Monday, February 22, 2010

10th battalion, North Carolina Heavy Artillery

You know, I don’t spend a lot of time writing on North Carolina artillery. While the Tar Heel state fielded regiments and battalions of artillery, they didn’t work like infantry or cavalry regiments. The individual companies, or batteries, were assigned to different brigades (at the start of the war), or divisions and writing a history of, say , the First North Carolina Artillery would be a very disjointed affair. Plus, infantry and cavalry regiments have more men. Both the 37th NCT and the 58th NCT had 2,000 plus men who served in their ranks. A researcher stands a greater chance of finding letters and diaries and post war stories from an infantry or cavalry regiment than from an artillery battery. Most batteries had only 200 men. Added to this, many North Carolina artillery batteries only did coastal duty, or at least that was their lot until the end of the war. So, many of their letters home were not filled with descriptions of battles. For an artilleryman, he might see one or two Union warships a month, and those ships usually stayed out of range.

I guess I write all of this as an encouragement for you to check out the Robert C. Caldwell papers (online) at East Carolina University. Caldwell served in the 10th battalion, North Carolina Heavy Artillery, during the war. They were stationed in the Wilmington Area for much of the war, with a brief stint in Charleston. In late 1864, they were ordered to join the Army of Tennessee, and later fought as infantry at Averysboro and Bentonville. Let me encourage you to check out Caldwell’s letters by visiting this link here.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

My GGGrandfather, Joel Massey Terrell, served in both Companies C and D of the 10th Heavy Artillery. Here's a little personal story that I got a kick out of...
In 1863, Joel was serving in an around Ft. Campbell, North Carolina in the defense of the Port of Wilmington. On one occasion a blockade runner, the steamship "Spunkie" was being hotly pursued by Federal Gunboats, the Captain of the Spunkie became so rattled that he ordered the ship to be grounded and he and his men abandoned her. At that time Joel and several others climbed into a long boat and rowed through rough seas several feet high to the beached blockade runner to retrieve some of its precious cargo, which included rum, brandy, champagne, canned goods, cheese and "shore nuff coffee", as well as tropical fruits, cigars and many other things. It is reported that the company had a royal time. [from Histories of the Several Regiments complied by Walter Clark].

dlstephens said...

Thanks for the story friend. My GGGrandfather, Parrot Hardee, served in Company B of the 10th Heavy Artillery as a 1st Lieutenant.. after the 10th disbanded, he enlisted as a Private with Company D of the 16th Battalion NC Calvary.
-DL Stephens

dlstephens said...

Thanks for the story friend. My GGGrandfather, Parrot Hardee, served in Company B of the 10th Heavy Artillery as a 1st Lieutenant. After the 10th disbanded, Parrot later enlisted as a Private with Company D of the 16th Battalion NC Calvary.

Joe Beasley said...

A nice piece of information, thank you. My GGGrandfather, Ashley Beasley, served in Company B of the 10th Battalion, NC Heavy Artillery as a private and an artificer, specifically as a blacksmith and carpenter. Stories passed down to me indicated he worked on the various fortifications within Wilmington defenses and performed an abundance of guard related duties. He was not happy in this assignment and was transferred to Company B of the 61st Regiment, North Carolina Troops. He knew Parrot Hardee in Johnston County, NC in and about the Elevation District.