A History of the 10th Virginia Regiment, Volunteer Infantry
By Colonel D. H. Lee Martz1

Written Specially for This Work.

The nucleus of the 10th Regiment Virginia Volunteer Infantry was formed in Rockingham County just prior to the commencement of the Civil War. One company, the Valley Guards, was organized before the John Brown raid at Harper's Ferry, with S. B. Gibbons as captain. This company was sent to Charlestown as part of the military force used as a guard. These events created or aroused a military spirit in Rockingham, resulting in the formation of six other companies, viz., the Rockingham Rifles, captain, James Kenney; Chrisman's Infantry, captain, George Chrisman. Bridgewater Grays, captain, John Brown; Brock's Gap Rifles, captain, John Q. Winfield2; Peaked Mountain Grays, captain, William B. Yancey; Riverton Invincibles, captain, W. D. C. Covington. These seven companies were organized as a regiment just before the war, under the Virginia laws, as State Volunteer Militia, with S. B. Gibbons colonel, E. T. H. Warren lieutenant colonel, Burke Chrisman and George W. Miller majors. The last two did not see active service.

At the outbreak of the war this regiment was ordered to Harper's Ferry, leaving home on the 18th day of April, 1861, as the 4th Virginia Regiment of State troops. The regiment, as finally organized, became the 10th Virginia Infantry, C. S. A., with S. B. Gibbons colonel, E. T. H. Warren lieutenant-colonel, and Samuel T. Walker major. With the addition of three companies from Shenandoah County--one each from Strasburg, Woodstock, and Edinburg--the regiment remained at Harper's Ferry until some time in June, 1861. Then it moved to Romney, now in West Virginia, by way of Winchester, as part of the 4th Brigade, commanded at the time by Col. A. P. Hill of the 13th Va. On the way back to Winchester the Brock's Gap Rifles were transferred to the cavalry, the regiment being finally composed of eleven companies: six from Rockingham, three from Shenandoah, one from Page, and one from Madison.

The impending battle of Manassas caused the army in the Valley, under General Joseph E. Johnston, to be moved to eastern Virginia, reaching Manassas Junction on the 21st of July. Thence it was hurried to the field of battle. Only four companies, however, of the 10th Regiment (now in General Arnold Elzey's brigade) took part in the battle, having been detached from the regiment and sent to strengthen the Confederate left. These four companies suffered some loss in killed and wounded. After this battle the Confederate army remained around or near Manassas Junction until the following spring, when it was moved to the south side of the Rappahannock River.

Nothing of importance affecting the 10th Regiment occurred in this time until April, 1862, when it was transferred to the Valley, and made a part of General W. B. Taliaferro's Brigade, Jackson's Division, then at what is now Elkton. The regiment was composed of the eleven companies aforesaid: A, C, and F from Shenandoah; B, D, E, G, H, and I from Rockingham; K from Page; and L from Madison. While at Elkton Company C was disbanded, and a new Company C from Rockingham, Robert C. Mauck captain, assigned to the regiment.

Early in May, 1862, Jackson's command was sent to reinforce General Edward Johnson, in the campaign ending May 8 in the battle of McDowell, with General Milroy in command of the Federals. In this battle the 10th Regiment had the misfortune to lose its colonel, the brave and chivalrous S. B. Gibbons3, as well as several men. Soon the command was marched back to the Valley by way of Bridgewater, moved down to New Market, thence over the mountain into the Page Valley, down by Front Royal, thence across to the Valley Pike at Middletown, and on to Winchester after General Banks, who had withdrawn to Winchester and there made a stand. Being so vigorously assailed by Jackson and Ewell as to be completely routed, he hurried on toward the Potomac. The 10th Regiment did not actively engage in this battle, but nevertheless suffered some loss, Captain Mauck of Co. C being wounded and permanently disabled.

After pursuing Banks several miles, the troops were withdrawn and moved rapidly up the Valley to Harrisonburg, the Third Brigade going to a point between Port Republic and Cross Keys. While a battle was being fought there, on Sunday morning, June 8, the enemy occupied Port Republic and planted a piece of artillery at the mouth of the bridge, on the Port Republic side of North River. The Third Brigade was hurried to the bridge, drove the enemy away and took possession of the village.

The battle of Port Republic was fought on the next day, June 9, but the Tenth did not become engaged, though hurried to the front to join in the attack upon Shields. A few days after Fremont and Shields had been disposed of, General Jackson was ordered east to join General Lee in the defence of Richmond. Marching to Mechum's River, he went thence by rail to Beaver Dam; thence marched to the scene of the conflict, which culminated in seven days of desperate fighting, McClellan to capture, Lee to save, Richmond. However, from the time the Tenth reached its destination until the end of the struggle, it did not fire a gun, being held in reserve; but it was exposed for a time to damage from the exploding shells of the enemy at Malvern Hill, while supporting a battery, two or three men being slightly wounded.

Soon after the close of this part of the campaign General Jackson with his corps was ordered to Gordonsville to look after the redoubtable Federal general, John Pope. On the 8th of August (1862), a few miles south of Culpeper Court House, near or at Slaughter's Mountain, called by the Confederates Cedar Run, the first encounter took place between Jackson and Pope, resulting in a hard-fought battle, with victory for a time trembling in the balance. The Tenth, under the command of Major Stover, was in the fray from start to finish, suffering a considerable loss in killed and wounded. After this battle the troops followed Pope's discomfited army, expecting to give him battle before he could recross the Rappahannock; but this plan failed from some cause. The next move was to cross the Rappahannock and give him battle.

For Jackson, the next thing was to move up the river, cross its two branches, pass around Pope's right, and move on Manassas Junction, thus getting completely in Pope's rear--a very daring and desperate move, resulting in a three days battle, the Second Manassas. In all this the 10th Virginia took an active part, losing heavily in killed and wounded. Among the latter were Lieutenant-Colonel Walker and Major Stover. On the second day, Colonel Warren being absent, the command of the regiment devolved upon Captain W. B. Yancey. Pope's army was routed and driven back with tremendous loss.

The next move was the invasion of Maryland. The Tenth passed through Frederick City, and came back into Virginia by Williamsport to Martinsburg, where it was left on duty with the Second Virginia, while Jackson captured Harper's Ferry. The Tenth remained here until the army returned to Virginia, after the battle of Sharpsburg. After remaining in the lower Valley for a time, the army crossed into eastern Virginia and, moving near Fredericksburg, took position on the hills running parallel with the Rappahannock, back of the town. The Federal general, Burnside, was on the Stafford Heights, on the opposite side of the river.

On the 13th of December (1862) Burnside, having succeeded in crossing the river, fought the desperate and bloody battle of Fredericksburg. The Tenth did not take an active part on the 13th, but was placed on the front line that night, expecting bloody work the next day; but Burnside thought it better not to renew the battle, and withdrew to the north side of the river.

General Lee went into winter quarters at Skinker's Neck, on the south side of the Rappahannock. In the meantime "Fighting Joe Hooker" was placed in command of the Federal army, and in the spring of 1863 began his "on to Richmond" campaign, posting his army about Chancellorsville. Then was planned Jackson's famous flank movement around Hooker's right. The Tenth, being with Jackson, took an active part in the assault upon the enemy, losing many officers and men, on Saturday evening, May 2. Among the wounded were Colonel Warren and the writer [D. H. Lee Martz]. On Sunday further heavy losses were sustained, among the killed being Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel T. Walker and Major Joshua Stover.

The next movement was into Pennsyvania, and on to Gettysburg, where the Tenth again participated in some heavy fighting, under the command of Captain William B. Yancey. The loss here was not heavy.

After the battle of Chancellorsville the writer was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. After Gettysburg the army returned to Virginia, soon moving east of the Blue Ridge and placing itself in front of General Meade, the new Federal commander. The Tenth, now of George H. Steuart's brigade, Edward Johnson's division, engaged in a hot fight with the Federal general, French, on November 27, at Mine Run, losing several men in killed and wounded. This was supposed to be the prelude to a bloody battle, for which great preparations were made, but Meade finally concluded not to risk it. Thus ended the campaign of 1863. The Army of Northern Virginia went into winter quarters near Orange Court House.

About the 1st of May, 1864, General Grant, now in supreme command of the Army of the Potomac, began to move. The first important battle was fought May 5, in which the Tenth again lost heavily in killed and wounded, among the former being Colonel Warren4 and Major I. G. Coffman, leaving the writer the only field officer of the regiment. On the evening of May 10 the enemy captured part of our works, which the Tenth helped to recapture from them. On the 12th of May General Hancock, of the Federals, made his famous assault on our works, capturing nearly all of Johnson's division, including the Tenth Virginia and the writer. The brave adjutant of the regiment, Whit. Kisling, was killed in this fight. A small remnant of the regiment, under command of that veteran, Captain William B. Yancey, took part in several skirmishes until he was permanently disabled by a severe wound.

Shortly after May 12, 1864, the Tenth was made part of a new brigade under General William Terry, being later moved to the Valley, whence, under General Early, it again went into Maryland to threaten Washington, in process of which it took part in the battle of Monocacy, July 9, 1864, in which General Lew Wallace was defeated.

The writer [D. H. Lee Martz] was exchanged on the third of August, 1864, came home, and rejoined his command. In the meantime, however, the regiment, now no larger than a company, took part in the third battle of Winchester, September 19, 1864, when Captain C. F. Campbell was killed, and at Fisher's Hill, both engagements being disastrous to Early, who came up the Valley as far as Weyer's Cave. In a short time he moved down the Valley, surprising the enemy by a flank movement at Cedar Creek on the morning of October 19, in which the Tenth took an active part, the Confederates driving everything before them. They captured a large number of prisoners, many pieces of artillery, and quantities of supplies, only to lose all except the prisoners, and much more too, before the day ended.

In December (1864) Terry's brigade was sent to General Lee, near Petersburg, camping on Hatcher's Run, a few miles south of the city. The Tenth took part in a hotly fought battle in February, 1865, the writer being in command of the 10th, 23rd, and 37th Virginia Regiments. Later on we were moved to a point in front of the city, where on the morning of April 2, as part of General J. B. Gordon's corps, we stormed and carried the enemy's works, but were finally driven back, the Tenth losing many of its number in killed, wounded, and captured.

Late on the 2nd of April we withdrew from the front of Petersburg, in the vain effort to get away from Grant. On the retreat we took part in the fight at Sailor's Creek, with but two commissioned company officers in the Tenth: Lieutenant John H. Ralston, who was badly wounded and left in the hands of the enemy, and Lieutenant J. G. H. Miller, now commanding the regiment.

On the morning of April 9 we had a skirmish with the enemy at Appomattox, driving them some distance, only to be withdrawn and to furl our banners;--banners never again to be unfurled. But the Tenth did not surrender the old battle flag, which was hidden under his coat by Lieutenant J. G. H. Miller5, and which is still preserved in Rockingham by his family.

Lieutenant Miller commanded the regiment at Appomattox, now reduced to 8 or 10 muskets. The writer had been put in command of the 10th, 23rd, and 37th regiments. Here neded the military career of the noble Tenth Virginia. By April 15 we were home again to start life anew.

Memoirs of Col. D. H. Lee Martz, published in A History of Rockingham County, Virginia, John Wayland, (Dayton, Virginia: Ruebush-Elkins Company, 1912), pp. 134-141.


1Colonel Martz was born at the old family homestead near Lacey Spring, March 23, 1837. After his early life on the farm he engaged in mercantile business, which was interrupted by the war. He rose from the rank of sergeant in the 10th Virginia Infantry to that of colonel, and at the close of the war he was in command of the 10th, 23rd, and 37th Virginia regiments. After a number of years in business again he was elected, in 1887, clerk of the circuit court in Rockingham County, and still holds that office [at the time of publication in 1912]. He has been commander of the S. B. Gibbons Camp, Confederate Veterans, since 1893. On November 12, 1860, he married Miss Mary Nicholas Carter. Mr. Edward C. Martz, a well-known lawyer of Harrisonburg, is his son.

2Captain Winfield was born at Mount Jackson, Va., June 20, 1822, the son of Dr. Richard Winfield. He was a graduate of Washington College, Lexington, Va., and of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. As captain of the Letcher Brock's Gap Rifles, in the 7th Virginia Cavalry, he won distinction, and was mentioned as the one likely to succeed Ashby in command of the regiment, but failing health interrupted his military service. In spite of failing health he continued the practice of medicine at his home in Broadway, where he died July 29, 1892. Mr. Charles R. Winfield, attorney-at-law, is his son.

3Simeon B. Gibbons was born May 25, 1833, at Shenandoah Furnace, Page County, Va., and was educated at the Virginia Military Institute. When put in command of his regiment, he was the youngest colonel in the Confederacy. His father was a Col. Gibbons of Virginia, later of Georgia.

4Edward Tiffin Harrison Warren was born in Rockingham, June 19, 1829. At Frescati, Orange County, he married Virginia Magruder, December 5, 1855. His son, James Magruder Warren, was a prominent physician in the '80's and '90's at New Hope and Bridgewater. Col. Warren was a practicing lawyer at Harrisonburg at the outbreak of the war.

5Captain Miller died at his home in Elkton, June 16, 1889. Upon the old flag he saved may still be read the names of the following battles: Manassas No. 1, McDowell, Winchester No. 1, Port Republic, Cold Harbor, Malvern Hill, Cedar Run, Manassas No. 2, Chantilly, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Winchester No. 2, Gettysburg.