BALTIMORE BATTERY, LIGHT ARTILLERY,
THE Baltimore Battery of Light Artillery was organized in the sum
mer of 1862 by Captain Frederick W. Alexander, of Baltimore,
under the call of President Lincoln for 300,000 men to serve for
three years, or during the war. It was mustered into the service
of the United States by Colonel Benjamin L. Beall, United States
Army, in its camp in Baltimore.
Within one month it was ordered to Monocacy Junction and
assigned to the Maryland Brigade, then commanded by Brigadier
General John R. Kenly, U. S. A. Marching to Williamsport, Md., it formed part of the
force composing the defenses of the Upper Potomac.
The Maryland Brigade then consisted of the First, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and
Eighth Regiments of Infantry, Maryland Volunteers, and Alexander's Battery.
The battery remained at Williamsport until early in December, when it was ordered
to take post with the brigade on Maryland Heights. During its stay at Williamsport
the brigade of General Wade Hampton, C. S. A., was holding the high ground on the
Virginia side. Here occurred the capture by Lieutenant MacMachen, First Maryland
Cavalry, of a picket of six men of Hampton's Brigade, just as a flag of truce had
returned to the Virginia from the Maryland shore, occasioning a correspondence between
General's Kenly and Hampton as to the terms of the truce. Here also occurred the
bursting of an experimental cast-iron breech-loading field gun, the invention of Captain
Alexander, by which a well known little drummer boy of the Eighth Maryland was
killed and several men severely wounded.
About the middle of December the battery arrived at Maryland Heights and went
into winter quarters, brigaded with the Maryland Brigade, the 17th Indiana Battery,
First Maryland Cavalry (Companies H and I) and the 6th 1ST. Y. Heavy Artillery, con-
stituting the First Brigade, First Division, Eighth Army Corps. Anticipating the move-
ment of Hooker's Army of the Potomac, Major General Schenck telegraphed to General
Kenly: "Send in advance, immediately, Captain Alexander's Battery to report for tem-
porary duty to General Milroy."
Accordingly the battery arrived at Berryville, April 27, 1863, and relieved two
sections of Battery B, First West Virginia Light Artillery.
Milroy's troops constituted the outposts in the Shenandoah Valley, and were kept
constantly employed in active reconnoissance until the advance of Lee's Army, of North-
ern Virginia, which opened the Gettysburg Campaign.
The first information of Lee's advance was received at Berry ville, on Friday after-