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by his father in 1849, and was there reared and educated. When
the war broke out he was a student at the Georgetowri university,
but, feeling the claims of his native State to his services, he left
school to enter the Confederate army. In June, 1861, he went
through the Federal lines to Fauquier county and enlisted in the
Black Horse cavalry as a private, and remained with this famous
command of troopers during the war, receiving promotion to
sergeant and to orderly. He participated in the skirmish of Po-
hick church, the battle of Williamsburg, and the subsequent skir-
mishing of the Peninsular campaign, the Seven Days' battles
before Richmond, Cedar Mountain, the Second Manassas, the
capture of Harper's Ferry and the Ijattles of Sharpsburg, Chan-
cellorsville, Gettysburg, Williamsport, the Wilderness and every
day at Spottsylvania, Yellow Tavern, Hawe's Shop, Trevilian's,
Reams' Station, Winchester and Fisher's Hill. He was severely
wounded at Williamsburg in the shoulder, and disabled in con-
sequence about six weeks. He was again badly wounded at Yel-
low Tavern, which incapacitated him for a fortnight. After the
close of the Peninsular campaign he served for some time as a
scout for General Jackson's corps. At the battle of Five Forks,
one of the last struggles of the war, he fell with a severe wound
in the hip, and, though captured by the enemy, was not held as a
prisoner. He was paroled at Winchester in June, 1865. On the
6th of the following month he returned to Washington, and
since then has made his business headquarters at that city, though
he maintafns his residence at Warrenton, as a citizen of Virginia.
Becoming engaged in civil engineering he was appointed, in 1883,
to the position of government engineer on the Potomac river
flats, and was engaged in that work until 1887. In 1894. he received
the appointment to his present position in the engineer depart-
ment of the District.

William W. Green, of West Point, Va., a veteran of that
famous artillery organization, the Richmond Howitzers, was born
at Norfolk, Va., October i, 1831. He is the son of Capt. William
Green, who was born in Culpeper county, March 3, 1800, entered
the United States navy in 1818, and resigned in 1861, upon the
secession of his State, after serving as commander fourteen years.
He died in 1888 His wife was Mary Saunders, a native of Nor-
folk, and a daughter of Maj. John Saunders, who commanded
the United States Fort Nelson, on the site of the present naval
hospital at Norfolk, at the time of her birth. William W. Green
was their only son. One of his two sisters became the wife of
Col. Henry W. Williamson, of Norfolk, who was lieutenant-
colonel of the Sixth Virginia infantry during the last three years
of the war, and lost an arm at the battle of the Crater. The sub-
ject of this sketch was educated at the Norfolk military academy
and Rappahannock academy, and, on June 3, 1861, entered the
Confederate service as a private in the Third company of Rich-
mond Howitzers. With this command he served at Big Bethel,
the Seven Days' battles, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Win-
chester, Gettysburg. Mine Run, Spottsylvania, the Wilderness and
Cold Harbor, the defense of Richmond and the retreat to Appo-
mattox, where he was surrendered. He was never wounded and
never captured, though he had a narrow escape from the latter
fate at Spottsylvania. During the subsequent years he has been



CONFEDERA TE MI LIT A R V HIS TOR Y. 907

mainly engaged in the great transportation business of southeast
Virginia, except during a period, 1869 to 1874, when he resided in
Arkansas. He was in the service of the Old Dominion steamship
company at Norfolk from 1866 to 1869, of the Clyde steamship
comi>any from 1874 to 1880, and since then has held a responsible
position with the Southern railroad at West Point. He is past
commander and present adjutant of John R. Cook camp, Con-
federate Veterans, and a member of the Richmond Howitzer asso-
ciation. He was married February 6, 1868, to Pocahontas Baytop,
daughter of Lieut. William J. Baytop, who was killed at Seven
Pines. They have three children: Ashby B., Pattie Saunders
and Carrie P.

Major W. F. C. Gregory, a gallant officer in the Confederate
States army, was a native of Amelia county, Va. Subsequent to the
war he became prominent in public affairs, was a leading member
of the Petersburg bar and at one time was much talked of in con-
nection with the governorship of Virginia. Judith A., a sister of
Major Gregory, married the Rev. James A. Riddick, also a native of
Virginia, and a well-known minister of the Methodist church. J.
G. Riddick, M. D., notable among the younger physicians of Nor-
folk, is a son of this union and was born at Stony Creek, in Sussex
county, June 10, 1861. Dr. Riddick received his collegiate educa-
tion at Randolph-Macon, where he was graduated in liberal arts, and
subsequently matriculated at the college of physicians and surgeons
at Baltimore, Md. At the latter institution, after three years' study,
he received the degree of doctor of medicine in 1883. He selected
Norfolk as the theater of his professional career, and has resided in
that city since his graduation, maintaining a growing and success-
ful practice. For nine years he served the city as health officer,
and when compelled by his other professional duties to resign that
position, he was at once appointed to the board of public health,
and ever since retained in that position. He is a member of the city
and State medical societies, and maintains an association with the
Masonic order and the Knights of Pythias. His religious connec-
tion is with the Epworth Methodist church. He was married to
Miss Sallie Yates Council, daughter of Rev. James G. Council, of
the Baptist ministry.

William S. Gregory, of Lynchburg, Va., was born at that city
in 1845. He entered the Confederate service as a private in Com-
pany G of the Eleventh Virginia regiment of infantry just after
the battle of Seven Pines, and participated in the battles of
Frayser's Farm, Gaines' Mill, Gettysburg, Plymouth, N. C. (where
he was wounded), Chickamauga, the battles around Petersburg,
Five Forks, Dinwiddie Court House and Sailor's Creek. During
a portion of the war he also served in the signal corps. At Sailor's
Creek he was among the captured and, being sent to Newport
News, was held as a prisoner of war until July, 1865, having
refused to obtain an earlier release by taking the oath of allegi-
ance. He was a brave and devoted soldier, and was identified
with the splendid record of Pickett's division of the army of
Northern Virginia. After the close of the war he went into busi-
ness at Lynchburg, in which he has since continued.

Kenneth Raynor Griffin, a prominent attorney of Portsmouth,
was born in Southampton county, Va., January 27, 1844. His
father, William Griffin, also a native of that county, served as an



908 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

officer in what is known as the Nat Turner insurrection, followed
the occupations of farming and dealing in lumber, and died in
1867. His wife, Virginia Holmes, daughter of John Holmes, sur-
vived until 1879. Mr. Griffin was reared in Southampton county,
and during his boyhood assisted his father and obtained an ele-
mentary education. He was still a youth when on August 18,
1861, he was mustered into the service of the Confederate States
as a sergeant in the Southampton heavy artillery. With this com-
mand he was stationed at Sewell's Point until the evacuation,
going then to Petersburg, and from there to Richmond, where
he was assigned to duty in the defenses of the city, and remained
until the abandonment of the capital in 1865, winning promotion
to a lieutenancy. His military career was ended at Appomattox,
where he surrendered with the army and was paroled. Then re-
turning to his home, he entered the law school of the university
of Virginia in the fall of 1865, and was graduated two years later.
He practiced his profession in Southampton, Isle of Wight,
Nansemond and Sussex counties from 1868 until 1883, when he
removed to Portsmouth, where he has subsequently resided, gain-
ing a worthy and honorable position in the bar of that city. In
1888 he was first elected and has since been five times re-elected
commonwealth attorney for the city. During his residence in
Southampton county he served one term in the State senate, then
declining re-election, and held the office of mayor of Franklin.
He is an active member of Stonewall camp. Confederate Veterans,
serving as chairman of the finance and relief committees. His
religious membership is with Court Street Baptist church. Colonel
Griffin was married November 18, 1868, at Portsmouth, to Alice
A. , daughter of Joseph Bourke, a merchant of that city, and they
have five children: Kenneth J., Samuel Hunter, Virginia, William
Sully and Rosalie.

Samuel Griffin, a prominent attorney at Roanoke, Va., and a
veteran of the Second Virginia cavalry, was born in Salem county
in 1840. At the outbreak of the war he was teaching in Shelby
college, Kentucky, having just graduated at Kenyon college,
Ohio, and before the close of the session at Shelby college he
entered the Confederate service as a private in the Salem light
artillery. With this command he was on duty at Craney island,
until the evacuation of Norfolk, when he was transferred as a
private to the Second Virginia cavalry regiment. Of this gallant
regiment he was soon promoted sergeant-major, and subse-
quently adjutant, the capacity in which he served until the close
of the war. His record of service, honorably performed, includes
the operations of the Craney island battery, the cavalry skirmish
in which Ashby fell, Sharpsburg, and the fights in the valley, the
Seven Days' fighting before Richmond, Brandy Station, Second
Manassas, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Trevilian's, Yellow Tav-
ern, the fight with Sheridan at Winchester and many minor en-
gagements. In 1864 he was recommended for promotion to second
lieutenant bv Colonel Munford and General Wickham, with the
approval of Gen. R. E. Lee, on account of conspicuous gallantry.
In this connection Colonel Munford wrote: "At Gooch's farm
I saw him ride out alone and discharge his pistol six times into
the Yankee column at a distance of sixty yards. The same day
he led an attack with two men, supported by a detachment from



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 909

my regiment, and by his dash and gallantry made some thirty
men of Battery M, Second U. S. artillery, surrender to him, with
their arms and four caissons, before the support arrived. In the
attack on Wilson's raiders, near Reams' Station, on June 28th, he
led two others in a charge on a party of eleven of the enemy,
headed by Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis of the Third New Jersey
cavalry, and two other officers, pressing them so hotly as to cause
them to abandon their horses and equipment and seek safety in
the bushes. The horses, equipment, etc., of the party were se-
cured by him and brought safely off. During the battles around
Richmond, in 1862, he captured the colonel of the Fourth New
York infantry and three other officers, all armed cap-a-pie. He
was wounded at Shepherdstown and was particularly distinguished
at Todd's Tavern, Trevilian's and Nance's Shop." This gallant
trooper was also wounded at Warrenton and at Todd's Tavern,
and while at home on a brief furlough in 1863, was captured near
Salem by General Averell, but, fortunately, made his escape the
same night. After Appomattox he was paroled at Lynchburg,
where his regiment was disbanded. He then took up the study
of law at Salem, was admitted to the bar in 1867, and since then
has held ' a prominent place in the legal profession. He main-
tains his office at Roanoke and also an office and his residence
at Bedford City. In 1880-81 he served in the legislature as a rep-
resentative of Bedford county, and in 1886 was nominated by
the Democratic party to succeed John W. Daniel as representa-
tive in Congress after the latter had been elected to the United
States Senate.

Colonel George K. Griggs, of Danville, a gallant veteran, who
has for nearly twenty years been prominently associated with the
management of the Danville & Western railroad, was born in
Henry county, Va., September 12, 1839. He is the son of Wesley
Griggs, of English descent, and his wife, Susan King, whose
mother was Susan Martin, daughter of Gen, Joseph Martin, a
famous pioneer and Indian fighter of colonial times. He was
educated at the Virginia military institute and was engaged in
business when, in April, 1861, Virginia called out her loyal sons
to do battle. He entered the service as captain of Company K,
Thirty-eighth Virginia infantry, was promoted major July 3, 1863,
lieutenant-colonel November 15, 1863, and colonel May 16, 1864.
He participated in numerous engagements, among them Williams-
burg, Seven Pines (where he was painfully wounded by a ball
grazing his forehead), the Seven Days' campaign, including Mal-
vern Hill, Harper's Ferry, Sharpsburg (where he was again
slightly wounded), Fredericksburg, the operations about Suffolk,
and Gettysburg (where he was shot through the right thigh and
disabled for three months). His next battle was at Drewry's
Bluff, where he was severely wounded. Major Griggs had taken
command on Col. Joseph R. Cabell having been mortally wounded.
With his regiment he maintained an advanced position on the
Bermuda Hundred line during the greater part of the siege. Here
he received a fourth wound, a severe one in the left thigh, which
disabled him for several weeks. Subsequently he fought with
Pickett at Five Forks and Sailor's Creek, and was surrendered
at Appomattox. After the close of hostilities he was variously
engaged until 1881, when he became secretary and treasurer of the



910 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

Danville & New River railroad. In 1886 he became superin-
tendent of the road, now known as the Danville & Western. He
is a member of Cabell-Graves camp and prominent in the Masonic
order. About the time of his enlistment in the army he was
married to Sallie Boyd, who died in 1891, leaving seven children:
William Edgar, Albert B., J. Henry, Archie W., Anna B., Ernest
Lee and Lizzie. In 1894 he married Alice, daughter of Dr. John
Boatwright, a surgeon of the Confederate army, and they have
one child, Mary Lee.

Major Daniel A. Grirasley, of Culpeper, a gallant officer of
the Sixth Virginia cavalry, was born in Rappahannock county,
April 3, 1840, the son of Rev. Barnett Grimsley, of the Baptist
ministry, one of the most effective pulpit orators of his day. He
was educated in his native county and was preparing himself for
the profession of law when Virginia made her alliance with the
Confederate States. He promptly enlisted, April 17, 1861, as a
private in the Rappahannock trooo. which became Company B of
the Sixth Virginia cavalry, brigade of Gen. J. E. B. Stuart. He
was soon promoted orderly-sergeant, was elected first lieutenant
in the spring of 1862, promoted captain a week or two later and
major in 1863, after which he was in command of his regiment
during the remainder of the war, his superior officers being dis-
abled by wounds. He participated in the Valley campaign of 1862,
under Jackson, and was particularly distinguished in the cav-
alry fight at Cedarville on the day of the battle of Front Royal.
Four companies of the Sixth regiment, under Colonel Flournoy,
in pursuit of the enemy, came up with the First Maryland in-
fantry, U. S. A., Colonel Kenly commanding, supported by artil-
lery and infantry. "Dashing into the midst of them," says Gen-
eral Jackson's report, "Captain Grimsley, of Company B, in the
advance, these four companies drove the Federals from their po-
sition, who soon, however, reformed in an orchard on the right
of the turnpike, when a second gallant and decisive charge being
made upon them, the enemy's cavalry was put to flight, the artil-
lery abandoned, and the infantry, now thrown into great con-
fusion, surrendered themselves prisoners of war." In this fight
the Rappahannock troop lost eleven killed, thirteen wounded, and
seventeen horses. Major Grimsley also participated in the cav-
alry fighting during the Cedar Mountain and Second Manassas
campaign, the raid of Stuart around McClellan's army in Mary-
land, was with Gen. W. E. Jones' brigade in the Valley campaign
and the West Virginia expedition in 1862-63, the battle of Brandy
Station, and the Gettysburg campaign, and, during the latter
campaigns, shared the fighting of the brigades of Payne and
Lomax in Fitzhugh Lee's division. Throughout his career as a
soldier Major Grimsley was spared from both wounds and sick-
ness, and there were few therefore more closely identified with
the record of his regiment. After the close of hostilities he studied
law and began the practice at Culpeper in 1867. He served in
the State senate from 1870 to i879j and in 1880 he was appointed
judge of the Sixth Virginia judicial circuit to fill the vacancy
caused by the death of Judge Shackelford. With the exception
of three years, during the "readjuster" regime, he has ever since
remained upon the bench, a position in which he is distinguished
for learning and impartiality. He is a comrade of A. P. Hill



CONFEDERA TE MILITARY HISTORY. 911

camp, Confederate Veterans. In 1866 he was married to Bettie,
daughter of William L. Browning, a kinsman of William J. Bryan
of Nebraska, and they have six children.

Albert C. Griswold, of Norfolk, who, during the Confederate
war, had the distinction of serving in the action of the Virginia
with the Monitor, was born in Wales, December 25, 1837. He
worked in his youth with his father, a tailor, and, at the age of
fifteen years, immigrated to America, landing at New York, where
he finished his trade and remained until 1857, when he entered
the United States navy as a ship tailor on the sloop of war Mace-
donia. After three years' service in the Mediterranean, he spent
six months on the Cumberland in the Gulf of Mexico. He was
with the latter vessel at the Norfolk navy yard when Virginia
seceded, and, desiring to join the Confederacy, he escaped from
the ship and scaled the wall of the navy yard, as many as twenty
shots being fired at him as he did so. The Confederates arrested
him as a Yankee, but on being convinced of his friendship, he
was enrolled in the United artillery, with which he served through-
out the war. He was stationed at Fort Norfolk and was one of
the detail which served on the Virginia when she sunk the Cum-
berland, the ship he had recently abandoned, and, on the next
day, fought on the Virginia in battle with the Monitor. Then,
rejoining his command at Fort Norfolk, he remained there until
the evacuation, May 10, 1862. He then went with his command
to Petersburg and subsequently to Richmond, where he served
in guarding the railroad to Manassas, and fought at the battle
of Seven Pines. His duty during the remainder of the war was
in the vicinity of Richmond. He served with Howlett's battery
at Bermuda Hundred at the time of the landing of Butler, and
participated in the fight at Dutch Gap with the Federal fleet of
five monitors. Here he was taken prisoner by sailors who had
landed, and was imprisoned, first at Point Lookout and then
at Elmira for seven months. Finally he was permitted to return
to Richmond as a nurse with exchanged prisoners, ten days before
the evacuation. He attempted to rejoin his command, but was
advised not to do so, because he had not been exchanged. Sub-
sequently he was again captured at Drewry's Bluflf, and sent to
City Point, where he was held until after Appomattox and paroled
at Norfolk. Then, returning to business life, he founded a mer-
chant tailoring establishment, which has been very successful. He
is a member of Pickett-Buchanan camp, is a vestryman of St.
Peter's church and is connected with the orders of Odd Fellows,
Knights of Pythias, Royal Arcanum, and Home Circle. He was
married, March 28, 1865. to Miss Susan M. Thompson, at that
time a refugee from Norfolk at Chesterfield, Va.

Virginius Despeaux Groner, of Norfolk, Va., was born in that
city September 7, 1836. His father, George Groner, came to
the United States from Germany in 1827, settled first at New
York and later at Norfolk, where he wedded Eliza Newell, a
daughter of an old Virginia family, whose father served as a
member of Captain Emerson's company at Craney's island, in
the repulse of the British from Norfolk in the war of 1812, and
whose grandfather, Capt. Robert Newell, commanded a privateer
in the Continental service. He was educated at the Norfolk mil-
itary academy, graduating with honors in 1853, and was admitted



912 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

to the bar at the age of twenty-one. Soon afterward he journeyed
to Texas, intending- to purchase a ranch, and bearing letters of
introduction to Gov. Sam Houston, by whom he was re-
ceived with much courtesy. Abandoning his purpose of ranch
life, he accepted from the governor an appointment to Colonel
Bailey's command of Texas Rangers, and served five months in
the service of the State. After the election of President Lincoln
he returned to Virginia, and en route visited the Louisiana mil-
itary institute, desiring to meet his friend, Maj. Frank Smith, an
assistant professor As he entered the grounds he observed a
white man with sleeves rolled up, trousers in boots, digging a
posthole, with four or five negroes standing about in absorbed
attention. Addressing this peculiarly industrious individual, Mr.
Groner inquired as to where he could find his friend. "Well,"
replied the man with the spade, "I am Major Sherman, president
of the school. Come along with me and I will show you the way,

just as soon as I show these niggers how to dig postholes."

As they walked he discussed with the future Federal commander
the recent presidential election and its probable results. When
the likelihood of war was mentioned, Sherman remarked with
great emphasis that in such a case he would "resign, join the
Union army and come down here and kill every rebel I can."
The discussion was quite animated, and Groner retorted that if
Sherman were found in the ranks of an invading army he would
exhaust all the methods of civilized warfare to accomplish his
capture. In after years these two belligerent debaters became
the best of friends. At Jackson, Miss., Mr. Groner visited Gov-
ernor Pettus, who commissioned him to go to New York and
supervise the shipment of rifles to the State from Springfield,
Mass. This service performed he returned to Norfolk, to pre-
pare for the approaching conflict, and receiving several com-
munications from Governor Pickens of South Carolina, he en-
gaged in organizing a regiment of volunteers for the purpose of
aiding in taking Fortress Monroe. For advice in regard to this
enterprise he visited Governor Letcher, during the session of the
convention, accompanied by Adjutant-General Richardson and
bearing a letter from ex-Governor Wise. Governor Letcher pro-
posed to submit their views to the convention, but fearing that
such a course would inform the Federal authorities, he declined
to pursue the enterprise, and immediately proceeded to Jackson,
Miss., and reported to Governor Pettus Through the kindly
offices of the latter he visited President Davis and was commis-
sioned and confirmed by the provisional congress of the Confed-
erate States, as assistant adjutant-general, with rank of captain
in the regular army. Assigned to duty at Montgomery, under
Leroy Polk Walker, the first secretary of war, he had among his
early duties the arrest and imprisonment of Captain Worden,
U. S. N., afterward famous as the commander of the Monitor,
who had been allowed to visit the Federal defenses at Pensacola on
his promise to give no information and report to the Confed-
erate authorities on his return, but had instead attempted to pro-
ceed directly to Washington. Captain Groner also had the dis-
tinction of transmitting the telegram from the secretary of war
to General Beauregard, ordering the opening of the attack on
Fort Sumter. The call of President Lincoln for 75,000 troops was



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 913

made, and there then followed a mass meeting in front of the old
Exchange hotel at Montgomery, at which speeches were made
by Judah P. Benjamin, then attorney-general, and John H. Rea-
gan, postmaster-general, and the sentiment enthusiastically ex-
pressed that as Lincoln had declared war, the Southern forces
should march to Bunker Hill monument and demand peace. The



Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 99 of 153)