William Winston Fontaine was apparently granted authority to raise a regiment in the territory now embraced by the state of West Virginia. Only two companies have been identified and they were later assigned to the 19th Virginia Cavalry. Captain Thomas E. Davis, Assistant Adjutant General of the Virginia State Line, reported that Fontaine had a force of 500 men in Pocahontas County on January 11, 1863. Fontaine, however, made no official returns as to his command's composition or strength. This unit apparently was headquartered at Camp Dunmore at Pocahontas Court House, a base established by Confederates in early 1861. Fontaine later served as a captain in the 46th Battalion Virginia Cavalry. He was the only regimental officer listed in contemporary records.
Known companies for Fontaine's Regiment were:
Captain William Lamb McNeel's Company. It was enlisted at Huntersville and Mill Point in Pocahontas County in January 1863. Most of its men were from Pocahontas County and later served in the 19th Virginia Cavalry.
Captain Marshall's Company. This company was formed in Pocahontas County in early February 1863, about the time Fontaine was reported there recruiting men for his regiment. Since the Virginia State Line was on its death bed, this orphaned child was adopted by Colonel W. L. Jackson and became Company K of the 19th Virginia Cavalry.
Swann's (1st) Battalion, Virginia State Line
According to family correspondence of Micajah Woods, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Belt Swann of the 3rd Virginia State Line was forming a battalion in early 1863. This fact is confirmed by prisoner of war records for members of the Virginia State Line and one reference in the Official Records. Exactly how successful Swann was in recruiting a new battalion is unknown. It is possible that some of the captains commissioned in late 1862 who have no other data were part of this command, or possibly Fontaine's Regiment.
Jackson's Battalion Light Artillery
Jackson's Battalion Light Artillery was probably organized in December 1862 when John M. Oliver's Company was organized. Oliver had been recruiting for Nathaniel Menifee, but Menifee's difficulty with Floyd caused the company to be assigned to Thomas Jackson's command. This battalion is unusual because both companies have muster rolls on file.
Officers of Jackson's Battalion Virginia State Line were:
Jackson, Thomas E., Jackson Major
R. A. Richardson, Assistant Quartermaster
H. Blair Randolph, Adjutant.
Subcommands of this organization were:
Company A - Captain P. Warfield Semmes' Company, formerly Captain Horace B. Balfour's Company, Virginia Mounted Riflemen. The date of organization is unknown. The extant company roster lists only names and ages. Other important identifying information was omitted. Several members later served in John T. Levi's Light Artillery Battery of Thomas' North Carolina Legion. A few later saw service in Thomas E. Jackson's Virginia Horse Artillery. Officers for this company were: Captain P. Warfield Semmes and 1st Lieutenant John T. Levi.
Company B - Captain John Mayo Oliver's Company was mustered into service December 17, 1862. Oliver recruited for Menifee's 4th Virginia State Line, primarily in Ashe County, North Carolina, and Carroll County, Virginia. His men did not join Menifee due to the latter's relief from command by General Floyd. They organized an artillery company in early 1863 and 15 members later served in Co. K, 21st Virginia Cavalry. Officers for this unit were: Captain John Mayo Oliver and 1st Lieutenant V. M. Johnson.
August's Howitzer Battery - Captain James August commanded a section of artillery under the umbrella of Jackson's Battalion, Light Artillery, Virginia State Line. August was on duty through at least January 27, 1863, but little other information on this section of artillery has come to light. Some men in this company may have served later in Barr's Battery Virginia Artillery. Officers for this company were: Captain James August and 2nd Lieutenant John W. Barr.
Independent and Incomplete Companies
Balfour's Company of Virginia Mounted Riflemen was organized on June 2, 1862. While it is not certain that this company was part of the State Line, the evidence supports that conclusion. The only extant muster roll for this company was found in John Floyd's personal papers at the National Archives. All officers for this company except Captain Louis Balfour are subsequently found on a list of Virginia State Line officers. It would appear that Balfour was replaced by Captain C. F. McDonald from Smyth County, Virginia, who was commissioned on August 17, 1862. McDonald had previously served in the 50th Virginia Infantry. Albert S. Hobson served this company as 1st lieutenant and Levin Lake was a 2nd lieutenant. William D. McGuire also served as 2nd lieutenant in this organization. This company also appears to have maintained a non- regimental affiliation with Floyd's command as late as mid-January 1863.
Captain William St. Martin's Company, Virginia Mounted Riflemen probably was part of the Virginia State Line. St. Martin's company was raised in western Virginia at the appropriate time to be a member of the Virginia State Line. However, the only records for this company indicate an affiliation with the 60th Virginia Infantry. In that record, dated October 16, 1862, Major Thomas Broun of the 60th noted that he was "sending forward the company of Capt. William St. Martin" in charge of Lieutenant Matthews. While no record for a St. Martin exists in the lists of Virginia State Line officers, a Captain Daniel Matthews was on August's list of such officers, with no unit ascribed.
Captain L. R. Smoot raised an independent company of mounted partisan rangers in the late spring of 1862. This company was mustered into Confederate service on June 10, 1862 at Lynchburg, Virginia by Captain Otey. Since no further record for this company can be found, and considering Smoot's association with the Virginia State Line, it is possible that this company of 63 rank and file became part of the Virginia State Line.