Elijah Viers White"Lige"
(1832 - 1907)
Home State: Virginia
Command Billet: Unit Commander
Branch of Service: Cavalry
Unit: White's Virginia Cavalry
Before the Antietam Campaign:
He was a farmer in Loudoun County, Virginia, and Corporal in the Loudoun Cavalry- a local militia company. He had fought in Kansas in 1855. At the outbreak of War, he enlisted as Private in Company C of Ashby's 7th Virginia Cavalry. He was cited for bravery and initiative at Balls Bluff in October 1861, where, on furlough, he served with the 8th Virginia Infantry. He was appointed Captain and authorized to raise a unit of Irregular Cavalry, which he did at Leesburg. Under "Stonewall" Jackson, he and his men had success in raiding, scouting, and the other independent tasks.
In the Antietam Campaign:
With his three companies, White served the Headquarters of Gen Jackson's Command (Corps) on the Maryland Campaign. He was reported to have been in the lead of Jackson's Command as it crossed the Potomac into Maryland over what was soon named White's Ford - from his Loudoun County farm.
The remainder of the War:
On 28 October 1862 White's unit, with the addition of five more companies of Cavalry, became the 35th Battalion of Virginia Cavalry. White was elected Major and Commanding Officer, and the battalion was mustered into Confederate service soon after. Between campaigns, the 35th raided and scouted independently along the Maryland/Virginia border, and in the Valley. By the Gettysburg Campaign (June and July 1863), White was Lieutenant Colonel and riding with the Army of Northern Virginia - one of the few cavalrymen with Gen Lee on the first day's action at Gettysburg. He was significanty engaged at Brandy Station, in the Wilderness, and most other actions of the ANV, and served in the rear guard of the Army at Appomattox in April 1865.
After the War:
White went back to his farm and was later Sheriff (1866-70), in the grain and farm supply business, a banker, a clegryman, and operated White's Ferry across the Potomac (still in existence as of 2005).
References, Sources, and other notes:
Basic bio and military service data from Staup.1 Campaign history from the OR.2 His picture above is from a larger photograph at the Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond.
|Birth Date: 8/29/1832 Place of Birth: near Poolesville, MD |
College: Granville (Ohio) College
Death Date: 01/11/1907 Death Place: Leesburg, VA Burial Place: Union Cemetery, Leesburg, VA
1 Bio sketch citing John E. Divine's 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry (H. E. Howard, Inc.: 1985) and Frank M. Myers' The Comanches: A History ... (Kelly, Piet & Co.: 1871) as sources.
2 US War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (OR), 128 vols., Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1880-1901, various mentions [AotW citation 221]
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