55th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)

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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   55th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)

Brief History

The 55th Virginia was raised in the Tidewater country bordering the Rappahannock River. Nine of its twelve companies came from just two counties, Essex and Middlesex; the remainder came from the counties of Lancaster, Spotsylvania and Westmoreland.

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. Companies for the 55th Virginia Infantry Regiment were:

  • Essex Sharpshooters organized in 1859 and enlisted at Tappahannock 21 May 1861 as an infantry company.
  • Essex Artillery organized April 1861.
  • Essex Grays organized at Center Cross in June 1861.
  • Essex Davis Rifles organized at Dunnsville in July 1861.
  • Essex Light Dragoons
  • Middlesex Southerners, at first, was a Dragoon company but reorganized in July 1861 in Urbanna as an infantry company.
  • Middlesex Rifles organized at Urbanna in May 1861
  • Middlesex Artillery organized at Urbanna in May 1861.
  • Westmoreland Greys (known first as the Westmoreland Blues) organized at Tappahannock in July 1861.

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.
  • O'Sullivan, Richard. The Virginia Regimental Histories Series,  "55th Virginia Infantry." Lynchburg, Virginia: H. E. Howard, 1989.   Template:FHL 975.5 M2vr v.59 This gives a historical engagement history of the battles of the 55th, sketches plus an alphabetical list of the men who served and their units.
  • 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.