Fluvanna County Units in the War of 1861-1865
During the War of 1861-1865 a total of ten companies enlisted entirely from Fluvanna County - four of infantry, two of artillery, and three of local defense troops. An additional four companies (three of infantry and one of artillery) held a large number of Fluvanna men. Altogether over 1200 sons of Fluvanna saw service in the war, an qstonishing total in view of the fact that the county had a white population of only 5349 in 1860. In this way Fluvanna County made its significant contribution to the war effort. No major campaigns or battles would strike the county as it lay nestled in the Piedmont between the critical battlefields near Fredericksburg and Richmond to the east and the much fought over Shenandoah Valley to the west. Nevertheless the soldiers of Fluvanna County, and their families left at home, gave all they could to support their country.
When the war began in the spring of 1861, Fluvanna troops rushed to enlist in five different companies being raised in the county, three of infantry and two of artillery. The first unit to enlist was the "Fluvanna Rifle Guard," an infantry company led by Captain Robert H. Poore, a lawyer from Palmyra. The unit had first formed in January 1860 in anticipation of the coming war, and had drilled on the court green at Palmyra. It enlisted in state service on May 10, 1861, and was soon assigned to be Company C of the 14th regiment Virginia Volunteers. Captain Poore was killed during Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.
Two additional Fluvanna infantry companies enlisted in the spring of 1861. The "Fluvanna Hornets" was formed at Kent's Store on May 20 under Captain Thomas K. Wiesinger. Three weeks later, the "Fluvanna Guards" was formed on June 11 at Wesley's Chapel and Antioch under Captain David W. Anderson. These two companies were assigned to the 44th Regiment Virginia Infantry on June 4, the "Hornets" becoming Company F and the "Guards" becoming Company K. Two other companies of the 44th had a large number of enlistees from Fluvanna County - Company C (the "Travis Rifles"), which was formed at New Canton in Buck ingham County on June 6, and Company D (the "Ambler Guards"), which was formed at Isbell's Store in Louisa County on June 8. Company C of the 19th Virginia (the "Scottsville Guard"), which enlisted on April 17, 1861, also had a large number of Fluvanna men.
Fluvanna's fourth infantry company began its career as an artillery unit. This command was organized in Wilmington and enlisted on February 4, 1862 as Company H, 2nd Regiment Virginia Artillery. When this regiment was broken up on May 23,1862, the Fluvanna company was reassigned as Company H, 22nd Battalion Virginia Infantry. It was led for a long time by Captain John Sam Bowles of Goochland County.
Fluvanna's sole cavalry unit also began its career as an artillery command. In early 1862 Reuben Boston raised a company in the northwestern part of the county for the purpose of helping to man the guns in the defenses of Richmond. This unit was formally organized on February 15, 1862, and was designated as Company F, 3rd Regiment Virginia Artillery, Local Defense Troops. However, this regiment was broken up in May 1862. Boston's company then became part of Pate's Battalion of Scouts (officially, 2nd Battalion Vir.ginia Cavalry). When Pate's command was expanded and reorganized in June, the Fluvanna company was designated as Company I, 5th Regiment Virginia Cavalry. Captain Boston rose to the rank of Colonel in command of the regiment, and was killed in action on April 7, 1865, just two days before the surrender at Appomattox.
A company of true artillerymen was organized at Scottsville on April 3,1862, by Captain Henry M. Price. The battery was formed mostly of men from Fluvanna County, but had a significant number of members from Albemarle County. On May 17, 1862, this company was assigned to Lieutenant Colonel N. C. Harris' Battalion of Virginia Heavy Artillery, but this unit was soon broken up in June 1862 and most of its members reassigned to Company B, 18th Battalion Virginia Heavy Artillery (the "Atlantic Artillery" from Norfolk). These gunners saw duty in the fortifications at Richmond.
By far the most famous unit from Fluvanna County was the noted Fluvanna Artillery. This command actually began as two separate batteries. The "Sons of Fluvanna" (later known officially as the Fluvanna Artillery No.1) was raised by Captain Arthur Lee Brent and enlisted at Fork Union on June 20, 1861. The "Fluvanna Light Artillery" (later known officially as Fluvanna Artillery No.2) was raised by Di" Cary C. Cocke and
enlisted on August 6, 1861 at Fluvanna Church. The two Fluvanna field batteries served separately until they were consolidated on October 4, 1862.
Since Confederate batteries were better known by their officers' names than by their official designations, readers should be aware of the following titles for the Fluvanna field batteries. The "Sons of Fluvanna" (Fluvanna Artillery No.1) is referred to as Brent's Battery, Holman's Battery (to May 16, 1862) and Huckstep's battery (to October 4, 1862). The "Fluvanna Light Artillery" (Fluvanna Artillery No.2) is referred to as Cocke's Battery (to February 17, 1862) and Ancell's Battery (to October 4, 1862). The "Fluvanna Consolidated Artillery," created on October 4, 1862, is known" as Massie's Battery (to September 24,1864) and then as Snead's Battery. For a time in 1862, the "Sons of Fluvanna" was called Company C, 31st Battalion Virginia Artillery, and the "Fluvanna Light Artillery" was called Company E of the same battalion.
At least three companies of local troops were organized to defend Fluvanna County during the second half of the war. These consisted mostly of older men, young boys, exempted men and invalid soldiers. Captain Enos Cottrell's Company, Local Defense Troops, was organized on July 3, 1863; Captain Cottrell resigned on August 18, 1863. A cavalry company of Home Guards is known to have existed in 1863-1864. On April 16, 1864, a company of reserves was organized called the "Fluvanna Rangers." It was formally designated as Company D, 1st Battalion Virginia Reserves, and was led s\:lccessively by Captains James M. Strange, J. B. Perkins, and John C. Holland.