Historical Sketch of the
that we portray is a unit from South Carolina known as Garden's
Battery or the Palmetto Light Artillery (PLA). Much of the following
history comes from Glenn Dedmont's excellent book about the PLA,
A early unit muster role is available. Also the Appomattox Muster
Role, and brief descriptions of many of
Page) (Modern PLA)
- 8 April 1861 Hugh
Richardson Garden joins Sumter
Volunteers (Company D, 2d SCV) and is made colour sergeant.
- 16 July 1861 Garden and several other future PLA members fought at 1st Manassas
- Spring 1862 Garden returns to Sumter and begins recruiting men for an
artillery company. He invested heavily of his own funds, and
within a few months he had enlisted nearly 150 men.
- 27 April 1862 Members of the PLA embark for Camp Hampton to begin
- July 1862 PLA
had been accepted by Gen. Wade Hampton, but he was transferred to
a Cavalry command. The Hampton legion was now commanded by John
Bell Hood. PLA was now under Major B.W. Frobel.
- 28 July 1862 PLA
has first action on Manassas Plain. Engaged at about 3:00 PM as a
preliminary to Longstreet's devastating attack on Pope's
- 17 September PLA
is engaged at Sharpsburg. Starting just after noon, they fired on
the advancing Federal line crossing Burnside's Bridge. Together
with the Howitzer section of Reilly's Battery and Toomb's Ga
infantry they kept the Federals at bay for over five hours, until
A.P. Hills division could reach the scene. PLA had nine horses
killed, five wounded, eleven men
wounded including one Lt. (who died
after his leg was amputated), and two guns disabled (but not
captured). (Read a
poem written by Lt.
McQueen for the departed Lt.
- September 1862 PLA moves into camp near Culpepper, Va.
- 23 November 1862 PLA moves camp to Fredricksburg.
- 11 December In
reserve at Fredricksburg and not engaged.
- February 1863 PLA left Rappahanock and moved south with their division
- March 1863 PLA
moves along Blackwater River in Virginia
- 11 April 1863 moved with Longstreet's force around Suffolk, Va.
- 2 May 1863 PLA
receives orders to leave Suffolk
- 3 May 1863 Lt.
George Coit killed by unexploded
- May 1863 PLA
marches through Petersburg, Richmond, Louisa Courthouse, Orange,
and Culpepper to rejoin the Army of Northern Virginia on the
- 15-19 June 1863 the PLA marches from Culpepper to Little Washington, then to
Markam Station, to Upperville, and finally to Snicker's Gap. Total
distance of nearly 70 miles in three days, crossing the Shenandoah
River three times. These were also some of the hottest days of the
- 20-27 June 1863 Battery marches to Chambersburg, PA covering a total of 175 miles
in twelve days since leaving Culpepper, Va.
- 30 June 1863 PLA
moved 8 miles to Fayetteville
- 1 July 1863 Palmetto Battery marches to Cashtown.
- 2 July 1863 Deployed along Emmitsburg Pike, PLA was part of artillery support
as Hood attempted to turn the Union left. From 3:45 until dark
Henry's Battalion shelled Union positions such as Devil's
- 3 July 1863 The
PLA, seperated from Henry's Battalion, join a line of 138 guns in
support of what was to become known as Pickett's Charge. Before
the day was over Lt. McQueen would take his gun forward in support
of Pickett's charge, actually outdistancing the infantry at one
point. McQueen's gun (a 12 pdr. field howitzer) and four guns from
the Washington Arty. were the only pieces to move forward at this
time. The gun was disabled and Capt. Garden personally led the
team which withdrew the gun. View a
list of the gun
crew who went forward.
- August 1863 PLA
moves back to Culpepper.
- November 1863 Battery moves to Mine Run, Va.
- Read a
poem written by Lt.
McQueen while in winter camp.
- 8 May 1864 PLA
in action at The Blockhouse against troops from the
- 12 May 1864 PLA
stands ready at Spotsylvania
- 1 June 1864 Engaged at Cold Harbour
- 30 July 1864 PLA
partipates in the battle of the Crater, using mortars to throw
shells at the Union troops who tried to come out of the crater.
Read a description of the action.
- 7 October 1864 Action on Darbytown road in defense of Richmond.
- March 1865 Richmond line at Drewry's Bluff.
- 7 April 1865 Their last engagement of the war near Farmville, Va.
- 8 April 1865 PLA
given permission to abandon remaining guns, but kept horses in
case conditions should improve.
- 9 April 1865 Lee
surrenders at Appomatox Court House and Capt Garden makes his
final Roll. The men begin the long trip home.
- 9 April 1865 While home on furlough, Lt. McQueen led a group a group of locals
in defense of Sumter. The marauding Yankees met his force of old
men and boys at Dingle's Mill where McQueen had an obsolete
howitzer. Lt. McQueen lost his life in this engagement. He was the
last member of the PLA, since the rest had surrendendered just