Phillips’ Battery; AKA “Johnston Light Artillery”; Formerly Eldridge’s Battery & Mebane’s Battery

Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Searching for information on this battery; A memoir from their time on Hood’s retreat until they reached Corinth would be ideal. Diary, etc. They supposedly were one of the first batteries, with their guns, to reach the Tennessee River on the retreat and went over to the south side prior to the pontoon bridge being completed. Here is a link to the unit’s history to help out:

https://tngenweb.org/civilwar/captain-j-w-phillips-light-artillery-company/
Thanks
 

Chris Rucker

Private
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Location
The Palmetto State
I'm researching Ferguson's SC Artillery Co., which was in Cobb's Battalion with Phillip's Co. and the 5th Co. of the Washington Artillery at the Battle of Nashville. Do you know where on the battlefield Phillip's was located? Ferguson's was on Rains Hill on the 15th, and Shy's Hill on the 16th. I've seen an account of Bledsoe's (MO) battery and Goldthwaite's (AL) battery with Ferguson's on Rains Hill. Trying to sort this out. There is an account of the retreat from Nashville written by Capt. Beauregard of Ferguson's, which doesn't mention Phillip's battery by name.

Chris Rucker
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
I'm researching Ferguson's SC Artillery Co., which was in Cobb's Battalion with Phillip's Co. and the 5th Co. of the Washington Artillery at the Battle of Nashville. Do you know where on the battlefield Phillip's was located? Ferguson's was on Rains Hill on the 15th, and Shy's Hill on the 16th. I've seen an account of Bledsoe's (MO) battery and Goldthwaite's (AL) battery with Ferguson's on Rains Hill. Trying to sort this out. There is an account of the retreat from Nashville written by Capt. Beauregard of Ferguson's, which doesn't mention Phillip's battery by name.

Chris Rucker
Hi Chris,
Thanks for responding to my post. I do not know where Phillips Battery was located on the battlefield, or even if he was there. Most of the artillery on the left and in the center were lost, as were more guns in the following days on the retreat. Most of the units that made it back to the Tennessee with their guns were either with S.D. Lee’s corps on the Confederate right, at Murfreesboro with Forrest, or detached, such as Marshall’s Battery, which was guarding the pontoon bridge at the Duck River.

The research I’m doing is related to the retreat and the crossing of the Tennessee at the Muscle Shoals. I have an eyewitness account that stated that a battery crossed the river with him, in pontoon boats, to take up a position to guard the pontoon bridge being constructed. This eyewitness believed the battery was Phillip’s TN Battery. The eyewitness, a sharpshooter crossed with this battery, but mentioned it no more, but did discuss firing on Union gunboats as they headed upriver towards Hood’s bridge. I have found two accounts, given by former cannoneers, mentioning 3 Confederate batteries (one battery with all its guns, one with only 1 gun, and another with just 2 guns) fighting Union gunboats, from the north side of the river, while the AoT crossed on the pontoon bridge. There is enough piecemeal Union accounts to jive with the two Confederate artillery accounts that I have, but it puzzles me that there is nothing reported about cannons firing on Union gunboats from the south side of the river during the time that Hood crossed. There was a redoubt constructed on a bluff on the south side of the river, that is still there, and one would think, that this is where the battery that the sharpshooter crossed with would have been located. If so, based on the other accounts, it should have engaged those gunboats, but it appears they didn’t or were so ineffective, that no one on either side took note of it in recollections. The defensive location on the south side of the river, was much more ideal to stop gunboats than either of the two positions on the north side.
 

Chris Rucker

Private
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Location
The Palmetto State
Wish I could be of more help. Phillip's was certainly at Nashville, in Cobb's Battalion with the 5th Co. of the Washington Artillery and Ferguson's SC Artillery (Beauregard, commanding the battalion). They were on Rains Hill on the 15th, repelling the attack of USCT on the Confederate right flank. Only Phillip's (Mebane's) company retained any guns in Cobb's battalion after the rout at Nashville, so it is feasible that they fired while crossing the Duck and Tennessee Rivers. You are of course familiar with the OR account of Cheatham's Division (v. 45, Part 1, p. 732). Here is what Captain Rene Beauregard wrote about the retreat from Nashville, presumably traveling with Phillip's company in their battalion: "Our discouraging retreat was now begun, and similarly to the opening of the campaign the cold, wet and cloudy nights of its phase added their gloom to the heaviness of our hearts. Frequently, the Enemy’s cavalry would dash in among our disorganized rear guards and either capture or destroy the most of them. Resistance was apparently deemed futile by most of the troops which followed along in a mob-like confusion; thus, Pulaski was reached. Around this place we encamped one night after crossing dejectedly its swollen stream, in the muddy banks of which all vehicles would sink to the hubs. Pulaski however, was to prove our first port of refuge, for the intense cold of the following day having frozen hard the miry roads of our travel, the Army resumed its march in better spirits, and finally reached the Tennessee River as the weather had again begun to be wet and cloudy." (postwar letter from Beauregard to Lt. Chalaron of the 5th Co., Washington Artillery). Cobb's Battalion crossed the Tennessee on Christmas, according to Beauregard; Cheatham's account said they crossed on the 26th.

To which companies did the two artillerymen witnesses belong? I'd like to know their association with Ferguson's Artillery Co.

Chris
 

Chris Rucker

Private
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Location
The Palmetto State
Thanks, I will certainly join the FB group. Any info you have pertaining to Ferguson's or Cobb's Battalion of artillery will be very much appreciated. I know that the Federal gunboats were firing into Ferguson's rear and left flank at Shy's Hill on 16 Dec. That couldn't have been much fun for the artillerymen.

Chris
 
Top