John Wesley Culpepper

Male, #32434, (8 Jul 1835 - 16 Aug 1864)
Father*George Washington Culpepper of Meriwether Co., GA (6 Dec 1808 - 20 Dec 1901)
Mother*Perlina Perdue (27 Jun 1812 - 21 Jul 1882)
Birth*8 Jul 1835 John was born at Meriwether Co., Georgia, on 8 Jul 1835.1 
1840 Census1 Jun 1840 Noah, William and John was probably a free white male, under 5 years old, in George Washington Culpepper of Meriwether Co., GA's household, on the 1840 Census on 1 Jun 1840 at Meriwether Co., Georgia.2 
1850 Census1 Jun 1850 Perlina, Permelia, Thomas, Sarah, Simeon, Nancy, Noah, William, John and James listed as a household member living with George Washington Culpepper of Meriwether Co., GA on the 1850 Census on 1 Jun 1850 at Meriwether Co., Georgia.3 
Photographed*circa 1855 He was photographed circa 1855 at Lone Oak, Meriwether Co., Georgia.4
John Wesley Culpepper
1860 Census1 Jun 1860 Perlina, James, John, Simeon, Sarah, Thomas, Permelia, George and Fereba listed as a household member living with George Washington Culpepper of Meriwether Co., GA in the 1860 Census at Meriwether Co., Georgia.5 
Civil War*between 1862 and 1864 He served in the War Between the States between 1862 and 1864

     1 Lt, Co. D, 8th GA Inf.1 
Death*16 Aug 1864 He died at Fussells Mill, Henrico Co., Virginia, on 16 Aug 1864 at age 29.1 
Burial*circa 17 Aug 1864 His body was interred circa 17 Aug 1864 at Fussells Mill, Virginia.6 
Burial John was memorialized at Allen-Lee Cemetery, Lone Oak, Meriwether Co., Georgia. Marker only. Buried at battlefield..6 
Biography* George Washington Culpepper recorded John's birth in his Bible: "John Wesley Culpepper was born on Friday Night 9 o'clock 8th July 1836." John was a private in Co. D, 8th GA Infantry, during the Civil War. Mrs. Eleanor Culpepper Willingham wrote, in a 9 Aug 1993 letter, that Nath Doughtie "recently made a trip to Gettysburg following route the Culpepper brothers took in the Civil War." He gave the following account at a 24 July 1993 Culpepper Reunion: GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA John Wesley Culpepper and Simeon Fletcher Culpepper were members of Company "D" of the Eighth Georgia Infantry Regiment. This regiment, along with the Seventh, Ninth, Eleventh and Fifty-ninth regiments, were part of General George T. Anderson's Brigade. This brigade was part of General Hood's Division which was part of the First Army Corps under General Longstreet. At the Battle of Gettysburg the Army of Northern Virginia, under General Lee, consisted of the First Corps under Longstreet, the Second Corps under Ewell and the Third Corps under Hill. General Stewart led the Cavalry Division. On July 2, Anderson's Brigade moved across the Emmitsburg Road and charged the woods south of what became known as the Wheat Field. The Union forces were pushed back from a stone fence but the Confederates were flanked on the left and retreated to the crest of Rose Hill. They were then reinforced and advanced again. General Anderson was wounded but advanced and occupied the woodland to its border on plum run valley. On July 3rd the brigade was sent down Emmitsburg road to repulse Union calvary which had tried to flank the division. On July 4th the brigade built trenches to protect the army's flank and on July 5th left for Hagerstown, Maryland. Simeon F. Culpepper had been shot through both legs and was left behind with many other wounded Confederates. This may have been better for him in the long run as many of the wounded men were unable to withstand the rigors of travel. Simeon Fletcher was later paroled or exchanged and rejoined his unit for battles in 1864 and was with the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox in April, 1865.
     The George Washington Culpepper Family Bible records John Wesley Culpepper's death: "John W., Son of G. W. and Perlina Culpepper was killed in battle near Fussells Mill, (8) miles below Richmond, Va. Aug 16th 1864 - Peace to his ashes." According to Marriage and Death Notices from the Southern Christian Advocate Vol II: 1861-1867 by Brent H. Holcomb the following death notice appeared in the 29 Sep 1864 issue of the Southern Christian Advocate: Lt. J. W. Culpepper, of 8th Regt. Ga. Vols., son of G. W. Culpepper, of Meriwether co., Ga., was killed Aug. 16, 1864, at Fussel's Mill, Va.
     Eleanor Culpepper Willingham recorded the following from a list Confederate soldiers from Lone Oak, GA on p. 65 of the History of Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church (formerly Old Prospect Methodist Church) Lone Oak, Georgia 1844-1985: John W. Culpepper Pvt. Co. D 8th Ga. Reg. Inf. 7-8-1835 [read birth 8 Jul 1836] 8-16-1854 [read death 16 Aug 1864] Elected 2nd Lt. 1-25-1862 1st Lt. 8-1863 Killed at Deep Bottom, Virginia 16 Aug 1864 Buried in Virginia.
      The following is from a ruled paper copy of a letter written to Simeon F. Culpepper who was a Sergeant in Co. D of the 8th Georgia Regiment in which John Wesley Culpepper was an Infantry Private: _______________________________________October 5, 1864 Sergeant Culpepper,
     Had a thunderbolt fallen at my feet, I could not have been more utterly astonished than I was when I read your letter received a few days ago, the announcement of your brother's death.
     I cannot realize that he is dead. One who possessed the combination of every good quality - so gifted, so good, so brave; can it be that he is no more? And was his life's blood shed by the hand of the much hated enemy? If so, he has died in defense of his much loved South, which he was so willing to die for, and has gained a nice inheritance in heaven. "The silver cord has been loosed, the golden bowl broken." How true it is "the good die first."
     He was a dear friend of mine, and you, who knew him so well, will know how much I valued and appreciated his friendship. Although his entire family are strangers to me personally, yet I extend to you my deepest, heartfelt sympathy. I know your loss and would offer words of consolation did I not know how useless all such would be. Time alone can alleviate your sorrow.
     I am greatly obliged to your for the information you have given me, also for your kind consideration, that of not reading my letters. You will confer a great favor by destroying them as I do not want them.
     I have his ambrotype. If neither you nor his family have his likeness, I will lend you the one I have. But if you have, I would like to retain the one I have.
     You will please write me concerning the ambrotype, and if it will not be asking too great a favor, I would ask you to give my the particulars of his death. _________________________Sincerely, your sympathizer, ______________________/s/Nannie Allen _________________________Serles Station _________________________Alabama
     Mrs. Willingham wrote in a 11 Sep 1978 letter: Our Cousin, Bill Lowery...believes there is a book in the library at University of Georgia based on the diary of Uncle John Wesley's Civil War travels. He said that Cousin Zora Sewell lived with them and she had all of Uncle James' valuable papers, among them the diary. There was a School Supt in Grantville named Lowe. He borrowed this from Cousin Zora and Bill believes he wrote a book or copied it and had it published. The title is something about "Johnnie Reb."
     John William Culpepper, in a 16 Aug 1993 letter to his cousin, Bill Haynes wrote about a portion of the John W. Culpepper diary that remains: it began with his enlistment in the "Echols Guards" in Meriwether County in May 1861 and carried through until July 15, 1861. The rest of his diary is in the possession of a descendant [Marvin M. "Mac" Culpepper] in Texas.... [Nath Culpepper Doughtie] took a copy of the Diary and followed the path of travel of his grandfather [Simeon Culpepper] described by John Wesley all the way to Richmond, Va., then on to Winchester, Va. Harpers Ferry and Stroudsburg, Va. John Wesley was killed on 16 August 1864. John Wesley died in his brothers arms and Simeon buried him near a garden on a farm 8 miles below Richmond, Va.
     James Burie Clegg wrote 15 Nov 1978 he did not know the [T. Jackson] Howe that was supposed to have written a manuscript based on the John Wesley Culpepper diary "but I've heard of the 'Johnny Reb' work." The following letter was written by Lt. John Wesley Culpepper, Company D, 8th Georgia Infantry Regiment, Jenkin's Brigade, First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, Lt. General James Longstreet Commanding. It was found by Eleanor Culpepper Willingham among her father's possessions. Cousin Pitts Culpepper told her Bob Adair, was a Civil War veteran who lost a leg in the War. He had a daughter, Irene, who worked in a bank in Greenville, Georgia [Robert D. Adair, Corporal 23 Sep 1862, wounded in leg at Gettysburg, PA 2 Jul 1963. Leg was amputated.] He thinks she must have found the letter and given it to Eleanor's father, Homer Lee Culpepper. Pitts found Bob Adair's grave in the Greenville Cemetery, born 22 July, 1843, died 3 November 1908. _______________________________Camp near Strawberry Plains, Tenn. ______________________________ Feby 14th 1864 Dear Bob; I received a letter from you several days ago, but have not had an opportunity to answer it until the present; and even now, I am not prepared to write to you as I would late to do. But I need not make any apology to an old veteran soldier like yourself, as you understand, and can fully appreciate our situation.---The weather is very unpleasant.---It has been raining incessantly since last night; and bids fair to continue several days. We left our comfortable winter quarters three or four Weeks ago, and have been taking it "rough and tumble" ever since, with but one blanket, and no tents. But when we contemplate the glorious cause for which we are battling, together with the firesides of our old fathers and mothers--our little brothers and sisters, (and of course we alwavs remember, we are fighting for our sweet-hearts), these toils, hardships and dangers sink into insignificances; and our determination is redoubled, to battle ever as long as a yankee can be found on our Southern Soil. Lieut. Ben and the boys arrived today. I was gratified to hear from him, that all the E.G. (Echols Guards) at home were doing well. I've just written to Christian, Clem, John E. and Sim, notifying them that they are exchanged and ordering them to the company. I sympathize with all the boys but particularly wich Christian, as I know he will regret so much, to leave his young wife. But a bleeding country calls on me to do my duty. Our duty should be done fearlessly and boldly.-- This I expect always to do regardless of consequences. But you know a fellow very frequently catches the devil for administering justice to all with whom he has dealings. Our motto should be Duty to God,--Duty to our Country, and justice to all mankind.--You have nobly and gallantly paid the debt you owed your country in the field. Had every able bodied man shouldered his musket and come to the front when you did, this war would have closed long since, and today instead of being seated on the ground writing on a cartridge box, while the cold rain is pattering on our little oil-cloth 'bunk' over head; we could all have been at home enjoying peace beneath our proud confederate banner with plenty of everything that heart could desire. But thousands have cowardly and shamefully shirked out of the war from the beginning, making the duty much heavier on the gallant spirits who have saved the county thus far from utter destruction. But we console ourselves with what Gen. Jenkins told us the other day.---He said "He thanked God that a few of us had fought the battles of the war up to the present time, and with the aide of the Divine Being, we would conquer an honorable peace ere another year roll around without the assistance of the dastardly skulkers at home who deserve to be treated only as free negroes". But I did not expect to write a letter upon the war, or the men who have kept out of it, and I hope you will pardon me for digressing. I would like very much to see you, but I guess it will be some time before I will have that pleasure, as I see no prospect of getting a furlough any time soon. I regret that you are disabled for life; but it cannot be helped, and you are right to begin immediately to prepare yourself for the "great-business of life". Bob, you may rest assured you have my heart felt sympathy, and anything that I can do for you, in anyway whatever, will be done with the greatest pleasure, I will ever assist and advise you like a brother. As you are very young yet, ---just in the bloom of youth, I think you would do well to lay aside all business and go to school. Nothing can be so important as a good Education, to a young man in your condition. By going to school to a good teacher, and applying yourself closely, you can soon prepare yourself to launch your little bark upon the broad ocean of life, and steer it safely on.--I would advise you to do this and have your furlough extended from time to time in order that you may draw commutation for rations on your furloughs. Commutation for rations for a man on wounded or sick furlough, is $1.25 per day or $37.50 per month, which would amount to a considerable item in twelve months. Your applications for extension will be promptly attended to by me. Enclosed I send your Descriptive Roll, and account of pay and clothing. I entered the articles, for which you are due the Government, but I did not put the prices, as the Quarter Master who pays you will charge you government price--Jacket $12.--Pants $9- shoes $6-+co. The amount of commutation for the first year, is $134.13.---Your Gun is still here. I killed a yankee with it at Knoxville. Eli Blount did also, and wounded others. Tell J. Burgin I've sent up his papers. I'll write him when I send them. Tell Bill and John H. that I'll write them as soon as I have time. _______________________________Your friend, _______________________________J. W. Culpepper The following was written bottom to top of the left hand side of the first page: "Tell Mrs. Mccain I heard directly from the Capt. a day or two ago. He was in fine health and spirits. Present my respects to your pa and Ma and all friends. J.W.C." 
Note* Chip Culpepper has provided to Culpepper Connections a transcription of John's Civil War Diary. See: http://gen.culpepper.com/historical/JWC_diary/default.htm.7 
ChartsHenry Culpeper of Lower Norfolk: DNA Status Chart (Male only, 8 generations)
John Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited16 Mar 2011

Citations

  1. Priscilla Turner, compiler, Meriwether Co., GA Cemeteries, Spartanburg, SC: , 1993, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. US/CAN Book: 975.8455 V39.
    Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church Cemetery, near Lone Oak, Meriwether Co., GA
    + John W. Culpepper, 8 Jul 1835 - 16 Aug 1864, 1 Lt, Co. D, 8th GA Inf
    (Marker, only. Buried at battlefield in VA).
  2. 1840 Federal Census, United States.
    Page 111, Unk Twp, Meriwether Co., GA
    George W. Culpepper, 3 M0-5, 1 M5-10, 1 M20-30, 1 F20-30.
  3. 1850 Federal Census, United States.
    Pages 312B-313A, 59th District, Meriwether Co., GA
    G. W. Culpepper, 41, M, Farmer, $1,175, SC
    Perlina Culpepper, 38, F, GA
    J. D. Culpepper, 16, M, GA
    J. W. Culpepper, 13, M, GA
    W. J. Culpepper, 12, M, GA
    N. S. Culpepper, 10, M, GA
    N. L. Culpepper, 9, F, GA
    S. F. Culpepper, 7, M, GA
    S. E. Culpepper, 4, F, GA
    L. J. Culpepper, 3, M, GA
    P. F. Culpepper, 1, F, GA.
  4. Correspondence from Eleanor Herring Culpepper (Mrs. Albert Marvin Willingham), Grantville, GA, to Lew Griffin, 1976-2004.
  5. Pages 415-416, Lutherville PO, Meriwether Co., GA
    George W. Culpepper, 50, M, Farmer, $2000/$2000, SC
    Paulina Culpepper, 48, F, GA
    James D. Culpepper, 26, M, GA
    Feraba Culpepper, 23, F, GA
    John W. Culpepper, 24, M, GA
    Simeon F. Culpepper, 17, M, GA
    Sallie E. Culpepper, 15, F, GA
    Joel Culpepper, 13, M, GA
    Permelia Culpepper, 11, F, GA
    George Culpepper, 8, M, GA.
  6. Eleanor Herring Culpepper, History of Allen-Lee Memorial Methodist Church, LaGrange, GA: Family Tree, 1987.
    p 65.
  7. E-mail written 1998-2011 to Culpepper Connections from Capos Conley 'Chip' Culpepper II (#23339), Little Rock, AR, e-mail address.