This micro-blog will serve as a study area for the history of Page County’s Confederate soldiers. I will present information about their service (whether willful or reluctant), their memories of the war, the way that the veterans looked upon each other, and the way that we look back at them. It is my idea of Confederate remembrance… remembering AND understanding realistically, honestly… and more importantly, “responsibly.” I look forward to the site serving as a source of education and understanding.

I’ll be posting here from time to time. It may be weekly or more often.I look forward to the site serving as a source of education and understanding.

I’ll be posting here from time to time. It may be weekly or more often.


36 Responses to “About”

  1. jean keen Says:

    Hi! just found your site when I googled John Wesley Rosenberger. He was my great,great grandmother’s brother . He died @ Culp’s Hill-Gettysburg on July 3 , 1863. I now live 30 miles from Gettysburg and recently got a DVD of Day 2 of Culp’s Hill battle from PCN’s Battlefield Walks series by NPS licensed battlefield guides.

    I’m just starting my research so any help would be appreciated. Also researching Henry Painter who left 97th militia and went to PA – working in a barrel or wagon factory and who was murdered after the war @ Blue Nob, Va while returning to Page Co.

    William Marion Painter was my grandfather. His family was from Page Co., Va . and graduated from William and Mary.- Lived in Baltimore, MD with his wife Rose Ethel Clark Painter. I also have a relative- John Stacy Wilson also in the 2nd battle of manassas.

    Any help would be appreciated. I will enjoy reading your blog. Thanks, Jean Keen

    • Robert Moore Says:

      Could have sworn I replied to this, but appears I did not, or it did not load properly.

      John W. Rosenberger and first wife Mary Ann Burner lived on a 30 acre farm just northwest of Newport and adjacent to the farm of John S. and Barbara Ellen Wilson. Mary Ann (Burner) Rosenberger and John Wesley had three children before Mary Ann died about 1857. The three children in the 1860 census of Page Co. are found in the household of William and Susannah Middleton, who I believe were the brother-in-law and sister of Mary Ann (Burner) Rosenberger. John Wesley Rosenberger married second Elenora Malinda Shomo on 1 Jan 1861 in Shenandoah Co. The second marriage produced at least one child, a daughter Lelia H. Rosenberger, born in 1862. Both Elenora Malinda and Leliah H. (who appearantly married an O’Roark) are buried at the St. Matthews Lutheran Church Cemetery at New Market.

      As for the Painter info, that is interesting. I know that some Painter family members didn’t support the Confederacy, and were refugees for a while, while other stayed and helped to serve as an underground railroad for Confederates wanting to desert.

  2. Jim Gaddis Says:

    My ancestor, John W Sailor (or Saylor) of Luray, VA was a private in the 10th VA Inf, Co K circa 1862. Unsure if he survived the war, but his wife and children lived in Hardy Co, WV in 1870 and moved to Xenia, OH before 1880. A John W Sailor appears after 1862 as a private in the 6th WV Cav (Union), Cos I and C. Perhaps he went over to the Union side? Was defection common and do you have suggestions for tracing his service records? Thanks.

    Jim Gaddis
    IT Staff Member
    East Carolina University

    • Robert Moore Says:

      Hi Jim,

      Wow, this is quite interesting. I am familiar with your ancestor. I’ll need to check my notes, but pretty certain he was a Jesse Scout. That makes sense considering his service with the WV cavalry unit. Essentially, he deserted, joined the Union army, and then was among those which wore gray, almost in the capacity of a spy. I think he came back to visit Page County at one point after the war, and it didn’t settle very well with some Confederate vets. It’s very interesting to see what happened to him later on. Did he receive a pension?

      So, at ECU… I spent quite a bit if time there in the late 80s as a student. Definitely enjoyed it. Also miss Chicos!

      I’ll check my notes and get back to you. Thanks for commenting!


      • Jim Gaddis Says:

        Thanks for checking Robert. His whereabouts after the war are a family mystery. His wife and 3 kids were living without him in Hardy Co, WV in 1870 then moved on to Greene Co, OH without him apparently around 1873. I presumed he was killed but don’t know. Whatever you find will be new info to me. Chico’s is still here, but this is one growing place these days. Thanks again!


  3. Jim Gaddis Says:


    New information on John W Saylor.

    May or may not have been the John W Sailor tried for murder in Winchester, VA 6 Feb 1863 by Special Order 17 dated 5 Feb 1863, Milroy’s Division (Union), 5 Feb 1863. That John W Sailor was released from arrest by order of the President in Genereal Orders 257 dated 1 Aug 1863.

    Saylor, John W. aged 27 enlisted in Company C, 3rd WV Inf(6th WV Cav) on July 6, 1863 at Philippi, W.Va. Recruit, detailed as scout under General Haverhill; supposed to be mustered out. One roll states, “mustered out Aug. 17, 1864 under old organization at Wheeling, W.Va.”



    • Robert Moore Says:


      I finally found the reference regarding Saylor. The note in the roster compiled ca. 1913 notes “Deserted, joined the Jesse Scouts and had the impudence to return after the war on a visit”.

    • Robert Moore Says:

      Jim, Also, he was detailed as a scout by order of Gen. W.W. Averill. Knowing what I do about Averell, Saylor was probably kept a very busy man. Averell was in the Shenandoah Valley for most of the time that Saylor was serving in this capacity; no doubt, Averell benefited much for Saylor’s knowledge of the Valley and the people. This in particular was probably the real “bur under the saddle” for those people, in years after the war, in Page, who didn’t think kindly of his return to the county.

      He wasn’t mustered out until May 22, 1866, at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

      Considering Isabelle was from Hardy County, do you know if she had any siblings who may have worn blue? It appears that Morgan was in the 14th Virginia Militia (Confederate), but Virginia’s militia had been called into active service after secession. They were not volunteers, but pre-war militia. What’s more remarkable is the fact that Morgan disappears after that. He either found an exemption from service in the regular Confederate army, or evaded the conscript hunters, perhaps.

      • Jim Gaddis Says:

        Earlier you had asked about Morgan Orndorff. Isabelle Orndorff Saylor had just two brothers, William Harrison Orndorff and Morgan W. Orndorff. I’ve just learned on that both were killed in the Civil War. It appears that both were Confederates with the 14th VA Infantry. William (b. 1838) was killed at Stevens City, VA on 12 Dec 1862 and was buried in the Lutheran Cemetery there. Morgan (b. 1840) died in Wardensville, Hardy Co, WV on 9 May 1864 and was buried at Greenfield Cemetery there. I have no details on either’s death (and no primary verification either!).

    • Robert Moore Says:

      See this link about Averell’s Jesse Scouts. It’s just a tidbit, but interesting…

    • Robert Moore Says:

      6th Regiment, West Virginia Cavalry

      Organized from 3rd West Virginia Mounted Infantry January 26, 1864. Attached to 3rd Brigade, 4th Division, Army West Virginia. to April, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division, West Virginia, to June, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division, West Virginia, to July, 1864. Reserve Division, Harper’s Ferry, W. Va., to January, 1865. Remount Camp Pleasant Valley, Md., to April, 1865. Dept. of Washington, D. C., 22nd Army Corps, to June, 1865. District of the Plains, Dept. of Missouri, to May, 1866.

      SERVICE.-Duty at Martinsburg, W. Va., till March, 1864. Operations in Hampshire and Hardy Counties January 27-February 7. Springfield February 2. Moved to Beverly, March, and duty there till May. Winchester April 8 (Detachment). Kablestown June 10 (Detachment). White Post June 13 (Detachment). Wire Bridge and Springfield June 26 (Detachment). Frankfort July 4. Back Creek Bridge July 26. Regiment reorganized at Cumberland, Md., July 7. Remounted at North Bridge August 22, and ordered to New Creek. Duty there till January 12, 1865. Expedition to Moorefield November 6-8, 1864 (Detachment). Moorefield November 27-28. New Creek November 28. Moved to Remount Camp, Md., January 12, 1865, and duty there till April 4. Duty at Washington, D. C., till June 12. Moved to Leavenworth, Kan., June 12-29, and duty there till July 16. A detachment moved to Fort Kearney, Neb., and duty under Major Squires. Regiment moved to Julesburg and duty escorting Overland mails and operating against hostile Indians at Julesburg and Cottonwood Springs till April, 1866. Moved to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and mustered out May 22, 1866.

      Regiment lost during service 5 Officers and 28 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 201 Enlisted men by disease. Total 236.

      Predecessor unit:

      Organized at Wheeling, Clarksburg and Newburg, W. Va., June-July, 1861. Served unattached, Army of West Virginia, to September, 1861. Cheat Mountain, District West Virginia, to March, 1862. Cheat Mountain District, Dept. of the Mountains, to April, 1862. Milroy’s Independent Brigade, Dept. of the Mountains, to June, 1862. Milroy’s Independent Brigade, 1st Army Corps, Pope’s Army of Virginia, to September, 1862. Defences of Washington, D. C., to October, 1862. Unattached, District of West Virginia, Dept. of the Ohio, to March, 1863, Averill’s 4th Separate Brigade, 8th Army Corps, Middle Department, to June, 1863. Averill’s 4th Separate Brigade, Dept. of West Virginia, to December, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 4th Division, Army of West Virginia, to January, 1864.

      SERVICE.-Protecting border counties against guerrillas from Phillippi to Suttonville, W. Va., till September, 1861. Rowell’s Run September 6. Moved to Beverly September 10, thence to Elkwater, and duty there till April, 1862. Romney, Hanging Rock, September 23, 1861. Romney September 23-25. Mill Creek Mills October 26. Skirmishes in Clay, Braxton and Webster Counties December 29-31. Elk Mountain March 19, 1862. Advance on Staunton April 5-May 8. Cow Pasture May 7. Battle of McDowell May 8. Bull Pasture Mountain May 8. Reconnoissance to Franklin May 9-11. Franklin May 11-13. Strasburg and Staunton Road June 1-2. Battle of Cross Keys June 8. At Strasburg June 20-July 5. Advance to Luray July 5-11. Moved to Sperryville July 11, thence to Woodville July 22, and duty there till August 9. Battle of Cedar Mountain August 9. Crooked Creek August 12. Pope’s Campaign in Northern Virginia August 16-September 2. Fords of the Rappahannock August 21-23. Freeman’s Ford and Hazel Run August 22. Waterloo Bridge August 23-25. Gainesville August 28. Groveton August 29. Bull Run August 30. Duty in the Defences of Washington till Sepiember 30. Moved to Clarksburg, W. Va., September 30-October 1. Duty at Clarksburg, Mt. Pleasant, and outpost duty at Buckhannon, Centreville, Bulltown, Sutton and Glenville till April, 1863. Regiment mounted, Janelew, May 5. Huttonsville July 4. Near Hedgeville and Martinsburg July 18-19. Averill’s Raid through Hardy, Pendleton, Highland, Bath, Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties August 5-31. Huntersville August 22 (Detachment). Jackson River August 25. Rocky Gap near White Sulphur Springs August 26-27. Averill’s Raid against Lewisburg and the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad November 1-11. Cockletown November 4. Mill Point November 5. Droop Mountain November 6. Averill’s Raid to Salem on Virginia & Tennessee Railroad December 8-25. Gatewood’s December 12. Salem December 16. Scott’s or Barber’s Creek December 19. Moorefield December 28. Designation changed to 6th West Virginia Cavalry January 26, 1864 (which see).

    • Robert Moore Says:


      You still out there? I think I’ve found the grave of J. W. Saylor

      • Jim Gaddis Says:


        Still here. Wow! Exciting news! Please post details! Thanks. Have been reading about the Jessie Scouts in whatever I could find lately.


      • Robert Moore Says:

        He’s buried in the Winchester National Cemetery, right next to another man from Page County who served in a Union cavalry regiment. I’ll take a pic and post by Friday on my Southern Unionists Chronicles blogsite.

      • Robert Moore Says:

        Pretty sure he was a member of the Winchester GAR, as I know the fellow next to him was buried with GAR honors.

      • Robert Moore Says:

        Frustrated I didn’t take a photo while there today. Ironically, his name as it appears on the headstone, “J.W. Saylor” doesn’t show up in the National Cemetery database.

      • Jim Gaddis Says:

        That heightens the mystery. Certainly gives me some great info to follow up on.

      • Robert Moore Says:

        If you go into Find-a-Grave, look for John Richard Gill in Winchester National Cemetery.. that’s who he’s buried next to. Question I have is if they knew each other before the war or only became friends because both had dealings with the GAR in Winchester. It’s just too much of a coincidence that the two men… both having connections in Page County… were buried next to each other. I feel certain they must have been friends.

      • Jim Gaddis Says:

        I may have found a photo of it on Was it a white marble upright marker with the number 4229, name J. W. Saylor, and under that W. VA.? I would post the photo if I knew how.

      • Robert Moore Says:

        That is correct. Forgot that started that database.

      • Jim Gaddis Says:

        Yep. Found John R Gill there too, number 4238, Jno R. Gill. U.S.A. This is great info Robert. I feel like I’m well on the way to solving my nagging John W Saylor mystery. And thanks for directing me to a whole new “page” of Civil War history of which I was unaware.

      • Robert Moore Says:

        Alright, Jim. He applied for a pension in 1887. You need to order it from the National Archives. Appears he died ca. 1906. I’m also seeing a pension from one Isabelle Saylor… may be more answers for you there also. The index card isn’t very legible, but looks like she applied in 1914… in Md.

      • Robert Moore Says:

        Looks like he probably signed up with Troop F of the 5th US Cavalry, Jim. I found several postwar dead (died in 1866 and 1867) in Winchester National Cemetery. No other companies of the 5th have dead there (at least that I can tell).

  4. Anne Windsor Oliver Says:

    Thank you for your site. I am looking for any writings that my father’s great uncle David Coffman Grayson (Page Volunteers 10th VA Infantry Company K) may have left behind on the Battle of Chancellorsville. Such writing is mentioned in a blog post. Have seen a couple posts about his life and story but nothing directly that he wrote. Imagine he had ample opportunity to reflect during his long incarceration. Also found his obit in the Washington Star in June ’33. Amazing that he lived to 95 after his experiences!
    My father, Robert Windsor Oliver (son of Catherine Grayson Brumbach of Luray and Atty/State Sen. Walter Tansill Oliver of Fairfax) lived his adult life as an attorney in Washington, D.C. died also at 95 in 2000. Dad remembered ‘Uncle Davey’ very well, often accompanied him back to Luray, once stopping along the way to embrace and weep with a very elderly lady who had hidden him from Union soldiers in her potato cellar. He also told stories of regular Confederate veteran reunions in the front parlor of the Oliver house in Fairfax, across from the county courthouse. They would give him ‘nips’ from their ubiquitous flasks of bourbon.
    Any leads you have on David Grayson would be much appreciated!
    Also looking for geneology of Isaac Newton Koontz, executed in Page Co. 1895, as my (Pennsylvania yankee) maternal grandmother was a Koontz.

    As a restorative justice mediator, I very much appreciate your aspiration to view “responsibly” what happened in the War between the States. As Edward Ball said: ‘ We are not responsible for the acts of our ancestors but we are accountable for them’

    • Robert Moore Says:

      That’s a good question regarding D.C. Grayson’s writings. There appears to be something out there, but where it is located, I have never been able to find out. I do recall seeing that he kept a record of his time while a POW, and I believe I saw that referenced in a book titled Portals to Hell.

      As for Isaac Newton Koontz, please see my book, Tragedy in the Shenandoah, for more information. He was engaged to the woman who would become my third great grandmother.

  5. Jim Gaddis Says:

    Many thanks Robert; this is great – I’ll be looking for it. Sounds like I have a trip to Winchester in my near future. A John Saylor (not 100% certain it’s mine)appears to have re-enlisted in the army in Winchester in 1867 and went with the 5th US Cavalry to Fort Cottonwood (McPherson) Nebraska and later to Fort D A Russell near Laramie, WY. And a John Saylor, described as an old Indian fighter, was reported to have married and returned to Winchester after 1880. His wife died there in 1900 and he outlived her. It would make sense that he would be buried in Winchester.

    • Robert Moore Says:

      Ok, this is getting cooler all the time. I’m getting excited as if he was my ancestor now! I have a pension index card that states that a John W. Saylor served in the 6th WV Cav AND the 5th US Cav. Looks like he is one in the same.

  6. Jim Gaddis Says:

    I think we are really on to something Robert. I am going to order all the military records I can for our John W. Saylor of the 3rd WV Mounted Inf and 6th WV Cav and the 5th US Cav (not to mention the 10th VA Inf). The pension application from Isabelle Saylor is a dead end though. It seems there was another John W. Saylor, b. 1839, who was with the Baltimore Battery, Maryland Light Artillery (Union). He married a girl named Isabella around 1866 and they lived in Baltimore for the rest of their lives. I’m pretty sure she is the one who applied for the widow’s pension in 1914.

    Our John W. Saylor (parents unknown) married Isabelle Orndorff in Hardy Co, VA (WV) in 1854 and they appear in the 1860 Page Co, VA census in 1860. By 1870 they were no longer together. I don’t know if they divorced or if they just split. She was living back in Hardy Co, WV in 1870 and his whereabouts were unknown. I always assumed he had been killed in the war until I ran across your posts. She and her three kids moved to Xenia, OH around 1873 (I don’t know why) where she stayed until her death in 1903. She never remarried. He apparently got comfortable with the Army during the Civil War, or couldn’t find work, and re-enlisted in 1867 in Winchester with the 5th US Cavalry, served out west, and returned to Winchester after 1880. Hopefully the National Archives records will shed more light on this John W. Saylor.

  7. Jim Gaddis Says:

    Robert, Got new info from Jonathan Noyalas, Prof at Lord Fairfax CC, Milroy’s Division Special Order 17 that heightens the drama surrounding John W. Saylor. We saw earlier that Saylor had been tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for murder before Pres. Lincoln threw the verdict out. Special Order 17 provides some important and intriguing detail. Gonna try to post it here. Let me know what you think.
    ~~ Jim

    Head Quarters Milroy’s Division
    Winchester, Va Feby 5th 1863

    Special Order
    No. 17

    I. A Military Commission is hereby ordered to meet in the city of Winchester Va on Tuesday February 5th 1863 12 o’clock N for the trial of John Sailer charged with the murder of John F. Haines and Samuel Bailey(sp?), citizens of Clarke County, Va. He is also charged with the murder of eight Federal Scouts.
    Detail for this Commission:
    Lt. Col. John M. Rushfield 122nd Regt. O.V.S.
    Capt. John Fahs(sp?) 8th Regt. Pa.
    Capt. Samuel Davis 9th Regt. Va.
    Capt. (_____) Gordon 122nd Regt. O.V.S. is appointed recorder.

    II. The commission will adjourn from day to day till the trial is completed.

    By Order of Brig. General R. H. Milroy
    Jno. Craven(sp?)
    Lt. Adjt(sp?)

    • Robert Moore Says:


      This complicates things in a major way. I know who Haynes and Bailey/Beylor were… and I know their story. That said, however, it has always been the impression that they were Unionists killed by local civilians who were strongly Confederate leaning.

      See here and here.

      My question is… how did John Saylor get out of this, and was it because he was falsely accused? I’ll send Jonathan an email to update him.

  8. David a saylor Says:

    I have a picture if John Saylor taken at Thomas Merit & company Nashville Tenn. The address is 47 Church street near the post office. it has a cancelled 3 cent stamp on the back. It seems this is part of a photo album my that also contains pictures of Lincoln,Gen Grant,Gen Sherman,Gen Beaty,Gen Hood, o.m.Howard,Gen Nash,William Bachtel,Henry Richard,William Hoover, James Slusser,William Hofsler,John Roehler ? hard to make out..Also a picture of a Gen Thomas j. it appears to be critt or orittender hard to make out. Also a picture of a Gen William g or j Raes or roeseranty ? My name is David Saylor i came across photos after my father died. These are very old tin type photos almost in post card form.I know i had relatives that fought with the 19th Ohio. Johns picture is worn but you can still see his face. I live in Dover Ohio. I know my dads father was born in 1876 and died in 1959.His name was william Emery saylor. I am originally from Massillon ohio.I would like someone to look at these picture. They are in a black 3x 5 leather photo album which is very worn.

  9. Bru Brubaker Says:

    Hi, I am hoping you can help me confirm the service of my great, great grandfather John Henry Brubaker of Luray, VA. I believe he was a member of Company H, Page County Grays, 33rd VA Infantry of the Stonewall Brigade. Thank you.

  10. Kimm Richwine Says:

    Hi! I just found your site and noticed the latest comments are from 2011, I am hoping you are still active. My family is from Virginia and I have known my ancestry back to the revolutionary War for some time now. My husband knew his but is not really a history buff, so when I asked some questions and found out his great great was one of the Immortal 600 I was all in to finding out more info.
    So his family is the Grayson family from Luray. Benjamin Franklin Grayson was the sherif and I believe he also fought in the Civil War. David Coffman Grayson also served as the sherif before going to the war. He was shot through the right lung, captured and released then captured again at Spottslyanvia when he was sent to Deleware. We know he was not released until June, 2 months after the war ended and after he took the oath.
    There is a big gap we are trying to fill in his life and would love to know if you have any info!

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