Quitman Light Artillery (Jackson)

(aka Capt. J. Frank Kerr’s Company, and aka the Jackson Artillery)


(from Dunbar Rowland’s “Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898”; company listing courtesy of H. Grady Howell’s “For Dixie Land, I’ll Take My Stand’)



Captain -- J. Frank Kerr. First Lieutenant -- R. H. Purdom. Second Lieutenant -- M. W. Boyd. Third Lieutenant -- James T. Lester.

This company, of Jackson, Hinds County, MS, is included in the Adjutant-General's report of September, 1860, Captain Kerr commanding. Previous to January 10, 1861, when the Louisiana State Government took possession of the United States forts on the river in that State, Governor Pettuss was requested by the Governor of Louisiana to protect the latter from reinforcement of the forts from up the river. Governor Pettus sent Captain Kerr, with sixteen of the Jackson Artillery, and ordered Capt. H. H. Miller to call out the volunteer companies of Vicksburg, and take such position as would enable him to prevent any hostile expedition from the Northern States descending the river. Kerr arrived at Vicksburg January 10, and fortified at Fort Hill, supported by three Vicksburg infantry companies. Next day a steamer from Cincinnati was fired upon, but the boat made its landing as usual and nothing warlike was discovered in the cargo.

The company officers above named were commissioned 9 February, 1861. April 8, Secretary Walker asked Governor Pettus to order the artillery company at Jackson, of which R. H. Purdon is Lieutenant, to Pensacola. April 15, Maj.-Gen. Charles Clark reported that he had received report of Kerr's company at Hall's Ferry, and ordered them to march immediately and report to General Bragg. At Pensacola, April 20, it was announced that the company had been received in Confederate service. June 30 the battery was attached to the Tenth Regiment.

In 1863, attached to the cavalry command of General Chalmers in Northern Mississippi. May 21, General Chalmers ordered Captain Kerr, with one rifled gun, to accompany Colonel Slemons' command to some point on the Mississippi River, near Austin, to fire upon and capture passing steamboats. On the same duty with Chalmers on the river in June, and in engagements along the Coldwater and Tallahatchie. Under General Chalmers' command, at Panola, July, 1863; sent to Grenada, July 14. [No further mention of this battery in Rowland’s epic of MS Confederate Patriots.]