"Virginia makes the poorest figure of any State": The Virginia Infantry at Valley Forge


‘Virginia makes the poorest figure of any State”: The Virginia Infantry at Valley Forge.  Joseph Lee Boyle. 2019. 

This book honors the Virginia contingents of the American infantry that served at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, over the winter of 1777-78. The 1st Virginia State Regiment joined General Washington in the summer of 1777. Due to outbreaks of smallpox, desertion, and other factors, Virginia was chronically short of meeting its regimental quotas; consequently, while the Continental Congress had hoped to raise close to 6,000 privates from Virginia, only 1,275 were fit for duty at Valley Forge by May 1778.

The core of the book, the first of a multi-volume work, consists of an alphabetical list of ten of the Virginia infantry regiments at the Valley Forge encampment. Joseph Lee Boyle has abstracted the lists from Revolutionary War muster and payrolls. Each patriot is identified by name, rank, date, and term of enlistment or commission; names of regiment and company; and a variety of supporting details, such as date of furlough or discharge, when wounded, when and where promoted, etc. Mr. Boyle also provides an Introduction describing the history of the Virginia contingent. Included in the book are a detailed glossary of terms found in the rosters; an explanatory list of locations referred to in the entries; and a lengthy, up-to-date bibliography.