Byrne's Mississippi/Kentucky Battery at Shiloh

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Ole Miss

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While researching the different units engaged on both sides, I discovered Byrne's Mississippi/Kentucky Battery which appeared to be a mystery group. I decided to investigate this artillery unit and so began searching the Official Records of the Rebellion for their story. Interestingly enough I found this Official report briefly mentioning Captain Byrnes’s unit:

Report of Col. Robert P. Trabue, Fourth Kentucky Infantry, commanding First (Kentucky) Brigade.
Hdqrs. First Kentucky Brig., Reserve Corps,
Corinth, Miss. April 15, 1862.
Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the conduct of this brigade in the actions of the 6th and 7th instant, at Shiloh, and during the few days succeeding: Accompanying this will be found the reports of the various regimental and battery commanders, together with detailed statements of the killed, wounded, and missing.*...
*Reports not found


This of course peaked my curiosity I searched further with little luck. I did find the Shiloh National Military Park Facebook page which is copied below.
Regards
David

Byrne’s Mississippi/Kentucky Battery
To celebrate the dedication of the New Mississippi Monument in the park we will be featuring different Mississippi Units and their actions at the Battle of Shiloh, next is Byrne’s Battery which was raised by a Kentuckian living in Mississippi and is claimed by both states..


Edward P. Byrne a Kentuckian living near Greenville, Mississippi was quick to organize an artillery battery for Confederate service, when Mississippi seceded on January 9, 1861. The battery was equipped with support from the citizens of Washington County, Mississippi. Capt. Byrne went to Memphis where he contracted with Quinby & Robinson to manufacture four six-pounder guns and two twelve-pounder howitzers. The carriages were produced by Street, Hungerford, & Company of the same city. Capt. Byrne recruited the best men from Washington County and volunteered his battery to assist at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, but received a telegraph from Charleston that the fort had already fallen. Byrne on hearing of the fall of Fort Sumter, dragged a gun from Capt. William Miller’s Battery to the bluff in Memphis and fired the first salute in Tennessee. After recruiting troops in Kentucky, Capt. Byrne returned to Greenville to accompany his battery to Camp Boone near Clarksville, Tennessee. By the time the Confederates moved into Kentucky, occupying Bowling Green, on September 18, 1861, Byrnes Battery had been attached to the Confederate “Orphan Brigade” from Kentucky, even though it included a large number of Mississippians. In Bowling Green, a six-pounder was captured and added to Byrnes Battery, giving them seven guns.

Byrne’s Battery moved with the army back to Mississippi with Gen. Albert S. Johnston after the fall of Fort Donelson. They were attached to Col. Robert Trabue’s Brigade during the Battle of Shiloh. On April 6, 1862, Byrnes Battery was separated from Trabue’s Brigade and moved into a position by Gen. Braxton Bragg to engage Union Artillery near the Hornet’s Nest. In the afternoon they joined other units in the area to form a concentration of artillery in the area which came to be called Ruggle’s Battery, after Gen. Daniel Ruggles, whose staff helped organized this concentration. That night, Byrnes Battery was one of the last to withdraw, falling back to a captured Union camp to rejoin Trabue’s Brigade.

On April 7, the battery moved forward to a ridge on the left with Trabue’s Brigade where they engaged several Union Batteries. As they lost men from enemy fire and exhaustion, Col. Joseph Lewis of the 6th Kentucky detailed men to fill in as cannoneers. Eventually the Kentucky Brigade was moved off to the right leaving the battery without volunteers to fill in. After it appeared they had silenced the Union guns, Bragg complimented the battery and moved them 800 yards to the right where they fired canister and shell at the enemy who were advancing and suffered heavy losses. Bragg told them to hold their position , but they were out of ammunition and fell back toward Shiloh Church. After receiving ammunition from Cobb’s Battery, Byrne’s Battery assisted in covering the retreat of the Confederate Army to Corinth. They would reach Corinth on April 10, having lost fourteen men killed, wounded, or missing. When Daniel Beltzhoover was put in charge of Breckenridge’s artillery, Byrne felt slighted and resigned.

The Battery would see heavy action again in the Battle of Stones River where they suffered heavy casualties and they were disbanded.

Edward Byrne was promoted to colonel and put in charge of Gen. John H. Morgan’s horse artillery. He would be court martialed in 1864 for robbing a bank in Lexington, Kentucky during one of Morgan’s raids into Kentucky.^

*Pages (613-614) https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924077730160&view=1up&seq=635
^https://www.facebook.com/ShilohNMP/posts/byrnes-mississippikentucky-batteryto-celebrate-the-dedication-of-the-new-mississ/946043868818933/
 

Ole Miss

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Here are the 2 positions of Byrne's Battery at Shiloh and the markers for each one. The 1st marker is the location of the unit at the beginning of the battle
Regards
David
1559856769856.png

1559856800129.png

C. S.
ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI.
BYRNE'S MISSISSIPI BATTERY,
Trabue's (1st) Brigade,
Breckinridge's Corps.


This battery was engaged here April 7, 1862,
until about 10.30 a.m., when it retired to
Shiloh Church.
 

Ole Miss

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These photos are of Byrne's Battery location while participating in Ruggles' artillery assault on the lines of General's Wallace and Prentiss Sunday afternoon, April 6th.
David

1559857013601.png

1559857030047.png

C. S.
BYRNE'S MISSISSIPPI BATTERY,
Trabue's (1st) Brig., Breckinridge's Corps,
ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI.


This battery was engaged here Sunday afternoon
from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 6, 1862.
 
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