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Shiloh National Military Park

Ruggles' Battery

Ruggles' Battery (41K)

Image 1: Ruggles' Battery. A photograph along the left end of Ruggles' Grand Battery line. This picture was taken south of the Corinth Road. The guns are pointing east toward Duncan Field and the Sunken Road.

Ruggles' Battery in March (44K)

Image 2: The line of Ruggles' Battery, taken in March, 2000. Since this picture was taken earlier in the year than the previous picture, it's easier to see how far the path along the line of Ruggle's battery extends. In the background is Duncan Field.

Ruggles' Battery, looking north (43K)

Image 3: Ruggles' Battery, looking north. This shot shows the for left of Ruggles' Grand Battery line, looking north toward the Corinth Road. In the background is the northern portion of Duncan Field.

Ruggles' Battery, looking east (40K)

Image 4: Ruggles' Battery, looking east. In the background is the location of the Hornets' Nest line on the eastern edge of Duncan Field.

Brigadier General Daniel Ruggles was the commander of the First Division of Major General Braxton Bragg's army corps, which — in turn — was part of General Albert Sidney Johnston's Confederate Army of the Mississippi. Around 3 p.m. on April 6, 1862 Ruggles was busy accumulating a large concentration of artillery for an assault on the Hornets' Nest.

At this point in the war an artillery battery consisted of six cannons, with the battery further subdivided into three sections, two cannons per section. This was not a hard and fast rule, though, as some batteries might be reduced to as few as two or three cannons. The concentration of guns that became known as "Ruggles' Battery" was actually a "Grand Battery". A grand battery was a mass of several artillery batteries firing, more or less, as a single unit. Therefore "Ruggles' Battery" was more accurately "Ruggles' Grand Battery".

By 5 p.m. Ruggles had amassed 62 cannons, which bombarded the Hornets' Nest position unmercifully. The grand battery consisted of two portions. In front of the central Hornet's Nest thicket were five batteries and one section, numbering about 26 cannons. These were Cobb's Kentucky Battery, Byrne's Kentucky Battery, Thrall's section of Hubbard's Arkansas Battery, Swett's Mississippi Battery, Trigg's Arkansas Battery, and Robert's Arkansas Battery. To the left of those batteries, before the right flank of the Hornet's Nest along Duncan Field, were about 36 cannons in six batteries. These were Rutledge's Tennessee Battery, Robertson's Alabama Battery, Stanford's Mississippi Battery, Bankhead's Tennessee Battery, Hodgson's company of the Washington Artillery of Louisiana, and Ketchum's Alabama Battery.

After five unsuccessful assaults, it was the concentrated fire of the grand battery and the subsequent Confederate assaults and outflanking maneuvers that collapsed the Hornets' Nest. Ruggles' Grand Battery was the largest concentration of artillery fire up to that point of the American Civil War.

Photographs 1, 3, and 4 were captured on Kodak Gold 200 film in May, 2002. Photograph 2 was taken in March, 2000 and captured on Fuji ISO 200 film. All four photographs were taken with a Nikon F-601 autofocus SLR, using a Nikkor 24mm - 50mm f2.8 wide angle zoom lens.