Battle Unit Details


56th Regiment, Virginia Infantry

56th Infantry Regiment completed its organization in September, 1861, with men from Louisa, Mecklenburg, Buckingham, Nelson, and Charlotte counties. It moved to Tennessee and attached to Floyd's Brigade was captured in the fight at Fort Donelson. After being exchanged, the unit returned to Virginia and was assigned to Pickett's, Garnett's, and Hunton's Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. It fought with the army from the Seven Days' Battles to Cold Harbor except when it served under Longstreet at Suffolk. The 56th then endured the hardships of the Petersburg trenches north and south of the James River and saw action around Appomattox. In June, 1862, it contained 466 effectives and reported 100 casualties during the Seven Days' Battles. This regiment carried only 40 men into action at Sharpsburg and 8 were wounded. Of the 289 engaged at Gettysburg, more than sixty-five percent were disabled. Many were captured at Sayler's Creek, and only 3 officers and 26 men surrendered on April 9, 1865. The field officers were Colonels William E. Green, Philip P. Slaughter, and William D. Stuart; Lieutenant Colonel Timoleon Smith; and Major John B. McPhail.
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