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December. He had also been severely wounded in a raid to the
Ohio river and again at Cumberland Gap. He surrendered with
his regiment at Appomattox. After the war, in 1866, Colonel
Peters was appointed professor of Latin in the university of Vir-
ginia, which position he is now filling.

William H. Peters, of Portsmouth, president of the Citizens'
bank of Norfolk, was distinguished in the public service of the
Confederate States as he has been since in private life, for the faith-
ful and able execution of important financial and business trusts.
Mr. Peters was born at Portsmouth in the year 1816, of English
ancestry. His father was Capt. Henry Peters, of the merchant
marine, who served at Craney island during the war of 1812. His
mother was Martha Meredith, of Norfolk. After he received an
education in the public schools of his native town, he engaged in
business, handling general merchandise and lumber, which was his
occupation at the time of the withdrawal of Virginia from the




W. H. PETERS



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 1111

United States. On the day of the passage of the ordinance of se-
cession he was appointed by Governor Letcher paymaster in the
Virginia State navy, and stationed at the Gosport navy yard in
charge of that department of the naval organization. He continued
in this duty until Virginia had united with the Confederacy, when
he was succeeded by the paymaster of the Confederate States navy,
and cornmissioned by the governor to report upon the value of
the public property taken possession of by Virginia, including the
navy yard, hospital, etc. Upon his discharge of this duty he was
appointed by President Davis to the office of naval storekeeper
in the Confederate States service, in which capacity he remained
at the navy yard until the evacuation of Norfolk in May, 1862.
He had previously removed much of the naval stores to Charlotte,
N. C, where he now took charge of the depot, and remained there
in supervision, distributing the stores to Richmond, Charleston,
Savannah and other points as needed, until September, 1863. At
the latter date he was entrusted with new and important duties.
The sale and shipment to foreign lands of the South's great staple,
cotton, were essential to the welfare and financial success of the
Confederate States, and to this department of work Mr. Peters,
whose integrity and business acumen had been tested in other
capacities, was now called. He was appointed agent for the pur-
chase and shipment of cotton through the blockade by way of
Nassau and Bermuda to Europe. For this work he made his head-
quarters at Wilmington, where he remained actively engaged until
that port fell into the hands of the United States troops. Soon
afterward the armies were surrendered and Mr. Peters returned
to his home at Portsmouth, and resumed mercantile pursuits. In
these he continued with marked success until 1890, when he re-
tired fro'm active business. Meanwhile, in 1879, he had been chosen
president of the Citizens' bank of Norfolk, a well-known financial
institution which has met with great success under his control.
This position he still holds. In 1885 he was appointed by the
United States treasury department receiver for the Exchange Na-
tional bank of Virginia, one of the most prominent banks of the
South before its failure, and he gave to the settlement of its affairs
the benefit of his financial skill and experience, with satisfactory
results. Mr. Peters also holds the position of president of the
Norfolk quarantine commission, and has served the public in vari-
ous other capacities. Notwithstanding his advanced age he re-
tains the clear intellect, shrewd judgment and capacity for prompt
and decisive action which have characterized his life as a financier
and public official. His long and honorable life has made him
a conspicuous figure in southeastern Virginia. Mr. Peters was
married in 1838 to -Mary A., daughter of James Reed, and they
have five children living: Karie V., wife of Dr. J. B. Williams, of
Oxford, N. C; Mattie W., wife of Judge L. R. Watts; Mary A.,
wife of Paul C. Trugis, of the Portsmouth Star; William R. and
Frank.

Alonzo Lafayette Phillips, of Richmond, served with honorable
distinction in the army of Northern Virginia, and since the war
has been conspicuous in the military service of the State, rising to
the rank of brigadier-general. He is a native of Henrico county,
born June 27, 1842. In his youth, during the peaceful years which



1112 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

preceded the great struggle, he received his education at Rich-
mond. On May 13, 1861, he joined in the organization of the
Henrico Guards and was made fourth sergeant. This band was
mustered in as Company D of the Fifteenth Virginia infantry, and
he was soon promoted second sergeant. On October 3, 1862, he
was promoted second lieutenant of the company, and he served in
this rank to the close of the war. The extent of his service in
the Confederate army is well presented by a list of the engagements
in which he took part from the Peninsular campaign to Appo-
mattox. In this list are found the names of Savage Station, Fray-
ser's Farm, Malvern Hill, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Suffolk,
Front Royal, Strawberry Plains, Bean's Station, Tenn., Bull's Gap,
Plymouth, N. C, Little Washington, N. C, Kinston, N. C, New
Bern, N. C, Drewry's Bluflf on May 14 and 16, 1864, Second Cold
Harbor, Howlett House on June 16, 1864, the fight on Ashcake
road with Sheridan, Dinwiddle Court House on March 29, 30, 31,
1865, Five Forks and Sailor's Creek. His former commander. Col.
E. M. Morrison, has written that among the subalterns of the Fif-
teenth cavalry. Lieutenant Phillips had no peer. "He was always
in place, always reliable and cheerful under the most distressing
circumstances. I remember seeing him in January, 1864, march-
ing from KnoxviUe, Tenn., day after day, mile after mile, without
shoes, just able to put the toe of one foot on the ground, but ac-,
cepting the situation as a matter of course." At Drewry's blufif he
returned from picket line to the works through the enemy's fire,
and carried back ammunition for his comrades. It required what
appeared to be a line of battle to drive in a skirmish line under
his command, and his fidelity was such that his commanding
officer always reposed in confidence upon the assurance thai, orders
would be carried out with intelligence. Lieutenant Phillips sur-
rendered at Richmond, April 18, 1865, and was at once paroled,
and soon afterward engaged in business as a contractor at that
city, in which, it is gratifying to note, he has been notably
successful. His career in the Virginia militia began in April, 1871,
when he was elected lieutenant of the Sydney Greys, which sub-
sequently became Company D of the First regiment, when the lat-
ter was organized. He was then made captain of the company,
and held that rank until his resignation about three years later.
In 1881 he was elected first lieutenant . of Company E, First Vir-
ginia regiment of infantry, was soon afterward promoted captain,
and in 1888 became major of the regiment. March 27, 1890, he was
elected lieutenant-colonel, and from this rank passed on February
9, 189s, to that of brigadier-general, commanding First brigade,
Virginia volunteers, including command of all Virginia troops.
Naturally adapted to military command, he is an ideal officer, and
thoroughly popular with the troops. He maintains his connection
with the old comrades of the army of Virginia by membership in
both the George E. Pickett and R. E. Lee camps, in the latter
holding the rank of past commander. He is also vice-president of
the board of directors of the Confederate Soldiers' Home.

Edward Drew Phillips, M. D., a leading physician and promi-
nent citizen of Sufifolk, Va., who was connected with the medical
service of the Confederate army during the war, was born in
Nansemond county, July 14, 1830. His father, Nathaniel P. Phil-



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 1113

lips, a farmer and miller of Nansemond, was many years a public
official, serving as county surveyor, and for forty years as mag-
istrate. The father of the latter was Drewry Phillips, a native of
Isle of Wight county, in his time a teacher of considerable fame,
and he was the son of John Phillips, of Prince George county. Dr.
Edward Phillips was educated in the classical school at his father's
residence until he had reached the age of seventeen, when he en-
tered the medical department of Hampden-Sidney college, now
the Virginia medical college, where he received the degree of
doctor of medicine in 1850. Durmg the eleven years that elapsed
before the outbreak of war he was engaged in the practice of his
profession at Chuckatuck, Nansemond county, and had acquired a
considerable reputation as a skillful physician. He entered the
service as surgeon of the Fifty-ninth Virginia infantry regiment,
and was with that command during the year 1861. In 1862 he en-
tered the medical service of the Confederate States army, and was
first stationed at the Howard's Grove small-pox hospital, and sub-
sequently at various hospitals until he was ordered to Hick's Ford
for duty on the medical examining board. Here he was actively
engaged in the recruiting service of the army until about the time
of the surrender at Appomattox, when he was ordered to report to
the medical director of the army of Northern Virginia at Lynch-
burg, Va., or Greensboro, N. C. Then attempting to unite with
the other Confederate forces he made his way to Raleigh. When
Sherman entered that city he applied for rations and transportation
to his home, which were granted. Since then Dr. Phillips has
been almost constantly engaged in the work of his . profession,
honorably rounding out a career of half a century, full of honor
and good deeds. He practiced at Chuckatuck until 1874, then
served two years at Norfolk as agent of the State grange, resumed
the practice at Smithfield, and from the latter place removed to
Sufifolk in 1882. He is widely known as a physician and has an ex-
tensive practice. He is prominent in the Masonic order as a
Knight Templar, member of the grand lodge of Virginia for forty
years, and for two terms district deputy grand master. In 1851 he
was married to Virginia Ricks, who died in the following year, and
in 1859 he married Mary M., daughter of Richard H. Riddick, in
his lifetime prominently connected with the Albemarle swamp
land company. By this marriage two children are living: Mary
Claude, wife of A. H. Baker, sheriff of Nansemond county, and
Julia R.

George E. S. Phillips, of Berryville, Va., a veteran of Stuart's
hoise artillery, was born in Cecil county, Md., in 1835. He was
reared and educated in his native State, coming to Virginia in
1852, and making his home in Jefferson county. He was a member
of the Virginia militia at Charlestown prior to the Confederate era.
When Col. R. Preston Chew organized at Charlestown the first com-
pany of mounted artillerymen in the Confederate service, Mr.
Phillips enlisted in this command as a private. He was promoted
sergeant in May, 1862, the position in which he served during the
remainder of the war. He was with Ashby's cavalry through the
Valley campaign of 1862, and at Kernstown fired the shell, a frag-
ment of which broke the arm of Federal General Shields; took part
in the Manassas campaign, and shared the honors of the heroic



1114 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

defense of the South Mountain passes. He was with his command
throughout the war, in such important fights as Sharpsburg,
Brandy Station, Gettysburg and the severe fighting of 1864 and
1865, an.d in a host of minor engagements, in some of which the
men of Chew's battery showed that they were as capable of daring
cavalry raiding as of standing to their guns in pitched battle.
After the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia he walked
to his home in Jefferson county, and found work for the season
upon a farm. He then removed to Berryville and began work at
his trade as a carpenter and builder. It is pleasing to note that
this deserving soldier has prospered in his aflfairs, and is happily
situated. He is popular with his comrades of J. E. B. Stuart
camp. Confederate Veterans, as well as with a wide circle of ac-
quaintances. In March, 1859, he was married to Miss Hannah
Blake, of Jefferson county, and they have a daughter living.

Henry O. Phillips, a respected citizen and business man of Ports-
mouth, has the honorable distinction of having served throughout
the war with that gallant body of Confederates known in history
as Armistead's brigade. He entered the service on April 20, 1861,
as a private in the Portsmouth Rifles, an historic organization
formed in 1792. The company was at once mustered under arms,
under Capt. John C. Owens, and was soon on duty fortifying Pig
Point, where on June 6th, the attack of the Federal cutter Har-
riet Lane was bravely repelled. In February, 1862, they moved to
South Mills to repel the Federal advance of General Reno, and
on May loth the Rifles was the last command to leave Norfolk,
then marching as the rear guard in the movement on Dunn's Hill.
Here the Rifles became Company G of the Ninth regiment, of
Armistead's brigade, and subsequently participated in the splendid
record of that command, the brigade being commanded by General
Barton after Armistead fell at Gettysburg. Among the important
battles in which he participated were: Seven Pines, Malvern Hill,
Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, Cold
Harbor and Five Forks. He was wounded at Malvern Hill, and
fifihting with Pickett's division on the third day of the battle of
Gettysburg, was shot through the body and in this wounded and
helpless condition fell into the hands of the enemy. He was sent
to hospital on David's island. New York, and remained there three
months. After rejoining the army, he continued in the fight, not-
withstanding the wounds he had received, and at Five Forks was
the only soldier of his division who captured a Yankee from the
attacking columns. He surrendered and was paroled at Appo-
mattox, and then returned to his home at Portsmouth, where he
has since resided, and has been successfully engaged in business.
He is a valued member of Stonewall camp, United Confederate
Veterans, and is fraternally connected with the order of Red Men.
At the age of twenty-four years he was married to Agnes Trafton,
of Portsmouth, who died in 1855, leaving two children: Blanche
Nash, now the wife of William N. Garrett, and Agnes E.

John T. Phillips, M. D., born at Chuckatuck, Va., in November,
1829, died at his home in Bloomsdale April 3, 1881, was one of
the prominent physicians of southeast Virginia, and a devoted
Confederate. He was graduated in medicine at Cincinnati in 1852
and was engaged in the practice in Isle of Wight county until the



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 1115

breaking out of the war between the States. Owing to a gunshot
wound in the right hand, received prior to the war, he was not
accepted as a regular in the Confederate army. He did scout
duty, however, most of the year 1863, and then was returned home
to practice his profession. He was the son of John Phillips, a
farmer, and a descendant of an old Virginia family of Welsh
descent. His wife was Carrie C. Ricks, of Southampton county.
Dr. J. E. Phillips, son of the foregoing, was educated at the State
agricultural college, and was graduated at the college of physicians
and surgeons, at Baltimore, in 1880. He was a professional partner
of his father until the latter's death, but since 1889 has been very
successfully engaged in the practice at Suffolk and in the surround-
ing territory. His present wife, to whom he was married in 1894,
is Eliza Prentiss, daughter of Capt. C. H. Causey, of Nansemond
county.

Major Charles Pickett, of Norfolk, Va., is one of the heroes
of Pickett's brigade and division who will be remembered with
admiration and affection as long as any survivors remain- of those
gallant commands. He was born June i, 1840, at Richmond, Va.,
son of Col. Robert Pickett, also a native of that city, and owner
of a very large estate, the historic Turkey island plantation, which
was laid waste by Gen. B. F. Butler. His grandfather, George
Pickett, who was born in Fauquier county, and removed to Rich-
mond about the time of the Revolutionary war, held the important
trust of purchasing agent for the colonies during that struggle, and
aftervrard amassed a large fortune as a merchant. His mother was
Mary, daughter of Robert Johnston, of Scotch descent, a hard-
ware merchant of Richmond. Major Pickett's career before the
war was mainly as a student in the city schools and at the university
of Virginia, where he remained from 1857 to 1859. At 'the latter
date he entered mercantile life at Richmond, in which he had not
far advanced when it became his duty to respond to the call of
Virginia for defense of her territory. Enlisting early in 1862 as
a private in Company F of the First regiment, organized at Rich-
mond, he went with his command to Fredericksburg and subse-
quently was stationed for several months at Gloucester Point. He
then resigned in order to re-enlist in the command of his brother,
George E. Pickett, who had been commissioned a brigadier-gen-
eral in January, 1862. Upon his staff he was appointed an aide-de-
camp in February, and in June adjutant-general and chief of staff,
a position he continued to hold after the advancement of General
Pickett to the command of a division. As assistant adjutant-general
of the Third brigade of Longstreet's division he was engaged
throughout the Peninsular campaign, in the fighting at Yorktown,
Williamsburg, and the Seven Days' battles up to and including
the fifth day, when he was engaged at Frayser's Farm, on June
30th. His experience on this day is well told in the official report
of Col. John B. Strange, then in command of the brigade, as fol-
lows: "I would also bring to your notice the name of Capt.
Charles Pickett, assistant adjutant-general, who acted with the most
conspicuous gallantry, carrying a flag by my side at the head of
the brigade on foot (having lost his horse), and urging forward, all
the time forward, until shot down seriously wounded, and then
begging those who went to bear him off the field to leave him and



1116 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

go to the front if they could not bear him oif conveniently, but to
leave him his flag, which he still held, and let him die there under
its folds." This wound kept him at Richmond until the army was
entering upon the Pennsylvania campaign, when he rejoined the
division of his brother, which reached the field of Gettysburg in
time to make that desperate charge on the Federal entrenchments
and batteries on Cemetery hill which will ever be memorable in
American history. Though they gained the Federal position, and
the survivors held it for a time in a hand-to-hand fight, without
support, they melted away under a terrible fire, and their mar-
velous valor went for naught. Remaining before the Federal army
all day July 4th without attack, they began that night the famous
retreat to Virginia, which, considering their condition, was the
most remarkable in history. Major Pickett was next engaged in
battle at New Bern, N. C., and remained with his command in
that State through the winter, returning to Richmond in the spring
of 1864, to participate in the battle of Cold Harbor. During the
siege of Petersburg and Richmond, his division held the en-
trenched line between the two cities and Bermuda Hundred, until
about three weeks before the evacuation, when it was relieved by
General Mahone's command and ordered to operate against Sheri-
dan. They met the latter's forces at Five Forks, and in a severe
battle against overwhelming odds, met with frightful losses, being
able to withdraw but a thousand men from the action. Subse-
quently joining in the retreat to Appomattox the command suf-
fered severely at Sailor's Creek, and the survivors gave their parole
on April 9, 1865. Major Pickett at once returned quietly to the
work of a private citizen and was engaged upon the Turkey island
plantation until the summer of 1868, when he went to Richmond
and a few months later to Norfolk, of which city he has been a
respected and prominent citizen since i86g. Here he has been oc-
cupied in trade and has served as secretary of the Business Men's
association since its organization. He was married in October,
1863, to Elizabeth H., daughter of John H. Smith, in the govern-
ment service at Washington. Major Pickett's fraternal connec-
tions are with the Knights Templar and Pickett-Buchanan camp.
United Confederate Veterans.

Captain A. P. Pifer, of Norfolk, a distinguished educator, was
born in Frederick county, Va., August 3, 1840, and is a lineal
descendant of the founder of his family in America, who emi-
grated from Sweden to Germany, and thence to Virginia before
the war of the Revolution. His father, Maj. Elijah Pifer, born
1807, died 1886, a planter's son, followed the same calling, and
served his county for many years as a magistrate, for which he
was peculiarly fitted by his study of law, so that none of his legal
decisions were reversed during his career. Captain Pifer in his
youth attended school in his native county, preparatory to enter-
ing Roanoke college, where, after five years' study, he was gradu-
ated in 1859 with the degree of A. M. _ Intending to follow the pro-
fession of law, he studied in that direction during the following
two years, also being engaged in teaching school, until July, 1861,
when he enlisted in the service of the Confederate States, as ai
private in Company A of the Tenth Virginia infantry. In the fol-
lowing month he was commissioned first lieutenant and assigned



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 1117

to the position of adjutant-general of Meem's brigade, in which
capacity he served until March, 1862. After that date he was upon
detached duty and served in various capacities until August, when
he received a commission as captain of cavalry and given com-
mand of Company A of the Thirty-ninth battalion of Virginia cav-
alry, generally known as General Lee's bodyguard. With this
command, attached to the army headquarters, he served until the
close of the war. When peace was restored he resumed his legal
studies, and in a short time was admitted to the bar at Woodstock,
Va., where he engaged in the practice for two years. Then, feeling
a greater inclination toward labor in the educational field, he ac-
cepted the chair of ancient languages at Newberry college. South
Garolina. After two years in this professorship he was elected
principal of the Newberry female academy, where, for seventeen
years he did efficient service, increasing the attendance from forty-
two to one hundred and thirty, and graduating during this period
a large number of young women, among whom are some of the
most distinguished women of the South today. Resigning this
position in 1885 on account of failing health, he gave his attention
to life insurance until in May, 1895, he was called to the principal-
ship of the Norfolk college for young ladies, which he has since
successfully conducted. The institution has an attendance of two
hundred students and occupies a high rank among the many ex-
cellent Southern schools for young women. Captain Pifer has
naturally taken no prominent part in other public affairs since
beginning his career as an educator, but during 1864, while he was
yet in the field, he was elected to the Virginia legislature. His
military duties and the subsequent loss of the capital, prevented
his service as a legislator. He is a member of the Presbyterian
church, and is connected with the Masonic order, the order of the
Golden Cross and the Essenes. He was married in 1870 to Lucy
A. Fair, of Selma, Ala., a daughter of Dr. Drewry Fair, a native
of South Carolina, who removed to Selma in his youth and became
a noted physician. She is a descendant of Governor Spottiswood.
Her maternal grandfather was William Aylett, a Virginian who
went to Tennessee as a land commissioner for the United States
and subsequently located in Alabama. He was a lineal descendant
of Sir Benjamin Aylett, who was imprisoned in London tower for
adherence to Charles I., and whose son settled in King William
county, Va. Captain Pifer and wife have one son, now a student in
William and Mary college.

Charles W. Daughtrey, a brave son of Virginia, who answered
her call for men in 1861, was born in Suffolk, in 1844. He spent
his boyhood days in that city and received his education at a pre-



Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 128 of 153)