Clement Anselm Evans.

Confederate military history; a library of Confederate States history online

. (page 79 of 153)
Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 79 of 153)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

of southern Virginia, and of direct descent from Archibald Glenn,
for many years lord provost of Glasgow, Scotland.

Benjamin F. Brown, now a prominent citizen of Petersburg, Va.,
rendered active and faithful service throughout the war as a pri-
vate in the artillery of the army of Northern Virginia. He was
born in Albemarle county in 1833, the son of William Brown, a
staunch old Jacksonian Democrat and patriotic citizen and soldier,
who served as a lieutenant in the war of 1812, was subsequently
captain of militia, and died in 1851. B. F. Brown was among
those who entered the Confederate service in 1861 and served dur-
ing that year on provost duty at Petersburg. In the spring of
1862 he was transferred to the Branch artillery, a Petersburg bat-
tery which subsequently was distinguished in the campaigns of
the army in the battalion of Colonel Walker, attached to A. P.
Hill's division. He was first stationed at Halifax, N. C., and
thence moved to the Yorktown peninsula and participated in the
Seven Days' battles. He took part in the capture of Harper's
Ferry, and the battle of Sharpsburg, and on December 13, 1862,
fought at Fredericksburg. He was subsequently stationed on the
James river below Richmond, at Deep Bottom, until late in 1863,
when he participated in the operations in North Carolina, and
passed the winter in that State. Early in 1864 he was on duty a
short time at Drewry's Bluff, and then returned to North Carolina
to take part in the campaign under General Hoke. He was actively
engaged in the siege of Plymouth and took part in the three days'
fighting which compelled the surrender of the Federal garrison.
The battery was then recalled to Petersburg by General Beaure-
gard, and they rendered effective service in repelling the threaten-
ing advance of Butler's and Grant's armies. They were stationed
at the salient, under which the Federal mine was exploded, July 30,
1864, and on that occasion nineteen of the men of the battery were
killed and three buried in the debris. Mr. Brown fortunately es-
caped injury, though he was a close eye-witness of the explosion.
He took part in the desperate fight which resulted in the repulse
of the Federal attack, and remained on duty at that point until
about three days before the evacuation, when, in a fight about
four miles from Petersburg, he was cai)tured by the enemy. He
was subsequently imprisoned at Hart's island, N. Y., about three
months. On his return home he entered the business of a manu-
facturer of brick and builder and contractor, in which he has been
very successful. Some of the most important buildings of Peters-
burg, such as the Dunlap tobacco factory, the Central colored
asylum, St. John's church, the silk mills, and a number of fine
buildings are his handiwork. He is held in high regard by his
Confederate comrades and is a member of the A. P. Hill camp of
Petersburg. In 1865 he was married to Miss Ann M. Alley, and
they have three children, Hattie, Benjamin F., Jr., and Virginia.

Jesse A. Brown, of Hanover Court House, a worthy Confederate
soldier, who rode in campaign and battle with Stuart, Fitz Lee
and Wickham, since 1875 has held the office of clerk of the circuit


court of his county. He was born January i6, 1843, in Hanover
county, of which his father, Peter W. Brown, a well-known
teacher, was also a native. His mother, Sarah E., was a daughter of
Capt. Jesse Winn. He was reared upon the farm in his native
county, and at the outbreak of war in 1861, was a student in the
Meadow Farm academy. On April i, 1862, he enlisted in Com-
pany G, or Hanover Troop, of the Fourth Virginia cavalry, Col.
Williams C. Wickham commanding. With this gallant regiment
he served throughout the war, except when detailed as a courier
for General Wickham, for a long time in command of the brigade
which included the regiment. It would be impracticable to at-
tempt a list of the many engagements in which he participated
with his trooper comrades, but notable among those in which he
played a part were the Seven Days' battles, Boonsboro, Fred-
ericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Yellow Tavern, Five
Forks and Appomattox. Cutting his wiy through the Federal
lines at the latter place, he surrendered at Richmond ten days
after the capitulation of General Lee. During the first ten years
following the war Mr. Brown was engaged with his uncle. Col.
William R. Winn, of Ashland, farmer, lumberman and lawyer, and
for several terms a member of the Virginia legislature. As clerk
of the circuit court he has been honored with re-election three
times, which amply demonstrates his popularity and efficiency as
a public servant. He maintains a membership in W. B. Newton
camp, Confederate Veterans, and is highly regarded by his com-
rades as a brave soldier and unpretentious citizen. Mr. Brown was
married October 23, 1879, to Bettie Deane, daughter of Nathaniel
August, who died in 1895, leaving two children; Sallie Russell and
Jessie Deane.

Joseph B. Brown, of Hanover county, Va., entered the service
of the Confederacy as a member of the Hanover Dragoons, com-
manded by Capt. Williams C. Wickham. The company was as-
signed to the Fourth cavalry regiment, Fitzhugh Lee's brigade,
and Captain Wickham became colonel, and after Fitz Lee's pro-
motion, brigadier-general commanding the brigade. Private
Brown served with this gallant command throughout the war,
participating in many famous battles and daring cavalry raids, and
was wounded at the battle of Kelly's Ford, losing a portion of his
right hand. By his marriage to Fannie L. Taylor he had three
children, one of whom, John D. G. Brown, is now prominent in
the legal profession of Newport News. The latter was born in
Hanover county, June 16, i8(58, was graduated in law at the uni-
versity of Virginia, and after teaching school for a time, embarked
in the practice of his profession at Newport News in 1893. In
1896 he was elected to the office of police justice. On October 4,
1896, he was married to Nellie G. Allen, of New Jersey.

John Greener Brown, now a prominent business man of Wythe-
ville, Va., did faithful service with the Confederate forces in east
Tennessee and the Shenandoah valley during the great war. He is
a native of Wythe county, born in September, 1845. When about
eighteen years of age he enlisted in the cavalry company of Capt.
R. H. Cleaves, and soon afterward went into east Tennessee in
the command of Gen. John S. Williams. General Williams ad-
vanced through Greeneville to make a diversion in co-operation
with the contemplated attack upon the Federals at Cumberland


Gap, and encountered a heavy force at Blue Springs. Here a con-
siderable fight occurred, lasting all the day of September loth, in
which the Confederates held their own and severely repulsed an
attack of the enemy. Then learning of a strong flank movement
of the Federals, Williams' command marched to the rear all night,
and in the morning cut their way through Foster's Federal brigade,
an action in which the cavalry was distinguished for gallantry.
Another fight followed at Rheatown, but the command finally es-
caped to Abingdon. In the fight of the nth Mr. Brown was pain-
fully wounded in the left knee, but he managed to return to Abing-
don upon his horse. After his recovery he enlisted in the Forty-
fifth Virginia infantry, McCausland's brigade, and on May gth
shared the gallant action of his command in the battle of Cloyd's
Mountain. The Forty-fifth sustained the heaviest loss, 174 men,
and Lieut-Col. E. H. Harman was killed. Immediately after this
battle Private Brown was promoted sergeant. His next battle
was at Piedmont on June Sth, against Hunter's army in which many
gallant Confederates were killed, including Gen. William E. Jones
and Col. William H. Browne, of the Forty-fifth. Most of the
regiment was captured, including Sergeant Brown, and during the
next eight months he was a prisoner of war at Camp Morton, Ind
Since the conclusion of the war he has been engaged in business
at Wytheville, a part of the time as a druggist, and at present as
cashier of the Bank of Wytheville. He was married in 1876 to
Miss Minnie Noel, and they have six children: Leila, Noel, Fair-
fax, Walker, Elise and Virginia.

Colonel John Willcox Brown, president of the Maryland Trust
company, of Baltimore, and a resident of that city during the past
three decades, is a. native of Virginia, born at Petersburg in 1833.
At the latter place he was reared and received his education pre-
paratory to entering the university of Virginia, where he was grad-
uated in 1853, receiving the degree A. M. There he also studied
law, and continued the study at home, but on account of failing
eyesight was compelled to relinquish his efforts and travel in
Europe, where he spent two years. After his return home the
State of Virginia was agitated by the "John Brown raid," and the
forebodings of evil to cpme led to the organization of companies
to meet the emergencies that might arise. At Petersburg repre-
sentatives of the best families were enrolled in the Petersburg
Riflemen, which Colonel Wilcox assisted in organizing and drill-
ing, and of which he became orderly sergeant. When Virginia
withdrew from the Union and allied herself vidth the Confederate
States, he proceeded, with his company, to Norfolk, Va., where
the "Richmond Grays" and the Petersburg companies were mus-
tered in as the Twelfth Virginia infantry, in the service of the
State, Colonel Brown's company being entitled Company E.
With this command, the colonel of which was D. A. Weisiger,
afterward brigadier-general, Colonel Brown served in the occupa-
tion of Norfolk, in the movement to Richmond, and. participated
in the battle of Seven Pines, the campaign against Pope,~and the
second battle of Manassas. When mustered in he was elected
junior second lieutenant, and was promoted successively to the
rank of first lieutenant, which he held when the year of enlistment
expired. At the reorganization of the army in the spring of 1862
he declined to be re-elected first lieutenant, though urged to ac-


cept by the entire company, and re-enlisted in Company E as a
private. As such he served until February, 1863, when his im-
paired health, due to an attack of camp fever and a relapse from
the same, caused by his ambition for active service, led the army
surgeons to advise him that he could no longer do duty in the
field. Consequently, while flat on his back with fever, he fitted
himself for ordnance duty, and on his recovery stood an examina-
tion, and received an appointment in that department, with the
rank of first lieutenant of artillery. He was stationed at Rich-
mond, and was soon afterward appointed to the responsible posi-
tion of inspector of ordnance for the Confederate States army, and
put in charge of the army work in progress at the Tredegar and
other iron works in Richmond. In this capacity Colonel Brown
served until the evacuation of Richmond, his efficiency and con-
scientious performance of duty being recognized meanwhile by
rapid promotion through the grades of captain and major, to the
rank of lieutenant-colonel of artillery. When the troops moved
out of Richmond he started out under orders from Gen. Josiah
Gorgas, chief of ordnance, to proceed to Lynchburg, but on ar-
riving at Appomattox Court House, about two days before the
surrender, he became satisfied that Lynchburg could not be held
by the army, whereupon he went on to Danville, Va., and there
reported to General Gorgas, who was at the latter place with
President Davis and his cabinet, that he and his stafif were await-
ing orders. But he was unable to obtain any information except
that there would be a rendezvous at Charlotte, N. C, whither he
proceeded and awaited orders for several days. Finally the unat-
tached Virginia officers at that point held a meeting and appointed
a committee to wait on General Breckinridge, secretary of war,
and tender their services in any capacity. Receiving the gloomy
intelligence that there were no orders to be given, and advice to
return home, the officers broke up their rendezvous next morn-
ing, but Colonel Brown, instead of starting homeward, waited a
few days in Bedford county, Va., for intelligence regarding Gen.
E. Kirby Smith, who was reported to be holding out in the Trans-
Mississippi department- Then word came that Smith, also, had
surrendered, and feeling that the cause was hopeless, indeed. Col-
onel Brown went into Lynchburg and was paroled early in Jime,
1865. He returned to Petersburg and made his home there until
1869, when he removed to Baltimore and engaged in banking
speedily assuming a position of prominence among the financial
men of that city, where absolute integrity and loyalty to trusts im-
posed are peculiarly indispensable to success. Colonel Brown is
enrolled among the active members of the society of the army and
navy, of Maryland, and particularly treasures the indorsements of
his commanding officers upon his application for membership.
Captain Patterson wrote: "In any of the positions which he filled
Colonel Brown had few equals and no superior;" and his old colo-
nel, General Weisiger, made this endorsement: "It affords me
pleasure to sign the certificate for our mutual friend, J. Willcox
Brown, than whom as a gentleman and soldier, none stood higher
in my regard."

Daniel T. Brownley, of Portsmouth, now occupying a responsi-
ble position in the government navy yard, served in &e Confeder-
ate cause as a member of Company B, Third Virginia infantry.


throughout the entire war, sharing in the operations of Kemper's
brigade of Pickett's division, Longstreet's corps. He was born at
Portsmouth in 1841, the son of James Brownley, who held the po-
sition of quartermaster at the Gosport navy yard and died in 1861.
On April 20, 1861, he was mustered into the active service as a
member of the Marion Rifles, organized about 1856, which was one
of the original companies of the Third regiment. Soon after its
enlistment the company was reorganized as the Virginia Riflemen,
and Mr. Brownley was elected fourth sergeant, a position from
which he was subsequently promoted to first sergeant. He served
with the company at Camp Pemberton during 1861, and in March,
1862, crossed the James with his regiment to reinforce General
Magruder at Yorktown. They had their first encounter with Mc-
Clellan at Dam No. 2 and subsequently fought at Williamsburg,
Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, Cold Harbor and Frajrser's Farm.
Thence they moved to reinforce Jackson and participated in the
defeat of Pope's army at Second Manassas, also taking part in the
capture of Harper's Ferry and the battle of Sharpsburg. After the
battle of Fredericksburg, in which he fought. Sergeant Brownley
accompanied his command in the operations of Pickett's division
in North Carolina and the vicinity of Suffolk. During the latter
campaign he was severely hurt and was in the hospital at Peters-
burg several weeks. Rejoining his company, he took part in the
Pennsylvania campaign and was in the famous assault of Pickett's
division upon the Federal lines on Cemetery hill. On the return
to Virginia, after participating in the fight at Bristoe Station, he
accompanied Pickett's division to North Carolina and took part
in the capture of Plymouth and Little Washington, returning to
Petersburg in time to defeat Butler at Drewry's Bluff and join Gen-
eral Lee at Cold Harbor. During the remainder of the war he
was with his company in almost continuous fighting on the Peters-
burg lines. Subsequently he followed the business of carpenter and
builder at Norfolk, Portsmouth, Baltimore, Philadelphia and other
cities, residing mainly at Portsmouth, where he served eight years
as a member of the city council. Since his appointment by Presi-
dent Cleveland as quartermaster in the navy yard he has been twice
elected to the council, though disqualified to serve by his govern-
ment position. He has also served in charge of the construction
of the magazines.

Major James W. Bruce, of Danville, Va., was born in Albe-
marle county, February 9, 1834. He is the son of James K. Bruce,
a native of Stafford county, who was the son of Charles Bruce, of
Scotch descent and a soldier of the war of 1812. James W. was
reared upon his father's farm and afterward engaged in mercantile
pursuits until March, 1861, when he entered the military service of
the State in the quartermaster's department at Richmond. After
the ordinance of secession was adopted he was ordered to report
to Col. T. J. Jackson at Harper's Ferry, and he served for sev-
eral months in that district under Jackson and Gen. J. E. Johnston.
Subsequently he continued in the quartermaster's department of
Jackson's command and in 1862 was commissioned captain and
quartermaster. Later he was promoted major in that branch of
the service and assigned to the staff of Gen. J. R. Jones, command-
ing a brigade of Jackson's old division. After the battle of Spott-
sylvania Court House he was transferred to the staff of Gen. Clem-


ent A. Evans and a few months later to the staflE of Gen. William
Terry, with whom he surrendered at Appomattox. He was pres-
ent at the battles of Kernstown, Cross Keys, Port Republic, the
Seven Days' campaign, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Winches-
ter, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Monocacy, and the
fighting about Petersburg and on the retreat from that line. Since
the war he has been engaged in mercantile pursuits, at Richmond
until 1880 and after that at Danville. He is a valued member of
Cabell-Graves camp. Confederate veterans. By his marriage in
l86s to Susan E. Scott he has four children living: Charles S.,
James C, Fannie and Elizabeth L. After the death of his first
wife he married Susan Rogers, of Washington, D. C.

John W. Bryan, a veteran of the Staunton Artillery, now a pros-
perous business man of Staunton, Va., was born in Rockingham
county in 1841. During his infancy his family removed to Augus-
ta county, and in 1850 they made their home at the county seat,
where his father seived as deputy sheriff for a considerable period.
On August S, 1861, he entered the Confederate service as a private
in the Staunton artillery, with the brave and active career of which
he was associated until disabled by wounds. He was promoted
corporal in the fall of 1862 and sergeant after the battle of Gettys-
burg. Early in the war he served with his battery at West Point,
at the head of York river; subsequently participated in the Seven
Days' campaign before Richmond and took part in the Manassas
campaign, including the battles of Cedar Mountain and Second
Manassas, his regiment being attached to Ewell's division. He
fought at Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville,
and with Early's division, and was actively engaged during the
three days of battle at Gettysburg. In the spring of 1864 he par-
ticipated in the fighting in the Wilderness and at Spottsylvania.
until upon the latter field he was frightfully wounded by a fragment
of shell which tore away the calf of his left leg. This injury con-
fined him to the hospital at Staunton until the close of the war,
when he was paroled. As soon as he was able to engage in business
he found a position as a clerk and subsequently carried on a store
at Parnassus, Va., until 1873, when he returned to Staunton. Here
he has been engaged in an active business career as retail grocer
and later as a coal and lumber merchant. From 1885 to 1896 he
served as overseer of the poor for the city. He was married in
i86s to Juliet F., daughter of the late James M. Southard, and
they have six children living: Edward M., William S., Laura A.,
John H., Lucy F. and James A. Henry E. Bryan, father of the
foregoing, was born in what is now Rappahannock county in 1815
and removed to Staunton in 1850, where he served several years as
deputy sheriff of Augusta county, and died at Parnassus in 1871.
Notwithstanding his age at the outbreak of the war, he entered
the Confederate service in 1862, and served until the close of hos-
tilities. He was badly wounded in the second battle of Manassas.
Captain Herbert Bryant, of Alexandria, Va., was born at Lexing-
ton, May 19, 1843. He was reared at Washington, D. C, and edu-
cated at St. Timothy's Hall, near Baltimore. At the age of seven-
teen years he was appointed to the West Point military academy,
but did not enter that institution, because of the secession of his
State, Virginia. In April, i86i, he enlisted in the Alexandria Rifles,
a company which was assigned to the Seventeenth Virginia infan-


try. After serving for some time as a private he was appointed a
cadet in the regular Confederate States army and assigned to the
Seventeenth regiment as assistant adjutant. At the reorganization,
in 1862, he was promoted to adjutant of the regiment, a position
he held until the following December, when he was assigned to the
staff of Brig.-Gen. M. D. Corse as assistant adjutant and inspector-
general. This position he held until early in the year 1865, when
he was ordered to General Terry's brigade. Among the battles in
which he participated were Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Frayser's
Farm, Second Manassas, Boonsboro, Fredericksburg, New
Bern, Plymouth and Roanoke, N. C, Drewry's Blufi, Front
Royal, the skirmishes on the Howlett house line, Dinwiddle Court
House, Five Forks and Sailor's Creek. At Seven Pines his horse
was killed under him and he was slightly wounded; and at Boons-
boro he was seriously wounded and fell into the hands of the
enemy, but was paroled and returned to Washington, when by ex-
change two months later he was permitted to rejoin his command.
At Sailor's Creek he was again badly wounded and captured and
taken to Washington. After lying in the hospital three months he
was paroled by special order of General Grant. Since the return
of peace he has been a citizen of Alexandria, where he has been
honored for sixteen years by the office of alderman and school trus-
tee, and since 1895 with the office of police commissioner.

J. F. Bryant, M. D., a prominent physician of Franklin, Va.,
and throughout his military career closely associated with the gal-
lant General Armistead, one of the heroes of the army of Northern
Virginia, was born in Southampton county, February 22, 1842. He
is the son of James D. and Elizabeth S. Bryant. His father, a
prosperous farmer of Southampton county, was for a long time
president of the board of magistrates and was a leader in political
afifairs. Dr. Bryant was a student in the university of Virginia at
the time of the secession of his State, and promptly left his studies
in April. 1861, to become a private in Company A of the Thirteenth
Virginia cavalry. His company was stationed in the neighborhood
of Norfolk, where he remained until after the evacuation, when he
was detailed as courier and attached to the headquarters of General
Armistead. He served in this capacity through several months
and was then offered a staff position, but preferring to rejoin his
company he shared their campaigns under Stuart and Fitzhugh
Lee until the close of the war. He was wounded at Brandy Sta-
tion and at Five Forks, and was twice captured, but each time es-
caped. At the time of the surrender he was at his home disabled
by wounds. He then began preparatjon for the medical profes-
sion and studied in the university of Virginia and the university of
New York, receiving his degree of doctor of medicine in the spring
of 1867. Since then he has been successfully engaged in practice
at Franklin, Va. He is a member of the medical society of the
State and enjoys a high standing in his profession. He has also
been conspicuous in educational affairs as superintendent of schools
of Southampton county for many years. He was the first mayor
of Franklin, has taken an active part in political life as chairman
of the county and congressional committees, was a member for
many years of the State committee and was one of the delegates of
Virginia to the national Democratic convention at Chicago in 1892.
Dr. Bryant has two sons living, Richard B., purser of the steamer


Olive and first lieutenant of Company I, Fourth regiment Virginia
militia, and James F. Bryant, Jr., who is now a student at the uni-
versity of Virginia. Lieut. R. B. Bryant, the eldest son, enlisted
with his company in the Spanish war and served as lieutenant with

Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 79 of 153)