Indiana Infantry served in the Union Army of the Potomac, fighting throughout Virginia, as well as in Maryland, and at the Battle of Gettysburg. They were a part of the Iron Brigade, so named because of their bravery in battle. Each regiment in the Brigade, wore distinctive Army issued black hats to set them apart from other units in the Army of the Potomac. The Brigade became so famous that even units in the Confederate Army recognized them when they saw them in battle.
THE BLACK HAT BRIGADE
The 19th Indiana Infantry served in the Union Army of the Potomac, fighting throughout Virginia, as well as in Maryland, and at the Battle of Gettysburg. They were a part of the Iron Brigade, so named because of their bravery in battle. Each regiment in the Brigade, wore distinctive Army issued black hats to set them apart from other units in the Army of the Potomac. The Brigade became so famous that even units in the Confederate Army recognized them when they saw them in battle.
The 18th Independent Battery Indiana Light Artillery was sometimes known as “Lilly’s Battery,” after its founder Colonel Eli Lilly. The regiment was formed in August, 1862. Lilly, then a young druggist in Indianapolis, recruited among his friends and classmates, but when it was filled the unit was comprised of a broad cross-section of Hoosiers. As its recruiting poster said, Lilly sought those who would, “fight manfully for our just and holy cause.”
Colonel Eli Lilly Musters Brave Hoosiers to Man Six, Ten-Pounder Parrot Guns
At first the unit had little time for training. It was without horses and mules to pull the guns and equipment. The 18th was sent to Kentucky in response to a Confederate invasion, but it saw no action there.
The unit became a part of the Army of the Cumberland and played important roles at the Battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga, among others. Lilly left the regiment in 1863 and became a major in the 9th Indiana Cavalry. He was captured by the Confederates, but he was later paroled.
The 18th Independent Battery Indiana Light Artillery lost 12 men in battle and 31 to disease during the war.
During the Civil War the horse and the mule were both used effectively on both sides as a means of transportation of men and supplies. Although other means of transport, such as the locomotive, were used during the Civil War, the horse proved indispensable as a means to carry out the war effort. Horses were used to pull wagons full of food, ammunition, and transport sick and wounded.
The War Horses
Additionally, horses were also used by the cavalry and artillery. In order to pull field artillery pieces, up to six horses would be hitched to a cannon, and limber that carried ammunition. These fast moving mobile teams could bring cannons wherever needed.
Cavalry served as the eyes and the ears of Civil War armies. These lightly armed soldiers would scout for enemy troops and supply lines on horseback, often riding on average 30 miles a day. If the soldiers engaged in combat, often times they would dismount from their horses, and fight on foot, or be used to rapidly move to the defense of fellow soldiers.
During the Civil War the telegraph was the fastest form of communication yet developed. It helped change the course of battles, allowed tactical information to be sent quickly, and was used to keep the public throughout the nation informed of the status of the war. The technology even took to the sky as telegraphers were sent up in balloons trailed by hundreds of feet of telegraph wire to act as forward observers of battles and troop movements.
How The Telegraph Helped Win The War
The telegraph played an important role during Morgan’s Raid. Even before Morgan crossed into Indiana the telegraph brought warnings he might try to invade the state. Once in Indiana reports (some conflicting) of the location of Morgan and his men were sent to Governor Morton and Union commanders. The telegraph was used to direct the efforts of the Indiana militia and Federal troops in hot pursuit of the raiders.
Morgan also used the telegraph. Accompanying him was a master telegrapher named Henry “Lightning” Ellsworth. Ellsworth has the ability to mimic the “hand” of other telegraphers. He would climb telegraph poles or take over telegraph offices to send false reports about the raiders’ location and intentions to confuse the forces chasing them. After the war Ellsworth worked for Thomas Edison and later became a notorious train robber and gunman in the American Southwest.