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The Original 4th Virginia Infantry, Company A 

The 4th Virginia Infantry was officially organized on July 1st, 1861.  Company A known as the Wythe Grays, was one of 5 companies, each comprising of about 100 officers and men.  The 4th regiment along with the 2nd, 5th, 27th and 33rd became part of the 1st Brigade of Virginia Infantry commanded by Col. Thomas Jackson.  The 4th found itself in the Battle of First Manassas on July 21st, 1861 where the actions of the brigade and its commander caused it to be known forever after as "The Stonewall Brigade". 

In the Spring of 1862, the 4th Virginia participated in Jackson's Valley Campaign.  It remains one of the most spectacular military successes of modern times.  In a period of seven weeks, Jackson's command marched 646 miles in 48 days on the road, fought 4 major battles, 6 skirmishes and a dozen smaller delaying actions.  All this against combined Federal forces of 4 times those of Jackson's command.  

In June, the 4th Virginia found itself near Richmond fighting in the Seven Days Campaign.  The regiment saw action at Gaines Mill and Malvern Hill. On August 8th, the regiment was engaged at the Battle of Cedar Mountain.   Three weeks later, on August 28th the 4th Virginia was involved in the horrific fight at Brawners Farm near Groveton, Va. On the following two days, the regiment was engaged at Second Manassas.  Over the 3 days of battle, the regiment suffered 96 casualties.  Now down to just 100 officers and men in the ranks, the regiment would never again be same.  September of 1862 brought more slaughter.  The 4th saw intense action at Sharpsburg on the 17th of the month.  The regiment lost 3 men killed and another 21 wounded.  One month later, on October 17th, the regiment fought at Kearneysville losing another 3 men killed and 14 wounded.  At Fredricksburg on December 13th, 12 men in the ranks of the 4th were wounded in the fighting. 

The first few months of 1863 were spent refilling the depleted ranks of the regiment as wounded men recovered and new recruits enlisted.  Even then, the regiment only numbered 355 officers and men.  On May 2nd and 3rd, the 4th was heavily engaged in the fighting at Chancellorsville losing 160 men from its ranks, either killed or wounded.  A company lost 4 killed and 5 wounded out of only 25 members.  Later that year, the regiment took part in the Gettysburg Campaign.  The 4th was engaged on July 2,3 in assaults on Culps Hill.  The regiment suffered horribly, 18 killed, 50 wounded and 69 captured.  When the retreating Army of Northern Virginian crossed back into Virginia, the regiment was comprised of only 66 members. On the 26th of November, at a little known battle called Payne's Farm, the regiment suffered 7 dead and 48 wounded.

In May of 1864 during the Battle of the Wilderness, the regiment lost 2 killed, 7 wounded and 15 missing.  May 11th found the regiment occupying the Mule Shoe at Spotsylvania.  The hand to hand fighting cost the 4th dearly, 7 killed, 6 wounded and 126 captured.  After the battle, the remaining fragments of the regiment and brigade were combined with the remnants of 9 other regiments to form a new brigade.  What was left of the regiment participated in the 1864 Valley Campaign before finishing out the remainder of the war around Petersburg and the resulting retreat to Appomattox.  When the army surrendered in April of 1865, of the 1487 men who had served in the regiment, only 46 remained.  Company A surrendered with only 4 men. 

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