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Army of Northern Virginia (CSA), US Civil War

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  • Pvt. (CSA), Archibald Davis Seldomridge (1826 - 1901)
    Seldomridge, A.D. BATTLE UNIT NAME: 14th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry SIDE: Confederacy COMPANY: K D SOLDIER'S RANK IN: Private SOLDIER'S RANK OUT: Private ALTERNATE NAME: FILM NUMBER: M3...
  • (CSA), George Belgrate Blake (1827 - 1888)
    COD: Dropsy Age: 61 years 3 months 13 days Civil War: 12th Virginia Infantry Company H 1861-1865 Occupation: Stone Mason Son of William and Nancy (Harrell) Blake Grandson of John and Martha (...
  • Pvt.(CSA), James Harvey Canode (1837 - 1880)
    Son of Samuel and Sarah Jane Caldwell Canode: Husband of 1) Elizabeth Nielson, daughter of John Richard and Hannah Anderson Nielson, and 2) Elizabeth Emeline Reynolds Champ, the widow of Erastus Robe...
  • Capt. John Charles Henley, (CSA) (1842 - 1909)
    John Charles Henley, Sr (born September 29, 1842 in Montgomery; died May 15, 1909 in Birmingham) was a real estate investor, merchant and banker who came to be considered one of the founding fathers ...
  • Pvt (CSA), Philip Phares, Sr (1822 - 1903)
    Co.E, 25th Va. Inf. Regt.-CSA1850 Census-North Fork, Pendleton, VirginiaPhilip Phares - 27Sarah Phares - 28Ambrose Phares - 7Sarah C Phares - 5Elizabeth M Phares - 3Erseley (Ursula) Phares - 1Nathaniel...

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: