Like the First Regiment Illinois Artillery, the Second Regiment of the state’s artillery was serving almost exclusively in the Western Theater as of the end of December 1862. However, the summary of equipment in use by the 2nd Regiment was far less complicated. As usual, let us start by reviewing the postings of those batteries and their cannons (Standard declaration here – yellow lines are the “rules” across the data entry lines; red lines are the “cuts” needed to make these presentable for discussion):
First thing we notice is the lack of information filed for several batteries (thus, perhaps, greatly simplifying the summary).
- Battery A: No report. This battery was on duty at Helena, Arkansas as part of the Department of Missouri.
- Battery B: Corinth, Mississippi. No field artillery reported. Notice the addition of the word “siege” in the regiment column. The battery was part of the Thirteenth Corps, Army of the Tennessee.
- Battery C: Fort Donelson, Tennesse. Four James 3.80-inch rifles. Also part of the Thirteenth Corps, but posted to hold vital posts in the rear. These artillerymen were destined to be garrison troops for most of the war.
- Battery D: Decatur, Alabama. Four James 3.80-inch rifles. Also with the Thirteenth Corps.
- Battery E: No report. Battery E began the war as Schartz’s Missouri Battery. In December 1862, they were part of the Thirteenth Corps and saw service in Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign.
- Battery F: Lake Providence, Louisiana. Two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr howitzers. This battery was part of the Thirteenth Corps, and was actually campaigning with Grant in Central Mississippi at the close of December 1862. They would, however, be posted at Lake Providence in January. So the location and tallies may be “as of” the moment the return was written (April 1863).
- Battery G: No report. Also in Thirteenth Corps and posted in Mississippi at the end of December.
- Battery H: No report. If my sources are correct, this battery was at Clarksville, Tennessee.
- Battery I: Nashville, Tennessee. Two 12-pdr Napoleons and two 10-pdr Parrotts. Part of the Fourteenth Corps, Army of the Cumberland. Battery I missed the battle of Stones River, but later joined the army forward at Murfreesboro.
- Battery K: No report. Another Thirteenth Corps battery and was assigned to the District of Jackson, Tennessee.
- Battery L: “In the Field” in Louisiana. Four James 3.80-inch rifles. This may be another “as of this report” status. Battery L was with the District of Jackson, Thirteenth Corps, and Logan’s Division, Right Wing, of the Corps for Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign. Shortly into the new year, Battery L was at Lake Providence, Louisiana.
- Battery M: No report. This battery surrendered at Harpers Ferry on September 15. They were still un-exchanged, on parole, at the end of December. Their guns, of course, were under new ownership.
There is a lot of “missing data” that I’d expect to see here. Excepting Battery M, these batteries were in Grant’s command. I’ve used the “easy out” of saying they were in Thirteenth Corps. Those knowledgeable of Western Theater operations recognize that as somewhat ambiguous. Perhaps to clarify, I will post something on the lineage of the Thirteenth Corps and the formations it spawned through the winter of 1863. If nothing else, would help to clarify the service assignments of these batteries!
The 2nd Regiment Illinois Artillery had but two batteries with smoothbore cannons:
- Battery F: 6-pdr field gun – 188 shot, 163 case, and 46 canister. 12-pdr field howitzer – 120 shells, 145 case, and 31 canister.
- Battery I: Had only 259 12-pdr shot for their Napoleons.
Moving on to rifled projectiles, find most of the entries are for James projectiles for those fine bronze James rifles:
Remember, these were listed by “Patent” pattern, then by weapon type and caliber. Such as “Hotchkiss” for “James” of 3.80-inch”:
- Battery C: James (Patent) 3.80-inch – 119 shot, 425 shell, and 125 canister.
- Battery D: James 3.80-inch – 109 shot, 215 shell, 64 case, and 60 canister.
- Battery I: James 3.80-inch – 368 shot. Parrott 10-pdr – 440 shells. This needs some explaining.
- Battery L: Hotchkiss Patent for James 3.80-inch – 76 canister; James Pattern 3.80-inch – 14 shot, 376 shell, and 144 canister.
Remember that Battery I had 10-pdr Parrotts along with their two Napoleons. Neither of which used 3.80-inch caliber projectiles. So what were the James shot being used for? I recall some reference to Battery I having turned-in some James rifles earlier in the fall. But I need to track that down to verify.
And one more rifled projectile entry for us on the next page:
Battery D with 128 Schenkl Patent James 3.80-inch shells.
Lastly, the small arms:
With all the missing reports, we have scant data here:
- Battery C: 20 Army revolvers and 58 cavalry sabers.
- Battery K: 4 carbines and 16 horse artillery sabers.
Earlier when I was constructing these snips and cross-referencing notes, I wanted to dig further to fill in the missing data. In particular, cite the types of weapons on hand. Many of these batteries were involved with the Vicksburg Campaign. And the guns they pulled through Mississippi are known. But I thought better of including that here for the moment. This is a “snapshot in time” of the batteries, reflecting what was reported for December 1862 as opposed to what the batteries might have had months later. That said, for now I prefer to leave the open spaces as they are. There will be time later to fill in those blanks.