This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 officer of artillery inquired what battery it was. When told, he said he had heard of it, and was very anxious that his battery should meet it on the battle-field. He was told the Fifth Company hoped to have that pleasure some day, and would give his battery their best attention. He gave his name as Lieutenant F. A. Mason, Thirteenth Indiana Battery, and chatted pleasantly until the column moved on. His battery seemed to have acted in Kentucky and Tennessee exclusively during the war, for it was often inquired after on many battle-fields, but, unless unknowingly in Hood's Tennessee campaign, it was never met. The Fifth Company's experience led it to be extremely careful in claiming victories over special batteries of the enemy. At a distance there is no telling what compels your adversary to cease firing, to shift his position or to retire. It may be the fire of skirmishers, or of a line of battle, a flank fire, or the engagement may have been terminated by superior orders. Unless one battery occupies the ground of the other, and finds evidences of disaster, it is impossible for it to claim a victory with any certainty. In a broken and thickly-wooded country, like the field of Shiloh, it was very difficult to see the effects of the artillery shots, or to know what battery you were fighting, unless you blew up some of its limbers or caissons, dismounted its guns or captured its men. No such disaster befell the Fifth Company on that field, and ‘the boys’ of the Chicago Light Artillery, Company A, since Shiloh, have been exulting in imaginary victories over the Washington Artillery of New Orleans. And they are not the only ones. In publications about this battle, other Federal batteries have been credited with similar victories, and with no better foundation in fact. Among these are the McAllister's First Illinois Light Artillery, Company D, Thompson's Ninth Indiana Battery, Thurster's and Bulle's Battery I, First Missouri Artillery; all good batteries, and worthy of any foeman's steel. On other fields of the West also, the honor of vanquishing the Fifth Company has been claimed by several batteries. The disabling of the company's eight inch Columbiad, the Lady Slocomb, at Spanish Fort, is still a matter of controversy between Mack's (Black Horse Battery) Eighteenth New York and Hendrick's Battery L, First Indiana Artillery.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.