2nd Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry)
The Second State Line was organized before December 1862
and was comprised of ten companies of infantry and cavalry. Noah
B. Sutherland, a member of Counts' company, reported in his recollections
that both Peters and Harrison attempted to raise regiments for
the State Line. Neither was successful in completing regiments,
so Floyd combined their commands. Since Peters had collected more
men than Harrison, he took command of the regiment. Harrison was
commissioned lieutenant colonel. Most of the men respected Peters,
but Harrison was not held in high regard. Martin Van Buren Ball
had previously served as a sergeant in Company I, 37th Virginia
Infantry and was discharged from that regiment upon being commissioned
a captain on April 22, 1862. He later commanded Company D in the
22nd Virginia Cavalry and was cashiered for desertion in early
1864. He may have taken his men from the Virginia State Line.
In January 1863 the regiment was stationed at Saltville. At that
time the cavalry portion of the regiment totalled 489 men and
the infantry companies had 250 men. Some of the men of the 2nd
Virginia State Line served in the 21st Virginia Cavalry.
William Elisha Peters, Colonel
James Harrison, Lieutenant Colonel
Martin Van Buren Ball, Major
J. T. Spencer, Surgeon
H. M. Boyle, AQM, Captain
D. J. Gillespie, Adjutant.
The rosters of this unit contains the names of 76 men.
Company A - Captain Simeon "Sim" Hunt's Company.
Most men of this company were from Russell County and had formerly
served in Company I, 37th Virginia Infantry. Hunt was elderly
when he enlisted in the Confederate Army, having been born about
1800. He served in the 37th Virginia Infantry until he resigned
on August 4, 1862. Hunt apparently took command of this company
after this date and may not have been its original commander.
It is possible that this is the company raised by Mike Powers
or Martin Van Buren Ball. Officers for this company were: Captain
Martin Van Buren Ball, Captain Simeon Hunt, 1st Lieutenant William
Kendrick, and 2nd Lieutenant Joseph Boyd.
Company B - Captain Ezekiel K. Counts' Company. Most of
the men of this company were from what became Dickenson County
in 1880. Several personal accounts of these men are in Pioneer
Recollections of Southwest Virginia by Elihu Jasper Sutherland.
This company became Company E, 21st Virginia Cavalry on March
28, 1863. In the history of the 21st Virginia Cavalry, Counts
was reported to have deserted to the Yankees and his company disbanded.
Counts actually left the 21st Virginia Cavalry, but his company
remained intact and operated as guerrillas in Buchanan, Russell,
and Wise counties. Counts was succeeded by Jasper Colley after
the former assumed the role of major in his unauthorized, irregular,
four- company battalion. This guerrilla band operated in Buchanan
County Virginia, and occasionally scouted into Wise, Russell,
McDowell, Logan and Tazewell counties.
Company C - A cavalry company - Captain J. C. Harrison's
Company. This company's home territory is not known. Officers
were commissioned on August 9, 1862. Many members of this company
became members of Company K, 37th Battalion Virginia Cavalry when
the Virginia State Line was disbanded. Officers of this company
were: Captain J. C. Harrison, 1st Lieutenant J. C. Gillespie,
and 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Whitley.
Company D - A cavalry company - Captain William C. Williams's
Company. This company's home territory was Buchanan County. Officers
were com- missioned on July 7, 1862. Most men in this unit later
served in Company H, 10th Kentucky Cavalry. Officers of this company
were: Captain William C. Williams, 1st Lieutenant John S. Ratliff,
and 2nd Lieutenant Meshack Ratliff.
Company E - An infantry company - Captain William R. Lee's
Company. This company's home territory was probably Russell County.
Officers were commissioned on August 27, 1862, and were: Captain
William R. Lee, 1st Lieutenant Conoley Blankenship, and 2nd Lieutenant
Company F - A cavalry company - Captain John B. Goff's Company,
also called Goff's Pine Knots. This company was probably raised
for the most part in Pike County, Kentucky. Officers were commissioned
October 4, 1862. Goff was captured in Pike County soon after the
Virginia State Line was disbanded and incarcerated as a bushwhacker.
It is likely, though not certain, that some of Goff's men were
recruited into James Milton French's abortive 65th Virginia Infantry.
Officers for this company were: Captain John B. Goff, 1st Lieutenant
John B. Williamson, and 2nd Lieutenant Harrison Deskins.
Company G - An infantry company - Captain James R. Cook's
Company. This unit's home territory was Wyoming County. Officers
were commis- sioned on September 20, 1862. Most of this unit later
served in Company C, 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry. Officers
for this company were: Captain James Russell Cook, 1st Lieutenant
William Anderson Hatfield, 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Cartright, and
2nd Lieutenant Charles Stewart Canter- bury.
Company H - A cavalry company - Captain Mathias Harrison's
Company. Members of this company were from Wayne, Cabell, and
Logan counties. Officers were commissioned on September 18, 1862.
Officers for this company were: Captain Mathias Harrison, 1st
Lieutenant Meredith Burchell, and 2nd Lieutenant James Hays.
Company I - A cavalry company - Captain Julius Williamson's
Company. Officers were commissioned on September 1, 1862. Williamson
was from Pike County, Kentucky and members of this company may
have been residents of Pike and Buchanan counties. Officers for
this company were: Captain Julius Williamson, 1st Lieutenant H.
Williamson, and 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Marrs.
- A cavalry company - Captain William S. Chandler's
Company. The company was also known as McNeel's Company. Officers were commissioned on September 17, 1862. Members
were from Boone County. Chandler formerly had served in Company
I, 22nd Virginia Infantry. Officers for this unit were: Captain
William S. Chandler, William L. McNeel, 1st Lieutenant Joel B. Stollings, and 2nd
Lieutenant A. J. Dolan.
Mike Powers's Company - Captain James W. Bausell recalled
on May 7, 1931 at Lebanon, Virginia that this unit was Company
H and was raised in Russell County. Bausell misidentified other
companies of this command but gave enough proper information to
lead one to believe that Powers was once a captain of one of the
companies. Powers probably resigned and was replaced by one of
the captains listed above. The other possibility is that he recruited
a new company after the January 1863 listing of officers was made.
No Mike Powers was found in the compiled service records of the
21st Virginia Cavalry. Other individuals mentioned by Bausell
were members of Crockett C. Pack's Company which transferred to
the 37th Battalion Virginia Cavalry. Bausell also reported that
Powers deserted the Confederate Army in August 1863 and was employed
at Camp Chase, Ohio during the war. It is probable that this company
became Company C of the 2nd Virginia State Line.
Arch Peery's Company - This company was reported by Noah
B. Sutherland in Pioneer Recollections of Southwest Virginia (p.
403). Sutherland noted that this company, under Peery of Tazewell
County, volunteered for three months at Sand Lick sometime in
Most of this company later enlisted in Ezekiel Counts' Co.
B, 2nd Virginia State Line.
Bill Ratliff's Company - This company was reported by Noah
B. Sutherland and may not have completed its organization or even
been affiliated with the State Line. If Ratliff's company was fully formed, it was commanded
by another officer in the State Line.