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Reavis Confederate Soldiers


There were a number of Reavis family members from Vance (Old Granville) County, NC who were soldiers in the Confederate States of America. A tribute is given to sixteen of them below. They were all either brothers, cousins, or in-laws. Although belonging to eight different Regiments, at least ten of the sixteen fought at the Battle of Gettysburg, with two of them being killed there. Two were killed in other battles, and three others were taken prisioner, with one dying in a Richmond hospital after being released from prison.

Primary sources of military information include various volumes of "North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865", "The Roster of Confederate Soldiers, Volume XIII," the "North Carolina Confederate Militia Officers Register" by Stehphen Bradley, and National Archives Regimental Records (microfilm in State Archieves), and "Zeb's Black Baby" by S.T. Peace.

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Upon These Steps

Samuel Jones Parham
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Samuel Jones Parham, born August 3, 1834, was the grandson of Lewis W. Parham and Lucy Reavis (1762-1837), and son of Asa Parham and Delia Hawkins Reavis (1800-1860). (Delia was both niece and daughter-in-law to Lucy.) Asa and Delia had four sons who served in the CSA.

Samuel enlisted in the CSA on December 7, 1861 at the age of 27. He was initially a Major in the 43rd Regiment, 11th Brigade from Granville County. On March 24, 1862, he transferred to the newly established 54th Regiment, Company K, where he was appointed a Captain. This new company was known as the "Carolina Boys." He was captured at the Battle of Rappahannock Station, VA, November 7, 1863, along with 19 other officers. Over the course of the next year, he was confined in seven different prisions in six different states (Old Capitol Prison in Washingon DC, Johnson Island at Lake Erie, Point Lookout Maryland, Fort Delaware, Morris Island SC, Fort Pulaski Georgia, and Hilton Head SC). He was paroled and exchanged at Charleston Harbor, SC on December 15, 1864.

According to a book by Major Odgen Murray (published 1905), entitled "Imortal Six Hundred," he was among 600 Confederate officers who were captured and held confined in a stockade in Morris Island, SC, and so arranged in line as to be exposed to Confederate gun fire. This incident was publicized and aroused great indignation in the South.

After the war, Samuel returned to Henderson and married Maria Southerland, for whom Maria Parham Hospital in Henderson is named. They had six children: James Hill, William Brooks, Wingate, Kate, Sabat, and Asa Lipscomb. Samuel was mayor of Henderson in 1879, and died the following year, March 3, 1880, at the age of 45. Both Samuel and Maria are buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Henderson, where a monument is erected to them.

Link To Site About The Imortal Six Hundred
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William Asa Gaston Parham

William Asa Gaston Parham, born about 1840, was the grandson of Lewis W. Parham and Lucy Reavis (1762-1837), and son of Asa Parham and Delia Hawkins Reavis (1800-1860). He was one of their four sons who served in the CSA.

William enlisted in the CSA on September 7, 1861 at the age of 21 at Oxford, NC. He was mustered in as a Corporal in the 30th Regiment, Company G, known as the Granville Rangers. On April 9, 1865, he along with his brother Thomas, surrendered at Appomattox Court House.

After the war, William returned home and married Mary Julia Cheatham, on August 19, 1865. They had five children: Benjamin E.G., Hugh A., Hallie, Mollie, and Minnie.

James Arthur Williamson Parham

James Arthur Williamson Parham, born January 1829, was the grandson of Lewis W. Parham and Lucy Reavis (1762-1837), and son of Asa Parham and Delia Hawkins Reavis (1800-1860). He was one of their four sons (the oldest) who served in the CSA.

In 1861, at the age of 33, James enlisted in the 43rd NC Regiment, Company G, musterd in as a 2nd Lieutenant. On May 6, 1862, he transferred to the 54th NC Regiment, Company K. James was discharged on or about January 13th, 1863 after providing a substitute.

After the war, James married Martha Elizabeth Davis, on August 19, 1865. They had eight children: James Harrison, W.A., Cora, Edna Geneva, Fannie, Julian A., Mattie, and Kate. The family lived in the Watkins Community of present day Vance County.

Thomas Buckner Whitfield Parham

Thomas Buckner Whitfield Parham, born about July 16, 1841, was the grandson of Lewis W. Parham and Lucy Reavis (1762-1837), and son of Asa Parham and Delia Hawkins Reavis (1800-1860). He was one of their four sons who served in the CSA.

On April 22, 1861 at the age of 19, Thomas enlisted in the 12th NC Regiment, 2nd Company D, known as the Granville Greys. On June 3, 1862, he transferred to the 54th NC Regiment, Company K. His brothers Samuel and James had just transferred to the same regiment within the past two months. On April 9, 1865 he along with his brother William, surrendered at Appomattox Court House.

After the war, Thomas and married Nannie Royster, on January 5, 1871. They had eight children: Katherine Jane, Thomas Buckner Jr, Samuel Royster, Delia Reavis, William Pettigrew, Beverly Sampson, Richard Royster, and Nannie Royster. Thomas died at the age of 80, on January 5, 1928. Descendant families in Vance County today include Floyd, Grissom, Wiggins, and Wortham.

Asa C. Parham

Asa C. Parham, born in 1821, was another grandson of Lewis W. Parham and Lucy Reavis (1762-1837) that served in the CSA, with his parents being Williamson Parham and Judith Woodson Amis, and his uncle and aunt being Asa Parham and Delia Hawkins Reavis.

The 1860 Census (taken just prior to the war) lists him as living with his parents. On June 11, 1861, at the age of 40, Asa enlisted in the 23rd Regiment, Company G (which is discussed below). He was present or accounted for until discharged two months later, on August 23, 1861, by reason of "debility and heart." On Februry 24, 1864, he married his first cousin, Sallie A. Paschall. There are no known children.

Jonathan Fuller Coghill and A.E. Coghill

Jonathan Fuller Coghill, born June 21, 1842, was the husband of Zubeike Kittrell Fuller, the great-granddaughter of Lewis W. Parham and Lucy Reavis, granddaughter of Nancy Parham and Edward Bryant, and daugthter of Nancy Parham Bryant and Samuel Fuller.

Jonathan enlisted in the 23rd Regiment, Company G (which is discussed below). He was designated a "sharpshooter." A collection of his letters written to his family during the war are on file at the Southern Historical Society at the University of North Carolina. The letters describe the various battles he fought in, including the Battle of Gettysburg.

Zubeike and Jonathan married shortly after the war on December 19, 1866, and had seven children: Clarence, Etura, James Weldon, Joseph Festus, Mary Elizabeth, Samuel Fuller, and Eunice Lee. Jonathan died June 1, 1926 just prior to his 84th birthday, and Zubeike died December 18, 1928 at the age of 82.

Jonathan's brother, A.E. Coghill was also in the same company. Jonathan's father, James O'Kelley Coghill enlisted in the CSA during the latter years of the war and was a Captain, responsible for capturing deserters. The Coghill and Fuller descendants are numerous in Vance and Franklin Counties.

An excerpt from one of Jonathan's letters dated July 17, 1863, gives us an eyewitness account of the Battle of Gettysburg.

"...instead of going to Baltimore, wee went to the horrible place of Gettsyburg. and when we got thare wee formed a line of battle and then the sharpshooters was ordered to the front so I went and very soon wee commenced shooting at the yankes and was kept up for several hours and thin our brigade came in to our support. wee fought like tigers. the bravest stand I ever saw but the yankes cross fired on us a good while and then some of our men surrendered and the yankes ran up and captured very near all of them at the same time. orders was given to wee sharpshooters to get away if wee could so I got up and walked off slowly looking back at them and at our other line of battle that was coming in. and I know I will tell you that Lieut Champion was killed on the field and Rial after he was taken by the yankes and was going off. our men kept shooting at the yankes and a ball struck Rial in the side and went through him. he lived a few hours after he was hit. he was a brave and noble boy. he fought like a hero....well as I could write a good deal more about that battle but time will not admit of it and toungs cannot tell the horrows of that day..."

Link Battle of Gettysburg

George James Reavis

George James Reavis was born April 18, 1818 to Lewis and Sarah Wyche Reavis, who are considered to be the first residents of Henderson. Lewis gave ten acres of land to entice the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad to locate a train station near his house instead of at Chalk Level (old fertilizer plant near Northern Vance High School). Lewis was the first postmaster of Henderson, and according to "Zeb's Black Baby" by S.T. Peace, Henderson was originally going to be named Reavisville in his honor. Lewis's youngest brother, Samuel Jones Reavis, built the Old Reavis Home 1 1/2 miles north of Chalk Level, in 1789, on the Satterwhite Point Road (a stage coach line at that time). George had a twin sister, Sarah Thomas Reavis, who married William Evans Wyche, whose son, James (below) also served in the CSA. The Wyche family have descendants today in the Dabney and Flat Rock Communities.

According to the NC Confederate Militia Officers Roster, George was appointed a Captain in the 43rd Regiment of the CSA on September 28, 1861. He was 43 years old at the time. He survived the war, having signed the Oath of Allegiance in Granville County on September 4, 1865 (page 71 of Oath book).

Before the war, George was a large slave owner, having acquired 20 slaves in 1841 from a Robert Jones. On September 30, 1850, George married Damsel V. McCraw, who died during the childbirth of their child, Sally. He later married Martha Debnam, with whom he had seven children: Cora, Lewis D., Albert Sidney, George Jr., Charles Emery, Lucie Virginia, and Peter Augustus. The first three children were born prior to the war. George and his wife Martha lived in the Buncombe Plantation House, which was located in the grove of oak trees at the corner of Satterwhite Point Road and Franklin Lane. (In later years, this house was lived in by John "Billie" Reavis, and was torn in the 1970's.) George and Martha moved to Cary, where he died in May 1892 at the age of 64. George and Martha are buried in Cary's Hillcrest Cemetery.

James Wyche

James Wyche was born in 1845 to William Evans Wyche and Sarah Thomas Reavis, sister of George James Reavis above. James's grandparents were Lewis Reavis and Sarah Wyche Reavis.

On February 13, 1863, after turning 18, James enlisted in the 47th Regiment, Company G. This Regiment was a part of General J. Johnston Pettigrew's Brigade, which lost 500 of its 600 men at Gettysburg. Records indicate James was wounded in the arm and captured at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, while participating in the famous Pickett's Charge against Cemetery Ridge. He was hospitalized at Gettysburg briefly, before being transferred on July 17th to a hospital at Chester, PA. James died at Chester on August 12, 1863 of "typhus fever."

Link To Site About Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg
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James Wesley Williams

James Wesley Williams was born in May 1839 to Samuel T. Williams and Nancy Hundley Reavis, daughter of William Whitfield Reavis and Elizabeth Ann Wiggins Reavis. James's grandparents were Samuel and Nancy Reavis, the Reavis family that came to Granville County from Northampton County.

James's parents, William and Nancy were living in Chapel Hill, NC when the war broke out. On April 6, 1861, at the age of 22, James was mustered in as Sergeant in the 1st NC Regiment, Company D, in Orange County, for six months. On February 26, 1862, he was mustered in as a private in the 11th NC Regiment, Company G. He was promoted first to Ordnance Sergeant, and then to 2nd Lieutenant. He was present and accounted for until killed on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1, 1863.

William Amis Reavis

William Amis Reavis was born January 31, 1842 to Thomas D. Reavis and Lucy Amis of Henderson, and was the grandson of Samuel Jones Reavis and Martha Patsey Harris, who built the Old Reavis Home on Satterwhite Point Road in 1789.

On June 8, 1861, at the age of 18, William was mustered in as a Private in the 9th Regiment North Carolina State Troops, which became known as the 1st Regiment North Carolina Cavalry. In July 1863, he was appointed a Corporal in Company E. He was reported present and accounted for through December 1864. Company E was organized at Warrenton, in 1861, with men from the counties of Warren, Granville, and Franklin. The company moved to Camp Beaugregard, at Ridgeway, Warren County, which became designated as a regular school of cavalry instruction. The 1st North Cavalry was assigned to General J.E.B. Stuart's Cavalry Brigade.

Shortly after the war, on December 19, 1866, William married Cynthia Eliza Cheatham of Oxford, and they resided in Franklin County. They had ten children: James Eugene, Charles William, Carrie Lucy, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Isac, John Amis, Cynthia Ann, Chloe Eliza, Vivian Edith, and Mabel Cheatham. The family lived together in the Ingleside Community in Franklin County, with two of them eventually getting married and moving out. William died February 6, 1926 at the age of 84. William and Cynthia are buried at Trinity Methodist Church near Ingleside, along with nine of their ten children.

Link To Site About The 1st NC Cavalry
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James Robert Reavis

James Robert Reavis was born in 1841 in Warren County to Samuel Jones Reavis and Charity High Hunt, and was the grandson of Samuel Jones Reavis and Martha Patsey Harris, who built the Old Reavis Home on Satterwhite Point Road in 1789. James's mother, Charity High Hunt was related to several interesting individuals. She was "first cousin, twice removed" to John Penn, signer of the Declaration of Independence; "half fourth cousin" to Conderate General Richard Taylor, who was President Zacharay Taylor's son; and "half fourth cousin" to Sarah Knox Taylor, the first wife of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy.

On April 29, 1861, the earliest date that men in Warren County could enlist, James Robert, at the age of 22, enlisted as a Private in the 12th North Carolina Regiment, Company F. This company was known as the Warren Guards. He was present or accounted for until killed "accidentially" at the Battle of Spotsyvania Court House, Virginia on May 11, 1864. In that battle, both the 12th and 23rd NC Regiments were led by Col. Henry E. Coleman, under General Robert D. Johnston.

Link To Site About the Battle of Spotsyvania Court House
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Samuel Wesley Reavis
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Samuel Wesley Reavis, born July 18, 1843, was also a grandson of Samuel Jones Reavis and Martha Patsey Harris. His parents were Lewis Pleasant Reavis and Mary Coghill, who lived in the Old Reavis Home from the 1850's to 1880's. He was a brother of Thomas Coghill Reavis below.

In June 1861 (just prior to his 18th birthday), Samuel enlisted in the 23rd Regiment, Company G. This was the company that the famous Confederate hero of Kittrell, Major/Colonel C.C. Blacknall, organized and lead until he was mortally wounded at the Third Battle of Winchester on September 19, 1864. Battles in which Company G fought included: Yorktown, Williamsburg, Seven Springs, Mechanicsville, Cold Harbor, Marlvern Hill, Chantilly, Boonesborough, Sharpsburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Washington City, Winchester, Hatcher's Run, Petersburg, and finally, Appomattox. In his book "Zeb's Black Baby," S.T. Peace lists the original payroll roster for Company G, dated October 1861. Of the 75 original enlisted men, during the course of the war there were 53 casualities (died, killed, wounded, discharged for disability, missing in action, or captured).

Prehaps the toughest battle for the 23rd Regiment was the Battle of Gettysburg, where on July 1, 1863, being a part of Iverson's Brigade, the Regiment's flag was captured by the Yankees at Oak Ridge. The flag was kept by the US War Department as a "trophy" until returned to the State of North Carolina in 1905, where it is on display today in the NC Museum of History.

Records indicate that Samuel was captured at Winchester, VA (Shenandoah Vally) on September 19, 1864, while on picket, the same day that Major Blacknall was mortally wounded. This "Third Winchester" is also referred to as the "Battle of Oppequon Creek." Samuel was confined at Point Lookout, Maryland on September 23, 1864. It is not known when he was released; however, records show that a fellow soldier, John A. Harris, who was captured on the same day (also while on picket) and confined at Point Lookout was released on June 3, 1865, after taking the Oath of Allegiance.

After the war, Samuel married Sallie Margaret Baskett (1843-1919), who lived in the Spring Valley Community in Vance County. They had six children: Samuel Wilson, Kate, Ola, Robert Otha, Virtula, and Lewis J. Many of the descendants of these children are prominent residents today in the Flat Rock Community and Harris Crossroads Community. Samuel died October 18, 1923 at the age of 80. He and Sallie are buried in the Wiggins-Baskett Cemetery on the Spring Valley Lake Road in Vance County.

Link To Site About the Shenandoah Valley Battles
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Thomas Coghill Reavis
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On July 8, 1862, at the age of 22, Private Thomas Coghill Reavis enlisted in the 13th Regiment, which later became the 23rd Regiment, Company G (The Granville Rifles). This enlistment was one year after his younger brother Samuel Wesley had joined the same company. Records indicate that Thomas was present or accounted from the time of enlistement until wounded at the Battle of Sharpsburg (referred to by northerners as the Battle of Antietam) on September 17, 1862. He suffered a severe injury to his left hand and spent time in two different hospitals in Richmond before being discharged in April 1863. His pension application indicated that he had also been "shot through the leg." He was reported "absent wounded" until February 3, 1864, when he was detailed as a provost guard in Raleigh, by a special order of the Under Secretary of War. At that time he was listed as a sergeant.

Thomas was the son of Lewis Pleasant and Mary Coghill Reavis, who were residents of the Old Reavis Home on Satterwhite Point Road from about the 1850's until the 1880's. Thomas's and Samuel's youngest brother was John "Billie" Reavis, a well known farmer in Vance County's Flat Rock Community, and the ancestor of many of the community's current day residents.

Thomas married Elizabeth Waddie Best December 5, 1860, and they had one daughter before he went off to war, Cora Tabitha (born 1862). After the war they moved to the Shocco Community in Warren County, where they had six more children: Benjamin Lewis, Donald Thomas, Eugene Franklin, Mary Sue, Arthur Wilton, and Bettie Lucy. Many of the ancestors of these children currently live in the Afton-Elberon and Vicksboro communities of Warren County. One of Arthur Wilton's sons, James L. Reavis, currently lives in the Old Reavis Home in Vance County. Thomas Coghill Reavis is the great grandfather of the author of this site.

Elizabeth died January 16, 1919, and Thomas died seven years later on April 1, 1926, at the age of 86. They are both buried in an overgrown Reavis Cemetery located near their homeplace on Shocco Springs Road in Warren County. Not too many miles away, as the crow flies, is the original grave site of Ann Carter Lee, the daughter of General Robert E. Lee.

The Battle of Sharpsburg, where Thomas was wounded, is referred to in the history books as "Bloody Wednesday," as 12,410 Yankees and 13,724 Rebels were either killed or wounded. Click below to learn more about this bloody battle.

Link To Site About Battle of Sharpsburg
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Alexander W. Wortham

Alexander W. Wortham, born 1837, was the son-in-law of Lewis Pleasant Reavis and Mary Coghill, who lived in the Old Reavis Home from the 1850's to 1880's. He was married to Lucy Reavis. He was the son of William Duke "Billy" Wortham and Frances Ann "Fanny" Blackwell.

At the age of 25, on April 6, 1862, Alexander enlisted in the 54th Regiment, Company K, which was known as the "Carolina Boys."

Records indicate that Alexander was captured at Rappahannock Station, VA on November 7, 1863. Samuel Parham, referenced above, was captured on the same day. Alexander was confined at Point Lookout, Maryland on November 11, 1863, until paroled there on September 18, 1864. He was received at Varina, VA on September 22, 1864 for exchange. Two days later, he was hospitalized in Richmond, where he died on September 28, 1864 of chronic diarrhoea.

Since his wife, Lucy, is burried alone, it is assumbed that Alexander is buried in Richmond. Alexander and Lucy had one daughter, Patti Martha Wortham, who married Hugh Reavis.

Link To Second Battle of Rappahannock Station
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Frank M. McCraw, Jr.

Buried in the Reavis Family Cemetery beside the Old Reavis Home on the Satterwhite Point Road is the grave of Frank M. McCraw. The soldier's grave was bestowed the Southern Cross of Honor by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. (The cross has been removed for safekeeping reasons.)

Private Frank M. McCraw, Jr., enlisted in the 23rd Regiment, Company G on November 12, 1863, and was killed at Cedar Creek, Virginia, October 19, 1864. Apparently, his body was brought back to Granville County. Frank was the granddaughter of Thomas and Lucy Coghill, the parents of Mary Coghill who married Lewis Pleasant Reavis. (The grave site is adjacent to the grandparents.) The 1850 Census indicates that Frank's father, Frank, Sr. and his family, along with grandmother Lucy Coghill, age 70, were living in the household adjacent to the Lewis Pleasant Reavis' House. Frank M. McCraw, Jr. was married to Betsy Wiggins, the dauthter of Thomas T. and Lucy Ann Lewis Wiggins. Frank, Jr was the brother of Damsel V. McCraw, who married George James Reavis above.

Link To UDC Site Showing Southern Cross of Honor
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Link Battle of Cedar Creek
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Agony of Defeat / Honor of Duty

On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomatox. The war had taken its toll on the soldiers. A letter written by an unidentified Confederate soldier, written on the very same day as the surrender (April 9, 1865), reveals the agony of defeat of this particular soldier. The letter was taken from the attic of the house of Wesley Whitfield Reavis located on Breckenridge Steet in Henderson, NC, when it was torn down in 1926. It is not known if the writer of the letter had a Reavis connection or not. (Research is pending.) The letter has been kept in safekeeping by a Reavis family member since that time. Excerpts of the letter are as follows:

Williamsboro, Granville County NC
April 9, 1865
Dear Sister
I set myself this morning to write you.... I went to Petersburg and was gone three weeks.... I reckon Richmond & Petersburg has been taken and I think all of the Confederacy soon will be and I do not care how soon it has to be taken. I am wishing for the Yankees to come along here any day for I do not want to see the Confederate army no more and I hate the idea of deserting, but if the army has to leave Virginia, I shall stay behind for I can see no use in fighting any more and I think there has been poor men enough killed for rich men's prosperity. Tell the children... Write word what the people thinks of the war now. I reckon they begin to think as I always have and said... Give my love to all and reserve a portion for yourself.
Yours Truly,
William R. H......
(Paper torn. First letter of last name appears to be "H".

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