51st Virginia Infantry
|51st Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment|
Flag of Virginia, 1861
|Active||August 1861 – April 1865|
|Allegiance||Confederate States of America|
|Engagements||American Civil War: Battle of Fort Donelson-Battle of Carnifex Ferry-Knoxville Campaign-Valley Campaigns of 1864-Battle of Waynesboro, Virginia|
|Colonel Gabriel C. Wharton|
The 51st Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment raised in Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. It fought mostly in Tennessee and western Virginia with help of William Elkins (1812-1870).
The 51st Virginia was formed in August 1861, with eleven companies. Company L was later assigned to the 23rd Virginia Infantry Battalion. Its members were recruited in the counties of Patrick, Wythe, Nelson, Bland, Floyd, and Grayson. During the war it started in General Floyd's and G.C. Wharton's Brigade.
The 51st served in the Army of the Kanawha, moved to Tennessee, and after fighting at Fort Donelson marched to Nashville with 274 men. Later it was sent to western Virginia, saw action at Carnifex Ferry, then returned to Tennessee where it was involved in the Knoxville Campaign. The unit went on to fight in numerous conflicts in the Shenandoah Valley and disbanded around April 15, 1865.
It reported 9 killed, 43 wounded, and 5 missing at Fort Donelson, and 3 killed and 16 wounded at Fayetteville. Only a handful remained after the Battle of Waynesboro.
The field officers were Colonels Augustus Forsberg and Gabriel C. Wharton; Lieutenant Colonels George A. Cunningham, James W. Massie, and John P. Wolfe; and Majors William T. Akers, Stephen M. Dickey, D.P. Graham, D.S. Hounshell, and William A. Yonce.
In June 1861, D. Lee Ross mustered a company of local citizens on his farm in Patrick County, VA. 97 men volunteered and elected D. Lee Ross as Captain, and William T. Akers, Abner J. Harbour and C.F. Ross, as Lieutenants.
Around the same time, Capt. Granville P. Conner organized the Patrick "Blackhawk" company near Davis' Shop in Patrick County and along with Lt. William G. Price, began drilling the unit in preparation for joining the Confederate Army.
On July 24, the units left Patrick County and set out for Christiansburg where they boarded the VA&TN RR to Camp Jackson in Wytheville in order to enlist in the Confederate Army originally as companies C and F of the 51st Regiment, Virginia Volunteers commanded by Colonel Gabriel C. Wharton, VMI class of 1847
The 51st was originally made up of 11 companies (A-L); Co. L from Tazwell was assigned to the 23rd Battalion Virginia Infantry in January 1862 and remainder of the 51st was reorganized in May 1862:
Co. A, Capt. John P. Wolfes Co.; formerly called Co. I; enlisted July 16, 1861, for one year; reorganized May 20, 1862. Captains: John P. Wolfe (to Major, 1863), Daniel Hoge Bruce.
Co. B, Wharton Grays; formerly called Co. H; enlisted July 31, 1861 for one year; joined regimental August 14, 1861; reorganized May 6, 1862. Captains: David Pierce Graham (to Major, 1863), William Hanson Tate (killed May 15, 1864), David S. Allison (died in service).
Co. C, Wythe Rifles; Wythe County; formerly called Co. E; enlisted July 20, 1861, for one year; reorganized May 3, 1862. Captains: William H. Cook, William A. Yonce (to Major, April 23, 1864), Jehiel F. Umbarger.
Co. D, Capt. D. Lee Ross Co.; formerly called Co. C; enlisted June 14, 1861, for one year; reorganized May 5, 1862. Captains: David Lee Ross (to April 1862), William T. Akers (to Major, 1864), Rufus J. Woolwine.
Co. E, Nelson Volunteers; Nelson County; formerly called Co. B; enlisted July 1, 1861, for one year; reorganized May 7, 1862. Captains: John Turner Dillard (to April 1862), Thomas J. Graves ( resigned 1862), Austin J. Graves (resigned 1863), Josephus Mills.
Co. F, Bland Tigers; Bland County; formerly called Co. K; enlisted June 26, 1861, for one year; reorganized May 20, 1862. Captains: Samuel H. Newberry (not re-elected; reappointed May 29, 1863), William G. Repass (resigned February 6, 1863).
Co. G, Floyd Game Cocks; (also known as Floyd Game Bucks), Floyd County; enlisted June 29, 1861, for one year; reorganized July 1, 1861. Captain: James William Henry.
Co. H, Capt. Granville R. Conners Co. ; formerly called Company F; enlisted July 2, 1861, for one year; reorganized May 23, 1862. Captains: Granville R. Conner (to April 1862), William G. Price (wounded; captured).
Co. I, Capt. Ezekiel Youngs Co.; formerly known as Co. D; enlisted June 28, 1861, for one year; reorganized May 23, 1862. Captains: Ezekiel Young, Calvin H. Senter (resigned, 1862), William C. Bourn (wounded, 1864)
Co. K, Capt. Stephen M. Dickeys Co.; formerly called Co. A; enlisted June 24, 1861, for one year; reorganized May 6, 1862. Captains: Stephen Mills Dickey (to Major, May 26, 1862), William A. Cooper (resigned, January 25, 1865).