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Taken from this site on November 18, 2002 Virginia Regiment


History of the 2d Virginia Regiment
Also designated at various times: 2d Battalion, Virginia Forces on Provisional Establishment; 2d Virginia Battalion of Foot in the Service of the United States; 2d Virginia Regiment on Continental Establishment; 2d Virginia Detachment; 2d Virginia Battalion

The 2d Virginia Regiment was authorized by the Virginia Convention, July 17, 1775, as a force of regular troops for the Commonwealth's defense. It consisted of seven companies, 476 privates and the usual regimental officers. This regiment saw considerable service in the Norfolk area against British forces and loyalists under Dunmore. Colonel William Woodford, of Caroline County, because the de facto commander in chief of Virginia's forces from October through December 1775, after which time he turned over his command to Robert Howe, of North Carolina.

Companies, September 1775-1776

1st Company - Captain George Johns(t)on, September 21, 1775. Raised in Fairfax.

2d Company - Captain George Nicholas, September 28, 1775. Raised in Hanover.

3d Company - Captain Richard Parker, September 28, 1775. Raised in Westmoreland.

4rd Company - Captain William Taliaferro, September 29, 1775. Raised in Caroline.

5th Company - Captain William Fontaine, October 21, 1775. Raised in Amelia.

6th Company - Captain Richard Kidder Meade, October 24, 1775. Raised in Southhampton/

7th Company - Captain Morgan Alexander, November 27, 1775. Raised in Frederick. (Riflemen)

On December 1, 1775 three companies of sixty men each were added to the regiment.

8th Company - Captain Buller Claiborne, January 31, 1776. Raised in Prince George and Petersburg.

9th Company - Captain Samuel Hawes, February 19, 1776. Raised in Caroline.

10th Company - Captain Wood Jones, March 8, 1776. Raised in Amelia and Williamsburg

Originally raised for one year's state service, the 2d Virginia was accepted by Congress for Continental service on February 13, 1776, and reorganized at Suffolk. In the fall, the 2d was dispatched to engage Lord Dunmore's land and naval forces in the campaigns around Norfolk. Shortly before the Regiment departed in December 1776 to join Washington and the Main Army in New Jersey. By the time the 2d was ordered to Maryland's Eastern Shore to suppress local Loyalists, the Regimental tailors were busy in Philadelphia equipping the Regiment with new regimental clothing.

Orginially attached to Weedon's Brigade in 1777, the 2d Virginia Regiment became part of Woodford's Brigade from 1779 to 1780. From March 1776 through the White Plains arrangement of September 1778, the following officers commanded companies in the regiment:

Captain Everard Meade, commissioned March 8, 1776
Captain Francis Taliaferro, March 1776
Captain Francis Taylor, May 8, 1776
Captain John Willis, June 15, 1776
Captain William Stanford, December 25, 1776
Captain William Taylor, Decemeber 28, 1776
Captain Marquis Calmes, January 17, 1777
Captain Peyton Harrison, March 11, 1777
Captain John Peyton Harrison, May 4, 1777
Captain Alexander Parker, June 1, 1777
Captain Philip Taliaferro, September 23, 1777
Captain Thomas Tebbs, 1777
Captain Benjamin Holmes (Hoomes), April 24, 1778
Captain James Upshaw, 1778

In late 1777, the British sailed landed on the Chesapeake Bay to march on Philadelphia, and the 2d Virginia Regiment was involved in the defense of the capital in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, both were defeats for Washington's army.

After surviving the harsh winter at Valley Forge, the Continental Army emerged from their winter quarters with renewed vigor. They had spent the months under the supervision of Frederick "Von" Steuben, training to become a professional army. With the rest of the Main Army, the 2d Virginia proved they could stand up to the best of the British Army at the battle of Monmouth, were they provoked a rear action and held the field at the end of the day.

Om July, 1778 , new 2d Virginia Regiment reported 26 commissioned officers, 4 staff officers, and 658 rank and file. On September 14, 1778, the 2d Virginia Regiment was consolidated with the depleted 6th Virginia Regiment at White Plains. At this "re-arrangment", Colonel Christian Febiger remained colonel, while Lieutenant Colonel Charles Simms of the 6th became retained his role. On January 23, 1779, there were 137 men in the regiment enlisted for the duration of the war, an unusually large proportion. By May 10, 1779

Companies, September 1778-Spring 1779

Colonel's Company - Captain Lieutenant Thomas Catlett
Lieutenant Colonel's Company - Lieutenant Colin Cocke(?)
Major's Company - Lieutenant Francis Cowherd(?)
4rd Company - Captain William Taylor
5th Company - Captain Marquis Calmes
6th Company - Captain John Peyton Harrison
7th Company - Captain Alexander Parker
8th Company - Captain Benjamin Taliaferro
9th Company - Captain John Stokes

In 1779, Captain Calmes was captured by the British. Captains Valentine Harrison and Colin Cocke joined the regiment toward the end of the year.

In December 1779, the 2d Virginia Regiment was temporarily consolidated with the 3d reassigned to the Southern Department to counter a new British threat as part of General William Woodford's brigade. In what could have been a crushing defeat for the Continental Army, the 2d Virginia Regiment was captured along with the whole Southern Department at Charleston, South Carolina in May 1780. A handful of men under Captain Alexander Parker escaped capture and returned to Virginia to particpate in the Yorktown Campaign.

The 2d Virginia Regiment, although in captivity, was arranged on paper by boards of field officers meeting at Chesterfield Court House, at Cumberland Old Court House, and at Winchester, in 1781, 1782, and 1783 respectively.

Companies, 1781-1782

Captain Robert Higgins (from the 8th Virginia Regiment)
Captain John Smith
Captain Alexander Parker
Captain Benjamin Taliaferro
Captain Henry Moss
Captain Isaiah Marks
Captain Colin Cocke
Captain Robert Porterfield
Captain Francis Cowherd
Captain John Jordan
Captain Beverley Stubblefield
Captain James Mabin (Maybone)

Because they were on detached service with Colonel Abraham Buford, captains Thomas Calett and John Stokes escaped at Charleston, Catlett only to be killed and Stokes wounded at The Waxhaws later in the month.

The final arrangement of the Virginia Line, which took place at Winchester on January 1, 1783, created a tiny regiment of two companies, which was designated the 2d Virginia Regiment. One company was composed of veterans, and the other of recruits who were serving out their enlistments "for the war."

Companies, 1781-1782

Major-Commandant Smith Snead
Captain Alexander Parker
Captain Samuel Booker (Recruits)
Brevet-Captain Thomas Parker,
September 30, 1783


[Wright, Continental Army, pp. 283-285]


[Wright, Continental Army, p. 285]


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