Pendleton’s tome is divided into six sections: (1) The Aboriginal Period, which focuses on the Pamunkeys, Chickahominy, and Mattapony in what would become Tazewell County, and their civilizations; (2) The Period of Discovery, which culminates with the settlement at Jamestown; (3) The Pioneer Period, which commences with the first settlements west of the Blue Ridge Mountains in 1732 and concludes with the creation of Tazewell County in 1799, encompassing the settlements launched in the Shenandoah, Roanoke, New River, Holston, and Clinch valleys, as well as in Kentucky; (4) The Ante-Bellum Period, from the organization of Russell, Wythe, and Tazewell counties to the onset of the Civil War; (5) The [Civil] War and Reconstruction Period; and (6) The Post Bellum Period, which emphasizes the development of Tazewell’s mineral resources.
The author’s style is to interweave national history with local matters, as in his discussion of the Draper’s Meadows massacre of 1756 in Tazewell during the French and Indian War. Woven into the narrative, genealogists will gladly learn, are essays and photographs of eminent citizens of Tazewell and the surrounding region. For example, appended to “The Pioneer Period” are sketches of the following families: Witten, Cecil, Bowen, Ward, Moore, Harman, Peery, Thompson, Harman, Barns, Gillespie, Wynne, Maxwell, Henry, Evans, Roark, Ingles, Wiley and Davidson, a number of whom were the victims of Indian massacres or the fortunate survivors of daring rescues from their captors. Similarly, appended to the chapter on the Civil War is a series of sketches devoted to Tazewell citizens who served as field and company officers in the Confederate Army, as well as a list of Tazewell casualties in the conflict, giving each soldier’s unit and campaign where killed or wounded. The volume concludes with a list of Tazewell men who served in World War I, arranged by branch of service, and a name index to the volume’s contents.