“The Steuben Artillery”
Formerly Captain William H. Jackson’s Company-Captain William W. Carnes’ Company.
The forerunner of this company was the Steuben Artillery, an artillery company in State service attached to the 154th Tennessee Senior Infantry Regiment. Its Captain was F. Krone. In May 1861, this company moved to Randolph, Tennessee, where it was instructed in the use of heavy artillery by Colonel (later General) A. P. Stewart. Before the 154th Regiment was mustered into Confederate service, the officers of the artillery company resigned, the guns and equipment were turned over to Captain J. W. Stewart, and the men were discharged. Many of them enlisted in Captain Jackson’s Company, and brought along with them the name of the old company. Captain W. H. Jackson’s Company was organized and mustered into Confederate service at New Madrid, Missouri on August 17, 1861, and equipped with four sixpounders, one 12-pounder howitzer, and one nine-pounder James rifled cannon.
It left New Madrid for Columbus, Kentucky, via Hickman, on September 5, 1861, where it remained until after the fall of Fort Donelson in February, 1862. En route to Columbus, it had its first experience with the enemy in a brush with federal gunboats at Hickman, where no damage was done on either side. At Columbus, it was attached to Colonel R. M. Russell’s Brigade, of Major General Leonidas Polk’s Department. About two months after its arrival at Columbus, the Battle of Belmont, Missouri, took place, on the opposite side of the Mississippi River. In the morning of November 7, 1861, Jackson’s and Polk’s Batteries were sent across the river on a transport to the support of Brigadier General Gideon J. Pillow, but the gangplank was lost in attempting to land, and the steamer had to return. Later in the day, the landing was effected, but too late for the battery to be of any service. However, Captain Jackson managed to land, and served with General Pillow as aide, being wounded in the course of the battle.
On February 6, General Pillow, then at Clarksville, upstream from Fort Donelson, asked that Jackson’s Battery be sent to that point, but his request was disregarded. Instead, when Fort Donelson fell, and Columbus was evacuated, the battery moved to Corinth, Mississippi. Here Captain Jackson resigned to become colonel of the 7th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, and Lieutenant W. W. Carnes succeeded him as captain on March 23, 1862. The battery, much to the disappointment of the officers and men, was left at Corinth when the march was made to Shiloh, and it was not engaged in that battle.
At Corinth, it was attached to Brigadier General D. S. Donelson’s Brigade, of Major General B. F. Cheatham’s Division. It moved with the army from Corinth to Tupelo, Mississippi; and from there in July to Chattanooga, where it arrived July 27, 1862. It then moved with General Bragg’s Army into Kentucky, and the Battle of Perryville, where it was engaged, part of the time in support of Brigadier General S. A. M. Wood’s Brigade. It then retreated through Knoxville, to Tullahoma, and then moved up to Murfreesboro, and then to LaVergne. It was again engaged in the Battle of Murfreesboro, December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863, and spent the next six months in Middle Tennessee, at Shelbyville, Fayetteville, and Tullahoma.
It was attached to Brigadier General Marcus J. Wright’s Brigade on April 1, and on May 19 reported 79 effectives, 92 present, 107 present and absent, and continued attached to Wright’s Brigade until the Battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20, 1863.
At Chickamauga the Artillery of Cheatham’s Division was under Major Melanethon Smith, and was reported as consisting of Carnes’ and Scott’s Tennessee Batteries, Smith’s and Stanford’s Mississippi Batteries, and Scroggins’ Georgia Battery. Cames’ Battery was in support of Wright’s Brigade, on the extreme left of Cheatham’s Division. General Cheatham reported: “Carnes’ Battery, after losing half its men and horses, was abandoned on the field (September 19), but the enemy was unable to move the guns, and they were recovered the next day.” The company report showed seven men killed, 16 wounded, 17 captured, and 38 horses killed. Cheatham spoke of the company “standing to its guns, at extremely short range, from 100 to 40 yards.” The remaining men were assigned to duty with other batteries while their guns were being replaced, for although the guns were recaptured uninjured, the carriages had been so damaged as to make them useless. Early in November, the battery was re-equipped with four 12-pounder Napoleon guns but the company did not have enough men to man the guns in an engagement, and did not take part in the Battle of Missionary Ridge. The company fell back with the army to Dalton, Georgia, where on December 14, 1863 it reported 53 effectives, 60 present, 110 present and absent, and three 12-pounder Napoleon guns. At about this time, Captain Carnes received a commission in the Confederate Navy, for which service he had been trained at Annapolis, and Lieutenant Marshall succeeded him as captain as of January 6, 1864. The battery had acquired such a good reputation, and was so well known, that it continued to be referred to as Carnes’ Battery, even though Carnes was no longer connected with it.
In the reorganization of the army after the Battle of Chickamauga, the artillery was grouped into battalions attached to divisions or corps, and Carnes-Marshall’s Battery served in Major General C. L. Stevenson’s Division until the end. The battalion was first commanded by Captain Robert Cobb; briefly by Major Joseph Palmer, and from April, 1864, by Major John W. Johnston. Stevenson’s Division was in Hardee’s Corps until April, 1864, when it was transferred to Hood’s Corps. When Hood took command of the army in July, the division was placed in Major General Stephen D. Lee’s Corps where it remained. Johnston’s Battalion was composed of Marshall’s, Rowan’s Georgia and Corput’s Georgia Batteries.
The battery moved to Kingston in February, 1864, then back to Dalton, Georgia until the resumption of activities in May. On March 29, it reported four Napoleon guns, 95 present for duty, 24 horses needed, total present 100, total present and absent 140. It was actively engaged throughout the gradual retreat to Atlanta, and on July 23 was placed in the line of defense for Atlanta, where it remained until the evacuation of Atlanta. From Atlanta it moved to Jonesboro, Georgia; to Lovejoy Station; then with Hood back up through Georgia and Alabama for the invasion of Tennessee.
According to Lieutenant Colonel L. Hoxton, who took command of the artillery in Lee’s Corps December 10, 1864, Marshall’s Battery was left as garrison at Columbia, Tennessee, when Lee’s Corps moved up through that place on November 25, and remained there until the army reached Columbia in the retreat after the Battle of Nashville, when it guarded the crossing of the Duck River at Columbia, and later of the Tennessee River at Bambridge, Alabama.
The battery then moved to Columbus, Mississippi, where men from the infantry were assigned to make up the necessary force, and horses, harness and other equipment secured. Captain Marshall, as senior captain, took command of the battalion, and in February, 1865 started the march eastward through Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina to join General Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina. The guns were sent by rail to Macon, Georgia, where the battery was re-assembled. It finally reached Salisbury, North Carolina on April 3, 1865, and remained in that vicinity until it was overrun and captured by Federal troops under General Stoneman on April 13, 1865. The prisoners were sent to Camp Chase, near Columbus, Ohio, where they were finally released on taking the Oath of Allegiance on June 14, 1865.
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.