Before we can leave the Indiana batteries, here for the 2nd quarter, 1863, there is the matter of six lines below the numbered independent batteries:
One of these, Wilder’s Battery on line 28, is familiar from the previous quarter. Furthermore, that battery would receive a number designation, the 26th, later in the war. But the others are “new” formations from the perspective of the summary reports. So we should allow space for detailed “administrative” discussion:
- Wilder’s Battery (26th Battery): At Somerset, Kentucky with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Lieutenant Casper W. McLaughlin was in command, with battery assigned to Second Brigade, First Division, Twenty-third Corps. A Department of the Ohio artillery report, dated June 30, 1863, indicated the battery had six 3-inch steel rifles. However, as we have often seen, the description of wrought iron guns was often imprecise, from a metallurgical standpoint.
- “Arty Det. 65th Vols“- or 65th Indiana Infantry (mounted): First the listed particulars – this detachment reported from Raleigh, North Carolina with one 12-pdr field howitzer and three 3-inch Ordnance rifles. The location most likely reflects the date of report receipt in Washington – May 6, 1865. And in June 1863, the 65th Indiana had many, many miles to travel before reaching Raleigh. Backing up to that spring, the regiment was mounted, and assigned to the Second Division, Twenty-third Corps, then serving in Kentucky. Other than that, I don’t have details of the artillery detachment.
- “Battery [attached] to 1st Ind. Cavalry“: At Pine Bluff, Arkansas with three 10-pdr Parrott rifles. During the spring of 1863, a portion of the 1st Indiana Cavalry operated in eastern Arkansas, at least six companies. (Detachments of the regiment were assigned to both Eastern and Western theaters, with varied service histories.) A June 1863 return has Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas N. Pace in command. In his report for the Battle of Helena (July 4), Pace indicated First Lieutenant Samuel Lefler, Company B, had command of “our battery.”
- Battery A, 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery: At Port Hudson, Louisiana with four 20-pdr Parrotts. Part of the siege operations at that place, and assigned to the First Division, Nineteenth Corps. Captain Eden H. Fisher was in command. Interesting to note the clerks rated this battery as “field” and those 20-pdr Parrotts as field guns, despite the battery’s tactical role as siege artillery.
- Battery E, 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery: Reporting from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with four 20-pdr Parrotts. Part of the garrison then at the state capital, and part of the Nineteenth Corps. Captain James W. Hamrick was in command at this time, according to the State Adjutant’s report. As with the sister battery, it is worth noting the clerks rated this garrison battery as a field battery, with its Parrotts.
- “Lieut. 35 Infy“: Reporting at Nashville, Tennessee with three 6-pdr field guns. The 35th Indiana Infantry was at that time assigned to the Third Brigade, Third Division, Twenty-first Corps. Recruited as an Irish regiment, the unit was under Major John P. Dufficy at this juncture of the war. But why those Irish infantrymen were assigned three cannon is unknown to me. No reports link these guns with the regiment (or higher units) during winter months at Murfreesboro or the Tullahoma Campaign. The receipt date of this return was in 1865. After the Atlanta Campaign, the regiment was among those sent to middle Tennessee, and fought there in the battles of late 1864. So the unit has several periods of service in and around Nashville which this return might match with.
So a lot of unanswered questions remain within those six entries. But, thankfully, the ammunition pages leave few questions. Starting with the smoothbore rounds:
With only two lines reporting, which appropriately matches to the cannon reported on hand:
- 65th Infantry Detachment: 250 shell, 20 case, and 470 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers; and also 48 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
- 35th Infantry Detachment: 28 shot and 4 case for 6-pdr field guns.
Perhaps it would have been nice for the 65th Infantry to send over that canister to the 35th?
Moving to the Hotchkiss page:
Two batteries reported 3-inch rifles on hand. But how about that third entry line?
- Wilder’s Battery: 600 canister, 174 percussion shell, 350 fuse shell, and 426 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
- 65th Infantry Detachment: 140 canister and 150 percussion shell for 3-inch rifles.
- Battery A, 1st Heavy: 439 fuse shell in 3.67-inch rifle caliber. And that corresponds to the bore of a 20-pdr Parrott. Interesting entry, as we more often see Hotchkiss of this caliber issued to James Rifles. And, as seen from the column header, the Ordnance Department considered it a “Wiard” caliber. Sort of hitting all the spots there.
Moving to the next page, we can focus on the Parrott and Schenkl columns:
Three batteries reported Parrott rifles. And we have three lines to consider:
- 1st Cavalry Detachment: 60 shell and 20 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
- Battery A, 1st Heavy: 250 shell for 20-pdr Parrott.
- Battery E, 1st Heavy: 260 shell and 8 canister for 20-pdr Parrott.
Under the Schenkl columns:
- Battery A, 1st Heavy: 40 shot for 20-pdr Parrott.
- Battery E, 1st Heavy: 16 shot for 20-pdr Parrott.
There are no entries on the next page of projectiles. So we move to the small arms reported:
- Wilder’s Battery: Nineteen horse artillery sabers.
- Battery A, First Heavy: Forty-eight rifles and eighteen foot artillery swords.
I am certain there are lots of “back stories” within the unanswered questions surrounding these six lines. If any readers have leads, I would greatly appreciate a comment here.