Collins Battery Historical Marker 

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From previous marker, continue south on Pennsylvania to 56th St. This marker is located at the intersection of 56th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Collins Battery Historical Marker

Collins Battery Historical Marker

Collins Battery Historical Marker Inscription

"Near this point on the morning of October 23, 1864, Captain Richard A. Collins' Confederate Battery of Shelby's Brigade went into action, supported by two cavalry battalions. For two hours this battery dueled with the 9th Wisconsin Battery, covering the approaches to Westport. So hot was Collins' fire that he burst one of his guns."

Capt. Richard A. Collins was in command of two sections (four Parrott Guns) from his battery located near here on October 23. Collins moved his artillery forward Sunday morning when Shelby’s Iron Brigade advanced north.

Brig. Gen. M. Jeff Thompson described the early morning movement north in his official report.

On the morning of the 23d we were ordered to march toward Westport, and we soon found ourselves confronted by the enemy, who had a battery commanding the road and covering the approaches to the town. Collins' battery was placed in position and Elliott's regiment and Williams' command were left to cover the guns and right of the road. I went with Gordon's, Smith's, Slayback's, and Johnson's commands to the left of the road and advanced upon the enemy.

It was late morning when Shelby’s position was flanked to the west by the Union commander Maj. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis. Collins immediately wheeled his guns to the west and did battle with the artillery from the Ninth Wisconsin Battery that Curtis had brought with him on his flanking maneuver. Thompson reported that one of the Parrot Guns in Collins’ batteries burst during this artillery duel.

Brig. Gen. Jo Shelby decided the best he could do was to divide his division. He ordered Col. Sydney D. Jackman to pull out of the line withdraw south to shore up the right. He was going to rely on his Iron Brigade to handle things here. Shelby described the situation in his official report.

The 23d of October dawned upon us clear, cold, and full of promise. My division moved squarely against the enemy about 8 o'clock in the direction of Westport, and very soon became fiercely engaged … While the engagement was at its height Collins burst one of his Parrotts, but fought on with his three guns as if nothing had happened.

Collins finished the day with only one of his four guns still in operation. Maj. Robert H. Hunt, chief of the Federal artillery under Curtis, reported that the Federal artillery was able to disable two of the guns in Curtis’s Battery.

October 23, McLain's battery made some excellent shots, one of which struck one of the enemy's guns near the left trunnion, breaking it in two. Another gun was struck and broken across the chassis by a rifled piece manned by the colored battery, but which was sighted by Captain Dodge, commanding Ninth Wisconsin Volunteer Battery. Both captains used their artillery with skill. The rebels left the wrecks of these guns on the field and retreated.

In his report, Colonel Jackman confirmed that Collins was down to only one gun. When Shelby ordered Jackman to move his brigade to support Maj. Gen. James F. Fagan to the east, Captain Collins limbered up and went with Jackman.

Captain Collins, of the battery of General Thompson's brigade, came to my assistance with his only remaining gun and fought gallantly until the command fell back.

 Brig. Gen. Jo Shelby

 Jo Shelby

 Brig. Gen. M. Jeff Thompson

 M. Jeff Thompson

 Maj. Robert H. Hunt

 Robert H. Hunt

 Col. Sydney D. Jackman

 Sydney D. Jackman

 Maj. Gen. James F. Fagan

 James F. Fagan

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