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1st Wisconsin Light Battery
in the American Civil War

Regimental History

First Wisconsin Light Battery, — Capts., Jacob T. Foster, Daniel Webster. First Lieuts., Alexander Cameron, Daniel Webster, Oscar F. Nutting, John D. Anderson, Charles B. Kimball; Second Lieuts., Albert W. Bishop, Charles B. Kimball, Oscar F. Nutting, Ephraim L. Hackett, Edward P. Aylmer, Edwin E. Stewart. This battery was organized at La Crosse in Sept., 1861, and was mustered in Oct. 10. It rendezvoused at Racine from early October until Jan. 23, 1862, when it left the state. It encamped at St. Louis until April 3 and then joined Gen. Morgan's expedition to Cumberland gap, hauling the Parrott guns by hand over the steep passes. In August it assisted in repulsing the enemy in a fight at Tazewell; assisted in the defense of Cumberland gap until Sept. 17, and then joined the forces under Gen. Fox in Virginia. In Dec, 1862, it joined Sherman's forces at Memphis and started toward Vicksburg. It did effective work at Chickasaw bluffs and also in the reduction of Arkansas Post, where the work of the right section of the battery won from Gen. Osterhaus this praise: "The reduction of the lower casemate (of the fort) and the silencing of 3 or 4 formidable guns are their exclusive merit." It remained at and about Vicksburg until spring and at the battle of Port Gibson it dismounted 4 of the enemy's guns and cut to pieces the celebrated Virginia battery, its fire being most effective. It participated at Champion's hill; was engaged at the Big Black river the following day; bore a prominent part in the first assault at Vicksburg, doing terrible execution; and continued to perform excellent service during the entire siege. During the Vicksburg campaign the battery fired over 12,000 rounds, its 20-pounder Parrotts becoming so worn as to be unserviceable and were replaced with 30-pounders. After the fall of Vicksburg it aided in the reduction of Jackson. The battery was attached to the 13th army corps, Department of the Gulf, and in December, joined the forces at New Orleans, where it was equipped as horse artillery. An inspecting committee said of it: "A more self-sustaining, self-reliant body of men cannot be found in the U. S. Army." It covered Banks' retreat in the Red River expedition in April, 1864, and was in the engagement at Alexandria in May. In October 80 of the battery, whose term of service had expired, left for home, their places being filled by reenlistments and recruits. Capt. Foster was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the 1st Wis. heavy artillery, and Lieut. Webster was advanced to the captaincy. On Nov. 26 the battery accompanied a cavalry expedition to West Pascagoula, Miss., but returned to New Orleans and Baton Rouge and remained there until ordered home. It was mustered out at Milwaukee July 7, 1865. Its original strength was 155. Gain by recruits, 112; substitutes, 2; reenlistments, 34; total, 303. Loss by death, 22; desertion, 7; transfer, 14; discharge, 48; mustered out, 212.

Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 4

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