On this day 150 years ago, Professor John B. Minor of the University of Virginia learned that he had been made part of a committee charged with surrendering the university to the advancing federals and obtaining protection for the historic university buildings and library.
Thursday March 2
Tonight we have authentic intelligence that Early has been totally routed, nearly all his men captured and the rest dispersed, his transportation, artillery and ordinance in the enemy's hands and (most unfortunate of all), he himself escaped! Nothing intervenes now between us and the Yankees, but the mud, and we may not flatter ourselves that we shall escape the visitation. Most persons think they will destroy the University. I am not of that opinion, but I cannot avoid much anxiety in consequence of so many having a contrary impression.
Last night, as I understand, (I was too unwell to be present), the Faculty deputed the chairman, Dr. [Socrates] Maupin, Colonel [Thomas L.] Preston (the Rector), and myself ut capiat Universitas nil detrimenti, by soliciting a guard, etc I have just heard that the enemy reached Meechum's river this afternoon, and will be here tonight. That would be an incredible celerity of movement in the best condition of the roads, but as they are now it appears impossible, especially as it is raining hard and is very dark. However, I shall sit up, indisposed as I am, to be ready if they should come.