Captain B. F. White, Jr’s., Battery

Date and place of organization not known.

This is listed as a Tennessee Battery in the Official Records, but no muster roll of the company was found in the Tennessee files. There are records on innumerable B. F. Whites in the Confederate service, but only one B. F. White, Jr.

Benjamin F. White, Jr., was the first captain of Company “H”, 4th (Neely’s) Tennessee Infantry Regiment, which was organized in Shelby County in May, 1861. He resigned September 28, 1861, and his resignation was accepted October 8, 1861. A note on the records of the company said Captain White transferred to the artillery, and this was probably his battery.

The battery first appeared in the Official Records on November 25, 1862, when White’s section of artillery, six-pounders, was listed in Brigadier General John A. Wharton’s Cavalry Brigade of Major General Joseph Wheeler’s Corps. On December 30, 1862 it reported 63 effectives.

At the same time, another section of the battery was with Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan on his “Christmas Raid” into Kentucky in December, 1862. A Federal report of this raid, in listing the forces involved, included White’s Battery of eight guns, the largest a 12-pounder. The report stated, “White’s name is supposed to be Robinson, formerly a Kentuckian.”

Meanwhile, the other section, in Wharton 5 Brigade, was reported in a skirmish near Triune, Tennessee, on the Nolensville Road on December 27, 1862. General Wharton, in his report of the activities of his brigade during the Battle of Murfreesboro, December 31, 1862 to January 3, 1863, spoke several times of the part White’s battery played.

On January 14, 1863, at Shelbyville, still in Wharton’s Brigade, White’s Battery reported two officers, 52 men present for duty, 59 present, 73 present and absent, with 35 horses. It continued to be reported in Wharton’s Brigade until he was given command of a division, and on August 15, 1863 was reported attached to Colonel Thomas Harrison’s Brigade of Wharton’s Division; and with six pieces of artillery took part in the Battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20, 1863.

It then went with Major General Joseph Wheeler on his raid around the rear of the Federal Army beginning September 30. General Wheeler, in his report of that expedition, said one of the limbers of White’s Battery blew up, which caused it to be abandoned.

On November 30, 1863, Freeman’s and White’s Tennessee Batteries, and Wiggins’ Arkansas Battery were attached to Major General William T. Martin’s Cavalry Corps which went with Lieutenant General James Longstreet on his invasion of East Tennessee. General Martin, in reporting the action at Bean’s Station, on December 10, 1863, said: “It was necessary to dislodge a brigade of cavalry guarding May’s Ford. This was done by the rapid fire of artillery from White’s and Wiggins’ Batteries.” At this time Lieutenant Arthur Pue, Jr., was in command of the battery, and he was commended by General Martin for his conduct of the battery. On December 31, White’s and Wiggins’ Batteries were reported attached to Brigadier General John T. Morgan’s Brigade of Martin’s Corps. On January 31, 1864, still in the same brigade, White’s Battery reported three officers, 74 men present for duty, 85 present, 157 present and absent, with four pieces of artillery.

On April 30, 1864, the battery was back with the Army of Tennessee, with Lieutenant Colonel Felix H. Robertson as Chief of Artillery of the Cavalry Corps. Huwald’s and White’s Tennessee Batteries, Wiggins’ Arkansas and one section of Ferrell’s Georgia Battery, were reported as forming his command. Later Huggins’ Tennessee Battery was added to the battalion. On September 20, Major James Hamilton was reported in command of the battalion, in General Wheeler’s Cavalry Corps, and it continued to be known as Hamilton’s Artillery Battalion from that time.

No further record of the specific activity of the battery was found, but on January 31, 1865, it was still reported in Hamilton’s Battalion, along with Huggins’ and Ramsey’s Tennessee Batteries, and Wiggins’ Arkansas Battery. Huggins’ Battery was formerly Freeman’s; and Ramsey’s formerly Huwald’s. This was the last mention found of the battery, but Wheeler’s Cavalry Corps formed part of the forces under General Joseph E. Johnston in the final struggle in North Carolina, and presumably the battery was surrendered and paroled along with the rest of Johnston’s Army in May, 1865 at Greensboro.

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.

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