. . . Huwald's Battery was formed in Knoxville, TN, June 21st 1862, by order of General E. Kirby Smith. Commanded by Lt. Gustave A. Huwald, it started with only ten men on roll and would be attached to cavalry units throughout the war.
. . .With more men transferred from cavalry and infantry units, the battery left for Rogersville, June 30th, where it remained for about six weeks. On August 17th it leaves with General E. Kirby Smith's Army on his invasion of Kentucky, where it is involved in several battles around Richmond, Shelbyville, Fort Munfordville, Louisville, Hardinsville, and Frankfort. The battery falls back to Sparta, TN, on October 22nd, and is sent to Knoxville, October 26th, to be refitted.
. . . Huwald's stays in Knoxville for around three months for refitting and recruitment. During this time it is assigned to General John Pegram's Cavalry Brigade. On March 19th, 1863, the battery is reported to be en route with Pegram's Brigade to Kentucky. Here it participates in battles near Somerset, Albany, and Monticello.
. . . On July 31st the battery is reported in Pegram's Brigade at Ebenezer, TN. On September 19th at Chickamauga, GA, the battery is in General H. B. Davidson's Brigade of Pegram's Division. General Pegram commanded a division of General N. B. Forrest's Corps. A letter, written by Captain Huwald a few years later, describes the battle and events leading up to the 19th and 20th.
. . . The Division of Cavalry, commanded by Gen. John Pegram, to which my battery of Horse artillery was attached, received in the latter part of August 1863 orders to report to Gen. N. B. Forrest, who had crossed the Cumberland mountains, and was at that time stationed at or near Kingston, East = Tennessee. Our camp had been near Knoxville, for the purpose of recruiting after the severe marches and fights on Pegram's raid into Kentucky and the chase after Saunder's raiders. We were divided at the different gaps and mountainpasses, to meet General Burnside's advancing columns. Clinchriver was several times crossed and recrossed, and a portion of Scott's Brigade met the enemy's Cavalry near Jacksboro.
. . . Knoxville was evacuated, and every piece of ordinance, Railroad trains, ect. had crossed Tennesseeriver at Loudon, when our command received orders to retreat towards that place. Forced marches brought the brigade, commanded by Col. J.J. Morrison by the 31st of August to Charleston on the Hiwasseeriver, to which place Scott's Brigade skirmished with the enemy, while the other took its march towards Georgetown, Harrison, and Chattanooga, where the enemy made demonstrations to cross the river. By Gen. Pegrams masterly disposition of his small force he kept the enemy at bay. 60 men under Col. Hart held Chickamauga Ford, but he being hard pressed there, I received orders to march to that place on the 5th of September. Having placed my two rifle pieces in position after dark, I directed a few shots to a place which had been designated to me as the one, where the raft for crossing was being built. A commotion in the enemy's camp told of its effects, but my pieces were not answered. On the next morning a brisk cannonade took place between my pieces and those of the opposite party across the Tennesseeriver until nearly noon, when news were received of the evacuation of Chattanooga, and I received orders to proceed to Ooltawa Station in quick time. At this place I left one peice under Lt. Ramsey, and proceeded with the remainder to Graysville, where I was afterwards joined by the piece, left behind at Ooltawa. On the morning of September 7th Pegram's Brigade took its march up south, while Scott's Brigade under Gen. Forrest's immediate command held Crittenden's Avantgarde near Ringgold in check. Soon the enemy made his appearance in our rear, and a brisk fight ensued with slight loss on our side. The Yankee commander threw several Regiments of infantry into fire, pressing Gen. Pegram hard, but this officer gave Col. Hart, comdg. the 6th GA. Cav. orders to charge. The charge was made by the Colonel and 38 men, driving the enemy's infantry from the field, and taking 52 prisoners. It was a gallant affair, and ended the fight. Shortly after Gen. Forrest came up, and being told of the taking of the prisoners, only regretted in his blunt way, that they had not been killed in the fight.
. . . During the 8, 9, 10, & 11th of September some skirmishing took place, while Gen. Bragg made his disposition for a general engagement. On the morning of the 12th Pegram received order to move from Peavine church, where we had been stationed, towards the Ringgold & LaFayette Road, and we advanced as far as Leat's Tanyard, where we halt for the purpose of feeding. A scouting party was however dispatched to avoid a surprise. This party had advanced but a short distance, when they fell into an ambush prepared by the advance of Wilder's Lightning Brigade. We were surprised, and only a quick disposition of Gen. Pegram's Force enabled him to check the enemy. A 12 Hber Howitzer under Lt. Martin was stationed at a prominent point, and this piece, which received the advancing foe with well directed shots of shell and canister, and a North = Carolina Regiment held the enemy at bay, until another position, about 3/4 of a mile to the rear could be taken. To this our small command retreated, taking 5 prisoners along, and a spirited and bloody fight took place, which lasted till nightfall, when Wilder's Brigade retired, followed by our skirmishers. Several dead and wounded were our loss in the surprise at Leat's Gap, but the command held its ground under a galling fire. The loss to my battery was only one horse wounded, but I was proud of the gallant behavior of my boys, who were exposed to a heavy musketfire.
. . . Movements and marches of troops took place in the following days, and the Cavalry had a great deal manouvering to perform, to cover the movements of the infantry. On the 17th of Sept. Lt. Martin's Howitzer was detached to Alexander's Bridge on Chickamauga Creek, and on the 18th heavy skirmishing took place at that crossing, of which each party tried to become master. During the night of the 18th our gallant General Pegram, wishing to reconnoitre, crossed the Bridge accompanied by his staff and bodyguard, and to his surprise found himself in a lane between two large camps. He addressed a party of soldiers inquiring the name of the command, and was informed, that an Ohio Regiment occupied one side of the lane, while an Illinois Regiment camped on the other side. Without showing allarm or surprise he turned his horses head, and recrossed safely Alexander's Bridge. Skirmishing commenced on the utmost left of the army early on the 19th of September, but the enemy appearing very stubborn, the first Rifle piece under Lt. McClung was ordered forward, and its well directed shots as well as a charge, simultaneously executed by a Tennessee Regiment, brought the skirmishers of the enemy to flight, which was promptly followed up by cavallery and artillery. At this moment Gen. Forrest appeared himself, and forming his column, advanced on the main road to Chattanooga. Suddenly a flank attack of the enemy, executed against the left of the command, sent a regiment of Cavallery back on the main column. Skirmishers were thrown forward, and my battery took position on a rocky ridge in a piece of woods between saplings, so thick, that it was difficult, to see far forward. With varying success the ground was contested, and several times the enemies blue coats appeared in such close proximity to my pieces, that canister was used with good effect. The most rapid Artillery fire was kept up, nevertheless our dismounted cavalry often gave way, and the enemy's fire commenced to tell on horses & men of my battery. For several hours this stubborn fight was kept up, until my ammunition was nearly exhausted, and yet no relief or reinforcement appeared. Gen. Forrest often asked me, whether I could keep my position, and I had to tell him, that I could hold it, but that I could not well leave it, most of my horses having been disabled. The gallant David Bailey, Corporal at a Rifle piece was killed, and by several others wounded my command melted down. But my officers served the pieces themselves, and especially Lt. Ramsey and Martin distinguished themselves for gallantry during the battle of the 19th of September. My battery was reieved by a battery belonging to an infantry command, and I retired to the rear, and recruited horses and men.
. . . On the 20th of Septembers I took no part in the battle, but replinished my harness, horses, ect.
. . . The enemy was routed, and Gen. Forrest was eager to follow, but Gen. Bragg kept him in check, and only slowly was he allowed to follow towards Chattanooga. On Wednesday, Sept. 23, I was placed under Col. John Scott's command, and on the Railroad above Chattanooga we attacked a party of Yankees, Whom we routed and drove into the fortifications. I claimed that my battery at that ocassion deserved alone the credit of having driven the enemy off with loss of guns and accoutrements, and to my satisfaction I heard Ccol. Scott afterwards say to Gen. Pegram, that Huwald's Battery did the best shooting of any battery he had seen.
. . . Soon after this little affair I was ordered to Graysville, where consolidation and reorganization of all the batteries under Gen. Forrest's command took place. Our beloved Gen. Pegram left us about this time, having been ordered to command a Division in Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Virginia, where he in the latter fights around Petersburg met the death of a hero. I recieved command of a battery, consolidated from my former and Capt. Robinson's Louisiana batteries, and after having been equipped, I was ordered to Cleveland and Blythe Ferry, where we once more had an opportunity to drive the enemy at night with our shells out of their camps, by taking them surprise. In November Gen. Forrest went west, and in spite of all my efforts and my wishes, I was transferred to Gen. Wheeler's Corps. of Cavalry, under whom I served till the surrender of the Southern Armies
The Mountain Howitzer
. . . The 12
pounder Mountain Howitzer was a large caliber gun designed on a small scale. Its short
barrel and small carriage made it possible to be disassembled and carried by pack animals,
usually horses or mules. This was a great asset in the steep mountains of Tennessee and
the Carolinas. The barrel would be placed on a special packsaddle on the lead, or shaft
mule. The carriage was placed on the second, or carriage mule. Followed by amunition
mules, carrying two amunition chest each.
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