Army of Northern Virginia

The Army of Northern Virginia was the primary military force of the Confederate States of America in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. It was also the primary command structure of the Department of Northern Virginia. It was most often arrayed against the Union Army of the Potomac.

Army of Northern Virginia
Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia
The flag of the Army of Northern Virginia during the command of Robert E. Lee or "Robert E. Lee Headquarters Flag"
ActiveOctober 22, 1861 – Most units deactivated January–April 1862; army dissolved April 12, 1865
Country Confederate States
Branch Confederate Army
RolePrimary Confederate Army in Eastern Theater
Garrison/HQRichmond, Virginia
EngagementsAmerican Civil War
Commanders
Notable
commanders
P. G. T. Beauregard
Joseph E. Johnston
Gustavus Woodson Smith
Robert E. Lee

Origin

North Virginia Third Bunting
Army of Northern Virginia Battle Flag, designed by William Porcher Miles

The name Army of Northern Virginia referred to its primary area of operation, as did most Confederate States Army names. The Army originated as the (Confederate) Army of the Potomac, which was organized on June 20, 1861, from all operational forces in northern Virginia. On July 20 and July 21, the Army of the Shenandoah and forces from the District of Harpers Ferry were added. Units from the Army of the Northwest were merged into the Army of the Potomac between March 14 and May 17, 1862. The Army of the Potomac was renamed Army of Northern Virginia on March 14. The Army of the Peninsula was merged into it on April 12, 1862.[1]

Robert E. Lee's biographer, Douglas S. Freeman, asserts that the army received its final name from Lee when he issued orders assuming command on June 1, 1862.[2] However, Freeman does admit that Lee corresponded with Joseph E. Johnston, his predecessor in army command, prior to that date and referred to Johnston's command as the Army of Northern Virginia. Part of the confusion results from the fact that Johnston commanded the Department of Northern Virginia (as of October 22, 1861) and the name Army of Northern Virginia can be seen as an informal consequence of its parent department's name. Jefferson Davis and Johnston did not adopt the name, but it is clear that the organization of units as of March 14 was the same organization that Lee received on June 1, and thus it is generally referred to today as the Army of Northern Virginia, even if that is correct only in retrospect.

In addition to Virginians, it included regiments from all over the Confederacy, some from as far away as Georgia, Texas and Arkansas. One of the most well known was the Texas Brigade, made up of the 1st, 4th, and 5th Texas, and the 3rd Arkansas, which distinguished themselves in numerous battles, such as during their fight for the Devil's Den at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Command under Brigadier General P. G. T. Beauregard

Pgt beauregard
Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard

The first commander of the Army of Northern Virginia was General P.G.T. Beauregard (under its previous name, the Confederate Army of the Potomac) from June 20 to July 20, 1861. His forces consisted of six brigades, with various militia and artillery from the former Department of Alexandria. During his command, Gen. Beauregard is noted for creating the battle flag of the army, which came to be the primary battle flag for all corps and forces under the Army of Northern Virginia. The flag was designed due to confusion during battle between the Confederate "Stars and Bars" flag and the flag of the United States. Beauregard continued commanding these troops as the new First Corps under Gen. J. E. Johnston as it was joined by the Army of the Shenandoah on July 20, 1861, when command was relinquished to General J. E. Johnston. The following day this army fought its first major engagement in the First Battle of Manassas.

Command under General J. E. Johnston

Joseph Johnston
Gen. J. E. Johnston

With the merging of the Army of the Shenandoah, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston took command from July 20, 1861, until May 31, 1862.

Corps organization under Johnston 1861

Wing organization under Johnston 1862

Under the command of Johnston, the Army immediately entered into the First Battle of Manassas. On October 22, 1861, the Department of Northern Virginia was officially created, officially ending the Army of the Potomac. The Department comprised three districts: Aquia District, Potomac District, and the Valley District. In April 1862, the Department was expanded to include the Departments of Norfolk and the Peninsula (of Virginia). Gen. Johnston was eventually forced into maneuvering the Army southward to the defenses of Richmond during the opening of the Peninsula Campaign, where it conducted delay and defend tactics until Johnston was severely wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines.

During the months after the First Battle of Bull Run, Johnston organized his Shenandoah Army and Beauregard's Potomac Army into two divisions under a unified command with Gustavus Smith and James Longstreet as division commanders. Beauregard quarreled with Johnston and was transferred to the Western theater over the winter months. Jackson was sent to the Shenandoah Valley in October 1861, initially with his own old Stonewall Brigade and later with two other brigades from Western Virginia. Several newly arrived brigades were added to Johnston's army in late 1861-early 1862.

When the Peninsula Campaign began, Johnston took his army down to the Richmond environs where it was merged with several smaller Confederate commands, including a division led by D.H. Hill as well as Benjamin Huger's Department of Norfolk, John Magruder's Army of the Peninsula, and miscellaneous brigades and regiments pulled from various Southern states. Richard Ewell was elevated to division command in the spring of 1862 and sent to join Jackson in the Valley.

On May 27, an additional new division was created and led by A.P. Hill consisting of several new brigades from the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia, soon augmented with James Archer's brigade from Smith's division. At Seven Pines, Longstreet and Smith served as temporary wing commanders, and operational control of their divisions went to Brig. Gen William H.C. Whiting and Brig. Gen Richard H. Anderson.

Temporary command under Major General G. W. Smith

Smith, Gustavus Woodson 1
Gustavus Woodson Smith

Maj. Gen. Gustavus Woodson Smith commanded the ANV on May 31, 1862, following the wounding of Gen. J. E. Johnston during the Battle of Seven Pines. With Smith seemingly having a nervous breakdown, President Jefferson Davis drafted orders to place Gen. Robert E. Lee in command the following day.

Command under General R. E. Lee

Robert E. Lee in camp
General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia

On June 1, 1862, its most famous and final leader, General Robert E. Lee, took command after Johnston was wounded, and Smith suffered what may have been a nervous breakdown, at the Battle of Seven Pines. William Whiting received permanent command of Smith's division, while Richard Anderson reverted to brigade command. Longstreet served as a wing commander for part of the Seven Days Battles and Anderson had operational command of the division at Glendale.

During the Seven Days Battles, Lee had eleven separate divisions under his command, aside from the original core army that had been led by Joe Johnson, there were assorted other commands from the Richmond area and North Carolina as well as Jackson's Valley Army. The inexperience and poor coordination of the army led to the failure of Lee's plans to destroy the Army of the Potomac. As soon as the Seven Days Battles were over, Lee reorganized his army into two corps commanded by Longstreet and Jackson. He removed several generals who had turned in a less-than-inspiring performance in the Seven Days Battles, including John Magruder and Benjamin Huger.

Jackson had five divisions, the commands of A.P. Hill, Ewell, D.H. Hill, and Winder. Longstreet had six divisions commanded by Richard Anderson (formerly Benjamin Huger's division), Cadmus Wilcox, James Kemper (each commanding half of Longstreet's former division), John Hood (formerly William H.C. Whiting's division), David R. Jones, and Lafayette McLaws. D.H. Hill's and McLaws's divisions were left behind in the Richmond area and did not participate in the Northern Virginia campaign. The army was also joined for the Northern Virginia and Maryland Campaigns by Nathan G. Evans's independent South Carolina brigade and a North Carolina brigade led by Brig. Gen Thomas Drayton.

During the Maryland Campaign, D.H. Hill rejoined the main army along with Lafayette McLaws. Kemper's division was merged with the division of David R. Jones, a more senior, experienced officer, and Kemper reverted to brigade command. In addition, Robert Ransom commanded two brigades from the Department of North Carolina. At Antietam, Longstreet commanded the divisions of Anderson, McLaws, Jones, Hood, and Ransom while Jackson had the divisions of John R. Jones, Alexander Lawton, A.P. Hill, and D.H. Hill.

The Northern Virginia and Maryland Campaigns still showed numerous defects in the organization and leadership of the Army of Northern Virginia, particularly the high rate of straggling and desertion during the invasion of Maryland. Lee had fewer than 40,000 men on the field at Antietam, the smallest his army would be until the Appomattox Campaign, and the battle was largely fought on autopilot with minimal involvement by the senior officers in the army.

During the Fredericksburg Campaign, Longstreet had the divisions of Anderson, Hood, McLaws, Ransom, and George Pickett, who had just returned to action after months of convalescence from a wound sustained during the Seven Days Battles. Jackson had the divisions of D.H. Hill, A.P. Hill, Jubal Early, and Elisha Paxton. Robert Ransom's division returned to North Carolina after Fredericksburg. D.H. Hill also departed after quarreling with Lee.

In the Chancellorsville Campaign, Longstreet was sent with Pickett and Hood to the Richmond area. His other two divisions remained with the main army; they were directly commanded by Lee during this time. Robert Rodes took over D.H. Hill's division. "Stonewall" Jackson was mortally wounded during the Battle of Chancellorsville. Afterwards, Lee divided the army into three corps with three divisions each. Longstreet got the divisions of Pickett, McLaws, and Hood, A.P. Hill got the divisions of Harry Heth, William D. Pender, and Richard Anderson, and Richard Ewell (returning to action after almost a year of recovering from the loss of a leg at Second Bull Run) got the divisions of Robert Rodes, Jubal Early, and Edward "Allegheny" Johnson.

By the time of the Pennsylvania invasion, Lee had fixed the organizational defects that plagued the army during its early campaigns and the straggling problems of the Maryland Campaign did not repeat themselves.

In the first year of his command, Lee had two principal subordinate commanders. The right wing of the army was under the command of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet and the left wing under Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. These wings were redesignated as the First Corps (Longstreet) and Second Corps (Jackson) on November 6, 1862. Following Jackson's death after the Battle of Chancellorsville, Lee reorganized the army into three corps on May 30, 1863, under Longstreet, Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, and Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill. A Fourth Corps, under Lt. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, was organized on October 19, 1864; on April 8, 1865, it was merged into the Second Corps. The commanders of the first three corps changed frequently in 1864 and 1865. The cavalry, organized into a division on August 17, 1862, and into a corps on September 9, 1863, was commanded by Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart until May 11, 1864 (the day he was mortally wounded). The cavalry corps was then temporarily split into divisions, but was merged again on August 11, 1864 under command of Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton III. The Reserve Artillery was commanded by Brig. Gen. William N. Pendleton for most of the war.[1]

After taking over command in mid-1862, Lee began preparing to lead the Army of Northern Virginia for the first time. However, his aggressiveness to attack the Union led to the loss of many troops especially at the Battle of Antietam, which ended up being a turning point in the war for the Union. After the costly victories during the Seven Days Battles and at Second Manassas in August 1862, Lee had now lost a total of 30,000 of his approximately 92,000 troops within three months of becoming the Confederate's top general. Lee then planned to take his troops north into Maryland to destroy a critical railroad bridge across the Susquehanna River at Harrisburg in a letter written to President Davis. Lee even questioned his own plan, as he wrote, "I am aware that the movement is attended with much risk, yet I do not consider success impossible..."[3] In addition, historians question Lee's aggressiveness to move his army to Maryland. "There can be no sort of doubt that Lee underestimated the exhaustion of his army after Second Manassas. That is, in reality, the major criticism of the Maryland operation: he carried worn-out men across the Potomac."[4] His men were also underarmed and underfed, so the journey to Maryland added to the overall exhaustion. Once Lee arrived in Maryland and was preparing for Antietam, he made another controversial decision. Against the advice from General Longstreet and Jackson, Lee split his troops into four parts to attack the Union from different fronts. Clearly outnumbered and opposed to Lee's plan, Longstreet stated, "General, I wish we could stand still and let the damned Yankees come to us!"[5] As the fighting played out on September 17, 1862, known as the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, the battles at Dunker Church and Burnside's Bridge proved to be too much for Lee and his Confederate army. Luckily for Lee, the arrival of A.P. Hill's troops and the mixture of McClellan's and Burnside's sluggishness, saved Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and allowed them to barely hold off the Union in Maryland.[6]

The Photographic History of The Civil War Volume 10 Page 075

Montage of Robert E. Lee and his staff.[7]

James Longstreet

James Longstreet

The Photographic History of The Civil War Volume 10 Page 107

Montage of Thomas J. Jackson and staff.

Image of Lieutenant General A.P. Hill

A. P. Hill

Lieutenant General Richard H. Anderson

Richard H Anderson

J. Gurney & Son - J.E.B. Stuart

Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart [Cavalry Corps]

Wade Hampton

Wade Hampton [Cavalry Corps]

Corps organization under Lee

Although the Army of Northern Virginia swelled and shrank over time, its units of organization consisted primarily of corps, earlier referred to as "wings" or "commands":

Campaigns and battles

The Army fought in a number of campaigns and battles, including:

Campaign Year Army strength at the beginning of campaign Major Battles
Peninsula Campaign 1862 55,633 Seven Pines (Fair Oaks)
Seven Days Battles 1862 approx. 92,000 Gaines' Mill, Malvern Hill
Northern Virginia Campaign 1862 approx. 54,000 Second Bull Run (Second Manassas)
Maryland Campaign 1862 approx. 60,000 Antietam (Sharpsburg)
Fredericksburg Campaign 1862 approx. 75,000 Fredericksburg
Chancellorsville Campaign 1863 approx. 75,000 Chancellorsville
Gettysburg Campaign 1863 75,054 Gettysburg
Bristoe Campaign 1863 55,221  
Mine Run Campaign 1863 approx. 50,000  
Overland Campaign 1864 62,230 Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor
Richmond–Petersburg Campaign 1864–1865 82,633 Siege of Petersburg, including the Battle of the Crater
Appomattox Campaign Surrendered 1865 around 50,000 Five Forks, Battle of Appomattox Court House

On April 9, 1865, the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to the Army of the Potomac at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the Civil War, with General Lee signing the papers of surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant. The day after his surrender, Lee issued his Farewell Address to the Army of Northern Virginia.

Organization of the Army

Department of Northern Virginia, October 22, 1861

North Virginia Silk
Battleflag made out of silk from November 1861

The Military Department of Northern Virginia was embattled on October 22, 1861.[8] The department initially consisted of three districts under the overall command of General Joseph E. Johnston.

Defence district Division Brigade Commander/Officers in charge
Potomac General P.G.T. Beauregard
1. Division Major General Earl Van Dorn
2. Division Major General Gustavus W. Smith
3. Division Major General James Longstreet
4. Division Major General Edmund Kirby Smith
Aquia Major General Theophilus H. Holmes
French's Brigade Brigadier General Samuel Gibbs French
2. Brigade Brigadier General John G. Walker
Valley Major General Thomas J. Jackson
Garnett's Brigade Brigadier General Richard B. Garnett
Ashby's Cavalry Colonel Turner Ashby

On February 28, 1862, there were 47,617 soldiers present for duty to the military district.[9] The Cavalry Brigade was provided from the Potomac's Military District and under direct control from the Defense District. The artillery formed an Artillery Corps with 109 cannons.

Organization April 30, 1862

North Virginia First Bunting
Battleflag made of wool, 1862

The Army of Northern Virginia was established on March 14, 1862, again under Johnston. Though the military department stayed existent its role changed into an administrative division for most of the war.

Wing of the Army Division Brigade Commander/Officers in charge
Left wing Major General John B. Magruder
McLaws' Division Brigade General Lafayette McLaws
Toombs' Division Brigadier General Robert A. Toombs
Ewell's Brigade Colonel B. p. Ewell
Center Major General James Longstreet
A.P. Hill's Brigade Brigadier General Ambrose P. Hill
Anderson's Brigade Brigadier General Richard H. Anderson
Colston's Brigade Brigadier General Raleigh E. Colston
Pickett's Brigade Brigadier General George E. Pickett
Wilcox's Brigade Brigadier General Cadmus M. Wilcox
Pryor's Brigade Colonel G. A. Winston
Left Emplacement Major General Daniel H. Hill
Early's Division Brigadier General Jubal A. Early
Early's Brigade Brigadier General Jubal A. Early
Rodes' Brigade Brigadier General Robert E. Rodes
Rains' Division Brigadier General Gabriel J. Rains
Rains' Brigade Brigadier General Gabriel J. Rains
Featherston's Brigade Brigadier General Winfield p. Featherston
Gloucester Point Colonel Crump
Reserve Major General Gustavus W. Smith
Whiting's Brigade Brigadier General W. H. C. Whiting
Hood's Brigade Brigadier General John B. Hood
Colston's Brigade Brigadier General Raleigh E. Colston
Hampton's Brigade Colonel Wade Hampton
Anderson's Brigade Brigadier General Samuel R. Anderson
Pettigrew's Brigade Brigadier General James J. Pettigrew
Cavalry Brigade Brigadier General J. E. B. Stuart

At the outset of the Peninsula Campaign the Army of Northern Virginia had more than 55,633 soldiers. The cannon was assigned to the brigades, as well as the Reserve's artillery. Nominally, Jackson's Corps in the Shenandoah Valley, was subordinate to the Army. Since Jackson led his own campaign at the time of the Peninsula Campaign and was not under Lee's direct command this overview does not include his three divisions.

The Army's organization soon proved inept in the course of the Peninsula Campaign. The corps-like structure was rearranged before the Seven Days Battle to converge with the requirements of actual command. In the course of this battle the Army featured two Corps; Jackson's and Magruder's, with four and three divisions respectively, and three actual divisions with five to six brigades. Also the Defense District of North Carolina answered directly to the Army as well as the Reserve Artillery with six battalions and the cavalry with six regiments.[10] The army's complete strength was about 90,000 soldiers. The exact strength cannot be determined, because only a few notes for actual provisionings survived. The estimated strength results, if not explicitly noted, from in-battle dispatches.

Organization at the setout of the Northern Virginia Campaign

The Seven Days Battle showed the Army still suffered from insufficient organization in army command. General Lee subdivided the army again, but this time only with single commands. He introduced a corps-like structure of command, and as an intermediate army management he named the left and right wing. The Army was organized on August 28, 1862 as follows.[11]

Wing of the Army/Army troops Division Brigade/Combat support Commander/Officers in charge
Right Wing 3 Artillery Battalions Major General James Longstreet
Anderson's Division 3 Brigades Major General Richard H. Anderson
Jones's Division 3 Brigades Brigadier General David Rumph Jones
Wilcox's Division 3 Brigades / 2 Artillery Batteries Brigadier General Cadmus M. Wilcox
Hood's Division 2 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Brigadier General John B. Hood
Kemper's Division 3 Brigades Brigadier General James L. Kemper
Evan's Brigade / 1 Artillery Battery Brigadier General Nathan George Evans
Left Wing Major General Thomas J. Jackson
Jackson's Division 4 Brigades / 1 Artillery Regiment Brigadier General William B. Taliaferro
Hill's Light Division 6 Brigades / 1 Artillery Regiment Major General Ambrose P. Hill
Ewell's Division 4 Brigades / 1 Artillery Regiment Major General Richard p. Ewell
Cavalry Division 3 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battery Major General J. E. B. Stuart

The Army's Reserve Artillery consisted of one regiment and two battalions. They stayed in the area of Richmond in the course of the whole Northern Virginia Campaign and only returned on September 3, 1862 to the Army. Major General Hill's Division also remained in the eastern parts of Richmond with the order to bind McClellan's attention as long as possible.[12] As it became predictable that the Army of the Potomac would soon be transferred to support Pope, Lee ordered the Division north.[13] Hill never entered battle in the campaign. A total of about 54,000 soldiers saw action throughout the campaign.

Organization at the beginning of the Maryland Campaign

The Army's losses before and following the Battle of Second Manassas needed to be replaced before the Maryland Campaign could commence. While fundamental changes in the Army's command structure were not necessary, General Lee exchanged divisions and brigades or added additional strength to some. The wings of the Army were now officially called 'Corps'. In the Maryland Campaign the Army was subdivided as follows.[14]

Corps / Army group Division Brigade/Combat support Commander/Officers in charge
Longstreet's Corps 2 Artillery Battalions Major General James Longstreet
Anderson's Division 6 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Major General Richard H. Anderson
Jones's Division 6 Brigades / 4 Artillery Batteries Brigadier General David Rumph Jones
McLaws's Division 4 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Major General Lafayette McLaws
Hood's Division 2 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Brigadier General John B. Hood
Walker's Division 2 Brigades / 2 Batteries Brigadier General John G. Walker
Evans's Brigade / 1 Artillery Battery Brigadier General Nathan George Evans
Jackson's Corps Major General Thomas J. Jackson
Jackson's Division 4 Brigades / 1 Artillery Regiment Brigadier General John R. Jones
Hill's Light Division 6 Brigades / 1 Artillery Regiment Major General Ambrose P. Hill
Hill's Division 5 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Major General Daniel H. Hill
Ewell's Division 4 Brigades / 1 Artillery Regiment Brigadier General Alexander R. Lawton
Cavalry Division 3 Brigades / 3 Artillery Batteries Major General J. E. B. Stuart
Reserve Artillery 4 Battalions / 5 Batteries Brigadier General William N. Pendleton
Army of Northern Virginia Fredericksburg
Organization of the Army of Northern Virginia at the time of the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 1862)

While organization of the corps was found to be generally reliable, the corps' subdivision into four or five divisions hampered overall ease of command. General Lee had already considered before the Battle of Antietam to slim down the overall structure, but intended there be no changes in leadership. The Confederate Congress authorized the establishment of the Corps, and President Davis affirmed the assignment of the commanders and promoted Major Generals Longstreet and Jackson to Lieutenant Generals. General Lee announced this in Special Order 234 on November 6, 1862.[15] About 60,000 soldiers served at the Maryland Campaign.

North Virginia Third Bunting
Battleflag made from wool, 1863

Organization from May 30, 1863 until April 9, 1865

Lee took Jackson's death as an opportunity to subdivide the North Virginia Corps again. President Jefferson Davis agreed to the subdivision and ordered Lee in his Special Order Nr. 146 to reorganize the Army.[16]

Corps/Army group Division Brigade/Combat support Commander/Officers in charge
I Corps Lieutenant General James Longstreet
Pickett's Division 3 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Major General George E. Pickett
McLaws's Division 4 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Major General Lafayette McLaws
Hood's Division 4 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Major General John B. Hood
II Corps Lieutenant General Richard p. Ewell
Early's Division 4 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Major General Jubal A. Early
Johnson's Division 4 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Major General Edward Johnson
Rodes's Division 5 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Major General Robert E. Rodes
III Corps Lieutenant General A.P. Hill
Anderson's Division 5 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Major General Richard H. Anderson
Heth's Division 4 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Major General Henry Heth
Pender's Division 4 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Major General W. Dorsey Pender
Cavalry Division 6 Brigades / 1 Artillery Battalion Major General J. E. B. Stuart
Reserve Artillery 6 Battalions Brig. General William N. Pendleton
Imboden's Command gem. Brigade / 1 Artillery Battery Brigadier General John D. Imboden

Lee ordered the artillery battalions of the Reserve Artillery to serve directly with the Corps for the duration of the Gettysburg Campaign. The Army of Northern Virginia now comprised a total of 75,054 soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg.[17]

The army fielded more than 241 cannons following the Battle of Gettysburg.[18] The artillery battalions were merged into the Artillery Reserve again following the end of the campaign.

On September 9, General Lee had to dispatch the First Corps to Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee. Following this the army was resubordinated again. Changes were not significant; only the cavalry saw important reorganization.[19]

Corps / Army group Division Brigade/Combat support Commander/Officers in charge
II Corps 5 Artillery Battalions Lieutenant General Richard p. Ewell
Early's Division 4 Brigades Major General Jubal A. Early
Johnson's Division 4 Brigades Major General Edward Johnson
Rodes's Division 5 Brigades Major General Robert E. Rodes
III Corps 5 Artillery Battalions Lieutenant General A.P. Hill
Anderson's Division 5 Brigades Major General Richard H. Anderson
Heth's Division 4 Brigades Major General Henry Heth
Wilcox's Division 4 Brigades Major General Cadmus M. Wilcox
Cavalry Corps 1 Artillery Battalion Major General J. E. B. Stuart
Hampton's Division 2 Brigades Major General Wade Hampton
Lee's Division 3 Brigades Major General Fitzhugh Lee
Reserve Artillery 2 Battalions Major General William N. Pendleton
Defense District of Shenandoah Valley gem. Brigade / 1 Artillery Battery Brigadier General John D. Imboden
Cooke's Brigade Brigadier General John R. Cooke

The Army's strength was then 55,221 soldiers. The changes in command until December 31, 1863 were only minor. Cooke's Brigade was assigned to serve with Heth's Division, Hampton's Division grew by a cavalry brigade and the Third Corps gained an additional artillery battalion. Imboden's Command remained at Shenandoah Valley and was taken over by Major General Early as the Defense District of Shenandoah Valley. The strength of the army was 54,715 men on December 31.

The organization of the Army of Northern Virginia did not change until the end of the war. The Army featured several corps, the corps featured several divisions, and the artillery was divided between the corps. The strength of the Army grew in the first six months from about 46,380 to 62,230 soldiers. The army was assigned in July to the Defense District of North Carolina and Richmond. In the course of the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign the number of soldiers temporarily grew to 82,633 while parts of the Army were under the command by Lieutenant General Early in Shenandoah Valley.

Army of Northern Virginia Wilderness
Organization of the Army of Northern Virginia at the time of the Battle of the Wilderness (May 5–7, 1864)

In 1864 the Army of Northern Virginia fought against the more than twice as strong Potomac-, James- and Shenandoah Army in Grant's Overland Campaign, Early's Raid against the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign, and Shenandoah Campaign in the Shenandoah Valley. The Army's organization for January 31, 1865[20] because 69,659 soldiers were fit for battle, but a minimum of 4,500 had no rifles.[21]

Corps / Army group Division Brigade/Combat support Commander/Officers in charge
I Corps 6 Artillery Battalions Lieutenant General James Longstreet
Pickett's Division 4 Brigades Major General George E. Pickett
Field's Division 5 Brigades Major General Charles W. Field
Kershaw's Division 4 Brigades Major General Joseph B. Kershaw
II Corps 4 Artillery Battalions Major General John B. Gordon
Early's Division 3 Brigades Brigadier General John Pegram
Gordon's Division 3 Brigades Brigadier General Clement A. Evans
Rodes's Division 4 Brigades Brigadier General Bryan Grimes
III Corps 7 Artillery Battalions Lieutenant General A.P. Hill
Mahone's Division 5 Brigades Major General William Mahone
Heth's Division 4 Brigades Major General Henry Heth
Wilcox's Division 4 Brigades Major General Cadmus M. Wilcox
Anderson's Corps 4 Artillery Battalions Lieutenant General Richard H. Anderson
Johnson's Division 4 Brigades Major General Bushrod Rust Johnson
Defense District of Shenandoah Valley 6 Artillery Battalions Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early
Wharton's Division 3 Infantry / 1 Cavalry Brigades Brigadier General John A. Wharton
Cavalry Corps 3 Artillery Battalions Major General Wade Hampton
Lee's Division 3 Brig Major general William H. F. Lee

Following Lieutenant General A.P. Hill's death on April 2, 1865 the Third Corps was dissolved and assigned to the First Corps. On April 9, 1865, General Lee surrendered. One day later he thanked his men and his officers for their bravery and sturdiness and announced the dismissal of all troops on their word of honor in General Order No. 9.[22] The listings of the Army of Northern Virginia say that 28,231 soldiers were dismissed on their word of honor on April 10, 1865.[23]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Eicher, pp. 889–90.
  2. ^ Freeman, Vol. II, p. 78 and footnote 6.
  3. ^ Lee to Jefferson Davis, September 3, 1862, Dowdey and Manarin, Papers.
  4. ^ Freeman, Douglas p. (1934). R. E. Lee, A Biography. Charles Scribner's Sons.
  5. ^ Wert, Jeffery D. General James Longstreet: The Confederacy's Most Controversial Soldier—A Biography. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993.
  6. ^ Bonekemper, Edward H. How Robert E. Lee Lost the Civil War. Fredericksburg, VA: Sergeant Kirkland's Press, 1997.
  7. ^ starting at left center going up-left to right:1) Lt.Col. W.H. Taylor 2)Lt.Col. R.G. Cole;3) Lt.Col.C.S. Venable;4)Brig Gen W.H. Stevens;5) Lt.Col. Charles Marshall; 6) Lt.Col. J.L. Conley; 7)Lt.Col. B.G. Baldwin; 8)Surgeon Lafayette Guild; 9) Maj H. Young; 10} Brig Gen W.H. Pendelton; 11} Lt.Col. W. E. Peyton; 12)Major Giles B. Coke.
  8. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. V, p. 913f: General Orders No. 15
  9. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. V, p. 1086: Army's day-service strength
  10. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XI, Part II, p. 483ff: Disposition at the beginning of the Seven Days Battle
  11. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XII, Part II, p. 546ff: Disposition on the setout of the Northern Virginia Campaign
  12. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XII, Part II, p. 176: Hill's order
  13. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XII, Part II, p. 553: Hill's stay
  14. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XIX, Part I, p. 803ff: Disposition on the setout of the Maryland Campaign
  15. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XIX, Part II, p. 698f: Nomination of Commanding Generals
  16. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XXV, Part II, p. 840: Special Orders No. 146
  17. ^ National Park Service: Army's day-service strength
  18. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XXV, Part II, p. 355ff: Artillery in the armory following the Battle of Gettysburg
  19. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XXIX, Part I, p. 398ff: Disposition on September,30 1863
  20. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XLVI, Part II, p. 1170ff: Disposition on January,31 1865
  21. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XLVI, Part I, p. 384ff: Army's strength on January 31, 1865
  22. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XLVI, Part I, p. 1267: Dismissal
  23. ^ The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XLVI, Part I, p. 1277ff: Discharge on word of honor

References

  • Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
  • Douglas p. Freeman|Freeman, Douglas S., R. E. Lee, A Biography (4 volumes), Scribners, 1934.
  • Freeman, Douglas p. R. E. Lee. A Biography. 4. Bde., Charles Scribner's Sons, New York und London 1934f. online here
  • Freeman, Douglas p. Lee's Lieutenants. A Study in Command. 3 Bde., Scribners, New York 1942–1944.
  • Katcher, Philip R. N. & Youens, Michael: The Army of Northern Virginia - Osprey Verlag 1975 Men at Arms Series Book Nr. 37 - ISBN 0-85045-210-4
  • Katcher, Philip R. N. & Volstad Ron: American Civil War Armies 1 - Confederate Troops - Osprey Verlag 1986 Men at Arms Series Book Nr. 170 - ISBN 0-85045-679-7
  • Katcher, Philip R. N. & Volstad Ron: American Civil War Armies 3 - Specialist Troops - Osprey Verlag 1987 Men at Arms Series Book Nr. 179 - ISBN 0-85045-722-X
  • United States. War Dept.: The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Govt. Print. Off., Washington 1880–1901, online here.

Further reading

External links

11th Virginia Cavalry

The 11th Virginia Volunteer Cavalry Regiment was a cavalry regiment raised in Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. It fought mostly with the Army of Northern Virginia.

Virginia's 11th Cavalry Regiment was organized in February, 1863, by consolidating the 17th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, one company from the 24th Battalion Virginia Cavalry, and two companies of the 5th Virginia Cavalry Regiment.

The unit served in W.R. Jones', Lomax's, Rosser's, and J. Dearing's Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. It was active in the conflicts at Upperville, Fairfield, Bristoe, and Mine Run. Later the regiment participated in The Wilderness Campaign, the defense of Richmond, and Early's Shenandoah Valley operations. It then disbanded as there were no members of the 11th at Appomattox.

The field officers were Colonels Oliver R. Funsten and Lunsford L. Lomax, Lieutenant Colonel Matt D. Ball, and Majors William H. Harness and Edward H. McDonald.

The 17th Cavalry Battalion (also called 1st Battalion) was organized in June, 1862, with seven companies. The unit fought in western Virginia and in the Maryland Campaign. Lieutenant Colonel Oliver R. Funsten and Major William Patrick were in command.

13th Virginia Infantry

The 13th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment raised in Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. It fought mostly with the Army of Northern Virginia.

The 13th Virginia completed its organization during the summer of 1861 with men from Winchester and Culpeper, Orange, Louisa, and Hampshire counties. The original Companies B and E enlisted only for 6 months, the others for one year. At the end of that year, their service was extended for the duration of the war.

After fighting at First Manassas and in Jackson's Valley Campaign, it served in General Early's, W.Smith's, Pegram's, and J.A. Walker's Brigade. The 13th was prominent in the campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days' Battles to Cold Harbor, then it moved with Early to the Shenandoah Valley and later was involved in the Appomattox operations.

It reported 16 casualties at Cross Keys and Port Republic, 111 at Gaines' Mill, 34 at Cedar Mountain, 46 at Second Manassas, 22 at Fredericksburg, and 36 at Chancellorsville. During the Gettysburg Campaign it was left at Winchester as provost guard. The unit sustained heavy losses at Cedar Creek and surrendered with 10 officers and 52 men.

Its commanders were Colonels George A. Goodman, Ambrose P. Hill, James B. Terrill, and James A. Walker; and Majors Charles T. Crittenden and John B. Sherrard.

17th Virginia Infantry

The 17th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment raised in Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. It fought mostly with the Army of Northern Virginia.

17th Infantry Regiment was organized at Manassas Junction, Virginia, in June, 1861, using the 6th Battalion Virginia Militia as its nucleus. Men of this unit were recruited in the city of Alexandria, counties of Arlington(Then called Alexandria County), Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, and Warren.

After fighting at First Manassas in a brigade under James Longstreet, it was assigned to General Ewell's, A.P. Hill's, Kemper's, and Corse's Brigade. The 17th fought with the Army of Northern Virginia from Williamsburg to Fredericksburg, then participated in Longstreet's Suffolk Expedition. During the Gettysburg Campaign it was on detached duty at Gordonsville and later served in Tennessee and North Carolina. Returning to Virginia it fought at Drewry's Bluff and Cold Harbor, saw action in the Petersburg trenches, and ended the war at Appomattox.

This regiment totaled 600 men in April, 1862, lost 17 killed and 47 wounded at Williamsburg, had 18 killed and 41 wounded at Seven Pines, and had 17 killed, 23 wounded, and 73 missing at Frayser's Farm. It reported 48 casualties at Second Manassas, 13 at South Mountain, and of the 55 engaged at Sharpsburg about seventy-five percent were disabled. At Drewry's Bluff 7 were killed and 23 wounded. Many were captured at Sayler's Creek, and 2 officers and 46 men surrendered on April 9, 1865.

The field officers were Colonels Montgomery D. Corse, Arthur Herbert, and Morton Marye; Lieutenant Colonels William Munford and Grayson Tyler; and Majors George W. Brent and Robert H. Simpson.

27th Virginia Infantry

The 27th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment raised in Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. It fought mostly with the Stonewall Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia.

The 27th Virginia was organized in May, 1861, and accepted into Confederate service in July. The men were from the counties of Alleghany, Rockbridge, Monroe, Greenbrier, and Ohio. It contained only eight companies and became part of the famous Stonewall Brigade. During the war it served under the command of General T.J. Jackson, R.B. Garnett, Charles Sidney Winder, Paxton, J.A. Walker, and W. Terry.

The 27th fought at First Manassas, where it earned the nickname “the Bloody 27th” because of its losses, First Kernstown, and in Jackson's Valley Campaign. It then participated in the campaign of the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days' Battles to Cold Harbor, moved with Early to the Shenandoah Valley, and was active around Appomattox.

The regiment reported 141 casualties at First Manassas, 57 at First Kernstown, and 4 of the 136 engaged at First Winchester. It lost 3 killed at Cedar Mountain, had 4 killed and 23 wounded at Second Manassas, and sustained 9 killed and 62 wounded at Chancellorsville. Of the 148 in action at Gettysburg about thirty percent were disabled. Only 1 officer and 20 men surrendered.

The field officers were Colonels John Echols, James K. Edmondson, William A. Gordon, and Andrew J. Grigsby; Lieutenant Colonels Charles L. Haynes and Daniel M. Shriver; and Majors Philip F. Frazer and Elisha F. Paxton.

Company D, the “Monroe Guard”, is now a famous reenactor’s unit.

4th Virginia Infantry

The 4th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment raised in Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. It fought in the Stonewall Brigade, mostly with the Army of Northern Virginia.

The 4th Virginia was assembled at Winchester, Virginia, in July, 1861. Its companies were from the counties of Wythe, Montgomery, Pulaski, Smyth, Grayson, and Rockbridge. It became part of the Stonewall Brigade and served under Generals T.J. Jackson, R.B. Garnett, Winder, Paxton, J.A. Walker, and W. Terry.

The regiment fought at First Manassas, First Kernstown, and in Jackson's Valley Campaign. It then participated in many conflicts of the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days' Battles to Cold Harbor, was with Early in the Shenandoah Valley, and saw action around Appomattox.

The unit reported 5 killed, 23 wounded, and 48 missing at First Kernstown, took 317 effectives to Port Republic, had 7 killed and 25 wounded at Malvern Hill, and had 19 killed and 78 wounded of the 180 at Second Manassas. It lost forty-eight percent of the 355 engaged at Chancellorsville and more than fifty percent of the 257 at Gettysburg. The regiment surrendered with 7 officers and 38 men of which only 17 were armed.

Its field officers were Colonels James F. Preston, Charles A. Ronald, and William Terry; Lieutenant Colonels Robert D. Gardner and Lewis T. Moore; and Majors Matthew D. Bennett, Joseph F. Kent, and Albert G. Pendleton.

At the First Battle of Bull Run, Jackson reportedly ordered the 4th Virginia, "Reserve your fire until they come within 50 yards! Then fire and give them the bayonet! And when you charge, yell like furies!" This is possibly the first use of the Rebel Yell.

When Jackson set up his headquarters in Winchester, the commander of the 4th Virginia, Lieutenant Colonel Lewis Tilghman Moore invited him to use his house. His great-granddaughter, the actress Mary Tyler Moore contributed significantly to its restoration as the Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters Museum

5th Virginia Infantry

The 5th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment raised in Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. It fought in the Stonewall Brigade, mostly with the Army of Northern Virginia. The regiment was known as the "Fighting Fifth".

The 5th Virginia Infantry Regiment was organized in May, 1861, under Colonel Kenton Harper. Eight companies were from Augusta County and two from Frederick County. The unit became part of the Stonewall Brigade and served under Generals T.J. Jackson, Richard B. Garnett, Charles Sidney Winder, Elisha F. Paxton, James A. Walker and William Terry.

It saw action at First Manassas, First Kernstown, and in Jackson's Valley Campaign. Later the 5th participated in the campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days' Battles to Cold Harbor, then was active in Early's Shenandoah Valley operations and around Appomattox.

It reported 9 killed, 48 wounded, and 4 missing at First Kernstown, had 4 killed, 89 wounded, and 20 missing at Cross Keys and Port Republic, and suffered 14 killed and 91 wounded at Second Manassas. The unit sustained 120 casualties at Chancellorsville and of the 345 engaged at Gettysburg, sixteen percent were disabled. It surrendered 8 officers and 48 men.

The field officers were Colonels William S.H. Baylor, John H.S. Funk, William H. Harman, and Kenton Harper; Lieutenant Colonel Hazel J. Williams; and Majors Absalom Koiner and James W. Newton.

Army of Virginia

The Army of Virginia was organized as a major unit of the Union Army and operated briefly and unsuccessfully in 1862 in the American Civil War. It should not be confused with its principal opponent, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by Robert E. Lee.

Battle of Fairfield

The Battle of Fairfield was a cavalry engagement during the Gettysburg Campaign of the American Civil War. It was fought July 3, 1863, near Fairfield, Pennsylvania, concurrently with the Battle of Gettysburg, although it was not a formal part of that battle. While a minor fight by the small number of troops deployed, strategically, the Confederate victory secured the important Hagerstown Road, which Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia would use on July 5 to return to Maryland and then on to safety in Virginia.

Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia

The Cavalry Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia was an organized unit of cavalry in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. Starting out as a brigade in late 1861, becoming a division in 1862 and finally a Corps in 1863; it served in the Eastern Theater until the ANV's surrender in April 1865.

Confederate Army of the Potomac

The Confederate Army of the Potomac, whose name was short-lived, was the command under Brig. Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard in the early days of the American Civil War. Its only major combat action was the First Battle of Bull Run. Afterwards, the Army of the Shenandoah was merged into the Army of the Potomac with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, the commander of the Shenandoah, taking command. The Army of the Potomac was renamed the Army of Northern Virginia on March 14, 1862, with Beauregard's original army eventually becoming the First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.

First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia

The First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia (or Longstreet's Corps) was a military unit fighting for the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. It was formed in early 1861 and served until the spring of 1865, mostly in the Eastern Theater. The corps was commanded by James Longstreet for most of its existence.

In part or as a whole, the corps fought in nearly all of the major battles in the Eastern Theater, such as Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, The Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and the Siege of Petersburg. The corps also fought in Tennessee and performed important forage service in Suffolk, Virginia. It was disbanded shortly following Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender to Union forces on April 9, 1865.

Fourth Corps, Army of Northern Virginia

The Fourth Corps was a military unit formed in October 1864 within the Army of Northern Virginia of the Confederate Army. It fought for the Confederate States of America during the late stages of the American Civil War. The corps was commanded by Richard H. Anderson during its short life and was combined with the Second Corps shortly before Lee's surrender on April 9, 1865.

Jeff Davis Cavalry Legion

The Jeff Davis Cavalry Legion was a Confederate unit during the American Civil War. Made up of cavalry companies from three different states, it fought primarily in the Eastern theater as part of the Army of Northern Virginia.

List of orders of battle

This is a list of orders of battle, which list the known military units that were located within the field of operations for a battle or campaign. The battles are listed in chronological order by starting date (or planned start date).

Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia

The Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia was a military organization within the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during much of the American Civil War. It was officially created and named following the Battle of Sharpsburg in 1862, but comprised units in a corps organization for quite some time prior to that. The Second Corps developed a reputation for hard fighting under famed early commander Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.

Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia

The Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia was a unit of the Provisional Army of the Confederate States.

Troop engagements of the American Civil War, 1863

The following engagements took place in the year 1863 during the American Civil War. During the year, Union forces captured the Confederate cities of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, giving them complete control over the Mississippi River, while forcing Confederates out of the North following the Battle of Gettysburg.

Troop engagements of the American Civil War, 1864

The following engagements took place in the year 1864 during the American Civil War. The Union armies, under the command of U.S. Grant, launched multiple offenses in all theaters of the war, in an attempt to prevent Confederate forces from transferring troops from one army to another.

William Pegram

William Ransom Johnson Pegram, known as "Willie" or "Willy", (June 29, 1841 – April 2, 1865) was an important young artillery officer in Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War. He was mortally wounded in the Battle of Five Forks. He was the younger brother of Confederate General John Pegram, who was also killed in action. His grandfather, John Pegram, was a major general during the War of 1812.

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