The 45th Virginia Infantry Regiment was formed in May of 1861 in western Virginia and captured or dispersed at the Battle of Waynesboro in March of 1865. Confederate records are incomplete, but show at least 65 men killed in battle and 143 men died of disease or wounds. Union records show 600 men of the regiment captured, with 119 dying in prison.
Organized for one year state service under the command of Colonel Henry Heth (West Point Class of 1847), Lieutenant Colonel William E. Peters and Major Gabriel Wharton (VMI Class of 1847).
Company A – Floyd Guard (Tazewell Co.), commanded by Captain Joseph Harrison
|July 1||Transferred to Confederate service.|
|August||Major Wharton was transferred to the 51st Virginia Infantry Regiment and promoted to its colonel.|
The regiment lost its first fatality in a skirmish with the 7th Ohio Infantry.
|September 3||Company L was organized|
Battle of Carnifax Ferry
The regiment suffered no casualties.
|September||Assigned to the Army of the Kanawha.|
|January||Assigned to the District of Lewisburg|
|January 6||Colonel Heth was promoted to brigadier general. Lieutenant Colonel Peters was promoted to colonel.|
|January 15||Company L transferred to 23rd Virginia Infantry Battalion as Company C|
|May||Assigned to District of Lewisburg, Department of Southwestern Virginia|
|May 1||Battle of Camp Creek, Stone River Valley|
|May 14||The regiment was reorganized. Colonel Peters was dropped. Captain William Henry Browne of Company G was promoted to colonel. Colonel Browne had attended West Point but did not graduate, leaving when Virginia seceded in 1861. Captain Edwin H. Harman was elected lieutenant colonel and Captain Alexander Davis of Company C was elected major.|
|May 10||Giles Court House|
Assigned to the Army of the Kanawha
|February||Assigned to Echols’s Brigade, Department of West Virginia|
|August 26-27||White Sulphur Springs|
|October||Assigned to Wharton’s Brigade, Ransom’s Division, Department of Western Virginia and East Tennessee|
|December||Assigned to Saltville, Department of Western Virginia. The regiment recorded 702 men present for duty on the last day of the year.|
|May||Assigned to Wharton’s Brigade, Department of Western Virginia|
Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain
The regiment lost 26 men killed, 96 wounded, 46 captured, and 6 missing. Lieutenant Colonel Edwin H. Harman was killed.
Battle of Piedmont
Colonel Browne was mortally wounded and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Davis was captured. The regiment’s colors were captured by Private Thomas Evans, of the 54th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. After the battle less than 300 men regrouped at Waynesboro.
Assigned to Wharton’s Brigade, Breckinridge’s-Wharton’s Division, Army of the Valley
|July 5||Crossed the Potomac River on the march to washington.|
The regiment was in reserve and suffered no casualties.
|July 11||Reached Silver Spring, Maryland, within sight of the dome of the U.S. Capitol.|
|July 13||Skirmished with Union troops falling back from Washington.|
Five men were killed and 79 were captured.
The regiment was dispersed or captured along with the remainder of Early’s army. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Logan was wounded and captured. Major Miller and and 119 other men were captured.