7th Virginia History

7th Virginia Infantry Regimental Battle Flag, currently located in Museum of the Confederacy Richmond, Virginia

Historical Overview:

The 7th Virginia Infantry Regiment has its origins from the Virginia State Militia. The regiment was comprised of ten companies. Companies originated from various counties in Virginia. In the 7th Virginia, two were from Madison, two from Rappahannock, two from Culpeper, one from Green, one from Giles, one from Albermarle and one from Washington DC and State of Maryland. Of the men in the regiment, most of them were farmers, but there were men from other occupations as well, including a VMI Cadet graduate.

While in Confederate service, the 7th Virginia Infantry Regiment became part of the Army of the Potomac (CS), Army of Northern Virginia, and Department of North Carolina. Initially, the regiment was under the command of Jubal Early. Subsequent brigade commanders were James Longstreet, Richard Ewell, A.P. Hill, James Lawson Kemper, and William R. Terry. When the war ended, the regiment was part of "Terry's Brigade", Pickett's Division, Army of Northern Virginia. The 7th VA is most famously known to belong to "Kemper's Brigade" when the brigade was commanded by James Lawson Kemper.

The 7th VA fought their first battle at Blackburn's Ford during the Battle of First Manassas. Later, the regiment distinguished themselves by standing with General Thomas J Jackson and held the battle line against Yankee troops. After that the 7th VA fought in almost every engagement of the war as part of the Army of Northern Virginia (ANV).

The 7th Virginia most famously was part of the Pickett's Charge phase in the Battle of Gettysburg as part of Pickett's all Virginia Division. They stormed the Yankee positions near Cemetery Ridge, fighting until forced to withdraw. This fight would be last time General Kemper, who suffered a crippling wound during the battle and was later captured, commanded the brigade on the field.

The 7th Virginia continued to fight bravely to the very end, including the final battles of the war (Saylor's Creek, Clover Hill, and Appomattox Court House). Most of the regiment was captured at Saylor's Creek just before Appomattox. Towards the end of the war many members were sent to Point Lookout Prison and were held until taking the Oath of Allegiance. Only 22 men were present at Appomattox for Lee's Surrender. Many members of the 7th VA destroyed their weapons, to keep them out of Yankee hands and refused to surrender.

After the war, members of the 7th VA played a role in helping rebuild the nation, becoming determined civilians. General Kemper became a Governor of Virginia and significantly helped recover Virginia's economy. Colonel Charles Floweree moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi where he became prosperous and prominent in civic affairs. He also helped found the Vicksburg National Military Park. Captain Eustace Gibson, of Company D, served in the US House of Representatives as well as Sergeant Major David E Johntson. David Johnston also wrote several books, including his recollections of the war. Major James W. Green, of Company C, established the newspaper, the "Culpeper Exponent".

Regimental commanding officers included:

Colonel James Lawson Kemper, 1861-1862; Colonel Waller Tazewell Patton, 1862-1863; Colonel Charles Conway Floweree, 1863-1865.


A- "Richardson Guards"-Madison County

B- "Washington Grays"-Rappahannock County

C- "Capt. John Porter's Co." -Culpeper County

D- "Mountain Boomers"--Giles County

E- "Hazelwood Volunteers"-Culpeper County

F- "Capt. Francis McMullen's Co."-Greene County

G- "Rappahannock Guard" -Rappahannock County

H- "Washington Volunteers" -Washington City, DC & MD.

I- "Holcombe Guard" -Albermarle County

K- "Madison Greys" -Madison County

Notes: There was briefly one more company in the 7th VA. "The Sperryville Sharpshooters" company from Rappahannock County was originally assigned to the 7th VA and fought at First Manassas. Following this battle, the company was reassigned to the 49th Virginia Infantry as Company K. Additionally, Company H from Washington DC and Maryland was disbanded in May of 1862. This was due to their classification as "non-residents" under the Conscription Act of 1862.


The 7th Virginia Infantry Regiment had an illustrious history and served in many bloody campaigns throughout the war.

July 18, 1861: Battle of Blackburn's Ford near Manassas Junction

July 16-22, 1861: Battle of First Manassas

April-May 1862: Yorktown and Williamsburg. Rear guard for Magruder's retreat.

May 31st, 1862: Battle of Seven Pines

June 25-July1, 1862: Seven Days Campaign, Mechanicville, Gaines Mill, Frazier's Farm

August 30, 1862: Second Manassas

September 14-17, 1862: Sharpsburg Campaign

December 12-15, 1862: Fredericksburg

March-June 1863: Department of North Carolina

June-August 1863: Gettysburg Campaign, including battle of Gettysburg.

March-June 1864: 2nd Department of North Carolina Campaign, Battle of Batchelder's Creek

May, 1864: Drewry's Bluff (Fort Darling), Mill Creek,, Bermuda Hundred

June, 1864: Cold Harbor and actions around Petersburg/Richmond

July, 1864-March 1865: Siege of Petersburg Campaign

April 1, 1865: Five Forks

April 6, 1865: Saylor's Creek (Initially, less than 200 men present,most of remaining regiment captured.)

April 9, 1865: Final battle and surrender at Appomattox Court House. (The regiment surrendered 22 men. Company A had two Privates remaining.)


The Regiment mustered less than 400 men at First Manassas. In 1862, the regimental strength increased to approximately 700 men. In 1865, the unit had less than 300 men at Five Forks. For Saylor's Creek, there were less than 200 men. Of 1,284 total men who served in the regiment throughout the war, the casualties were:

Death by disease: 125

Death by wounds: 135

Total battle wounds: 717

Total captured: 336

Additional statistics throughout the war

Discharges: 176

Desertions: 130

Resignations: 28

Transfers: 26

Invalid: 13

(Most historical information used was furnished by Harold R. Woodward, Jr. in his book "For Home and Honor" and was used with his kind permission. Other sources include "7th Virginia Infantry" Regimental Book by David F. Riggs and "The Story of a Confederate Boy" by David Emmons Johnston.)