Battery B, West Virginia Light Artillery

Keeper’s Battery

HISTORY

Battery B was organized October, 1861, with Samuel Davey, captain; John v. Keeper, first lieutenant. Captain Davey resigned April 1, 1862, when Lieutenant keeper was promoted to captain; at this time the battery was in Banks’ 5th Army Corps, Shield’s division. The battery was conspicuous for its good work at the battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862.

January 31, 1863, it is found in the 8th Army Corps under General Schenck, and in Milroy’s brigade, stationed at Winchester, Va. May 31, 1863, the battery was assigned to General Averell’s command, remaining with that general for several months, participating in all of Averell’s raids in the mountains of West Virginia. April 9, 1864, attached to Colonel Moor’s brigade at Beverly. April 28th, at Webster.

June 10, 1864. One section, under Lieutenant Atkinson, on Hunter’s Lynchburg campaign, under General Duffie. The battery was at Kernstown, July 23, 1864, in General Duffie’s command. October 19, 1864, General Duffie in his farewell order to his command complimented the battery for splendid service rendered. October 20, 1864, assigned to Colonel Wynkoop’s brigade.

December 31, 1864, this battery was consolidated with Battery E, Capt. Alexander C. Moore, the battery retaining the latter organization.

[Source: Loyal West Virginia 1861-1865, by Theodore Lang]

SERVICE

Organized at Ceredo October 1, 1861. Attached to Reynolds’ Cheat Mountain District, W. Va., to January, 1862. Landers’ Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862. Artillery, Shields’ 2nd Division, Banks’ 5th Army Corps, and Dept. of the Shenandoah to May, 1862. Shields’ Division, Dept. of the Rappahannock, to June, 1862. Military District of Washington, D.C., to January, 1863. Milroy’s Command, Winchester, Va., 8th Army Corps, Middle Department, to February, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 8th Army Corps, to May, 1863. 4th Separate Brigade, 8th Army Corps, to June, 1863. Averell’s 4th Separate Brigade, Dept. of West Virginia, to December, 1863. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, Army of West Virginia, to April, 1864. Artillery, 1st Cavalry, Division of West Virginia, to February, 1865.

SERVICE.–At Romney till January, 1862, and at Paw Paw Tunnel till March. Advance on Winchester, Va., March 7-12. Battle of Kernstown-Winchester, March 22-23. Occupation of Mount Jackson and New Market April 17. March to Fredericksburg May 12-22, and to Front Royal May 25-30. Front Royal May 30. Ordered to Camp Barry, Washington, D.C., and duty in the Defences of that city and in Railroad District, 8th Corps, Middle Department, till January, 1863. Action at Faquier. White Sulphur Springs, Va., August 27, 1862. Duty at Winchester, Va., January to May, 1863. Ordered to Grafton, W. Va., May 10. Moved to Beverly, Buckhannon, Clarksburg, Parkersburg and Weston, arriving at Grafton June 17. Moved to New Creek and Philippi July 1 and to Cumberland, Md., July 7; to Fairview July 12. Averell’s Raid through Hardy, Pendleton, Highland, Bath, Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties August 5-31. Jackson River August 25. Rocky Gap, near White Sulphur Springs, August 26-27. Averell’s Raid from Beverly against Lewisburg and the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad November 1-17. Mill Point, Pocahontas County, November 5. Engagement at Droop Mountain November 6. At Beverly and Martinsburg till May, 1864. Hunter’s Raid to Lynchburg May 26-July 1. Piedmont, Mount Crawford, June 5. Buffalo Gap June 6. Occupation of Staunton June 6. Diamond Hill June 17. Lynchburg June 17-18. Catawba Mountains June 21. Leetown July 3. About Harper’s Ferry July 4-7. Near Hillsborough July 15-16. Snicker’s Ferry July 17-18. Ashby’s Gap and Betty’s Ford July 19. Ashby’s Gap July 23. Battle of Kernstown, Winchester, July 24. Bunker Hill and Martinsburg July 25. Duty in District of Harper’s Ferry till December.

Consolidated with Battery “E,” West Virginia Light Artillery, December 31, 1864.

[Source: Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, by Frederick Dyer]

LOSSES

The 1st West Virginia Light Artillery regiment lost 33 men, killed and died of wounds; 131 men, died of disease, accident or in prison; total deaths, 164 men. (all 8 batteries)

[Source: Regimental Losses in the American Civil War, 1861-1865, by William F. Fox]

BIBLIOGRAPHY