The Saga of Battery G: A Desperate Escape from the Slaughter Pen at Stones River
Period photograph of a 6-pdr Wiard rifle; Battery G had two of these and two 12-pdr
rifles of the same design. Only one of the 6-pdr guns made it out of the cedars.
|Captain Alexander Marshall of Battery G|
Lieutenant Marshall’s report of what occurred in the cedars eloquently captures the chaos of the battle in this sector and is, in my opinion, one of the key documents that explain what happened in that very confusing portion of the battle. The portion of his report relating to the battle of December 31st follows, after which I will give a few incidents of the battle as related by other members of the battery. “At daylight of the 31st, opened with the four guns, stationed in the corn-field, shelling the woods to the right and the battery and rifle-pit in front, as the night before. About 8 a.m., moved the center section down to the left about 40 rods, taking position near two log-houses in rear of the corn-field, a dense thicket across the corn-field directly in front, open country to the left and front, where the enemy was in position. Remained in this position about thirty minutes without firing; then moved this section up and took position in center of the battery; worked the battery till about 11 a.m. The enemy up to this time fired but few rounds from their batteries in our front, firing being mostly from their skirmishers in the woods, when, in obedience to Colonel Miller’s order, moved to the right; partially changed front. The batteries of the enemy opened over the advancing infantry a heavy fire before we had fairly got into position. Ordered caissons under shelter a short distance in the rear, and opened upon the rapidly advancing enemy with canister. As our support advanced, we moved our pieces forward by hand and worked them as rapidly as possible.
|A 12-pdr howitzer; Battery G was equipped with two of these guns and left one on the field at Stones River.|
Dan: Great work on Stones River. Happy New Year! John BanksReplyDelete
Dan, Thanks so much for this posting. I've learned recently that my family has connections to Battery G. My 3rd great grandfather, Corp. James Lloyd Sr., emigrated from Wales to Cleveland in 1832 and enlisted, at age 52, and fought at Shiloh and the Siege of Corinth. His son, Corp. James Lloyd Jr., served with the same unit in 1864 during the Battle of Franklin and died from wounds he received during a "sharp artillery duel" at Rutherford's Creek. I then learned I'm related to Clarence L Riddle referenced in your excellent piece. He is the stepson of my 3rd great-grandaunt. His father was raised in a cabin that was located across the street from my boyhood home in Newbury, Ohio.ReplyDelete
Bob, Clarence Riddle wrote a superb account of Stones River which can be found in the January 23, 1863 issue of the Jeffersonian Democrat from Chardon, Ohio. Here's the link to the issue: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84028083/1863-01-23/ed-1/seq-2/Delete