c. 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Official Records
:  Engaged at Chattanooga on the evenings of 7 & 8 June 1862.  No one killed.  Private Hawkins received a slight wound on
the left wrist.  Detachment sent to Battle Creek on the 12th .  Engaged on the evening of the 18th June.  No one killed or wounded.

Captain Barry recalls:    The first engagement of this battery with the enemy was at Shellmound, Ga.  I was ordered by Brigadier General Leadbetter, who was then in command of the Confederate forces at Chattanooga, to send one 12-pounder gun to Shellmound to prevent the enemy from crossing the river at that point.  Lieutenant Watkins was in command of the gun, and was given the responsible work of sinking any craft that made its appearance.  He had quite a little fight with batteries from the enemy.  I cannot give dates, but it was soon after the battle of Corinth, perhaps the first of May.  The enemy did not cross, but went on to Chattanooga.  A few days thereafter Lieutenant Watkins returned to the batteries, to little Cameron Hill, and there for two days we had a hot cannonading fight.  After the enemy returned whence they came.” 

June 7Report in Georgia Weekly Telegraph, 1862 June 13 edition, p2:  Chattanooga, June 7, 8 P.M. – The bombardment has ceased.  It continued brisk at intervals until eight O’clock.  The enemy had three batteries in position on a high ridge.  They were replied to by a battery of two six pounders under the command of Lieutenant Armstrong, situated on the bank of the river, and Captain Barry’s battery of four guns, situated on the heights overlooking the Ferry.  Spirited firing between the sharpshooters was kept p on both sides of the river.  Barry’s battery lost one killed and one wounded.  Capt. Haines, of the Forty-third Georgia regiment, and private Stublitt, of Colonel Morgan’s command, were badly wounded.  Several others were slightly wounded.  A number of the enemy are known to be killed.  Our force engaged was not over five hundred, while that of the enemy was from fifteen hundred to two thousand.  Two of their guns were silenced.  The enemy are reported also at the mouth of Battle Creek below Shell Mound, twenty-two miles below Chattanooga, 8,000 strong.  They are building flats and preparing to cross the river.  Several of the latter have been destroyed by our shells.  The above account is reliable.  Late Northern papers report that a council of war was held at Nashville last Thursday, when it was resolved that a force of fifteen thousand men should be put in the field to retake East Tennessee.

June 8 – Report in Georgia Weekly Telegraph, 1862 June 13 edition, p2:  FROM CHATTANOOGA- The Savannah Republican publishes the following:  CHATTANOOGA, JUNE 8 – The enemy resumed the shelling of the town at ten o’clock today, and continued until noon, without any casualties on our side.  Two buildings were slightly damaged.  Our batteries did not respond.  The scouts that have come in from across the river report that the enemy have left for another position below.  They are expected to attempt to cross the river at Brown’s Ferry, three miles below the city and opposite Lookout Mountain, or at another point some four miles above the city.  They have a small steam ferry boat, which they have fitted up as a gunboat.  Our troops are in excellent spirits and confident of holding Chattanooga.  The enemy’s force consists of the whole of Mitchell’s command from Nashville and Huntsville, and are supposed to number 8,000.  Sharp work is expected tomorrow.     

June 9 – Report in Georgia Weekly Telegraph, 1862 June 13 edition, p2:  Chattanooga, June 9, Noon. – The enemy’s forces in the Sequatchie Valley, are reported to be 10,000 strong.  It is supposed they are preparing to cross at Shell Mound.  Scouts report seventy cavalry as having passed up yesterday to capture our steamer Point of Rocks, which was sent above.  They are looking after.  Mitchell is said to be with his forces opposite Shell Mound.  A number of contraband wagons, coming from McMinnsville to Chattanooga, and several discharged Confederates were captured by the enemy on Friday last.  It is supposed that the demonstration on Chattanooga may be a feint to cover some other movement.  All is quiet.  Several spies have been captured.

The Barry Battery [Chattanooga Newspaper, Sept. 14, 1904, clipping in Amos Naman Bice Pension Application] The battery of which Capt. R. L. Barry  was the captain, was composed for the most part of Chattanooga men, and began its career of battle on Cameron Hill.  The other commissioned officers of the battery were Lieuts. James Lauderdale, John M. Armstrong, John S. Springfield, and R. L. Watkins, the first only of whom at present survives.  It was in this battery that the first cannon cast in Tennessee was used, and the first shot was fired from this gun from Cameron Hill by Amos Bice, who was present at the meeting last night.  This gun was cast at the foundry of Thomas Webster and named “Olivia,” in honor of Miss Olivia Webster, now Mrs. G. W. Davenport.  The first work of the battery was in shelling the forcs of Gen. Mitchell, entrenched at Vallombrosa, on Stringer’s ridge.  Service was also rendered in much of the campaign in North…”

[ Link to 1863 Map of Chattanooga:  http://www.loc.gov/resource/g3964c.cw0398200r/.  Although map is of 1863 Battle, the locations of Cameron Hill and Stringers Ridge, as well as the layout of Chattanooga, are represented.]


Chattanooga                                                                                                       June 22, 1862 

Dear Sister,

                Supposing that a letter is ever welcome to you, and as I have an opportunity of writing from my old desk – I proceed to give you a few points in detail – Last week one attachment of 13 men were called off from our Battery to Battle Creek 25 miles below this – and just below Uncle T. G. Craighead’s – A force of the federals of something near 7,000 men are now at Jasper & wish to cross Tenn River to march on this place consequently an Artillery Comp & one detachment four comp with infantry & cavalry are now down there to guard the passage

                I was down there last Thursday.  I saw some of their pickets and recoinoitering parties across the river.  And some 18 of our men went across and captured 3 killed one & wounded one – without any resistence from the Federals.

                One of our men was shot from across the river through the thigh by a federal yesterday & died last night.  One federal was killed by our pickets Friday from across the river.  A larger force is said to be moving across the mountain and are now bearing down on Chattanooga.

                Do not know how we will deport ourselves when we have to stand a continued fire & bombardment for several days.

                We will hope for the best.  If nothing more immediately after the fight here 3 weeks ago.  The federals went back to Sequatchee Valley – took a number of prisoners, destroyed much valuable property stole several negroes, horses, corn, hay, hogs, cattle & CC & encamped at the mouth of Butter Creek at which place they have constructed a Pontoon Bridge across the creek.

                They will probably make a temporary headquarters there for a time.  Among the prisoners taken from jasper was T. G. Craighead, Mr. Rice & Mr. Turner.  Federals took several hundred dollars from T. G. Craighead & Turner and they have been sent to Columbia, Tenn to be disposed of.  T. G. C. told his black boys that they need to work anymore if they did not want to.  Dick of Color said he would go on & make the crops of corn & sow the grain & hay.  The familys of Rollings, Alley, Hogue & Craighead are now all huddled up in the one house of Uncle T.G.C.s.  Miller was here some days ago.  He said he was going to get up a company of Morgan men and attach himself to the celebrated Col. Jno. H. Morgan.  He said he would be in Knox County.  (Cousin H. K. Alley was elected Col. From his position as Captain) in the reorganization of their regiment.  Tim Rollings was elected Captain of the old company and Thus they float on for 3 years more.  H. K. Alleys Regiment was ordered from Cumberland gap to Savanah & now back from Savanah to E. Tenn. 

                Thus it is we have to move from point to place.  Brunting the tide of Battle & waging war on our oppressors.  But our mottoe will ever be “On Conly On” “Gird on the battle blade and fearless let us rush to war.”

                Our country is ruined, our commerse destroyed – Our homes deserted – our families starving – our loved ones enjoying all the life & bloom of youth are compelled to go to war with the filthy dispoilers of our homes only to meet an untimely grave – but better die the death of the soldier fighting for our homes & our firesides than live an ignomious slave of northern fanatics.

                One federal major was captured some month ago by Morgan, at Cave City in Ky.  He was released on honor to return in his place one of Morgans nephews who was taken by the federals before that.  The major went to Washington & tried to make the exchange but Seward & Lincoln said “no” & yesterday the major accompanied by 4 federal officers with a flag of truce came to the bank of the river at Chattanooga & desired an interview with the General in command here.  The General being absent the (Assistant Adjutant Gen) conferred with the federals for ½ an hour & the major was bright across the river & sent to confinement while the federal officers returned with their flag of truce.

                P. H. Watkins & family are still here.  Got all the things packed up – ready & “spectin” “inny” minute to be the next”.  Mr. Lin & family are gone to Ga.  The weather is exceedingly warm here.  We have had no rain for 3 weeks.  All the friends are well except APW* who got shot through the fleshy-part of the right arm in a difficulty with Col. D. T. Cocke (the man from whom they bought their farm).  Arthur shot Cocke in the left arm & so they are both with arm in sling.  Cocke shot at AP 4 times & A.P. only shot once & his pistol was empty.  To kill or be killed is now the order of the day.  There is no law – no wait – no consider – no nothing – but heedless & regardless of consequences let us push forward & see what the end will be and those who fail or will not press forward may stand still & see such things as will shock the refinement of the savage.  Sis please remember that I am away from home & will be pleased to hear from you often.  I am in good health.  My love to Grand Mama and all …friends & I remain your affectionate Brother.

(*APW is Arthur P. Watkins, older brother of Lt. Richard (Dick) L. Watkins, and younger brother of Patrick Henry Watkins.  Letter is authored by Lt. John M. Armstrong; his sister is Margaret Evelyn “Evie” Armstrong, wife of Patrick Henry Watkins.  Col. D. T. Cocke is Col. Daniel T. Cocke.)