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tles, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. At the former
engagement he handled his troops with skill and prompt-
ness, and during part of the 13th occupied the front line
of the division of General Taliaferro, by whom he was
particularly mentioned in official report. On May 2,
1863, during Jackson's flank movement he was stationed
to guard an important point, the Germanna junction,
from which he was called to the main line the following
night, after Jackson had fallen and the command had
devolved upon Stuart. Early in the morning of Sunday,
May 3d, the attack was renewed with irresistible vigor,
and Paxton led his men through the dense woods against
the Federal position. Dismounting, he marched on foot in
the front line of his brigade until they came within the
enemy's fire, when he was instantly killed by a shot
through the breast. Dr. R. L. Dabney relates that
when the news of General Paxton's death was conveyed
to General Jackson, then on his deathbed, the great com-
mander showed much emotion, "and spoke in serious and
tender strain of the genius and virtues of that ofiScer. ' '
His loss was mentioned with appreciative reference to his-
ability and courage in the official report of General Lee.
At the time of his death he was thirty-five years of age.
His remains now lie within a few feet of his chief in
Lexington cemetery.

Brigadier-General William Henry Fitzhugh Payne, a
distinguished cavalry commander of the army of North-
ern Virginia, was bom at Clifton, the homestead of his
family in Virginia, January 27, 1830. His family, promi-
nently associated with the history of the Old Dominion,
was founded in America by John Payne, who with his
brother William came to the colony in 1620. Fourth in
descent from John Payne was Capt. William Payne, who
was born in 1755 at Wakefield, Westmoreland county,
the birthplace of George Washington. He did an exten-
sive business as a merchant at Falmouth and Fredericks-
burg, served three years in the Continental army, includ-


ing the battles of Guilford Court House and Yorktown,
and died at Clifton in 1837. By his second marriage, to
Marian Morson, of Scottish descent, he had one son,
Arthur A. M. Payne, born at Clifton in 1804, who was a
prominent man, and widely known as a breeder of fine
horses, among them Passenger. He married Mary Con-
way Mason Fitzhugh, daughter of Judge Nicholas Fitz-
hugh, of the District of Columbia, and granddaughter of
Augustine Washington. The eldest of their six children
is General Payne, who has well sustained the ancestral
reputation of worthy citizenship, and faithful service, both
in civil and military life, in the best interests of the com-
munity and the commonwealth. After completing his
education in the university of Virginia and preparing
himself for the practice of law, he formed a partnership
for professional work with Samuel Chilton, at Warrenton.
In 1856, at the age of twenty-six years, the ability he had
demonstrated warranted his election to the office of com-
monwealth's attorney, which he continued to fill with satis-
faction to the public until 1869, except during the period
he passed in the military service. He was among the
first to answer the call of the State immediately after the
passage of the ordinance of secession, and as a private
participated in the occupation of Harper's Ferry. Soon
after his arrival there he was promoted to a captaincy in
the Black Horse cavalry, a rank which he held from April
26th to September 17, 1861, when he was promoted major
and assigned to the Fourth Virginia cavalry. With this
command he participated in the early operations of the
Peninsular campaign. In the battle of May 5th at Will-
iamsburg, Colonel Robertson being sick and Lieutenant-
Colonel Wickham having been wounded on the previous
day, he commanded the regiment in a fierce fight on the
Telegraph road, and received, as stated in General
Stuart ' s report, ' ' a very severe, and I fear, mortal wound in
the face. " His capture followed and he was held as a pris-
oner of war two or three months. As soon as exchanged,
though not yet fully recovered, he returned to duty early
in September, 1862, and being promoted lieutenant-
colonel, was assigned to the temporary command of the
Second North Carolina regiment of cavalry, with which
he held Warrenton, Va., with about 3,000 wounded Con-
federate soldiers, also capturing a number of Federal
prisoners. In November he was ordered into hospital at


Lynchburg, but on his application was given command
of the troops at that post. In February, 1863, he was
able to rejoin the Fourth regiment, and held command,
in the absence of Colonel Wickham, until March 20th,
when he was again given command of the Second
North Carolina. The gallant Col. Sol Williams, the
regular commander, returned to his men on June 8th,
but on the next day, in the battle of Brandy Station,
lost his life, and Pajme continued to lead the regiment,
and in that capacity took part in Stuart's Pennsylvania
raid. When Stuart was confronted by Kilpatrick, Payne
with his regiment was thrown against the rear of Farns-
worth's brigade at Hanover, Pa. So gallant was the
charge that one Federal regiment was scattered, and Kil-
patrick's command might have been routed had adequate
support been at hand. But here Colonel Payne's horse
was killed under him, and he himself, with a severe
saber cut in the side, again fell into the hands of the
enemy. After a long imprisonment at Johnson's island,
Ohio, he was exchanged, and being promoted brigadier-
general, commanded a brigade of three cavalry regi-
ments, the Fifth, Sixth and Fifteenth Virginia, in
Early's campaign in the Shenandoah valley, including
the battles of Winchester, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek.
He was next transferred to Richmond and remained
there during the siege, in the final operations command-
ing a brigade composed of the Fifth, Sixth and Eighth
Virginia cavalry and Thirty-sixth Virginia battalion, in
Munford's division. At the battle of Five Forks, April
I St, he was again badly wounded, and was sent to Rich-
mond to rejoin the army. During the evacuation he
failed to reach his corps and took refuge near his old
home, where he was captured on the night of Lincoln's
assassination. Carried into Washington the next day, he
narrowly escaped violence at the hands of the populace,
blindly enraged by the terrible crime of the night before.
He again suffered prison life at Johnson's island, after the
actual close of the war. Since the return of peace he has
devoted himself to the practice of law, also serving in the
legislature of Virginia in the session of 1879-80. He was
married in May, 1852, to Mary Elizabeth Winston Payne,
daughter of Col. W. Winter Payne, who represented the
Sumter district of Alabama in Congress in 1841-48. Ten
children were born to this union, of whom eight survive.


Major-General John Pegram was born in Virginia, Jan-
uary 24, 1832. He was appointed a cadet from Virginia
in the United States military academy, and was gradu-
ated in 1854, with promotion to brevet second lieutenant
of dragoons. He served on frontier duty, first at Fort
Tejou, Cal., and afterward at Fort Riley, Kan., where
he was commissioned second lieutenant of dragoons, and
at Forts Lookout and Randall, Dak. His duties in
the west were relieved for a time in 1857, by assignment
as assistant instructor of cavalry. Promoted first lieuten-
ant of the Second dragoons, he became adjutant of that
regiment, and resumed his frontier service until 1858,
when he was given leave of absence for two years for a
tour of Europe. On his return he continued in the
United States army until May 10, 1861, when he re-
signed. He was commissioned captain, corps of cavalry,
C. S. A., and was promoted rapidly to higher grades.
As lieutenant-colonel he participated in the operations of
General Garnett's command about Beverly, W. Va., in
the summer of 1861, and when confronted by the Federal
forces in overwhelming numbers under McClellan and
Rosecrans, Pegram was intrusted by Garnett with the
command of one of the two bodies in which he divided
his forces. A rear attack by Rosecrans compelled him
to withdraw after a gallant fight, from Rich mountain,
and two days later he was compelled to surrender with
half his command. After his return to the army he was
assigned to the staff of General Bragg at Tupelo, Miss. ,
as chief of engineers, July, 1862, and later became chief
of staff of Gen. E. Kirby Smith, in command in east
Tennessee. In that capacity he participated in the Ken-
tucky campaign and the battle of Richmond, where his
services were gratefully recognized in the report of the
general commanding. In November he was promoted
brigadier-general and assigned to the command of a cav-
alry brigade of Tennesseeans in Smith's army. With his
brigade he participated in the battle of Murfreesboro,
and subsequently was upon outpost duty and various
active operations until the battle of Chickamauga, where
he commanded a division of Forrest's cavalry corps.
Subseqttently he was transferred to the army of Northern
Virginia and the infantry service, being given command
of a brigade in Early's division of the Second corps, com-
posed of the Thirteenth, Thirty-first, Forty-ninth, Fifty-


second and Fifty-eighth Virginia regiments. With this
gallant body of veterans he was in the campaign from the
Rapidan to the James, and was particularly distinguished
during the second day of the fight in the Wilderness,
when his brigade repelled the persistent assaults of the
Federals, determined to turn the flank of Ewell's corps.
In command of Early's division he took part in the cam-
paign against Sheridan in the Shenandoah valley in the
fall of 1864, and after the return of these forces to the
Petersburg lines he was promoted major-general and
continued in command of the division, a part of Gordon's
corps, throughout the winter. On February 6, 1865, he
moved from camp to reconnoiter and was attacked by the
enemy in heavy force on Hatcher's run. His men were
pressed back in spite of a brave resistance until rein-
forced by the division of C. A. Evans, when the enemy
was in turn forced to retire. After meeting a second
check the Confederates reformed and charged again, driv-
ing the Federals, and in this moment of success General
Pegram fell mortally wounded. His death occurred on
the same day.

Brigadier-General William Nelson Pendleton, of Vir-
ginia, like Bishop Polk, of the Western army, entered
the service of the Confederacy from the service of the
church. He was born at Lexington, Va., December 23,
1809, and was appointed to the United States military
academy in 1826, where he formed a close friendship
with R. E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. He was graduated
in 1830 and began service in the garrison at Augusta,
Ga., with the rank of second lieutenant of artillery.
Subsequently he served one year as assistant professor
of mathematics at West Point, and with the artillery at
Fort Hamilton, until 1833, when he resigned and became
professor of mathematics in Bristol college, Pa., later
becoming connected with the faculty of Delaware college.
In 1837 he became a clergyman in the Episcopal church,
in which he continued with distinction during the remain-
der of his life, receiving the degree of doctor of divinity.
During the period of 1861-65, however, his talents were
given to the defense of Virginia and the Confederacy.
He entered the service as captain of a Lexington com-
pany, and in a few weeks was commissioned captain,
corps of artillery, C. S. A. He served in command of


the Rockbridge artillery until a short time before the bat-
tle of First Manassas, when he was promoted colonel and
made chief of artillery of the army under Gen. Joseph E.
Johnston. Arriving on the field of Manassas with John-
ston's command, he promptly brought his artillery into
action in support of the Confederate left, where the bat-
tle was raging the hottest, and rendered effective service.
It is told that he paused before his first order to fire to
say with solemn reverence, "Lord, have mercy on their
souls. ' ' From this time he continued in command of the
artillery under Johnston, with promotion to the^^ rank of
brigadier-general, and after Lee took charge of the army
of Northern Virginia, he served under him in the same
capacity until the close of the war. Before the Pennsyl-
vania campaign he had given the artillery an excellent
organization, and under his direction it rendered telling
service in the great artillery duels at Gettysburg.
Through the remainder of the struggle he did his duty
with devotion, and in the final retreat from Petersburg
brought off his guns, making gallant stands against the
enemy at Rice's Station and Farmville. During the
night of April 8th, part of his command, under General
Walker, was captured. On the 9th the artillery took
part in a spirited attack upon the enemy, but hostilities
were soon arrested, and he, with General Longstreet
and General Gordon, represented the Confederate army
in arranging the details of the surrender. Meanwhile,
General Pendleton had continued to hold his ministerial
charge at Lexington, and while on military duty had exer-
cised his spiritual privileges. After the war he resumed
his post at Lexington, where General Lee was a vestry-
man of his parish. He represented Virginia in the gen-
eral convention of his church, both before and after the
war, and received the degree of doctor of divinity in 1868.
His only son, Col. "Sandie" Pendleton, was a member of
Stonewall Jackson's staff, and fell mortally wounded at
the battle of Winchester, in September, 1864. General
Pendleton passed away January 15, 1883.

Major-General George Edward Pickett was bom at
Richmond, Va., January 25, 1825, son of a planter of
Henrico county. He was graduated at the United States
military academy in the class of 1846, which included
George B. McClellan, J. L. Reno, Thomas J. Jackson,


George Stoneman, Dabney H. Maury, D. R. Jones, C. M.
Wilcox, S. B. Maxey and others who attained prominence
in the war of the Confederacy. Going into the war with
Mexico he was promoted second lieutenant. Second infan-
try; was transferred to the Seventh and finally to the
Eighth infantry, and participating in all the important
engagements of Scott's army, was brevetted first lieuten-
ant for gallantry at Contreras and Churubusco ; earned the
brevet of captain at Chapultepec, and finally took part in
the capture of the Mexican capital. He subsequently
served with the Eighth infantry on frontier duty in Texas
until 1855, when he was promoted captain Ninth infantry,
and given a year's assignment to Fortress Monroe. He was
afterward on duty in Washington territory, until the
spring of 1861. In 1856 he occupied San Juan island
with sixty men, and forbade the landing of British troops,
winning the thanks of the territorial legislature for his
gallant and firm discharge of duty, and the commendation
of General Harney for "cool judgment, ability and gal-
lantry." His loyalty and firmness saved the rights of
the United States until the title to the island was con-
firmed by international arbitration, and "Fort Pickett"
guarded one end of the island until the British finally
retired. His first commission in the Confederate service
was as major of artillery, regular army. On July 23,
1 86 1, as colonel in the provisional army, he was assigned
to temporary command on the lower Rappahannock,
with headquarters at Fredericksburg, and on February
28, 1862, being promoted to brigadier-general, he was
ordered to report to General Longstreet. Commanding
a brigade of Longstreet's corps, he won commendation
for "using his forces with great effect, ability and his
usual gallantry, ' ' at Williamsburg. On the second day of
the battle of Seven Pines he was particularly distin-
guished for his good generalship during an attack by
Hooker's command. An order to withdraw was re-
ceived, which was obeyed by the other brigade command-
ers after the repulse of the first attack; but "Pickett, the
true soldier," as Longstreet writes, "knowing that the
order was not intended for such an emergency, stood and
resisted the attack," holding his ground against odds of
ten to one for several hours longer. The enemy at-
tempted to creep up quietly and capture the Virginians,
but they met him with a fearful fire that drove him back


to the bushes, which ended the battle. At Gaines' Mill,,
fighting on the right with Longstreet, his brigade broke
Porter's line just west of the Watts house, attacking
with such vigor as almost to gain possession of the Fed-
eral reserve artillery. In this assault Pickett fell severely-
wounded, and he was for some time absent from his brave
command, which under his leadership had won the title
of "the gamecock brigade." In October, 1862, he was
promoted to major-general and assigned to a division of
Longstreet 's corps, composed of his old brigade under
Gamett, and the brigades of Armistead, Kemper and
Corse, all Virginians, and Micah Jenkins' South Caro-
lina brigade. Though there were five or six other Vir-
ginia brigades, in other divisions, this was distinctively
"the Virginia division" of the army, and comprised all
the Virginia brigades in Longstreet's corps except
Mahone's. He held the center of the line at Fredericks-
burg, and after that battle was sent with his division to
Richmond, which was supposed to be threatened by the
Federal movements. He was reinforced by Hood's divi-
sion, and General Longstreet, in command, operated
against Suffolk. Pickett went into the Gettysburg cam-
paign with three brigades, Garnett's, Kemper's and
Armistead's, and Bearing's artillery. He reached the
battlefield with his men on the forenoon of the third day
of battle, and was selected to make the attack upon
the Federal center on Cemetery hill, Heth's division
under Pettigrew to form the left of the line, which should
be supported by Pender's division under Trimble. The
attack was to be made after the enemy's artillery had
been weakened by the massed fire of the Confederate
artillery, which began at 2 o'clock. After a terrific artil-
lery battle there was a lull in the Federal fire, and the
Confederate ammunition being near exhaustion. General
Alexander sent a note to Pickett: "For God's sake,
come quick. The eighteen guns are gone ; come quick,
or my ammunition won't let me support you properly."
Pickett handed the note to Longstreet, who had strongly
objected to the proposed assault with the forces avail-
able. To Pickett's question, "General, shall I advance?"
Longstreet said nothing, but nodded his head. Pickett
then accepted the duty with apparent confidence and
"rode gaily to his command," before going into the fight
writing on the envelope of a letter to his betrothed:


If Old Pete's nod means death, then good-bye and God
"bless you, little one." The story of the charge has been
often eloquently related. The Federal artillery was sup-
plied with ammunition in time to work havoc in the Con-
federate ranks — ^the shattered lines closed up and gained
the summit of the ridge and planted the stars and bars
in the Federal lines — and disappeared in a tornado of
fire. Very few came back unhurt. In September, 1863,
Pickett was assigned to command of the department of
North Carolina, embracing Petersburg and Southern
"Virginia. He made a demonstration against New Bern
in the latter part of January, 1864. In May he joined
Lee on the North Anna, and from that time commanded
his old division, Armistead's, Pickett's, Corse's and
Kemper's brigades, now under Barton, Hunton, Corse
and "Terry, until the close of hostilities. On June i6th,
Lee arrived at Drewry's bluff with Pickett's division,
and witnessed the gallant recapture of the Confederate
lines from Butler. He wrote to Longstreet: "We tried
very hard to keep Pickett's men from capturing the
breastworks of the enemy, but could not do it." He
remained before Bermuda Hundred until March, 1865,
when he was sent to Lynchburg to oppose Sheridan's
raid, and then marched with Longstreet north of Rich-
mond in an attempt to intercept the Federal cavalryman,
whom he finally met on March 31st and April ist at Din-
widdle Court House and Five Forks. In these hard-fought
battles Pickett commanded the infantry, Fitzhugh Lee
the cavalry, and as Longstreet writes: "His execution
was all that a skillful commander could apply. Though
taken by surprise, there was no panic in any part of the
command. Brigade after brigade changed front to the
left and received the overwhelming battle as it rolled on,
until crushed back in the next. In generalship, Pickett
was not a bit below the 'gay rider.' " Reinforced too
late to avoid defeat, he rallied and checked the cavalry
pursuit at Amazon creek, preventing worse disaster.
Here again, as at Gettysburg, he had been fated to make
the decisive fight, with insufficient forces, and the inevit-
able followed. He marched with his division from Peters-
burg, escaped from the disaster at Rice's Station with
600 men of his splendid division, and finally was surren-
dered April 9, 1865, with the last of the army of North-


em Virginia. Subsequently he engaged in business at
Richmond, but did not survive the first decade following
the war, dying at Norfolk, July 30, 1875.

Brigadier-General Roger Atkinson Pryor was bom
near Petersburg, Va., July 19, 1828, and was graduated
at Hampden- Sidney college in 1845, ^^^ ^.t the univer-
sity of Virginia in 1848. Subsequently he prepared for
the legal profession, and was admitted to the bar, but
relinquished the practice on account of delicate health,
and entered journalism. After an association with the
Washington Union he became editor of the Richmond
Enquirer in 1853, and rapidly attained prominence. In
1855, at the age of twenty-seven years, he was sent to
Greece by President Pierce, as special commissioner for the
adjustment of certain difficulties with that government.
On his return he established a political journal at Rich-
mond, called The South, in which he presented with great
vigor the most radical opposition to encroachments upon
the local rights and industrial methods of the South. He
was elected to Congress in 1859, to fill a vacancy, and
was re-elected in i860. While in Congress his aggressive-
ness and passionate oratory gave him national promi-
nence, and led to several duels. He took a prominent
part in the proceedings of the Charleston Democratic
convention in i860, and after the presidential election
ardently advocated the formation of the Southern Con-
federacy and the union with it of Virginia. Repairing
to Charleston, S. C. , he became a member of the volun-
teer staff of General Beauregard, and with his comrade,
A. R. Chisholm, accompanied Aide-de-camps James
Chestnut and Stephen D. Lee in the visit to Fort Sum-
ter April 12th, notifying Major Anderson that fire would
be opened on the fort. Thence they went by boat to
Fort Johnson, where Capt. George S. James was ordered
to open the fire. James, who was a great admirer of
Pryor, offered the honor to him, as General Lee relates,
but he replied, with much the same emotion as had char-
acterized Anderson's receipt of the notice of bombard-
ment, "I could not fire the first gun of the war. " From
their boat midway between Johnson and Sumter, he wit-
nessed the opening of the bombardment. After the flag
on Sumter was shot down he was sent with Lee to offer
assistance in subduing the fire in the fort, and discovered


that Colonel Wigfall had made arrangements for surren-
der. Soon afterward he was assigned as colonel to the
command of the Third Virginia regiment, stationed at
Portsmouth and vicinity, and later in the year was elected
a member of the First Confederate congress, in which he
served with prominence as a member of the military
committee. Continuing in military command, he moved
his regiment to Yorktown in March, 1862, and engaged
in battle at Yorktown and Williamsburg, after which he
was promoted brigadier-general. In this rank he partici-
pated in the battle of Seven Pines, and was particularly
distinguished, his men fighting bravely and with heavy
loss, in the victories won at Gaines' Mill and Frayser's

Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 64 of 153)