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A Brief History of Heavy Battery B

1st Connecticut Volunteer Artillery

by  Patrick McSherry  
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Heavy Battery B of the First Connecticut Volunteer Artillery served its term of service in its home state of Connecticut.

Unit History:

Battery B, First Connecticut Volunteer Artillery was formed from Company K of the Connecticut National Guard. The men serving in the unit were from the vicinity of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and it was in Bridgeport where the unit rendezvoused for muster.

On May 19, 1898, the unit was mustered into the Federal service under the designation of the Heavy Battery B, 1st Connecticut Volunteer Artillery at Niantic. The other units in the regiment were Light Battery A and Heavy Battery C. Being heavy artillery, the unit was charged with the operation of the large guns used in fortifications rather than the mobile field artillery of light artillery. At this time, it consisted of 4 officers at 146 men.

 Late May, 1898 found the members of this unit on the front lines. Admiral Cervera's Spanish naval squadron was known to be in the Atlantic, but its actual location and purpose was not known. It was considered likely that Cervera may have been planning to attack the American coastal cities, and the men in unit such as Battery B were the last, line of defense against such a foray. This very real threat ended on May 27, with the news that Cervera's  squadron had been located and bottled up in the harbor of Santiago, Cuba.

The unit served out its enlistment at Fort Griswold, Groton, Connecticut.

The unit was mustered out of service at Bridgeport on December 20, 1898, ten days after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the war. At this time the unit consisted of 4 officers and 174 men. During its term of service, the unit had one man desert and two men discharged on disability.


Clerk of Joint Comittee on Printing, The Abridgement of Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899), Vol 3, p. 493, 494.

Connecticut Adjutant General, Roster of Connecticut Volunteers Who Served in the War Between the United States and Spain 1898-1899.  (Hartford: The Hartford Press, 1899). 18

Novak, Greg, Remember the Maine and to Hell with Spain; Being a Wargamer's Guide to the Spanish American War 1898. (Champagne: Ulster Imports, 1990). 36

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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