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Confederate Regiment

13th Virginia Infantry

Organized: Harpers Ferry, VA (later WV); mustered in 5/9/1861
Disbanded/Mustered out: Appomattox Courthouse, VA 4/9/1865


Commanding Officer on the Sharpsburg Campaign:
  Capt. F. V. Winston


This Regiment's Chain of Command:
  Army - Army of Northern Virginia
  Corps - Jackson's Command
  Division - Ewell's Division
  Brigade - Early's Brigade

Unit history

The Regiment was organized in May 1861 at Harpers Ferry, A. P. Hill, Colonel, and was mustered into Confederate service on 1 July 1861.

On the Sharpsburg Campaign

"The night before the [Sharpsburg] battle Early's brigade spent on Alfred Poffenberger's farm on the extreme left of the Confederate battleline. As the battle started at dawn the brigade was ordered further left to assist Confederate Cavalry, General J.E.B. Stuart's Horse Artillery. The brigade was ordered back to the West Woods, but the 13th Virginia was at the request of J.E.B.Stuart retained to support the Horse Artillery. The Regiment was placed in the cornfield north of A. Poffenberger's farm, where they spend the time during the heavy fighting at Miller's cornfield."

"When the fighting changed to the West Woods as the Division of Union General Sedgwick started it's attack on the West Woods, the 13th went into action acting as skirmish line for the artillery. The brigade of Union Brigadier General Gorman was leading the attack. As the Union Divison charged into the West Woods the 1st Minnesota and the 82nd New York of the leading Union brigade advanced three times into Poffenberger's cornfield and three times they were driven back by the 13th Virginia. The cornfield north of A. Poffenberger's farm lent itself to a debacle similar to the one which occurred in the Miller Cornfield."

"At this time Captain John Pelham of the Horse Artillery decided to move a section of twelve pound Napoleons a short distance to the north in order to flank the Union right at Nicodemus Farm. When they pulled north across the plowed field, the teams and limbers got bogged down in the soft mud. The 13th Virginia was brought in to manhandle the field pieces up the slope to the crest west of the barn. With about fifty men to each artillery piece, the infantrymen slung their weapons and shouldered and dragged the guns and their limber chests into battery. With the guns deployed John Pelham ordered the infantrymen to fan out and commence firing into the retreating 19th Massachusetts and 1st Minnesota, of Sedgwick's Division, which were retirering from the West Wood onto the farm."

"The sharpshooters of the 13th Virginia and Captain John Pelham's artillerists made the position of the 19th Massachusetts too hot to hang onto. The guns loaded with double shotted canister, pounded the New Englanders' flank. Every time the Union soldiers attempted to move, the 13th Virginia drove them to cover. The two retreating Federal regiments could not endure more and retreated north through the Nicodemus barnyard and beyond. They were the last Union regiments to leave the West Woods. The struggle around the West Woods was costly to both sides. In twenty minutes 2210 Union soldiers of some 5000 engaged were injured or killed. Although heavily engaged the 13th Virginia only suffered one killed and five wounded. This was the last major fighting on the left of the Confederate line and the fighting shifted towards the center, and late in the day, further towards the right."
(from Larsen)

Maps Showing this Unit

Battlefield Tablets for this Unit

Tablet #314: Jackson's Command - 15 Sep, 4 PM to 16 Sep, 10 PM
Tablet #326: Ewell's Division, Jackson's Command - 15 Sep, 6 PM to 16 Sep, 10 PM
Tablet #378: Early's Brigade, Ewell's Division - 16 Sep, 8 PM to 17 Sep, 10 AM
Tablet #315: Jackson's Command - 17 Sep, 5 AM to 17 Sep, 10 AM
Tablet #379: Early's Brigade, Ewell's Division - 17 Sep, 6 AM to 18 Sep, 9 PM

After the Sharpsburg Campaign

The Regiment fought with the Army of Northern Virginia throughout the War. They were at Appomattox with 65 men in April 1865.

References & Notes

The quoted text above by Ron Larsen - who cites the ORs, Confederate Military History, and Southern Historical Society Papers - from the 13th Virginia reenactors.

We have 2 individuals in the AotW database who were on the Maryland Campaign with this unit:


Co. Rank Name Casualty? Details*
BPvtBattaile, Meade F.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
DCaptWinston, Frank Velleius        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person


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