Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Three Minnesota Batteries

From “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” came three light batteries (along with a regiment of heavy artillery that would muster in the last year of the war).  Those three regiments saw service west of the Appalachians… that is until November 1864 when the 1st Battery traveled through Georgia and the Carolinas as part of “Uncle Billy’s March.”  Within the service of those three batteries we see the three main threads of “western” service for 1863 – Middle Tennessee, Mississippi River, and Trans-Mississippi.  By November of 1863, two of those three batteries had forwarded return for third quarter:


Two out of three isn’t bad:

  • 1st Battery: No return.  The previous quarter this battery reported at Vicksburg with two 12-pdr field howitzers and two 3.67-inch (6-pdr) rifles.  Captain William Z. Clayton commanded.  Through the summer and fall, the battery remained at Vicksburg, as part of Sixth (later re-designated First) Division, Seventeenth Corps.  Clayton returned home on recruiting duty in November, with Lieutenant Henry S. Hurter filling in as commander.
  • 2nd Battery:  For the third quarterly return in a row, we see Chattanooga, Tennessee as the location for this battery.  And this time, the location is accurate.  The battery reported two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 10-pdr Parrotts.  The battery arrived at Chickamauga as part of First Division, Twentieth Corps.   Captain William A. Hotchkiss, the battery commander, served as Artillery Chief for the division.  As such, Lieutenant Albert Woodbury remained in direct command.  The battery held an important position on the right of the division line, providing excellent service (though some infantry would complain of “friendly fire” from the battery).  Woodbury received a musket ball in his left arm – a wound that proved mortal.  Lieutenant Richard L. Dawley, with direction from Hotchkiss, got the battery off the field, and remained in direct command as the battery setup in the defenses of Chattanooga.
  • 3rd Battery:  Reporting from Fort Snelling, Minnesota with two 6-pdr field guns and six 12-pdr mountain howitzers (corrected from the previous quarter’s entry).  Captain John Jones commanded this battery assigned to the District of Minnesota, Department of the Northwest.  At the time of filing, the battery had just returned from the Dakota Territory as part of Sibley’s Sioux Expedition.

Those details established, we move to the smoothbore ammunition:


  • 2nd Battery: 94 shot, 15 shell, 50 case, and 27 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 3rd Battery: 102 shot, 130 case, and 42 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 60 shell, 177 case, and 84 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

No Hotchkiss rounds reported (despite having a battery commander named Hotchkiss):


But there are Parrotts on hand:


  • 2nd Battery: 229 shell, 131 case, and 110 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

No Schenkl to report:


So that leaves us with only the small arms remaining to discuss:


Well… from those reporting:

  • 2nd Battery: One Navy revolver and nine cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Thirty Army revolvers and 126 cavalry sabers.

We have here a return from the 2nd Minnesota Battery, which had just weeks before been engaged in a major battle (and one in which their forces were defeated).  And we have a return from the 3rd Minnesota Battery, having returned from a long campaign across the western plains.  But nothing from the 1st Minnesota Battery, which was relatively inactive through the quarter.  Overlooked paperwork!



Published by Craig Swain

"Historical marker hunter" and Civil War enthusiast.

3 thoughts on “Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Three Minnesota Batteries

  1. That’s an odd mix of types for the 3rd, although I guess the mountain howitzers made sense given the sort of campaigning they’d been doing. The 1st got their replacement 3″ ordnance rifles while at Vicksburg. I wonder if that’s the reason for no quarterly return (along with the change in command).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: