Mississippi: 1st Light Artillery Regiment

(aka Withers' Light Artillery)


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Unit History

Organized in early 1862.
Regiment surrendered after the Confederate defeat at the Battle of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863.
Regiment was paroled at Vickburg later in July.
Declared exchanged on September 12, 1863.
The regiment was surrendered by Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor, commanding the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, at Citronelle, Alabama on May 4, 1865. (See individual batteries following)

In February 1862, the Vaiden Battery, described as a new company of artillery, with six guns, was sent from the command of General Lovell, headquarters New Orleans, to reinforce the army in Tennessee. Assigned to Chalmers' Brigade in organization of March 9, 1862.
On April 3, General Ruggles reported Bains' Battery not ready for field service. "Bains' Battery is not to go," is the Adjutant-General's endorsement. Lt. Sanderson, however, with a detachment, manned two guns of the Stanford Battery, in place of men who were sick, and was in the hottest of the fight at Shiloh, temporarily losing the guns, which were soon recaptured. Several men were killed and wounded.
Report of May 6, Lt. R. H. Smith Thompson, commanding heavy artillery at Corinth, a 24-pounder siege gun, rifled, which commands the Farmington road for nearly 3/4 of a mile, manned by Captain Bains' company of light artillery.
After the evacuation, at Columbus several months, drilled as heavy artillery. Bains' Artillery company, in Beltzhoover's command at Vicksburg, January, 1863. Became Company L, First Artillery, as per report of March, 1863.

The regiment assembled in camp of instruction near Jackson in May 1862, and elected field officers. Colonel Withers, in General Orders No. 1, dated May 16, appointed James J. Calloway Acting Adjutant, William D. Elder Acting Sergeant-Major, Charles F. Trumbull and Andrew Trumbull Aides, Dr. M. W. Boyd Surgeon, Dr. C. A. Rive Assistant Surgeon, Capt. Thomas C. Fearn Commissary, Capt. William T. Hickle Quartermaster and Rev. Dr. W. W. Dovel Chaplain. Soon afterward, the regiment was called to Vicksburg on account of the attack upon that place by fleets from New Orleans and Memphis.

In his report of the defense of Vicksburg during the bombardment, May 26-July 27, 1862, Gen. Earl VanDorn said: "Withers' Light Artillery was placed in such position as to sweep all near approaches." Lt. Col. Parker was in command, according to M. L. Smith's report. Three divisions of the picket front were reinforced by batteries from the artillery regiment. Captain Ridley, supported by infantry and cavalry, was posted toward Warrenton on May 25. Herrod's, the other six-gun company, was sent from Jackson about the same time to the mouth of the Big Black to protect the gunboat General Quitman.

The return of July, 1862, shows 24 officers and 399 men on duty, 877 present and absent.

On August 1 the regiment was in camp at the Marshall Place, "Camp Parker." J.L. Power was appointed Adjutant August 6. The return of August shows the following aggregate enrolled: Ridley, 225; Herrod, 152; Turner, 156; Wofford, 142; Sanderson, 116; Bradford, 145; Cowan, 138; Ralston, 99; Bowman, 123; Abbay, 142;. total 1,472, of which 1,022 were present. The regimental headquarters were at Snyder's Bluff October 4, and at Vicksburg January 19, 1863.

Ralston's company was reported detached at Port Hudson in August, 1862. They crossed the river and became a part of the Confederate forces afterward under the command of Gen. Richard Taylor. [Note from elsewhere in "Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898" regarding Ralston’s Company: In action at Grand Gulf, 1862; ordered to Port Hudson after the close of bombardment of Vicksburg; fired the first gun at the Essex in August; ordered to the Trans-Mississippi department in September, 1862. With Gen. Alfred Mouton's command, in the LaFourche district, and in battle of Donaldsonville, October 27, suffered severely. Captain Ralston was wounded and captured. "This officer managed his battery with coolness and ability and deserves much praise," Mouton said. Engagements to close of war, Bayou Lafourche, Franklin, La., Milliken Bend, Lake Providence, Red River, Pineville, Grand Ecore. Federal report, November, 1864, Connor Battery, commanded by Lieutenant Foulk, ordered back to Monroe, La., time of Price's raid in Missouri. Mississippi Battery, Capt. Benjamin Wade, in Trans-Mississippi Army, reported December 31, 1864, attached to Semmes' Battalion Horse Artillery, Maxey's Cavalry Division. At Alexandria January, 865.] Herrod's, Bradford's and Abbay's companies were sent to Port Hudson later in 1862.

Five companies of the regiment were in the Vicksburg campaign of December 1862. Gen. Stephen D. Lee, in command of the Chickasaw Bayou line, from the city to Snyder's Mill on the Yazoo, the line attacked by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, mentioned Col. Withers, given a brigade command, "..who exhibited high soldierly qualities and great gallantry, first in holding the enemy in check after landing and in repulsing him when my right flank was threatened. His dispositions were excellent...Of the artillery, I would particularly mention Major Holmes. Captain Wofford exhibited great gallantry and coolness, and to him is due more credit than to any one else for such defenses as were at Chickasaw Bayou, he having planned and executed most of them. Lieutenants Johnston, Duncan, Tarleton and Weems behaved well."

On December 26, when Sherman effected a landing, driving in Lee's pickets, Col. Withers, with the Seventeenth Louisiana, two companies of the 46th Mississippi, and Capt. Wofford with a howitzer of Company D, held the Federal skirmishers in check near Mrs. Lake's plantation, in good style, driving them back into the woods. Under a heavier attack next morning, Withers took position and held it, in a woods a short distance up the bayou.
That night, Withers and his infantry were transferred to Blake's Levee, where the Federals had appeared in considerable force, giving Lee much uneasiness. Withers was given command of the right wing of Lee's line of defense. Here Withers had Bowman's Battery. The arrangement was made none too soon, said Lee.
On December 28, the Federals carried the position where Withers had been, but at the levee the attack was repulsed, the two Napoleon guns, under Lt. Johnston, Company A, doing admirable service. The next day, was the principal assault, which failed with heavy loss. Lt. W. A. Lockhart was in charge of the 12lb. howitzer engaged at the plantation on the 17th.

On December 28, Johnston's two Napoleons swept the space between the lake and levee, and three guns of Bowman's Battery were posted to open fire when the enemy should turn the angle of the levee. All day, though under heavy fire, they held the Federals in check.
About 11:00 A. M. the troops across the lake were driven in and the Federal artillery advanced to McNutt's Lake and opened fire on the batteries on the left of Withers' command -- two of Wofford's guns, under Lt. J. W. Weems; two howitzers, under Capt. Wofford; a section of Company E, under Capt. N. J. Drew, and the other section of E at the Indian mound. The heaviest fire was on Wofford's four guns, and his loss of men was heavy, but night found the survivors at their posts. Capt. Drew, having one of his pieces disabled, left the field with the other. Next day his battery was commanded by Lt. Duncan. Part of Woffords' men, not needed with the artillery, took their places with muskets in the trenches.

On December 29, when the main attack was developed on the center of Lee's line, Withers sent two Louisiana regiments of infantry and one gun from Company E, under Lt. W. J. Duncan, to the point of danger. As the Federal column assaulted it was played upon from the right by Lieut. Johnston's Napoleons and a 6lb. of Company I, under Lt. John F. Tye, with marked effect. The assault was unsuccessful and the Federals retreated, being thrown into greater confusion by one of the Parrott guns of Company E, taking them in the flank as they crossed the bed of the dry lake. When another column advanced it was soon checked by Duncan's gun and other artillery. Some of the pieces fired 120 rounds each during this action, and the firing was rapid and accurate. During the evening the Federals attempted to throw a pontoon bridge across McNutt's Lake, but Duncan and Wofford soon put a stop to it, and Gen. Lee ordered them to fire at intervals through the night.
In apprehension of another attack, Withers was reinforced January 2, but Sherman's army was re-embarking, and Withers commanded the three brigades of infantry which moved out and found the camps deserted. Lt. Johnston and a section of Wofford's Battery accompanied this expedition. One of Johnston's guns was left on picket at the Yazoo.

Six guns of Company A, Capt. Ridley; all of Company G, Capt. Cowan, were posted at Snyder's Bluff, which was threatened but not attacked. Col. Withers complimented in his report Major Holmes, who had general oversight of the batteries in the field; Adjutant J. L. Power, Sergeant-Major W. D. Elder, Quartermaster-Sergeant J. C. Henley, and his Aides, Lt. S. S. Champion, of Johnson's Cavalry, and Capt. Gaines, Volunteer Aide; and Capts. Wofford and Bowman, Lts. Lockhart, Weems, Johnston, Tye, and Lts. William J. Cottingham and J. A. Guest, of Company E. Casualties: Bowman, 1 killed; Drew, 2 killed, 3 wounded; Wofford, 1 killed, 4 wounded.

In his report, Lt. Gen. Pemberton particularly complimented, among others, "Colonel Withers, who first commanded the force at Chickasaw Bayou and afterward at Blake's Levee," and named the First Mississippi Artillery as one of the commands "entitled to the highest distinction."

In January 1863, the regiment was listed as a part of Gen. S. D. Lee's command at Vicksburg. February, effective present, 789. Companies A and G were detached with Hebert's Brigade at Snyder's Bluff; B, F and K were at Port Hudson; C was in the Grenada district, D was at Chickasaw Bayou, H was in Southwest Louisiana, Drew (E) was attached to Baldwin's Brigade, and Bowman (I) to Vaughn's Brigade, at Vicksburg.
In the period of the sieges of Vicksburg and Port Hudson a section of Ralston's Battery was on duty with Col. I. F. Harrison on the west side of the river.

At the battle of Baker's Creek on May 15, Col. Withers took an important part. Pemberton reported: "Col. W. T. Withers, Chief of Field Artillery, with the army, was active and attentive to his duties and prompt in the execution of orders. In addition to his duties as chief of artillery, Colonel Withers continued in the command of his regiment. He also accompanied me on the field."

At the opening of the Vicksburg campaign of 1863, Company A had eight guns in four sections, commanded by Lieutenants Hooker, Sharkey (Ratliff’s), Lancaster and Johnston. In the battle at Champion's Hill on May 16, Captain Ridley commanded Johnston's and Sharkey's sections, which were posted on the left of Barton’s Brigade, the left brigade of Stevenson's line.
After the Federal attack had pushed the brigades of Lee and Cumming, the onslaught fell, with overwhelming numbers, upon Barton, who though he charged gallantly, was forced back and entirely cut off from the rest of the division. It was here that Major Joseph W. Anderson, Stevenson's Chief of Artillery, met his death. "Here, too, the gallant Ridley, refusing to leave his guns, single-handed and alone fought until he fell, pierced with six shots, winning even from his enemies the highest tribute of admiration." (Stevenson). The horses being nearly all killed, almost all of Stevenson's guns were captured. The main part of Barton's Brigade was captured. Lt. Johnston and a few men escaped and reported at Big Black that night.

Withers personally assisted in bringing up Featherston's Brigade. Loring said: "It was a scene ever to be remembered, when the gallant Withers and his brave men, with their fine part of artillery, stood unflinchingly amid a shower of shot and shell before the approach of the enemy in overwhelming force, after his supports had been driven back, trusting that a succoring command would arrive in time to save his batteries." Early on the day of battle, Gen. Barton posted Sharkey's section, supported by the 42nd Georgia, to hold the bridge over Baker's Creek. In his report, Barton named Lt. Sharkey among those remembered for marked and distinguished gallantry.

Half of the company, under Lt. Hooker, with four guns, was not engaged at Champion's Hill. Moving out from Vicksburg, they joined the brigade of General Baldwin near the Big Black May 12, and on May 15, were ordered forward to the support of Gen. Vaughn's Brigade, in the works at the head of the railroad bridge, which Pemberton attempted to hold until he could hear from General Loring.
This position was assaulted by the Federal army on May 17, and Hooker's command participated in the defense that was made, until the rout of the infantry made their position untenable. Lancaster's battery was engaged and Hooker's under Lt. Johnston, who was severely wounded by the explosion of ammunition, which disabled one gun, three men being injured at the same time. One of Johnston's guns was brought into Vicksburg. Lancaster's two Parrot guns, stationed half mile east of bridge, on south side of railroad, were captured.

In the second week of the siege of Vicksburg, Lt. Hooker, commanding the company, was severely wounded, losing his left arm. Lieutenant Ratliff was in command of Turner's Battery and acting Chief of Artillery of Hebert's Brigade, after Col. C. H. Herrick was mortally wounded May 19.

Power's roll of Company A shows: Killed at Baker's Creek, 8; wounded, 2; captured, 8; battle of Baker's Creek, killed, 8; wounded, 2; captured, 8; Big Black, wounded, 1; siege of Vicksburg, killed, 6; wounded, 6. General Hebert, with whose brigade part of the company was stationed during the siege, reported its casualties as 2 wounded. Part of the company was with Moore's Brigade. Markers 139 and 169 show the site of four 12-pounder howitzers under the command of Capt. C. E. Hooker.

Company G, Capt. Cowan, stationed at Snyder's Bluff, went to the field at Baker's Creek, with Tilghman's Brigade of Loring's Division, which was the left of Pemberton's army, and not seriously engaged. The battery was posted about the middle of Loring's line. The enemy was not far distant in their front, but also inactive throughout the day until about 3:00 P. M., when Gen. Tilghman fired a few rounds from one of Cowan's guns.
This brought out a heavy fire from two Federal batteries posted on Coken's Hill, under which Tilghman was killed. Cowan responded, engaging the Chicago Mercantile Battery. When the retreat began the route selected was impassable for the artillery, and General Loring ordered the guns spiked and abandoned. General Loring was not attempting to rejoin Pemberton's army, considering himself cut off. Colonel A. E. Reynolds, commanding Tilghman's Brigade, reported that the battery had several men wounded and had expended most of the ammunition. In the night march he said: "Captain Cowan and all his men left the command and have not been heard from since." Lt. Tompkins, however, and 78 men, were with the brigade, Captain Cowan, Lieutenants Hanes, Cowan and Edwards, and the remainder of the company, had rejoined the main army under General Pemberton. "An 18-pounder, a 30lb. Parrott and a Whitworth gun were placed during the siege in rear of my line and commanded by Captain Cowan," Gen. John C. Moore reported. Part of the men fought in the trenches as infantry.

Company D, Wofford's, two 6lb., two 12lb. howitzers, was at Baker's Creek with General Loring, and were not engaged. Gen. W. E. Baldwin reported that after he took position in the line of works at Vicksburg, May 18, checking the rapid advance of Grant's army that hoped to enter Vicksburg at once, he was reinforced by light artillery, including three howitzers, two 6-poundors and two 3-inch rifles, served by Wofford's company, all the artillery on his line under the immediate direction of Captain Wofford as Chief or Artillery for the brigade.
They took part in the repulse of the assault of May 19 and continued on duty through the siege. In Baldwin's final report Captain Wofford was commended for gallantry. Lt. E. J. Weems commanded a two-gun battery until he was killed. Other sections were commanded by Lts. A. G. Arnold and M. R. Eakin. Sergts. Sproles and Shelton had charge of guns.

Company I, Capt. Bowman, during the siege of Vicksburg was stationed at or near the road leading out from Cherry Street, about 1.5 miles below Vicksburg (Hall's Ferry road). The company was not in the Baker's Creek campaign. At the beginning of the siege there were about 115 men on duty. Capt. Bowman was disabled by sickness and the officers on duty were Lts. Bower, Tye, D. W. Lamkin and John Patton. Col. Reynolds, commanding Fourth Brigade, Stevenson's Division, reported that his artillery consisted of five light pieces under Capt. F. O. Claiborne, one piece under Captain Corput on the left, one section under Lieutenant Bower on the right, one piece under Sgt. Hairston (Vaiden Artillery) on the right, one siege piece under Lt. George P. Crane on the left center. The positions of four of Bowman's guns are marked on the line, Markers 163, 187, 190, 194.

Company E, Capt. N. J. Drew, attached to Baldwin's Brigade. A section under Lt. W. J. Duncan served with Gen. S. D. Lee's Brigade during the siege. The company is in list of commands which crossed the river and returned to their homes after the surrender of Vicksburg. Capt. Drew commanded his battery in 1864 attached to Polignac's Division, Trans-Mississippi Army.

Turner's company (C) was attached to General Loring's command at Grenada in 1862, and participated in the defense of Fort Pemberton at the head of the Yazoo River during the early months of 1863, that position being assailed by a naval force and infantry brought down Yazoo Pass from the Mississippi. Afterward the battery was sent to Snyder's Bluff, where Lt. Ratliff, Company A, was detailed as its commander. It then had about 90 effective men, besides the non-commissioned officers, under Lts. Collier, Flowers and Eubanks, Dr. Turner, the Captain, having resigned.
The company was in a deplorable condition after its work in the swamps, but soon got into fighting trim and took position on the Vicksburg lines at the beginning of the siege, with Hebert's Brigade, on the left of the Jackson road, where the main part of the company remained through the siege, under the command of Lt. Ratliff, Brigade Chief of Artillery. There were about thirty casualties in the company and Lieutenant Eubanks was severely wounded. Four men were wounded by the mine explosion of July 1. The partial reports show 3 killed, 13 wounded, 2 missing, during the siege. Gen. John C. Moore reported part of this battery in his command

The Vaiden Artillery, Capt. Bains, added to the regiment as Company L, was on duty throughout the siege, part of the company in the center batteries on the river under Maj. Ogden and Col. Ed. Higgins, and one section under Lt. Elbert M. Collins with General Lee on the land line. General Lee gave special mention in his report to Lieutenants Duncan (E) and Collins (L). Lt. A. J. Sanderson commanded a 10lb. rifled gun, Lieut. E. L. Wood 12lb., and Lt. J. S. Young was killed in command of a 12lb. howitzer, with Cumming's Brigade. Tablets 212, 214, 215.

The battalion at Port Hudson was no less heroic and devoted. Abbay's, Bradford's and Herrod's companies, at Port Hudson, had two wounded, March 14, 1863, when Admiral Farragut ran the batteries and the man-of-war Mississippi was burned, and other boats driven back, including the Essex.

Herrod's Battery had a prominent part in the fight at Plains Store, near Port Hudson, with the advance of Banks' army, May 21, 1863. Capt. Herrod and several men were wounded. Lt. Edrington, Sergeant Alex Kerr and Corporal Lee killed. In the same fight Abbay's Battery was distinguished and suffered severely, twenty-one being killed and wounded, according to Lieut. E. V. Miller. Among the killed were Lieutenant Pierce and First Sergeant H. J. Gorman.
During the 50 days' siege of Port Hudson Sgt. W. B. Mires, of this company, and 6 others were killed. The battalion had lost 11 killed and 33 wounded up to June 1, after which there are no official reports. The three companies were included in the surrender of July 8, after which the officers were sent north to prison camps and the non-commissioned officers and men paroled.
The latter assembled at parole camp at Enterprise, and having no guns, formed an infantry battalion, under the command of Major Jefferson L. Wofford. They took part in the battle of Harrisburg, July, 1864, and subsequently were ordered to Mobile.

Lt. Tompkins and the portion of Cowan's Battery that did not return to Vicksburg from Baker's Creek, joined Gen. Wirt Adams' Cavalry, and was in that service until the battery was equipped and its complement of men made up by detail from Captain Smith's company of the Fifteenth Infantry. They served under the command of Major Culberson with Johnston's army in Mississippi, until after the exchange of Vicksburg prisoners, when the old company was reorganized under Capt. Cowan, at Demopolis.
The company was attached to Loring's Division of the Army of Mississippi, Lt. Gen. Polk commanding, the division artillery battalion commanded by Maj. John D. Myrick in Atlanta campaign; Lt. George H. Tompkins commanding, July 31, four 12lb. Napoleon guns. They were posted on hills during battle of Resaca, were effectively engaged in the battle near Marietta, June 27,and rendered good service throughout the campaign. Corporal Dancy was killed and one wounded at Resaca, and two were wounded at New Hope Church. They accompanied Hood into North Georgia in the fall of 1864 and into Tennessee in November and December.
In the first day's battle at Nashville, the battery was ordered to report to Gen. Ed. Johnson, on the extreme left, and they arrived on the gallop and went into position in time to be run over and lose their guns. That night, the guns of Haskins' Battery were turned over to the company, and, thus equipped, they took part in the battle of December 16.
On the retreat, Tompkins took three guns to Decatur and engaged a gunboat that threatened the pontoon bridge. They delayed the boat from daylight December 26, till about 2:00 P.M., when a shell dismounted a gun and wounded Tompkins and one other and killed one of the men.

The companies surrendered at Vicksburg, July 4, 1863, also assembled in the parole camp at Enterprise, where 291 of the regiment were reported present in November, 1863; in December, 481 not exchanged.
On January 1, 1864, 160 officers and men in parole camp at Enterprise, aggregate present and absent, 1,056. Those present and exchanged, arrived at Demopolis, Ala., February 20, General Polk's forces having retreated there before Gen. Sherman's advance to Meridian, and were ordered to report to Gen. Maury, commanding at Mobile. The regimental order book shows headquarters at Enterprise, January 14, 1864, Capt. J. J. Cowan commanding the regiment; at Mobile on February 21, Capt. E. L. Bower commanding the regiment; at Mobile March, Capt. E. L. Bower commanding battalion First Regiment; at Selma, on March 9, Col. W. T. Withers commanding regiment.

On May 14, 1864, there were about 80 men in the parole camp at Demopolis of the various companies of this regiment, "and the regiment is divided, one company acting as horse artillery in the cavalry command of Gen. S. D. Lee, and the others doing provost duty in Mobile." The company of horse artillery participated in the battle of Harrisburg on July 14, 1864. The command at Mobile was composed of Companies B, C, D, I, K, which were listed June 1, Capt. George F. Abbay commanding, in Fuller's Artillery Brigade; and on June 30, Capt. J. L. Bradford commanding, brigade of Gen. Edward Higgins, Mobile.

Maj. J. L. Wofford was field officer of Artillery, Cavalry Corps commanded by Maj.-Gen. Stephen D. Lee.

Company A, Capt. William T. Ratliff, was assigned to Loring's Division, General Polk's army, headquarters Demopolis, Alabama, early in 1864. In May, the company is reported at Canton, attached to Wirt Adams' Cavalry, one 12lb. howitzer, two 6lb., one 3.3-inch rifle.
In August, 85 men present, 215 aggregate. Company A, Ratliff commanding, was with Gen. Wirt Adams in the attack upon General Slocum's expedition as it retreated from Jackson toward Vicksburg, July, 1864.
The first attack was made in the evening of July 6, at the Barrett Farm, west of Jackson, in which Lieutenant Johnston's section participated, posted at the steam mill, and Lancaster's section of 20-pounder Blakely guns in front of Lee's house. The 46th and 76th sustained the attack mainly, supported by Bolton's Battery.
Col. Jones, of the 46th, reported that, after a vigorous skirmish under a heavy fire of shot and shell, they passed the night in line of battle, made a demonstration of attack next morning, and were, for three hours, under a galling fire until the trains had passed, when he fell back under "a withering fire, his ranks torn by shell," and "again subjected to severe shelling, some shots telling fearfully in our ranks," as they took up the march as rear guard. The casualties of the two regiments, including the repulse of Gholson's charge on the 7th, were 19 killed, 99 wounded. Ratliff's men had 5 wounded. The losses in Gholson's Brigade were heavy. October 31, 1864, Ratliff's Battery at Dry Grove; 109 present, four guns.

Part of the regiment, besides Cowan's Battery, was in the siege of Atlanta. August 3, 1864, General Maury at Mobile wrote to Gen. Brazton Bragg: "Please send back my heavy artillerists, the Louisiana Artillery and First Mississippi Artillery." Gen. John B. Hood, at Atlanta, August 4: "The First Mississippi Battalion goes tonight."

Regimental headquarters at Tensas Landing, on August 10, Col. Withers commanding; at Sibley's Mills, east shore Mobile Bay, on August 23, Major Wofford commanding; at Mobile thereafter, November, 1864, First Mississippi Artillery, Capt. Marquis L. Cooke, in Maury's command; Bradford's and Ratliff’s Battery in Southwest Mississippi. Two guns of Bradford's Battery were captured at Brookhaven, November 18, 1864, by an expedition from Baton Rouge under Colonel Fonda, who "surprised the town by daylight, scattering a small infantry force and capturing a section of artillery with caissons. The gunners were, many of them, shot down at their pieces." (Gen. A. L. Lee's report). Private Winn was killed in this fight. January, 1865, Abbay's Battery, 80 present, four field guns, in Semple's Battalion Artillery, Mobile; March, 1865, Company L, at Battery Mclntosh, Mobile Bay; Company G, Captain Cowan, in Grayson's Battalion, right wing defenses of Mobile, Col. Melancthon Smith commanding. The Vaiden company manned a battery of heavy artillery.

The Mobile Battalion was ordered to Blakeley, where they served during the siege by General Canby, a period of fierce fighting, ending in the capture of the garrison, April 9, 1865. They were taken to Ship Island, and, after the capitulation by General Taylor, May 4, to Vicksburg, and finally paroled.

On the night of [?]9, 186[?], a railroad train on which the battalion commanded by Major Wofford was traveling between Montgomery and Mobile, ran into a landslide, with fatal results. Casualties: Company B, 7 killed, 28 wounded. 2 dangerously and 11 seriously; Company C, 4 seriously wounded; Company D, 4 killed, 16 wounded; Company I, 4 slightly wounded; Company K, 4 slightly wounded.

The final statements, incomplete, give the names of officers and men who died in the service: Company A, 25; Company B, 20; Company C, 43; Company D, 33; Company E, 25; Company F, 19; Company G, 6; Company I, 23; Company K, 21.

Field and Staff

  • Commander: William T. Withers (Colonel)
  • Lieutenant Colonel:James P. Parker
  • Major:Benjamin R. Holmes, Jefferson L. Wofford
  • Adjutant: ?


  • **See individual Companies**

Companies & Counties of Origin

Company Counties Formed From Also Known As
A Hinds and Madison Counties Ridley’s Battery (aka Jackson Light Artillery)
B Yazoo County Herrod’s Battery (aka Vaughan Rebels)
C Choctaw County Turner’s Battery
D Holmes County Wofford’s Battery
E Carroll County Carroll Light Artillery
F Lawrence County Bradford’s Battery
G Warren County Cowan’s Battery
H Adams County Connor Battery
I Yazoo County Bowman’s Battery
K Claiborne and Jefferson Counties Abbay’s Battery
L Carroll County Vaiden Artillery [Designation changed to Company E on March 6, 1865]
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Battles, Skirmishes and Engagements

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