Iowa provided four light batteries to the Federal cause during the Civil War. Three of those were on active service at the end of September, 1863. The fourth was mustering and organizing that fall. For the third quarter, 1863, the summaries offer four entry lines:
Three batteries and one artillery section reported with the 2nd Iowa Cavalry. I’ll include the 4th Battery here for “administrative” discussions:
- 1st Iowa Battery: No report. After the fall of Vicksburg, the 1st Iowa Battery participated in operations against Jackson, Mississippi. After that operation, the battery fell back to the Big Black River Bridge were it camped for most of the summer. At the end of September, the 1st Iowa Battery moved with its parent formation, First Division, Fifteenth Corps to Memphis, as part of the relief column sent to Chattanooga. Captain Henry H. Griffiths commanded, however he also served as division artillery chief. In his place Lieutenants William H. Gay and James M. Williams led the battery. In the previous quarter, the battery reported four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. Later in the fall, the battery’s guns were completely worn out. They would receive a full complement of 10-pdr Parrott rifles in December.
- 2nd Iowa Battery: Reporting from Vicksburg, Mississippi with two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. The battery remained with Third Division, Fifteenth Corps and spent the summer at Big Black River Bridge. It was still there at the end of September. As Captain Nelson T. Spoor served as division artillery chief, Lieutenant Joseph R. Reed commanded this battery.
- 3rd Iowa Battery: At Little Rock, Arkansas with four 6-pdr field guns, three 12-pdr field howitzers, one 3-inch Ordnance Rifle, and one 10-pdr Parrott. Yes, nine cannon! Captain Mortimer M. Hayden remained in command. The battery served in the Department of Eastern Arkansas and participated in Steele’s Little Rock expedition (Third Division) in September. When Hayden briefly served as division artillery chief, Lieutenant Melville C. Wright held temporary command.
- 4th Iowa Battery: Not listed. Still organizing at Davenport, Iowa. Captain Philip H. Goode received his commission and command of battery on September 12, 1863. He’d previously served with Company F, 15th Iowa Infantry.
- “2nd Cav. Arty. Stores.” – A location of Memphis, Tennessee and with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers, and attributed to a lieutenant. Colonel Edward Hatch commanded the regiment. But with Hatch in command of a brigade of cavalry, part of Sixteenth Corps, operating out of Memphis, Lieutenant-Colonel William P. Hepburn stood in. The regiment saw much service scouting and chasing Confederate raiders in west Tennessee that summer and early fall. Hatch would mention, specifically, Lieutenant Perry L. Reed in charge of two howitzers in a dispatch later in November. So he is the leading candidate for the “lieutenant in charge of stores.”
In the previous quarter, we saw the 41st Iowa Infantry reported a 12-pdr mountain howitzer in their charge at far away Fort Pierre, in the Dakota Territories. No mention of it here. But no doubt that mountain howitzer was still in use somewhere on the frontier, if not by the Iowans.
Those particulars out of the way, we can move to the “feed” for those cannons, starting with the smoothbores:
Three lines to consider:
- 2nd Battery: 57 shot, 42 case, and 80 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 74 shell, 20 case, and 60 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
- 3rd Battery: 371 shot, 319 case, and 102 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 269 shell, 276 case, and 62 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
- 2nd Iowa Cavalry: 148 shell, 212 case, and 144 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
Moving to the rifled projectiles, first the Hotchkiss type:
- 3rd Battery: 40 percussion shell, 40 fuse shell, and 60 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
And that same battery had Parrotts on hand:
- 3rd Battery: 354 shell, 240 case, and 60 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
We have no Schenkl or Tatham projectiles to account for, so let us move directly on to the small arms:
Two lines to consider:
- 2nd Battery: Four cavalry sabers.
- 3rd Battery: Three Navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and nine horse artillery sabers.
A rather clean accounting for the Iowa cannoneers. With the exception of the missing return for the 1st Battery, we have most of the I’s dotted and T’s crossed… down to Lieutenant Reed’s pair of mountain howitzers.