Purcell Artillery, Virginia Light Artillery

(Cayce's Company)

Descendants Association

Participated in the Breakthrough Battle at Petersburg on April 2, 1865

Fought on or near the present day grounds of Pamplin Historical Park


The Purcell Artillery, a light artillery company, was established on April 20, 1861 in Richmond, Virginia largely through the efforts of Daniel Hagerty. The battery was named for John Purcell, a wealthy Richmond merchant who financed much of its equipment. The first Captain was Reuben Lindsay Walker, a class of 1845 graduate of Virginia Military Institute. In civilian life Walker was a Civil Engineer and a planter. Daniel Hagerty was elected First Lieutenant in the newly formed battery. Elected as Second Lieutenant was William Ransom Johnson Pegram who had been detailed to the battery as a drillmaster. Lieutenant Pegram would later become the commander of Purcell's Battery and considered to be one of the Confederacy's most distinguished artillerists.

It's captains were George M. Cacye, William R.J. Pegram and R. Lindsay Walker and the battery became part of the Purcell Battlion later commanded by Walker and Pegram.

Purcell's Battery served with distinction in the Army of the Northerm Virginia throughout the war and fought in numerous battles and skirmishes. Willie Pegram, who had by then become a colonel, was mortally wounded on April 1, 1865 at the Battle of Five Forks. Later that month, when Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse, Purcell's Battery was not among the Confederate soldiers paroled. It is presumed that it reached Lynchburg, Virginia and there cut down its carriages, buried its guns, and disbanded.


The Richmond Daily Dispatch: July 24, 1862

Purcell Battery --This splendid artillery corps left its encampment at the Fair Grounds, near this city, yesterday, and took up its line of march for the army. It initiated the recent actions before Richmond, and out of 90 members carried into action, brought out 30 alive and unwounded. They have been recruiting for several weeks past. They have now, as formerly, splendid guns, and are prepared again to do good service.


If you are a descendant or family member of a soldier of the Purcell Battery who served honorably at any time during the war and would like to be listed on the Descendants Roll Call, please send an e-mail by clicking the icon below. Please Type "Purcell Battery" in the subject line and provide details in the message. Please find your ancestor or family member in the National Park Service Database (link shown below) and include such details as "company" and "rank out" in your message. This will greatly speed-up the posting of those soldiers who you wish to honor. Thank you.


Not For Fame Or Reward
Not For Place Or For Rank
Not Lured By Ambition
Or Goaded By Necessity
But In Simple
Obedience To Duty
As They Understood It
These Men Suffered All - Sacrificed All
Dared all - And Died

Inscription written by Dr. Randolph Harrison McKim and carved

on the north side of the Confederate Memorial (sculpted by Moses Ezekiel)

at Arlington National Cemetery


Purcell Battery

Soldier's Notes



Purcell Battery

Descendants Roll Call


Important Links

Two Brothers: One North, One South

by David H. Jones

The Final Battles of the Petersburg

Campaign by A. Wilson Greene


Pamplin Historical Park & National

Museum of the Civil War Soldier






Ordering Service & Pension Records

National Archives


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