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oned at Point Lookout and Fort Delaware until October follow-
ing, when by strategy he secured his release, and returning to
Petersburg, took charge of the Matoaca mill. He has ever since
been engaged in this industry, in charge of various cotton mills at
Petersburg. He is a valued citizen, and is highly regarded by his
comrades of the army of Northern Virginia. He is a member of
the A. P. Hill camp, Confederate Veterans. In 1858 he was married
to Eleanor M. Marsden, of Maryland, who died about 1870, leav-
ing three daughters: Agnes L., wife of John E. Jones; Laura Vir-
ginia, wife of C. W. Irvin, of Roanoke, and Mattie Custis, wife of
Rev. N. J. Pruden. By his second marriage to Sallie E. South-
wall he has three children: William A., Lewis M., and Sallie E.

Colonel Elijah V. White, of Leesburg, Va., a distinguished cav-
alry officer of the army of Northern Virginia, was born near
Poolesville, Md., August 29, 1832. He received his education at
Lima seminary, Livingston county, N. Y., and at Granville col-
lege, Ohio. During the troubles in Kansas in the years 1855 and
1856 he went to that region and, becoming a member of a Mis-
souri military company, took an active part in the struggle for


control of the new State. Then returning he purchased a farm in
Loudoun county, Va., and there made his residence. In 1859 he
joined the Loudoun cavalry organization, and with it was on
guard during the exciting period following John Brown's attempt
at insurrection. Having thus had a rare experience in the armed
conflicts which preceded the great war, he was ready in the spring
of 1861 to enter with enthusiasm into the defense of the State from
invasion. His was a spirit akin to that of the gallant Ashby,
with whom he served as a scout until the fall of 1861. He then ob-
tained permission to organize an independent company, and his
command grew in numbers and efficiency until it was assigned to
W. E. Jones' brigade of the cavalry under Stuart, as the Thirty-
fifth battalion, and its fearless leader received the rank of colonel.
He participated in the important engagements of Ball's Bluff,
White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, Slaughter Mountain, Brandy
Station, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Trevilian's, Reams' Station
and Five Forks, and numerous minor engagements with Stuart's
cavalry, and was also conspicuou.s in independent operations in the
Shenandoah valley and along the Potomac, destroying the enemy's
communications, attacking their outposts, and keeping busy large
forces of the enemy. His services frequently received the admiring
mention of his superior officers. A. P. Hill, in reporting the affair
at Snicker's Gap, November 3, 1862, relates that "Major White
gallantly held his position" across the river from the main Con-
federate body, in the face of a large attacking force. In the famous
cavalry fight at Fleetwood Hill, June 9, 1863, Colonel White led
one of the two columns which made the first attack upon the Fed-
erals, and in spite of the discomfiture of the other column, drove
back the enemy, at the same time repulsing without wavering an
attack in the rear. He made several gallant charges with his com-
mand, finally driving the enemy from the hill, and then charging
a battery under a destructive fire of grape and musketry, seized
the guns and cut down the gunners, after which the battalion cut
their way back through the Federal troopers, with a loss of half
their number. General Stuart made an eloquent reference to the
"dashing officer" and the brave spirits he held together, stating that
he behaved with conspicuous daring, and though painfully
wounded continued in command of his regiment, on active and
important duty. In this action the battalion captured four stand
of colors. Two weeks later he led his men into Maryland and cut
the Baltimore & Ohio railroad near Point of Rocks, with a loss
to the enemy of nearly eighty men. After the army reached Penn-
sylvania, he accompanied Gordon's brigade, routed a Pennsylvania
regiment near Gettysburg, moved on to the Susquehanna river, and
returning to Gettysburg fought on the left with Ewell, who grate-
fully acknowledged his services. The entire night following the
first day's fight he spent in a reconnoissance of the Federal posi-
tion. After the return to Virginia, Colonel White was left with his
battalion in the rear of the enemy. He crossed the Potomac with
one hundred men, and drove a superior body of Federals from
fortifications at Poole's Farm. Stuart endorsed on the report of this
action: "Colonel White and his command in this daring enter-
prise, which struck such terror to the enemy, deserve high praise.
Every day brings new proof of his activity;" and Gen. R. E. Lee


added to Stuart's report: "Colonel White is entitled to great
praise for his boldness and good management.'' During the re-
mainder of 1863 he was engaged in daring and brilliant operations
in the valley and West Virginia, sometimes in connection with
Mosby, the two being given equal prominence in the Federal re-
ports. Attached to Rosser's brigade, he fought at the battle of
Parker's Store in November, in which Rosser reported that "the
dashing White" charged the enemy's flank and carried everything
before him. Throughout the remainder of the war he participated
in the operations of Rosser's brigade in important battles and also
continued his brilliant forays on the border. He crossed the Po-
tomac near Poolesville, Md., in the latter part of July, 1864, made
a night attack upon the Sixth New York near Harper's Ferry in
January, 1865, and up to the close of the war his force and Mosby's
were operating together in Loudoun county and the valley. Dur-
ing this service he was wounded several times, twice seriously.
Two years after the close of hostilities Colonel -White was elected
sheriff of his county, but after serving three years was deposed by
the military government. Subsequently he was occupied in ship-
ping grain and in agriculture until 1892, when he was elected presi-
dent of the People's national bank at Leesburg. He gives his
time to the duties of this position, the care of a dairy farm of over
four hundred acres in Fairfax county, and the functions of a min-
ister of the old school Baptist church, in that capacity filling
seven appointments. He is also the popular commander of Clin-
ton Hatcher camp, United Confederate Veterans. Though often
importuned to become a candidate for Congress he has declined all
political preferment. In December, 1857, he was married to Miss
Sarah Elizabeth Gott. Colonel White treasures a number of let-
ters from the distinguished leaders of the Confederacy, among
which the following may be copied here:

Headquarters Valley District.

November 15, 1862.
Major: The beautiful sword with which you have so kindly pre-
sented me, and also the other much-prized presents, have been re-
ceived from Lieutenant Marlow of your distinguished command.
Please accept my thanks for them. I have watched with great inter-
est your brilliant exploits. Your men may well feel proud of having
such a leader. Press on in your successful career. Let your men
know that their comrades who are maltreated at Fort McHenry
are not forgotten. I deem it a solemn duty to protect, as far as
God enables me,_ every soldier of my command. I regret being
driven to retaliation, but the enemy from time to time have been
warned against their inhumanity. I have directed three Federal
prisoners of the rank of captain to be detained at Staunton. I in-
tend to have this outrage of which you complain thoroughly inves-
tigated, and not only see that the two men of your company but
also the one belonging to Captain Ball's are exchanged, and also
that indemnification is made for any wrong which they may have
With high esteem, I am. Major,

Very truly your friend,

T. J. Jackson, Lieutenant-General.
Maj. E. V. White.



Headquarters Army Northern Virginia.
Brig.-Gen. W. E. Jones, Commanding Valley District.

General: I have received Maj. E. V. White's report dated De-
cember 24, 1862, of his scout to Poolesville in Maryland, and have
forwarded it to the Adjutant and Inspector-General of Richmond,
calling the attention of the War Department to the gallant conduct
of Major White and his command.

I am much gratified at the manner in which Major White con-
ducted this scout, and the substantial results accomplished with
such slight loss on his part.

I have the honor to be very respectfully

Your obedient servant,

(Signed) R. E. Lee, General.

Captain Ellsbery V. White, now connected with important com-
mercial and financial interests at Norfolk, Va., is well known
throughout the South through his association as engineer with
the famous ironclad ram, the Virginia, whose brief service in
Hampton Roads attracted the attention of the civilized world. He
is a native of Georgia, born in Wilkinson county in 1839. When
a child his parents removed to Macon, where he was educated
and apprenticed to a machinist, as which he worked for some
years, fitting himself, unconsciously, for his future distinguished
service. In 1856 the family removed to Columbus, where, after
the secession of Georgia, he became a member of the City light
guards, commanded by Capt. Peyton H. Colquitt, a brother of the
late Senator A. H. Colquitt. This company, mustered into service
as a part of the Second Georgia battalion, was the first Georgia
command to enter Virginia, reaching Norfolk two days after the
evacuation by the Federals and the destruction of the navy yard.
After his arrival Captain White was able to witness the expiring
flames of the burning of that magnificent old ship of the line, the
Merrimac, once the pride of the navy and the object of_ admira-
tion in foreign ports, whose sunken hull was to be raised and
made the foundation of the irresistible floating battery known as
the Virginia. Sergeant White, for such was his rank at that time,
applied subsequently for admission to the Confederate navy, and
was accepted and commissioned as an officer of the engineer corps
in January, 1862. He was among the first men assigned to the
Virginia, and remained with her until her destruction. His
office required him to do duty where the ironclad was weakest,
her engines and boilers being old and practically worthless, such
service as was obtained from them being due to the mechanical
genius of her engineers. The thrilling history of this famous old
battery has been often told by Captain White, upon the lecture
platform, where he has consented to appear on many occasions for
the benefit of charitable enterprises and on behalf of Confederate
veteran associations. On these occasions while presenting a
grraphtc picture of the encounters in Hampton Roads he has taken
the opportunity to insist upon the historical truth, which accords
great credit to the Confederate naval architects, engineers and
gunners, without detracting from the achievements of their antag-
onists. Thoroughly familiar with the construction of the old iron-
clad upon which he served, he has compared carefully the plans
of the more recent fighting monsters of the various nations, in the
light of his practical knowledge, and has arrived at the well-


grounded conclusion that it is in the model of the Virginia that
modern naval architects have found the germ principles of the
splendid armored vessels that now compose the navies of the
world. It was her leisurely movements, indifferent to the broad-
sides of the great wooden ships that opposed her on March 8th,
and her easy destruction that day of the Congress and the
Cumberland that terrified the United States government and
rendered useless the then existing war navies of England or any
other power that might lay claim to the title of mistress of the
seas. In her encounter with the Monitor on the following day,
the honors of shot and shell were well balanced, but if the Vir-
ginia had not, on the previous day, lost her ram in the sides of
the Cumberland, the moment when she succeeded in striking
Ericsson's invention would probably have been its last afloat. As
it was, the Monitor drew away after that shock, and sought shal-
low water where the Virginia could not follow, and though often
thereafter given an opportunity to meet the Virginia, never again
offered or accepted battle with her. Captain White remained on
his vessel, whose very presence effectually guarded the James
river from the Federal fleet, until the evacuation of Norfolk in
1862, when, despite the entreaties of her officers and men for per-
mission to attack some Northern port, she was ordered aban-
doned and it became necessary to destroy the historic vessel,
which was effectually accomplished, as was fitting, by her own
men, on May 12, 1862, near Craney's island. Captain White, who
held the candle for the gunner whose duty it was to uncap the
powder in the magazine after the vessel was fired, was one of the
last to leave the fated Virginia. He then joined the crew in their
defense of the James river, at Drewry's bluff, where they again
encountered the Monitor and the rest of the Federal fleet, and
defeated the attempted landing of troops. Subsequently he was
assigned to the gunboat Baltic, and participated in several minor
actions about Mobile bay, assisting the Florida when she ran
the blockade under command of Captain Moffat with a fever-
stricken crew. Then resigning from the navy he returned to Co-
lumbus, Ga., where he invented and put in operation the machinery
with which nearly all the buttons and buckles used in the army
were subsequently manufactured. Becoming a member of the
Georgia reserves, he served with them when called to Atlanta,
and took part under General Hood in the important battles of
June 20th, 21st and 22, 1864. After the fall of Atlanta he was
ordered to return to Columbus, where he encountered the Federal
forces of General Wilson, and was compelled to surrender. Thus
ended a military record of which he may justly be proud, and
which is still of great value to the South in that it enables him
to eloquently present throughout the land the true story of the
great historic event of which he was a part, and call attention to
that remarkable war development of meclianical genius in the
South which has had such an enormous influence upon the sea
powers of the globe. After these. events Captain White resided
'at Portsmouth, and then making his home at Baltimore, was oc-
cupied for over two years as a traveling salesman. Having by this
time, by industrious persistence, accumulated a small capital, he
was able to embark in business as a partner of his father-in-law,
Nathan Forbes, at Norfolk, and subsequently established an in-


dependent business at the same city, under the title of E. V.
White & Co. In this enterprise he has prospered to a notable
degree, in the meanwhile being active in many enterprises for the
public good and the advancement of the city. In whatever direc-
tion he interests himself, his ability is recognized by a call to fill
some important and responsible position. In political life he has
often sat as a delegate in State and National conventions; for
many years he served as the commander of the Norfolk militia;
at the occasion of the noted Mexican veteran parade at Norfolk,
the largest ever seen at that city, his services were in demand as
grand marshal of the day; in the Methodist church he has been
highly honored, and has been a delegate to the general confer-
ences at St. Louis and Memphis. He was the chief promoter of
the Park View Methodist church at Portsmouth, dedicated in
1894 by Rev. Sam Jones; and is president of the Sunday school
association of Norfolk and Portsmouth. He is chairman of the
finance committee and director of the Seaboard insurance com-
pany of Norfolk, and one of the founders of the Norfolk National
bank. While at Portsmouth in the Confederate service, in Feb-
ruary, 1862, he was married to Josephine Forbes, forming a union
which happily endured until her death in June, 1895.

Lieutenant James L. White, of Abingdon, Va., a veteran of
Jackson's division, was born at the town where he now resides,
August 29, 1842. Previous to the secession of Virginia he was a
member of the militia organization at the university of Virginia,
known as the Sons of Liberty, and with his company took part
in the seizure of Harper's Ferry in April, 1861. Subsequently he
became first lieutenant of a company organized in Russell county,
Va., and which was assigned to the Thirty-seventh Virginia in-
fantry regiment, and to the Third brigade of Gen. T. J. Jack-
son's division. From then until the end of the war he shared in
the service of his regiment and brigade. He was wounded at
Amelia Springs just before the surrender at Appomattox. For
much of the time he was adjutant of his regiment, and during Gen-
eral Terry's command of the brigade, was attached to his staflf.

Captain Lewis B. White, a gallant cavalry officer of the army
of Northern Virginia, was born in Matthews county, Va., January
IS, 1844. His father, Alpheus A. White, son of Dr. John H.
White, was also a native of Matthews county, and during the war
served in the engineer corps, being employed mainly in the con-
struction of batteries about Petersburg. The wife of the latter,
Mary A. White, was the daughter of Bennett White, a planter,
whose wife was of the Lewis family. Major White was reared
and educated at Norfolk, attending the Norfolk academy and the
private school of J. R. Hubard. Early in 1861, at the age of
seventeen years, he enlisted in the Confederate service as sergeant
in the Wise Legion of cavalry, commanded by Col. J. Lucius
Davis. During his first year he was promoted orderly-sergeant
and second lieutenant. At the reorganization in 1862, his com-
mand became Company D of the Fifth Virginia cavalry, and at
the battle of Chancellorsville he was promoted captain, though
but nineteen years old at that time. He remained in command
of his company, which did duty as mounted sharpshooters, during
the remainder of his service. During this period he participated


in many cavalry engagements in the various campaigns of the
army. Among the more important battles in which he took part
are those at Hawk's Nest, Guyandotte, Dam No. 2, the fights
about Yorktown, Williamsburg, the Seven Days' battles, Chan-
cellorsville, Kelly's Ford, Brandy Station. He was captured at
Aldie, Va., June 17, 1863, and was not permitted to return to his
command in time for effective service, being held as a prisoner
of war at Johnson's island until March, 1865. On being exchanged
he joined his regiment, and after the surrender of the army, started
South with the intention of joining the forces in North Carolina.
Learning that General Johnston also had surrendered, he with
other cavalrymen went as far as Charlotte on their way to the
trans-Mississippi army, but were there informed that General Ros-
ser had called all the cavalrymen about him for a reorganization
in Virginia. Cheered by this intelligence they returned to Vir-
ginia, but were there dismayed by discovering that the report was
false, and that all hope was lost. He was paroled at Richmond,
ending a gallant service in which he was several times wounded.
He was wounded seriously three or four times, his right leg was
fractured, the left was broken, and he was shot several times in
the head and body. Since the war Captain White has resided in
Norfolk, and has mainly been engaged in the manufacture of ag-
ricultural implements as the partner of his brother, S. R. White.
The latter died in 1876, but the business still continues under the
title of S. R. White & Brother, and is one of the most extensive
in the South. He is married to Miss Clemmie H. Bell, of Mat-
thews county, Va., daughter of Hon. Henry Bell, a man of much
prominence, philanthropy and public spirit, who removed to
Matthews county from Delaware, and represented the county sev-
eral times in the legislature. Captain White has three children
living: Harry L., Mary Bell and Herbert Nicholas. Another
son, Lewis B., a very promising youth, died April 17, 1896, at the
age of nineteen years.

Thomas Spottswood White, now a leading merchant at Lex-
ington, Va., served throughout the war of the Confederacy with
the army of Northern Virginia, and at its close was a veteran with
an honorable record at the age of twenty years. He was born
at Charlottesville, in 1845, but since the _ age of three years, at
which time his parents removed to Lexington, he has had his
home at the latter city. He left college just after Jackson had
met the Federals at Kernstown, at the opening of the Valley cam-
paign of 1862, and became a private in Company I of the First
Virginia regiment of infantry, of the Stonewall brigade. With this
command he served about one year, then being detailed as courier
for General Paxton. Not long afterward he entered the Fourth
Virginia cavalry and was with that regiment as a private during
the remainder of the war, except one period when, being absent
on furlough, he was unable to rejoin his command, and volunteered
on the staff of General Rosser with whom he served through his
Valley campaign in 1864. Among the engagements in which he
rendered honorable service during the war were McDowell, Front
Royal, Winchester, Cross Keys, Port Republic, the Seven Days'
battles before Richmond, Cedar Mountain, Second Manassas,
Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, New Market,


Mount. Jackson, where he was twice wounded, Brandy Station,
Trevilian's, and the fighting near Petersburg. Though at Appo-
mattox he was not paroled there. After the close of hostilities he
returned to his old home at Lexington, where he has subsequently
resided and in civil life has worthily added to a career so honor-
ably begun in the army of Northern Virginia. For the last twenty-
five years he has been engaged in business as a dry goods mer-
chant, with gratifying success. He maintains a membership in
Lee-Jackson camp, United Confederate Veterans.

William T. White, of Richmond, who rendered faithful service
with the Second Howitzers, of Richmond, during the last year
of the war of the Confederacy, was born at Richmond in 1845.
He was reared and educated in that city, and was a youth when
the war passed through its earlier stages. Early in 1864, when
the South was making its greatest effort to meet and repel the
formidable invasions that were being planned against it, he be-
came a private in May in the Howitzers, in time to participate in
the terrific struggles at the Wilderness and Spottsylvania Court
House. At Hanover Junction he was again in battle and took
part in the bloody fight at Cold Harbor where the indomitable
courage of the Confederates made a wall of defense against which
the Federal hopes were shattered. Subsequently he was at Deep
Bottom where he was continually under fire from the gunboats.
Sickness now kept him from the ranks awhile, but on recovery
he took part in the Valley campaign, fighting at Winchester, Port
Republic and Cedar Creek. Subsequently he served in the trenches
before Petersburg, and when further defense _ became unavailing,
'participated in the retreat until early in April, 1865, he was cut
ofif from the army in Amelia county, and was never able to re-
join his company. At Cedar Creek he was captured by the enemy,
but soon effected his escape. At the close of hostilities he re-
turned to Richmond, and in 1871 secured a position as guard at
the State penitentiary. With this institution he has been contin-
uously connected since that time, his efficient and faithful service
being rewarded in 1884 by appointment to the position of second
assistant superintendent, and in 1894 to that of assistant super-
intendent, his former office having been abolished. He is a valued
member of R. E. Lee camp. Confederate Veterans.

Thomas Whitehead, distinguished as a gallant soldier during
the war of the Confederacy, and since then as a journalist, political
leader, congressman and State official, was born in Nelson county,
December 27, 1825. He was reared in Amherst county, re-
ceived a common school education, entered mercantile life at the
age of fourteen, and later studied law, of which he began the
practice upon his admission to the bar at Amherst Court House,
in 1849. His civil career was interrupted in 1861 by the call to

Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 148 of 153)