Evergreen Manor House History


Evergreen - Library of Congress 1937

The Berkeley Family

Lewis Berkeley (1777-1853) - Lewis inherited land from father Edmund Berkeley IV (1730-1802) and her mother Mary Burwell of Middlesex County. He divided his land into several small tracts and one 1,064-acre plantation. The Evergreen Manor House was built in 1827. Lewis had 10 children. By family tradition their first son was named Edmund.

Colonel Edmund Berkeley (1824-1915)

Edmund Berkeley was born on February 29, 1824. When six months old he was taken up in the arms of Marquis de Lafayette, who was then on his last visit to America. Later he was a playmate in the White House of Mary Donelson, a relative of President Andrew Jackson.

Edmund Berkeley attended William and Mary and inherited the Evergreen plantation. He was guilty of marrying outside of the Tidewater aristocracy and married Mary Lawson Williams of Tennessee. Her father was a wealthy landowner and at her marriage gave her her choice of slaves or real estate and she choose the former. The slaves made the trip here with the bride and groom, the women and children in wagons, the men walking. The Berkeley's raised 13 children at Evergreen.

Before the start of the Civil War Edmund received his commission as captain of militia from Gov. John Letcher. He formed Company C of the 8th Virginia Volunteer Infantry. Company C was called "The Evergreen Guards."

Three of Edmund's brothers also were officers of the 8th:

  • William N. Berkeley (1826-1907) Major, Formed Company D and was called "Champe Rifles." Wounded and captured at Gettysburg; captured at Sayler's Creek.
  • Norborne Berkeley (1828-1911) Colonel, V.M.I Class of 1848. Major of the regiment at the start of the war and responsible for much of the early training. Wounded and captured at Gettysburg.
  • Charles F. Berkeley (1833-1871) Captain, Company D. Captured at Gettysburg; captured at Sayler's Creek.

    Possibly no Confederate unit was so influenced by one family as was influenced by the Berkeley brothers. Historians refer to the 8th Virginia Infantry as the "Berkeley Regiment." The 8th Virginia Infantry fought in all the principal battles in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The regiment was almost annihilated at Gettysburg where after the famous charge of Pickett's men there were only 10 men left of the 200 who made the charge. Edmund was wounded but was not captured.

    Edmund's son, Edmund Jr., was one of the wounded Virginia Military Institute cadets at New Market, VA when fifty-three out of two hundred and twenty five of the boys were killed and wounded.

    Prince William County furnished four infantry companies and two cavalry companies. From the Manassas Journal June 17, 1904:

    It is highly probable that a Prince William farm is entitled to the record of furnishing a larger number of men than any farm in the Confederacy, the Evergreen farm of Capt. Edmund Berkeley having furnished twelve as follows: Capt. Edmund Berkeley, his son, Edmund who was wounded in the battle of New Market, George Mayhugh, Nimrod Mayhugh, Thos. Sidmonds, Greenberry Belt, George A. Belt, James Belt, William Fair, John Osborne, Uriah Fletcher and Andrew Fletcher. The last two were Pennsylvanians who were working for Capt. Berkeley at the time he raised his Company and were among the first to volunteer. Urish was elected 2nd Sergeant and was killed at Seven Pines while his brother Andrew was wounded and got back to Prince William and died.

    The chief industry some years before the war was a spoke mill and it was the first mill in Prince William County run by steam. They shipped spokes to New York and New Orleans extensively, and at the time that it burned, shortly before the war, there were several thousand spokes ready for shipment. It was operated by white labor, with twelve houses for these families located close by the mill, giving the appearance of a small village. As the workers were all nearly from the North, and had no ties to the area, they went back after the mill was destroyed, as the times were too uncertain to rebuild them. In 1862, when the town of Haymarket was destroyed by fire by Union troops, Edmund's wife, Mary Lawson Berkeley, offered these houses to the homeless townsfolk, and they were soon filled with refugees. Confederate uniforms were sewn at Evergreen.

    After the war Col Edmund Berkeley returned to farming and took a great interest in the promotion of peace.

    In 1911, fifty years to the date of the First Battle of Manassas, he delivered an opening poem at the Manassas National Jubilee of Peace where Confederate and Union veterans formed lines on the site of the battle and came together shaking hands. Later that day President Taft addressed the crowds.

    At this time Edmund was the ranking Confederate of Prince William County and was frequently called upon as a representative of the "Lost Cause" for dedications and ceremonies. In 1906 the New York Monuments were dedicated on land located in what is the Manassas Battlefield National Park. During this time Edmund Berkeley was Vice-President of "The Bull Run Battle Park Association." According to May 19th 1911 Manassas Journal: This organization, after consultation with the committee of the Grand Army of the Republic and with Confederate Veterans, gave their approval to the bill now pending before Congress, known as House Bill 1330. This Bill appropriates $50,000.00 to be used in the discretion of the Secretary of War who is directed to purchase so much of the land surrounding said monuments as shall in his judgment be sufficient for the protection of the same and to enable the citizens of the United States to visit the same…

    Colonel Berkeley was the "gentleman bountiful" of the neighborhood, greatly loved by the children because of the merry jokes at his command and his pockets full of candy. Col Edmund Berkeley passed away at his home Evergreen at the age of 91.

    The Delashmutt Family replaced the metal roof, added dormers to the third floor and added stone additions to each side in the 1940's.

    Evergreen Today

    Manassas investors purchased the farm in 1968. They built a golf club and homes on the land. Plans to use the building as clubhouse or turn the house into a bed and breakfast never materialized. The Evergreen Manor House is currently vacant.


    Evergreen Manor House - circa 2003

  • HOME | ABOUT THIS SITE | PRESERVATION GOALS | DONATIONS | MANOR HOUSE HISTORY | HISTORIC IMAGES | CONTACT US | NOTICE/DISCLAIMER

    © 2005 Evergreen Manor House Preservation Committee

    Evergreen Manor House Preservation Committee
    Box 962, Haymarket, Virginia 20168