Lily Parran Lee



Lily Parran was born in Shepherdstown. On September 15, 1850, Lily Parran, the daughter of Dr. Richard Parran, married William Fitzhugh Lee. On July 21, 1861, Captain Lee received a mortal wound in the breast at First Manassas while acting as "field lieutenant-colonel" of the 33rd Virginia Regiment. Following her husband’s death, Lily returned to Shepherdstown to live with her widowed mother. The Parran House is located on the northeast corner of German and Mill Streets and has been restored. Following the Battle of Sharpsburg, Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Gen J. E. B. Stuart visited with Mrs. Lee several times. Gen. Stuart and the widow Lee were close friends. Excerpts of letters from the general to Mrs. Lee can be found in many publications. Upon his death at Yellow Tavern on May 11th, 1864, Gen. J. E. B. Stuart left a pair of his golden spurs to Lily Parran Lee.

This lot also contains the gravesite of Lily’s father, Dr. Richard Parran (1810-1851) who was a physician in Shepherdstown. Lily’s mother, Laura Parran (1815-1895), is also buried here. After the death of Dr. Parran, Laura Parran married T. Harris Towner who was a storekeeper and postmaster of Shepherdstown.

Civil War tragedies of Laura Parran

21 June 1861: Son-in-law Col. William Fitzhugh Lee died from wounds received at First Manassas

23 March 1862: Husband T. H. Towner killed at Battle of Kernstown

        • 17 September 1862: Son Capt. William Parran killed at the Battle of Sharpsburg; William was a surgeon in the Artillery Battery from Orange County, Virginia
        • Spring 1863: Maj. Alexander Tinsley marries Dare Parran (daughter of Laura, sister of Lily) in January 1863. Tinsley is a surgeon. Following the Battle of Sharpsburg, Tinsley helped prepare Shepherdstown to receive the wounded. Soon after his marriage he was arrested and spends the remainder of the war treating Union soldiers. Following the War he returns to Shepherdstown where he practiced medicine until his death.

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