Captain W. R. Marshall’s Light Artillery Company

“Brown Horse Artillery”

The following is a copy of a note inscribed on one of the muster rolls of this company:

“The history of the company is briefly this: General E. Kirby Smith gave six of the guns captured at Richmond, Kentucky, to the undersigned, then Lieutenant of Artillery, and authority to raise a company of artillery to be assigned to General Buford’s Kentucky Brigade.

“This was done on the 23rd of September, 1862, at Lexington, Kentucky. The company was forming, but the evacuation of Lexington on the 5th of October prevented further recruiting, and with condemned horses, patched up stage-harness, and barely enough men to drive them, the guns, a battery wagon and caisson were brought through safely to Knoxville, Tennessee. On arriving, the character of this company was changed, and it became horse artillery with four guns, and by order of General Smith the undersigned proceeded to Augusta, Georgia in November, and obtained harness, traveling forge, and cavalry equipment, which made the equipment of the battery complete except for the complement of men, who were supplied by order of General Smith. Lieutenant Wallace had appointment by the same authority and date. (Signed) W. R. Marshall, Captain.”

On another muster roll was written the following: “By Departmental orders the battery was divided on May 7, 1863; first section under Lieutenant Wallace going with General Pegram to Monticello, Kentucky; second section to Kingston, Tennessee. The battery returned, and was re-united at Knoxville, Tennessee, June 30, 1863. (Signed) W. R. Marshall, Captain.”

No muster roll of this company was found in the Tennessee files. W. B. Marshall was found listed as captain of a company of Confederate artillery, but no record was found of the company in which he says he previously served as a lieutenant, so this company may not belong in a history of Tennessee organizations, although the Official Records indexes it under Tennessee troops. The first time it appeared in the Official Records was October 31, 1862, when it was listed in Brigadier General Henry Heth’s Division, Colonel I. S Scott’s Brigade. On November 20, 1862 it was listed in Brigadier General John Pegram’s Brigade, which was stationed at Cumberland and Big Creek Gaps.

On February 20, 1863, and again on March 19, reports showed it at Knoxville, Tennessee, where Captain J. W Stokes was in command. On April 25 it was reported in Colonel J. S Scott’s Cavalry Brigade, which was on outpost and special duty. Colonel Scott, in reporting on the raid his brigade made into Kentucky beginning July 25, 1863, reported the Brown Horse Artillery, with four guns, as part of his force. This expedition went to Williamsburg, London, Richmond, Winchester, Irvine, Stanford and Somerset, Kentucky, recrossed the Cumberland River at Smith Shoals, and retired to Concord, Tennessee, where the brigade was located on August 7, 1863. Colonel Scott reported five days and nights of fighting, with a heavy skirmish at Rogersville, five miles from Richmond, and again at Stanford, Kentucky. Here he reported that Marshall’s Battery with the howitzers from Robinson’s were run forward and cleared the town.

This was the last report found on the battery, and what its subsequent fate was is not known.

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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