CAPTAIN J.W. PHILLIPS' TENNESSEE LIGHT ARTILLERY COMPANY "JOHNSTON LIGHT ARTILLERY" FORMERLY J. WESLEY ELDRIDGE'S, ELDRIDGE E. WRIGHT'S & JOHN W. MEBANE'S On Oct. 15, 1861 this company was organized in Hardin County, TN with J. Wesley Eldridge as Captain. Some men came from Wayne and Fayette Counties of TN. As a Light Artillery Company this unit rode with divisions from South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. On Oct. 10, 1864 as part of Cobb's Artillery Battalion, they moved through Dalton, GA, where the Federal block house was captured, across through Alabama and crossed the Tennessee River on Nov. 13, 1864. They fought in nearly every major battle of the Civil War. DETAILED HISTORY OF EVENTS Oct 15, 1861 - Organized in Hardin County, TN with J. Wesley Eldridge as Captain. Men came from Hardin, Fayette & Wayne Counties. Dec 20, 1861 - General Reuben Davis, Mississippi Volunteers, was assigned to command of the fortifications in and around Bowling Green, Kentucky, and the battery was placed in his command. Jan 31, 1862 - Placed in Colonel John S. Bowen's Brigade, Brigadier General John B. Floyd's Division of Major General Hardee's command. May 1862 - Placed in Brigadier General S.B. Maxey's Brigade, at Corinth, Mississippi, as part of the brigade it moved to Tupelo. Jul/Aug 1862 - Chattanooga, TN., where the brigade formed part of Major General Sam Jones' command. Nov/Dec 1862 - Became part of King's Battalion of Artillery, Colonel F. M. Walker's Brigade. Brigadier General J.C. Breckinridge's Division of the Army of Middle Tennessee with headquarters at Murfreesboro. Nov 29, 1862 - Inspection showed Eldridge's Battery armed with 2 six-pounder guns, and 2 twelve-pounder bronze howitzers, but in need of Horses and Harness. A few days later, the battery was reorganized, and Captain Eldridge was not Re-elected. He was later given staff duty. Dec 31, 1862 - Jan. 2, 1863 Battle of Murfreesboro, the battery was attached to Brigadier General William Prestons Brigade, of Breckinridge's Division. Lost 6 killed, 14 wounded and 2 missing including Captain Wright, who was killed, and Lieutenant Mebane, who was wounded. NOTE (Company Muster Roll Records indicate 14 killed, 14 injured, 10 horses killed.) Jun 1863 - Battery stationed at Tullahoma and Wartrace, Tennessee. Jun 06, 1863 - Battery was reported as the Johnston Artillery, Captain Mebane, in Brigadier General M. A. Stovall's Brigade. Jul 30, 1863 - As the Johnston Artillery, the battery reported on Major Rice E. Graves' Artillery Battalion along with Cobb's Kentucky and Slocomb's Louisiana Batteries. The battalion was attached to Breckinridge's Division, in Hardee's Department on Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana. These batteries remained together until near the end of the war, and the battalion was later known as Captain (later Major) Robert Cobb's Battalion. While in Mississippi, the division was engaged in General Joseph E. Johnston's effort to relieve Vicksburg, Mississippi. Sep 19-20, 1863 - The division returned to the Army of Tennessee in time for the Battle of Chickamauga, where Mebane's battery was attached to Stovall's Brigade. General Breckinridge reported: "The excellent battery of Captain Mebane, from the nature of the ground, was able to take but little part in the action." It had three men wounded; was armed with 4 twelve-pounder howitzers; expended 76 rounds of ammunition; and had 5 officers and 68 men engage. Nov 25, 1863 - Engaged in the Battle of Missionary Ridge, where "the guns could not be sufficiently depressed to command the slope of the hill." The casualties were 2 wounded, 1 missing. Dec 14, 1863 - Then moved to Dalton, Georgia, it reported 51 effectives, 84 present and absent, 66 horses, and 4 twelve-pounder howitzers. Jan 1864 - Part of Waters' Company "B", 2nd Alabama Artillery Battalion, was transferred to the battery to bring it up to strength. Cobb's Battalion was attached to Hood's Corps until April 10, 1864, when it was transferred to Hardee's Corps. On April 1, it reported 66 effectives, 98 present and absent, 39 serviceable horses, and 22 horses needed. Spring 1864 - As part of Hardee's Corps, the battery took part in the almost daily fighting from Dalton to Atlanta, with Lieutenant Phillips in command on June 30, and from that time on. After the evacuation of Atlanta, when General Hood took command of the Army, Cobb's Battalion was placed in Major General B. F. Cheatham's Corps, where it remained until after the Battle of Nashville in December 1864. Dec 1864 - General William B. Bate reported that when he resumed command of his division at Cedartown, Georgia on October 10, 1864, Cobb's Artillery Battalion was composed of Slocomb's Louisiana, Beauregard's South Carolina, and Phillips' Tennessee Batteries. It moved up to Dalton, Georgia, where the Federal block house was captured, across through Alabama, and crossed the Tennessee River on November 13, 1864. Bate's Division took part in the Battles of Franklin, and of Nashville. Mar 10, 1865 - After the retreat to Tennessee, the battery was sent to Mobile, Alabama, Cobb's Battalion, composed of Phillips', Ritter's and Slocomb's Batteries, was reported as part of the Right Wing, Defense of Mobile, with the Artillery under the command of Major Melanchthon Smith, with Major General D. H. Maury in command of the Department. Apr 12, 1865 - Mobile was taken by the Federals, but the Confederate forces had evacuated the day before. A letter from Lieutenant L. E. Wright, dated April 22, 1865, said there were only 15 effectives left in the battery. The battery was surrendered as part of the forces of Lieutenant General Richard Taylor, and was paroled at Meridian, Mississippi May 10, 1865.
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