Continuing the discussion of the “Left Breaching Batteries” on Morris Island during the summer of 1863, we turn to the left of Battery Reno:
For practical purposes, Battery Stevens was simply two more guns in the same line. The battery contained two 6.4-inch (100-pdr) Parrott Rifles. The profile and facilities matched those of Battery Reno. A bombproof built into the left side epaulement stored ammunition for the guns. Listed ranges from Battery Stevens to the Confederate fortifications were the same as for Battery Reno: 4,320 yards to Fort Sumter; 2,950 yards to Battery Gregg; and 1,860 yards to Battery Wagner.
First Lieutenant James Wilson from Battery C, 1st US Artillery commanded the battery. In addition to a detachment from Wilson’s Battery C, troops from the 7th Connecticut Infantry manned Battery Stevens.
Thanks to the efforts of Haas & Peale, there is a photograph showing what Battery Stevens looked like.
The road, or should we say path, entered the battery from the left. The water in the foreground was part of the marsh behind the dune. The Battery Stevens side of the line looked a bit more cluttered than that of Battery Reno.
But at least the debris was outside a beam marking the rear of the battery.
Behind those stumps, ammunition crates were at least stacked in a fairly orderly fashion.
With all the men standing on the parapet, we can say this photo was taken after the fall of Battery Wagner. But the two 6.4-inch Parrotts remained in battery. The gun on the left appears ready to fire. Perhaps part of the pose, the crew had the lanyard run. But I doubt the rest of the crew would stand that close to a gun about to fire (what with the frequency of burst Parrotts).
The right side gun is not at the ready position.
And you have to like the backwards kepi. Perhaps he was playing catcher on the ball team?
But what is in his hand?
Other crew-members appear less engaged with the work of the day.
Beside them is a third Parrott.
This one is up on blocks, were one fellow found it a convenient backrest.
Photo credit: Hagley Museum and Library collection of Haas & Peale photographs.