Confederate Soldier, Lynchburg Rifles
A hand-colored ambrotype from 1861 shows an unidentified Confederate soldier in the battle shirt worn by members of Company E, the Lynchburg Rifles, 11th Virginia Infantry Volunteers. The Lynchburg Rifles used local equipment and, according to a local newspaper report, were uniformed in "gray goods trimmed with blue." Many in the company had been either faculty members or students at Lynchburg College; the commanding officer, Captain James E. Blankenship, had been a mathematics professor there. Though Blankenship had graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1852 at the top of his class, his nerve failed when tested in battle. During the First Battle of Manassas he fled in the middle of the fighting.