Grayson Blue/Gray Society of Southwest Virginia

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5TH Battery (E)

Kentucky Light Artillery

U.S. Volunteers





“Hawes’ Battery”


When the Civil War began in 1861 many areas of the South suffered the difficulty of the decision to support the Union or the new Confederacy. The Commonwealth of Kentucky was bitterly divided. Many Kentuckians felt allegiance was owed to the Union. The 5th Kentucky Battery was made up of these. These men were not " Yankees ", but "Southern Unionists".

Although they did not appear on the scene until the final years of the war they provided a much needed service.

The 5th Kentucky Battery, or Battery E, of the Kentucky Light Artillery, US Volunteers, was organized at Louisville, Kentucky in September, 1863. It was mustered into Federal service on October 6, 1863 under the command of Captain John Hawes. The battery performed garrison duty at Camp Nelson and Camp Burnside. It was at Lexington, Kentucky in June,1864 when the city was attacked by John Hunt Morgan. It remained at Lexington until November,1864.

In November,1864 the battery was ordered to General Stoneman's command in East Tennessee for the expedition against Saltville, Virginia. The battery participated in the battle of Marion, Virginia on December 18, and on the 21st of December in the capture of Saltville.

After the capture of Saltville, all the guns of the battery were spiked, and the men mounted for the return to Lexington, Kentucky by way of Pound Gap and Mt. Sterling.(The guns spiked by the 5th Kentucky, four U.S. 3-inch Ordinance Rifles, were recovered within days of the Federal retreat by Major Richard C.M. Page's Confederate Artillerists. These guns were restored to serviceable condition and used by Captain William H. Burroughs' Tennessee Battery. They remained in service with the Rebels until Page's Battalion was disbanded at Christiansburg, Virginia on April 12, 1865.)

Due to harsh weather conditions the trip was very difficult. Many men were stricken with severe frostbite. The troops , however, endured the hardships with courage.

From Lexington the battery marched to Camp Nelson where it remained until ordered to Louisville, Kentucky for muster out on August 1 , 1865.


"Who Will Tell The Story,Now The Boys In Blue Are Gone?"

                                                                    Ulysses S. Grant



District of North Central Kentucky, 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, Dept. of Ohio, [October-November, 1863]

District of Somerset, Ky., 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, Dept. of Ohio [November, 1863-January, 1864]

District of Southwest Kentucky, Dept. of Ohio, [January-April, 1864]

4th Brigade, 1st Division, District of Kentucky, 5th Division, 23rd Army Corps, Dept. of Ohio, [April-December, 1864]

Garrison, Lexington, Ky., District of Kentucky, Dept. of Ohio, [December, 1864-August, 1865]



Garrison duty at Camp Nelson and Camp Burnside, Ky., [October, 1863-June, 1864]

Reenlisted [February, 1864]

Duty at Lexington, KY [June-November, 1864]

Action against Morgan’s Raid, Lexington, KY [June, 1864]

Stoneman's Raid to Southwest Virginia [December 10-29, 1864]

Bean’s Station, TN [December 10, 1864]

Big Creek, TN [December 12, 1864]

Rogersville, TN [December 13, 1864]

Kingsport, TN [December 13, 1864]

Bristol, VA [December 14, 1864]

Abingdon, VA [December 15, 1864]

Glade Springs, VA [December 15, 1864]

Near Marion, VA [December 16-17, 1864]

Saltville, VA, [December 20-21, 1864]

Garrison duty at Lexington and Camp Nelson, Ky., [January-August, 1865]

Mustered Out [August 1, 1865]

This battery lost during service 10 by disease, but none to enemy action.


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