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Hurt's Battery
Alabama Light Artillery

In 1861 Robert A. Hardaway of Macon County, with the assistance of John W. Tullis, raised a company of men mostly from Russell, Macon, and Tallapoosa Counties, Ala., of which Hardaway was elected captain and Tullis a lieutenant. William B. (Billy) Hurt, Hardaway's brother-in-law, became 1st lieutenant and second in command. The Battery was provided with tents, side-arms, camp equipage, &c., at the private expense of its first captain. This was the first Alabama company tendered to and accepted by the Confederate States government. It was raised and equipped as heavy artillery and was known as Hardaway's Battery, the usual practice among Confederate forces being to name a unit after its commander.

Hardaway's (later Hurt's) Battery was mustered into Confederate service for the duration of the War at Lynchburg, VA, on 21 June 1861. It was at Manassas Junction, Va., before the battle of July 21, 1861, manning 32 pdr guns brought up from the Navy Yard at Newport News. When in early 1862 the defensive line at Manassas was abandoned the unit was converted to a field artillery unit and armed with four 3" ordnance rifles. It served at Yorktown in 1862, and was then attached to Gen. D. H. Hill's division. The battery fired the signal gun for the opening of the battle of Seven Pines and gained great credit for its work in this battle, fought under Stonewall Jackson at Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill and other engagements of the Seven Days' before Richmond, and subsequently was attached to Jackson's Corps until the death of that great leader.

During the Maryland Campaign of 1862 Lt. Tullis commanded the battery, and at Sharpsburg he selected the position from which Burnside's corps was driven back by D. H. Hill's division, on the right of the Confederate line. According to Hill's report only 30 men of the 13th Alabama remained as support to the division batteries on this hill, when Burnside made his last advance and was swept back by a storm of grape and canister. By October of 1862 that the Battery acquired its first 12 pdr. Whitworth gun, a highly accurate breech-loading gun made of steel rather than iron with an effective range of 4.5 to 5 miles, much farther than any other field piece on any battlefield of the war. The battery took part in operations about Port Royal and Upperville after the return to Virginia, and fought effectively at the battle of Fredericksburg, and near that city during the Chancellorsville campaign.

William B. Hurt became the Battery's commander when Robert A. Hardaway was promoted to Major and transferred to the 1st Virginia Artillery Regiment early in 1863. At Gettysburg as Hurt's Battery, Hardaway Ala. Artillery, the Battery was part of McIntosh's Battalion of A. P. Hill's corps, and on the second day was stationed behind a stone wall on a range of hills west of the town, where it was at times under a terrible artillery fire, and the galling attention of the Federal sharpshooters. Here Lt. Tullis was severely wounded about 3 p.m. July 2, his left foot being shot off at the ankle by a cannon ball. He was left in the field hospital when Gen. Lee retreated."

Armament:

  • 21 June 1861 -- 32 pdr naval guns in fortification on the outskirts of Manassas Junction, Va.
  • spring 1862 -- four 3-inch ordnance rifles
  • 17 Sept 1862 -- two 3-inch Rifles and one 12 pdr. Whitworth Rifle.
  • April 30 (1863) -- two 12-pounder steel Whitworth guns and two 3-inch rifled guns. (Supplement to the Official Records, part II, vol 1, pp. 178-182 etc.)
  • Two of Hurt's 3-inch Rifles were lost at Bristoe Station, VA. Shortly after the guns were deployed, their infantry support withdrew and Lt. Jesse H. Crenshaw's section was captured along with the entire 2nd Rockbridge Artillery of Virginia, 14 Oct 1863.
  • December 1864 -- one 8-inch Howitzer, two 3-inch Rifles, and one 12-lb Whitworth.

The long range and soft whir of its Whitworth bolts were the pride of the service. These unique Whitworths were the best known guns on the field since their solid bolts made a peculiar sound that quite a few federal accounts mention. From these accounts we know generally where these projectiles landed in the Federal lines, very rare information indeed. For instance it is known that it was one of Hurt's Battery's two Whitworth guns that knocked away one of the vertical supports of the porch roof of Meade's headquarters at Gettysburg.

The losses of the Battery were severe in a number of engagements, for it was ever active and bold in its movements. They were surrendered at Appomattox Court House, 9 April 1865.


Muster Roll

Officers:

HARDAWAY, Robert Archelaus, Capt. (promoted)
HURT, William B., Capt.
FERRELL, George A., 1st Lt.
TULLIS, John W., 1st Lt. (retired)
CRENSHAW, Jesse H., 2nd Lt. (captured, Bristoe Station, VA, 14 Oct 63)
JACKSON, Andrew, 2nd Lt.

LOVE, William H., 1st Sgt.
SCARBROUGH, Robert P., 1st Sgt.
BOROM, John P., Sgt.
CHAPPELL, William R., Sgt.
HORN, Elisha P., Sgt.
JOHNSON, George Troupe, Sgt. [Oct 1834 or 1839, GA—23 Dec 1907, TX] (married: Amanda Caroline English; enlisted, 18 June 61; CSA pension approved, Waco, TX, 6 Oct 1899; burial: Confederate Soldiers’ Cemetery, Austin, TX)
McMULLEN, John, Sgt.
RIX, Henry J., Sgt.
SAUNDERS, Augustus H., Sgt.
WILKERSON, Francis N., Sgt.
WILKERSON, Francis W., Sgt.
WILKERSON, Thomas J., Sgt.
FULLER, Wiley M., QM Sgt.

BAKER, Taylor C., Cpl.
BENTON, Edwin, Cpl.
CARGILL, John W., Cpl.
CHAPPELL, Henry C., Cpl.
DAVIS, Arthur N., Cpl.
HURT, Charles, Cpl.
STRONG, John Z., Cpl.
PRUETT [PRUITT?], Major R., Cpl. (burial: Mt. Vernon Cemetery, btw Ft. Payne and Collinsville, AL || Michael Chandler)
PRUETT, William G., Cpl.

Privates:

ADAMS, W. N.
ALBRIGHT, Orange
ALLEN, James A.
ALLEN, Wesley A.
ARMSTRONG, John Sherman DeKalb [17 May 1842, Warren Co., GA?—24 January 1901, Westfield, Harris Co., TX]  (enlisted, Columbus, GA, 12 Sept 61; paroled, Appomattox; burial: Muescke Cemetery, near Westfield, TX, on FM 1960 || Barney L. Howell)
ARMSTRONG, James L.
ARMSTRONG, Jasper A.
BAKER, Michael
BANKS, Francis M.
BARNES, Robert T.
BEASLEY, Bluford M.
BELL, Josiah
BERRY, William L.
BLACK, Daniel
BOROM, James B.
BOROM, Julian C.
BOROM, Passion J.
BOROM, William B.
BOYT, John J.
BRANNAN, Pleasant R.
BROWN, Benjamin F.
BROWN, William H.
BRYANT, James
BRYANT, John
BRYANT, Reuben J.
BRYANT, Samuel J. N.
BYRD, Peter
CALHOUN, Frank
CALHOUN, William
CARROLL, James Richard [1835or 1836—1920] (enlisted, 1 June 61, Russell Co., AL; burial: Brookeland Community Cemetery, Sabine Co., TX || Sharron Carroll)
CHAPPELL, Thomas J.
CHRIETZBERG, Alonzo
CHRIETZBERG, Elzy F.
CLEMONS, Jesse
COLLIER, J. Perrin
COLLIER, John W. E.
COVINGTON, Jonathan M.
COX, Jasper A.
COX, Thomas N.
CRENSHAW, Anderson B.
CRENSHAW, Needham M.
CUPP, James H.
DAVIS, Alfred A.
DAVIS, George D.
DAVIS, Joseph L. L.
DENSON, John B.
DENSON, Robert D.
DENSON, William H.
DORNING, William J.
DOWNE, James
DRIGGERS, John M. [abt 1845—1878]
DUFFEE, James M.
DUNN, John A.
FAILES, John Simmons [29 November 1842, AL—21 June 1907, Charlottesville, VA] (enlisted, 12 Sept 61; wounded, Bristol Station, Petersburg; surrendered, Appomattox, 9 April 65, and sent to Alexandria; Oath of Allegiance, 9 May 65; 5’ 11”, hazel eyes, brown hair, light complexion; started walking home; stopped at Stony Point, VA, to work at farm of Anthony Preddy and met his future wife, Eliza Jane; became a blacksmith; Confederate pension application, 10 March 1904; burial: Oakwood Cemetery, Charlottesville, VA || Joseph E. King)
FALLON, P. H.
FARRINGTON, Jasper L.
FAUCETT, Dudley
FITE, Carson D.
FLOWERS, John C.
FOREHAND, Thomas
FOSTER, William H.
FRENCH, John
FULLER, Augustus M.
FULLER, George W.
FULLER, William G.
FULLER, William H.
GAITHER, Shadrach S.
GILBERT, Henry J.
GREEN, Ira A.
GRIFFIN, David M.
HARRIS, Thomas B.
HARRISON, Hartwell (died in service, 1 Nov 61; burial: Warrenton, VA, Cemetery)
HARVEY, Charles R. [1836—16 Feb 1916] (burial: Girard Cemetery, Phenix City, AL)
HARVEY, John W.
HAYNES, Simeon F.
HAYNES, Thomas L.
HEARD, George P.
HEARN, John B.
HEATHCOCK, Allison
HENDRICKS, Simeon
HILLIARD, W. P.
HOLLAND, Debareaux
HOLLAND, Eli
HOILLAND, William H.
HOLLAND, Wood
HORN, Isaac
HUNT, Thomas J.
HUTCHINGS, William B.
HYATT, Abraham
JACKSON, Henry H.
JACKSON, Thomas J.
JOHNS, John
JOHNS, Thomas L.
JOHNSON, James
JOHNSON, John C.
JOHNSON, Stephen
JOHNSTON, John Walker [2 Sept 1842, Talbot Co., GA—10 Jan 1925, Hatchechubbee, AL] (enlisted, Hatchechubbee, AL, 10 May 61; pension application, 22 Nov 1919, Russell Co., AL; captured, Appomattox, and paroled, Alexandria, VA, 1 May 65; married: Sara Jane Davis, 8 Feb 66; burial: UMC Cemetery, Hatchechubbee, AL || Susan Collier)
JOHNSTON, William A.
JONES, Baldwin
JONES, Bryant
JONES, John
JONES, Joseph
JONES, Samuel H.
KENNEDY, W. Frank
KENNON, Reuben D.
KING, John M.
KIRBY, William Parks [2 June 1836, Jackson Co., AL—12 July 1863, Williamsport, MD]
LANGFORD, Marion
LANGLEY, Samuel
LANGLEY, Zachariah
LANIER, George M.
LAWRENCE, William G.
LECROY, Lindsay
LEDBETTER, Benjamin
LITTLE, Robert J. [22 July 1832—22 Jan 1909] (Sgt.?; injured in train accident, near Opelika, AL; pension application; burial: Philadelphia Church Cemetery, Blount Co., AL || Ron Holtsford)
LLOYD, James R.
LOVE, Columbus C.
LOVELADY, Henry C.
LOVELADY, John
McLAIN, Henry B.
McLAIN, William W.
MERSHON, Ezra B.
MILES, David O.
MILES, Henry K.
MILLER, Abraham
MILLER, Wiley A.
MOBERLY, John
MORGAN, Thomas M.
MUCKLEROY, James
O’NEAL, William H.
OWSLEY, Andrew J.
PERKINS, Thomas
PERRY, Alfred T.
PERRY, William
PHILLIPS, Henry J.
PITTS, Belton
PITTS, William S.
POLLARD, William S.
POOL, John C.
POOL, Richard T.
POTTER, John T.
POWELL, Joseph L.
RAGSDALE, John T.
REA, Elijah K.
ROBERTSON, Green B.
RODGERS, William
SCARBROUGH, John G.
SCARBROUGH, William A.
SCREWS, Henry A.
SELF, Jesse E.
SHERIDEN, James
SIMPSON, James
SIMPSON, Macon
SINGLETON, John T. (died in service, 7 Sept 61; burial: Manassas Cemetery, Warrenton, VA)
SLOANE, Sterling W.
SMITH, Clay
SMITH, John P.
SMITH, Madison C.
SMITH, Mike W.
SMITHSON, James
STRINGFIELD, John
SYRON, Albert H.
TURRENTINE, John R.
TYLER, Daniel Z. B.
TYLER, Henry N.
TYLER, Richard L.
UPTON, James
WADE, Lewis C.
WALDEN, James H. (enlisted, 1 June 61)
WARLICK, Joseph J.
WATKINS, William
WATTS, Elias
WEBB, Robert Anderson [20 Dec 1844, Lowndes Co., AL—14 Feb 1927, Saltillo, MS] (enlisted, April 62, Tuscaloosa, AL, aged 17; paroled, 7 June 65, Montgomery, AL; burial: Saltillo, MS || Debra Johnson)
WEED, Samuel
WHEELESS, Cephas P.
WHITE, Simpson
WILKERSON, Gilbert W.
WILKERSON, Irvin S.
WILKERSON, J. L.
WILKERSON, John
WILKERSON, Shird
WILKERSON, William F.
WILKERSON, Wyatt R.
WILKINS, Zachariah
WILLIAMS, Frank L.
WILLIAMS, Hiram F.
WILLIAMS, John T.
WILLIAMS, Thomas J.
WOOD, Robert E.
WOODYARD, Joseph T.
WORRELL, Thomas J. [14 December 1825—26 August 1910] (burial: Bethany Baptist Church Cemetery, Heath, Covington Co., AL)
YARBROUGH, Benjamin
YEATS, John P.
YORK, James M.
YOUNG, Asbury A.
ZORNE, Henry A.