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|May 26||Mustered into Confederate service at New Orleans for the duration of the war under the command of Captain Merrit B. Miller. The battery was moved via the New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad to Virginia.|
|June 4||Arrived in Virginia|
Commanded by Captain Thomas Rosser.
The Second Section under Lieutenant John J. Garnett was assigned to Longstreet’s Fourth Brigade.
Battle of Mechanicsville
The battery was commanded at Sharpsburg by Captain Merrit B. Miller. It was equipped with four Napoleons.
After the Sunken Road was overrun the battery helped defend the gap in the center of the Confederate line, assisted by General Longstreet and his staff, who helped man one of the guns. The battery lost 2 men killed, 10 wounded, and 2 missing in action.
Two War Department markers for the Washington Artillery are on the Antietam battlefield next to the National Cemetery along Boonsboro Pike.
From the first marker at Antietam:
September 15-16, 1862
The Washington Artillery crossed the Antietam about 9 a.m. of the 15th and took position on the high ground overlooking the creek to the east and south of Sharpsburg. The left wing, composed of the 1st and 3rd Companies, rested on the Boonsboro Pike, on ground now occupied by the National Cemetery; the right, composed of the 2nd and 4th Companies, was posted on the bluffs commanding th approaches to the Burnside Bridge. During the afternoon of the 15th and the morning of the 16th it became engaged with the enemy’s heavy batteries on the opposite side of Antietam Creek.
From the second marker at Antietam:
September 17, 1862
During the forenoon the Washington Artillery was engaged with the enemy’s heavy Batteries on the opposite side of Antietam Creek. At 9:15 the 3d Company, Miller, was sent to Piper’s Orchard and engaged the enemy in the Bloody Lane. At noon the 4th Company, Eshleman, was moved farther to the right to guard the fords below the Burnside Bridge. At 1 P.M., the 2d Company, Richardson, having a gun disabled, was withdrawn to Sharpsburg from the high ground commanding the Burnside Bridge. Between 2 and 3 P.M., upon the advance of the enemy, the 1st Company, Squires, was withdrawn from the Cemetery position, and, joined by the 2d Company which was in the town and by the 3d Company which had returned from the Bloody Lane, moved to the Harpers Ferry Road to assist Toombs’ Brigade in checking the advance of the Ninth Corps.
From Colonel Walton’s Official Report on the Battle of Sharpsburg:
“At 9.15 a.m. Captain Miller’s battery, of four Napoleons, was ordered from its original position to a point to the left of the main road and near our center. Here Captain Miller was so fortunate as to meet with General Longstreet, who assigned him a position. He immediately opened upon the enemy’s infantry, which were advancing upon our left and front. Here he suffered considerably from the fire of the enemy’s sharpshooters, losing two of his gunners and several of his cannoneers, wounded, when, ascertaining that the enemy was beyond effective range, he was ordered by General Longstreet to cease firing and go under cover. Here he remained twenty minutes, when, the enemy again advancing, he ordered his battery again into position. Lieutenant Hero having been wounded and Lieutenant McElroy having been left to watch the movements of the enemy on the right, Captain Miller found himself the only officer with his company, and, having barely men enough left to work a section effectively, he opened upon the enemy with two pieces with splendid effect. “
“After an action of half an hour, he removed his section to a more advantageous position 100 yards to the front and right, placing the remaining section under Sergeant Ellis, directing him to take it completely under cover. He then continued the action until the ammunition was nearly exhausted, when Sergeant Ellis brought up one of the remaining caissons. The enemy had made two determined attempts to force our line, and had been twice signally repulsed. They were now advancing the third time, and were within canister range, when Sergeant Ellis, who had succeeded in rallying some infantry to his assistance, brought one of the guns of his section into action on Miller’s left, and gave them canister, with terrible effect. The three guns succeeded in checking the enemy’s advance, and remained in action until the ammunition was exhausted, when they were retired to be refilled. After procuring the required ammunition, Captain Miller was returning to his former position, when he was directed by General Lee to an elevated and commanding position on the right and rear of the town, where General A. P. Hill had but just begun his attack. Here I placed him in charge of the guns that had been ordered to this position, leaving Lieutenant McElroy to command his section, and he continued the fight until its close at nightfall.”
“Too much praise cannot be bestowed on Captain Miller for his stubborn defense of the center for several hours; to Lieutenants Hero and McElroy and Sergeants Ellis, Bier (chief artificer), and Dempsey (artificer), for their gallantry. “
“This part of the action was under the immediate eye of General Longstreet, commanding, and his staff, who, when Captain Miller’s cannoneers were exhausted, dismounted and assisted the working of the guns. Captain Miller was compelled, owing to his loss of horses, to leave one caisson on the field. He endeavored to bring it off the next day, but it was deemed unadvisable, it being in range of the enemy’s sharpshooters, and it was abandoned and subsequently destroyed.”
|The Washington Artillery was assigned to the 1st Corps Artillery Reserve|
The battery was commanded by Captain Merritt B. Miller
The battery was commanded by Captain Merritt B. Miller
The battery was commanded by Captain Merritt B. Miller. It was equipped with three Napoleons.
From the War Department marker on the Gettysburg battlefield along West Confederate Avenue:
July 3. Advanced before daylight into position about 100 yards north of the Peach Orchard. This battery fired the signal guns for the cannonade preceding Longstreet’s assault took part therein and supported the charge of the infantry by advancing 450 yards and keeping up a vigorous fire. After the repulse of the assault moved to the left and west of the Emmitsburg Road ready to aid in resisting a countercharge if attempted. From loss of horses but one gun could then be used. The others were sent to the rear and that gun was withdrawn after dark.
July 4. At 9 A. M. marched with the Battalion to Cashtown to reinforce the cavalry escorting the wagon train.
Losses heavy but not reported in detail.
|February 1864||Captain Merrit B. Miller was promoted to major.|
|Assigned to Third Corps Artillery|
|May 31- June 12||
The battery was commanded by Captain Andrew Hero.
Final Assault on Petersburg
Detatchments were involved in the defense of Fort Gregg and Fort Whitworth.
Most of the battery was captured with Walker’s artillery column.
Twelve men from the battery surrendered with Lee’s army.