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Basil C. Manly


History of the Unreconstructed Manly's Battery

In April 1861, Manly's Battery, was organized in Raleigh, NC and called the "ELLIS LIGHT ARTILLERY" and "ELLIS FLYING ARTILLERY" in honor of then governor John W. Ellis. The battery was equipped with two 12-pound howitzers, three 6-pound bronze smooth bore guns, and one 3-inch rifle from the Fayetteville Arsenal. The battery was mustered into Confederate service on May 8, 1861 for 3 years or for the duration of the war and was officially desiginated: Company A. 10th Regiment, NC State Troops (1st Regiment NC Artillery). On May 20, 1861 the men fired the salute that signaled North Carolina's secession from the Union.

On July 29, 1861 the battery left Raleigh for Suffolk, VA. From Suffolk the company moved to Camp Fisher, near Smithfield, VA, where it remained for the balance of 1861. On March 8, 1862 the battery received orders to cross the James River and join General John B. Magruder at Yorktown. Here it was attached to Brigadier General Paul J. Semmes' Brigade of Major General Lafayette McLaws' Division. When the battery's first captain, Stephen Dodson Rameur was appointed Colonel of the 49th Regiment NC Troops, 1st Lieutantant Basil C. Manly was elected captain. The men decided to rename their company "Manly's Battery" in his honor. It was under this name that the battery served for the rest of the war.

The battery was active in the engagement at Williamsburg on May 4, 1862. After the battery's participation in the Battle of Seven Pines on May 31, 1862, its effective strength was reported as three officers and Ninety-five men.

During the "Seven Days" Battles around Richmond (June 26-July 1, 1862), the battery was only engaged at the battle of Savage Station on June 29th. When General Lee divided hes army into two wings the battery remained attached to Semmes' Brigade, which was under General James Longstreets' command. When the army was reorganized later in 1862, the battery was attached to Colonel Henry Coalter Cabell's Artillery Battalion, McLaws' Division, here it remained for the rest of the war.

Now a part of the Army of Northern Virginia, the battery shared in the battles fought by that army. It was at Crampton's Gap on September 17th, and at Fredericksburg on December 13th, 1862. On October 4 the ranks were filled when 1st Company G, 40th Regiment NC Troops (3rd Regiment NC Artillery) Captain Whitnel P. Lloyd's Company, was disbanded and fifty-five men were attached to this battery. In 1863 it was at Chancellorsville and Salem Church, May 1-5. Just prior to the Gettysburg campaign the battery was reduced to four guns because of the general scarcity of horses, equipment, and men throughout the army. With two 12-pounder howitzers and two 3-inch rifles, the battery fired 1,146 rounds during the Gettysburg campaign. It was actively engaged on the field at Gettysburg on July 2nd and 3rd and during the retreat supported the cavalry at Funkstown, Maryland, on July 10th. In 1864, after the campaign from the Wilderness to Petersburg, the battery went into position in the lines East of Petersburg. Upon the evacuation of the city the battery joined the retreating army to Appomattox Court House. Here the men received news of the surrender and orders to bury their guns and burn the carriages. Upon completion of this task the men mounted their horses and rode off for Lincolnton, NC.

The men themselves, never surrendered and never lost a gun to capture. Although included in the surrender, they were never officially paroled.


Modern History

The modern Manly's Battery is the result of a meeting after a Sons of Confederate Veterans Meeting in Louisburg, NC in the fall of 1994. As a result of this meeting several of the camp members that included Ellis Selph, Harry Upchurch, Brodic Green, Al Langley and several others decided to form an artillery re-enacting group.

Our first effort was to acquire a "shooting" cannon. This resulted in the purchase of a second hand reproduction 1/2 scale Napoleon barrel. Ellis Selph and Al Langley then decided to hand-build a carriage for this little gun. After much cussing, sweating, fitting and re-fitting a carriage for our little cannon was completed.

Our initial efforts were aimed at being a re-enactment unit. With these goals in mind, a formal organizational meeting was held at the Murphy House Restaurant in Louisburg during February, 1994. There were approximately 15 members present that meeting.

Efforts began after that meeting to secure a larger artillery piece. This resulted in many raffles, manning booths at gunshows to sell flags and t-shirts, etc. Finally, Ellis Selph and Al Langley purchased a 3/4 scale 3" Ordinance rifle barrel from South Bend Replicas. Mr Robert Shaber of Spring Lake, NC then built a carriage for the barrel.

In the spring of 1995, the Battery was the proud owner of a 3/4 scale 3" Ordinance Rifle. A big celebration and artillery shoot was held at Al & Jane Langley's Farm in April 1995.

In November of 1995, the members of Manly's Battery voted to join Co k 10th Regt NC Troops, the Washington Greys. This unit based primarily in Washington, NC is one of the older North-South Skirmish Association units.

In the summer of 1996, Manly Battery became a probationary unit of the N-SSA. At the fall nationals held at Fort Shenendoah in October 1996, Manly's Battery stood inspection as a unit. The Battery was granted full member status in the early part of 1997.

In October 1998, Manly's Battery held its first annual "Punkin Shoot" at Al and Jane Langley's farm in Franklin County, NC.


Manly's Battery

For information contact ..........................   Al Langley, Commander • sbiman@earthlink.net

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