61st Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Wilson's)

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Brief History

The 61st Infantry Regiment was organized at Petersburg, Virginia, in October, 1862, using the 7th Battalion Virginia Infantry as its nucleus. The men were from Portsmouth, and the counties of Norfolk, Isle of Wight, and Greensville. It was assigned to General Mahone's and Weisiger's Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia.
It Lost about eight percent of the 356 at Gettysburg. The regiment surrendered 10 officers and 107 men. Its field officers were Colonels Virginius D. Groner and Samuel M. Wilson, Lieutenant Colonels William F. Niemeyer and William H. Stewart, and Major Charles R. McAlpine. [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.

  Company A ( Jackson Grays)

  Company B ( Wilson Guards)

  Company C ( Blanchard Greys)

  Company D ( Jackson Light Infantry)

  Company E ( Border Rifles)

  Company F ( Isle of Wight Avengers)

  Company G ( Confederate Defenders)

  Company H ( Virginia Rangers)

  Company  I  ( Bilisoly Blues)

  Company  K ( Captain Maximillian Herbert's Company)

  The information above is from 61st Virginia Infantry, by Benjamin H. Trask

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.
  • 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.
  • Stewart, William H. Biographical Sketch of Lieut.-Col. William Frederick Niemeyer, of the Sixty-First Virginia. Portsmouth, Va.: n.p., 1800s. FHL fiche 6082876 and Description of the Battle of the Crater: Recollections of the Recapture of the Lines. Norfolk, Va.: Landmark Book and Job Office, 1876. FHL fiche 6082877 and A Pair of Blankets: War-time History in Letters to the Young People of the South. New York: Broadway Pub. Co., 1911. Digital version at Internet Archive; and (Bethesda, Maryland : University Publications of America, c1990) FHL fiche 6082878
  • 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.


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