4th Independent Battery Light Artillery

Nickname: Serrell's Artillery; Parrott Battery; Battery C, and Later D, New York Artillery; Smith's Battery

Mustered in: October 24,1861.
Disbanded: December 4,1863. Men transferred to other units

The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 4th ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.

This battery was recruited and organized in New York city as Company L, Artillery Company, Serrell's Engineers, and part of the 1st Troop, Washington Greys (Varian's Battery, 8th Militia"), formed its nucleus. It was mustered in the United States service for three years at Staten Island October 24, 1861, and left the State the next day commanded by. Capt. James E. Smith. Later in October it received its arms, Parrott guns, and was designated Battery C, and a few weeks later, Battery D, N. Y. Light Artillery. December 7, 1861, it received its numerical designation from the State. Some of the men of Busteed's Chicago Light Artillery were transferred to it in December, 1861. The battery served in Hooker's Division, Army of the Potomac, from November, 1861; in 2d Division, 3d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from March, 1862; in the Artillery Brigade, 3d Corps, from May, 1863; in the 2d Division, 2d Corps, from July, 1863; in 1st Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac, from August, 1863. December 4, 1863, the battery, commanded by First Lieut. Wm. T. McLean, was discontinued, and December 12, 1863, Second Lieut. J. S. Clark and 40 enlisted men-, originally enlisted for Serrell's Engineers, were transferred to the 1st Engineers (Company L) ; 18 enlisted men to the 5th, Battery; First Lieut. E. S. Smith and 18 enlisted men to. the 15th Battery, and a. few enlisted men to Battery B, 1st Artillery. The battery lost by death, killed in action, 3 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 2 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 1 officer, 11 enlisted men; total, 1 officer, 16 enlisted men; aggregate, 17; of whom 1 enlisted man died in the hands of the enemy.

The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers, Volume II: New York, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908.

Fourth Independent Battery.—Capt., James E. Smith. This battery was variously known as Serrell's artillery, Parrott's battery, and Battery C (afterwards D), N. Y. artillery. A portion of the 1st troop—Washington Greys—formed its nucleus and it was recruited and organized in New York city. It was mustered into the U. S. service at Staten island, Oct. 24, 1861, for a term of three years and the following day left the state commanded by Capt. Smith. It received its arms (Parrott guns) in October and in December some of the members of Busteed's Chicago battery were transferred to it. It served until July, 1863, with the 3d corps, and during the remainder of its term with the 2nd corps and the artillery reserve of the Army of the Potomac. It took part in the following engagements: Siege of Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Seven Days' battles, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Auburn, Bristoe Station and the Mine Run campaign. It was discontinued on Dec. 4, 1863, commanded by 1st Lieut. William T. McLean, and its members were transferred to the 1st N. Y. engineers, the 5th and 15th N. Y. batteries, and Battery B, ist N. Y. artillery. The 4th lost during service 5 men killed and mortally wounded, and i officer and 11 men who died of disease and other causes. It especially distinguished itself at Gettysburg, where it materially aided in seizing and retaining Little Round Top, its loss during this battle being 2 killed, 10 wounded and 1 missing.

NYSMM Online Resources

Battles and Casualties from Phisterer (pdf)
Battles and Casualties from Phisterer (spreadsheet)

Muster Roll

Unit Roster

Historical Sketch

Monument at Gettysburg

Other Resources

This is meant to be a comprehensive list. If, however, you know of a resource that is not listed below, please send an email to ng.ny.nyarng.list.historians@army.mil with the name of the resource and where it is located. This can include photographs, letters, articles and other non-book materials. Also, if you have any materials in your possession that you would like to donate, the museum is always looking for items specific to New York's military heritage. Thank you.

Smith, James E. A famous battery and its campaigns, 1861-'64. The career of Corporal James Tanner in war and in peace. Early days in the Black hills, with some account of Capt. Jack Crawford, the poet scout. By Captain James E. Smith, 4th N.Y. independent battery. Washington, DC: W. H. Lowdermilk & co., 1892.

Leigh, David; Drumgold, Henry. Letters, 1862-1864, to Henry Drumgold, New York
Abstract: Describes his experiences as sergeant in the 4th N.Y. Ind. Battery; gives his impressions of Hooker, Sickles, and Meade as commanders; describes battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.
Number of Pages: 24 items
Located at Dartmouth College.


Items the museum holds are in bold.