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Benjamin Pollard Loyall

Cedar Grove Cemetery
4th Alley West, Lot 16
( – 1923)

Benjamin Pollard Loyall (     - 1923) was the son of George Loyall.   He entered the Navy on March 5, 1849 assigned as acting Midshipman to the frigate USS Raritan.  Later he served on the USS St. Mary in the Pacific and then the USS Columbia in US waters.  Loyall was accepted to the US Naval Academy and graduated in 1855.  He then served from 1856 to 1858 in the Mediterranean on board the USS Congress.  His last tour of duty in the US Navy was aboard the sloop, USS Constellation off the coast of Africa.  Benjamin Loyall resigned his Lieutenant’s commission on October 5, 1861 after 13 years of service.  Unfortunately, the US Navy Department in Washington D.C. was no longer accepting resignations so Loyall was dismissed.  On November 26, 1861 he was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Confederate States Navy and was arrested and imprisoned at Fort Warren in Boston harbor.  He was then transferred to Hampton Roads where he was held for a short time aboard the USS Cumberland but was released by year’s end to serve at the Gosport Navy Yard in Norfolk.  On January 9, 1862, Loyall received orders to report to Major General Benjamin Hugar, commander of land defenses on Roanoke Island.  Loyall was given the rank of a Confederate Army Captain as well since he would be instructing and commanding land forces.  On Roanoke Island, he was placed in command of Fort Bartow and when that island fell to Union troops, Loyall was taken prisoner on February 8, 1862.  He was given parole and exchanged at Elizabeth City, North Carolina on February 21, 1862.  Loyall’s next assignment was to the ironclad CSS Richmond.  This tour was interrupted as he was designated commandant of Midshipmen at the Confederate Naval Academy.  However, in October of the 1863 school year, Loyall was reassigned to capture the USS Michigan as part of a secret expedition to release the Confederate prisoners being held on Johnson’s Island.  Along with his fellow commandos, Loyall boarded the blockade runner, R.E. Lee on October 10, 1863 and sailed to Halifax, Nova Scotia on October 16th.  The plan was for the group to divide into separate parties and set out overland to rendezvous in Montreal.  Unfortunately, the commandos were betrayed by an informant to the US Secretary of War Stanton who called the Governor General of Canada so all Canadian officials and military outposts were notified.  With little chance of success, the mission was called off.  Loyall returned to the Confederacy and his position as Commandant of Midshipmen.  In January 1864, Loyall was appointed second in command of a Confederate Army attempt to recapture New Bern, North Carolina.  On February 2, 1864, they captured the USS Underwriter off New Bern.  Loyall returned to the James River Squadron after the mission as Commander of the ironclad, CSS Neuse in North Carolina.  In November of 1864 he reported aboard the Patrick Henry as Commandant of Midshipmen and served there until March of 1865.  “He was still with the school, however, when the bitter end came, and was finally paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina on April 28, 1865.” * 

Other family members interred on this Loyall family lot include:  Margaret, d. 1855; Cornelia T., d. 1938; Sarah, d. 1842; Imogene Thompson., d. 1879. 
Benjamin Pollard Loyall was married to Imogene Thompson.  Their son, William Henry Thompson Loyall (1869 – 1951), earned his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1891.  He then returned to Norfolk and started a law firm with Colonel Walter Herron Taylor.  William married Nannie Charlotte Ramsey in 1899.  Both Nan and William are buried at Elmwood Cemetery, 9th Alley East, Lot 102. ** 

*Confederate Naval Cadet:  The Diary and Letters of Midshipman Hubbard T. Minor by R. 
  Thomas Campbell, 2007.
**University of Virginia:  Its History, Influence, Equipment and Characteristics, edited by Paul     Brandon Barringer, M.D., et al., 1904.

Biographical information provided by Norfolk Bureau of Cemeteries.

Visitor Information

Visitor Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Office hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Free parking inside cemetery.

Admission Cost: Free

Address: 238 E. Princess Anne Road, Norfolk, VA 23510

Official web site for more information: www.norfolk.gov

Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation Web Site: www.norfolksocietyforcemeteryconservation.org