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arms, and he promptly entered the military service in April, re-
ceiving a commission as lieutenant of cavalry. He was assigned to
the Thirty-second Virginia regiment, which later in the year was
enrolled as the Second Virginia cavalry regiment. At the reor-
ganization in 1862 he was unanimously elected captain of Com-
pany E of this command, and with this rank he served until
wounded severely at Trevilian Station, June 11, 1864. On account
of his resulting disability he was assigned to duty on the board of
inquiry at Charlottesville, where he served until the evacuation of


Richmond, when he rejoined the army in the field and at Amelia
Court House, during the retreat, was promoted major of his
regiment. His military service included faithful and gallant duty
in many important battles and campaigns, among them the battles
of First Manassas, Dranesville, Middleburg, Fredericksburg, Front
Royal, two battles at Winchester, Barnesville, the fight in which
Ashby fell, Dunker's Church, Port Republic, the Seven Days' be-
fore Richmond, Cedar Mountain, the two engagements at Har-
per's Ferry, Stuart's raid in Pennsylvania, Chancellorsville, Get-
tysburg, Greenwood and Funkstown, Todd's Tavern, the Wilder-
ness, Spottsylvania Court House, Yellow Tavern, Beaver Dam,
Ashland, Hawe's Shop (where he cut his way through the Federal
lines with the four companies of his command), Wilson's Land-
ing, the raid from Raccoon Ford, by Stevensburg, Brandy Sta-
tion and Rappahannock Bridge, the famous fight at Brandy Sta-
tion or Beverly's Ford, the Stafford raid, with fighting at Har-
wood church and Falmouth, Kellyville, Third Manassas and Oc-
coquan river, the raid after Averell, driving him into West Vir-
ginia, and Trevilian Station. After this arduous service with the
cavalry of the army of Northern Virginia, he was paroled at Am-
herst Court House, where he resumed the practice of his pro-
fession. He had been elected in March, 1865, to the Virginia sen-
ate, but under the changed conditions, could not take his seat.
In 1866 he was elected commonwealth attorney for his county, but
was removed by the military authority after about one year's
service. In 1869 being again elected he served his term. In 1872
he was elected as the representative of the Sixth district in the
United States Congress, and served for one term. Meanwhile, in
1871, he had established a newspaper. The Amherst Enterprise,
which he published until he disposed of the property in 1875. In
the following year he took charge of the Lynchburg Daily News,
from which he retired in 1880 to establish the Lynchburg Advance,
which he conducted for five years. During the gubernatorial cam-
paign of Gen. Fitzhugh Lee he edited a newspaper at Lynchburg
called "Whitehead's Democrat," also engaged in the canvass
throughout the State, in the interest of Lee. He was elected by
the legislature in 1887 to the position of commissioner of agri-
culture, in which he continued to serve with general approbation,
having been successively reappointed by Governors Lee, McKin-
ney and O'Ferrall.

J. E. Whitehorne, of Petersburg, a veteran of Mahone's
brigade, army of Northern Virginia, is a native of GreenesviUe
county. He was born in 1840 at the plantation home of his father,
Howell W. Whitehorne, a son of William H. Whitehorne, a sol-
dier of the war of 1812. In the spring of 1861, at the age of nine-
teen years, he enlisted in Company F of the Twelfth Virginia in-
fantry, which was stationed at Norfolk until the spring of 1862,
when it joined the brigade of General Mahone and participated In
the campaigns of that year, including the battles of Seven Pines,
Malvern Hill, Second Manassas, Sharpsburg and Fredericksburg.
Private Whitehorne went through these fights and Chancellors-
ville in addition, without serious injury, but at the battle of Get-
tysburg he was badly wounded in each leg. On the retreat he was
carried to the hosjjital at Winchester, thence to Staunton, and
from there to Hospital No. 21, at Richmond, after which he was


given a furlough and permitted to regain his strength at home.
He was not able to walk until March, 1864, and then, on crutches
joined his command near Rapidan Station. He was detailed to
the quartermaster's department until June following, when he
again went to the front and found his comrades at Turkey Ridge,
near Richmond. Subsequently he was stationed on the lines at
Wilcox's farm before Petersburg, and was frequently engaged in
battle, notably at Johnson's farm, on the Weldon railroad, and at
the Crater. In the latter fierce encounter he was again wounded,
being shot through the leg. A few weeks later, with indomitable
devotion, he was again with his regiment, near Battery Forty-five,
and participated in the fight of October 27th, and in the battle of
Hatcher's Run, February 6, 1865. Ordered to the Howlett House
line late in March, he soon afterward joined in the retreat, and
after fighting his last battle at Cumberland church, was paroled
at Appoinattox, at that time holding the rank of orderly-sergeant.
Mr. Whitehorne has been occupied in mercantile pursuits since
the war, since 1867 at Petersburg, and since 1890 he has been a
partner in one of the leading dry goods establishments of the
city. He is a member of A. P. Hill camp, Confederate Veterans.
Three of his children are living: Edward W., Nellie E. and
James S.

Francis Milton Whitehurst, prominent in the legal profession
at Norfolk, is a native of Princess Anne county, born De-
cember I, 1835. His father, William Whitehurst, was a prosperous
planter of Princess Anne county, who died in 1847, and was de-
scended from one of the early and substantial families of Vir-
ginia, the ancestors coming from England to the Old Dominion
in the seventeenth century. Judge Whitehurst was reared at the
plantation in Princess Anne county, attending country schools,
and at fourteen years of age he entered upon school life in Nor-
folk, Va., attending the Norfolk military academy and a private
school, and the Baltimore commercial college. During the ses-
sion of 1860-61 he studied in the law school of the university of
Virginia, but left there immediately after the adoption of the ordi-
nance of secession by the Virginia legislature, to enter the service
of his State. He enlisted as a private in Company F, organized at
Norfolk, which became Company G of the Sixth Virginia infantry.
He served in the ranks until the battle of Chancellorsville, when
he was appointed first lieutenant of a company which had been
formerly commanded by Capt. Carter Williams. This rank he
held during the campaigns and battles of his regiment until his
capture during the fight which followed the explosion of the mine
at Petersburg on July 31, 1864. His experience on this occasion
is of especial interest as illustrating the desperate character of the
struggle and the demoralization of the Federal troops. The Sixth
Virginia regiment, forming a part of the brigade of General Ma-
hone, was on the right in the charge and did not cover more than
half of the front of the Crater. Most of the regiment being on
picket duty they carried into the action a little over one hundred
men, of whom eighty-five were killed, wounded or captured.
Lieutenant Whitehurst and Captain Wright, of another company,
leading the line on the "right, reached the edge of the Crater,
where Wright fell with a fatal wound. Whitehurst knelt by the


dying man a moment and while in this act was approached by
two Federals, who sprang from the debris and with leveled guns
demanded his sword. Feeling a little indifferent in the midst of
the carnage, he replied that he might accommodate them if they
would wait a minute. This the Federals did not do, but seized
his sword and pitched him into the crater, which was filled with
soldiers, white and black, some of whom seized his scabbard and
part of his clothing and with threats threw him about among
them. As quickly as possible he put his hand to his sword belt,
unbuckled same, and demanded protection from a Federal officer.
This being granted, the lieutenant remained in the crater until the
Confederate fire became so heavy that he approached the officer
and asked to be either sent to the rear or allowed to return to his
own command, as he disliked the prospect of being shot by his
own comrades. He was then placed in charge of his two captors,
and they started for the Federal rear, by way of a deep cut in
rear of the mine, but had gone only a short distance when the
rush of Federal soldiers through the cut became threatening.
He told his guard they could not protect him afid he would climb
out and walk on the bank of the cut and take his chances, and
they could have the right to shoot him if he attempted to escape.
This was agreed to, and he went to the rear under the Confed-
erate fire, but happily without injury. On being taken to the Fed-
eral officers' camp he refused to enlighten them regarding his
command. While detained there, weary and heartsick, his clothes
bloody, ragged and bullet-rent and covered by swarms of flies, his
nerve almost left him, but it was revived by a proposition made to
him one day as he sat disconsolate upon the root of a tree, with
his head upon his hand. Some fellow in civilian clothes ap-
proached in a kindly way, for which he was grateful, but soon
developed a proposition that he should take the oath of allegiance
to the Federal government and be relieved of his troubles.
Whitehurst believes he never swore before, but the impulse of that
moment led him to make some remarks of a very emphatic nature
that terminated the interview. After this he endured the life of a
prisoner of war at City Point, the Old Capitol prison and Fort
Delaware, until after the close of the war. While in the field he
participated in the Seven Days' battles, Second Manassas, Chan-
cellorsville, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Spottsylvania Court
House, Cold Harbor, and all other engagements of Mahone's
brigade except Sharpsburg, then being sick, and escaped without
a wound, though his clothes and trappings were pierced by thir-
teen bullet holes during the war. In 1865 he entered upon the
practice of law at Princess Anne Court House, and when the
present judicial system was adopted, he was chosen judge of the
county by the legislature. After six years' service in this position
he resigned, and then held, for the same period, the office of
State's attorney. Resigning this position in 1884, he removed to
Norfolk, forming the legal firm of Whitehurst & Hughes, which
has continued to the present time. He has sat as a delegate in
the State conventions of the Democratic party, is one of the
board of visitors of Randolph-Macon college, a trustee of the
Norfolk military academy, and a meftiber of Pickett-Buchanan
camp, U. C. V. Judge Whitehurst was married in 1873 to Miss
Laura E. Styron, and they have three daughters.


William H. Whitfield, who served with distinction as a mem-
ber of Mahone's brigade of the army of Northern Virginia, was
one of a family of southeastern Virginia which contributed with
patriotic devotion to the military service of the commonwealth.
The father was Cordia C. Whitfield, of Southampton county, and
he was of a family long identified with the development of that
section, founded in Virginia by his grandfather, Reuben Whit-
field, of England. He married Lucy Sanders, daughter of Jesse
Sanders, a native of Vermont, who came to Virginia as an en-
gineer during the survey of the Seaboard Air Line railway line,
and married Miss Susan Cross, of North Carolina. Cordia C.
Whitfield gave three of his sons to Virginia as soldiers. One of
these, Henry L. Whitfield, served in the army of Tennessee, and
after going through a series of famous campaigns and battles, lost
his life in the_ great Western battle of Chickaraauga, September
20, 1863. William H. Whitfield, mentioned in the opening of this
sketch, enlisted in Company H of the Forty-first Virginia infantry,
Mahone's brigade, and notwithstanding serious wounds received
at the battle of Malvern Hill, went through the subsequent cam-
paigns of the army of Northern Virginia to the end. Argal C.
Whitfield, a third son, served in the same company, regiment and
brigade, until captured at Yellow Tavern, August 19, 1864, after
which he was held as a prisoner at Point Lookout until after the
close of the war. The latter two sons have both died since the
war. A surviving son, Thomas J. Whitfield, now residing in
Nansemond county, was born in Southampton county in 1852.
Too young for service in the field, he nevertheless did what he
could. In February, 1864, he accompanied his father to Rich-
mond to visit a brother who lay there wounded, and he remained
as a nurse and attendant in Chimborazo hospital until November
of that year, serving faithfully in the care of the suffering heroes,
and gaining a vivid impression of the horrors of war. After the
war he was associated with his father on the home farm until
1886, when he removed to his estate near Suffolk. Since 1893 he
has resided at his present comfortable farm home near the latter
city. In December, 1887, he was married to Anna, daughter of
Seth Benton, of Gates county. She also had three brothers in
the Confederate army, Thomas, who was killed at Gettysburg,
Mills and Isaac Benton.

Captain John S. Whitworth, of Berkley, a gallant veteran
of Mahone's brigade, was born at Manchester, Va., September 15,
1836. His parents, John and Sallie (Stundsfield) Whitworth, were
natives of England, where they were married before coming to
America in 1828. They made their home at Manchester, Va., and
many years after died there within a few hours of each other, and
were interred in the same grave at Hollywood, Richmond. Cap-
tain Whitworth was reared and educated at Manchester, and then
was apprenticed to Talbott & Brothers, machinists and manufac-
turers, for four years, learning thoroughly the trade of a ma-
chinist, which he followed prior to 1861. Meanwhile he had be-
come a member of a volunteer military company, called the Rocky
Ridge Rifles, with which he served at Harper's Ferry during the
attempted insurrection of 1859. Having had this preliminary ex-
perience he entered the service of Virginia in April, 1861, as sec-
ond junior lieutenant of Company I of the Sixth Virginia infantry


regiment. The company had been under command of his brother,
William Whitworth, who had accepted this position temporarily,
though physically unable to continue in active service. Upon his
resignation before the muster, Louis F. Boisseau became captain.
At the reorganization in the spring of 1862, Whitworth was pro-
moted first lieutenant, and after the battle of Sharpsburg, when
Captain Boisseau resigned, he was promoted to the captaincy
which he continued to hold during the remainder of the war. He
participated in all the campaigns of Mahone's brigade, taking part
in twenty-seven diflferent battles and skirmishes, chief among which
were the Seven Days' fighting before Richmond, ending with the bat-
tle of Malvern Hill; Second Manassas, Crampton Gap, Harper's
Ferry, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg,
Falling Waters, Mine Run, Culpeper Court House, the Wilder-
ness, Spottsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, Wilcox's Farm,
Hatcher's Run and Sailor's Creek. In the fight on the Weldon
railroad of June 22, 1864, on the occasion of Wilson's raid, he
received a painful gunshot wound in the right shoulder, which
disabled him from participation in the famous Crater fight in
which his brigade was distinguished. But in all the other impor.
tant actions of the brigade he was among the rnost faithful and
fearless, and commanded his company in battle with coolness and
skill, in practically all of its engagements except Fredericksburg of
December, 1862. Finally he surrendered and was paroled with the
remnant of Lee's brave men at Appomattox, and then returned to
the duties of civil life. During all of the subsequent period, with
the exception of four years, 1876-80, spent in farming in Curri-
tuck county, N. C, he has been prominently connected with the
great railroad transportation business which centers at the cities
on the Elizabeth river. For the first eight years he was con-
nected with the Norfolk & Petersburg road, as a passenger en-
gineer, and then as master mechanic of the shops at Norfolk.
After 1880 he was master mechanic of the Elizabeth City & Nor-
folk road, in charge of its shops at Berkley, for nine years, was
subsequently for one year master mechanic at Belfield, of the
Atlantic & Danville road, which situation he left to accept his
present position as master mechanic of the Norfolk & Carolina
railroad, the shops of which are now located at Norfolk. Since
1880 Captain Whitworth has been a valued citizen of Berkley, Va.,
occupying an honorable place in the cornmunity, and taking an
active and enterprising part in social, business and municipal af-
fairs. He is a vestryman of St. Thomas Episcopal church, is a
member of the Masonic order, is present treasurer and past com-
mander of Neimeyer-Shaw camp. United Confederate Veterans,
and an honorary member of Pickett-Buchanan camp, of Norfolk,
also has served as a member of the common council of Berkley.
In 1867 he was married to Emily Brickhouse Smith, daughter of
Col. Alexander Smith, a prominent citizen of Currituck county,
N. C.

William Wholey, of Staunton, Va., a veteran of Stonewall Jack-
son's division, is a native of Ireland, his residence in America
dating from 1847. He made his home at Staunton in 1853, and
six years later entered the military service of his adopted State at
the time of the John Brown affair, and aided in the suppression


of the insurrection. Again in April, 1861, when the defenders of
Virginia were called to the field, he enlisted as a private in the
West Augusta Guards, which was mustered in as Company L of
the Fifth Virginia infantry regiment. Later in the same year he
was promoted ordnance sergeant in Jackson's division, the rank
and station in which he served during the remainder of the strug-
gle. With Jackson in the famous Valley campaign of 1862, he
fought at Cross Keys and Port Republic, and then moving swiftly
to the aid of Lee, took part in the Seven Days' battles before
Richmond. In the following Maryland campaign he was engaged
at Falling Waters and Sharpsburg, and next winter shared in
the triumph at Fredericksburg. The most prominent service which
he rendered in the following year, was at Chancellorsville and at
Gettysburg. In the hard fighting of 1864 he shared from the
opening to the close, fighting at the Wilderness, Spottsylvania
and throughout the movement to Petersburg, where he took part
in the defense of the entrenched line until the evacuation, after
which he participated in the final actions at Sailor's Creek and
Farmville. After the surrender, when he was paroled, he returned
to his home at Staunton, where he has since resided and is ac-
counted one of the substantial citizens. From 1865 until 1870 he
was occupied as manager of the "American House" hotel. Since
then he has been engaged in the wholesale liquor trade.

Oscar Wiley, M. D., a prominent member of the medical pro-
fession of Virginia, residing at Salem, was born in Botetourt
county in 1830. He was reared in his native county and in Craig,
and received his academic education at the Emory-Henry college,
which he was compelled to leave at the close of the junior year of
his course on account of the death of his father. Determining to
make his career in the profession of medicine he pursued the study
at Randolph-Macon college, where he was graduated in 1851, and
at the Jefferson medical college of Philadelphia, where he was
graduated in 1852. Previous to the war he was a member of a
military company organized at the time of the Harper's Ferry in-
surrection, and when the State had decided upon secession in the
spring of 1861, he joined a company of cavalry which was as-
signed to the Second regiment of Virginia cavalry. After eight
months' service as a private he was promoted assistant surgeon
of the Fifty-fourth regiment of infantry. A year later he was
promoted to the full rank of surgeon, which he held during the
remainder of the war. He participated in the early skirmish at
Sawyer's Swamp, where he was on vidette duty, and captured the
first Yankee soldier which was taken in by his company or regi-
ment. He participated in skirmishes near Newport News, at
Princeton, W. Va., and in the campaigns of the army of Tennessee,
was in the battles of Paintville, Ky., Perryville, Ky., Richmond,
Ky., Dalton, Ga., Resaca, Cartersville, New Hope Church, Mari-
etta, Ringgold, Peachtree Creek, siege of Atlanta, Jonesboro,
Ga., and Bentonville, N. C. He surrendered and was paroled at
High Point, N. C, after which he returned to his home in Craig
county. He was occupied there in both farming and the practice
of medicine until 1870, when he made his home at Salem. At
that place he has since continued in the practice, meeting with
gratifying success and gaining a widespread reputation as a skill-


ful physician and surgeon. In 1885 he was elected a member of
the medical examining board of Virginia, and after four years'
service was re-elected, but resigned soon afterward. In 1889 he
held the position of president of the medical society of Virginia.
During Governor McKinney's administration, he was appointed to
the commission to investigate the State lunatic asylum. In these
and other ways he has been assured of the high respect in which
he is held as a professional man and as a citizen. A brother of
the foregoing, Benton Wiley, also of Salem, Va., was in the Con-
federate service from 1863 until the close of the war.

Robert Wiley, of Fairfax, a Virginian who did honorable service
in a Georgia regiment, was born in Fairfax county in 1840. He
was reared there and educated, also having the advantage of edu-
cational institutions in Washington City, and in 1861, having
reached his majority, found the most attractive career open to
him to Ije that of a soldier in the Confederate army. He entered
the service in September, 1861, and was on duty as a scout until
March, 1862. He then enlisted as a private in Company K of the
Nineteenth Georgia regiment, and did not see his home again
from that date until May 20, 1865. But during this long absence
from home he became greatly attached to his commanders. Gens.
Wade Hampton, A. J. Archer and Alfred H. Colquitt, who
commanded successively in the order named, and the_ comrades
of his Georgia regiment. With this command he participated in
the battles of Williamsburg, West Point, Seven Pines, the Seven
Days' battles, Cedar Mountain, Second Manassas, Ox Hill, Har-
per's Ferry, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Olustee and Drewry's
Bluflf. He also served in the defense of Yorktown and the defense
of Charleston, S. C. After the Seven Days' battles he was pro-
moted sergeant, and he was afterward tendered the adjutancy, but
was compelled to decline on account of disability from wounds.
He was wounded three times in the Seven Days' struggle, but
remained in the field, was again wounded at Olustee, Fla., and
the last time at Drewry's bluflf, so severely that he was incapaci-
tated from May 16, 1864, to February 9, 1865. His experience
as a prisoner of war was fortunately of only four days' duration,
following the battle of Fredericksburg. Returning to the field
in February, 1865, he was with Johnston's army until the sur-
render, after which he went to his home, carrying with him a
Mexican dollar given him at the capitulation. This, which was
his entire capital at that time, he still treasures as a souvenir of
those days of gloom. He engaged in farming, in which he has
ever since been interested, but his ability was soon recognized by
appointment to responsible jjositions. He has served as com-
missioner of revenue, as magistrate, and as deputy county treas-
urer for ten years, and is now holding for the second term the
oflSce of county treasurer. He is a member of Marr camp. Con-
federate Veterans, and of the Methodist church South. On June
26, 1867, he was married to Mary E. Lee, of Fairfax, and they
have seven children.

William S. Wilkinson, of Danville, a veteran of the Amelia cav-
alry, was born in Amelia county, September 26, 1836. He is the

Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 149 of 153)