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"Regimental artillery...any?" Topic

13 Posts

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397 hits since 23 Jun 2022
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Comments or corrections?

Louie N23 Jun 2022 1:39 p.m. PST


I just wantyed to ask. The concept of regimental guns had mostly been abandoned during the Napoleonic wars. As such I expect that artillery batteires were divisional or Corp assets during the ACW. Is that accurate?

I am just curious.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2022 2:01 p.m. PST

There were no regimental guns in the ACW that I've ever run into, no. But you missed a couple of levels. Frequently they were attached to brigades early on, but later they were assigned to divisions, corps or armies. The Union army-level artillery reserve at Gettysburg plays an especially prominent part, though each Union corps also had assigned batteries.

You really need to check by year, theater and army when it becomes important.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2022 2:13 p.m. PST

Both sides started off with a battery attached to each brigade. But that moved to "battalions" assigned to each division with a reserve at corps and army level. This was quicker to happen with the Army of the Potomac in the east, followed by the Army of Northern Virginia. The Western Theater, both Union and Confederate were slower to follow suit.

As Robert stated, you really need to check by year, theater, and army. A good general source for this is the orders of battle in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War which were extracted from the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion.

Note: The OR is available on-line by the way.


Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian23 Jun 2022 2:35 p.m. PST

Most Divisions had 3-5 Batteries that were parceled out to the Brigades.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2022 3:02 p.m. PST

If you are interested in small action, you will also see single guns or a two gun section being assigned a specific task, but they are still part of the parent battery.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2022 3:11 p.m. PST

Agreed – they stayed in their batteries

Interestingly every now and then a battery would be sent to some point independently – but it turns out without infantry support it never turned out well for the gunners

William Warner23 Jun 2022 6:43 p.m. PST

U.S. volunteer cavalry regiments were an exception. A few had their own section of mountain howitzers or other extra-light guns. This seemed to be more common in the western theater and the trans-Mississippi, possibly because there were more small unit actions against guerrillas and raiders. These guns were not parts of established batteries, but integral elements of cavalry units.

Personal logo KimRYoung Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2022 7:01 p.m. PST

The previous answers are on the money. No regimental guns. Guns attached to brigades went away very early on.

Artillery Battalions of variable number of batteries were attached to CSA divisions and some to army artillery reserves.

Union in the AOP had an artillery brigade attached to a Corp and multiple brigades attached to the artillery reserve.

Still, if you are playing a small action it would be certainly common for a battery or two to appear in support regardless of the larger organization.

Like others have said, look at orders of battles an how artillery was organized and then allocated during the battle.


Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2022 9:08 p.m. PST

There was a New York regiment at First Manassas that had two 12# Dahlgren boat howitzers they dragged with them. I don't recall the regiment off the top of my head. That's the only instance of regimental guns I know of during the war.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2022 4:04 a.m. PST

The 71st New York Regiment dragged 1 of the Dahlgren boat howitzers with them. They abandoned them in the retreat from the battle.

Bill N24 Jun 2022 6:01 a.m. PST

There were instances of regiments having organic artillery components. A few Virginia Volunteer units contained their own artillery batteries. Most of these seem to have been stripped out early. Ashby's oversized 7th Cavalry seems to have kept its battery through the end of the 1862 Valley Campaign.

T Corret Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2022 6:03 a.m. PST

Early on in the war,there were various "Legions" that had infantry,cavalry and artillery in one organization. Most were split up and merged with like branches.

donlowry25 Jun 2022 8:52 a.m. PST

There were, in the early days of the war, a few regiments that had some artillery pieces -- from one to a battery's worth. If and when these ever got into a battle, they were usually deployed separately from the infantry, just as an independent battery would be.

IIRC, Burnside's 1st Rhode Island at 1st Bull Run included a battery.

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