The 40th Virginia Infantry Regiment was formed in Fredericksburg in May of 1861 and was surrendered at Appomattox Court House in April of 1865.
|May 30||Organized for state service at Fredericksburg under the command of John M. Brockenbrough (VMI Class of 1850).|
|July 1||Transferred to Confederate service|
|September||Assigned to Department of Fredericksburg|
|October||Assigned to Aquia District, Department of Northern Virginia|
|April 19||US occupation of Fredericksburg.|
|April||Captain Fleet W. Cox (VMI Class of 1849) of Company K was promoted to major.|
|May||Assigned to Field’s Brigade, A.P. Hill’s Division, Longstreet’s Command, Army of Northern Virginia|
|June 25-July 1||
Seven Days Battles
The regiment lost about half its strength in the fighting.
Battle of Cedar Mountain
|August 26||Major Cox was promoted to lieutenant colonel.|
Colonel Brockenbrough took temporary command of the brigade when General Field was wounded. Lieutenant Colonel Fleet Cox took over command of the regiment.
Battle of Chantilly
Lieutenant Colonel Fleet Cox commanded the regiment while Colonel Brockenbrough commanded the brigade as senior colonel.
From the War Department tablet for Field’s Brigade number 349 on the Antietam battlefield:
Field’s Brigade left Harpers Ferry at 7:30 A.M. of September 17, reached this point about 3 P.M. and was put in position to guard the approaches to the field by Snavely’s Ford and the lower Antietam.
The Brigade was not actively engaged, and recrossed the Potomac early on the morning of September 19.
Commanded by Captain T. Edwin Betts.
|March 5||Brigadier General Henry Heth took command of the brigade and Colonel Brockenbrough returned to command of the regiment.|
|May 2||Assigned to Field’s-Walker’s Brigade, Heth’s Division, 3rd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. General Heth was promoted to division command and Colonel Brockenbrough once again took command of the brigade as senior colonel.|
Lieutenant Colonel Cox was wounded, losing his eye. He would be absent through August recuperating. Captain Thomas E. Betts took command of the regiment.
At Gettysburg Captain Thomas E. Betts commanded the regiment while Colonel Brockenbrough commanded the brigade as senior colonel. The brigade was last in the line of march of Heth’s Division and did not arrive in time for the morning actions. In the afternoon fighting it was not particularly aggressive, losing only a hundred casualties in the otherwise fierce fighting on Seminary Ridge. Colonel Brockenbrough’s brother was killed at this time, which probably affected his effectiveness.
On the third day during Pickett’s Charge the brigade, under the temporary command of Colonel Mayo of the 47th Virginia Infantry, was placed on the extreme left flank of the assault. It was exposed to intense fire from both front and flank. They collapsed and ran to the rear, the first brigade in the attack to do so. Captain Betts was wounded and captured, and Captain R. B. Davis took command of the regiment.
From the monument to Brockenbrough’s Brigade on the Gettysburg battlefield:
July 1. Crossed the Run at 2 P.M. between Chambersburg Pike and Reynolds Woods. Engaged Union forces on McPherson ridge and with other troops on left drove them back to next ridge capturing two flags and many prisoners with some sharpshooters in the barn. Soon afterwards the Brigade was relieved by Pender’s Division.
July 2. Lay in the woods west of the Run. In the evening took position near here.
July 3. In Longstreet’s assault this Brigade was on the left flank of the column and as it approached the Union position was exposed to a severe fire of musketry on the left flank and artillery and musketry in front. It pushed beyond the Emmitsburg Road but was met by a heavy front and flank fire from the Union lines north of the Bryan Barn and compelled to fall back.
July 4. After night withdrew and began the march to Hagerstown.
Battle of Williamsport
The regiment was attacked while serving as rear guard for the army crossing the Potomac and suffered heavy losses in prisoners.
|September 19||Colonel Brockenbrough’s was relieved of brigade command and returned to command of the regiment.|
|September||While still recovering from his wound, Lieutenant Colonel Cox was elected to the Virginia legislature. He left for Richmond and would not return to the regiment.|
Mine Run Campaign
Battle of North Anna
|September 29||Squirrel Level Road|
|September 30||Jones’s Farm|
|October 1||Pegram’s Farm|
|October 2||Harman Road|
|November||Lieutenant Colonel Cox was listed as absent without leave due to having taken up his duties in Richmond in the Virginia legislature.|
|January||Assigned to Mayo’s-Barton’s Brigade, Department of Richmond.|
|January 21||Colonel Brockenbrough resigned.|
|February||Lieutenant Colonel Cox was retired to the Invalid Corps.|
|March||Assigned to Barton’s Brigade,G.W.C. Lee’s Division, Department of Richmond|
|April||Assigned to Barton’s Brigade,G.W.C. Lee’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia|
Battle of Sayler’s Creek
The 40th Virginia Infantry Regiment surrendered.