March 11, 1864, changed to 2nd U. S. Heavy Artillery Regiment (Colored)
April 26, 1864, changed to 3rd U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Regiment.
Organized at Fort Pickering, Memphis, in 1863.
On April 15, 1863, orders were issued to recruit and muster into service eight companies of colored men for service as heavy artillery at Fort Pickering, Defenses of Memphis. Lieutenant I. G. Kappner was appointed recruiting officer, and the instructions were that each company should have one captain, two lieutenants and an orderly sergeant, who were to be white men. The other non-commissioned officers were to come from the colored recruits. The commissioned and non-commissioned staff officers for the battalion were to be white. The pay and allowances were to be the same as in other artillery organizations in the U. S. Service.
Adjutant General L. Thomas, in a report dated December 24, 1863, listing the colored troops which had been organized since April 1, 1863, listed the 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery Regiment (A.D.) with an aggregate strength of 1153 men. His report continued: "The majority of the freedmen manifest a partiality for the military service, and are undoubtedly happy and contented in their position in the army. The sanitary condition of the colored troops has materially improved of late. As far as practicable all the men have been quartered in log huts, and in many cases in comfortable buildings. Every care has been taken to render them efficient as soldiers, and with success.
On June 30, 1863, the 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery Regiment (African Descent) with lgnatz G. Kappner as colonel, was reported in Colonel Charles D. Murray's Brigade, Brigadier General James C. Veatch's Division, District of Memphis, Major General Stephen A. Hurlbut's XVI Corps. The regiment served as garrison troops at Fort Pickering, in the Defenses of Memphis, until July 14, 1865. During most of this time, Colonel Kappner was in command of all the troops at Fort Pickering, and the regiment was commanded at various times by Major Emil Smith, Lieutenant Colonel James P. Harper, and Major James E. Williams.
On October 31, 1863, it reported 960 effectives; on April 24, 1864, 1200; on February 28, 1865, 1169 effectives, 1301 aggregate. On March 11, 1864, Adjutant General Thomas ordered the 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery Regiment (African Descent) to be numbered as the 2nd. The order continued: "All troops of African Descent will hereafter be designated by numbers, and be reported by the numbers as regiments of U. S. Cavalry, Heavy Artillery, Light Artillery, or Infantry (Colored). On April 26, the order was amended so as to remove the word "colored" as a parenthetical addition, and to include the word as an integral part of the designation of the organization involved. At the same time, the number of this regiment was changed from 2nd to 3rd, and from this date the regiment was officially known as the 3rd U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery Regiment.
On July 14, 1865, Colonel I. G. Kappner was given command of the 2nd Infantry Brigade with orders to report to Major General Augustus L. Chetlain, Commanding the Post and Defenses of Memphis. The regiment was attached to Kappner's Brigade. It was last reported in the Official Records as still on duty at Memphis on August 18, 1865. Dyer's Compendium states it was transferred to the District of West Tennessee in September 1865, and was mustered out of service in April 1866.
This unit history was extracted from Tennesseans in the Civil War, Vol 1. Copyrighted © 1964 by the “Civil War Centennial Commission of Tennessee” and is published here with their permission.
This history may not be republished for any reason without the written permission of the copyright owner.
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