Andrew Dewees Armistead (29 Jul. 1835-9 Feb. 1897)

Andrew D. Armistead was born in Hampton, Virginia. He was the son of Thomas Smith Armistead  (1799-1889) and his first wife, Amanda Malvina Dewees (b. 1830). (Garber) Andrew attended the University of Virginia in sessions 31-33 (1854-1857).

In July 1861, Andrew Armistead organized a unit called The Mathews Light Artillery. “A total of 72 men enlisted in the unit on July 18 or 20, 1861. The balance of the year was spent in organization and training. Available records indicate that the Mathews Light Artillery began as Company H, 61st Virginia Militia, and continued under that designation until that unit was disbanded on May 14, 1862. Little detail is known of the organization and training of the Mathews Light Artillery. Its organization, however, was unusually stable. Its officers served together, without promotions or transfers, for the entire war.” (Hodges) Captain Armistead was at the surrender at Appomattox.

On 24 Dec. 1870, Andrew Armistead married a cousin, Dora Armistead (1851-1912), the daughter of John Armistead and Clarissa A. Barnum. The couple had the following children: Ellen “Nellie,” John Lucas, Josephine, Edwin A., Eva Garnett, Clara, and Mary Todd Armistead.

After the war, Armistead became a teacher. He was a member of Masonic Oriental Lodge No. 20 of Mathews County, Virginia, and the Lodge is named after him.

“Prof. A. D. Armistead, principal of Pungoteague Academy, died after a short illness, of pneumonia, at Pungoteague last Tuesday [9 Feb. 1897], aged about 60 years and was buried in the Episcopal cemetery [St. Georges Episcopal Church, Pungoteague, VA] near that town on Thursday. He was a man of fine literary attainments and in the period of eighteen months, during which he lived at Pungoteague, he proved himself a faithful and efficient teacher and endeared himself to everyone in that section by his genial and social qualities and great worth as a man and citizen.” (Peninsula enterprise, 13 Feb. 1897; Stith) Dora Armistead moved to North Carolina to live with her son John between 1900 and 1910, and is buried in Eastside Cemetery in Rockingham County, NC.


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