Confederate 1st National Flag Sewn in 1861 by Two Ladies in Norfolk, Virginia – Later Given to Private John P. Hall(12th Va. Infantry and the Norfolk Light Artillery) and his Wife Margaret L. Culpeper after their Marriage


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Confederate 1st National Flag Sewn in 1861 by Two Ladies in Norfolk, Virginia – Later Given to Private John P. Hall(12th Va. Infantry and the Norfolk Light Artillery) and his Wife Margaret L. Culpeper after their Marriage – This is the second Confederate, 1st National flag we have had that was made for the 12th Virginia Infantry. This 11-star example was hand sewn by two ladies in Norfolk, Virginia (many of the enlistees in the 12th Va. came from the Petersburg and Norfolk areas) in 1861; shortly after the cessation of hostilities, the flag was given to Private Hall and his young wife and later owned by their daughter, Essie Powell Hall. Since our initial posting of this flag, we decided to carefully open up the framing and examine the interior of each of the images – the results of this additional analysis were extremely significant. Behingd the image of Private Hall, we found a period inscribed piece of brown paper, attached to the back of the ambrotype of Hall; the inked inscription reads as follows:

“Taken on

September the 23rd 1863

In Richmond Va while Sick

in Chimborazo Hospital

To Miss Maggie L. Culpepper

On South St between

Middle & Court Sts

Portsmouth Va


A member of the


Army of Northern Virginia”

Behind the image of Miss Culpeper were several fragile pieces of leaves and flower remnants, with three small pieces of paper, each inscribed; the text of each of the inscriptions read as follows:

“To Johnni”

“Wedy March 19th 1862

Friday ‘ 28th  ‘  “

On the back of the paper exhibiting the above inscription is written in pencil:

“Property of Jno P. Hall

Huger’s Battery

Norfolk Va”

The third piece of paper contained in the image of Miss Culpeper was folded over the stem of a flower has several inked inscriptions, although we can only make out the following:

“… P Hall

Huger’s Battery

Norfolk Va”

We have added images of all of the above inscriptions, as well as pictures of each of the two images, out of their respective cases; both images are ambrotypes; the image of Miss Culpeper is a ruby ambrotype.

The flag is completely hand sewn and constructed entirely of cotton; the hand-cut stars on the canton, are sewn on both sides of the blue field; ten stars encircle a single, large star – the so-called “Great Star Pattern”. The flag was created by the two ladies to display outside of their home, in Norfolk, for patriotic purposes. The flag has been framed and mounted in a large frame, on archival cloth which has a cover of plexiglass or lexan, so it is ready to hang for display purposes. Mounted with the flag is a decorative, brass plaque, engraved with the following descriptor:








Also mounted with the flag are two, sixth plate ambrotypes – one of John Powell Hall in his Richmond Depot shell jacket and the other of his wife, Margaret Louisa Culpeper Hall. Both of the images are in very good condition and are housed in their original, full cases. Private Hall had service in both the 12th Virginia, which originated in Petersburg and would achieve fame at the re-taking of the Crater, under General William “Billy” Mahone, and the Norfolk Light Artillery. Powell served throughout the entire war, sustaining a significant wound in Williamsport, Maryland, on the return to Virginia, from Gettysburg. Powell was hospitalized for treatment of his wound, at Richmond’s Chimborazo Hospital. He returned to duty in April of 1864 and was captured at the Battle of Hatcher’s Run, on April 2, 1865. Powell was a marble cutter prior to the war and after the war, became the owner of John P. Hall Marble Works at 232 Main and 48 Cove Streets in Norfolk.

The flag is accompanied by a letter of authentication written by the highly respected, Confederate flag expert, Howard M. Madaus, after he examined the flag in 2005. Included with his letter corroborating the authenticity of the flag are his analyses and associated measurements. Essentially, his stated conclusion was that the flag is, in his exact words: “… an authentic example of a homemade personal flag made contemporaneous to the Civil War.” Also accompanying the flag, is a copy of a page from a 1960, United Daughters of the Confederacy publication entitled “Memoirs & Real Confederate Receipts” that includes a poignant memory written by Mrs. Harry Hardy Trice, nee Essie Powell Hall, daughter of Private John Powell Hall and Margaret Culpeper Hall, in which she writes:

My father, John Hall, and my mother, Margaret Culpeper, were engaged to be married when the War Between the States was declared and father joined the Army of Northern Virginia. Southern soldiers were supposed to only write to close relatives, thus, many of their letters passed as ‘My dear cousin Margaret’ and signed,’ your Devoted Cousin John’ and vice versa.

Mother often ‘ran the blockade’ back and forth, carrying letters from loved ones to loved ones, sewed in the hem of her skirt, which was welcome news in both directions.

My greatest pride is in my father’s Record of Service in the battles in which he participated. My fondest treasures are a battered, cracked daguerreotype picture of my mother which my father carried all through the war. On the back of this picture he recorded the name and date of all the battles he was in, and it was done immediately after each battle. Also, I treasure a beautiful Confederate flag made of dyed sheets, hand sewn by two maiden lades of Norfolk, Virginia, who flew this flag from the front porch of their home during the war and given to me many years later. It is in beautiful condition, though faded with the years, and I shall present it to the city of Norfolk during the Centennial Commemoration. Also, in my possession are the letters my father wrote to my mother while in service.

This above statement in the UDC publication also includes a summary of Private John Hall Powell’s war record, which was extensive.

This flag remains in superb condition and is ready to place on display. It is indeed a significant rarity to obtain any good condition, Confederate flags, much less one with such a strong provenance and academic analysis, indicating the source of original production accompanied by a date for that production.

Measurements:  Frame size – W – 89.5”; H – 48”; Flag size – W – 66”; H – 34.5”

John Powell Hall

Residence Norfolk VA;

Enlisted on 4/19/1861 at Norfolk County, VA as a Private.

On 4/19/1861 he mustered into “Ferguson’s” Co. VA 6th Infantry

(date and method of discharge not given)

Other Information:

born 4/9/1840

died 4/17/1911

Buried: Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk, VA

John Powell Hall

Residence Fenchurch St, Norfolk, VA VA; a 21 year-old Marble Cutter.

Enlisted on 4/19/1861 at Norfolk, VA as a Private.

On 4/19/1861 he mustered into “H” Co. VA 12th Infantry

He was transferred out on 5/1/1862

On 5/1/1862 he transferred into VA Norfolk Light Artillery

(date and method of discharge not given)

He was listed as:

* Detailed (date and place not stated) (Fall 1864, detailed to field infirmary)

* Wounded 7/10/1863 Williamsport, MD (Estimated day)

* Hospitalized 7/23/1863 Chimborazo Hospl, Richmond, VA (Hospitalized for wound)

* Returned 4/11/1864 (place not stated)

* POW 4/2/1865 Hatcher’s Run, VA

* Oath Allegiance 6/14/1865 Point Lookout, MD (Released)

Other Information:

born 4/9/1840

died in 1911 in Norfolk, VA

Buried: Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk, VA

(Postwar: Cutter and Owner of John P. Hall Marble Works

at 232 Main and 48 Cove Streets in Norfolk.)

After the War he lived in 47 Bermuda Street, Norfolk, VA

“Huger Artillery”

June 8 The Norfolk (Virginia) Artillery was created for one year’s service by splitting off from the Norfolk Light Artillery Blues. The new battery was commanded by Captain Francis “Frank” Huger (West Point Class of 1860).
July-April Assigned to the Artillery Battalion, Huger’s Division, Department of Norfolk.
March Reorganized for the duration of he war.
May Evacuation of Norfolk. Moved to Richmond.
June-July Assigned to the Artillery Battalion, Huger’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia.
June 25-July 1
Seven Days Battles
July Assigned to the Artillery Battalion, R. H. Anderson’s Division, Longstreet’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia.
August 28-30
Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run)
September 17
Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam)

Captain Huger was absent from the battle and the battery was commanded by Lieutenant C. R. Phelps. It was equipped with one 10 pounder Parrott Rifle, one 3″ Ordnance Rifle and two six pounder howitzers. The battery was posted covering the left flank of the sunken road from the wesr side of the Hagerstown Pike.

November 23 At Fredericksburg. Began entrenching on the far left of the Confederate position on Marye’s Heights.
December 13
Battle of Fredericksburg

The battery served on the far left of the Confederate position on Marye’s Heights. It enfiladed the Federal assault and was the target of Federal batteries but was not itself assaulted. One of its rifles burst, a howitzer was dismounted, three horses were killed and five wounded. One private had the tail of his coat torn away by a shell that passed beteen his legs but was otherwise uninjured.

March 2 Captain Huger was promoted to major. Joseph Moore was promoted to captain and took command of the battery.
May 1-4
Chancellorsville Campaign
May 3-4
Battle of Salem Church
June-July Assigned to Artillery Battalion, Heth’s Division, 3rd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
Juy 1-3
Battle of Gettysburg

The battery brought 77 men to the field commanded by Captain Joseph Moore.

From the battery’s marker on West Confederate Avenue at Gettysburg:

One 10 Pounder Parrott One 3 Inch Rifle
and Two Napoleons

July 1. The Parrott and Rifle about 3.30 P. M. relieved some of Pegram’s guns on the ridge west of Herr’s Tavern their ammunition being exhausted and from that time took part in the conflict.

July 2. Opened fire here at 3 P. M. on East Cemetery Hill and kept it up for some hours. Renewed it at dusk in support of Early’s assault.

July 3. Moved under orders to position south of McMillan’s Woods and remained inactive all day though sometimes under fire.

July 4. At 8 A. M. marched to Cashtown to reinforce the cavalry escorting the wagon train. The Napoleons took no part in the battle but were in position here on this day and at evening began the march to Hagerstown.

Losses not reported in detail.

July 6
Battle of Williamsport
July 14
Battle of Falling Waters
July Assigned to Garnett’s-Richardson’s Battalion, 3rd Corps Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia
Bristoe Campaign
Mine Run Campaign
May 5-6
Battle of the Wilderness
May 8-21
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
May 23-26
Battle of North Anna
June 1-3
Battle of Cold Harbor
Siege of Petersburg
Appomattox Campaign
April 8
Appomattox Station

The battery was captured with Walker’s artillery train. Only three men escaped to rejoin the main army, who surrendered the next day at Appomattox Court House.

12th VA Infantry

Organized: on 5/15/61
Mustered Out: 5/3/62


From To Brigade Division Corps Army Comment
Jul ’61 Jul ’61 Dept of Norfolk
Jul ’61 Apr ’62 Mahone’s Dept of Norfolk
Apr ’62 Jul ’62 Mahone’s Huger’s/Anderson’s Army of Northern Virginia
Jul ’62 May ’63 Mahone’s Anderson’s 1st Army of Northern Virginia
May ’63 Apr ’65 Mahone’s/Weisiger’s Anderson’s/Mahone’s 3rd Army of Northern Virginia

12th Virginia Infantry Regiment


12th Virginia Infantry Regiment
Flag of Virginia, 1861
Active July 1861 – Spring 1865
Disbanded April 1865
Country  Confederate States of America
Allegiance  Virginia
Branch  Confederate States Army
Type Regiment
Role Infantry
Engagements American Civil War

·       Drewry’s Bluff

·       Seven Days’ Battles

·       Second Battle of Manassas

·       Battle of Crampton’s Gap

·       Battle of Sharpsburg

·       Battle of Fredericksburg

·       Battle of Chancellorsville

·       Battle of Gettysburg

·       Siege of Petersburg

·       Battle of Appomattox Court House

William MahoneWilliam E. Cameron

The 12th Virginia Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment mostly raised in Petersburg, Virginia, for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, but with units from the cities of Norfolk and Richmond, and Greensville and Brunswick counties in southeastern Virginia. It fought mostly with the Army of Northern Virginia.

The 12th Virginia was organized at Norfolk in May, 1861, using the 4th Battalion Virginia Volunteers as its nucleus. Its members were mostly from Petersburg, with some men from Richmond and Norfolk. The regiment initially protected the main ports at Norfolk and Petersburg.

In response to the federal Peninsular Campaign in the spring 1862, it joined General William Mahone‘s Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia, then participated in many conflicts from Seven Pines to Wilderness. It was involved in the nearly year-long Siege of Petersburg, and conclusion of the Appomattox Campaign.

The field officers were Colonels Everard M. Feild and David A. Weisiger; Lieutenant Colonels John R. Lewellen and Fielding L. Taylor; and Majors Edgar L. Brockett, Richard W. Jones, and John P. May. Future Virginia governors William E. Cameron and William Hodges Mann served in the 12th Virginia. Cameron had been a staff officer under Gen. Mahone and won election as a member of the Readjuster Party. Mann would be the last governor of Virginia to have fought in the Civil War.


By 1860, the Petersburg City Guard (that became Company A) was led by Col. David Weisiger, associated with the commission merchant firm John Rowlett and Company. He also was a prominent Freemason, the grand commander of the Appomattox Commandery, Knights Templar No. 6. Company A formally enlisted in the Virginia militia on April 19, 1861, shortly after the Virginia Secession Convention of 1861 approved a secession resolution. The Petersburg City Guard and the older established militia company, the Petersburg Grays (Company B) had been sent to Harper’s Ferry, Virginia in 1859 to guard against civil unrest during the trial and execution of abolitionist John Brown.[1]

Upon their return, Petersburg expanded the Old Grays, and formed another unit, dubbed the “new” Petersburg Grays (Company C). Three additional companies were recruited within the city and began training. The Lafayette Guards became Company D,[2] and the Petersburg Riflemen became Company E. Eventually, all five Petersburg companies would become part of this unit, and would be joined by companies from Norfolk (a militia unit dating from 1802) and Richmond (a militia unit formed in 1844). In March 1862, before this regiment’s combat service began, many men transferred from the Lafayette Guards into the new Petersburg Artillery (under Captain Branch), so that unit received many recruits from rural Patrick County in southwest Virginia. The final Petersburg-recruited company, “Archer’s Rifles” was raised in May 1861 by Fletcher H. Archer, who had commanded a volunteer company in the Mexican War. Archer soon became lieutenant colonel of the 3rd Virginia Infantry Regiment, while his company became Company K of the 12th Virginia Infantry.[3]

The regiment was unusual in the Confederate army as a whole, because most of its members were educated and from cities, only Companies F and I were from rural counties (both served by a railroad line from Petersburg). The Huger Grays (Company F) and Meherrin Grays (Company I) were recruited mainly from Greensville and Brunswick Counties. The Richmond Grays had been Company A of the 1st Virginia Infantry, but became Company G of the 12th Virginia on July 12, 1861.[4] The oldest militia volunteers in Norfolk (founded in 1802), the Norfolk Junior Volunteers enlisted on April 19, 1861, for one year. When their home city fell to the Union Army & Navy in 1862, many deserted and rejoined their families. On July 1, 1861, this company was transferred from the 6th Virginia Infantry Regiment, to become Company H of the 12th Virginia Infantry.[5]

Sortable table
Company Nickname Recruited at First Commanding Officer
A Petersburg City Guard Petersburg Colonel David A. Weisiger
B Petersburg Old Grays Petersburg David Edmundson
C Petersburg New Grays Petersburg] Thomas H. Bond
D Lafayette Guards Petersburg] William H. Jarvis
E Petersburg Riflemen Petersburg Daniel Dodson
F Hugar Grays Greensville
Brunswick County
Everard M. Feild
G Richmond Grays Richmond
H Norfolk Juniors Norfolk A.F. Santos
Finlay T. Ferguson
I Meherrin Grays Greensville
Brunswick County
Richard W. Jones
K Archer Rifles Petersburg] Fletcher Archer

One soldier reminisced about their first assignment after their April 1861 enlistment, a train ride to Norfolk.

The next morning I volunteered in the “B” Grays of Petersburg, and on the 20th of April, 1861, we boarded a train enroute to Norfolk. Our organization was then known as the “Petersburg Battalion,” comprising two companies of Grays (A and B), each 108 men, the “City Guard,” “Petersburg Rifles,” “The Lafayette Guards,” and the “Nichols Battery of Artillery,” The whole of Petersburg seemed to have turned out on that eventful April morning to bid us farewell, and mingled with tears, banners and handkerchiefs waving, we sped away over the Petersburg and Norfolk Railroad, as it was then known.

Uniforms during the war

Throughout the war, the regiment went through inconsistent reequipping, tending to leave the men with proper accoutrements and weapons, but without uniforms. The men were first supplied by the City of Petersburg, in April 1861, with new grey uniforms. However, that would be the only equipment that would be distributed throughout the regiment, until Christmas of 1862, again by the City Council of Petersburg. The men captured the weapons off of the dead and wounded U.S. Soldiers from the Seven Days battles, and had little proper clothing during the winter of 1862-1863, even into the spring. The 12th Virginia, again took new equipment from the federal dead at the Battle of Chancellorsville, but there is no mention of new uniforms issued even after the Battle of Gettysburg.

Timeline of events

Formation of the regiment

The majority of the Regiment came from the cities and received formal education, unlike the majority of Confederate Army units, whose ranks consisted mainly of country men.[8]

  • 1802, The Norfolk Juniors formed, being the oldest militia company in the city, would join the 12th Virginia in July 1861, as Company H.
  • 1828, The Petersburg Greys organized, which eventually fought through the Mexican War under the command of Captain Fletcher Archer.
  • 1844, The Richmond Greys formed, and joined the 1st Virginia Infantry, as Company A, and later transferred to the 12th Virginia.
  • 1852, Captain John Pegram May organized the Petersburg City Guard. These two companies formed the 39th Regiment, Virginia State Militia, during the 1850s.
  • December 2, 1859, Both the Petersburg Greys and the Petersburg City Guard were part of the security detail at the hanging of John Brown. On the return from the execution, the second company of the Petersburg Greys was formed by Thomas H. Bond. William Jarvis formed the Lafayette Guards the same year. A prominent lawyer in the city of Petersburg, Daniel Dodson, also organized the Petersburg Riflemen.
  • 1860, The Commonwealth of Virginia began organizing the militia companies across the state, with this, the 4th Battalion, Virginia State Militia, was formed: with Co A, the Petersburg City Guard; Co B, the Old, and Co C, the New Petersburg Greys; Co D, the Lafayette Guards; and Co E, the Petersburg Riflemen; forming the unit. The Petersburg Riflemen had purchased new English manufactured Enfield, .577 caliber rifles, when the rest of the unit carried the old flintlock-conversion muskets, and older cap-lock muskets.[9]
  • 1861
    • April 17, Virginia voted for secession from the union. Following this, on April 19, Governor John Letcher called for volunteers. The 4th Battalion went into camp at Poplar Lawn in Petersburg.
    • April 20, The Battalion left Petersburg to Norfolk, for an occupation of the city and the military bases.
    • June 12, The Confederate Government redesignates the 4th Battalion, as the 12th Regiment, Virginia Infantry.
  • Military Actions

    • The regiment consisted of nearly 1000 men and officers.[10]
      • The 4th Battalion, (12th Virginia), goes into camp in Norfolk, after an extremely long delay by friends and family in Petersburg, from the early hours of the morning, until noon, the battalion was delayed. It is speculated by Mahone and the other commanders that if the unit had arrived as expected early on the morning of the 20th, that the whole of Norfolk Naval Base would have fallen intact to the Confederate Army.
      • Company K is assigned to the Seacoast Battery, on Craney Island, starting in May.
      • On August 22, Company H spent a month at the Battery of Bouch’s Bluff.
      • May 7. The regiment took the ferry to Portsmouth, VA to march the 20 miles to Suffolk, following the actions of Union General Wool. The regiment threw away the knapsacks, blankets, excess gear, and two-soldier tents during the march.
      • On May 15, The 12th Virginia and Mahone’s Brigade, were ordered to Drewry’s Bluff, aiding the heavy artillery and the Confederate Marines stationed there.
      • May 19. U.S. Navy ships; ironclads, USS Galenaand USS Monitor, with the Naugatuck and Port Royal, steam up the river from City Point, and engage the C.S. battery at Drewry’s Bluff. The 12th Virginia left the fortifications and started to fire at the vessels, in the attempt to injure any exposed crewman. After several hours without affecting either side, the U.S. Navy retired back down the river.
      • May 28. The 12th Virginia, Mahone’s Brigade, and the rest of Huger’s Division, went into camp on the outskirts of Richmond.
    • Battle of Seven Pines/Fair OaksMay 31, Mahone’s Brigade found itself on a mis-marked road, being led away from battle in the afternoon assault.
      • June 1, 1 A.M., orders to Mahone moved his brigade to the Williamsburg Road, arriving west of Seven Pines by 7 A.M. After confusion on the field from Armistead’s Brigade pulling out, Mahone misinterpreted orders and pulled his brigade out, leaving only General George Pickett’s Brigade in combat. Pickett called for aid in holding the line, and General D. H. Hill sent Mahone’s brigade back into combat. This placed them nearer to Casey’s Redoubt, and lasted from noon to 1 P. M. With the closing of the day’s battle, the 12th Virginia faced Francis Barlow’s 6th New York Infantry, O. O. Howard’s Brigade, Richardson’s Division. The 12th Virginia was the last unit to withdraw during the night, as it was the closest to the enemy. The following morning, the men examined the Regimental Battle Flag, of the Petersburg City Guard, with its first bullet holes.
      • During this time, Confederate President Jefferson Davissigned an order placing Robert E. Lee as commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
    • June 25. Battle of Oak Grove12th Virginia sustains 12 dead and 11 wounded, among highest in brigade.[11]
    • June 30 Battle of GlendaleHuger’s Division engaged in road construction per CSA General Mahone’s orders; does not participate[12]
    • Battle of Malvern Hill102 casualties, approximately 25% of 12 Virginia men engaged[13]
    • August 17, The regiment left the encampment at Falling Creekto board the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad train bound for Richmond, and marched from the R&P station to the Central Virginia Railroad station on Broad Street, in parade order with regimental band playing. The entire regiment carried either .58 caliber Springfield Rifle-muskets, or Enfield .577 caliber rifle-muskets, and possessed new rubber blankets, wool blankets, haversacks and other captured/issued goods. The men carried their personal effects in the bedroll, over the shoulder. The regiment left Richmond in boxcars from the Central Virginia Railroad, at 6 p.m.
    • August 18, Train arrived at Louisa Court House around midnight, and the men had to march the thirteen miles to Gordonsville, and went into camp four miles south of Orange Court House.
    • August 29–30. Second Battle of Manassas. 12th Virginia sustained 69 casualties, the highest of any regiment in Anderson’s Division, including Major John P. May killed and Gen. Mahone and Col. D.A. Weisinger wounded; Col. William A. Parham of Sussex County and 41st Virginia Infantryled the brigade during Mahone’s recovery[14]
    • September 4–20 Maryland Campaign
      • Battle of Crampton’s Gap, 60 killed wounded or missing of 100 soldiers in the 12’s Virginia, including Lt.Col. Fielding Taylor III killed[15]
      • Battle of Antietam. Former Congressman and Petersburg lawyer Roger Pryorin brigade command (but commanding only 80 men, of which 23 men present for duty from 12th Virginia)[16]
    • December 13 Battle of Fredericksburg12 Virginia sustains 8 killed or wounded by shell fire.[17]


    • April 30-May 5 Battle of Chancellorsville. 12th Virginia sustains 36 killed or wounded; 51 taken prisoner at Germanna bridge near beginning; but on May 5 only 100 men present at roll call instead of 313, so Col. Feild on May 15 read public reprimand of unexcused absentees[18]

    May. Col. Weisinger returns to duty, having recovered from wounds of Second Manassas

    • July 1–2.Battle of Gettysburg. 12th Virginia mostly in reserve; 1 killed, 8 wounded and 8 taken prisoners of war, one of the lowest casualty rates in army.[19]


    • May 5–6.Battle of the Wilderness. Friendly fire incident between 12th Virginia and 41st Virginia wounds Gen. Longstreet and many others. Longstreet replaced by Richard Heron Anderson; Mahone replacing Anderson in divisional command and Col. Weisinger assumes command of Mahone’s Brigade, and Lt.Col. E.M. Feild of 12th Virginia
    • June 9–14. Battle of Old Men and Young Boys. Union troops attack Petersburg, defended by Lt.Col. Archer and about 125 local militia. Archer wounded on final day, when General Grant after arrival of Longstreet’s Corps, changes to siege.
    • June 18. 12th Virginia arrives during Siege of Petersburg. Would mostly man trenches for next 10 months[20]
      • July 30Battle of the Crater. 12th Virginia loses 8 killed and 24 wounded, about 10% of those engaged
      • October 27–28Battle of Boydton Plank RoadThough 12th Virginia protected South Side Railroad, many men became Union prisoners of war, including Captain Edward Scott of Company F, a grand nephew of Union General Winfield Scott[21]


    • April 2. 12th Virginia in Mahone’s Division acts as rear guard during Petersburg’s evacuation
    • Lee’s surrender. After acting as rear guard during the evacuation of Petersburg on April 2–3, 1861, Mahone’s Division was the largest in Lee’s army. 12th Virginia surrendered 16 officers and 180 men.[22]

    Officers and profiles of the 12th Virginia

    Fletcher H. Archer

    Fletcher Harris Archer was born on February 6, 1817, in Petersburg, one of the youngest of five sons and four daughters of Allen Archer, a prosperous miller, and Prudence Whitworth Archer. He attended school in Petersburg before entering the University of Virginia, where he received his bachelor of law degree on July 3, 1841. He then returned to his native city and established his practice.

    On April 2, 1842, Archer was elected captain of the 7th Company, 39th Virginia Militia Regiment. He held that rank in December 1846, when he raised the Petersburg Mexican Volunteers, which became Company E of the 1st Virginia Volunteer Regiment. His was one of the few Virginia units that saw active military service during the Mexican War. The regiment reached Mexico early in 1847 and served on General Zachary Taylor’s line until the end of the war. By August 1, 1848, the company was back in Petersburg, where Archer resumed his law practice. He married Eliza Ann Eppes Allen and they had one daughter, born shortly before her mother’s death in April 1851.[23]

    Petersburg During the Civil War

    Within two days of Virginia’s secession from the Union, Archer raised a company of one hundred men that was designated Company K, “Archer Rifles,” 12th Virginia Infantry Regiment. He was elected its captain. Shortly thereafter, on May 5, 1861, he was appointed lieutenant colonel in the 3rd Virginia Infantry Regiment. After brief intervals of service in command of the Naval Hospital in Norfolk, as lieutenant colonel of the 5th Battalion Virginia Infantry, and as commander of the 1st Brigade, Department of Norfolk, Archer retired in May 1862 to civilian life in Petersburg. On March 31, 1863, he married Martha Georgianna Morton Barksdale, a widow with three sons and one daughter.

    As the armies moved ever closer to the Richmond-Petersburg front, Archer again offered his military expertise to the Confederacy. On May 4, 1864, he was commissioned a major commanding the 3rd, or “Archer’s Battalion,” Virginia Reserves. Composed of men between the ages of sixteen and eighteen and between forty-five and fifty-five from Petersburg and the counties of Dinwiddie and Prince George, the reserves were to be used for state defense and detail duty. They participated in Archer’s greatest military accomplishment, his defense of Petersburg on June 9, 1864, in what has come to be called the Battle of Old Men and Young Boys.

    As more than 1,300 Union cavalry troops led by Brigadier General August Kautz attempted to ride into Petersburg from the south and Union infantry threatened the defenses east of the city, 125 members of Archer’s unit and 5 men and one gun from an artillery unit answered a call for reserves and militia to assemble at Battery 29 on the Jerusalem Plank Road. Later Archer recalled that details for special service and guard duty in Richmond had left him with barely a company of inadequately armed men in civilian clothes, combining those “with head silvered o’er with the frosts of advancing years” and others who “could scarcely boast of the down upon the cheek.” His command repelled the first attack by the Northern troops but a second assault forced him back into the city. The arrival of Confederate cavalry and artillery put a check to further Union movement, but at the cost of 76 casualties to the reserves, more than half of those who had gone into action.

    Promoted to lieutenant colonel, Archer led his unit in the defense of Petersburg during the subsequent Union attack of June 15–18 and throughout the nine-and-one-half-month siege of the city. Wounded in the arm at Petersburg, he was hit again during the retreat to Appomattox, where his combined force of the 3rd and 44th Battalions of Virginia Reserves surrendered sixty-five men.

    After the war ended Archer returned to Petersburg and began to rebuild his law practice. Active in the local Conservative Party, he eventually became its chairman. He sought the party’s nomination for mayor in 1876 and 1878 but lost both times to William E. Cameron, who had remained with the 12th Virginia until war’s end and later aligned himself with General Mahone and even later with the Readjuster movement. In 1879 Archer and tobacconist Charles A. Jackson were the Conservative nominees for seats in the House of Delegates, but both lost as the Readjusters carried the city with 55 percent of the vote.

    Following this citywide defeat, Archer won election to the Petersburg City Council and fellow councillors elected him their president. By virtue of this position Archer became mayor on January 2, 1882, when Cameron was sworn in as governor.[24] At this point the council still had a Conservative majority, but Readjusters controlled all of the elective executive offices in Petersburg except the mayor’s office and vowed to oust Archer in the May 1882 election.

    To counter a Readjuster–Fusionist Republican coalition, the Conservatives formed an alliance with the Straightout Republicans and ran as the Citizens’ Party. Archer received their nomination for mayor but lost to Thomas J. Jarratt, and the Readjusters won a narrow majority on the city council. The Conservatives then tried to keep the Readjusters from taking their seats by alleging a violation of the city charter, and on July 1 Archer refused to vacate his office at the end of his term. He did not finally step down as mayor until a lawsuit confirmed Jarratt in the office on March 23, 1883.

    In 1884 Archer was a delegate to the state Democratic convention in Richmond and tried to encourage dissident white Readjusters to rejoin the Democratic Party. He did not run for another public office thereafter. Archer died at his home on High Street on August 21, 1902, after having been in “feeble health by reason of his advanced age for some months.” He was interred in Petersburg’s Blandford Cemetery.

    Captain of Company H, the Norfolk Junior Volunteers, from April 1861 to May 1862. Born in 1804, married in 1842, had 3 children in 1860. Mayor of Norfolk in 1860.[25] (According to the Norfolk Public Library, he served from June 24, 1856, to 1858.) Died in 1863, and buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk, Virginia.

    William Hodges Mann

    William Hodges Mann was born in Williamsburg on July 31, 1843; as the son of John Mann and Mary Hunter Bowers. Went to Williamsburg Academy, and Brownsburg Academy in Rockbridge County. Became deputy clerk of the circuit court of Nottoway County, from 1859 to 1861. Enlisted on June 20, 1861, in Company E, the Petersburg Riflemen. Wounded at Seven Pines, on June 1, 1862. While recuperating, became temporary clerk to Confederate Treasury Dept. Served as a spy, behind Gen U.S. Grant’s lines, during the Siege of Petersburg. After the war, in 1865, he was elected to clerk of the Virginia Circuit Court of Dinwiddie County. Admitted to the Bar in 1867. Married twice. Served as Judge of Nottoway County, from 1870 to 1892. Virginia State Senator from 1898 to 1910 and a Member of the Democratic State Executive Committee. Prominent Prohibitionist, and a promoter of public high schools. Established Bank of Crewe Va, was president to 1910. Owned a dairy farm in Burkeville. Was a Presbyterian elder, and friend to Rev. Theodorick Pryor, father of General Richard Pryor. Governor of Virginia from 1910 to 1914. Lawyer in Petersburg from 1914 to his death 1927. Died, on December 21, 1927, from a stroke at his law office desk. Buried in Blandford cemetery.[27]

    The Legacy of the 12th Virginia

    Veterans of the 12th Virginia gained political power in Petersburg during Reconstruction, and such continued as the Re-Adjuster Party took power. Former Sergeant of Company E, William E. Hinton, became a local financier and political leader, first as a Conservative, then as a Re-Adjuster, including a term in the Virginia General Assembly. His brother, Drury A. Hinton, former captain of Virginia’s 41st Infantry, served as the city’s prosecutor (elected and re-elected as Commonwealth Attorney), and won a seat on the Virginia Supreme Court.

    The 12th Virginia Infantry lives on today in the form of an incorporated living history and reenactment unit bearing its designation. Modern Companies ‘B’ and ‘C’ live on in the Richmond-Petersburg region of the Commonwealth of Virginia; with one company not associated having formed in California as company ‘G’. The Virginia unit is a family-friendly, non-profit organization, and participates in numerous events in Virginia and bordering states.

    Norfolk VA Light Artillery Battery

    Organized: on 6/8/61
    Mustered Out: 4/8/65


    From To Brigade Division Corps Army Comment
    Jul ’61 Apr ’62 Artillery Dept of Norfolk
    Apr ’62 Jun ’62 Artillery Huger’s Dept of Northern Virginia
    Jun ’62 Jul ’62 Wright’s Huger’s/R.H. Anderson’s Army of Northern Virginia
    Jul ’62 Jun ’63 Artillery R.H. Anderson’s 1st Army of Northern Virginia
    Jun ’63 Jul ’63 Artillery Heth’s 3rd Army of Northern Virginia
    Jul ’63 Apr ’65 Garnett’s/Richardson’s Artillery 3rd Army of Northern Virginia

    Norfolk (Virginia) Light Artillery Blues

    The battery was originally formed in 1828. It was placed on active duty in April, 1861, as Company H, 16th Virginia Infantry Regiment. It is represented by a marker at Gettysburg.

    March 25 Organized by the conversion of Company H, 16th Infantry, to artillery service, under the command of Captain Charles R. Grandy. Assigned to Department of Norfolk.
    May Battery armed with two 12-lb. Napoleons, two 12-lb. Howitzers, and two 3-inch Rifles
    June 8 Part of the battery was split off to form the Norfolk Artillery Battery under Captain Frank Huger.
    July Attached to Artillery, Department of North Carolina
    December Attached to Artillery Battalion, Anderson’s Division, 1st Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
    December 13 Battle of Fredericksburg
    May Attached to Artillery Battalion, Heth’s Division, 3rd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
    May 1-4 Battle of Chancellorsville
    July 1-4 Battle of Gettysburg

    Captain Grandy took 106 men into the fight with two 3 Inch Ordnance Rifles and two 12 pounder howitzers.

    From the War Department marker on the field at Gettysburg:

    July 1 Arrived on the field in the afternoon but was not engaged.

    July 2 The Rifles took position here in the morning and participated during the afternoon and evening in the artillery duel with the Union batteries on Cemetery Hill.

    July 3 Ordered to the south side of McMillan’s Woods and held all day in reserve without firing a shot though sometimes under fire.

    July 4 The Howitzers were never actively engaged in the battle but on this day were placed in a position here. At night they rejoined the Rifles and with them began the march to Hagerstown. Losses not reported in detail.

    July Transferred to Garnett’s-Richardson’s Battalion, Artillery, 3rd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
    July 14 Falling Waters
    November-December Mine Run Campaign
    May 5-6 Battle of The Wilderness
    May 8-21 Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
    May 23-26 North Anna
    June 1-3 Cold Harbor
    June Petersburg Siege begins
    March-April Appomattox Campaign
    April 8 Appomattox Station

    Captured as part of Walker’s column with 1 Warrant Officer and 13 men.

    Captain Jacob Vickery took command after Captain Grandy