Battery History

Stanford's Light Artillery 

From Dunbar Rowland’s "Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898"; company listing courtesy of H. Grady Howell’s "For Dixie Land, I’ll Take My Stand."

Stanford's Mississippi Battery, of Yalobusha County, Mississippi, was organized by Capt. Thomas J. Stanford at Grenada, Mississippi, on May 17, 1861. It was mustered into the service of the Confederate States on November 6, 1861, at Grenada. About that time they received their first two artillery pieces, twelve-pounder howitzers.

The muster roll of November 6 was for twelve months with four commissioned officers, eight non- commissioned officers, and seventy men.

Officers of the First Muster        

Commissioned Officers                                    Non Commissioned Officers

Captain..................Thomas J. Stanford                        Orderly Sgt...............Dr. James S. McCall

First Lt.....................Hugh R. McSwine                        Sgt................................William A. Brown

Jr. First Lt...................Ansel A. Harden                         Sgt..............................Stedman D. Carroll

Second Lt............Dr. Tillman R. Trotter                       Sgt............................Benjamin C. Duncan

                     Cpl.....................................W. F. Dubard

Flag of Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk's Corps, Army of Mississippi

Flag of Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk's Corps, Army of Mississippi

The battery was ordered to Columbus, Kentucky, on November 7, 1861, and remained there with the Army of the Mississippi under the command of Gen. Lucius Polk until the evacuation and the retreat to Corinth, Mississippi, which began on March 1, 1862.

Battle losses:

 28 officers and men killed in action, 60 men wounded in action, 11 men captured or left on the field of battle.

Battery Commanders:

Captain -- Thomas J. Stanford. First Lieutenant -- Hugh R. McSwine. Junior First Lieutenant -- Ansell A. Hardin. Second Lieutenants -- Tillman R. Trotter, James S. McCall. Junior Second Lieutenants -- James S. McCall, William A. Brown.

Battles of Stanford's Battery

Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862)

The Battery took part in the bloody Battle of Shiloh, which took place from April 6 - 7 of 1862.  During the battle, Captain Stanford's Mississippi Light Artillery was the only Mississippi organization under the command of future Governor of Mississippi, Charles Clark.  General Clark was wounded early during the Battle and was replaced by General Stewart.

Captain Stanford's Battery of Mississippi Light Artillery had 131 men engaged in the Battle of Shiloh.  The Battery suffered 4 killed or mortally wounded, 14 wounded and 2 men captured.  The Battery also lost Four guns, which were later recaptured, but had to be left on the field due to there not being enough horses to draw them away.

Map of the battle field of Shiloh, April 6 & 7, 1862 / Léon J. Frémaux, Capt. of Engrs. P.A.C.S., Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C. 20540-4650 USA

Map of the battle field of Shiloh, April 6 & 7, 1862 / Léon J. Frémaux, Capt. of Engrs. P.A.C.S., Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C. 20540-4650 USA

Battle of Shiloh Casualties 

KILLED                            WOUNDED                     CAPTURED
Pvt. John J. Bowen            Sgt. William A. Brown      Pvt. James W. Granberry
Pvt. Charles J. Quinn        Sgt. George W. Jones         Pvt. Samuel P. Lacock
Pvt. William B. Rose         Cpl. John T. Moore
(3 more unknown)            (12 more Unknown)

They also lost fifty horses and four of their six guns, but this was through no fault of their own. The guns were later recaptured but could not be brought away from the field, as there were no teams to draw them away.

Following the battle of Shiloh, Gen. Beauregard, commanding, moved the army to the rail center at Corinth, Mississippi. The roads were wet and marshy and almost impassable. During the siege of Corinth, (April 29 - May 29) the battery was re-fitted with four 3" brass cannons. After the Federal forces gathered to the north the Confederates abandoned Corinth and moved south to Tupelo, Mississippi, on May 30, 1862.

Kentucky Campaign (August-October 1862)

Battle of Perryville Casualties

KILLED                    MORTALLY WOUNDED         CAPTURED
Pvt. J. C. Roycroft      Pvt. Calvin P. McCall                  Pvt. Henry T. Hemphill
                                   Pvt. John W. Wakefield

Battle of Murfreesboro Casualties

KILLED                                  WOUNDED
Lt. A. A. Hardin                      Pvt. Malcomb Hartsfield
Pvt. William C. Brooks           Sgt. Benjamin G. Duncan
Pvt. Richard H. Elliott            Pvt. Printis L. Shumate
                                                Cpl. John E. Magee
                                                Pvt. Charles A. Phillips
                                                Pvt. Thomas C. Rosamond
                                                (1 more unknown)

After Perryville they marched back through Cumberland Gap to Knoxville and across the mountains to Tullahoma, Tennessee. Since leaving Tupelo in July the battery had marched more than 1200 miles when they reached Tullahoma on November 10.

Tullahoma Campaign (June 1863)

After Murfreesboro the army went into its winter camp near Shelbyville, TN. Stanford's Battery was placed on the pike between Murfreesboro and Shelbyville. On April 22, 1863, at this camp, Orderly Sgt. William A. Brown was elected as Jr. Second Lieutenant to take the place of Lt. Hardin.

Stanford's Battery was assigned to Gen. Otho H. Strahl's Tennessee Brigade of Gen. Benjamin F. Cheatham's Division of Polk's Corps of The Army of Tennessee during the Chickamauga campaign which took place in September, 1863. At the Battle of Chickamauga on September 19 Strahl's Brigade suffered heavy losses against Gen. Thomas' wing of the Union army. The forests of Chickamauga's valley did not permit much use of Capt. Stanford's new 3" rifles, and they were not engaged until after Gen. Strahl had been driven back. Gen. Strahl wrote, "My battery was at all times immediately in my rear and ready, at a moment's notice, to go into position had the opportunity offered where it could have been used with effect."

Chickamauga Campaign (August 21-September 20, 1863)

Battle of Chickamauga Casualties 

Pvt. Robert F. Burt
Pvt. William C. Chatham
Pvt. James R. Heath
Pvt. John H. McNeill

Battle of Chickamauga (lithograph by Kurz and Allison, 1890). Library of Congress. 

Battle of Chickamauga (lithograph by Kurz and Allison, 1890). Library of Congress. 

Chattanooga Campaign (October-November 1863)

Following the siege of Chattanooga and the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25, the company was transferred to Gen. A. P. Stewart's Division. Capt. Stanford commanded the battery with 116 men and officers present and armed with four 12-pounder Napoleon guns.

Atlanta Campaign (May-September 1864)

During the Atlanta Campaign Major John W. Eldridge assumed command of the artillery battalion assigned to Stewart's Division of Gen. John Bell Hood's Corps, Gen. Hood assuming command beginning on March 10. The battalion consisted of Stanford's Mississippi Battery, the Eufaula Battery under the command of Capt. McDonald Oliver of Eufaula, Alabama, and Fenner's Louisiana Battery under the command of Capt. Charles E. Fenner.

After wintering in Dalton, GA, on May 12 through May 15 in 1864, the battalion was engaged in the Battle of Rocky Face Ridge just north of Dalton. On May 12 the Army of Tennessee had begun a move toward Atlanta, moving a few miles and then digging in and skirmishing, and then repeating the process many times over the next several months.

  •      Rocky Face Ridge (May 7-13, 1864)
  •      Resaca (May 13-15, 1864)
  •      New Hope Church (May 25-June 4, 1864)
  •      Kolb's Farm (June 22, 1864)
  •      Atlanta (July 22, 1864)
  •      Atlanta Siege (July-September 1864)

In his report of the Battle of Resaca on May 15, 1864, Gen. Stewart wrote (Report Number 654), "During the advance Stanford's Battery was of material assistance, and I deeply regret the loss of that skillful and brave officer, Capt. T. J. Stanford, with whom it has been my good fortune to be associated with little interruption since March, 1862." Stanford's Battery was posted along the line of Gen. Henry D. Clayton, who also mentioned Captain Stanford's death in Report Number 663. He wrote "... nor must I omit the gallant T. J. Stanford, whose battery was posted along my line, and who fell during the charge of my brigade. This battery rendered valuable assistance in enabling me to regain my position, and it was under these circumstances that I learned, with deepest grief, that its brave captain had yielded up his life."

After Capt. Stanford was killed at about 4:00 PM, Lt. Brown ordered the gunners at one of the guns to bear his body to the rear. Gen. Clayton and Gen. Stewart both commended Pvt. John S. McMath. Gen. Clayton wrote that "... Pvt. John S. McMath, of Stanford's Battery, continued to serve the gun alone until the infantry began to retire to the breastworks, when at his solicitation they aided him, and I am informed by officers who witnessed the firing that it was done with fine effect."I

Johnston's Army of Tennessee used the hills around Dalton to create a defensive barrier. (Library of Congress)

Johnston's Army of Tennessee used the hills around Dalton to create a defensive barrier. (Library of Congress)

Battle of Resaca Casualties

KILLED                                  WOUNDED
Capt. Thomas J. Stanford        Cpl. John W. Moone

On September 21, 1864, the Army of Tennessee left Atlanta, GA, and went to Palmetto, GA. They left Palmetto on September 30 and marched to Florence, AL, by way of Dallas, Van Wert, Cedartown, Cave Spring, Coosaville, west of Rome, Sugar Creek, Dalton, Villanow, Cross Roads, and west of Summerville (all in Georgia) to Gaylesville, Gadsden, south of Guntersville, Decatur, Courtland, and Tuscumbia (all in Alabama).

The army camped near Florence from October 30 to November 19, when they began the march north toward Spring Hill, TN. On November 28, most of the artillery (including Stanford's Mississippi Battery) from Hood's army was posted on the south side of the Duck River at Columbia and orders were given to keep up a noisy demonstration while Hood attacked the Federals at Spring Hill.

Following Franklin, and in the final campaign of The Army of Tennessee under Gen. John Bell Hood, Lt. McCall commanded the battery, with Eldridge's Battalion being commanded by Capt. Fenner of Louisiana. They were heavily engaged at the Battle of Nashville on the fifteenth and sixteenth of December.

Col. Hoxton, Chief of Artillery for Lee's Corps, reported that the eight guns of Stanford's and Eufaula Batteries were posted on Overton Hill near Nashville to the right of Franklin Pike on Gen. Clayton's line on the morning of December 16. When the charge was made, Stanford's guns "... did most splendid execution upon them with canister, ..." repulsing three separate assaults, and capturing the battle flag of the 13th Colored Regiment (given by the colored ladies of Murfreesboro).

During the whole day the two batteries were subjected to a terrible artillery fire, which killed many horses, and exploded two limber chests. When the infantry gave way around them, the artillerymen did their best to save their guns, and succeeded in limbering up nearly all of them, but the horses were shot down before they could get away.

Franklin-Nashville Campaign (September 18-December 27, 1864)

Following the Atlanta Campaign, The Battery also took part in Lieutenant General John Bell Hood's operations in Tennessee.  The Battery was captured in its entirety during the Battle of Nashville, Tennessee in December of 1864.