Clement Anselm Evans.

Confederate military history; a library of Confederate States history online

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defend that city against the advance of Butler. On May 20, 1864,
this brigade was part of the right wing of Beauregard's army, un-
der command of Maj.-Gen. D. H. Hill, in the victorious assault
upon the Federals, and subsequently, the brigade was made part of
the division commanded by Maj.-Gen. Robert F. Hoke. As adju-
tant-general of the brigade. Captain Elliott participated in all its
operations in the armies of Lee, Beauregard, Bragg and Joseph E.
Johnston. The principal engagements of the brigade were that of
Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864, the actions in the defense of Petersburg
under Beauregard from June isth to September isth,the operations
of Longstreet in front of Richmond until the close of 1864, the bat-
tles near Fort Fisher, N. C. in both attacks upon that post, the en-
gagements under Bragg, near Kinston, N. C, and the final action
at Bentonville with Johnston's army, a part of which it formed in
the capitulation at Greensboro. Captain Elliott participated in
every action, but, fortunately, escaped wounds, and shared in the
brilliant record of Hoke's division. On returning to the pursuits
of peace, Captain Elliott engaged in farming, but, in 1867, removed
to Norfolk, Va., and embarked in the wholesale grocery business.
Jn 1878 he turned from this to become a cotton factor and com-



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 857

mission merchant. In i88s he was appointed receiver of the Nor-
folk & Virginia Beach railroad and two years later he retired
from the cotton trade to engage in the location and construction
of the Norfolk & Carolina railroad, now the Norfolk branch of the
Atlantic Coast Line. Since the completion of the railroad he has
held the position of treasurer of the company. Captain Elliott's
public services and business abilities have received many evidences
of appreciation. In 1872 he was elected a member of the common
council of the city, and, during the succeeding ten years, served as
its vice-president and chairman of the finance committee, this being
followed by two years' service as president. For five years he was
president of the State board of harbor commissioners, and, in
1881, was made president of the Norfolk & Portsmouth cotton
exchange, serving two years and being a part of this time, ex-
ofiicio, vice-president of the National cotton exchange. Amid
his other occupations. Captain Elliott finds time to remember his
comrades of the Confederate armies, and was one of the four
founders of Pickett-Buchanan camp of Norfolk.

J. Taylor Ellyson, of Richmond, a member of the Richmond
Howitzers during the later years of the war, and since then con-
spicuous in Confederate organizations and in the due commemora-
tion of the heroism of the men in gray, was born at Richmond,
May 20, 1847. His father, Henry K. Ellyson, born at the same
city in 1823, was a prominent citizen, holding the offices of register
of the city member of the legislature 1855-58, sheriff to 1865, and
mayor of Richmond in 1871. He was married, in 1842, to Miss
Elizabeth P. Barnes, of Philadelphia. J. Taylor Ellyson was a
student in Hampden-Sidney college at the beginning of the war,
but, in 1863, at the age of sixteen years, left his studies to enter the
Confederate army. He enlisted as a private in the second com-
pany of Richmond Howitzers, and was identified with the record
of that famous command during the remainder of the conflict. In
the battalion of Lieut.-Col. Robert A. Hardaway, and attached
to Ewell's corps, he fought at the Wilderness and Spottsylvania
Court House. During the bloody struggle of May loth, the bat-
talion was particularly distinguished, and suffered heavy loss.
Major Watson, former captain of the Second Howitzers, being
among the killed. During this fight, the guns of Smith's battery
were for a time in the hands of the enemy, its brave gunners serv-
ing the guns until those not killed were actually seized by the charg-
ing soldiers and carried away. A countercharge rescued the guns
and the enemy was repulsed. The battery was further engaged
at Spottsylvania and for four days, during the desperate struggle
at Cold Harbor, was in action and under fire. During the long
siege of Richmond, Private Ellyson served with his battery in the
vicinity of Richmond and Petersburg. After the close of hos-
tilities, having reached the age of eighteen years, he entered upon
collegiate studies at Columbian college, Washington, which he
continued at Richmond college and the university of Virginia.
The latter institution he left in 1870, and embarked in business
life at Richmond, in the book and stationery trade. In 1878 he
became business manager of the "Religious Herald," and several
other important enterprises have also claimed his business talents;
of one of these, the Old Dominion building and loan associa-



858 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

tion, he holds the ofifice of president. But it is in other than bus-
iness lines that Mr. Ellyson has become most widely known. His
has been a well-rounded life, devoted largely to the good of his
fellowmen, to the preservation of the memory of the honorable
deeds of the past, and the improvement of present conditions,
that his community may be prepared for a still nobler future.
His life is full of hope, courage, faith in humanity and inspiration
for his fellow workers. Few men are more widely known through-
out the South or more warmly cherished in the affections of their
friends. In educational matters he has served his city faithfully
for many years, as a member and as president of the board of ed-
ucation and as a trustee of Richmond and Hartshorn colleges.
In all the degrees of the fraternal orders of Masonry and Oddfel-
lowship he has demonstrated his love for his fellowmen, and in
the Baptist denomination he has taken a prominent part as cor-
responding secretary for nineteen years of the board of educa-
tion for the State, and as president of the general association of
Virginia. He has served four years as president of the local
Young Men's Christian association, sat in its district and State
conventions, and represented Richmond in the peace conference
of the world at London. His part in political affairs has not been
a strife for lucrative office, but rather for opportunity to influence
the community and State, for the best interests of all. He has
served many years in the city council, in the State senate, and
three terms, from 1888 to 1894, as mayor of Richmond, an office
in which he was able to justify the confidence of his fellow-citizens
and meet the sanguine hopes of his friends. He was re-elected to
the second term without opposition. As chairman of the State
Democratic committee for eight years, he demonstrated that polit-
ical wisdom and generalship may go hand in hand with honor
and integrity. Not the least, however, of his public services, has
been his activity in various ways for the commemoration of the
noble deeds and worthy motives of the heroes of the Confederacy.
In the Howitzer association, organized in 1866, by the survivors
of his own command, he has been honored by his comrades with
the presidency for two terms. For years he has been a member of
the R. E. Lee camp No. i, and George E. Pickett camp, Con-
federate Veterans, which he has represented in all the reunions of
the United Confederate veterans, since the organization of the
latter. He is also a member of the Confederate Memorial Literary
society, and of the Virginia division of the army of Northern
Virginia, was a member of the board of directors of the associa-
tion which erected the Soldiers' and Sailors' monument at Rich-
mond, was a member of the committee of arrangements for laying
the corner stone of the R. E. Lee monument, and for the unveiling
of the Jackson, Lee and A. P. Hill monuments. As mayor of
Richmond, he represented the Confederate capital at the funeral
of Jefferson Davis at New Orleans, and a month later, being
chosen president of the Davis Monument association, was in that
capacity the escort of the members of the late president's family
on the occasion of the transfer of the remains from New Orleans
to Hollywood cemetery. He also served upon the committee of
arrangements at the laying of the corner stone of the monument
to the chief executive whose memory is so dear to Southern



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 869

hearts. Mr. Ellyson was married, in 1870, to Miss Lora E.,
daughter of Maj. Nelson H. Hotchkiss, whose womanly sympathy
and encouragement have contributed in no slight measure to tlie
beneficent success of her husband's life.

Wilfred S. Embrey, of Fredericksburg, Va., whose military ser-
vice was rendered among the gallant troopers of W. H. F. Lee's
brigade, Stuart's cavalry, was born in Fauquier county, January
30, 1834. He is the second born of four brothers, who were sol-
diers of the army of Northern Virginia, sons of Thomas and
Lucinda (Smith) Embrey. He was reared in his native county
and abandoned life upon the farm in the spring of 1862, to become
a private in Company A of the Ninth Virginia cavalry. Col. W. H.
F. Lee commanding. He served in Stuart's brigade on the penin-
sula, including the Seven Days' battles, and under Fitzhugh Lee's
command at Boonsboro, Md., Sharpsburg, Shepherdstown, and
the Chambersburg raid around McClellan. Subsequently he
shared the fighting of W. H. F. Lee's brigade at Fredericksburg,
Fleetwood Hill, the Pennsylvania raid, Gettysburg, the Wilder-
ness, Spottsylvania, and a great many smaller engagements, in
which he had numerous thrilling experiences, but escaped without
a wound. He was promoted corporal near the close of the war.
At Appomattox, on the night preceding the surrender, his com-
mand having been practically destroyed, he, with a number of
comrades, made their escape to avoid surrender, and returned to
their homes. He engaged in farming afterward, in Fauquier
county, until about 1877, when he removed to Fredericksburg and
embarked in a business career in which he has been notably suc-
cessful. He has also been prominent in the city council, and in
church and social life is active and highly esteemed. On January
30, 1872, he was married to Elizabeth Embry, and they have five
children.

Lieutenant Pendleton Emmett, since the war an esteemed citizen
of Lynchburg, Va., was born in Amherst county in 1841. He was
educated at his native place and at Richmond, and entered the Con-
federate service as a private in the Twentieth battalion of artil-
lery. In the fall of 1862 he was promoted to the rank of junior
second lieutenant, the capacity in which he served during the
remainder of the war. After the evacuation of Richmond, he
joined in the retreat of the army and became engaged with the
enemy at Sailor's Creek. In this disastrous affair he was among
the captured, and, subsequently, was confined at the Old Capitol
prison for three weeks and at Johnson's island, Ohio, until June
18, 1865. Among the battles in which he participated were those
of Drewry's Bluff and Chapin's Farm. After the war he returned
to Amherst county, and soon afterward removed to Lynchburg.

Charles H. Epps, a gallant Confederate soldier, who, after the
war, was prominently connected with the police force of the city
of Richmond, was born at that city December 17, 1840. He was
there reared and educated and has been a resident of the city all
his life with the exception of the time spent in the Confederate
service. He enlisted on April 19, 1861, as a private in the Rich-
mond Light Infantry Blues. His gallant and faithful service led
to his selection as color-bearer in September, 1863, and promotion
subsequently to the rank of lieutenant. Among the engagements



860 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

with the enemy, in which he participated, were those at Cottage
Mills, Cotton Hill, Halifax Ferry, Frayser's Farm, Malvern Hill,
James Island, S. C., and the fighting from Petersburg to Appo-
mattox In an engagement at Hatcher's Run, March 29, 1865,
at the outset of the final struggle between the armies in Virginia,
he was wounded and left for dead on the field. When wounded
he was in the act of loading a gun. The ball entered his left
breast, striking a silver spoon, which changed its course, thereby
saving his life. Falling into the hands of the Federals, he was
taken to City Point, where, on April ist, he saw and shook hands
with President Lincoln. Lieutenant Epps was paroled in June,
i86s,^ and resumed his residence at Richmond. On December 8,
1865, he was appointed, by the council, captain of police, as which
he served until 1869, when he was removed by the military author-
ities for refusal to take the "ironclad oath." When home rule
was restored, in 1870, he was reappointed captain for meritorious
conduct during the conflict for control of the city, in which he
took a prominent part in the support of Mayor Ellyson, forcing
the surrender of First police station by the Cahoon faction. He
continued as captain of police until 1890, when he was elected
city sergeant, a position he continued to hold until his death,
April 16, 1897, with many manifestations of the public favor and
approval. He was a member of the Odd Fellows, Masonic,
Pythian and other orders, and one of the most companionable and
sympathetic of men, as well as firm and undaunted in the dis-
charge of duty.

Major William H. Etheredge, a gallant soldier, who led into
the service one of the first of the volunteer companies of south-
eastern Virginia, was born in Norfolk county, July 27, 1820. He
is the son of Henry Etheredge, a native of the same county, as
was also the grandfather, Henry Etheredge. The family is of
Scotch descent, but has long been associated with the worthiest
interests of this Virginia county. The junior Henry Etheredge
was a farmer by occupation, served in the war of 1812 and married
Martha Butt, of Norfolk county, who survived until June 20, 1870,
at the age of seventy-seven years. The father, however, died
when his son William was five years old, and the latter was reared
by his rnother. At the age of nine she took him to Norfolk, where
they resided until he had reached the age of twenty-one. Mean-
while he was well educated in the private schools at Norfolk con-
ducted by William S. Davis and Dr. David Duncan, father of
Bishop W. W. Duncan, of South Carolina. He also, beginning
in 1836, learned the craft of a blacksmith, and, after his apprentice-
ship was completed, he returned to his native neighborhood and
there followed his trade until 1-he outbreak of the war. In 1849
he made his home upon the farm, seven miles south of Norfolk,
which he still occupies, and engaged in agriculture in addition to
his other work. He prospered in these industries, and, becoming
well known throughout the county as a man of remarkable
physical strength, personal courage and intelligence, he was elected,
in i860, captain of a newly organized military company, called the
Norfolk County Rifle Patriots, the members of which were gath-
ered from the regior between Berkley and Great Bridge. Upon
the burning of the navy yard Captain Etheredge offered the ser-



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 861

vices of his company to Governor Letcher and the company was
mustered in April 21, 1861. It was then one of the largest and
best companies in tlie State service, composed of one hundred
and eleven men, and its subsequent record was highly creditable.
Captain Etheredge was first assigned to duty at the arsenal of
St. Helena, of which he took possession immediately on entering
the service. Thence, in the latter part of May, he was transferred
to the Gosport navy yard, with his men, which he guarded during
the construction of the famous ironclad Virginia from the hulk
of the old Merrimac. Commodore Forrest, then in command
at this point, was very anxious to have the Virginia safely com-
pleted. The United States authorities, on the other hand, fearful
of the damage that the formidable warship might do, were anxious
to secure its destruction, and five separate attempts were made to
this end, which were thwarted by the vigilance of Captain Ethe-
redge and his company. He was at one time informed by Com-
modore Forrest that a million dollars had been offered for the
destruction of the vessel, but this fabulous offer only served to
increase the effectual watchfulness of the guard. During his ser-
vice at this point Captain Etheredge was pleasantly associated with
Commodore Forrest and his secretary, James Barron Hope, the
poet, and when, in March. 1862, the Rifles were relieved from
guard duty by a detachment of marines from Pensacola, the com-
modore gave him a letter to General Huger, expressing regret at
the separation and praising the careful and able service of Captain
Etheredge. He then led his company to Sewell's Point, where it
joined, as Company F, its regiment, the Forty-first Virginia in-
fantry, under Colonel Chambliss, in Huger's division. In May,
upon the evacuation of Norfolk, the division moved to Petersburg
and thence to Richmond. At Seven Pines Captain Etheredge
went through his first battle and was distinguished for bravery.
The Forty-first had been assigned to Mahone's brigade and was
advancing in line of battle. Company F on the extreme right,
when a sudden flanking fire threw the command into confusion.
Captain Etheredge, mastering the situation in an instant, sprang
to the front of his men, remmded them of their promise to follow
wherever he led, and they stood by him manfully, with a part of
a Petersburg company, and formed a nucleus upon which the
remainder of the regiment rallied. During this aflfair Colonel
Chambliss rode up to the company, and his horse being killed
under him as he did so, he remained on foot with Captain Ethe-
redge, whose conduct he highly complimented on the next day,
saying that Company F had saved the credit of the regiment.
Captain Etheredge next took part in the battles of Charles City
Road and Malvern Hill, after which he was promoted major. In
this rank he served during the remainder of the war, one of the
bravest of the brave Mahone brigade, and, thougfi always in
places of danger, fortunately escaped both wounds and capture by
the enemy. Among the battles in which he participated may be
mentioned Second Manassas, Crampton Gap, Sharpsburg, Chan-
cellorsville, Salem Church, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spottsyl-
vania Court House. Bailey's Farm, the Crater, Cold Harbor,
Davis' Farm, Reams' Station, Burgess' Mill, Hatcher's Run, Cum-
berland Gap and Appomattox. At the Crater, on the Petersburg



862 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

lines, it is remembered that, charging with Mahone's men upon
the Federals after the explosion, he jumped fearlessly into the pit,
and, when a gun was leveled at him, escaped death by seizing two
Federal soldiers, one with each hand, whom he used as a shield
until the menacing enemy was made away with by his comrades.
When the fighting was done Major Etheredge returned to his
farm, to which he has ever since given his attention, with notable
success. His virtues as a citizen and neighbor, as well as the
memory of his devotion as a soldier, make him one of the most
popular men of Norfolk county. He is a trustee of his church,
the Methodist Episcopal. On November 30, 1893, he and his
faithful wife, whose maiden name was Sarah A. Carson, reached
the date of their golden wedding, in the observance of which they
were joined by their eight living children, and the grandchildren.

Dennis Etheridge. of Norfolk, a veteran of the Fifteenth Vir-
ginia cavalry, is a native of North Carolina, born in Currituck
county, August 12, 1842. He is the son of Isaiah Etheridge, a
native of Princess Anne county, Va., and his wife, Sarah Cox, of
Currituck county. He was reared in his native county, and, in his
nineteenth year, on July 4, 1861, enlisted as a private in the Jack-
son Grays, which became Company A in the Sixty-first Virginia
regiment. He served with this command until the reorganiza-
tion, in May, 1862, when he became a member of Company A of
the Fifteenth Virginia cavalry, with which he served gallantly in
many engagements, the most important of which were City Point,
Seven Pines, the Seven Days' battles, including Gaines' Mill and
Malvern Hill, Manassas, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Culpeper,
the Wilderness, Chancellorsville, Cold Harbor, Drewry's Bluff,
the Petersburg Crater and Yellow Tavern. During his career he
was three times wounded by the explosion of shells, and his cloth-
ing was pierced by five minie balls. In 1863, just before his com-
mand entered Maryland on the Pennsylvania campaign, he was
captured by soldiers of Sheridan's command, but was so fortunate
as to escape on the fourth night of his captivity. At the battle of
Culpeper he was captured and recaptured seven times, but, finally,
was left in the Confederate lines. At Luray, after the return from
Gettysburg, he was again captured by Sheridan's cavalry and im-
prisoned for fourteen months at Elmira and Point Lookout. In
the spring of 1863 he was granted a thirty days' parole and went
from Point Lookout to Camp Lee at Richmond, where he was
given a twenty days' furlough to visit his home. During this time
the army evacuated Richmond. On his return to Richmond, he
was again seized as a prisoner, but the army surrendered three days
later, and he was released and permitted to return to his home,
where he was finally paroled in May, 1865. For five years follow-
ing these events he remained at his family home, and then re-
moved to Virginia. For ten years he gave his attention to the
lumber business in the vicinity of Norfolk, and then located at
that city in the commission business, which he followed for ten
years and still retains an interest in. In 1886 he took part in the
organization of the Merchants' and Farmers' peanut company,
and has held the position of president of the company since that
date. Though successful in business he does not permit such
cares to withdraw him from the social duties of a gentleman. In



CONFEDERA TE MI LIT A R Y HIS TOR Y. 863

the Baptist church he is a prominent factor, and was influential in
securing the building of the fine Park avenue house of worship.
He is active in the support of Pickett-Buchanan camp, the by-laws
of which he aided in drafting at its organization. He is a director
of the Young Men's Christian association, and fraternizes with
the Masons and the American Legion of Honor. On February
22, 1866, Mr. Etheridge was married to Miss Louise J. Cox, of
Moyock, Currituck county, N. C, and they have six children
living: Sarah J., wife of William A. Jackson, Jr., of Centreville,
Va.; Lily, wife of Walter M. Womble, of Norfolk, Va-; Elizabeth,
Wallace, Loulie and Myron.

Dennis Etheridge, who was one of the gallant troopers of J. E.
B. Stuart's command, now residing at Norfolk, is a member of a
family which contributed freely and patriotically to the Confed-
erate cause His father, Isaiah Etheridge, a planter of Currituck
county, N. C, was unable, through age and infirmities, to serve
in the armies, but four brothers enlisted and did faithful duty.
Josiah, who now has his home at Norfolk, served in Mahone's
famous brigade; the elder, Harrison, who became a captain of a
North Carolina company, survived the war, and now resides in
Currituck county; Caleb Etheridge, who served in the company
of the latter and died soon after the close of the war, and Dennis
Etheridge, mentioned above. James E. Etheridge, a younger
brother, was born in Currituck county, November 27, 1852. But a
child 'when the war broke out, his memory of it is of those ex-
periences at the homes of the South where for four years news
was eagerly awaited from battlefield, prison camp, and hospital,
with fear for the safety of their loved ones. He was reared upon
the farm and at the age of eighteen years embarked in business
life as the owner of a general store in Norfolk county, not far
from his North Carolina home. After about six years of suc-
cessful management of this business he removed to Norfolk and
•engaged in the wholesale and retail trade in lumber and building
material, to which he has ever since given his attention, with the
result of building up a large and successful business. In social, as
well as in business life, he has attained the general esteem. He
is a valued member of the Baptist church, of the Knights of
Pythias, and of the Masonic order, in which he is a Knight Templar
and of the fourteenth degree Scottish rite. He was married in
March, 1884, to Fannie, daughter of Charles A. Santos, late a
druggist at Norfolk, and they have four children: Herbert Rogers,



Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 92 of 153)