The 47th Virginia Infantry Regiment was created at Fredericksburg in June of 1861 and surrendered at Appomattox Court House in April of 1865.
|March-July||Organized around Fredericksburg, manning artillery batteries along the Potomac at Aquia Creek under Colonel George W. Richardson.|
|June 11||Mustered in for one year’s state service.|
|May 31 & June 1||Engagements with Union gunboats.|
|June 28||Skirmish at Mathias Point. The commander of a landing party from the USS Thomas Freeborn was killed by sharpshooters.|
|July 1||Transferred to Confederate Service|
|September||Assigned to Department of Fredericksburg.|
|November||Assigned to French’s Brigade, Aquia District, Department of Northern Virginia|
|March||Moved to Richmond to defend against McClellan’s advance on the Peninsula, numbering around 1,000 men. After arriving 30 men were permanently assigned to duty in the shipyards to construct gunboats. The rest of the regiment were transported by boat downriver on the James River to near Yorktown, and after a short detour, camped at Lee’s Farm.|
|May 1||The regiment was reorganized for the duration of the war. It mustered 444 men and was assigned to Field’s Brigade, A.P. Hill’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia. Colonel Richardson was dropped and Major Robert Mayo was elected colonel.|
|May 2||Moved to the woods behind Lebanon Church.|
|May 4-18||The regiment served as rear guard as General Johnston pulled out of the Yorktown defences and withdrew to within two miles of Richmond.|
|June||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 suffered 34 casualties of the 156 engaged at Frayser’s Farm on June 30.
|July 27||Assigned to Field’s Brigade, A.P. Hill’s Division, Jackson’s Command, Army of Northern Virginia. A bitter dispute between Hill and Longstreet caused Lee to transfer Hill and his division to Jackson, with whom he would fare little better.|
|July 29||Marched to Richmond and 350 men boarded a train north. Stopped at Gordonsville to allow the men to sleep in the woods outside the train.|
|August 7||Marched to Culpeper, with the regiment in the rear of the march and not leaving town until evening. Reached Orange Court House early on the 8th and late on the 9th reached the Cedar Mountain battlefield after the fighting had ceased.|
The regiment lost 29 casualties.
Battle of Chantilly
The 47th Virginia was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John W. Lyell.
From the War Department marker for Field’s Brigade at Antietam:
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.
The regiment suffered 45 casualties.
The regiment suffered 45 casualties.
|May||Assigned to Field’s-Walker’s Brigade, Heth’s Division, 3rd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia|
The 47th Virginia was commanded at Gettysburg by Colonel Richard Mayo. He took command of the brigade on July 3, and Lieutenant Colonel John W. Lyell took over command of the regiment. It brought 209 men to the field, losing over 20% casualties.
Battle of Falling Waters
The regiment’s colors were captured during the retreat across the Potomac.
|September 10||Colonel Mayo was convicted by court martial of drunkeness and was sentenced to be reduced in rank, but continued to serve.|
Mine Run Campaign
Battle of North Anna
|September 1||Colonel Mayo temporarily left the regiment on sick furlough.|
|September 29||Squirrel Level Road|
|September 30||Jones’s Farm|
|December 8||Left the Petersburg defences in the afternoon and marched three miles to Dinwiddie Court House to stop Union cavalry from destroying the railroad.|
|December 9||Marched 20 miles, reaching and crossing the Nottoway River at Wyatt’s Mill. Continued the march to Jarrett’s Station in a freezing rain. The cavalry had destroyed the station and moved on and the regiment bivouacked in the open.|
|December 10||The pursuit continued another seven miles south until General Heth called it off due to the weather and the almost impassible roads.|
|December 13||The regiment returned to their original positions along Hatcher’s Run to find their tents gone and their shelters burned for firewood by the troops who had replaced them.|
|December 26||After spending Christmas in the trenches, moved to north of the James River to reinforce the artillery on Chaffin’s Bluff. The position overlooked the Confederate James River Fleet and was safe and dry compared the trenches south of Petersburg.|
|October 2||Harman Road|
|January-March||Assigned to Mayo’s-Barton’s Brigade, Department of Richmond. The regiment mustered 227 men.|
|February||Consolidated with the 55th Virginia Infantry|
|March-April||Assigned to Barton’s Brigade, G.W.C. Lee’s Division, Department of Richmond|
Retreat from Richmond
Assigned to Barton’s Brigade, G.W.C. Lee’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia
|April 3||Crossed the James River three miles south of Richmond at Wilton and marched 17 miles to Tomahawk Church. The roads were clogged with refugees and Sailors of the James River Fleet.|
|April 4||Resumed the march at dawn in a light rain. The bridge over the Appomattox was out when the crossing was reached at 4 pm, so the men marched further downstream and crossed on the rail bridge.|
|April 5||Resumed the march on clogged roads, with occasional firing. Reached Amelia Court House to find the supply wagons had been lost and destroyed by Union pursuers. The men continued marching through the darkness, having had no food since leaving the Richmond defenses. Men were dropping out all along the march.|
Battle of Sayler’s Creek
Reached Saylers Creek by midafternoon, with fighting going on in front and to the rear. The men formed up and threw back the first attack, but the second rolled over the defenders after a brief hand to hand combat. One hundred eighty nine men surrendered and were paroled.
Only two sergeants from the 47th Virginia survived to surrender at Appomattox.