Dyer’s Compendium relates the 2nd Missouri Light Artillery spent much of the first half of the Civil War on duty as garrison artillery. However, unlike garrison artillery in other sectors which took the form of heavy artillery, the 2nd Missouri had three “light” batteries. The regiment received a full, by battery, listing in the summary for first quarter, 1863. But there was little for the clerks to tally within the form:
Through the first quarter, Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Weydemeyer, who had experience in the Prussian army, was the regimental commander. Weydemeyer would be replaced later in the year (some minor point of friction that falls outside our study today).
Of the five batteries offering returns, three have the annotation “Infty. Stores” (or some variation, if you wish). On the lines for those batteries, there are no tallies for even tools associated with light artillery. Thus our review of this “light” regiment’s equipment affords a relatively brief review. Well… let’s at least give them some due respect and discuss where those garrison artillery batteries were serving during the winter of 1863:
- Battery A: No return. Assigned to District of Rolla, but returned to St. Louis in the spring.
- Battery B: No return. My records show Battery B moved to New Madrid, Missouri during the winter.
- Battery C: No return. As with Battery A.
- Battery D: Though with a return, no equipment tallied. Captain Charles P. Meisner commanded this battery, posted to the garrison of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
- Battery E: No return. One of the batteries posted at St. Louis.
- Battery F: No return. As with Battery A. Of note, this battery would be consolidated into non-existence during the next quarter. On the table of organization, Captain Clemens Landgraeber’s 1st Missouri Horse Artillery would thence be renamed Battery F, 2nd Missouri.
- Battery G: Infantry stores at St. Louis. Duty at both St. Louis and Rolla.
- Battery H: No return. Duty at St. Louis.
- Battery I: Infantry stores at St. Joseph, Missouri. The location is likely a transcription error, as the battery didn’t serve anywhere near that point. For the first quarter of 1863 the battery was among the others posted to St. Louis.
- Battery K: At St. Louis with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch Ordnance rifles. During the winter, Battery K was being configured for field service with the department’s cavalry. Lieutenant Thaddeus S. Clarkson commanded later in the spring. (Clarkson would later command the 3rd Arkansas (Federal) Cavalry).
- Battery L: No return. The battery was posted to Rolla during the winter. In January, the battery accompanied a counter-attack towards the town of Hartville, incurring some casualties, remaining there to the spring.
- Battery M: Reported at Pilot Knob, Missouri with four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. This location was valid for June, 1863. Prior to that time, Captain Gustave Stange’s battery was in St. Louis, part of the Second Division, Department of Missouri.
Let me remind readers this listing is more a snapshot in time. Lineage of the 2nd Missouri Artillery batteries becomes a tangle further into the war. Our focus here is just on the winter of 1863. But just a few weeks into the second quarter and administrative change occurred. Following an inquiry into enlistments and such, a portion of the regiment was mustered out. What remained was reorganized. And fresh enlistments filled those batteries mustered back in. More tangles than we need be concerned with for this post. But we must untangle some of those for the second and third quarters of 1863.
This leaves us with two batteries to consider in regard to equipment, projectiles, and small arms. Starting with smoothbore:
Just two batteries to consider here:
- Battery K: 340 shell, 120 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr howitzer.
- Battery M: 502 shot, 165 case, and 52 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 92 shell, 120 case, and 24 canister for 12-pdr howitzer (I believe the column entry is a transcription error as no 12-pdr field guns were on hand).
And only one battery reported rifles on hand, so we have short work considering projectiles for those guns:
Just Hotchkiss projectiles:
- Battery K: 204(?) canister, 304 percussion shell, 304 fuse shell, and 196 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
Of the two reporting:
- Battery K: Twenty Army revolvers and twenty-one horse artillery sabers.
- Battery M: Thirty Army revolvers and sixty-eight cavalry sabers.
So “short work” for the 2nd Missouri artillery. Keep in mind this was a formation in a state of transition as winter turned to spring. And we’ll revisit that organization in future installments.
But we are not done with Missouri. Four more entry lines appear below the 2nd Regiment. Those four are worthy of their own post, as each will take some lengthy discussions!