Kicking off what I hope will be a long, productive, and in some ways collaborative effort, let me offer some sections of the Summary Statement of Ordnance from December 31, 1862. We’ll start with the US Regular Artillery… and as appropriate, the First Regiment (click for larger view in Flickr).
Here’s my read of the First Regiment’s disposition and weapons on hand, broken down by battery:
- Battery A: No location listed. But we know this battery was posted to Louisiana. Four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
- Battery B: Hilton Head, South Carolina. Three 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
- Battery C: One annotation states “Infantry” and a word I cannot make out. The battery had no assigned weapons and served in the Fort Macon garrison in North Carolina.
- Battery D: Beaufort, South Carolina. Two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
- Battery E: Falmouth, Virgina. Four 12-pdr Napoleons. Not noted on the summary, this battery served with the Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac, at the time of the report.
- Battery F: No details offered. The battery was stationed in the defenses of New Orleans.
- Battery G: No details offered. The battery was assigned to Battery E (above) at this time of the war.
- Battery H: Falmouth, Virgina. Six 12-pdr Napoleons. Battery H was assigned to the 1st Regular Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.
- Battery I: Location not listed, but known to be at Falmouth. Six 12-pdr Napoleons. Assigned to Second Corps, Army of the Potomac.
- Battery K: “Camp near Falmouth, Va.” Six 12-pdr Napoleons. Assigned to Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac.
- Battery L: Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 10-pdr Parrott Rifles.
- Battery M: Beaufort, South Carolina. Two 12-pdr Napoleons, two 24-pdr field howitzers, and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
That introduces the battery, its assignments, and weapons. Also note the first column on the left – the date the returns arrived at the department. Only four of the Ordnance Returns arrived by the first quarter of 1863 (shall we call that the “due” date?). Of the others, three arrived later in the year. And two returns didn’t arrive until mid-1864. We should take this into account as a variable with respect to accuracy.
Lots of “back story” for the operational history of these batteries. I’ll try to keep that short for now, as each probably deserves a separate history. Today, I’d highlight Battery A. We have a photo of that battery, commanded by Captain Edmund C. Bainbridge, at Port Hudson later the following spring:
Closest to the camera is one of the battery’s Napoleons.
The other interesting data set to glean from the summaries is the ammunition reported. I cannot easily reproduce a snip to present here, but relate my effort to transcribe:
- Battery A – 384 12-pdr fixed spherical case, 128 12-pdr fixed canister, 200 3-inch shot, 72 3-inch canister, and 130 3-inch percussion shell.
- Battery B – 48 12-pdr fixed shell, 80 12-pdr fixed spherical case, and 56 12-pdr fixed canister.
- Battery C – No ammunition reported.
- Battery D – 156 3-inch Dyer shell and 14 3-inch Dyer canister.
- Battery E – 128 12-pdr fixed shot, 56 12-pdr fixed shell, 182 12-pdr fixed spherical case, and 101 12-pdr fixed canister.
- Battery F – No ammunition reported.
- Battery G – No ammunition reported.
- Battery H – 254 12-pdr fixed shot, 96 12-pdr fixed shell, 281 12-pdr fixed spherical case, and 96 12-pdr fixed canister.
- Battery I – 96 12-pdr fixed shell, 340 12-pdr fixed spherical case, and 296 12-pdr fixed canister.
- Battery K – 288 12-pdr fixed shot, 96 12-pdr fixed shell, 288 12-pdr fixed case, and 96 12-pdr fixed canister.
- Battery L – 192 12-pdr fixed shot, 48 12-pdr fixed shell, 240 12-pdr fixed canister, and 320 10-pdr Parrott shell.
- Battery M -468 12-pdr fixed shot, 122 12-pdr fixed shell, 436 12-pdr fixed case, 68 12-pdr fixed canister; 36 24-pdr strapped shell, 66 24-pdr strapped case, 6 24-pdr canister; 12 3-inch shot, 12 3-inch canister, 12 3-inch percussion shell, 24 3-inch fuse shell, 80 3-inch “bullet” shell (case shot?); 141 10-pdr Parrott shell, 200 10-pdr Parrott case, and 90 10-pdr Parrott canister.
The big question mark over this transcription is the ammunition reported by Battery M. That battery had the most variety of ordnance, but why the mix of 3-inch and Parrott projectiles in a battery with only 3-inch rifles? Did the battery use Parrott projectiles in the Ordnance Rifles? Was this just excess ammunition on hand? An error in identification? Transcription error? MY transcription error (though I have double checked the lines four times)?
One more set I’ll throw out there for the N-SSA folks – the small arms and edged weapons reported from the batteries of the 1st Regiment:
- Battery A – 33 cavalry sabers.
- Battery B – 84 caliber .58 rifle muskets, 73 caliber .44 revolvers, 11 cavalry sabers, and 62 horse artillery sabers.
- Battery C – None reported
- Battery D – 76 caliber .58 rifle muskets, 108 caliber .44 revolvers, 8 cavalry sabers, 56 horse artillery sabers, and 6 foot artillery sabers.
- Battery E – 14 caliber .44 revolvers and 14 cavalry sabers.
- Battery F – None reported.
- Battery G – None reported.
- Battery H – 22 caliber .44 revolvers and 16 cavalry sabers.
- Battery I – 12 caliber .38 revolvers and 14 cavalry sabers.
- Battery K -20 caliber .44 revolvers, 39 cavalry sabers, and 82 horse artillery sabers.
- Battery L – 12 caliber .58 rifle muskets, 62 caliber .38 revolvers, and 8 cavalry sabers.
- Battery M – 77 caliber .58 rifle muskets, 104 caliber .44 revolvers, 1 caliber .38 revolver, 9 cavalry sabers, 60 horse artillery sabers, and 9 foot artillery sabers.
I would be pressed to draw any conclusions from this sampling of data except that Battery M, stationed in South Carolina, was loaded up for a fight!