Original U.S. Civil War 1862 Dated Confederate Soldier’s Named Pocket Bible of the 1st Virginia Volunteer Infantry

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Acquired in a collection purchase, this original 1862 dated pocket bible belonged to a killed in action Confederate soldier named HIRAM POMERY of the 1st Virginia Volunteer Infantry.

The bible was found at the battle site during the three-day action known as the Battle of the Wilderness, on May 6th 1862 by a Union Soldier, HENRY EATON of the 4th Heavy Artillery Regiment, Mt. Washington, New York, who then sent it to his sister SARAH E. EATON FITZGERALD as a gift.

The Bible is hand inscribed on several pages that fortunately some previous researcher has painstakingly read providing the above information, as the script is now rather faint. Additionally included is the research on the Battle of the Wilderness on May 5th to May 7th 1862 together with information on both the 4th New York Heavy Artillery and the 1st Regiment of Virginia Volunteers also known as THE RICHMOND GREYS.

Finally included is the original write up and invoice from the 1990s from a well-known historical high-end dealer of the time. Fortunately we are able to offer this at a lower price than when it was sold 15-20 years ago.

The 1st Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment raised in the Commonwealth of Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. It fought mostly with the Army of Northern Virginia.

The 1st Virginia completed its organization at Richmond, Virginia, in May, 1861. At the outbreak of the war it had ten companies, but in April three were detached. Thus the unit contained seven companies from Richmond and in mid-July a company from Washington, D.C. was added. Its first colonel, Patrick T. Moore, was severely wounded on July 18, 1861 in the skirmish at Blackburn's Ford, and Lt. Col. W.H. Fry commanded at the First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas).

The companies (with original commanders) were:

• Co. A (Richmond Grays): Capt. W.M. Elliott – Detached to Norfolk, Virginia during April, 1861 and assigned to the 12th Virginia Infantry as Co. G, August 31, 1861.
• Co. B (Richmond City Guard): Capt. R. Harrison – Captain J.K. Lee was killed at Blackburn's Ford on July 18, 1861.
• Co. C (Montgomery Guard): Capt. J. Dooley
• Co. D (Old Dominion Guard): Capt. J. Griswold
• Co. E (1st) (Richmond Light Infantry Blues): Capt. O.J. Wise – Sent to Fredericksburg, Virginia and later assigned to the 46th Virginia Infantry, prior to the Battle of First Manassas.
• Co. E (2nd) (Washington Volunteers): Capt. C.K. Sherman – Temporarily attached to the regiment during the middle of July and transferred to the 7th Virginia Infantry as Company F in April 1862.
• Co. F (1st) (Cary's Company): Capt. R.M. Cary – Sent to Fredericksburg and assigned to the 21st Virginia Infantry, under the command of Capt. R.H. Cunningham, Jr., prior to First Manassas.
• Co. F (2nd) (Beauregard Rifles): Capt. F.B. Schaeffer – Served in a provisional battalion (Schaeffer's Battalion) during First Bull Run and was subsequently assigned to the regiment on July 23, 1861. The company was relieved from duty on September 7 and re-designated as Company C, 1st Regiment Virginia Artillery. On November 13, 1861, the company was mustered out of service.
• Co. G (Gordan's Company): Capt. W.H. Gordan
• Co. H (1st) (Howitzer Battery): Capt G.W. Randolph – In early May, the company left the regiment and was expanded into a battalion of three companies under then-Maj. G. W. Randolph.
• Co. H (2nd) (Richmond Greys, Company B): Capt. F.J. Boggs
• Co. I (Taylor's' Company): Capt. W.O. Taylor
• Co. K (Virginia Rifles, at one time German Rifles): Capt. F. Miller – Disbanded when the regiment was reorganized in April 1862.
• Fayette Artillery: Capt. H.C. Cabell – Detached and assigned to John Magruder's command on the Virginia Peninsula.
• Floyd Guard: Capt. G.W. Chambers – Assigned as Co. K, 2nd Virginia Infantry, prior to June 30, 1861.
• Band: Capt. J.B. Smith – Mustered in as Co. I and detached to form the a 13 piece regimental band.
• Drum Corps: Drum Major C.R.M. Pohle – 14 drummers including the drummer on duty with the Richmond Greys in Norfolk. The Drum Corps was mustered in as a body.

It fought at the Battle of First Bull Run (First Manassas) in a brigade under James Longstreet and in August totaled 570 men. During April, 1862, when the regiment was reorganized, it contained only six companies. The 1st Virginia Infantry was assigned to A. P. Hill's, Kemper's, and W. R. Terry's Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. It was active from the Battle of Williamsburg to the Battle of Gettysburg except when it was with Longstreet at the Siege of Suffolk, Virginia. Later the unit was involved in the capture of Plymouth, the conflicts at Drewry's Bluff and Cold Harbor, the Siege of Petersburg south and north of the James River, and the Appomattox Campaign. This regiment lost twenty-two percent of the 140 engaged at the Battle of Second Bull Run (Second Manassas), had 9 wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg, and had more than half of the 209 at Gettysburg disabled. Its casualties were 12 killed and 25 wounded at Drewry's Bluff, 1 killed and 77 wounded at the Battle of Five Forks, and 40 captured at the Battle of Sayler's Creek. Only 17 surrendered at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.

The field officers were Colonels Patrick T. Moore, F.G. Skinner, and Lewis B. Williams; Lieutenant Colonels W.H. Fry and Frank H. Langley; and Majors John Dooley, William P. Mumford, George F. Norton, and William H. Palmer.

The Battle of the Wilderness, fought May 5–7, 1864, was the first battle of Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Virginia Overland Campaign against Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Both armies suffered heavy casualties, a harbinger of a bloody war of attrition by Grant against Lee's army and, eventually, the Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia. The battle was tactically inconclusive, as Grant disengaged and continued his offensive.

Grant attempted to move quickly through the dense underbrush of the Wilderness of Spotsylvania, but Lee launched two of his corps on parallel roads to intercept him. On the morning of May 5, the Union V Corps under Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren attacked the Confederate Second Corps, commanded by Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, on the Orange Turnpike. That afternoon the Third Corps, commanded by Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill, encountered Brig. Gen. George W. Getty's division (VI Corps) and Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock's II Corps on the Orange Plank Road. Fighting until dark was fierce but inconclusive as both sides attempted to maneuver in the dense woods.

At dawn on May 6, Hancock attacked along the Plank Road, driving Hill's Corps back in confusion, but the First Corps of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet arrived in time to prevent the collapse of the Confederate right flank. Longstreet followed up with a surprise flanking attack from an unfinished railroad bed that drove Hancock's men back to the Brock Road, but the momentum was lost when Longstreet was wounded by his own men. An evening attack by Brig. Gen. John B. Gordon against the Union right flank caused consternation at Union headquarters, but the lines stabilized and fighting ceased. On May 7, Grant disengaged and moved to the southeast, intending to leave the Wilderness to interpose his army between Lee and Richmond, leading to the bloody Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.

This is a very interesting well-researched true Confederate item from a known battle during the American Civil War.

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