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Army of Northern Virginia (CSA), US Civil War

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  • Major Joseph W. Latimer (CSA), "The Boy Major" (1843 - 1863)
    White Latimer (August 27, 1843 – August 1, 1863), "The Boy Major," was a promising young officer in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia's artillery branch during the American Civil War. He was mo...
  • Capt. Charles Flournoy Linthicum, (CSA) (1838 - 1864)
    Confederate Army Officer. A farmer in Cherokee County, Georgia before the Civil War, he enlisted in the Cherokee Brown Rangers in 1861. Elected Captain in the 14th Georgia Infantry Regiment in 1861, h...
  • Private (CSA) Erastus Reese Vaughn (1838 - 1886)
    Regiment: 36th Virginia Infantry, Company D Name Erastus R Vaughn Enlistment Age 23 Birth Date abt 1838 Enlistment Date 19 Jun 1861 Enlistment Place Chapmanville, West Virginia Enlistment Rank Private ...
  • CPT Caleb Littleton Upshur, Jr. (1841 - 1886)
    Virginian Saturday September 11 1886The people of Norfolk were shocked yesterday morning at the announcement of the death on Thursday night, at the Blue Ridge Springs, of Captain Caleb L. Upshur. Capta...
  • Pvt. Joseph Hinton, (CSA) (1839 - 1862)
    Joseph Hinton enlisted in the Confederate Army as a solider on April 15, 1862 at Rude's Hill in Company A, 2nd Virginia Infantry as private. Joseph was with Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley C...

The Army of Northern Virginia was the primary military force of the Confederate States of America in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, as well as the primary command structure of the Department of Northern Virginia. It was most often arrayed against the Union Army of the Potomac.


Three districts were created under the Department of Northern Virginia:

  • Aquia District
  • First commander: Maj. Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes
  • Period of existence: October 22, 1861, to April 18, 1862
  • Potomac District
  • First commander: Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard
  • Period of existence: October 22, 1861, to January 29, 1862
  • Valley District
  • First commander: Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson
  • Period of existence: October 22, 1861, to April 9, 1865

While the Aquia and Potomac Districts ceased to exist by the spring of 1862, the need remained for military organization in the Valley throughout the remainder of the war, and the Valley District remained in place for the duration of the war.


The Army of Northern Virginia is one of the most respected military formations in American history. Although usually outnumbered, it won victories in the American Civil War at Fredericksburg, Second Manassas, Chancellorsville, and Cold Harbor. Additionally, it successfully drove the Army of the Potomac away from the "gates" of Richmond in the Seven Days Battles, effectively ending McClellan's Peninsula Campaign in 1862. The army held out against long odds in the 1864 Overland Campaign and the Siege of Petersburg, inflicting grievous casualties on the opposing forces of Grant. These successes sometimes gave the army a psychological advantage over its enemies. However, the army was most defined by its beloved commander, Robert E. Lee. To this day, the army and Lee are famed in Southern culture.

Campaigns and battles

The Army fought in a number of campaigns and battles, including:
Campaign Year Army strength at the beginning of campaign Major Battles

  • Peninsula Campaign 1862 55,633 Seven Pines (Fair Oaks)
  • Seven Days Battles 1862 approx. 92,000 Gaines' Mill, Malvern Hill
  • Northern Virginia Campaign 1862 approx. 54,000 Second Bull Run (Second Manassas)
  • Maryland Campaign 1862 approx. 60,000 Antietam (Sharpsburg)
  • Fredericksburg Campaign 1862 approx. 75,000 Fredericksburg
  • Chancellorsville Campaign 1863 approx. 75,000 Chancellorsville
  • Gettysburg Campaign 1863 75,054 Gettysburg
  • Bristoe Campaign 1863 55,221
  • Mine Run Campaign 1863 approx. 50,000
  • Overland Campaign 1864 62,230 Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor
  • Richmond-Petersburg Campaign 1864–65 82,633 Siege of Petersburg, including the Battle of the Crater
  • Appomattox Campaign 1865 around 50,000 Five Forks, Battle of Appomattox Court House

On April 9, 1865, the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to the Army of the Potomac at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the Civil War, with General Lee signing the papers of surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant. The day after his surrender, Lee issued his Farewell Address to the Army of Northern Virginia. General Orders No. 9

Command, History and Organization

For extensive detail, visit: