New Old Guy

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Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
6,663
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
I'm glad to be on line with ya'll. I'm many years into researching The Men of Stanford's Mississippi Battery and my "new" quest, Turner's Battery, that is 1st Mississippi Light, Company C. I've reenacted static and horse drawn artillery for about 20 years now.
Welcome !

Shiloh after battle report:
Report of Capt. T. J. Stanford, Mississippi Battery.

CAMP, NEAR CORINTH, MISS., April 10, 1862.
I have the honor to report that, owing to the fact that there were no
distinct roads through the woods, and the undergrowth being quite thick,
I found it quite impossible to follow the course taken by the brigade on
the morning of the 6th sufficiently fast to keep in position; consequently
soon found my command entirely disconnected. Left to my own
judgment, I determined to advance in the direction of the enemy as
indicated by the firing. I soon found myself in front of one of their
batteries, which opened fire upon us at a distance of about 600 yards.
My guns were placed in position as soon as possible in the face of a fire
that was telling both on men and horses with terrible effect. In about
fifteen minutes their firing ceased, and I was gratified to know that an
infantry regiment very soon took possession of it without firing a gun.
Subsequently during the day I occupied positions under orders from
Gen.'s Beauregard, Ruggles, and others.

On Monday morning (the 7th), while awaiting orders from you, orders
were received from Gen. Beauregard to advance to the support of a
column commanded by Gen. Breckinridge.

About 11 a.m. a battery, which had been firing all the morning and up
to this time I had supposed to be one of our own, opened fire upon us.
After assuring myself that they were certainly our enemy, I opened upon
them with solid shot and spherical case at a range of 500 yards. The
cannonading continued about thirty minutes, they changing their position
once during the time.

At this juncture Gen. Breckinridge moved forward his column with
a view of capturing the battery. The charge was a gallant one. The men,
promptly answering the call of their leaders, went forward with a shout.
They met with a check, however, from the enemy, who were lying in
ambush in numbers not less than 3,000 strong. When I saw the
command of Gen. Breckinridge retiring, I gave orders for canister to
be brought forward, and prepared to give them a warm reception. This
we did as soon as their front was unmasked, and for thirty minutes we
held them in check, their ranks broken and wavering in many places,
showing plainly that but a little better support from infantry, which was
not given us, would have sufficed to have routed them completely. At
no time was the distance more than 300 yards, and this was reduced to
50 yards when the last gun was discharged. A part of the time they filed
passed in four ranks, with the intention of flanking us. It was then the
grape had the most terrible effect upon them. Large gaps were made by
every gun at each discharge. Three regimental flags being in full view,
I gave orders to point at them, and soon had the satisfaction of seeing
two of them fall to the ground, both being raised again. One was again
cut down. Being hard pressed, and almost surrounded by their large
force, I determined to withdraw my command, or such part of it as I
could move. My horses being nearly all killed, I could only bring away
two pieces, leaving four upon the field. These, however, we did not
abandon till the last moment, making them pay dearly for their
purchase. The effect of my determined stand, after all support had left
me, though disastrous to my immediate command, was certainly
beneficial to our common cause, as it gave commanders of infantry
regiments time to rally their forces before getting into a complete rout.
This I saw at a glance, and determined, if need be, to sacrifice my
battery.

Our losses were 4 killed, 14 wounded, and 2 taken prisoners; also about
60 horses, most of which were killed.

The officers and privates in my command acted with much bravery and
deliberation. Where all did so well it would be improper to make
distinctions.

Lieut.'s McSwine, Hardin, Trotter, and McCall all participated in
the two days' fight, and gave me efficient aid in the management and
firing of the pieces, frequently pointing and ranging them in person.

To Lieut. Dunlap, temporarily attached to my command, I am
indebted for valuable services during the battle. He showed himself
equal to the occasion.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

T. J. STANFORD,
Cmdg. Stanford's Battery.

Brig.-Gen. STEWART,
Comdg. Second Brig., First Div., Army of the Mississippi.

Source: Official Records: Series I. Vol. 10. Part I, Reports. Serial No. 10


Stone's River after battle report:

Report of Capt. T. J. Stanford, Mississippi Battery.

CAMP NEAR SHELBYVILLE, TENN.,
January 12, 1863.
On Monday morning, December 29, 1862, the battery moved from the
camp, 1 miles west of Murfreesborough, to its position, with the
brigade, in line of battle on the west side of Stone's River, in rear of
Mrs. James'
house. Here we remained all day, nothing of interest occurring, and the
monotony disturbed only by an occasional shot from the rifle batteries
of the enemy passing over us.

On Tuesday morning heavy skirmishing commenced on our left, and
was kept up with but little intermission during the day, and, though we
did not participate in the fight until evening, the battery was more
exposed to random shots than on the previous day. About 3 o'clock in
the afternoon an order was received to send two of my pieces to the left,
to assist in dislodging the enemy from a certain point. Accordingly, I
dispatched Lieut. Hardin with the first section, who promptly went
forward to perform the duty. After an absence of about an hour the
section returned but without its leader. Lieut. Hardin, after having
performed the object of his mission, and withdrawn the section with the
view of rejoining us, was suddenly killed by a cannon shot. A gallant
officer, a true soldier, and a Christian gentleman, he adds another to the
log list of martyrs who have given their lives to their country's cause.
Private M. Hartsfield received a painful but not dangerous flesh wound
in this engagement.

On Wednesday morning about 9 o'clock I moved in rear of the brigade,
on the road leading through the wood on our left, and while moving
received an order from Gen. Polk to take position in the old field on
the right of the Wilkinson pike, and support Capt. [O. W.] Barret's
battery. This field, you will recollect, is the one extending to the
enemy's lines, and, being for the most part level, his works covered and
his guns swept every foot of the ground. Here I remained during the
day, changing position only as circumstances required, or the retreating
enemy invited to follow. Several times during the day the fire of the
battery had a telling effect upon their lines of infantry, which were
plainly to be seen. At one time they occupied a strong position in front
of the little log-house (daubed with red mud), and held in check our
forces, who had to march across an open flat of ground to attack them.
Arriving in position in time to observe the enemy and the repulse of our
forces at the same time, I threw a few well-directed shots into their
ranks, which caused them to retreat precipitately. Our lines immediately
advanced, occupied the position, and continued to drive them. Again,
later in the afternoon, I advanced as far as the Cowan or burnt brick
house, on the Nashville pike, from which point although exposed to a
galling fire from their batteries, we succeeded in pouring a very
destructive fire into their ranks, causing them to give back from several
points, and materially aiding our infantry in their advance. Here we lost
2 men and several horses killed and one limber disabled. All day we
were under fire from their batteries, until late in the evening, when we
were ordered to resume our original position.

On Thursday morning I moved to a position on the Nashville pike, at
the point where the railroad crosses that road, and remained all day and
part of the following night without firing a gun. Indeed, there was no
fighting and but little skirmishing on our lines during the time. Orders
being received during the night, my battery, together with the other
batteries of the division, moved, and was placed in the open woods on
the right of the railroad, about 500 yards north of the Cowan or burnt
brick house. Chalmers' brigade was sent to support us.

Very early in the morning (Friday) it became evident that the enemy
would dispute with us for this ground. Twice during the day their
skirmishers drove ours in, and the heavy columns of infantry following
were only repulsed by our artillery. It having been determined that
Gen. Breckinridge should attack them on our right, orders were sent
to me
that precisely at 4 o'clock I should open with my battery on the left of
the woods skirting the river bank, and upon the enemy's batteries, in
order, as I inferred, to draw their fire from our right. This I evidently
succeeded in doing. They turned all their batteries on me, producing a
concentration of shot and shell such as I never before witnessed. During
the night I returned to the place I had left in the morning, and on
Saturday morning moved to our extreme left, to resist a movement the
enemy were supposed to be making in that direction. Here we remained
until late in the evening, when orders were given to move to the rear of
Murfreesborough. My movements each day of the fight were governed
by orders directly from Lieut.-Gen. Polk. As usual, I did not
move with your brigade in the fight, but I do not doubt but that I gave
you as much support as though I had, for my positions covered your
right and front as effectually as if I had been with you, and perhaps
better.

I feel satisfied with the part the battery played, and know that I did our
cause some service. Considering the exposed situation of the company,
if would appear strange that we lost so few killed and wounded. This
must be accounted for from the fact that I kept my caissons in the rear,
out of range of the shot, and the limbers and drivers were, for the most
part, sheltered. Only the officers and cannoneers were exposed all the
time; nevertheless, we have to mourn the loss of 3 killed and 4
wounded-all by cannon shot. There were also 7 horses killed.

To Lieut.'s [H. R.] McSwine and [J. S.] McCall I am much
indebted for the proper management of the battery in the several
engagements in which participated. The whole company acted bravely,
doing no discredit to their reputation gained at Shiloh and Perryville.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

T. J. STANFORD,
Capt., Cmdg. Light Battery.

Brig. Gen. ALEXANDER P. STEWART,
Comdg. Second Brig., First Div., Polk's Corps, Army of Tenn.

Source: Official Records
PAGE 732-29 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. [CHAP. XXXII.
[Series I. Vol. 20. Part I, Reports. Serial No. 29.]
 
Last edited:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
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JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
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JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

nc native

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 30, 2011
Messages
568
Location
NC Piedmont
Hello and welcome from Wake County, North Carolina. I have a question for you. How do you protect your hearing when working with artillery? I have quite a few modern day firearms and a couple of black powder pistols and they are loud enough even with earmuffs and earplugs. I bet your ears ring for days after an reenactment.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
20
Welcome !

Shiloh after battle report:
Report of Capt. T. J. Stanford, Mississippi Battery.

CAMP, NEAR CORINTH, MISS., April 10, 1862.
I have the honor to report that, owing to the fact that there were no
distinct roads through the woods, and the undergrowth being quite thick,
I found it quite impossible to follow the course taken by the brigade on
the morning of the 6th sufficiently fast to keep in position; consequently
soon found my command entirely disconnected. Left to my own
judgment, I determined to advance in the direction of the enemy as
indicated by the firing. I soon found myself in front of one of their
batteries, which opened fire upon us at a distance of about 600 yards.
My guns were placed in position as soon as possible in the face of a fire
that was telling both on men and horses with terrible effect. In about
fifteen minutes their firing ceased, and I was gratified to know that an
infantry regiment very soon took possession of it without firing a gun.
Subsequently during the day I occupied positions under orders from
Gen.'s Beauregard, Ruggles, and others.

On Monday morning (the 7th), while awaiting orders from you, orders
were received from Gen. Beauregard to advance to the support of a
column commanded by Gen. Breckinridge.

About 11 a.m. a battery, which had been firing all the morning and up
to this time I had supposed to be one of our own, opened fire upon us.
After assuring myself that they were certainly our enemy, I opened upon
them with solid shot and spherical case at a range of 500 yards. The
cannonading continued about thirty minutes, they changing their position
once during the time.

At this juncture Gen. Breckinridge moved forward his column with
a view of capturing the battery. The charge was a gallant one. The men,
promptly answering the call of their leaders, went forward with a shout.
They met with a check, however, from the enemy, who were lying in
ambush in numbers not less than 3,000 strong. When I saw the
command of Gen. Breckinridge retiring, I gave orders for canister to
be brought forward, and prepared to give them a warm reception. This
we did as soon as their front was unmasked, and for thirty minutes we
held them in check, their ranks broken and wavering in many places,
showing plainly that but a little better support from infantry, which was
not given us, would have sufficed to have routed them completely. At
no time was the distance more than 300 yards, and this was reduced to
50 yards when the last gun was discharged. A part of the time they filed
passed in four ranks, with the intention of flanking us. It was then the
grape had the most terrible effect upon them. Large gaps were made by
every gun at each discharge. Three regimental flags being in full view,
I gave orders to point at them, and soon had the satisfaction of seeing
two of them fall to the ground, both being raised again. One was again
cut down. Being hard pressed, and almost surrounded by their large
force, I determined to withdraw my command, or such part of it as I
could move. My horses being nearly all killed, I could only bring away
two pieces, leaving four upon the field. These, however, we did not
abandon till the last moment, making them pay dearly for their
purchase. The effect of my determined stand, after all support had left
me, though disastrous to my immediate command, was certainly
beneficial to our common cause, as it gave commanders of infantry
regiments time to rally their forces before getting into a complete rout.
This I saw at a glance, and determined, if need be, to sacrifice my
battery.

Our losses were 4 killed, 14 wounded, and 2 taken prisoners; also about
60 horses, most of which were killed.

The officers and privates in my command acted with much bravery and
deliberation. Where all did so well it would be improper to make
distinctions.

Lieut.'s McSwine, Hardin, Trotter, and McCall all participated in
the two days' fight, and gave me efficient aid in the management and
firing of the pieces, frequently pointing and ranging them in person.

To Lieut. Dunlap, temporarily attached to my command, I am
indebted for valuable services during the battle. He showed himself
equal to the occasion.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

T. J. STANFORD,
Cmdg. Stanford's Battery.

Brig.-Gen. STEWART,
Comdg. Second Brig., First Div., Army of the Mississippi.

Source: Official Records: Series I. Vol. 10. Part I, Reports. Serial No. 10


Stone's River after battle report:

Report of Capt. T. J. Stanford, Mississippi Battery.

CAMP NEAR SHELBYVILLE, TENN.,
January 12, 1863.
On Monday morning, December 29, 1862, the battery moved from the
camp, 1 miles west of Murfreesborough, to its position, with the
brigade, in line of battle on the west side of Stone's River, in rear of
Mrs. James'
house. Here we remained all day, nothing of interest occurring, and the
monotony disturbed only by an occasional shot from the rifle batteries
of the enemy passing over us.

On Tuesday morning heavy skirmishing commenced on our left, and
was kept up with but little intermission during the day, and, though we
did not participate in the fight until evening, the battery was more
exposed to random shots than on the previous day. About 3 o'clock in
the afternoon an order was received to send two of my pieces to the left,
to assist in dislodging the enemy from a certain point. Accordingly, I
dispatched Lieut. Hardin with the first section, who promptly went
forward to perform the duty. After an absence of about an hour the
section returned but without its leader. Lieut. Hardin, after having
performed the object of his mission, and withdrawn the section with the
view of rejoining us, was suddenly killed by a cannon shot. A gallant
officer, a true soldier, and a Christian gentleman, he adds another to the
log list of martyrs who have given their lives to their country's cause.
Private M. Hartsfield received a painful but not dangerous flesh wound
in this engagement.

On Wednesday morning about 9 o'clock I moved in rear of the brigade,
on the road leading through the wood on our left, and while moving
received an order from Gen. Polk to take position in the old field on
the right of the Wilkinson pike, and support Capt. [O. W.] Barret's
battery. This field, you will recollect, is the one extending to the
enemy's lines, and, being for the most part level, his works covered and
his guns swept every foot of the ground. Here I remained during the
day, changing position only as circumstances required, or the retreating
enemy invited to follow. Several times during the day the fire of the
battery had a telling effect upon their lines of infantry, which were
plainly to be seen. At one time they occupied a strong position in front
of the little log-house (daubed with red mud), and held in check our
forces, who had to march across an open flat of ground to attack them.
Arriving in position in time to observe the enemy and the repulse of our
forces at the same time, I threw a few well-directed shots into their
ranks, which caused them to retreat precipitately. Our lines immediately
advanced, occupied the position, and continued to drive them. Again,
later in the afternoon, I advanced as far as the Cowan or burnt brick
house, on the Nashville pike, from which point although exposed to a
galling fire from their batteries, we succeeded in pouring a very
destructive fire into their ranks, causing them to give back from several
points, and materially aiding our infantry in their advance. Here we lost
2 men and several horses killed and one limber disabled. All day we
were under fire from their batteries, until late in the evening, when we
were ordered to resume our original position.

On Thursday morning I moved to a position on the Nashville pike, at
the point where the railroad crosses that road, and remained all day and
part of the following night without firing a gun. Indeed, there was no
fighting and but little skirmishing on our lines during the time. Orders
being received during the night, my battery, together with the other
batteries of the division, moved, and was placed in the open woods on
the right of the railroad, about 500 yards north of the Cowan or burnt
brick house. Chalmers' brigade was sent to support us.

Very early in the morning (Friday) it became evident that the enemy
would dispute with us for this ground. Twice during the day their
skirmishers drove ours in, and the heavy columns of infantry following
were only repulsed by our artillery. It having been determined that
Gen. Breckinridge should attack them on our right, orders were sent
to me
that precisely at 4 o'clock I should open with my battery on the left of
the woods skirting the river bank, and upon the enemy's batteries, in
order, as I inferred, to draw their fire from our right. This I evidently
succeeded in doing. They turned all their batteries on me, producing a
concentration of shot and shell such as I never before witnessed. During
the night I returned to the place I had left in the morning, and on
Saturday morning moved to our extreme left, to resist a movement the
enemy were supposed to be making in that direction. Here we remained
until late in the evening, when orders were given to move to the rear of
Murfreesborough. My movements each day of the fight were governed
by orders directly from Lieut.-Gen. Polk. As usual, I did not
move with your brigade in the fight, but I do not doubt but that I gave
you as much support as though I had, for my positions covered your
right and front as effectually as if I had been with you, and perhaps
better.

I feel satisfied with the part the battery played, and know that I did our
cause some service. Considering the exposed situation of the company,
if would appear strange that we lost so few killed and wounded. This
must be accounted for from the fact that I kept my caissons in the rear,
out of range of the shot, and the limbers and drivers were, for the most
part, sheltered. Only the officers and cannoneers were exposed all the
time; nevertheless, we have to mourn the loss of 3 killed and 4
wounded-all by cannon shot. There were also 7 horses killed.

To Lieut.'s [H. R.] McSwine and [J. S.] McCall I am much
indebted for the proper management of the battery in the several
engagements in which participated. The whole company acted bravely,
doing no discredit to their reputation gained at Shiloh and Perryville.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

T. J. STANFORD,
Capt., Cmdg. Light Battery.

Brig. Gen. ALEXANDER P. STEWART,
Comdg. Second Brig., First Div., Polk's Corps, Army of Tenn.

Source: Official Records
PAGE 732-29 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. [CHAP. XXXII.
[Series I. Vol. 20. Part I, Reports. Serial No. 29.]

Thanks, I have these reports, they tell a lot. The first report, at Shiloh, leaves out a fact I am impressed with. The artillery duel took place on the southeast side of what is now called "Lost Field", at Shiloh National Military Park, on April 6th at about nine AM. It was the first time the men of Stanford's Mississippi Battery heard the report of their guns, as they ad never had ammunition to fire their cannon. They had drilled to the point of exhaustion, but never fired them. They were commended for "Doing their duty as veterans, not the unseasoned men they were".
I have copies of four diaries and letters from three other men in the unit.
 
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