Question of the Week: 8/14-8/20/23

Spotlight on Civil War artillery! Do you have a favorite battery?

26 Responses to Question of the Week: 8/14-8/20/23

  1. 5th Maine Battery, wiped out at Second Manassas and Chancellorsville, reconstituted after the latter battle, and fought magnificently at Gettysburg.

  2. Cornay’s Battery (Saint Mary’s Cannoneers) of St. Mary’s Parish, Louisiana (CSA). This was an artillery unit that fought in the Trans-Mississippi and helped bring down the demise of the ironclad behemoth USS Eastport, as well as other federal ships, plus saw a heavy action on the land.

  3. Gibbs Ohio Battery which fought valiantly in the late afternoon of July 2 as the Wheatfield was falling and the Confederates were threatening Plum Run Valley

  4. 9th Massachusetts Battery for what they did at Gettysburg on July 2. 1st New York Light Artillery Battery L a home town unit. 18th New York Battery “The Black Horse Battery” another home town unit.

    1. I believe the 9th Mass. is depicted in Troianni’s print titled Retreat by Recoil. This tactic allowed the pieces to be withdrawn while providing covering fire.

  5. Company L, 6th New York Heavy Artillery: Made the Overland Campaign fighting as Infantry with Warren’s V Corps.

  6. For me, it’s Battery Wagner or Fort Wagner on Morris Island in Charleston Harbor. This was the site of the famous charge of the 54th Maine which was an all-black regiment of soldiers that was led by Col. Robert Gould Shaw. Although the Union lost this battle, it proved the fighting spirit and courage of the black soldiers, who before this time were thought to not have the “abilities” to be soldiers.

  7. Battery I, 1st Ohio. Dilger’s Battery. Delaying action at Chanclorsville. Offensive counter battery fire on July 1. Probably killed Leonidas Polk at Kennesaw.

  8. I have a soft spot for the Valverde Battery — it was made up of guns captured at Valverde by Sibley’s army, dragged back through the desert along their retreat (even though they chose to bury lighter, more mobile pieces), and saw service until 1865.

  9. Dilger won a Medal of Honor at Chancellorsville. Some say he held up Jackson long enough to run out the daylight so Stonewall was operating in the dark.

    Corporal Sidney Allen’s gun fired canister and round shot down the Plank Road into the ranks of Jackson’s troops during the desperate retreat of the 11th Corps on the evening of May 2nd. Corporal Allen likened it to shooting rounds down a bowling alley and stated “I think we made some ten strikes.”
    Captain Dilger took my gun out into the road and I kept it clear, for as often as they would fill it up, it was cleared with a few rounds of canister. We retreated slowly down the road firing at nearly every step and had no infantry to support us. I was wounded after we retreated over a mile and half and came very near being captured. After the other corps came up and checked the Rebels, General Carl Schurz came up and inquired what gun came down the road. Captain Dilger told him and he came and shook hands with all the men. He said he never saw such determined bravery in all his life and did not know that men could work a gun under such a fire.

  10. Hickenlooper’s Fifth Ohio Independent Light Artillery Battery. Sent forward by General Prentiss to confront advancing Confederate forces early in the Battle of Shiloh, the battery was then withdrawn north, along with Munch’s Minnesota Battery, in a sort of leapfrog operation of fire, pull back; fire, pull back… holding the Confederates away just long enough to gain a new position being created by General Hurlbut, which would become known as the Hornet’s Nest. After fighting from this “position in the thicket” for nearly seven hours, Hickenlooper was again withdrawn, barely escaping the capture of Prentiss. And the remainder of 6 April 1862 was spent in support of William Tecumseh Sherman, helping to hold Grant’s Last Line.

    1. I actually would pick Munch’s/1st Minn. Light – and this is no “diss” on Hickenlooper’s, who performed heroically. The 1st Minn. were rookies who had never been under fire until the morning of April 6. ordered to the Spain Field area they promptly were in danger of being flanked; quickly had their CO wounded and disabled; had the two 6 lb “James” rifles of their center section disabled (one with a carriage failure at the screw, one with a jammed tube); and barely escaped the position. They would unlimber and re-limber multiple times, including at the Hornet’s Nest line where their remaining sections of “James” rifles and 12 lb field howitzers fought separately; again barely escaped as the position was collapsing; unlimbered and came under attack along the road to Pittsburg Landing, again barely escaping the position; and made their way to Grant’s final line. Meanwhile, the center section and its two disabled pieces had made their way to the chaos at the Landing. There the crew was able to remount the good tube on the good carriage and were able to rejoin their mates at the final line with the fifth piece.

  11. Chicago Board of Trade Battery, named after its sponsor. Fought at Stones River, Chickamauga, Atlanta and Nashville

  12. Capt. Eli Lilly’s 18th Indiana Battery attached to John T. Wilder’s Lightning Brigade.

  13. Do the USS Monitor’s two count? They have my vote. Matthew Mark Luke & John, and Wainwright’s tubes at Seminary Ridge are my runners up.

  14. My favorite batteries are Energizers. They go on and on and…JUST Kidding..

    I’ve always been interested in and appreciated the naval aspects of certain land battles and the contributions of naval forces to them. Specifically, the ‘batteries’ of the gunboats ar Malvern Hill (both battles), and those of the gunboats Tyler and Lexington at Shilo.

  15. Willie Pegram and I are birthday twins!!! Also Poague’s Battalian. He wrote a great post war memoir!!!

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