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Ordnance sergeant; earlier was briefly an infantryman, and an artilleryman and artillery noncommissioned officer; later was with a local defense troops artillery company in an unspecified enlisted position. Hugh Caperton was born on 24 Nov 1839. He matriculated into VMI from Union, [West] Virginia, but remained in the cadet corps for only 17 days. [Alumnus file.] VMI alumni registers state that he was “Orderly Sgt., Kings Art., C.S.A.” Caperton is listed in the 1989 Addendum to the VMI alumni registers as Ordnance Sergeant, Company “C,” 13th Virginia Light Artillery Battalion. McMurry’s VMI Alumni in the Civil War provides a clearer accounting of Caperton’s war service. He enlisted on 9 May 1861 at Union as a private in Company “D,” 27th Virginia Infantry. Although he was promoted to corporal, about 7 Sep 1861 he was discharged for an unspecified disability. Caperton “later” joined Capt. T. A. Bryan’s Virginia Artillery Company, also known as the “Monroe Artillery.” He was raised to orderly or first sergeant with the company. He was subsequently detailed for duty as an ordnance sergeant with the Ordnance Office, Department of Western Virginia. McMurry adds that his name appears on a roster of Capt. W. King’s Virginia Artillery Company of Local Defense Troops, also known as the “Saltville Artillery.” Caperton finally signed the oath of allegiance at Charleston, West Virginia, on 11 May 1865. He was described as five feet-six inches tall, with a dark complexion, dark eyes and dark hair. He was the nephew of Asst. Surgeon G. H. Caperton 1851. His first cousins were Sgt. John Caperton Ex-1864 and Lt. Allen Caperton Ex-1867. According to Wallace’s A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations 1861-1865, Company “D,” 27th Virginia Infantry, was the “Monroe Guard” formed at Union, Monroe County, [West] Virginia between 1859-1860. The company was enlisted on 9 May 1861 [also Caperton’s enlistment date] and mustered-in six days later. Its first commander was Capt. [later Brig. Gen.] John Echols Ex-1843/HG, a Caperton relative by marriage. The Monroe Guard was transferred to the 27th from Col. A. C. Cummings’[1844] regiment at Harpers Ferry on 30 May 1861. Capt. Thomas A. Bryan’s Virginia Artillery Company was organized in Lewisburg, [West] Virginia, on 27 Mar 1862. The company served in the 4th Brigade in the Department of Western Virginia and in Maj. William McLaughlin’s BV artillery battalion. Capt. William King’s Virginia Artillery Company, Local Defense Troops, or the “Saltville Artillery” existed by at least 14 Oct 1864, when it was reported as having three iron 12-pounder howitzers, two brass howitzers, and one unserviceable iron 6-pounder. Capt. King, four lieutenants, and 14 noncommissioned officers were listed as present for duty with the Smyth County unit. Reconciling Caperton’s known service record with the battle records of the units in which he served [per Sifakis’ Compendium (Virginia)], he probably fought with the 27th at Falling Waters, [West] Virginia (2 Jul 1861); and 1st Manassas/Bull Run (21 Jul 1861). Capt. T. A. Bryan’s Virginia Artillery Company, also known as the “Monroe Artillery,” fought in [West] Virginia at Giles Court House (10 May 1862); in the Kanawha Campaign of Sep 1862 at Fayetteville on 10 Sep 1862 and Charleston on 13 Sep 1862 As the precise dates of Caperton’s detail as ordnance sergeant with the Department of Western Virginia are not known, further battle participation estimates are difficult. On the assumption that his detail may have had something to do with his relationship with General John Echols Ex-1843/HG, who reported to the Department of Western Virginia in Feb 1863, Caperton will be assumed to have been detailed after that date. As his name appears on a roster of Capt. W. King’s Virginia Artillery Company of Local Defense Troops, also known as the “Saltville Artillery,” which existed by 14 Oct 1864, it will be assumed that his detail terminated about that time. King’s unit is not listed in Sifakis, thus its battle participation (if any) is unknown. Caperton was a farmer after the war, according to the alumni registers. He died on 11 Feb 1905


Source:Albert Z. Conner