“The following will be the organization of the artillery of this army”: Artillery consolidation in the AoP, Spring 1864

With my focus on Colonel Charles Wainwright’s diary, I’ve mentioned the consolidation’s effects on the First Corps Artillery, which would become part of the Fifth Corps with the consolidation.  Brigadier-General Henry Hunt took advantage of the consolidation to produce a compact, yet flexible, artillery formation within the Army of the Potomac.  He submitted the details of this organization on March 29, 1864:

Artillery Brigade, Second Corps, Colonel John C. Tidball, Fourth New York Artillery, commanding:

  • Hazard’s battery (B, First Rhode Island Artillery), six light 12-pounders
  • Ames battery (G, First New York Artillery), six light 12-pounders
  • Gilliss’ batteries (C and I, Fifth U S Artillery), six light 12-pounders
  • Roder’s battery (K, Fourth U.S. Artillery), six light 12-pounders
  • Arnold’s battery (A, First Rhode Island Artillery) six 3-inch rifles
  • Sleeper’s battery (Tenth Massachusetts), six 3-inch rifles
  • Ricketts’ battery (F, First Pennsylvania Artillery), six 3-inch rifles
  • McKnight’s battery (Twelfth New York), six 3-inch rifles

Total, eight batteries, with twenty-four Napoleons and twenty-four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (forty-eight guns).

Artillery Brigade, Fifth Corps, Colonel Charles S. Wainwright, First New York Artillery, commanding:

  • Stewart’s battery (B, Fourth U.S. Artillery), six light 12-pounders
  • Winslow’s battery (D, First New York Artillery), six light 12-pounders
  • Mink’s battery (H, First New York Artillery), six light 12-pounders
  • Martin’s battery (C, Massachusetts Artillery), six light 12-pounders
  • Rittenhouse’s battery (D, Fifth U.S. Artillery), six 10-pounder Parrotts
  • Phillips’ battery (E, Massachusetts Artillery), six 3-inch rifles
  • Reynolds’ batteries (E and L, First New York Artillery), six 3-inch rifles
  • Cooper’s battery (B, First Pennsylvania Artillery), six 3-inch rifles

Total, eight batteries, with twenty-four Napoleons, six 10-pdr Parrotts, and eighteen 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (forty-eight guns).

Artillery Brigade, Sixth Corps, Colonel Charles H. Tompkins, First Rhode Island Artillery, commanding:

  • McKnight’s battery (M, Fifth U.S. Artillery), six light 12-pounders
  • McCartney’s battery (A, Massachusetts Artillery), six light 12-pounders
  • Bucklyn’s battery (E, First Rhode Island Artillery), six light 12-pounders
  • Harn’s battery (Third New York Independent), six light 12-pounders
  • Robinson’s battery (Fourth Maine), six 3-inch rifles
  • Waterman’s battery (C, First Rhode Island Artillery), six 10-pounder Parrotts
  • Adams’ battery (G, First Rhode Island), six 3-inch rifles
  • Cowan’s battery (First New York Independent), six 3-inch rifles

Total, eight batteries, with twenty-four 12-pdr Napoleons, six 10-pdr Parrotts, and eighteen 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (forty-eight guns).

Artillery Reserve, Col. Henry S. Burton, Fifth U. S. Artillery, commanding:

  • Brooker’s battery (B, First Connecticut Artillery), four 4.5-inch siege guns
  • Pratt’s battery (M, First Connecticut Artillery), four 4.5-inch siege guns
  • Taft’s battery (Fifth New York Independent Artillery), six 20-pounder Parrotts
  • Sheldon’s battery (B, First New York Artillery), four 10-pounder Parrotts
  • Hexamer’s battery (A, First New Jersey Artillery), four 3-inch rifles
  • Ewing’s battery (H, First Ohio Artillery), four 3-inch rifles
  • Burton’s battery (Eleventh Independent New York), four 3-inch rifles
  • Edgell’s battery (First New Hampshire Artillery), four 3-inch rifles
  • Barnes’ battery (C, First New York Artillery), four 3-inch rifles
  • Stevens’ battery (Fifth Maine Artillery), four light 12-pounders
  • Clark’s battery (B, First New Jersey Artillery), six light 12-pounders
  • Bigelow’s battery (Ninth Massachusetts), four light 12-pounders
  • Dow’s battery (Sixth Maine), six light 12-pounders
  • Hart’s battery (Fifteenth Independent New York), four light 12-pounders
  • Eakin’s battery (H, First U.S. Artillery), four light 12-pounders
  • Fitzhugh’s battery (C, Fourth United States), four light 12-pounders
  • Barstow’s batteries (F and K, Third United States), four light 12-pounders

Total, seventeen batteries, with eight 4.5-inch rifles, six 20-pdr Parrotts, four 10-pdr Parrotts, twenty 3-inch Ordnance rifles and thirty-six Napoleons (seventy-four guns).

Horse Artillery, First Brigade, Capt. James M. Robertson, Second Artillery, commanding:

  • Williston’s battery (D, Second U.S. Artillery), four light 12-pounders
  • Fuger’s battery (A, Fourth U.S. Artillery, four light 12-pounders
  • Heaton’s batteries (B and L, Second U. S. Artillery), six 3-inch rifles
  • Field’s battery (E, Fourth U.S. Artillery), four 3-inch rifles
  • Martin’s battery (Sixth New York Independent), six 3-inch rifles
  • Pennington’s battery (M, Second U.S. Artillery), six 3-inch rifles.

Total, six batteries, with eight Napoleons and twenty-two 3-inch Ordnance rifles (thirty guns).

Horse Artillery, Second Brigade, Capt. Alanson M. Randol, First Artillery, commanding:

  • Von Michalowski’s battery (I, First U.S. Artillery), four light 12-pounders
  • Dennison’s battery (G, Second U.S. Artillery), four light 12-pounders
  • Porter’s battery (E, First U.S. Artillery), four 3-inch rifles
  • Egan’s battery (K, First U.S. Artillery), six 3-inch rifles
  • Clarke’s battery (A, Second U.S. Artillery), six 3-inch rifles
  • Ransom’s battery (C, Third U.S. Artillery), six 3-inch rifles.

Total, six batteries, with eight Napoleons and twenty-two 3-inch Ordnance rifles (thirty guns).

In addition, the artillery organization included the 4th, 6th, and 15th New York Heavy Artillery, classified “foot artillery” by Hunt.   Later, the 4th New York Heavy sent a battalion to support each of the corps artillery brigades.  The 6th and the 15th initially remained with the Reserve Artillery.

Several changes occurred between Hunt’s consolidation at the end of March and the start of the Overland Campaign.  Second Corps’ lost the 12th New York Light Artillery Battery (Captain George McKnight) to the Artillery Reserve, while gaining the 6th Maine (Captain Edwin Dow) and the 1st New Hampshire Light (Captain Frederick Edgell) Batteries.  The Artillery Reserve gained Battery E, 5th US Artillery (Lieutenant John Brinkle), transferred from the Department of the Sesquehanna.  The Artillery Reserve lost three regular artillery batteries which were combined with Horse Artillery batteries within their regimental affiliations to consolidate personnel and equipment.   And lastly, both the Connecticut batteries with the 4.5-inch siege rifles left the Army to form part of the siege train.

All told, the Artillery of the Army of the Potomac numbered 278 guns at the end of March.  A month later, the number was 274 guns. Far less than the 320 guns Hunt had at Gettysburg.  However, the spring 1864 numbers did not include the Ninth Corps, which served as a separate formation on paper for part of the Overland Campaign.  The addition of those fourteen batteries pushed the numbers up to around 350 guns.  But, Hunt would not, initially at least, exercise control over those additional guns.

(Hunt’s consolidation order appears in OR, Series I, Volume 33, Serial 60, pages 760-1.)

 

5 thoughts on ““The following will be the organization of the artillery of this army”: Artillery consolidation in the AoP, Spring 1864

  1. […] An ongoing theme in Colonel Charles S. Wainwright’s diary through the winter of 1864 was the Army of the Potomac’s consolidation.  Though the consolidation and reorganization  orders for the infantry divisions came out earlier in the month, not until the next-to-last day of the month did Wainwright receive order pertaining to the artillery: […]

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