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
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
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