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.