Dr. Charles Denny Everett of Virginia

 

 

 

 

Charles Denny Everett was a well-known physician in Virginia. He was born in Lewis County, Kentucky May 29, 1806. His parents, John Denny Everett and Alice Harrison Everett, had moved to the frontier and struggled as small planters.1 His uncle was the famous physician, Dr. Charles Everett, who lived on the Belmont Plantation in Albemarle County, Virginia (near Charlottesville) and who had served as both the private secretary and physician to President James Monroe.2

Charles Everett was a bachelor and one day traveled to Kentucky to invite his young nephew, Charles Denny, to live with him and he would put him through school. However, Charles Denny found little satisfaction at living with his uncle, who worked long hours, and returned to his family in Kentucky. His uncle persisted and offered to pay to send Charles Denny to medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he had graduated. Charles Denny accepted and graduated in 1836. He remained in Philadelphia and established an active practice there.3

In 1848 he was summoned to his uncle’s bedside at Belmont where he found his 81-year-old uncle dying. When the will was read it was found that his uncle had left him the Belmont estate of 1000 acres and $250,000. Charles Denny closed his practice in Philadelphia and moved into the original Belmont home which consisted of nine rooms and one-and-one-half stories with wings and dormers at each end.4 Charles Denny, a bachelor himself, eventually married Mary Kate “Mollie” Coleman (1831-1900), the daughter of John Jay Coleman. The couple had ten children: Alice Kate Everett, Mary Coleman Everett, Clara Everett, Louise Montague Everett, Charles Edward Everett, John Coleman Everett, Alylett Lee Everett, Hester Hawes Everett, Jospeh William Everett, Alice Harrison Everett.5

During the Spring and Summer of 1861, as the call went out in both the north and the south for mobilization for war, Dr. Everett used his financial resources to promote and organize a battery of artillery. He contributed most of the equipment and uniforms needed for the unit to be formed. Since he was exempted from military service due to his age, he paid $1000 to a Mr. Carver to enlist and serve for him.6

These batteries were normally composed of 100 to 150 men with four to six cannons. A four-cannon battery would need to have at least 60 horses to transport the guns, caissons, and other equipment. It was common practice in the Confederate army to name these batteries after either the primary supporter or the town or county from which the majority of men were recruited. Thus this battery was named Everett’s Albemarle Artillery. Later in the war it was also identified by some of its commanders: Southall’s Battery, Wyatt’s Battery, and Johnston’s Battery. The first officers of this Everett Artillery were William H. Southall, Captain, W. Leroy Broun, 1st Lieutenant, Moses Green Payton, 1st Lieutenant, and David Watson, 2nd Lieutenant.7

The Everett Artillery was officially organized July 3, 1861 in Charlottesville, Virginia and by the end of that month they had already recruited 163 men. They left immediately on rail cars from Gordonsville and Hanover Junction for Artillery Camp instruction in Richmond. The unit camped near Sydney Church about two miles west of Richmond and participated in training for the few weeks at Camp Magruder. On August 3 they received orders to join General John B. Magruder in the defense of the Virginia Peninsula, near Williamsburg, between York and the James River. By the end of August the unit had received four 24-pound howitzer and four 12-pound brass guns. The size of this eight-gun battery was quite unusual. The Everett Artillery received assignment as Company H of the 1st Regiment of Artillery.8

After the war, Dr. Everett was recognized as an involved citizen “doing good” and “building up the shattered fortunes of his State.” He was active teaching former slaves, as the superintendent of his church’s Sunday school, and president of the agricultural society.9 It was reported that when he freed his slaves he helped 66 of them to resettle in a community in Mercer County, Pennsylvania.10

Dr. Everett died in 1877, gently passing away in the noble mansion which he had reared and adorned with his own hands, and it was not many years after when it, too, passed away.”

1 Robert Lewis Everett (1992). The Everetts of Albemarle County Virginia. Riverside, California: Canyon Crest Printing

2 For a story of this uncle, Dr. Charles Everett and the history of the Belmont Plantation see, Edward C. Mead (1962). Historic Homes of the South-West Mountains Virginia. Bridgewater, Virginia: C.J.Carrier

3 Everett (1992).

4 Mead (1962).

5 Everett (1992)

6 Everett (1992)

7 Albemarle Artillery, author and source unknown.

8 Albemarle Artillery

9 Mead (1962)

10 Everett (1992)