|April 12||The 1st Rockbridge (Virginia) Light Artillery was created in Lexington, Virginia, under the command of Captain John A. McCausland, a Virginia Military Institute mathematics professor. The battery was armed with two six-pounder cannon from VMI and two cannon from Richmond. The men included 28 college graduates, seven with master’s degrees from the University of Virginia, and 25 theological students.
Captain McCausland was sent to train troops gathering in Charles Town. The battery elected William Nelson Pendleton to be captain.
|April 29||Mustered into state service at Staunton.|
|May 11||Moved to Harpers Ferry and mustered into Confederate service.|
|June 1||The battery was assigned to the 1st Brigade, Army of the Shenandoah under Brigadier General Thomas J. Jackson|
Battle of Falling Waters (detachment)
Captain Pendleton left three guns in defensive positions along the march from Martinsburg, bringing a single six pounder into battle. It helped turn back a flanking movement by Union cavalry and disabled an enemy gun.
|July 18||The Rockbridge Artillery moved east to reinforce General Beauregard’s forces at Manassas Junction.|
The Rockbridge Artillery fought on Henry House Hill in support of Jackson’s Brigade. During the pursuit of the Union forces after the battle the battery was visited by Confederate president Jefferson Davis.
|end of July||Captain Pendleton was promoted to chief of artillery and Captain William McLaughlin assumed command of the battery, which was reequipped with cannon captured from Union troops. Assigned to 1st Brigade, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac.|
|August 1||Moved to Camp Harman, a mile east of Centerville, the old camp having become so unhealthy it was nicknamed “Camp Maggot.” Assigned to Artillery Battalion, Jackson’s Division, 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.|
|September 16||Moved from Camp Harman to a camp near Fairfax Court House|
|November||The Rockbridge Artillery was returned to the Shenandoah Valley and was attached to Jackson’s Army of the Valley.|
|December 16-21||Raid on Dam #5 on the Potomac River.|
The Rockbridge Artillery held off Union forces during the Confederate retreat but lost a six-pounder cannon and caisson in the process.
|April||Captain William T. Poague took command of the battery.|
|May-June||Assigned to Artillery Battalion, Jackson’s Division, Army of the Valley District|
The Rockbridge Artillery helped prevent Jackson’s capture as he fled U.S. soldiers pouring into the town. The unit deployed its guns, drove the Union troops out, and then later assisted in their pursuit.
|late June||Jackson and his command joined the Army of Northern Virginia outside Richmond.|
Battle of Malvern Hill
The battery expended all of its ammunition dueling with Union artillery. It suffered only 12 casualties due to its good position.
Battle of Cedar Mountain
The Rockbridge Artillery helped repulse repeated Union attacks during the two days of the battle.
The battery was positioned near the Dunkard Church where it endured a severe counter-battery cross fire. One 6-pounder howitzer had been detached to Williamsport with the Reserve Artillery, leaving the battery 2 10-pounder Parrott rifles and 1 Napoleon. One officer and five enlisted men were wounded and 14 horses were killed. The loss of almost all of the horses of two of the pieces forced them to be withdrawn to the rear as unserviceable. The battery’s lone remaining piece was sent with several other guns to the far left flank to assist General Stuart in driving back Federal batteries but after fifteen minutes the effort was abandoned.
|October 20||The battery was transferred from the Stonewall Brigade to Corps Reserve Artillery.|
Battle of Fredericksburg
The Rockbridge Artillery split into two sections. It deployed its long-range guns on the extreme right flank of the Confederate line to support the guns of Major John Pelham and its other pieces closer to the center of the Confederate right flank at Prospect Hill. The battery sustained losses of six killed, sixteen wounded, and thirty-seven horses killed during the battle. Randolph Fairfax was killed.
|February-July||Assigned to Brown’s Battalion, Reserve Artillery, 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.|
|April||Captain Poague was promoted to major and Captain Archibald Graham took command of the battery.|
Salem Church (Battle of Chancellorsville)
The battery in supported Jubal A. Early’s lines near Fredericksburg and at Salem Church. It fired 820 rounds but suffered few casualties.
The Rockbridge Artillery was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Captain Archibald Graham. It was positioned on Benner’s Hill to the northeast of Cemetery Hill on the second and third day of the battle. The battery participated in the artillery bombardment of Union lines in preparation for Pickett’s Charge on the 3rd. During the campaign, the battery fired 439 rounds and suffered twenty casualties.
From the marker on the Gettysburg battlefield:
July 1. The Battery arrived on the field too late to participate in the engagement of the day. Was ordered to report to Lieut. Colonel H. P Jones commanding Artillery Early’s Division and moved into position on the left to the south and east of town.
July 2. Remained in position on the left firing occasionally.
July 3. Remained in position during the day and rejoined the Battalion during the night.
July 4. Took up line of march to Hagerstown.
Retreat to Virginia
The Rockbridge Artillery lost its baggage trains and its sick and wounded to Union cavalry who got in among the retreating Confederates.
|July-June||Assigned to Brown’s-Hardaway’s Battalion, 2nd Corps Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia.|
The battery defended against Union attacks along the Confederate defensive line.
|May||The battery was only lightly engaged during the remainder of the Overland Campaign.|
|June||Stationed near Drewry’s Bluff and New Market Heights. Assigned to Hardaway’s Battalion, 1st Corps Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia|
First Battle of Deep Bottom
The battery lost four cannon when Union infantry drove off the battery’s supports. The guns were quickly replaced and the battery continued to harass ship traffic on the James River for the remainder of the summer.
|Autumn||Manned entrenchments at Fort Harrison and Fort Gilmore along the Richmond line.|
|September 29||Union troops overran Fort Gilmore and Fort Harrison.The battery withdrew from both positions without loss and went into winter quarters at Fort Alexander.|
|March||Assigned to Hardaway’s Battalion, 2nd Corps Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia|
|April 2||Joined the retreat west from Richmond|
The Rockbridge Artillery surrendered 3 oficers and 21 men. The members of the battery tore up their flags and kept the pieces as mementoes rather than turn them over to the Union army.