Category Archives: Artillery

“The Batteries On Each Side Ceased Firing”: Civilians In Antietam’s Cross Fire

While the Confederate and Union artillery guns dueled during the morning hours of September 17, 1862, their shells flew over the farm land and homes of local civilians. Long before the Sharpsburg area became a battlefield, it was quiet community … Continue reading

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“The Hand of a Master”: Confederate Artillery on the Left Flank at Antietam

By sunrise on September 17, 1862, the Confederate guns waited on the left flank. Ordered to guard “Stonewall” Jackson’s flank and use the high ground advantage to blast Union attackers, the assembled cannons and crews prepared for battle. General J. … Continue reading

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Notes on Artillery Organization

I’ve started reading John C. Tidball’s The Artillery Service in the War of the Rebellion which is a published collection of essays this Union officer wrote in the post-war era. Tidball offers a good perspective since he was there, on … Continue reading

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Lew Wallace Secures the B&O– For the First Time (Pt. 2)

Part 1 is available here. It was a busy June for Lew Wallace. He and his 11th Indiana Zouaves had been posted at Cumberland, Maryland to guard the vital Baltimore & Ohio Railroad bridges across the Potomac River. Their raid … Continue reading

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Lew Wallace Secures the B&O– For the First Time (Pt. 1)

Lew Wallace, the Hoosier lawyer-turned soldier, readied his command for its move. His objective was a vital connection of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad whose trains were badly needed to transport material and manpower. Wallace wrote later, “The need of … Continue reading

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“As glorious a death as a man can die”: Col. Guilford Bailey at the Battle of Seven Pines

Silas Casey’s Federals huddled behind their breastworks constituting the division’s main line of defense and listened to the growing cacophony of musketry and artillery to their front. For nearly two hours, they heard Confederate attacks slam against Casey’s front line … Continue reading

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Capt. Samuel Jones Ridley at the Battle of Champion Hill

Just after noon on May 16, 1863, Federals of John Logan’s and Alvin Hovey’s divisions smashed into the left flank of John Pemberton’s Army of Vicksburg on the Champion Hill battlefield. Pemberton’s left threatened to buckle under the pressure. If … Continue reading

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Lieutenant Justin E. Dimick: “Accomplished Artillery Officer, Truest Soldier”

“At 5 o’clock in the morning, the enemy attacked us in force, and, after a very severe fight by our men, the Federal line began to fall back. From the first moment I learned the position of the enemy, I … Continue reading

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Firing the First Shot: George James Begins the Civil War

His watch in hand, Capt. George James followed the seconds tick towards 4:30 a.m. He had a deadline to meet. It was one he surely was not going to miss. No doubt, the weight of the moment rested heavily on … Continue reading

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The Rise and Fall of W. Irving Hodgson

The most famed artillery unit of the American Civil War was New Orleans’ Washington Artillery. Founded in 1838, they had taken part in the Mexican-American War but did not see combat. Founded as a strictly Anglo-American outfit, by the 1850s … Continue reading

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