Thursday, March 19, 2020

42nd Virginia Infantry

Believed to be a picture
of Daniel Langhore when he
was a student at the Virginia
Military Institute in 1845. He went
on to graduate 7th of a class of 20.
Time for a change...too much single project makes jack a dull I thought, why not a swap from one civil war to another?

The weather isn't getting any better but it's doing wonders for my painted output so here for your delectation are the latest Rebs to join the ranks of the Confederate forces these represent the 42nd Virginia Infantry - some more of Jackson's famed 'foot cavalry'..

The 42nd were first organised at Staunton, Virginia, in July 1861, and recruited in Henry, Floyd, Bedford, Campbell, Roanoke, Patrick, and Franklin counties.They were commanded by Colonel Jesse S. Burks, assisted by Lieutenant Colonel D. A. Langhorne and Major Berbeck P. Adams and assigned to (J.R.) Jones's Brigade.

In the following February they were assigned to the 2nd Brigade of the Army of the Valley - Burks took command of the brigade and Langhorne assumed day to day command of the regiment.

Langhorne, or rather Dr. Daniel Allen Langhorne, was an interesting fellow..  born in Cumberland County, Virginia, in July 1825 which makes him 36 or 37 at Kernstown - so he was young...!  Also interesting in that he had trained in medicine, graduating at the Philadelphia University in 1848. After graduating he opened a practice locally but after two years returned to his home town in Lynchburg where he was resident physician at Warm Springs, Healing Springs, and Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. He was married in 1850, to his first wife Sarah who died the same year they were married, so the return home may have been related?

He was married for the second time in 1853, to a Virginia P. Kent, and they went on to have a son (Maurice) born in December the same year, but who died in April 1864.

Langhorne entered the Confederate States army in April of 1861 with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He served as post commander and mustering officer at Lynchburg until assigned to the 42nd in July.

He and the regiment served in the Valley Mountain and Sewell Mountain campaign under Lee, and the Bath and Romney expedition and in the Shenandoah Valley campaign under Jackson. At Kernstown they were a part of the reserve, arriving too late to make a material difference to the battle outcome but still reported 70 wounded/casualties, with Burks (the brigadier) was wounded and disabled.

It is a particular weirdness of the war that the Virginia regiments retained the right to elect their own officers [this is worth a read on the phenomenon], and in May 1862, for some reason Langhorne (and Adams, the major, and nine other officers) were voted out.

Unusually, as a lot of officers who were voted out were simply put in charge of newer regiments raised in the interim, Langhorne returned to Lynchburg where he performed local military duty until the close of the war. I have not managed to find any information on why he was voted out

He died in 1908 and his wife 2 years later..  there's a lot of detail missing but I find his life rather sad..  first wife died within a year, only child dead at 10, first and only command a mere 8 or 9 months...

Finally - the following is fascinating - research gold.....  

"Report of Lieutenant Colonel D. A. Langhorne, Forty-second Virginia Infantry.
--, 1862.
SIR: I beg leave to submit the following report of the part borne by the Forty-second Regiment in the engagement of the 23rd, near Winchester:

The regiment had been held in reserve until late in the day, when ordered to the scene of action. They marched by flank, right in front, very rapidly, nearly the whole way in double-quick time. While on our way we were exposed to the fire of the enemy's artillery, many of whose shells burst near us, but without effect. We were ordered to form on the right of the Fifth Regiment. The guide led my right up near the right of the Fifth, which immediately commenced to advance. I had, consequently, to bring my regiment into line faced by the rear rank. We formed under the fire of the enemy, who were in line of battle just over the crest of the hill, with skirmishers behind trees on the top.

After commencing our fire we gradually changed our front forward on one of the interior companies without any formal movement, in order to adapt ourselves to the position of the enemy, who otherwise would have gotten around our right flank. Our firing, though a little too hurried at first, was afterward delivered with becoming deliberation, and, I trust, with effect.

The men fought with great bravery and most industriously. The officers all, as far as I observed and have been able to learn, bore themselves gallantly. Among so many it might be deemed invidious to mention any except those whose devoted courage cost them their lives. I refer to Captains Morris and Rector, who fell while gallantly discharging their duties.

Our men stood bravely up to their work until ordered to withdraw by Colonel Burks, whose presence and activity greatly inspired the regiment. The order to retire being imperfectly heard, we fell back very much scattered and in haste, but rallied within 500 yards of the enemy, who advanced only to the edge of the woods. A small portion of the regiment while falling back was separated, and joined us under their officers after reaching the main road; the remainder was placed under charge of Captain Hale, and we entered the main road where we had left it and awaited orders.

Colonel Burks ordered us toward Newtown. So far as I could ascertain we were the last regiment to leave the field.

Respectfully submitted.

Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Forty-second Regiment Virginia Vols.
Colonel J. S. BURKS,
Commanding Third Brigade.
P. S. - Accompanying the above you will find a report of casualties, a summary of which, I append below. There were 19 commissioned officers, 52 non-commissioned officers, and 222 privates in the engagement".

Figures by Newline Designs (love them) - 20mm - painted March 2020



  1. Very nice unit and interesting post!

  2. Great post, great additions to the collection. I love doing research on units I build, you can find out some amazing stories.

    French Wargame Holidays

    1. Matt - you have it in one - it's got the stage now where I can't add a unit to the roster until I've done it...!

  3. A fine unit and regimental history Steve. Good idea to have a change of subject matter now and again.

    1. Thanks Lee... an old Grognard once said (think it was Bill Protz) that to keep projects alive visit them and add new units every now and again.. thought it was time this project was revisited..

  4. Grand addition and the expected interesting information.