5th West Virginia Infantry

HISTORY

The Fifth West Virginia Infantry was organized at Ceredo, W. Va., during the summer of 1861, and was mustered into the United States service October 18, 1861, with the following field officers: John L. Zeigler, colonel; Stephen P. Colvin, lieutenant-colonel, and Ralph Ormstead, major. The regiment was engaged in protecting the loyal citizens of the Kanawha Valley, and ridding it of the Confederates, until ordered to Parkersburg on December 10. A principal part of the regiment was sent to New Creek and in February, 1862, accompanied Colonel Dunning of the Fifth Ohio, commanding brigade, on his expedition to Moorefield, against Colonel Harness of the Confederate army. On the 2d of May, the regiment left New Creek, and went to McDowell, joining the command of General Milroy, and taking part in the battle at that place, and after that battle became a part of General Milroy’s brigade. They remained with the brigade all through Pope’s campaign, participating in all the battles in which the brigade took a part, from Cedar Mountain to the second battle of Bull Run, both officers and men being conspicuous for their soldierly conduct while in camp and on the march, and for gallantry upon the battlefield.

The regiment returned to the Kanawha Valley in October, 1862, and was detached from Milroy’s brigade, and in May, 1864, it became a part of General Crook’s command, participating in his expeditions. It took a part in General Hunter’s advance on Lynchburg, and the battle at that place June 18. Returning, it proceeded with General Hunter’s army to the Shenandoah Valley, forming a part of the Army of West Virginia under General Crook in the brigades commanded by Col. I. H. Duval, Ninth W. Va. Infantry, and Col. Rutherford B. Hayes, 23d Ohio Infantry. Colonel Hayes commanded the brigade for several months, during which time he fought a number of closely contested battles. The survivors of the regiment have cause for congratulation that they had served under a commander who not only illustrated the highest idea of the true soldier while on the field of battle, but when the war was over and the people of the nation had called the commander of the First Brigade, Army of West Virginia, to the Presidential chair, he illustrated the same high idea of American statesmanship in the exalted civil position that he had shown on the battlefield.

On the 9th of November, 1864, the Fifth and Ninth West Virginia Infantry were consolidated by order of the War Department, and designated the First Regiment West Virginia Veteran Infantry, and were mustered out of service July 21, 1865. The regiment lost during the war, killed and died of wounds four offices and 57 enlisted men; died of disease and accident, two officers and 88 enlisted men. Total, 151.

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

SERVICE

Organized at Ceredo, W. Va., September 2, 1861, and mustered in October 18, 1861. Served Unattached, District of the Kanawha, West Virginia, to March, 1862. District of Cumberland, Md., Mountain Department, to April, 1862. Milroy’s Independent Brigade, Mountain Department, to June, 1862. Milroy’s Independent Brigade, 1st Army Corps, Army of Virginia, to September, 1862. Defences of Washington, D.C., to October, 1862. District of the Kanawha, West Virginia, Dept. Ohio, to January, 1863. Unattached, District of the Kanawha, West Virginia, to March, 1863. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 8th Army Corps, Middle Department, to June, 1863. 1st Brigade, Scammon’s Division, Dept. of West Virginia, to December, 1863. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, West Virginia, to April, 1864. 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, West Virginia, to November, 1864.

SERVICE.–Duty at Ceredo and in the Kanawha Valley, W. Va., to December 10, 1861. Moved to Parkersburg, W. Va., December 10, thence to New Creek, W. Va., February, 1862. Linn Creek, Logan County, February 8. Duty at New Creek till May. Joined Milroy’s Brigade May 2. Battle of McDowell May 8. Near Franklin May 10-12 and May 26. Battle of Cross Keys June 8. At Strasburg June 20-July 5. Advance to Luray July 5-11. Moved to Sperryville July 11, thence to Woodville July 22, and duty there till August 9. Battle of Cedar Mountain August 9. Cedar Run August 10 Pope’s Campaign in Northern Virginia August 16-September 2. Fords of the Rappahannock August 20-23. Freeman’s Ford, Hazel River, August 22. Johnson’s Ford August 22. Waterloo Bridge August 24-25. Gainesville August 28. Groveton August 29. Bull Run August 30. Duty in the Defences of Washington, D.C., till September 29. Moved to Beverly, W. Va., September 29-October 9. Parkersburg October 10. Duty at Ceredo till March, 1863. Scouting Little Kanawha and east side of Big Sandy Rivers. Ordered to Wayne Court House March. Hurricane Creek March 28. At Charlestown, Barboursville, Hurricane Bridge and other points in the Kanawha Valley till April, 1864. Scammon’s demonstration from the Kanawha Valley December 8-25, 1863. Crook’s. Raid on the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad May 2-19, 1864. Rocky Gap May 6. Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain May 9. New River Bridge May 10. Blacksburg May 10. Union May 12. Meadow Bluff May 24. Hunter’s Expedition to Lynchburg May 26-July 1. Lexington June 11-12. Buchanan June 14. Otter Creek June 16. Diamond Hill June 17. Lynchburg June 17-18. Buford’s Gap June 19. Salem June 21. Moved to the Shenandoah Valley July 13-15. Kablestown July 19. Battle of Kernstown, Winchester, July 23-24 Martinsburg July 25. Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign August 6-November 1. Strasburg August 15. Summit Point August 24. Halltown August 2. Berryville September 3. Battle of Opequan, Winchester, September 19. Fisher’s Hill September 22. Battle of Cedar Creek October 19.

Consolidated with 9th West Virginia Infantry November 9, 1864, to form 1st West Virginia Veteran Infantry.

[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 2 Officer and 88 Enlisted men by disease. Total 151.

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