“The Bloody Eighth” “The Berkeley Regiment”
|May – July||Organized for state service at Leesburg.
Company A – “Hillsboro Border Guards” – Loudoun County – Captain N. R. Heaton
|May 2||Eppa Hunton, a brigadier general in the Virginia militia, was appointed colonel. Charles B. Tebbs was appointed lieutenant colonel and Norbone Berkeley was appointed major.|
|May 8||The regiment was accepted for state service.|
|June 8||The regiment was assigned to Confederate service.|
|June 17||Ordered to Conrad’s Ferry on the Potomac. One man was wounded in a skirmish with Federals.|
|July 1||The regiment was accepted in Confederate service.|
|July 18-19||Eight companies (all except G&K) moved to Lewis Ford on Bull Run. Assigned to Fifth (Cocke’s) Brigade, Army of the Potomac.|
The 8th Virginia was held in reserve until early afternon. It then moved to Henry Hill, where it fought hand to hand with the 69th New York and the United States Marine Battalion. Colonel Corcoran of the 69th and several Marine officers were taken prisoner. The regiment lost 6 men killed, 31 wounded and 1 man captured out of the 450 men on the field.
|July 22||Moved to Camp Pickens at Manassas Junction.|
|August 11||Moved to Camp Carolina, outside Leesburg.|
|October||Assigned to 7th (Evans’) Brigade, 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac.|
Battle of Leesburg (Ball’s Bluff)
The regiment lost 14 men dead and 33 wounded out of the 375 engaged. Many were hit by shrapnel and splinters of tree bursts of Federal artillery fire in the thick woods overhead. Sergeant Clinton Hatcher of Company F was killed carrying the 8th Virginia’s flag.
|November 16||Assigned to the 4th (Cocke’s) Brigade, 2nd Division, Potomac District.|
|November 30||Went into winter quarters, building huts on a “dry and warm” campground.|
|December||Regimental records listed 33 officers and 511 men for the regiment, of whom 133 were sick and 42 were AWOL.|
|January||Assigned to the 5th (Cocke’s) Brigade, Longstreet’s Division, 1st Corps, Potomac District.|
|March 9-24||Assigned to the Pickett’s Brigade, Longstreet’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia. The regiment broke winter camp and marched west through Warrenton and Culpeper to Orange Court House.|
|April 5-19||Moved to Lebanon Church near Yorktown.|
Siege of Yorktown
The regiment totalled 450 effectives. It remained in reserve through the siege.
|April 27||The regiment was reorganized. Lieutenant Colonel Tebbs was relpaced by Major Norborne Berkeley. Captain James Thrift of Company G was elected major. He was replaced as captain by J. Owens Berry. W.R. Bissell was elected captain of Company A and William E. Garrett to Company I. The remaining officers were unchanged.|
|May 4||Camped on the grounds of William & Mary College.|
Battle of Williamsburg
The regiment lost 4 men dead and 11 captured in a firefight in dense woods in a pouring rain.
|May 31-June 1||
Battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks)
Major Thrift was mortally wounded by an artillery shell leading a charge against thr 72nd Pennsylvania.
|June||The regiment went into camp along the Williamsburg Road, assigned to Pickett’s Brigade, Longstreet’s Division, Longstreet’s Command, Army of Northern Virginia. Captain Edmund Berkeley of Company C was promote to major.|
|June 25-July 1||
Seven Days Battles
Battle of Gaines’ Mill
When Brigadier General Pickett was wounded Colonel Hunton took command of the brigade as senior colonel while Lieutenant Colonel Norborne Berkeley cmmanded the regiment. The regiment lost 10 men killed and 66 wounded from a total strength of 219. It was after this battle that Colonel Hunton referred to the regiment as “The Bloody Eighth.”
Battle of Glendale (Frayser’s Farm)
The regiment lost 2 men killed and 24 wounded, capturing a number of artillery pieces.
|July||The regiment was in reserve and unengaged during Malvern Hill, and camped along the Darbytown Road at Roper’s Mill until the start of the Second Manassas campaign.|
|August||Assigned to Pickett’s Brigade, Kemper’s Division, Longstreet’s Command, Army of Northern Virginia.|
Battle of Ox Hill (Chantilly)
Brigadier General Richard Garnett was given command of the brigade, and Colonel Hunton returned to command of the regiment.
The 8th Virginia Infantry went into battle with only 34 men and lost 11 men killed and wounded. Major Edmund Berkeley was wounded.
|September 15||Marched to Sharpsburg and was placed in line of battle east of town.|
The regiment brought 22 men to the field and lost 11 casualties.
Ftom the War Department marker to Garnet’s Brigade on the Antietam battlefield:
Garnett’s Brigade reached Sharpsburg at 11 A.M. September 15th, and took position on the southwest slope of Cemetery Hill where it remained until the morning of the 17th, when it relieved Geo. T. Anderson’s Brigade in support of the Washington Artillery. When that command was relieved by S. D. Lee’s Artillery in the afternoon, the Brigade advanced into the cornfield in front of Lee’s guns, between this point and the cemetery wall, and engaged the right of the advancing Federal line.
The right of the Confederate line west of the Burnside Bridge Road being turned, the Brigade was withdrawn, by the cross streets, to the north of the town, and cooperated with Drayton’s Brigade and A.P. Hill’s Division in the attack on the Federal left.
|November||Assigned to Garnet’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, 1st Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.|
Assigned to Garnet’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, Department of Virginia and North Carolina.
|April||Assigned to Garnet’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, Department of Southern Virginia.|
|May||Assigned to Garnet’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, 1st Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.|
The regiment arrived on the field on July 2 with 193 men. They participated in Pickett’s Charge on July 3, losing 90% casualties. Colonel Eppa Hunton, Lieutenant Colonel Norborne Berkley, Major Edmund Berkley, and Captains William and Charles Berkeley were all wounded. All of the Berkeleys were also captured.
July 2. Arrived about sunset and bivouacked on the western border of Spangler’s Woods.
July 3. In the forenoon formed line on Kemper’s left in the field east of the woods. At the cessation of the cannonade advanced and took part in Longstreet’s assault on the Union position in the vicinity of the Angle. This advance was made in good order under a storm of shells and grape and a deadly fire of musketry after passing the Emmitsburg Road. The lines were much broken in crossing the post and rail fences on both sides of that road but with shattered ranks the Brigade pushed on and took part in the final struggle at the Angle. Gen. R. B. Garnett fell dead from his saddle in front of the stone wall.
July 4. Spent the day in reorganization and during the night began the march to Hagerstown.
|July 4-14||The survivors of the regiment escorted Union prisoners to Virginia.|
|August||Colonel Hunton was promoted to brigadier general to take the place of Richard Garnet, who had been killed at Gettysburg. Lieutenant Colonel Norborne Berkely was promoted to colonel and his brother, Major Edmund Berkley, was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain William Berkeley was promoted to major. A fourth brother, Charles Berkely, was the senior captain of the regiment. However, Norborne, William and Charles were in Federal prisoner camps and Edmund and Colonel Hunton were recovering from wounds as a result of the regiment’s losses at Gettysburg.|
|September||Assigned to Hunton’s Brigade, Department of Richmond. The brigades of Pickett’s division were considered too badly damaged to send west with Longstreet’s Corps, and were kept in the Richmond area to recruit and recover.|
|May||Assigned to Hunton’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, 1st Corps, Army of Nortern Virginia. Pickett’s division rejoined Lee’s main army after the heavy casualties of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania.|
Battle of North Anna
Battle of Sayler’s Creek
General Hunton and almost all of the survivors of the regiment were killed or captured.
The only survivors of the regiment, a surgeon and 11 privates, were parolled with the surrender of Lee’s army.