Organization & History 

of the 

Virginia 22nd Cavalry Regiment

 

"I had about eight hundred, half-armed and badly disciplined ,mountaineers from Southwest Virginia, who would fight like veterans when they pleased, but had no idea of permitting their own sweet wills to be controlled by any orders, no matter from whom emanating. They were as brave, and as fearless, and as undisciplined as the Highlanders who had followed Charles Edward of Culloden.

Brigadier General Bradley Tyler Johnson ,on the 22NDVirginia Cavalry.

 

  Field Commanders 1862-1865

Colonel Henry S. Bowen

Major Henry F. Kendrick

Lt. Colonel John T. Radford 

 The 22nd Regiment Virginia Cavalry, also known as Bowen's Regiment Virginia Mounted Riflemen was organized on October 27, 1863, with ten companies as described below. The regiment was raised by Colonel Henry S. Bowen, former Colonel of the 188th (Tazewell County) Militia. It was reported that Brigadier General John Stuart Williams had given Bowen authority to raise the regiment. The 22nd was one of the last Confederate Cavalry units to be formerly raised in Southwest Virginia. 

Company A

  Captain Abram Fuller's Company (formerly Captain Henry F. Kendrick's Company, and Company B, Baldwin's Squadron, Virginia Partisan Rangers). This company was formed by a division of Baldwin's Squadron before February 1, 1863. Some men had enlisted as early as August 4, 1862 and organized for three years service.

Hiram F. Kendrick, Captain, later Major

Abram Fuller, Captain

William P. Horton, 1st Lieutenant

Israel Burke, 2nd Lieutenant

John D. Harris, 2nd Lieutenant

 

Company B

 Captain Gordon W. Rife's Company (previously Company F (2nd), 21st Battalion Infantry and for a short time Company F (1st), 64th Virginia Infantry). It is not know when this company was formed. The company was primarily made up of men from Buchanan County. Gordon Rife previously served in the 34th Battalion Virginia Cavalry, and was detailed to gather deserters from that unit when he organized this company. Several men who served under Rife were deserters from the 34th, and its enigmatic leader, Vincent A. Witcher.

Gordon W. Rife, Captain

Jeremiah Gibson, 1st Lieutenant

John W. Wolhford, 2nd Lieutenant

Berry Compton, 2nd Lieutenant

Alfred H. Breeding, 2nd Lieutenant - Killed in Action on Jan 10, 1865  

 

Company C

 Captain John C. Stanfield's Company was organized on August 13, 1863 in Washington County. Captain Stanfield previously served in Baldwin's Squadron. This company was formed largely from men from Washington County.

John C. Stanfield, Captain

John B. Hamilton, 1st Lieutenant

Theophilus Dunn, 2nd Lieutenant

Robert Horton, 2nd Lieutenant

 

Company D 

 Captain Martin Ball's Company, organized May 1, 1863. The company included some men who formerly had served in the 37th Virginia Infantry. Majority of the men enlisted into this company hailed from Russell County.

Martin Ball, Captain

Joseph Boyd, 1st Lieutenant

William L. Ball, 2nd Lieutenant

John W. Ball, 2nd Lieutenant

  

Company E

 Captain Reese M. Baldwin's Company (originally Captain William M. Baldwin's Company) formerly served in Baldwin's Squadron. The original company was mustered into Confederate service in August 4, 1862. The majority of these men where from Washington and Russell counties.

William M. Baldwin, Captain

Reese M. Baldwin, Captain

William A. Hughes, 1st Lieutenant

Philip J. Reynolds, 2nd Lieutenant

James Williams, 2nd Lieutenant

 

Company F

 Captain William Washington Brown's Company. This company was organized by August 8, 1863, from Tazewell County men.

William W. Brown, Captain

Jess Barker, 1st  Lieutenant

Granville H. Neel, 2nd Lieutenant

John T. Litz, 2nd Lieutenant

Thomas Turley, 2nd Lieutenant

 

Company G

 Captain William O. Moore's Company was organized August 1, 1863, primarily from residents of Wythe Company, with significant numbers from Carroll and other surrounding counties.

Willam B. Moore, Captain

Samuel D. Lockett, 1st Lieutenant

Jacob Moore, 2nd Lieutenant/1st Lieutenant

William L. Hughley, 2nd Lieutenant

William A. Glascock, 2nd Lieutenant

 

Company 'H'

 Captain Balaam W. Higginbotham's Company, formed by former members if the 188th (Tazewell County) Militia, in which Higginbotham was a captain. The company was organized on August 15, 1863.

Balaam W. Higginbotham, Captain

Samuel W. Brooks, 1st Lieutenant

Wesley Hall, 2nd Lieutenant

Benjamin H. Helbent, 2nd Lieutenant

Robert J. Higginbotham, 2nd Lieutenant

 

Company 'I'

 K Captain William P. Samples' Company was organized August 15, 1863 from men who hailed from Russell and Tazewell Counties. 

William P. samples, Captain

John C. Gillespie, 1st Lieutenant

Larkin C. Samples, 2nd Lieutenant

Robert S. Gillespie, 2nd Lieutenant

 

Company 'K'

 Captain Miles Apperson Francis' was organized August 1, 1863 primarily from residents of Russell and Montgomery County.

Miles Apperson Francis, Captain

Robert T. McElwyer, 1st Lieutenant

George F. Gunter, 2nd Lieutenant

Andrew J. Lowder, 2nd Lieutenant

William T. Snider, 2nd Lieutenant

 

 The 22nd Virginia Cavalry, one of the last regular Confederate regiments raised in Virginia during the Late Unpleasantness. Companies 'A' & 'E' of the regiment previously served in William Baldwin's Squadron Virginia Partisan Rangers, therefore some men served for the most or the duration of the war. However, most of the regiment was raised in the summer of 1863. The regiment was immediately pressed into service with General Samuel Jones' Confederate forces opposing Federal troops occupying East Tennessee before it was formerly organized. In September 1863 the unit was sent to the vicinity of Bristol, Tennessee to aid in countering the Federals' advancing on that point under command of General Ambrose Burnside from Knoxville. The Federals during that campaign captured Cumberland Gap, Tennessee and 2,500 Confederates under the command of General John Frazer. During this campaign 6 men from the 22nd had been captured during a skirmish at Jonesboro, Tenn. and 3 wounded. Two men from the unit were captured at that vicinity on the 12th. In mid October, 1863 the unit returned to the vicinity of Abb's Valley in Tazewell County and was mustered into service on 27 October, 1863. By December 1863 the 22nd was stationed at a camp of instruction or 'bootcamp' at Dublin Depot, Pulaski County, Virginia. The two companies of Baldwin's Rangers was formerly incorporated into the regiment. Assigned to the Department of Western Virginia. The unit was unattached and moved around in the vicinities of Tazewell and Smyth Counties from Dec 63' to Mar 64'. 

 The Regiment was finally attached to the Cavalry Brigade of Brigadier General Albert Gallatin Jenkins on 30 April 1864. The regiment was in the vicinity Liberty Hill, Tazewell County when the Federals under Generals Averill and Crook raided into southwest Virginia to strike at the Virginia and Tennessee railroad. Jenkins had been given the task of repelling this incursion with the meager forces at hand. He gathered together the majority of the Department's remaining Infantry Brigade under John McCausland and a few artillery batteries to square off with Crook at Cloyd's Mountain. Jenkins had ordered his cavalry regiments to watch the flanks of army and harass the Federals when they could. Jenkins would eventually die of his wounds received during the Battle of Cloyd's Mountain on May 9, 1864. Brigadier Generals William Jones and John Hunt Morgan met and defeated Averill's force at Cove Mountain Gap in Wythe County, Virginia on May 10. 

 The 22nd and a detachment of the 16th Virginia Cavalry was ordered briefly into Monroe county to watch for any further excursions into the Department from that section. Brigadier General John "Tiger John" McCausland was reassigned to command of Jenkins Brigade and was not long pressed into battle as the Federals struck again under the command of General David Hunter who had replaced Franz Sigel after Breckinridge defeated him at New Market on May 15. Hunter began another offensive for control of the Shenandoah Valley and targeted Staunton and Lynchburg as well. Taking Lynchburg would be a Cout d' grau, thereby putting a Federal force directly on Lee's rear. McCausland's Brigade contested Crook's arm of the Federal invasion. Unable to directly challenge Crook. "Tiger John" McCausland resorted to "hit and run" guerilla style tactics that some of the 22nd Va. i.e. Baldwin's Old Companies were familiar with. As such McCausland's Brigade incurred small loses and slowed "Black Dave" Hunter's advance, which would cost the Federals the final victory at the campaign's end. Crook pushed and outflanked McCausland in a series of maneuvers during the latter part of May and first week of June. Crook united his command with Hunter's Army moving down from the lower Shenandoah and with 18,000 pushed on to Staunton, here the 22nd skirmished with the Federals retreated and engaged them again in another firefight at Middlebook and Brownsburg. After taking Staunton an long coveted Federal target, Hunter made direct for Lexington. Here McCausland's Brigade turned with his entire brigade and skirmished with part of Hunter's Cavalry force under William W. Averill.  The Confederates broke off the action and retreated toward Buchanan. Hunter's Federals ransacked Lexington and burned the Virginia Military Institute. On June 13 after skirmish at Broad creek were the Confederates put up a stubborn resistance McCausland's command fell back onto Buchanan. The Federals had crossed the mountains in Bedford County near the Peaks of Otter and on the 14th and McCausland turned and fought again at Liberty (Bedford), Va. The 22nd losing one man taken prisoner and 1 killed at Forest Depot, Va. as McCausland fell back on Lynchburg.

  General Robert E. Lee had detached from his army, Lt. General Jubal Early 'Old Jubilee'  Corps to come to the aid of Breckinridge and McCausland and defend Lynchburg there defeating Hunter on June 18, 1864. McCausland's delaying tactics and Hunter's own obsession with destroying the Valley as he made his move toward Lynchburg, prevented the ultimate Union victory. McCausland had delayed an entire Union Army for several days with one worn down Cavalry Brigade. Early's cavalry commander General Robert Ransom of North Carolina was placed in command of all the Early's Cavalry which now included McCausland's Brigade and the 22nd. Ransom gave immediate case of Hunter's army. Force marching to Buchanan, Ransom received intelligence that Hunter was passing thorough Salem and thus presenting an opportunity to trap and destroy a majority of the Federal command. Pushing forward on another forced march Ransom's Division beat the Federals to Salem and prepared the trap. Having flanked the Federals the Confederates captured a dozen artillery pieces took 35 prisoners and many stores and supplies. The Federals managed to fight their way out taking advantage of the topography. Ransom broke of the chase at Sweet Sulphur Springs.  

 After besting the Federals at Lynchburg and no substantial Federal force opposed him. Early moved his Corps down the valley and across the Potomac for the 3rd and final Southern Incursion onto Northern soil in a lighting campaign to threaten Washington D.C.  McCausland's Brigade pushed the 4th U.S. Cavalry out of Hagerstown, Md. on July 7th at ransomed the town for $20,000 and "requisitioned" Federals Uniforms and shoes for those soldiers who were ill-clad and barefoot. McCausland encountered Federal Infantry after brushing aside some Illinois cavalry the Monocay River, near Monocay Junction of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. McCausland's command took heavy casualties assaulting the Federal Infantry.  Early brought up Gordon's Division and he defeated a hodge-podge Federal Force under General Lew Wallace whom penned the epic story Ben Hur after the war. Wallace's force had consisted of a mix of volunteer Infantry, Militia and convalescents who could fight. Early pushed on to Washington were his reconnaissance found the fortifications to great for his force to assault. 

 The command suffered its worst losses at the Battle of Moorefield, West Virginia. The command endured the hardships of Early's Army with the best of the Southern soldiers, despite the high average age of the regiment. The regiment more than held its own against George Armstrong Custer's Brigade at the Battle of Third Winchester--its shining moment.

The regiment, with Early's much emaciated Army, served out the fall in the Valley and returned to winter quarters, where the 22nd Cavalry disintegrated. About 20 men rode with McCausland in the spring of 1865, and only two were paroled at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865 when General Lee's once mighty Army of Northern Virginia laid down it's arms.

-Actions and Engagements fought by the 22nd Virginia Cavalry -

Jonesboro, Tennessee            Sept 1, 1863

Jonesboro, Tennessee            Sept 12, 1863

East Tennessee                      Sept 21, 1863

Nicholas, West Virginia          Oct 24, 1863

Logan Co., West Virginia       Dec 9, 1863

Scott & Russell Co., Va.        Early 1864

Breathit Co., Ky.                   April 24, 1864

Abb's Valley, Va.                   May 7, 1864

Jackson's River, Va.               May 15, 1864

Pike Co., Ky.                         May 31, 1864

Lexington, Virginia                  June 11, 1864

Amherst Co., Va.                   June 16, 1864

Forest Depot, Va.                  June 17, 1864

Lynchburg, Va.                      June 18, 1864

Salem, Va.                             June 21, 1864

Capture of North Mountain Depot    July 4, 1864

Monocacy, Md.                     July 8-9, 1864

Washington D.C.                   July 12, 1864

Snicker's Gap, Va.                July 15, 1864

Loudon Co., Va.                   July  16, 1864

Harpers Ferry, W.Va.           July 16, 1864

About Chambersburg, Pa.    Aug 1, 1864

Cumberland, Md.                 Aug 2, 1864

Shenandoah Valley, Va.       Aug 5, 1864

Moorefield, W.Va.               Aug 8, 1864

Chambersburg, Pa.               Aug 9, 1864

Charlestown, W.Va.             Aug 15, 1864

New Creek, W.Va.              Aug 19, 1864

Berryville, Va.                      Sept 9, 1864

Martinsburg, W.Va.             Sept 4, 1864

                                            Sept 10, 1864

Winchester, Va.                   Sept 19, 1864

Fisher's Hill, Va.                   Sept 22-23, 1864

Timberville, Va.                    Sept 24, 1864

Harrisonburg, Va.                Sept 24, 1864

Gaine's Crossroads, Va.      Sept 25, 1864

Port Republic, Va.               Oct 1, 1864

Shenandoah Valley, Va.       Oct 2, 1864

Strausburg, Va.                    Oct 19, 1864

Beverly, W.Va.                    Oct 29, 1864

Ninevah, Va.                        Nov 12, 1864

Liberty Mills, Vs.                 Dec 23, 1864

Gordonsville, Va.                 Dec 24, 1864 

Appomattox Courthouse, Va.    April 8-9, 1864      

References  for the 22d Virginia Cavalry

 1. Confederate Military History, Extended Edition.  Vol. 4:  Virginia.  Wilmington, NC:  Broadfoot,

            1987.  1295 p.  Contains numerous, scattered references to Virginia units.

 2. Crute, Joseph H., Jr.  Units of the Confederate States Army.  Midlothian, VA:  Derwent Pr, 1987.

            Ref.  p. 37.1 This is a summary of the units service of the war.

 3. Sifakis, Stewart.  Compendium of the Confederate Armies:  Virginia.  NY:  Facts on File, 1992.

            pp. 133&34

 4. Wallace, Lee A., Jr.  A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations, 1861‑1865.  Lynchburg, VA:

            Howard, 1986.  p. 62 .

 5. Weaver, Jeffrey C.  22nd Virginia Cavalry.  Lynchburg, VA:  Howard, 1991.  116 p.

 Other links for Information on the 22nd Virginia Cavalry:

       

http://members.aol.com/jweaver300/grayson/22vacav.htm

http://www.geocities.com/ggbelcher/22vacav.html

http://rhobard.com/russell/units/22ndcav.html

 


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