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he made his home at Hampton, and engaged in business, but soon
became principal of the Hampton academy. He is an excellent
teacher, and has before him a career worthy of his parentage. He
has served for one year as secretary of the Virginia State Agassiz
association, and in 1898 was elected president of the Virginia
teachers' co-operative league. He also holds an appointment
from the State board of education as instructor in the Virginia
summer Normal schools. He is a member of the Hampton camp
of Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Lieutenant Elijah L. Cox, of Norfolk, now a prosperous business
man, rendered efifective service during the Confederate war in
Southeastern Virginia and North Carolina. He was born in Cur-
rituck county, N. C, in 1842, the son of William C. Cox, a prom-
inent planter, who served as a volunteer soldier in the Mexican
war, and a great-nephew of Maj. John Cox, a soldier of the war of
1812. The family were residents of that county in the colonial
period, and Major Cox treasured with much care a cannon that was
captured on his father's farm during the war of the Revolution.
Lieutenant Cox passed part of his youth with his parents in Illinois,
but returning to his native State a few years before the formation
of the Confederacy, he enlisted in the spring of 1861 as a private in
Company A, of the Seventeenth North Carolina infantry. During
that year he was stationed at Oregon inlet, north of Cape Hatteras,
until the capture of the fort at the latter point, when his command
was called to Roanoke island, and served under the command of
Gen. Henry A. Wise until the island fell into the hands of General
Burnside in Februaryj 1862. He escaped the capture which befell- a
large part of the garrison, on account of being detailed to serve on
a floating batteiy in Croatan sound, and after the naval battle off
Roanoke island, he made his escape with comrades in small'boats to
Fort Landing on Alligator river, whence he took steamer to Hert-
ford, and joining the troops at Elizabeth City, joined in the retreat
to South Mills. During the remainder of his year's enlistment he
served on picket duty in that vicinity. He then entered a military
school and attended during the remainder of the year. Subsequently
he organized and drilled a company of which he was elected sec-
ond lieutenant, and with it carried on a partisan service in North
Carolina, and served on picket duty on the Chowan river. He
made one very successful expedition down the river, capturing more



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 815

prisoners than the number of his command. From March to July,
1864, he served at Weldon, and had received orders to enter the
secret service between Norfolk and Richmond when he was cap-
tured by the enemy and carried to Fortress Monroe. There and at
Point Lookout, and Fort Delaware he was held until June, 1865.
On his return to North Carolina he busied himself with various
vocations for a few years, finally becoming established as a funeral
director at Norfolk, with his residence at Berkley, Va. He is
thoroughly proficient in all the details of his calling and has been
very successful in life. By his marriage in 1870 to Miss Elizabeth
M. Wigginton, of Currituck county, he has seven children living:
Eugenia, wife of C. C. Barclay; Florence E., E. L. Cox, Jr., R. F.,
Mamie, W. W. and Sadie.

Major Nelson W. Crisler, of Madison, Va., was born in Madison
county, September 12, 1830. His early manhood was devoted to
mercantile pursuits and he became quite prominent in local affeirs,
at the time of the crisis of 1861 holding the office of presiding
justice of the county court. In April, 1861, he enlisted as second
lieutenant of a volunteer company, which was assigned as Company
A to the Seventh Virginia infantry, which, under the command of
General Kemper, then colonel in the brigade of General Early,
participated in the battles of Blackburn's Ford and Manassas in
July, 1861. After one year's service Lieutenant Crisler was pro-
moted captain, and he was subsequently promoted major, the rank
which he held when paroled at Appomattox. He was identified
with the gallant service of his regiment, under Kemper, Early and
Longstreet throughout the four years' war, and still maintains his
comradeship with the survivors of the great army by membership
in Kemper-Fry-Strother camp, United Confederate veterans. After
the close of hostilities he was engaged in farming at Madison until
1882, when he was elected judge of the county courts of Green and
Madison counties. After holding this office four years he was
elected, in 1887, clerk of the county and circuit courts of Madison
county, a position to which he was re-elected in 1893. He is a
popular and able public official. On March 4, 1852, Judge Crisler
was married to Miss Cordelia F. Weaver, of Madison county, and
they have six children living. Two sons are residents of Meridian,
Miss., and one has his home at Birmingham, Ala.

Lieutenant-Colonel John Critcher, distinguished in the service of
the army of Northern Virginia, was born in Westmoreland county,
Va., March 11, 1820. His family for two centuries resided at Water-
view, on the Potomac, not far from the Washington and the Lee
estates. Here he was reared, and thence sent in his youth to the
university of Virginia, where he studied for four years. Subse-
quently he traveled for three years in Europe, and then, returning
to Virginia, entered the legal profession, whilst engaged also in
agricultural pursuits. During the period before the war he rose to
prominence as an attorney and to influence in political affairs. He
was elected to the position of commonwealth attorney, and repre-
sented his district in the State senate. He was a Union member of
the famous secession convention of 1861. Early in the spring of
1861, earnestly devoted to the cause of the State, he enlisted as
a private in Company A of the Ninth Virginia cavalry. In this
capacity he served until the reorganization in 1862, when he raised



816 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

four companies of cavalry that afterward formed a part of the
Fifteenth regiment of Virginia cavalry, of which he was appointed,
at first, major and afterward lieutenant-colonel. He served until
near the close of the war, when he resigned his commission and
returned to his home. He participated in many of the cavalry raids
under command of Gen. J. E. B. Stuart, and in the famous cavalry
battle of Trevilian Station-. At the battle of Chancellorsville he
commanded the only cavalry regiment on the right of General Lee's
army, and at Cold Harbor was in command of a brigade of cavalry.
Near Leedstown, in 1863, he was betrayed into the hands of the
enemy, and after a confinement at the Old Capitol prison, was sent
to Johnson's island, Ohio, where he was a prisoner of war during
ten months; finally securing his release through the intercession of
his personal friend. Gen. John C. Fremont. At the close of the
war Colonel Critcher resumed the practice of law, and was ap-
pointed by the governor of Virginia to the position of judge of
the tenth judicial circuit, which he held for three years and until
removed under the operation of the "thirty day resolution" of Con-
gress, the effect of which was to vacate all official positions oc-
cupied by citizens of southern States who had held office prior to
the war. He was then elected to Congress from the First Virginia
district, and subsequently to the State senate. He also held for
some time the office of commonwealth's attorney, in which he had
served prior to 1861. At the expiration of his term as senator he
establislaed a home at Washington City, and engaged in the prac-
tice of his profession. Of recent years, his son has been associated
with him. The honors conferred upon him by the people of his
county and district attest the estimation in which he is held as a
lawyer and a public man. His military service, both as a private
and field officer, was characterized by the same devotion and energy
that have marked his career in the various positions of civil life.

The Cromwell family of Maryland is one of the old families of that
State, tracing its ancestry back to the family of the great protector,
Oliver Cromwell. It gave a number of excellent soldiers to the
Confederate armies. The sheriff of Norfolk county, Va., A. C.
Cromwell, born in Maryland, the son of Randolph Smith and Eliz-
abeth Benson (Stewart) Cromwell, is a worthy present day repre-
sentative of this patriotic family. He came to Virginia in 1871, and,
locating opposite the navy yard, was for twenty-one years very
successfully engaged in the trucking business. In 1891, and again
in 189s, he was elected sheriff of the county, and on account of this
he removed his residence to the city of Norfolk. He is prominent
in politics and has been a member of every Democratic State con-
vention during the past twelve years. In 1876 he was married to-
Alice A. Griffith, of Norfolk county. _

Thomas H. Cross, a prominent citizen of Norfolk, who has for
several years held the position of deputy United States marshal for
the eastern district of Virginia, was born in Nansemond county,
October 11, 1841. He is a member of an old Virginia family which
has made an honorable record. His father, who bore the name
of Hardy Cross, one which has descended through many genera-
tions, was born September 7, 1777, and died September 12, 1858.
He was colonel of a Virginia regiment in the war of 1812, was a
member of the Virginia State legislature from Nansemond county



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 817

in 1819-1823, and took to wife Martha N. Peete, who was born in
Southampton county, January 30, 1800, and died October 16, 1873.
Her parents were of Scotch descent. Thomas H. Cross was reared
in Nansemond county on a farm, and entered the university of Vir-
ginia in 1858. He remained there until the exciting events of the
spring of 1861 interrupted the quiet progress of so many Virginia
lives. On April 23, 1861, just four days after the passage of the
ordinance of secession by Virginia, he enlisted as a private in Com-
pany A of the Sixteenth Virginia infantry, with which he served
until the close of the war. In 1862 he fought at French's Farm,
Malvern Hill and Second Manassas, receiving two wounds at the
latter engagement, which caused him to spend six months in hos-
pital, missing in that period the battles of Fredericksburg and the
Maryland campaign. In the spring of 1863 he rejoined his com-
mand near U. S. Ford on the Rappahannock river, and remained
with the regiment throughout the remainder of the war, partici-
pating in the battles of Salem Church, Chancellorsville, Brick
Church, Gettysburg, Bristoe Station, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania
Court House, Gurley's Farm, Davis' Farm, the "Crater," Reams'
Station and Burgess' Mill. He served in the defense of Petersburg
and Richmond immediately before the evacuation, was in the en-
gagement at Cumberland Chapel two days prior to the surrender
at Appomattox, and was one of the remnant of thirteen men of
his company who were with Lee at the last. His military service,
as has appeared from the above, was one of activity and peril. Be-
sides the wounds received at Manassas he was subsequently
wounded in the shoulder before Petersburg. Notwithstanding these
serious experiences, a natural love of adventure and a desire for
change of scene led him, in 1867, to travel to South America, where
he enlisted in the army of Brazil. He was a soldier under Dom
Pedro during twenty-three months, and then returned to his native
land. Settling in Nansemond county in 1870, he devoted himself
to the quiet life of a farmer and schoolteacher. In 1879 he was
elected to the Virginia house of delegates from Nansemond and
served two terms, acting as chairman of the committee on propo-
sitions and grievances, the same position held by his father in the
legislature sixty years before. For a number of years after this he
held the position of deputy collector of internal revenue, with head-
quarters at Suffolk, and in 1882 and 1883 he served as clerk of the
commissioner of railroads of the State. He removed to Norfolk in
1887 in order to secure better educational advantages to his chil-
dren, and has since resided in that city, where on April i, i8go, he
was appointed deputy United States marshal for the eastern district
of Virginia, a position he has since held during all the changes of
political power, a sufficient testimonial to his official ability. Mr.
Cross was elected in 1884 a delegate to the national Republican
convention at Chicago. He is a loyal friend of his comrades in
arms and a member of Tom Smith camp of United Confederate vet-
erans. He was married January 13, 1879, to Eleanor, daughter of
Thomas S. Wright, of Smithfield, Va., and they have two sons.

Richard G. Crouch, M. D., a well-known and popular citizen of
Richmond, was born at that city in 1828. He was educated at the
university of Virginia and graduated in medicine at the Richmond
medical college. When the war of the Confederacy broke out he



818 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

offered his services to the State in May, 1861, desiring to become a
member of the Governor's Mounted Guards, but he was rejected on
account of physical disability. Subsequently, in October, 1863, he
enlisted as a private in Company H of the Ninth Virginia cavalry,
and in this capacity served during the remainder of the war. His
military record embraces honorable and devoted service in the bat-
tles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania, on the last named field
participating in two desperate charges upon the enemy; the Charles
City fight with Sheridan; the engagements in August, 1864, in de-
fense of the Petersburg lines on the Boydton plank road, and at
Sappony church, Jetersville and Reams' Station; the affair on No-
vember 22, 1864, at Wyatt's Farm, ten miles south of Petersburg,
where he was badly wounded in the head and disabled for two or
three weeks afterward; and in the battle of Five Forks in the spring
of 1865. During the famous Dahlgren raid, in February, 1864, his
company, under command of Captain Pollard, was the nucleus of
the small force which was organized to meet the daring raid. They
overtook Dahlgren's men at Bruington Female seminary, and, at-
tacking the rear guard, one Federal was killed by a shot fired by
Dr. Crouch. The chase was kept up until Dahlgren fell and his
men surrendered. At the time of the surrender of the army, in
April, 1865, Dr. Crouch was stationed near High Bridge, and
thence he went to Richmond where he was paroled. Since the war
Dr. Crouch has resided at Richmond, where he occupies an hon-
ored position among the best people of the Virginia capital. He is
a warm friend of the veterans of the army of Northern Virginia and
maintains a membership in Pickett camp of Confederate Veterans.
John Thomas M. Crowder, a veteran of the army of Northern
Virginia, and a member of A. P. Hill camp. United Confederate
Veterans, of Petersburg, was born at that city in 1838. His father,
James Crowder, was a business man of Petersburg, previous to the
war. He was educated in the public schools of the city and when
the crisis of 1860-61 arrived was engaged in mercantile pursuits,
which he promptly abandoned to enter the military service of the
State and the Confederacy. On May 4, 1861, he enlisted in Archer's
Rifles, of Petersburg, afterward Company K of the Twelfth Virginia
infantry, Mahone's brigade. His service was first rendered at
Craney island, before Norfolk, until the abandonment of that re-
gion. He subsequently served at Drewry's bluff, and being trans-
ferred to the army before Richmond, participated in the battle of
Seven Pines. He was disabled by illness during the remainder of
the Peninsular campaign, but participated in the battle of Second
Manassas, during that campaign being detailed as sergeant, and
took part in the Maryland campaign, serving under Major Wing-
field at Harper's Ferry. He was subsequently on special detail
until December, 1864, continuing during that time with the army
in all its campaigns, and then returned to the ranks of his regiment
and shared its operations until taken prisoner early in 1865. He
was held as a prisoner at Washington until April, 1865, subsequent
to the surrender at Appomattox. Since his return to his native
city he has been engaged mainly in mercantile business, up to the
last eight years, during which he has served as magistrate. His
life has been an industrious and honorable one, and worthy of
commemoration.



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 819

Joseph S Culpeper, a well-known citizen of Norfolk, long con-
nected with the extensive transportation interests of the Virginia
seaports, is a native of Portsmouth, born March 14, 1843. He was
reared and educated at his native city to the age of seventeen, when
he embarked in his business career as office boy for the commission
house of McPheeters & Ghiselin, of Norfolk. Presently changing
to the house of Borum & McLean, he was promoted to a clerkship,
which he held until the burning of the navy yard in May, 1861, when
he resigned and held himself in readiness for service in the cause
of Virginia. He became a member of the signal corps during that
spring, and, leaving Norfolk when the city was evacuated, in May,
1862, he was with his command at Petersburg, then at Chester Sta-
tion, whence he was ordered to Port Walthall on the Appomattox
river, where he passed the following summer and autumn. From
there he was ordered to City Point, on the James river, where he
was stationed until the spring of 1863. He then made preparation,
at Petersburg, for scouting duty in addition to signal work, and
was stationed at Day's Neck, Va., where for fifteen months he was
engaged in the important and often perilous duties of a scout and
signal operator. During the summer of 1864 he was stationed suc-
cessively at Petersburg, Va., Wilmington, N. C, Fort Caswell and
Fort Fisher, N. C, and then in September, was transferred to the
blockade service and was engaged in blockade running until the
close of the war. He served upon the Will o' the Wisp under
Captain Capper, until that vessel was disabled by a severe storm
and condemned, then being transferred to the Owl, a blockade
runner commanded by the celebrated Capt. J. N. Mafiitt, who had
previously done gallant service with the cruiser Florida. The
clos/5 of the war found him with the Owl at Havana, whence he
returned to Portsmouth to re-enter civil life. His experience in
the blockade service now stood him in good stead and he soon
found suitable positions in the transportation business. Beginning
with the Bay line, he became subsequently the agent of the Old
Dominion line at Norfolk, where he made his permanent residence
in 1872, and for eleven years he served the company and the public
in this capacity, being associated meanwhile with Daniel J. Turner,
under the firm name of Culpeper & Turner. In 1893 his well-
known business qualifications and trustworthiness led to his ap-
pointment to the office of city auditor of Norfolk, for which he
was again chosen in 1895 and again in 1897. He is active in social
and benevolent organizations, is a member of Pickett-Buchanan
camp. United Confederate Veterans, and associated with the man-
agement of the Jackson Orphan asylum and the Old Ladies' home.
Mr. Culpeper was married June 26, 1867, to Frances S., daughter of
Flavius E. N. Wills, of Isle of Wight county, of an old family dating
back to Revolutionary times. Their children living are Flavius
Wills. William Moore, Rowland Honeycutt and Frances Wills.
Mr. Culpeper, it is interesting to note, is a descendant of Governor
Culpeper, of colonial fame. His father was Joseph S. Culpeper,
Sr., who in his time conducted a considerable foundry business at
Portsmouth, and his mother was a daughter of Thomas Brooks, of
Norfolk county, whose father, of the same name, was a very wealthy
farmer and died in 1857 at the age of eighty-nine years.

James Cunningham was a state pilot of Virginia, and during the



820 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

war of the Confederacy was attached to the Confederate States
navy, rendering faithful and efficient service to the cause to which
he was thoroughly devoted. His son, E. H. Cunningham, com-
mander of the Pickett-Buchanan camp. Sons of Confederate Veter-
ans, of Norfolk, was born at Richmond, Va., March 23, 1863. He
was reared in his father's line of duty, and after some years spent
in study in the schools of Norfolk he entered the service of the
Virginia State pilots' association at the age of sixteen. During
the subsequent period he has been constantly devoted to that call-
ing, his field of service being the piloting of vessels from the high
sea into any of the Virginia ports. He holds the position of sec-
retary of the association, and is also interested in several other en-
terprises, being a member of the board of directors of the Southern
Land company at Pinner's Point, vice-president of the Arcade Land
company at Ocean View power house, and owner of the Norfolk
base ball club. He is active and alert as a business man, and will
undoubtedly have a successful career. He has contributed greatly
to the success of Pickett-Buchanan camp of Sons of Confederate
Veterans. He also maintains memberships in the Brotherhood of
Steamboat Pilots, and in the orders of Masons, Odd Fellows, Red
Men, Knights of the Ancient Essenic order and the Elks. In 1887
he was married to Miss Mary E. Clark, daughter of William H.
Clark, of Norfolk.

Captain Frank W. Cunningham, a prominent citizen of Rich-
mond, Va., who served as a boy in the Confederate army, is the
son of Capt. Thomas Cunningham, who was born at Hampton, Va.,
about 1812, and died in 1890. The latter was a Virginia pilot be-
fore the war and was the owner of a considerable number of boats,
all of which, at the beginning of the conflict, he brought up the
river to Richmond and turned over to the State. He was appointed
to the rank of captain of engineers, and throughout the war was
engaged in supplying the troops with provisions. Frank W. Cun-
ningham was born at Hampton, January 14, 1849, and resided at
that place until he had reached the age of twelve years, when his
home was made at Richmond, by his father's entering the Confed-
erate service. In August, 1863, in his fifteenth year, he became a
private in Company G of the First regiment of Virginia reserves.
After eight or ten months' service in this command he was trans-
ferred to the engineer department on the James river, under com-
mand of Gen. W. H. Stevens, and in this line of duty continued
until the close of hostilities. He was upon the steamer that carried
the last load of prisoners to Graveyard landing, on April 2, 1865.
During his service he participated in some active military opera-
tions, including the repulse of Dahlgren's raid on Richmond, and
in several skirmishes on the James river. He was paroled at Rich-
mond, and soon afterward became engaged in the James river im-
provement work. In 1870 he began a distinguished career in the
State military service as a private in the Lee Guards. He held the
rank of ensign when the company was disbanded in 1876, and he
then became orderly sergeant of Company G, of the First regi-
ment, with promotion soon following to second lieutenant, and in
the following year to first lieutenant of Company D, In 1881 he
was promoted captain and ordnance officer on the staff of the
colonel, and a year later was elected captain of Company B, the



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 821

Walker Light Guard. In 1888 he was elected collector of city taxes
of the city of Richmond, the civil office which he at present oc-
cupies.

Captain John A. Curtis, of Richmond, distinguished for adven-
turous and valuable service to the Confederate cause, was born at
Hampton, Va., in 1834. From the age of fourteen years he was a
student of seamanship, with practical experience afloat on the rivers,
bay and coast. In May, 1861, at twenty-seven years of age, he en-
listed as a private in Company A of the Thirty-second Virginia in-
fantry, and was engaged with that command on the peninsula,
fighting at Big Bethel. In the following October he was detailed,
on account of his naval skill, to navigate a schooner on the James
river, and from this position he was promoted in the summer of
1862 superintendent of transportation on the James river and
Kanawha canal, under command of Maj. Kensie Johns. In the
spring of 1863 he received a commission as acting master in the
Confederate States navy. Reporting to Major Norris, chief signal



Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 86 of 153)