Clement Anselm Evans.

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Virginia court of appeals, was the son of St. George Tucker, who
came to Virginia from Bermuda, served as colonel in the Revo-
lutionary war, and was wounded at Yorktown; was judge of the
United States court, member of Congress, president of the court
of appeals, and professor of law in William and Mary college.
The first of the family in America was George Tucker, who came
to Virginia from England in 1613, and went to Bermuda upon
the appointment of his brother, Daniel, as governor-general of
that colony. Dr. Tucker's mother, Jane S. Ellis, who is still
living, is the daughter of Charles Ellis, of Richmond. Dr. Tucker
received his early education in England and Switzerland while
abroad with his father. In 1863 he came to America for the pur-
pose of entering the Confederate service. Though arrested at
Martinsburg in attempting to pass the Federal lines, he was de-
tained but a short time and was soon able to reach Richmond,
where he served for a time in the organizations for local de-
fense, and then became a member of the Otey battery, of the
Thirteenth Virginia artillery. He served in the subsequent career
of that famous battery until the close of the war, surrendering
at Lynchburg, four days after the general capitulation, his com-
mand having escaped from Appomattox on April 8th. In the
succeeding fall he returned to his studies and spent one year at
the university of Toronto, after which he taught school and studied
law at Winchester, Va. Entering the theological seminary at
Alexandria in 1871, he was graduated in 1873 and ordained in June
of that year, beginning at that date his life work in the ministry
of the Protestant Episcopal church. His service at St. Paul's
church, Norfolk, began in 1882, and has been permitted to tend
greatly to the welfare of the church. He has taken an active part
in the organization of the Confederate Veterans of Virginia, has
been chaplain of Pickett-Buchanan camp since its foundation, and
for four years has served as grand chaplain of the State organiza-
tion. His eflforts in the field of general literature have been notable,
and include the dedicatory poems for the Confederate monument
at Portsmouth and the Otey battery monument at Baltimore, and
the ode read on Virginia day at the Columbian exposition of 1893.
He was married in 1873 to Maria (born at Mt. Vernon), daughter
of Col. John Augustus Washington, who inherited Mt. Vernon
from his father and sold it to the Mount Vernon association; was
commissioned lieutenant-colonel in the Confederate army, and
served on the staff of Gen. R. E. Lee until September, 1861, when
he was killed during Lee's first campaign, by an ambuscade at
Rich Mountain, W. Va. Dr. Tucker and wife have a family of
nine sons and four daughters.

Commodore John Randolph Tucker, of Virginia, a hero of three
navies, but particularly conspicuous in his services for the Southern
Confederacy, was born at Alexandria in the year 1812. He en-
tered the navy of the United States in 1826, made his first cruise
in the frigate Brandywine, and was promoted lieutenant in 1837
and commander in 1855. During the Mexican war he commanded


the bomb-brig Stromboli. As an officer of the United States navy
at Norfolk m the spring of 1861 his fidelity to the Federal gov-
ernment until relieved of his allegiance by the secession of Vir-
ginia, was so marked as to incur hasty criticism. But when his
btate had joined the Confederacy none were more devoted to the
new republic. He entered the service with the rank of com-
mander, and was in charge of the James river squadron of three
vessels, the Patrick Henry being his flagship. In this lightly-
armored boat he confronted the Federal steamers before the mouth
of the river, on the night of December 2, 1861, engaging four of
the enemy's vessels under the guns of Newport News. He led his
squadron into the Hampton Roads fight under Acirniral Buchanan,
in which he was actively engaged, contributing ninjh to the suc-
cess of that famous encounter. After the destruction of the Vir-
ginia, Tucker and his sailors, in the fortifications at Drewry's blufif,
saved Richmond from the Federal fleet in May, 1862. Subse-
quently, having been promoted captain, he served at Charleston.
As commander of the Chicora, he was distinguished in the action
of January 31, 1863, when the Federal fleet was driven away and
the blockade raised, by the two Confederate ironclads. Then,
promoted commodore, he was in command of all the vessels at
that important station until early in 1865, when he was ordered
to Richmond with his men. The seamen were organized into the
naval brigade under his command, and he had charge of the ar-
tillery at Drewry's bluff until the evacuation of the Confederate
capital, when his naval brigade was attached to Custis Lee's di-
vision of Ewell's corps, which formed the rear guard of the army
in the retreat to Appomattox. At Sailor's Creek, April 6th, he
fought his first land battle, and held the right of Ewell's line, re-
pulsing two assaults of Sheridan's infantry and cavalry. The naval
brigade was valiantly holding its original position when General
Ewell's order to surrender was passed along the line, but Com-
modore Tucker declared, "I can't surrender," and kept up the .fight
fifteen minutes after all the other Confederate colors were lowered.
When they did yield the gallant men were cheered long and vig-
orously by the Federal forces. Subsequently Commodore Tucker,
with the commission of rear-admiral, commanded the combined
fleets of Peru and Chili, in their war with Spain. His last great
work was the exploration of the upper Amazon and its tributaries,
as president of the Peruvian commission. He died at Petersburg,
Va., June 12, 1883, and was buried beside his wife at Norfolk.

Captain John S. Tucker, a prominent lawyer of Washington,
D. C, who devoted four years of his early manhood to the de-
fense of his native State, was born in Norfolk, Va. At the begin-
ning of the war he was in Missouri, and promptly enlisted in
Company H, Third Missouri infantry, and served under General
Price until after the battle of Corinth, in which engagement, Oc-
tober 4, 1862, he received a wound in the arm of such a severe
nature as to make amputation necessary. He was soon promoted
to first lieutenant, and was afterward made captain of artillery and
assigned to duty at the Richmond arsenal, where he remained
until the evacuation of that city. After the war he returned to
Norfolk and engaged in the practice of law. He was chosen city
attorney, and afterward, in 1876, was elected mayor and re-elected
in 1878. In 1880 he was appointed secretary of the commission


having in charge the arrangements for the centennial celebration
of the surrender of Lord Cornwalhs at Yorktown. He removed
to the capital city in 1879, and has since resided there, engaged in
the practice of the legal profession. During Cleveland's first ad-
ministration he held the position of principal examiner of land
claims and contests in the general land office at Washington.
Irwin Tucker, son of the foregoing, was born at Norfolk, Va.,
September 13, 1869. He accompanied his father to Washington
in 1879 and at the age of seventeen years was engaged for a year
in the office of a Washington correspondent. During the next
five years he was city editor of the Norfolk Virginian. In 1890
he made his home at Newport News, and embarked in the real
estate and insurance business, in which he has been quite suc-
cessful. For four years, from 1893, he served as postmaster of
the city. He is a young man of broad acquirements, great energy
and brilliant talent.

Rudolph S. Turk, editor of the "Spectator-Vindicator," at
Staunton, Va., was born in Augusta county in 1849. He was
educated in the schools of Staunton and at Roanoke college.
When fifteen years old he enlisted, in the summer of 1864, in a
company commanded by Capt. John Opie, of Staunton. He
served with that command throughout the summer and until the
company was disbanded, participating in the battles of Piedmont
and Lynchburg, and other skirmishes such as the one at New
London. When the armed contest had ceased he entered the uni-
versity of Virginia and pursued the study of the law. In 1875 he
made his home in Pocahontas county and resided there until 1888,
engaged in the practice of his profession. After the latter date he
spent a year and a half at Wichita, Kan., returning then to Staun-
ton, where he practiced law until 1895. He then purchased the
"Spectator" newspaper, with which he subsequently consolidated
the "Vindicator," and has successfully managed this publication
while still continuing his professional practice. Mr. Turk is de-
scended from an old Virginia family, of Scotch-Irish descent. His
fatherj Rudolph Turk, was born in Augusta county in 1817, and
died in 1890. He served for two terms as sheriff of Augusta
county, before the war, and at the outbreak of that struggle, not-
withstanding his advanced age, entered the service as major of
the Fifth Virginia cavalry, with which he served at Harper's Ferry,
but was subsequently replaced, with others, by West Point officers.
Nevertheless he patriotically continued in the service as ordnance
officer, and was stationed at Philippi, W. Va., until the capture
of that place by McClellan. Then being assigned to the position
of quartermaster with the rank of captain at Staunton, he re-
mained there until the surrender, having charge of the manu-
facture and repair of wagons, caissons, ambulances, etc. Another
son of the latter, James Alexander Turk, born in Augusta county
in November, 1847, at the age of seventeen years left Washington
college, where he was then a student, to serve with the Reserves.
After participating in the battle of Piedmont, where his horse
was shot under him, he enlisted in Company E of the First Vir-
ginia cavalry, with which he served, except when disabled by
wounds, in all the fights of Wickham's brigade. At the battle of
Cedar Creek he was severely wounded, and subsequently disabled
for two months. During the fighting on the retreat he was again


wounded three days before the surrender. After the war he be-
came engaged in railroad construction, and later in the commis-
sion and livestock business at Richmond, where he died January
I, 1888. He left one daughter, Mary Huston Turk.

D. J. Turner, of Norfolk, is a native of Virginia, born at
Portsmouth, January 13, 1844. His family was founded in Vir-
ginia in the seventeenth century by members of the Turner family
of Scotland. His father, D. J, Turner, a merchant of Portsmouth,
suffered imprisonment at Fortress Monroe during the late war,
by orders of General Butler, because of his devotion to the Con-
federate cause. His mother was Sarah C. Webb, daughter of a
Portsmouth merchant, and a member of the Webb family with
which President Hayes was connected. Mr. Turner was com-
pleting his education at the Randolph-Macon college when the
war of the Confederacy broke out. He entered the service as a
member of the independent signal corps stationed at Norfolk and
Sewell's Point, and was on duty there at the time and in full view
of the famous encounter between the Virginia and the Monitor.
Proceeding after the evacuation of Norfolk, to Richmond, he was
detailed on scouting duty as a member of a force under Chief
Joseph R. Woodly. After about eighteen months of adventurous
and important service in this field, for which the chief and his
men were thanked in a personal letter from Gen. R. E. Lee, he
was detailed as signal officer on duty with blockade runners. In
this capacity, serving between the Bermudas and Wilmington,
N. C, he had many thrilling experiences and narrow escapes from
capture. When Wilmington passed into Federal hands, he at-
tempted to tun the blockade at Charleston. After the fall of that
city he sailed to Havana, and thence across the gulf, evading the
Federal cruisers, and landed at Galveston. Proceeding eastward
he was informed, on crossing the Mississippi, ofthe surrender of
General Lee. He went on, hoping to join the army of General
Johnston, but at Columbus, Ga., heard that he, too, had yielded
to the inevitable. Despairing then of any further service, he gave
his parole and returned to his home in Portsmouth to engage
in the duties of civil life. For several years after his return he
was engaged in transportation at Portsmouth and Norfolk. He
has taken an active part in the public affairs of the city, has
served repeatedly in the city councils of Portsmouth and Norfolk,
for four years represented the Thirty-first senatorial district in
the State legislature, and held the office of high constable of Nor-
folk. He is past grand commander of the Knights Templar; past
grand chancellor and supreme representative of the grand lodge
of Virginia of the Knights of Pythias; and brigadier-general com-
manding a brigade of the Virginia division of the Confederate
Veterans. With one exception he is the oldest member of the
supreme lodge of the Knights of Pythias. Mr. Turner was mar-
ried in 1868 to Mary E., daughter of William B. Lawrence, of
Portsmouth, and they have six children. One of their sons, Daniel
Lawrence, is professor of civil engineering at Harvard university;
another, Ernest W., is in business at Norfolk.

E. L. Turner, for many years clerk of the county and circuit
courts of Greenesville county, was identified during the latter
part of the war with the brilliant record of the cadets of the Vir-


ginia military institute. He was born in Greenesville county, April
27, 1847, the son of Joseph and Mary Peebles (Mason) Turner.
His father, who also held the office of clerk of the courts' and
during two terms represented his county in the State legislature,
was the son of Person Turner, a prominent citizen of Greenes-
ville county and chairman of the county court, who was a native
of England and founded the family in Virginia. Mary Peebles
Mason was the daughter of Peyton Mason, a soldier of the Rev-
olutionary war and a prominent merchant of Petersburg, and a
worthy member of one of the prominent families of the South.
E. L. Turner, during the early period of the war, was a studen''
in his native county and at Petersburg, but during 1864, having
entered as a cadet at the Virginia military institute, he took part
in the service of the cadets under their commander. Colonel
Shipp. In May, 1864, he shared in the fatiguing marches of the
cadets in the Valley campaign under General Breckinridge, and
participated in the defeat of Sigel's army at New Market. At the
close of the war, sharing the impoverished condition of the com-
monwealth and its people, he was compelled to abandon further
collegiate study and seek employment for a livelihood. In Jan-
uary, 1867, he entered the office in which his father had served
efficiently during the last fifteen years of his life, becoming the
deputy of John Wi Potts, at that time clerk of the courts. On
the retirement from office of Mr. Potts, Mr. Turner was ap-
pointed, in April, 1870, to fill the vacancy, and at the subsequent
election he was elected to the office. He has discharged the
duties of this responsible trust with such intelligence, skill and
fidelity that at each succeeding election he has been again chosen
for the position. In political aflairs he has been active in the in-
terests of the Democratic party and has participated in several
State conventions. He is a faithful member, with the rank of
-adjutant, of Chambliss-Barham camp of Confederate Veterans. In
the Masonic order he is particularly prominent and widely known.
He was made a Master Mason in 1874, rose to Junior Deacon and
Senior Deacon, and from 1880 to 1890 served as Worshipful
Master, at the conclusion of this term being presented a hand-
some past master's jewel in evidence of the appreciation of his
services. He was appointed district deputy grand master in 1880,
became a member of the standing committee of the grand lodge
on Masonic jurisprudence in 1883, and in the same year was
•commissioned by the grand lodge of Nebraska as its grand rep-
resentative near the grand lodge of Virginia. He was exalted a
Royal Arch Mason in the Petersburg union chapter, April 16,
1885, and became a Knight Templar in Appomattox commandery
April 18, 1889. He is also a member of the past master's as-
sociation of Richmond, Va., and maintains memberships in the
orders of Odd Fellows and the Royal Arcanum. In 1876 he was
married to Mrs. Ellen P. Wilson, daughter of Peter W. Walker,
and they have three children: E. Peyton, Mary Ellen and Peter W.
James E. Turner, of Norfolk, well known among the pilots of
the Virginia coast, was born in the State of New York in 1839.
At the age of six months he was taken by his parents to Monti-
cello, 111., where they resided until he had reached the age of
six years, when the family removed to Virginia, and made their
Tiome at Hampton. His mother, whose maiden name was Mary


Ann BuUey, was a native of the Old Dominion. His father,
Rufus Turner, was a machinist by occupation and an industrious
and highly respected man. Mr. Turner was reared from the age
of six years in Virginia, and became thoroughly devoted to the
State and her institutions. In 1855, at the age of sixteen years, he
engaged in the vocation of a pilot upon the pilot boat York, and
had been occupied in this calling for six years when the State
began organizing for defense against the threatened Federal in-
vasion. He was called to Richmond by Governor Letcher, where
he served in the State military organization, first in the engineers
and subsequently in the quartermaster's department. In 1862 he
was assigned to the navy with the grade of first-class pilot, and
afterward for meritorious conduct was promoted master. The
particular service which earned this promotion was the cutting
of the chain cables which had been placed inside the Federal
lines to obstruct the navigation of the James river. During the
operations of the James river squadron he took part in all its
movements and engagements. After the evacuation of the cap-
ital he was ordered to battery service at Danville, where he was
stationed until the surrender. He then joined the army of Johns-
ton in North Carolina, and there surrendered in the general capit-
ulation. After this he resumed his former occupation as a pilot,
and in 1866 became one of the charter members of the Virginia
pilot association, in which he is still prominent. In i860 Captain
Turner was married to Mary Frances, daughter of Capt. James E.
Minson, a fellow pilot, and they have one child living, Anna G.,
wife of B. F. Dozier.

Captain Smith S. Turner, during life a prominent lawyer of
Front Royal, and three years a representative in Congress of
the Seventh Virginia district, was born in Warren county, No-
vember 21, 1842. In his youth he entered the Virginia military
institute, and was awarded an honorable diploma, although the
outbreak of the war prevented the completion of his studies. As
a cadet of the institute he was with the cadet command that went
to Harper's Ferry to take possession of the military stores in
April, 1861, and then remained with the command of "Stonewall"
Jackson, serving as drill officer until September, 1861. In the
spring of 1862, at the reorganization, he was elected second lieu-
tenant of Company B of the Seventeenth Virginia infantry regi-
ment, and later in 1862 was promoted first lieutenant. He re-
mained with this command until the close of the war, command-
ing his company for nine months after the battle of Sharpsburg,
and on other occasions other companies in addition to his own.
After the first year of the war his service was rendered in Pickett's
division of the army of Northern Virginia. In the list of im-
portant engagements in which he participated, are the memorable
names of the First Manassas, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Frayser's
Farm, Cold Harbor, Gaines' Mill, Malvern Hill, Second Manassas,
Thoroughfare Gap, South Mountain, Sharpsburg, where he was-
wounded in the head by a fragment of shell, Fredericksburg,
Drewry's Bluflf, various skirmishes in Tennessee in 1863, New
Bern and Suffolk. Near the last days of the war he was with
the army of Gen. J. E. Johnston, and just before the surrender of
that command narrowly escaped death in a terrible accident. He
was among sixteen men who were involved in the explosion ot


a car of ammunition. Fourteen of the men were killed or mor-
tally wounded, but Lieutenant Turner escaped with his life, though
badly injured and disfigured. After he had recovered from this
accident he became instructor in mathematics in a female seminary
at Winchester, and held that position for two years. Then under-
taking the study of law, he was admitted to the bar in 1869, and in
the same year was elected to the legislature of Virginia, where he
held a seat until 1872. For eight years he was a member of the
board of visitors of the Virginia military institute, and for seven
years served as commonwealth's attorney for his county. In 1893
he was elected to the Fifty-third Congress for the unexpired term
of Governor O'Ferrall, and in 1894 was re-elected. He served in
the regular and special sessions of the Fifty-fourth Congress, and
in 1896 declined re-election and returned to his professional occu-
pations, which he followed until his death, April 8, 1898.

D. Gardiner Tyler, son of John Tyler, ex-president of the United
States, representative from the Second district of Virginia in the
Fifty-third and Fifty-fourth Congresses, was born in the year 1846,
at East Hampton, Long Island, N. Y., while his mother was on
a visit there to her relatives, but he has resided all his life at the
family homestead on James river in Charles City county, Va. At
the outbreak of the war he was thoroughly in sympathy with the
spirit of the Confederacy, but his youth prevented him from serv-
ing at once in the field, whither his inclinations strongly drew
him. In 1862 he entered Washington college at Lexington, Va.
A few months later, however, the martial spirit which pervaded
the youth of Virginia, led him to enlist in the Home Guards early
in 1863, that he might be ready for any service required. As a
member of this organization he engaged in the pursuit of the
enemy in several raids made by them in that part of Virginia, and
in June, 1864, participated in the fighting of the improvised army
that checked the advance of the Federal General Hunter up the
valley of Virginia, during which movement the Virginia military
institute was burned and Washington college narrowly escaped
destruction. He fought in the disastrous battle of Piedmont, June
Sth, and the engagements of June 17th and i8th at Lynchburg,
where the Federals were repulsed and retreated. After this he
spent two or three weeks at the college, returning then to active
service, and going with his company to Richmond, where they
were detailed as guards at Libby prison. In August, 1864, he
secured a transfer to the regular army and enlisted as a private
in the Rockbridge battery of the First Virginia battalion of artil-
lery, attached to Ewell's corps. With this command he served
until the close of the war, taking part in the fights on the lines
north of the James river, notably at Fort Harrison and Fort Gil-
mer, and on the retreat of Lee's army from Richmond was in the
battle of Cumberland Church and other engagements, surrender-
ing with his command at Appomattox Court House. After this
serious introduction to the vicissitudes of life, in his nineteenth
year, he returned to his devastated home. In the following Oc-
tober he went to Europe and pursued a course of classical studies
at Carlsruhe, Grand Duchy of Baden, for a period of two years.
On his return to Virginia he entered Washington college again,
then under the presidency of his old commander. General Lee, for
the study of law, in which he was graduated in the year 1869.


After continuing the study of his profession one year at Rich-
mond, Va., he returned to Charles City county, and entered upon
the practice, in which he has since continued, meeting with a
notable degree of success. His eminence in the profession, ability
m the conduct of public affairs, and the leading position which was
soon accorded him in the political field in that part of Virginia,
have been recognized by his appointment to various positions

Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 143 of 153)