13th West Virginia Infantry

HISTORY

The Thirteenth Infantry Regiment was organized October, 1862, with the following field officers: William R. Brown, colonel; James R. Hall, lieutenant-colonel. The regiment served in the Kanawha Valley during the first year of the war, mostly doing guard duty and scouting by detachments of companies. In May, 1863, the regiment was placed in the brigade of Col. Rutherford B. Hayes, and continued to serve under Colonel Hayes for about 18 months. During this period the regiment experienced considerable hard service.

In May, 1864, the regiment, 720 men, received orders to march at 8 A.M. the following day. The march was via Lewisburg. Crossed the main Alleghanies, June 2; Hot Springs, June 4; skirmished with the enemy at Warm Spring Mountain; at Goshen on the Virginia Central Railroad on the 5th and 6th, the time being devoted to destroying the railroad. June 7, crossed the mountain at Pond Gap; arrived at Staunton June 8, where it joined General Hunter’s command. On the 10th, Hunter started on his advance from Staunton; in a skirmish on that day, near the village of Newport, the regiment had several men wounded. June 11, was present at the battle of Lexington; crossed the James River at Buchanan on the 14th; crossed the Blue Ridge on the 15th; arrived at Liberty, county seat of Bedford County, on the 16th; the day was devoted to destroying the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. June 17, at 10 P.M., the regiment was assigned its place in line of battle for the following day before Lynchburg. June 18, at sunrise, the enemy opened heavily with artillery. During the morning the regiment was deployed to the right of the town; at noon the force was concentrated at the centre; was again deployed in line of battle in front of the brigade at 1 P.M., and slowly advanced under a heavy artillery and musketry fire towards the enemy’s works, and remained before the works until 8 P.M., when the regiment was ordered to take position one mile beyond the village of New London. Loss in this engagement six men wounded.

June 20, was at Buford’s Gap. Recrossed the Alleghany Mountains in the evening of June 24; at Meadow Bluff, 25; crossed Gauley River, June 28; encamped below Elk River July 1. Distance marched since May 30, 480 miles. Colonel Hayes’ brigade, to which this regiment was attached, on this expedition consisted of the 23d Ohio, Lieut.-Col. James M. Comly; 36th Ohio, col. Hiram F. Devol; 5th West Virginia, Col. Abia A. Tomlinson; 13th West Virginia, Col. Wm. R. Brown. At the battle of Winchester, Va., on July 24 and 25, Col. Hayes’ brigade was attached to Duval’s division, Eighth Army Corps. The 13th Regiment displayed conspicuous gallantry in this battle. Colonel Hayes in his report of the engagement makes this special mention: “The 13th West Virginia volunteer Infantry, Colonel Brown, was never in a general engagement before. The officers and men of this regiment, under the circumstances, I deem worthy of special commendation.” The regiment lost in this engagement 14 killed, 50 wounded, 15 missing.

January 31, 1864, the regiment was in Col. Abia A. Tomlinson’s First Brigade, still in Kelley’s division. April 2, 1864, we find the regiment at Cumberland, Md., as part of General Sigel’s command. At Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864, the regiment again showed its sticking qualities; Lieut-Col. James R. Hall was killed in this engagement while gallantly leading his men.

[Source: Loyal West Virginia 1861-1865, by Theodore Lang]

SERVICE

Organized at Mt. Pleasant and Barboursville October, 1862. Attached to District of the Kanawha, West Virginia, Dept. of the Ohio, to March, 1863. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 8th Army Corps, Middle Dept., to June, 1863. 1st Brigade, Scammon’s Division, Dept. of West Virginia, to December, 1863. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, West Virginia, to January, 1864. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, West Virginia, to April, 1864. 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, West Virginia, to January, 1865. 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, West Virginia, to April, 1865. 1st Brigade, 4th Provisional Division, West Virginia, to June, 1865.

SERVICE.–Duty at Point Pleasant and Coalsmouth, W. Va., till April. 1863. Hurricane Bridge March 28. Skirmish at Point Pleasant March 30. Hurricane and Coal River till July. Fayetteville May 20. Expedition to Piney in pursuit of Loring July 5-14, and in pursuit of Morgan July 17-26. Duty at Charleston and other points in the Kanawha Valley till May, 1864. Crook’s Raid on Virginia & Tennessee Railroad May 2-19. Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain May 9. New River Bridge and Cove Mountain May 10. Salt Pond Mountain and Gap Mountain May 12-13. Hunter’s Expedition to Lynchburg May 26-July 1. Lexington June 11. Diamond Hill June 17. Lynchburg June 17-18. Retreat to Charleston June 18-July 1. Buford’s Gap June 19. About Salem June 21. Moved to the Shenandoah Valley July 12-15. Battle of Kernstown-Winchester July 23-24. Martinsburg July 25. Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign August 6-November 28. Near Charlestown, W. Va., August 21-22. Halltown August 26. Berryville September 3. Battle of Opequan, Winchester, September 19. Fisher’s Hill September 22. Battle of Cedar Creek October 19. At Camp Russell and in the Shenandoah Valley till December. Kablestown November 18. At Cumberland, Md., till April, 1865. At Winchester and Staunton till June. Mustered out June 22, 1865.

[Source: Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, by Frederick Dyer]

LOSSES

Regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 57 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 107 Enlisted men by disease. Total 169.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

13th West Virginia Infantry Memorial web site [Kimberly Hieronimus Brownlee]