William Rhodes Capehart was born in Bertie County, North Carolina. He was the son of George Washington Capehart (1810-1885) and his wife, Susan Bryan Martin (1815-1884). He attended the University of Virginia in sessions 31-32 (1854-1856), where he studied physiology and anatomy in preparation for becoming a doctor.
When the Civil War began in 1861, Dr. Capehart served in the Confederate Army as a private in Company H, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, North Carolina (Historical Data Systems); an assistant surgeon in the 60th Virginia Infantry Regiment (Starke); and as a surgeon in the 1st Georgia Regiment. (Capehart)
After the Civil War, Dr. Capehart ran the farm and steam-seine fishery at Avoca Plantation on Albemarle Sound, and became an authority on fish and fish-culture. The fishery at Avoca had been in business since at least 1823, which is the date of the earliest records of catches. (Siniard)
William R. Capehart married Clara Cotton Bond (1852-1942) on 1 Dec. 1879, and the couple had two children: William A. Capehart and Clara Capehart. The family lived at Avoca Plantation. W. R. Capehart is buried in Avoca Cemetery, on the plantation in Bertie County. (Koestler)
- Ancestry.com. 1850-1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc. (accessed 10/15/2011).
- “Bryan Record.” North Carolina historical and genealogical register, v. 1 (1900), p. 577-584. (accessed 10/15/2011).
- Capehart, Clara Bond. [Application for Confederate pension.] Library of Virginia; Richmond, Virginia; Confederate Pension Rolls, Veterans and Widows; Collection #: CP-3_175; Roll #: 175; Roll Description: City of Norfolk (surnames Bo – Jac). (accessed 10/15/2011).
- Historical Data Systems, comp.. American Civil War Soldiers [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999. (accessed 10/15/2011).
- Koestler, Sally Moore. “Sally’s Family Place – Neighbors.” [website] c2002. http://www.sallysfamilyplace.com/ (accessed 10/15/2011).
- Siniard, Diane. “Albemarle Fisheries.” c2011. http://duplin.lostsoulsgenealogy.com/pqs/ALBEMARLE.doc (accessed 10/15/2011).
- Starke, William E., “No. 331. Report of Col. William E. Starke, Sixtieth Virginia Infantry of the battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines’ Mill, and Frazier’s Farm, July 19, 1862.” War of the Rebellion. Ser. I, v. 11, pt. 2. Washington, D.C., 1884, p. 848-852. (accessed 10/15/2011).
- Tombstones of William R. Capehart in Avoca Family Cemetery, and of William A. Capehart, in Quaker Cemetery, Camden, SC. Findagrave.com (accessed 10/15/2011).