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Alabama Civil War Roots


1st Alabama Siege Artillery (African Descent)

Posted By: Jim Martin
Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2001, at 12:07 p.m.

Encouraged to do a little research by some other postings on this board, I'd like to know a little more about this unit.

1st Alabama Siege Artillery (aka, 6th Heavy Artillery, 7th Heavy Artillery, 11th Infantry (New) USCT

Dyer's Compendium says: 1st Regiment Siege Artillery (African Descent) Organized at LaGrange, LaFayette and Memphis, Tenn., and Corinth, Miss., June 20, 1863. Attached to District of Corinth, 16th Army Corps, Dept. Tennessee, to November, 1863. Post of Corinth, 16th Army Corps, to January, 1864. Fort Pickering, District of Memphis, Tenn., 5th Division, 16th Army Corps, to April, 1864.

Served as Garrison at Corinth, Miss., until January, 1864, and at Fort Pickering, Memphis, Tenn., until March, 1864. 4 Cos., "A," "B," "C" and "D," Garrison at Fort Pillow, Tenn., and participated in the Massacre at that Post April 12, 1864.

Designation changed to 6th U.S. Colored Heavy Arty. March 11, 1864, and to 7th U.S. Colored Heavy Arty. April 26, 1864.

Another short history states:

7th Regiment Colored Infantry/11th Regiment (new)
This regiment was organized at La Grange, Lafayette, and Memphis, Tenn., and Corinth, Mississippi, from June 20, 1863, to April 2, 1864, to serve three years, and designated the 1st regiment Alabama siege artillery, a.d. [African Descent.] Its designation was changed to 6th regiment U.S. colored heavy artillery March 11, 1864, to 7th regiment U.S. colored heavy artillery April 26, 1864, and to its present designation January 23, 1865. It was mustered out of service January 12, 1866.

Colonel
William D. Turner, 22 April 1864

Lieutenant Colonel
[not listed]

Major
U.G. Scheller de Buol, 16 March 1864

Captains
George W. Carlisle, 17 March 1864
Francis N. Marion, 6 May 1864
William C. Whitney, 8 July 1864
Samuel J. Atlee, 14 October 1865
Walter H. Fifield, 14 October 1865
John R. McDougall, 14 October 1865

First Lieutenants
John C. Malloy, 20 June 1864 (dismissed 25 January 1866)
Justus Canfield, 20 June 1864
Josiah W. Davis, 8 July 1864
Caleb Brinton, 14 October 1865
John S. Muzzy, 14 October 1865
Solomon F. Denton, 16 October 1865
Bethel M. Custer, 22 October 1865
John C. McKenny, 29 October 1865
Silas W. Gilbert, 2 November 1865
William N. Thomas, 6 November 1865

Second Lieutenants
George C. Davis, 9 August 1865
Charles W. Snyder, 9 August 1865

Surgeon
[not listed]

Assistant Surgeons
[not listed]

Chaplain
George W. Richardson, 25 May 1864
Additional Information on the Regiment

PROMOTED (1.)
First Lieutenant Julius H. Gurney, 2 March 1865, to Captain 88th U.S. C.T.

TRANSFERRED (1.)
Captain William R. Story, 1 December 1864, to 1st U.S. colored heavy artillery

RESIGNED (5.)
Captain J. B. Muller, 11 March 1864
Captain Charles J. Epeneter, 16 March 1865
Captain J. G. Crookham, 8 August 1865
First Lieutenant Malcolm F. Smith, 13 September 1865
Surgeon Reese P. Kendall, 23 October 1865

DISCHARGED (24.)
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas J. Jackson, 8 August 1865
Major George L. Paddock, 28 July 1865
Major John H. Baker, 16 August 1865
Captain William T. Smith, 28 April 1865
Captain Joseph C. Gates, 8 August 1865
Captain Thomas G. McRaven, 8 August 1865
Captain Luther J. WAshburn, 8 August 1865
First Lieutenant Daniel Vanhorn, 20 February 1865
First Lieutenant James M. Vaughn, 28 April 1865
First Lieutenant Peter Bischoff, 15 May 1865
First Lieutenant Willis B. Edson, 8 August 1865
First Lieutenant James L. Stevens, 8 August 1865
First Lieutenant Archibald Miles, 31 August 1865
Second Lieutenant Wilbur H. Gaylord, 28 March 1865
Second Lieutenant Nathan Shaddinger, 28 April 1865
Second Lieutenant Thomas W. McClure, 15 May 1865
Second Lieutenant Walter B. Appleby, 8 August 1865
Second Lieutenant Freeman R. Griswold, 8 August 1865
Second Lieutenant Richard R. Mates, 8 August 1865
Second Lieutenant H. B. Martin, 8 August 1865
Second Lieutenant Henry F. Weaver, 8 August 1865
Second Lieutenant A.J. Joslyn, 8 August 1865
Surgeon Francis M. Osborn, 13 July 1864
Assistant Surgeon Willard C. Kempton, 27 February 1865

DIED (5.)
Major L. F. Booth, killed in action at Fort Pillow, Tenn., 12 April 1864
Captain Delos Carson, killed in action at Fort Pillow, Tenn., 12 April 1864
Captain Nathaniel Reed, 24 August 1865, of disease at Memphis, Tenn.
First Lieutenant John D. Hill, killed in action at Fort Pillow, Tenn., 12 April 1864
Second Lieutenant Henry Lippett, 13 April 1864, of wounds received in action at Fort Pillow, Tenn.

DISMISSED (2.)
Colonel James M. Alexander, 27 April 1864
First Lieutenant George A. Haskins, Adjutant, 27 May 1864

List of Battles
List of battles and etc. in which this regiment participated, showing loss reported in each:
Fort Pillow - 3 officers killed; 8 enlisted men killed; 1 officer wounded; 5 officers missing; 221 enlisted men missing

Holly Springs -2 enlisted men wounded; 1 enlisted man missing

--------------------

Other than the short histories above and a muster roll for the 11th Infantry USCT on the "Civil War Soldier's and Sailor's" system (online). I've been unable to find any additional historical information or detail about this unit.

What is known about the origin of the African-American members of this unit?

Were the companies, primarily from identifiable counties?

Were these "freedmen", "runaway" or emancipated slaves or a combination?

If they were not organized from counties, were they from a particular region of the state of Alabama?

Were they "all" from the state of Alabama or were a preponderance of the men from the state of Alabama?

What was the reason for their organization as "Siege" or Heavy Artillery? How were they originally planned to be used and where?

Where did they muster, organize, train and to what post were they originally sent?

Who were the white officers and where were they from?

If they were not from Alabama, how were white officers chosen to command African-American units?

The two battles shown for this unit, according to "Official Battle Lists of the Civil War, 1861-1865, " Battle List (F), U.S. Colored Troops" National Archives Roll M823, Roll 2." are Fort Pillow, TN and Holly Springs, MS. What was this engagement at Holly Springs? When did it occur? What other units were involved? Why was the 1st AL Siege Artillery (aka, 6th Heavy Artillery, 7th Heavy Artillery, 11th Infantry (New) USCT in Holly Springs, MS?

The chronology of this unit is somewhat confusing. I understand the change of names from state designations to USCT designations; however, why was the name changed to 6th Heavy Artillery USCT just before Fort Pillow and then changed to the 7th Heavy Artillery USCT, just after? Was this due to error, i.e., did a 6th Heavy Artillery USCT already exist, or was the name changed due to losses of the four companies at Fort Pillow and some sort of reorganization?

This unit was not mustered-out until January of 1866? This was later than most of the "white" units. Where were they mustered out? Why were they retained in service until January? Did these soldiers return to Alabama?

I'm sure others can come up with a number of questions regarding the history of this unit and I invite you to post them in response to this message.

Finally, I visited the ADAH website and searched for links to Alabama African-American units. There seems to be nothing online at the ADAH site, which surprised me. I intend to contact the administration of the ADAH and inform them of this posting, invite them to visit this "thread" and to offer a compilation of what we can discover on this unit and other Alabama African-American units as a basis for an African-American section on their website. I will also be contacting African-American Civil War historians and genealogists to visit and participate in this discussion.

I hope we can produce more detailed information about this unit, and other Alabama African-American units, as a result of this posting.

Jim Martin

The Alabama Civil War Roots webmaster, James D. Allen, passed away February 5, 2003.  His tireless dedication to making available information on all our Civil War ancestors will always be our inspiration.  We dedicate the continuation of this site to him.  Jimmy, we miss you.

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