The 7th Virginia Infantry Regiment, C.S.A

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


This thesis is a socio-military history of the 7th Infantry Regiment, Virginia Volunteers. Its soldiers came principally from Madison, Rappahanock, Culpeper, Orange, Albemarle, Greene and Giles counties. The regiment fought in the Civil War as part of Kemper’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, Longstreet’s Corps, Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

Through the various sources quoted in this work, the writer has traced the regiment’s history from its beginning at Camp Wigfall to its capture at Sayler's Creek. This work focuses entirely on the men and officers of the regiment. The broader issues of grand strategy and Confederate politics are little discussed in this thesis. The writer has also attempted to make the work valuable as a small research aid to later readers who might be interested in other units in Kemper’s brigade. On the battlefield and in camp, the emphasis is on the life of the Confederate in the ranks and how he coped with the war on a day-to-day basis. These Southern soldiers ultimately suffered through four years of war and crushing defeat. Yet these men never lost the spirit of dedication to their cause. They came back to a, prostrate South and re-built it--often from no substantial base. This thesis treats of the Southern soldier who fought heroicly for his homeland against an enemy that he felt was bent on destroying him. In doing so, these Southerners furnished us with an example of the finest in character and manhood that America had to offer.