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John S. Apperson, M.D.

John S. Apperson, M.D., of Marion, Va., was born August 21, 1837, in Orange County, Va., and passed the first six years of his life upon the field where the bloody battle of Chancellorsville was fought a quarter of a century later. In 1859 he removed to Smyth county, and was engaged in the study of medicine when the crisis arrived between the North and South. Upon that day that Fort Sumter surrendered he enlisted as a private in the Smyth Blues a volunteer organization which soon afterward was called to Richmond and thence sent to Harper’s Ferry, where it became Company D, of the Fourth Virginia Infantry, brigade of Gen. T. J. Jackson the “Stonewall brigade.” Soon after reaching this rendezvous Private Apperson on account of his professional acquirements, was detailed as hospital steward under Surgeon Harvey Black, with whom he served until just before the battle of Fredericksburg, when he was attached to the field infirmary of the Second corps, army of Northern Virginia, the first organized traveling infirmary of the civil war. It was a thoroughly equipped field hospital, acting intermediary to the field and general hospitals. In the course of his valued and faithful service Dr. Apperson was present at every engagement of the armies of Lee ana Jackson, except the fight at Seven Pines. He was with Jackson at Kernstown, Bull Pasture Mountain and McDowell, Front Royal, Winchester, Cross Keys and Port Republic, then all the battles of Jackson’s corps through i862, from the Chickahominy to Fredericksburg. He passed the winter at Guiney’s Station, and in the following year served upon the battlefields of Chancellorsville, Winchester, Gettysburg and Payne’s Farm, and during the return from Pennsylvania was actively engaged in a skirmish at Williamsport, in command of a small body of Confederates, driving off a party of the enemy. After wintering at Orange Court House he was present in all the battles from the Wilderness to Richmond, then in the Lynchburg campaign, the pursuit of the Yankees down the valley, the expedition through Maryland, including the battle of Monocacy, and the skirmishes before Washington, closing this busy year with the campaign of Early against Sheridan. After wintering at Fishersville, and witnessing the disastrous fight at Waynesboro, he rejoined Lee at Richmond March 25, 1865, and soon afterward participated in the movement toward Lynchburg which closed at Appomattox. He came home with a mule, the only pay received for his services, which he disposed of to obtain drugs, and he then began the practice of medicine. In i867 he was graduated at the university of Virginia, and established himself for professional work at Chilhowie, where he remained until 1887. At this time he became a member of the building committee of the Southwestern asylum for the insane, and upon the completion of the institution served two years as assistant physician. Then after two years’ practice at Glade Springs he made his home at Marion, where he has since continued in practice, with the exception of one year spent at Chicago. In 1868 Dr. Apperson was married to Ellen V. Hull, who died in 1887, and two years later he was married to Miss Lizzie Black.

Source: Confederate Military History, Vol. III, pp. 704-705.