Captain Francis W. Southall died Friday morning, the 26th, at his residence, "Dunboy" Prince Edward County, after a brief illness, of typhoid pneumonia. Captain Southall was born in 1837 at the old family homestead, "Selma," Amelia County, Va.
He was the son of Dr. Phillip T. Southall, a gentleman of great learning, high professional attainments and personal character. His mother was Elizabeth Webster, the daughter of Colonel Anthony Webster, who commanded a regiment in the War of 1812.
Captain Southall was a grandson of Major Stephen Southall, of Revolutionary fame, and a great-grandson of the distinguished patriot, Colonel Turner Southall, of "Fairfield," Henrico County, who was a member successively of both branches of the Virginia General Assembly for a series of years during the Revolutionary War and afterwards. By the act of the Virginia Assembly, June 4, 1779, when the seat of the government was removed from Williamsburg to Richmond, he was appointed one of the directors to carry same into effect, and located the present Capitol buildings. He was nephew of Colonel James Southall, of the Virginia line in the Revolutionary War, also John Southall, aid-de-camp to General Nelson during the same. His maternal grandfather was a flag bearer for the Peterborough Rifles (chosen for his bravery and gigantic stature) during the Revolutionary War. He was a graduate of Hampden-Sidney College.
Captain Southall was one of twelve sons, six of whom served the entire four years of the War between the States. Captain Southall the Amelia Troop (Stuart's command), and when in full regimentals, standing, as he did, six feet six inches tall, no finer specimen of a Virginia cavalryman was ever seen.
He was with Stuart in his last fatal charge, and thought he received the last orders Stuart ever gave. His account of this battle, as well as of the entire war, was realistic in the extreme. He was frequently urged to lecture on the various incidents of the war or write a history of it. Owing to his modesty, failing health and family affliction, he never did so. He enlisted as a private in the Amelia Troop, but was promoted for bravery at the battle of Manassas, where he received a severe wound, from which he never entirely recovered. He was well beloved, being frequently elected to positions of trust and honor, and much sought after for his genial manners and hospitality. Eminent in his country's service, yet he did not fail in religious duties. Early in life he joined the Presbyterian Church, of which he was to the day of his death a consistent member, Jamestown Church, being on his farm, and repaired and cared for by him.
The closing years of his life were lonely and sad, owing to the long illness of his wife, who was Miss Ellen J. O'Sullivan, and his only child, both of whom preceded him to the grave.
The present Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. J.W. Southall, is a brother of Captain Southall.
Source: This was published on February 4, 2000, in THE FARMVILLE HERALD, Farmville, VA, in section "100 Years Ago In The Herald", which was February 2, 1900.
Transcribed and submitted by Betty Moore.
[SSS Note: F. W. Southall is buried in the Southall Family Cemetery in Amelia Co., VA]
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