From the frontpiece of Augustus C Buell’s The Cannoneer: Recollections of Service in the Army of the Potomac (1890), here are some of the officers of Battery B, 4th United States Artillery before and during the war. Etchings after photographs.

Captain Campbell commanded the battery at Antietam until wounded, succeeded by Lieutenant Stewart. Brigadier General Gibbon, a career Regular Artillery officer, was Captain of Battery B at the start of the war; he led the Brigade and helped man a gun of Battery B at Antietam. Lieutenant Davison of the 3rd US Artillery joined the battery after Antietam and commanded a “half-battery” of “B” at Gettysburg until he was wounded and replaced by then-Lieutenant Mitchell. Mitchell was First Sergeant of the Battery at Antietam and cited for bravery there. He is pictured here in his post-war uniform as a Captain in the 43rd (later 1st) US Infantry.

Augustus Caesar Buell (1847-1904) is now generally known as a “fraud historian” – particularly because of his biographies: Paul Jones, Founder of the American Navy (1900), Sir William Johnson (1903), William Penn as the Founder of Two Commonwealths (1904), and History of Andrew Jackson, Pioneer, Patriot, Soldier, Politician, President (1904) – all apparently at least plagiarized if not entirely made-up.

He wrote much of Cannoneer as if he was an eyewitness to it all, when he hadn’t actually enlisted in the 20th New York Cavalry until August 1863 and was (probably) detailed to the battery some time later. Although it must be viewed skeptically, the book is an excellent source of detailed information about Battery B/4th US Artillery.

It owes its value to the many soldiers and officers of the battery who contributed to its content, notably Captain Stewart, Sergeant C.A. Santmyer, and Private B.H. Stillman, who had been detailed from the 7th Wisconsin Infantry.

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