Information on my great grandfather who was taken prisoner at Seminary Ridge in Gettysburg, PA. His diary is at the Ft Delaware Museum, and his sword is at the Gettysburg Museum. This is from the book I wrote about him, based on information provided from his actual records.

{So as a civilian I rode with a few cousins, Uncle Billy, and a couple of friends to join the Confederacy, on May 1, 1861.  We joined Company G, 19th Infantry; Virginia Regiment of the Confederate States Army.  When I joined there were other relatives such as cousins Loving, Cousin Stevens, and William Johnson that had come separate on horseback.  There were others that signed up throughout the war. There were some of the boys in other companies that were from Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina, that were kin to me as well. Of course the boys I hung around with joined too my cousins Charles Wheeler, Alexander Purvis, William H. Purvis, Samuel Purvis, Merriweather Purvis, Hugh Purvis, George W. Purvis, Daniel Purvis, Clifford Purvis, and Charles Purvis.  We all decided together it would be the best thing to do, at the time.

A couple of days later I was mustered into service at Charlottesville by Lieutenant Colonel W. H. Fry.  That was the beginning of almost four long years.  I moved up the ranks from corporal, 2nd corporal, 1st corporal, Sergeant, 4th Sergeant, 3rd Sergeant, 2nd Sergeant, to 1st Sergeant. This was partly because I was told I was very intellectual when it came to strategy in fighting; and partially because men were getting wounded in battle, and they had to keep the ranks filled. 

Now as we were heading to join with the Northern Virginia Army we found ourselves.  The 19th Virginia organized at Manassas Junction, Virginia, in May 1861.  The men recruited here with me were from Charlottesville as well as the counties of Albemarle, Nelson, and Amherst.  The 19th Virginia became part of a brigade alongside the 8th, 18th, and 28th Virginia Infantry Regiments. The 56th Virginia Infantry Regiment later joined the brigade. 

The 19th Infantry was to fight with the Army of Northern Virginia.  We showed up with the clothes on our back, ready to fight to defend our homeland.  Here I was only eighteen years old and now I am going with my group, Company G 19th Virginia Infantry, to be under Captain Thomas M. Boyd’s Company called the “Nelson Grays”.  We were named the “The Nelson Grays” because we were from Nelson County.  As I stated I was 18 years old and when I enlisted May 1st 1861 at Massies Mill, Virginia I was asked if I knew what I was fighting for. I said, “Yes sir, for the freedom of my rights, my homeland and my family, as well as fair trade, import, and export.”}

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.