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Federal Battery

5th New York Heavy Artillery, Company F

Organized: New York City; mustered in 6 March 1862
Disbanded/Mustered out: Harpers Ferry, WV 19 July 1865


Commanding Officer on the Antietam Campaign:
  Capt Eugene McGrath


This Battery's Chain of Command:
  Corps - Middle Department (8th Army Corps)
  Division - Harpers Ferry Garrison
  Brigade - 3rd Brigade, HF Garrison

Unit history

Stationed in New York Harbor to May 1862, then in Baltimore, the battery was assigned to Harpers Ferry in June 1862 and arrived on the 18th to man the two IX-inch Dahlgren guns and one 50-pounder rifle of the Naval Battery position about 400 feet above river level on the southwest face of Maryland Heights.

On the Antietam Campaign

Colonel Miles added 4 light 12-pounder howitzers to the Battery - 2 each on 10 and 11 September. On the 12th Captain McGrath directed construction of breastworks for the howitzers about 200 feet northeast of the Naval Battery and had 100 yards of woods to the north cleared so that he could fire toward the crest of Maryland Heights.

On 13 September the battery fired on Confederate troops advancing along the crest of Elk Ridge until ordered to withdraw from Maryland Heights about 3 pm. They spiked the big naval guns and "toppled them from their carriages." They then used the 12-pounder howitzers to help cover the Federal infantry retreat from the crest before also spiking those guns and crossing over to Harpers Ferry (from Susan and Dennis Frye's Maryland Heights: Archeological & Historical Resources Study, 1989).

Carman1 has the Dahlgrens as 10-inch columbiads and says that the 4 12-pounder howitzers were "added later".

Two men of the battery were killed by the "premature explosion" of a shell at the Naval Battery on 13 September.

We have 5 individuals in the AotW database who were on the Maryland Campaign with this unit:


Co. Rank Name Casualty? Details*
--PvtFlanagan, Martin KIA   09/13     We have some details for this person
--PvtGough, James J.KIA   09/13     We have some details for this person
--CaptMcGrath, Eugene POW   09/15     We have some details for this person
--LtMcGrath, Jr., Eugene POW   09/15     We have some details for this person
--PvtPittenger, Smith POW   09/15     We have some details for this person


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1   Carman, Ezra Ayers, and Dr. Thomas G. Clemens, editor, The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, 3 volumes, El Dorado Hills (CA): Savas Beatie, 2010-17, Vol. 1, pg. 235  [AotW citation 22409]