Allen German Bailey and Edna Strong



The only memorial to my great great grandparents, Allen and Edna Bailey, is on the weathered tombstone of their son John Pleasant Bailey in the Bailey cemetery in Campbell Co. There we see that “John P Bailey” is the “son of A G and E Bailey”. Allen was an older and prosperous Campbell county farmer. He was conscripted into the 11th Virginia Infantry on Feb 20, 1864 at age 41. He died at the battle of Drury’s Bluff, three months later.


Drury’s Bluff, which overlooks the James River south of the city, was a fortified Confederate strong point. During the battle grandfather was hit in the head by a bouncing cannon ball. Cannon were aimed at the ground because bouncing balls did much to stop a rebel charge. The fallen, eight infantrymen, were buried on the battlefield in a common soldier’s grave. The burial place has long since been destroyed by the construction of modern bypasses and interstate highways about Richmond.


Allen’s wife was Edna (or Edney) Strong. After Allen died Edna remarried, so she was buried in a “woods grave” rather than the established Bailey cemetery. Our Bailey relatives know where these old informal burial places are located, but Edna’s marker, if there was one, has long since vanished.


Alice Mae Steppe

I remember hearing stories as a boy of gg-grandmother Edna’s great size. It was said that she had to turn sideways to get through an ordinary farmhouse door. I believe this, because the pictures of Edna’s granddaughter, my grandmother Kate Bailey Steppe, show a woman with the same extra wide figure. In this picture, my grandmother Kate, though not ‘fat’ in her arms, is wider than the four-pane window behind her!