Beverly Holcombe Robertson

Confederate General Beverly H. Robertson        Beverly Holcombe Robertson was born on June 5, 1827, in Amelia County, Virginia. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1849, and was promoted to brevet second lieutenant of the Second dragoons. After a year at the cavalry school at Carlisle, Pa., he was promoted second lieutenant, and ordered to the West. His army service was almost entirely spent on the western frontier with the 2nd Dragoons, and later, the 5th Cavalry. He served in New Mexico, Kansas and Nebraska, participating in battle with the Apache Indians at Tornado del Muerto, and with the Sioux at Blue Water, and earning promotion to first lieutenant, until 1859, when, being ordered to Utah, he became adjutant of his regiment and acting assistant adjutant-general of the department of Utah. In dispatches, his superior repeatedly commended him. He was promoted captain March 3, 1861, but then dismissed from the U.S. Army on August 8, 1861, as having "given proof of his disloyalty." Before this time, he had been appointed a captain in the Confederate Adjutant General's Department on March 16th. 

        Later, he was elected colonel of the 4th Virginia Cavalry Regiment in the cavalry brigade organized by General Stuart in the latter part of 1861. After Yorktown had been abandoned, and the Federal lines were close to Richmond, he made a gallant fight at New Bridge, in an attempt to repossess Mechanicsville, exercising brigade command in the action. He took part in Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign, and commanded Jackson's cavalry after the death of Turner Ashby. Robertson was promoted to brigadier general on June 9, 1862. From Ashby's command there was organized the Seventh Cavalry Regiment, Col. W. E. Jones; the Twelfth Regiment, Col. A. W. Harman; and the Seventeenth Battalion (later the Eleventh Regiment), Maj. O. R. Funsten. These, with the Sixth Regiment, Col. P. S. Flournoy, and the Second Regiment, Col. T. T. Munford (which had accompanied Jackson), constituted Robertson's brigade when he rejoined Stuart on the Rapidan river in August. 

        Very soon afterward he participated in the victory at Brandy Station, and was congratulated by Stuart upon the superior discipline and stability of the command he had organized. During the battle of Groveton he was in command on the right holding back Porter, and on the 30th of August, made a handsome cavalry attack against the Federal left flank, driving the enemy and capturing 300 prisoners. On September 5th, General Robertson was ordered to the department of North Carolina for the organization and instruction of cavalry troops. In this capacity he displayed excellent ability, also participating in the demonstration against New Bern in March, 1863. Of his brigade he led two regiments, the Fourth and Fifth North Carolina cavalry, to reinforce Stuart in May, 1863; took an important part in the fight at Upperville, and during the Gettysburg campaign, commanded the cavalry division left with the main army, with orders to watch the enemy, and follow in the rear of Lee, after Stuart started on his raid through Maryland. This division consisted of his North Carolina brigade and his former Virginia brigade, now commanded by W. E. Jones. On the last day of the Gettysburg battle his command fought a cavalry battle near Fairfield, and during the retreat was engaged in repeated skirmishes, particularly at Funkstown and Hagerstown. After the return to Virginia, his two regiments having been reduced to 300 men, he asked to be transferred to another field and was assigned in October to the command of the Second Military District of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. In this field he remained, with enlarged command, during the remainder of the war, defeating the Federal attempt to possess John's Island in July, 1864, commanding the cavalry forces which covered the retreat of Hardee from Charleston, and participating in several engagements with Sherman's troops. 

        After the War, he moved to Washington, D.C., and worked in the insurance business. He died on November 12, 1910 at age of 84, and was buried in Amelia County, Virginia.

 Recommended Reading on Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson & the Shenandoah Valley Campaign!

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