U.S. Horse Artillery Brigade

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Officers of the Horse Artillery Brigade at Fair Oaks, 1862. Photo by James F. Gibson. Library of Congress.

The Horse Artillery Brigade of the Army of the Potomac was a brigade of various batteries of horse artillery during the American Civil War.

Made up almost entirely of individual, company-strength batteries from the Regular Army’s five artillery regiments, the Horse Artillery operated under the command umbrella of the Cavalry Corps. The Horse Artillery differed from other light artillery (also known as "mounted" artillery) in that each member of the unit traveled on his own horse, rather than the traditional light artillery practice of some riding horses, while others rode on the limbers and caissons, with still others traveling on foot. With each man on his own horse, the unit could travel faster and more efficiently. It was the brainchild of former artillery captain and Brig. Gen. William Farquhar Barry, Chief of Artillery for the Army of the Potomac, in 1861. With such a large percentage of the U.S. Horse Artillery being artillery batteries from the regular U.S. Army, it developed a superb reputation for military efficiency, accuracy of fire, and command presence in the field and in battle.

Originally under the direct command of Lt. Col. (and future Brigadier General) William Hays, and later under the two-brigade command of captains James Madison Robertson and John C. Tidball, the Horse Artillery served with distinction during most of the major engagements in the Eastern Theater. Tidball's brigade later was commanded by Capt Dunbar R. Ransom.

It is notable that each of these men - Barry, Hays, Robertson, and Tidball - came from the officers corps of the 2nd Regiment of Artillery. One of their chief champions, Henry Jackson Hunt, commanded the Reserve Artillery in the Army of the Potomac, and was also an officer of the Second U.S. Artillery.

Organization[edit]

1862 - Peninsula Campaign[edit]

Commander: Lieutenant Colonel William Hays, USV (Captain, USA, 2nd U.S Artillery), of Tennessee


Officers of Battery A, 2nd U.S. Artillery. L-R: Clarke, Tidball, Dennison, Pennington. Photo by James F. Gibson. Library of Congress

Battery A, 2nd U.S. Artillery (2nd Regiment of Artillery)

Commander: Captain John C. Tidball, USA, of Ohio

Officers of Combined Batteries B & L, 2nd U.S. Artillery. L-R: Wilson, Vincent, Robertson, Woodruff. Photo by James F. Gibson. Library of Congress

(Combined) Batteries B & L, 2nd U.S. Artillery

Commander: Captain James Madison Robertson, USA

  • Lead (Right) Section Chief: First Lieutenant John Moulder Wilson, USA, of Washington, DC
  • Rear (Left) Section Chief: Second Lieutenant Carle Augustus Woodruff, USA, of New York
  • Center Section Chief: Second Lieutenant Albert Oliver Vincent, USA, of Ohio
  • Chief of Line of Caissons: First Lieutenant Perry Bly, 9th New York Cavalry (on TDY)


Battery M, 2nd U.S. Artillery, 1862. Photo by James F. Gibson. Library of Congress

Battery M, 2nd U.S. Artillery

Commander: Captain Henry M. Benson, USA, of New Jersey

  • Lead (right) Section – First Lieutenant John W. Barlow, USA, of New York
  • Rear (left) Section – First Lieutenant Peter Conover Hains, USA, of New Jersey
  • Center Section – Second Lieutenant Robert Hunter Chapin, USA, of New York


Officers of Battery C, 3rd U.S. Artillery. L-R: Meinell, Gibson, Pendleton, and Fuller. Photo by James F. Gibson. Library of Congress

Battery C, 3rd U.S. Artillery

Commander: Captain Horatio Gates Gibson, USA, of Pennsylvania

  • Lead (Right) Section Chief: First Lieutenant William Duncan Fuller, USA, of Maine
  • Rear (Left) Section Chief: First Lieutenant Edmund Pendleton, USA, of Virginia
  • Center Section Chief: First Lieutenant Henry Meinell, USA, of New York
  • Chiefs of Line of Caissons: Second Lieutenant William D’Wolf, USA, of Illinois, (mortally wounded at Williamsburg, May 4, 1862; Died of wounds, June 3, 1862); Second Lieutenant Francis Lowell Dutton Russell, USA, of Massachusetts (on TDY from 4th US Artillery)
  • Battery Wagon & Forge: (First?) Lieutenant J.W. Upham, 9th New York Cavalry (on TDY)

1863 - Gettysburg Campaign[edit]

Officers of the Horse Artillery at Culpeper, September 1863. Library of Congress

First Brigade, Horse Artillery

Commander: Captain James Madison Robertson, USA

Acting Assistant Adjutant General: 1LT J.H. Bell, 6th New York Cavalry

Batteries of the First Brigade:


9th Michigan Battery, US Volunteers (6:3”)

Captain Jabez James Daniels, USV, commanding

  • Lead (right) Section Chief: First Lieutenant Addison Kidder, USV
  • Rear (left) Section Chief: First Lieutenant Luther R. Smith, USV
  • Center Section Chief: Lt. Lewis R Rage, USV
  • Chief of Line of Caissons: Second Lieutenant Thomas J. Lumbocker, USV(?)


Independent Battery, 6th New York Light Artillery, US Volunteers (6:3”) (formerly the Artillery Company K, 9th New York State Militia, and the 83rd New York Infantry Regiment)

Commander: Captain Joseph W. Martin, USV

  • Lead (Right) Section Chief: First Lieutenant Moses P. Clark, USV
  • Rear (Left) Section Chief: Second Lieutenant J. Wade Wilson, USV
  • Center Section Chief: First Sergeant James E. Tileson, USV


Batteries B & L, 2nd US Artillery (6:3”)

Commander: First Lieutenant Edward Heaton, USA


Battery M, 2nd US Artillery (6:3”)

Commander: First Lieutenant A.C.M. Pennington, Jr., USA


Battery E, 4th US Artillery (4:3”)

Commander: First Lieutenant Samuel Sherer Elder, USA


Second Brigade, Horse Artillery

Commander: Captain John Caldwell Tidball, USA

Batteries of the Second Brigade:


Batteries E & G, 1st US Artillery (4:3”)

Commander: Captain Alanson Merwin Randol, USA

  • Lead (Right) Section Chief: Second Lieutenant James Chester, USA
  • Rear (Left) Section Chief: Second Lieutenant Ernest L. Kinney, USA


Battery K, 1st US Artillery (6:3”)

Commander: Captain William Montrose Graham, Jr., USA

  • Lead (Right) Section Chief: First Lieutenant Teofil B. von Michalowski (or Michalows), USA


Battery A, 2nd US Artillery (6:3”)

Commander: Second Lieutenant John Haskell Calef, USA

  • Lead (Right) Section Chief: Second Lieutenant John William Roder, USA
  • Rear (left) Section Chief: First Sergeant Joseph Newman, USA
  • Center Section Chief: Sergeant Pergel, USA


Battery C, 3rd US Artillery (6:3”)*

Commander: First Lieutenant William Duncan Fuller, USA

  • Lead (Right) Section Chief: First Lieutenant Henry Meinell, USA
  • Rear (Left) Section Chief: First Lieutenant James Rigney Kelly, USA
  • Center Section Chief: Second Lieutenant James Madison Lancaster, USA
  • First Sergeant – First Sergeant Daniel Munger, USA


Light Battery H, 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, US Volunteers (2:3”)

Commander: Captain William D. Rank, USV

  • Lead (Right) Section Chief: William M. Runkel, USV
  • Rear (Left) Section Chief: Thomas B. Nelson, USV
  • Center Section Chief: Second Lieutenant John A. Light, USV


Battery C, 3rd US Artillery was not present during the battle of Gettysburg

1864 - Overland Campaign[edit]

The Horse Artillery remained organized into two brigades until June, when it was reduced to one. The units that were cut from the ranks left their best equipment with the remaining units, and reported to Washington, DC for further orders, elsewhere. The following are the final list of command and staff and order of battle of the larger organization and the list for the reduced roster.


January – June, 1864


1st Brigade, U.S. Horse Artillery

Commander: Captain James Madison Robertson, USA (Brevet Colonel)

Quartermaster: Captain William Goldie, USV (formerly Captain, 56th Illinois Infantry)

Commissary of Subsistence: Captain Henry Loud Cranford, USV (formerly First Lieutenant, 84th New York Infantry)


Organization:

9th Battery, Michigan Light Artillery

Commander: Captain Jabez Daniels, USV


6th Independent Battery, New York Light Artillery

Commander: Captain Joseph W. Martin, USV


Batteries B & L, 2nd U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant Edward Heaton, USA


Battery D, 2nd U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant (Brevet Major) Edward B. Williston, USA


Battery M, 2nd U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant (Brevet Major) Alexander Cummings McWhorter Pennington, Jr., USA


Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant (Brevet Captain) Rufus King, Jr., USA


Battery E, 4th U.S. Artillery

Commander: Captain Samuel Elder, USA


2nd Brigade, U.S. Horse Artillery

Commander: Captain John Caldwell Tidball, USA (Brevet Lieutenant Colonel, USA; Colonel, 4th New York Artillery, USV)

Quartermaster: Captain Ira F. Payson, USV (died, July 30, 1864)

Commissary of Subsistence: First Lieutenant (Brevet Captain) William Murray Maynadier, USA


Organization:

Battery E, 1st U.S. Artillery

Commander: Captain (Brevet Major) Alanson M. Randol, USA


Battery K, 1st U.S. Artillery

Commander: Captain (Brevet Lieutenant Colonel) William Montrose Graham, USA


Battery A, 2nd U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant Robert Clarke, USA

Section Chiefs: First Lieutenants John H. Calef, USA; N.A. Cameron, USV (TDY from 4th New York Heavy Artillery); and B.J. (Benjamin Franklin) Littlefield, USV (former US Sharpshooter, on TDY from 4th New York Heavy Artillery)


Battery G, 2nd U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant (Brevet Major) John Hartwell Butler, USA


Battery C, 3rd U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant (Brevet Major) William Duncan Fuller, USA


From June 1864


Horse Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac

Commander – Captain (Brevet Colonel) James M. Robertson, USA


Organization:

Batteries H&I, 1st U.S. Artillery

Commander: Captain (Brevet Major) Randol, USA


Battery K, 1st U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant (Brevet Major) John Egan, USA


Battery A, 2nd U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant Clarke, USA


Batteries B&L, 2nd U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant Heaton, USA


Battery D, 2nd U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant (Brevet Lieutenant Colonel) Edward B. Williston, USA


Battery M, 2nd U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant (Brevet Major) ACM Pennington, Jr., USA (later Colonel of New Jersey Cavalry and Brevet Brigadier General, USV)


Batteries C, F,&K, 3rd U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant (Brevet Major) James Rigney Kelly, USA (formerly enlisted Engineers Artificer and later enlisted 3rd Artillery Sergeant)


Batteries C&E, 4th U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant Charles Lane Fitzhugh, USA, (later Colonel, 6th New York Cavalry and Brevet Brigadier General, USA and USV)


Units separated & sent to DC for further orders:

Batteries E&G, 1st U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant David Essex Porter, USA


Battery G, 2nd U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant (Brevet Major) William Neil Dennison, USA


Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery

Commander: First Lieutenant Rufus King, Jr., USA


6th New York Independent Battery

Commander: Captain Joseph W. Martin, USV

1865[edit]

By 1865, the Horse Artillery Brigade still existed on paper, but the various units were dispersed and assigned to a number of commands, as was the typical practice of regular foot artillery in the field.

References[edit]

  • Heitman, Francis B., Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, From its Organization, September 29, 1789 to March 2, 1903, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1903.
  • American Memory: Selected Civil War Photographs. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division. Washington, D.C.
  • Register of Graduates and Former Cadets of the United States Military Academy. West Point, NY: West Point Alumni Foundation, Inc., 1970.
  • U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1880–1901.