March 11, 1864, changed to 3rd U.S. Heavy Artillery Regiment (Colored); April 26, 1864, changed to 4th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery Regiment. Mustered in at Columbus, Kentucky, July 27 to November 26, 1863; mustered out February 25 1866.
Dyer's Compendium states this regiment was organized at Columbus in June, 1863, and attached to the District of Columbus, 6th Division, XVI Army Corps until April, 1864. The first recruits for Companies "A", "B" and "C" were enrolled in June, but the organizations were not completed and mustered in until the dates shown. The first mention of the regiment in the Official Records was on June 30, 1863, when Company "C", under Captain William Grant, was reported at Island Number Ten, which post was commanded by Captain John A. Gordon.
Adjutant General L. Thomas's report, dated December 24, 1863, giving the number of colored troops raised since April 1, 1863, gave the aggregate strength of the regiment as 878. On October 31. 1863, in the Table of Organization, eight companies of the 2nd Tennessee Heavy Artillery, under Lieutenant Abraham T. Dearborn, were reported near Union City, in Colonel George E. Waring's Brigade, of Brigadier General Andrew I. Smith's Division. In the same report, eight companies Tennessee Heavy Artillery, under Colonel Charles H. Adams, were listed as being at Columbus, Kentucky, in Colonel John Scott's Brigade. A report of the same date listed the 2nd Tennessee Heavy Artillery, Colonel Charles H. Adams, with a strength of 594 men. There must be some mistake in these figures, for the eight companies at Union City, plus the eight companies at Columbus, would indicate the regiment had 16 companies, which is improbable. Perhaps there were only two companies at Union City under Lieutenant Dearborn, which would make a total of ten companies. On December 31, 1863, nine companies, under Colonel Adams, were reported at Columbus, Kentucky, which at the time was under the command of Colonel William T. Shaw.
On January 11, 1864, when most of the Federal troops moved out of Columbus, the 2nd Tennessee Heavy Artillery, with one other regiment, was left there as a garrison. On January 31, Colonel William H. Lawrence was in command at Columbus, and the regiment, under Lieutenant Colonel Peter Dobozy was still on garrison duty there.
The name of the regiment was changed to 4th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery in April, 1864 and, under this designation, it continued to be reported in the District of Columbus, XVI Corps, Department of the Tennessee, until August, 1864; in the District of Columbus, Department of Ohio until June, 1865; in the Department of Arkansas until February, 1866, and was mustered out of service February 25, 1866.
On March 7, 1864, Colonel Lawrence reported that on the previous night, pickets from Company "E" of the regiment attacked and drove off about 30 guerrillas who were in the act of getting between the breastworks and the brigade. He stated that the captain spoke very highly of the conduct of his men.
On May 1, 1864, the regiment reported 736 present for duty; on September 30, 22 officers and 587 men, with three companies absent by order of Brigadier General Solomon Meredith. Shortly after this, on October 11, 1864, Colonel T. R. Weaver, 119th Colored Infantry, reported that while on a recruiting expedition with some of his own men, and 85 men from the 4th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery, he was attacked near Fort Donelson by a cavalry force under Colonel Chenoweth, but after some heavy fighting, drove off the attack. In this engagement, Lieutenant Johnson and three privates were killed, and nine wounded. Colonel Weaver reported: "As for the colored troops, they behaved nobly."
On December 13, 1864, Brigadier General Meredith, in protest against instructions, reported that he did not have sufficient force to take the offensive and drive the enemy from the Danville Bridge on the Tennessee River, where Brigadier General Hylan B. Lyon was reported to be encamped, engaged in the construction of boats. General Meredith listed the forces at Columbus as the 4th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery, with 22 officers and 635 men, a force which he considered wholly inadequate for the defense of the District. On December 27, 1864 the regiment reported 963 aggregate.
On February 28, 1865, still at Columbus, where Colonel James N. McArthur was then in command, the regiment, under Lieutenant Colonel Dobozy, reported 649 effectives out of an aggregate of 985. On May 8, 1865, the Provost Marshall General directed that "recruiting be continued until June 1st for the 4th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery, but not beyond the maximum authorized by law."
The regiment moved to Arkansas in June, 1865, and did duty at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, until February 25, 1866, when it was mustered out.
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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