Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – 1st Regiment, US Regular

As I was working up the illustrations to start the next round of summary statements, I reviewed the entries for the 4th quarter, 1862 in order to gauge where the presentation had evolved. The 1st US Regulars Regiment, being the the “lead off” post, suffered as my effort had not fully evolved. I will make up for that as we lead off the entries for the 1st quarter of 1863.

Getting started on the quarter’s summary, consider what was happening in at the reporting period – administratively from January 1 to March 31, 1863.  The armies in the Western Theater went through major organizational changes.  The Army of the Cumberland, after Stones River, went from a three-wing formation to one of three corps – the Fourteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-third.  Likewise, the Army of Tennessee also transformed from wings and divisions into corps.  Complicating the organization’s evolution was the short-lived Army of Mississippi under Major-General John McClernand. Not until late January was Major-General U.S. Grant able to implement his planned (in the previous November) reorganization into four corps – the Thirteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth. All this not to downplay the significant activity within the Army of the Potomac in Virginia during this same period.  One change being the departure of Ninth Corps to the Department of Ohio. All the while the “side” theaters, such as Louisiana or South Carolina, also saw organizational changes.  So while there were few battles during the first three months of 1863, the shakeup of organizations moved batteries around in the order of battle.

The batteries of the 1st US Artillery Regiment served in Virginia, South Carolina, and Louisiana. as reflected in the first page of their summary:

0092_Snip_1stUS_1

Looking at these batteries in detail:

  • Battery A – Reporting at Camp Mansfield, Louisiana (outside New Orleans) with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch rifles.  Captain Edmund C. Bainbridge remained in command of this battery.  The reporting location was probably valid for January.  By March the battery was in the field as the Nineteenth Corps prepared to move on Port Hudson.  Battery A appears to have split equipment with Battery F (below) around this time.
  • Battery B – At Hilton Head, South Carolina with four 12-pdr field howitzers.  Lieutenant Guy V. Henry commanded this battery, assigned to the Department of the South’s Tenth Corps.
  • Battery C – At Fort Macon, North Carolina with a dim annotation I interpret as “inf’y service”.  However, the line does not tell the whole story. As winter closed, Battery C was transferred to Hilton Head.  Lieutenant Cornelius Hook was in command.
  • Battery D – Beaufort, South Carolina with four 3-inch rifles.  Lieutenant  Joseph P. Sanger’s name is associated with this battery, but I don’t have confirmation that he was indeed was the commander. Battery D was paired with Battery M on organizational returns.
  • Battery E – At Falmouth, Virginia with four 3-inch rifles.  Captain Alanson Randol was in command of this battery supporting Third Division, Fifth Corps.  Sometimes cited as combined Batteries E and G (see below).  Later, in May, the battery transferred to the Artillery Reserve… but that part of the story for another day.
  • Battery F – No report, but known to be posted in the defenses of New Orleans under Captain Richard C. Duryea, before assigned to Third Division, Nineteenth Corps for the Port Hudson campaign.
  • Battery G – No report.  Dyer’s has Battery G’s personnel serving with Batteries E and K at this time.  However, during the late winter, Lieutenant E.W. Olcott had the guidon, at least on one organizational return.
  • Battery H – At Falmouth, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Serving with Second Division, Third Corps at the time. Lieutenant Justin E. Dimick was the battery commander.
  • Battery I – At Falmouth, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Lieutenant George Woodruff commanded this battery from the Second Corps’ artillery park.
  • Battery K – At Falmouth, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Assigned to the Artillery Reserve, Captain William Graham was the commander. However, with Graham pulled to head the brigade, Lieutenant  Lorenzo Thomas, Jr. appears as the commander on organizational tables from the later part of the winter.
  • Battery L – Reporting at Port Hudson, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Henry W. Closson’s battery was in Forth Division, Nineteenth Corps.  They were part of a column advanced as a diversion against Port Hudson in March 1863.  So perhaps the location is possibly … maybe … accurate. However, I submit the location is also correct for July of 1863, when the report was received in Washington.
  • Battery M – At Beaufort, South Carolina with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Captain Loomis L. Langdon lead this battery.  It was also one of the batteries assigned to the Tenth Corps, and familiar to those of us following the Charleston campaigns.

One other portion of the 1st Artillery to mention, though they don’t appear on the summaries.  The Headquarters of the regiment appears in dispatches as at Fort Warren, Massachusetts.

Looking back at the previous quarter’s returns, we see a few changes at the battery level. Batteries E and K exchanged their Napoleons for Ordnance Rifles. Down in South Carolina, where cannons were scarce, some cross leveling may have taken place.  Battery B lost two 3-inch Rifles, while Battery D gained a pair. Battery B also gave up two Napoleons as  Battery M added two (they replaced two 24-pdr howitzers).  Stripped of its “good” guns, Battery B worked four 12-pdr field howitzers.  Not changing armament, Batteries A, H, I, and L reported the same types and quantities from the previous quarter.

Looking to the ammunition tables, we start with the smoothbore projectiles:

0094_Snip_1stUS_1

Rather healthy reports here, but some question marks:

  • Battery A – 520 case shot and 168 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery B – 250 shell, 250 case, and 78 canister for 12-pdr field howitzer.
  • Battery E – 128 shot, 60 shell, 196 case, and 184 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons. Are we to assume the battery had these quantities still on hand after exchanging for rifles?
  • Battery H – 299 shot, 96 shell, 279(?) case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery I – 96 shell, 240(?) case, and 296(?) canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery L – 272 shot, 64 shell, 204 case, and 56 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery M – 485 shot, 150 shell, 506 case, and 110 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, we start with the Hotchkiss section:

0094_Snip_1stUS_2

Four batteries reporting:

  • Battery A – 42 shot, 114 canister, 170 percussion shell, 340(?) fuse shell, and 120 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle…. all for two guns.
  • Battery D – 86 canister, 60 percussion shell, 96 fuse shell, and 150 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle.
  • Battery K – 39 fuse shells in 3-inch rifle.
  • Battery M – 12 canister, 12 percussion shell, 24 fuse shell, and 20 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle.

Moving to the next page, there are entries for Dyer’s and Parrott’s projectiles:

0095_Snip_1stUS_1

One battery with Dyer’s:

  • Battery K – 133(?) 3-inch shrapnel.

As for Parrotts:

  • Battery L: 320 10-pdr Parrott shell.
  • Battery M: 120 10-pdr Parrott case.  And remember that the battery had 3-inch rifles, not Parrott rifles.

There was but one battery reporting Schenkl projectiles:

0095_Snip_1stUS_2

And plenty of them:

  • Battery K – 805 shell and 130 canister for 3-inch rifle.

One has to wonder what had been under that battery’s Christmas tree.

Lastly, the small arms reported:

0095_Snip_1stUS_3

Note the two penciled columns here.  “Sharps’ Carbine Cal .52” and “Springfield Cal. 58.”  Only the later factors into the 1st US returns:

  • Battery A – Ten Army revolvers and 59 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B – 84 Springfield rifles, 100 Army revolvers, seven cavalry sabers, and seventy horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D – 125 Army revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and 107 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E – Fourteen Navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H – Twenty-two Navy revolvers and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I – Twelve Navy revolvers and twenty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K – Sixteen Army revolvers, thirty-nine cavalry sabers, and eighty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L – Four Springfield rifles, 62 Army revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and 107 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M – 85 Springfield rifles, 103 Army revolvers, one Navy revolver, nine cavalry sabers, and 104 horse artillery sabers.

Recall the small arms considerations for artillery service.  We see Batteries B, D, and M, all serving in South Carolina, were armed to the teeth.  And of course those batteries were often required to pull duties normally assigned to infantry troops in the larger field armies.  However, it is fair to point out that by late summer of 1863, some of the infantry in South Carolina were pulling duties normally assigned to artillery… as the big guns on Morris Island required crews.

2 thoughts on “Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – 1st Regiment, US Regular

  1. More questions than answers – and not just for the batteries with rifles. For example, three of the batteries outfitted with Napoleons appear to have no solid shot. Again, Brother Hunt would not be happy.

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