A Brief History of the Heavy Battery, South Carolina Volunteer Artillery

Compiled Originally By: Gen. J. W. Floyd, Adjutant General

Contributed by Kenneth H. Robison II

Click here for a roster of the Heavy Battery, South Carolina Volunteer Infantry

General:

The Heavy Battery, South Carolina Volunteer Artillery served its term of service in the continental U.S. It did not see service overseas.

The Heavy Battery was organized at Charleston, South Carolina, and reported at rendezvous at Columbia, South Carolina, on May 3rd, 1898; was mustered into service on May 21st, 1898, by Captain Ezra B. Fuller, 7th United States Cavalry Regiment, chief mustering officer. When mustered in, the battery consisted of four officers and 140 enlisted men. When mustered out, the unit inlcude four officers and 150 enlisted men, with a total of 198 men accoutned for on the muster roll of the unit.

The battery reported for duty at Sullivan's Island Station on May 28th, 1898, and there remained in service until February 4th, 1899, when it was mustered out of service by 1st Lieutenant George W. Van Deusen, 1st Artillery, and mustering officer. While in the service, the South Carolina VolunteerHeavy Artillery lost one enlisted man to disease, one enlisted man court-martialed, one enlisted man murdered, and had eight men desert. In addition, eleven enlisted men were discharged on disability and tewnty-six were discharged by order.

The History:

Historical Sketch
By Captain Edward Anderson

When the President of the United States made his first call for volunteers for the Spanish-American War, Governor Ellerbe called a conference of the Brigadier Generals and Colonels of the State Troops at Columbia on April 27th, and stated that South Carolina expected to furnish one Regiment and one Battalion of Infantry and one Battery of Heavy Artillery. At this conference the duty of raising the Battery of Heavy Artillery was assigned to General Edward Anderson, of Charleston, then commanding the Fourth [4th] Brigade of State Troops. Upon his return from Columbia, General Anderson called a meeting of the officers of the Brigade, and stated that the Governor expected Charleston to furnish the Battery, and asked their assistance in raising it. Finding the officers lukewarm, General Anderson immediately issued a call through the newspapers, asking for volunteers without regard to whether or not they had been members of militia organizations, which met with a ready response, and on the evening of May 3rd, at a meeting held at the Carolina Rifles Armory, the Battery was organized by the election of the following officers:
 

Edward Anderson, Captain
Leonard C. Moore, First Lieutenant
J. Moultrie Ward, Second Lieutenant
Richard H. Allan, Second Lieutenant


Captain Anderson is a graduate of the South Carolina Military Academy [Class of 1886], and had served for twelve years in the State Militia, and at the time of his resignation from the State service was the senior Brigadier General [the ranking officer] in the State.

Lieutenant Moore had been for five years a member of the "Sumter Guards", and held the position of Sergeant at the time he volunteered.
Lieutenant Ward had been for a number of years interested in the militia of the State, serving with marked ability as Captain of the "Moultrie Guard".

Lieutenant Allen attended the South Carolina Military Academy for two years, and had been a member of the "Carolina Rifles", and afterwards of the "Sumter Guards".

Among those who volunteered were a few men who had been members of the "Sumter Guards", "Carolina Rifles", "Washington Light Infantry", and the "Irish Volunteers", but the great majority were not familiar with the use of arms. There was one group of men from Walterboro, under James M. Patterson, a graduate of the South Carolina Military Academy [Class of 1888], and another from Camden, Kershaw County, under James T. Burdell, also a Citadel man [Class of 1890]; and indeed, before the Battery was mustered into service, nearly every county in the State was represented in its ranks.

On the morning of May 5th, at 9 o'clock, the Battery was assembled on Marion Square, and under an escort composed of the Confederate Veterans and the corps of Cadets of the South Carolina Military Academy, marched to the South Carolina and Georgia Railway station and took a special train for Columbia, the State rendezvous. The camp at the Fair Grounds was reached about 3 o'clock.

The Surgeons being busy examining the volunteers of the First [1st] Volunteer Infantry Regiment at Hyatt's Park, it was May 9th before the Battery came up for physical examination. The examination was very severe, only 64 men passing of the 171 who presented themselves. Both Captain Anderson and Lieutenant Ward were rejected, but Governor Ellerbe telegraphed the President, and succeeded in having them admitted. Many rejections were on account of weight, the Charleston men being generally small, square built men, but capable of great endurance. Some of the rejected men entered the FFirst [1st] Volunteer Infantry Regiment, quite a number went into the Second [2nd] Volunteer Infantry Regiment, a dozen or more enlisted in the Third [3rd] United States Immunes Regiment, at least fifteen [15] went with the Naval Reserves, and some even enlisted in the regular service.

Men who preferred the Artillery branch of the service continued to volunteer from all parts of the State, until on the afternoon of May 21st, at 5:17 o'clock, after presenting fully 350 to 400 men to be examined, the Battery [144 strong] was mustered into the service of the United States by Captain Ezra B. Fuller of the 7th United States Cavalry Regiment.

The following telegram was received on May 22nd:
 

Captain Edward Anderson, Heavy Battery, U.S.V., Columbia, S.C.:

Report by telegraph to Commanding Officer, Department of the Gulf, Atlanta, Ga., for assignment and duty.

By order Secretary of War.
H.C. Corbin,
Adjutant General.

In accordance with this order the following telegram was sent:
 
General Commanding Department of the Gulf, Atlanta, Ga.:

Am ordered by Secretary of War to report to you for assignment to station for duty. Am un-uniformed and unequipped.

Edward Anderson,
Captain, Heavy Battery.

On May 25th, the Battery moved from the Fair Grounds and pitched camp at Geiger's Springs, about a mile from the limits of the City of Columbia, in a beautiful grove of pines, of which the owner, Mr. Newman, had kindly offered the use. There the regular camp duties of sentry, police, etc., were entered into, and there the Battery remained until May 28th, when ordered having been received from the General Commanding the Department of the Gulf to report to the Post at Sullivan's Island for "Station and Instruction," camp was broken at five [5] A.M., and the Battery marched to the South Carolina and Georgia Railroad station and took a special train for Charleston. Sullivanâ's Island was reached at 6:15 P.M.

Upon reaching Sullivan's Island, Captain Anderson reported to Lieutenant Colonel Jacob B. Rawls, 1st United States Artillery Regiment, Commanding the Post, and was ordered to pitch camp on the parade ground back of Fort Moultrie, alongside Company E of the 5th United States Infantry Regiment. A week after reaching camp, the Battery was presented with a handsome regimental flag by citizens of Charleston, through the following Committee: J. Elmore Martin, B.I. Simmons, Henry Fraser Walker, Henry P. Williams, W. Gibbes Haley, Hasell W. Crouch, Harry F. Miller, James H. Moore, Henry B. Jennings, W. M. Muckenfuss. David M. Ramsey, D.D., the Pastor of the Citadel Square Baptist Church of Charleston, made an eloquent presentation address, and Miss Alice R. Taylor, the Sponsor, with her Maid of Honor, Miss Lila B. Pickens, turned over the flag to Captain Anderson, with a few well chosen words.

Captain Anderson thanked the Committee and assured them that the Battery would faithfully guard the flag, and calling up Sergeant J. Monroe Johnson, Jr., appointed him Acting Color Sergeant, should circumstances ever cause the Battery to be on detached duty and in a position to fly a flag.

In a few days a school of instruction was opened for the officers by 2nd Lieutenant Johnson Hagood, 1st United States Artillery, detailed for this purpose, and very soon three officers from the Second [2nd] North Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 1st Lieutenant C.H. White, and 2nd Lieutenant's John B. Tillinghast and Lyman Deal, and three from the Third [3rd] Texas Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 1st Lieutenant Sanford E. Gantt, and 2nd Lieutenant's Robert E. Donoho and Milo B. Matthews, were detailed to join the officers of the Battery in their studies.

The subjects taken up were "Artillery Tactics, particularly those related to Sea Coast Guns," " Exterior and Interior Ballistics," "Composition of Gunpowder and other Explosives, etc."

These studies, with drilling the men and serving on Courts Martial, not only on those cases originating at the Post, but also those from several posts farther South, which were sent to Sullivanâ's Island for trail, kept the officers quite busy.

The uniforms and rifles arriving soon, the men were instructed in the "Manual of Arms," "School of the Soldier," "Guard Duties," "Articles of War," and also in handling the 10-inch rifles at Battery Jasper and the 12-inch mortars at Battery Capron.

In as short time the men were put on guard duty, and during the remainder of their enlistment performed every duty of garrison life, exactly as the regular soldiers of Batteries C and M, 1st United States Artillery, stationed with them at the Post.

The second call for Volunteers having been issued, Captain Anderson was ordered by the War Department, on June 10th, to recruit to full strength. He according issued the following order:
 

Heavy Battery, S.C. Vol. Artillery,
Sullivan's Island, S.C., June 11th, 1898.

I. In compliance with paragraph 3, General Order No. 61, Adjutant Generals Office, War Department, Washington, D.C., June 1st, 1898, 2nd Lieutenant J.M. Ward, H.B., S.C.V.A., is hereby detailed as recruiting officer and acting assistant Quartermaster.

II. A recruiting party, consisting of 2nd Lieutenant J.M. Ward, H.B., S.C.V.A., and Private H.G. Jennings, H.B., S.C.V.A., will proceed as soon as practicable to Charleston, South Carolina, and to such other points in the Sate of South Carolina as in the opinion of the recruiting officer are deemed necessary.

Lieutenant Ward will be governed by instructions contained in General Order No. 61, A.G.O., June 1st, 1898, and circular letter of June 3rd, 1898,
A.G.O.

Edward Anderson,
Capt. Heavy Battery, S.C. Vol. Artillery


Sergeant Theodore D. Jervey was afterwards ordered to report to Lieutenant Ward and assist in recruiting.

Lieutenant Ward remained on detached service until early in August, when having recruited the Battery to full war strength [200], he reported back for duty.

The first death to occur in the Battery [and the only one from disease] was on July 24th, when Private William T. Addison succumbed to typhoid fever. The Battery being well drilled and disciplined, repeated efforts were made through both Senators and Congressmen to have the Battery take part in active service, but, like many other volunteer organizations, without avail.

The continued rains of July and August caused the parade ground to assume the condition of a swamp and threatened the health of the men, so on August 13th permission was obtained from Lieutenant Colonel Rawls, and the Battery moved camp to the Isle of Palms, where ten days were spent.

The owners of the property were not only kind enough, through their President, Dr. Lawrence, to give the use of the island for camping purposes, but transported the Battery to and from the island, and erected kitchens and other buildings.
 

Office of Post Commander,
Sullivan's Island, Moultrieville, S.C., August 20th, 1898.

Pursuant to instructions from Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, dated August 16th, 1898, 1st Lieutenant Leonard C. Moore, Heavy Battery, S.C. Vol. Artillery, with six [6] Sergeants, three [3] Corporals, and forty-one [41] Privates from the Heavy Battery, S.C. Vol. Artillery, will proceed on Wensday, August 24th, 1898, by the steamer "Pilot Boy", to Hilton Head, Port Royal Harbor, S.C., to go into camp thereat, and take charge of and guard the battery of 8-inch breech-loading rifled guns at that point.

By order of Lieutenant Colonel Rawls.

George W. Van Deusen,
1st Lieutenant and Adjutant, 1st Artillery.


On August 24th, in compliance with the foregoing order, Lieutenant Moore and fifty [50] enlisted men proceeded to Hilton Head, and upon arrival thereat, August 26th, P.M., went into camp on the site of old Fort Walker, where a temporary battery of two guns had been mounted, and remained there until orders were received on September 13th to take command of Land's End, St. Helena Island, relieving two companies of the Second [2nd] North Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment, under command of Major Dixon, who were ordered home for mustering out.

The fortifications at Land's End consisted of a battery of 2, 4, and 7-inch Armstrong rapid fire guns, and emplacements for three 10-inch rifles were in course of construction.

From this date to January 10th, 1899, when ordered back to Sullivan's Island to be mustered out, this detachment constituted the sole garrison of both Hilton Head and Land's End, except a brief intermission, when Battery B, 1st United States Artillery, under Captain Merrill, was stationed at Hilton Head. The balance of the Battery moved from the Isle of Palms on August 23rd, and camped on the lot surrounding the Presbyterian Church, on Sullivan's Island, and the lot next west, the property of Edward W. Hughes, the use of which was kindly given.

Private Theodore P, Godfrey was shot on King Street, near Princess, by an unknown Negro, on the 6th of September. Godfrey was standing on King Street, talking with some comrades; the Negro used profane language, and as some ladies were passing, Godfrey remonstrated with him. The negro drew a pistol, and after interchanging a few words, shot Godfrey through the abdomen. Godfrey was carried to the City Hospital and lingered until the 9th, where he died. The Negro was never captured by the Police.

Secretary of War Alger visited the Post on September 27th. The entire garrison, at this time numbering nearly seven hundred [700] men, were inspected and passed in review, and were congratulated on their steady marching and their soldierly appearance.
 

Office of Post Commander,
Sullivan's Island, Moultrieville, S.C., October 2nd, 1898.

...2. Under the provisions of G.O. No. 80, A.G.O., 1898, Captain Edward Anderson, S.C.V. Artillery, is hereby appointed as Summary Court for this Post, for the trial of offences cognizable under that order.

By Order of Lieutenant Colonel Rawls,

George W. Van Deusen,
1st Lieutenant and Adjutant, 1st Artillery.


Captain Anderson continued as Summary Court, until relieved by 1st Lieutenant F.S. Harlow of the 1st Artillery on January 29th, 1899.

When ordered were received at the Post in regard to mustering out the Battery, Colonel Rawles wrote the Adjutant General the following letter showing his idea of the value of the Battery to the Government:

 
Office of Post Commander,
Sullivan's Island, Moultrieville, S.C., October 2nd, 1898.
The Adjutant General, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.

Sir: Referring to the muster out of the Heavy Battery, South Carolina Volunteer Artillery, now serving at Sullivan's Island, and Land's End, South Carolina, which was yesterday directed by telegram to take place as soon as it can be accomplished, it is my desire to respectfully make known somewhat the services this organization has rendered and is still rendering the Government, as well as the possibility of it's being most useful under certain conditions, during some months to come. The strength of the Battery now is 154 enlisted men, 45 of whom are in charge, under a Lieutenant, of the defensive works at Land's End and Hilton Head, S.C. The latter have been doing excellent work in the care of the valuable armament at those stations, and will have to replaced by other artillerymen. At Sullivan's Island, the main strength of the Battery has become versed in the duties of Artillery soldiers, and are of very material assistance in the garrisoning of this post.

The announcement of the termination of war conditions by a peace proclamation will be attended with heavy loss in the strength of the regular garrison here, because of the numerous discharges that will occur, and it will be found that much embarrassment will follow for some time to come because of inadequate garrison. The Captain of the Volunteer Battery [Anderson] informs me that the discontented element of is command has been about eliminated, and there no longer exists much dissatisfaction concerning retention in the United States Service.

Because of all circumstances presented, and the extensive armament of this post, embracing that of Forts Capron, Moultrie, and Battery Jasper, and the six inch rapid fire battery, now partially constructed, each requiring persistent effort and ample men for their care and preservation, it occurs to me that could the muster out of this Battery be deferred, during the transition state that is about to take place because of the discharge of very many men from the regulars and re-enlistment of others fro a definite and prolonged period, it would prove to be a measure decidedly in the interest of the service. I have thus written up this subject because of a whish to make known the good services of this Volunteer Battery in the past and the apparent value that would attach to a continuation of such service for a time in the future; and I would be glad to see a reconsideration of the decision to muster them out, although in so expressing myself, I trust will not be considered that I am suggesting what is beyond my province to make mention of.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J.B. Rawles,
Lieut. Col., 1st Artillery, Commanding Post.


Early in January, the temporary barracks near Battery Jasper having been completed the Battery moved into them, and there remained until mustered out on February 4th, having completed exactly nine months of service. The discipline of the Battery was maintained throughout the entire time.

The following letter of Colonel Rawles to Captain Anderson, shows his appreciation of the services of the Battery while under his command.
 

Office of Post Commander,
Sullivan's Island, Moultrieville, S.C., February 4th, 1899.
Captain Edward Anderson, Heavy Battery, S.C.V. Artillery, Sullivan's Island, S.C.

My Dear Captain: It is a gratification for me as Commanding Officer to make favorable mention of the Heavy Battery, South Carolina Volunteer Artillery, which has been at this station, under your immediate command, since May 29th, 1898. The personal association, both official and otherwise, with the officers of the Battery has been characterized by the most harmonious relations and conditions between them and the Post Commander. They have performed their duties, generally, with commendable zeal and efficiency, and with an integrity of purpose worthy of gentlemen and befitting the rank they have held as commissioned officers in the service of the United States. As an organization, the Battery has done valuable and, in the line of many duties, most efficient service. It must have become apparent to all that to secure highly efficient conditions in this arm of the service requires persistent application and prolonged effort. Time had accomplished much in this direction, and the Battery at the date of muster-out, February 4th, 1899, was on the road to a degree of efficiency as an Artillery organization which would, had it been continued in the service, have made it a most desirable component in the defensive system of the coast of the United States.

Very respectfully,
J.B. Rawles,
Lieut. Col., 1st Artillery, U.S. Army.



Bibliography:

Floyd, Joseph W. Historical Roster and Itinerary of South Carolina Volunteer Troops who served in the late war between the United States and Spain, 1898, coupled with Brief Sketches of their movements from the Beginning to the Ending of the Conflict. (Columbia, S.C., The R. L. Bryan Company, 1901).

Statistical Exhibit of Strength of Volunteer Forces Called into Service During the War with Spain; with Losses from All Causes. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899).


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