Otelia Voinard Mahone (Butler)
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About Otelia Voinard Mahone
Otelia Butler Mahone (August 1, 1835 – February 11, 1911) from Smithfield, Virginia was a nurse during the American Civil War and the wife of Confederate Major General William Mahone, who was a civil engineer, teacher, railroad builder, and Senator in the United States Congress. Popularly known in Virginia as the "Hero of the Battle of the Crater" during and after the Civil War, her small-of-stature husband was nicknamed "Little Billy."
An illustrious "character" in her own right, strong-willed Otelia Butler Mahone became almost as well known as her famous husband. She is credited by local legend with the naming of the towns of Windsor, Ivor, Wakefield, Waverly and Disputanta along the famous 52-mile tangent railroad tracks (now part of Norfolk Southern) engineered and built by her husband between the cities of Suffolk and Petersburg. When he led the formation of the Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio Railroad (AM&O) from three trunk lines across the southern tier of Virginia in 1870, wags claimed the initials stood for "All Mine and Otelia's."
In their later years, Otelia and Little Billy Mahone settled in her mother's original hometown of Petersburg, Virginia where she lived as a widow for many years after his death in 1895.