Sunday, December 1, 2013

They Served Until The End

The 1st Arkansas Field Battery; also known as the John D Adams Artillery, was mustered into Confederate service December 1st 1861.

The 1st Arkansas Field Battery was organized as the John D Adams Artillery, and mustered in the state militia in April 1861.  The unit was named in honor of Arkansas vet John D Adams, who had served in the Arkansas Mounted Gunmen during the Mexican American War, and was wounded at the Battle of Buena Vista.  The Battery became a part of the Confederate army on December 1st 1861 under the command of officers Captains James J Gaines and Francis McAnally.

They were assigned to Herbert’s brigade, a part of Confederate General Benjamin McCulloch’s Division.  The 1st Arkansas was armed with four cannon in the fight on March 7th and 8th 1862 during the Battle of Pea Ridge.  Following the retreat the Battery moved with the rest of the army to Corinth, Mississippi.  They were reorganized on May 16th 1862, becoming part of the Army of the West.  The battery would see action at the Battle of Corinth, and Hatchie Bridge in October 1862.

The Battery was assigned to service at Vicksburg during the siege.  It surrendered with the rest of the garrison on July 4th 1863.  At the time of the surrender 2 of 1st Arkansas’ guns were on detached service under the command of First Lieutenant Frank A Moore and escaped capture.  This section was attached to the 2nd Missouri Battery for the rest of the war.  The remainder of the Battery was exchanged in November 1863 and reorganized with four 6 pounder cannon and assigned to the 5th Artillery Battalion, commanded by Confederate Major William Durbin Blocher.

The men of the Battery were still serving when orders were read from Confederate General Kirby Smith on April 23rd 1865 announcing Lee’s surrender.  When the Confederate Trans Mississippi Army surrendered in May 1865, the unit was simply disbanded and the men went home.

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