The ancestry of the 1st Virginia Infantry dates back to the 1600s. Its commanders include George Washington and Patrick Henry.
|April 19||Ten companies of militia were organized into the 1st Infantry at Richmond:Company A, Richmond Grays
Company B, Richmond City Guard
Company C, Montgomery Guard
Company D, Old Dominion Guard
Company E, Richmond Light Infantry Blues
Company F, Captain Cary’s “F Company”;
Company G, Captain William H. Gordon’s company
Company H, Captain Randolph’s Howitzer company
Company I, Captain Robert Morris’ company
Company K, Virginia Rifles
The Richmond Fayette Artillery was also attached to the regiment.
|April 21||Company A, Richmond Grays left for Norfolk. In August of 1861, they were assigned to the 12th Regiment of Virginia Volunteers. Company E, the Richmond Light Infantry Blues, and Captain Cary’s Company F, left Richmond for Fredericksburg, and were never returned to the regiment. Company E was replaced by the “Washington Volunteers” for one year’s service.|
|April 24||William P. Munford was mustered into state service as major.|
|April 25||The Richmond Fayette Artillery was detached from the regiment, and in May, was stationed at the Richmond College artillery barracks. Captain Randolph’s Howitzers, Company H, went into quarters at the Spotswood Hotel on April 19, but later moved to Richmond College, where they were detached from the regiment and reorganized into an artillery battalion.|
|April 27||Marched to Camp Lee at the Fair Grounds on the western edge of Richmond.|
|April 29||The Old Dominion Guard was mustered into service as Company D.|
|May 2||Patrick T. Moore was appointed Colonel of the regiment, William H. Fry was appointed lieutenant colonel|
|May 4||Captain Francis J. Boggs’ second company of Richmond Grays was assigned to the regiment, replacing Captain Randolph’s Howitzers as Company H.|
|May 17||Major Munford resigned to become lieutenant colonel of the 17th Virginia Infantry and Frederick G. Skinner was appointed major of the 1st Virginia Infantry.|
|May 25||Eight companies (all except E&F) left by train for Camp Pickens, Manassas Junction.|
|May 26||Eight companies arrived at Manassas Junction.|
|June 20||The 1st Virginia Infantry was assigned to the Fourth Brigade of the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Colonel G.H. Terrett.|
|June 30||Mustered into Confederate service.|
Battle of Blackburn’s Ford
Colonel Patrick T. Moore was badly wounded in the head and disabled from future field service. Lieutenant Colonel Fry took command of the regiment. Major Skinner was also wounded in the head, but slightly. Captain J.K. Lee of Company B was killed. A total of 13 men were killed and 27 wounded.
Assigned to Longstreet’s Brigade and stationed at Blackburn’s Ford. Six men were wounded.
|July 24||Moved to Centreville.|
|July 25||Assigned to the Fourth Brigade of the first Corps of the Army of the Potomac.|
|August||The regiment reported 570 men available for duty.|
|August 16||Moved to Fairfax Court House.|
|November 11||Lieutenant Colonel Fry resigned.|
|November 18||Major Skinner was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain John Dooley of Company C was promoted to major.|
|April||Company E and Company K were disbanded at the expiration of their one year service; the regiment was reorganized with six companies and assigned to A.P. Hill’s Brigade. Major Dooley was dropped.|
|April – May||
Siege of Yorktown
|April 27||Lieutenant Colonel Lewis B. Williams of the 7th Virginia Infantry was transferred to the 1st Virginia and promoted to colonel. Adjutant William H. Palmer was elected major.|
Battle of Williamsburg
Colonel Williams was badly wounded and captured. Major Palmer took command even though he was slightly wounded.
|May 25||Brigadier General A.P. Hill was promoted to division command, and the brigade was taken over by Colonel James Kemper.|
|May 31-June 1||
Battle of Seven Pines
|June||Colonel Williams was exchanged and returned to command the regiment|
|June 25-July 1||
Seven days before Richmond
Battle of Frayser’s Farm
|August||The brigade was under the temporary command of Colonel Montgomery Corse while Brigadier General Kemper took command of a temporary division.|
The regiment took part in Longstreet’s attack on the Union flank at Chinn Ridge. It lost 28 men of the 140 engaged. Lieutenant Colonel Skinner led the charge into the 5th Maine Battery, killing two artillerymen with his sword before he was badly wounded in the chest. He would not return to field service.
|September||Brigadier General Kemper resumed command of the brigade, which became part of the division of Brigadier General David R. Jones in Longstreet’s Command|
The regiment was commanded by Captain George F. Norton.
Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam)
Commanded by Major William Palmer.
From the War Department marker for Kemper’s Brigade on the Antietam Battlefield:
Kemper’s Brigade reached Sharpsburg about noon September 15th and took position on Cemetery Hill. In the afternoon the Brigade moved to the ravine about 520 yards northwest of this. At noon of the 17th, the 7th and 24th Regiments were sent down the Harpers Ferry Road about 520 and 850 yards respectively, to guard the right flank. Upon the approach of the 9th Corps, about 3 P.M. the 1st, 11th and 17th Regiments advanced to the high ground in their front and met the charge of Fairchild’s Brigade; they were driven from their position and retreated through the town. They reformed with Garnett’s and Drayton’s Brigades in the Harpers Ferry Road just south of the town and, co-operated with Toombs’ Brigade, and A.P. Hill’s Division, checked the further advance of the enemy and reoccupied the ground from which they had been driven, where, joined by the 7th and 24th, they remained until the morning of the 19th, when the Brigade recrossed the Potomac.
|November||Assigned to Kemper’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, First Army Corps|
The regiment lost nine men wounded
|May 2||Major Palmer became A.A.G. to A.P. Hill when Hill was given command of the Third Corps. Captain Francis H. Langley of Company G was promoted to major.|
The regiment was commanded by Colonel Lewis B. Williams and brought 209 men to the field. It took part in Pickett’s charge on the right flank of the attacking column, taking heavy casualties from the flanking fire of the Vermont Brigade.
From the monument to Kemper’s Brigade on the Gettysburg battlefield:
July 2. Arrived about sunset and bivouacked on the western border of Spangler’s Woods.
July 3. In the forenoon formed line in the field east of the woods with right flank near Spangler’s Barn. At the close of the cannonade advanced and took part in Longstreet’s assault upon the Union position in the vicinity of the Angle. Exposed to a severe fire of artillery and vigorously assailed beyond the Emmitsburg Road by infantry on the right flank with ranks thinned and much disorganized by its losses especially of officers it pressed on against the Union line at the stone wall where after a fierce encounter the struggle ended. Gen. J. L. Kemper fell wounded in front of the stone wall.
July 4. Spent the day in reorganization and during the night began the march to Hagerstown.
The 1st Virginia Infantry lost 27 men killed, 73 wounded, and 13 missing.
Colonel Williams was mortally wounded. Major Francis H. Langley was wounded. Captain James Hallihan was killed, Captains Tomas H. Davis, Eldridge Morris, George Norton and Albert Watkins were wounded, Lieutenants Adolphus Blair, Paul Cabell, John Dooley, Ellison Martin, Jesse Payne, Edward Reeve and William Woody were wounded, Lieutenant William Caho was mortally wounded and captured and Lieutenant William Kenningham was wounded and captured.
|July||Escorted prisoners back to Virginia. Lieutenant Colonel Skinner was promoted to colonel even though he was not fit for field duty due to his wound from Second Manassas. Major Langley was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain George F. Norton of Company D was promoted to major.|
|September||Detached from the Army of Northern Virginia and assigned to the Department of Richmond|
Battle of Plymouth, N.C.
The regiment lost 12 killed and 25 wounded
Battle of the North Anna
Siege of Petersburg begins
|February 6||Colonel Skinner was officially retired to the Invalid Corps.|
Dinwiddie Court House
The regiment lost 1 man killed and 77 wounded.
The regiment lost 40 men captured, including Lieutenant Colonel Langey and Major Norton.
The 1st Virginia surrendered 17 men under the command of Sergeant Major Andrew J. Simpson