Born on August 21, 1843, at Roseland in Nelson County, Virginia. Boyd enrolled at V.M.I. in August, 1859. He was not a great sutdent, as he was dismissed in June, 1860, for neglect of duty and studies and being A.W.O.L. He returned home and in the spring of 1861, helped his brother Thomas M. Boyd (V.M.I. Class of 1859) raised the Nelson Grays and enlisted as 1st Lieutenant on May 1, 1861, at Massie's Mill. The Nelson Grays were mustered into service as Company G on May 20, 1861. An unofficial source says Captain Thomas Boyd was injured from a fall at First Manassas and records show he was often absent sick, so young Waller was often in command of Company G and was promoted to Captain when his brother resigned in March, 1862. He was present with the regiment for many of the battles it went through, and was praised for his bravery at the Battle of Gaines' Mill in June, 1862. He was not with the regiment during the Maryland Campaign and sought a commission in the Confederate Navy in October, 1862. At Gettysburg, he lead his company (the largest at the time with 55 officers and men present) in Pickett's Charge and reached the stonewall. He crossed over the wall and encouraged his men forward, who hesitated due to the heavy fire. Captain Boyd was shot in the thigh and captured. He remained in prison at Fort Delaware, Point Lookout, and Johnson's Island before being exchanged in March, 1864. He returned to the regiment and after the death of Captain James Woodson at Cold Harbor in June, 1864, he commanded the 19th Virginia for much of 1864 and 1865, and was promoted to Major on October 24, 1864. He was in command of the 19th Virginia when Petersburg fell in April, 1865, and was captured with the regiment at Sailor's Creek on April 6, 1865. After taking the oath of allegiance at Johnson's Island on July 25, 1865, Boyd returned to Nelson County and after his father's death that August, inherited a overseer's cabin at Roseland and ran a farm and apple orchard. He died on May 6, 1917, at his home named Edgewood and is buried at Jonesboro Cemetery in Nelson County, Virginia. He was 74 years old.
Waller M. Boyd (seen right) as a VMI Cadet, c. 1860. To his left, his cousin Cadet Edward B. Goode.
Captain Thomas M. Boyd, c. 1859. Brother of Major Boyd.
Captain Richard Thomas Duke, 1822-1898
Richard T. W. Duke, c. 1862
Born on June 6, 1822, in Albemarle County, Virginia. Duke attended V.M.I. and graduated in 1845. He went to go teach in Greenbrier County, Virginia (mow West Virginia) before returning to Charlottesville and took up law. In 1858, he was elected Commonwealth's Attorney of Albemarle County. Following John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry, Duke organized a new militia company called the Albemarle Rifles. He enlisted for service on April 17, 1861, and was stationed at Harper's Ferry till April 24, then returned with his company to Charlottesville. He was mustered in on May 12, 1861, at Culpeper Court House, Virginia, and was present with his company at First Manassas. Duke continued to serve as Captain till he not re-elected and replaced by First Lieutenant John Lewis Cochran. He left the regiment and the following month, was commissioned Colonel of the 46th Virginia Infantry Regiment, reorganizing after having a portion of the regiment captured at Roanoke Island in February, 1862. He remained Colonel until his conflicts with Brigadier General Henry A. Wise pushed him to resign on March 28, 1864. Later that may, he was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel and took command of the 1st Virginia Reserves Battalion, stationed on Belle's Isle as prison guards. He remained in Richmond till the fall of the capitol in April, 1865, and was captured with what remained of his battalion at the Battle of Sailor's Creek, on April 6, 1865. After his release in July, Duke returned home and resumed his law practice. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1870 to 1873, and the Virginia House of Delegates from 1879 to 1881. He died on July 2, 1898, at his home "Sunnyside" in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the age of 76. He is buried at Maplewood Cemetery in Charlottesville.
Lieutenant Colonel John Thomas Ellis, 1827-1863
John T. Ellis, c. 1861
Born on March 16, 1827, in Amherst County, Virginia. Ellis was a graduate of V.M.I., Class of 1848. After working as a teacher, Ellis came to Amherst County and became a merchant, married and had four children, and was Commissioner of Revenue in 1860. In 1860, he helped organized and was elected Captain of the Southern Rights Guard in Amherst County. He enlisted as Captain on April 15, 1861, at Amherst Court House, and was mustered into service on May 24, 1861, at Camp Jefferson in Charlottesville. His company was noted for their discipline and splendid drill; so much that rumors went around camp that they were going to become General Lee's bodyguard. That never happened, but Ellis was elected Major of the regiment on April 26, 1862. He was present with the regiment during the Peninsula Campaign and was shot in the thigh at the Battle of Gaines' Mill on June 27, 1862. He was absent wounded till after the Maryland Campaign and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel that fall. He commanded the regiment for much of the winter of 1862-63, and during the Siege of Washington in March, 1863. At Gettysburg, Ellis was lying on the ground during the artillery cannonade preceding Pickett's Charge when someone shouted, with a cannonball boucning down the line. Ellis lifted his face up and was struck in the face by the ball, killing him. He was 36 years old. His body was buried on the battlefield, then taken to Hollywood Cemetery in 1872, where he rest with the hundreds of Virginians killed on that fateful day at Gettysburg.
Colonel Henry Gantt, 1831-1884
Marker placed at Valmont, believed to be placed the by the UDC in the 1920s. It is believed that Gantt may be buried here.
Born in 1831, at "Valmont" near Scottsville, Virginia. Gantt attended V.M.I. and graduated 23rd in a class of 29 in 1851. After John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry, Gantt helped organized and was elected Captain of the Scottsville Guard. In March, 1861, with war approaching, the Virginia Legislature approved the formation of a battalion, consisting of Gantt's Scottsville Guard and Captain John J. Hopkins' Howardsville Grays from up the James River. It is apparent that Gantt was commander of the en masse battalion and was appointed Major of the regiment on May 17, 1861, while still stationed at Camp Jefferson in Charlottesville. Gantt was present with the regiment through the summer of 1862. Gantt was elected to Lieutenant Colon on April 26, 1862, and was wounded during the Battle of Second Manassas on August 30, 1862. The next month, Gantt was promoted to Colonel, but due to his wound, he did not return to the regiment till April of 1863. At Gettysburg, Gantt was shot in his right shoulder and a ball passed through his mouth, extracting most of his teeth. For the remainder of the war, Colonel Gantt was in and out of service, and in March, 1865, he is listed for a short time as commanding Hunton's Brigade. He returned home and was paroled at Columbia, Virginia in May, 1865. Gantt returned to farming, but struggled in postwar Virginia. He married after the war and had three daughters; two died at a young age and one was declared legally insane. Though holding much of the local's respect and his help in organizing St. John's Chapel in Scottsville, Gantt had to take out loans just to purchase livestock and seeds for planting. Gantt suffered from his Gettysburg wounds and finally died from complications while visiting the Buckingham White Sulphur Springs near Curdsville, Virginia. He was 53 years old. It is uncertain where Gantt is buried, though he believed to be buried on the Valmont farm outside of Scottsville, Virginia. No photographs or paintings of Gantt are known to exist either.
Lieutenant Colonel Charles Stephen Peyton, 1841-1923
Charles S. Peyton, postwar image
Born in 1841, in Albemarle County, Virginia. Peyton was 20 years old when the War broke out in 1861 and enlisted as Captain of the Piedmont Guard on May 10, 1861, at Stony Point in Albemarle County. The next day the company was taken to Culpeper Court House and was mustered in as Company E on May 12, 1861. Peyton's company was not remembered as being a good company, as the July, 1861 roll remarks that Company E was "poorly uniformed and poorly drilled." Captain Peyton was popular with his men, winning re-election as Captain in the spring of 1862. For much of the Pensinsula Campaign, Captain Peyton was acting Major of the regiment, as well as at Second Manassas when he was shot in the left during the assault on Chinn Ridge. His arm was later amputated. Following the death of Colonel Strange at South Mountain, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Gantt became Colonel, Major John Ellis became Lieutenant Colonel, and Peyton was promoted to Major. He returned to the regiment with one arm and was present with the regiment at Gettysburg. He is listed as slightly wounded in the leg during Pickett's Charge, and when the attack was over, Major Peyton was the commander of Garnett's Brigade, being the most senior officer in the brigade. It was he who wrote the brigade's battle report on July 9, 1863. He was shortly thereafter promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and assigned to conscript duty in September, 1863. He remained stationed in Lynchburg and resigned and retired to the Invalid Corps on October 24, 1864. He was paroled at Lynchburg on April 13, 1865. After the war, he moved to Greenbrier County, West Virginia, and took up farming. He died in 1923 at his home at Ronceverte, West Virginia, at the age of 82. Colonel Peyton is buried at Riverview Cemetery in Ronceverte, West Virginia.
Colonel John Bowie Strange, 1823-1862
John B. Strange, c. 1862.
Born in 1823, in Fluvanna County, Virginia. One of the first to be admitted to the Virginia Military Institute on November 11, 1839, as well the first cadet sentinel. He graduated in 1842, and went to become the principal of the Norfolk Academy, then later his own school, called the Albemarle Military Academy. He married Agnes Gaines in the 1850s and had four children when the war started in April of 1861. Offering his service to the state, he was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel and sent to Camp Henry at Culpeper, Virginia. There, he acted as the mustering officer and became part of the 19th Virginia Infantry. He remained in command of the 19th Virginia for much of 1861, as Colonel Cocke was commanding the Fifth Brigade of the Army of the Potomac. Strange was denied promotion when Cocke was promoted to Brigadier General, and West Point Graduate Armistead Rust assumed command. Strange was elected Colonel on April 26, 1862. He commanded the regiment throughout the Peninsula Campaign, and temporary took command of the brigade when Colonel Eppa Hunton was ill during the Battle of Frazier's Farm. Strange also commanded the regiment at Second Manassas, and by the time the regiment crossed the Potomac River into Maryland, he was the only officer above Captain remaining (Lieutenant Colonel Gantt wounded at Second Manassas, and Major Ellis still absent with his wound at Gaines' Mill). Strange's career came to an end when he was mortally wounded at the Battle of South Mountain, Maryland, on September 14, 1862. Some remember they could hear Strange's voice over the battle as the tried to rally them as the regiment was forced back. According to a letter from a Union officer later sent to his family, Strange was lying on the ground wounded as the Federal line advanced up the slope. Colonel Strange, not wishing to surrender, pulled out his pistol and sat up, firing into the advancing enemy. Some Federal soldiers ran up to shoot and bayonet him, killing on the field. His remains were retrieved in 1865 and reinterred in Maplewood Cemetery in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was 39 years old when he was killed.
2nd Lieutenant William Nathaniel "Big I" Wood, 1839-1909
William N. Wood, c. 1862
Born on November 16, 1839, in Albemarle County, Virginia. Wood was a 21 year old clerk when he enlisted in Company A on July 9, 1861, at Charlottesville. He joined the regiment at Manassas on July 19, and was present for the final charge at the Battle of First Manassas two days later. He later said that the only thing military he had on that day was a hat and accouterments. He went through the winter of 1861-62, and at one point while on sentry duty, a rider came by his post and entered headquarters nearby. Lieutenant Culin of his company came up to him and demanded to know what he was during. Wood had not recognized the rider, who was General P. G. T. Beauregard, and had not properly saluted him. Wood was elected 3rd Lieutenant in April, 1862, and served as acting adjutant for much of the summer of 1862. During the Maryland Campaign, the 19th Virginia's strength had dwindled to just 50, and at the Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam), Wood was in command of the small band. Shortly afterwards he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and remained in command of Company A for much of the fall of 1862. At Gettysburg, Wood was scratched by a bullet within 20 yards of the stonewall, and made it back to the Confederate lines. He continued to serve throughout the war, commanding Company A many times in the absence of Captain John Culin. Wood was captured with what remained of the regiment at Sailor's Creek on April 6, 1865, and was in the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C., when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. He was released in July, 1865, and returned to Charlottesville to become a farmer, salesman, clerk, and bookkeeper. He died on February 10, 1909, at Charlottesville, Virginia, and was buried in Maplewood Cemetery. After his death, Charles Wertenbaker, friend and former Lieutenant in Company A during the war, collected articles that Wood had written throughout his life and put them into book form. The book were published by the Michie Company, and titled "Reminiscences of Big I."
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