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  Lt. Colonel William Henry Chapman Society

  A North Carolina Military Roundtable


Greensboro, N.C., SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 1929.

Col. William Henry Chapman

Passes At His Home In City

Distinguished Confederate Veteran and Prominent Citizen

Who Was Lieutenant Colonel In Mosby’s Cavalry, Dies.

Funeral at 10 A. M. Today at St. Andrew’s. 

Col. William Henry Chapman, 89 years of age, distinguished Confederate veteran and prominent citizen, died at 2 o’clock yesterday morning at his home, 840 West Market street, following illness of 10 days. Death appears to have been caused by overtaxing of the heart due to the infirmities of advanced years.

Funeral services for this noted veteran, who was lieutenant colonel in the 43rd battalion of Virginia cavalry, known as Mosby’s battalion, will be conducted at 10 o’clock this morning at St. Andrews Episcopal church, of which he was a vestryman. The officiating ministers will be Rev. C. E. Buxton, rector of St. Andrew’s; Colonel Chapman’s sons, Rev. J. H. Chapman, of Greenwich, Conn., and Rev. J. J. Chapman, of Kyoto, Japan, and his son-in-law, Rev. W. H. K. Pendleton, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Spartanburg, S. C. Burial will be in Green Hill cemetery.

Active pallbearers will be S. V. Ziglar, C. P. Langley, H. E. Redmond, G. H. Newman, Jackson Morton and J. R. Donnell. Honorary pallbearers will be Robinson Stabler, Dorian Blair, C. J. Faulstick, J. W. Angel, Judge S. B. Adams, Kenneth Pinnix, T. H. Crocker, C. E. Anderson, V. C. McAdoo, R. D. Douglas, Banks H. Mebane and Frank Challen. The honorary pallbearers have been requested to meet at 9:50 o’clock this morning at St. Andrew’s.

Colonel Chapman leaves four sons and four daughters. They are Major William A. Chapman, of Cedartown, Ga.; Rev. James J. Chapman, of Kyoto, Japan; Rev. John H. Chapman, of Greenwich, Conn.; S. F. Chapman, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Mrs. R. U. Booking, of Loretto, Va.; Mrs. W. H. K. Pendleton, of Spartanburg, S. C.; Mrs. Herbert S. Newman, of Gordonis, Va.; and Miss Katherine Chapman, of Greensboro. He also leaves a grandson, Cary B. Pendleton, of Spartanburg, S. C.; two granddaughters, Miss Elizabeth and Miss Josephine Pendleton, of Spartanburg, and two great-grandchildren, Sam Good and Miss Betty Good, of Cedartown, Ga. All of these were present at the time of his death.

William Henry Chapman was born April 17, 1840, in Madison county, Virginia. He was one of the large family of William Allen Chapman and Elizabeth Forrer Chapman. He was educated at the University of Virginia and was a student there when on his 21st birthday, April 17, 1861, his native state seceded from the union. Foreseeing the need of artillery for the new government, he took part in the organization of an artillery company; subsequently he became captain of the Dixie artillery, which had a very active part in sanguinary encounters of the civil war.

At the second battle of Manassas Captain Chapman, seeing General Longstreet riding rapidly toward the front, without orders but with unerring military instinct, ordered his horses harnessed and his batteries made ready for action. When a courier, spurring a foaming horse, brought General Longstreet’s order for artillery the Dixie battery reported, dashing to the front at a full gallop. The tide of battle was turned, but the Dixie battery had paid a fearful price. In the consolidation of shattered fragments of artillery all that was left of that battery passed out of existence, and the young artilleryman found himself temporarily without a command.

It was then that he joined Col. John S. Mosby’s battalion of artillery and soon he became lieutenant colonel, second in command. The bravery and achievements of that faithful band furnished some of the most brilliant chapters in the history of the Confederacy. But for the natural limitations of their command, which they were unwilling to leave, Colonel Chapman and his daring chief, it is said, would have worn general’s stars upon their collars long before the close of the civil war.

On February 26, 1864, Colonel Chapman was married to Miss Josephine Jeffries. It was a romantic wedding at sunrise. The house was filled with officers. In a great circle around the house sentries were posted in order to prevent a surprise attack by federal forces. The minister who was to officiate was captured on the way to the wedding and another was hastily procured. Later that day federal troops arrived but Colonel and Mrs. Chapman had left on their brief honeymoon. Mrs. Chapman, a woman of rare beauty and charm, combined with notable intellectual and spiritual qualities, died just a little more than a year ago.

One of Colonel Chapman’s sons, Major William A. Chapman, U. S. A. retired, is a veteran of two wars. He saw service in the medical corps in Cuba in 1896 and in France in the world war. Rev. James J. Chapman, another son, has lived for 30 years with distinction as a missionary to Japan. Rev. John H. Chapman, one of the sons, has long been in the service of the church and he also served overseas with marked ability as a chaplain in the world war. The other son, Samuel F. Chapman, has served many years in the internal revenue department of the federal government. Two of the daughters, Mrs. Robert U. Brooking and Mrs. W. H. K. Pendleton, have shared their husbands’ work in the ministry; the two others, Miss Katherine Chapman and Mrs. Herbert S. Newman, have long been leaders in the religious and patriotic activities.

General Hancock, to whom Colonel Chapman surrendered his command, was so impressed by the spirit of the young Confederate that he wrote in his report that in healing the wounds of war and reuniting the country “This young man will be valuable to the government.” The prophecy was fulfilled in a life of devotion to the interests of the south without bitterness toward his former foes. In the midst of bitter feuds in the mountains of Georgia and North Carolina Colonel Chapman enforced the laws of his country against illicit liquor raiders with such determination and courage as to elicit the highest commendation from officials at Washington and to inspire admiration of the people in the communities which he served.

In half a century of service in enforcement of the laws Colonel Chapman’s work brought him to Greensboro from time to time, and since he retired from active service he had regularly lived here. He had an exceptionally large number of devoted friends and admirers. Yesterday a friend paid this tribute: “A man of exemplary character and spotless integrity, Colonel Chapman lived a life of simple and natural religion. He kept the faith received at his mother’s knee and walked with God every day. Death had no terror for him. He had faced it a thousand times. He was going home to meet the Savior whom he served and to meet the beloved wife whose presence could not but enhance the glory of heaven itself for him.”

Source: Greensboro Daily News, September 7, 1929