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5th Virginia Infantry Regiment

5th Virginia Infantry Regiment

5th Virginia Infantry Regiment

The 5th Virginia Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment raised in Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.

It fought in the "Stonewall Brigade”, mostly with the army of Northern Virginia.

The Regiment was known as the "Fighting Fifth”.

The 5th Virginia Infantry Regiment was organized in May 1861 under Colonel Kenton Harper. Eight Companies were from Augusta County and two were from Frederick County.

Civil War regiments were usually made up of ten companies of about 50 men, each of which was designated by a letter between A and K (J not used).

A regiment would be commanded by a Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel, and companies by captains.

Colonel Kenton Harper, was given command of the 5th Virginia Infantry regiment on May 7th 1861.

Harper and the 5th Virginia fought well during the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21st 1861, "where his soldierly ability attracted the notice of the army commander”. Harper was to resign from the Confederate Army on September 11th, because Jackson refused to allow Harper permission to return home where his wife lay dying.


Company A was raised in Frederick County, Virginia, and wore a grey frock coat, with solid black collar, and three horizontal bands of black braid around the cuffs, which were fastened by three small buttons. Trousers were also grey with a black seam stripe. Headgear consisted of plain black felt hats with a narrow brim.

Captain John H. S. Funk was the Company Commander.

The ranks of these new companies were filled quickly and came from a variety of backgrounds and occupations, and ranging in age from teenagers to old timers. Most of them were either English or Scots-Irish by descent, with a good smattering of Irish, German and Swedish.

Due to the local recruitment from the Shenendoah there was a widespread family element in the brigade, Many brothers and cousins, and even father and sons, joining up together. One company in the 5th Virginia listed 18 different members of a family called Bell (only 7 of whom survived the war).

About a third of the men were farmers, the area being predominantly agricultural. Most had grown up familiar with firearms, either for defence or to provide meat for the table. But it has also been said that the Valley’s volunteers made up the most highly educated brigade in the civil war. This was due to the fact that the Shenendoah was prosperous, and many of the men had attended nearby Washington College, the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington, or the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. General Joseph Johnston once commented that Jackson was "most fortunate in commanding the flower of the Virginia troops.”

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Released September 2022!
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