The 10th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment had its origins in volunteer militia companies organized in the late 1850’s in Rockingham County, VA. Some of these units, then called the Valley Guard, were summoned to Harper’s Ferry in response to the John Brown rebellion, where they served as guards during Brown’s trial and execution. Before the outbreak of the War Between the States, seven companies that would become the nucleus of the 10th Virginia were organized as the Fourth Regiment Virginia Infantry, a volunteer militia regiment. When the Order of Secession was passed in Virginia on April 17, 1861, the various companies were ordered to Harper’s Ferry, where they eventually were organized as the Tenth Virginia Volunteers, drawn almost entirely from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Eleven companies made up the 10th Virginia. Seven companies were drawn from Rockingham County, two from Shenandoah County, one from Page County and one from Madison County. A total of about 1,475 men in all served in the Tenth during the time when the regiment was under arms. As part of the Army of Northern Virginia, the regiment saw action in almost every major engagement that was fought in Virginia, Maryland (except Sharpsburg) and Pennsylvania.
From 1,475 men under arms, the 10th Virginia was decimated by battle injuries and disease. When the war ended with the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, only about 45 men from the Tenth were left. Of those 45, only 11 were still able to carry arms and fulfill their duties.
For more information on the official 10th Virginia Volunteer Infantry living history group, click here: http://www.the10thvirginia.org/
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