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Marion in Smyth County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Col. William Elisha Peters

Confederate Veteran and College Professor

 
 
Col. William Elisha Peters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 5, 2010
1. Col. William Elisha Peters Marker
Inscription.  Col. William Elisha Peters, 21st Virginia Cavalry, C.S.A., is buried in the cemetery to your left. He was born on August 28, 1829, in Bedford County, Virginia, attending New London Academy there, then entered Emory and Henry College in 1846, graduating in 1848. He taught at a private school in Lynchburg, Virginia, at the University of Virginia, and at Emory and Henry College. From 1856 to 1858, he studied ancient and modern languages in Berlin, Prussia, then returned to the college.

On April 17, 1861, he enlisted as a private in the Smyth Dragoons (Co. A, 8th Virginia Cavalry) and was immediately elected lieutenant. He and his regiment joined Gen. John B. Floyd's brigade. He later became an infantry captain, was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 45th Virginia Infantry, then became colonel of the 21st Virginia Cavalry. He fought in southwest Virginia, Georgia, and finally with the Army of Northern Virginia in its campaigns. During Gen. Jubal A. Early's raid into Maryland and Pennsylvania in the summer of 1864, his regiment was ordered to burn Chambersburg after the citizens failed to pay a ransom levied in retaliation for the burning
Col. William Elisha Peters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 5, 2010
2. Col. William Elisha Peters Marker
of three Virginia houses by Federal troops. Peters refused to carry out his orders, however, because the town was filled with noncombatants. He was arrested but soon released.

During the war, he was wounded three times. While convalescing at home in 1863, he was elected to the Senate of Virginia but soon resigned to return to the army. He surrendered with his command at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. After the war, he taught Latin at the University of Virginia until 1900. He died on March 22, 1906. A new dormitory at the university, completed and occupied in 1929, was named for him.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list.
 
Location. 36° 50.114′ N, 81° 30.845′ W. Marker is in Marion, Virginia, in Smyth County. Marker is on East Main Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Marion VA 24354, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Confederate Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Marion (approx. 0.4 miles away); Smyth County Revolutionary War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away);
Col. William Elisha Peters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, June 4, 2011
3. Col. William Elisha Peters Marker
cemetery where Col Peters is buried is on the hill in the background in the small clearing.
Smyth County War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Site of Colonial Home (approx. 0.9 miles away); Col. Arthur Campbell (approx. 0.9 miles away); Royal Oak Presbyterian Church (approx. 1.1 miles away); Sherwood Anderson (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Marion.
 
Col. William Elisha Peters image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, June 4, 2011
4. Col. William Elisha Peters
Col. William Elisha Peters image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, June 4, 2011
5. Col. William Elisha Peters
Mary Sheffey Peters image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, June 4, 2011
6. Mary Sheffey Peters
Buried next to her husband.
Cemetery gates image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, June 4, 2011
7. Cemetery gates
Col. and Mrs. Peters' graves can been seen near the center of this photo.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 22, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,661 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 22, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on June 23, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama.
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Jun. 1, 2020