Clement Anselm Evans.

Confederate military history; a library of Confederate States history online

. (page 63 of 153)
Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 63 of 153)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


fell, as Jackson had fallen on the former field. When his
division commander was called to fill Longstreet's place,
Mahone was given command of Anderson's division, and
Longstreet added his voice to that of A. P. Hill in recom-
mending the promotion of the dashing infantry chieftain.
As a division commander, though without the official
rank, he was distinguished in a successful attack upon
Hancock, May loth, and the severe repulse and almost
capture of a portion of Warren's corps on the North
Anna. Before Petersburg he brilliantly defended the
Weldon railroad, and at the time of the breaking of the
Confederates lines by the explosion of a mine, July 30th,
he was specially distinguished. Moving promptly with
his division to the relief of Gen. Bushrod Johnson's men,
he engaged in repeated desperate charges, which finally
resulted in the utter repulse and terrible slaughter of the
enemy. Here the tardy promotion arrived, he being
promoted major-general on the field by General Lee,
which was promptly confirmed by the President and Con-
gress. Of Mahone 's part in the battle of the Crater,
Col. W. H. Stuart, of the Sixty -first Virginia, has said :
"The whole movement was under his immediate and
personal direction, and to him, above all, save the brave
men who bore the muskets, belong the honor and credit
of recapturing the Confederate lines." To the last he
held his men together in a remarkably spirited and
unified organization, which was inspired with a strong
esprit du corps, and distinguished for readiness to take
all chances in either defense or assault. He surrendered
at Appomattox, and returned to the railroad manage-
ment from which he had been called four years before.
Becoming president of the two lines extending from
Petersburg to Bristol, Tenn., he consolidated the three
companies into the Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio railroad
company, which he managed until the financial crisis of
1873, when a foreign combination gained control and the
system became known later as the Norfolk & Western.
Though defeated in this great enterprise he managed
that upon the sale of the lines $500,000 was paid to the
State of Virginia for her claim, the whole amount of



636 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

which he subsequently caused to be appropriated for
educational purposes. Before the close of the war Gen-
eral Mahone had served in the Virginia senate in addi-
tion to his duties in the field, and during the reconstruc-
tion period he exerted a very powerful influence toward
the comparatively peaceful restoration of home rule
which was brought about in his State. In 1878 he was
defeated in a contest for the Democratic nomination for
governor. In 1879, under his leadership, the "Read-
juster" party was formed in Virginia, which for a time
controlled the State, and General Mahone was elected ta
the United States Senate, where he soon became identi-
fied with the Republican party, which through his efforts-
carried the State elections in 1881. He led Virginia
delegations to the Republican national conventions of
1884 and 1888, and in 1889 was nominated for governor by
his party, but defeated. He continued to retain political
leadership, and in his later years made his home at
Washington, where he died October 8, 1895.

Major-General Dabney Herndon Maury was born at.
Fredericksburg, Va., May 20, 1822, the son of Capt.
John Minor Maury, United States navy, whose wife was
the daughter of Fontaine Maury. His descent is from
the old Virginia families of Brooke and Minor, and the
Huguenot emigres, the Fontaines and Maurys. He was.
educated at the classical school of Thomas Harrison,
Fredericksburg, studied law at the university of Virginia,
and was graduated at West Point in 1846, with the rank
of brevet second lieutenant in the mounted rifles. A.
theater for active service in his profession was await-
ing him in Mexico, where he was at once ordered.
He conducted himself with soldierly valor in this,
war, particularly at the siege of Vera Cruz and the
battle of Cerro Gordo, where he was severely wounded,
and received the brevet of first lieutenant for gal-
lantry. In further recognition of his services he was.
presented with a sword by the citizens of Fredericks-
burg and the legislature of Virginia. For several
years subsequent to the Mexican war he was detailed
for service at the United States military academy,
first as assistant professor of geography, history and
ethics, and afterward as assistant professor of infantry
tactics. In 1852 he was transferred to frontier duty in.



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HTSTORY. 637

Texas, in which he continued, with promotion to first
lieutenant mounted rifles, until 1858, when he was ap-
pointed superintendent of the cavalry school at Carlisle,
Pa. From April 15, i860, until the outbreak of the Con-
federate war he was assistant adjutant-general, with the
rank of brevet captain, in New Mexico. He promptly
acted with his State in 1861, and was commissioned cap-
tain, corps of cavalry, C. S. A., to date from March i6th.
Subsequently he was promoted colonel, was appointed
adjutant-general of the army at Manassas, and when Gen.
Earl Van Dom was assigned to command the Trans-Mis-
sissippi department, early in 1862, he became his chief
■of staff and adjutant-general. In his report of the battle
of Elkhorn Tavern, General Van Dom wrote: "Colonel
Maury was of invaluable service to me both in preparing
for and during the battle. Here, as on other battlefields
where I have served with him, he proved to be a zealous
patriot and true soldier; cool and calm under all circum-
stances, he was always ready, either with his sword or
pen. ' ' Maury was promptly promoted brigadier-general.
He accompanied Van Dom to the consultation with A. S.
Johnston and Beauregard at Corinth prcAnous to the bat-
tle of Shiloh, and subsequently was transferred with the
main Confederate force east of the Mississippi, where
his service was afterward given. When Price took com-
mand of the army of the West at Tupelo, he commanded
one of its two divisions, including the brigades of John
C. Moore, W. L. Cabell and C. W. Phifer, and the cav-
alry of F. C. Armstrong. Little of Maryland, command-
ing the other di-vision, fell at luka, where Maury was
held in reserve, and afterward served as rear guard, repell-
ing pursuit. About a fortnight later he commanded the
center in the battle of Corinth, against Rosecrans, and
gallantly engaged the enemy, who was driven from his
intrenchments and through the town. During the sub-
sequent retirement he defended the rear, fighting spirit-
edly at Hatchie's bridge. He was promoted major-gen-
eral in November, 1862, and on December 30th, arrived
before Vicksburg from Grenada, to support S. D. Lee,
who had repulsed Sherman's attack at Chickasaw bayou,
and was assigned to command of the right wing. He
continued in service here, his troops being engaged at
Steele's bayou and in the defeat of the Yazoo Pass expe-
dition, until he was ordered to Knoxville, April 15 th, to



638 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

take command of the department of East Tennessee. A
month later he was transferred to the command of the
district of the Gulf. In this region, with headquarters
at Mobile, he continued to serve until the end of the war.
During the siege of Atlanta, in command of reserve
troops, he operated in defense of the Macon road. In
August, 1864, in spite of a gallant struggle, the defenses
of Mobile bay were taken, and in March and April, 1865,
Maury, with a garrison about 9,000 strong, defended the
city against the assaults of Canby's army of 45,000 until,
after heavy loss, he retired without molestation to Merid-
ian. But the war was now practically over, and on May
4th, his forces were included in the general capitulation
of General Taylor. Subsequently he made his home at
Richmond, Va. He has given many valuable contribu-
tions to the history of the war period, and in 1868 organ-
ized the Southern historical society, the collections of
which he opened to the government war records office,
securing in return free access to that department by ex-
Confederates. In 1878 he was a leader in the movement
for the reorganization of the volunteer troops of the
nation, and until 1890 served as a member of the execu-
tive committee of the National Guard association of the
United States. In 1886 he was appointed United States
minister to Columbia, a position he held until June 22,
1889. Since then he has been occupied in literary pur-
suits, being the author of a school history of Virginia^
and other works.

Brigadier- General Patrick T. Moore was born at Gal-
way, Ireland, September 22, 1821, son of John Moore,
who removed to Canada with his family in 1835, and soon
after was appointed consul at Boston. Coming to Rich-
mond at the age of twenty-nine years, General Moore en-
gaged in business as a merchant, until the outbreak of war,
when, having been for some time a captain of militia, he
ofEered his services to the State. In the spring of 1861 he
was commissioned colonel of the First regiment, Virginia
infantry, which was assigned to Longstreet's brigade of
the army under Beauregard at Manassas. He partici-
pated in the affair at Blackburn's ford and the battle of
Manassas, in the latter action being one of the Confeder-
ates who paid the penalty of glorious victory, receiving
a severe wound in the head while leading his regi-



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 689

ment. His conduct received the generous recognition of
Generals Longstreet and Beauregard in their official
reports. During the Seven Days' campaign before Rich-
mond he served upon the volunteer staff of General Long-
street, but his wound prevented further service at the
head of his regiment. In May, 1864, he was temporarily
assigned to duty in organizing and placing in the field
the reserve forces of Virginia, under General Kemper,
and was put in command of the rendezvous of reserves at
Richmond. Later in the year, being promoted brigadier-
general, he was given command of the First brigade, Vir-
ginia reserves, part of the force of Lieutenant-General
Ewell, in command of the department of Richmond.
After the close of the struggle he returned to Richmond,
and all the fruits of his former business success having
been swept away, he engaged in insurance agency, which
was his occupation until his death, February 20, 1883.

Brigadier-General Thomas Taylor Munford, a distin-
guished cavalry officer of the army of Northern Virginia,
was born at the city of Richmond, in 1831, the son of Col.
George Wythe Munford, for twenty-five years secretary
of the commonwealth. He was graduated at the Vir-
ginia military institute in 1852, and until the outbreak of
the war, was mainly engaged as a planter. He went into
the Confederate service as lieutenant-colonel of the Thir-
tieth Virginia mounted infantry, organized at Lynchburg,
May 8, 1861, and mustered in by Col. Jubal A. Early.
This was the first mounted regiment organized in Vir-
ginia, and under the command of Col. R. C. W. Radford,
was in Beauregard's army at the battle of First Manassas.
Subsequently it was entitled the Second regiment of
cavalry. General Stuart's regiment being numbered First,
at the reorganization under Stuart, when Munford was
promoted colonel of the regiment. On the field of
Manassas he had commanded three squadrons composed
of the Black Horse, Chesterfield, and Wise troops, the
Franklin rangers, and three independent companies, and
pursued the enemy further than any other command,
capturing many prisoners and ten rifled guns, which he
turned over to President Davis at Manassas. His career
as a cavalry officer thus brilliantly begun continued
throughout the war, and was notable for faithful service
in whatever command was allotted him. In the spring-



640 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

of 1862, attached to Ewell's command, he skirmished in
Rappahannock county, and then joined Jackson in the
Valley. Upon the death of General Ashby he was rec-
ommended by Gen. R. E. Lee as his successor. In this
capacity he participated in the battle of Cross Keys, and
captured many prisoners at Harrisonburg. With his
regiment he led Jackson's advance in the Chickahominy
campaign, and on the day of battle at Frayser's farm,
his men were the only part of the corps to cross the river
and attack the Federals at White Oak swamp. He joined
Stuart's command in the Manassas campaign, leading
the advance of Ewell's division, and received two saber
wounds at Second Manassas. In September, assigned to
the command of the brigade, he took part in the Mary-
land campaign, in which his men sustained the main
losses of the cavalry division, fighting at Poolesville,
Monocacy church. Sugar Loaf mountain, Burkittsville
and Crampton's gap. At the latter pass of the South
mountain, with about 800 men, dismounted, he made a
gallant defense against the advance of a Federal corps.
At Sharpsburg he was actively engaged on the 17th and
1 8th, on Lee's right wing, guarding the lower fords
of the Antietam, crossed the Potomac in the presence of
the enemy, and defended the retreat from Boteler's ford.
In October, when the Federal army advanced in Virginia
in two columns, he was put in command of one division
of the cavalry to confront Hancock's troops. Subse-
quently he was transferred to Fitzhugh Lee's brigade,
which he commanded after Chancellorsville at Beverly's
ford and Aldie. He took part in the Gettysburg cam-
paign, the Bristoe campaign, and the cavalry operations
in the spring of 1864 under Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, partici-
pated in the Valley campaign with Early, and being pro-
moted brigadier-general in November, 1864, was assigned
to the command of Fitzhugh Lee's division. In this
Tank he made a gallant fight at Five Forks, and on the
retreat from Richmond was associated with General
Rosser in the defeat of the Federals at High Bridge,
capturing 780 prisoners ; also in the battle of April 7th,
when the enemy was again defeated and Federal General
Gregg was captured. At Appomattox, at daybreak of
April 9th, he commanded the cavalry on the right of the
Confederate line, in "the attack, and driving the enemy
irom his front, moved toward Ljmchburg. After the sur-



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 641

render of Lee he endeavored to collect the scattered Con-
federate bands and make a junction with Johnston's army,
but after the latter command capitulated he disbanded
his men late in the month of April. In his final report
Gen. Fitzhugh Lee called attention to the excellent
service of General Munford as a division commander.
With the close of the war he retired to his home, and
since then has been engaged in the management of agri-
cultural interests in Virginia and Alabama, with his home
at Lynchburg. He has served two terms as president of
the board of visitors of the Virginia military institute.

General Richard L. Page, distinguished in the naval
and military history of the Confederate States, was born
in Clarke county, Va., in 1807. The worthy Virginia
family to which he belongs is descended from John Page,
an immigrant from England in early days, one of whose
descendants, John Page, wedded Jane B3rrd of Westover.
Their son, Mann Page, was father to William Byrd Page,
bom at North End, Gloucester county, in 1 768, who was
a farmer by occupation, and died at Fairfield, Clarke
county, in 181 2. He married Ann Lee, who was born at
Leesylvania, Prince William county, in 1776, and died at
Washington, D. C. She was a daughter of Henry Lee,
and sister of Gen. Henry Lee, the famous cavalry officer,
known as "Light Horse Harry," father of Gen. Robert
E. Lee. Another brother, Charles Lee, was attorney-
general of the United States in Washington's administra-
tion. Richard L. Page, son of William Bjrrd and Ann
Page, became a midshipman in the United States navy
March 12, 1824, being first assigned to the sloop-of-war
John Adams, of the West Indies squadron, Commodore
Porter, making two short cruises. In 1825 he was ordered
to the frigate Brandywine to convey General La Fayette to
France under Commodore Morris. In the Mediterranean
he was transferred to the frigate Constitution. He re-
turned to the United States in 1828 in the Constitution,
after which he was ordered to the frigate Constellation,
Commodore Wadsworth, and was detached from her at
New York to prepare for his examination. From 1830
to 1834 he was attached to the sloop-of-war Concord as
passed midshipman and sailing master, which ship, after
conveying John Randolph as minister to Russia, joined
the squadron in the Mediterranean. March 26, 1834, he

Va 41



642 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

was commissioned lieutenant and ordered to the Enter-
prise on the Brazil station, was then transferred to the
Ontario, afterward served as executive oificer of the
schooner Enterprise on the East India station, was
transferred to the sloop-of-war Peacock, and returned to
the United States in her the fall of 1837, having circum-
navigated the globe, when he was given two years' leave
of absence to visit Europe. Subsequent duty was as ord-
nance officer in the Norfolk navy yard, then to the frigate
Macedonia in the West Indies for two cruises of one year
each, with Commodores Wilkinson and Shubrick; next
two years at the Norfolk naval rendezvous ; then as exec-
utive officer of the sloop-of-war Fairfield of the Mediter-
ranean squadron in 1844 and 1845. Returning in the Fair-
field to the United States, he was ordered to the receiving
battleship Pennsylvania at Norfolk in 1845. He was
executive officer, and for two years lieutenant command-
ing the frigate Independence, flagship of Commodore
rilitibrick, during the Mexican war. Returning home in
SS49, he was ordered on ordnance duty at Norfolk navy
yard. In 1852-54, in command of the United States
brig Perry, he served with the African squadron, and
following that cruise became executive officer at the Nor-
folk navy yard, and a member of the Retiring board.
He was promoted commander September 14, 1855. As
assistant inspector of ordnance he remained at Norfolk
until the spring of 1857, when he was given command of
the sloop-of-war Germantown and attached to the East
India squadron, returning to the United States in her in
1859. At the outbreak of the war of the Confederacy he
was on duty at Norfolk as ordnance officer, to which he
had been recalled a year previous. As soon as Virginia
seceded he resigned his rank and office, and was appointed
aide-de-camp on the staff of Governor Letcher of Vir-
ginia, with special duties in the organization of a State
navy. He superintended the erection of the fortifica-
tions at the mouth of the James river, and those on the
Nansemond river and Pagan creek. On June 10, 1861,
he entered the navy of the Confederate States, with a
commission as commander. Until the evacuation of
Norfolk he served as ordnance officer at the navy yard,
and during the actions of the Virginia in Hampton Roads
he served as a volunteer in firing the 11 -inch gun at
Sewell's point against the Federal vessels. With the




Brig.-Gen. w. H. Pavnk Brig.-Gen. Q. C. Wharton.

Brie.-Gen, Richard B. Gaknkti. Bntf.-fJon. Jons M. Jonks. Brig.-Gen. Robert S. Garkett.

Maj.-Gen. Fitzhugh Lre, M;0.-|jcii. Jas. l. Kempfh. Brig.-Gen. D. B. Hauuis.

Brig.-Gen. A- L. LoKG. Brip: -Gen. Wm. E. Starke.



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 643

machinery and mechanics removed from Norfolk at its
evacuation, Commander Page, having been promoted to
captain, established the ordnance and construction depot
at Charlotte, N. C, which he managed with such effi-
ciency that the works became indispensable to the South-
em Confederacy. In this important duty he was engaged
for about two years, except the period of his assignment
to the command of the naval forces at Savannah, and
with Commodore Tattnall on the gunboat Savannah at
the naval battle of Port Royal. March i, 1864, he was
commissioned brigadier-general in the provisional army
and assigned to the command of the outer defenses of
Mobile bay. He established his headquarters at Fort
Morgan, where, on August 8th, he was summoned to sur-
render by Farragut's flag lieutenant and General Gran-
ger's chief of staff. Although he had but about 400
effective men and twenty-six serviceable guns to oppose
10,000 troops and over 200 guns of the attacking forces, he
gallantly replied that he would defend the post to the last
extremity. During the succeeding two weeks the enemy
was busy advancing his lines on the land side, meantime
keeping up a desultory fire day and night, and on the
morning of August 2 2d a furious bombardment began.
The heavy guns on Mobile point were trained at a dis-
tance of only 250 yards, and the enemy's navy took station
at convenient points, the ironclads at close range, and an
incessant fire followed. During twelve hours 3,000 shells
were thrown into the fort. But General Page and his
heroic men kept up the fight with all their power ; the
citadel of the fort took fire at 9 o'clock at night ; the walls
of the fort were repeatedly breached, and the best guns
disabled. Serving the gfuns that were left and spiking
those dismounted, fighting the fire which was threatening
the magazine, and throwing into the cisterns all powder
not immediately needed, the garrison fought all night in
a storm of shot and shell, until, with no means of defense,
they were compelled to capitulate on the following morn-
ing, August 23d, with all the honors of war. The defense
of Fort Morgan under the command of General Page is one
of the most celebrated instances of heroism in the history
of the war. After the capitulation. General Page was held
as a prisoner of war until September, 1865. Since that
date he has resided at Norfolk, where he now enjoys the
esteem and honor due his long and distinguished public



644 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

services. For nearly seven years of this time he served
with marked efficiency as superintendent of the public
schools of Norfolk. In 1841 he married Miss Alexina
Taylor, of Norfolk, Va.

Brigadier-General Elisha Franklin Paxton, who fell at
Chancellorsville while leading the Stonewall brigade,
was a native of Rockbridge county, Va. , of Scotch-Irish
and English descent. His grandfather, William Paxton,
commanded a company from Rockbridge at the siege of
York town in 1781. His father, Elisha Paxton, served in
the war of 181 2. General Paxton was educated and grad-
uated at Washington college, Va., and at Yale college,
and in 1849, ^t the head of his class in the university of
Virginia, was graduated in law. This profession he prac-
ticed with much success at Lexington until i860, when
failing eyesight compelled him to seek other occupation.
He was engaged in farming near Lexington when the
political campaign of i860 was in progress, and his ardent
temperament and strong convictions did not permit him
to remain an indifferent spectator of the important events
of that year. After the election he advocated the imme-
diate secession of Virginia, and When that action was
finally decided upon he sustained his words by deeds of
self-sacrifice. He was first lieutenant of the Rockbridge
rifles, the first of ten companies to go from that county,
and left his home April 18, 1861, for Harper's Ferry.
His company was attached to the First Virginia brigade,
under Gen. Thomas J. Jackson, and at the first battle of
Manassas, it formed a part of the Fourth Virginia regi-
ment. In that memorable fight Lieutenant Paxton at-
tracted attention by the conspicuous gallantry which ever
afterward distinguished him as a soldier. Subsequently
his company was assigned to the Twenty-seventh infan-
try, of which he was promoted major in October, 1861.
In the following spring he became a member of General
Jackson's staff, and later was appointed adjutant-general
and chief of staff, Jackson's corps, army of Northern
Virginia. On September 27, 1862, Jackson, having well
tested his courage and ability, manifested great confi-
dence in him by recommending the volunteer soldier
for promotion to brigadier-general and assignment to com-
mand of the Stonewall brigade. The appointment was
made by President Davis, and General Paxton took



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 64&

charge of the brigade November 15, 1862. His letters
show that owing to a deep sense of the responsibilities
of the rank and a modest estimate of his own qualifica-
tions, he accepted the command with much reluctance •
but his subsequent record vindicated Jackson's judg-
ment. He commanded the brigade in but two great bat-



Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 63 of 153)