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close' of the war. He went into battle at Manassas in July, 1861, in
Cocke's brigade of Beauregard's army, and in the following Octo-
ber was with his regiment prominently engaged in the defeat of
General Stone's invasion at Ball's Blufi. In 1862, in Pickett's bri-
gade of Longstreet's division, he took part in the battle of Seven
Pines, and the ensuing Seven Days' fights, and subsequently par- •
tJcipated in the second battle of Manassas and the famous struggle
at Sharpsburg, Md. In the campaigns and battles of his regiment
which followed, notably at Fredericksburg and the bloody fight in
the Wilderness, he served faithfully. He then went to Clarke county,
Va., to resume the occupations of civil life, and was engaged in
teaching and farming until his return two years later to Loudoun
county, where in 1874 he entered the railway service as station agent
af Purcellville. In 1882 he was transferred to his present position
at Herndon, Fairfax county, in the service of the Southern railway.
■He is a prominent member of the Masonic order and the Knights
of Pythias, and represented the latter in the grand lodge of Vir-
ginia in 1896. On March 24, i860, he was married to Miss Sarah
Eeed, of Clarke county, and they have one child, a daughter.

Benjamin Blackford, M. D., conspicuous for faithful and impor-
tant service in the medical department of the army of Northern
Virginia, and subsequently distinguished in the medical profession,
especially as an alienist, was born in Luray, Va., in the year 1834.
He is a son of Dr. Thomas T. Blackford, a well-known physician,
Of Lynchburg, Va., who was born at Pine Grove Furnace, Pa.,
in 1794. served in the Maryland Line at the bombardment
of Fort McHenry in 1814, and died at Lynchburg in 1863. 'The
family was founded in America by Benjamin Blackford, a Scotch-
man and an adherent of Prince Charles, who, after being captured
at CuUoden and imprisoned in Warwick castle, where his name is
still legible, carved in the stone wall of his cell, was banished to
America, and made his home in New Jersey in 1745. His son, Mar-
tin Anthony Blackford, born in Ayrshire in 1729, came to New
Jersey ten years later. Benjamin Blackford, son of the latter and
grandfather of Dr. Blackford, was born in New Jersey in 1767,
entered the Continental army at the age of fourteen, was present at



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 731

the surrender of Cornwallis, and died at Lynchburg in 1855. Dr.
Blackford was reared at Lynchburg, and educated at the uni-
versity of Virginia, afterward studying and receiving the degree of
doctor of medicine at Jeflerson medical college, Philadelphia, in
1855. After serving two years as resident physician of the Phila-
delphia hospital, he began practice at Lynchburg, and continued
until April, 1861, when upon the passage of the ordinance of seces-
sion, he entered the service as surgeon of the Eleventh Virginia
infantry, Confederate army. About the same time he was ordered
to Richmond, and assigned to duty as one of the medical officers of
the camp of instruction. In June he was detached and sent to Cul-
peper Court House to establish a military hospital, of which, the
first established for the army, he was put in charge until after the
first battle of Manassas, when he was ordered on duty at Manassas
with the medical director of the army of Northern Virginia. In
August he was detailed to establish hospitals at Front Royal, where
he remained in charge until the spring of 1862. He then estab-
lished th«! general hospitals at Liberty, Va., and remained at
that post until the close of the war, except during the Hunter raid
against Lynchburg, when he participated in the operations in the
field, and was in charge of one of the hospitals at Lynchburg. At
the close of hostilities he resumed his practice at Lynchburg, and
remained there until 1889, when, . having gained favorable repute
for skill in the treatment of mental diseases, he was appointed su-
perintendent of the Western State hospital at Staunton, a position
he has since filled with entire satisfaction to the public. He has
served as president of the Lynchburg medical association, presi-
dent of the State medical society, and is a member of the American
medical association, the Medico-Psychological association of
America, and the Southern association of superintendents of in-
sane hospitals. In addition to his valued participation in various
organizations of this nature he has been a frequent contributor to
the medical press. His energy and executive capacity, formerly
displayed in the organization of Confederate military hospitals, have
also been manifested during his management of the Western hos-
pital in the increase of its capacity more than one-third and the ad-
dition of many important improvements. Dr. Blackford is a mem-
ber of Garland-Rodes camp at Lynchburg, and Stonewall Jackson
camp at Staunton, U. C. V. In 1871 he was married to Emily Byrd,
daughter of the late Robert Neilson, of Baltimore, and they have
six children living: Thomas Atkinson, Benjamin Ogle, Robert Neil-
son, Charles Minor, William Arthur and George Tayloe Blackford.
Benjamin L. Blackford, of Washington, D. C., was born at Fred-
ericksburg, Va., in 1837, was reared at Lynchburg, and educated in
the university of Virginia. He entered the Confederate service in
April, 1861, as a sergeant of the Eleventh regiment of Virginia in-
fantry, and served as such until June, 1861, when he was promoted
second lieutenant of engineers. He rendered valuable services in
the engineer corps during the remainder of the war, receiving pro-
motion in 1864 to captain of engineers. He participated in the bat-
tles of Norfolk, Seven Pines, the Seven Days' fight before Rich-
mond, the defense of Fort Fisher, N. C, the defense of Petersburg,
Va., and during the retreat from Richmond he fought at Sailor's
cieek and Appomattox, being slightly wounded at the latter field.
After the war had ceased he resumed his professional work as a'



732 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

civil engineer at Lynchburg, and thence removed in 1868 to Wash-
ington, v\fhere he has resided since that time.

Charles Minor Blackford, a prominent attorney of Lynchburg,
Va., was born at Fredericksburg, October 17, 1833. At the age of
fifteen years he came to Lynchburg, which has since been his hotne,
and thence attended the law school of the university of Virginia,
the training school of many eminent jurists. He was graduated at
this institution in 1855 and then embarked in the profession at
Lynchburg. In April, 1861, he abandoned a lucrative business to
enlist in the Confederate service, and became the first lieutenant of
Company B of the Second Virginia cavalry. In this rank he served
until August, 1861, when he was elected captain of the company. In
January, 1863, he was appointed judge advocate of the First corps
of the army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Long-
street, and in this position, combining both the functions of prose-
cutor and judge in the courts-martial of the army, he served with
notable tact and efficiency until the close of the war. During his
career in the army Major Blackford participated in the first battle
of Manassas, part of Jackson's Valley campaign. Slaughter Moun-
tain, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, Gettysburg, and
Suffolk. He was paroled at Charlottesville, Va., in April, 1865, and
then resumed the practice of the law at his former home. In his
professional undertakings he has been eminently successful. His
honorable career as a citizen, and distinction as a jurist, have well-
rounded out a life honored in its earlier years by prominent service
in the cause of the Confederate States.

Henry Edmundson Blair, for nearly a quarter of a century judge
of the Fourteenth judicial circuit of Virginia, served with distinc-
tion as an officer of artillery in the army of Northern Virginia. He
was born at Richmond in 1825, was reared there and in Montgom-
ery county and was educated at the Richmond academy. After a
study of law he was admitted to the bar at Salem, Va., in 1847, and
engaged in the practice there in ante-bellum days. He attained
such distinction as to be elected commonwealth's attorney in 1856,
a position which he held through the war period and until 1868. In
May, 1861, he abandoned his professional work to enlist as a vol-
unteer in Hupp's battery, where he was at once given the rank of
second lieutenant and promoted in the winter of 1862 to first lieu-
tenant, the rank he held during the remainder of the war. His rec-
ord includes service at Craney island during the first year of the
war, the battles of Williamsport, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville,
the second and third days of Gettysburg, Mine Run, Spottsylvania,
Second Cold Harbor, Fort Gilmer, and artillery duty on the lines
about Richmond during the long siege of 1864-65, and on the re-
treat to Appomattox, where he was paroled. During the Dahlgren
raid he was captured by the enemy but was able to escape after
three days. After the close of hostilities he returned to the home
and professional business which he had established at Salem, and
since then has maintained his residence at that city. In the session
of the legislature of 1874 he served as representative of his county
and in the same year was elected judge of the Fourteenth circuit, a
position to which he has since been regularly re-elected at the ex-
piration of each term. As a gallant veteran, as a public-spirited cit-
izen, and as an able jurist and fearless judge, he is held in the high-
est estimation by the people. A brother of judge Blair, Prof. Wal-



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 733

ter Blair of Hampden-Sidney college, was also in the military serv-
ice of the Confederate States.

Lisle A. Blamire, of Norfolk, a son of a gallant Confederate
soldier, was born at Norfolk, March 3, 1870. His grandfather, Ed-
ward T. Blamire, served as a captain in the Mexican war and held
the same rank in the State militia. His father, Edward T. Blamire,
a native of Portsmouth, Va., entered the Confederate service in 1861
with the Old Dominion Guard, a famous company organized at
Portsmouth in 1856, which was ordered into active service April
20, 1861, and in the following June became Company K of the
Ninth Virginia regiment of infantry. In the operations of this regi-
ment he participated until the last two years of the war, when he
was assigned to the engineer corps, where he served until the sur-
render. At one time falling into the hands of the enemy, he ex-
perienced the deprivations and suffering of a prisoner of war at
Point Lookout. His death occurred November 26, 1896. Lisle
Blamire was reared at Norfolk and educated in the school of Chris-
tian Brothers and St. John's military academy of Alexandria, leav-
ing his studies at the age of seventeen to take a place as clerk in
his father's dry-goods establishment. Two years later he accepted
a clerkship with the Norfolk & Southern railroad company, where
he remained one year, and then was for six years connected with the
freight department of the Norfolk & Carolina railroad. Then, after
a few months with the railroad company he had first served, he
formed a partnership with his brother, James B. Blamire, in the tea
and coflfee trade, doing business under the titles of Blamire Broth-
ers, and the Imperial tea and coffee company.

Major George Booker and family: Major George Booker, of
Elizabeth City county, paymaster, in 1861, of the army of the Penin-
sula under General Magruder, was born at Sherwood, the old fam-
ily estate on the Back river, in Elizabeth City county, October S,
1805. He was the son of Richard Booker, born in 1778 at Sher-
wood, where he lived the life of a prosperous planter, serving as
magistrate and going out with the Virginia troops to take part in
the war of 1812. He married Elizabeth Slaughter and died in 1823.
The father of Richard was George Booker, born in Amelia county
in 1723, who came to Elizabeth City county in his eighteenth year,
served twenty years in the legislature, was a neighbor and friend of
Chancellor Wythe and prominent as a lawyer and politician, fought
in the Revolutionary war, and enjoyed the intimate personal friend-
ship of General Washington. He died at the age of ninety years,
as the result of accident. His father bore the name of Richard. The
ancestral line is traced back to a family of prominent London mer-
chants. Major Booker was reared at the ancestral home — which
had first been granted to the Purifey family by George III., and
thence passed through the hands of the Marshalls to the Bookers
about two centuries ago. He was educated at William and Mary
college, studied law and was admitted to the bar but never practiced,
devoting instead his attention wholly to his estate, which was val-
ued in i860 at over $160,000, aside from the fifty slaves. Before his
twenty-first birthday he sat in the legislature, and served several
terms afterward. He represented his district in all the national
Democratic conventions up to the one held at Charleston, was very
influential in political affairs, and was intimately acquainted with
Webster, Clay, Calhoun, and other conspicuous men of that period.



734 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

He originally opposed secession, but heartily sustained the decision
of his State, and in 1861, though far past the age for military ser-
vice, accepted the position of paymaster of the army, under Magru-
der, on the peninsula. He served in this capacity until the reor-
ganization, when his physical condition made it imperative that he
should retire from active duty, but he retained his rank of major
during the existence of the Confederacy. He died in 1868, leaving
his widow, Ann Massenburg, daughter of William Massenburg, a
merchant of Hampton. She was born in 1816, married in 1833, and
after a noble and devoted life died July 17, 1897, at which time seven
of the eleven children who were born to her survived.

Captain Richard M. Booker, oldest son of the foregoing, was
born at the family home, two and a half miles from Hampton, Feb-
ruary 3, 1837. He was educated at the military academy of John B.
Carey, at Hampton, and in William and Mary college. So full of
faith was he in the justness of the Southern cause and so enthusi-
astic in its support, that he left home and kindred in February, 1861,
to enlist in the Confederate service in Georgia. In March he be-
came a private in the Oglethorpe Light infantry, organized at Au-
gusta under Captain Clark. The company went into rendezvous at
Macon, was assigned to the First Georgia regiment, and thence or-
dered to the navy yard at Warrenton, opposite Pensacola. In July
the command was ordered to Richmond and Private Booker went
ahead in order to visit his parents, then in refuge at Williamsburg.
On rejoining his regiment, he found awaiting him a commission as
lieutenant in the regular army, C. S. A., which had been forwarded
from Montgomery. He was at once detailed as drill-master at
Camp Lee, and later ordered to report to Captain Todd, a half-
brother of Mrs. Lincoln, with whom he served until February,
1862; in the conversion of several tobacco warehouses at Richmond
into military prisons. He subsequently served for several months
upon the staff of General McLaws, at Yorktown, and assisted his
father in the duties of paymaster under General Magruder until just
before the battle of Williamsburg, when he was ordered by the sec-
retary of war to Richmond, where he was appointed assistant pro-
vost-marshal for the western district of the city. He rendered faith-
ful duty in that capacity for more than a year, after which he served
until November, 1863, as a member of the general court-martial of
the Confederate army, under Colonel Nolan. Then applying for
orders to the field, he was promoted captain and assigned as adju-
tant of the post at Fort Caswell, at the mouth of the Cape Fear
river, under Col. T. M. Jones. He continued in this duty and that
of boarding officer for the blockade-running squadron until Christ-
mas, 1864, when, being crippled by rheumatism, he was carried un-
der fire of Butler's guns to Wilmington, and thence to Petersburg,
where he lay in hospital for some time. He left Petersburg with
the army, was captured in Amelia county, April 6tli, but escaped and
was paroled at Richmond two weeks later. The devotion which
characterized his entrance into the Confederate service was mani-
fested throughout his military career. He was an able, conscien-
tious and useful officer, and did his whole duty in whatever capacity
he was called upon to act. His career since the war has been quite
successful. He left the farm in 1870 to enter the oyster trade at
Hampton, in which he continued ten years, and then gave his at-
tention to the manufacture of brick, which he has developed into



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 735

an extensive business. He maintains memberships in R. E. Lee
camp No. I, at Richmond, and R. E. Lee camp, No. 3, at Hampton,
United Confederate Veterans; is past commander of the latter camp,
and is a director of the State soldiers' horrie, of Richmond. Cap-
tain Booker was married December 13, 1866, to Emily Wood,
daughter of Maj. George Wray, descendant of a leading English
family, who served upon the staff of General Magruder and died of
yellow fever at Galveston during the war. They have four children
living: George W., Emily W., Richard M., and Philip W. Booker.
George Booker, a gallant Confederate soldier, now well known
as the proprietor of the Sherwood hotel at Old Point Comfort, was
born at Sherwood farm, near Hampton, August 31, 1844, the second
son of Maj. George Booker. He received his education at Wil-
liamsburg and at the Hampton military academy, until that institu-
tion was closed early in the war. His first military experience was
gained at about the age of seventeen years, upon the arrival of Gen.
John B. Hood in the peninsula. That officer selected young
Booker and several other boys, familiar with the country, for the
duty of securing information regarding the Federal forces at Old
Point and the naval and ordnance strength of the enemy. While in
the performance of this duty his party of four was surprised by
eight or ten Yankees and ordered to surrender. But knowing their
fate if they did so, they made a gallant retreat under heavy fire, and
were able to kill three of their pursuers by a return fire and escape
without injury themselves. During this period, also, he went
through the Federal lines twice to visit his old home, procuring
provisions and considerable valuable information for the Confed-
erate army. He took part in the battle of Big Bethel, and, in 1862,
assisted in transporting quartermaster and commissary stores on
schooners up the river to Richmond. He there met his brother, as-
sistant provost-marshal, who secured for him a position in the same
line of duty, in which he continued until early in 1863, when he en-
listed as a private in the First company of Richmond Howitzers.
In the operations of this command he took part, up to and includ-
ing the battle of Gettysburg. During the terrible artillery duel of
the second day, which continued until after dark, he was wounded
four times, simultaneously, by the explosion of a shell. Captain
McCarthy, afterward killed at Cold Harbor, assisted him to the
rear, but as he went his right arm, which was about the captain's
neck, was pierced by a bullet. He was laid under a tree and the
captain secured a litter and went in search of help to carry him to
a barn near by; but before this could be done the tree was struck
by a shell, fragments of which demolished the litter and wounded
him on the head and in the back. His friend got him into the hands
of the surgeons before he had suffered any further as a target for
the enemy, but he was so badly hurt that he was reported as dead
and was necessarily left in the temporary hospital on the field of
battle, where he remained two weeks. He was then placed in a
hospital at Baltimore, and a month later was so fortunate as to be
included in a special exchange of five hundred totally disabled pris-
oners. He was in his mother's care at Petersburg for a year before
he was fit for the lightest duty; but toward the last of the war he
assisted his father, then connected with the quartermaster's depart-
ment. For twenty years after the close of hostilities, Mr. Booker
was engaged alternately in agricultural and mercantile pursuits.



736 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

meanwhile, on January 12, 1871, becoming united in marriage with
Laura Winder Garrett, daughter of Hon. Richard E. Garrett, and
grand-niece of Gen. John H. Winder. Five of their children are
living. From 1885 to 1889 he served as postmaster at Fort Monroe
and while in this office frequently had his attention called to the de-
mand for a second hotel at Old Point Comfort. In 1889 he began
the construction of the Sherwood hotel, which bears the name of
the Booker homestead, and it has become a popular resort under
his management. In 1894 he was appointed to a second term as
postmaster. He is a member of R. E. Lee camp No. 3, Confederate
Veterans, and is popular with his comrades as well as with a wide
circle of acquaintances.

Marshall A. Booker, the fourth son of Maj. George Booker, was
born at Sherwood, November 15, 1851. As a boy he observed the
stormy scenes of 1861 to 1865, but was too young to go to the field
of battle. Driven from home by the military operations which at an
early date were carried on upon the peninsula, he was a refugee
with his mother and her family at Williamsburg, Petersburg and
Clarksville, until the cessation of hostilities. Returning to the dev-
astated home after the close of war, he found it necessary to find
employment at Hampton soon afterward as a clerk in a commis-
sion store. From 1869 to 1871 he attended the school of W. Gor-
don McCabe at Petersburg, and after this he devoted himself to the
care of the Sherwood farm until 1875, when he received the appoint-
ment of superintendent of the farm connected with the hospital for
the insane at Williamsburg. In February, 1877, he embarked in
business at Hampton, and since that date has given his whole at-
tention to mercantile and manufacturing pursuits, with gratifying
success. For several years he conducted a hardware establishment
at Hampton, with his brother, H. R. Booker, as a partner. He
then traveled five years as salesman for a wholesale hardware house
of Baltimore and subsequently conducted a wholesale house in the
same line of trade at Staunton. In 1889 he took part in the organ-
ization of the Basic City car works, of which he became secretary
and treasurer in 1890. Since 1892 he has resided at Hampton,
where, in 1894, he established a wholesale grocery and commission
house, which speedily became one of the prominent business con-
cerns of the city. On November 25, 1885. he married Miss Mary
Elliott Bechtel, of Baltimore, and they have three children: Mary
Ethel, lima, and John Marshall.

Harry Wise Booker, one of the younger sons of the family of
Maj. George Booker, a family noted for patriotic endeavor in time
of war and for honorable success in their civil pursuits, was born
on the Sherwood farm, March 5, 1854. In childhood he experi-
enced the misery and deprivation attending war, as a refugee from
his home, and on his return to his birthplace after the close of hos-
tilities he realized the devastation and enormous loss which were
sufifered by the South. In childhood his mother was necessarily
his tutor, and he could have had no better. He completed his edu-
cation at William and Mary college, and then, after teaching school
for a time spent two years in Texas. Returning to Hampton in
1876, he engaged in the mercantile trade under the firm name of
H. W. Booker & Co., from 1878 to 1894. In the latter year he ac-
cejpted the position of deputy clerk of Elizabeth City county, under
his brother, John Booker, the third son of Maj. George Booker.



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 737

This brother served from 1863 until the close of the war in the
Confederate army, first as a member of the stafi of Gen. H. A.
Wise, and subsequently in the signal service. He has become
physically unable to perform the duties of the ofKce of clerk and
they fall entirely upon his younger brother and deputy. He is an
able and popular official. On June 13, 1882, Mr. Booker was mar-
ried to Fanny, only daughter of Maj. Baker P. Lee, of Hampton,
and they have two children: Bessie Lee and Mary Neely. Mr.
Booker cherishes the memory of the patriotic services of his father



Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 74 of 153)