Captain E. D. Baxter’s Tennessee Light Artillery Company

Company (2nd Organization)

Captain E. D. Baxter was formerly in Captain Monsarrat’s Battery, known as the Harding Artillery, which was divided into two companies, of which Baxter became the captain of one. He was assigned to post duty in the summer of 1862, and Captain Samuel Freeman succeeded him as captain of that battery. He then organized this battery at Bethesda, Williamson County, on December 11, 1862. The muster roll shows men from various Middle Tennessee Counties, mainly from Dickson County.

Company reports show the battery was stationed at Shelbyville in December, 1862; at Cumberland Gap January-February, 1863; at Bean’s Station March-April; left Bean’s Station for Cumberland Gap May 19; moved to Knoxville June 26; stationed at Sweetwater July-August, 1863. During this time it was attached to the brigade commanded by Brigadier General A. Gracie, Jr

At Chickamauga, September 19-20, the battery was part of the Reserve Corps Artillery under Major Sam C. Williams, with Major Thomas K. Porter as Chief of Artillery. The batteries in Williams’ Battalion were Baxter’s Tennessee, Darden’s Mississippi, Kolb’s Alabama, and McCants’ Florida. Major Porter reported that Williams’ Battalion was kept as a reserve, and on Saturday morning was placed in position on a ridge which Preston’s Division occupied. Major Williams reported that Baxter’s Battery was detached and ordered to report to Brigadier General Gracie. Major Porter’s report continued that on Sunday, Baxter’s Battery was left to assist Jeffress in holding the bluff on the extreme left of the line. The 43rd Alabama Infantry reported that on September 19, it was in line of battle near Lee and Gordon’s Mill, and about 2:00 P.M. moved to the right several hundred yards to the top of a slight elevation where “we were left to support Jeffress’ and Baxter’s Batteries.” In this battle, Baxter’s Battery was reported as armed with two 3-inch rifles, expended 13 rounds of ammunition, and had no casualties.

On October 31, Williams’ Battalion, with Jeffress’ Virginia Battery added, was reported in Major General B. F. Cheatham’s Corps. On November 20, 1863, Baxter’s and Carnes’ Tennessee, Corput’s and Rowan’s Georgia Batteries were reported in Captain Robert Cobb’s Artillery Battalion in Major General C. L. Stevenson’s Corps. However, Stevenson’s report did not show Baxter’s Battery in this battalion.

Company reports state that the battery was engaged at Missionary Ridge November 25, 1863; fell back to Ringold, Georgia November 26 and to Dalton, Georgia December 8, where the battery was turned over to others on December 9, and the officers and men reported to Colonel M. H. Wright, commanding the post at Atlanta. This was in compliance with an order from Major General Hardee, dated December 6, ordering the horses, guns, and ammunition to be turned over to the chief of the proper staff department, and the men to report to Colonel Wright. On December 15, 1863 Colonel Wright advised that the men from the battery had arrived at Atlanta.

Company reports show the men were stationed at Atlanta through August, 1864, with Captain Baxter in command of Batteries “A”, and “B” in line of entrenchments. No report was found for September-October, 1864, but the report for November-December showed the battery stationed at East Macon, Georgia, on the Clinton Road. No further reports were found, but it is reasonable to assume that the battery fell back with the Army into North Carolina before the final surrender at Greensboro, North Carolina, of General Johnston’s forces.

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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