Confederate Civil War Records

Photo Credit: Sam Levan
Photo Credit: Sam Levan

Last week while doing a bit of research, for my ongoing 52 Ancestors posts, I learned that William Harrison Richmond Sr. was a soldier in the confederate Army. Though I come from a bunch of Yankees, I knew the day would come that a confederate or two would appear in my tree. I want to add, that I am not disappointed by this. I am proud of each of my ancestors that fought for what they thought was right, in any of the wars they fought in. They did not just  give lip service and badmouth those they opposed. They did something about it, they picked up arms and went to fight for their beliefs. Also, though I come from a bunch of Yanks, my mom is from West Virginia and her line is long…from West Virginia to Virginia. There are towns that are named after a few of her ancestors. So, finding the confederate was not a huge surprise.

I have been aware that for a while now Fold3 had been scanning Civil War records. The most I had been able to find has been index cards for pension records (for my Union ancestor). By chance, last week I pulled up Fold3 and typed in the name William H Richmond and was overwhelmed with what I found. Not only did they have William’s muster rolls that followed him throughout his service. But, there was also his certificate of disability for discharge paperwork. If you read Monday’s post, you know that he was shot through his ankle, the musket ball was never removed and he did not heal properly. How utterly awful for anyone to have to live through anything like this. I know that medical treatment was very different back then, and I suppose he was lucky that he did not lose his foot. But, the thought of knowing your ancestor went through something like that is just terrible. All in all, there is a grand total of eleven pages of paperwork that give us information on the time William was in the Confederate Army.

When William enlisted in the Voluntary Regiment he was part of Company E, 36th Virginia Infantry. Then Company became 2 Company C, also known as the Raleigh Rangers after they enlisted in. As you follow William’s Muster Rolls, the first lists him in Company C, after that he is in Company R until his paperwork for disability is filled out.

Following the Muster Roll for William shows us that he was injured early in his Army life. Only being involved in two battles, the battle of Scary Creek (July 17, 19861) and the battle of Cross Lanes (August 26, 1861). Both of these battles were Confederate victories. Unfortunately, William was injured at some point during the two battles. Some of the Muster Rolls show him injured at Cross Lanes, while others show he was injured at Gauley. The Gauley River is where the battle of Scary Creek took place. He was placed on a twelve month furlough due to his injuries. The  first few Muster Rolls are not dated, and there is not one specific to time in between the two battles so we could try to figure out which battle is the one that left William disabled.

The certificate of disability gives us a lot of information on William:

  • Height 5’9″
  • fair complexion
  • grey eyes
  • dark hair
  • Born in Raleigh County, Virginia
  • 22 years of age
  • farmer
  • injured on August 26th 1861, at the battle of Cross Lanes
  • Furloughed Sep 9th of 1961 for ten months due to injury
  • of a wound in ankle which unfits him for military duty. The wound has never healed or the ball been taken out on account of its being embedded among [——] of the foot.
  • Nov 1st 1862 he was stricken from his role in the Army and considered disabled

That is a ton of information from one record in the eleven pages that was found.

As you can tell, there is a wealth of information that I was able to find on William that really takes him from being a name and date to becoming a strong, fearless ancestor that fought for what he believed in (even if it was a short fight for him).



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