17th Virginia Infantry Regiment
The Old Dominion Rifles
(07 June, 1842 - 26 Nov.,1934)
(Author of "Manassas to Appomattox, The Civil War Memoirs of Pvt. Edgar Warfield, 17th Virginia Infantry.")
EPM Publications, Inc. McLean Virginia. (ISBN: 1-889324-04-3)
Born 7th June, 1842, Edgar Warfield was the second of nine children of parents, Abel David Warfield and Sarah Ann Adams. One of two founding members of The Old Dominion Rifles (who became Company H, The 17th Virginia Infantry Regiment), he enlisted at 18 in Alexandria where he was a drug clerk in the store of Wat Tyler Cluverius.
He fought alongside his comrades through every major engagement of The Army of Northern Virginia except Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and the Wilderness surviving the war. He was present At Blackburn's Ford, the opening skirmish of First Manassas (or 1st Bull Run as it is known by the Union) and served the full four years of the war ending up at Appomatox in 1865. He began the war, as he finished, as a private but his post war career and activities have helped to preserve the deeds and memories of his Company, Regiment and comrades in the whole of the Army of Northern Virginia.
After the war he returned to the drug business with his old comrade-in-arms William J. Hall when he opened a drugstore at the south west corner of Prince and Fairfax Streets, Alexandria, Virginia under the name; "Warfield and Hall". He was just 23 years of age.
He married Miss Catherine Virginia Batchellor, of Charlottesville, Virginia five years after the war's end and had two sons. Catherine died in 1914 whereas Edgar survived all of his siblings, the last, his eldest sister, passed away in 1931. His father died suddenly in 1886 whilst hi mother survived for a further 18 years.
In the post war years, Edgar served as a member of the board of stewards of the M. E. Church, South for a time. He also was the fire chief of Alexandria for a while. His greatest interest was in Masonry and in Confederate Veteran activities.
He was one of the oldest members of Andrew Jackson Lodge, No. 120, and became a Master Mason in that Lodge in 1872. He served as Worshipful Master of this Lodge in 1879-80, 1880-81, 1888-89 and held many other positions in Masonry as well as being a member of The Scottish Rite and the Mystic Shrine.
Twenty years after the war he was one of the organisers of the R. E. Lee Camp of Confederate Veterans and always took a keen interest in all Veteran activities and issues. Not only did he serve as Commander of the R. E. Lee Camp he was also the commander of the Grand Camp of Confederate Veterans of Virginia, United Confederate Veterans in which capacity he served three terms.
It was through his activities that the Battle Flag of the Seventeenth Virginia Infantry Regiment was returned to the R. E. Lee Camp and, it was fitting that, it was this same flag that draped his coffin at his funeral on November 28th, 1934. It was Edgar Warfield that proposed a monument was raised in tribute to the Alexandrians who gave their lives for the Confederate cause. On May 24th, 1889, this monument was unveiled at the junction of Prince and Washington Streets, Alexandria. Called the "Appomatox Monument" it marks the site where the men of Alexandria assembled to march to Manassas all those years before. On the south side the inscription reads; "Erected in memory of the Confederate dead of Alexandria, Virginia by their surviving comrades, May 24, 1889." On December 1st, 1930, Edgar Warfield was appointed Brigadier General of the Third Brigade, United Confederate Veterans.
He kept in close contact with his former commander, General Montgomery Dent Corse after the war who was a regular visitor to Warfield and Hall. Here the three veterans would retell their war stories and share their memories of those fateful days.
At his funeral, the pastor said of Edgar Warfield; "the march of another soldier is over. His battles are all fought, his victories all won, and as in other days he lies down to rest awhile under the arching sky, awaiting the bugle's call."
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Last updated - 28th November, 2003