The Colony of Virginia

The following is taken from HISTORY OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA by Lewis Preston Summers 1903:

"The first settlers in Widener's Valley were John Widener, Paulser Rouse and John Jones. They came from Germany a few years prior to the Revolutionary War or about 1767."

After considerable fumbling through records trying to confirm the parentage of my great-great grandfather John Calvin Rouse, I finally was nudged by some information supplied by Thomas J. Evans of Charlotte, NC and inspired by cousin Raymond Parker in Hampton, Virginia to keep digging. The following is a compilation of material gathered from many Rouse descendants... Revised 20 Jan 1997 - LDC

Paulser Rouse Sr. b 1744 in Hollen, Germany d. 1810 Washington County, Virginia. Paulser served in the militia in 1774 under Capt. William Campbell. [William was later to be promoted to Colonel and was a leader of the small army of mountain men from TN, VA and NC who were successful at the Battle of Kings Mountain in the American Revolution.] Everyone seems to agree that this man was the first Rouse to wander down the Holston valley. The records show that Paulser was a defendant in a lawsuit in Fincastle Co. VA in 1775. ...LDC-1996 SEE NOTES

m. Mary -- (b. 1750) as per Ms. Johnson - or Susan Weddle, daughter of Joseph Weddle b. Hollen, Germany who had brothers John b. 1739 d. 5 Sep 1799 in TN? Son Phillip’s death records identify Paulser and Mary as parents.

1. Dr. John Rouse b. ca 1760? d. will proven 28 Nov 1831 Washington Co. VA

Records state that this man had "supernatural powers". I rather suspect he was just blessed with good German wit and had a flair for blarney like some of his later cousins.

m. (1) Eunice Cole as per Margaret Sowder note?

m. (2)Jennie McClure, daughter of John McClure and Ann Cole. "John was the son of Rev. Nathaniel McClure, an early settler of the Holston County who married Dorcas Cole, according to tradition, in the Colony of New York, before starting to Virginia. She was the daughter of Israel Cole who died near St. Clair Bottom Church about 1791."....- from Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia....LDC-1996

2. Catherine Rouse b. 1760/65 m. Elijah DeBusk - There is much data on this family.

3. Jacob Rouse b. ca 1765 , d. ----- will probated at Abingdon 24 Oct 1842

m. Dorcas McClure 22 Oct 1796, widow of Nathaniel McClure by whom she raised several children, including, John m. Ann Cole, Eleanor, Isabella m. Timothy Main, Dorcas m. James Cole, Mary "Polly" m. Rev. Drury Senter and Halbert.

4. Mary Rouse b. ca 1767 d. ca 1810 m. John Widner 10 May 1787 Wash. Co. VA

5. Hannah Rouse b. 14 Dec 1772 d. 6 Mar 1849 Dearborn, Indiana

m. Eleazor Cole 1790 in Washington County, Virginia

6. George Rouse b. ca 1774

m. Nancy Smith 17 Jun 1794 Washington County, Virginia (b. 13 Oct 1775 as per entry in family bible), daughter of James Smith and Elizabeth --.

7. Paulser Rouse Jr. b. 12 Jun 1777 Smyth Co. Virginia d. 24 May 1858 in St. Clair Bottom, Smyth Co. VA Paulser was a farmer, not unlike most of his pioneer neighbors. He left several property transactions on file in Smyth Co. between 1838 and 1858. He is on Washington Co. VA census 1810-50.

m. Sarah Clauson "Sally" 5 Sep 1799 Wash Co. VA (b. 1780 New York? d. >1850 in Smyth County, Virginia)

1. Henry W. Rouse b. 1800 Washington or Smyth Co. VA d. after 1880, probably in Washington Co. VA . According to the 1860 Smyth Co. VA census, he was a miller by trade. Henry was shown on the 1880 Washington Co. census at age 80, living with his son James Rouse.

m. Margaret Cole 14 Feb 1828 in Washington Co. VA (b. 27 Jan 1805 in Washington Co. VA d. ca 1875) She was the daughter of John Cole and Sarah Williams, according to Ms. Bernice Johnson. SEE COLE OUTLINE. Paula Rouse says: "She and Henry moved to Putnam Co. Indiana ca 1829 and returned to Smyth Co. Va at a later date". Marriage recorded in Marriage Book I p. 387 Smyth Co.

1. Sarah Rouse b. ca 1829 m. David McClure 25 Jan ---- in Smyth Co. VA

2. John Calvin Rouse b. 12 Apr 1830 in Smyth County Virginia d. after 1902 in Sullivan County, Tennessee. , A miller by trade, he served in first the Confederate States Army and then joined the Union Army until the end of the Civil War. See later thisdocument. From his photograph as an old man, supplied by Thomas Evans, there is no doubt of John C. Rouse’s German heritage. He sports a tough, athletic body, strong cheek bones and piercing dark eyes. At this age, he had a long white beard and must have been a rather imposing figure. Army records said he was 5’-9" tall with gray eyes and white hair at age 72. He lived in the Silvicola community of Sullivan County, Tennessee near Shady Valley.

m. (1) Margaret Fry (b. ca 1840 d. 11 Feb 1858 in Smyth Co. Va) daughter of Andrew Fry and wife Sarah. The Fry family lived at Crooked Creek in Grayson Co. Virginia . SEE SHUPE OUTLINE. Margaret died one day after the birth of her second son George. She was the 1st of four wives of John Calvin Rouse.



Private, Co. D/A, 48th Virginia Infantry, Confederate States Army 1862-64

John Calvin was a Private in Capt. Buchanan’s, formerly Capts. James B. Greene and Robert H. Dungan’s Company D, also called Company A, of the 48th Virginia infantry, CSA. He is shown on muster records from April 30 to October 1864, having enlisted March 2, 1862 at 7-mile Ford, Virginia for a three-year stint. Files show him paid commutation of rations from March 25 of 1862 (date of Enlistment) through April 5, 1862 (date of joining this regiment). This record of payment is noted at Winchester, Virginia 13 Nov 1862, indicating that he was probably involved in the campaign of the northern Shenandoah Valley of the fall of 1862. No records exist of his conscription and there are no other rolls on file between August 31, 1861 and April 30, 1864. A note in his archive file shows his being examined at the General Hospital No. 6 in Richmond on 10 Oct 1863. This date was about three months after the Battle of Gettysburg, PA. Records of the 48th Virginia indicate they were in this battle. There is no reason to suspect that John Calvin Rouse was not present also and may have seen some action. The retreating Confederate forces would have taken a good while to recover from wounds enough to reach the comparative safety of Richmond. He was on a unit muster roll 31 Mar 1864. Another note from the office of the Provost Marshal General of the Army of the Potomac referred to him as a "Rebel deserter" and states he was sent to Washington on 22 Apr 1864 where he took the oath of allegiance to the Union. He was then furnished transport to Philadelphia, PA. .LDC-1997, records obtained by F. Raymond Parker 1997.

Corporal, Co. B., 3rd North Carolina Volunteer Infantry, United States Army 1864-65

John Calvin’s troubles or disagreements with the Confederates were resolved quickly, because he was enrolled on the 3rd day of July 1864 in Company B, commanded by Capt. L. W. Mcintoss? (sp.) of the 3rd Regiment of North Carolina. While on patrol with his unit near Knoxville, he aggravated his spinal rheumatism which was to become the basis of a pension application in 1890. His application states that he was honorably discharged at Knoxville on the 8th day of August 1865. A brief regimental history is included later in this document. LDC-1998

On October 1, 1898 John Calvin answered an inquiry from the Department of Interior, Bureau of Pensions, in his own handwriting. In this inquiry he states he was married to Manerva Smith 8 Jan 1891 by J.M. Newland at Blountville, Tennessee in the County Court Clerks office. He then refers to his former wife Sephrony Ashley d. 1879 at Abingdon, Virginia. His list of living children at the time consisted of F.M. Rouse b. 1855, G.W. Rouse b. 1857, J.H. Rouse 1859, W. H. Rouse 1861, J.C. Rouse 1865/8, N. Rouse 1870 (this writer’s great grandmother Nancy Elizabeth), S.F. Rouse 1873 and C. B. Rouse.

John Calvin Rouse had been raised in the Holston River valley of Smyth and Washington counties in southwestern Virginia. In the spring of 1862 he was 32 years of age, making him considerably older than most of his comrades. According to John D. Chapla, the average age of the soldiers in the 48th was 27 years. John Calvin’s first wife, Margaret Fry Rouse, had passed away in 1858 leaving him with two sons, Francis and George, at ages six and four in 1862. Two more sons, James and William, aged 2 and 1 in 1862, had been born to his second wife Sephroney Ashley. John would not have left this young family willingly; there must have been little choice. The pressure of local sentiment toward the Confederate cause and his sense of duty to defend his native Virginia probably forced him to join the Confederate States Army. A considerable amount of sentiment existed in the mountain counties for preserving the Union ; a sentiment which would cause a lot of problems for the 48th as the War continued and would ultimately affect the decisions of John Calvin Rouse.

John was a miller by trade and had accumulated little wealth due to the demands of his wife and four sons with hearty appetites. [A fifth son, Charles was conceived on a winter leave in late 1862.] This lack of financial and social standing accounted for his lowly rank of private. This simple fact probably saved his life, since the 48th had only five officers and perhaps forty men still standing at the surrender at Appamatox Court House in 1865.

In terms of health and safety during the conflict, the 48th was a very poor choice of unit. In terms of respect and glory earned with their blood and sacrifice, the 48th was destined for immortality. Comprised of the descendants of the same mountain men who had walked to Kings Mountain in order to kill old Scotch Ferguson in the American Revolution, the 48th Virginia was a rowdy crew. These men lacked normal military discipline but had the far more valuable asset of being accustomed to life in the backwoods. Strong backs and even stronger wills were tested to the greatest limit in their quest for survival against the far better supplied Army of the Potomac with its endless supply of new recruits.

John C. enlisted (probably conscripted) on 25 Mar 1862 at Seven Mile Ford, Virginia just a few miles from his home. By 5 Apr 1862 he was a private in Company D of the Smyth Rifle Greys at Halls Bottom, Virginia under Lt. Robert H. Dungan and Captain James Greever. Col. Campbell took brigade command on April 1 and Thomas S. Garrett took command of the regiment with L. Samuel Hale Jr. Regimental adjutant.

According to Capla:, "at Swift Run Gap on April 21 the 48th, as did much of Jackson’s army, reorganized for the war. Elections brought Col. Campbell as commander, Garrett as Lt. Lt. Dungan replaced Greever. " The 48th Virginia was a part of the Army of Northern Virginia with General Robert Edward Lee at the head and General Stonewall Jackson in direct command of various combinations of brigades, apparently always including the 48th, until his death after the battle of Chancellorsville.

Much of the following is copied from John D. Capla’s 48th Virginia Infantry, published by H.E. Howard and Son, Lynchburg, Virginia 1989.

Jackson’s army left Swift Run Gap on April 30 and moved through periods of heavy rain on terrible roads to Mechum River Station on the Virginia Central Railroad on May 4. Here Lt. Col. Garnett, so crippled by rheumatism that he had ridden an ambulance for several days, ‘surrendered to the doctors’ on May 5. Major Campbell assumed command of the 48th that day, entraining with the unit to Staunton with the rest of Jackson’s army. " "Three days later Jackson’s army closed with Union forces near McDowell." This first major battle in which the 48th was involved produced only four casualties.

On the morning of June 8, 1862 the 48th found themselves camped at Port Republic, Virginia when they were called to march against the Federal troops of General James Shields who were threatening to destroy the bridge over the North River. When troops under General John C. Fremont also attacked from the northwest, the 48th "led Patton’s Brigade rapidly to the scene of the action near Cross Keys". There they managed to help "repulse the infantry" attack.

"At 8 am on August 9, the 48th now commanded by Capt. Hannum, led Garnett’s Brigade onto the Culpeper Court House Pike and across the Robertson River." Garnett’s men followed the Stonewall Brigade until about 2 p.m. when the 48th, with the rest of its brigade, was ordered to the front. "The first Union attacks began against the brigade right soon after Garnett got his men into position. The 21st and 48th ‘with coolness and determination’ delivered their fire, keeping a superior number of enemy at bay. The fight there, against Union troops that included the 5th Connecticut, 10th Maine, 28th New York and 46th Pennsylvania regiments, lasted about one hour."

"The next morning the brigade, now commanded by Maj. John Seddon of the 1st Virginia Battalion, returned to a camp near the battlefield and spent the day gathering the wounded and burying the dead. In the 48th, commanded now by Capt. James H. Horton, Co. C, the reported casualty total was 19 killed, 43 wounded and 4 missing."

The next action for the 48th came on August 30, 1862 at the battle of 2nd Manassas when the regiment was commanded by Col. B.T. Johnson under generals W.E. Stark, Jackson and Longstreet. This combined force defeated Union troops under the command of General Pope. The 48th reported 4 killed and twenty wounded. Several skirmishes occurred during the fall and winter of 1862-63. In addition to the minimal medical help available for wounds, lots of men fell sick with fever and many others without adequate food or clothing were simply away without leave. John Calvin Rouse apparently joined a great number of men who simply left camp and went home for a while in the worst of winter. His fifth son, Charles B., was conceived during this stay with his young family.

The regiment was brought up to strength by more recruiting and reorganization before Stonewall Jackson led his troops, including the 48th, into the battle of Chancellorsville. There is no proof that John C. was at this horrible battle, but the odds are that he was. At any rate, he survived. Jackson did not, so General J.E. B. Stuart assumed command. On May 3, 1863 the boys and men of the 48th were in the thick of the difficulty. Of the 345 men engaged in this battle, 19 were killed, 84 wounded and 9 were nowhere to be found.

There was little rest for the 48th. General Robert E. Lee, the supreme commander, kept pushing his army northward with the intent of invading Pennsylvania. "By June 29, Johnson’s Division was in camps three miles from Carlisle when it received orders to countermarch toward Gettysburg." "After a fatiguing march of 25 miles, the brigade reached Gettysburg late in the afternoon of July 1, moved along the Gettysburg and Hanover Railroad to a point northeast of town near the junction of the York Turnpike and Hanover Road, and turned south for a short distance. In a ravine in an open field, protected by Benner’s Hill from Union fire and observation, the brigade and division deployed about twilight. While the brigade sent out pickets and patrols, the 48th remained undisturbed for the rest of the night."

"About 4 p.m. July 2, Jones moved the brigade forward to support Latimer’s artillery battalion, which was firing from Benner’s Hill. The brigade halted about 300 yards to the left and rear of the artillery. About two hours later, as Latimer’s duel with Union artillery ended, the brigade moved forward near the crest of Benner’s Hill. Shortly afterward, it joined Johnson’s division in an assault on enemy positions on Culp’s Hill - ‘a rugged and rocky mountain, heavily timbered and difficult of ascent; a natural fortification, rendered more formidable by deep entrenchment’s and thick abatis.’

"Down the slope of Benner’s Hill Jones’ Brigade advanced in good order. The 48th, with about 210 officers and men, was flanked by the 25th Virginia on its left, and the 50th Virginia to its right . Lieutenant Colonel Dungan had returned to command the unit. Union artillery fire from the right harassed the brigade during the advance to Rock Creek. Halting there in the dark to dress its line, the brigade then surged ‘with great vigor and spirit’ across the creek and uphill toward the Union positions."

"The Brigade gained ground steadily under heavy musketry from the entrenched enemy. The 48th pushed to within 10 paces of the enemy line. No other unit in the brigade reported getting closer. That advance, in the face of savage fire, cost the regiment heavily." "Official reports indicate that the 48th lost 15 killed and 43 wounded. Dungan also reported that the regiment had a total of 76 killed, wounded and missing, with no cases of cowardice during the battle.

After the battle, the 48th joined the rest of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia on the retreat south. They crossed the Potomac on July 14 at Williamsport, camping that night near Martinsburg. Several sharp skirmishes occurred while they quickly marched south. On August 1, they camped at Montpelier, former home of President James Madison, a few miles southwest of Orange Court House. During this time desertions in the 48th were rampant. The men had had enough.

"On October 9, the 48th marched to Madison Court House at the start of Gen. Lee’s offensive to attack the Federals in the vicinity of Culpeper Court House. After arriving at Madison Court House, the 48th received a battle flag. In the days following, Jones Brigade played only a supporting role in the campaign that climaxed with a Confederate defeat at Bristoe Station on October 14." John Calvin Rouse surely missed this march, since he was reported at the Richmond hospital on October 10 and 11.

The 48th was engaged in battle once more on November 27, 1863 when the brigade had battle near Locust Grove, Virginia with a Union force under the direction of General Meade. No further action occurred as the Federals moved back across the Rapidan. "On December 21 the 48th rid itself of its .69 caliber muskets, turning in 270 of them. The next day the 48th moved with the brigade to Mount Pisgah Church. On December 24, the brigade went into winter quarters on Crenshaw’s Farm near Mount Pisgah Church. There, with the men of the 48th in comfortable quarters, 1863 came to an end."

The 48th remained in winter quarters until March 17, 1864. Dessertions continued to be a problem with several men being tried, but no executions noted. "The calm of winter quarters ended May 2 when Jones’ Brigade [the 48th included] with Johnson’s division, left winter quarters and marched 10 miles to Bartlett’s Mill. The Union army under General Ulysses S. Grant was about to launch the spring offensive and Lee was positioning his forces to resist.

John Calvin Rouse was listed on a company muster roll on March 31, 1864 while the regiment was still in winter quarters. He decided to change his allegiance on April 20, 1864 when he was picked up by the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac and was sent to Washington where he took the oath on April 22 before being transported to Philadelphia. Two months later, on July 3, 1864 he was enrolled in Company B of the 3rd Regiment of North Carolina.

The following was downloaded from the Internet and was taken from research by Cheryl Chasin , email address: with data taken from official records and John G. Barrett’s The Civil War in North Carolina.

"On February 13, 1864, Maj. General Scofield authorized Major George W. Kirk, Second North Carolina Mounted Infantry, to raise a regiment of troops in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, to be known as the Third Regiment of North Carolina Mounted Infantry. Although the regiment was organized as infantry, Maj. Kirk was authorized to mount the regiment upon private or captured horses. The first company was actually organized on June 11, 1864.

By April of 1864, Kirk, now the colonel of the Third, was operating in the Shelton Laurel area of Madison County, NC. On June 13, 1864 began the Third’s best known exploit, the raid on Morganton." [NOTE: John Calvin Rouse joined this regiment on July 3, so he would not have been involved in the raid on Morganton, but this information is included for historical interest. Morganton is the home of Broughton Hospital where John Calvin’s great granddaughter Hazel would spent many long days a century later.]

"On June 13, 1864, Col. Kirk with about 130 men left Morristown, TN for a raid on Camp Vance, near Morganton, NC. The soldiers traveled on foot through Bull’s Gap, Greenevile, and Crab Orchard, TN. They crossed into North Carolina and forded the Toe River about six miles south of the Cranberry Iron Works. They crossed the Linville River on the afternoon of June 25 and crossed Upper Creek at nightfall on June 27. They marched all night and reached Camp Vance at reveille on June 28. Camp Vance was a training camp for conscripts; the reluctant soldiers had not yet been issued rifles. The camp surrendered, and 40 of the conscripts promptly enlisted under Col. Kirk. All except the sick and the medical officers were carried off to Tennessee. The medical officers were paroled, but the sick (approximately 70 men) were set free because the Federal soldiers had no time to parole them. One Confederate report implies that the "sick" weren’t really ill, but were put on the sick list and admitted into the hospital in a successful effort by the medical officers to prevent their capture. According to one of the Confederate medical officers, "Col. Kirk claimed to be a regular U.S. Officer, carried a U.S. Flag, and his men were all in Federal uniforms." Another Confederate report of this incident says that most of Kirk’s men were armed with Spencer repeating rifles. Despite several small skirmishes on the way, Kirk and his men and prisoners returned safely to Tennessee."

Their arrival must have been noted by new "recruit" John Calvin Rouse newly arrived from Philadelphia. Records indicate that John Calvin joined the 3rd on 3 Jul 1864 in Company B under the command of Capt. L.W. McIntoss. "In late September of 1864, Col. Kirk and his command were left at Bull’s Gap to hold that position while the rest of Gen. Gillem’s force drove Confederate forces from Rheatown, Greenville, and Carter’s Station across the Watauga River. By late October, 1864, Confederate scouts were reporting that Kirk and his men had returned to Knoxville." This minimal activity must have been a great relief to John Calvin after having experienced the long campaign with the Army of Northern Virginian under the direction of Thomas Stonewall Jackson and Robert Edward Lee.

"On December 9, 1864, the Third left Knoxville on a scout into upper East Tennessee. On December 29th, they engaged a body of about 400 Confederate infantry and cavalry under the command of Col. James Keith at Red Banks of Chucky near the North Carolina line. (With Keith in command, no doubt a portion of this body was the 64th North Carolina.) Col. Kirk reported 73 Rebels killed and 32 captured, with his own casualties limited to three wounded. They returned to Knoxville on January 14, 1865."

"Sometime around the end of February, 1865, the Third left Knoxville, moved through Blowing Rock Gap, North Carolina and sacked the town of Waynesville, NC, burning the jail and one house." NOTE: This must be when and where John became ill by virtue of his rheumatic back being aggravated by sleeping in the snow. He described the condition in his pension application many years later.

"On March 24, 1865 Maj. Gen. George H. Stoneman left Morristown, TN for a raid through southwest Virginia and western North Carolina. The primary purpose of this operation was to disrupt the railroads in Virginia and North Carolina to obstruct Lee’s expected retreat from Virginia. As part of this operation, the 2nd and 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry under Col. Kirk were sent to Boone, NC to hold Deep and Watauga Gaps, thus keeping open the roads over the mountains to Tennessee to permit the return of Stoneman’s force when its mission was completed." Stoneman’s Raid was the closest the rugged mountain region around Ashe County, North Carolina would come to being close to a battle. Not even this remote county was spared from the war, because it’s sons fought bravely on both sides, many of them never returning from the battlefield. [This writer had five great great grandfathers serving in the war: Lt. Calvin M. Arnold with the 10th Tennessee Cavalry, Private James Patterson Cockerham with the 13th Tennessee Cavalry, Corporal Elihu Weaver with the 5th North Carolina CSA, Whitfield Monroe Parker with the 63rd Virginia CSA and of course, John Calvin Rouse, the subject of this article.]

"On May 13, 1865, Col. Kirk accepted the surrender of the 80th North Carolina under Major Stephan Whitaker at the Macon County Court House in Franklin, NC. This was the last formal surrender of Confederate forces east of the Mississippi River, and is commemorated by a mural in the courthouse at Franklin, NC." John Calvin Rouse suffered through the spring and summer in Tennessee and was honorably discharged from the Army of the United States at Knoxville on August 8, 1865. His long encounter with the Civil War was over.