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Confederate Battery

Richmond Howitzers, 3rd Company

"Smith's Battery"


Commanding Officer on the Sharpsburg Campaign:
  Capt. Benjamin H. Smith, Jr.


  2   10-pdr. Parrott
  2   12-pdr. howitzer


This Battery's Chain of Command:
  Army - Army of Northern Virginia
  Corps - Jackson's Command
  Division - Jackson's Corps Reserve Artillery
  Brigade - Brown's Artillery Battalion (1st Va Artillery)

On the Sharpsburg Campaign

This battery was one in the artillery battalions of Brown and Nelson who were guarding the Potomac fords near Williamsport and Shepherdstown on the Campaign. They were on the Virginia side of the river near Williamsport, and were not engaged at Sharpsburg.

In an 1895 letter to Ezra Carman, Lt Henry C Carter wrote:

The 3rd Company Richmond Howitzer's at the time of the Maryland Campaign was attached to the Reserve Artillery, and when the Confederate Army retired from Maryland crossed the Potomac at Williamsport and moved in the direction of Shepherdstown, arriving there on the 15th September and remained in camp there until the 18th, when two 10 pound Parrott guns belonging to the battery were ordered to proceed to the battlefield of the 17th near Sharpsburg, between the Dunker Church and the Potomac. The guns were not under fire, nor did they fire a shot, or take any part in the battle whatever. The guns remained on the field until early in the night of the 18th when they were ordered back to Shepherdstown. The crossing of the Potomac occupied the entire night, and the guns came under fire of the Federal batteries as they were ascending the hill on the south bank of the Potomac. The other two guns of the battery consisting of 2 12 pound Howitzers, were sent to Williamsport and crossed the river at that point, on the 18th Sept. I think and aided in the demonstration being at that time made on the Maryland side by the Confederate Cavalry under General J. E. B. Stuart.

Battlefield Tablet for this Unit

Tablet #355: Reserve Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia - 16 Sep, 12 PM to 18 Sep, 6 AM

References & Notes

Thanks to Jim Buchanan for copies of Lt Carter's letter [pg 1][pg 2] from the National Archives.1

We have 2 individuals in the AotW database who were on the Maryland Campaign with this unit:


Co. Rank Name Casualty? Details*
--LtCarter, Henry Clay        We have some details for this person
--CaptSmith, Jr., Benjamin Hodges        We have some details for this person


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1   Antietam Battlefield Board, and correspondents, Antietam Studies (Collection), Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917, Record Group 94, Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1897-  [AotW citation 1124]