3rd Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry and Infantry) (Confederate)Edit This Page

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United States Gotoarrow.png  U.S. Military Gotoarrow.png  Virginia Gotoarrow.png   Virginia Military Gotoarrow.png  Virginia in the Civil War Gotoarrow.png   3rd Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry)


Brief History

  • Organized in 1862 and was composed of cavalry and infantry.
  • This regiment led in the State Line fight at Prestonsburg, Kentucky on December 4, 1862.
  • Cavalry companies of this regiment were reported to total 230 men in January 1863 and its infantry companies included 290 men. At this time the regiment was stationed at Bath Alum Springs, Virginia.
  • Most of the men of the 3rd Virginia State Line enlisted in Colonel William L. Jackson's 19th Virginia Cavalry on April 11, 1863.[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 3rd Virginia State Line were:
    John Nicholas Clarkson, Colonel
    Thomas Belt Swann, Lieutenant Colonel
    Peachy Gilmer Breckinridge, Major
    Alexander Clendinen, Surgeon
    Floyd Rocke, Assistant Quartermaster
    Runnels Davis, Adjutant
    William Leigh Barksdale, Captain, Assistant Surgeon
  • Subcommands of the 3rd Regiment were:
    Company A - An infantry company - Captain George Downs' Company.
    This company was organized as the "Moccasin Rangers" on July 15, 1861, in Calhoun County.
    It became Ranger Company No. 1 and joined the Virginia State Line some time after July 2, 1862.
    Most members were later assigned to Company A, 19th Virginia Cavalry.
    Most of the rangers were from Calhoun County.
    Officers for this company were: Captain George Downs, 1st Lieutenant John Henchin, and 2nd Lieutenant Lewis Logue.
    Company B - Captain John S. Spriggs' Company.
    This company served as State Ranger Company No. 2 before affiliation with the Virginia State Line. Later it apparently became Company B, 19th Virginia Cavalry.
    Members lived in Gilmer, Webster, Braxton, and Jackson counties.
    Officers for this company were: Captain John S. Spriggs, 1st Lieutenant Samuel Ginens, 2nd Lieutenant Robert Morton, and 2nd Lieutenant John J. Williams.
    Company C - Captain John Righter's Company.
    This company was Company No. 4, Virginia State Rangers prior to its affiliation with the Virginia State Line.
    It subsequently became Company D, 19th Virginia Cavalry. Righter's men were from Harrison, Jackson, Ritchie, and Taylor counties.
    Officers for this unit were: Captain John Righter, 1st Lieutenant Ezekiel Martin, and 2nd Lieutenant John Anderson.
    Company D - A cavalry company - Captain Joseph R. Kessler's Company.
    This company enlisted on August 17, 1862, in Roane County, and its officers were commissioned on the same date.
    Most men enlisted in Confederate service on March 15, 1863, and were assigned as Company C, 19th Virginia Cavalry.
    These men were from Calhoun, Jackson, Pocahontas, Preston and Wirt counties.
    Leaders for this unit were: Captain Joseph R. Kessler, 1st Lieutenant J. C. Keister, and 2nd Lieutenant J. W. Reeder.
    Company E - An infantry company - Captain George Duskey's Company.
    Company officers were commissioned on September 18, 1862.
    Several members enlisted on September 2, 1862, at Millpoint, Pocahontas County, and most later served in Company E, 19th Virginia Cavalry.
    This company's home territory was Gilmer County, in what is now West Virginia.
    Officers for this company were: Captain George Duskey, 1st Lieutenant James W. Ball, and 2nd Lieutenant C. W. Minter.
    Company F - A cavalry company - Captain Henry D. Ruffner's Company.
    Officers were commissioned on November 1, 1862.
    Ruffner had served in Company H, 22nd Virginia Infantry and later served as captain of Company G, 19th Virginia Cavalry, and as commander of the 46th Battalion Virginia Cavalry. Some, if not most, of his company may have gone with him to that organization.
    Officers were: Captain Henry D. Ruffner, 1st Lieutenant John Holmes, and 2nd Lieutenant William H. Justice.
    Company G - Captain William O'Brien's Company.
    Most of this company later served in Company H, 19th Virginia Cavalry after the State Line disbanded.
    Several members of the unit were from Roane County in what is now West Virginia. *::Officers for this company were: Captain William O'Brien, 1st Lieutenant Henry G. Sampson, and 2nd Lieutenant Marrcellus J. West.
    Company H - Captain Matthew B. Perrin's Company.
    This company's home territory is not known but probably was in what is now West Virginia.
    Officers for this company were Captain Matthew B. Perrin, 1st Lieutenant Jeremiah B. Howell, and 2nd Lieutenant Jasper W. Johnson.
    Company I - Captain Edward Norris' Company.
    Members of this company subsequently served in Company K, 19th Virginia Cavalry.
    It was recruited from Lewis and Webster counties.
    Officers for this company were: Captain Edward Norris and 1st Lieutenant William Norris.
  • Rosters

Other Sources

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.


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


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