Mingay History Web Pages (MHWP)





E-mail Jo at



Jo's Oririginal Site Please be aware that this has been rescued and has been updated. Some links no longer work. Please let me know which ones which ones need updating. However this together with Jack's original work was the inspiration for this site. You will notice there is a fair bit of work by Tony who had started sending his newsletters for publishing on Jo's Site.

Jo's New site Under Construction

 Harrison, Cummings, Minge & Shands  Jo's Photos Family Trees & GED Files

Click on thumbnails for full size pictures

On Tuesday 26th March, Gwynneth & I had the pleasure to meet Lee & Jo Mingia Burch at The Epcot Centre, Disneyworld, Florida. Lee's own ancestry is quite something, being a descendant of Pocahontas no less. 

Jo is convinced that there is a link back to a James Mingay from Wales and is eager to find the link from the UK The Epcot Famous SphereMingays to her line.  If any of you out there can help we would be more than grateful. I have included on this page some information that Jo gave me to help find the link. We had a fabulous time with Lunch in 'Italy' and ice creams to follow.  Jo has problems with her back which meant she had to use the little electric buggy in the picture, as Epcot is so huge. By the end of the day we all wished we'd hired one, although a number of visitors lost a couple of toes as Jo lost control when reversing! It was quite an emotional day, which is not surprising when you consider we haven't seen each other since about 1720.

Meeting with Sandy & Gary Sandy is Jo's niece. We met recently in Dover.


 I asked Jo a few questions at our meeting Interview


10th Annual Memorial Day Service


Monday, May 26, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Historic Blandford Cemetery on Memorial Hill


Special Dedication to:  Capt. Heslop Mingea

41st VA, Killed at the Battle of the Crater




Special Guest Speaker:

Col. Horace Mann Ill

U.S. Army Retired



Music by:

Noted Southern Singer, Song Writer and Actor

Stan Clardy



Re-enactors- Color Guards- Laying of Wreaths - Period Music

Period Attire Encouraged

Bring Your Own Folding Chairs


Special Invitation to All Veterans


Sponsored by:

Dearing-Beauregard Camp #I813 - Sons of Confederate Veterans

United Daughters of the Confederacy #155



Capt. Heslop Mingea

 Capt. Heslop Mingia Tree

Capt. Mingea’s father. Oliver Williamson Mingea married his mother Martha Ann Egerton in Warren County, N.C. on May 23, 1834. Their first child would be a girl named Calledonia who was born on October,31,1836. On October 8, 1841, Heslop would be the second child born to the Mingea family. Three more children were added to the family while they lived in N.C. with a son born in 1843 named Orlando and two daughters named Sarah who was born in 1847 and Martha who was born in 18

Sometime prior to 1850, Heslpo’s father moved the family to Petersburg,Va. He may have moved to this area to find work as his brother Peter was already living in this area and may have told Williamson about the thriving economy in Petersburg. In Va. two more children would be added to the family with daughter Ellen born in 1852 and a son Wilton born in 1855.

 On Jan. 11,1858, Heslop’s father Williamson died and was buried in Blandford Cemetery. While this was a blow to the whole family, this must have been extremely hard on 18 year old Heslop. As was the custom of the time, Heslop, being the oldest male would be counted on to assume the head of the household and a lot of responsibility was suddenly placed on the shoulders of young Heslop.

 The year 1860 would find the Mingea family living in what was described as a middle class house on the southeast corner of Main and Little Church Streets across from the Blandford Church. Main Street is currently known as Crater Road and Little Church Street is now known as Mingea St. Heslop was employed at the Petersburg Mercantile firm of Venable and Morton located on Sycamore St. where he was a clerk..

 As with most residents of Petersburg, young Heslop would have surely been following the growing tensions between the Southern States and the Northern States over states rights and tariffs. He would have probably followed the events unfolding at Ft. Sumter S.C. in the pages of the Petersburg Express newspaper. Virginia hoped that it could stay out of the hostilities between the Federal government and the states to the deep south. But it was not long after the first shots of the war fired at Ft. Sumter that President Abraham Lincoln’s call for volunteers to invade the south went out that it was realized that war could not be avoided. On April17, 1861, a special convention in Richmond voted to lave the union and join the Confederacy.

 Companies of volunteer militia began recruiting all through the state for its defense. In early May, James Gilliam of Prince George began recruiting a company in the Petersburg area which would be called McRae’s Rifles. Due to prior heavy recruiting in the Petersburg area, Gilliam would have to branch out into the neighboring counties of Prince George, Dinwiddie and Chesterfield to fill his company to the regulation 100 men. On May 9, 1861 in Petersburg, 21 year old Heslop Mingea would enlist for 1 year in McRae’s Rifles as a private.

 In late May, Federal Forces seized the Portsmouth shipyard and all companies including McRae’s Rifles were rushed ton that area. In early June, Heslop would be made Sgt. of the company. On July 1, 1861, General Benjamin Huger signed an order assigning 6 companies to the newly created 41st Va. Infantry. McRae’s Rifles would become company C. Four companies would be added to the 41st later giving it a total strength of over 1000 men.

 An October 15, 1861, order form Gen. Huger would assign the 41st to Gen. William Mahone’s Brigade along with the 6th, 12th, 16th and 49th Va. regiments. In march of 1862, Mingea re-enlisted for the duration of the war and received a $50.00 bounty. Company C would be on detached duty until May of 1862 manning the Heavy guns on Craney Island and would not join the 41st Va. for the first time until it arrived in Petersburg after the evacuation of Norfolk. On May 1, 1862, just prior to the evacuation of Norfolk, Mingea would be promoted to 2nd Lt and 1 month later to 1st Lt.

 By the time the siege of Petersburg started in June of 1864 the 41st had been engaged in the battles at Drewery’sBluff, Seven Pines, Malvern Hill, 2nd Manassas, South Mountain, Sharpsburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna River. It was at the Battle of 2nd Manassas that Mingea would be seriously wounded in the head. This wound would require him to be hospitalized from August of  1862 until January of 1863. On November 7, 1863, while in winter camp Mingea would receive a promotion to Captain.

 With Grant unable to penetrate the siege lines around Petersburg by frontal assault, a plan was hatched to dig a mine under the Confederate fortifications at Elliott’s Salient, fill it with gunpowder and blow a large enough hole in the Confederate line to allow a breakthrough and the capture of Petersburg. At 4:45 a.m. on July the 30th, 1864, The mine was exploded, and what would forever be known as the Battle of the Crater would commence.

 Federal Forces would immediately seize the destroyed portion of the Conf. Line. With no available troop nearby in the thinly manned Conf. trenches, Lee called on Mahone,s men to recapture the breached line. Leaving their trenches on the Wilcox Farm and marching along the ridge where Southside Regional Medical Center now sits and through the ravines along present day Interstate 85 to avoid detection by the Federals, Mahone’s men arrived at the ravine across from the Crater and formed a line of Battle.

 It is not hard to imagine the thoughts that must have been running through Captain Mingea’s mind. Just prior to forming their line in the ravine, Capt. Mingea would have been able to look just to the North and see the house that had been his home. Think about that for a second. This was not halfway around the world in Iraq. This was literally defending your own home.  During the march to the battlefield, one soldier of the 41st had been mortally wounded from a stray shell and had cried out “oh my poor mother”. I imagine Capt. Mingea was thinking of his mother and family at this time. The family had evacuated upon the arrival of the armies and at the time of the battle the house was being used as the headquarters of Conf. General Bushrod Johnson.

 The objective of the Federals after the initial success of the attack was the rise of ground where you now sit that they called the cemetery hill. As Gen. Mahone arrived at the battlefield, he reported to Gen. Johnson’s headquarters at the Mingea house to get briefed on the situation. Once his troops were in position, Mahone noticed the Federals in the Crater forming for an assault, and ordered the Va. brigade to charge at once. It was 8:30 in the morning. As if one, the entire brigade numbering only 800 men by this point rose and charged the 3000 Federals holding the Crater, giving the famous rebel yell as they went. Witnesses described it as the grandest charge of the whole war. The attack against the superior foe was a great success and after some very brutal hand to hand fighting, a large part of the line was retaken. Later assaults by two other brigades took back the rest of the line and the battle was over. The battle of the Crater was the supreme moment in the history of Mahone’s Va. Brigade.

 It was a victory that was not without cost. The Virginia Brigade would suffer 94 killed and 159 wounded. The 6th Va. alone would lose 80% of its men. Among the killed would be Lt. Winfield Gee of Petersburg and the 41st Va. and who is buried here in Blandford.. Among the wounded would be Gen. David Wieseger and my Great Great Grandfather, Pvt. Andrew Belcher of Co. C of the 41st, who are both buried here in Blandford. Another member of Co. C who would lose his life that day would be Capt. Heslop Mingea.

 Capt. Mingea’s body would be taken to the family plot in Blandford where he was buried next to his father Williamson. I think it is safe to say that there were probably a few of his comrades present at his burial. His name would be listed in the August 1 edition of the Petersburg Express newspaper with other Petersburg citizens killed at the Crater.

 It is not known however, when his mother and siblings were notified. Some evidence suggests that she may have been staying with family in N.C. to avoid the war. From Warren County N.C., she applied in Dec. of 1864 for his back pay from the Confederate Government and received the sum of $500.00.

 Mrs. Mingea would return to Petersburg and sell the house that must have been damaged during the war to a Mr. Cummings and moved to another house off Main St. between Cameron Ave. and Mingea St. The original Mingea house was demolished around 1890. She died on March 9th, 1878 and is buried in the family plot with her husband and son.

 Capt. Mingea’s younger brother Orlando would also serve in the Conf. Army. He was a Sgt. in Co. E of the 13th Va. Cavalry when he was captured at Front Royal Va.in 1863 and was sent to Point Lookout Prison which wrecked his health. After exchange, he was deemed unfit for service. In 1870 he was listed as a conductor and living on Bollingbrook St.  Capt. Mingea also had a first cousin, John Mingea, who was killed at the battle of the Wilderness.

 Upon leaving this service today, take a moment when you get to the exit of the cemetery and look to the right. Just a short distance will be Mingea St. where Capt. Mingea lived before the war. If you head back to 95 to go home, in less than one mile and  before you reach the interstate you will see on your left the exit to the Petersburg National Battlefield Park and two cannons. This is the field where Capt. Mingea lost his life defending his home. Another of the sad ironies of war.


Thanks Jo

Whatever our politics, I feel this is a relevant and poignant contribution to the web site.