Army of Virginia

Army of Virginia

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The Army of Virginia was organized as a major unit of the Union Army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 and operated briefly and unsuccessfully in 1862 in the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. It should not be confused with its principal opponent, the Confederate
Confederate States Army
The Confederate States Army was the army of the Confederate States of America while the Confederacy existed during the American Civil War. On February 8, 1861, delegates from the seven Deep South states which had already declared their secession from the United States of America adopted the...

 Army of Northern Virginia
Army of Northern Virginia
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...

, commanded by Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

.

History


The Army of Virginia was constituted on June 26, 1862, by General Orders Number 103, from four existing departments operating around Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

: Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont
John C. Frémont
John Charles Frémont , was an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, that era's penny press accorded Frémont the sobriquet The Pathfinder...

's Mountain Department, Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell
Irvin McDowell
Irvin McDowell was a career American army officer. He is best known for his defeat in the First Battle of Bull Run, the first large-scale battle of the American Civil War.-Early life:...

's Department of the Rappahannock, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks's Department of the Shenandoah, and Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis
Samuel D. Sturgis
Samuel Davis Sturgis was an American military officer who served in the Mexican-American War, as a Union general in the American Civil War, and later in the Indian Wars.-Early life:...

's brigade from the Military District of Washington. Maj. Gen. John Pope
John Pope (military officer)
John Pope was a career United States Army officer and Union general in the American Civil War. He had a brief but successful career in the Western Theater, but he is best known for his defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run in the East.Pope was a graduate of the United States Military Academy in...

 commanded the new organization, which was divided into three corps of over 50,000 men. Three corps of Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan
George B. McClellan
George Brinton McClellan was a major general during the American Civil War. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac and served briefly as the general-in-chief of the Union Army. Early in the war, McClellan played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union...

's Army of the Potomac
Army of the Potomac
The Army of the Potomac was the major Union Army in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War.-History:The Army of the Potomac was created in 1861, but was then only the size of a corps . Its nucleus was called the Army of Northeastern Virginia, under Brig. Gen...

 later were added for combat operations.

Banks's corps of the Army of Virginia fought against Stonewall Jackson
Stonewall Jackson
ຄຽשת״ׇׂׂׂׂ֣|birth_place= Clarksburg, Virginia |death_place=Guinea Station, Virginia|placeofburial=Stonewall Jackson Memorial CemeteryLexington, Virginia|placeofburial_label= Place of burial|image=...

 at the Battle of Cedar Mountain
Battle of Cedar Mountain
The Battle of Cedar Mountain, also known as Slaughter's Mountain or Cedar Run, took place on August 9, 1862, in Culpeper County, Virginia, as part of the American Civil War. Union forces under Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks attacked Confederate forces under Maj. Gen. Thomas J...

, gaining initial advantage, but was defeated by a Confederate counterattack led by A.P. Hill.

The entire army was soundly defeated at the Second Battle of Bull Run
Second Battle of Bull Run
The Second Battle of Bull Run or Second Manassas was fought August 28–30, 1862, as part of the American Civil War. It was the culmination of an offensive campaign waged by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia against Union Maj. Gen...

 by Jackson, Longstreet
James Longstreet
James Longstreet was one of the foremost Confederate generals of the American Civil War and the principal subordinate to General Robert E. Lee, who called him his "Old War Horse." He served under Lee as a corps commander for many of the famous battles fought by the Army of Northern Virginia in the...

, and Lee, and withdrew to the defensive lines of Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

. On September 12, 1862, the units of the Army of Virginia were merged into the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Virginia was never reconstituted.

Commander

  • Major General John Pope
    John Pope (military officer)
    John Pope was a career United States Army officer and Union general in the American Civil War. He had a brief but successful career in the Western Theater, but he is best known for his defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run in the East.Pope was a graduate of the United States Military Academy in...

      (June 26 – September 12)

Organization


The first three corps were given numeric designations that overlapped with those in the Army of the Potomac
Army of the Potomac
The Army of the Potomac was the major Union Army in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War.-History:The Army of the Potomac was created in 1861, but was then only the size of a corps . Its nucleus was called the Army of Northeastern Virginia, under Brig. Gen...

. They were rededignated as shown for the Maryland Campaign
Maryland Campaign
The Maryland Campaign, or the Antietam Campaign is widely considered one of the major turning points of the American Civil War. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's first invasion of the North was repulsed by Maj. Gen. George B...

 and later.
  • I Corps, Army of Virginia; commanded by Franz Sigel
    Franz Sigel
    Franz Sigel was a German military officer, revolutionist and immigrant to the United States who was a teacher, newspaperman, politician, and served as a Union major general in the American Civil War.-Early life:...

     (this corps had been the Mountain Department under John Frémont; it eventually became the XI Corps
    XI Corps (ACW)
    The XI Corps was a corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War, best remembered for its involvement in the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg in 1863.-Formation and the Valley Campaign:...

    )
  • II Corps, Army of Virginia; commanded by Nathaniel Banks (formerly known as V Corps
    V Corps (ACW)
    The V Corps was a unit of the Union Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War.-1862:The corps was first organized briefly under Nathaniel P. Banks, but then permanently on May 18, 1862, designated as the "V Corps Provisional"...

     and Department of the Shenandoah; later known as XII Corps
    XII Corps (ACW)
    The XII Corps was a corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War.The corps was formed by U.S. War Department General Order of March 13, 1862, under which the corps organization of the Army of the Potomac was first created. By that order, five different corps were constituted: one of...

    )
  • III Corps, Army of Virginia; commanded by Irvin McDowell
    Irvin McDowell
    Irvin McDowell was a career American army officer. He is best known for his defeat in the First Battle of Bull Run, the first large-scale battle of the American Civil War.-Early life:...

     (formerly known as I Corps
    I Corps (ACW)
    I Corps was the designation of three different corps-sized units in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The units served in the following armies:...

     and Department of the Rappahannock; reverted to I Corps)
  • Cavalry Brigade, commanded by George Bayard


The following corps were attached for operations during the Northern Virginia Campaign
Northern Virginia Campaign
The Northern Virginia Campaign, also known as the Second Bull Run Campaign or Second Manassas Campaign, was a series of battles fought in Virginia during August and September 1862 in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. Confederate General Robert E...

:
  • III Corps
    III Corps (ACW)
    There were four formations in the Union Army designated as III Corps during the American Civil War.Three were short-lived:*In the Army of Virginia:**Irvin McDowell ;**James B...

    , Army of the Potomac; commanded by Samuel P. Heintzelman
    Samuel P. Heintzelman
    Samuel Peter Heintzelman was a United States Army General. He served in the Seminole War, the Mexican-American War, the Yuma War, the Cortina Troubles, and the American Civil War, rising to the command of a corps....

  • V Corps
    V Corps (ACW)
    The V Corps was a unit of the Union Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War.-1862:The corps was first organized briefly under Nathaniel P. Banks, but then permanently on May 18, 1862, designated as the "V Corps Provisional"...

    , Army of the Potomac; commanded by Fitz John Porter
    Fitz John Porter
    Fitz John Porter was a career United States Army officer and a Union General during the American Civil War...

  • IX Corps
    IX Corps (ACW)
    IX Corps was a corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War that distinguished itself in combat in multiple theaters: the Carolinas, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi.-Formation, Second Bull Run, and Antietam:...

    , Army of the Potomac; commanded by Jesse L. Reno
    Jesse L. Reno
    Jesse Lee Reno was a career United States Army officer who served in the Mexican-American War, the western frontier, and as a Union General during the American Civil War...

  • Reynolds's Division, commanded by John F. Reynolds
    John F. Reynolds
    John Fulton Reynolds was a career United States Army officer and a general in the American Civil War. One of the Union Army's most respected senior commanders, he played a key role in committing the Army of the Potomac to the Battle of Gettysburg and was killed at the start of the battle.-Early...

     (the Pennsylvania Reserves
    Pennsylvania Reserves
    The Pennsylvania Reserves were an infantry division in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Noted for its famous commanders and high casualties, it served in the Eastern Theater, and fought in many important battles, including Antietam and Gettysburg....

    )

Major battles

  • Battle of Cedar Mountain
    Battle of Cedar Mountain
    The Battle of Cedar Mountain, also known as Slaughter's Mountain or Cedar Run, took place on August 9, 1862, in Culpeper County, Virginia, as part of the American Civil War. Union forces under Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks attacked Confederate forces under Maj. Gen. Thomas J...

     – Pope (Only Banks's II Corps was involved in the fighting)
  • Second Battle of Bull Run
    Second Battle of Bull Run
    The Second Battle of Bull Run or Second Manassas was fought August 28–30, 1862, as part of the American Civil War. It was the culmination of an offensive campaign waged by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia against Union Maj. Gen...

     – Pope
  • Battle of Chantilly
    Battle of Chantilly
    The Battle of Chantilly took place on September 1, 1862, in Fairfax County, Virginia, as the concluding battle of the Northern Virginia Campaign of the American Civil War. Thomas J...

     – Pope (although fought mostly by Army of the Potomac
    Army of the Potomac
    The Army of the Potomac was the major Union Army in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War.-History:The Army of the Potomac was created in 1861, but was then only the size of a corps . Its nucleus was called the Army of Northeastern Virginia, under Brig. Gen...

    troops, elements of Pope's force were engaged)

External links