Clement Anselm Evans.

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urgent request of the war department of the Confederacy, the insti-
tute was reorganized, to keep up the supply of trained officers. In
the following May, the new battalion, recruited from the spirited
youth of the Old Dominion, under the command of Lieut.-Col. Scott
Shipp, joined the army of General Jackson at the opening of his
Valley campaign and was present as a reserve, at the battle of Mc-
Dowell. In the summer of 1863 the cadets were ordered to Goshen,
Va., to assist in repelling a raid of Federal cavalry, and in the fol-
lowing winter they joined the force of Imboden, at Covington,
operating against Averell and rendered two weeks of arduous ser-
vice in midwinter, marching and campaigning in the deep snow.
Later in the same season the boys marched twenty miles in very
severe weather to Goshen, to check a Federal raid. The cadet
corps was particularly distinguished in the battle of New Market,
May IS, 1864, forming part of the hastily collected command of
General Breckinridge, who reinforced General Imboden, on the oc-
casion of Sigel's advance from Winchester. The cadets went into
battle as an infantry battalion of four companies, and a platoon of
artillery, serving two rifle-guns, under the command of Colonel
Shipp, and advanced with the coolness of veterans in the face of a
destructive artillery fire, forcing the enemy to fall back. Then, in
line with the Sixty-second regiment, they made a gallant charge
through a rocky gulch upon a battery of six guns which was the
main reliance of the Federal line, and though suffering severe loss,
soon waved the institute flag over the guns. The artillery platoon
also rendered effective service with the battalion of Major Mc-
Laughlin. In this action the cadets lost 8 killed and 46 wounded
out of a total of 225. Their losses and those of the Sixty-second
regiment constituted one-half the casualties of the day, in the little



1168 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

Confederate army of 4,500. They had been under fire at times so
withering that it seemed impossible any living thing could escape,
from noon to sunset, and throughout there had been an almost in-
cessant rain. As Colonel Shipp reported — "Wet, hungry, and many
of them shoeless — for they had lost their shoes and socks in the
deep mud through which it was necessary to march — ^they bore
their hardships with that uncomplaining resignation which charac-
terizes the true soldier." In the same month the cadets were or-
dered to the Richmond lines and en route they were disembarked at
Hanover Junction and assigned position for an anticipated battle
with Grant's army, but on the same day continued to the Confed-
erate capital, where they were stationed on the intermediate lines.
Upon Hunter's advance toward Lynchburg, they moved to Lexing-
ton, fell back to Lynchburg before Hunter, and after his repulse re-
turned to Lexington, where they found the institute in ruins. The
battalion was then furloughed, but in the following September the
cadets were ordered to Richmond by the secretary of war. They
served on the outer lines from October ist to December nth, and
then resumed academic work at Richmond, using the almshouse
as barracks. During the winter they were also in active service for
a few days against the Federal cavalry, and on the first of April,
1865, they were ordered to the outer lines on the Nine Mile road.
On the following night the battalion of cadets, a battalion of dis-
mounted cavalry, and a body of convalescents, all under command
of Colonel Shipp, were in the rifle-pits in advance of the outer lines,
unsupported, and with no other force between the enemy and Rich-
mond. On the following day the command was disbanded.

George W. Simons, of Norfolk, a native of Baltimore, born in
1841, was taken to Richmond by his parents while an infant and
reared and educated at the Virginia capital. At the age of fifteen
years he removed to Norfolk and found employment with an uncle
and became a member of the Norfolk Juniors, the oldest company
at that city, whose organization dated back to 1802, and whose rec-
ord embraced honorable participation in the war of 1812. With
this company, which became Company H of the Twelfth Virginia
regiment, Mahone's brigade, he served during the Confederate oc-
cupation of Norfolk at Boush's Bluff, and at an entrenched camp
near Ocean View. The company left Norfolk with more men than
any other from that city, and in the subsequent active service lost
more heavily than any other company. They fought at Seven
Pines, Oak Grove and Malvern Hill, before Richmond, at the sec-
ond battle of Manassas, Crampton's Gap and Sharpsburg, and then
having suffered great losses, recruited near Winchester for the re-
mainder of the struggle. Their next battle was Fredericksburg,
and Chancellorsville soon followed, where the greater part of the
company was captured. Mr. Simons, with the others who remained,
fought at Gettysburg. During that campaign he was detailed to col-
lect cattle for the army, and was successful to his entire satisfaction
in despoiling the enemy of beef. He was continued in_ special ser-
vice until after the Wilderness campaign, when he again served in
the ranks in the fighting about Petersburg. On June 22, 1864, his
command captured more Federals than their own numbers, and
were distinguished in the check given to the enemy's advance. He
continued on duty at Petersburg until the evacuation, and on the
retreat was captured between that city and High Bridge. He then



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 1169

for several weeks experienced the discomforts of prison life at Point
Lookout. Since then he has been engaged in business at Norfolk,
and enjoys the success which follows a life of energy and staunch
resolution.

_ Major William E. Simons, of Richmond, though a native of Bal-
timore, Md., born in 1840, has resided at the Virginia capital since
infancy, when his parents removed to Richmond. He was educated
at the latter city, and, on April 21, 1861, entered the military service
of the State as a private in the Richmond Howitzers. He served
with that gallant command of artillery at the battles of First Manas-
sas and Ball's Bluflf, and until the expiration of a year, when much
to his distaste he was detailed for special duty at Richmond. Chafing
against this detention from the field until he could no longer en-
dure it, he slipped away from Richmond early in 1863, and joined
McNiell's cavalry at Moorefield, W. Va. With this command he
enjoyed active service for six or seven months, until the author-
ities discovered his youth and he was sent back to Richmond. He
then enlisted in the Third regiment of local defense troops, and
soon found active service in and about Richmond. He organized
a company, of which he was commissioned captain, which with oth-
er organizations formed a battalion of Custis Lee's brigade, and
participated in the defense of Richmond and the retreat toward
Appomattox. During his service in West Virginia he took part
in the battle of Moorefield, and after returning to Richmond he
fought through the desperate encounter at Cold Harbor with the
Federal array under Grant. During the retreat in April, 1865, he
was captured, but being soon afterward released, made his way
to Johnson's army, reaching that command just as it was surren-
dered. Still determined to attach himself to the last Confederate
holding out, he started to join the army of Kirby Smith, beyond
the Mississippi, and had gone as far as South Georgia when he be-
came convinced that the war was over. Then he turned back and
walked the entire seven hundred miles to his home- In 1870 he
engaged in the manufacture of blank books, and has since that time
successfully conducted a manufacturing establishment of that na-
ture. He has also found opportunity to render the State efficient
service in her military forces since the close of the great war.
Upon the reorganization of the Richmond Howitzers in 1874 he was
among those enrolled, and chosen first lieutenant of the command.
He served in this capacity until 1885 when he was commissioned
major of the First battalion of artillery of Virginia, including all
the artillery of the State. At the time of the agitation at the Poca-
hontas coal mines in 1895, when the town of Pocahontas was occu-
pied by several thousand strikers from West Virginia, bent upon
stopping the working of the Virginia mines, by threats or violence.
Major Simons was selected as a cool and sagacious commander to
take a force of artillery and infantry to the scene of disturbance.
He remained at that point in charge of the military forces from
May 3d to August 2d, and such were his tact and good management
that the strike was one of the few of such magnitude that have
been brought to a close without a single blow being struck, a drop
of blood shed, or any property destroyed. Neither was a single
citizen deprived of his right to work or not to work. Major Simons
maintains a membership in R. E. Lee camp No. i. Confederate
Veterans.



1170 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

Captain James F. Simpson, a gallant cavalry officer of the army
of Northern Virginia, was born at Peebles, Scotland, May 21, 1827.
He was reared in his native land and in 1854, accompanied by his
second wife, Susannah Lucinda Marks, immigrated to Pennsylvania
and made his home at Pittsburg. Early in the following year
the family removed to Norfolk, where, at the beginning of the war
of the Confederacy, the father enlisted as a private and drill-master
in Company I of the Fifteenth Virginia cavalry. With this com-
mand he served with distinction throughout the war, soon being
promoted lieutenant, and in 1863 to captain. At the battle of Fred-
ericksburg he gained particular honor by driving a large body of
Federals from the city, with a handful of men. In recognition
of his gallantry the ladies of the city-presented him a handsome flag
and the Scottish colors. At Malvern Hill Captain Simpson was
seriously wounded. His death occurred at Norfolk in 1868. Wil-
liam M. Simpson, son of the foregoing, was born at Norfolk, July
31, 1855. At the age of fourteen years he entered the employment
of W. D. Reynolds & Co., cotton merchants, as an office boy, and
by continual promotions rose to the position of buyer, the best in
the gift of the firm, and in this capacity served for fifteen years. He
began the discharge of this important duty at a very early age, but
though occasionally embarrassed by his youth in the transaction of
business, he met with notable success. In 1891 he entered the em-
ployment of Price, Reid & Co., as cotton buyer, a position he still
holds. Mr. Simpson is prominently connected with several fra-
ternal orders — the Odd Fellows, Royal Arcanum, Knights of Hon-
or, Independent Order of Heptasophs, and the order of the Golden
Chair. For six years he served in the Norfolk City Guards. No-
vember II, 1884, he was married to Miss Mary L. Nunnally, of Pet-
ersburg, Va., daughter of William T. A. Nunnally, who served effi-
ciently in the ordnance department of the Confederate States. They
have one child, Mary Louise.

Captain Charles R. Skinker, of Richmond, was born in Orange
county, Va., in 1841. He was reared in his native county, and
after receiving a preparatory education there, attended school at
Staunton, and subsequently entered the university of Virginia. In
i860 he made his home at Richmond and engaged in business with
a brother. On April 21, 1861, he abandoned civil pursuits to become
a private in the famous "F" company, with which he served until
the eve of the campaign before Richmond in 1862, when he was
transferred to the Second Howitzers of Richmond. With this gal-
lant artillery command he was identified until the battle of Fred-
ericksburg, when he was severely wounded in the breast. On be-
coming capacitated for duty several months later, he was promoted
lieutenant and assigned to the Forty-eighth regiment Virgmia in-
fantry, and soon afterward being further promoted to the rank of
captain continued with that command, except during a period of
imprisonment, until at Hatcher's Run, February 7, 1865, he received
a wound which caused the loss of his left foot. This severe injury
put an end to his active service. Among the battles in which he
rendered honorable service were Kernstown, where he received his
first wound, the battles before Richmond in the Peninsular cam-
paign, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the defeat of Milroy at
Winchester, Gettysburg, Mine Run, the Wilderness, Spottsyl-
vania Court House and Hatcher's Run. At the bloody salient, at



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 1171

Spottsylvania, May 12, 1864, he was among the many captured in
Hancock's assault, and becoming a prisoner of war was subsequent-
ly confined for seven months at Fort Delaware. At the close of
hostilities he was paroled at Savannah, Ga., and he then resided for
several years in New York. Returning finally to Richmond, he
engaged in mercantile business, with success, until his retirement
in 1886.

Charles H. Smith, of Berryville, a veteran of Jones' brigade of
Stuart's cavalry, was born at the town where he now resides, March
14, 1833. Previous to 1861 he became engaged in mercantile pur-
suits and farming, and was a member of the Clarke county cavalry
company, under command of Capt. Hugh Nelson. He went into
service immediately upon the secession of Virginia, as first sergeant
of his company, and took part in the occupation of Harper's Ferry,
the engagement at Falling Waters and the battle of First Manas-
sas, and fought in 1862 in the valley with Ashby and Jackson. With
the Sixth cavalry regiment in Robertson's brigade he joined Stuart
in time to take part in the second battle of Manassas, and the other
operations of that campaign. He served with Stuart's cavalry in
the raid around McClellan following Sharpsburg, participated in
Gen. W. E. Jones' campaign in West Virginia, and in the com-
mand of the latter general took part in the Pennsylvania campaign,
including the battle of Gettysburg. At the time of Sheridan's raid
on Richmond, which resulted in the battle of Yellow Tavern, in
which Stuart fell. Sergeant Smith was captured and for six months
afterward was confined at Point Lookout. Then being ex-
changed he returned to his command and participated in the battle
of Five Forks, where he was again captured, but the end of thd
war soon arriving he was not long held as a prisoner. In this en-
gagement Treadwell Smith, a cousin of our subject, and also a
member of the Clarke cavalry, was killed. Then returning to
Clarke county the subject of this notice engaged in farming until
1869, after which for ten years he was in business at Baltimore, Md.
Since then he has conducted a warehouse business at Berryville,
in which he has been quite successful. He is a member of the J. E.
B. Stuart camp. Confederate Veterans, at Berryville. In 1866 he
was married to Miss Eliza Blackburn, and they have four children,
one of whom, Blackburn Smith, is engaged in the practice of law,
and is the organizer of the Stonewall chapter. Daughters of the
Confederacy, and the J. E. B. Stuart camp. Sons of Confederate
Veterans No. 28, both of which organizations are now in a flour-
ishing condition at Berryville.

Lieutenant George A. Smith, of Richmond, Va., who did arduous
and devoted service with the artillery of the army of Northern Vir-
ginia, and had the honor of attending President Davis in the last
hours of the Confederacy, was born at Richmond, Va., in 1844. He
was reared and educated at that city, and employed in his youth as
a clerk in the old Farmers' bank of Virginia. In this position he
was exempt from military service when the war broke out, but his
desire was not for relief from duty, and in March, 1862, being about
eighteen years of age, he enlisted as a private in the Third Rich-
mond Howitzers. With this gallant command he participated in
the Peninsular campaign, including the battles of Ellerson's Mill;
Gaines' Mill, Frayser's Farm, and Malvern Hill. Subsequently he
was in battle at Charleston, Va., Sharpsburg, Md., and at



1172 CONFEDERA TE MILITARY HISTORY.

Fredericksburg. In the latter desperate struggle, on December 13,
1862, he was badly wounded, losing his left arm, and receiving a
severe wound in the left leg from a piece of shell. He was inca-
pacitated for further service with his battery, but when he was
able to render less exacting duty he received a commission from
the secretary of war as lieutenant, and was assigned to the staff of
Gen. Arnold Elzey, then in command of the department of Rich-
mond. Finding little to do in this position he entered the chief
quartermaster's department of Richmond, Va., and in the spring of
1864 reported to General Winder, provost marshal, with whom he
served four or five months. Subsequently he was assigned to duty
as second lieutenant of the President's Guard, and in this capacity
he served at the home of President Davis until Richmond was
evacuated. He then accompanied the presidential party southward,
having military charge of the railroad train from Richmond to
Danville, and continued with the party until the guard was dis-
banded at Washington, Ga., May 3, 1865. On that date he received
the following letter by order of the president, which expresses bet-
ter than anything which can be written now, the character of the
service which he had rendered:

Washington, Ga., May 3, 1865.
Lieutenant Smith, President's Guard.

My Dear Sir: The president, owing to his heavy duties now pre-
venting him acknowledging your valuable services under his hand,
requests me to express to you his earnest and heartfelt thanks to
you and to the men now under your command. For the sufferings
undergone in behalf of your country at this trying moment he will
entertain a grateful memory. You have been zealous, steadfast,
and brave, in times of trial. He now bids you an affectionate adieu.
Very truly and respectfully. Your obedient servant,

Wm. Preston Johnston, Col. and A. D. C.

Lieutenant Smith was paroled at Augusta, Ga., May 7th, by
Major- General Upton, and he then returned to Richmond, where
he resumed a business career. In these pursuits he has prospered
and is now engaged in dealing in railroad supplies. He is a mem-
ber of R. E. Lee camp. Confederate Veterans, and of the Howitzer
association, of which he has held the office of president.

Herbert L. Smith, since the war an influential citizen of Norfolk,
was born in that county March 4, 1842. His grandfather, Arthur
Smith, was a native of Nansemond county, and his father, Dr.
Arthur R. Smith, was born at Suffolk in December, 1803. The
latter, a well-known physician, acted as a surgeon in the service of
the Confederate States from 1863 to 1865 at the Stewart hospital,
Richmond, and died in 1866 at Catonsville, Md. Dr. Smith was
wedded to Jane E. Herbert, daughter of James Edward Herbert,
of Norfolk county. She survived until December, 1895. Their
son, Herbert L., was reared in Norfolk county until 1856 when
the family removed to Portsmouth, where he was educated at
Webster's military institute. In April, 1861, he entered the Con-
federate service as a private in the Old Dominion Guards, com-
manded by Capt. Edward Kerns, and did duty at Pinner's Point
until the evacuation of Norfolk and Portsmouth. On May 9,
1862, he secured a transfer to the cavalry, and became a private
in Burroughs' battalion, afterward known as the Fifteenth Virginia
cavalry regiment and still later as the Fifth cavalry. In Company



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 1173

K of this command, in which two of his brothers were also en-
rolled, he served during the remainder of the war. At first as-
signed to picket duty between Portsmouth and Petersburg, he sub-
sequently participated in the battles of Seven Pines, Fredericks-
burg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, Reams' Station, several
engagements on the Rapidan, and all the fighting during the latter
part of the war in the Shenandoah valley. At Appomattox he was
present, but when the word surrender came down the line, he with
other cavalrymen, made their escape and did not capitulate until
subsequently at Richmond, where he was paroled April i6, 1863.
After the close of hostilities he made his home at Norfolk, where
he has since been engaged in the development of stone mining, and
investments of various kinds, in which he has generally met with
a notable degree of financial success. He is president and prin-
cipal stockholder of the Cape Fear bufT stone company, president
of the Stone Mountain granite and timber company, and treasurer
of the Stone Mountain railroad company. For ten years he has
served the city as superintendent of the water works. December
28, 1868, Mr. Smith was married to Mrs. Hennie K. Vermillion,
widow of Lieut. Dennis Vermillion, who fell at the battle of Mal-
vern Hill. They have four children living: Arthur R., Blanche
Livingston, wife of William Camp, of Norfolk; Herbert L., Jr.,
and Henry Garrett, the latter bearing the name of the father of
Mrs. Smith, who was a prosperous farmer of Norfolk county.
The two brothers of Mr. Smith who served in the Fifth cavalry,
were Arthur R., who died in New Orleans in 1867, and Robert
Worthington, who after the war was the proprietor' of the Ocean
View hotel and died at Norfolk in September, 1895.

John Smith, of Portsmouth, a participant in both the Mex-
ican war and the war of the Confederacy, was born in Norfolk
county September 15, 1826. the son of James and Elizabeth (Cub-
bage) Smith, natives of Delaware. He was reared in the latter
State, where his parents returned during his infancy. At the age
of thirteen years he went to sea, and was employed ten years as a
sailor, spending three years five months and sixteen days of this
period upon the United States frigate Congress, under Commo-
dore Stockton, and taking jjart in the service of that vessel in
the Mexican war. After leaving the sea he followed the restaurant
and hotel business in Norfolk and Portsmouth until 1861, when on
April 20th, he entered the Confederate service as a private in the
Old Dominion Guard, Company K, Ninth Virginia regiment. He
served with his company at Pinner's Point, and was then de-
tached and appointed ordnance gunner by the secretary of the
navy. After the evacuation he went to Petersburg and for some
time was employed in the transfer of heavy ordnance from that
place to Danville. During the Seven Days' campaign he was in
charge of an ordnance train under Colonel DeLagnel. In July,
1862, at the reorganization he was honorably discharged as over
thirty-five years of age. Since the war he has been engaged in
business at Portsmouth, where he is highly regarded as an en-
terprising and upright citizen. He has served in the city council
at diflferent times for fourteen years, and during two years held
the position of chairman of the local Democratic committee. He
is a member of Stonewall camp. United Confederate Veterans, and
Va 74



1174 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

vice-president of the Mexican Veterans association of Virginia.
On March 3, 1853, he was married to Martha L. Anderson, of
Washington, D. C.

Captain John Holmes Smith, one of the original members of
the Lynchburg Home Guard, was born August 12, 1838, in Bedford
county, Va., but was soon brought by his parents to Lynchburg,
where he was reared and educated. When the Lynchburg Home
Guard was organized November 8, 1859, on account of the recent
invasion of the State by John Brown, and the threats of further
trouble, he was in the list of privates and became third corporal
when the company was called out by the governor and mustered
into the service on April 24, 1861. It became Company G of the
Eleventh Virginia infantry, which at the battle of Manassas formed
part of Longstreet's brigade, and was commanded by Col. Samuel
Garland, Jr., original captain of the Lynchburg company. Cor-
poral Smith was promoted lieutenant in February, 1862, and cap-
tain soon afterward, serving in the latter rank until the end of
the war. As senior captain he was in command of the Eleventh
regiment during the retreat of Lee's army from Petersburg, and
at the battle of Sailor's Creek, where his division surrendered, he
commanded the right regiment in the line of battle. His first
fight was at Blackburn's Ford, under Longstreet, July 18, 1861;
Manassas soon followed; then the action at Dranesville. The
Peninsular battles came next — preceded by skirmishing — York-
town, Williamsburg, where he for the first time commanded his
company, and then the hard fighting at Seven Pines, where a



Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 136 of 153)