Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 1st New York Light Artillery Battalion

The next set of entries for the state of New York in the fourth quarter Summary Report includes one line for a section integrated with the 3rd New York Cavalry and four lines for the 1st Battalion, New York Artillery.  These need some explanation, which I’ll provide in line with the discussion of the entries.

0059_Snip_Dec62_1NY_BN_1

The first to discuss is this entry for “Artillery Detachment 3rd Cavalry“.  I think this references a unit also known as Allee’s Howitzer Battery.  As indicated the battery, or more properly a section, supported the 3rd New York Cavalry then at New Bern, North Carolina.  The section reported two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  Such matches in general terms to newspaper accounts mentioning mountain howitzers associated with that cavalry regiment.

The next set of lines covers the “1st Battalion Artillery”.  And there are some twists here to consider.  The battalion was recruited starting in July 1861 by Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Brickel, a former German officer from Baden (sometimes erroneously mentioned as Brickell.  I go with the name as written on his tombstone).  As it was one of the “ethnic” formations, it was often mentioned as Brickel’s German Artillery.  The battalion had four batteries – A, B, C, and D.  The battalion was part of the Army of the Potomac’s Artillery Reserve, initially part of the Fifth Corps.  During the Fredericksburg Campaign, the battalion was still part of the reserve, but at that time separate from the corps structure.  In March 1863, the battalion was discontinued and the four became independent batteries.  We have two returns transcribed into the summaries, and I’ll try to fill in a few of the blanks:

  • Battery A: At Falmouth, Virginia with four 20-pdr Parrott Rifles.  In March it became the 29th Independent Battery.
  • Battery B: No return.  The battery reported four 20-pdr Parrotts during the Antietam Campaign and presumably had the same at the end of the year.  Battery B became the 30th Independent Battery.
  • Battery C:  No return.  Another with four 20-pdr Parrotts at an earlier time in 1862.  This battery became the 31st Independent Battery.
  • Battery D:  Reporting at Martinsburg, (West) Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  This was Captain Charles Kusserow’s battery and would become the 32st Independent Battery.

 

I’ve always put an asterisk next to Kusserow’s battery. The battery employed six 32-pdr field howitzers at Antietam.  Most secondary sources indicate Kusserow had 3-inch rifles at Fredericksburg.  And in discussions with some individuals knowledgeable on Fredericksburg, they often go back to this summary as to Kusserow’s guns.  I would point out the entry line indicates the return was received in June 1864.  At that time the battery, then the 32nd Independent, was indeed at Martinsburg.  Likewise, when we proceed forward in the paperwork, the summary for 1st quarter, 1863 indicates the same particulars – at Martinsburg with six 3-inch rifles, reporting in June 1864.

Again, we have a question about the entry as a point in time – was this a report indicating the armament of the battery valid for December 1862?  Or as was in June 1864?  When did Kusserow’s gunners trade in the 32-pdrs for 3-inch rifles?  (A quick check with Peter Glyer confirms that Kusserow had 3-inch rifles at Fredericksburg, so the exchange had to be between the end of September and start of December, 1862.)

None of the batteries carried smoothbore ammunition on their returns:

0061_Snip_Dec62_1NY_BN_1

I can understand those with the big Parrotts, but the mountain howitzers with the 3rd Cavalry should have something here.  And of course we have questions about Battery D’s entry already mentioned above.

For Hotckiss rifled projectiles, we have one entry line:

0061_Snip_Dec62_1NY_BN_2

Battery D reported 120 canister and 255 bullet shells of Hotchkiss patent for 3-inch rifles.  Again, put a grain of salt there. A little more “fun” with the page covering Dyer’s and Parrott patent projectiles:

0062_Snip_Dec62_1NY_BN_1

Battery A reported 155 shell, 229 case, and 80 canister of Parrott-type for their 20-pdrs. Battery D had 245 3-inch Dyer shrapnel (case) in their report.

Moving to the Schenkl columns:

0062_Snip_Dec62_1NY_BN_2

Battery A had 48 3.67-inch (20-pdr) Schenkl shells.  Battery D had 600 3-inch Schenkl shells. And those two batteries were the only representation on the small arms section:

0062_Snip_Dec62_1NY_BN_3

Battery A reported 19 Army revolvers and 54 horse artillery sabers.  Battery D was armed with 10 Army revolvers, 49 cavalry sabers, and 24 foot artillery sabers.

5 thoughts on “Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 1st New York Light Artillery Battalion

  1. Keep it coming. As an aside, it’s astonishing to me how many batteries were initially saddled with those 20 lb. turkeys. Between their failure rate and their unsuitability as highly mobile field guns, it’s little wonder that our friend Hunt wanted them gone.

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