Battery D, West Virginia Light Artillery

Carlin’s Battery

HISTORY

Battery D was organized August 19, 1862, with John Carlin, captain; Ephraim Chalfant, first lieutenant, and J. Melvin Richards, second lieutenant. Having served in West Virginia, in May 9, 1863, it is stationed at Winchester, Va.; in January 1863, in Schenck’s Eighth Army Corps, Milroy’s brigade, at Winchester, and during the historical defense of that place by Milroy, June 13 to 15, when it rendered conspicuous service. Following is the official report of Captain Carlin of the operations of the battery in that engagement:

Washington, D.C. July 24, 1863

I certify that I am in command of Battery D. First West Virginia Light Artillery, composed of six 3-inch rifled guns, and have been under the command of Major-General Milroy since October, 1862; was with his command at the battle of Winchester, on June 13 and 14; had at the commencement of the engagement about 300 rounds of ammunition per gun; fired during the two days’ fighting about 265 rounds of ammunition per gun of different kinds. I had left in the chests when the action ceased on Sunday night, about 35 rounds per gun. I was by Major-General Milroy, through Brigadier-General Elliott, on Monday morning, about 2 o’clock, to spike my guns, destroy what ammunition was on hand, cut up the harness, and take nothing away but the saddles and bridles, and the horses, with the men mounted on them; which order I compiled with. Had I been allowed to do so, I could have taken my guns and equipment out when the order was given to evacuate, and, in my opinion, could have rendered good service in covering the retreat and engaging the battery of the enemy that made the attack upon General Milroy’s forces on the Martinsburg Road, four miles from Winchester, Va., on the morning of July 15.

John Carlin
Captain Co. D, 1st W. Va. L.A.

August 18, Captain Carlin and battery are at Wheeling, W. Va.; August 31, 1863, in Mulligan’s brigade at New Creek; December 31, 1863, in Thoburn’s brigade at New Creek; January and February at New Creek; April 4, 1864, still in Thoburn’s brigade, Sigel’s department; April 9, 1864, by order of General Sigel the battery was assigned to the command of General Sullivan; also on the same date Captain Carlin was assigned to the staff of Major-General Sigel as chief of artillery, and acting chief of ordnance. May 15, 1864, in Colonel Wynkoop’s brigade at New Market. August 3, at Piedmont, under General Hunter; June 10 to 23, in Capt. H.A. Dupont’s artillery brigade, on Hunter’s Lynchburg campaign. July 31, still with General Hunter. August 8, battery ordered from Parkersburg and Wheeling to recruit its numbers and to refit with new guns. September 13, 1864, Captain Carlin received orders at Wheeling to proceed with his command to Parkersburg, and take charge of fortifications at the post; to report to Colonel Wilkinson, where it remained until mustered out, June 27, 1865.

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

SERVICE

Organized at Wheeling, W. Va., August 20, 1862. Attached to Railroad District, District of West Virginia, Dept. of Ohio, to January, 1863. Milroy’s Command, Winchester, Va., 8th Army Corps, Middle Department, to February, 1863. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 8th Army Corps, to June, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 8th Army Corps, June, 1863. Mulligan’s Brigade, Dept. of West Virginia, to December, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, West Virginia, to March, 1864. 2nd Infantry Division, West Virginia, to May, 1864. Artillery Brigade, West Virginia, to August, 1864. Wheeling, W. Va., to September, 1864. Parkersburg, W. Va., to April, 1865. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, West Virginia, to June, 1865.

SERVICE.–Duty at Parkersburg, W. Va., till January, 1863. Moved to Winchester, Va., and duty there till June. Scouts to Strasburg April 20 and April 25-29. Operations in Shenandoah Valley April 22-29. Scout to Moorefield and into Hampshire County May 4-9. Battle of Winchester June 13-15. At Bloody Run, Pa., till July. At Wheeling, W. Va., till August 31. At New Creek till April, 1864. Operations in Hampshire and Hardy Counties against Rosser January 27-February 7, 1864. Ordered to Burlington April 3, thence to Martinsburg. Sigel’s Expedition from Martinsburg to New Market April 30-May 16. Battle of New Market May 15. Advance to Staunton May 24-June 6. Piedmont June 5. Occupation of Staunton June 6. Hunter’s Raid on Lynchburg June 6-July 1. Near Lynchburg June 14. Diamond Hill June 17. Lynchburg June 17-18. Liberty June 19. Buford’s Gap June 20. Salem June 21. At Wheeling, W. Va., August 8 to September 13 and at Parkersburg, W. Va., to June, 1865. Mustered out June 27, 1865.

[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

Carlin’s Battery web site, by Linda Cunningham Fluharty