Clement Anselm Evans.

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and embarked in civil aflairs with the same energy and devotion
to duty that characterized his career as a soldier. He has given
no attention to political honors, has never held office, nor in fact
voted but once in his life, that solitary act of franchise being a
ballot for President Davis. He has devoted himself to business
with great success, building up a great coal and fertilizing-man-
ufacture industry that employs hundreds of men, at Alexandria.
In all movements for the public good he is glad to take a part, so
that he has been prominent in many useful directions which have
brought to him the love and esteem of the community. A man of
such a nature could not, after four years of comradeship in camp
and fight, sever the ties which bound him to his fellows in the
army of Northern Virginia. On the contrary he cherishes with
all the strength of his nature the memories of perils past and the
society of his comrades who have survived. In the organization
of R. E. Lee camp. No. 2, of the Confederate Veterans, at Alex-
andria, he took an active part and was elected its first lieutenant
commander, subsequently serving as its commander from 1886 to



1182 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

1896. His devotion to the order, the prominence he has achieved
in civil life and his honorable record in the past, were appropri-
ately recognized by his election to the State commandership in
1895.

Francis Sorrel, M. D., of Roanoke, who rendered distinguished
services in the medical department of the Confederate States
army, was born at Savannah, Ga., in the year 1827. In 1839
he was sent to Princeton, N. J., for his education, and was
graduated there in 1846. He then pursued the study of medicine
in the university of Pennsylvania, and was graduated professionally
in 1848. In the following year he entered the United States army
as an assistant surgeon, and served in that capacity toward the
close with the rank of captain until 1856, when he resigned his
commission. The following year was spent in Europe and upon
his return he went to California, where he speedily attained prom-
inence and was elected to the California legislature in i860. The
impending crisis in the East, however, made his stay on the Pa-
cific coast of short duration. In June, 1861, he returned to his
native region to offer his services to the government of the Con-
federate States at Richmond. He was promptly commissioned as
a surgeon in the regular army, and his experience and unusual
ability were recognized by assignment to special duty of great
importance. He was charged with the erection and management
of the general hospital system of the army, with headquarters at
Richmond, where he remained on duty until the evacuation of
the capital. In March, 1865, he was married to Mrs. Rives, widow
of Dr. L. Rives, and daughter of General- Watts, of Roanoke, and
since the close of the war period he has resided at Roanoke, where
he leads on his farm, "The Barrens," the simple, retired life of a
country gentleman.

Thomas M. Southgate, who rendered efficient service to the
government of the Confederate States throughout the period of
the war, is a native of King and Queen county, of thorough Vir-
ginian ancestry and first made his home at Norfolk in 1853, and
has ever since been a resident of that city. His Confederate serv-
ice was rendered mainly in the quartermaster and flag of truce
service upon the James river. At the time of the celebrated naval
encounter in Hampton Roads, he was master of the steamer Wil-
liam Seldon, which conveyed General Huger and staflf to a point
whence they could easily witness the fight between the Virginia
and the Monitor. Few men are yet living who so fully wit-
nessed and can describe with such accuracy and vividness the de-
tails of that famous engagement. Captain Southgate was par-
ticularly distinguished for his minute knowledge of the James
river and its obstructions in war times, being one of the two men
who could safely pilot a vessel through the enemy's torpedoes
without injury. It is related that a third man attempted this feat
and lost his vessel and came very near losing his own life. His
whole career was a hazardous one, made so particularly by the
crowds of Federal soldiers who were exchanged in vessels under
his command. Since the war he has been continuously in the em-
ployment of the Old Dominion steamship company, as master
for nearly thirty years of one of the company's vessels in North
Carolina and Virginia waters. Thomas S. Southgate, a son of
the foregoing, is a native of Richmond, removing to Norfolk in



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 1183

childhood. At the latter city he received his education and busi-
ness training, and he is now one of its most enterprising and
aggressive business men. As senior member of the firm of T. S.
Southgate & Co., brokers in fliour, grain, provisions, etc., he
does an extensive business, and represents exclusively in South-
ern markets some of the leading importers, millers, packers and
manufacturers of the United States. The house has a reputation
for honorable dealing that is unsurpassed and enjoys intimate
relations with the entire jobbing trade of the city. Mr. South-
gate has been connected with the business life of this flourishing
city since the age of fifteen years, and established his commission
business in 1892. He is also an extensive investor in real estate,
is director of the Bank of Commerce, and president of the Young
Men's Christian association.

J. A. Speight, D. D., of Norfolk, editor of the "Atlantic Bap-
tist," was a splendid Confederate soldier from 1861 to 1865. He
is a native of North Carolina, where his family has been promi-
nent since colonial times. He was born in Gates county in 1840,
the son of Rev. Henry Speight, a distinguished Baptist minister,
and his wife, Olivia Pruden, daughter of John Pruden, a North
Carolina planter. His great-grandfather, Jeremiah Speight, was a
brother of Senator Speight, and a cousin of Governor Speight,
both prominent in the history of the State. At the age of twenty-
one Dr. Speight entered heartily into the cause of the Confed-
erate States, and enlisted in Company B of the Fifth North Caro-
lina regiment, which served with gallantry in the campaigns of
the army of Northern Virginia. He participated in the first battle
of Manassas, then at Williamsburg in 1862, and the succeeding
Seven Days' battles before Richmond, followed by the northward
campaign in which he was engaged at the second battle of Ma-
nassas, South Mountain and Sharpsburg. He participated in the
bloody encounters at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and in
the Pennsylvania campaign which followed, doing the duty of a
brave soldier at Gettysburg until he was captured by the enemy.
After this he was confined at Fort Delaware and Point Lookout
during the winter of 1863-64, but on being exchanged he re-
joined his command in time to participate in the desperate struggle
at Spottsylvania Court House. He fought at Cold Haxbor soon
afterward, and was with Early in his Valley campaign until
wounded and captured at Winchester in September, 1864. He was
again confined at Point Lookout and held there until the surrender
of the army, when he was permitted to return to his home in
North Carolina. Soon afterward, having decided to enter the
ministry, he pursued a course of theological study at the Colum-
bian university at Washington, D. C, and was graduated in 1871.
He immediately entered the ministry of the Baptist church and
served in succession at Gatesville, Kempsville, Suffolk and Peters-
burg, afterward acting as agent for the Wake Forest college.
North Carolina. Subsequently he began a career as a religious
editor in which he has been notably distinguished. At first as-
sociate editor of the "Biblical Recorder," at Raleigh, N. C., he
next held the editorship of the Asheville (N. C.) "Baptist," and
on April 4, 1894, established the "Atlantic Baptist" at Norfolk, an
influential weekly journal of which he has charge at the present
time. He has been a liberal contributor to the religious press of



1184 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

the country, since his connection with the ministry. He has also
served as president of the board of trustees of Rutherford college,
North Carolina, the institution which conferred upon him, on his
fifty-second birthday, the degree of doctor of divinity. Dr. Speight
was married in April, i86s, to Elizabeth, daughter of John Wil-
liams, of North Carolina, and they have three children: J. R.
Speight, M. D., of Norfolk; Willie Etta, wife of C. T. Peal, of
North Carolina; and Clara Augusta, wife of E. M. Drake, of
Sunbeam, Va.

E. Leslie Spence, of Richmond, who served gallantly in the
army of Northern Virginia during the war of the Confederacy,
and since that period has taken a prominent part in the military
organizations of the State, was born at the city of Richmond in
November, 1&4.1. He was reared and educated at his native city
and on April 19, 1861, enlisted in the defense of the State as a
private in the Richmond Grays, a famous military organization
which was mustered into the service as Company G of the Twelfth
Virginia infantry regiment. He served with honor in the actions
and campaigns of this regiment, fighting at Seven Pines, French's
Farm, Malvern Hill, White Oak Swamp, Second Manassas and
Crampton's Gap, Maryland. In the latter gallant action he was
wounded September 14, 1862, and his injuries were so severe that
upon his convalescence in the spring of 1863, he was unable to
return to the active service of his regiment, but was detailed for
duty with the general court martial department of Henrico. _ He
continued in this capacity until January, 1865, when he rejoined
his regiment near Petersburg and participated in the subsequent
action at Hatcher's Run, where he was again slightly wounded.
On February 22, 1865, he was transferred to the Twenty-fifth Vir-
ginia battalion, with which he served until Appomattox. _ After
the surrender he returned to Richmond upon a mule, which he
was able to sell on his arrival for $120. He at once embarked in
business at Richmond, and during the subsequent years has met
with notable success. In 1871 he was prominent in the reorganiza-
tion of the Richmond Grays, and in 1886 was elected captain. He
commanded this noted organization during its participation in
the funeral of General Grant at New York in 1883, in the parade
at the first inauguration of President Cleveland, and during a riot
at Newport News in 1887. In the latter year he resigned his rank
in the Grays, and in 1890 he was elected captain of Company E of
the First Virginia regiment of infantry, a command he has held
for several years. He is a member of R. E. Lee camp. No. i.
Confederate Veterans, and held the position of commander in
1894. A brother of Captain Spence, George A. Spence, was a
private in Company H of the Twelfth Virginia regiment, and was
killed at Hatcher's Run, at the age of thirty-four years.

Thomas W. Spindle, of Roanoke, was born in Spottsylvania
county in 183s, of an old and worthy family of English descent.
He entered the service of Virginia from Montgomery county April
17, 1861, as a private in the Fourth regiment of infantry, which
was assigned to the brigade under command of T. J. Jackson, soon
to be famous as the Stonewall brigade. He served with this com-
mand, with promotion to sergeant in the fall of 1861, until the
battle of Kernstown, at the outset of Jackson's campaign in the
valley, when he was wounded and captured while carrying the



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 1185

flag of the regiment and leading tlie charge against the Federal
troops behind the stone fence. Being sent to Winchester by the
enemy, he was recaptured there two months later and was regu-
larly exchanged in August. He then assisted in the organization
of a company of Partisan Rangers in Montgomery county, of
which he was elected lieutenant. He participated in the operations
of this company as an independent command during the fall of 1862
and the succeeding winter, during that time being engaged in
several raids in West Virginia and Kentucky against Federal Gen-
eral Morgan. The command was subsequently assigned to the
Twenty-fifth Virginia cavalry as Company E, and during the
greater part of the remainder of the war he acted as adjutant of
this regiment. In addition to the operations named, he participated
in the battles of Darkesville, Port Republic, Moorefield, and Win-
chester, September 25, 1864. In the latter fight he had a horse
shot under him, and for his gallantry on this field he was recom-
mended for promotion to the rank of captain. He did not partic-
ipate in the surrender of the army and was never paroled. After
the close of hostilities he was engaged in mercantile pursuits at
Christiansburg until 1892, and then removed to Roanoke, where
he has conducted a successful real estate business. He served
as supervisor of Montgomery county for several years, and for
ten years as chairman of the Democratic county executive com-
mittee. In January, 1870, he was married to Lavinia C, daughter
of Rev. Cephas Shelburne, deceased, and they have six children
living: Lucile C, Benjamin Lee, Thomas W. Jr., Virginia Allen,
Lily and Cephas S.

George A. Sprinkel, of Culpeper, was one of those Confed-
erate soldiers who were so unfortunate as to be deprived of his
liberty for many months, during which he experienced the dis-
comforts, deprivations and miseries of Northern military prisons.
Born in 1844, in Madison county, he enlisted when about nineteen
years of age, in the spring of 1863, in Company C of the Fourth
Virginia cavalry, under Col. W. C. Wickham. This regiment was
part of the Fitzhugh Lee brigade of Stuart's cavalry, and took an
active part in the Gettysburg and Bristoe campaigns which fol-
lowed the enlistment of Private Sprinkel. He was a faithful sol-
dier and was at the front in all these engagements, with few ex-
ceptions. On January 31, 1864, he was captured by the enemy, and
being taken to the Old Capitol prison at Washington, was held
there four and a half months. Then transferred to Fort Delaware,
he was imprisoned at that post for twelve months, making in all
over sixteen months of weary imprisonment. When released in
June, 1865, hostilities had long since ceased in Virginia, and he
returned to his home and went to farming for a time as did the
great majority of the returned Confederate soldiers. Then taking
up the study of dentistry, he was graduated at the Baltimore
dental college in 1868. For five years he practiced his profession
at Madison, then removing to Culpeper, his present home. He
has been successful in his practice, and is prominent socially. With
loyalty to the heroic memories of the past, he maintains a mem-
bership in A. P. Hill camp. Confederate Veterans. In 1868 Dr.
Sprinkel was married to Miss Hume, of Madison, and they have
five children living.



1186 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

George W. Sprinkle, M. D., of Marion, was born in Smyth
county in September, 1846. When about seventeen years of age
he entered the Confederate service as a private in the Kanawha
Rangers, Company I of the Eighth Virginia cavalry, an organiza-
tion made up of five southwest Virginia and five border companies.
He was first introduced to war' in the active fighting of the east
Tennessee campaign under Gen. John S. Williams, in the battles
about Greeneville, and his next battle occurred at Wytheville
against Averell, soon afterward. He then served in the Lynch-
burg campaign which resulted in the defeat of the Federals, in
the pursuit of whom he joined down the Shenandoah valley. He
was with McCausland in the raid upon Chambersburg, Pa., which
was burned in retaliation for the vandalism of Hunter's army, and
fought under Early in the disastrous battle of Fisher's Hill, No-
vember 19, 1864. After a short time at home on furlough with
military duties he joined his command before Petersburg, and
shared the fighting of Rosser's cavalry during the spring of i86S-
During the retreat from the Confederate capital he was detailed
at Farmyille to overtake the wagon train and hurry it to Lynch-
burg. Finally at Appomattox he did not surrender, but with a
party of mounted comrades made his way through the Federal
lines and attempted to join the army in North Carolina. Upon
the close of hostilities he began the study of medicine, which he
continued in the college of physicians and surgeons at Balti-
more. After his graduation at this institution he practiced two
years in Texas, then returning to Marion, where he is now one
of the leading men in his profession. In 1872 he was married to
Miss Alice V. Allen, and they have four children: Edna Itasco,
Henry Allen, Maud French and Satt Bonham.

William H. Startzman, a well-known business man of Roanoke,
was born in Berkeley county, now assigned to West Virginia,
in 1838. In that county and in Jefferson he was reared and edu-
cated, and in 1859 he made his home in Franklin county, where
he engaged in the work of a carriage bviilder, but abandoned that
occupation in April, 1861, to become a private in Company B
of the Twenty-fourth Virginia regiment of infantry. He went out
with this command to defend the soil of the Old Dominion from
invasion, and was among the troops concentrated on the plains
of Manassas, but was not actively engaged at Bull Run and the
rout of the Federals on July 21, 1861. After this campaign he
wks detailed in the quartermaster's department for about two
years, and in August, 1863, was detailed to the ordnance depart-
ment. After about a year of this duty he returned to the quarter-
master's department, with which he remained until the evacuation
of Richmond. He was under fire in many engagements, notably
during the three days' fight at Gettysburg, and after the evacuation
of the Confederate capital he served in the ranks with his regi-
ment during the retreat. With thirty comrades, detailed to pro-
tect a wagon train, he amply displayed that unfaltering and de-
voted courage that characterized the Confederate soldier, by gal-
lantly repulsing two attacks by Sheridan's cavalry. They were
finally run over by a brigade of cavalry, but even then were not
captured. Rejoining the army he took part in the surrender at
Appomattox, and then made his way to Rocky Mount, and thence
in May, 1865, to Big Lick, since known as Roanoke, Va., where



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 1187

he has ever since been engaged in business. He is an influential
citizen, has served five years in the city council, and as mayor of
the city in 1877-78.

Lieutenant Orren Darius Stearnes, a native of Franklin county,
who gave his life to the Confederate cause, was a descendant
of the Puritans of England, the founder of his family in America
having come over to Massachusetts with Governor Winthrop in
1630. His father, Lewis Patrick Stearnes, was born in Franklin
county, Mass. Mr. Stearnes was a farmer by occupation, and took
to wife Temperance Ward, daughter of a Virginia soldier of the
Mexican war. He entered the Confederate service in 1861 as
oiderly-sergeant of Company D, Fifty-eighth regiment, Virginia
infantry, and at the reorganization was elected lieutenant. He
was with the forces under Stonewall Jackson in the valley in the
spring of 1862, and after participating in the battle of McDowell,
was taken with typhoid fever, from which he died soon afterward
in hospital at Staunton. His son, Lewis P. Stearnes, born De-
cember 31, 1849, was too young for military service during the
war, but in the untimely loss of his father, the sorrow of his
mother, and the impoverishment caused by the war, experienced
much of the trials and hardships of that period. Finding it nec-
essary at the age of sixteen to seek a livelihood, he entered the
railroad service at Dublin, Va., and a year later became agent
and telegraph operator at Salem, Va. During the following
twenty years he continued in railroad agency, telegraph and ex-
press work at Wytheville, Roanoke and Salem, Va., Macon, Ga.,
Christiansburg, Montgomery, White Sulphur Springs, Lambert's
Point and Norfolk, Va., except the years 1882-84, when he was
engaged in hotel management at Kanawha Falls, Huntington and
Charleston, W. Va. While traveling as an express messenger be-
tween Macon and Atlanta, Ga., he was slightly injured in a col-
lision on the night of January i, 1873, in which eight persons were
killed. On April i, 1890, he resigned his position with the Nor-
folk & Western railroad at Norfolk to engage in handling all the
coal shipped by the Chesapeake & Ohio railroad to Newport
News. At this city he has taken an active interest in the develop-
ment of the port, is vice-president of the Peninsular electric light
and power company, and a director of the Citizens' and Marine
bank. He is influential in political affairs, has served as a mem-
ber of the State Democratic committee, and in 1893 he was ap-
pointed by President Cleveland collector of customs for the dis-
trict of Newport News, Yorktown and Old Point Comfort, for a
term of four years. Mr. Stearnes was married October 17, 1874,
to Miss Bentley King, of Pulaski county, Va., and they have
three children living.

Lieutenant-Colonel William H. Stewart, distinguished among
the Confederate soldiers of Norfolk county, was born at Deep
Creek, September 25, 1838, the grandson of Alexander Stewart,
who died from exposure as a soldier of the war of 1812, and great-
grandson of Charles Stewart, who was an officer of the Fifteenth
Virginia and Eleventh Virginia regiments in the war of the Rev-
olution. He was educated at the university of Virginia. In 1859
he became a lieutenant of the Wise Light Dragoons, and in that
rank entered the active service of the State April 22, 1861, with
his company, which after a few weeks' service in patrolling the



1188 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

beach from Ocean View to Sewell's Point, was disbanded. He
then re-enlisted as captain of the Jackson Grays, and on March
8, 1862, commanded the rifle battery at Sewell's Point in the naval
battle in which the Virginia participated, and on May 8th was
engaged with the United States fleet. After the evacuation of Nor-
folk his command was assigned as Company A to the Sixty-first
Virginia infantry, of which he was promoted major at the reor-
ganization, and lieutenant-colonel two years later. He partici-
pated in all the important engagements of his command, includ-
ing the fights at the Rappahannock bridge, Fredericksburg, Chan-
cellorsville, Gettysburg, Brandy Station, Mine Run, the Wilder-
ness, Shady Grove, Spottsylvania, commanded the brigade picket
line at Hagerstown following Gettysburg, and after his promo-
tion to lieutenant-colonel commanded his regiment until the close
of the war, in the battles of North Anna River, Hanover Court
House, Atlee's Station, Cold Harbor, Turkey Ridge, Wilcox's
Farm, Gurley House, Reams' Station, the Crater, Davis' Farm,
Burgess' Mill, Hatcher's Run, Amelia Court House, and finally
surrendered at Appomattox Court House. He escaped with two
wounds, received at Chancellorsville and Spottsylvania. After the
war he resumed the practice of law at Portsmouth, and held the
offices of commonwealth attorney and commissioner in chancery.
He was also prominently connected with the journalism of the
cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth. He is the author of an ex-
ceedingly graphic account of the desperate battle of the Crater, in
which he was a distinguished participant.

Major Robert Stiles, of Richmond, a veteran of the artillery of
the army of Northern Virginia, was born in Woodford, Ky., in
1836. Entering Yale college, he was graduated there in 1857, and
then embarked upon the profession of law. Becoming a resident
of Richmond in the spring of 1861, he enlisted in the Richmond
Howitzers immediately after the battle of Manassas of 1861, and
served with that command until after Chancellorsville. He was
then transferred to the engineer corps, with the rank of second
lieutenant, in which capacity he served, in General Early's com-
mand, until after the battle of Gettysburg, when he rejoined the
artillery as adjutant of Cabell's battalion. In the spring of 1863 he
was promoted major of artillery and assigned to duty at Chaffee's
bluff, where he served with gallantry and efficiency until the re-
treat, when he was assigned to command, and was among the
forces compelled to capitulate at Sailor's Creek. As a prisoner
of war he was sent to Johnson's island, Ohio, and subsequently
to Fort Lafayette, and refusing to take the oath, was held until



Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 138 of 153)