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[45]

Heavy artillery that made marvellous infantry-drilling before the Wilderness Save for the drills in the forts about Washington, the big heavy artillery regiments with a complement of 1,800 men had an easy time at first. But in 1864, when General Grant took command of the armies in the field, the heavy artillery regiments in the vicinity of Washington were brigaded, provisionally, for service at the front. On May 19th, at the battle of Spotsylvania, the veterans cracked no end of jokes at the expense of the new troops. “How are you, heavies?” they would cry. “Is this work heavy enough for you? You're doing well, my sons. If you keep on like this a couple of years, you'll learn all the tricks of the trade.” They had no more such comments to make after they had seen the “heavies” in action. They bore themselves nobly. Many of the severest casualties during the war were sustained by the heavy artillerists in the Wilderness campaign and at Petersburg.

A light battery that fought before Petersburg — the 17th New York The Seventeenth Independent Battery of New York Light Artillery, known as the “Orleans Battery,” was organized at Lockport, New York, and mustered in August 26, 1862. It remained in the artillery Camp of instruction and in the defenses of Washington until July, 1864, when it was ordered to Petersburg. It took part in the pursuit of Lee, and was present at Appomattox.

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