Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 1st Ohio Light Artillery Regiment

The state of Ohio put about 320,000 men in uniform.  While the majority served as infantry, Ohio provided a substantial number of artillerists for the Federal war effort.  These were organized in four regiments and over thirty independent batteries.  Two of those regiments were heavy artillery, and thus fall out of the scope of survey here.  The three-month 1st Ohio Light Artillery Militia saw active service early in the war. But those batteries were mustered out by July 1861 (though we might trace the origins of the later 1st Ohio Light Artillery to those militia batteries).  Four un-numbered independent batteries were raised, but had mustered out by the fall of 1862.  Such leaves us with just the 1st Ohio Light Artillery Regiment and about twenty independent batteries to consider for the fourth quarter, 1862 summary.

The state’s section begins with the 1st Ohio Light Artillery Regiment.  Many of this regiment was in action at Stones River, supporting the Army of the Cumberland, on December 31, 1862.  Other batteries were with the Army of the Potomac on the Rappahannock.  Each installment, I have to resist the urge to provide more details about the battery and service. And these storied Ohio batteries are tempting.  Some day I’ll have to take up posting battery histories and “forgotten artillerists.”  Until then, let us all urge Phil Spaugy to discuss his Buckeye Artillerists when he gets to blogging:

0067_Snip_Dec62_1_Ohio_1

We see six reports from twelve batteries.  And only two of those reporting were received by the end of 1863… so we must keep that in mind when discussing the particulars.

  • Battery A: At Murfreesboro, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns.  Assigned to First Brigade, Second Division, Right Wing, Fourteenth Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  With Captain Wilbur Goodspeed under arrest at the time, Lieutenant Edmond Belding led this battery in action at Stones River.  In the battle, Battery A lost 73 horses, one man killed, and twenty-three captured.  Three of the battery’s guns were captured and one disabled.  The battery’s post-war history mentions receiving 12-pdr howitzers after the battle
  • Battery B: No report.  Was assigned to Second Division, Left Wing, Fourteenth Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, under Captain William E. Standart.  His battery fired 1,610 rounds during the battle of Stones River.  At one point in the battle, the battery was down to just 86 rounds.  He reported three men killed, 13 wounded, and three captured, and the loss of 21 horses.The battery had a battery wagon disabled, but no guns lost or disabled.
  • Battery C: No location given.  Two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. This battery supported Third Division, Center Wing, Fourteenth Corps, which was not engaged at Stones River.  Captain Daniel K. Southwick commanded this battery.
  • Battery D: No report.  Most of this battery was captured at Munfordsville, Kentucky on September 17, 1862.  One section, under Lieutenant Nathaniel M. Newell, was assigned to the Cavalry Division, Fourteenth Corps.  Newell’s men were actively employed during the Stones River Campaign.
  • Battery E: No report. Another battery in action at Stones River that December.  Captain Warren P. Edgarton’s Battery E served with the Second Brigade, Second Division, Right Wing, Fourteenth Corps (beside Battery A, mentioned above).   December 31st was not a good day for the battery, with casualties numbering ten killed, seven wounded, and twenty-two captured.  Along with 75 horses, the battery lost six guns and other equipment.  So a blank entry for this battery may not be far off.
  • Battery F: At Decatur, Alabama with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. This battery supported Second Division, Left Wing, Fourteenth Corps. So they were at Stones River in December 1862, not Decatur (another discrepancy which may be due to the late return receipt  – August 1864). When Captain Daniel T. Cockerill fell wounded, Lieutenant Norval Osburn assumed command in the afternoon of December 30.  The battery fired 1,080 rounds in the battle.
  • Battery G: No report.  Lieutenant Alexander Marshall’s battery assigned to Second Division, Center Wing, Fourteenth Corps, at Stones River.  The battery fired 553 rounds but lost four guns in the battle. In the evening of December 31, 1862, Marshall reported one 12-pdr howitzer and a 6-pdr Wiard, with fifty and eighty rounds, respectively.
  • Battery H: At Falmouth, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Lieutenant George Norton commanded this battery in the absence of Captain James F. Huntington.  The battery supported Third Division, Third Corps, Army of the Potomac at Fredericksburg.  In his official report, Norton indicated the battery “expended 650 rounds of ammunition, chiefly percussion shell… and now has 1,300 rounds of ammunition on hand.”  We shall see….
  • Battery I: No report for Captain Hubert Dilger’s battery.  Their six 12-pdr Napoleons were part of Third Division, Eleventh Corps.
  • Battery K: No report.  Commanded by Captain William L. De Beck, this battery supported First Division, Eleventh Corps.  I believe they were armed with 12-pdr Napoleons at this time.
  • Battery L:  At Henry House, Virginia (?).  Six 12-pdr Napoleons. Under Lieutenant Frederick Dorries, this battery supported Second Division, Fifth Corps.
  • Battery M: No location given.  One 12-pdr field howitzer and two 3.67-inch Rifles. At Stones River supporting Second Brigade, Second Division, Center Wing, Fourteenth Corps.  Captain Frederick Schultz commanded this battery. The battery fired 750 rounds and lost one gun in the battle.

Contrast the equipment issued to the batteries with respect to the theater of operation.  Eastern Theater receiving the “top cut” as it were.

For smoothbore ammunition, the batteries reported:

0069_Snip_Dec62_1_Ohio_1

Three “Stones River” batteries and one “Fredericksburg” battery for us to consider:

  • Battery A: 95 shot, 155 case, and 160 canister for their 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery C: 121 shot, 195 case, and 172 canister for their 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery L: 312 shot, 12 shell, 39(?) case, and 136 canister for 12-pdr guns.
  • Battery M:  8 shell, 31 case, and 17 canister for their 12-pdr howitzers.

Keep in mind the number of guns reported by each battery.  The sum quantities above fed a total of nine guns between the four batteries.

Hotchkiss patent projectiles for the rifled guns up next:

0069_Snip_Dec62_1_Ohio_2

Just three lines to consider, but the columns tallied deserve some thought.  And keep in mind the full column declaration here – these are Hotchkiss patent projectiles made for a particular, sometimes proprietary, caliber as indicated:

  • Battery C: 102 shot and 379 shell for  6-pdr / 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery H: 754 3-inch bullet shell.
  • Battery M: 45 shot and 100 fuse shell for 12-pdr  / 3.67-inch Wiard.

Battery C’s quantities match the reported weapons, in this case two sections of James rifles.  Battery H, of course, had Ordnance Rifles.  But Battery M?  If the first page of the summary is correct, the battery fired projectiles for Wiard rifles from their bronze, rifled 6-pdrs.  The caliber fits, on paper.  On the other hand, I tend to think this another problem where the “form” did not fit reality.  We see no columns for just plain 3.67-inch Hotchkiss projectiles.  All Hotchkiss in that caliber have the Wiard label.  Yet we know that caliber was not exclusive to Wiard.  In short, I think that column title to be less precise than we might presume.

But wait… more Hotchkiss on the seldom used carry over columns on the next page, along with a lone entry for James Patent projectiles:

0070_Snip_Dec62_1_Ohio_1

Battery C had 61 James-type shells for their James rifles.  Battery M reported 30 canister in 12-pdr / 3.76-inch.

The last entries for rifle projectile covered Schenkl patents:

0070_Snip_Dec62_1_Ohio_2

Battery C again, with 115 Schenkl shells for 6-pdr / 3.80-inch James. Notice how that battery seemed to get the products of several inventors.

Battery H reported 450 shell and 96 canister for their 3-inch rifles.  And since Norton provided a total quantity on hand in his official report, let’s check his numbers:

754 Hotchkiss case + 450 Schenkl shell + 96 Schenkl canister = 1,300 rounds

Just what Norton reported.  I like balanced ledger! A belated, 153 year-old thumbs-up for  Lieutenant Norton’s report.

Now to close out this post, let us turn to the funnies… I mean the small arms:

0070_Snip_Dec62_1_Ohio_3

  • Battery A: Three Navy revolvers and two cavalry sabers.
  • Battery F: Seven Army revolvers and 29 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery H: Twenty Army revolvers and 48 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Ten Army revolvers and eight horse artillery sabers.

Thus concludes the 1st Ohio Light Artillery, working at the time on the banks of two heavily contested rivers in separate theaters of war.  Next we will look at the independent batteries from Ohio.

 

5 thoughts on “Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 1st Ohio Light Artillery Regiment

  1. I can add a few things regarding both the 3 month and 3 year 1st Ohio light artillery. My background: I am currently a member of 1st Ohio Statehouse light artillery, battery A – we operate the 4 original guns at the Statehouse in Columbus Ohio and represent the 3 year 1st Ohio Battery A. I am also in the process of research for a book on the history of the 4 guns.

    The 3 month 1st OVLA was formed by Col. Barnett, and was composed of 6 1-gun batteries. The 6 guns were from the private militias in Cleveland – 4 from the Cleveland Greys, and 1 from Geneva and Brooklyn artillery. During the same time they were serving, Capt. Cotter formed CS Cotters independent Battery (2 guns, later 3), which was also a 3 month enlistment. After their 3 months, Cotter’s men wanted to re-enlist as a battery, but had to recruit to a 6 gun battery first. After the 3 month 1st Ohio was mustered out of service, Col Barnett formed a new 3 year 1st OVLA. When Cotter’s men re-enlisted, they became Battery A of the new 3 year 1st OVLA. As for the men of the 3 month 1st OVLA, I’m not sure what happens until 1864. When the new Ohio National Guard was forming, Brooklyn artillery joined and became the 8th Ohio Independent Battery ONG (either 1 or 2 guns). Upon being selected to operate a 12-pdr battery in Cleveland, they were ordered to recruit to a 6-gun strength, When we look at the roster of the 6-gun strength 8th Ohio Independent Battery ONG shows that many of the men recruited were from the original 3 month 1st OVLA.
    The re-using of regimental names has caused quite a bit of confusion. There were 2 1st Ohio Battery A’s, and in the case of the 8th Ohio, there was an 8th Ohio Independent Battery that saw Federal Service, and the 8th Ohio Independent Battery Ohio National Guard (which was not in Federal Service but was Federalized for 60 days as re-enforcement’s for Johnson’s Island).

    Sources:
    Reminiscences of the Cleveland Light Artillery
    Official Rosters of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio Vol. 1 and 10
    A grassroots History of the American Civil War Vol. III Captain Cotter’s Battery
    Personal Research for my book in the State Archives.

  2. Your description of some of the rifled ordnance looks like the plaintiff’s exhibit list in the case of Henry J. Hunt v. Rifled Guns.

  3. I was wondering if anyone might know how many guns were in Battery C of 1st Ohio Light Artillery at the time of the siege of Corinth campaign in May 1862. Did they have two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles at that time as well? Thanks very much to whoever can answer this.

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