United States Regiments & Batteries > Rhode Island

The 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery, Battery A lost 1 officer and 12 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 5 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. It is honored by a monument at Gettysburg.

Organized at Providence
June 6 Mustered in under Captain William H. Reynolds
June 19 Left State for Washington, D.C. Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D.C. attached to Burnside’s Brigade, Hunter’s Division, McDowell’s Army of Northeast Virginia, The battery was equipped with six Thrirteen-pounder James Rifles.
July 16-21 Advance on Manassas, Va.
July 21
Battle of Bull Run

The battery fought on Matthews Hill. It is referenced on a trailside marker on the Bull Run battlefield.

July 28 Moved to Sandy Hook, Md. and duty there and at Berlin and Darnestown
August Assigned to Dept. of the Shenandoah
September 16 Moved to Harper’s Ferry
October 16 Action at Bolivar Heights attached to Banks’ Division, Army of the Potomac
October-March At Muddy Branch and Poolesville, Md.
March 22-April 1 Moved to Washington, then to Hampton, Va. attached to Artillery, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac
April – August Virginia Peninsula Campaign
April 5-May 4 Siege of Yorktown
May 31-June 1
Battle of Fair Oaks (Seven Pines)
June 25-July 1 Seven days before Richmond
June 29 Peach Orchard and Savage Station
June 30 Charles City Cross Roads and Glendale
July 1
Malvern Hill
July-August At Harrison’s Landing
August 16-28 Movement to Alexandria
August 28-31 March to Fairfax C. H.
August 31-
September 1
Cover retreat of Pope’s Army from Bull Run to Washington
September Maryland Campaign
September 14
Battle of South Mountain
September 16 Left the division in the morning by order of Major F. N. Clarke, chief of artillery of the Second Corps, and crossed the Antietam Creek by the bridge on the Williamsport Road. Camped on Hoffman’s farm.
September 17
Battle of Antietam

Commanded by Captain John A. Tompkins, the battery went into position at around 8 a.m. on a knoll on the right (east) side of Hagerstown Pike. It brought 6 10-pounder Parrotts to the field and lost 4 men killed and 15 men wounded. It was engaged for four hours and fired 1,050 rounds –  83 rounds of canister, 68 rounds of solid shot, 427 rounds shell, and 454 rounds of case shot. At noon it was relieved by Rhode Island’s Battery G. Lieutenants Jefferey Hayard and Charles F. Mason were mentioned by Captain Tompkins in his report as having “displayed great coolness during the engagement, and handled their guns with excellent effect.”

September 22 Moved to Harper’s Ferry and duty there. The Parrotts were exchanged for 3″ Ordnance Rifles.
October 16-17 Reconnaissance to Charlestown
October 16 Action at Charlestown
October 30-
November 17
Advance up Loudoun Valley and movement to Falmouth, Va.
December 11-15
Battle of Fredericksburg
January-April Duty at Falmouth
April 27-May 6 Chancellorsville Campaign
May 3
Maryes Heights, Fredericksburg
May 3-4
Salem Heights
May Attached to Artillery Brigade, 2nd Army Corps, Army Potomac
June 11-July 24 Gettysburg Campaign.
July 1-4
Battle of Gettysburg

The battery was commanded by Captain William A. Arnold and brought to the field 139 men serving six 3″ Ordnance Rifles. It fought on Cemetery Ridge on both July 2nd and 3rd in its position just to the north of the Angle. During the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble attack on July 3rd it fired all its ammunition, its last shot double-shotted canister into Confederate attackers only a few yards away.

From the monument: “July 2nd & 3rd, 1863. 4 killed, 24 wounded.”

Three men were killed or mortally wounded by shellfire during the bombardment preceding the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble attack on July 3rd. Simon Creamer was mortally wounded with severe shell fragment injury to the head by the explosion that wrecked a gun in the Battery Left Section. John Zimla, acting No. 1 on the No. 6 gun, lost his head in another explosion, and John Higgins, a driver, was mortally wounded with his arm and shoulder torn off by another. The fourth mortal injury was Patrick Lannegan, lead driver, who was mortally wounded by a shot in the stomach.

The wounded were Lieutenant Jacob Lamb, Sergeant Benjamin H. Child, Corporals Wesley B. Calder, Edward Shaw, and Corporal Oliver S. Oaks; Privates Charles Cargill, John S. Chapman, Horace M. Curtis, William Dawson, Eugene Googin, Michael Grady, Gilbert F. Harrison, George Hathaway, Michael Markey, Emerson Middleton, Edward Morrissey, Charles Stopple, Morris Torndorf and George A. Wellman. Two other men were missing and presumed dead, and seven men were slightly wounded.

In addition to the gun that was wrecked, two limbers were damaged. Thirty horses died of wounds or fatigue.

September 13-17 Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan
October 9-22 Bristoe Campaign
October 14 Bristoe Station and Auburn Heights
November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 26-December 2 Mine Run Campaign
December At Stevensburg, Va.
February 6-7 Demonstration on the Rapidan
February 6-7 Morton’s Ford
May-June Campaign from the Rapidan to the James
May 5-7
Battle of the Wilderness
May 8-21
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
May 10 Po River
May 12 Assault on the Salient
May 23-26 North Anna River
May 26-28 Line of the Pamunkey
May 28-31 Totopotomoy
May 31 Shallow Creek
June 1-12
Cold Harbor
June 16-18 Before Petersburg; Siege of Petersburg begins
June 18 Non-Veterans mustered out
June 21-23 Jerusalem Plank Road
July 27-28 Deep Bottom
July 30 Mine Explosion, Petersburg (Reserve)
August 14-18 Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom
August 25
Ream’s Station
September 30 Transferred to Battery B, 1st Rhode Island Artillery