United States Regiments & Batteries > Pennsylvania > Artillery, Cavalry & Engineers

Battery E lost 2 officers and 12 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 11 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. It is honored by two monuments at Gettysburg.

September Pennsylvania Independent Battery E was organized by First Lieutenant Joseph M. Knap of Company L, 28th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment at Point of Rocks, Md., from a company formed for the 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry and surplus men of the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry. Knap became captain of the battery, with Charles A. Atwell and Clement Tingley, Jr. as first lieutenants and Edward R. Geary and James D. McGill as second lieutenants. The battery immediately moved to Washington and into camp at East Capital Hill, Defenses of Washington, attached to W. F. Smith’s Division, Army of the Potomac, and was outfitted as a six gun battery.
November 24 Moved to Point of Rocks; attached to Banks’ Division, Army of the Potomac for duty there and near Harper’s Ferry.
December 19 Action at Point of Rocks
February 28 Occupation of Loudon Heights
March 1-April 14 Operations on line of Manassas Gap Railroad, attached to Geary’s Separate Brigade, Banks’ 5th Army Corps
March 1 Capture of Lovettsville
March 7-8 March to Wheetland and Leesburg
March 8 Capture of Leesburg
March 12 Advance to Snickersville
March 14 Upperville
March 15 Ashby’s Gap
March 27 Middleburg
March 27-28 Operations about Middleburg and White Plains
April 1 At Salem; attached to Geary’s Separate Brigade, Dept. of the Shenandoah.
April 2
Thoroughfare Gap
April 14 Piedmont; Guarding Railroad at Salem. Four guns under Captain Knap were at Salem while a section of two guns under Lieutenant Atwell were stationed at Front Royal with Colonel Kenley’s outpost there.
May 23
Front Royal

The two gun section under Lieutenant Atwell was part of Colonel Kenly’s force which was overwhelmed and destroyed by General Jackson’s surprise attack. The force was able to withdraw from the town across the Shenandoah River, and Atwell’s guns supported the rearguard at the bridges.

From the wayside marker at Guard Hill, north of Front Royal:

Closely pursued by the 8th Louisiana Infantry, Union Col. John R. Kenly’s rear guard occupied Guard Hill just west of here. The two-gun section of Knap’s Battery E, Pennsylvania Light Artillery, commanded by Lt. Charles Atwell, covered part of the peninsula between the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River as the Confederates surged toward the North Fork Bridge.

As the Confederate forces crossed the South Fork onto the peninsula, Kenly’s Union troops deployed on the Winchester side of the Pike Bridge over the North Fork. The prominence of Guard Hill offered Kenly a good position to slow down the Southern advance. Atwell unlimbered his cannons on the height west of the turnpike near Dr. Kenner’s home, while the Federal infantry dug in on either side of the road to combat any attempt by the Confederates crossing at the bridge.

Atwell’s guns held off the commands of Col. Bradley T. Johnson and Maj. Chatham Roberdeau Wheat for almost an hour, despite being shelled by Capt. John A. Lusk’s Confederate battery from Atwell’s former position on Richardson’s Hill. When Kenly rode forward to check the progress of his bridge-burning orders, he found “the river below the bridges … alive with horsemen (Lt. Col. Thomas S. Flournoy’s 6th Virginia Cavalry), crossing in two different places by fording.” Kenly ordered a retreat, leaving two companies of the 5th New York Cavalry as a rear guard while the infantry and artillery hastened north on the Front Royal Turnpike.

During the retreat to Winchester several men were captured, and just before reaching the town the two guns were spiked and abandoned. They were recovered when Jackson was forced to retreat from Winchester.

May 24-25 Retreat to Manassas, attached to Geary’s Separate Brigade, Dept. of the Rappahannock
June-August Guard Railroad and operations in the Valley attached to Artillery, 2nd Corps, Army of Virginia
July 12-17 Reconnaissance to Orange and Culpeper Court House
August 9
Battle of Cedar Mountain

One enlisted man was killed along with a black civilian hired as a servant for the battery who was helping to carry amunition to the guns. Lieutenant Geary was wounded.

August 16-September 2

Pope’s Campaign in Northern Virginia

August 21 Rappahannock Bridge
August 23-25 Sulphur Springs
September 2-23

Maryland Campaign

Attached to Artillery, 2nd Division, 12th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac

September 16-17
Battle of Antietam

Pennsylvania Independent Battery E brought 101 men and six 10-pounder Parrott Rifles to the field under the command of Captain Joseph Knap. It lost one enlisted man killed, six wounded and 1 captured.

September 19-23 Moved to Harper’s Ferry
October-December Duty at Sandy Hook
November 9 Reconnaissance to Rippon
December 2-6 Reconnaissance to Winchester
December 2 Berryville
December 4 Winchester
December 9-17 March to Fairfax Station and duty there
January 20-24 “Mud March”
February-April At Aquia Creek
April 27-May 6

Chancellorsville Campaign

May 1-5
Battle of Chancellorsville

The battery lost one enlisted man killed and several wounded. Lieutenant Charles Atwell was lightly wounded and Captain Joseph Knap had his horse killed under him.

May Attached to Artillery Brigade, 12th Army Corps
May 25 Captain Joseph Knap resigned to become superintendent of the Fort Pitt Foundry in Pittsburg, which was casting guns and mortars for the Navy and coastal forts. Lieutenant Charles Atwell was promoted to captain and Sergeant Thomas Sloan was promoted to lieutenant.
June 11-July 24

Gettysburg Campaign

July 1-3
Battle of Gettysburg

Pennsylvania Independent Battery E was commanded by Captain Charles Atwell. It brought six 10-pounder Parrott rifles to the field.

From the monuments on the Gettysburg battlefield:

At 3:30 p.m. July 2nd one gun was placed on Culp’s Hill in the position marked by a monument, and was joined by two others at 5 p.m., when the three guns engaged the enemy’s batteries on Benner’s Hill. These guns were withdrawn when the Infantry was ordered to the left and the Battery went into this position where it remained until the close of the battle.

Present at Gettysburg 4 officers and 135 men. Wounded 3 men.

September 24-October 3 Moved by rail to Bridgeport, Alabama. Attached to Army of the Cumberland
October 28-29
Wauhatchie, Tenn.

Captain Charles Atwell was mortally wounded and Lieutenant Geary was killed in a rare nightime battle. Lieutenant McGill took command of the battery. In the darkness the Confederates aimed for the muzzle flashes of the artillery, and the battery lost so heavily it could only man two pieces, and only then after borrowing men from the infantry.

November 23-25
Battle of Chattanooga
November 23-24
Lookout Mountain
November 25
Mission Ridge
November 27
Ringgold Gap, Taylor’s Ridge
December Assigned to the Artillery, 2nd Division, 12th Corps, Army of the Cumberland
January The battery reenlisted and was granted Veteran status.
January and February On veteran’s furlough
April 12-16 Expedition down Tennessee River to Triana attached to Artillery, 2nd Division, 20th Army Corps
May to September

Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign

May 8-11 Demonstration on Rocky Faced Ridge
May 8 Dug Gap or Mill Springs
May 14-15
Battle of Resaca
May 19 Near Cassville
May 25
New Hope Church
May 26-June 5 Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills
June 10-July 2 Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain
June 11-14 Pine Mountain
June 15
Gilgal or Golgotha Church
June 15-17 Lost Mountain
June 17 Muddy Creek
June 19 Noyes Creek
June 22 Kolb’s Farm
June 27
Assault on Kenesaw
July 4 Ruff’s Station or Smyrna Camp Ground; attached to Artillery Brigade, 20th Army Corps
July 5-17 Chattahoochie River
July 19-20
Peach Tree Creek

Captain McGill was badly wounded and two enisted men were killed. Lietenant James Dunlevy took command of the battery.

July 22-
August 25
Siege of Atlanta

Lieutenant James Dunleavy resigned due to declining health, dying shortly after. Lieutenant Sloan was promoted to captain.

August 26-September 2 Operations at Chattahoochie River Bridge
September 2-November 15

Occupation of Atlanta

November 9 Near Atlanta
November 15-December 10

March to the sea

December 10-21

Siege of Savannah

January to April

Campaign of the Carolinas

March 16 Averysboro, N. C.
March 19-21
Battle of Bentonville
March 24 Occupation of Goldsboro
April 9-13 Advance on Raleigh
April 10 Neuse River
April 14 Occupation of Raleigh
April 26
Bennett’s’ House

Surrender of Johnston and his army.

April 29-May 20 March to Washington, D.C., via Richmond. Va.
May 24 Grand Review
June 14 Pennsylvania Independent Battery E mustered out at Pittsburg