1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery Regiment

This regiment was organized May 10, 1862, at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, with 10 companies which had previously seen service as independent batteries.


  • Colonel-Andrew Jackson, Jr.
  • Lieutenant Colonel-Robert Sterling
  • Majors-Frederick W. Hoadley, J. D. Upton


  • J. D. Upton, Co. “A”. Organized at Island No.10, November 28, 1861 as J. D. Upton’s Battery, Tennessee Heavy Artillery, by order of Major General Leonidas Polk, with 99 privates, mostly from what is now Lake County. Prior to the organization of the regiment, it was at Columbus, Kentucky, attached to Brigadier General A. P. Stewart’s Brigade. It moved from there to New Madrid, Missouri, where, on February 25, it was attached to Colonel E. W. Gantt’s Brigade, as part of the garrison of Fort Thompson. In a bombardment here on March 12, Lieutenant Robinson, of the battery, was killed. Brigadier General McCown ordered the evacuation of Fort Thompson on March 14, 1862, and the guns were spiked and abandoned.
  • Paul T. Dismukes, Co. “B”, “McCown Guards.” Formerly Captain Dismukes’ Battery, Arkansas Heavy Artillery. Date and place of organization unknown. Dismukes was enrolled at Lamartine, Arkansas, December 6, 1861. This battery was part of the heavy artillery which had just arrived at Madrid Bend when Brigadier General Trudeau** arrived March 1st. It remained until the evacuation, April 7, 1862 when, along with other artillery units under Captain Andrew Jackson, Jr., it escaped across Reelfoot Lake and reached Memphis April 14, with 36 men.
  • Colonel James Trudeau, of the Louisiana Artillery, was urgently recommended for promotion to the grade of brigadier general by General Polk, early in the operations around Island No.10, and was referred to as such in correspondence. He was, however, never promoted.
  • H. J. Maley, Co. “C”. Organized January 27, 1862, at Covington, Tennessee, of men from Tipton County.
  • James A. Wiggs, Co. “D”. Organized at Memphis, March 2, 1861.
  • Edmund W. Bucker; John T. Postlethwaite, Co. “E”, “The Stewart Invincibles.” Date and place of organization unknown. According to personal papers in Captain Postlethwaite’s file, this unit was formerly 1st Co. “F”, 5th Tennessee Infantry, but there is no other record of its ever having been a member of that regiment. There was a Private J. T. Postlethwaite in 1st Co. “F”, 5th Tennessee Infantry; it was, on May 6, 1862, consolidated with Co. “H” to form 2nd Co. “E”. It is possible that, at the consolidation, some men were transferred to the Artillery. This battery was in position at Madrid Bend on February 25, 1862, with three 32-pounders mounted. It later manned Battery No.1 at Madrid Bend, manning three 8″ Navy Shell guns and three 32-pounders. It underwent a heavy bombardment March 17, which lasted some seven hours, during which time the cannoneers were serving their pieces while up to their waists in water, but drove off the Federal fleet, with a loss of Lieutenant Clark killed and five enlisted men wounded. It, too escaped across Reelfoot Lake with Captain Jackson and reached Memphis with 18 men; this, Jackson said, was almost his original number.
  • Andrew Jackson, Jr. (promoted to colonel), C. H. Braun, Co. “F”. Organized August 5, 1861, at Memphis. Once known as Co. “K”, Artillery Corps of Tennessee. It was, of course, also at Madrid Bend from about March 1, 1862, until April 7. It reached Memphis with 66 men under command of Lieutenant Braun, Captain Jackson having been placed in command of all the artillery at that point.
  • A. Y. Partee, Co. “G”. Formerly J. C. B. Jones’ battery, Tennessee Heavy Artillery. Date and place of organization unknown. General Trudeau mentioned Jones’ Battery as being at Madrid Bend on March 1, 1862, being in position on Island No.10 on that date. It, too, escaped on April 7, and reached Memphis with 33 men.
  • Frederick W. Hoadley (to major), William P. Parks, Co. “H”, “The Arkansas Battery.” Organized at Little Rock, Arkansas, October, 1861. It was also at Madrid Bend from about March 1 until April 7, 1862, when it escaped across Reelfoot Lake and reached Memphis with 24 men.
  • H. T. Norman, Co. “I”. Date and place of organization unknown. It was formerly Co. “E” of Lieutenant Colonel Steever’s Battalion, a field organization serving at Fort Pillow.
  • William L. Neyland, Co. “K”, “The Pillow Flying Artillery.” This was formerly Captain William Miller’s company. It was organized at Memphis, August 6, 1861. On December 30, 1861 it was reported by General Albert Sidney Johnston as arriving at Bowling Green, Kentucky, from Columbus, with an aggregate of 70 men. By January 31, 1862 it was in Colonel J. S. Bowen’s Brigade of Floyd’s Division, Hardee’s Corps. On February 23 it was at Murfreesboro in Brigadier General T. C. Hindman’s Brigade. As part of that brigade it took part in the Battle of Shiloh, April 6-7. Another and different Co. “K” was later attached to the regiment at Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  • T. N. Johnston, Co. “L”. This was not the same company which Captain Johnston had commanded earlier; it was disbanded April 14, 1862. This company was organized about July 1, 1862; names on its muster roll indicate that there were men in it from Johnston’s first battery, and from Caruthers’ and Stewart’s Batteries. It was stationed at Columbus, Mississippi, August 31, 1862, was ordered to Vicksburg on November 28 and attached to the regiment December 2, 1862.
  • No record of the prior service of the other companies was found. After the regiment was organized, it was embarked on the Steamer Golden Age on June 2, 1862, for Vicksburg. Here it came under the command of Brigadier General M. L. Smith. On June 18, 1862 he ordered the regiment temporarily consolidated into four companies, as follows:
  • Co. “A”, Captain Paul T. Dismukes. Formed principally from Dismukes’ Co. “B” and part of Maleys Co. “C”.
  • Co. “B”; Captain William P. Parks, J. D. Upton. Formed from Cos. “A”, “G”, “H”, and part of “C”. Parks was relieved January 5, 1863 and Upton assigned.
  • Co. “C”, Captain H. T. Norman. Formed from Cos. “I”, “K”, and part of “C”.
  • Co. “D”, Captain John P. Postlethwaite. Formed from Cos. “E”, “D” and “F”.
  • Shortly after the reorganization, the regiment was engaged in a heavy bombardment on June 28, 1862, and again from July 12-27, 1862. In July 1862, the regiment reported 16 officers, 153 men present for duty, 284 present, 330 present and absent.

In December, 1862, Caruthers’, Johnston’s and Lynch’s Batteries arrived at Vicksburg, and Johnston’s was attached to the regiment as Co. “L” by order of General M. L. Smith. The other two batteries served with the regiment until the surrender of Vicksburg, July 4, 1863, but were not attached as permanent members. The regiment was placed in charge of the upper batteries, from Fort Hill to the upper bayou, under the command of Colonel Edward Higgins. Colonel Jackson reported on the passage of the batteries by enemy boats on the night of April 2, 1863, in which 391 shots were fired by the regiment, and the 10″ Columbiad, commanded by Captain J. P. Lynch, jumped the pintle at the 12th discharge.

Colonel Higgins, in reporting on the siege, gave great credit to Captains Lynch and Johnston for the handsome manner in which their guns were handled in the engagement in which the Cincinnati was sunk on May 27, 1863; and to Colonel Jackson, “who, with his gallant regiment, bore the brunt of the labors and dangers of the siege, and was always ready, day or night, for any duty to which he might be called.” During the siege, Major Hoadley was killed on June 8, 1863, and Major Upton, who succeeded him, had his arm so badly smashed it had to be amputated.

The regiment was surrendered and paroled as part of Brigadier General John C. Moore’s Brigade on July 4, 1863. It went to parole camp at Demopolis, Alabama; then to Atlanta, Georgia; and from there to Marietta, Georgia. It was declared exchanged December 6, 1863, and ordered to Mobile on December 11, 1863, to the Appalachee Batteries, December 20, 1863.

In an undated report, Colonel Jackson wrote that the regiment and attached companies when captured and paroled at Vicksburg numbered between 500 and 600 men. “It now numbers 176 men. A number of the regiment, after being furloughed when paroled, joined the cavalry in North Mississippi and West Tennessee, and are now on duty with General Forrest’s Command. Every effort to have these men returned to the regiment has failed.”

In January, 1864, by order of General Polk, the members of the 1st Battalion Tennessee Light Artillery were permanently incorporated into the 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery Regiment, and portions of all companies in this battalion reported except one, J. P. Lynch’s, which was attached to Brigadier General J. C. Vaughn’s Cavalry Brigade in East Tennessee. General Polk’s order seems to have been intended to cover Caruthers’ and Lynch’s Batteries, and the three batteries surrendered about the same time at Port Hudson, Louisiana, which were Fisher’s, Sparkman’s and Weller’s Batteries. These three had been members of the attempted organization of the First Tennessee Light Artillery Regiment, although they had been serving as heavy artillery at Port Hudson.

Although regimental reports stated the regiment was declared exchanged on December 6, 1863, an order from the Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office dated February 1, 1864, read: “All officers and men of the Vicksburg Capture belonging to the 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery, who reported for duty at Marietta and whose names were reported by Colonel A. Jackson, are declared exchanged.” On February 4, by order of Major General D. H. Maury, commanding the District of the Gulf, the regiment was consolidated into two companies, which were known as 3rd “A”, and 3rd “B”, as follows:

3rd Co. “A” Captain T. N. Johnston. Most of the men in this company had previously served in Johnston’s Co. “L”.

3rd Co. “B” Captain James A. Fisher. Captain Fisher had previously commanded a battery of light artillery, which served as heavy artillery at Port Hudson, and was surrendered there July 10, 1863. Some men from Sparkman’s Company, Tennessee Light Artillery were also in 3rd “B”.

The regiment moved to Fort Morgan, Alabama on April 3, 1864, and was reported there on April 30, 1864 with Lieutenant Colonel Robert Sterling, commanding, attached to Brigadier General Richard L. Page’s Brigade. On June 30, at the same place and in the same brigade, Captain H. T. Norman was reported in command.

On August 12, 1864, Brigadier General Asboth, U.S.A., reported: “The garrison at Fort Morgan numbers 600 men, 400 from the 1st Alabama Artillery, 200 from the 1st Tennessee Artillery, with General Page in command, and determined to hold the fort till the last man.” On August 23, the fort having been reduced to ruins, and further resistance impossible, General Page surrendered. In his report he pays tribute to Colonel Jackson, and to Captains Johnston and Fisher and their men, for their valiant and efficient service.

The last record found on the regiment was dated November 19, 1864, when a siege train company, 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery, under Captain Paul T. Dismukes, was listed in the forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department, with headquarters at Shreveport, Louisiana.

This unit history was extracted from Tennesseans in the Civil War, Vol 1. Copyrighted 1964 by the Civil War Centennial Commission of Tennessee and is published here with their permission. This history may not be republished for any reason without the written permission of the copyright owner.

Comments are closed.