We saw last week that the 1st Ohio Light Artillery Regiment’s batteries were pulling duty, as of the end of 1862, with two armies – the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the Cumberland. In contrast, the independent batteries saw more varied service from the standpoint of assignment as of that point on the timeline. During the war, there were twenty-six designated independent batteries from Ohio, along with a few National Guard batteries brought on active duty for short duration (falling outside our survey of the moment), according to Dyer’s Compendium. The summary for fourth quarter, 1862 offered reports for some of the first twenty of those:
To avoid a flurry of “Too long, didn’t read” remarks, let us focus on the first half of those. So looking closely at the 1st through 10th Ohio Independent Light Batteries, we have this snip to work with:
Of these, the clerks skipped the 3rd and 8th Batteries. However, of those listed, only the 1st’s details are absent. And all but two of those reporting had the paperwork in Washington by the end of 1863. With those, we have:
- 1st Ohio Independent Battery: No return. Captain James R. McMullin commanded this battery, supporting the Kanawha Division, then in (what is today) West Virginia. Earlier in the fall, the battery fought at South Mountain with six James Rifles. However it is likely the battery re-equipped with 3-inch Ordnance Rifles shortly afterward.
- 2nd Ohio Independent Battery: At Helena, Arkansas with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Newton J. Smith commanded this battery, which was assigned to the District of Eastern Arkansas at the time.
- 3rd Ohio Independent Battery: Not listed. Was part of Third Division, Right Wing, Thirteenth Corps, at Memphis in December 1862. Captain William S. Williams commanding.
- 4th Ohio Independent Battery: At Greenville, Mississippi with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Louis Hoffmann’s battery was also with General Frederick Steele’s force at Helena in December 1862. The battery was involved with an expedition to Greenville in April 1863, when the report was filed.
- 5th Ohio Independent Battery: At Holly Springs, Mississippi with two 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles. Assigned to the Fourth Division, Right Wing, Thirteenth Corps (soon to be in the Seventeenth Corps). Commanded by Lieutenant Anthony B. Burton.
- 6th Ohio Independent Battery: I interpret the location to say “Thomas’s East Line.” And I think that refers to the battery’s location at Chattanooga, Tennessee for the September 1863 reporting date. Feel free to look that over so we might get it right. The battery reported two 6-pdr field guns and four 10-pdr Parrotts. As of December 31, 1862, the battery was in the field at Stones River supporting First Division, Left Wing, Fourteenth Corps. Captain Cullen Bradley commanded the battery, which suffered the loss of two killed, two wounded, and one captured in the battle. Bradley reported firing 500 rounds.
- 7th Ohio Independent Battery: Tallahatchie, Mississippi with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Also assigned to Fourth Division, Right Wing, Thirteenth Corps. Commanded by Captain Silas A. Burnap.
- 8th Ohio Independent Battery: Not listed. This battery was part of Sherman’s force at Chickasaw Bayou, commanded by Lieutenant James F. Putnam.
- 9th Ohio Independent Battery: Tullahoma, Tennessee with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Another case where the location (and possibly other particulars) refer to the battery’s state at the time of the report’s receipt in Washington. As of December 1862, the battery was commanded by Captain Harrison B. York and was part of the Third Division, Army of Kentucky. It would soon join the Army of the Cumberland, as part of the Reserve Corps.
- 10th Ohio Independent Battery: Young’s Point, Louisiana with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. The location may be valid for a reporting date later in 1863. In December 1862, this battery was under Captain Hamilton B. White and in Sixth Division, Left Wing, Thirteenth Corps, among those operating in Northern Mississippi.
So we see varied service – batteries in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas (and later Louisiana also).
For smoothbore ammunition, here is the appropriate section:
By battery, they reported:
- 2nd Battery: All for 12-pdr field howitzer – 41 shell, 113 case, and 77 canister.
- 4th Battery: For their 12-pdr field howitzers – 162 shell, 105 case, and 92 canister.
- 5th Battery: For 6-pdr field guns – 40 shot, 267 case, and 93 canister. For the 12-pdr field howitzers – 57 shell and 82 canister. There is an entry for 147 12-pdr Napoleon spherical case, but I would guess this was a transcription error, and should be under the 12-pdr field howitzer case column.
- 6th Battery: For 6-pdr field guns – 175 shot and 72 canister.
- 9th Battery: For 12-pdr Napoleons – 84 shot, 289 shells, 484 case, and 310 canister.
Moving to the rifled projectiles, starting with the Hotchkiss type:
All of these were for the reported James Rifles, 3.80-inch caliber:
- 2nd Battery: 100 shot, 127 percussion shell, and 190 fuse shell.
- 4th Battery: 169 shot and 106(?) percussion shell
- 7th Battery: 40 shot.
- 10th Battery: 39 shot and 71 fuse shell.
Moving over to the next set of columns, we see one more entry for Hotckhiss, along with James and Parrott types:
Note to self: In the future try to split these sections up a bit to make them easier to read and flow better….Let me break these down by type:
- 10th Battery: 389 Hotchkiss-type canister for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
- 2nd Battery: 100 James-patent shot for 3.80-inch rifles.
- 4th Battery: 304 James-patent shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
- 5th Battery: 55 shot, 150 shell, and 95 canister in James-patent for 3.80-inch rifles.
- 7th Battery: 100 James-patent 3.80-inch canister.
- 6th Battery: 310 shell, 217 case, and 80 canister Parrott projectiles for 10-pdr rifles.
The last page of the rifled projectiles lists Schenkl’s and Tatman’s:
Schenkl, all 3.80-inch James Rifle caliber:
- 7th Battery: 340 shells.
- 10th Battery: 176 shells.
Tatham’s, all 3.80-inch James Rifle caliber:
- 2nd Battery: 144 canister.
- 4th Battery: 90 canister.
- 7th Battery: 80 canister.
Just an off-the-cuff observation, but these Ohio batteries had quite a quantity of canister of all types.
Finally the small arms:
No long arms, not a lot of pistols, but a fair allocation of edged weapons:
- 2nd Battery: Three Army revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
- 4th Battery: Forty cavalry sabers and six horse artillery sabers.
- 5th Battery: Seven Navy revolvers and fifty-six cavalry sabers.
- 6th Battery: Fourteen horse artillery sabers.
- 7th Battery: Eleven Army revolvers and seven horse artillery sabers.
- 9th Battery: Thirteen horse artillery sabers.
- 10th Battery: Five Army revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
That’s the first half of the Ohio Independent Batteries. Should have the second half of that section posted in the next few days.