1st WV Artillery, Battery C Light Artillery (Hills BN), Pierpont Battery
The monument was dedicated for the brave men who fought with the 1st West Virginia Artillery, Battery C (also known as the Pierpont Battery) for their actions during the Battle of Gettysburg . The monument is located southwest of the town of Gettysburg in the National Cemetery, along Upper Cemetery Drive. The marker was erected by the State of West Virginia and the monument marks the position occupied by Battery C on July 2 and 3, 1863. The unit organized on January 25 to March 30, 1862, and was involved in many battles of the U.S. Civil War. The officers in charge of the unit included Captain Frank Buell, First Lieutenants Wallace Hill and Dennis O’Leary.
Backstory and Context
Formerly the 18th Ohio Infantry Company B, the unit became part of Third Division, Eleventh Corps Battery C in the Army of the Potomac. The unit armed with ten-pound parrot Rifles fired 1,120 rounds during the engagement with the ten-pound Parrot Rifle, which was much more accurate than the smooth bore Napoleon style smooth bore cannons used in the Civil War.
After the fierce fighting at the Battle of Chancellorsville, the Union artillery unit arrived at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and fought Confederate forces on 2-3 July while positioned at Cemetery Hill. The battery received enemy fire from all directions, but they stood fast at their post during the battle. Even with the ferocity of the battle at the battle, the only unit losses includes, Stephen J. Braddock and Charles Lacey who were killed in battle, and James Loufman and John Hill were both wounded, but recovered.The monument is located along Cemetery Dive between the Evergreen Cemetery and the National Cemetery. The unit crest is on the monument with the inscription: "Erected by the State of West Virginia to commemorate the valor and fidelity of Battery C First West Virginia Artillery". Each side of the monument has Parrot Rifles, similar to those used by the battery throughout the Civil War.
The official unit log read, "May 2, 1863, the battery was fighting at Chancellorsville, Va. The battery commanded by Captain Hill and Lieutenants O’Leary and Theis; the battery was opposed by Stonewall Jackson’s command, and after a severe struggle the battery was forced to retire, having lost one gun and two caissons. After a short rest the battery was again on the move, and we find it at Gettysburg, July 2 and 3, 1863. The battery had position on Cemetery Hill, the right resting on the cemetery and the left near the stonewall by the Jamestown road. The battery being the very center of that great battlefield, it was exposed to a front fire and a right and left enfilading fire as well. The battery did its part well, officers and men standing to their guns during the two days’ fighting. After the battle of Gettysburg, the battery recrossed the Potomac into Virginia. The next and last battle in which the battery was engaged, was at Mitchell’s Ford, when the Union arms were successful. During the winter of 1863-64, the battery reenlisted, and was ordered into the defenses of Washington, where it remained until June 28, 1865, when it was mustered out of service. The battery did its duty well" (West Virginia in the Civil War).
Huntington, T. (2013). Guide to Gettysburg Battlefield Monuments (p. 146). Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole books.
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