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Artillery) three 20-pounder Parrotts. Colonel Eshleman, Adjutant Kurshedt and Sergeant Major Randolph manned one of the captured Parrott rifles to accelerate the retreating foe. The captured guns were presented on the field to the First Company in recognition of their splendid work. The Second Company, under Richardson, occupied Fort Stevens with four guns. The Third Company, under Captain A. Hero, with four guns, was near the Saddler house, to the right of Beauregard's headquarters. The Fourth Company, under Captain Norcom, occupied a position on the right flank near the R. & P. R. R. and beside three field pieces manned four guns of position. The casualties were 9 killed and 21 wounded.
The command went into the trenches at Petersburg on June 18th, 1864, and there remained until April 2nd, 1865, making the last stand at Fort Gregg, under Lieutenant F. McElroy. During the retreat at Appomattox the Second Company, under Captain Richardson, served with the rear guard and was engaged up to 11 p. m. the night before the surrender.
One officer, Lieutenant C. H. C. Brown, and nine men from the First and Fourth Companies served as an escort for President Davis and were present at his capture.
In all, 808 men had served in the ranks of the Washington Artillery in Virginia and Tennessee, of whom 139 were killed or died of wounds. Four hundred and twelve were present for duty at the end of the war, of whom 92 still survive.
The Battalion had fought in sixty battles and a number of minor engagements, six of its officers were promoted out of the command, several rising to the rank of Major and Brigadier Generals.
As soon as a sufficient number of its members had returned to New Orleans after the surrender, two attempts were made to reorganize the Battalion, but the Federal commander dispersed both meetings and Confederate military organizations were prohibited, so the Washington Artillery took on a civil and benevolent character to care for its impoverished members and their families and the families of the dead. In 1875 the embargo was removed, and, at once, the command was armed and equipped at its own expense, purchasing a battery of 3-inch Parrott rifles from the Government.
Colonel Walton and the old officers again assumed command, but the reduced members formed but three batteries, known as A, B and C, successors to the Third, Fifth and First Companies, respectively.
In 1876 Colonel William Miller Owen, the Civil War Adjutant, was elected to the command of the Battalion, and in 1880 a monument was erected to the memory of the men in its ranks who gave their lives to their country. In 1881 LieutenantColonel John B. Richardson was promoted to command, and the Battalion purchased its present arsenal.
In 1898 the Battalion volunteered for service in the SpanishAmerican War, and one battery, commanded by Captain Fred Kornbeck, recruited from the entire command, was accepted, but the war terminated before the Government could equip it for the field.
Following the Spanish War the Washington Artillery again expanded into five batteries, but upon the enactment of the Dick Bill, fearing that the interpretations to be placed upon its requirements might injure its “esprit de corps” or destroy its identity, the Battalion mustered out of the service, and existed at its own expense as an independent command.
On January 31st, 1906, death removed the commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson, who had served the command for 26 years, and Major W. D. Gardiner was elected to the command of the Battalion April 11th, 1906. About a year later, January 7th, 1907, Major Gardiner was promoted to Brigadier General, and Major Thomas C. Hyman succeeded him in command May 15th, 1907. Major Hyman's administration was brought to sudden close by death July 1st, 1909. On November 17th of the same year the present commanding officer was commissioned.
After the enactment of the Dick Bill, the command, in spite of earnest and devoted work upon the part of its officers and members, seemed to decline, until upon the death of Major Hyman there were but two batteries.
On the evening of December 13th, 1909, the command was inspected by Captain Fred T. Austin of the 3rd U. S. Field Artillery, and Batteries A and B, with a total strength present of 66 men, were accepted under the Dick Bill, and shortly after the army artillery equipment for one battery was received. Then followed a strenuous period of upbuilding.
Battery C was reorganized and mustered in in 1910. · Camps of instruction were attended in 1910, '11, '12, '13 and '15. In 1914, instead of camp, a march from New Orleans to Baton Rouge was undertaken, 120 miles.
In 1912 nine officers attended the Artillery School at Fort Riley, and of these six were certified to attend the School of Fire at Fort Sill. In 1913 four officers attended the School of Fire and were graduated, and twelve officers attended the Artillery School at Tobyhouma, Pa. In 1915, ten officers attended the Tobyhouma School and one the School of Fire at Fort Sill.
During the Spring of 1916, conditions on the Mexican border became so strained that on June 18th President Wilson ordered the mobilization of the whole National Guard of the country. The order was received and the whole command assembled at the armory on the morning of the 19th, and on June 24th the Battalion entrained for Camp Stafford, Alexandria, and was mustered into Federal service by Captain Chas. S. Blakely, U. S. F. A., as follows:
Battery C, 5 officers, 149 men, June 27th.
On July 18th the Battalion entrained from Donna, Texas, arriving and making camp on July 20th, 1916, as part of the 13th Provisional Division, with headquarters at Llano Grande, under the jurisdiction of the Brownsville District, commanded by Brigadier General James Parker.
The course of training included marches aggregating 358.4 miles, as far as from New Orleans to Memphis, and two sightsetting contests, in which all the batteries of National Guard artillery in the Brownsville District took part. Battery C won both tests.
Target practice was held at Loma Alta, the site of the battle of Palo Alto, and in competition with all the National Guard batteries of the district, and three test problems given with the following results:
Block House Shell Problem:
In the morning target problem, Battery C won first place, making 365 shrapnell ball hits, several case hits and destroying half the target.
The Battalion was part of the White Army in the manoeuvres extending over an area from Harlengen to Brownsville from November 16th to 29th, participating in five engagements, two at Harlengen, San Benito, Olinito, and Loma Alta, and a review by General Parker of the 23,000 trained troops of his district on the field of Resaca de la Palma and a curtain of fire problem directed by Major Fox Conner at Palo Alto, in which all the artillery of the district took part. Battery A made 39 hits, Battery B made 2 hits and Battery C made 14 hits.
On Jackson’s Day, January 8th, 1917, the officers gave a very brilliant ball to officers of the 13th Division, and the next day broke camp and marched to McAllen, going into camp on the site of the camp of the 2nd N. Y. F. A., under Brigadier General McNair.
On February 3rd, diplomatic relations with Germany were severed. On February 18th, 1917, the command entrained for home, arriving on Mardi Gras Day, and got a rousing reception, being mustered out of Federal service on the 28th, having been in service eight months in the same region where the command had seen service in 1845 and 46, bringing back the entire personnel without the loss of a single man.
On March 28th, the command, after 28 days of rest, was again mobilized, this time by the state to guard the docks, wharves and public utilities.
On April 2nd, the President addressed Congress, and on the 3rd the Senate declared war on Germany.
On April 10th, the command was again ordered federalized and reported for duty on the morning of the 11th, remaining on guard duty on the levees.
On April 19th, the command was again mustered into the United States service by Captain Chas. S. Blakely, as follows:
Field and Staff, 3 officers.
The command went into camp at the City Park race track on April 20th and 21st.
On May 8th, three new batteries, D, E and F, were inspected by Captain Blakely, and they were recognized by the War Department on May 9th, thereby constituting the Washington Artillery a regiment, with one battalion federalized and one in the National Guard of the state. It is now encamped at Camp Nicholls, City Park, awaiting orders to go to the front.
During its years of peace service it has repeatedly done riot duty both in New Orleans and at various points in Louisiana. In 1912 it was called to conduct refugee camps for flood sufferers along the Mississippi River located at Vicksburg, Baton Rouge, Milliken’s Bend and other points.
During the days of interstate competitive drills, the Washington Artillery, under Captain Eugene May, took first prize at Dubuque in 1884, Mobile and Philadelphia in 1885, Galveston in 1886, and Austin in 1888. It took second place at New Orleans in 1885 and third place at New Orleans and Nashville in 1883.
The following works have been published upon its history:
“A Soldier's Story of the War,'' by Corporal Napier Bartlett, of the Third Company. Published in 1874.
“In Camp and Battle with the Washington Artillery," by Colonel William Miller Owen, 1885. ::“Washington Artillery Souvenir,” by Lieutenant-Colonel John B. Richardson; 1894.
"A Reminiscent Story of the Great Civil War," by Major H. H. Baker, of the Fourth Company; 1913.
All of the present officers have attended the Artillery Schools, either at Fort Riley or Tobyhanna, and four have attended the School of Fire at Fort Sill and have been graduated.
OLD GLORY-FLAG OF PROPHECY.
By T. P. THOMPSON.
“Resolved, That the Flag of the Thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the “union” be thirteen stars on a blue field, etc."
Thus was designed by our infant country, within twelve months from the Declaration of Independence, the banner of our democracy, Old Glory, under which we are engaged to-day, completing a destiny imposed and made logical by the Spirit of '76.