Memphis Light Battery

Also called 1st Tennessee Battery, (African Descent). Attached to 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery Regiment (African Descent) as Co. “M”. March 11, 1864 changed to Company “D” 2nd U. S. Light Artillery Regiment (Colored). April 26, 1864 changed to Company “F” 2nd U.S. Colored Light Artillery Regiment.

The exact date of organization for this battery is not known. In a report dated December 24, 1863) Adjutant General L. Thomas, giving a summary of the colored troops organized by him since April 1, 1863, listed the Memphis Light Battery with an aggregate of 99 men. It was mustered at Fort Pickering, Memphis, Tennessee on November 23, 1863.

On October 31, 1863, listed as the U. S. Colored Light Artillery, Battery “F”, under Captain Carl A. Lamberg, it was reported as part of the garrison of Fort Pickering, Defenses of Memphis. On December 31, 1863; as the 1st Tennessee Light Battery (African Descent) it was still at Fort Pickering and remained there until January, 1864 as part of the 5th Division, XVI Army Corps. It was then placed in the 1st Colored Brigade, Colonel Edward Bouton, District of Memphis, and continued to be reported in this brigade through October 31, 1864.

In the meantime, on February 15, 1864, one section, under Lieutenant A. M. Hunter, was detached to Fort Pillow as part of the garrison at that point. This detachment was practically wiped out when Major General N. B. Forrest captured the fort on April 12, 1864. Captain Lamberg, in his report dated April 27, 1864, based on reports given him by Private John Kennedy, who was wounded and captured, but escaped and returned to duty, said the section consisted of one commissioned officer and 34 enlisted men, of whom six were killed, four wounded, five taken prisoner, and Lieutenant Hunter and 18 men missing. Kennedy said he saw Lieutnant Hunter and a number of men in the river, but was captured before seeing what happened to them.

In June, 1864, one section under Captain Lamberg, went with Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis on his expedition into Mississippi which culminated in his defeat by General Forrest at the battle of Brice’s Cross Roads. This section, consisting of two officers and 37 men, was attached to the brigade of Colonel W. L. McMillen. The guns of the battery had to be spiked and abandoned.

The battery remained as part of the post and defenses of Memphis until December 1864, when it was placed in the Artillery Reserve, District of West Tennessee, under Major Raphael G. Rombauer. It was still reported at Memphis until April 30, 1865, at which time Captain Francis N. Marion was reported in command. On March 10, 1865, the battery reported 77 effectives, with an aggregate of 80.

On July 14, 1865, it was reported attached to the 2nd Infantry Brigade, Colonel I. G. Kappner, District of West Tennessee. On August 18, 1865, Major General John E. Smith recommended that Company “F”, now dismounted, be transferred to some regiment of infantry, and its officers mustered out of service. His recommendation seems not to have been adopted, for the battery was not mustered out of service until December 11, 1865.

Comments are closed.