While participating in the Battle of Fredericksburg, he was wounded at the southern end of the battle near what is known as Slaughter Pen Farm. He was then captured by the Union forces. Since he was severely wounded he was removed as a prisoner via train and boat to a hospital in Alexandria, Virginia.
Upon finding out about her husband's wounding and capture, his wife Evelina at home decided that she was going to go to Alexandria and nurse him back to health. Leaving her three children she headed out. It is not known how she managed to cross into Union territory, but she did in fact reach Alexandria, only to find that she had arrived too late. Edward had died the week before.
Now though terribly grieved she was once again full of determination to take his body home. Apparently the Union agreed with her plan as she was put on a train with his body, going as far as Falmouth Station across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg held by the Confederates.
She was met at the station by Col. William Teall, the son-in-law of General Sumner, who was making his headquarters at The Philips House there in Stafford County.
Teall took her along with Edward's body in a wagon to The Phillips House where she spent the night.
The Confederates were notified that the Union was sending a widow with her husbands remains across the river, which they accomplished the next morning. An escort of about 20 Union soldiers from the 10th New York, with Edward's body in an ambulance drawn by four white horses, went with Col. Teall and Evelina down to the river crossing. People on both sides of the river turned out to watch. Edward's casket was placed in a boat with Col. Teall and Evelina and went across the river, where Evelina and Edward's body were turned over to General Joseph Kershaw. Prior to Teall returning to his own side of the river, Evelina had nothing but praise for him and the Union troops who had shown her such courtesy in her horrible time.
She was put on a train heading south and eventually arrived at home with Edward's body.
Shows a very loving desire on the part of a wife, to travel under the conditions to bring her husband to his final resting.
Evelina Loyer Davant Lawton
"He fell in the cause of lost still just
and died for me and you."
Capt. Edward P. Lawton
Fell while leading a charge
Dec. 13. 1862
Mourned with unconsoleable
Love and Sorrow.
Until the daybreak
and the shadows flee away.
In memory of
Capt. Edward Payson Lawton, C.S.A.
b. Apr. 23, 1832 d. Dec. 26, 1862
m. Evelina Loyer Davant
Mortally wounded lst battle of Fredericksburg
Led "Lawton's Charge" which excited admiration
of both Confederates and Federals. Cited for his
gallantry and courage by General Lee.
Florence Davant Lawton
Loyer Lawton Zahner
Susan Lawton Daugherty
A. Davant Lawton
Eleanor Lawton Reynolds