Clement Anselm Evans.

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Louise, Fanny Moore and Charles Mayer.

John L. Berkeley, principal of the public schools of Danville,
Va., was born in Westmoreland county, January 11, 1843, son of
Landon C. and Sarah Ann (Campbell) Berkeley. His father, born
in 1819 in Hanover county, died in 1892, was a lawyer of promi-
nence, served two terms in the Virginia legislature from Westmore-
land and Richmond counties; was a member of the Patrick Henry
Rifles, Fifteenth Virginia regiment, during the first year of the
war, serving with Magruder on the peninsula; and during the
next three years was assessor of tax-in-kind in Hanover county.
Previous to the war John L. was educated at Hanover and Aber-
deen academies. When his father retired from active service he
entered the army as a private in Captain Nelson's battery, the Han-
over artillery. He was with this command until the fall of 1862,
and then was transferred to the Amherst artillery, Capt. T. J. Kirk-
patrick. He participated in the artillery fighting at Fort Magruder
and Yorktown; and was with his battery at Fredericksburg, Win-
chester, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Second Cold Harbor, and
other encounters with the enemy. At the Cold Harbor struggle
with Grant's army in 1864, he was severely wounded and rendered
unfit for further service, being confined for a long time in hos-
pital. At the return of peace he engaged in educational work, in
which he has since made an honorable and praiseworthy career.
After teaching in Maryland until 1869 he attended two sessions of
the Georgetown medical college, taught one year at Lynchburg,
conducted a private school in Louisa county seven years, and in
1878 established a private school at Danville, where he has since
resided, with the exception of two years' association with Dr. C. L.
C. Minor, in the Shenandoah valley academy at Winchester. He
has been principal of one of the public schools of Danville since
1889. He maintains a membership in Cabell-Graves camp. In 1894



724 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

he was married to Fannie M., daughter of Maj. J. W. Bruce, and
they have one son, Scott Bruce Berkeley.

Colonel Joseph Virginius Bidgood, a gallant soldier who is now
prominent in the Virginia organization of the United Confederate
Veterans, was born at Portsmouth, Va., in 1841. In his youth he
entered William and Mary college and was yet a student there
when the crisis of 1861 arrived. In April, among the earliest vol-
unteers for the defense of the Old Dominion, he enlisted as a
private in Company C of the Thirty-second regiment of infantry. He
continued with this command throughout the war, first in Semmes'
brigade of McLaws' division, Magruder's corps, and subsequently,
by change made just before the battle of Fredericksburg, in M. D.
Corse's brigade of Pickett's division. At the reorganization he
was promoted sergeant-major of his regiment, and just after the
battle of Five Forks he was further promoted adjutant of the regi-
ment. His service included honorable duty in the memorable bat-
tles of the Seven Days before Richmond, Sharpsburg, Md., Mon-
ocacy Bridge, Crampton's Gap, Harper's Ferry, Fredericksburg, the
fighting on the line between Petersburg and Richmond, Din-
widdie Court House, Five Forks and Sailor's Creek. At the lat-
ter disastrous encounter he was wounded and captured. Being
then carried to the military prison at Point Lookout, and refusing
to take the oath, he was held until paroled in June, 1865. He .then
returned to Virginia and made his home at Richmond, where he
has subsequently resided. He presently engaged in the organiza-
tion of the First Virginia regiment of State troops, in which he
rendered valuable service first as captain, and through the suc-
cessive grades of major and lieutenant-colonel. Afterward he was
elected and commissioned colonel of the First Virginia cavalry.
His service one year in this capacity completed twenty years of
honorable duty in the Virginia militia, and he was retired by Gov-
ernor McKinney with the rank of colonel of cavalry. From the
first he took an active part in the organization of the Confederate
Veterans association, being a charter member and a lieutenant com-
mander of R. E. Lee camp, at Richmond, and also a member of
George E. Pickett camp of the same city. In February, 1892, his
valuable services to the order were recognized by his appointment
as adjutant-general of the Virginia division, a position he has since
most efficiently occupied.

Joseph L. Bilisoly, late sergeant-major of the Ninth Virginia
infantry, Armistead's brigade, army of Northern Virginia, now a
leading business man of Portsmouth, Va., was born at that city
October 27, 1840. His family was founded in Virginia by Antonio
S. Bilisoli, a native of Corsica, and a relative of Napoleon Bona-
parte, who came to America with the fleet of Count de Grasse,
which rendered such vital assistance in securing American inde-
pendence, and afterward removed to San Domingo, where he mar-
ried Adelaide Accinelli, daughter of Rosalie Michaux, one of the
refugees from Acadie. With his wife's father, who was a ship-
builder, Antonio Bilisoli came to Portsmouth in 1798 and engaged
in shipbuilding and the West India trade for about twenty years,
subsequently conducting a mercantile establishment, and dying in
1845. He had five children: Joseph A., Lucrece, who married
Admiral August Louvel (commander of the department at Brest),
of the French navy; Virginia, who married Don Jose Lorenzo



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 725

Monis, president of the cortes of Portugal; Adele, who married
James Chaleron, a sugar merchant of New Orleans; and Elise, wife
of E. d'Anfossi. Joseph A. Bilisoly, born at Portsmouth, Decem-
ber 4, 1799, died December 15, 1880, was prominent as a mer-
chant from 1820 to 1863. He married Eliza Ann, daughter of Fran-
cis Benson, a custom house officer whose father came to America
from Ireland in 1783. Her mother was Sophia, daughter of Epaphro-
ditus Butt, of Great Bridge, Va., who was a soldier in the battle
of Great Bridge, in the Revolutionary war. Representatives of all
these families which have been mentioned did patriotic service in
the Confederate army. In the Old Dominion Guard, which went
into service April 20, 1861, there were Dr. Virginius B. Bilisoly,
First Lieut. L. Augustus Bilisoly, who was wounded both at Seven
Pines and Second Manassas; A. L. Bilisoly, promoted first lieu-
tenant, P. A. C. S.; and Joseph L. Bilisoly. Joseph L. Bilisoly,
son of Joseph A. Bilisoly, was educated in the Virginia collegiate
institute, and at the secession of the State was a partner in the
mercantile business of his father. He went into the service with
the Old Dominion Guard, later Company K, Ninth Virginia in-
fantry, and after serving at Pinner's Point and witnessing the fa-
mous naval battles in Hampton Roads, joined Armistead's brigade
of Anderson's division in the Peninsular campaign of 1862. He
took part in the battle of Seven Pines, and the Seven Days' fight-
ing, and then marching northward, fought at Warrenton Springs
and Second Manassas. During the Maryland campaign, after cross-
ing the Potomac at White's ford, he assisted in destroying the
Monocacy bridge, took part in the capture of Harper's Ferry and
was in the heat of the fight at Sliarpsburg. Subsequently he shared
the record of Pickett's division at Fredericksburg and in the Suf-
folk campaign, and reaching the field of Gettysburg on the third
day of the' battle, participated in the memorable assault upon the
Federal line on Cemetery hill, from which few of his regiment
returned. All of the officers of his command having been killed
or disabled, it became Mr. Bilisoly's duty to make out the report of
casualties. When the regiment returned to Culpeper Court House,
he was appointed sergeant-major of the regiment, and in Febru-
ary, 1864, he was detailed as hospital steward at Pickett's division
headquarters. In this capacity he served during the remainder of
the war, making out the last report of the division. Returning to
Portsmouth after the surrender he was for some time connected
with the retail and wholesale drug trade, and then in the railway
service until 1883, when he became employed in the Bank of Ports-
mouth. He was rapidly promoted and since 1889 has held the po-
sition of cashier, contributing in no slight degree to the popularity
and prosperity of the institution. He is also president of the
Portsmouth land and improvement company, vice-president of
the Citizens' light, heat and power company, and connected with
other enterprises. He is a member of the Sons of the American
Revolution. In 1862 he was married to Mary Elizabeth,
daughter of the late Joseph Bourke, a prominent business man of
Portsmouth, whose father, Joseph Bourke (originally Bourge), was
a native of San Domingo of French descent. Mr. Bilisoly has five
children: Walter L., Frank, Lorena, Adele, and Louvel Antonio.

Lisle Augustus Bilisoly, M. D., an officer distinguished in the
early service of the Old Dominion Guard of Portsmouth, was born
Ta 46



726 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

at that city April 3, 1834, of a family conspicuous for its loyalty and
patriotic devotion. After receiving an academic education in the
Portsmouth schools, he studied medicine at the Homeopathic col-
lege of Philadelphia, and was graduated in 1855. He then, until
the beginning of the war, practiced his profession at his native city,
also taking an active part in the organization and maintenance of
the Old Dominion Guard, Third regiment Virginia volunteers, in
which he held the rank of second lieutenant. In this rank he en-
tered the active service on April 20, 1861, and served at Pinner's
Point during the Confederate occupation of that region. The com-
pany being assigned to the Ninth Virginia regiment as Company
K, he participated in the Peninsular campaign and was wounded
in the battle of Seven Pines, June i, 1862. After his recovery he
participated in the battles of Warrenton Springs and Second Man-
assas, in the latter engagement receiving a severe wound that
disabled him from further active duty in the field. He subsequently
acted as surgeon of his regiment until 1863, when he retired from
the service, and returned to Portsmouth. Since then he has been
prominent in the medical practice of his city and an influential cit-
izen. He has served four years upon the city council, two years
as health officer, and ever since the war period has held the posi-
tion of surgeon for the Seaboard Air Line railroad. In 1856 Dr.
Bilisoly was married to Miss Rosa Mills, of Alexandria, Va. Their
oldest son, Alonzo A. Bilisoly, received the degree of doctor of
medicine from the university of Maryland in 1894, and since then
has been associated with his father in professional work. He is a
member of the State medical society and surgeon of the Fourth
Virginia regiment.

William J. Binford, of Henrico county, the only survivor of
three young brothers who served in the cause of Virginia and the
Confederacy, was born at the city of Richmond, July 29, 1846, and
was reared from infancy upon his father's farm in Hanover county,
the scene of the first fighting of the Seven Days' battles of 1862.
He is the son of William A. Binford, a native of Goochland county,
where his ancestors, members of one of the oldest and most worthy
families of Virginia, had resided for several generations. His grand-
father, Thomas Binford, was a soldier of the Revolution, and rep-
resented his county in the Virginia legislature, an honor also be-
stowed upon his immediate ancestors as well as William A. and
William J. Binford. The mother of William J. Binford was Lucy,
daughter of Johnson Eubank, a contractor and one of the wealthi-
est citizens of Richmond in his lifetime. She was a woman of
remarkable talent for public affairs, as well as possessed of the ten-
der womanly virtues, and was widely known as the president of the
Ladies' association of the Virginia agricultural society, and regent
of the Mount Vernon association. Mr. Binford passed his youth
upon the farm of his father in Hanover county, a plantation of
five hundred acres, worked by one hundred and fifty slaves, and
was reared amid the comforts and social influences of the old re-
gime. On January i, 1862, in his sixteenth year, he enlisted as a
private in a company of the Hanover troop of cavalry. Company G
of the Fourth Virginia cavalry regiment, then commanded by Gen-
eral Robertson, later by General Wickham, and throughout the
war under the leadership_ of Fitzhugh Lee. He shared the cam-
paigns and battles of this regiment throughout the war, partici-



CONFEDERA TE MI LIT A R Y HIS TOR Y. 727

pating in numberless engagements, prominent among which were
the actions at Williamsburg, Catlett's Station, Second Manassas,
Sharpsburg, the Shenandoah Valley fights, Fredericksburg, Kelly's
Ford, Brandy Station, Aldie, Upperville, Snicker's Gap, Boons-
boro, Hanover, Carlisle, Westminster, Gettysburg, Spottsylvania,
Yellow Tavern, Chickahominy and Trevilian Station. He was first
wounded at Kelly's ford, being cut from his horse by a saber
blow, and at Trevilian's he was shot through the body. The lat-
ter injury caused his confinement in the hospital at Richmond for
eight months. Immediately after the death of General Stuart he
was appointed by Gen. Fitzhugh Lee chief of scouts for the cav-;
airy, and the duty of this position he performed from the time
of his recovery until the close of the war, finally being paroled at
Appomattox. He then for six years gave his attention to farming
in Hanover county, after which he became connected with the
Chesapeake & Ohio railroad, with which he has remained to the
present, except two years as a passenger conductor on the Rich-
mond & Alexandria road. He entered the employment of thr
Chesapeake & Ohio railroad company in 1871, and a few months
later was promoted freight conductor. In 1880, on the recorar
mendation of General Wickham, he became a passenger conductor,
and since 1882 he has served as freight and passenger conductor.
Both as a railroad man and an active and influential politician ha
has a wide acquaintance. For twenty years he has served in State
and national conventions, and in 1893-94 he represented Henrico
county in the legislature of Virginia. He was married in early
manhood to Miss Virginia Morment, who died in 1892, and in 1897
he married Miss Laura, daughter of James C. Mitchell, of Rich-
mond. Six children are living, five of whom are promising young
men. One of these, Jesse H. Binford, graduated with first honors
at Richmond college, and is engaged in the, practice of law at Hot
Springs, Ark. Wirt Binford, a younger brother of the foregoing,
served in the command of Colonel Mosby, and met his death in
the fight at Hominy church, March 17, 1865. Another younger
brother, James, a member of the second company of Richmond
Howitzers, was killed at Sailor's Creek.

Charles H. Binns, Jr., a Confederate veteran and a pioneer of
the thriving young city of Newport News, Va., was born at Provi'
dence Forge, New Kent county, Va., August i, 1843. His father,
Charles H. Binns, senior, born in Surry county, January 4, 1812!,
was a merchant and farmer by occupation, and died in 1890. His
mother, Adelaide B. Cqlgin, was a native of Charles City county;
Mr. Binns passed his childhood upon his father's farm, and was edu-
cated in the school at Lexington, taught by William N. Pendleton,
afterward chief of artillery of the army of Northern Virginia, and in
the Virginia military institute, which he entered in March, 1862-1
He remained at the latter institution as a cadet, receiving a milit
tary training, until the fall of 1863, and at the time of the burial
of Gen. T. J. Jackson at Lexington had the honor of serving in the
military escort. Upon leaving the institute he enlisted as a private
in the Fourth battery, heavy artillery, Richmond defenses, and was
subsequently attached to Custis Lee's division of Ewell's corps.
He participated in the defense of Fort Harrison and the bom^
bardment of Dutch Gap, and was in the retreat of the army froih
Richmond as far as Sailor's Creek, where his corps of the army suf-



728 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

fered disaster. After gallant participation in the desperate fight
made by the Confederate troops, he joined in the surrender to su-
perior numbers, and was subsequently held as a prisoner of war at
Point Lookout until June 23, 1865. He engaged in the manage-
ment of extensive farms along the James river until 1882, when
he made his home at Newport News, where he has taken an active
part in the advancement of the interests of the city. He has been
notably successful in his civil pursuits, and is now in comfortable
circumstances, as a good Confederate soldier deserves. He has
served one term as registrar of the Newport News magisterial dis-
trict. In Magruder camp, United Confederate Veterans, he is an
active member and holds the rank of first lieutenant. He was
married in 1876 and four daughters adorn his home.
_ Spottswood Bird, a native of the Old Dominion, though only
eighteen years of age when the army of Northern Virginia stacked
arms at Appomattox, had seen service in the Confederate cause,
and performed the duties of a soldier in camp and field. He was
born in King and Queen county, Va., in 1847, where he passed
the years of childhood and youth, receiving his education in the
county schools and in the local academy until the outbreak of the
war, which interrupted the preparation of so many of the youth
of Virginia for the pursuits of civil life. Early in 1863, being six-
teen years of age, and anxious to serve his State, he joined an or-
ganization of home guards, and performed such duties as were as-
signed him in this connection until the fall of 1864, when he en-
listed in the Twenty-fourth Virginia cavalry, as a private in Com-
pany F. His regiment was part of the brigade of Gen. M. W. Gary,
of South Carolina, and participated in the fights with General But-
ler's army, north of the James river, and in other and continu-
ous skirmishes about Richmond. When the city was evacuated,
and the army had mainly crossed the James, the last bridge left
was Mayo's bridge at the foot of Fourteenth street. This was
guarded all the night of the 2d of April, while Richmond and
Manchester were brilliant as day, the river between flashed in the
glare of burning buildings, and the earth quaked with the terrific
explosions of the military magazines. Just at break of day Gary's
cavalry came up, the last of the army to cross the river, while about
them the Federal lines were plainly seen in motion. As Gary's
tear guard rode over, this last bridge was burned, and the cavalry
hastened to join the westward movement of Lee's army, which
terminated at Appomattox Court House. On the morning of
the pth of April, 1865, Gary's cavalry brigade occupied the advance
skirmish line on the hills of Appomattox, dismounted and fighting
as infantry until the last imperative order came to cease firing,
after the flag of truce had passed directly through their line. Here
the war experience of Mr. Bird and his comrades ended, and he re-
turned home, and gave his attention to the pursuits of civil life.
He remained in his native county until 1891, meanwhile establish-
ing a business at the county seat. King and Queen Court House,
with which he is still connected. In 1891 he removed to Baltimore,
where he is occupied as treasurer of the Ryland-Brooks lumber
company. Mr. Bird's ancestry is identified with the history of Vir-
ginia for many years back. His maternal great-grandfather,
Caotain Roy, served with credit in the war of the Revolution.
Major Henry Lawson Biscoe, since the war engaged in business



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 729

at the city of Washington, is a native of Virginia, born in Lan-
caster county in 1841. He was reared in his native county and in
i860 completed his education at the Columbian university at Wash-
ington. Soon after the secession of the State he volunteered for
military service, and in May, 1861, became a private in Company
B of the Fortieth Virginia infantry. He served in this command
about four months, and was then commissioned as disbursing offi-
cer for the regiment, with the rank of captain. Three months later
he was assigned to the staff of Brig. -Gen. J. J. Pettigrew, and served
with him in the left wing at Seven Pines. That commander being
wounded and captured, he was assigned to the staflf of Gen. William
D. Pender, commanding a brigade in A. P. Hill's division. He
was promoted major for gallantry and meritorious conduct, and
served in this rank until the end of the war, at that time being on
the staff of Brig.-Gen. Alfred M. Scales, of A. P. Hill's corps of the
army of Northern Virginia, having been attached to the stafif of that
officer since the battle of Chancellorsville. After the battle of
Seven Pines he participated in the Seven Days' fighting before
Richmond, and the battles of Sharpsburg, Chancellorsville, Gettys-
burg, and other minor engagements, and surrendered with the
army at Appomattox. During the retreat from Gettysburg, he was
captured at Falling Waters, but had the good fortune to be recap-
tured within an hour. After the dispersal of the army he returned
to his home in Lancaster county, and in 1866 removed to Washing-
ton, where he has made his home ever since and has been success-
fully engaged in the lumber trade. He is influential in business and
political circles, is a member of the board of trade with the official
position of director of that body, and is president of the Virginia
Democratic association of the District. He maintains a member-
ship in the Washington camp of Confederate veterans.

Carter R. Bishop, of Petersburg, though but twelve years of age
at the outbreak of the war, enjoys the honor of having participated
in the Confederate service, as one of the cadets of the Virginia
military institute, the West Point of the South. He is the son of
Carter R. Bishop, a member of an old and worthy Virginia family,
who married Miss Mary Elizabeth Head, of Rhode Island; served
during the war with the reserve forces, and subsequently was
cashier of the Commercial bank of Petersburg, until his death in
1877. He was a native of Prince George county. Carter R. Bishop
attended school during the earlier part of the war and in 1864 he
gained admission as a cadet to the Virginia military institute. With
the cadet corps under command of Colonel Shipp he participated
in the defense of Richmond. Just before the surrender the cadets
were stationed at an important point in the lines, almost without
support and facing the great Federal array, four of the boys being
assigned to each picket post, about one hundred yards apart. Upon
the evacuation, young Bishop was taken prisoner, April 3d, but he
was released soon after the surrender of the army, and he then re-
turned to his home at Petersburg and the studies of his youth. He
subsequently entered Hampden-Sidney college, and was graduated
in 1870, with the first honors of his class. For five years he was
engaged in teaching school in Kentucky. In 1877 he succeeded his
father as cashier of the Commercial national bank at Petersburg,
and later held the position with the bank of Petersburg until 1886,'
when upon the organization of the National bank of Petersburg, he



730 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

became cashier of that bank, the position he has since occupied. He
is a courteous popular official and a capable financier, holding the
confidence alike of the public and of his financial associates. He
is active in "preserving the heroic memories of the army of North-
ern Virginia, and holds the rank of adjutant in A. P. Hill carrip,
United Confederate Veterans. In 1881 he was married to Miss
Rirk, of Culpeper county.

Lieutenant Conrad R. Bitzer, of Herndon, Va., who served
faithfully throughout the war of the Confederacy as a member of
the Eighth Virginia regiment of infantry, was born in Loudoun
county, April 27, 1838. He was reared and educated in that county,
arid there enlisted among the first to take up arms for Virginia, on
the 17th of April, the day of the State's secession from the Union.
'His command became a part of the Eighth regiment, under com-
mand of Col. Eppa Hunton, and was known as Company A. In
tfjis company he was first enrolled as orderly-sergeant, and this po-
sition he held until February, 1862, when he was promoted second
lieutenant. His meritorious conduct caused his further promotion
in April, 1863, to first lieutenant, the rank which he held at the



Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 73 of 153)