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Campaign of Battery D, First Rhode Island light artillery.   By:

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[Illustration: FIRST LIEUT. EZRA K. PARKER (Picture taken June, 1908)]

PERSONAL NARRATIVES OF EVENTS IN THE WAR OF THE REBELLION,

BEING PAPERS READ BEFORE THE RHODE ISLAND SOLDIERS AND SAILORS HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

Seventh Series No. 6.

PROVIDENCE: PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY. 1913.

SNOW & FARNHAM CO., PRINTERS.

Campaign of Battery D, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, in Kentucky and East Tennessee.

BY EZRA K. PARKER, [Late First Lieutenant Battery E, First Rhode Island Light Artillery.]

PROVIDENCE: PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY. 1913.

CAMPAIGN OF BATTERY D, FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY, IN KENTUCKY AND EAST TENNESSEE.

In March, 1863, Gen. A. E. Burnside, having been relieved at his own request of the command of the Army of the Potomac, was soon afterwards assigned to the Department of the Ohio. Upon his special request, the Ninth Army Corps was also detailed for service in this department, and at once preparations were made for the transportation of the corps from Virginia to Kentucky. Battery D, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, Capt. William W. Buckley, was at that time attached to the Ninth Corps and was sent with its corps to the west. This battery had been at the beginning of its service attached to the first division of the Army of the Potomac, and when the army was divided into army corps, this battery was included in the first corps commanded by General McDowell. Its first active service was in the short and successful campaign to Fredericksburg, in April and May, 1862. Then it went through the campaign of the Army of Virginia, under Gen. John Pope, losing heavily at the battle of the second Manassas, then again under General McClellan, in his successful campaign of South Mountain and Antietam. Meantime, General McDowell had been succeeded by General Hooker in the command of the First Army Corps. It was in the Fredericksburg campaign under Burnside, and was by his order transferred from the First to the Ninth Army Corps. After a not unpleasant march, both by rail and steamboat, the battery reached Lexington, Ky., on March 30th, 1863, and went into camp on the Fair grounds. Here it remained but a week, and then the line of march was taken up for camp Dick Robinson. On the 26th, the battery began its march from camp Dick Robinson to Somerset, near the Cumberland river, completing it on the 7th of May, 1863, and there it remained until the 7th of June. It was now expected that within a few days the march for East Tennessee would commence. Although we, members of the battery, well knew that the campaign would be arduous and full of dangers, still we were all anxious to advance. In consequence of orders to General Burnside to send a part of his command to Vicksburg to assist General Grant, and in consequence of the raid of Gen. John Morgan, it was not until the 21st of August, 1863, that the expedition started. The Twenty third Army Corps was the only corps that commenced at that date the march over the Cumberland river and mountains. General Hartzuff commanded the corps, consisting of three divisions commanded by Generals White, Hascall and Carter, respectively. We were attached to Gen. Hascall's division, and marched with our division by way of Stanford, Crab Orchard and Cub Creek to the Cumberland river. The Ninth Corps was reported to be at Cincinnati and to follow close upon the tracks of the Twenty third Corps. The strength of the Twenty third Corps was, perhaps, 15,000 or 20,000 men of all arms.

The march over the Cumberland mountains was full of adventures and labors. It would require a much longer paper than this to describe the many incidents that befell us on that famous march. We had no snow nor ice to encounter, but otherwise I doubt whether or not Napoleon's crossing of the Alps was more fraught with dangers and hardships than was this crossing of the Cumberland mountains by the Army of the Ohio... Continue reading book >>




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