The Alabama State Artillery Company becomes the "Continentals.

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Aug 25, 2012
Before the Civil War the Alabama State Artillery Company was a fairly large company of 155 men armed with four bronze six-pound field pieces. In early 1857 they obtained "Continental uniforms" and there after were known as the "Continentals". They reportedly wore dark blue Continental style uniforms with red trim, cocked hats with red-white-and blue plumes. The also wore "Hessian" boots. In May of 1859 they obtained new fatigue uniforms of "army blue jackets with scarlet collars and cuffs". and caps made of the same material of the same pattern as worn by the army. In May of 1861 when they left for Pensacola they wore a service uniform of indigo blue, trimmed with red, and brown gaiters.

Miles Krisman

Feb 15, 2012
From a history of the 5th Alabama Infantry Regiment:

Company “K”

Alabama State Artillery

Mobile County

Captain: William H. Ketchum

1st​ Lieutenant: William H. Horner

2nd​ Lieutenant: John F. Slaughter

2nd​ Lieutenant: John C. Yuille

Also known as the “Continental State Artillery”, the Alabama State Artillery organized at Mobile, Alabama, May 18, 1836. The “Continentals” had adopted the uniform of General Washington’s regulars -- “indigo blue, trimmed with red and brown gaiters” – and wore them when they entered state service on April 20, 1861. Presenting “a gallant appearance as they marched through the street with their four field pieces,” 155 members went into camp at Magnolia Racecourse, Mobile, Alabama, on May 2, 1861. Here they dressed in more conventional uniforms, drilled and trained with their horses. Captain William H. Ketchum purchased at least part of the enlisted men’s accoutrements, which included enamelled haversacks, knapsacks and covers.

The company entered Confederate service for twelve months on May 4, 1861. Its initial roll included five officers, eight sergeants, twelve corporals, six artificers and one hundred twenty-three privates. Many of these had been associated with the “Continentals” for some time.

On the morning of May 7, 1861, the company assembled before Captain Ketchum’s home at the corner of Franklin and Government streets. Here Captain Charles P. Gage uncased the battery flag. "The flag, which is the banner of the Confederacy, with two cannons crossed on the white field, and the name of the 'State Artillery of Alabama' on the streamers was received by Capt. Ketchum who promised that it should never trail in the dust, or if it did, no Artilleryman, he said, would return as a messenger of the dishonour, but everyone would be found stretched in death by the side of the guns."

Escorted by the State Artillery Reserve Corps and a “dense throng” of well-wishers, officers and men then marched to Dauphin Street wharf. Three cannon and forty horses were loaded aboard the steamer Saint Charles, which departed with great fanfare about 9 A.M. The company sailed up the Alabama River to its appointed rendezvous with the 5th Alabama Infantry Regiment at Montgomery, Alabama. After taking on the balance of its horses and cannon, the command moved by rail to Pensacola, Florida, where Captain W. H. Forney, mustered members into Confederate service on May 11, 1861. Battery armament at this time included three six-pounder smoothbores, one twelve-pounder howitzer, and two six-pounder James rifles.

The Alabama State Artillery went to Pensacola attached to the 5th Alabama Regiment as Company "K". However, on June 2, 1861, when the 5th Alabama received orders to report to Richmond Virginia, the State Artillery was detached from the regiment and ordered by General Bragg to remain at Pensacola, Florida. Also, Captain Ketchum resigned on May 17, 1861, and William H. Horner was promoted to take his place.

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