History of the 44th Virginia Volunteer Infantry


The units that would eventually comprise the 44th Regiment of the Virginia Infantry were recruited from the central Virginia.  The 10 companies were accepted into the Virginia state forces on June 14, 1861, in Richmond.  They were sworn into Confederate service around July 1, 1861.  William Campbell Scott was selected as the first colonel of the regiment.  He would serve the regiment until his resignation on December 31, 1862.  “Often in the forefront of action, General Richard S. Ewell credited the 44th Virginia for turning the tide in the battle of Port Republic on June 9, 1862.” (K. C. Ruffner, 44th Virginia Infantry) At Port Republic, the 44th Virginia was usually in the thickest of the fighting in every engagement.

The 44th was assigned to Edward Johnson’s Army of the Northwest, which was later incorporated into Stonewall Jackson’s fabled Army of the Valley.  The regiment would ever afterwards be associated with Jackson and the Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.

The regiment was virtually annihilated at Spotsylvania in May 1864.  158 men, the colonel, major, and 16 captains and lieutenants were captured when Federals overran their exposed position in the Mule Shoe.  The regiment suffered only 1 man killed and 2 wounded in the brief encounter.  Their flag was seized by a member of the 64th New York.  The remnants of the units were consolidated into one company and surrendered 17 officers and men, torn by 4 years of war, at Appomattox.  These men truly deserve to be called veterans.  Few units ever saw more intense actions than the 44th Virginia Infantry.

The companies of the 44th Virginia Infantry were:

Company A: Appomattox Invincibles hailed from Appomattox County, enlisting on April 26, 1861, and originally was commanded by James E. Robertson. This company was removed from the 44th Virginia in March 1862 to form Company C of the 20th Battalion Virginia Heavy Artillery.

Company B: Boyd Rifles were recruited from Goochland County.  Their commander was William Lacy.  They enlisted en masse on April 1st.

Company C: Travis Rifles hailed from Buckingham County and enlisted with their commander Thomas Buckner on June 6th.

Company D: Ambler Grays were a conglomerate from 4 different counties, Louisa, Fluvanna, Goochland, and Hanover.  They were sworn into service June 8th under the command of Joseph Shelton.

Company E: Richmond Zouaves was the only company not from a rural locality.  They came from the capital city of Richmond.  They enlisted June 10th and were commanded by Edward McDonnell, Jr.  This company withdrew from the regiment and became Company E of the 19th Battalion Virginia Heavy Artillery.  However, they were ordered to return to the 44th Virginia in late February 1863.

Company F: Fluvanna Hornets hailed from Fluvanna County.  They were commanded by Thomas Weisiger and entered service on May 20th.

Company G: Randolph Guard resided in the counties of Prince Edward and Cumberland.  They enlisted June 8th with Norvell Cobb commanding.

Company H: Amelia Minutemen from Amelia County, also enlisted on June 8th, with Thomas Coleman as company commander.

Company I: Mossingford Rifles hailed from Charlotte County.  William H. Marshall commanded them and they entered service on May 8th.

Company K: Fluvanna Guards also hailed from Fluvanna County.  Under the command of David Anderson, they enlisted on June 11th.


Sources:    Ruffner, Kevin C., 44th Virginia Infantry. Lynchburg:  H. E. Howard, 1987

                Early, Jubal A. Memoirs