Clement Anselm Evans.

Confederate military history; a library of Confederate States history online

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maining six, excepting Private Fiske, reached the stone wall from
which the Federals were' driven, unhurt, but all were captured.
Private Fiske fell exhausted just before reaching the "stone wall"
and on recovering managed to find his way back into the Con-
federate line. Subsequently he took part with his regiment in the

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campaign in North Carolina, and then, returning to Richmond,
aided in the repulse of Butler's advance upon Petersburg, and took
part in the battle of Cold Harbor against Grant. After fighting
Butler again at Chester Station he remained on the Bermuda
Hundred lines until his regiment was sent against Sheridan at
Five Forks, April i, 1865, and was almost annihilated. Private
Fiske was among the wounded, and falling into the hands of the
enemy was held at Point Lookout until released by order of Sec-
retary Stanton. Since his father's death in 1870, Mr. Fiske has
successfully continued the printing business established in 1840,
and is a respected citizen. He is a prominent Mason, past master
of Lodge No. 56, past high priest of Royal Arch chapter No. 11,
past eminent commander of Knights Templar and past district
deputy of the Virginia grand lodge. He represented Portsmouth
in the house of delegates in 1876-77, and in 1886 was appointed
postmaster by President Cleveland. During the first six months
of his postmastership the office was advanced to the second grade.

William H. Fitzgerald, a native of Maryland, who has of recent
years held the position of commissioner of the associated railroads
at Richmond, Va., was born in 1840 and reared and educated in
the State of Maryland. At the approach of the crisis between
the States his sympathies were strongly with the South, and,
immediately upon the secession of Virginia, he entered the Con-
federate service, April ig, 1861, becoming a private in Company H
of the Twelfth Virginia regiment of infantry. With this com-
mand he served in the two days' battle of Seven Pines and in the
succeeding Seven Days' fighting before Richmond, then securing
a transfer to the navy with the rank of master's mate. Being as-
signed to the fleet at Charleston, he served there in defense of the
city, mainly being engaged in picket boat service, until a short
time before Charleston was evacuated in February, 1865. He ren-
dered efficient service among those gallant men who made this
important point impregnable against the repeated and tremendous
assaults of the Federal armies and navies. On leaving Charles-
ton he was ordered to Battery Brooke on James river, where
he was on duty in defense of Richmond during the siege and
until, at the time of the evacuation, he became a member of the
gallant naval brigade which distinguished itself upon the retreat
and fought with great heroism at Sailor's Creek. He was paroled
at Danville at the end of the struggle, then returned to Maryland
and resided at Baltimore until 1893. Removing then to Richmond
he became prominently associated with the railroad business of
the city. He is a member of the Maryland line and of the Army
and Navy society of Baltimore.

Robert I. Fleming, now a citizen of Washington, D. C, and
distinguished in his profession as an architect, had the good for-
tune in the early years of his manhood to be permitted to partici-
pate in the heroic actions of one of the most famous of the gal-
lant artillery commands of the army of Northern Virginia, to be
spared from fatality, and in later years to cherish and honor the
memory of fallen comrades and aid those who survived. Mr.
Fleming was born in Goochland county, Va., January 15, 1842,
the son of John Malcolm Fleming, a native of Aberdeen, Scot-
land, and a descendant of Sir Malcolm Fleming, one of a family


of renown in that historic land. From that family have descended
all the Flemings in the United States, and no name is more com-
mon, perhaps, in the rolls of the old Continental army. In the
civil service it is distinguished as well. Of this family was that
Col. William Fleming, who was the hero of the battle of Pqmt
Pleasants, in September, 1774. The mother of Robert I. Fleming
was Eliza A. Robertson, a descendant of an old Virginia famdy,
which is believed on the evidence of ancient documents, recently
discovered, to be lineally descended from Duncan, king of Scot-
land. Ancestral influences, no doubt, combined with loyalty to
his State to lead young Fleming, when Virginia called her men
to arms, to offer his services in the field of war. He enlisted on
April 2S, 1861, in the Fayette artillery, organized at Richmond
May 29, 1824, and christened in compliment to the Marquis de
La Fayette, at that date visiting the city. In acknowledgment
General Lafayette presented the company two brass cannon which
he had brought to America during the war of the Revolution. In
this historic command Private Fleming soon demonstrated his
worthiness to serve, and he was promoted corporal, then sergeant
and sergeant-major at the battle of Suffolk, and on June 3, 1864,
at the field of Cold Harbor, he was promoted lieutenant for gallant
and meritorious conduct. In August, 1864, he was detailed to
command Bogg's battalion of four companies of artillery, but upon
the death of General Grade, of Alabama, who commanded the
brigade to which that battalion was attached, he returned to the
Fayette artillery, with which he served until the close of the war.
A simple enumeration of the actions in which he participated
will indicate the arduous and intrepid character of his service:
In 1861— Action with the U. S. steamer Pawnee on James river,
April 10; battle of Big Bethel. June 10. In 1862— Engage-
ment at Harrod's Mill, April 3; Wynne's Mill, Va., April S; under
fire guarding the retreat from Yorktown to Warwick river, April
S to May 3; battle of Williamsburg, Va., May s; Seven Pines,
May 31 and June I ; battles of Gaines' Mill, Frayser's Farm, Mal-
vern Hill, in the Seven Days' battles before Richmond, June and
July; night attack at Harrison's Landing, July 8; Second Ma-
nassas, August 30; Crampton's Gap, Md., and Sharpsburg, Md.,
September 17; battles at Fredericksburg, Va., December 11, 12, 13.
In 1863— Suffolk, April 12; Gettysburg, supporting Pickett s
charge, July 3. In 1864— Battles of Bachelor's Creek, N. C, New
Bern and Beech Grove, February; Plymouth, N. C, April 20;
New Bern, N. C, April 20; Drewry's Bluff, Va., May 14; Drewry's
Farm, May 16; Cold Harbor, June i and 3; around Petersburg,
June 16, 17, 18; the Crater (Fort Elliott), Petersburg, September
6; attack on Fort Harrison, before Richmond, September 29; Bur-
gess' Mill, October 20; and all engagements during the siege of
Petersburg. In 1865 Lieutenant Fleming commanded picked de-,
tachments of artillery in the capture of Fort Stedman, in the
Federal lines before Petersburg, March 25, where he turned and
worked the guns upon the enemy until a retreat was ordered.
Here a piece of shell tore the top of his cap from his head. In
the following month he was in command of a section of artillery,
of General Walker's division of Gordon's corps, composing the
rear guard of the army during the retreat to Appomattox, and was


selected by General Lee to command the "forlorn hope" and bring
up the rear of the army after the battle of Sailor's Creek, and
retard the advance of Grant so as to permit the crossing of High
bridge by Lee, a duty which he performed to the entire satisfac-
tion of his great commander. Though his battery was cut oflf
from the main army by Sheridan's troops, it forced its way
through to Lynchburg, where the guns were spiked and carriages
and caissons destroyed and the battery disbanded after the sur-
render of the army. Lieutenant Fleming then returned to Rich-
mond, April i8, i86s, where he took the oath prescribed by proc-
lamation in 1863, May 2, and the oath of allegiance July 24, 1865.
Of his service it is said in the History of the Fayette Artillery, by
E. H. Chamberlayne, Jr., "For the historian to undertake to do
justice to this gallant, chivalric soldier would be simply prepos-
terous. His many noble, grand exploits are too well known to his
superior officers, as well as to the brave men of his battery. One
of his brilliant acts was the capture of Lieut.-Col. T. F. Fellows,
his adjutant and orderly of the Seventeenth Massachusetts volun-
teers, whilst riding at the head of an improvised picket, consist-
ing of himself. Sergeant A. H. Jones and Bugler Nicholls. This
capture was made by Lieutenant Fleming single handed he being
some distance in advance. General Pickett presented Lieutenant
Fleming with Colonel Fellows' horse, saddle, bridle, pistol and
sword. If there is a Confederate soldier who is justly entitled to
'the bravest of the brave.' that man is Robert L Fleming." An-
other incident of his service, which deserves mention, occurred on
the White Marsh road during the attack on Suffolk, Va. A com-
pany of infantry, deployed as skirmishers, fell back in disorder,
whereupon Colonel Armistead. in command of the regiment, or-
dered Sergeant Fleming, riding near the colonel, to rally and lead
them forward in attack. The intrepid manner in which he per-
formed this duty under fire of artillery and infantry elicited com-
plimentary notice in the orders of the gallant Armistead, who
afterward commanded the brigade and fell at Gettysburg. At the
close of the war Mr. Fleming became engaged at Richmond, Va.,
as an architect and builder, serving also at one time as assistant
engineer of the city, but in 1867 he removed to Washington, D. C..
where, during a residence of thirty years, he has attained a marked
prominence in his profession, having designed and carried through
to completion a large number of the most prominent public build-
ings, business structures and private residences, erected in this
period. Meanwhile he has continued to take an active part in
social and political movements and organizations. In 1870 he
entered the District National Guard as paymaster, was afterward
successively elected captain, lieutenant-colonel, and colonel of the
First regiment, and for over three years was senior officer com-
manding the First brigade; was a member of the legislature of the
district in 1874, and in 1872 a delegate to the Democratic National
convention at Cincinnati. At the dedication of Luther Memorial
church, Fourteenth and N streets, northwest, Washington, D. C.,
February 12, 187S, he purchased and dedicated a memorial pew to
Gen. Robert E. Lee. He has received the degrees of Odd Fellow-
ship, of the Knights of Pythias and of the Nobles of the Mystic
Shrine; and in Free Masonry has attained the thirty-second de-


gree and the rank of knight commander of the Court of Honor,
and on October 22, 1897, had conferred upon him the thirty-third
degree, the highest degree in Masonry. He cherishes a member-
ship in Lee camp, U. C. V., of Richmond, Va., by whom he was
presented the golden badge of honor for soldierly and knightly
qualities, and is a charter member of the Confederate Veterans'
association of the District, and in 1898 was its honored president.
His home life is made happy by his marriage, which occurred
October 27, 1886, to Miss Bell Vedder, daughter of Col. Nicholas
Vedder, U. S. army, formerly chief paymaster for General Sher-
man. He now has two children, one a daughter, India Bell Ved-
der, born October 3, 1887, and a son, Robert Vedder, born Novem-
ber 3, 1890. Particularly worthy of note in this connection, are
the comradeship and beneficence of Mr. Fleming, since the war,
toward the ex-soldiers of the Confederacy. In May, 1886, he en-
tertained R. E. Lee camp, U. C. V., of Richmond, while passing
through Washington in return from the Baltimore reunion, pre-
sented each member to President Cleveland and banqueted them
at the National hotel. Marching at their head, he led the first or-
ganization of Confederate veterans to move up Pennsylvania avenue
after the war. When Lee camp undertook a fair at Richmond for
the purchase of a soldiers' home, he made the first subscription,
aided in securing others, and, afterward, finding the accommoda-
tions at the home insufficient, he generously donated an amount
sufficient tc remodel and to build an additional story on the main
building, which has since borne his name. At the formal presenta-
tion of the Fleming Addition, July 2, 1886, Mr. Fleming was the
recipient of many touching honors; salutes and cheers from the
inmates of the home, and a hearty reception by his old comrades of
the Fayette artillery, joined in by the U. C. V., and Kearney post,
G. A. R., for a soul like Fleming's finds the whole world kin. He
was thanked, also, in the eloquent address of acceptance by Gov.
Fitzhugh Lee, who said: "While it has been an honored custom to
Strew flowers on the graves of our dead, here was a living soldier
who had made a magnificent gift to his living comrades, which
would never be forgotten, and when we have passed away, the deed
will still be remembered." His beneficence was formally recog-
nized at Washington by resolutions adopted by the Virginia
Democratic association. In December, 1874, he participated as one
of the pallbearers — the others being Gen. P. M. B. Young and P.
I. Cook, of Georgia; Dr. H. W. Garnett, Dr. Young, Dr. Boyle, W.
Harmon, J. W. Drew, Col, L. Q. C. Lamar, Wm. Stone, George T.
Howard and Col. A. Herbert — in the pathetic ceremony of re-
moving the Confederate dead, who fell in General Early's attack
upon Washington, from their shallow trenches, to Grace church
near Silver Spring, where they now sleep beneath a monument
erected by the camps of Washington and Rockville. In brief the
gallant record of Mr. Fleming as a soldier has been adequately
crowned by the true manliness of his performance of the duties of

Henry W. Flournoy, of Richmond, distinguished in the legal pro-
fession of that city, was born in Halifax county, June 6, 1846. Dur-
ing his youth he was educated in the vicinity of his home and in
Charlotte county, but before he had reached his sixteenth birthday


he abandoned the ordinary occupations of youth to begin a varied
and adventurous career in the Confederate service. His enlistment
was as a private in the Sixth Virginia cavalry, with which command
he participated in many famous engagements and others equally
dangerous, which go to make up the career of a trooper among
which may be enumerated Bealton Station, Front Royal, Winches-
ter, Newtown, Woodstock, Harrisonburg, Cross Keys and Port
Republic, in all of which he served under the command of the in-
vincible Stonewall Jackson. He also participated in the actions at
Slaughter mountain, the second Manassas, the raid on Catlett's
Station, at Brandy Station (August 19, 1862), the fight with General
Prince's cavalry at Upperville, the affair at Brandy Station, on June
9, 1863, and the subsequent engagements of Stuart's cavalry up to
June 23. On July 12, 1863, while participating in Stuart's move-
ments on the return from Pennsylvania he was captured at Hagers-
town, Md., by the enemy, and sent to Baltimore, and afterward to
Point Lookout military prison, where he was held in all nine
months. Upon his exchange, in May, 1864, he rejoined his cav-
alry command and, after fighting at Reams' station against Sher-
idan, was sent to the Shenandoah valley, and participated in the
battles of Luray, Winchester, and Tom's Brook, where, on October
8, 1864, he received a severe gunshot wound in the neck which dis-
abled him for a month. On his recovery, in the latter part of
November, 1864, he went from the cavalry to the artillery and par-
ticipated as a member of the Third company of Richmond How-
itzers in the fighting at Deatonsville, Va., and at Appomattox, where
he was paroled. Returning home, he became at once as active in
the pursuits of peace as he had been in the service of the Confed-
eracy. First turning his hand to the raising of a crop of corn, he
next, in the fall of 1865, found a position as clerk in a store at
Lynchburg. In January, 1866, he came again to his home in Hal-
ifax county and, beginning the study of law with his father, was
admitted to practice in the following year and then embarked in
that profession at Danville. After practice as an attorney for three
years he was elected, in 1870, to the position of corporation judge
of Danville. Elected to a second term in 1877, he resigned in the
following year to resume the practice, and, in the fall of 1881 re-
moved to Washington county, where he continued successfully in
the duties of his profession. His ability as a lawyer and wide in-
fluence as a public man led to his election in December, 1883, to
the position of secretary of the commonwealth, a position in which
he was retained for five terms by the voters of the State, serving
continuously until 1893. Subsequently he has remained at Rich-
mond and engaged in that professional work for which his long' ex-
perience has admirably equipped him. He is still a comrade to the
survivors of thie army and maintains memberships in R. E. Lee
camp and the Howitzer association, which he served as president
in 1885.

Captain Nicholas Jackson Floyd, of Lynchburg, Va., at the close
of the war commanding the post at Minden, La., was born in
Campbell county, Va., December 11, 1828. He was educated at the
private schools of Lynchburg, the Abingdon_ academy and Emory
and Henry college, Virginia. After spending several years in
travel, he engaged in planting in Texas and later in Alabama. At


the time of the John Brown attempt to inaugurate servile insur-
rection in the South, fearing that the time had arrived when the
politicians of a certain class, who had been for years preaching:
and urging on the "irrepressible conflict," were about to com-
mence a series of overt acts, he assisted in organizing a cavalry
company at Athens, Ala., of which he was made first lieutenant.
While the services of this company were not immediately needed.
the applause which John Brown's outlawry received from certain
classes at the North and the howl of anger that was raised over
his execution for the murder of peaceable citizens of Virginia, de-
termined the officers to hold the splendid organization together
and in readiness for future events which were plainly foreseen. In
May, 1861, the company, having dismounted and reorganized as
infantry, went to Richmond, Va., and became a component part
of the Ninth Alabama regiment, which was sent to Winchester to
oppose General Patterson's advance. There a brigade was formed
with other Alabama regiments, hastily brought together^, and Gen.
E. Kirby Smith put in command. On July 20th this brigade, with
other troops, was hurried over the mountains to embark on cars
at Piedmont Station for Manassas. A part of the brigade, by
leaving the train west of Manassas and double-quicking in the direc-
tion from which the roar of battle proceeded, came in on the Fed-
eral right flank, in time to do gallant service and render much
needed aid; but the Ninth, having been delayed by a collision, did
not reach* the field until the battle of Manassas had been fought
and won. During the succeeding winter Kirby Smith, who had
been severely wounded, was promoted and C. M. Wilcox, the first
colonel of the NintK, was put in command of the brigade, which,
after many hard struggles with the foe, became famous as "Wil-
cox's brigade." After General Lee's expedition into Maryland
and his return to Virginia, the subject of this sketch was promoted
to the rank of captain and assigned to duty as paymaster and
quartermaster of his regiment. This was a very timely promotion,
as his health had become seriously impaired under the hardships
and exposures which the inadequately equipped infantry had nec-
essarily to bear. There were but few engagements of General
Lee's army, or any large portion of it, in which the old Ninth and
the entire brigade did not take an active part; and as battle suc-
ceeded battle the ranks became so depleted that, after the battle of
the Crater, at Petersburg, in which the command suffered very
severely, it became necessary to consolidate companies and regi-
ments; as there was no longer any material at home, "between
the cradle and the grave," from which to draw recruits. Captain
Floyd was ordered to the trans-Mississippi department with dis-
patches to Gen. E. Kirby Smith, in command at Shreveport, La.,
and was by him assigned to duty as commandant of the post at
Minden in that State, with orders to prepare for the wintering of
the larger portion of the army at that point. Among the troops
wintered there was the Second infantry division, Gen. C. T. Pol-
ignac commanding. General Polignac was a young French
prince who had espoused the Confederate cause with the hope, per-
haps, of becoming to the South what the Marquis de La Fayette
had been to the rebels of 1776. The two young officers were
necessarily thrown together with some degree of intimacy, and


Captain Floyd was offered the rank of major in General Polignac's
command. This promotion was gladly accepted, as it restored its
recipient to duty in the field. But before an officer was appointed
to relieve him of his post duties, disquieting rumors came from
Virginia and General Polignac, under the advice of friends high in
military authority, resigned his command and sought the inhos-
pitable environments of military headquarters at New Orleans,
where General Butler held sway. Within a few weeks news came
of the heart-crushing events at Appomattox, and a few days there-
after there was no general organization among the military forces
west of the Mississippi river. Captain Floyd remained at his post,
facilitating the distribution, among the needy, of the army sup-
plies accumulated at the different depots in his territory, until
Federal troops took actual possession. A few months later he
married a daughter of Madison Morrow, a former representative
of his people and a leading merchant of north Louisiana. After
several business ventures in Texas and Louisiana he returned to
his old home in Virginia, and now resides near Lynchburg, where
he is a member of Garland-Rodes camp of Confederate Veterans,
and takes great interest in public school affairs, particularly with
reference to the histories and other text books that should be

Major Jacob H. Franklin, now a prominent business man of
Lynchburg, Va., was entrusted, during the war of the Confederacy,
with important responsibilities in connection with the army of
Northern Virginia. He is a native of Pittsylvania county, born in
1836, but since 1854, when he removed to Lynchburg, has had his
home at that city. In the quiet days before the war he embarked
on his business career as a clerk in a mercantile establishment, but
after the passage of the ordinance of secession by the Virginia
convention, resigned his position and was able, in June, 1861, to
enter the military service as a private in Company G of the
Eleventh Virginia infantry. In this capacity he was engaged in
battle at Blackburn's ford, just before the battle of Manassas, and
at the opening of the Peninsular campaign fought at Yorktown and
Williamsburg. In July, 1862, without his knowledge or application,
he was detailed on account of his business training and capabilities
to act as commissary of subsistence under Major Chichester.
Under the latter and his successor, Major Moses, he continued in
this service, and in 1863 was commissioned as captain in the quar-
termaster's department with the duty of accompanying the army
in its operations and collecting stores of subsistence. In the latter
part of 1864 he was promoted commissary of the artillery of the
First army corps, with the rank of major, as which he surrendered
at Appomattox. Then, returning to Lynchburg, he found em-
ployment as a salesman until 1866, when he formed a partnership
with a brother in the grocery trade, beginning a business career,
since the war, which has been marked with unusual success. His
house, which, during the past few years, he has managed alone,
has, since 1882, been devoted exclusively to the wholesale trade.
He is also interested in many enterprises in the city and county,
has been a director in the People's national bank for twenty-six
years, and for six years director of the Savings and Trust com-
pany, of Lynchburg. Public-spirited and active in many other di-

Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 94 of 153)