2nd Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry) (Confederate)Edit This Page

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Brief History

The 2nd Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry) was organized before December 1862 and was comprised of ten companies of infantry and cavalry. Some of the men of the 2nd Virginia State Line served in the 21st Virginia Cavalry.[1]

Companies in this Regiment with the Counties of Origin

Men often enlisted in a company recruited in the counties where they lived though not always. After many battles, companies might be combined because so many men were killed or wounded. However if you are unsure which company your ancestor was in, try the company recruited in his county first.

  • Officers of the 2nd Virginia State Line were:
    William Elisha Peters, Colonel
    James Harrison, Lieutenant Colonel
    Martin Van Buren Ball, Major
    J. T. Spencer, Surgeon
    H. M. Boyle, AQM, Captain
    D. J. Gillespie, Adjutant.
  • Supplements of the 2nd Regiment were:
    Company A - Captain Simeon "Sim" Hunt's Company.
    Most men of this company were from Russell County and had formerly served in Company I, 37th Virginia Infantry.
    Hunt was elderly when he enlisted in the Confederate Army, having been born about 1800. He served in the 37th Virginia Infantry until he resigned on August 4, 1862. Hunt apparently took command of this company after this date and may not have been its original commander.
    It is possible that this is the company raised by Mike Powers or Martin Van Buren Ball.
    Officers for this company were: Captain Martin Van Buren Ball, Captain Simeon Hunt, 1st Lieutenant William Kendrick, and 2nd Lieutenant Joseph Boyd.
    Company B - Captain Ezekiel K. Counts' Company.
    Most of the men of this company were from what became Dickenson County in 1880.
    Several personal accounts of these men are in Pioneer Recollections of Southwest Virginia by Elihu Jasper Sutherland.
    This company became Company E, 21st Virginia Cavalry on March 28, 1863.
    In the history of the 21st Virginia Cavalry, Counts was reported to have deserted to the Yankees and his company disbanded. Counts actually left the 21st Virginia Cavalry, but his company remained intact and operated as guerrillas in Buchanan, Russell, and Wise counties. Counts was succeeded by Jasper Colley after the former assumed the role of major in his unauthorized, irregular, four- company battalion.
    Company C - A cavalry company - Captain J. C. Harrison's Company.
    This company's home territory is not known.
    Officers were commissioned on August 9, 1862.
    Many members of this company became members of Company K, 37th Battalion Virginia Cavalry when the Virginia State Line was disbanded.
    Officers of this company were: Captain J. C. Harrison, 1st Lieutenant J. C. Gillespie, and 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Whitley.
    Company D - A cavalry company - Captain William C. Williams's Company.
    This company's home territory was Buchanan County.
    Officers were commissioned on July 7, 1862.
    Most men in this unit later served in Company H, 10th Kentucky Cavalry.
    Officers of this company were: Captain William C. Williams, 1st Lieutenant John S. Ratliff, and 2nd Lieutenant Meshack Ratliff.
    Company E - An infantry company - Captain William R. Lee's Company.
    This company's home territory was probably Russell County.
    Officers were commissioned on August 27, 1862, and were: Captain William R. Lee, 1st Lieutenant Conoley Blankenship, and 2nd Lieutenant Hiram Justice.
    Company F - A cavalry company - Captain John B. Goff's Company, also called Goff's Pine Knots.
    This company was probably raised for the most part in Pike County, Kentucky.
    Officers were commissioned October 4, 1862.
    Goff was captured in Pike County soon after the Virginia State Line was disbanded and incarcerated as a bushwhacker. It is likely, though not certain, that some of Goff's men were recruited into James Milton French's abortive 65th Virginia Infantry.
    Officers for this company were: Captain John B. Goff, 1st Lieutenant John B. Williamson, and 2nd Lieutenant Harrison Deskins.
    Company G - An infantry company - Captain James R. Cook's Company.
    This unit's home territory was Wyoming County. Officers were commissioned on September 20, 1862.
    Most of this unit later served in Company C, 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry.
    Officers for this company were: Captain James Russell Cook, 1st Lieutenant William Anderson Hatfield, 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Cartright, and 2nd Lieutenant Charles Stewart Canter- bury.
    Company H - A cavalry company - Captain Mathias Harrison's Company.
    Members of this company were from Wayne, Cabell, and Logan counties.
    Officers were commissioned on September 18, 1862. Officers for this company were: Captain Mathias Harrison, 1st Lieutenant Meredith Burchell, and 2nd Lieutenant James Hays.
    Company I - A cavalry company - Captain Julius Williamson's Company.
    Officers were commissioned on September 1, 1862.
    Williamson was from Pike County, Kentucky and members of this company may have been residents of Pike and Buchanan counties.
    Officers for this company were: Captain Julius Williamson, 1st Lieutenant H. Williamson, and 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Marrs.
    Company K - A cavalry company - Captain William S. Chandler's Company.
    Officers were commissioned on September 17, 1862.
    Members were from Boone County.
    Chandler formerly had served in Company I, 22nd Virginia Infantry.
    Officers for this unit were: Captain William S. Chandler, 1st Lieutenant Joel B. Stollings, and 2nd Lieutenant A. J. Dolan.
    Mike Powers's Company
    Captain James W. Bausell recalled on May 7, 1931 at Lebanon, Virginia that this unit was Company H and was raised in Russell County.
    Bausell misidentified other companies of this command but gave enough proper information to lead one to believe that Powers was once a captain of one of the companies. Powers probably resigned and was replaced by one of the captains listed above. The other possibility is that he recruited a new company after the January 1863 listing of officers was made. No Mike Powers was found in the compiled service records of the 21st Virginia Cavalry. Other individuals mentioned by Bausell were members of Crockett C. Pack's Company which transferred to the 37th Battalion Virginia Cavalry. Bausell also reported that Powers deserted the Confederate Army in August 1863 and was employed at Camp Chase, Ohio during the war.
    It is probable that this company became Company C of the 2nd Virginia State Line.
    Arch Peery's Company –
    This company was reported by Noah B. Sutherland in Pioneer Recollections of Southwest Virginia (p. 403). Sutherland noted that this company, under Peery of Tazewell County, volunteered for three months at Sand Lick sometime in mid-1862.
    Most of this company later enlisted in Ezekiel Counts' Co. B, 2nd Virginia State Line.
    Bill Ratliff's Company –
    This company was reported by Noah B. Sutherland and may not have completed its organization or even been affiliated with the State Line.
    If Ratliff's company was fully formed, it was commanded by another officer in the State Line.
  • Roster

The above information is from the Virginia State Line, Organizational Structure of the Virginia State Line,  (accessed 23 November 2011).  See also Jeffrey C. Weaver, 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry, Smith and Count's Battalions of Partisan Rangers, (Lynchburg, Virginia : H.E. Howard, c1994), pages 9-12, FHL book 975.5 M2vr v. 102.

Other Sources

  • Beginning United States Civil War Research gives steps for finding information about a Civil War soldier or sailor. It covers the major records that should be used. Additional records are described in Virginia in the Civil War and United States Civil War, 1861 to 1865.
  • National Park Service, The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, is searchable by soldier's name and state. It contains basic facts about soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, a list of regiments, descriptions of significant battles, sources of the information, and suggestions for where to find additional information.
  • Virginia in the Civil War describes many Confederate and Union sources, specifically for Virginia, and how to find them.. These include compiled service records, pension records, rosters, cemetery records, Internet databases, published books, etc.
  • United States Civil War, 1861 to 1865 describes and explains United States and Confederate States records, rather than state records, and how to find them. These include veterans’ censuses, compiled service records, pension records, rosters, cemetery records, Internet databases, published books, etc.
  • Weaver, Jeffrey C. 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry, Smith and Count's Battalions of Partisan Rangers, (Lynchburg, Virginia : H.E. Howard, c1994), FHL book 975.5 M2vr v. 102.
  • Sifakis, Stewart. Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Virginia. New York, NY: Facts on File, 1992- 1995. (Family History Library book 975 M2ss, Ten Volumes.) This gives organization information for each unit and its field officers, assignments, and battles. It also lists sources further reading. Volume 5 is for Virginia.
  • Wallace, Lee A. A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations, 1861-1865. Lynchburg, Virginia: H. E. Howard, 1986. (Family History Library book 975.5 M2vr, Volume 29.) This gives brief historical sketches of each regiment and lists officers, company names, and commanders.

References

  1. National Park Service, The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, (accessed 6 December 2010).

 

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  • This page was last modified on 11 June 2012, at 22:47.
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