Lewis Washington Culpepper

Male, #32470, (27 Jun 1842 - 20 Dec 1861)
Father*Rev. William Henry Culpepper (17 Oct 1813 - 22 Mar 1909)
Mother*Sarah Leslie (15 Feb 1808 - 22 Jan 1849)
Birth*27 Jun 1842 Lewis was born at Meriwether Co., Georgia, on 27 Jun 1842. 
Death of Mother22 Jan 1849 His mother Sarah Leslie died on 22 Jan 1849 at Randolph Co., Alabama
1850 Census*1850 Lewis was listed as a household member living with John Culpepper of Randolph Co., AL on the 1850 Census at Randolph Co., Alabama.1 
Civil War*1861 He served in the War Between the States in 1861. 
Death*20 Dec 1861 He died at Evansport, Prince William Co., Virginia, on 20 Dec 1861 at age 19. 
Biography* Lewis Washington Culpepper was probably born in Meriwether Co., GA since that is where his parents were noted in 1840 census records. When he was about six years old, his parents and grandparents moved the family to Alabama and, within months, his mother died there. In 1850, an eight year old Lewis emerges in census records, living with his grandfather, John Culpepper, in Randolph Co., AL. In the 1860 census, still in Randolph Co., AL, Lewis was noted living with his father, William Henry Culpepper, and with his step-mother.

Lewis Washington Culpepper was eighteen years old when the Civil War began and, according to records in his service file, he joined the Confederate forces on August 1, 1861.2 He served as a private in Capt. Alfred C. Wood's Company K which was part of the 14th Infantry Regiment of Alabama Volunteers.

The regiment had been organized at Auburn, AL on 19 Jul 1861 and it became part of the Confederate Army on 7 Aug 1861.3 In September of 1861, the regiment was assigned to Walker's Brigade and, in November of 1861, the regiment was assigned to the Potomac District in the Department of Northern Virginia.3 After the victory at First Manassas, a.k.a. the Battle of Bull Run, the Confederate Army tried to establish a defensive line from nearby Centreville along the Occoquan River to the Potomac River. The Confederates began the construction of batteries at Evansport in Prince William Co., VA, Freestone Point, Shipping Point, and Cockpit Point to close the Potomac River to shipping and isolate Washington. Capos Conley "Chip" Culpepper, II, a great-great-grandson of William Henry and Sarah (Leslie) Culpepper, wrote: 4

A secret gun installation had been put in place by the Confederates at Evansport during the Fall of 1861. It overlooked the Potomac River near Washington, D.C. and was successful in limiting Federal use of the river. The installation had been built quietly, hidden by a cedar grove which was cleared in one night once the guns and barricades were made ready which allowed the artillery gunners an unobstructed view of targets on and along the river.

According to a record in his service file from a Register of Officers and Soldiers of the Army of the Confederate States who were killed in battle, or who died of wounds or disease,5 Lewis Washington Culpepper died at Evansport, VA 20 Dec 1861. He was 19 years old. No cause of death was noted. The regiment had not yet taken part in any battles but, in January of 1862, the regiment was sent to Richmond, VA to recover from a camp disease.3 It seems likely that Lewis Washington Culpepper died during the disease outbreak.

Chip Culpepper found a book by Mary Alice Wills called The Confederate Blockade of Washington, D.C., 1861-1862 (Parsons, WV: McClain Printing Co., [1975]) which details the events around Evansport and the author noted the prevalence of dysentery, pneumonia and measles during the winter of 1861. Chip wrote 6 that according to the book, the 14th Alabama "was almost completely disabled by the measles."

On 14 Feb 1862, William Henry Culpepper applied to the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office in Richmond, VA for his son's back pay, swearing that his son had neither wife nor child. The amount found due was $29.33 for service from "30 Sept. 1861 to Dec. 20, 2 mos. 20 days at $11."7 
ChartsHenry Culpeper of Lower Norfolk: DNA Status Chart (Male only, 8 generations)
John Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited18 Oct 2008

Citations

  1. Census: 1850 in Randolph Co., AL. p 386
    John Culpepper 78 SC $5000 real estate
    Lewis 8 in hh of grandfather John Culpepper.
  2. Muster Roll record
  3. Stewart Sifakis, Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Alabama (New York: Facts On File, 1992) p. 74
  4. "Culpeppers in the Civil War" an appendix to A Collection of Culpeppers manuscript, July 1993
  5. The following note appears on the record: "This register appears to have been compiled in the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office from returns furnished by Hospitals and by Regimental and Company Officers." Confederate Archives, Chap. 10, File No. 2, page 49
  6. e-mail message 25 Apr 1994
  7. service file record: Treasury Certificate No. 1003