12th Virginia Infantry

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12th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Flag of Virginia (1861–1865).png
Flag of Virginia, 1861
ActiveJuly 1861 – Spring 1865
DisbandedApril 1865
Country Confederate States of America
Allegiance Virginia
Branch Confederate States Army
EngagementsAmerican Civil War: Drewry's Bluff-Seven Days' Battles-Second Battle of Manassas-Battle of Crampton's Gap-Battle of Sharpsburg-Battle of Fredericksburg-Battle of Chancellorsville-Battle of Gettysburg-Siege of Petersburg-Battle of Appomattox Court House

The 12th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment raised in central Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. It fought mostly with the Army of Northern Virginia.

The 12th Virginia was organized at Norfolk, Virginia, in May, 1861, using the 4th Battalion Virginia Volunteers as its nucleus. Its members were from Petersburg, Richmond, Hicksford, and Norfolk. The regiment was assigned to General Mahone's and Weisiger's Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia.

It participated in many conflicts from Seven Pines to Cold Harbor, then was involved in the Petersburg siege south of the James River and the Appomattox Campaign.

This unit totaled 691 effectives in June, 1862, and sustained 23 casualties at Oak Grove, 69 at Second Manassas, 39 during the Maryland Campaign, 1 at Fredericksburg, and 86 at Chancellorsville. Of the 348 engaged at Gettysburg, only four percent were disabled. It surrendered 12 officers and 177 men.

The field officers were Colonels Everard M. Feild and David A. Weisiger; Lieutenant Colonels John R. Lewellen and Fielding L. Taylor; and Majors Edgar L. Brockett, Richard W. Jones, and John P. May.

Future Virginia governor William Hodges Mann served in the 12th Virginia. He would be the last governor of Virginia who had fought in the Civil War.

Companies and uniforms, 1861[edit]

The different companies of the 12th Virginia wore a menagerie of uniforms in the beginning. Here is the brief description of each company:[1]

Company A: The Petersburg City Guard.[edit]

Colonel D. A. Weisiger on left, with Lt. Louis Leoferick Marks in 1860. Both are wearing Virginia State Militia uniforms.

Navy blue frock coats with light tape trim on the edge of the collar, pointed cuff decoration, and striping on the trousers, following in accordance to VA state regulations of this year. They wore a shako in similar pattern and color as the Richmond Grays (later Co. G, one of the shakos can be seen in Time Life's Echoes of Glory series), with the plate and pompom devices. The trim may be sky blue, white, yellow, or gold, however the way photos were taken in the 19th century, yellow and gold often appears dark, almost black, so this is a stretch of whether or not this is a possibility.

Petersburg City Guard in formation at Poplar Lawn Petersburg, Va. February 1861. Capt. J. P. May is front and center.

One photograph depicts three members of Co. A, The one at left wears a battle shirt of lighter colored material than the trousers, a large white stand and fall collar, with a black or navy blue cord-tie coming down from the collar, with 4-5 buttons down the front, and no trim is seen; a white leather or cotton belt with a large plate is worn; the trousers are Navy blue with the same piping or tape trim down the seam: The center man wears the dress frock coat without the shako and accoutrements, 3 buttons adorn the cuffs, and infantry hunting horns/bugles are present on the collar, approx. 2 inches from the opening; he too wears the same style belt and plate: The man on the right wears a shell jacket made of a lighter material than the trousers, however it is difficult to say from the image alone whether it is grey or blue in color; it has the same design trim as the dress frock coat, minus the collar horn insignia and is shorter than the frocks' collar is cut; he too wears the same style trousers. One photograph taken at Poplar Lawn, February, 1861, shows the Petersburg City Guard in full dress and marching order. They wear the frock coats and white accoutrement straps, with the shakos in similar description to the Richmond Grays, with the officer in center wearing light epaulets, assumedly gold; however the image is not clear enough to show the detail of the devices on the front of the shakos.[2]

Company B, The Petersburg Grays (old)[edit]

Image of Pvt. McKensie Dunlop in his dress uniform, of Co. C, Petersburg Greys, 12th Virginia Infantry, in 1861.
Image of Pvt. McKensie Dunlop in his fatigue uniform, of Co. C, Petersburg Greys, 12th Virginia Infantry, in 1861.

The uniform of the Petersburg Grays was copied from the 7th New York Infantry (militia), and as such evolved from the tail coat to the frock coat during the 1850s. One image of a member of the company from 1861, (Private Donald McKenzie Dunlop,[3]) depicts him in both the Dress uniform and the fatigue uniform. It can be assumed that this uniform may be worn company-wide, as the original unit comprised the middle and upper classes of the city; however, it is possible that this man could have been one of only a few to wear the uniform. Here is what the dress uniform image shows: The frockcoat is Cadet Grey, being the lighter shade found in VMI and West Point Academy uniforms, 9 button front, the collar has black or navy blue piping along the edge, and gold lace either 3/8” or ½” with approx. ½”-3/4” space in the center, and a 7/8” is at the rear of the lace, three gold or yellow squares adorn the cuffs, with a 7/8” button in the center of each square: White accoutrement straps, (the image, despite the clarity of it, is not fine enough to show whether or not Pvt. Dunlop wears leather or cotton straps and belting,) the white accoutrement straps have a brass, circular, (not oval) center plate; he wears the 1850 or 1860 pattern VA state militia belt plate; He wears epaulettes, either navy blue or black boards, with white fringe, 2.5-3” long; The image also shows the shako, very similar to the 1861 US artillery or the U.S.M.A. pattern, with the 1821 eagle device on the front, toward the crown, a large wreath (approx. 3-4" in width) with a large gothic B in the center,(indicating that the image may have been taken between 1859-1861), and a pompom, barely visible, being black or navy blue: The trousers he wears also has a wide stripe down the center, being 1.5”-2” in width, the exact pattern cannot be determined from the image, as the skirt of the coat covers most of the trousers. The second image shows the same man in the fatigue dress, most likely worn under the coat. A forage cap, being navy blue, or black, (one description read dark and light greys used, similar to the 13th VA Inf. Cap,) in the McDowell design, the center disc being smaller in proportion than the US Regulation 1858 cap, the brim is shined, possibly lacquered: The battle shirt worn is of a lighter shade material than the coat and trousers, with a stand and fall collar, no color trim, 6-7 button front, small buttons are used (possibly civilian), two low set pockets, and a cravat is worn: He wears the 11 button suspender pattern trousers, however, the pockets and seams cannot be seen in this image, so as to give reference to the source of his uniform.

Company C, The Petersburg Grays, (new)[edit]

This company was formed in 1859, as the "Old Grays" expanded. It can be assumed that the uniform of the Old Grays may have been worn by the New Greys; however the photograph of Private McKensie Dunlop, may show him in the attire of the Petersburg "New Grays", from 1860 or 1861. In the diary of Philip F. Brown, Reminiscenes of the War, 1861- 1865, Philip refers to being in the company of Donald "Doncie" McKensie Dunlop, "English" John Dunlop, and Pat McCulloch; as being Company B of the Grays, not in reference to the 12th Virginia Infantry designation.. From Page 9 of his book:

The next morning I volunteered in the "B" Grays of Petersburg, and on the 20th of April, 1861, we boarded a train enroute to Norfolk. Our organization was then known as the "Petersburg Battalion," comprising two companies of Grays (A and B), each 108 men, the "City Guard," "Petersburg Rifles," "The Lafayette Guards," and the "Nichols Battery of Artillery," The whole of Petersburg seemed to have turned out on that eventful April morning to bid us farewell, and mingled with tears, banners and handkerchiefs waving, we sped away over the Petersburg and Norfolk Railroad, as it was then known.
The Richmond Grays had preceded us a day, but were made a unit of the 12th Virginia.[4]

There is some evidence to suggest that both Companies of the Grays wore a fatigue uniform consisting of a jacket, as well as the shirt and dress frock. However, there is no evidence to suggest that either company carried with them the dress uniform to Norfolk in 1861, and in one reference in Henderson's book, the men threw the knapsacks off the train as they headed to Norfolk, VA, believing they would not need them.

Company D, The Lafayette Guards[edit]

One image capturing two members of the 12th Virginia, the man standing with the Lafayette Guards, next to him is a Lieutenant of Co. E; wearing grey trousers and a grey shell jacket, trimmed with black or dark blue shoulder straps, a 7-button front, and a low collar, piped to match the straps. This may be a fatigue style uniform similar to the Richmond Greys' uniform. The seated man wears civilian clothing; a black suit, with a white pleated dress shirt and dark coloured cravat.,[5]

Company E, The Petersburg Riflemen[edit]

This Company wears a uniform that is identical to Company A, however the accoutrement straps are shined, black (possibly lacquered) leather, with the English cartridge box for an Enfield pattern Rifle/ Rifle-musket, there is no strap for the bayonet, as these may be the English frog pattern or the American pattern that attached to the belt. One image of a member, in dress uniform shows him wearing a Navy blue forage cap with a flat brim, and a small wreath on the front with VA in the center, and a pair of black or navy blue, (including the fringe,) epaulettes.[6]

Company F, The Huger Grays[edit]

This company was composed of men mainly from Greensville and Brunswick Counties.

Company G, The Richmond Grays[edit]

This was once Company A of the 1st Virginia Infantry, however it was transferred on July 12, 1861, (one source reads that the transfer was later in August). The uniform they wear is similar to the Petersburg Grays, with these exceptions: The trim was black, epaulettes were black with white fringe, shako previously used in descriptions, similar to the 7th NY Militia pattern, collar on frock was completely black with gold lace and button placement as described for Company B, black flashing on cuffs with gold lace on edges. The fatigue uniform was similar to the 7th NY Inf. Jacket and kepi, the difference being that the kepi had no black trim other than the band; they also possessed double-breasted over coats.

Company H, The Norfolk Junior Volunteers[edit]

This company was composed of men from Norfolk, Virginia. When the city fell to the Union Army & Navy in 1862, many of these men left the unit for their families. The oldest volunteer organization of Norfolk (founded in 1802), enlisted on April 19, 1861, for one year. Their uniform at the start of the Civil War was a short blue coat with red and white buttons; a vest; pantaloons; black boots; and a fur cap with a crest of bearskin bound with white cotton, a black cockade, and a liberty cap front-piece made of tin. On July 1, 1861, this company was transferred from the 6th Virginia Infantry Regiment, to the 12th Virginia Infantry, as Company H. (page 6, Michael A. Cavanaugh, 1988. 6th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental Histories Series, VA: H.E. Howard Inc.).[7]

Company I, The Meherrin Grays[edit]

The unknown Sergeant of the 12th Virginia Infantry. In close observation of the cap, the letter "I" can be seen with "12" below.

In another photograph is an unknown member of the Meherrin Grays. He is seated, wearing a (presumably) cadet-grey jacket and pair trousers, with a dark, probably blue forage cap. His jacket has 9 buttons down the front, solid faced shoulder straps, collar, and belt loops, with French peak styled, solid cuff trim. This is a commutation jacket, not a later Richmond Depot issued jacket. The only identifying feature is the insignia on his cap, which under magnification, can be seen in three rows as; "I" with "12" underneath, and the last row is barely visible, to ascertain its designation.[8]

Company K, "Archer's Rifles"[edit]

This company was raised in May 1865 by Fletcher H. Archer, who had commanded a volunteer company in the Mexican War. It included many men from Fletcher's birthplace, Petersburg, Virginia. Archer himself was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 3rd Virginia Infantry Regiment, while his company became Company K of the 12th Virginia Infantry.

Uniforms during the war[edit]

Pvt. Joseph Gray, Co. F, 12th Virginia Infantry, circa 1864, after the Battle of Burgess' Mill. Taken by Federal surgeons for the wound of his left foot.

Throughout the war, the regiment went through inconsistent reequipping, tending to leave the men with proper accoutrements and weapons, but without uniforms. The men were first supplied by the City of Petersburg, in April 1861, with new grey uniforms. However, that would be the only equipment that would be distributed throughout the regiment, until Christmas of 1862, again by the City Council of Petersburg. The men captured the weapons off of the dead and wounded U.S. Soldiers from the Seven Days battles, and had little proper clothing during the winter of 1862-1863, even into the spring. The 12th Virginia, again took new equipment from the federal dead at the Battle of Chancellorsville, but there is no mention of new uniforms issued even after the Battle of Gettysburg.[9]\

Timeline of events[edit]

Formation of the regiment[edit]

It should be noted that the majority of the Regiment came from the city, which considering the Confederate Army's ranks consisting of mainly country men, is highly unusual, as most of the men in the 12th Virginia had a formal education.[10]

  • 1802, The Norfolk Juniors were formed, being the oldest militia company in the city, would join the 12th Virginia in July 1861, as Company H.
  • 1828, The Petersburg Greys were organized, which eventually fought through the Mexican War under the command of Captain Fletcher Archer.
  • 1844, The Richmond Greys were formed, and joined the 1st Virginia Infantry, as Company A, and later transferred to the 12th Virginia.
  • 1852, Captain John Pegram May organized the Petersburg City Guard. These two companies formed the 39th Regiment, Virginia State Militia, during the 1850s.
  • December 2, 1859, Both the Petersburg Greys and the Petersburg City Guard were part of the security detail at the hanging of John Brown. On the return from the execution, the second company of the Petersburg Greys was formed by Thomas H. Bond. William Jarvis formed the Lafayette Guards the same year. A prominent lawyer in the city of Petersburg, Daniel Dodson, also organized the Petersburg Riflemen.
  • 1860, The Commonwealth of Virginia began organizing the militia companies across the state, with this, the 4th Battalion, Virginia State Militia, was formed: with Co A, the Petersburg City Guard; Co B, the Old, and Co C, the New Petersburg Greys; Co D, the Lafayette Guards; and Co E, the Petersburg Riflemen; forming the unit. The Petersburg Riflemen had purchased new English manufactured Enfield, .577 caliber rifles, when the rest of the unit carried the old flintlock-conversion muskets, and older cap-lock muskets.[11]
  • 1861
    • April 17, Virginia voted for secession from the union. Following this, on April 19, Governor John Letcher called for volunteers. The 4th Battalion went into camp at Poplar Lawn in Petersburg.
    • April 20, The Battalion left Petersburg to Norfolk, for an occupation of the city and the military bases.
    • June 12, The Confederate Government redesignates the 4th Battalion, as the 12th Regiment, Virginia Infantry.

Military Actions[edit]

  • 1861. The regiment consisted of nearly 1000 men and officers.[12]
    • The 4th Battalion, (12th Virginia), goes into camp in Norfolk, after an extremely long delay by friends and family in Petersburg, from the early hours of the morning, until noon, the battalion was delayed. It is speculated by Mahone and the other commanders that if the unit had arrived as expected early on the morning of the 20th, that the whole of Norfolk Naval Base would have fallen intact to the Confederate Army.
    • Company K is assigned to the Seacoast Battery, on Craney Island, starting in May.
    • On August 22, Company H spent a month at the Battery of Bouch's Bluff.
  • 1862.[13]
    • May 7. The regiment took the ferry to Portsmouth, VA to march the 20 miles to Suffolk, following the actions of Union General Wool. The regiment threw away the knapsacks, blankets, excess gear, and two-soldier tents during the march.
    • On May 15, The 12th Virginia and Mahone's Brigade, were ordered to Drewry's Bluff, aiding the heavy artillery and the Confederate Marines stationed there.
    • May 19. U.S. Navy ships; ironclads, USS Galena and USS Monitor, with the Naugatuck and Port Royal, steam up the river from City Point, and engage the C.S. battery at Drewry's Bluff. The 12th Virginia left the fortifications and started to fire at the vessels, in the attempt to injure any exposed crewman. After several hours without affecting either side, the U.S. Navy retired back down the river.
    • May 28. The 12th Virginia, Mahone's Brigade, and the rest of Huger's Division, went into camp on the outskirts of Richmond.
  • Battle of Seven Pines/Fair Oaks May 31, Mahone's Brigade found itself on an mis-marked road, being led away from battle in the afternoon assault.
    • June 1, 1 A.M., orders to Mahone moved his brigade to the Williamsburg Road, arriving west of Seven Pines by 7 A.M. After confusion on the field from Armistead's Brigade pulling out, Mahone misinterpreted orders and pulled his brigade out, leaving only General George Pickett's Brigade in combat. Pickett called for aid in holding the line, and General D. H. Hill sent Mahone's brigade back into combat. This placed them nearer to Casey's Redoubt, and lasted from noon to 1 P. M. With the closing of the day's battle, the 12th Virginia faced Francis Barlow's 6th New York Infantry, O. O. Howard's Brigade, Richardson's Division. The 12th Virginia was the last unit to withdraw during the night, as it was the closest to the enemy. The following morning, the men examined the Regimental Battle Flag, of the Petersburg City Guard, with its first bullet holes.
    • During this time, Confederate President Jefferson Davis signed an order placing Robert E. Lee as commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
  • Battle of Glendale
    • 12th Virginia with Huger's Division engage Union General Kearny's troops near the Brightwell House, and Jordan's Ford.
  • Battle of Malvern Hill
  • August 17, The regiment left the encampment at Falling Creek to board the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad train bound for Richmond, and marched from the R&P station to the Central Virginia Railroad station on Broad Street, in parade order with regimental band playing. The entire regiment carried either .58 caliber Springfield Rifle-muskets, or Enfield .577 caliber rifle-muskets, and possessed new rubber blankets, wool blankets, haversacks and other captured/issued goods. The men carried their personal effects in the bedroll, over the shoulder. The regiment left Richmond in boxcars from the Central Virginia Railroad, at 6 P.M.[14]
  • August 18, Train arrived at Louisa Court House around midnight, and the men had to march the thirteen miles to Gordonsville, and went into camp four miles south of Orange Court House.

Officers and profiles of the 12th Virginia[edit]

Fletcher H. Archer[edit]

Fletcher Harris Archer was born on February 6, 1817, in Petersburg, one of the youngest of five sons and four daughters of Allen Archer, a prosperous miller, and Prudence Whitworth Archer. He attended school in Petersburg before entering the University of Virginia, where he received his bachelor of law degree on July 3, 1841. He then returned to his native city and established his practice.

On April 2, 1842, Archer was elected captain of the 7th Company, 39th Virginia Militia Regiment. He held that rank in December 1846, when he raised the Petersburg Mexican Volunteers, which became Company E of the 1st Virginia Volunteer Regiment. His was one of the few Virginia units that saw active military service during the Mexican War. The regiment reached Mexico early in 1847 and served on General Zachary Taylor's line until the end of the war. By August 1, 1848, the company was back in Petersburg, where Archer resumed his law practice. He married Eliza Ann Eppes Allen and they had one daughter, born shortly before her mother's death in April 1851.

Petersburg During the Civil War

Within two days of Virginia's secession from the Union, Archer raised a company of one hundred men that was designated Company K, "Archer Rifles," 12th Virginia Infantry Regiment. He was elected its captain. Shortly thereafter, on May 5, 1861, he was appointed lieutenant colonel in the 3rd Virginia Infantry Regiment. After brief intervals of service in command of the Naval Hospital in Norfolk, as lieutenant colonel of the 5th Battalion Virginia Infantry, and as commander of the 1st Brigade, Department of Norfolk, Archer retired in May 1862 to civilian life in Petersburg. On March 31, 1863, he married Martha Georgianna Morton Barksdale, a widow with three sons and one daughter.

As the armies moved ever closer to the Richmond-Petersburg front, Archer again offered his military expertise to the Confederacy. On May 4, 1864, he was commissioned a major commanding the 3rd, or "Archer's Battalion," Virginia Reserves. Composed of men between the ages of sixteen and eighteen and between forty-five and fifty-five from Petersburg and the counties of Dinwiddie and Prince George, the reserves were to be used for state defense and detail duty. They participated in Archer's greatest military accomplishment, his defense of Petersburg on June 9, 1864, in what has come to be called the Battle of Old Men and Young Boys.

General August V. Kautz

As more than 1,300 Union cavalry troops led by Brigadier General August Kautz attempted to ride into Petersburg from the south and Union infantry threatened the defenses east of the city, 125 members of Archer's unit and 5 men and one gun from an artillery unit answered a call for reserves and militia to assemble at Battery 29 on the Jerusalem Plank Road. Later Archer recalled that details for special service and guard duty in Richmond had left him with barely a company of inadequately armed men in civilian clothes, combining those "with head silvered o'er with the frosts of advancing years" and others who "could scarcely boast of the down upon the cheek." His command repelled the first attack by the Northern troops but a second assault forced him back into the city. The arrival of Confederate cavalry and artillery put a check to further Union movement, but at the cost of 76 casualties to the reserves, more than half of those who had gone into action.

Promoted to lieutenant colonel, Archer led his unit in the defense of Petersburg during the subsequent Union attack of June 15–18 and throughout the nine-and-one-half-month siege of the city. Wounded in the arm at Petersburg, he was hit again during the retreat to Appomattox, where his combined force of the 3rd and 44th Battalions of Virginia Reserves surrendered sixty-five men.

After the war ended Archer returned to Petersburg and began to rebuild his law practice. Active in the local Conservative Party, he eventually became its chairman. He sought the party's nomination for mayor in 1876 and 1878 but lost both times to William E. Cameron, who had aligned himself with the Readjuster movement before the second campaign. In 1879 Archer and tobacconist Charles A. Jackson were the Conservative nominees for seats in the House of Delegates, but both lost as the Readjusters carried the city with 55 percent of the vote.

Following this defeat Archer was elected to the Petersburg City Council and his fellow councillors elected him president of that body. By virtue of this position Archer became mayor on January 2, 1882, when Cameron was sworn in as governor. At this point the council still had a Conservative majority, but the Readjusters controlled all of the elective executive offices in Petersburg except the mayor's office and vowed to oust Archer in the May 1882 election.

To counter a Readjuster–Fusionist Republican coalition, the Conservatives formed an alliance with the Straightout Republicans and ran as the Citizens' Party. Archer received their nomination for mayor but lost to Thomas J. Jarratt, and the Readjusters won a narrow majority on the city council. The Conservatives then tried to keep the Readjusters from taking their seats by alleging a violation of the city charter, and on July 1 Archer refused to vacate his office at the end of his term. He did not finally step down as mayor until a lawsuit confirmed Jarratt in the office on March 23, 1883.

Blandford Cemetery

In 1884 Archer was a delegate to the state Democratic convention in Richmond and tried to encourage dissident white Readjusters to rejoin the Democratic Party. He did not run for another public office thereafter. Archer died at his home on High Street on August 21, 1902, after having been in "feeble health by reason of his advanced age for some months." He was interred in Petersburg's Blandford Cemetery.

Finlay F. Ferguson[edit]

Capt. Finlay F. Ferguson, 1861. Was Mayor of Norfolk at the beginning of the war.

Captain of Company H, the Norfolk Junior Volunteers, from April 1861 to May 1862. Born in 1804, married in 1842, had 3 children in 1860. Mayor of Norfolk in 1860.[15] (According to the Norfolk Public Library, he served from June 24, 1856, to 1858.) Died in 1863, and buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk, Virginia.

William Crawford Smith[edit]

Sgt. William Crawford Smith, Flagbearer of the 12th Virginia Infantry, Co. C. photo taken circa 1863.

Enlisted on May 17, 1861, in Company B, the Petersburg Greys. Brother of Hugh Ritchie Smith and James Smith. Born in Petersburg on November 26, 1837. Moved to Nashville Tenn. before 1861, returned to enlist that year. Wounded at Crampton's Gap on September 14, 1862, captured and taken to the U.S. Army 6th Corps Hospital, in Burkittsville, Md. Date not recorded for parole/exchange to Confederacy. In Richmond Hospital, October to November, 1862. Promoted to Coporal on March 1, then Sergeant on August 1st, 1863. Wounded during the Wilderness campaign, May 6, 1864, no recorded dates for hospital stay. Paroled at Appomattox after Lee's Surrender, he returned to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1865, becoming a building contractor and architect, built the early buildings at Vanderbilt University and the reproduction of the Parthenon in Nashville for the state centennial. Granted Colonelship of the 1st Tennessee Militia in 1896. Organized the 1896 Tennessee State Exposition. Became Colonel of the 1st Tennessee Infantry, U.S. Volunteers, from 1898 to 1899. Led his regiment in combat against Aguinaldo's Philippine insurrectionists in 1899. Fell dead from his horse, attributed to heat stroke, near Manila on February 5, 1899. He was known to be a Mason and a great reader. Buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Nashville Tennessee, on April 19, 1899, following a huge state funeral, one of the largest ever seen in the city.[16]

William Hodges Mann[edit]

William Hodges Mann was born in Williamsburg on July 31, 1843; as the son of John Mann and Mary Hunter Bowers. Went to Williamsburg Academy, and Brownsburg Academy in Rockbridge County. Became deputy clerk of the circuit court of Nottoway County, from 1859 to 1861. Enlisted on June 20, 1861, in Company E, the Petersburg Riflemen. Wounded at Seven Pines, on June 1, 1862. While recuperating, became temporary clerk to Confederate Treasury Dept. Served as a spy, behind Gen U.S. Grant's lines, during the Siege of Petersburg. After the war, in 1865, he was elected to clerk of the Virginia Circuit Court of Dinwiddie County. Admitted to the Bar in 1867. Married twice. Served as Judge of Nottoway County, from 1870 to 1892. Virginia State Senator from 1898 to 1910 and a Member of the Democratic State Executive Committee. Prominent Prohibitionist, and a promoter of public high schools. Established Bank of Crewe Va, was president to 1910. Owned a dairy farm in Burkeville. Was a Presbyterian elder, and friend to Rev. Theodorick Pryor, father of General Richard Pryor. Governor of Virginia from 1910 to 1914. Lawyer in Petersburg from 1914 to his death 1927. Past away, on December 21, 1927, from a stroke at his law office desk. Buried in Blandford cemetery.[17]

The Legacy of the 12th Virginia[edit]

The 12th Virginia Infantry lives on today in the form of an incorporated living history and reenactment unit bearing its designation. Companies 'B' and 'C' live on in the Richmond-Petersburg region of the Commonwealth of Virginia; with one company not associated having formed in California as company 'G'. The Virginia unit is a family-friendly, non-profit organization, and participates in numerous events in Virginia and bordering states.

Additional Images of the 12th Virginia[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Henderson, William D. (1984). 12th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental History Series. Petersburg, VA: H. E. Howard Inc.
  2. ^ Henderson, William D. (1984). 12th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental History Series. Petersburg, VA: H. E. Howard Inc.
  3. ^ Field, Ron (2006). Men-at-Arms, The Confederate Army 1861-65 (4), Virginia & Arkansas. England: Osprey Publishing.
  4. ^ Brown, Philip F. (1917). Reminiscenes of the War of 1861- 1865. Richmond, VA: Whittet & Shepperson.
  5. ^ Field, Ron (2006). Men-at-Arms, The Confederate Army 1861-65 (4), Virginia & Arkansas. England: Osprey Publishing.
  6. ^ Henderson, William D. (1984). 12th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental History Series. Petersburg, VA: H. E. Howard Inc.
  7. ^ Henderson, William D. (1984). 12th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental History Series. Petersburg, VA: H. E. Howard Inc.
  8. ^ Henderson, William D. (1984). 12th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental History Series. Petersburg, VA: H. E. Howard Inc.
  9. ^ Henderson, William D. (1984). 12th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental History Series. Petersburg, VA: H. E. Howard Inc.
  10. ^ Henderson, William D. (1984). 12th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental History Series. Petersburg, VA: H. E. Howard Inc.
  11. ^ Henderson, William D. (1984). 12th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental History Series. Petersburg, VA: H. E. Howard Inc.
  12. ^ Henderson, William D. (1984). 12th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental History Series. Petersburg, VA: H. E. Howard Inc.
  13. ^ Henderson, William D. (1984). 12th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental History Series. Petersburg, VA: H. E. Howard Inc.
  14. ^ Henderson, William D. (1984). 12th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental History Series. Petersburg, VA: H. E. Howard Inc.
  15. ^ Henderson, William D. (1984). 12th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental History Series. Petersburg, VA: H. E. Howard Inc.
  16. ^ Henderson, William D. (1984). 12th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental History Series. Petersburg, VA: H. E. Howard Inc.
  17. ^ Henderson, William D. (1984). 12th Virginia Infantry, The Virginia Regimental History Series. Petersburg, VA: H. E. Howard Inc.

External links[edit]