organized at Big Spring, near Abingdon, Virginia, in September 1861.
The Commonwealth of Virginia had seceded from the Union.
Now it was time for the men of the southwestern counties to
defend their families, rights, and Virginia. Men from Lee, Russell,
Scott, Smyth, and Washington Counties enlisted in the 48th and
assembled at Camp Fulkerson,
Abingdon, Virginia. Virginia's
Governor Fletcher recommended John Arthur Campbell of Washington County
for the position of colonel of the 48th, and Thomas Stuart Garnett of
Westmoreland County, for the position of lieutenant colonel.
Booth, graduates of VMI Class of 1844, were approved by the
The Smyth Rifle Greys was the first to organize, with 97 men in Seven Miles Ford on 18 May 1861. Leading this company was Captain James Scott Greever a Smyth County teacher and a graduate of Emory and Henry. Mrs. Arthur Cummings of Abingdon presented the company a flag she had made from her silk wedding dress. On 24 June the Smyth Rifle Greys marched the 22 miles from Seven Miles Ford to Abingdon. As of April 1862 the Smyth Rifle Greys were designated Company D.
The Osborne Ford Independents from Scott County, were the second company to organize, enrolling 89 men at Osborne Ford in that county on 25 May. Captain Henry W. Osborne and the unit traveled 40 miles, arriving in Abingdon on 17 June. As of April 1862 the Osborne Ford Independents were designated Company C.
The Holston Foresters registered 75 men on 15 June in Washington County. Captain David A. P. Campbell, a farmer in the county, led them to Abingdon on 9 July. As of April 1862 the Holsten Foresters were designated Company F.
The Mountain Marksmen enrolled 92 men in Washington County on 18 June. Captain Cummings Campbell a farmer, led the company 4 miles into Abingdon on the same day. As of April 1862 the Mountain marksmen became Company I.
The Campbell Greys of Washington County registered 95 men in Abingdon on 20 June. Captain Milton White a Washington County farmer was in command. As of April 1862 the Campbell Greys were designated Company B.
The Russell Guards of Russell County, enlisted 84 men on 25 June. in command was Captain John H. Candler a county clerk. They arrived in Abingdon on 17 July. As of April 1862 the Russell Guards became Company K.
The Clinch Mountain Boomers enrolled 67 men in Scott County on 26 June. A Scott County Farmer, Captain William James Smith was in command. The unit traveled 30 miles, reaching Abingdon 13 July. As of April 1862 the Clinch Mountain Boomers were designated Company H.
The Stock Creek Greys enlisted 75 men on 1 July in Scott County. This unit was commanded by Captain John Matlock Vermillion a Scott County merchant. Matlock had prewar militia experience as he had served in the 124th Regiment. This company arrived in Abingdon on 6 July. As of April 1862 the Stock Creek Greeks became Company A.
The Nicklesville Spartan Band enrolled 74 men at Nicklesville, Scott County on 2 July. Captain Henry M. McConnell a Scott County farmer was their commander. The company traveled 35 miles, to arrive in Abingdon on 13 July. As of April 1862 the Nicklesville Spartan Band was designated Company E.
The Lee County Guards enlisted 69 men at Jonesville in Lee County on 15 July. The commander was Captain Elbert S Martin, a former merchant and U.S. Congressman. He was a graduate of Emory and Henry. The company was only partially uniformed and unarmed. The unit traveled 80 miles, by way of the Cumberland Gap and Prices Turnpike, Pattonsville and Eastville Turnpike and the Reedy Creek road on foot to arrive in Abingdon 22 July. As of April 1862 the Lee County Guards were known as Company G.
The regiment fought in Jackson's Valley Campaign and later was assigned to General J. R. Jones' and W. Terry's Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia. The 48th engaged the enemy in many conflicts from the Seven Days Battles to the Battle of Cold Harbor. The 48th was also involved in Early's Shenandoah Valley Operations and the Appomattox Campaign. The regiment was organized with 912 officers and men and had a force of 800 in May of 1862.
The 48th reported 17 casualties at Cross Keys and Port Republic, 62, at Cedar Mountain, 24 at Second Manassas, 7 at Fredericksburg, ans 103 at Chancellorsville. Of the 265 engaged at Gettysburg, more than 25 percent were disabled.. Only 4 officers and 38 men surrendered. Field officers were: Colonels John A. Campbell, Robert H. Dungan, and Thomas S. Garnett; Lieutenant Colonel Oscar White; Majors James C. Campbell, Wilson Faris and Boston Stewart.
At this time we are not documenting the action of the 48th Regiment throughout the war, as there are several fine websites already accomplishing this task. We encourage the researchers interested in the general documentation of the participants to go to these web sites. Our interest here is the men in our families and their roles in this war.