Judge David Lynn
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Sprigg Singleton Lynn I


Sprigg Lynn, son of John Galloway Lynn and Rebecca Beall Singleton Lynn, was born December 11, 1844 in Cumberland, Maryland.  He was baptized July 6, 1845 by the Rev. Samuel Buel, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Cumberland, Maryland.  He died in 1898 in Cuba.  An article in the Baltimore Sun (4/8/1898) states that, "A message has been received in Romney, W. Va stating that Sprigg Lynn had been killed in Cuba.  Mr. Lynn was a member of McNeill's Rangers during the late war and some time ago he went to Cuba to fight the Spaniards." (Researched by Sprigg S. Lynn II)

Sprigg grew up at the Rose Hill mansion which was built by his grandfather, Capt. David Lynn II in 1801. His great grandfather was Judge David Lynn. Sprigg married Matilda Berger who was born in Virginia.

Children of Sprigg and Matilda Berger Lynn:

1. Marcellus Alexander Lynn, born 1871 (Marcellus never married.  He was named after his father's fellow McNeill Ranger friend M.S. Alexander.

2. Jacob Berger Lynn, born Octover 1872 (Known as Berger)

3. William Galloway S. Lynn, born November 14, 1874. (Known as Will; Married Etta Rice; Children of William and Etta:: Charles E. Lynn, b. 1906, m. Mildred G. Lynn: Children of Charles and Mildred: Charles E. Lynn, Jr., b. 1928, Joel Berger Lynn and Robert B. Lynn.

4. Francina Eugenia Lynn, born April 13, 1877 (Known as Fannie.  Most likely named after her father's brother-in-law, William Eugene Webster, Confederate Officer killed in the Civil War)>

5. Anita Lynn, Baptized November 22, 1882.

6. Charles E. Lynn, born circa 1880 (I assume his middle name was Eugene named after the above mentioned William Eugene Webster).

    In the United States Federal Census there is a 6th child, nine months old listed as Charles Lynn.  I have added his name to the list of Sprigg and Matilda's children.  He is mentioned again in the 1920 Census as Charles E. Lynn living with his mother Matilda, 70 yrs old and his brother Marcellus, 49 yrs old in Wheeling, W.VA.  Both boys were listed as single.  Matilda's parents are listed as both being born in Switzerland.

     The last census Sprigg is listed in was in 1880, living in Cumberland, MD.  He was head of household and his occupation was listed as "Speculation Iron Ore"  He was 35 and five children were listed (exception: Anita was not yet born)  There was also a Kate Daolhopf  listed, 16 yrs old.

     Sprigg's wife, Matilda is listed as a widow in the Wheeling, West Virginia Directories of 1888-1893 and was renting a home there.  Sprigg  was mentioned in the obituary of his mother as her son in Olla, Louisiana. His mother, Rebecca Beall Singleton Lynn,died in 1893.

     In the census of 1900, Matilda is listed as Head of the house, 51 yrs old and her 6 children are living with her in Madison, W.VA  Marcellus 29, Berger 26, Will 24, Fannie 22, Charlie 19, and Anita 17.

     In the 1910 census, Anita is listed as 27 yrs old, single and living with her mother and brothers, Marcellus and Charles in Wheeling.  

          According to the census of 1930, Marcellus was 60 yrs. old, single, and a boarder in the home of William and Margaret Boughner in Wheeling.    

Information researched by Vicki Lynn-Turney on Ancestry.com June 14, 2008

     During the Civil War, Sprigg joined the Virginia 18th Cavalry at the age of 18.  He was captured in Hampshire Co., Virginia, July 30, 1863.  His Prisoner of War record lists his height as 5 ft. 8 3/4 in., Complexion: dark, Eyes: hazel, and Hair: dark, Occupation: student.  He was arrested by the 3rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia and sent to prison at Wheeling, Virginia (also known as Atheneum Prison).  On August 3, 1863 he was transferred to Camp Chase, Ohio.  He was then transferred to Fort Delaware, Del. on February 29th 1864 and escaped.  Information researched at Footnote.com by Vicki Lynn-Turney.

      He served with Jesse McNeill's Virginia Cavalry Battalion also known as Maryland Cavalry or Partisan Rangers.  He served as an irregular in the Cumberland, Maryland area participating in the kidnapping of Generals Crook and Kelly from their hotel rooms in Cumberland.  Private Sprigg Lynn was captured and escaped five times until his unit was disbanded.   (Information provided by South T. Lynn (Great Nephew).

     "Some two weeks before this raid, Sprigg Lynn and Haller went into Cumberland in disguise and remained there three days and nights stopping at the home of Lynn's mother.  Bruce saw his father and walked around "Rose Hill" and other important points.  Their object was to wreck a train on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad conveying troops from the West to Gen. Grant's army in front of Petersburg, Virginia.  They failed in their undertaking and returned safely to Moorefield, Virginia."

(Taken from FOUR YEARS IN THE STONEWALL BRIGADE" by Overton Casler & Jedediah Hotchkiss, 1906, page 340. Contributed by Vicki Lynn-Turney)

"I was held as a hostage in the dungeons of Libby Prison for Private Sprigg S. Lynn of McNeill's company, who was under death sentence at Fort Delaware for being a spy.  He and Major Nelson escaped by making a raft out of hard tack and bacon boxes and got back to the Confederate lines.  It was a funny thing that after the war, Sprigg and I studied law together in the office of Judge George A. Pearree of Cumberland, MD.  We had always been good friends."    An account of the war in the Cumberland Times, June 15, 1925 written in 1863 by Rev. J.W. Duffey, a member of McNeill's Rangers.

Reference Slip for Sprigg S. Lynn downloaded from FootNote.com


Cumberland was entered with only one shot fired so far. A dog trot was quickly slowed to a careless gait and Green Street was approached. Going down a slow-sloping hill, the courthouse was passed and then over the chain bridge across Will's Creek to the principal thoroughfare of the city, Baltimore Street. On this street stood both the Barnum and Revere Houses.

In the slow gait up Baltimore Street, the Rangers whistled Yankee tunes and exchanged greetings with isolated patrols, or, with people going to work in the pre-dawn hours. A few of the men were disguised in blue overcoats taken from the pickets, but the dawn was still not strong enough to give notice to the shades of blue and gray.

The Revere and Barnum Houses were within 100 yards of each other so that Captain McNeill stopped the troop with the head of it in front of the Revere House and the rear in front of the Barnum House.

A lone sentry leisurely paced his post in front of each hotel and paid no apparent concern to the halting troop, doubtless thinking another scouting party was coming in to report. Sprigg Lynn, a native of Cumberland, and member of Kuykendall's squad was the first to dismount. He quickly captured and disarmed the sentinel in front of the Barnum House After learning from the sentry that General Kelley was on the second floor of the building, Lynn, Kuykendall, John H. Cunningham, and John Daily proceeded to General Kelley's apartment. Without delay they entered that room which was assumed to be the General's. It proved to be that of the adjutant general, Major Melvin. He was asked where General kelley was and responded nervously that he was in the adjoining room and that the door at his side was the one to enter.

General Kelley, a sound sleeper, had to be awakened and his surprise was complete. He was told he was a prisoner and requested to make his toilet as speedily as possible. While performing his forced task, General Kelley inquired as to whom he was surrendering. Kuykendall replied, "To Captain McNeill, by order of General Rosser."130 After this, General Kelley cooperated to the fullest extent and had little to say. In a few minutes he mounted on horses with a Ranger on the rear of each horse.

What a fantastic exploit had taken place. The men all sensed it and smiled from time to time. Though on Virginia soil again, the McNeill Rangers were far from safe. The intervening territory was disputed by both sides, and the heart of the horses was now to determine if the kidnapping could be carried to a successful conclusion. The destination was Moorefield, but no guarantee could be had that that town was in Confederate hands. To the west, at New Creek, was a very strong force of cavalry with good roads to travel. This was but forty miles from Moorefield, while the Rangers were almost sixty miles away. As stated above, General Sheridan was at Winchester, sixty miles from Moorefield with a direct road connecting. He possessed enough cavalry to block all roads and scour the countryside. Captain McNeill's hope was that the telegraph lines between these three Federal outposts were still out of commission.

In summary of this remarkable feat and to support the claim that the capture of these two Generals was one of the most amazing exploits of the Civil War, a quotation from General Crook himself may be noted. After capture and in Harrisonburg, Virginia, he remarked, "Gentlemen, this is the most brilliant exploit of the war!"160

Another quotation from a famous guerrilla in the personage of Colonel John S. Mosby, speaking to Lieutenant Welton accompanying Crook and Kelley to Richmond, is also worthy of note. "This surpasses anything I have ever done; to get even with you boys, I have got to go into Washington and carry Abe Lincoln out."161

Governor O'Ferrall of Virginia in his book, The Civil War, gives his reflections on the raid. "It was as bold and successful achievement as any during the war, and deserves a place in every book which treats of that stormy period."162

General John B. Gordon, in his Reminiscences of the Civil War, calls the capture of Crook and Kelley, "one of the most thrilling incidents of the entire war."163

In the History of the Laurel Brigade, by Captain William N. McDonald, it is stated: "The capture of two distinguished Federal Generals Crook and Kelley . . . was an event that excited the North with astonishment at the audacity, and the South with admiration for its boldness and exultation over its success."164


After the Civil War, Sprigg studied law and is listed in the Officers and Alumni of Washington and Lee University. (left) on page 132, number 2024.