5th Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry, Artillery, and Infantry) (Confederate)
This Unit was organized on February 9, 1863 and may have been increased from battalion size. Companies in the regiment were of all arms, infantry, cavalry and two companies of field artillery.
William C. Pendleton in his History of Tazewell County and Southwest Virginia noted that Hounshell's Battalion grew to become the 5th Virginia State Line Regiment. It camped for some time in the vicinity of Wytheville but in late 1862 moved to Abb's Valley in Tazewell County. Pendleton noted that several companies were enrolled and officers were elected while the battalion was in Tazewell County. About this time the conscription law was expanded to include men in the Virginia State Line, and the men scattered the first night in camp. Pendleton wrote, "The sole result of this organization was the dissemination of numerous empty military titles. The men, who had joined this battalion, were absorbed by different regiments in the regular Confederate Army. This regiment appears to have been recruited by Nathaniel McClure Menifee to join his 4th Virginia State Line. At least three of the captains, Sykes, Rose, and Fulton, were associated with Menifee during the summer of 1862; however, the regiment was apparently taken away from Menifee by Floyd in early 1863. Men in this unit enlisted in Russell County, apparently at Menifee's camp of instruction.
"Units of the Confederate States Army" by Joseph H. Crute, Jr. contains no history for this unit.
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 5th Virginia State Line were:
- David Stuart Hounshell, Lieutenant Colonel who was promoted to command the 4th Regiment, Virginia State Line after Menifee's relief from command.
- David Edmundson, Lieutenant Colonel.
- C. H. Preston, Major
- J. T. Alvey, AQM.
- Subcommands of the 5th Regiment were:
- Company A - Captain Lorenzo Dow Chambers' Company.
- The recruiting area for this company was Logan County, West Virginia.
- Chambers served in Co. #1, 129th Militia, in Logan County.
- Officers for this company were Captain Lorenzo Dow Chambers, 1st Lieutenant Simpson Ellis, and 2nd Lieutenant John R. Mullins.
- Company B - Captain James W. Sykes' Company.
- This unit's recruiting area was probably Pike County, Kentucky.
- Officers for this company were: Captain James W. Sykes, 1st Lieutenant William F. Ratliff, and 2nd Lieutenant H. P. Kendrick.
- Company C - Captain William E. Rose's Company.
- The recruiting area for this company was Holly Creek in present day Dickenson County, Virginia. (Dickenson County was formed from Wise County, Russell County and Buchanan County in 1880).
- Several members of this company enlisted in Colonel James Milton French's 65th Virginia Infantry regiment about April 1, 1863.
- French, from Wise County, was a major in the 63rd Virginia Infantry who received permission from Major General Samuel Jones to raise a regiment in early 1863 from the remnants of the State Line. French's command was captured at Piketon (Pikeville), Kentucky on April 15, 1863, and his men were sent to Camp Chase. After these men were exchanged, most of them later joined the 7th Confederate Cavalry Battalion. According to family tradition, Rose was killed by Unionist bushwhackers while with Clarence J. Prentice.
- Officers for this company were: Captain William E. Rose, 1st Lieutenant John Fleming, and 2nd Lieutenant Aalfreed P. Elling.
- Company D - Captain Wilburn Fulton's Company.
- This company's recruiting was in present day Dickenson County, Virginia.
- Fulton and his men rode with Lieutenant Colonel Prentice's 7th Confederate Cavalry Battalion after the State Line was abolished.
- Though the name on the roll of State Line Officers is clearly William, it is just as clear that his name was really Wilburn "Lib" Fulton.
- Officers for this company were: Captain Wilburn Fulton, 1st Lieutenant J. F. Stuart, and 2nd Lieutenant Delano Bolling.
- Company E - A cavalry company - Captain Melvin B. Lawson's Company.
- Lawson and his lieutenants were commissioned on October 7, 1862.
- The recruiting area for this company is unknown.
- Lawson kept his unit together after the Virginia State Line disbanded and collaborated with the 10th Kentucky Cavalry as long as its operations did not stray too far from home.
- Leadership of this company was provided by: Captain Melvin B. Lawson, 1st Lieutenant J. Gosling, and 2nd Lieutenant Thomas McCTy.
- Company F - An infantry company - Captain William H. Henderson's Company.
- Its recruiting area is unknown.
- Officers of this company were: Captain William H. Henderson, 1st Lieutenant William Canterberry, and 2nd Lieutenant George T. McCune.
- Company G - Captain Thomas A. Gillespie's Company.
- Tazewell County, Virginia was probably Gillespie's recruiting area.
- The only known officer for this company was Captain Thomas A. Gillespie.
- Company H - A cavalry company - Captain Charles Burke's Company which previously served as Company I(1st), 4th Virginia State Line.
- Burke was from Botetourt Count, Virginia and some members of this company may have been as well.
- Officers for this company were: Captain Charles Burke, and 2nd Lieutenant Jackson Moore.
- Company I - An infantry company - Captain P. K. McComas' Company.
- This company was formerly Captain P. K. McComas' Infantry Battalion, Virginia State Line.
- This company, the nucleus of McComas' Battalion and the 5th Regiment Virginia State Line, was organized on December 22, 1862, at Wytheville.
- The recruiting area for this company is unknown, but McComas was from Logan County and was commissioned on September 22, 1862.
- Officers were: Captain P. K. McComas, 1st Lieutenant J. M. Smith and 2nd Lieutenant J. S. Dodd.
- Company A - Captain Lorenzo Dow Chambers' Company.
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 15-17, FHL book 975.5 M2vr v. 102.
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.
- Weaver, Jeffrey C., 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry, Smith and Count's Battalions of Partisan Rangers, (Lynchburg, Virginia: H.E. Howard, c1994), pages 15.
- Weaver, Jeffrey C., 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry, Smith and Count's Battalions of Partisan Rangers, (Lynchburg, Virginia: H.E. Howard, c1994), pages 15-16.
- National Park Service, The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (accessed 4 January 2011).