Military Units: regiments, battalions, batteries, & independent companies. Total of 86 units – 34 Union (loyal West Virginia) and 52 Confederate (and Virginia units with significant recruitment in counties that later composed the new State of West Virginia). The page for each unit includes the story a common soldier of the unit, a featured battle or engagement with a "zoom-in" battle map, and a "Counties of Recruitment" map (for about of the units).

36 Virginia Infantry


"Tiger John" McCausland

Photo Credit: Photographic History of the Civil War, Vol. 10

Colonel "Tiger John" McCausland recruited and organized the 36th Virginia Infantry, originally known as the Second Kanawha Regiment, at the direction of General Robert E. Lee in the early summer of 1861, and served throughout the entire Civil War. As shown on the "Counties of Recruitment Map," McCausland recruited this regiment from eight counties in west-central and southwestern Virginia. The 36th served mainly within present-day West Virginia –such as the Battle of Carnifex Ferry, on September 10, 1861—but also saw duty saw duty at Fort Donelson, Tennessee in 1862, and in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in 1862 and 1864. The Counties of Recruitment Map and the Battle Map are typical features of most of the regiments included in this CD.

Carnifex Ferry map

Counties of Recruitment and Battle of Carnifex Ferry maps prepared for CD by Tom White




Preview of Multimedia CD Contents

Overview of the Civil War

Creation of West Virginia

Civil War places in West Virginia

West Virginia Civil War personalities – both Union and Confederate

Civil War battles & other military operations in which West Virginia soldiers participated

West Virginia military units – both Union and Confederate

West Virginia Civil War Soldiers’ Database (Sample)

Civil War era music

Civil War emblems – flags, medals and badges

An extensive bibliography, entitled "For Further Reading"



Capehart_H Capehart Brigade Medal MOH

"The 1st West Virginia Cavalry was well known for its participation in many of the most decisive battles and campaigns of the Civil War in the Eastern Theater –Gettysburg, the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns of both 1862 and 1864, and the Petersburg and Appomattox campaigns, as well as the valor of its officers and men –14 Medal of Honor recipients, the most of any West Virginia regiment."

During the final 14 months of the war, Col. Henry Capehart (formerly Regimental Surgeon) led this unit successively as regimental, then brigade commander. Not only did Capehart’s brigade of mostly West Virginia cavalry regiments gain fame and reputation as "Capehart’s Fighting Brigade," but Colonel Capehart achieved personal recognition by earning the Medal of Honor for saving Private Karrh --while under heavy sharpshooter fire—from drowning in the swift-running Greenbrier River, and receiving successive honor promotions to Brevet Brigadier General and Brevet Major General.

Credit: Mass.MOLLUS Collection, USAMHI, Civil War Collection, USAMHI and the Richard A. Wolfe Collection, Bridgeport, WV