History of the 50th
Virginia Company D
The 50th Virginia, Co D began
organizing as a militia unit somewhere between April and May of 1861. The unit was comprised of mostly
farmers, laborers, and citizens from Grayson County, Virginia and nearby Ashe County, North Carolina becoming known as the
“Wilson Rifles” and the “Grayson Hornets”. The original enlistments included four
officers, Captain Lynville J. Perkins, 1st Lt. Ambrose Pugh, 2nd Lt. Thomas F. Mitchell, and 3rd
Lt. John L. Cowardin. These officers and seventy plus men enlisted at Fork of Wilson moved on to Wytheville, Virginia in
June of that same year answering a call from the newly formed Confederate Army to help protect Virginia and her borders from
invasion of the United States Union Army and thus becoming Company D of the 50th Virginia Regiment Infantry.
50th Virginia Regiment was one of the few regiments to see action in both the Army of the West and the Army of
Northern Virginia. It served in the first year in the Army of Kentucky and saw action in Carnifex Ferry,
Princeton, and Cross Lanes in Western Virginia. Wintering that first year of the war in Tennessee, it fought
in the Battle of Fort Donaldson, escaping General Grant’s siege of the fort and made its way back to Virginia on foot.
the early spring of 1862 the 50th Virginia was assigned to the Second Army Corp in the Army of Northern Virginia
under General Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson, staying there until the close of the war.
was engaged in the battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness Campaign consisting of the battles of the Wilderness,
Spotsylvania Court House and Cold Harbor. They were with General Jubal Early on his raid on Washington,
and one of General Robert E. Lee’s leading units west of Appomattox Court House at the surrender of the Army of Northern
Virginia in April of 1865.