Virginian served on land and sea

by | May 7, 2015 | Confederate affiliation, New Hanover

Clarence Cary, Confederate States Navy, was born in March of 1845, the son of Archibald Cary and Monimia Fairfax Cary, grandson of Thomas Fairfax, ninth Lord Fairfax of Cameron. He was a direct descendant of Pocahontas and John Rolfe and the Plantagenets of England. In 1861, at age 16, he abandoned the Fairfax estate “Vaucluse,” three miles west of Alexandria. During the first Battle of Bull Run he was a “marker” for the 17th Virginia Infantry Regiment. He was discharged for being under age. He was appointed midshipman in August of 1861, training in Norfolk. He was aboard the CSS Nashville during a voyage to Southampton, England in late 1861 and early 1862. He was aboard the captured “Star of the West” when New Orleans fell and the CSS Palmetto State at Charleston, S.C. after witnessing a mutiny aboard the CSS Indian Chief. He was assigned to the CSS Chickamauga at Wilmington during the summer of 1864 and had a successful cruise later that year. On Christmas of 1864, while serving as a messenger at Fort Fisher, he was wounded when the 7-inch Brooke naval gun he commanded burst. He was transferred to Richmond. He was 20 years old when Richmond fell. He was evacuated to Danville, Va. His diary was used in Geneva, Switzerland during the Alabama Claims Tribunal to make Great Britain pay for aiding Confederate blockade runners. His sister’s book, “Recollections in Grave and Gay,” copyrighted in 1911, was dedicated to him. He died as the book was printed. His mother and sister were Confederate nurses. Sister Constance and Cousin Hetty and Jennie were “The Cary Invincibles.”

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