Cobbs Battery, Shiloh National Military Park
|This horse (named Frank) saved himself when his rider dismounted to help limber up the guns and train them against Sherman's Artillery. As soon as he found himself without a rider, Frank trotted away and found safety behind an enormous pile of hay which had been baled and was used as headquarters by McClellan, one of Sherman's Generals [Maj.Gen. John McClernand, commanding a division under Gen. Grant, or Col. John McDowell, commanding a brigade under Sherman?]. There the horses remained in perfect safety and enjoyed a banquet of hay during the engagement.|
After the battle of Jackson, Miss., where Cobb's Battery greatly distinguished itself and was largely responsible for the Confederate victory, the troops were drawn up in a hollow square and presented with a banner by the wives of Generals John C. Breckenridge [sic], [Simon] Boliver Buckner, and H.B. Lyon. The flag was made from dresses of these three ladies as it was not possible to secure material for it from any other source. Shortly after the close of the war this banner, which [was] carried all through the war and was cut by many bullet shots, was presented [to] Frank P. Gracey by one of the members of the Battery, who wrapped it around his body under his clothes and smuggled it through enemy lines. It is still in the possession of his son Julian P. Gracey [see below].
Cobb's Battery, Chickamauga National Military Park
| The Battery, which distinguished
itself and its native state by its heroism all through the war, was commanded [commended?]
at different times by Generals Breckenridge [sic], Bates [William B. Bate, division
commander in the Army of Tennessee], Cheatam [B. Frank Cheatham, division and corps
commander in the AoT], Helm [Ben Hardin Helm, commander of the Orphan Brigade who was killed at
Chickamauga], Preston [William Preston, brigade commander], Lewis [Joseph Lewis, final
commander of the Orphan Brigade], and Lyon.
Notes from Terry Reigel: The account
consistently calls the namesake Cobb "R. L. Cobb." He was not. Major
Robert Cobb was Robertson H. Cobb, son of Robert Livingston and Cornelia (Mims)
Cobb. While early records use the name Robertson, he always used Robert as his
Capt. R. L. Cobb was Robert Linah Cobb, son of the elder Robert's brother Joshua, and Cornelia's sister Julia. It appears he did serve in his cousins' battery briefly, but then moved on to some fame as a pontoonier in Engineers. If indeed Julian made that mistake, I suppose it is understandable. He was the son of Robert L's sister Irene, and Robert L. was a closer relative than his cousin Robert H., who lived in Paducah, then moved to Texas.
Major Cobb is on my website at http://reigelridge.com/roots/p1781.htm and Capt. Cobb is at http://reigelridge.com/roots/p426.htm
This is a post-war flag used by the veterans of Cobb's Battery, on display at the Rose Hill Museum, Eddyville, Kentucky. It was presented by Julian Gracey to the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Lyon County in 1927, but it is not the flag mentioned in the memoir.
For more information on Orphan Brigade flags, see the Flags page.
(Eddyville, KY, "Herald Ledger," 25 March 1998; courtesy Tom Prince; photo courtesy Georgette Beatty, Rose Hill Museum)
NOTES: Muster rolls and other records show that Cobb's Battery was organized on September 20, 1861, as conversion of Company F, 3rd Kentucky Infantry to artillery service. It was initially armed with four 6-pounder smoothbore guns and two 12-pounder howitzers. In July 1863 it was re-armed with four 12-pounder Napoleon cannons, and during the Atlanta Campaign of 1864, it had six Napoleons.
The battery fought in the battles noted above. At Shiloh, they were heavily engaged on the second day (April 7, 1862) in the area of Water Oaks Pond. At one of the larger actions during the siege of Jackson, MS, 12 July 1863, Cobb's Battery was instrumental in repulsing the Federal assaults. Following the end of the Atlanta Campaign, the battery left the Orphan Brigade and was assigned to the defenses of Mobile. Some members left to serve with Forrest's Cavalry. The battles of Sulphur Trestle, AL, and Johnsonville, TN, were fought by Forrest in September-November 1864 (Gen. Lyon and Capt. Gracey participated).
Click here to see a photo of several veterans of Cobb's Battery at a reunion, ca. 1901.
Click here for a compiled roster of Cobb's Battery.
Click here to visit another page with a history of Cobb's Battery.
Report of the Adjutant General for the State of Kentucky: Confederate Volunteers, Vol. 1 (Frankfort, 1915, reprinted by McDowell Publications, 1980), pp. 470-477.
Ed Porter Thompson, History of the Orphan Brigade (Louisville, 1898, reprinted by Morningside Books, 1991), pp. 862-869.
"Captains R. L. Cobb and F. P. Gracey," Confederate Veteran, Vol. 3, No. 8 (August 1895), pp. 249-250.
Stewart Sifakis, Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, the Confederate Units, and the Indian Units. New York: Facts on File, 1995, pp. 5-6.
The Southern Bivouac, Vol. 2 (1884), p.364, and Vol. 3 (1885), pp. 195, 248 (reprinted by Broadfoot Publishing, 1992).
Revised: Monday, 24-Mar-97 22:13:58 PST
Comments to page authors:
Geoff Walden: enfield577 (at) live.com
All contents copyright ©1996-2014, Geoff Walden, Laura Cook. All rights reserved. No text or photos may be reproduced without the permission of the owners. We gratefully acknowledge the generous permission of the owners in allowing us to show their images and other information on this page.