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2nd Battery Massachusetts Light Artillery
in the Civil War

Regimental History
Second Battery, Light Artillery. — Capts., Ormand F. Nims, William Marland. The total strength of the battery was 12 officers, 351 men. Its losses during service were 2 killed, and 23 died of disease. This organization was recruited in Boston during April and May, 1861, by Maj. Cobb and was the first battery sent forward for three years. It was mustered into the U. S. service, July 31, 1861, left the state on Aug. 8, arrived at Baltimore on the 12th, and remained in garrison there until Feb. 25, 1862, save for 41 days while on an expedition under Gen. Lockwood through the eastern counties of Maryland and Virginia. It was then ordered to join Gen. Butler's expedition against New Orleans, moved to Fortress Monroe Feb. 26, and left for New Orleans on April 19, 1862. On its arrival in Louisiana, it was assigned to Gen. Williams's brigade and encamped at Baton Rouge, until it engaged in the Vicksburg expedition of June and July. Returning to Baton Rouge July 26, it could, on Aug. 4, muster only 21 men fit for duty, out of 140 members, the others all being sick. Securing a detail of 30 men from the 9th Conn. infantry, they were hastily drilled and the battery won much praise for its efficient service the next day in the battle at Baton Rouge. It then moved to New Orleans and encamped there until Dec. 27. When Gen. Banks succeeded to the command of the Department of the South in December, Nims' battery was assigned to the 4th division, 19th corps, returned to Baton Rouge and remained in winter quarters there until March, 1863. On March 13 it joined the expedition to the rear of Port Hudson. On its return it shared in the Bayou Teche expedition — April-May, 1863 — and on May 25, was once more in position before Port Hudson. It rendered important service during the siege and after the surrender of the fortress, returned to Baton Rouge, July 11. It then moved to Donaldsonville, La., for two weeks ; to Carrollton for a week, arrived in New Orleans Aug. 6, remaining there until Sept. 17. It shared in an expedition into the interior of Louisiana in September, being engaged at Vermilion and Carrion Crow bayous. The battery remained encamped at Carrion Crow bayou, New Iberia, and Franklin until March, 1864, when it participated in the Red River campaign. It met with a serious disaster in the battle of Sabine cross-roads, when, after an heroic resistance, all its guns were captured, 2 men killed and 18 wounded, 5 of the wounded being captured, together with 7 unwounded men. In addition to the loss of the guns and caissons, 82 horses were either killed or wounded. When the routed Union forces reached Grand Ecore on the 10th, the battery was ordered to New Orleans, as it was without equipment. At Carrollton it was supplied with light guns, but the guns were transferred to the 6th Mass. battery, and early in July the 2nd was equipped with four 3-inch rifled guns and quartered at the Apollo stables. On Sept. 2 it moved to Morganza, and encamped there for the winter. The original members of the battery, with the exception of 23 who had reenlisted, were mustered out on Aug. 16, 1864. The organization, however, was continued, being made up of the reenlisted men and recruits received from time to time. Capt. Nims resigned on Jan. 7, 1865, and Lieut. Marland was promoted to the vacancy. It was sent by ship to Florida, in March, 1865, then marched westward through the swamps to share in the operations about Mobile. After the surrender of Fort Blakely it moved with a column of infantry toward Claiborne, Ala. Its last serious engagement was at Daniels' plantation, April 11. During the ensuing seven weeks it was engaged almost constantly in exhaustive marches and suffered great losses in animals and equipment. On June 4 it reached Vicksburg, having traveled over 1,600 miles since landing in Fla., and remained here until July 22, it left for Massachusetts. It was mustered out at Boston, Aug. 11, 1865.

Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 1

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