The 19th Regiment, Virginia Calvary, Co. A,
Moccasin Rangers will participate in the relocation of the grave of
Captain Philip James Thurmond as part of the Living History Weekend at
Winfield on Saturday, Oct. 30.
Thurmond, along with six of his brothers, enlisted
for service in September, 1862. He was founder and leader of Thurmond’s
Partisan Rangers of Monroe County. The group was formed to protect their
homes and families, but soon found it could contribute more to the cause
by collaborating with various established Rebel units.
In October, 1864, Union Captain John M. Reynolds,
commanding the 7th W.Va. Calvary, was ordered to establish a fortified
position overlooking Red House Shoals and stop all Confederate river
traffic through the shoals.
About 400 rangers launched an early morning attack
through the streets of the town. An early morning fire fight tried to
dislodge the Yankees from their strong position. Thurmond was mortally
wounded in front of the courthouse. It was apparent to the Confederates
that the attack was a failure and they began to withdraw.
Thurmond could not be moved. His younger brother
allowed himself to be captured in order to stay with his brother until
death. Later that morning, members of the Rangers asked permission to
come through the Union lines to claim the body.
He was buried in an unmarked grave on the Judge
Hoge property, with the understanding that the Captain’s family would
return for his body once the war was over. His family did not return and
he has lain in an unmarked grave at that site for 146 years.
His body was exhumed on Mar. 20 and will be
permanently laid to rest behind the relocated Hoge House. He will have
full military honors, with re-enactment units from several states taking
part in the ceremony.
He will be carried in a buckboard wagon pulled by
two mules in keeping with the time period of his death. He will be
buried in a pine coffin draped with the flag of the Confederacy in 1864.
The service will start at noon, with the procession of dignitaries,
Civil War units, and ladies following him to his final home.
County’s Moccasin Rangers will participate as pallbearers and carry the
casket to the grave, and do the honors of lowering the casket, folding
the flag, and standing guard.