Sixth Brigade, Army of the Potomac
Colonel J L Kemper, commanding the 7th Virginia Infantry
Seventh Virginia Infantry
COLONEL J L KEMPER
LIEUTENANT COLONEL L B WILLIAMS
MAJOR W T PATTEN
- Company A Richardson's Guards: CAPT. J WELCH
The company was organised at Culpeper County, on 25 April, 1861, and was ordered to Culpeper Courthouse.
- Company B Washington Greys: CAPT. T B MASSIE
- Company C Porter's Company: CAPT. J C PORTER
- Company D Giles Volunteers: CAPT. J H FRENCH
The company was organised on 25 April, 1861, and was originally assigned to the 24th Virginia Infantry. The company was transferred to the 7th Virginia Infantry at Camp Wigfall, on the Occoquan River, during June 1861 (See the 24th Virginia Infantry).
- Company E Hazelwood Volunteers: CAPT. J TAYLOR
- Company F McMullan's Company: CAPT. F M MCMULLAN
- Company G Rappahanock Guard: CAPT. A T WALDON
The company joined the regiment in the morning on 21 July, 1861.
- Company H Washington Volunteers: CAPT. R CLEARY
The company was organised at Phoenix Hall, Alexandria, Virginia, with sessessionts members of the District of Columbia militia (See the 6th Virginia Battalion Volunteers). The company was stationed at Camp Wigfall, Virginia, between 22 April and 30 June, 1861. The 1st Virginia Infantry, Company E, was transferred to the company on 22 April, 1862 (See the 1st Virginia Infantry).
- Company I Holcombe Guards: CAPT. I WINN
- Company K Madison Greys: CAPT. W LOVELL
The company was organised at Madison County, on 23 April, 1861, and was ordered to Culpeper courthouse.
- Unlettered Company Sperryville Sharpshooters: CAPT. J C GIBSON
The company arrived at Camp Pickens, Manassas Junction, at 10 AM on 21 July, 1861, and was temporarily assigned to the 7th Virginia Infantry. After the first battle of Manassas the company was ordered to Centreville, Virginia, with the 7th Virginia Infantry and was permanently assigned to the 49th Virginia Infantry, Company D, at Camp Pickens, Manassas Junction, on 7 August, 1861 (See the 49th Virginia Infantry).
"The Sperryville Sharpshooters, the fourth company of those who would eventually become members of the Forty-ninth, arrived on the field only hours (10.00 am) before the opening of the battle. They were hastily placed with the 7th Virginia Infantry apparently because they came on the train from Culpeper, the town where the nucleus of James Kemper's 7th regiment was originally mustered."
The Virginia Regimental Histories Series: Forty-ninth Virginia Infantry, First Edition, No.547 of 1000, by L Reidenbaugh
"Early in the morning a Virginia company under Captain Gibson, unattached, had been permitted, at the request of the Captain, to join Kemper's regiment and remained with it throughout the day. A South Carolina company belonging to Kershaw's or Cash's regiment, which was on picket at the time their regiments moved from Mitchell's Ford, not being able to find its proper command, had joined me just as we were advancing against the enemy near Chinn's house, and had been attached to Hay's regiment, with which it went into action."
Lieutenant General Jubal Anderson Early C.S.A., autobiographical sketch and narrative of the War Between the States, with notes by Jubal Anderson Early
"The portion of the brigade with me consisted of Colonel Kemper’s regiment, Seventh Virginia; Col. Harry T Hays’ regiment, Seventh Louisiana, and six companies of my own regiment, the Twenty-fourth Virginia."
Report of Colonel Jubal A. Early, commanding Sixth Brigade, First Corps, Army of the Potomac
"After a long, tiresome, all-night ride, we reached Manassas at sunrise on the morning of June 1st, the morning on which occurred, at Fairfax Court House, a skirmish between the Federal and Confederate outposts, in which Capt. John Q Marr, of Faquier, was killed and Major Ewell wounded. The Confederate post at manassas was named "Camp Pickens" in honor of Governor Pickens of South Carolina."
"On the tramp to Occoquan occurred a difficulty between Lieutenant Hairston and our Lieutenant Gibson, the two high bloods squarring themselves in the road for battle, but the prompt intervention of Major J P Hammett of the regiment prevented the trouble, which threatened to involve not only the two officers but their respective companies, and which difficulty was the cause of the transfer of our company from the 24th to the 7th Virginia regiment."
"The three regiments of Colonel Early's brigade, 7th Louisiana, 7th Virginia, and 13th Mississippi, (the latter substituted for 24th Virginia) passed to the extreme Confederate left, reaching there at near 3:20 PM, finding thenselves face to face with the foe at the Chinn house and in open ground."
The story of a Confederate boy in the Civil War, by David E Johnston of the 7th Virginia Infantry Regiment
"The general commanding has directed to be sent to Fairfax Station some 6,000 wing badges, made in Richmond, which he wishes to be used by the infantry and cavalry of your brigade and that of General Ewell until otherwise directed. Your brigade will wear these badges the yellow side out, and General Ewell's the red side out. Each brigade commander will designate, at their option, the shoulder upon which the wing will be worn by his brigade. All pains and precautions must be taken to make the men of your command understand these badges and to regard them as the insignia of friends, who are not to be fired into under any pretense. It is the intention of the general that your artillery shall wear a different badge – perhaps a red flannel band around the cap or arm. This will be indicated in time and the flannel furnished. Colonel Cocke's brigade will wear a red flannel band badge around the cap or arm. This is communicated, so that it may be made known also to your several regiments, corps, and companies. The general trusts that after the recent catastrophe in one of our advanced brigades it will be unnecessary to impress on your men the need for coolness, an iron nerve, and all possible precautions against the slaughter of our own men."
Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, Manassas Junction, 8 July, 1861: Acting Assistant Adjutant General, Colonel T Jordan
Virginia Regimental Histories Series: Seventh Virginia Infantry, by D F Riggs
A guide to Virginia military organisations 1861–1865, Revised Second Edition, by I A Wallace, Jr.
The 7th Virginia Infantry was organised at Camp Henry, Culpeper Courthouse, on 1 June, 1861, and was mustered in state service by Brigadier General P St G Cocke on 6 June, 1861. The regiment was transferred to Confederate service on 1 July, 1861, and was ordered to proceed to Camp Wigfall, on the Occoquan River. Colonel J L Kemper was commissioned colonel, Provisional Army of Virginia, on 2 May, 1861, and was appointed to command the 7th Virginia Infantry at Camp Wigfall, on the Occoquan River. The regiment was ordered to an eminence, overlooking Mitchell's, Blackburn's, and McLean's Fords, Virginia, on 17 July, 1861. The 7th Virginia Infantry was assigned as a reserve at the battle at Blackburn's Ford, Virginia, between 12 and 4 PM on 18 July, 1861, and was ordered to relieve the 1st Virginia Infantry (See the 1st Virginia Infantry). The Sperryville Sharpshooters arrived at Camp Pickens, Manassas Junction, at 10 AM on 21 July, 1861, and was temporarily assigned to the 7th Virginia Infantry (See the 49th Virginia Infantry). The 2nd South Carolina Infantry, Company F, under Captain W W Perryman, was temporarily joined the 7th Virginia Infantry during the first battle of Manassas as the company was not able to locate the 2nd South Carolina Infantry when the regiment was ordered to proceed to Henry Hill, Virginia (See the 2nd South Carolina Infantry). After the first battle of Manassas the 7th Virginia Infantry remained on the field for two days and was ordered to Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia.
Early in 1861 J L Kemper was appointed brigadier general, First Brigade, Second Division, Virginia State militia.
On 25 July 1861, the Army of the Potomac was reorganised and the 7th Virginia Infantry was assigned to the Fourth Brigade, First Corps, Army of the Potomac, under the command of Brigadier General J Longstreet.
Orders of Battle
The above painting, 'The Fourth Alabama', is by Don Troiani, modern America's finest historial artist.