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eral) William N. Pendleton, and at the famous Concord academy,
under the charge of Frederick Coleirian. His reputation as a.
scholar dates from his early boyhood. In 1848 he entered the uni-
versity of Virginia and there took successively the degrees of
bachelor of arts, master of arts and bachelor of law. No stu-
dent ever left the university more distinguished for scholarship
than he. In the autumn of 1853 he settled at Lynchburg and began
the practice of law, which he pursued with a success commensur-
ate with his abilities and attainments until 1861, when he enlisted,
in the Confederate army as a private in the Lynchburg company.
Eleventh Virginia infantry. General Ewell thrice offered him a.
staff appointment, but Mr. Kean refused, saying: "If some men
of our position do not remain in the ranks, how can we expect
men who have less at stake to stand by us." It was while thus
serving in the ranks that he was sent for by General Beauregard
on the night preceding the day of the battle of Manassas, to take
part in a council of war. Finally, in 1862, at the urgent insistence
of his" friend and connection. Gen. George W. Randolph, he ac-
cepted a position on his staff with the rank of captain, and on
General Randolph's appointment as secretary of war, he was com-
missioned by President Davis, "Chief of the Bureau of War."
This position he held until the close of the war. Upon the fall of
the Confederacy he left Richmond with President Davis and his
cabinet, and, stopping at Danville, opened the war office there
for a few days, proceeding thence to Greensboro and Charlotte,
N. C, where he, with other officials, was discharged from further
duty. It is important to note here that the heads of the different
departments were preparing to destroy their official records when
Mr. Kean protested vigorously against -it, taking the ground that
they contained matter of history which would be invaluable in vin-
dicating the South against any malignant or untruthful charge
which might be made against her. His earnest protest prevailed,,
and thus, through his instrumentality, the truth of the history of
the great struggle of the Confederacy is preserved in the "War



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 977

of the Rebellion Official Records," since published by our Na-
tional government. Mr. Kean's position in Richmond threw him
in close and constant touch with many of the leaders of the lost
cause, and gave him rare insight into much of the inside history
of the war. In a diary which he kept during the time much of this
is recorded. All the correspondence between the two govern-
ments regarding the Federal prisoners at Andersonville passed
through his hands and his account of the matter can be found in
Vol. I of the Southern Historical Society Papers, page 199. Re-
turning to Lynchburg in the autumn of 1865, he resumed the prac-
tice of law and pursued it steadily until death closed his useful and
honorable career. He was long recognized as one of the leaders
of the Virginia bar, at a period in its history prolific in able law-
yers, and was chosen second president of the Virginia state bar
association, his only predecessor in that office being the venerable
Judge William J. Robertson. As a scholar Mr. Kean's reputation
was considerable. One of his letters to Prof. John Tyndall on
a scientific subject was embodied in its entirety in an address by
that distinguished scientist before the royal society of London.
His public addresses and contributions to the press embrace a
great variety of subjects and exerted a wide influence. A dis-
tinguished member of the faculty of the university of Virginia has
said that his address before the Educational society of Virginia on
the subject of the "Economy of Higher Education," induced the
legislature to raise the annual appropriation to the university from
$15,000 to $40,000. Nor was this his only service to his alma
mater. For many years he served on her board of visitors and for
two full terms as rector, and throughout his whole life he never
missed an opportunity of advancing her interests. In 1854 Mr.
Kean was married to Jane Nicholas Randolph, daughter of Col.
Thomas Jefferson Randolph, and great-granddaughter of Thomas
Jefferson. By this marriage he had six children, three of whom
survive, one, Capt. Jefferson Randolph Kean, being a surgeon in
the U. S. army. In 1874 he was again married, his second wife
being Adelaide Navarro Prescott, a member of a distinguished
Louisiana family, who with her four children survives him. Mr.
Kean died at his residence in Lynchburg, on Monday morning,
June 13, 1898, in the seventieth year of his age. At the time of his
death he was, with the exception of Postmaster-General Reagan,
of Texas, the highest civil officer of the Confederacy living.

James Milnor Keeling, a prominent attorney of Norfolk, was
born in Princess Anne county, Va., August 31, 1844. His family
is one of the oldest in Virginia, the first settler being Thomas
Keeling, who came from England to Princess Anne county in
1635. The family homestead, which passed into other hands in
1881, had been continuously in the hands of the Keelings since
1693. The father of the judge was Solomon S. Keeling, born in
180S, died in 1881, who was the son of Adam Keeling, born in
174s, who served through the Revolutionary war as a lieutenant
in the light horse cavalry, and died in 1805. Solomon S. Keeling
took to wife Martha, daughter of Milnor Peters, a business man
of Norfolk. She, a noble wife and mother, passed away in Sep-
tember, 1887. Judge Keeling was reared at the homestead, and
at the age of fifteen years entered the military academy of Prof.



978 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

N. B. Webster at Portsmouth, and subsequently the academy of
W. R. Gait, where he remained over two years. But it was difficult
for Virginia youth at that period to confine their attention to text
books, and, on the 8th of March, 1862, the day of the memorable
encounter between the Virginia and Monitor, he left school to
enter the Confederate service. Joining the Chesapeake cavalry on
April I, 1862, he led the adventurous life of a trooper throughout
the remainder of the war, being promoted to sergeant and on oc-
casions commanding his company. He was in the battles of
Gaines' Mill, the Seven Days' before Richmond, Culpeper Court
House, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, Brandy Sta-
tion, where he was wounded by a saber cut on the right hand,
Beaver Dam Station, Luray, Winchester and Cedar Creek, Dum-
fries, Reams' Station, Raccoon Ford, Stevensburg, Trevilian's,
Lacy's Spring, participated in Stuart's celebrated raid around the
army of Burnside, and was with Stuart at Yellow Tavern, and bore
a message from him, shortly before he was killed, to Col. Henry
Clay Pate. For a short time Sergeant Keeling served as courier
for Gen. Fitzhugh Lee. At the Blackwater river he had a curious
experience, being nearly buried alive in a little engagement with
Federal gunboats. Stationed on the river bank with five com-
rades, to observe the Federal movements, they saw three gunboats
coming up the river, and with youthful ardor resolved to intrench
and open fire on the craft with double barreled shotguns. Unfor-
tunately they made their trench cave-like at one end, and when
driven to this bomb-proof by the active fire of the enemy, their
shelter collapsed under the cannonade, and it was with difficulty
that Keeling and one of his comrades were extricated. They had
the satisfaction of learning later, however, that their action had
resulted seriously to the Federal forces, five being killed and sev-
eral wounded. The war over, Mr. Keeling studied law for three
years under Alexander Cook of Princess Anne county, and being
admitted to the bar in 1868, actively engaged in the practice of his
profession in 1872. On June 18, 1875, his success had been so
marked that he was appointed judge of the county court of Princess
Anne by Gov. James L. Kemper. In this position he was con-
tinued by legislative election in the fall of 1875, and again in 1879,
188s and 1891. After continuous service upon the bench for
twenty-one years he resigned in 1896, and removed to Norfolk, to
resume the practice of the profession as a member of the bar.
His reputation as a judge and wealth of legal acquirements have
given him immediate success in this field of work. Judge Keeling
is a past district deputy grand master in the Masonic order and
maintains a membership in the Pickett-Buchanan camp, of United
Confederate Veterans, besides other fraternal connections. He
was married very happily in November, 1876, to Miss Annie Whid-
don Shepherd, of Princess Anne county.

Captain Kosciusko Kemper, a prominent citizen and ex-mayor of
Alexandria, was born at Warrenton, Va., June 18, 1835. He was
reared and educated in Virginia, and married in 1859. Having
qualified himself for the profession of teaching, he went to Beau-
fort, S. C, in 1861, to take charge of a female seminary, but soon
entered the service of the Confederate States. He was appointed
by Governor Pickens first lieutenant of the First South Carolina



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 979

artillery, stationed at Fort Sumter, and until the close of the war
he served with this command, gaining promotion to the rank of
captain of artillery. His service was almost entirely at Charles-
ton harbor and vicinity, where the repeated and long-continued at-
tacks of Federal fleets and armies afforded opportunity for ardu-
ous and gallant service on the part of the Confederate forces. He
served during the attack of the Federal ironclad fleet on April 7,
1863, in defense of Morris island July 10, 1863, at Battery Wagner
and Battery Pringle, for several months commanded the lines
around Fort Johnson, participating in several engagements, also
at Fort Ripley for a considerable period. He commanded the ex-
pedition that removed one of the eleven-inch Dahlgren guns from
the wreck of the Federal boat, Keokuk. He frequently served as
adjutant for the officers commanding detachments from the regi-
ment at points without Fort Sumter. During 1864 he served in the
detachments that occupied in turn the ruins of Fort Sumter and
prevented its seizure by the enemy. After the evacuation of
Charleston he went with his regiment to Fayetteville and Smith-
field, and surrendered with the army of General Johnston near
Greensboro. After these events he returned to Virginia and, mak-
ing his home at Alexandria, established a female seminary, which
he conducted for four years, in the meantime preparing himself
for the practice of law, in which he subsequently engaged and has
ever since continued, with notable professional success. For five
years succeeding his election, in 1874, he served acceptably as
mayor of Alexandria, and at the expiration of that official service
was chosen corporation attorney, and acted as such until 1887. At
the latter date he accepted the position of confidential secretary of
Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, theti United States commissioner of rail-
roads. After the retirement from office of the general, Captain
Kemper resumed the practice of law at Alexandria. Captain Kem-
per is prominent in the Masonic order, is past master of Alex-
andria Washington lodge, past eminent commander of Old Domin-
ion commandery, K. T., and past district deputy grand master of
District No. i, of Virginia. He also maintains a membership in
R. E. Lee camp. No. 2, Confederate Veterans.

David C. Kent, a citizen of Pulaski county, who was faithful
to the Confederate cause during the years of trial from 1861 to
1865, was born in that county May 3, 1833. He was married in
1854, to Elizabeth Ligon, of Petersburg, by whom he had thirteen
children. When volunteers were called for in defense of the State
from invasion he offered his services, and enlisted, but, upon ex-
amination was found to be incapacitated for service on account
of inflammatory rheumatism. On this account he was discharged.
He then engaged actively in the production of lumber and other
supplies for the Confederate government, and thus continued dur-
ing the entire period of the war. His work in this line was so
extensive that at the close the government was indebted to him in
the sum of fifteen thousand dollars. This large sum, mainly on
account of advancements that he had made for labor, was of course,
an entire loss, so that he can truly be said to have adequately
shared in the suffering and deprivation which the unhappy result
of the struggle brought to the people of the South. One of his
sons, James Ligon Kent, born August 27, 1867, is now a promising



980 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

young physician of Pulaski City. He attended the sessions of
1887 to 1889 at the university of Virginia and graduated at Belle-
vue hospital medical college, New York, in 1890, and took a post-
graduate course at the New York Polyclinic, in 1897. He is meet-
ing with marked success in the treatment of the special diseases
of the nose and throat, to which he mainly devotes his attention.

Henry D. Kerfoot. M. D., of Berryville, Va., who rendered
service both in the infantry and cavalry of the army of Northern
Virginia, was born in Clarke county, January 10, 184.6. Imme-
diately following the passage of the ordinance of secession by the
convention, he participated in the occupation of Harper's Ferry
with his company, the Clarke Rifles, which subsequently was as-
signed to the Second Virginia infantry regiment as Company I
He served as a private in this command during the year of en-
listment, and fought with the Stonewall brigade at the first battle
of Manassas, receiving wounds in this historic victory which dis-
abled him for some time. On account of them he was transferred
to the cavalry, and became a private in Company D of the Sixth
Virginia regiment, a command which was distinguished through
out the war in the brigades of Robertson, Munford, W. E. Jones
and Payne, of the cavalry of the army of Northern Virginia. He
participated in the Valley battles of Kernstown and Front Royal
and the various skirmishes of Ashby's cavalry in 1862, and subse-
quently in the campaigns and raids and frequent battles of the
cavalry under Stuart, was constantly identified with his regiment
except when disabled by wounds. On various occasions he served
in the advance of cavalry charges, in a small party" detailed for
that purpose under the command of Capt. James Thompson, and
in such circumstances experienced the most dangerous fighting of
his career. Captain Thompson, their fearless leader, went through
the four years of war without a scratch, only to fall among the killed
in the last charge at Appomattox. Private Kerfoot was twice
wounded after his first injury at Manassas, receiving a wound in
the arm near Milford Station, Va., and being shot twice and
carried off the field for dead at the battle of Five Forks. He was
carried to the hospital at Lynchburg, where he lay until three
months after the surrender- On his return home he began the
study of medicine with his father, a well-known physician, at the
same time doing farm work to earn money for a professional
course at the university of Virginia, where he was graduated in
1868. He subsequently studied and was graduated at Bellevue
college. New York, and served eighteen months in the hospital
attached to that institution. He afterward practiced his profes-
sion about twelve years in Fauquier county, removing then to his
old home in Clarke county, where he has since resided and con-
tinued with marked success in his professional work. In 1874
he was married to Miss Minnie Hunton Moss, daughter of Alfred
Moss, for several years clerk of Fairfax county, and they have
seven sons living.

John P. Kevill, of Norfolk, who has the distinction of having
served the State of Virginia, during and since the war of the Con-
federacy, twenty-eight years in the artillery organizations, was born
at Charlestown, Mass., October S, 1844. Going to Norfolk when
a boy, in the company of his uncle, he was employed as a clerk



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 981

in the store of the latter until he entered the Confederate service
in the spring of 1861. As a private in the United Artillery, or-
ganized at Norfolk several days before the burning of the navy
yard, he assisted in the capture of the powder magazine at Fort
Norfolk, April 19th, and was subsequently stationed at that place
with his company, which was furnished muskets, also given charge
of four light guns, and later supplied with a battery of heavy guns,
becoming thoroughly drilled as infantry as well as light and heavy
artillery. When the old man-of-war Merrimac had been refitted
as the Virginia and was ready for action, she lacked thirty-one
men of her fighting complement, and the United Artillery was
called on for volunteers. The entire hundred men stepped for-
ward for duty, but, on account of his youth, he was among the
rejected. Subsequently, however, on April nth, he was on board
the Virginia with two gun crews from his company, when the
ironclad went down to the Federal position to capture the Mon-
itor. But though they cut out two brigs and a schooner loaded
with provisions from the Federal fleet, they were unable to pro-
voke the Monitor to come out and give battle, and returned dis-
appointed. During the evacuation of Norfolk his company was
ordered to take charge of a heavy battery at the intrenched camp,
and thence proceeded to Petersburg, where they were on duty ten
days at Dunn's Hill. Being ordered to Richmond, they reported
to Colonel Rhett, commanding the defenses of the city. Being
assigned to two redoubts, one on each side of the Virginia Cen-
tral railroad, they soon had their position ready lor defense, and
held it until after the Seven Days' battles. During the interval
between the battle of Seven Pines and the Chickahominy cam-
paign, a portion of the company operated a heavy gun on a flat
car, protected by railroad iron, and advanced with the line of
battle. After this they occupied Battery Eight, in front of Rich-
mond, under the command of Major Atkinson, in accordance with
the wishes of Gen. R. E. Lee, who considered the company one
of the best artillery organizations in the army. They were ordered
to report to Capt. S. S. Lee and were assigned to Maj. Frank
Smith's battalion. Nineteenth Virginia artillery, as Company A,
stationed at Drewry's bluff. They remained at the latter impor-
tant post until the summer of 1864, frequently being called on for
volunteer service in various expeditions. There they took part in
the battle of May 16, 1864, against Butler, and when that Federal
general was bottled up at Bermuda Hundred, the United Artillery
was given charge of Battery Dantzler, on the Hewlett House line,
and later was moved to Battery Wood, in front of Dutch Gap,
where they were engaged in a continuous shelling of Butler's canal
enterprise, and were themselves under heavy fire. Upon the evac-
uation of Richmond the United Artillery was attached to General
Ewell's corps and participated in the battle of Sailor's Creek.
With the surrender at Appomattox Court House, Private Kevill
ended a faithful and gallant service of nearly four years, during
which he had been promoted to the rank of acting quartermaster-
sergeant. Since the war he has served many years in the Norfolk
Light Artillery Blues, Battery B, First battalion, Virginia artillery,
of which he is now first lieutenant, and has maintained his touch
with old Confederate comrades by membership, since its organiza-
Ta62



9S2 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

tion, in the Virginia division of the army of Northern Virginia
society. He is also a comrade of Pickett-Buchanan camp, Con-
federate Veterans. For twenty-seven years he has been connected
with the Norfolk office of the Old Dominion steamship company.
He has served the city as president of the board of fire commis-
sioners. Mr. Kevin was married October 3, 1883, to Hatton
Shields, daughter of Henry G. Thomas, who was connected with
the United States and Confederate navies, and they have three
children: John Thomas, William Clifford, and George Folsom.

Captain Thomas Kevill, of Norfolk, distinguished in the artillery
service in Virginia, is a native of Sligo, Ireland, born April 5,
1826. He emigrated to Canada when a lad, was educated at Low-
ell, Mass., received his business training at Boston, and in 1848
became a citizen of Norfolk, where he soon became proprietor of
the clothing establishment which he first entered as a clerk, and
conducted this enterprise successfully until the outbreak of the
war. During his residence at Norfolk he had been prominent in
the fire department, attaining the rank of captain, and when the
Virginia troops were called out, he closed his business and or-
ganized the United Artillery, mainly composed of the brave Nor-
folk firemen. The command was recognized as one of the finest
in the service, and its members were in frequent demand for
hazardous service, for which it is due them to say they volunteered
with great readiness. In command of this battery Captain Kevill
was first assigned to duty in capturing the government magazine
at Fort Norfolk, where he erected a. battery, of which he was in
command when the Virginia was ready for action. The crew of
the ironclad being short thirty-one men, Captain Kevill was ap-
plied to for volunteers. His entire company tendered their serv-
ices as soon as they were assured that he would command them,
and he selected the requisite number from the ranks. During the
famous battle of the Virginia with the Cumberland and Congress
on March 8, 1862, and with the Monitor on the following day, he
commanded one of the nine-inch broadside guns of the Virginia,
and served in the same capacity in the next trip of the ironclad
to Hampton Roads, when the Monitor declined to risk another
encounter. Upon the evacuation of Norfolk in May, 1862, Captain
Kevill and his company were ordered to Dunn's Hill and thence
reported to Colonel Rhett, at Richmond. General Lee, stating
that he understood Kevill's was one of the best artillery companies
in the service, recommended that it be stationed at the important
post of Drewry's Bluflf. The company was assigned to two two-gun
batteries on the Virginia Central railroad during the Seven Days'
battles, and a detachment under Lieut. James E. Barry operated
a gun upon an ironclad flat-car, which was an interesting feature of
the campaign. Captain Kevill was subsequently assigned to the
battalion of Maj. Frank Smith, at Drewry's bluff, and remained
there in command of his company until May 16, 1864, when he and
his men fought as infantry in the battle of that day. He subse-
quently served in command of Battery Dantzler, near the Howlett
House, and at Battery Wood, where he was for a long time con-
stantly engaged in shelling Butler's Dutch Gap canal. Upon the
evacuation of Richmond he marched with General Ewell's corps,
and took part in the battle of Sailor's Creek, and finally was sur-



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 983

rendered and paroled with the remnant of his company at Ap-
pomattox. Then returning to his Norfolk home, he resumed his
former business, continuing in trade until 1892, when he retired
from business life. Soon after his return he was appointed chief
of the fire department, and held that position during a quarter of
a century. He will be long remembered at Norfolk for his able
administration of this department of the public service. Captain
Kevin is a member of the Pickett-Buchanan camp, Confederate
Veterans. On July 4, 1850, he was happily married to Augustine
Lavina Shield.

Charles E. Kirkham, of Petersburg, a veteran of Mahone's bri-
gade of the army of Northern Virginia, was born at Petersburg in
1843. His father, George W. Kirkham, was the proprietor of
the rope walk at that city prior to 1861, and, subsequently selling
the works to the Confederate government, was retained as super-
intendent in the government service until his death in 1864. Mr.
Kirkham, in July, 1861, being about eighteen years of age, en-
listed in Company A of the Twelfth Virginia regiment of infantry,
and with his company served at Norfolk until the evacuation of
that point in the spring of 1862. Then being transferred to the
peninsula, he participated in the battles of Seven Pines and the
subsequent engagements with McCiellan's army until the battle of
Frayser's Farm, when he received a severe wound, which disabled
him from active service for many months. During a part of this
time he was employed in the rope factory under his father. He



Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 109 of 153)