Independent Battery F
Captain Robert B. Hampton's Battery
Pennsylvania Volunteers

Recruited at Pittsburg

This battery was recruited at Pittsburg, in October, 1861, and organized at Williamsport, Maryland, to serve for three years, on the 7th of December, with the following officers:

  • Robert B. Hampton, Captain;
  • James P.Fleming, First Lieutenant;
  • Nathaniel Irish, First Lieutenant;
  • Alfred N. Harbours, Second Lieutenant.

Soon after its organization, it was ordered to join the forces on the Upper Potomac, under command of Major General Banks. It arrived at the front on the 15th, and three days thereafter, was engaged withthe enemy at Dam No. 5, and again on the 4th, 5th, and 6th of January, 1862,at Hancock, Maryland. On the 26th of February, it first crossed the Potomac,and with the forces of Banks, pushed the enemy, under Stonewall Jackson, asfar as Edinburg, where, from the 5th to the 18th of April, brisk skirmishingwas kept up. Finally, the enemy was driven again as far as Cross Keys,where the battery was engaged on the 26th. Banks was, however, obliged toretire before a superior force, but contested the ground stubbornly, as he wentback, fighting at Middletown on the 24th, and at Winchester on the 25th, thebattery in both engagements, rendering efficient service, and when the groundcould be no longer held covered the retreat to the Potomac.Jackson retreated precipitately as the Union forces gathered in the Valleyto meet him, and the battery again advanced as far as Front Royal, where itremained until the middle of August. Lieutenant Joseph L. Miller here joinedit with fifty men and two guns, it having been to this time only a four gun battery. It then proceeded with Banks' army to meet the enemy upon the ltappahannock, the Peninsula campaign having terminated disastrously, and the legions of Lee swarming upon the Union front. Pope, who had been assignedto chief command, battled manfully to check and repel the rebel advance; but overborne by superior numbers, he was compelled to fall back towards Washington. At Freeman's Ford on the 22d, at White Sulphur Springs on the 23dand 24th, at Waterloo on the 25th, in the fierce struggle at Bull Run on the29th and 30th, at Chantilly on the 1st of September, and at Falls Church onthe 2d, the battery was engaged, and gained the commendation of its superiorofficers for its efficiency.Pope's disasters had scarcely ended, when the campaign in Marylandopened, and the battery, crossing the Potomac at Chain Bridge, was hurriedforward to South Mountain, where, on the 14th, it participated in the battlewhich swept the enemy from the fastnesses of that mountain chain, and on the16th and 17th, bore a prominent part in the battle of Antietam. After theenemy had been driven from Maryland, the battery was assigned to duty withthe Twelfth Corps, commanded by General Slocum, and was stationed at Harper's Ferry, the corps remaining there, while the rest of the army moved on tothe Rappahann.ock. In the affairs at Charlestown on the 9th of November,and at Winchester on the 2d of December, tnder General Geary, it wasbriskly engaged, and when, on the 10th, Slocum's Corps was put in motion tojoin Burnside at Fredericksburg, it made a forced march to gain the battle.field; but owing to the state of the roads, and the destruction of bridges byswollen streams, it failed to reach the ground in time for the engagement.The corps was, accordingly posted to hold the line from Fairfax Court Houseto Acquia Creek, where it remained during the winter.On the 27th of April, 1863, the battery started on the march for Chancellorsville, and with the corps engaged the enemy on the centre of the line inthe fighting of the 1st, 2d, and 3d of May. On the evening of the 2d, Stonewall Jackson attacked and crushed the right wing of the army, held by theEleventh Corps. The Twelfth, and detachments of the Third Corps stoodnext, and received the shock with undaunted courage and constancy, checkingthe mad onset of the foe, and turning back his victorious columns, Jacksonhimself, receiving a mortal wound. But on the morning of the 3d, the enemyrenewed his attack with redoubled fury, and in the fierce struggle which prevailed, in which the artillery played a most prominent part, Captain Hamptonwas killed, and the battery sustained severe losses. On the 5th, this battery,together with Knap's and Thompson's, covered the retreat of the army to thenorth bank of the Rappahannock. On the 20th of May,,the battery having previously been consolidated withbattery C, Captain Thompson, was assigned to the reserve artillery of theArmy of the Potomac, led by General R. O. Tyler, and about the middle of June, commenced the march towards Pennsylvania.

On the 2d of July, atGettysburg, it went into position in the Peach Orchard, on the right of the position held by Sickles' Corps, and held it until the line was forced to fall back.On the 3d of July, it was posted with the Second Corps, holding the left centreof the line, and with that corps was engaged on the afternoon of that day, in the fierce struggle, which finally decided the battle. In this engagement, Lieutenant Miller received a mortal wound, and died on the 9th of August following. When the army returned to Virginia, the battery moved with the columns, crossing the Potomac at Berlin, and advancing to Culpepper Court House. On the 11th of October, it commenced falling back towards Centreville Heights, the enemy threatening to turn the right flank of the army; buton the 15th, again advanced, and engaged the enemy at Blackburn's Ford.Towards the close of November, the army was put in motion for a vigorouscampaign. The battery crossed the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford, and theRapidan at Germania Ford, and on the 27th and 28th, was engaged at Mine Run, and on the 29th and 30th, at White Hall Church. Upon the abandonment of the campaign, it re-crossed the Rapidan at Gold Mine Ford, and wentinto winter-quarters at Brandy Station. On the 5th of February, 1864, it joinedin the movement to Morton's Ford, on the Rapidan, and on the 6th was engaged. The purpose of the demonstration having been effected, it returned tocamp. Lieutenant Irish had been promoted to Captain in May preceding, andfresh recruits having been received, battery F was subsequently re-organized.Before the opening of the spring campaign, the battery was ordered to CampBarry, at Washington, to re-organize and re-fit, and on the 14th of May, relieved forces of heavy artillery on duty in the defenses of Washington.

On the 4th of July, the battery was ordered to Harper's Ferry, and moved thither by forced marches. Upon its arrival, it was posted on MarylandHeights, in conjunction with forces assigned to the defense of that position.Until December, it was employed in the various movements involved in drivingthe enemy from the Valley, and in holding the line of the Potomac. It then went into winter-quarters on Maryland Heights, where, at the expiration of their term of service, the original members, with the exception of veterans, were mustered out. About the middle of April, 1865, the veterans, with the recruits, were ordered to duty in the defenses of Washington, where they continued on duty, until the 26th of June, 1865, when they likewise were mustered out.

Source:  Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.


Organization:

Organized at Williamsport December 7, 1861.
Joined Banks on Upper Potomac December 15, 1861.
Attached to Banks' Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862.
Artillery, 1st Division, Banks' 5th Army Corps, and Dept. of the Shenandoah to June, 1862.
Artillery, 2nd Army Corps, Army of Virginia, to September, 1862.
Artillery, 2nd Division, 12th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to May,
1863.
4th Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac, to October, 1863.
Artillery Brigade, 2nd Army Corps, to March, 1864.
Camp Barry, Defences of Washington, 22nd Corps, to May, 1864.
2nd Brigade, DeRussy's Division, 22nd Corps, to July, 1864.
Reserve Division, Dept. of West Virginia, to January, 1865.
1st Separate Brigade, 3rd Division, West Virginia, to March, 1865.
Artillery Reserve, Army of the Shenandoah, to April, 1865.
3rd Brigade, Hardins' Division, 22nd Corps, Dept. of Washington, to June, 1865.

Service:

Duty on the Upper Potomac till February, 1862.
Advance on Winchester March 1-12. Occupation of Winchester March 12.
Pursuit of Jackson up the Valley March 24-April 27.
Operations in the Shenandoah Valley May 15-June 17.
Action at Newtown and Middletown May 24.
Retreat to Williamsport May 24-26.
Battle of Winchester May 25.
Reconnoissance to Front Royal June 29-30.
Luray June 30.
At Front Royal till August.
Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 16-September 2.
Sulphur Springs August 24.
Bull Run August 30.
Chantilly September 1.
Maryland Campaign September.
Battle of Antietam September 16-17.
Moved to Harper's Ferry September 19, and duty there till December.
Near Snickersville November 8.
Reconnoissance to Rippon November 9.
Reconnoissance to Winchester December 2-6.
March to Fredericksburg December 12-16.
"Mud March" January 20-24, 1863.
At Stafford Court House till April 27.
Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6.
Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5.
Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24.
Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1-3.
Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan September 13-17.
Bristoe Campaign November 9-22.
Auburn and Bristoe October 14.
Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8.
Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2.
Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7, 1864.
Morton's Ford February 6-7.
Duty at Camp Barry, Washington, D.C., and in the Defences of Washington
south of the Potomac till July.
Duty at Harper's Ferry, W. Va., till April, 1865, and
in the Defences of Washington till June, 1865.
Mustered out June 26, 1865.

Losses:

Battery lost during service:
2 Officers and 8 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and
14 Enlisted men by disease.

Total 24.
Source:  Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion Compiled and Arranged from Official Records of the Federal and Confederate Armies, Reports of he Adjutant Generals of the Several States, the Army Registers, and Other Reliable Documents and Sources.Des Moines, Iowa: The Dyer Publishing Company, 1908

Home

Artillery

Cavalry

Infantry

Reserves

U. S. C. T.

Direct questions or comments to pacivilwar@gmail.com

©  Alice J. Gayley, all rights reserved

Web Space provided by