Historical sketch of the Rockbridge artillery, C. S. Army, by a member of the famous battery.
 Early in the spring of 1861, after the old ‘volunteer companies’ of the State had been called into service by Governor Letcher, many of the yonng men of Lexington and the county of Rockbridge, in answer to the Governor's call for more troops, determined to organize another company. They selected John McCausland, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, as their captain, and were sworn into service on the 29th of April, 1861. About this time Captain McCausland received from the Governor a commission as colonel of cavalry, and was sent to West Virginia, where he served with distinction, and became a brigadier-general. To fill the vacancy thus caused, on May 1, 1861, the new company of artillery chose Rev. William N. Pendleton, D. D., as their captain. Dr. Pendleton was at the time rector of the Episcopal church in Lexington, and was well-known in the State as prominent in ecclesiastical matters, and also to have graduated in 1830 at West Point, where he was a contemporary of many men who were already prominent in one or other of the two armies which were then organizing. He had been a fellow-student of Generals Joseph E. Johnston and Robert E. Lee, and of the newly-elected President of the Confederacy, Mr. Davis. Some time after this company was organized another company formed near Fairfield, and attached to the Fifty-second Virginia regiment of infantry, under Colonel John B. Baldwin, was equipped as an artillery company under Rev. John Miller, a Presbyterian minister, as captain, and this was known as the Second Rockbridge Artillery, and did good service in the war. The material of which the First Rockbridge Artillery was composed, and the military antecedents and ecclesiastical prominence of Captain Pendleton, created great enthusiasm in the company, and afterwards brought into it many young men whose engagements at the University of Virginia and other seminaries of learning in the State had kept them from enlisting earlier in the service. The other commissioned officers, whilst not at that time well-known outside their county, were there known to be educated gentlemen of high standing, socially and personally, and all of them afterwards attained to prominence in the army. Captain Pendleton was the only man, excepting Sergeant Graham, in the company, who had any scientific knowledge of military matters. His course at West Point Academy, and his subsequent service in the army, had fitted him well to organize this company, and  to make quickly out of the raw material in it, efficient soldiers. His patience, energy, and kindness were in constant requisition for many months, and contributed largely to the reputation gained by the Rockbridge Artillery. He was made a Colonel of Artillery before the company had seen much service in battle, and eventually became a General in command of the artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia. His subsequent career in that army, and his connection with the military family of our great commander, General Lee, are well known. After the war closed he returned to his labors as a clergyman in Lexington, and died a few years ago, lamented by hosts of friends and honored by his surviving comrades-in-arms. His successors in command of the company, McLaughlin, Poague, and Graham, all had the benefit of his instruction, and perhaps no company in the army was better officered. They were thorough in their knowledge of the needs of men and horses in camp and on the march, always kind and considerate; and, in battle, active, intelligent, and heedless of personal danger. It would be difficult for any of the men who served under them to give any satisfactory reason for preferring any one of them above the others. The battery did efficient service under the command of each of them. The following seems to have been the first company-roll; at least this is the roll showing the organization as of 30th June, 1861. Captain, W. N. Pendleton. First Lieutenant, John Bowyer Brockenbrough. Second Lieutenant, William McLaughlin. Second Lieutenant, William T. Poague. First Sergeant, John McD. Alexander. Second Sergeant, James Cole Davis. Third Sergeant, Archibald Graham, Jr. Fourth Sergeant, James L. Paxton. Fifth Sergeant, Frank Preston. Sixth Sergeant, Norborne S. Henry. First Corporal, William M. Brown. Second Corporal, William L. Strickler. Third Corporal, John W. Jordan, Jr. Fourth Corporal, Samuel C. Smith. Fifth Corporal, John F. Tompkins. Sixth Corporal, John B. McCorkle.