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 daughter of Robert and Clara B. Weir, through her mother connected with the Wallers of Virginia. The only child of this union surviving is Eppa Hunton, Jr., a distinguished lawyer of the Warrenton bar, who married Erva Winston, daughter of the gallant Gen. William H. Payne. In 1849 General Hunton was elected commonwealth's attorney for Prince William county, and was continued in this office by popular vote until he relinquished it for other duties in 1861. In the campaign of 1860 he was an elector on the Breckinridge ticket, and missed success by the mispelling of his name on a few ballots. In the famous Virginia convention of 1861 he took the peculiar position of favoring secession for the sake of the Union, arguing that if all the Southern States promptly withdrew, war would be avoided, and reconstruction on favorable and lasting terms would soon follow. After the passage of the ordinance he was placed upon the military committee, to recommend measures of defense; but feeling that his proper place was in the field, he resigned his commission in the State militia, and as a result of an application drawn up by his friend, Hon. Ballard Preston, and signed by every member of the convention, he was appointed colonel of the Eighth Virginia regiment, which he was ordered to organize and equip. This was rapidly accomplished at Leesburg, where he collected a body of as brave men (as he himself declared) as ever fought for liberty. They won imperishable renown upon every famous field of the army of Northern Virginia. Arriving at Manassas three days before the great battle of 1861, he was able on account of his familiarity with the country, to grasp the importance of the blind road from Centreville to Sudley, and he placed there a picket of five mounted men, from whom he received and transmitted to Beauregard the first intelligence of McDowell's flank movement. In the fight his regiment won special mention for gallantry. Subsequently General Hunton was severely afflicted physically, and underwent several surgical operations. In this condition he was hauled to the battlefield of Ball's Bluff in a spring wagon, and commanded his regiment, selecting a position which he maintained for many hours against five regiments of the enemy, repulsing their assault. Finally charging, with another regiment, he drove the Federals over the bluff and captured their guns
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