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until he had planted his guns upon the enemy's works. After the
return to Virginia he commanded a battalion of artillery in the
Mine Run campaign, and about this time was recommended by
General Pendleton, chief of artillery, as one of the officers most
deserving of promotion. The rank of lieutenant-colonel was soon
afterward conferred upon him, and he retained command of a
battalion of the artillery of the Second corps. He fought with
Ewell in the Wilderness and at Spottsylvania, where, throughout
the bloody day of May 12th, he rendered important service. He con-
tinued to be actively engaged, so far as natural conditions per-
mitted, in this campaign up to and including the battle of Cold
Harbor, and then was transferred ■ with Early's division to the
Shenandoah valley. He took part in Early's advance down the
valley and expedition against Washington including the battle
of Monocacy, and after the return to the valley was engaged in
the battles of Winchester and Fisher's Hill, against Sheridan. At
Winchester, on the left of the Confederate army, he was early in
the action, left facing the enemy at short distance without sup-
port. The situation was critical, but as General Early has written:
"Braxton's guns, in which now was our only hope, resolutely stood
their ground, and under the personal superintendence of Lieut.-
Col. C. M. Braxton, and Col. T. H. Carter, then my chief of ar-
tillery, opened with canister on the enemy. The fire was so rapid
and well directed, that the enemy staggered, halted and com-
menced falling back." As a result of Colonel Braxton's coolness,
the battle that morning resulted in a victory for the Confederates.
In January, i86s. Colonel Braxton was assigned to the heavy ar-
tillery at Chaffin's Bluflf, and later he was on duty in the fortifica-
tions near Richmond, and during the final part of the siege, he
was in charge of the artillery attached to the command of Gen.
R. H. Anderson on the extreme right of the lines. He fought at
Hatcher's Run and later at Five Forks, and surrendered with the
army at Appomattox. He then returned to Fredericksburg and
resumed his profession as a civil engineer, in which he became
connected with several important enterprises. He built the Rich-
mond, Fredericksburg & Potomac, and the Potomac, Fredericks-
burg & Piedmont railroads, located the Fredericksburg & Alex-
andria railroad, and as chief engineer of construction for the
Chesapeake & Ohio railroad, built the terminals at Newport
News. With the same company he served as engineer of main-
tenance of way until 1889, when he resigned to carry out a con-
tract he had undertaken to build a portion of the shipyard at New-
port News. Subsequently he was engaged in many important
building contracts, and was interested in the real estate business.
At Newport News, where he made his home, he was one of the
most highly regarded citizens, and was widely known for his mil-
itary and professional services. One of his cherished honors was
the post of commander of Magruder camp, United Confederate
Veterans. He was a member of the official board of his Baptist
church, and in masonry had the advanced rank of the Scottish rite
and Thirty-second degree. He was married February 14, 1865, to



752 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

Miss Fannie Hume, who died four months later, and on March 23,
1868, he was wedded to Miss Nannie AIsop, by whom he had six
daughters living. Colonel Braxton died May 27, 1898.

Major Elliott Muse Braxton was born in Matthews county, Va.,
October 8, 1823. His father. Carter M. Braxton, was the son of
Carter Braxton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Inde-
pendence, and a lawyer of eminence. Major Braxton studied law
with his father and commenced the practice in Richmond City,
subsequently removing to Richmond county. In 1857 he was
nominated by the Democratic party for the State senate, and was
elected over Col. Robert W. Carter, who had long represented the
district and who was supposed to be invincible on account of his
ability, popularity and the party majority behind him. Braxton
was re-elected in 1853 without opposition. In the spring of i860
he removed to Fredericksburg, and when the war broke out he
raised a company of which he was elected captain. He was after-
ward commissioned as major and served on the_ staflf of Gen. John
R. Cooke, through the struggle for Southern independence. Re-
turning to Fredericksburg at the close of the war, he became the
seiyor member of the law firm of Braxton & Wallace. In 1870,
when Virginia was allowed, for the first time after the reconstruc-
tion period, representation in Congress, Major Braxton was
selected as the nominee of the Democratic party from the Eighth
congressional district of Virginia and served in the Forty-second
Congress. He was renominated by his party in 1872, but was sac-
rificed together with such men as General Morgan, of Ohio, and
Michael Kerr, of Indiana, as a result of the statesmanship that
nominated Greeley as the presidential candidate. In 1854 Major
Braxton was married to Miss Anna Maria Marshall, of Fauquier
county, granddaughter of Chief Justice Marshall. They had seven
children, four daughters and three sons. A devoted husband and
father died on October 2, 1891, in the sixty-eighth year of his
age. He lived a Christian, from his early married life being a
member of the Protestant Episcopal church. The following reso-
lutions were passed by the vestry of St. George church: "The
death of Hon. Elliott Muse Braxton being announced to the vestry
of St. George Episcopal church, at a meeting held on this Sth
day of October, this body feels that it is only a just tribute to put
on record its testimony to the honorable career and reputation of
this distinguished member of the vestry. Elliott M. Braxton was
a Christian, consistent in all his acts to the faith which he pro-
fessed. He was a gentleman whose wise counsel will be missed
in the deliberations of this body. He was a citizen filled with
public spirit only limited by a just recognition of individual rights.
He has held with credit high and exalted public representative
office. He lived a life to be emulated and died without a stain
upon his honor. The vestry tender heartfelt sympathy to each
member of his family."

Elliott M. Braxton, son of the foregoing, was born at Freder-
icksburg, ya., February 6, 1867, and was educated at the university
of Virginia, studying law also at that institution. While teaching
school at Fredericksburg he continued his legal studies and began
the practice at Washington, D. C, in association with Gen. Eppa
Hunton. Since 1891 he has been engaged in the practice at New-
port News, for several years past as a partner of A. S. Segar and



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 753

is regarded as one of the prominent young men of his profession.
In 1893 he was married to Jennet P., daughter of Judge Thomas
C. Fuller, of the United States court of private land claims at
Santa Fe, N. M., and they have one child, Elliott M.

William P. Brett, of Newport News, a veteran of Mahone's
brigade, army of Northern Virginia, is a native of the city of
Richmond, born April 4, 1&4.0, the son of Hudson and Rebecca C.
(Bendle) Brett. He was reared and educated in his native city,
and when just past the age of twenty-one entered the service of
his State as a private in the Richmond Greys. This company was
first assigned as Company A to the First Virginia regiment, but
on April 19, 1861, was detached and sent to Norfolk, being the
first of the Richmond military organizations to leave the city for
the front. At Norfolk it became a part of the Twelfth Virginia
regiment of infantry, and was assigned to the brigade of General
Mahone, which displayed its admirable discipline and fighting
qualities on many of the most famous fields of the four years' war
which followed. With his regiment he participated in the battles
of Drewry's Bluff, Seven Pines, King's School House, Malvern
Hill, Second Manassas, Crampton's Gap, Sharpsburg, Second
Fredericksburg, United States Ford, and Spottsylvania. After the
latter battle he was promoted to ordnance sergeant by General
Mahone, and in that capacity he participated in the subsequent
service of the brigade, at Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spottsyl-
vania, Cold Harbor, and many months of service in the trenches
before Petersburg, the battles of the Crater, Reams' Station and
Yellow Tavern, finally surrendering with Lee. During this long
and gallant service he was wounded four times, in the battles of
Crampton's Gap, Fredericksburg, Spottsylvania and the Wilder-
ness. After the close of hostilities ne resided at Richmond until
1886, when he removed to Newport News. For six years he was
in the service of the Chesapeake & Ohio railroad company, and
since then he has held the position of chief wharf clerk of the
Merchants and Miners' transportation company. He still enjoys
his Confederate comradeship and is an active member of the Ma-
gruder camp. No. 36, Confederate Veterans. In 1873 he was mar-
ried to Mary V. Alexander, of Fredericksburg, and they have three
children living.

Henry Wilmot Brewer, a prominent civil engineer of George-
town, D. C^ was born at that city in 1834, and there reared and
educated. On reaching manhood he embraced the profession of
civil engrjneering, in which Ee gained such proficiency as to be ap-
pointed in i8s8 to the United States coast survey, with the rank
of master's mate in the navy. He continued in this employment
until the outbreak of the war, when, thoroughly in sympathy with
the cause of the South, he resigned his commission in April, 1861,
and taking with him sixty or seventy men of like mind regarding
their duty in the impending struggle, he repaired to Alexandria,
Va., and joined the Washington volunteers. When these volun-
teers were mustered into the service he became second lieutenant
of Company H, Seventh Virginia infantry, in which rank he served
until the reorganization in the spring of 1862. The regiment was
then disbanded and he went to Richmond and sought service
where his professional acquirements would be more directly use-
ful, and received the appointment of assistant engineer for the



754 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

Richmond defenses, in which capacity he served for one year.
Then, desiring more active service, he opened a recruiting camp
near Richmond, supplying men for the cavalry command of Maj.
Harry Gilmor, of Maryland. Subsequently he was made captain
of a company in this battalion, and served under Gilmor in the
valley and in the Pennsylvania raid until the affair at Moorefield,
W. Va., in 1864, when he was among those captured by the enemy.
He suffered nine months' imprisonment at Camp Chase, Ohio, and
was then sent to Richmond, but before he could rejoin his com-
mand, the war had ceased. The list of engagements in which he
participated includes the following: First Manassas, ^yilliams-
burg, Seven Pines, the Seven Days' fighting before Richmond,
Chambersburg and New Creek. Captain Brewer was paroled at
Lynchburg in May, 1865, and then returned to \Vashington. Not
long after his return he was appointed city engineer of George-
town, in which position he served for several years with general
satisfaction. Subsequently he performed similar duties under the
board of public works, and for three years was in the service of
the United States government in the work of gauging rivers.
Since then he has been engaged in the general duties of^his pro-
fession. Captain Brewer was married in 1892 to Florine A.,
daughter of Rev. Dr. Wellons, of Suffolk, Va.

William M. Bridges was born in Richmond, Va., May 5, 1835,
and was educated in (he schools of Richmond and at Emory and
Henry college, Va. He removed to New Orleans, La., in 1857,
and was there when the military organizations began to be formed
for the defense of the Confederacy. He was among the New
Orleans troops at the surrender of Baton Rouge arsenal to Gen.
Braxton Bragg; and was a non-commissioned officer in the Cres-
cent Rifles, Bradford's battalion, which early volunteered to re-
inforce General Bragg at Pensacola, Fla. The Rifles became a
part of Major Bradford's battalion of Louisiana troops, but Mr.
Bridges' service with the command was limited to about three
weeks, he then receiving a commission from Governor Moore as
second lieutenant in the first regiment of Louisiana artillery, his
commission being ir the regular army, and his regiment being
one of the eight regiments of regulars in the Confederate States
army. He served at Fort Jackson, below New Orleans, until the
surrender of the Mississippi defenses in that quarter, a period of
eleven months. Upon his exchange he was detached from his
regiment by order of the secretary of war and assigned to the
staff of Gen. Johnson K. Duncan. He repotted to him at Chat-
tanooga, Tenn., and served on his staff throughout Bragg's Ken-
tucky campaign. Upon Duncan's death at Knoxville, Tenn., in
December, 1862, Lieutenant Bridges was transferred to the staff
of General Bragg, in command of the army of the Mississippi.
In this capacity he participated in the battle of Murfreesboro, Tenn.
In January, 1863, he rejoined his regiment at Vicksburg, which
place the Federal army was attempting to invest, and was assigned
to the staff of Brig.-Gen. Edward Higgins, in command of the
river front, as inspector of the river batteries. In this important
position he served during the remainder of the siege of Vicks-
burg, and until the capitulation to Grant in July. He was paroled
with the remainder of the army and observed the parole until he
was declared exchanged in the following September. He was then



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 755

transferred to Charleston, S. C, promoted captain of artillery, and
given command by General Beauregard of a light battery on
James island, where he served until the evacuation of the city.
With four guns he joined General Johnston's army, with which he
finally surrendered at Greensboro in April, 1865. Returning to
Richmond, he went from there in the fall of 1865 to Louisville,
Ky., where he engaged in the tobacco business until 1872, when he
agam became a citizen oi Richmond. In 1888 Gen. Peyton Wise,
then inspector of tobacco for the Tobacco association of Rich-
mond, having declined re-election. Captain Bridges was elected in
his place and has been subsequently annually re-elected to this
office to the present time — 1898.

Captain W. H. Briggs, of Emporia, Va., during life a prosperous
farmer and influential citizen, was born in Sussex county, October
16, 1833, and was a descendant of one of the old and notable Vir-
ginia families. His father, Dr. William Briggs, a prominent phy-
sician and member of the Virginia legislature, was a son of William
Briggs, a soldier of 1812, and for many years high sheriff of the
county. Dr. Briggs married Rebecca, daughter of Maj. James
Dillard, who served in the Virginia troops during the war of 1812.
Captain Briggs had received his education at the university of
Virginia, and had embarked in his agricultural career when the
war broke out. He went to the front early in 1861 as captain of
the Greenesville Guards, a volunteer company of infantry, and was
stationed on the peninsula near Yorktown and Williamsport dur-
ing the first year of the war. Here, also, he participated^ in the
battles against McClellan's army in the spring of 1862, during the
Seven Days' battles and the battle of Malvern Hill, and subse-
quently participated in the second battle of Manassas. He was
tiien transferred to the cavalry and in this branch of the service
he was engaged in campaigns about Richmond and Petersburg
until detailed on special service, which occupied him until the
close of the war. At the end he was paroled at Petersburg and
returned to Emporia, and his work as a farmer. In addition to
the management of an estate of seven hundred acres he also con-
ducted a mercantile business. For about twelve years he held the
position of superintendent of schools for Greenesville and Sussex
counties, and during both the first and second administrations of
President Cleveland, his prominence as a citizen and influential
service in his party were recognized by his apijointment as dep-
uty collector of internal revenue. Captain Briggs was married
March 5, l8ss> to Miss Virginia Land, who died September 11,
1868. June 8, 1870, he was married a second time, to Miss' Hart
Cook, who survives him.

Admiral Brinkley is a survivor of one of the families of Nanse-
mond county, who loyally supported Virginia in the great strug-
gle, his parents being Admiral and Margaret J. Brinkley. The
father, a farmer, born about 1809, in Nansemond county, of which
his father, Jacob Brinkley, was also a native, died in December,
1849, and was survived but four years by his wife, a daughter of
Job Saunders. Three of their sons entered the Confederate ser-
vice. Robert B. became captain of Company I, Forty-first Vir-
ginia infantry, Mahone's brigade, and_ after a faithful and dis-
tinguished service was killed in a skirmish at Hanover Junction in
May, 1864. Hugh G. held the rank of lieutenant in the same com-



756 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

pany until he was captured in 1863, near Blackwater river, while
returning from a furlough. Being held at Point Lookout and
afterward at Johnson's island, he scorned to obtain his liberty
by abandoning his convictions, and being so unfortunate as not
to be exchanged, remained a prisoner of war until after the sur-
render. He then engaged in business at Norfolk, and so con-
tinued until his death in 1869. John R. served faithfully in Captain
Barham's company of cavalry throughout the war, and afterward
engaging in farming, died at his home in Nansemond county
about 1883. Admiral Brinkley, a younger son, now a prominent
wholesale merchant of Norfolk, was born near Suffolk, March 8,
1850, and has taken a prominent part in the upbuilding of the Old
Dominion since the war. Educated in a log schoolhouse, he
entered business life with his brother, Hugh G., at the age of sev-
enteen. In 1871 he became a retail grocer on his own account, in
Portsmouth, and ten years afterward developed into the whole-
sale trade. In 1882 he became a member of a prominent whole-
sale firm of Norfolk, in a few years becoming the head of the
house. He was married^ in 1871 to Fannie Fern Daughtrey, who
died about three years later. His present wife is Laura O., daugh-
ter of Bassett and Elizabeth (Grimes) Warren, and niece of Capt.
Gary Grimes, the gallant artillery commander.

James Peyton Britton, a gallant North Carolina soldier, was
born in 1842, in Hertford county, N. C. Losing his parents before
iJeaching the age of ten years, he found employment in young
manhood as the overseer of a farm in Bertie county. In the spring
of 1861 he volunteered as a private in the company of Capt.
Thomas M. Garrett, Fifth North Carolina infantry, Iverson's bri-
gade, Rodes' division. He participated in the battle of Seven
Pines, the Seven Days' battles before Richmond, Cedar Run, Sec-
ond Manassas, South Mountain, Harper's Ferry, Culp^er Court
House, Gettysburg, Williamsport, and other famous engagements,
in all twenty-seven encounters with the enemy. At South Moun-
tain he received a wound in the chin which kept him in hospital
at Petersburg for two or three months, and on returning to his
command he was promoted orderly-sergeant. In the bloody fight-
ing of the first day at Gettysburg, in which his regiment Was al-
most annihilated, after his company was mowed down by the
storm of grape and canister. Sergeant Britton wrapped the tat-
tered battle flag around his arm and carried it from the field. He
was with "Bob" Lee to the end at Appomattox, and then returned
to his native State, and in 1867 was married to Miss Annie E. Les-
soms. In i8go he removed to Arkansas, but retired from farm life
in 1897 and made his home at Oakdale, Norfolk county.

Joseph Edward Britton, oldest son of the foregoing, was born
in North Carolina in 1869, and was reared and educated in that
State. At the age of twenty -one years he entered the Norfolk bus-
iness college, and after graduation found employment as a clerk
at Portsmouth. Subsequently he purchased the business and con-
tinued it until 1894, when he removed to Norfolk, and established
a wholesale and commission house He is interested in various
enterprises of importance, and in real estate, and has manifested
a remarkable tact and skill in business which promise unqualified
success. He is popular socially, maintains membership in several
fraternal orders, and is a trustee and clerk of the South Norfolk



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 757

Baptist church. In 1894 he was married to Miss Sallie Owen,
daughter of Rev. A. E. Owen, D. D., of Portsmouth, formerly in
the Confederate States service.

Colonel John M. Brockenbrough was, in June, 1861, in com-
mand of his own regiment, the Fortieth Virginia and Cook's battery
at Mathias Point on the Potomac. In concert with Col. (afterward
brigadier-general) George E. Pickett, he was charged with the de-
fense of the Rappahannock. On April 20, 1862, when the Federal
forces appeared before Fredericksburg, Field's brigade, to which
Brockenbrough's regiment was attached, had quite a spirited skir-
mish with the enemy before falling back. During the Seven Days'
battles Colonel Brockenbrough was actively engaged at Mechanics-
ville, Gaines' Mill and Frayser's Farm. He participated also in the
campaign against Pope, ending with the defeat of that general at
Second Manassas and Ox Hill. At the last named battle Brocken-
brough commanded the brigades of Branch and Field. Generals
Lee and Jackson, in their reports, spoke in high terms of the
gallant fighting of these troops under the leadership of Brocken-
brough. During the. Maryland campaign Colonel Brockenbrough
was still in command of Field's brigade and in A. P. Hill's division
of Jackson's corps participated in the capture of Harper's Ferry
and in the bloody battle of Sharpsburg. At Fredericksburg he
still had command of a brigade and again at Chancellorsville, after
the wounding of Heth. At Gettysburg he commanded the Second
brigade of Heth's division in the corps of A. P. Hill and had a
hand in the first day[s victorious battle, which drove the enemy
through Gettysburg to" the heights beyond. After the Pennsylvania
campaign Colonel Brockenbrough was placed on detached duty
and served the Confederacy in other fields of duty.

Henry Laurence Brooke, a prominent lawyer of Richmond, born
in Stafford county in 1808, died in 1874, was a son of John Talia-
ferro Brooke, twin brother of Francis T. Brooke, judge of the
supreme court of appeals of Virginia. Elder brothers of the latter
were Dr. Lawrence Brooke, surgeon of the "Bon Homme Rich-
ard," under Capt. John Paul Jones, and Robert Brooke, governor
of Virginia in 1794. The father of these distinguished sons was
Richard Brooke, son of Edmond Brooke, who came to Virginia
from England with Gov.-Gen. Alexander Spottiswood in 1715,
and served with the governor in his famous reconnoissance be-
yond the Alleghanies. He was one of those who received onl
their return the decoration which led to the members of the ex-
pedition being subsequently designated as the "Knights of the
Golden Horse-Shoe." Henry Laurence Brooke married Virginia
Tucker, sister of John Randolph Tucker and Beverly Tucker, the
latter of whom was consul to Liverpool during the administration
of President Buchanan, and subsequently was an adherent and
personal friend of the Emperor Maximilian, of Mexico. The
father of this family was Henry St. George Tucker, president of
the supreme court of appeals of Virginia, son of St. George Tucker,
who held the same high judicial function and by his marriage to
Fannie Bland, became the stepfather of John Randolph of Roa-
noke, who traced his descent through his mother to the royal
blood of England and through his father to the Indian princess
Pocahontas. The families of Tucker and Brooke were loyal to
Virginia in her hour of trial, and faithfully supported the Confed-
Ta48



758 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

erate States by influence and force of arras Henry Laurence
Brooke gave two young sons to the army of Northern Virginia,
St George T. Brooke, now professor of law m the university of
Virginia, who served during three years in General Wickhams
brigade of cavalry, and was badly wounded at Hawes Shop; and
Frank J. Brooke, now a minister in the Presbyterian synod of
Virginia, who during the last two years of the war was a courier



Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 77 of 153)