Parker’s "Boy Battery"

Robert K. Krick is one of the recognized authorities on the Army of Northern Virginia, but one of his best books “Parker’s Virginia Battery, C.S.A.,” was published back in 1975 when he was chief historian of the National Military Park at Fredericksburg, VA.

It’s a dandy book, which tells all about the “boy battery” and its war, including command of the Cherokee Heights at Knoxville. Unfortunately, the book is also out of print. I’m raising my voice to try and get it published again, at least in paperback.

The battery began with 125 boys and militiamen but no guns. Some of the better ones Dr. Parker eventually acquired were Federal pieces captured at Harper’s Ferry. But by the fall of 1862, after the battle of Sharpsburg (called Antietam in the North), more than a few soldiers were anxious to quit. It was easiest for the young boys. (No less than twelve of them) “saw their age as a means to escape service,” Krick wrote, “in circumstances far more hazardous and less colorful than they had innocently bargained for.”

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About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
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