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1st Independent Battery
Cowan And His Men, May 1862,
Just After The First Fight

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Cowan and his men, May 1862, just after the first fight

These four officers of the First New York Independent Battery seated in front of their tent, in camp on the left bank of the Chickahominy River, look like veterans, yet a year of warfare had not yet elapsed; and their first taste of powder at Lee's Mills had just occurred. First on the left is Andrew Cowan (later brevet-lieutenant-colonel), then lieutenant commanding the battery (he had been promoted to captain at Lee's Mills, but had not yet received his captain's commission). Next is First-Lieutenant William P. Wright (who was disabled for life by wounds received in the battle of Gettysburg), Lieutenant William H. Johnson (wounded at Gettysburg and mortally wounded at Winchester), and Lieutenant Theodore Atkins, sun struck during the fierce cannonade at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, and incapacitated for further service in the army. Private Henry Hiser, in charge of the officers' mess at the time, is leaning against the tent pole. The first Independent Battery of Light Artillery from New York was organized at Auburn and mustered in November 23, 1861. It was on duty in the defenses of Washington until March 1862, when it moves to the Peninsula by way of Fortress Monroe. Its first action was at Lee's Mills, April 5, 1861; it took part in the siege of Yorktown, and fought at Lee's Mills again on April 16th. It served throughout the Peninsula campaign, and in all the big battles of the Army of the Potomac throughout the war. It helped to repulse Early's attack on Washington, and fought with Sheridan in the Shenandoah. The battery lost during its service two officers and sixteen enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and thirty-eight enlisted men by disease.

Taken from Photographic History of the Civil War Volume V Poetry and Eloquence, Francis Trevelyan Miller, editor-in-chief. New York: the Trow Press, 1911. Page 29.

Back to 1st Independent Battery During the Civil War

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: March 14, 2006
URL: http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/reghist/civil/artillery/1stIndBat/1stIndBatPhotoCowanMillerV_29.htm

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