2nd Virginia Cavalry

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2nd Virginia Volunteer Cavalry Regiment
30th Virginia Volunteer Regiment
Flag of Virginia (1861–1865).png
Flag of Virginia, 1861
ActiveMay 1861 – April 1865
DisbandedApril 1865
AllegianceConfederate States of America Confederate States of America
BranchConfederate States Army
EngagementsFirst Battle of Manassas
Jackson's Valley Campaign
Seven Days' Battles
Second Battle of Manassas
Battle of Sharpsburg
Battle of Fredericksburg
Battle of Chancellorsville
Battle of Brandy Station
Battle of Gettysburg
Bristoe Campaign
Overland Campaign
Siege of Petersburg
Valley Campaigns of 1864
Appomattox Campaign
Battle of Five Forks
Col. Richard C.W. Radford
Col. Thomas T. Munford

The 2nd Virginia Volunteer Cavalry Regiment was a cavalry regiment raised in Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. It fought mostly with the Army of Northern Virginia.

The unit was organized by Colonel Jubal Early in Lynchburg, Virginia, in May, 1861 as the 30th Virginia Volunteer Regiment under Col. Richard C.W. Radford (whence "Radford's Rangers"—not to be confused with Troop G's similar nickname). Its troops (the cavalry equivalent of infantry companies) were recruited across several counties of Central Virginia:

Troop: Nickname Captain Mustered
A: Bedford's "Clay Dragoons" William R. Terry 11 May 1861
B: Lynchburg's "Wise Troop"[1] John S. Langhorne 13 May 1861
C: "The Botetourt Dragoons" Andrew L. Pitzer 20 May 1861
D: "The Franklin Rangers" Giles W.B. Hale 22 May 1861
E: "The Amherst Mounted Rangers" Thomas Whitehead 29 May 1861
F: "The Bedford Southside Dragoons" James Wilson 31 May 1861
G: Bedford's "Radford Rangers" Edmund W. Radford 29 May 1861
H: "The Appomattox Rangers" Joel L. Flood 3 June 1861
I: "The Campbell Rangers" John D. Alexander 8 June 1861
K: "The Albemarle Light Horse" Eugene Davis 11 May 1861

At the end of October, 1861 the unit was re-designated the 2nd Virginia Cavalry Regiment.[2]

During the war it was brigaded under Generals B.H. Robertson, Fitzhugh Lee, W.C. Wickham, and Thomas Munford. The 2nd Cavalry saw action at First Bull Run, in Jackson's Valley Campaign, and at Second Bull Run, Mile Hill, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Kelly's Ford, Chancellorsville, Brandy Station, Aldie, Upperville, Gettysburg, and Shepherdstown. After the Bristoe and Mine Run campaigns, it was involved at The Wilderness, Todd's Tavern, Spotsylvania, Haw's Shop, and Cold Harbor. It fought in the Shenandoah Valley with Jubal Early and later in numerous conflicts around Petersburg and Appomattox.

The regiment contained 676 men in July, 1861, lost twenty-eight percent of the 163 engaged at Groveton Heights, and of the 385 at Gettysburg about four percent were disabled. At Appomattox it cut through the Federal lines and disbanded at Lynchburg on April 10, 1865. However, 19 men were included in the surrender.

The field officers were Colonels Richard C.W. Radford and Thomas T. Munford, Lieutenant Colonels Cary Breckinridge and James W. Watts, and Major William F. Graves.[3]

Future Commonwealth's Attorney and Virginia Bar Association President Micajah Woods enlisted in the 2nd Virginia Cavalry. Woods was the prosecuting attorney in the trial of Charlottesville mayor J. Samuel McCue, the last man to be hanged in Virginia.

Thomas Whitehead, the future one-term Representative of Virginia's 6th Congressional District to the House of Representatives, was the captain of Company E.

The flag of the Botetourt Dragoons was conserved by the United Daughters of the Confederacy Chapter 797 when it was listed as one of the top 12 flags needing conservation at the Museum of the Confederacy. The flag was constructed in 1861 when the Fincastle, Virginia unit rode off to war. The silk flag was used by the unit for two years, and the flag bearer, Rufus H. Peck, presented the flag to the Museum of the Confederacy in 1907.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1], Southern Historical Society Papers
  2. ^ [2], 2nd Virginia Cavalry tribute page
  3. ^ Robertson, Lindsay. "Cary Breckinridge (1839–1918)". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  4. ^ McCoy, Edwin L. 2017. Botetourt County & the War Between the States: Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War. 2017. Pages 100-101.

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, National Park Service".