|Unit History Project|
Varian's Battery, Light Artillery
Left state: April 19, 1861
Organized February 4, 1833, as Washington Light Battery, 3d Regiment, State Artillery; reorganized in 1836 into a troop of cavalry and designated the Washington Gray Troop; July 27, 1847, the designation of the 3d Regiment Artillery was changed to 8th Regiment, and the troop assigned to it as Company I; in 1861, the troop was organized as a battery, known as Varian's Battery; January 22, 1867, the troop was formed into a battalion of cavalry, which, in 1870, was consolidated into one troop; in 1879 the troop was reorganized as Battery E, which designation was changed to 2d Battery, December 17, 1882, and as such is still in the service of the State and located in the city of New York. It was on duty at the Abolition Riot, July 14, 1834; Stevedore Riot, February 24, 1836; Croton Water Riots, April 22, 23, 1840; the Great Fire, July 19, 1845; Astor Place Riot, May 10, 1849; Quarantine Riots, September, 1858; Draft Riots, July, 1863; Orange Riots, July 12, 1871; Railroad Riots, July, 1877; Motormen's Strike, Brooklyn, January, 1895.
It entered the service of the United States for three months, and left New York city, its home station, April 19, 1861, commanded by Capt. Joshua M. Varian, and was mustered out in New York city August 2, 1861. Immediately after its muster out about forty of its members entered the volunteer service, forming what was to be an artillery company for Serrell's Engineers, and which finally became the 4th Independent Battery.
The battery, as part of the 8th Regiment, re-entered the service of the United States for thirty days, during the Pennsylvania campaign, in 1863, performing duty as artillery and cavalry, generally detached from the regiment and commanded by Capt. Robert Brown.
It took part in the following engagements: Near Light-House at Smith's Point, Chesapeake Bay, Md., May 18, 1861; at Fairfax Court-House, Va., July 17, 1861; at Shippensburg, Pa., June 23, 1863; Kingston, Pa., June 26, 1863; Oyster Point, Pa., June 28, 1863; near Fort Washington, Pa., June 29, 1863; at Sporting Hill, Pa., June 30, 1863, and Carlisle, Pa., July 1, 1863.
Officers of the Battery. For names and records of the officers see Company "I" of the 8th Regiment.
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History