The 4th Independent Battery, Massachusetts Light Artillery, also known as the "Readville Battery," was organized in Readville, Massachusetts, in August 1861. The unit was sometimes known as "Manning's Battery" after its commanding officer, Capt. Charles H. Manning. It was one of the Massachusetts regiments organized in response to President Abraham Lincoln's call on May 2, 1861 for volunteer troops to serve a term of three-years. The core of the unit was a peace-time militia company known as the Salem Light Artillery. The battery trained at Camp Chase in Lowell, Massachusetts. It was assigned to the Department of the Gulf under Major General Benjamin F. Butler and departed Boston by steamship on November 20.
For the first several months of their service, the battery performed garrison duty at Ship Island off the Mississippi coast, which served as the staging point for Butler's expedition. After proceeding on to Baton Rouge in May 1862, the battery took part in operations in the vicinity of that city, being heavily engaged in the Battle of Baton Rouge on August 5, 1862. In 1863, the battery participated in the Siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana and the Second Bayou Teche Campaign.
In December 1863, nearly all the men of the 4th Massachusetts Light Artillery opted to reenlist (although the close of their term was still roughly a year off) in exchange for a month's furlough. This furlough was taken in March 1864 during which the unit returned to Massachusetts. When the 4th Battery returned to New Orleans in April, they were drilled for several months as infantry, then re-supplied again as light artillery. During September and October 1864, the battery was based in Morganza, Louisiana and took part in several expeditions in that region. For two months at the end of 1864, the unit was based in Memphis, Tennessee. They returned to New Orleans in January 1865 and at the close of the war were involved in the Mobile Campaign in Alabama, taking part in the Battle of Spanish Fort and the Battle of Fort Blakeley.
After the Confederate surrender, the battery was deployed to Buffalo Bayou outside of Houston, Texas where they performed various details over the summer of 1865. On October 1, the unit started the return journey to Massachusetts. After reaching Boston harbor on November 4, the unit was mustered out at Gallop's Island on November 11, 1865.
The Battery lost during service 1 Enlisted man killed in action and 50 Enlisted men by disease. Total 51.
Attached to Ship Island Expedition to March, 1862. 1st Brigade, Dept. of the Gulf, to October, 1862. Independent Command, Dept. of the Gulf, to January, 1863. Artillery, 3rd Division, 19th Army Corps, Dept. of the Gulf, to November, 1863. Artillery, 1st Division, 19th Army Corps, Dept. Gulf, to March, 1864. Defences of New Orleans, La., Dept. of the Gulf, to September, 1864. Unattached Artillery, Gulf, to December, 1864. Unattached Artillery, Reserve Corps, Dept. Gulf, to February, 1865. Artillery, 1st Division, Reserve Corps, Dept. Gulf, February, 1865. Artillery, 1st Division, 13th Army Corps, Dept. Gulf, to July, 1865. Dept. of Texas to November, 1865.
Garrison duty at Fort Massachusetts, Ship Island, Miss., till April 15, 1862. Operations against Forts St. Phillip and Jackson April 15-28. Occupation of Forts St. Phillip and Jackson April 28. Moved to New Orleans, La., April 30-May 2. Duty at Carrollton till July 10. Expedition to Pass Manchac June 15-20. Manchac Pass June 17. Moved to Baton Rouge July 10-12. Duty there till August 21. Battle of Baton Rouge August 5. Moved to Carrollton August 21, and duty there till October 26. Two Sections moved to Fort Pike October 28, and garrison duty there till January 24, 1863, participating in numerous Expeditions along the coast and up the bayous leading into Lake Pontchartrain. Action at Bayou Bonfonca November 26, 1862. Expedition to Bay St. Louis and Pass Christian December 9-10. Moved to New Orleans January 24, 1863. (One Section remained at New Orleans, attached to Weitzel's Reserve Brigade, and participated in the Expedition to Bisland January 12-15, 1863, and action with Steamer "Cotton" January 14.) Battery at New Orleans January 24-March 1, 1863. Moved to Baton Rouge March 1. Operations against Port Hudson March 17-27. Advance on Port Hudson May 21-24. Siege of Port Hudson May 24-July 9. Assaults on Port Hudson May 27 and June 14. Surrender of Port Hudson July 9. Moved to Baton Rouge July 11-12, thence to Donaldsonville July 16. Moved to Port Hudson August 4-5, and duty there till August 22. Moved to Baton Rouge August 22-24. Moved to Brashear City, thence to Berwick September 19-23. Western Louisiana ("Teche") Campaign October 3-November 30. Vermillionville November 11. Bonfonca November 26. At New Iberia till January 7, 1864. Moved to Franklin January 7-9, thence to New Orleans January 26-28. Absent on Veteran furlough February 11-March 22. Moved from Boston to New York, thence to New Orleans March 25-April 6. Duty at New Orleans as Infantry till June 30. At Apollo Stables till September 5. Moved to Morganza September 5-6, and duty there till November 10. Atchafalaya River September 16-17. Expedition to Atchafalaya River September 20-23. Moved to Bayou Sara October 3, and Expedition to Clinton October 3-7. Jackson October 5. Moved to White River, Ark., November 10-15, thence to Duvall's Bluff November 16-17, and to Memphis, Tenn., November 23-28. Duty there till January 1 1865. Expedition to Colliersville, Tenn., December 21-31, 1864. Moved to Kennersville, La., January 3-5, 1865; to Dauphin's Island, Ala., February 9-11. Campaign against Mobile and its defenses March 17-April 12. Siege of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely March 26-April 8. Storming of Fort Blakely April 9. Occupation of Mobile April 12, and duty there till July 1. Moved to Galveston, Tex., July 1-5, thence to Houston July 8-9, and duty there till October. Moved to Galveston, thence to New Orleans, Port Royal, S. C., and Boston, Mass., October 5-November 3. Mustered out November 10. 1865.
The composite roster of this unit contains the names of 440 men.