- Richard L. T. Beale
name=Richard Lee Turberville Beale
district=8th & 1st
March 4, 1847– March 3, 1849 February 8, 1879– March 3, 1881
preceded=Robert M.T. Hunter Beverly B. Douglas
Alexander Holladay George T. Garrison
date of birth=birth date|1819|5|22|mf=y
place of birth=
Hickory Hill, Virginia, U.S.
date of death=death date and age|1893|4|21|1819|5|22|mf=y
place of death=
Hague, Virginia, U.S.
Richard Lee Turberville Beale (
May 22, 1819– April 21, 1893) was a lawyer, three-term United States Congressmanfrom the Commonwealth of Virginia, and a brigadier generalin the Confederate States Armyduring the American Civil War.
Early life and career
Beale was born at Hickory Hill,
Westmoreland County, Virginia. He attended two local private schools, Northumberland Academy and Rappahannock Academy, before attending Dickinson Collegein Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He studied law and graduated from the University of Virginiain 1837. Two years later, he was admitted to the bar and established a law practice at Hague, Virginia.
Beale was elected as a Democrat to the Thirtieth Congress (
March 4, 1847– March 3, 1849). However, he declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1848. He served as a member of the Virginia constitutional reform convention in 1850–51 and in the State senate from 1858–1860.
secessionof Virginia in 1861, Beale enlisted in the cavalryas a lieutenant. He was soon promoted to captainand then major, and placed in command of Camp Lee, near his hometown of Hague, on the lower Potomac River. Being commended for his intelligence and excellent judgment, he subsequently served under Col. W. H. F. "Rooney" Lee in the 9th Virginia Cavalry in what became the Army of Northern Virginia. When Lee was promoted to brigadier general, Beale was advanced to the rank of coloneland given command of the regiment, which included his sons. In December 1862, he led a bold expedition throughout the countryside near the Rappahannock River, capturing the Federal garrison at Leeds without losing a man.
Beale's service in 1863 earned him several written commendations and praises. On
April 16, he won the praise of Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuartfor repelling the threatened raid of Maj. Gen. George Stoneman's Federal cavalry division, capturing several prisoners during a week of nearly continual fighting. During the Gettysburg Campaign, Beale led the 9th Virginia in a charge on Fleetwood Hill at the Battle of Brandy Stationin June. He participated in Stuart's subsequent ride around the Army of the Potomacand the raid through Marylandand Pennsylvania. He participated in hard fighting at Gettysburg's East Cavalry Field in early July and during the army's retreat to Virginia. He briefly assumed command of Rooney Lee's brigade during fighting at Culpeper Court House and participated in the Bristoe and Mine Run Campaigns.
In March 1864, he made a forced march to intercept Union Col.
Ulric Dahlgrenand his raiders. A detachment of his 9th Virginia Cavalry successfully ambushed the Federals, and, with other units, captured about 175 men and killed Dahlgren. The papers found upon Dahlgren's person, revealing a design to burn Richmond and kill President Jefferson Davisand his Cabinet, were forwarded through Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Leeto the Confederate government. These controversial papers discovered by Beale's troopers may have been a factor that influenced John Wilkes Boothin his decision to assassinate Abraham Lincoln.
Beale led his regiment during the
Overland Campaign, and captured two Union flags at the Second Battle of Ream's Stationduring the Siege of Petersburg. In August, upon the death of John R. Chambliss, Beale was assigned to command of Chambliss's brigade, although still with the rank of colonel. It was not until February 6, 1865, that he was finally promoted to brigadier general. He led the brigade through the end of the war.
After the war, Beale resumed his political career during Reconstruction. He was elected to the Forty-fifth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of
Beverly B. Douglas. He was reelected and served in the Forty-sixth Congress from January 23, 1879to March 3, 1881. Finally retiring from public service, Beale resumed the practice of law.
Beale died near Hague, Virginia, and was buried there at Hickory Hill Cemetery.
*Evans, Clement, "Confederate Military History", Volume III. Atlanta, Georgia: Confederate Publishing Company, 1899.
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