French’s Battery (also known as McComas’ Battery) was formed in May, 1861, with men from Giles County. After serving in western Virginia it moved east and was assigned to the Wise Legion. The battery was later placed in A.W. Stark’s Battalion, Department of Richmond, and stationed at Chaffin’s Farm. It was active north of the James River and in the Appomattox Campaign. On April 9. 1865, the unit surrendered with 66 men. Captains David A. French and William W. McComas were in command.
Giles Light Artillery [also called Pearisburg Reserves] was organized in June, 1861, with men raised in Giles County. The unit served in Western Virginia, then moved to Tennessee. Here it was captured in the fight at Fort Donelson in February, 1862. When exchanged, the unit returned to Virginia and participated in the Maryland Campaign. Later it was attached to the Department of Richmond, assigned to A.W. Stark’s Battalion of Artillery, and aided in the defense of Petersburg. The company took part in the Appomattox Campaign and surrendered with no officers and 66 men. It was under the command of Captains David A. French and William McComas.
[Source: National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System]
West Virginia counties contributing soldiers: Mercer
French’s Company, Virginia Light Artillery – National Park Service
The Giles, Alleghany and Jackson Artillery, by Keith S. Bohannon; Virginia Regimental History Series, H.E. Howard Publishing.
Virginia Giles Light Artillery Battery, Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Virginia, by Stewart Sifakis, pp. 36-37, entry #74.
Capt. George Beirne Chapman’s Co. Va. Light Artillery, A Guide to Virginia’s Military Organizations, 1861-1865, by Lee A. Wallace, Jr., pg. 16.