56th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)

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56th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)

Brief History[edit | edit source]

The 56th Infantry Regiment completed its organization in September, 1861, with men from Louisa, Mecklenburg, Buckingham, Nelson, and Charlotte counties. It moved to Tennessee and attached to Floyd's Brigade was captured in the fight at Fort Donelson. After being exchanged, the unit returned to Virginia and was assigned to Pickett's, Garnett's, and Hunton's Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. Many were captured at Sayler's Creek, and only 3 officers and 26 men surrendered on April 9, 1865. The field officers were Colonels William E. Green, Philip P. Slaughter, and William D. Stuart; Lieutenant Colonel Timoleon Smith; and Major John B. McPhail. [1]

Companies in this Regiment with the Counties of Origin[edit | edit source]

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  ( Mecklenburg Guards) - many men from Mecklenburg County

  Company B  ( Mecklenburg Spartans) - many men from Mecklenburg County

  Company C  ( Louisa Holliday Guards) - many men from Louisa County

  Company D  (Buckingham Yancey Guards) - many men from Buckingham County. See FHL book 975.5623 H2m for muster roll. And many men also from Nelson County.

  Company E  ( Ebenezer Grays) - many men from Brunswick County

  Company F  (Louisa Nelson Grays) - many men from Louisa and Nelson Counties

  Company G  ( Charlotte Defenders) - many men from Charlotte County. Initially organized in May 1861 and reorganized April 1862. Captains were Thomas Daniel Jeffress and  Robert N. Thomas.

  Company H  (White Hall Guards) - many men from Albemarle County

  Company  I   (Charlotte Grays) - many men from Charlotte County mustered in July 1861 and reorganized in May 1882. Captains were John Augustus Michie, James C. Wyant, Henry Clay Michie, William E. Green, Thomas Stanhope Henry, John T. Palmer, William W. Williams and Charles J. Greene.

  Company  K  (Harrison's Guards) - many men from Hanover County

  The information above is from 56th Virginia Infantry, by William A. Young, Jr and Patricia C.     Young

Other Sources[edit | edit source]

  • 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, 1861-1865 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.
  • Hoge, William James and Dabney Carr Harrison. Sketch of Dabney Carr Harrison: Minister of the Gospel and Captain in the Army of the Confederate States of America. Richmond, Va.: Presbyterian Committee of Publication of the Confederate States, 1862. Digital version at Internet Archive; FHL Fiche 6082873.
  • 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.
  • Young, William A. and Patricia C. Young. 56th Virginia Infantry. Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1990. FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 63.

References[edit | edit source]

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