The Virginia State Line
Organizational Structure of the Virginia State Line

Command Section

On June 4, 1862, the Adjutant General of Virginia made public General Floyd's General Order No. 1 of May 30. This order announced the opening of recruiting stations at Richmond; Petersburg; Lynchburg; Staunton; Charlottesville; Union, Monroe County; Fincastle, Botetourt County; Farmville, Prince Edward County; and Hillsville, Carroll County. Enlistees were sent to either Wytheville or Goodson (now Bristol). Goodson's Southern Advocate seemed pleased that its town was chosen as a recruiting station. It carried the following article on July 31:

Gen. Floyd's Command-Come to the Rescue. Our townsman, Col. William E. Eakin, the recruiting and mustering officer for the Virginia State Line, under Major General John B. Floyd, has established a recruiting and forwarding station at this post. His office is at the store front of J. F. Parrott, on main street [now State Street]. Let true men who are not subject to the conscript law by the score and by the hundred promptly report their names to Col. Eakin. We confidently predict a brilliant, glorious career for this arm of the service and the demand for its immediate operations is of an important character.

Other officers, such as Micajah Woods, were commissioned to raise companies of 100 men each. Woods' commission, dated May 24, informed him that he would be commissioned upon raising that number of troops. Competition for manpower was fierce. Conscription agents, officers with depleted commands, and men authorized to raise new units gave potential enlistees a few options. The 100-man requirement was apparently difficult to achieve, as on August 5, 1862, Floyd was directed to have the men he had collected muster by companies of not less than 50 men each. Officers were to be elected as prescribed by law. General Floyd informed Governor Letcher on September 20 that his command totaled about 2,000 men. Many of these 2,000 men had not been recruited by Floyd but by others for guerrilla operations. Some of these recruiters approached Floyd about becoming part of the Virginia State Line in order to extend a cloak of legitimacy around their men. These men were worried about their status and subsequent fate should they be captured. Others of the same ilk were no doubt approached by Floyd.
Governor Letcher issued a proclamation for Virginians to rally to Floyd's banner and asked them to "volunteer and raise such a force as would enable General Floyd to recover Western Virginia from the dominion of the invader."

Two thousand soldiers required supplies in the form of food, shelter, clothing, weapons, ammunition, paper, horses, and other things which were not easily obtainable by the regular Confederate forces. Floyd, however, had the political clout to obtain necessary supplies for his State Line soldiers while regular Confederate troops in the field suffered. As a gesture to Floyd, the state Ordnance Department under Brigadier General Charles Dim- mock and the Quartermaster General's office was moved to Lynchburg in order to be closer to Floyd's rag-tag conglomeration of men. A quartermas- ter depot was established under Captain Goodloe at Camp Jackson at Wy- theville. Goodloe appears to have actually been assigned to Floyd's com- mand.

The Virginia State Line was authorized two brigades of five regi- ments each, though the organization never reached anything close to that size. The State Line did achieve size enough to comprise one brigade, temporarily organized on February 4, 1863. On January 11, 1863 Captain T. E. Davis, Adjutant General of the Virginia State Line, reported the command's total strength as 3,338 men. This figure no doubt included men who were detached, absent without leave, or who had deserted. Davis also reported that Colonel Winston Fontaine had raised a force of 500 men in Pocahontas County which, he boasted, would swell the Virginia State Line to nearly 4,000 men.

The records of the Virginia State Line are so sparse that it is nearly impossible to determine the true command structure. Adjutant Davis pre- pared a roll of officers in January 1863 which is located in the National Archives. Captain James A. August of the Line's artillery battalion also prepared a list of officers with their dates of commission. Even with these documents, many uncertainties still exist. Floyd's command was consid- ered by many to be a division. His two brigades, had they been formed, were entitled to brigadier general each. Colonels Radford and Clarkson acted as a brigadier general at different times, commanding the sole brigade that was formed.

Captain James August's recapitulation of the State Line's commissioned officer strength gives the following information:

 

Major General 1
Staff 19
Cavalry 70
Infantry 74
Riflemen 4
Artillery 8
Total Officers 176

The information contained in this officer roster indicates that there was a sixth regiment of the Virginia State Line, probably commanded by Colonel Robert Taylor Preston. If that is true, then Fontaine's Regiment was the seventh regiment raised. It is also just as likely that Preston never raised a regiment or that Fontaine assumed command of the regiment Preston was raising. No information has come to light on Preston's regiment, and it is possible the whole organization existed only on paper. If so, this would substantiate Menifee's allegation of State Line commands which existed only on paper, exemplifying another facet of Floyd's numbers game.

Floyd's headquarters staff consisted of:

John Buchanan Floyd, Major General, Commanding
Richard Carlton Walker Radford, Colonel, Commanding Brigade
Frederick S. Daniel, 1st Lieutenant, Aide-de-Camp
Leslie Mosby, 1st Lieutenant, Aide-de-Camp
Isaac H. Carrington, Major, General Staff.
Thomas E. Davis, Captain, Adjutant
Micajah Woods, 1st Lieutenant, Adjutant
A. F. Robertson, Major, Inspector-General
John B. Robertson, Captain, Chief of Ordnance
R. B. Wortham, Captain, Ordnance Officer
Alexander H. Greaver, 2nd Lieutenant, Ordnance Officer
John K. Johnson, Major, Assistant Quartermaster
John F. Alvey, Captain, Assistant Quartermaster
H. R. Bogle, Captain, Assistant Quartermaster
J. B. Goodloe, Captain, Assistant Quartermaster
Lilburn Finney, Captain, Assistant Quartermaster
George W. Gillespie, Captain Assistant Quartermaster
E. S. James, Captain, Assistant Quartermaster
Charles W. Venable, Captain, Assistant Quartermaster
F. L. Harman, 1st Lieutenant, Quartermaster Duty
T. M. Hagerman, 2nd Lieutenant, Provost Marshal.
William S. Floyd, Major, Surgeon and Medical Director
William A. Dunbar, Captain, Assistant Surgeon
R. M. Hickman, Assistant Surgeon and Medical Purveyor

Personal recollections of some members of the command suggest several individuals commanded or raised companies which do not appear on the roster of State Line officers. These sometimes conflicting bits of information are noted in the following discussion of individual regimental structures.

1st Regiment

The 1st Virginia State Line was organized with ten companies in the latter part of 1862. Most of its men came from Logan County, Virginia. Several members of this regiment were former members of the 36th Virginia Infantry. Lieutenant Colonel Henry M. Beckley and two captains of the 1st Virginia State Line had previously served in the 36th Virginia Infantry, as had Major James A. Nighbert. According to the Ainsworth papers, this regiment consisted of infantry and cavalry companies. It was commanded for a short period by David Stuart Hounshell, according to the recollections of Noah B. Sutherland of the 2nd Virginia State Line. The 1st regiment was stationed at Glade Spring, Washington County, Virginia, in January 1863. At that time the cavalry companies had 373 men and the infantry compa- nies had 365 men.

Officers of the 1st Virginia State Line were:
Richard Carlton Walker Radford, Colonel
Henry M. Beckley, Lieutenant Colonel
James A. Nighbert, Major
Blake Lynch Woodson, Captain and Acting Major
Louis Lechnert, AQM
John H. Etter, Adjutant.
Micajah Woods, Aide-de-Camp for the 1st Brigade
M. B. Langhorne, Adjutant for the 1st Brigade
G. M. Kent, 1st Lieutenant and Drill Instructor.

Subcommands of the 1st Regiment were:

 

Company A - A cavalry company - Captain Green W. Taylor's Company. Part of this company enlisted on September 13, 1862, at Logan Court House. Its officers were commissioned on August 16, 1862. Several others enlisted on December 31, 1862, in Smyth County. Men of this command were from Wayne and Logan counties and several had served in Company D, 36th Virginia Infantry. Many of this unit later served in the 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry and a few enlisted in or returned to the 36th Virginia Infantry. Officers for this company were: Captain Green W. Taylor, 1st Lieutenant T. R. Waller, and 2nd Lieutenant Ransom Lovins.

Company B - A cavalry company - Captain Daniel Elkins' Company. This company enlisted on August 17, 1862 in Tazewell County. Its officers were commissioned on the date of enlistment. Most members were residents of Boone County and had served in Company B, 36th Virginia Infantry. Elkins had formerly served in the 22nd Virginia Infantry and later served in the 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry, as did several members of his company. A muster roll for this company is on file at the Virginia State Archives in Richmond. Officers for this company were: Captain Daniel Elkins, 1st Lieutenant M. J. Hopkins, 2nd Lieutenant J. H. Allen, and 2nd Lieutenant M. S. Ballard.

Company C - A cavalry company - Captain William Chafin's Company. Officers were commissioned on August 26, 1862. Many men of this company were arrested in Wayne County after the disbandment of the State Line, which indicates that was home territory for them. Most later served in the 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry. Officers for this company were: Captain Willaim Chafin, 1st Lieutenant James Meade, and 2nd Lieutenant John Chafin.

Company D - A cavalry company - Captain William T. Butcher's Company. This company may have been originally commanded by Capt. Edward McConnell, Jr., shown as part of Swann's Battalion. McConnell resigned on October 14, 1862, and his resignation was accepted on January 5, 1863. This company's officers were commissioned on August 28, 1862. Its home territory is not known. Officers for this company were: Captain William T. Butcher, 1st Lieutenant Isaac Garten, and 2nd Lieutenant J. R. Chapman.

Company E - A cavalry company - Captain William A. Dempsey's Company. Officers were commissioned for this unit on August 29, 1862. This company's home territory was Logan County, West Virginia. Company rolls are on file at the Virginia State Archives in Richmond. Officers for this company were: Captain William A. Dempsey, 1st Lieutenant William Baisden, and 2nd Lieutenant John S. Baisden.

Company F - A cavalry company - Captain George W. Hackworth's Company. Officers were commissioned on August 30, 1862. Members of this company were from Cabell County. Officers for this company were: Captain George W. Hackworth, 1st Lieutenant Van E. Sanford and 2nd Lieutenant D. C. Lovett.

Company G - A cavalry company - Captain John Rundell's Company. Offi- cers were commissioned on September 2, 1862. Members of this company were from Wayne County. Rundell had formerly served in the 22nd Virginia Infantry. Officers for this company were: Captain John Rundell, 1st Lieutenant Thomas Jackson, and 2nd Lieutenant John Chapman.

Company H - Captain Benjamin H. Justice's Company. This company's home territory was probably Logan and Wyoming counties. Justice was formerly with the 36th Virginia Infantry from Logan County. He later commanded a company in the 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry. Officers for this company were: Captain Benjamin H. Justice, 1st Lieutenant Henry Blankenship, and 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Justice.

Company I - An infantry company - Captain John Buchanan's Company. Officers from this company were commissioned on August 26, 1862. Most identified members of this company were from Logan County, with a few from Cabell County. Several members later served in the 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry. Officers for this company were: Captain John Buchanan, 1st Lieutenant James Allison, and 2nd Lieutenant William M. Ferrell.

Company K - A cavalry company - Captain Robert Lawson's Company. Members of this company were from Logan County and mustered into service at Logan Court House on September 20, 1862. A muster roll for this company is on file at the Virginia State Archives in Richmond. Officers were commissioned on October 7, 1862. Officers for this company were: Captain Robert Lawson, and 1st Lieutenant Lloyd Ellis.

2nd Regiment

The Second State Line was organized before December 1862 and was comprised of ten companies of infantry and cavalry. Noah B. Sutherland, a member of Counts' company, reported in his recollections that both Peters and Harrison attempted to raise regiments for the State Line. Neither was successful in completing regiments, so Floyd combined their commands. Since Peters had collected more men than Harrison, he took command of the regiment. Harrison was commissioned lieutenant colonel. Most of the men respected Peters, but Harrison was not held in high regard. Martin Van Buren Ball had previously served as a sergeant in Company I, 37th Virginia Infantry and was discharged from that regiment upon being commissioned a captain on April 22, 1862. He later commanded Company D in the 22nd Virginia Cavalry and was cashiered for desertion in early 1864. He may have taken his men from the Virginia State Line. In January 1863 the regiment was stationed at Saltville. At that time the cavalry portion of the regiment totalled 489 men and the infantry companies had 250 men. Some of the men of the 2nd Virginia State Line served in the 21st Virginia Cavalry.

Officers of the 2nd Virginia State Line were:
William Elisha Peters, Colonel
James Harrison, Lieutenant Colonel
Martin Van Buren Ball, Major
J. T. Spencer, Surgeon
H. M. Boyle, AQM, Captain
D. J. Gillespie, Adjutant.

Subelements of the 2nd Regiment were:

Company A - Captain Simeon "Sim" Hunt's Company. Most men of this company were from Russell County and had formerly served in Company I, 37th Virginia Infantry. Hunt was elderly when he enlisted in the Confederate Army, having been born about 1800. He served in the 37th Virginia Infantry until he resigned on August 4, 1862. Hunt apparently took command of this company after this date and may not have been its original commander. It is possible that this is the company raised by Mike Powers or Martin Van Buren Ball. Officers for this company were: Captain Martin Van Buren Ball, Captain Simeon Hunt, 1st Lieutenant William Kendrick, and 2nd Lieutenant Joseph Boyd.

Company B - Captain Ezekiel K. Counts' Company. Most of the men of this company were from what became Dickenson County in 1880. Several personal accounts of these men are in Pioneer Recollections of Southwest Virginia by Elihu Jasper Sutherland. This company became Company E, 21st Virginia Cavalry on March 28, 1863. In the history of the 21st Virginia Cavalry, Counts was reported to have deserted to the Yankees and his company disbanded. Counts actually left the 21st Virginia Cavalry, but his company remained intact and operated as guerrillas in Buchanan, Russell, and Wise counties. Counts was succeeded by Jasper Colley after the former assumed the role of major in his unauthorized, irregular, four- company battalion. This guerrilla band operated in Buchanan County Virginia, and occasionally scouted into Wise, Russell, McDowell, Logan and Tazewell counties.

Company C - A cavalry company - Captain J. C. Harrison's Company. This company's home territory is not known. Officers were commissioned on August 9, 1862. Many members of this company became members of Company K, 37th Battalion Virginia Cavalry when the Virginia State Line was disbanded. Officers of this company were: Captain J. C. Harrison, 1st Lieutenant J. C. Gillespie, and 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Whitley.

Company D - A cavalry company - Captain William C. Williams's Company. This company's home territory was Buchanan County. Officers were com- missioned on July 7, 1862. Most men in this unit later served in Company H, 10th Kentucky Cavalry. Officers of this company were: Captain William C. Williams, 1st Lieutenant John S. Ratliff, and 2nd Lieutenant Meshack Ratliff.

Company E - An infantry company - Captain William R. Lee's Company. This company's home territory was probably Russell County. Officers were commissioned on August 27, 1862, and were: Captain William R. Lee, 1st Lieutenant Conoley Blankenship, and 2nd Lieutenant Hiram Justice.

Company F - A cavalry company - Captain John B. Goff's Company, also called Goff's Pine Knots. This company was probably raised for the most part in Pike County, Kentucky. Officers were commissioned October 4, 1862. Goff was captured in Pike County soon after the Virginia State Line was disbanded and incarcerated as a bushwhacker. It is likely, though not certain, that some of Goff's men were recruited into James Milton French's abortive 65th Virginia Infantry. Officers for this company were: Captain John B. Goff, 1st Lieutenant John B. Williamson, and 2nd Lieutenant Harrison Deskins.

Company G - An infantry company - Captain James R. Cook's Company. This unit's home territory was Wyoming County. Officers were commis- sioned on September 20, 1862. Most of this unit later served in Company C, 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry. Officers for this company were: Captain James Russell Cook, 1st Lieutenant William Anderson Hatfield, 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Cartright, and 2nd Lieutenant Charles Stewart Canter- bury.

Company H - A cavalry company - Captain Mathias Harrison's Company. Members of this company were from Wayne, Cabell, and Logan counties. Officers were commissioned on September 18, 1862. Officers for this company were: Captain Mathias Harrison, 1st Lieutenant Meredith Burchell, and 2nd Lieutenant James Hays.

Company I - A cavalry company - Captain Julius Williamson's Company. Officers were commissioned on September 1, 1862. Williamson was from Pike County, Kentucky and members of this company may have been residents of Pike and Buchanan counties. Officers for this company were: Captain Julius Williamson, 1st Lieutenant H. Williamson, and 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Marrs.

Company K - A cavalry company - Captain William S. Chandler's Company. Officers were commissioned on September 17, 1862. Members were from Boone County. Chandler formerly had served in Company I, 22nd Virginia Infantry. Officers for this unit were: Captain William S. Chandler, 1st Lieutenant Joel B. Stollings, and 2nd Lieutenant A. J. Dolan.

Mike Powers's Company - Captain James W. Bausell recalled on May 7, 1931 at Lebanon, Virginia that this unit was Company H and was raised in Russell County. Bausell misidentified other companies of this command but gave enough proper information to lead one to believe that Powers was once a captain of one of the companies. Powers probably resigned and was replaced by one of the captains listed above. The other possibility is that he recruited a new company after the January 1863 listing of officers was made. No Mike Powers was found in the compiled service records of the 21st Virginia Cavalry. Other individuals mentioned by Bausell were members of Crockett C. Pack's Company which transferred to the 37th Battalion Virginia Cavalry. Bausell also reported that Powers deserted the Confederate Army in August 1863 and was employed at Camp Chase, Ohio during the war. It is probable that this company became Company C of the 2nd Virginia State Line.

Arch Peery's Company - This company was reported by Noah B. Sutherland in Pioneer Recollections of Southwest Virginia (p. 403). Sutherland noted that this company, under Peery of Tazewell County, volunteered for three months at Sand Lick sometime in mid-1862.

Most of this company later enlisted in Ezekiel Counts' Co. B, 2nd Virginia State Line.

Bill Ratliff's Company - This company was reported by Noah B. Sutherland and may not have completed its organization or even been affiliated with the State Line.

If Ratliff's company was fully formed, it was commanded by another officer in the State Line.

3rd Regiment

The Third State Line of nine companies was organized in 1862 and was composed of cavalry and infantry. This regiment led in the State Line fight at Prestonsburg, Kentucky on December 4, 1862. Cavalry companies of this regiment were reported to total 230 men in January 1863 and its infantry companies included 290 men. At this time the regiment was stationed at Bath Alum Springs, Virginia. Most of the men of the 3rd Virginia State Line enlisted in Colonel William L. Jackson's 19th Virginia Cavalry on April 11, 1863.

Officers of the 3rd Virginia State Line were:
John Nicholas Clarkson, Colonel
Thomas Belt Swann, Lieutenant Colonel
Peachy Gilmer Breckinridge, Major
Alexander Clendinen, Surgeon
Floyd Rocke, Assistant Quartermaster
Runnels Davis, Adjutant
William Leigh Barksdale, Captain, Assistant Surgeon

Subcommands of the 3rd Regiment were:

Company A - An infantry company - Captain George Downs' Company. This company was organized as the "Moccasin Rangers" on July 15, 1861, in Calhoun County. It became Ranger Company No. 1 and joined the Virginia State Line some time after July 2, 1862. Most members were later assigned to Company A, 19th Virginia Cavalry. Most of the rangers were from Calhoun County. Officers for this company were: Captain George Downs, 1st Lieutenant John Henchin, and 2nd Lieutenant Lewis Logue.

Company B - Captain John S. Spriggs' Company. This company served as State Ranger Company No. 2 before affiliation with the Virginia State Line. Later it apparently became Company B, 19th Virginia Cavalry. Members lived in Gilmer, Webster, Braxton, and Jackson counties. Officers for this company were: Captain John S. Spriggs, 1st Lieutenant Samuel Ginens, 2nd Lieutenant Robert Morton, and 2nd Lieutenant John J. Williams.

Company C - Captain John Righter's Company. This company was Company No. 4, Virginia State Rangers prior to its affiliation with the Virginia State Line. It subsequently became Company D, 19th Virginia Cavalry. Righter's men were from Harrison, Jackson, Ritchie, and Taylor counties. Officers for this unit were: Captain John Righter, 1st Lieutenant Ezekiel Martin, and 2nd Lieutenant John Anderson.

Company D - A cavalry company - Captain Joseph R. Kessler's Company. This company enlisted on August 17, 1862, in Roane County, and its officers were commissioned on the same date. Most men enlisted in Confederate service on March 15, 1863, and were assigned as Company C, 19th Virginia Cavalry. These men were from Calhoun, Jackson, Pocahontas, Preston and Wirt counties. Leaders for this unit were: Captain Joseph R. Kessler, 1st Lieutenant J. C. Keister, and 2nd Lieutenant J. W. Reeder.

Company E - An infantry company - Captain George Duskey's Company. Company officers were commissioned on September 18, 1862. Several members enlisted on September 2, 1862, at Millpoint, Pocahontas County, and most later served in Company E, 19th Virginia Cavalry. This company's home territory was Gilmer County, in what is now West Virginia. Officers for this company were: Captain George Duskey, 1st Lieutenant James W. Ball, and 2nd Lieutenant C. W. Minter.

Company F - A cavalry company - Captain Henry D. Ruffner's Company. Officers were commissioned on November 1, 1862. Ruffner had served in Company H, 22nd Virginia Infantry and later served as captain of Company G, 19th Virginia Cavalry, and as commander of the 46th Battalion Virginia Cavalry. Some, if not most, of his company may have gone with him to that organization. Officers were: Captain Henry D. Ruffner, 1st Lieutenant John Holmes, and 2nd Lieutenant William H. Justice.

Company G - Captain William O'Brien's Company. Most of this company later served in Company H, 19th Virginia Cavalry after the State Line disbanded. Several members of the unit were from Roane County in what is now West Virginia. Officers for this company were: Captain William O'Brien, 1st Lieutenant Henry G. Sampson, and 2nd Lieutenant Marrcellus J. West.

Company H - Captain Matthew B. Perrin's Company. This company's home territory is not known but probably was in what is now West Virginia. Officers for this company were Captain Matthew B. Perrin, 1st Lieutenant Jeremiah B. Howell, and 2nd Lieutenant Jasper W. Johnson.

Company I - Captain Edward Norris' Company. Members of this company subsequently served in Company K, 19th Virginia Cavalry. It was recruited from Lewis and Webster counties. Officers for this company were: Captain Edward Norris and 1st Lieutenant William Norris.

4th Regiment

The 4th Virginia State Line was composed of ten companies. It was largely raised by Nathaniel McClure Menifee as an independent command in Eastern Kentucky. Menifee attached himself to the Virginia State Line in case any of his men were taken prisoner. Menifee and Floyd were involved in considerable political intrigue and Menifee lost control of his men, after which David Stuart Hounshell inherited the command. Menifee did receive a colonel's commission, but it was issued in the wrong name, had a late 1862 date rather than August 1862 and applied to the wrong branch of service. This commission was recorded but was refused by Menifee for fear it would relegate him to the status of a junior officer.

Officers of the 4th Virginia State Line were:
Nathaniel McClure Menifee, Colonel
William A. Jackson, Lieutenant Colonel
William Winston, Lieutenant Colonel
David Stuart Hounshell, Lieutenant Colonel - Colonel
John Taylor Radford, Major
R. A. Thompson, AQM
Philip Spencer Hancock, Surgeon
Frederick H. Harris, 1st Lieutenant and drill master for the regiment.

Subcommands of the 4th Regiment were:

Company A - An infantry company - Captain Peter M. Carpenter's Company. This unit was primarily from Logan and surrounding counties, although Carpenter was from Putnam County. Officers were commissioned on August 10, 1862. Carpenter served in the 36th Battalion Virginia Cavalry for a short time after the Virginia State Line disbanded, but was shown as a deserter from that unit by September 1863. He organized an independent company in February 1864, also known as Carpenter's Battalion Virginia Cavalry, which was assigned to Thomas B. Swann's Battalion Virginia Cavalry in November 1864. It was probably composed of former 4th State Line men. Officers for this company were: Captain Peter M. Carpenter, 1st Lieutenant John Love, 2nd Lieutenant D. T. Angel, and 2nd Lieutenant Isaac Tinsley.

Company B - An infantry company - Captain William Jefferson Pasley's Company. This company was raised in Grayson County, Virginia, and in Ashe and Alleghany counties, North Carolina. Commissions were issued on September 25, 1862. Many of Pasley's men later served as Company I, 21st Virginia Cavalry. Leadership for this unit was provided by: Captain William Jefferson Pasley, 1st Lieutenant Martin Van Buren Norman, and 2nd Lieutenant Henry Hanks.

Company C - A cavalry company - Captain John P. Chase's Company. Postwar, Chase lived in Wise County. Some, if not most, of his men came from Wise and surrounding counties. After State Line disbandment, this unit served in the short-lived 65th Virginia Infantry and then became Company B, 7th Confederate Cavalry Battalion under the infamous Colonel Clarence J. Prentice of Louisville, Kentucky. Officers of this company were: Captain John P. Chase, 1st Lieutenant J. M. Hillman, and 2nd Lieutenant N. McLaughlin.

Company D - An infantry company - Captain Ezekiel Young's Company. Young and his lieutenants were commissioned on September 26, 1862. This company was organized primarily in Grayson and Carroll counties, Virginia and later served as Company I, 37th Battalion Virginia Cavalry (Dunn's Battalion). Leaders of this unit were: Captain Ezekiel Young, 1st Lieutenant R. J. Lemons, and 2nd Lieutenant J. A. Pratt.

Company E - A cavalry company - Captain John E. Love's Company. Some members of this company were from Kanawha County. Officers were commissioned on September 15, 1862. Officers for this company were: Captain John E. Love, 1st Lieutenant Addison Griffith, and 2nd Lieutenant H. Hagan.

Company F - A cavalry company - Captain Steven Peters Halsey's Company. This unit formed the core of Company A, 21st Virginia Cavalry. Some members reportedly were Irishmen and former members of the Louisiana Tigers. Others were from western Virginia and North Carolina. Officers were commissioned on September 15, 1862. Officers for this company were: Captain Steven Peters Halsey, 1st Lieutenant George R. Appleby, 2nd Lieutenant W. D. McGune, and 3rd Lieutenant Jasper M. Shipp.

Company G - A cavalry company - Captain William P. Hensley's Company. Members of this company were from Wayne and Cabell counties. Some members later served in the 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry. Leadership for this company was provided by Captain William P. Hensley, 1st Lieutenant William Adkins, and 2nd Lieutenant R. Blackwood.

Company H - An infantry company - Captain James M. Barnes's Company. Most of this company were from Stokes County, North Carolina, or Patrick County, Virginia. Several previously had served in the 2nd Battalion North Carolina Infantry and been captured at Roanoke Island in early 1862. Upon exchange, they served under Menifee. Commissions were issued on October 1, 1862. When the State Line was disbanded, this company became Company H, 23rd Battalion Virginia Infantry, and was mustered into Confederate service on April 1, 1863 at Wytheville. Company officers were: Captain James M. Barnes, 1st Lieutenant James F. Harrison, and 2nd Lieutenant William M. Barnes.

Company I(1st) - A cavalry company - Captain David Edmundson's Company. This unit was transferred to the 5th Virginia State Line and designated Company H in that organization. It was organized on December 22, 1862, at Wytheville, which were also the date and place commissions were issued to the company's officers. Its men were primarily from Floyd and surrounding counties in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Company I(2nd) - A cavalry company - Captain Francis "Frank" S. Findlay's Company. Findlay was from Washington County, as were most of his men. He was commissioned on July 25, 1862. This was the second company raised for the Virginia State Line. Officers for this unit were: Captain Francis S. Findley, 1st Lieutenant G. C. Greenway, and 2nd Lieutenant J. P. Kendrick.

Company K - An infantry company - Captain George E. Starnes' Company. The home territory for this company has not been discovered, but was probably Scott County, Virginia, where Starnes lived. Officers were commissioned on September 10, 1862. Officers for this unit were: Captain George E. Starnes, 1st Lieutenant Leroy Lyon, and 2nd Lieutenant Thompson Greear.

5th Regiment

The 5th Virginia State Line was organized on February 9, 1863 and may have been increased from battalion size. Companies in the regiment were of all arms, infantry, cavalry and two companies of field artillery. William C. Pendleton in his History of Tazewell County and Southwest Virginia noted that Hounshell's Battalion grew to become the 5th Virginia State Line Regiment. It camped for some time in the vicinity of Wytheville but in late 1862 moved to Abb's Valley in Tazewell County. Pendleton noted that several companies were enrolled and officers were elected while the battalion was in Tazewell County. About this time the conscription law was expanded to include men in the Virginia State Line and the men scattered the first night in camp. Pendleton wrote, "The sole result of this organization was the dissemination of numerous empty military titles. The men, who had joined this battalion, were absorbed by different regiments in the regular Confederate Army." This regiment appears to have been recruited by Nathaniel McClure Menifee to join his 4th Virginia State Line. At least three of the captains, Sykes, Rose, and Fulton, were associated with Menifee during the summer of 1862; however, the regiment was apparently taken away from Menifee by Floyd in early 1863. Men in this unit enlisted in Russell County, apparently at Menifee's camp of instruction.

Officers of the 5th Virginia State Line were:
David Stuart Hounshell, Lieutenant Colonel who was promoted to command the 4th Virginia State Line after Menifee's relief from command.
David Edmundson, Lieutenant Colonel.
C. H. Preston, Major
J. T. Alvey, AQM.

Subcommands of the 5th Regiment were:

Company A - Captain Lorenzo Dow Chambers' Company. The recruiting area for this company was Logan County. Chambers served in Co. #1, 129th Militia, in Logan County. Officers for this company were Captain Lorenzo Dow Chambers, 1st Lieutenant Simpson Ellis, and 2nd Lieutenant John R. Mullins.

Company B - Captain James W. Sykes' Company. This unit's recruiting area was probably Pike County, Kentucky. Sykes was an early associate of Menifee from the spring of 1862. He lived on Marrowbone Creek in Pike County, the site of Menifee's earliest operations. Officers for this company were: Captain James W. Sykes, 1st Lieutenant William F. Ratliff, and 2nd Lieutenant H. P. Kendrick.

Company C - Captain William E. Rose's Company. The recruiting area for this company was Holly Creek in present day Dickenson County. (Dickenson County was formed from Wise, Russell and Buchanan counties in 1880). Several members of this company enlisted in Colonel James Milton French's 65th Virginia Infantry regiment about April 1, 1863. French, from Wise County, was a major in the 63rd Virginia Infantry who received permission from Major General Samuel Jones to raise a regiment in early 1863 from the remnants of the State Line. French's command was captured at Piketon (Pikeville), Kentucky on April 15, 1863, and his men were sent to Camp Chase. After these men were exchanged, most of them later joined the 7th Confederate Cavalry Battalion. According to family tradition, Rose was killed by Unionist bushwhackers while with Clarence J. Prentice. Officers for this company were: Captain William E. Rose, 1st Lieutenant John Fleming, and 2nd Lieutenant Aalfreed P. Elling.

Company D - Captain Wilburn Fulton's Company. This company's recruiting was in present day Dickenson County. Fulton and his men rode with Lieutenant Colonel Prentice's 7th Confederate Cavalry Battalion after the State Line was abolished. Though the name on the roll of State Line Officers is clearly William, it is just as clear that his name was really Wilburn "Lib" Fulton. Officers for this company were: Captain Wilburn Fulton, 1st Lieutenant J. F. Stuart, and 2nd Lieutenant Delano Bolling.

Company E - A cavalry company - Captain Melvin B. Lawson's Company. Lawson and his lieutenants were commissioned on October 7, 1862. Although Melvin Lawson was from Logan County, the recruiting area for this company is unknown. Lawson kept his unit together after the Virginia State Line disbanded and collaborated with the 10th Kentucky Cavalry as long as its operations did not stray too far from home. Leadership of this company was provided by: Captain Melvin B. Lawson, 1st Lieutenant J. Gosling, and 2nd Lieutenant Thomas McCoy.

Company F - An infantry company - Captain William H. Henderson's Company. Its recruiting area is unknown. Officers of this company were: Captain William H. Henderson, 1st Lieutenant William Canterberry, and 2nd Lieutenant George T. McCune.

Company G - Captain Thomas A. Gillespie's Company. Tazewell County was probably Gillespie's recruiting area. The only known officer for this company was Captain Thomas A. Gillespie.

Company H - A cavalry company - Captain Charles Burke's Company which previously served as Company I(1st), 4th Virginia State Line. Burke was from Botetourt County and some members of this company may have been as well. Officers for this company were: Captain Charles Burke, and 2nd Lieutenant Jackson Moore.

Company I - An infantry company - Captain P. K. McComas' Company. This company was formerly Captain P. K. McComas' Infantry Battalion, Vir- ginia State Line. This company, the nucleus of McComas' Battalion and the 5th Regiment Virginia State Line, was organized on December 22, 1862, at Wytheville. The recruiting area for this company is unknown, but McComas was from Logan County and was commissioned on September 22, 1862. Officers were: Captain P. K. McComas, 1st Lieutenant J. M. Smith and 2nd Lieutenant J. S. Dodd.

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