The 1st Kansas Battery

The Third and Fourth Kansas Volunteer Infantry regiments were formed in 1861. Curiously both of these regiments contained cavalry and artillery companies. The artillery company of the Third Kansas was Captain Thomas Bickerton's artillery company, originally designated ?Company G.? The artillery company of the Fourth Kansas was Captain Thomas Moonlight's artillery company, originally designated ?Company D.? The following is extracted from: Thirteenth Biennial Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kansas, 1901-?02, Topeka: W.Y. Morgan, State Printer (1902), pp. 121-124.

In the spring of 1862 the War Department ordered the reorganization and consolidation of the Third and Fourth Kansas regiments. This was done, the infantry companies forming a new regiment, thereafter known as the Tenth Kansas Volunteer Infantry. It would have been very proper to have designated the new consolidation as either the Third or Fourth Kansas Volunteers, instead of the Tenth, but both regiments thought their regimental designation the one to adopt, and to settle the contention, the next vacant number was assigned to the reorganization. The cavalry companies were transferred to the Fifth, Sixth and Ninth Kansas Cavalry regiments, and the artillery companies were consolidated into the First Kansas Battery.

Company I [of the Fourth Kansas] was broken up, its officers were mustered out, and the company divided between Companies B, F, and H, Tenth Kansas Infantry, and First Kansas Battery.

The artillery companies were consolidated by authority of Special Orders No. 42, District of Kansas, dated April 24, 1862. The organization of the consolidated battery (First Kansas Battery) was effected about June l, 1862. A previous attempt had been made to transfer Captain Bickerton's Artillery Company of the Third Kansas to the First Kansas Infantry as an artillery organization, and to break up Captain Moonlight's Artillery Company of the Fourth and distribute it among the companies of the same regiment as infantry; but dissatisfaction being created, by the advice of General Sturgis the order was modified, and the consolidation was made in accordance with Special Orders No. 42, above referred to.

The following is the Battery?s official history from the Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kansas, 1861-?65. Reprint Edition. Topeka, Kansas: Kansas State Printing Plant (1896), p. 263:


No written history of this Battery having been furnished to the Adjutant General, and the data in his possession being so incomplete as to preclude the possibility of an extended sketch of the services of this excellent organization, his remarks in relation thereto must necessarily be brief.

About the 9th of July, 1863, the gallant commander of this battery--Captain Norman Allen--was stricken down with disease and died. The command then devolved upon Lieut. Taylor. Directly succeeding this they were ordered to Indiana, and took an active part in capturing Morgan's guerrilla band then on their celebrated raid through that State. After this they were ordered to St. Louis, and subsequently to Columbus, Ky. They served with distinction in all the principal actions in which the armies of the Tennessee and the Mississippi were engaged, and their numbers were greatly reduced by the casualties of war and by disease.

Reports transcribed courtesy of Bryce Benedict, Civil War Roundtable of Eastern Kansas.