Civil War vet gets marker

Published 8:55 am Friday, July 15, 2011

Brothers James, left, and Marvin Raiford hold a Confederate banner while dedicating a gravestone in memory of their great-great-grandfather Albert Raiford, a Civil War veteran.


IVOR—After 125 years, Civil War veteran and Southampton County native Albert Raiford got a marker for his grave at Millfield Baptist Church near Ivor.

About 60 relatives and friends, and more than a dozen Sons of Confederate Veterans joined Raiford’s great-great-grandsons, James and Marvin Raiford, at a ceremony Saturday to dedicate the marker.

“It was a very touching ceremony,” said Marvin Raiford. “I’ve been working on this for more than two years, and everything went well, despite the error on the marker.”

The government marker was ordered more than two years ago before Marvin Raiford had finished researching his great-great-grandfather’s military history.

“I found out later that he was not a private, as the marker says, but a third corporal when the war was over, and it was just too late to change the marker,” he explained.

Albert Raiford was born July 1, 1828. He was a farmer on Seacock Chapel Road in the Berlin community when the Civil War began. He joined the Confederate Army, Company “B” Baltimore Artillery, on April 23, 1862.

His company was put in charge of protecting the mouth of the Elizabeth River.

During his time in the service, Albert Raiford fought in the battles of Gettysburg and Fredericksburg. His company traveled and fought from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., Richmond, Petersburg and North Carolina.

On one trip to North Carolina, his company passed through the Ivor Station, where they were provided with much-needed supplies.

His company was present at Chester Station, Drewery’s Bluff and Bermuda Hundred. At the end of March 1865, his company left Richmond for Five Forks and was told to “hold at all costs.”

This battle was the end of Company B as a fighting unit, as so many were captured, wounded or killed. Those who were left went on to Appomattox.

Raiford was wounded and hospitalized twice. The latter time he was captured at Hatcher’s Run and was hospitalized at Lincoln USA Hospital in Washington.

At the end of the war, Raiford returned to his farm. He died on Aug. 3, 1895, at age 67 and was buried next to three Civil War soldiers.

The unveiling ceremony included a presentation of Raiford’s military history by Robert Joyner of the General Mahone Camp, a presentation of colors, a rifle salute followed by “Taps,” and retiring of the colors.

“This will remind us to continue to honor the memory of our great-great-grandfather,” Marvin Raiford said at the end of the ceremony.