Southern Cross of Honor, Scrapbook, Parole of Sgt. Major Griffin F. Edwards Co. E 61st Va. Infantry



Southern Cross of Honor, Scrapbook, Parole of Sgt. Major Griffin F. Edwards Co. E 61st Va. Infantry – This is an unusual and fine grouping containing Sgt. Edwards’ Southern Cross of Honor, inscribed with his name on the pin bar above the actual medal, and a scrapbook, compiled just after the war, by Edwards, that contained his war period, hand-written oath not to take up arms, dated April 16, 1865 and signed by a Federal, USCT officer; also contained in the scrapbook, which is 80 pages in length, are numerous documents, newspaper clippings that elaborate wartime events, as well as Edwards’ postwar political career; also included is a well-executed self-portrait, a hand-written autobiography (transcribed below) of his war time service and wounding; a late war $10 Confederate bill is pasted in the scrapbook, as well. This is an unusually complete grouping pertaining to the service of a Virginia Confederate veteran who served throughout the entire war and was twice wounded. The scrapbook has period, marbled boards, and is patent dated 1876. Many of the various clippings and articles affixed to the scrapbook pages have Edwards’ handwritten notations. The book and its contents remain in overall good condition. Included is the modern, regimental history of the 61st Va. Infantry.


Transcription of Griffin F. Edwards’ handwritten autobiography:

“G.F. Edwards born 16th Sept, 1844. Entered Confederate Army latter part of 1861 as secretary to Co. “E”, 61st Va. Regt. In Sept 1862, appointed clerk to Gen’l. H. B. Davidson commanding valley district from Charlottesville to Winchester with headquarters at Staunton, Va. Nov. 1863, Gen’l Davidson made application to have him permanently detailed for that position upon the grounds that he was an excellent clerk and the good of the service required it and he was also furnished with certificate from Board of Surgeons as to incapacity for field service. Application disapproved by Gen’l Lee with a request that Mr. Edwards be ordered to join his reg’t as early as convenient as they were much in need of men – Joined reg’t in Nov’r 1863, and shortly after was appointed Sergeant Major which position he held (after acting adjutant) until the 1st part of 1865, when he was recommended for promotion to 1st Lieut and became the acting adjutant of the regt – was wounded in the right arm near shoulder Friday morning two days before the surrender of Gen’l Lee near Farmville, Va.”

Griffin Fauntleroy Edwards

Residence was not listed; Enlisted on 2/25/1862 at Norfolk County, VA as a Private. On 2/25/1862 he mustered into VA Border Rifles   He was transferred out on 6/15/1862   (Estimated day of transfer) On 6/15/1862 he transferred into “E” Co. VA 7th Battn He was transferred out on 8/8/1862 On 8/8/1862 he transferred into “E” Co. VA 61st Infantry (date and method of discharge not given)   He was listed as: * Detailed 9/15/1862 Staunton, VA, Gnl Davidson’s Office (Detailed as clerk) * Wounded 5/3/1863 Salem Church, VA * Hospitalized 5/16/1863 Staunton, VA * Returned 6/15/1863 (place not stated) (Estimated day) * Hospitalized 2/15/1864 Richmond, VA Hospl 9 * Furloughed 2/23/1864 (place not stated) (Furlough of indulgence) * Wounded 4/1/1865 Cumberland Church, VA (Wounded right arm and shoulder) * Hospitalized 4/9/1865 Farmville, VA (Walked there) * Released 6/15/1865 (place not stated) (No further record)   Other Information: born 9/16/1843 in Norfolk County, VA died 5/14/1905 in Portsmouth, VA Buried: Cedar Grove Cem., Portsmouth, VA (Postwar lawyer, deputy clerk of circuit & county courts. head clerk.) After the War he lived in 421 London St. Portsmouth, VA


61st VA Infantry

Organized: on 5/22/62
Mustered Out: 4/9/65 at Appomattox Court House


From To Brigade Division Corps Army Comment
Jul ’62 Aug ’62 Unattached Dept of North Carolina
Sep ’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


The 61st Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment raised in Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. It fought mostly with the Army of Northern Virginia. The core of what would become the 61st Virginia was organized in Norfolk, Virginia in summer 1861 as the 7th Battalion, Virginia Reserves with eight companies. It served as heavy artillery in the Portsmouth and Norfolk area. However, when these cities were evacuated, the unit was transferred to the infantry and merged into the 61st Regiment being formed in Petersburg, Virginia in October 1862. Lieutenant Colonel Samuel M. Wilson was placed in command. The men of the 61st Virginia were from Portsmouth, and the counties of Norfolk, Isle of Wight, and Greensville. It was assigned to General Mahone’s Brigade and which became General Weisinger’s Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia upon General Mahone’s promotion to Division Commander.

The 61st participated in many battles from Sharpsburg to Cold Harbor, endured the hardships of the Petersburg trenches south of the James River, and ended the war at Appomattox. It reported 1 wounded at Fredericksburg, had 4 killed and 28 wounded at Chancellorsville, and lost about eight percent of the 356 at Gettysburg.

The regiment surrendered 10 officers and 107 men. Its field officers were Colonels Virginius D. Groner and Samuel M. Wilson, Lieutenant Colonels William F. Niemeyer and William H. Stewart, and Major Charles R. McAlpine.

Company F was known as the “Isle of Wight Avengers.”

The battle flag of the regiment is currently displayed in the visitor’s center at Appomattox Court House.