Before the days fighting was over Battery B would loose 9 men killed in action and another 31 wounded. The dead included 2 officers and 7 privates. Three of the dead were regulars with Battery B, the other six were volunteers from Indiana, New York and Wisconsin on detached service with the battery. This is the story of those brave cannoneers killed in action on September 17, 1862.
Sergeant Joseph Herzog was born in Colmar, France about 1827. On May 19, 1855, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania he enlisted in Battery B 4th U. S. Artillery for 5 years. His enlistment papers noted he was a tailor. He served with the battery in Utah Territory and Nevada where he was wounded in the neck, while mounted as cavalry, in an engagement against Indians in Egan Canyon on August 11, 1860. Herzog would re-enlisted for a second five year term at Camp Floyd, Utah Territory March 19, 1860. At the time of his re-enlistment he was listed as 5 feet 5 1/4 inches tall with blue eyes, and sandy colored hair. During the thick of the fighting along the Hagerstown Pike Sergeant Herzog was severely wounded. According to John Gibbon in "Personal Recollections of the Civil War" Herzog was taken to a field hospital in the rear where he took his own life.
Corporal John Brown was born in Bayern, Germany about 1826. He was a farmer there before emigrating to the United States. While in Louisville, Kentucky on March 26, 1858 he enlisted in Battery B for 5 years. Brown was 5 feet 11 inches tall with hazel eyes, brown hair and a florid complexion. He served with the battery in Utah Territory and Ruby Valley, Nevada, coming east along with the other regulars in the late summer and early fall of 1861. Brown would be killed in action on September 17, 1862.
The third regular army soldier killed with Battery B at Antietam was private Henry P. Lyons. He was born in Galway, Ireland about 1825. When he enlisted in Detroit, Michigan on January 25, 1858 Lyons was a 23 year old laborer standing 5 feet 8 1/4 inches tall, with grey eyes, brown hair and a light complexion. Lyons served with the battery in Utah, Ruby Valley, Nevada and Virginia prior to his being killed in action on September 17, 1862.
It is highly likely these three regular army soldiers were buried on the field where they fell after the fighting was over at Antietam. If they were disinterred in 1866 and moved to Antietam National Cemetery they are among the over 1,800 soldiers interred there known only to God.
Six privates on detached service from volunteer infantry regiments would loose their lives along side the regulars at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. Four of these men were with the Sixth Wisconsin, one with the 19th Indiana and one with the 23rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
Private John R. Anderson enlisted in Company C, 19th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment in Indianapolis on December 28, 1861. He was 22 years old. Anderson was mustered into federal service on January 1, 1862 and detached to Battery B in May 1862, Anderson was killed in action on September 17 and later buried on the battlefield. His remains were disinterred from the battlefield and reinterred in Antietam National Cemetery on November 10, 1866 where he now rests in grave #3447 in the Indiana Section.
Private J. R. Anderson
Henry Brown was born in Chemung County, New York about 1841. On May 6, 1861 he enlisted as a private in Company F, 23rd New York Volunteer Infantry for two years at Elmira. Brown was 20 years old. He would be mustered into federal service on May 16, 1861. Henry Brown was serving on detached service with Battery B when he was killed September 17, 1862.
Twenty year old Sylvester Fort was living in Honey Creek, Sauk County, Wisconsin when he and his 22 year old brother Isaac enlisted in Company A, 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry on May 10, 1861. Isaac and Sylvester, sons of Arthur Fort and his wife Julia were born in Chemung County, New York. On June 7, 1862 he was attached to Battery B. He was killed in action at Antietam September 17, 1862. Sylvester's brother Isaac would serve throughout the civil war with the 6th Wisconsin. He would be mustered out with the regiment on July 14, 1865 and not die until 1923.
Martin McCandra (also spelled McCandron, McCandria, McCandraw) was from Stillwater, Minnesota. He mustered in to Company B, 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry on June 10, 1861. He was detached to Battery B June 7, 1862. He was killed at Antietam September 17, 1862 and buried on the field. He was removed from the battlefield in 1866 and reinterred in Antietam National Cemetery on November 9, 1866 in grave #3348 in the Wisconsin Section.
Private Martin McCandra
Private Hiram Kell Whitaker was born April 13, 1841 in Indiana, the 7th child of Joseph and Mary Boswell Whitaker. He was living in Royalton Township, Berrien County, Michigan when he mustered into Company G, 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry on June 11, 1861. Whitaker was 20 years old. He was on detached service with Battery B when he was killed in action on September 17, 1862. Hiram Whitaker had 2 brothers Joseph (1846-1864) and William (1834-1863) who served in the civil war. Both reportedly died while prisoners of war. The cenotaph pictured below was erected in Baintertown Cemetery, New Paris, Elkhart County, Indiana in memory of Hiram and his younger brother Joseph.
Find A Grave Photo L. Litchfield
Smith Young was a resident of Berrien County, Michigan when he enlisted in Company G, 6th Wisconsin Infantry on June 11, 1861. He was detached to serve with Battery B on September 12, 1862 and killed in action on September 17.
Henry Brown, Sylvester Fort, Hiram Whitaker and Smith Young were probably all buried on the Antietam battlefield after the fighting ceased. If they were removed to Antietam National Cemetery in 1866 they are among the unknown.
The battle of Antietam remains the single bloodiest day in all American military history, where in 12 hours of fighting over 23,000 Americans were listed as killed, wounded, captured or missing. Battery B's casualties on that fateful September day, 155 years ago, rank as the third highest of any regular artillery battery in combat during the war. May they all rest in peace on hallowed ground.
Information comes from Indiana, New York and Wisconsin Regimental Rosters, U. S. Census Records, U. S. Army Register of Enlistments, "The Utah Expedition", James Stewart, "The Cannoneer", Augustus C. Buell, "Personal Recollections of the Civil War", John Gibbon.