Cobb's (Lyon's) Kentucky Battery at Shiloh

Ole Miss

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
2,512
Location
North Mississippi
#1
Cobb’s (Lyon’s) Kentucky Battery, Cobb’s Kentucky Battery or the 1st Kentucky Battery is another unit for which no official report exists about its actions during the Battle of Shiloh. This is the same situation I faced while researching Byrne's Mississippi/Kentucky Battery recently.

I have pierced together some excerpts from Colonel Robert Trabue’s official report and items from other sources in an attempt to bring forth the performance of this battery to light again. Far too often the unit and the men who make up its complement are forgotten to history which is just wrong. Men who are willing to go to war to fight for their beliefs should be recognized for their fidelity to cause and country.

The battery was formed under the leadership of Hylan B. Lyon in 1861 and soon was ordered to Clarksville, TN and joined the Confederacy under the command of Captain Robert L. Cobb and assigned to General John C. Breckenridge’s Kentucky Brigade also known as the “Orphan Brigade.

The following quoted material is from the Shiloh National Park’s Monument Location System.
Regards
David

First Brigade-Reserve Corps-Army of the Mississippi
Colonel Robert P. Trabue

This brigade formed the advance of the reserve corps and reached the forks of the Bark and Pittsburg roads about 8 a.m. Sunday morning, April 6, 1862. It was sent forward on Pittsburg road to support General Polk's line and soon after deployed to the left of the road in the following order from left to right: Fourth Kentucky, Sixth Kentucky, Thirty-first Alabama, Fifth Kentucky, Fourth Alabama, Crew's Tennessee battalion, Third Kentucky, with Cobb's (Kentucky) battery and `Byrne's (Mississippi) battery in the rear.
 

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

DixieRifles

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
4,738
Location
Collierville, TN
#2
I checked FOLD3 to look at the Unit Information and it has their records combined with 2 or 3 other named batteries. The Unit info is only one page about Lt. McEnnis' artillery detachment. I was curious and looked for records of Capt Cobb but got no hits for his record.
However, I seem to have found his records in the Officer's file. Not much there; nothing related to the time before 1863.

Here is a summary of his career found in his file.
Capt Cobb.JPG
 

James N.

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
11,169
Location
East Texas
#3
DSC06097.JPG


First Brigade-Reserve Corps-Army of the Mississippi
Colonel Robert P. Trabue

This brigade formed the advance of the reserve corps and reached the forks of the Bark and Pittsburg roads about 8 a.m. Sunday morning, April 6, 1862. It was sent forward on Pittsburg road to support General Polk's line and soon after deployed to the left of the road in the following order from left to right: Fourth Kentucky, Sixth Kentucky, Thirty-first Alabama, Fifth Kentucky, Fourth Alabama, Crew's Tennessee battalion, Third Kentucky, with Cobb's (Kentucky) battery and `Byrne's (Mississippi) battery in the rear.
Here's a photo taken along the line of Ruggles' batteries opposing the Union line in the Sunken Road/Hornet's Nest that shows the position of what the NPS marker calls C. S. - Trabue's Kentucky Battery - Army of the Mississippi. Unfortunately, I can't read any more of the text than the title but think it only describes unit movements and not composition. Likely this is your same battery.
 
Last edited:

DixieRifles

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
4,738
Location
Collierville, TN
#4
Cobb’s (Lyon’s) Kentucky Battery, Cobb’s Kentucky Battery or the 1st Kentucky Battery is another unit for which no official report exists about its actions during the Battle of Shiloh
Your info about the unit's organization agrees with what I had. Here are details that I have.

Breckingride's Reserve Corps
Trabue's 1st Brigade

Lyon's (Cobb's) Kentucky Battery
Capt. Robert Cobb
Total men present: 114
Battery consisted of 4 X 6 Lb Smoothbore and 2 X 12 lb Howitzers %
Lost: 37 men

% Sounds like a lot of guns for 114 men.
 

Ole Miss

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
2,512
Location
North Mississippi
#5
I have found Confederate records, reports, and other military documentation to be a veritable **** shoot. The case of Captain Cobb being an example of a phantom figure who appears and disappears with little effort. It is frustrating when 1 source mentions a person or unit but there is no further information. It is sad that the actions of these individuals has been lost to history
Regards
David
 

James N.

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
11,169
Location
East Texas
#6
Your info about the unit's organization agrees with what I had. Here are details that I have.

Breckingride's Reserve Corps
Trabue's 1st Brigade

Lyon's (Cobb's) Kentucky Battery
Capt. Robert Cobb
Total men present: 114
Battery consisted of 4 X 6 Lb Smoothbore and 2 X 12 lb Howitzers %
Lost: 37 men

% Sounds like a lot of guns for 114 men.
That's only six pieces total, the "normal" for a battery of the time. (Although the AOT later standardized batteries at four guns, but that was after Shiloh.) A battery, like a company of infantry, was nominally around 90 - 100 or so, so this number seems about right for a six-gun battery. Refer to my post in the thread How to Fire a Civil War Cannon https://civilwartalk.com/threads/how-to-fire-a-civil-war-cannon.129546/post-1439199 for further details.
 
Last edited:

Ole Miss

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
2,512
Location
North Mississippi
#7
James that is a beautiful picture and here is the message on the Park Sign listed below. This was the second recorded position of Cobb's battery. As can be seen this unit had more names than a phone book, which makes a exciting course of research
David

1559930429100.png

C. S.
TRABUE'S KENTUCKY BATTERY,
ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI.


A battery, designated by Gen. Ruggles as "Captain
Trabue's Kentucky," was engaged here from about 3 p.m.
to 5.30 p.m. April 6, 1862. No other reference to this
battery can be found in the records.





1559930074322.png
 

Ole Miss

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
2,512
Location
North Mississippi
#8
Captain Cobb's official report of his battery's action at the Battle of Shiloh has been lost and we have only a brief mention of his unit in the Official Report of Colonel Robert P. Trabue listed below. I have also posted the pictures of the battery's first position and the tablet accompanying it.
Regards
David

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.*…


From this position, when it was nearly dark, we were ordered to the rear to encamp, which movement was effected in good order. I followed in the darkness of the night the Purdy road, after having reunited to my command Byrne’s battery and the others of my troops who had been detached to the right, not including, however, Cobb’s battery. This battery, after having been moved from the position in which I had placed it (as previously stated), maintained itself with extraordinary gallantry, as I am informed, against a large force, which, however, killed in the contest nearly all of its horses, and killed and wounded 37 of the men.

Having been thus disabled, Captain Cobb moved his battery off the field with mules to the rear, under orders to do so, all danger being past.

Captain Cobb, commanding light battery, unfortunately lost most of his horses and two of his pieces, but is represented to me as having fought with great courage and skill.^
1559930808025.png

1559930826426.png

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


This battery, of six guns, went into action here
about 11.30 a.m. April 6, 1862. At 12 m. its horses
were all killed and guns taken. The guns were re-
taken and four removed from the field but were not
used again at Shiloh.





^ Pages (616-617 and 620) https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924077730160&view=1up&seq=632
 



Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top