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Richard Lee Turbeville BEALE

farmer , general , lawyer , military

Richard Lee Turbeville BEALE, General, lawyer, military, farmer.


BEALE, Richard Lee Turbeville was born on May 22, 1819 in Hickory Hill, Westmoreland County, Virginia, United States, United States. Son of Robert and Martha Felicia (Turbeville) Beale.


Private school, northern university, law school.


After attending Northumberland and Rappahannock Academies and Dickinson College, he graduated from the University of Virginia Law School in 1838 and was admitted to the bar the following year. He was an Episcopalian and a Democrat. He was married and had at least one son who also fought in the Confederate Army.

Beale practiced law at Hague in Westmoreland County, Virginia, before the war and served a term in the U.S. House from 1847 to 1849 but declined to seek reelection. He was a delegate to the state reform convention in 1850 and to the constitutional convention the following year. From 1858 to 1860, he served in the state Senate.

He entered the Confederate Army as a first lieutenant in the 9th Virginia Cavalry, and during the war he served in all campaigns of the cavalry division of the Army of Northern Virginia. As a colonel, he commanded Camp Lee, captured Leeds Garrison, and served as a bridge builder. In December 1862, he was part of Stuart's expedition into Rappahannock County.

His unexplained resignation from military service in 1862 and 1863 was never accepted. Beale repelled Stoneman’s cavalry raid in April 1863, participated in the battles of Brandy Station, Gettysburg, and Culpeper Court House and in Stuart’s raid into Maryland in 1863. In March 1864, he intercepted Dahlgren, capturing Union plans for the burning of Richmond and the assassination of President Davis.

In the campaign from the Rapidan to the James, he distinguished himself at the battle of Stony Creek. In August 1864, he was promoted to brigadier general, but the appointment did not come through until February 1865. Beale took Dinwiddie Court House in March 1865.

After the surrender, he farmed and practiced law in Hague, Virginia. Restrictions kept him from public life until the end of Reconstruction in Virginia. From 1879 to 1881, he served as a Democrat in the U.S. House, after which he retired to his law practice.

He wrote the history of the 9th Virginia Cavalry prior to his death on April 21, 1893, in Hague.


"Peculiar institution" of slavery was not only expedient but also ordained by God and upheld in Holy Scripture.


Stands for preserving slavery, states' rights, and political liberty for whites. Every individual state is sovereign, even to the point of secession.


Robert Beale

Martha (Turberville) Beale