Clement Anselm Evans.

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He served on frontier duty at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. ;
in the Osage country, among the Choctaws, in the Indian
Territory, and at various other frontier posts, until 1844,
when he was sent into Texas, on the expedition to the
Falls of the Brazos. Meanwhile he had been promoted
first lieutenant, and during the Mexican war he received
promotion to captain, and brevet major for gallant and
meritorious conduct in the battle of Buena Vista. Sub-
sequently he returned to frontier duty, from which he
was transferred in 1854 to the pay department at Wash-
ington, with the rank of major. He served in this
capacity at New York, Detroit and San Antonio, Tex. ,
until the spring of 1861, when ho resigned and entered
the Confederate service as lieutenant-colonel in the
adjutant-general's department, soon being promoted col-
onel. When General Lee took command of the army of
Northern Virginia, he applied to Gen. Samuel Cooper for
a suitable officer for chief of staff, and Colonel Chilton
was at once assigned to that important position. Gen-
eral Lee had served with him in Mexico and Texas, and
later in the progress of the war took occasion to write
General Chilton that he had always been zealous and
active in the discharge of his official duties, and never
known to be actuated by any other motive than the
interests of the service. With promotion to the rank of
brigadier-general, and appointment to the position of
inspector-general of tho army of Northern Virginia,
October 28, 1862, Chilton served in the conspicuous posi-
tion of chief of staff through all the campaigns and bat-
tles of the army of Northern Virginia, from June i, 1862,
until April 1, 1864, when he resigned. After the close
of hostilities he made his home at Columbus, Ga. , where
he became interested in manufacturing and resided until
his death, in 1879.



CONFEDERA TE MILITARY HISTORY. 585

Brigadier- General Philip St. George Cocke was born in
Virginia in the year 1808. He was educated at the
United States military academy, and graduated in 1832
with the rank of brevet second lieutenant, and was soon
assigned as second lieutenant to the artillery then sta-
tioned at Charleston, S. C. He served here during the
exciting years of 1832-33, becoming adjutant of the Sec-
ond artillery, July 13, 1833. OnAprili, 1834, he resigned,
and from that time until the outbreak of the Confederate
war lived the life of a planter in Virginia and Mississippi.
He devoted his energies and talents to agricultural pur-
suits, published a book on "Plantation and Farm Instruc-
tion," in 1852, and from 1853 to 1856 was president of the
Virginia State agricultural society. He was prominent
in Virginia councils during the momentous month of
April, 1861, and on April 21st, having been appointed
brigadier-general in the State service, he was assigned
to command of the important frontier military district
along the Potomac river. Three days later, from his
headquarters at Alexandria, he reported to General Lee,
stating that he had but 300 men in sight of an enemy of
10,000 rapidly increasing. Lee commended the policy
Cocke had pursued, and advised him to make known
that he was not there for attack, but that an invasion of
Virginia would be considered an act of war. Cocke made
his headquarters at Culpeper, April 27th, and on May sth
Alexandria was evacuated. He was given charge of the
mustering of volunteer troops in a large part of the State,
with rendezvous at Leesburg, Warrenton, Culpeper,
Charlottesburg and Lynchburg, and he issued a procla-
mation urging rapid enlistment in defense of the State,
not for aggression. In the Confederate States service
he was given the rank of colonel, and in the army of
Beauregard was assigned to command of the Fifth bri-
gade, consisting of the Eighth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth,
Twenty -eighth and Forty-ninth Virginia regiments. For
ability shown in strategic movements at Blackburn's
ford he was officially thanked by Beauregard. On July
20th he was stationed at Ball's ford, on Bull run, and in
the Confederate preparations for the battle of the 21st,
he was given command also of Evans" brigade and various
unassigned companies, including cavalry and artillery.
The contemplated advance which he was to make against
Centreville was abandoned on account of the Federal



586 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

flank movement, and while Evans, reinforced by Bee and
Bartow, opposed the enemy in that quarter, he sustained
the attack in the vicinity of the stone bridge, with his
headquarters at the Lewis house, until at 2 p. m. , about
an hour before the arrival of Elzey, he led his brigade
into action on the left with "alacrity and effect." This
was his last battle. After eight months' service, during
which he was promoted brigadier-general in the provis-
ional army, he returned home, shattered in body and
mind, and his life was terminated December 26, 1861.

Brigadier-General Raleigh Edward Colston was born
at Paris, France, of Virginia parentage, October 31, 1825.
When seventeen years old he came to America with a
passport, as a citizen of the United States, issued by Min-
ister Carr, and entering the Virginia military institute,
was graduated in 1846. He remained at the institute as
a professor until April, 1861, when he marched to Rich-
mond in command of the corps of cadets. In May he
was commissioned colonel of the Sixteenth Virginia regi-
ment of infantry, at Norfolk, and was later assigned to
command of a brigade and a district on the south side of
the James river, with headquarters at Smithfield. He
was promoted brigadier-general December 24, 1861. In
the spring of 1862 he moved his brigade, composed of
the Thirteenth and Fourteenth North Carolina and Third
Virginia regiments, to Yorktown, and participated in the
defense of that post, and after the retreat to Williamsburg,
in the battle there and at Seven Pines. He was then
disabled by illness until December, 1862, when he was
assigned to command of a brigade in the department
of Southern Virginia and North Carolina, and from Jan-
uary to March, 1863, was in command, at Petersburg.
After the battle of Fredericksburg he was assigned, at
Stonewall Jackson's request, to the Third brigade of
Jackson's old division, and previous to the battle of
Chancellorsville was given command of the division,
which was distinguished for heroism on the 2d and 3d of
May, participating, under his command, in the onslaught
made in the evening of Saturday, and fighting desper-
ately during the storm of battle which swayed to and fro
over the Federal works on Sunday morning. On Sunday
afternoon he made an advance toward the United States
ford, in which his division, suffered severely. His divi-



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 587

sion lost at Chancellorsville i,86o men out of about 6,000,
including 8 brigade commanders, 3 of whom were killed.
General Colston rendered especially valuable services in
rallying the men under the terrific fire of the enemy's
artillery, after Jackson fell, and again on Sunday morn-
ing after the Federal forces had reoccupied their intrench-
ments. In the latter part of May, on account of the
objection of the colonels of North Carolina regiments to
service under a Virginia brigade commander. General
Lee put a Marylander, George H. Steuart, in command,
and General Colston was ordered to report to General
Cooper at Richmond. In October he was assigned to
command at Savannah, Ga. In April, 1864, he returned
to Virginia, and was assigned by General Wise to provis-
ional command at Petersburg. On the night of June
8th-9th the lines were threatened by the Federal cavalry,
and the alarm bells called out the home guards, old men
and boys, the regular troops having been transferred to
Lee's army. Immediately offering his services to Gen-
eral Wise he was ordered to take command on the line of
lunettes, which then constituted the major part of the
defenses, with the injunction to hold out imtil Wise could
bring up his reserves. Colston joined Major Archer, who
had less than 200 at the point attacked, and skillfully
directed the desperate defense, holding his position until
almost surrounded, when he made an orderly retreat, in
which he seized a musket and fought with his men. The
time gained by this gallant resistance enabled Graham's
battery and Bearing's cavalry to come up in time to
rout the Federal column, which was about to occupy the
city. In July, General Colston was assigned to command
of the post at Lynchburg, where he remained until the
surrender. Subsequently he was engaged in lecturing
and in the conduct of a military academy at Wilming-
ton, N. C, until 1873, when he entered the military serv-
ice of the Khedive of Egypt, in which he remained until
1879, meanwhile conducting two important exploring
expeditions to the Soudan. During his last expedition
he was paralyzed, and was carried hundreds of miles
across the desert on a litter. Returning to Virginia he
engaged in literary work and lecturing, and from 1882 to
1894 held a position in the war department at Washing-
ton. He passed the remainder of his days in the Soldiers'
home at Richmond, and died July 29, 1896.



588 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

Brigadier-General Montgomery D. Corse was born at
Alexandria, D. C, March 14, 1816, and after receiving
an academic education entered business with his father
at his native city. Taking a prominent part in the
organization of local militia at the time of the Texas
troubles, he served through the Mexican war as captain
of Company B, First regiment Virginia volunteers.
Early in 1849 he sailed to California, and during the
opening of the gold fields was occupied there in various
ways, including service as captain of the Sutter Rifles,
of Sacramento city, until 1856, when he returned to
Alexandria and formed a partnership with his brother in
the banking business. In i860 he organized the "Old
Dominion Rifles" at Alexandria, and later in the year
became major of the battalion which included the Alex-
andria Riflemen, Capt. Morton Marye, the Mount Ver-
non Guard, his own company under Capt. Arthur Her-
bert, and the Alexandria artillery, Capt. Delaware
Kemper. Major Corse served as assistant adjutant-gen-
eral until the evacuation of Alexandria, and was then
assigfned with his battalion to the Seventeenth Virginia
regiment, of which he was promoted colonel. In Long-
street's, later Kemper's brigade, he took part in the affair
at Blackburn's ford and the battles of Manassas, York-
town, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, and the Seven Days'
fighting before Richmond. In the second battle of
Manassas he commanded the brigade, and was slightly
wounded, but continued on duty; fought at Boonsboro,
receiving a second wound; and led the remnant of
his regiment, 56 men, in the battle of Sharpsburg. The
story of their devotion is told by the fact that but seven
remained in the ranks at the end of the fight — Maj.
Arthur Herbert, Lieut. Thomas Perry, and five privates.
Colonel Corse was severely wounded and for a time lay
within the enemy's lines, but was recovered by an
advance of the Confederate troops. In October, General
Kemper forwarded to the secretary of war two battle-
flags captured by the Seventeenth regiment, asking that
they be preserved with some honorable mention of the
brave men commanded by Colonel Corse, "by whose
splendid gallantry the trophies were captured. ' ' Upon
this communication General Longstreet endorsed: "Col-
onel Corse is one of the most gallant and worthy officers
in this army. He and his regiment have been distin-



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 589

guished in at least ten of the severest battles of the war. ' '
R. E. Lee added: "This regiment and its gallant colonel
challenge the respect and admiration of their country-
men. " November i, 1862, he was promoted to brigadier-
general and assigned to the command of Pickett's old
brigade. While in winter quarters he obtained leave of
absence and was married to Elizabeth Beverly, but
was soon afterward called to Fredericksburg to take com-
mand of a new brigade of Virginians for Pickett's divi-
sion, composed of the Fifteenth, Seventeenth, Thirtieth
and Thirty-second regiments, to which the Twenty-ninth
was added later. During the Pennsylvania campaign of
1863 he was on duty with his brigade at Hanover Junc-
tion. Rejoining the army near Winchester, he moved in
advance as Lee fell back toward the Rappahannock, and
rendered valuable service in driving the enemy from
Chester and Manassas gaps. In the fall and winter of
1863-64 he took his brigade to southwest Virginia and
east Tennessee, co-operating with Longstreet; engaged
the enemy at Dandridge in January, and then returned
to Petersburg. Ordered at once to Kinston, N. C, he
took part in the operations against New Bern until
called to the defense of Richmond. He and his brigade
were distinguished in the defeat of Butler at Drewry's
bluff. May 16th. He shared the service of Pickett's
division during the siege of Petersburg and Richmond.
In the spring of 1865 Corse and his men fought bravely
at Dinwiddle Court House and Five Forks, and ended
their military career with honor at Sailor's creek. After
the surrender by Ewell, General Corse was conveyed to
Fort Warren, and there confined until August, 1865. He
left Washington on his way to Fort Warren on the day
that Lincoln was assassinated, and he and the fourteen
generals accompanying him narrowly escaped the vio-
lence of a mob at a town in Pennsylvania, on the next
morning. Nothing saved them that day but the pluck
and determination of the small guard of Union soldiers
and officers who had them in charge. After his release
from Fort Warren he returned to Alexandria and
engaged in the banking business with his two brothers,
J. D. and William Corse. He was very seriously injured
in the fall of a part of the capitol at Richmond. It is
probable that the injuries received on this occasion
caused in part the blindness from which he suffered for



590 CONFEDERA TE MILITARY HISTORY.

some years. With the exception of poor eyesight he was
in the best of health until about a year before his death,
which occurred February ii, 1895, after a short illness.

Brigadier-General James Bearing, of Virginia, was
born in Campbell county, April 25, 1840. He was a
great-grandson of Col. Charles Lynch, of revolutionary
fame, who, through his summary way of treating the
Tories, gave his name what is now known as "lynch
law. " He was educated at Hanover academy, Virginia,
and was appointed a cadet in the United States military
academy. He resigned as soon as the adherence of Vir-
ginia to the Confederacy was determined upon, and
entered the Confederate army. He chose the artillery
service at the outset, becoming a lieutenant of the Wash-
ington artillery, of New Orleans, a fine organization
which created much enthusiasm on its arrival in Vir-
ginia. His brilliant service in the artillery led to his
promotion to captain of a battery attached to Pickett's
division. As lieutenant and captain he participated in
the principal battles of the army of Northern Virginia
until after Chancellorsville, when he was promoted
major, and put in command of a battalion of eighteen
guns in the reserve artillery of Longstreet's corps. He
reached the battlefield of Gettysburg with Pickett's
division, and took part in the tremendous artillery duel
which followed on the third day. In the winter of 1863-64,
Pickett, having been assigned with the remnant of his
division to the district of North Carolina, with headquar-
ters at Petersburg, Va. , found himself in need of cavalry,
and collecting various companies of mounted men, he
wrote to the secretary of war, "I shall assign them to the
command of Major Bearing, and ask that he may be
ordered to the command of these troops, with the tem-
porary rank of colonel. He is a young officer of daring
and coolness combined, the very man for the service
upon which he is going, a good disciplinarian, and at the
same time generally beloved by his men. I am not say-
ing too much in his absence in assuring you that General
Longstreet would strongly endorse his claims to promo-
tion had he the opportunity." Bearing was at once
given this command, though Lee wrote a few days later,
in ordering the New Bern expedition, "I propose Major
Bearing for the command of the artillery of this expedi-



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 691

tion." The appreciation of his service in the artillery
was still further shown on April 5, 1864, when Lieuten-
ant-Colonel Bearing was ordered to report to General
Lee for assignment to command of the horse artillery of
the army of Northern Virginia. Bearing's service, how-
ever, was from the beginning of 1864 in the cavalry.
The regiment collected for him by Pickett was called
Bearing's Confederate cavalry, and other cavalry com-
mands were put in his charge during the New Bern
expedition, in which he was distinguished, and was pro-
moted brigadier-general. Early in May he was called to
the Petersburg lines, on account of the opening of Grant's
campaign. At first stationed on the Weldon railroad,
and in command of a brigade consisting of his regiment,
a Georgia regiment and two other North Carolina regi-
ments of cavalry, a Virginia battalion and Graham's light
artillery, he was soon called to the line of Swift's creek
and Brewry's bluff, to meet the advance of Butler. On
June 9th his command engaged Grant's cavalry at Res-
ervoir hill, and drove the enemy from the field by
an impetuous charge. On the isth of June, Grant's
whole army now being south of the James, Bearing's
regiment made a gallant stand against the advance,
which Beauregard reported as of incalculable advantage,
to his command. Subsequently he commanded a bri-
gade of W. H. F. Lee's cavalry division, and shared the
duties of that command throughout the remainder of
the war. Buring the retreat in April, 1865, he was mor-
tally wounded in a remarkable encounter with Brig. -Gen.
Theodore Read, of the United States army. The two
generals met on the 5 th of April at High Bridge on the
Appomattox, at the head of their forces, and a duel with
pistols ensued. General Read was instantly killed, but
General Bearing lingered for a few days after the siir-
render of General Lee, when he died in the old City
hotel at Lynchburg.

Brigadier- General John Echols was bom March 20,
1823, at Lynchburg, Va., and was educated at the Vir-
ginia military institute, Washington college and Har-
vard college. Entering upon the practice of law at
Staunton he soon attained distinction. He was a man of
magnificent figure, standing 6 feet 4 inches, and his
mental qualities fully sustained his physical capacity for



592 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

leadership. After taking a prominent part in the Vir-
ginia convention of 1861, he offered his military services,
and was promptly commissioned lieutenant-colonel, and
ordered by General Lee to call out and muster in the
volunteer forces in the vicinity of Staunton, including
the mountain counties, for Johnston's army. This work
done he was assigned to the Twenty-seventh regiment,
which he commanded at First Manassas, where he had a
gallant part in earning the title of the "Stonewall bri-
gade. " He was soon afterward promoted colonel, and in
this rank served with Stonewall Jackson in the Shenan-
doah valley through the winter and spring of 1861-62.
In Jackson's report of the battle of Kernstown he related
that "Col. John Echols with his regiment, with skirmish-
ers thrown forward, kept in advance and opened the
infantry engagement, in which it was supported by the
Twenty-first. Well did these two regiments do their
duty, driving back the enemy twice in quick succession.
Soon a severe wound compelled the noble leader of the
Twenty-seventh to leave the field." This wound,
received March 23d, disabled him for some time. His
gallantry was recognized by promotion to brigadier-gen-
eral in April, 1862, and a few months later he was
assigned to command of a brigade of the army of West-
ern Virginia, with which he was afterward prominently
identified. He participated as a brigade commander in
Loring's occupation of the Kanawha valley in Septem-
ber, and after Loring had withdrawn to the mountains,
Echols was assigned to the command of the army of the
department of Western Virginia, superseding Loring.
He promptly reoccupied Charleston, but was again com-
pelled to retire before superior forces. He resigned his
department command in the spring of 1863, and during
the following summer served upon the court of inquiry
held at Richmond to investigate the cause of the fall of
Vicksburg, Gens. Howell Cobb and Robert Ransom
being the other members. Later in the year he com-
manded the Confederate forces in the battle of Droop
Mountain, West Virginia, a hard-fought contest, in which
his command, though forced to retire, gave an effectual
check to the Federal plans. In May, 1864, he commanded
Breckinridge's right wing at the successful battle of New
Market, in the Valley, and was then called with his bri-
gade to Lee's army on the Cold Harbor line, where he



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 593

served with credit On August 22, 1864, he was given
charge of the district of Southwestern Virginia, and on
March 29, 1865, was ordered to the command of the
western department of Virginia, relieving General
Breckinridge. On April 2d he began a march to unite
with Lee, and reached Christiansburg on the loth, where
he received a telegram announcing the surrender at
Appomattox. It was a terrible blow to his little army of
6,000 or 7,000 men, and caused indescribable consterna-
tion. At a council of war it was determined to march to
unite with Johnston's army, and Echols set out at the
head of Vaughn's and Duke's brigades on the nth.
Subsequently he accompanied President Davis to Au-
gusta, Ga. , and was for a short time in command at that
place. After the close of hostilities he re-entered the
law practice at Staunton, also exerted a beneficent iniiu-
ence in public affairs as a member of the committee of
nine, in restoring Virginia to its proper relations with
the general government, and as a member of the Vir-
ginia legislature. He was one of the early members of
Stonewall Jackson camp. Confederate veterans, at Staun-
ton, and was always faithful to the soldiers of the Con-
federacy. He was very successful both in law and in
business, displaying great executive ability; became
president of the Staunton National Valley bank, and
receiver and general manager of the Chesapeake, Ohio &
Southwestern railroad. The duties of the latter oflBice
required his residence in Kentucky during the last ten
years of his life. He was twice married, first to a sister
of Senator Allen T. Caperton, of West Virginia, and after
her death to Mrs. Mary Cochrane Reid, of New York.
He died at the residence of his son. State Senator Edward
Echols, at Staunton, May 24, 1896.

Brigadier-General John B. Floyd, of Virginia, was
bom at Blacksburg, Pulaski county, June i, 1801. He
was the son of Hon. John Floyd, a Democratic states-
man of the old school, who served in Congress for sev-
eral terms, was governor of the State, and in 1852 was a
candidate for the presidency of the United States.
Young Floyd was educated at the college of South Caro-
lina, with graduation in 1826, after which he studied law
and was admitted to practice. Turning to the West for
a field of effort, he removed to Arkansas, but three years

Va88



694 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

later again made his home in Virginia. He resumed the
practice of his profession in Washington county, and took
an active and prominent part in the political affairs of
the day. After serving three terms in the legislature
he was elected governor of Virginia in 1850. In 1853 he
was again elected to the legislature, and in 1856 he was a
delegate to the national Democratic convention. In the
ensuing campaign he supported Buchanan, and when that
gentleman was inaugurated president he called Floyd to
his cabinet as secretary of war, where he served until the
latter part of December, i860. After the secession move-
ment had begun in the South it was charged by Floyd's
political opponents in the North that he had been secretly
aiding in advance the Confederate cause by dispersing
the army to distant points on the frontier, by shipping"
an undue proportion of arms and munitions to South-
ern posts, and that he was privy to the abstraction of
$870,000 in bonds from the department of the interior.
He was indicted accordingly at Washington, but he



Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 58 of 153)