site logo
Confederate flag

Confederate Battery

Crenshaw (VA) Battery


Commanding Officer on the Sharpsburg Campaign:
  Capt. William G Crenshaw


  1   Napoleon
  1   12-pdr. howitzer
  2   6-pdr. Gun


This Battery's Chain of Command:
  Army - Army of Northern Virginia
  Corps - Jackson's Command
  Division - A. P. Hill's Light Division
  Brigade - A. P. Hill's Light Division Artillery

On the Sharpsburg Campaign


Still driving Pope's army, the battery moved on to Harper's Ferry with the army, and reached there on the 15th of September, when the place was invested, guns being put in position on Maryland Heights, Bolivar Heights, and Loudoun Heights. A furious cannonade was soon opened, but the enemy still held out. Finally General Jackson sent word to General A.P. Hill to take the place at the point of the bayonet. General Hill returned answer to General Jackson that if he would give him twenty minutes he could take it with his artillery. Jackson assented. Hill immediately ordered the Crenshaw Battery and the Purcell Battery, which were in front of the main works, up to within 500 or 600 yards of the redoubt, a rapid and destructive fire was opened, and the place surrendered, half of a tent being used for the white flag of surrender.

General White (one of the garrison) had a leg shot away by one of the Crenshaw's 6-pounders. General Miles was the commanding officer. Upwards of eleven thousand prisoners, seventy two pieces of artillery, all their small arms and munitions of war were captured. Captain Crenshaw was detailed to look after and dispose of the artillery, horses, and supplies, which was done satisfactorily; but scarcely had the task been completed when, on the 17th, orders came to hasten to


where a battle was raging. The situation there was very critical -- so critical, indeed, that the horses were not allowed to water in the Potomac while crossing it. The Light Division went immediately into action and the battery along with it. When we got to the position assigned us, with scarcely men enough to man the guns, we found a battery on the brow of the hill whose cannoneers had been driven from the guns, and saw a heavy column of the enemy moving up under cover of a stone wall to take possession of them. We at once opened a destructive fire on them and drove them back. But for the timely arrival of the Crenshaw Battery at this point, the result would have been disastrous in the extreme. In the meantime General A.P. Hill's Division had formed in line of battle, struck Burnside's Corps on their left flank, checked their victorious charge, and soon had it on an inglorious retreat. The fire of the sharpshooters was very severe, and Private Charles Pemberton was shot in the left side and died next day. This was a sad blow for he had endeared himself to every one by his generous and affable conduct. Privates Edward Lynham and John Gray were slightly wounded. We remained in line of battle all of the next day under fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, and recrossed the Potomac that night.


Initial Strength: not known; Killed in Action (KIA): 1; Wounded (WIA): 5;

Battlefield Tablets for this Unit

Tablet #372: Artillery Battalion, A.P. Hill's Division - 17 Sep, 3 PM to 19 Sep, 7 AM
Tablet #348: Hill's Light Division, Jackson's Command - 17 Sep, 7 AM to 19 Sep, 9 AM

References & Notes

The Maryland Campaign text above quoted from Charles P. Young in his essay History of Crenshaw Battery, published in the Southern Historical Society Papers (Vol. 31, 1903).

We have 7 individuals in the AotW database who were on the Maryland Campaign with this unit:


Co. Rank Name Casualty? Details*
--PvtCaldwell, Matthew AlexanderWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--CaptCrenshaw, William Graves        We have some details for this person
--PvtGray, John TaylorWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtHargrove, William E.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtLynham, Edward N.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtPemberton, Charles MWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtYoung, Charles PrichardWIA   09/15     We have some details for this person


* If there's a symbol in the Details column ...

We have a picture for this person - We have a picture for this person
We have further details for this person - We have details beyond name and rank
Click on their last name to see more