Adams Carrington (1849 – 1939)

Mildred Lightfoot Carrington Hutcheson (1846 – 1883)
William Allen Carrington (1849 – 1892)
Maria Nash Carrington Weems (1852 – 1920)
Austin Downs Carrington (1856 – 1888)
Anne Fontaine Carrington Montague (1883 – 1943)

Hollywood Cemetery
Richmond City
Virginia, USA

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