111th Field Artillery

Untitled Document
THE 29TH DIVISION IN WORLD WAR I (coming soon)
THE 29TH DIVISION IN WORLD WAR II

UNIT HISTORIES

29th CAB
115th Infantry
116th Infantry
175th Infantry
110th Field Artillery
224th Field Artillery
104th Medical

111th Field Artillery
121st Engineer Battalion
227th Field Artillery
729th Maintenance
158th Cavalry
229th Supply and Transport
129th Signal

29TH DIVISION UNIT HISTORIES



The 111th Field Artillery has been part of the 29th Division since the inception of the division in 1917.

The 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery, was originally constituted as the 1st Battalion Artillery, Virginia Volunteers and organized on 8 November 1877 from existing units to include the "Norfolk Light Artillery Blues" (organized on 22 February 1828), now Battery B, 1st Battalion 111th FA, and the "First Company Richmond Howitzers" (organized on 9 November 1859) , now Battery A, 1st Battalion 111th FA.

CIVIL WAR

During the American Civil War those two units fought with distinction as elements of the Army of Northern Virginia in 8 major battles and 5 campaigns, from the Peninsula campaign at the war's beginning to its end at Appomattox.

NORFOLK LIGHT ARTILLERY BLUES

From 1862 until April 1865 the unit was commanded by CPT Charles Grandy. During the Civil War most Confederate units were named after their current commander. Thus during most of the war they were known as Grandy's battery. They were assigned to A.P. Hill's corps in the Army of Northern Virginia. The battery had a mixture of light artillery pieces, 3 inch rifled guns and 12 pound Napoleon howitzers being the main weapons. (2 US Napoleon Howitzers are on display in front of the VaARNG Hampton Readiness Center.)

This battery took 106 effectives into the fight at Gettysburg. The battery fought during the first day and was held in reserve on the second day. On the final day the battery was to participate in Pickett's Charge, moving forward on the Confederate left flank, ensuring that Federal troops would not move and fire into the side of the attacking columns. Unfortunately, through staff error they were ordered to stay on their position on Seminary Ridge.

Grandy's battery remained largely intact throughout the remainder of the war, as such was one of the largest artillery units in the Army of Northern Virginia.

Circumstances changed in the 1st week of April 1865. Much of the unit was overrun and scattered while defending Petersburg against an overwhelming Union assault. The remainder of the unit went west along with the remnants of the ANV during General Robert E. Lee's retreat, finally surrendering at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, with 1 Warrant-Officer and IS men.

RICHMOND HOWITZERS

The Richmond Howitzer Company of the 1st Regiment of Volunteers was founded on November 9, 1859, by George Wythe Randolph, a grandson of Thomas Jefferson, a U.S. Navy veteran, and a Richmond lawyer. They were organized in response to John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry. After electing Randolph its first captain, the company, which was recruited from elite Richmond circles, marched to Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia), to help provide security during Brown's trial and subsequent execution.

In April 1861 after Virginia seceded from the United States, the unit was mustered into Confederate service. As enlistments increased, 3 companies were eventually organized from Richmond. The Richmond Howitzers were present at the 1st battle of Manassas (Bull Run to the North). They fought at Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, and Fredericksburg in 1862; Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Mine Run in 1863; and the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg in 1864.

The Army of Northern Virginia, including the Howitzers, evacuated its lines in front of Richmond and Petersburg on the night of April 2, 1865, and marched westward. After participating in an engagement near Appomattox Court House on April 8, the men of the 1st Company separated from the army to march toward Lynchburg. They disbanded the following day near Red Oak Church and buried their cannons in a nearby ravine.

BORDER WAR

The battery had no active service during the short encounter between the United States and Spain in the Spanish-American War but was called up in September 1916, during the border crisis and Pancho Villa. The Blues returned from the Border of Mexico in March 1917. Within 90 days of returning, the Blues were shipped to Oglethorpe, Georgia for training.

WORLD WAR I

On December 15, 1917, the Blues departed for Camp McClellan, Alabama, where the blues became a regimental unit of the 111th Field Artillery of the 29th Division. It was hereafter known as Battery B.

In June 1918, the Division moved to France and it arrived on French soil in Cherbourg on July 16th. The next few months were spent in training. Just as the 111th arrived at the front, the Armistice was signed. The 111th landed back in Virginia in May of 1919.

Click to continue reading the history of the 111th Field Artillery


Preamble: To perpetuate the friendships we cherish; to keep alive the spirit that never knew defeat;
to glorify our dead, and to further keep before our country, the record of the 29th Division in all the wars;
we associate ourselves in an organization
known as the 29th Division Association.