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Chambers VanMeter Walton

Obituary of William C. VanMeter, Petersburg, Grant County, West Virginia.

After a prolonged illness, William C. VanMeter, Christian gentleman and Confederate soldier, on January 31, 1916, heard "the one clear call" and went home "to the Master of all good workmen" with a record for brave and fruitful service both in peace and war. On his father's side he sprang from a sturdy, substantial pioneer stock which had much to do with the settling of the South Branch Valley of the Potomac and which grew into a large and influential family that sent many sons into the Confederate army. On December 22, 1838, very near the site of Old Fort Pleasants, William VanMeter was born and grew to manhood. He never lost his intense love for this spot; and though after the war he lived for some years in Illinois, he returned to this valley and lived again amid the scenes of his boyhood. His last years were spent near Petersburg, Grant County, W. Va., farther up in the same valley.

When the men of Virginia were called to arms, William VanMeter first joined the "Hardy Blues." All but twelve of this company were captured at Rich Mountain in the spring of 1861, paroled, and disbanded. He, though wounded, escaped and soon after joined Company E, 25th Virginia Infantry, in which he served till the close of the war. This company was first organized with the men who escaped capture at Rich Mountain, the membership coming from the Franklin Guards, Pendleton Rifles, South Branch Rifles, and Hardy Blues, and belonged to the 4th Brigade, Ewell's Division, Jackson's Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.

William VanMeter was not of that type of soldier that does brilliant, daring deeds, but of that type that presses steadily forward in the face of privation, and doubtless no better soldier followed the immortal Jackson. He was a man singularly free from "envy, malice, and all uncharitableness"; kind, gentle, generous, lovable, always respecting the rights and privileges of others; a man of sterling integrity and stainless Christian character. In youth he united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in which he was for years and honored officer and worker. In 1868 he was married to Miss Margaret Chambers, and he is survived by five children, two sons and three daughters, Of his four brothers, three were also brave Confederate soldiers. He was buried in his Confederate uniform by his special request.

[From tribute by Mrs. Page Walton, Assistant Historian Winnie Davis Chapter, U. D. C. Moorefield, W. Va.]

SOURCE: Confederate Veteran Magazine, April, 1916.

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