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Confederate artillery officers: problems of Lee's artillery.

After General Alexander became acting chief of artillery, Huger succeeded to the command of his battalion. The fine faces of these officers recall the trying times through which they passed. For the last two years especially, the Confederate field-artillery fought against the odds of lack of horses. Behind them stood no such supply depot as Giesboro outside of Washington, which furnished the Federal armies thousands of fresh horses, and cared for sick ones. A Confederate artillery piece seldom boasted more than four horses after 1862. When some of these were killed, the gun was handled by the horse or horses left and the men of the battery. However, Huger's battalion went through the campaigns of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, East Tennessee, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House — fought with the Army of Northern Virginia through the siege of Petersburg — and “never had to run.” The men boasted they occupied their ground after every fight, and buried their own dead.

W. T. Poague was captain of the Rockbridge Artillery in the Stonewall brigade before he became lieutenant-colonel of artillery, Third Corps. This was in the Army of Northern Virginia. The efficiency of its artillery was crippled until the winter of 1862-63 by the system of attaching the batteries to various brigades and divisions, and not handling it as a separate corps so that its batteries could be massed. The chief of artillery was not even allowed to choose the positions for his guns. But during that winter the artillery was organized into a number of battalions, and the battalion commanders reported to the chiefs of artillery of the army corps, and on the march or in battle acted with and received orders from the general of the division with which they happened to be. After the batteries could be massed they were much more effective as they abundantly proved on the battlefield of Gettysburg and in the later Virginia campaigns.

Lieutenant-Colonel Frank Huger

Lieutenant-Colonel W. T. Pogue


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