Copyright notice

This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Printer-friendly page

Weston, James Augustus

by Frank P. Cauble, 1996

6 May 1838–13 Dec. 1905

James Augustus Weston, Confederate officer, clergyman, and author, was born in Hyde County, the son of Samuel and Dinah Bartee Watson Weston. He was a descendant of Colonel John Easton, a Revolutionary leader, and Colonel William Watson, a militia officer in the War of 1812. Weston attended the common schools of Hyde County, Jonesville Academy in Yadkin County, Trinity College in Durham, Trinity College in Connecticut, and the University of the City of New York.

He read law under John E. Young, Leesburg, Va., and John S. Hawks, Washington, N.C., but abandoned his studies to enlist in the Confederate army in the spring of 1861. Appointed first lieutenant on 19 Sept. 1861 in Company F, Thirty-third Regiment, he was captured at New Bern on 14 Mar. 1862 and confined at Fort Columbus in New York Harbor. Transferred to Johnson's Island, Ohio, in June 1862, he was promoted to captain (5 Aug. 1862) while still a prisoner. He was declared exchanged at Aiken's Landing, James River, Va., on 10 November and returned to duty on New Year's Day 1863.

Wounded in the leg at Jericho Mills, Va., on 23 May 1864, he was promoted to major in July while absent wounded. With the promotion he was transferred to the regimental Field and Staff command, to which he reported for duty early in 1865. Having fought at Antietam and Gettysburg, he was present at General Lee's surrender in 1865. The colonel of his regiment refused to surrender and instead simply mounted his horse and rode away, leaving Major Weston to conduct the formalities. The two men never saw each other again. Weston was the author of the regimental history published in Walter Clark's history of North Carolina troops.

During the war Weston made a vow to enter the ministry, and after studying at the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va., he was ordained deacon in 1870 and priest in 1876. He served churches in Hertford, Raleigh, Hickory, and Lenoir, conducted services at numerous missions, was a prominent church leader in western North Carolina, and took an active interest in the Episcopal School at Valle Crucis. He published Historic Doubts as to the Execution of Marshal Ney (1895), a book that he started in 1882, and was an honorary member of the North Carolina Historical Society.

Weston never married. He suffered a fatal stroke while attending a church convocation in Shelby and was buried at Hickory.


Samuel A. Ashe, ed., Biographical History of North Carolina, vol. 7 (1908).

Walter Clark, ed., Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, vol. 3 (1901).

Weymouth T. Jordan, comp., North Carolina Troops, 1861–1865: A Roster, vol. 9 (1983).

James B. Sill, Historical Sketches of Churches in the Diocese of Western North Carolina (Episcopal Church) (1955).

J. Weston and William L. Clinard, A Brief History of the Church of the Ascension (Episcopal) (1950).

James A. Weston Papers (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Additional Resources:

Weston, James A. (James Augustus) 1838-. Historic doubts as to the execution of Marshal Ney. New York : T. Whittaker. 1895. (accessed May 21, 2013).

"Weston, James A. (James Augustus) 1838-" in WorldCat:

James A. Weston Papers, 1889-1894 (collection no. 00764-z). The Southern Historical Collection. Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.,James_A.html (accessed May 21, 2013).

Weston, James A. (James Augustus). Historic doubts as to the execution of Marshal Ney .. New York, T. Whittaker. 1895. (accessed May 21, 2013).

Origin - location: