Colonial Virginia

In 1741, The 116th Infantry Regiment, The 29th Division’s oldest serving unit, was originally organized as the Augusta County Regiment of Militia to protect the frontier.  Today, it seems hard to picture the heart of Virginia as the frontier, but in the 1740s Augusta County covered land all the way to the Mississippi river.

Our Colonial gallery tells the stories of both the Native American tribes and the settlers.  Members of what would become the 116th were part of George Washington’s expedition to what is now Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1764, which would lead to the start of the French and Indian War.  Our artilleryman and 7-pounder cannon illustrate Virginia’s commitment to this conflict, which took place not only in North America, but also in India and the Philippines.

Another important artifact in this gallery is Charles Lewis’ firearm from the Battle of Point Pleasant on October 10, 1774.  Charles Lewis was the son of the founder of Staunton, Virginia. Lewis died leading an all-Virginia force against a Native army.

This region of Virginia was an early and continuous supporter of the Revolution.  Starting at Great Bridge in December 1775, the Augusta Militia fought in multiple battles on the frontier, at Kings Mountain, Guilford Court House, NC, Cowpens, SC and, finally, Yorktown. Our Continental soldier wears a reproduction of the regulation uniform for units of the Line.  He carries an original French .69 caliber Charleville Musket commonly used by Virginia soldiers at the end of the Revolution.

Next – The American Civil War