This unit was organized at Vicksburg, Miss., September 26, 1863 as the 1st Mississippi Heavy Artillery (African Descent. The name was changed to the 43th U. S. Heavy Artillery March 11, 1864. This name conflicted with a Tennessee unit, so the name was changed to the 5th Heavy Artillery April 26, 1864.
This regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 124 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 697 Enlisted men by disease. Total 829.
Attached to post of Vicksburg, District of Vicksburg, Miss., to March, 1864. Unassigned, 1st Division, U.S. Colored Troops, District of Vicksburg, to April, 1864. Attached to 1st Division, United States Colored Troops, District of Vicksburg, Miss., to February, 1865. Unattached, Post of Vicksburg, Dept. of Mississippi, and Dept. of the Gulf to May, 1864.
Post and garrison duty at Vicksburg, Miss., till April, 1864. Designation changed to 4th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery, March 11, 1864, and to 5th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery April 26, 1864.
Garrison duty at Vicksburg, Miss., till May, 1866. Expedition from Vicksburg to Rodney and Fayette September 29-October 3, 1864. Expedition from Vicksburg to Yazoo City November 23-December 4, 1864. Mustered out May 20, 1866.
The composite roster of this regiment contains 3120 names.