Clement Anselm Evans.

Confederate military history; a library of Confederate States history online

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son of Pleasant and Virginia (Forsee) Wilkinson, natives of Ches-
terfield county, who gave two other sons to the Confederate army:
Edward "Thomas, who died in the service, and Robert E., who



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 1267

was killed in battle. William S. was educated in Clifton acad-
emy, and at the Baltimore dental college, after which he practiced
dentistry in Amelia county from 1858 to 1861. For several years
prior to 1861 he was a member of the Amelia cavalry and with
that organization entered the active military service in April, 1861.
The troop was assigned to the First Virginia cavalry, Col. J. E.
B. Stuart, as Company G. He participated in the first battle of
Manassas, and continued in the field until compelled to retire on
account of illness. Subsequently he served as a hospital steward
at Seabrooke hospital, Richmond, until the capital was evacuated,
when he was assigned to the same work at Danville. Upon the
receipt of news of Lee's surrender he joined the army in North
Carolina and was paroled at Greensboro. Returning to his home
he resumed his professional practice, but in 1871 made his home
at Danville, where he has since had a successful career. He is a
member of Cabell-Graves camp.

Thomas W. Willcox, a successful farmer of Charles City county,
was a true-blue Virginian in the days of civil war, and devoted
his energies to the cause which was dear to the loyal Southerner.
His father. Dr. Edward Willcox, served his country in the war
of 1812. Thomas W. was born November 17, 1832, and during
the war of the Confederacy served as a lieutenant in the Charles
City troop, until disabled by disease, then in the conscript bureau,
and is still living and engaged in agriculture. He wedded Martha
Ann Claiborne, who was born April 2, 1840, in Amherst county,
a daughter of Dr. William S. Claiborne, whose father was Buller
Claiborne, well known as a lawyer in his day. Mrs. Willcox is
descended from William Claiborne, long ago a famous character
in English history. Judge Thomas H. Willcox, son of the fore-
going, was born in New Glasgow, Amherst county, October 4,
1859, Ijut was reared in Charles City county and became a student
in the Virginia agricultural and mechanical college at Blacks-
burg, Va. After being graduated at that institution in 1877, he
determined to embrace the profession of law, and after six years'
study and experience in the clerk's offices of Charles City county
and Norfolk, began the practice in 1884, as a partner of Thomas
R. Borland, of Norfolk. This legal firm has ever since been main-
tained, and is eminently successful in business and of high repute
in the profession. In May, 1886, Mr. Willcox was elected com-
monwealth's attorney, and being three times re-elected, held the
position for eight years. He was elected in February, 1894, to
the office of judge of the corporation court of Norfolk, but this
he resigned in the following December in order to devote his
time to practice as an attorney. Mr. Willcox takes an active part
in social religious and fraternal life. He was married in October,
i88s, to Mary C, daughter of Rev. Thomas M. Ambler, of Nor-
folk and they have six children: Mary A., Thomas H., Claiborne,
Cary Ambler, Edward R. and Charles S. ^ . ,

Captain Charles U. Williams, of Richmond, who served with
distinction in the army of Virginia from Harper's Ferry to Ap-
pomattox, was born in Henrico county m 1840. During the ex-
citing events of i860 he was a student at the university of Vir-
ginia and was a member of a company of students officered en-
tirely by graduates of the Virginia military institute. Thoroughly
loyal to his State, he wa.ยป prompt to act, and on the night of



1268 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

the day rendered memorable by the passage of the ordinance of
secession, he left the university to lead the life of a soldier, and
was with his company from the university at the occupation - of
Harper's Ferry, April i8, 1861. Ten days later he enlisted with
the Second Richmond Howitzers, and rendered- efficient service
with that command until February i, 1862, when he was ordered
to Richmond and was detailed as drill-master for artillery. He
acted in this capacity until July, 1862, receiving meanwhile, in the
month of May, a commission as second lieutenant in the provis-
ional army of the Confederate States. In July he went upon the
staff of Brig.-Gen. D. R. Jones, as aide-de-camp, and served with
that officer until his death in January, 1863, when he was ap-
pointed to the staff of Brig.-Gen. M. D. Corse, first as aide-de-
camp, subsequently being promoted adjutant and inspector-gen-
eral. In this rank he remained with Corse's brigade until on May
12, 1864, he was captured by the Federal forces near the Half Way
House, between Richmond and Petersburg. His detention as a
prisoner of war continued from that date until January, 1863, when
he was paroled, and the dreary months of restraint and privation
were passed at Point Lookout and Fort Delaware. Upon being
exchanged March i, 1865, he immediately rejoined the army and
reported for duty. After the close of the struggle he returned to
Richmond and began the practice of law, in which he has since
become distinguished, ranking with the leading jurists of the
State.

David E. Williams, of Portsmouth, a gallant Confederate soldier
who shared the fortunes of the Old Dominion Guard from Fred-
ericksburg to Five Forks, was born at Portsmouth, April 21, 1844.
His father, David Williams, was also a native of Portsmouth, born
November 4, 1808, died March 15, 1895. His mother, whose
maiden name was Thyrza Consolvo, was born in Norfolk county
September 3, 1809, and died December 27, 1890. At the outbreak
of the war in 1861, young Williams had not yet reached the age
of eighteen years, but he was firmly devoted to the cause, and in ~
the fall of 1862 he enlisted as a private in Company K of the
Ninth Virginia regiment of infantry, a company which originally
was the Old Dominion Guard, and at the time of his enlistment
was commanded by Capt. H. A. Allen. Subsequently Private
Williams participated in the campaigns and battles of Armistead's
brigade and Pickett's division of the army of Northern Virginia,
including the gallant fighting of his regiment at Five Forks. At
the latter engagement he was wounded, and soon afterward cap-
tured. He was held as a prisoner of war at Point Lookout until
June 16, 1865, when he was paroled and permitted to return to
his home. Since the war he has resided at Portsmouth and has
been successfully engaged in the mercantile business. He is -a
member of Stonewall camp. Confederate Veterans, and of the
Episcopal church. On January 29, 1867, he was married to AUce
Rebecca Guy, of Portsmouth, and they have five children living.
Private Williams was the. youngest of five brothers who entered
the Confederate service, and of whom the only other survivor is
Luther J. Williams, of Portsmouth, also of the Old Dominion
Guard, who was wounded and disabled at Seven Pines. Lemuel
H., of Company G of the Ninth Virginia regiment, who was Idlled
at the stone wall on Cemetery hill, Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, bear-



CONFEDERA TE MILITARY HISTORY. 1269

ing aloft the colors of his regiment; William Wilson, of Com-
pany G, Sixteenth mfantry, was killed at Malvern Hill; and Charles
Consolvo, of Grimes' battery, who gave up his life at Sharpsburg.

John J. Williams, of Winchester, well known in the valley as
an attorney, was distinguished during the war of the Confederacy
as a soldier, and during the period subsequent has taken a lead-
ing part in the organizations of the survivors of the army. He
was born at Winchester, Va., June 8, 1842, the son of Philip and
Mary L. L. (Dunbar) Williams. Reared and educated at his native
town, he was about to undertake a university course when Vir-
ginia called out her young men to battle. On July 16, 1861, he
enlisted in the Rockbridge artillery, and a few days later was en-
gaged in battle at Manassas. He participated in the subsequent
service of this famous battery until after the battle of Sharpsburg,
when an injury to his ankle forced him to obtain a transfer to
Chew's battery of horse artillery. In April, 1864, he was trans-
ferred to Company E of the Eleventh Virginia cavalry, with which
he served until Appomattox. His service in these commands was
most worthy, and his gallantry in more than forty skirmishes and
battles in which he took part was recognized near the close of
the war by promotion to lieutenant. His commission never
reached him, however, owing to the termination of hostilities.
Returning home after the surrender, he resumed his studies and
entered the office of Judge Richard Parker, where he prepared for
the practice of law. Soon embarking at Winchester in this pro-
fession, he has since followed it with notable success. His pro-
fessional standing has been attested by his election as vice-presi-
dent of the Virginia bar association. As a public-spirited citizen
he has had an active participation in various local enterprises.
For three years, including the Yorktown encampment, he served
as captain of the Winchester light infantry. He has held the posi-
tion of president of the Shenandoah valley agricultural association
two years, and has twice been elected mayor of Winchester. He
is one of the early members of the Turner Ashby camp, United
Confederate Veterans, of which he has acted as commander for
five terms. He is also vice-president of the Rockbridge artillery
association, and becoming grand commander of the grand camp
of Confederate Veterans of Virginia, for the unexpired term end-
ing in October, 1888, was re-elected for the annual term next
thereafter. Captain Williams came out of the war ready to join
hands with his former foe in the cordial support of the common
country as established by the arbitrament of arms, but he still
holds in honor the cause for which he fought and his comrades
who fought with him. His sentiments were well expressed in an
address on a Memorial day at Charlestown, W. Va. : "Let Eng-
land's nobility boast of Norman blood and of names on the roll
of Battle Abbey. The boy who can say of his father, he was with
Lee at Appomattox, has a patent of nobility that no herald's col-
lege can match, and for coat of arms can point to the ragged
gray jacket and the battered saber, though they grace but a cot-
tage wall, and the form that wore and the hand that grasped them
were of the humbler ones of earth."

Colonel Lewis B. Williams was, before the civil war, a rising
lawyer of Orange Court House, and when Virginia called her
sons to arms he promptly obeyed her command and entered the
Va 80



1270 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

Confederate service as captain of , a company from his county.
His company was assigned to the Thirteenth Virginia regiment,
which in Elzey's brigade acted a splendid part at the first battle
of Manassas. At the battle of Williamsburg, Williams was very
conspicuous. He had now been appointed colonel of the First
Virginia, and Gen. A. P. Hill says of him on the occasion of a
charge made by his command: "It was during this charge that
I saw Colonel Williams cheering his men on, and nobly followed
by them. In conjunction with one or two companies of the Ninth
Alabama he captured a battery of eight guns. ... He tell se-
verely wounded through the body about 6 o'clock." As soon as his
wound would permit he was in the field again. At the time of
the battle of Chancellorsville he was in southeast Virginia with
the division of Pickett, which was called northward again when
Lee began his march into Pennsylvania, reaching Gettysburg in
time to lead in the grand charge upon the Union center on the
3d of July. It consisted of the splendid brigades of Barnett, Ar-
mistead and Kemper, to which last brigade was attached the First
Virginia, led by Colonel Williams. Every one is familiar with
the story of the great assault, which has been styled by the Union
General Buell, "the hopeless but immortal charge against Cem-
etery hill." In this desperate fight Colonel Williams received his
mortal wound and the services of this gallant officer were lost to
Virginia and the South.

Luther J. Williams, of Portsmouth, who went into the war of
the Confederacy as a member of the Old Dominion Guard, was
born at Portsmouth, August 4, 1831. His father, David Williams,
an esteemed citizen of Portsmouth, during the greater part of the
century, the son of Wilson and Mary (Avery) Williams, was born
in the house in which his son Luther now resides, in 1808 and
died in 1894. The mother, Thirza Consolvo. a native of Norfolk,
was the daughter of William and Mary (Wright) Consolvo, the
father being of Spanish descent. She died in 1889. These parents
gave five sons to the Confederate army: Luther J., Lemuel H.,
William W., Charles C. and David E. The latter's service is else-
where given, and as is there stated, three of the brothers, Lemuel,
William and Charles, gave their lives for the cause. Few families
in the South contributed with a more noble generosity to the
Confederate cause, or suffered more from the fatalities of war.
Luther Williams was reared and educated at his native city, and
when the time arrived for him to choose his career in life, be-
came apprenticed with a ship carpenter at Baltimore. Subse-
quently he was employed in this occupation at the old Gosport
navy yard until the breaking out of the war. He was a member
of the Old Dominion Guard, famous among the militia commands
of Virginia before 1861, and as a private entered the active service
on April 19, 1861, serving at once in defense of the navy yard, and
afterward on garrison duty at Pinner's Point until the evacuation
of Norfolk. The command then marched to Petersburg and was
attached to the Ninth Virginia regiment of infantry as Company
K. Then moving to the front before Richmond, Private Wil-
liams took part in the battle of Seven Pines, and in the fight of
June I, 1862, was wounded in the right foot, the injury being of
such a severe character that he was disabled for three months,
and at the expiration of that time was detailed for duty in the navy



CONFEDERA TE MILITARY HISTORY. 1271

department. He remained at Richmond, working in one of the
navy yards, until near the close of the war. When Richmond
was evacuated, he joined the forces which were contributed to
the army by the navy department and marching with the army
on the retreat, joined in the surrender at Appomattox, and was
paroled with the heroic remnant under the command of Lee.
Returning to Portsmouth he resumed his work, and is now es-
teemed as one of the worthy citizens of that place who have con-
tributed to the growth and welfare of the city. He is a member of
the Masonic order, and a Knight Templar, and is a valued com-
rade of Stonewall camp, United Confederate Veterans.

William G. Williams, of Orange Court House, Va., whose mili-
tary career was identified with that of the Fifty-eighth Virginia
infantry regiment, was born November 8, 1829, at the town where
he now resides. He was educated at the university of Virginia
and pursued the study of law at William and Mary college, gaining
admittance to practice at the bar in the year 1853. He was sub-
sequently engaged in the practice of this profession at Orange
Court House until 1857, when he removed to Richmond and en-
gaged in educational work. In October, 1861, he enlisted in the
Confederate service as regimental commissary of the Fifty-eighth
Virginia infantry, and continued in this capacity during his serv-
ice, also for some time acting as brigade commissary of Hoflfman's
jjrigade, Early's division. In August, 1864, while gathering cattle
in Hampshire county, W. Va., he was captured by a party of
Federals, and was sent to Camp Chase, Ohio, where he was de-
tained as a prisoner of war until February, 1865. He was then
sent to Richmond and paroled, but before he could be exchanged
the war came to an end. He was faithful and efficient in his
services and is highly deserving of honorable remembrance by
Confederates. With the return of peace he resumed his law prac-
tice at Orange Court House, and in 1870 he was elected judge of
the county court. After ten years' service in this honored posi-
tion, he resigned and abandoning his professional work, em-
barked in the coal trade on the West Virginia rivers, a business
which occupied his attention until 1883. He then returned to
Orange, and engaged in business until 189s, when he retired from
his long, active and prosperous career. In 1897 he was honored
by election to the Virginia house of delegates by his native county.
Judge Williams was married September 10, 1857, to Miss Roberta
Hansbrough, and they have four living children: William Clay-
ton, Lewis B., Bessie C. and James S. Williams.

J. T. Williamson, of Norfolk, a veteran of the "Norfolk Juniors,"
one of the gallant volunteer organizations that sprang to arms
at the call of the State in 1861, was born in Princess Anne county
in 1830. His ancestors had for many years resided upon a planta-
tion in Princess Anne county and represented one of the oldest
and most worthy families of the State. His father was Abel Wil-
liamson, his grandfather Caleb Williamson, a soldier of the war
of 1812. His mother was Mollie, daughter of Josiah William-
son, of Princess Anne county. When Mr. Williamson was six-
teen years of age he went to Norfolk and was apprenticed to the
carpenter's craft, with John W. Whitehurst. Four years later he
began work for himself, and in 1859 embarked in business as a
contractor, which has been his business since that time, except



1272 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

while engaged in the service of the Confederate States. Early in
1861 he enlisted in the Norfolk Juniors, a company which was
mustered in as Company H of the Twelfth Virginia infantry. He
was with his command at Norfolk until the evacuation, when he
went with his command by way of Petersburg and Richmond into
the Peninsular campaign and fought under Lee at Seven Pines,
Frayser's Farm and Malvern Hill. Subsequently he was in camp
at Louisa Court House until the opening of the Manassas cam-
paign. He fought at the second battle of that name, and was
then compelled by sickness to go to the hospital where he was
quarantined about six weeks on account of the breaking out of
small-pox. In January, 1863, he rejoined his command at the
old Brick church near Petersburg, in winter quarters. In the
following spring, while doing picket duty, he was captured by the
enemy, and held as a prisoner at Washington and Fort Delaware.
After a few weeks he was exchanged and he was able to rejoin
his command near Winchester on the retreat from Pennsylvania.
He participated in the subsequent operations of the army on the
Rappahannock and Rapidan, fighting at Bristoe Station and Mine
Run, and passed the winter in camp at Henderson's Crossing.
In the campaign of 1864 he fought through the Wilderness and
Spottsylvania battles, and at Cold Harbor, and was subsequently
on duty in the trenches at Petersburg, where he took part in the
battle of the Crater, until the engagement at Hatcher's Run, when
he was again captured by the Federals. Sent to the prison camp
at Point Lookout he was held there until May, 1865, after the war
was over. He rejoined his family, after an absence of over three
years, and resumed his former occupation as a builder and con-
tractor. In this business he has been very successful, and though
mainly confining his work to residences, has erected some hand-
some business and public buildings. He has served as health in-
spector of the city two years, is a member of Pickett-Buchanan
camp, and of the Odd Fellows, Knights of Honor and Knights of
Pythias. He was married October g, 1851, to Mary F., daughter
of John Whitehurst, of Princess Anne county.

Marion G. Willis, of Fredericksburg, though but nineteen years
old at the close of the war, served two years with distinction as a
member of the Sixth Virginia cavalry. He is the son of Rev.
John C. Willis, a Baptist clergyman, and native of Orange county,
who was the second of twenty-one children of Larkin Willis, son
of Capt. Isaac Willis. Ten of the brothers of John C. Willis
served in the army of Northern Virginia, of whom one was killed
and another died in prison at Point Lookout. Their mother was
Mary Catesby Woodford, of Caroline county, the granddaughter
of Gen. William Woodford, of the Revolutionary army. She died
in August, 1894, on the day following the demise of her hus-
band. Marion G. Willis was born in Orange county, April 7. 1846,
and was reared upon the farm of his father until April 30, 1863,
when he enlisted in Company I, Sixth Virginia cavalry, originally
known as the Orange Rangers. He served in the brigade com-
manded by W. E. Jones, Lomax and Payne, and Fitzhugh Lee's
division through the campaigns in eastern Virginia and the Shen-
andoah valley, until the latter part of January, 1865, when he was
sent to the hospital at Charlottesville. While at home on leave
of absence to secure a horse, the war came to an end. He is a



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 1273

man of splendid physique and dauntless courage, and was con-
spicuous among the gallant troopers of the cavalry corps. In a
fight at Summit Point, in August, 1864, he was cut off from his
comrades and called upon to surrender. But though surrounded,
he did not stop to consider that proposition, and emptied his re-
volvers at the enemy, and drawing his saber, cut his way with
reckless daring through the Federal Hne. As he galloped toward
his command, who were witnesses of his bravery and were loudly
cheering him, a volley was fired by the enemy, from which he
received a wound in the foot and his horse four wounds. But
he gained a place of safety, wheeling as he went, to derisively
call upon the Yankees to follow him. In 1873 Mr. Willis left his
farm home in Orange county and embarked in business at Fred-
ericksburg as a merchant, beginning a successful career of over
a quarter century. Since 1879 he has been a member of the city
council, and has served as chairman of the finance committee. He
is also president of the city telephone company. On May 17, 1866,
he was married to Lucy Taylor Gordon, of Culpeper county, and
they have two children: Nannie G. and Marion G., Jr.

Alexander Wilson, a prominent business man of Petersburg,
who prizes the memory of honorable service in the army of North-
ern Virginia, is a native of Scotland. He was educated at Edin-
burgh, his native city, and in 1852, at the age of twenty-two years,
landed at New York city, and thence in 1854 removed to Peters-
burg. Here he embarked in the grocery business in which he has
since been engaged, except during his military service. Upon
the secession of Virginia he determined to give his aid in the
defense of the State, and on April 19th he enlisted in Company
C of the Twelfth Virginia infantry regiment, subsequently dis-
tinguished in Mahone's brigade. He was stationed with his com-
pany at Norfolk until the evacuation of that region by the Con-
federates, when the demands of his business compelled him to fur-
nish a substitute for a time. In 1863 he re-enlisted in Company
A of the Ninth Virginia infantry, Armistead's brigade, Pickett's
division, with which he serired in the defense of Richmond and
Petersburg, combating the raids under Dahlgren and Sheridan,
and the advance of Butler's army. He participated in the defeat
of Butler's forces at Drewry's Bluff, in May, 1864, and again at
Chester Station, in the following month. He subsequently served
on the Bermuda Hundred line with Pickett's division until he
was captured near Bowling Green, and thence taken to Point
Lookout and Elmira, N. Y., where he was held as a prisoner of
war until after the close of hostilities. He then returned to Peters-
burg and set to work to rebuild his business, and in spite of the
ravages of the war and many discouraging circumstances, has in
the years which elapsed, succeeded remarkably in his enterprises.
His business establishment is one of the institutions of the city
and he is a popular and influential citizen.

Captain Charles W. Wilson, of Norfolk, who did gallant service
in the army of Northern Virginia, was born at Norfolk, February
8 1838. He is of a family descended from one of two brothers
vvho came to Virginia from Scotland in colonial times and oc-
cupied a large grant of land in Norfolk county. His father, Na-
thaniel Wilson, a prominent planter, born in 1792, died in 1856,
was married in 1822 to Mary Land, who was born in Princess



Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 150 of 153)