Friends of Raymond Battlefield Artillery Interpretation
Release Date: 04/01/2014
Contacts: Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Parker Hills, Parker@BattleFocus.com, 601-924-5666
Artillery Ridge Gun Line: "Middle of the Gun Line: From the center of the gun line looking west are the guns of the 8th Michigan Light Artillery and the 3rd Ohio Light Artillery." Photo by Harry Thaete.
The Battle of Raymond, fought on May 12, 1863 a little over a mile south of Raymond, Mississippi, witnessed three Confederate guns of Captain Hiram Bledsoe's Missouri Battery go into action, initially against six Federal guns of Captain Samuel De Golyer's 8th Michigan Light Artillery. However, as the battle progressed, Bledsoe faced a total of 22 Union guns. This disparity in firepower occurred because a Confederate brigade of 3,000 mistakenly attacked a Union corps of 12,000. A Union victory was inevitable because, to paraphrase Bedford Forrest, at Raymond Ulysses Grant had "bulge," or more soldiers at the point of contact.
To properly interpret this artillery action, Friends of Raymond acquired and patiently restored 100-year-old surplus cast-iron replica cannon carriages for the Raymond battlefield. The carriages were donated by Vicksburg National Military Park, and from 2004 to 2012 these carriages were carefully restored as funds became available. Barrels of the correct caliber were either ordered or locally made. Archaeological work was done to locate the guns' positions, and in September 2012 the final gun went into battery. Today Raymond has a unique battlefield in that all of the guns that fought on that fateful day are in position, in the correct caliber and location.
Artillery Interpretation at Fourteenmile Creek: Positioned at the site of the historic bridge, which was the forward Union artillery position on the Raymond battlefield, is an artillery limber--a vehicle which was used to pull a cannon and which carried an ammunition chest. Behind the limber are interpretive markers.
To aid in interpretation, in 2013 six cast aluminum battery markers, identical to those in Vicksburg National Military Park, were put in place. At the same time an artillery limber was fabricated and place on the battlefield to interpret how the guns were transported by horses and how the guns were resupplied with ammunition.