Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Michigan Artillery

The Wolverine State sent a full regiment of light artillery to war along with a couple of independent batteries.  But for the first quarter of 1863, only ten of those were on the rolls.  As mentioned in the review of the previous quarterly summary for Michigan, the Ordnance Department clerks used designations for independent batteries (i.e. 1st Battery, 2nd Battery), while other official records consider these as regimented batteries (i.e. Battery A, Battery B).  I’ll use regimental designations here, but call to reader’s attention the this should be a natural match – as 1st Battery appears to be Battery A; 2nd Battery as Battery B; and so on:


In addition to the ten light batteries, there are two separate sections to consider (and hopefully identify):

  • Battery A (1st Battery): No return.  This should be Lieutenant George Van Pelt’s battery, assigned to First Division, Fourteenth Corps.  A February 1863 roll-up of all artillery in the Department of the Cumberland indicates the battery had five 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery B (2nd Battery): Reporting from Bethel, Tennessee with two 12-pdr howitzers and three 3-inch rifles. Long story short on this battery’s history – having been overwhelmed at Shiloh the previous spring, it had just reconstituted and returned to duty.  The battery, under Lieutenant Albert F. R. Arndt, was posted to West Tennessee, under the District of Corinth, in the “catch all” Sixteenth Corps.
  • Battery C (3rd Battery): At Corinth, Mississippi.  One 12-pdr field howitzer and three 10-pdr Parrotts.  Under Captain George Robinson, this battery was also part of the District of Corinth, Sixteenth Corps during the winter of 1863.
  • Battery D (4th Battery): Reporting somewhere in Tennessee, which I cannot make out. Two 12-pdr field howitzers, two 10-pdr Parrotts, and two James 3.80-inch rifles.  Assigned to the Third Division, Fourteenth Corps, under Captain Josiah Church, which was of course at Murfreesboro at the time in question.
  • Battery E (5th Battery): At Nashville, Tennessee with three 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain John J. Ely’s battery was part of the Artillery of the Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland, and then serving in the garrison of Nashville.
  • Battery F (6th Battery): Munfordsville [sic], Kentucky. Two 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Records show that one section was at Munfordville under Lieutenant Luther F. Hale with two 6-pdrs and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Another section was at Bowling Green under Lieutenant Byron Paddock also with two 6-pdrs and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  So did only one section report?  Or should we look to one of the separate sections entered separably?
  • Battery G (7th Battery):  At Vicksburg, Mississippi… which it indeed visited later in July!  But this battery spent the winter of 1863 between Young’s Point and Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana, as part of the Ninth Division, Thirteenth Corps.  The summary indicates six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles on hand.  Captain Charles H. Lanphere commanded (Lieutenant Robert M. Wilder held the command temporarily during the winter).
  • Battery H (8th Battery): At Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana with with two 12-pdr field howitzers, two 6-pdr (3.67-inch) rifles, and two James (3.80-inch) rifles.  Captain Samuel De Golyer’s battery was assigned to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps.
  • Battery I (9th Battery): Reporting at Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia with six 3-inch rifles.  Captain Jabez J. Daniels commanded this battery assigned to the Cavalry Division of the Department of Washington.
  • Battery K (10th Battery): Arriving at Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. at the end of the winter.  The battery reported two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch steel rifles. Captain John Schuetz commanded this battery through the war.

With the organized batteries out of the way, let us turn to the two section entries:

  • Finch’s Section: Hickman’s Bridge, Kentucky. Two 12-pdr field howitzers.  Lieutenant Amasa. J. Finch of the 18th Michigan Infantry had charge of a section in the District of Central Kentucky. This was a temporary assignment, apparently disbanded before the end of the March.
  • Section at Munfordville – Clearly indicated as at Munfordville and with three 10-pdr Parrotts.  The “name” column may be “Boyd’s” or other common name.  But without any other leads, all I will commit to is this line referenced a three-gun section at Munfordville.

With that, question tabled, we can turn to the smoothbore ammunition reported:


With a lot of 6-pdr field guns and 12-pdr field howitzers to feed:

  • Battery B: 152 shell, 152 case, and 94 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery C: 30 shell, 80 case, and 35 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery D: 98 shell, 108 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery E: 206 shot, 133 case, and 137 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery F: 258 shot, 209 case, and 115 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery H: 240 shell and 63 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery K: 156 shell for 12-pdr mountain howitzers; 204 shell for 12-pdr field howitzers; and 48 shell for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Finch’s Section: 192 shell, 192 case, and 128 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.

Battery K’s quantities raises eyebrows. Then again, the battery was in the “school house.”

Moving to the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:


Note the calibers and quantities cited here:

  • Battery B: 48 canister, 48 percussion shell, 72 fuse shell, 240 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery G: 202 canister, 156 percussion shell, 252 fuse shell, 600 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery H:  281 shot and 130 percussion shell for 12-pdr Wiard (3.67-inch) rifles.
  • Battery I: 96 canister, 200 percussion shell, 400 fuse shell, 720 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery K:  96 canister, 165 percussion shell, and 165 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

First off, we see an abundance of case shot (bullet shell) for a couple of batteries. As for Battery H, those are not Wiard projectiles but rather Hotchkiss type that were made for a specific caliber.  That caliber happened to be associated closely to Wiard’s guns… at least by the clerks counting things. Clearly those were meant for use in the 3.67-inch rifled 6-pdrs.  This is also an indicator we’ll see Tatham’s columns used later.

On the next page, we can focus on just the James, Parrott, and Schenkl projectiles:


The full page is posted, if you need reference.  But let us look specifically at the quantities reported.  First the James patent projectiles:

  • Battery D: 12 canister for James 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 97 shell for James 3.80-inch rifles.

Now the Parrott patent projectiles:

  • Battery C: 40 shell, 382 case, and 126 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery D: 150 shell, 150 case, and 45 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery E: 196 shell, 129 case, and 47 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery F: 422 shell, 381 case, and 92 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Munfordville Section:  417 shell and 150 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

Lastly, the first set of Schenkl projectile columns:

  • Battery C: 57 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery E:  33 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

And there is one more Schenkl projectile entry line listed on the next page:


  • Battery D: 333 shell for 3.80-inch James.

And on the far right, the Tatham canister columns:

  • Battery H: 186 canister for 3.67-inch rifles; 41 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Yes, that 0.13-th of an inch mattered.

Finally, we can turn to the small arms on hand for the winter reporting period:


By battery:

  • Battery B: Thirty Army revolvers and thirty-one cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: Eighteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Twenty cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: Ten horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Twenty-five Army revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • Battery G: Fifteen Army revolvers, fifty-eight cavalry sabers, and six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Fifty cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: 141 Army revolvers and thirty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Fifteen Army revolvers and 128 horse artillery sabers.
  • Finch’s Section: One Army revolver and three cavalry sabers.
  • Munfordville Section: Two Army revolvers.

The biggest question mark for the Michigan summary in this quarter is that Munfordville section. Oh… bad penmanship of some clerk 153 years ago!

Published by Craig Swain

"Historical marker hunter" and Civil War enthusiast.

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