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 Individual Narratives of the Roseberry-Keister Family Civil War Veterans




Asa D. BURNETT was born in 1833. He married Orlena MORRICLE, daughter of Samuel MORRICLE and Mildred WILLIAMS, on February 4, 1858 in Floyd Co., VA.

He began military service in 1861 in Floyd Co., VA, Civil War Veteran, 3rd Sgt., Co. A, 54th VA INF

Resident Floyd Co.  Died in Confederate Army at Christiansburg, VA in 1861 per PWR.  Brother of Josiah. He died on November 13, 1861 in Hospital, White Sulphur Springs, Montgomery Co., VA; cause of death was measles.



Josiah D. BURNETT; son of Josiah & Jemima (Dickerson) Burnett was born on July 25, 1838.  He married Elizabeth DUNCAN, daughter of George DUNCAN Sr. and Elizabeth MORRICLE, on April 16, 1868 in Floyd Co., VA. He died on May 18, 1922 at age 83; buried White Rock Cemetery on Alum Ridge in Floyd Co., VA.

 He was a farm laborer in 1860 in Floyd Co., VA. He began military service on September 10, 1861 in Jacksonville, Floyd Co., VA, Civil War Veteran.  Corporal.

Burnett, Josiah B.: Co. A, enlisted on 9/10/61 at Jacksonville.

Present on Jan 1, 1862.

Wounded In Action at Kelly's Store, Suffolk Co. on Jan. 30, 1863.

Absent sick from Dec. 1, 1863 thru at least Dec. 31, 1863.  Resident Indian Valley, Floyd Co., VA  Born 7/25/38  Died 5/18/1922, buried in the White Rock Cemetery, Alum Ridge, Floyd Co., VA.  Age 21, farm laborer, 1866 Floyd Co. Census.





William M. DICKERSON; "Billy," named for his grandfather William Morricle Jr. (his middle name may have been Morricle) lived in Floyd Co., VA; He was born on April 4, 1837.  He married Miriam M. WADE on December 14, 1865 in Floyd Co., VA. He married Lizena HYLTON on September 9, 1897. He died on March 6, 1929 in Floyd Co., VA, at age 91; buried in Greasy Creek Cemetery.

"He bought his grandfather's farm and lived in the two-story log house which was his grandfather's home." "He taught school for some years, and held such county offices as census taker, assessor, etc" in Floyd Co., VA.

He began military service on September 10, 1861 in Jacksonville, Floyd Co., VA, A Civil War Veteran, William M. Dickerson was a 4th Sargent for Co. A of the 54th VA INF.

Present on Dec. 31, 1863.

Surrendered at Columbia, GA on Dec. 22, 1864.  Took oath at Nashville, TN on May 22, 1865.

5'6" with a dark complexion, brown hair, hazel eyes

Served four years per post war records

Resident of Floyd Co., VA

On 1920 pension list of Floyd Co.

Age 23, farm laborer, 1860 Floyd Co., VA Census

Born April 4, 1837 and died Mar. 6, 1929, buried in the Greasy Creek Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Burk's Fork, Floyd Co., VA. He ended military service on May 22, 1865 in Nashville, TN; released after taking oath of allegiance.





Benjamin Augustas DUNCAN was born in 1841 in Floyd Co., VA. He married Jemima Ann Austin POWERS on August 2, 1871 in Point Pleasant, Mason Co., WV. He died on September 22, 1909 in Ambrosia, Mason Co., WV.

He began military service on August 15, 1862 in Point Pleasant, Mason Co., WV, Civil War Veteran.  13th WV Volunteer Infantry, Co. C. He ended military service on June 22, 1865 in Wheeling, WV; Mustered out as private.





Michael H. FOSTER was born in 1841 in Red Sulfer District, Monroe Co., VA.  He died on May 29, 1875 in Forest Hill, Summers Co., WVA; Cause of death-effects of his Civil War wound received at Hatcher's Run; buried at Fairview Baptist Church Cemetery in Summers Co., WV. Foster's unmarked grave was marked by a granite shaft six years after a marker to the memory of the Monroe Guards was dedicated in 1907 in Summers Co., WV.

He was a day laborer living with his older brother Jacob Foster in 1860 in Monroe Co., VA. He began military service on May 9, 1861 in Union, VA, Civil War Veteran.  Enlisted in 27th VA INF

From 27th VA INF-Unit Roster p. 143

     27th VA INF-The Stonewall Brigade of Jackson's  then Ewell's Corp


     Co. D. Enlisted May 9, 1861 at Union. Age 20, born Red Sulphur District in Monroe Co. in 1841. Farmer.

     Present until absent sick with typhoid fever in Charlottesville hospital October 13-31, 1861.

     Absent on leave November 16, 1861 for 20 days.

     Present January-February 1862.

     Absent sick in Lynchburg hospital March-April 1862.

     Absent WithOut Leave October 24-December 14, 1862.

     Present December 14, 1862 to February 1864.

     Issued clothing 3/31/65 then 4/20, 5/31, 9/17, 10/1, 11/1, and 12/1/64.

     Wounded In Action (hip, bladder and thigh) at Hatcher's Run on February 9, 1865.


     The "Lexington Gazette" reported in 1893, "Mike Foster, Monroe Guards, 27th VA INF, wounded repeatedly was presented a laurel wreath by Gen. R. E. Lee as the bravest, and most efficient soldier in the Stonewall Brigade while in the hospital in Richmond in 1863.  He was wounded and captured at Hatcher's Run in 4/65 (sic).  Gen. J. B. Gordon offered 50 Federal prisoners of war to get him back. He was terribly wounded and died from the effects at Forest Hill, WVA on May 22, 1875."  Buried in Forest Hill, WVA Confederate Veterans Camp in Monroe Co., WVA named in his honor.  "Distinguished for gallantry on every battlefield."


From 27thVA INF-p. 4

     Of the 108 members of the company none achieved greater distinction than Michael Foster, a 21- year-old farmer, from Summers County.  Contemporary accounts reveal that Foster was adjudged the bravest men in the company as well as in what came to be known as the Stonewall Brigade.

     The twin accolades resulted from a gesture by the ladies of Rockbridge County who sent five suits of clothes and a wreath to Stonewall Jackson instructing him to award a suit to the bravest soldier in each of his five regiments and the wreath to the most valorous man in the brigade.

     Foster was captured late in the war and, it was written, was so highly regarded by John B. Gordon that the general  offered 50 Federal prisoners in exchange for him.  Mike died shortly after the war, allegedly as a result of his numerous wounds.

     Foster's grave remained unmarked until 1907, when old comrades dedicated a granite shaft "in the presence of one of the largest if not the largest crowds of people that ever assembled within the boundaries of the county."  The monument to Foster was erected six years after a marker to the memory of the Monroe Guards was dedicated.  Sponsors of  the memorial expected that a highway would be rerouted into close proximity of the monument and erected it in a farmer's field.  The highway department failed to cooperate and today the monument stands as a lonely sentinel in pasture land, a reminder of political mischief.


From 27th VA INF-p. 78

     After two nights at Hamilton's Crossing the Stonewall Brigade commenced its march toward Chancellorsville for its rendezvous with Hooker's legions.  A heavy fog blanketed the countryside when shortly after midnight on April 30, the columns took to the road.  A short distance west of Frederickburg the graycoats diverged to the left on the Plank Road, where they bivouacked in the woods.

     Four members of Company D, 27th Virginia, all of whom had enlisted at Union in Monroe County in May 1861 served as sharpshooters during this operation.  They were Lieutenant John Tiffany, 21, who had been a student prior to the war; Mike Foster, 23, a prewar farmer; George Lynch, 23, also a farmer and Addison Leach, 28, a saddler.

     Writing to his parents, Tiffany described the activities of the sharpshooters on May 1:

     “The first Brigade sharpshooters were thrown to the front on the first day of May where they continued until the fight was over without sleep or rest, in sight of the enemy all the time making many a shot tell a sorrowful tale to some family North.  Nothing but the love for one's country would cause men to undergo what we have done.  Mike Foster distinguished himself for his accurate shooting, and watchfulness.  When you heard his gun crack you knew one was hurt.  If he did not kill him, you would hear him squeal from the pain of the wound.




Gordon Huston GODBEY, He was born on January 20, 1841 in Newbern, Pulaski Co., VA. Gordon died March 19, 1908 and buried in Mt. Jackson.

From 36th VA INF (p. 72); 23rd Battalion INF (p. 71) and 26th Battalion INF (p. 121)

Gordon H. Godbey

     He began military service enlisting with the 36th VA INF on June 3, 1861 in Chapmanville, Raleigh Co., WVA, Civil War Veteran. Age 20.. He was described as Height: 5' 9", grey eyes and light hair in 1861. Absent sick then present until transferred to the 26th Batt'n. in April 1864.  He was mistakenly listed on Post War Record as being with the 23rd Batt'n VA INF Paroled on May 15, 1865. Parole was at Charleston, WVA. He was a priest with the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints after the Civil War.



James H. GODBEY was born on April 20, 1843. He began military service on June 3, 1861 in Raleigh Co., WVA, Civil War Veteran.  Enlisted in 36th VA INF, Co. C.  Age 19. 1843. Present until transferred to 17th VA CAV in Jan. 1864.



Jackson GODBY He was born in 1816 in VA. He married Ellen H. DESKINS on June 6, 1844 in Floyd Co., VA; Minister-Wm. Thompson, Sr.  He died in 1884 in Floyd County, VA. He was buried in 1884 in Jacksonville Cemetery, Floyd Co., VA.

     Jackson owned a store adjoining his residence and was one of the leading merchants in Jacksonville, Floyd Co., VA. Land records list "Jackson and Crockett Godbey his sons 430 ac. west side Little River, Jackson and Crockett Godbey 65 acres on Indian Ck., adj. J. Howert" in Floyd Co., VA.

     He lived in 1860 in Floyd Co., VA; $7575 in real estate and $6490 in personal property.

     He was County Surveyer in 1860 in Floyd Co., VA. He was Clerk of the Circuit and County Court before 1861 in Floyd Co., VA.

     He began military service on September 16, 1861 in Floyd Court House, Floyd Co., VA, Civil War Veteran.  Enlisted 54th VA INF, Co. B. (from Floyd Co.) as a Captain and was Present on Jan. 1, 1862 and Feb. 28, 1862 musters.

     On detached service on May 1, 1862 muster. Dropped on May 13, 1862. He later enlisted as a private in Co. H, 4th VA Reserves but was exempted by the medical board. Exemption was as Clerk of the Circuit and County Court.

     Resident of Floyd C.H., Floyd Co. Postwar member of the Methodist Episcopal Church-South, Jackson's occupation was farmer and active promoter of the Jacksonville Brick Academy at Floyd C.H.





Byrdine GUNN was born on August 5, 1834 in Pulaski, VA. He married Emma Madora LOWMAN on February 28, 1877 in Pulaski, VA.  He died on November 2, 1905 in Pulaski, VA, at age 71; buried in the Newbern Community Cemetery in Pulaski Co., VA.

He began military service on May 27, 1861 in Lynchburg, VA, Civil War Veteran, enlisted 24th VA INF, Co. E  at Lynchburg, VA

BIRDINE GUNN: Commissioned as 2nd Lt. on May 1, 1861.

Enlisted Co. E on May 27, 1861 at Lynchburg, VA as a 3rd Lt.

Elected 1st Lt. on May 10, 1862

Birdine was wounded at Gettysburg (during Pickett's Charge). He was admitted to the Richmond Hospital on Sep. 11, 1863 with a gunshot wound to the left groin with the ball coming out the buttock and was later furloughed on Sep. 17, 1863. Birdine was absent on wounded furlough until the Spring of 1864.

He was wounded again at Drewry's Bluff, probably on May 16, 1864 and admitted to the Chimborazo Hospital on May 17, 1864 with a gunshot wound to the buttock. He was promoted to captain on May 29, 1864 and furloughed on June 7, 1864 for 30 days.

(The letter to his sister, see below, was written in January of 1865.)

Birdine was captured at Hatcher's Run on April 2, 1865 during the fighting that finally led to the fall of Richmond. He was released from Johnson's Island on June 18, 1865.  His description as given by his prisoner of war records state Birdine was 5'11 " with a dark complexion, dark hair and blue eyes. He was a resident of Dublin, VA.



From an unidentified newspaper clipping (probably the Radford or Pulaski Co. paper) ANOTHER OLD LETTER BY MR. B. GUNN.

Trenches 24th Regiment, Va. Infy.

Jan., 1865.

Dear Sister:

Yours of the 8th instant came to hand this morning, was very glad to hear from you, pleased to hear that you were all well, happy to inform you that my health is improving, have had no chill for two weeks. I have news, the soldiers seem determined to stop this war, by deserting to the enemy. They go every day, but not in very great numbers. I don't know what will be the end of all this mighty strife, but I expect to stand by my countrys cause until the last of Virginia's sons have deserted her, or if she goes down, I expect to go down with her, for there are few things to make life desirable here, and I have not forgotten that two brothers came into the service with me, and have both fallen victims to the ruthless enemy of our Country, and why should I desire to cling to this, world only to reap, the fruits of its great calamities.

I am glad that you are learning little Sammie to spell, for you don't know that he will ever have the advantage of going to school. Tell him if I get a furlough this winter, I will bring him a nice book. I have writ- ten home very often but I suppose the letters have been lost on the way. Tell, father that Tipton is at home on furlough and will be at the Depot on his return about the first of February and I would like for him to send me some little eatables, if he can, for our rations are still short.

I hope that you may not be visited by a raid from the enemy. You all have been remarkably fortunate in this particular. The enemy has never had an opportunity of insulting you at your own home and you ought to know how to appreciate such good fortune, for many others of your country, women have had to bear the (tear) ... ion of outragious conduct from (tear) ... oldier, besides seeing every (tear) of their property destroyed. (tear) deliver you from all such fiendish perpretrations is my prayer.

My best, wishes to grana. Glappo and compliments to all Mrs. Sutton's family. I send you two United States postage stamps. You can dispose of them if you wish or keep them for your own use. My love to you and Samme, good-bye,

     B. GUNN.


From Pulaski County: VA & Virginians

     BIRDINE GUNN-Born in Pulaski county, August 5, 1834, and E. Madora Lowman, born in this county, May 3, 1850, were here united in wedlock February 28, 1877.

Their four children were born: Ola E., January 5, 1878; Cora L., October 11, 1879-1 Robert C., September 9, 1881 -,Ralph B., February 27, 1883.

John C. and Sarah (Owens) Gunn, both now deceased, were the parents of Birdine Gunn, and his wife is a daughter of Abel and Elizabeth S. (Harris) Lowman. Her parents have been residents of Pulaski county since 1819.

Birdine Gunn entered the Confederate army with rank of third lieutenant in the Twenty-Fourth Virginia Infantry, Company E. After one year's service he was promoted to second lieutenant, and four months later received commission as first lieutenant, which rank he held until he received a captain's commission. As captain of the company in which he enlisted he then served till the close of the war.

The principal battles in which he took part were the Seven Days Battle, Fair Oaks, Williamsburg, South Mountain, Second Manassas and Sharpsburg. He enlisted in 1861, was wounded at Gettysburg in the left groin, the wound was so serious as to keep him from the field six months. He was again wounded at Drurys Bluff, in the left hip, but returned to duty in forty-five days. He was cared for at the hospital Chimborazo, at Richmond, in 1864, after his last wound. At the battle of Five Forks, April 1, 1865, he was made prisoner, and sent to Johnsons Island, in Lake Erie, and there held until the close of the war.

He is in partnership with H. L. Stone, Newbern, in the dry goods business, and owns a farm of 200 acres where he resides in Newbern district. This farm was settled under a grant from Gov. Patrick Henry to Hugh Patrick in Revolutionary days. He devotes it principally to grazing, and is a breeder of fine cattle. Postoffice address, Newbern, Pulaski county, Virginia.


He was a farmer in 1877 in Pulaski Co., VA.



Joseph GUNN was born in 1837 in Pulaski Co., VA. He was a carpenter in 1860 in Pulaski Co., VA. He began military service on May 27, 1861 in Lynchburg, VA, Civil War Veteran.  Enlisted in 24th VA INF, Co. E as 2nd Sgt. He died on February 22, 1863 in Charlottesville Hospital, Charlottesville, VA; Died of wounds received at the Battle of Fredericksburg, VA (Dec. 1862).



Samuel GUNN was born in 1835 in Pulaski Co., VA. He was a laborer in 1860 in Pulaski Co., VA. He began military service on May 27, 1861 in Lynchburg, VA, Civil War Veteran.  Enlisted 24th VA INF, Co. E. as 3rd Sgt. He died on July 25, 1862 in Chimborazo Hospital, Richmond, VA; Died of wounds received at Frayser's Farm during the Seven Days Battle.



William A. GUNN was born in 1841 in Pulaski Co., VA.  He married Lunna CONNER on January 25, 1871 in Pulaski Co., VA.  He was a laborer in 1860 in Pulaski Co., VA. He began military service before October 8, 1862 in VA Civil War Veteran.  Enlisted 50th VA INF, Co. I

     Private.  Co. I.  1860: laborer, age 19, Pulaski Co.  Enlisted and AWOL by 10/8/1862 through 10/23/1862

when "thought [to] have deserted."