|The 3rd Regimental Virginia Volunteers was organized with four companies:
Portsmouth Riflemen, Captain William James Richardson. Established in 1792 and known as the oldest volunteer company in the State of Virginia.
Three more companies would be organized over the next year:
|April 16||The 3rd Virginia Infantry consisted of:
Portsmouth Rifle Company – Captain John C. Owens
|April 20||Called up and stationed at the Portsmouth Court House and City Hall under the command of Colonel Hodges, Lieutenant Colonel Godwin and Major William C. Wingfield.|
|April 21||The Portsmouth Rifle Company, Old Dominion Guard, and Portsmouth National Light Infantry Greys left the regiment for Norfolk, where they worked to salvage the Gosport Naval Yard.
The Portsmouth Light Artillery, Newton Marion Rifles and Dismal Swamp Rangers moved to Hospital Point and began work on a twelve gun battery on the bluff.
|May 3||Sweeping command changes in former militia units moved field officers to different regiments in the interest of good discipline. Colonel Hodges, Lieutenant Colonel Godwin were moved to the 14th Virginia Infantry
Colonel Roger A. Pryor, Lieutenant Colonel Fletcher Archer, and Major Joseph Mayo became the regiment’s new field officers.
|May 30||The regiment voted on secession. Men from the Marion Rifles voted overwhelmingly to stay in the Union. They were temporarily imprisoned, but when the Governor ordered them released Colonel Pryor called the company together and disbanded them. Pro-secession members of the company then formed the nucleus of a replacement company, the Virginia Rifles.|
|June||Assigned to Department of the Peninsula|
|June 10||Big Bethel (3 companies)|
|July 12||The regiment was accepted into Confederate service under the command of Colonel Roger A. Pryor, Lieutenant Colonel Fletcher Archer, and Major Joseph Mayo.
Company A – “Dismal Swamp Rangers” – Captain James C. Choate
Assigned to the Department of Norfolk
|November 6||Major Mayo was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain Joseph V. Scott of Company E was promoted to major.|
|January-April||Assigned to Colston’s Brigade, Department of Norfolk|
|April-June||Assigned to Colston’s Brigade, Longstreet’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia|
|April 16||Colonel Pryor was promoted to brigadier general. The regiment was assigned to Pryor’s Brigade, Longstreet’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia|
|April 27||Reorganized with a strength of 550 men. Lieutenant Colonel Mayo was elected colonel, Major Scott to lieutenant colonel and Captain Alexander D. Callcote was elected major.|
Battle of Williamsburg
|May 31-June 1||
Battle of Seven Pines
|June-August||Assigned to Pryor’s Brigade, Longstreet’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia|
|June 25-July 1||
Seven Days Battles
The regiment suffered 97 casualties
|June 27||Gaines’ Mill|
Lt. Colonel Scott rose from his sickbed to lead the regiment and was killed.
|August||Assigned to Pryor’s Brigade, Wilcox’s Division, Longstreet’s Command, Army of Northern Virginia|
The regiment was commanded by Captain Charles F. Urquhart, and captured two guns of McGilvery’s Maine Battery.
|September||Maryland Campaign. Assigned to Pryor’s Brigade, Anderson’s Division, Longstreet’s Command, Army of Northern Virginia
Commanded by Colonel Joseph Mayo. The regiment was in reserve in Piper’s Lane and advanced toward the Sunken Road when the Confederate line there began to collapse. Colonel Mayo was wounded and Captain Charles F. Urquart, who was leading the regiment, colors in hand, was killed.
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.
|September 24||Major Callcote was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain William H. Pryor was promoted to major.|
|October||Assigned to Pryor’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, Longstreet’s Command, Army of Northern Virginia|
|November||Transferred to Kemper’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, 1st Corps, Army of Northern Virginia|
The regiment lost 11 casualties
Pickett’s Division was temporarily transferred to the Department of Southern Virginia for Longstreet’s Suffolk Campaign
|May||Returned to the 1st Corps, Army of Northern Virginia too late for the Chancellorsville campaign.|
The regiment was commanded by Colonel Joseph Mayo and brought 332 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. The regiment lost 30 men killed, 41 wounded, and 57 missing or captured.
Casualties among the officers were extremely heavy. Lt. Colonel Callcote, Captain Crawley Phillips, and Lieutenants Patrick Arthur, George Mitchell and Fenton Wrenn were killed.
Lieutenants John Arthur and Robert Gut were mortally wounded. Captains Thomas Hodges and Richard Tuck and Lieutenants Solomon Birdsong, James Brown and Oceloa White were wounded.
Lieutenants Azra Gomer, Thomas Jackson and Paul Tuck were wounded and captured.
Surgeon Thomas P. Mayo was left at the field hospital when the army retreated and was captured on July 5.
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
|July||Escorted prisoners back to Virginia|
|September||Assigned to Kemper’s Brigade, Department of Richmond|
|May||Assigned to Kemper’s-Terry’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, 1st Corps, Army of Northern Virginia|
|May 16||Drewry’s Bluff|
Battle of the North Anna
|August 20||Major Pryor was promoted to lieutenant colonel effective to the death of Lt. Colonel Callcote on July 3, 1863|
The regiment lost heavy casualties when Pickett’s defensive line collapsed.
Battle of Sayler’s Creek
Most of the survivors from Five Forks were captured.
The regiment surrendered 1 officer and 60 men