This company was raised in West Tennessee within the Federal lines in early 1863 as part of Colonel R. V. Richardson’s West Tennessee Brigade. It was organized June 1, 1863, and mustered into Confederate service by Colonel Richardson on that date. Most of the men seem to have been from Tipton and Fayette Counties. Richardson’s Brigade made a hasty evacuation of West Tennessee about August 1, 1863, and reached Okolona, Mississippi August 10. The muster roll of the battery had many names with the comment “cut off in the evacuation of West Tennessee.” The only report from the battery showed station, Okolona, Mississippi, July-September, 1863.
Brigadier General J. R. Chalmers, reporting on his raid into West Tennessee and the attack on Collierville on October 10, 1863, stated: “Near Salem, Tennessee, Colonel Richardson joined me on the night of the 8th with his brigade, and the Reneau Battery of two six-pounders, commanded by Captain Palmer.” The battery, with Richardson’s Brigade, then went on to the attack on Collierville on October 11.
Colonel Richardson, reporting on his activities in October, mentioned the Reneau Battery as being engaged with his brigade near New Albany, Mississippi on October 5; in the attack on Collierville, October 11; and in engagements near Byhalia, Mississippi October 12; and at Wyatt, Mississippi October 13.
Prisoner of war records show Captain Palmer as captured October 13 at Whytle’s Ferry, near Wyatt, Mississippi. On November 28, a report on the artillery in North Mississippi listed Reneau’s Battery, four six-pounder smooth bores, attached to Richardson’s Brigade.
The only subsequent record of the battery was a penciled note on the muster roll stating the battery was disbanded by order of the Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office July, 1864. The order was not found, and nothing is known as to what became of the members of the battery when it was disbanded. Captain Palmer himself was released at Johnson’s Island, June 12, 1865, upon taking the Oath of Allegiance.
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.