Independent Battery B
Recruited at Erie and Chambersburg
The order for recruiting the Seventy-seventh Regiment, provided for eight companies of infantry, and one of artillery. A company for the latter service, was recruited in Franklin county, by Captain Peter B. Housum; but not having the required strength, it was consolidated with one recruited for similar service in Erie county, by Captain Charles F. Muehler, and was mustered into service at Pittsburg, on the 6th of November, 1861, under command of the latter, Captain Housum being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. With the regiment, the battery proceeded down the Ohio River, to Louisville, Kentucky. After a few days' delay, it was sent by the line of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad to Camp Nevin, where it was instructed and drilled. Towards the close of the year, it was detached from the regiment, and was afterwards known as Independent Battery B. From Camp Nevin, it marched to Mumfordsville, on Green River, the rebel General John Morgan having, on the day preceding the movement, burned the bridge near Muldraugh's Hill.
Soon after the success of the Union arms at forts Henry and Donaldson, on the 16th of February, 1862, General Grant commenced moving up the Cumberland River, and on the 6th of April, the battle of Pittsburg Landing opened. Buell, who commanded the Army of the Cumberland, made a corresponding movement by way of Nashville, and reached the battle-ground with aportion of his forces, during the night of the 6th, taking part in the fightingof the 7th. The battery did not arrive on the field until after the battle was over, and the enemy was repulsed.
When the united armies moved forward to Corinth, it marched with General Crittenden's column, to which it was attached, and with it participated in the operations, by which the enemy was again driven. In the campaign which followed, extending through northern Mississippi and Alabama, it accompanied the main army, and when Bragg commenced his march on Louisville, made forced marches with the rest of the army, to reach that point in advance of him.
At Perryville, where a part ofthe Union army met and defeated Bragg on the 8th of October, the battery was unable to reach the field until the fighting was over, and the enemy in full retreat. A vigorous pursuit was at once commenced, and on the closing day of the year, General Rosecrans, who had succeeded Buell in command of the army, encountered Bragg at Murfreesboro, where a general engagement occurred, in which, for five days, the battery was in the hottest of the fight, doing signal service, and sustaining severe losses. For its gallantry on this sanguinary field, it was warmly complimented by General Rosecrans.
In the battle of Murfreesboro, on the 19th of September, 1863, it was again hotly engaged,and here Captain Alanson J. Stevens, who had succeeded Captain Muehler, was killed. For a time after the battle, the army was closely shut up in Chattanooga, whither it had retired, and suffered severely from lack of provisions. But in the battle which was fought at Mission Ridge, on the 25th of November, where the battery again did excellent service, Bragg was swept from his strongholds, and driven in confusion southward.
During the succeeding winter, a large proportion of the original men reenlisted, preserving it as a veteran organization, and a considerable number of recruits were added to its strength.
In the spring of 1864, the battery moved with Sherman on his Atlanta campaign, and the hundred days, during which the fighting was almost incessant, it was with the Fourth Corps, commanded by General Stanley, to which it had been transferred soon after the battle of Chickamauga.
In the bold and bloody assault on the enemy's lines at Kenesaw Mountain, on the 27th of June, Captain Samuel M. M'Dowell, who had succeeded to the command after the fall of Captain Stevens, was killed. Upon the fall of Atlanta, on the 2d of September, General Hood, who had succeeded General Johnston in command of the rebel army, moved upon the communications of Sherman, in the direction of Chattanooga, and the latter, with the Fourth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Seventeenth corps, followed him. When it was evident that Hood intended to open a campaign in Tennessee, Sherman placed what forces he could spare under General Thomas, with which to meet Hood, and returning with the major part of his army to Atlanta, soon after commenced his famous march to the sea. The Fourth Corps was left with Thomas.
Wood's Division of the Fourth Corps reached Athens on the 31st of October, and shortly afterwards the entire corps was concentrated at Pulaski. Gradually the Union troops, which were out numbered two to one, fell back to Columbia, and finally to Franklin, where General Schofield, who was in command, prepared to give battle. The enemy attacked with great impetuosity, but was hurled back with fearful loss. From half-past three until after dark the battle raged, the fighting extending along a front of two miles, reaching from the extreme Union left to the right centre. General Stanley was wounded in the battle, and the command of the corps devolved on General Wood.
During the night, Schofield withdrew his forces to Nashville, where preparations were made for defense, until such time as Thomas should be prepared to assume the offensive.
On the morning of the 15th of December, the order for the attack was given, and for two days the battle raged with great fury. Finally, the enemy, hard pressed on all sides, was driven from the field. The pursuit was vigorously pushed, and frequent skirmishing continued until Hood was driven from Tennessee, and his army virtually broken up.
After the surrender of the rebel armies, the battery was sent to Texas, in conjunction with other troops, where it remained on duty until the 12th of October, when it was mustered out of service at Victoria.
Source: Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.
Organized at Erie and Chambersburg August, 1861.
Moved, with 77th Pennsylvania, to Louisville, Ky., October 18, 1861; thence to Camp Nevin, Ky.
Attached to Negley's Brigade, McCook's Command, Army of the Ohio, to December, 1861.
Artillery, 2nd Division, Army of the Ohio, to June, 1862.
Artillery, 5th Division, Army of the Ohio, to September, 1862.
Artillery, 5th Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Ohio, to November, 1862.
Artillery, 3rd Division, Left Wing, 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to January, 1863.
Artillery, 3rd Division, 21st Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to October, 1863.
Artillery, 3rd Division, 4th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to April, 1864.
Artillery, 1st Division, 4th Corps, to July, 1864.
Artillery Brigade, 4th Corps, to August, 1865.
Dept. of Texas to October, 1865.
Camp at Nolin River, Ky., till February, 1862.
March to Bowling Green, Ky.; thence to Nashville, Tenn., February 14-March 3.
March to Savannah, Tenn., March 16-April 6.
Battle of Shiloh, Tenn., April 6-7 (Reserve).
Advance on and Siege of.Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30.
Pursuit to Booneville May 31-June 6.
Buell's Campaign in Northern Alabama
and Middle Tennessee June to August.
March to Louisville, Ky., in pursuit of Bragg, August 20-September 26.
Pursuit of Bragg into Kentucky October 1-22.
Battle of Perryville. Ky., October 8.
Logan's Cross Roads October 18.
March to Nashville, Tenn., October 22-November 6 and duty there till December 26.
Advance on Murfreesboro December 26-30.
Battle of Stone's River December 30-31, 1862, and January 1-3, 1863.
Duty at Murfreesboro till June.
Middle Tennessee (or Tullahoma) Campaign June 23-July 7.
Occupation of Middle Tennessee till August 16.
Passage of Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River, and Chickamauga (Ga.) Campaign,
August 16-September 22.
Battle of Chickamauga September 19-20.
Siege of Chattanooga September 24-October 27.
Battles of Chattanooga November 23-25; Mission Ridge November 24-25; Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May to September, 1864.
Demonstration on Rocky Faced Ridge May 8-11.
Buzzard's Roost Gap May 8-9.
Demonstration on Dalton May 9-13.
Battle of Resaca May 14-15.
Near Kingston May 18-19.
Near Cassville May 19.
Kingston May 21.
Cassville May 24.
New Hope Church May 25.
Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church
and Allatoona Hills, May 26-June 5.
Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2.
Pine Hill June 11-14.
Lost Mountain June 15-17.
Assault on Kenesaw June 27.
Ruff's Station, or Smyrna Camp Ground, July 4.
Chattahoochee River July 5-17.
Peach Tree Creek July 19-20.
Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25.
Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30.
Battle of Jonesboro August 31-September 1.
Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Hood September 29-November 3.
Nashville Campaign November-December.
Spring Hill November 23 and November 29.
Battle of Franklin November 30.
Near Nashville December 6.
Battle of Nashville December 15-16.
Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28.
Moved to Huntsville, Ala., and duty there till March, 1865.
Operations in North Georgia and East Tennessee January 31-April 24.
Duty at Nashville, Tenn., till June.
Moved to New Orleans, La,, thence to Texas, and duty there till October, 1865.
Mustered out October 12, 1865.
Battery lost during service
2 Officers and 8 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 25 Enlisted men by disease.
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
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