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Confederate Veteran Biographies

sugarfoot has submitted 33 biographies and got 4 comments. The last biography was submitted on 06/26/07

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Robert Rufus Perdue

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Posted: Date Tuesday, June 26th 2007, 1:50 PM Icon 8752 Date 0

1840 - 1929
Co. A, 37th Va. Cavalry

Born in Franklin County in 1840, Robert Rufus Perdue was the third of nine children born to Ransom and Jane (Angle) Perdue, and the great-grandson of Meshach Perdue, the progenitor of the Perdue family in Franklin County. Robert's siblings were: Charles Washington; Jeter Wythe; William Henry; Mary Isabella; Sarah Ann; Martha Frances; Elizabeth and John Ransom Perdue.

Robert, along with his brothers, Charles, Jeter and William served in Co. A, 37th Virginia Cavalry. Charles and William deserted and took the oath prior to April 9, 1865. Company A of the 37th Battalion Virginia Cavalry was formed 2 August 1862 of men primarily from Franklin County. It began as a Partisan Ranger battalion and mustered in as a "regular cavalry" in Lewisburg in 1862. Captains were James R. Claiborne and George T. Williams. These groups were largely independent commands whose role was to disrupt enemy actions while being as invisible as possible. When not fighting, they blended into civilian life. The best known Partisan Ranger example was Mosby's Rangers who maintained their presence in Northern Virginia. As the war progressed, Partisan Ranger organizations lost their favor with the CSA government official and military commanders alike - mainly since they were difficult to control. As a result, except for a few exceptions, Partisan Ranger units were gradually integrated into regular commands. In 1864, the 37th Virginia Cavalry fought as part of Jubal Early's force in the Valley and Maryland Campaigns.

Under the command of General Early, the 37th participated in the Battle of Lynchburg in June, 1864. In October 1863, the 37th Cavalry was sent to Tennessee to join a new brigade commanded by General "Grumble" Jones. They returned to Virginia in January 1864. By the spring of 1865 there was not much left of the 37th and many of the men turned themselves in to Union provost marshals. Approximately 15 percent of the battalion's members were listed as AWOL or deserters, many of them deserted during the final month of the war. Upon learning of Lee's surrender, the 37th disbanded on 22 April 1865 near Buchanan, Virginia.

After the war, Robert moved to McDowell County, West Virginia where he married Martha Luvena Totten in 1869. She was born in 1848. They had eleven children: Albert Ballard, born in WV in 1862; twins, Charles Crockett, and James Ephriam, born in WV in 1874; Alphia Jane, born in 1875 in WV and Floyd, born in WV in 1878; Philip Kinley, born in 1889 in WV; Martha Belle, born in WV in 1883; John Otis, born in 1884 in WV; Nancy Virginia, born in WV in 1886; Sarah Catherine; born in 1887 in Redwood, VA.; Rufus Early, born in Redwood in 1891.

Robert was a farmer as well as a carpenter and a shoemaker and Martha taught school and music (the organ) in West Virginia. Robert moved his family back to Virginia in 1885. Martha died in 1899 at the age of 51 and Robert married Sarah J. Anderson in 1900. He died in 1929 and is buried in the family cemetery in Redwood.

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