State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Double Wedding- Part Four

In New Kent county, on the 7th instant, by the Rev. Mr. Caroway, Mr. Chas. E Yeatman, of Gloucester, and Miss Harriet R. Royster, of the former place.
At the same time and place, by the Rev. T.V. Moore, Mr. Robert P. Southall, of Richmond, and Miss Ellen Royster, of New Kent.

-The Daily Dispatch: November 8, 1860.

It wasn't too hard to find out about the groom, the young Mr. Yeatman of Gloucester, he has a nice little write up in Clement Anselm Evans' Confederate Military History . . .

Lieutenant Charles Edward Yeatman, of Norfolk, who held official rank in both the army and navy of the Confederate States,- was born in Matthews county, Va., April 26, 1828. He was of a. family of honorable record, both in Virginia and in England. The head of the family in the old country at present is Hayshe Yeatman, bishop of Southwark, the late major-general, Sir Yeatman Biggs, K. C. B., head of the British military in Calcutta, having died without issue. Charles C. Yeatman's great-grand-father, John Patterson, of Poplar Grove, Matthews County, Va. was a Revolutionary soldier, and fought at the battle of Monmouth, where his brother lost his life in the cause of freedom. His grandfather, Thomas Muse Yeatman, a lawyer of repute, being a graduate of William and Mary college, and a law student in the office of William Wirt, married Elizabeth Tabb Patterson, daughter of John Patterson, of Poplar Grove, who served for many-years as clerk of Matthews county, an office in which he was succeeded by his son-in-law, Thomas R. Yeatman. Lieutenant: Yeatman was reared after the age of six years in Gloucester- county at the home of his guardian and brother-in-law, Josiah L. Deans, and was educated at the Virginia military institute, and graduated in 1849. He was of the "49ers" who went to California, being one of a party of seventy-five who purchased the sailing ship Glenmore and sailed via Cape Horn to California. After three years in the land of gold he returned via the isthmus, and in 1854 began a career in railroad employment by becoming a baggage master on the old Virginia & Tennessee railroad. Promoted to passenger conductor, he served on different roads, being the first passenger conductor on the Richmond & York River road. Early in 1861 he was appointed lieutenant in the Virginia army but was instructed by General Lee to continue his duties upon the York River road, then used chiefly for military purposes. After the secession of the State, he was appointed acting master in the navy of the Confederate States, in which capacity he served about two months under Capt. Thomas Jefferson Page at the West Point navy yard. Subsequently and until the evacuation of Norfolk, and the consequent reduction of the naval commissions, he served as purchasing agent for the navy yards in Virginia, under Capt. John Maury. After this he was commissioned a lieutenant in the army and served under Col. T. J. Page as ordnance officer at Chaffin's bluff, until May, 1863, meanwhile participating in the first engagement at Drewry's bluff, one mile above them on the James river.
In May, 1863, being commissioned a lieutenant in the Confederate States navy, he reported to Admiral Buchanan at Mobile, and was assigned to the steamer Baltic, commanded by James Douglas Johnston, where he served as executive officer four months. Subsequently he served several months on ordnance duty under John R. Eggleston, and then took part in the effort to complete the new gunboat Nashville in time to participate in the defense of Mobile. The work progressed night and day for a fortnight, and the officers and crew, seeing they would be too late, begged to be given fighting orders, but the admiral insisted that the completion of the Nashville would be the greatest aid they could render. The work was finished, but on the evacuation the Nashville was destroyed and Lieutenant Yeatman, with the other officers and crew, escaped up the Tombigbee, subsequently surrendering at Owen's bluff to Admiral Thackeray. This body of prisoners was transported from Mobile to Old Point Comfort on the Rhode Island. Just before reaching their destination they learned from a passing boat that President Davis had been captured and was a prisoner at Old Point. The applause of the Federals on board was promptly suppressed by the officers out of respect for their prisoners. On reaching the Point they found that President Davis had not yet landed, and they were disembarked first. They then, some three hundred strong, selected General Ruggles as their commander, and marched in files to a point which Mr. Davis would pass on the way to prison. As he walked by, with irons upon his wrists and head bowed, the Confederate prisoners bared their heads and gave him a silent salute. Subsequently Lieutenant Yeatman was paroled at Richmond, and in 1866 he found' employment at Baltimore with a prominent commission house. A year later he became connected with the Baltimore steam packet company, and continued until 1874, first as collector at Baltimore and then as agent at Portsmouth and Norfolk. In 1874 he became general freight agent of the Chesapeake & Ohio railroad company, and was the first agent of the company at Norfolk, serving from 1875 until 1889. He then engaged in insurance and brokerage until 1894, when he was appointed harbor master for the city of Norfolk. Charles E. Yeatman was gifted as a conversationalist, and in his youth was a prominent feature in a social circle, noted for the graceful charm of a day that is passed. Through his checkered career his unblemished honor and his tender heart and genial manners attracted hosts of friends who were devoted in life and death. He was a member of St. Luke's church, Pickett-Buchanan camp, C. V., the Masonic order and several other fraternal organizations. He was married November 7, 1860, to Harriet R. Royster, of New Kent county, and died in Norfolk, Va., February 15, 1898. He leaves two children, Philip Edward, a graduate of the Virginia military institute, who entered the volunteer army of the United States in the war of 1898 with the rank of captain in the Fourth regiment of Virginia volunteer infantry, and Susan E., now Mrs. John F. Egerton.

Note his pre-war occupation as first conductor on the York River Railway, which ran right through the Royster plantation.

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