Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Ohio’s Independent Batteries, Part 2

Picking up where we left off with the Ohio batteries… and turning the page in the ledger book, we find 15th through 25th Battery at the top of the next sheet:


Of those listed, the clerks recorded only seven returns.  The other four are left for us to fill in the blanks. And we should see the 26th Battery on this list, but don’t.

  • 15th Battery: Reporting at Memphis, Tennessee with four 6-pdr field guns. This battery was in the Fourth Division of the “original” Thirteenth Corps.  The division first went to the Seventeenth Corps, under reorganization in December 1862.  But in late January 1863 was transferred to Sixteenth Corps.  Captain Edward Spear, Jr. commanded at the start of the quarter.  Lieutenant James Burdick filled the position temporarily in April.
  • 16th Battery: No location given, but with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Lieutenant Russell Twist commanded this battery, which was at the time posted to Helena, Arkansas.  Moving with it’s parent formation, the Twelfth Division (of Grant’s command), the battery shifted from District of Eastern Arkansas to the (new) Thirteenth Corps.
  • 17th Battery: No report. Captain Ambrose A. Blount remained in command.  The battery was assigned to Tenth Division, Thirteenth Corps.  As such, the battery saw considerable activity supporting the bayou expeditions during the winter months, operating out of Milliken’s Bend.
  • 18th Battery: Listed as at Chattanooga, Tennessee with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The location may be valid for March 1864, as received in Washington.  However, for the first quarter of 1863, Captain Charles Aleshire’s battery operated out of Franklin, Tennessee, as part of the Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • 19th Battery: At Lexington, Kentucky with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The 19th, under Captain Joseph C. Shield, was part of the Army of Kentucky, then garrisoning the rear areas of the Department of the Cumberland.
  • 20th Battery: Murfreesboro, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3-inch Ordnance rifles. Under Captain Edward Grosskopff and assigned to Second Division, Twentieth Corps.
  • 21st Battery: Reporting at Camp Dennison, Ohio with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain James W. Patterson, commanding.
  • 22nd Battery: No report.  This battery was not fully organized until later in the spring.
  • 23rd Battery: No report. Mustered in 1861, this battery was attached to 2nd Kentucky Infantry.  It became the 1st Kentucky Independent Light Battery (Or Battery A, Kentucky Light, as one may prefer).
  • 24th Battery:  No report. Not organized August 1863.  However, the battery does appear as assigned to the Department of Ohio with Lieutenant James W. Gamble assigned command of recruits gathered at Camp Dennison.
  • 25th Battery: At Camp Forsyth, Missouri with four 6-pdr field guns and two 3-inch Ordnance rifles. Formed as the 3rd Battery Kansas Artillery, this battery was re-designated as the 25th Ohio Independent Light Battery in February 1863.  Captain  Julius L. Hadley was in command.  Battery assigned to the Department of the Missouri.
  • 26th Battery: Not listed.  This battery was actually Company F, 32nd Ohio Infantry, detached for artillery service.  It was among those units surrendered at Harpers Ferry on September 15, 1862 (thus no report).  Upon receiving their exchange, the battery resumed duty as infantry in Company F.  This began a curious story where by Captain Theobold D. Yost’s men were sometimes a battery and other times infantry.  Only in December 1863 was the 26th permanently established.

So we see the service of these twelve batteries was mostly west of the Appalachians.

Moving to the ammunition totals, we start with the smoothbore projectiles on hand:


The totals match well with the weapons reported, with one exception:

  • 15th Battery: 412 shot, 252 case, and 167 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 16th Battery: 184 shot, 167 case, and 98 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 19th Battery: 76 shot, 236 shell, 176 case, and 203 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 20th Battery: 50 shot, 80 shell, 132 case, and 50 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 21st Battery: 504 shot, 504 case, and 168 (or 468) canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.  But also reporting 168 shell for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 25th Battery: 400 shot, 240 case, and 160 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

The presence of 12-pdr howitzer shells in the 21st Battery may simply be a transcription error.  And may simply be inconsequential given the battery’s status at Camp Dennison.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, we find all batteries with rifles reporting some Hotchkiss-type on hand:


From the top:

  • 15th Battery: 313 shot and 356 fuse shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • 18th Battery: 158 canister, 142 percussion shell, 765 fuse shell, and 574 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 20th Battery: 184 canister, 306 percussion shell, 110 fuse shell, and 160 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 25th Battery: 80 canister, 67 percussion shell, 92 fuse shell, and 160 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

And that is about it for the rifled projectiles.  No Dyer’s, James, Parrott, or Schenkl types reported on hand.  Only at the far end of the projectile columns do we see any more entries:


  • 15th Battery: 136 Tatham’s canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.

That leaves us with the small arms reported:


And at least one interesting tally:

  • 15th Battery: Eight cavalry sabers (only!).
  • 16th Battery: Thirty Navy revolvers and thirty-five cavalry sabers.
  • 18th Battery: Thirty Army revolvers, three cavalry sabers, and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 19th Battery: Thirty Navy revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • 20th Battery: Twenty-seven Army revolvers and twenty-nine horse artillery sabers.
  • 21st Battery: Thirty Navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 25th Battery: Eleven “Belgian Rifles, Cal .69” and one Army revolver.

That last line is noteworthy, but not of great significance. Hadley’s battery, stationed in Missouri, certainly would find use for rifled muskets.  The identification given, Belgian, almost certainly points to the imported Liege weapons. Mostly these were copies of French Chasseur de Vincennes .69 type.  And Ohio, among other states, imported quantities.  However, there was an “artillery carbine” in the family of weapons, and produced in .69 caliber. But I’m not aware of those being rifled.

One closing shot with the Ohio batteries, though not of the “field” variety… Among other reports from the first quarter 1863 is a listing of the 2nd Ohio Heavy Artillery being organized at Camp Dennison.  Lieutenant William H. Smith was in command of the detachment there.  He reported 184 Enfield rifles on hand, but no cannon.  I can only speculate that the 1st Ohio Heavy Artillery (being converted around this period from the 117th Ohio Infantry) was similarly equipped.

Published by Craig Swain

"Historical marker hunter" and Civil War enthusiast.

One thought on “Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Ohio’s Independent Batteries, Part 2

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