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Virginia Militia - Camp Holly Springs and Camp Porterfield
Posted by: Sharol Schaefer (ID *****7183) Date: July 13, 2006 at 16:15:54
  of 6338

Researching Virginia Militia units in the War of 1812. I am particularly interested in the
2nd Virginia Regiment while under the command of Lt. Col. Thomas Ballowe (Buckingham)
located at Camp Holly Springs and Camp Porterfield from August 1814-February 1815.

Company and date assigned to Lt. Col. Thomas Ballowe
Capt. Samuel G. Adams (Richmond City)
August 1, 1814 - February 18, 1815
Capt. Thomas Brooks (Fauquier)
July 1, 1814 - February 9, 1815
Rendezvoused at Elk Run Church
Capt. Robert Erwin Riflemem (Rockingham)
July 1, 1814 - February 6, 1815
Capt. Samuel Jones (Richmond City)
August 1, 1814 - February 18, 1815
Capt. Samuel Leake (Albemarie)
July 27, 1814 - February 4, 1815
Capt. George Love (Fauquier)
July 31, 1814 - November 30. 1814
Capt. John Morgan Artillery (Buckingham)
August 1, 1814 - February 4, 1815
Capt. Andrew Stevenson Artillery (Richmond City)
August 19, 1814 - February 6, 1815
Capt. John Thorn (Culpeper)
August 1, 1814 - February 11, 1815
Capt. Hugh Young/Capt. Edward Laurence (Augusta)
July 27, 1814 - February 4, 1815
(some of the above companies had additional enlistment dates and assignments while under command of their respective county Brigade and Division)

The establishment of a series of rendezvous and training camps in the Richmond area began on April 3, 1813. The first of these camps was Camp Malvern Hills as an observation and defensive position near the bluffs of the James River. It was established by Major William Armistead of the Charles City militia.

By the Summer of 1814, the Napoleonic Wars allowed the British to sail more ships to America to strengthen their fleet. Governor Barbour ordered the establishment of more Camps in the Richmond area.

Camp Holly, AKA Camp Holly Springs, was established by Colonel John H. Cocke in the Spring of 1813. It was situated northwest of Malvern Hills, near the junction of Newmarket Road and Long Branch Road. It became one of the major training camps for militia units from the western counties and was occupied almost continuously throughout the war.

The location of Camp Porterfield is unknown. On July 25, 1814, Governor Barbour directed that General Porterfield organize the militia for the defense of the capital and Petersburg. He was to take charge of the area between the York and James Rivers.

What did these companies do while at Camp Holly Springs and Camp Poterfield? What exactly is a rendezvous? Do written orders given these companies exist? Do any diaries or letters exist written by Lt. Col. Thomas Ballowe or by any of the Captains under his command. Do any diaries or letters exist written by any of the enlisted men in these companies? Do any drawings exist that document the lives of solders while at Camp Holly Springs or Camp Porterfield? Do any buildings or other evidence of these camps still exist today? Were there any newspaper articles written that may mention or describe anything about these camps or orders given to these companies?


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