Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery

The 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery (43rd Pennsylvania Volunteers) consisted of nine batteries.  One of those nine, Battery I, did not muster until near the war’s end.  And among the batteries on the rolls for the end of the third quarter of 1863, two were consolidated with other batteries in the regiment.  Colonel Robert M. West remained in command of the regiment, but was serving as garrison commander at Yorktown, Virginia.

Reviewing the summary, at first glance the regiment seems complete.  The Ordnance Department received at least something from seven of eight batteries:

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But this is somewhat deceptive.  Only four of the lines report cannon on hand.  Thus there are gaps to reconcile, starting right from the top:

  • Battery A: No return.  Captain John G. Simpson’s battery was assigned to Getty’s Division, Seventh Corps, at Portsmouth, Virginia.  All part of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina.  I believe the battery retained four 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B: Reporting from Bristoe Station, Virginia, with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain James H. Cooper remained in command.  And the battery remained with First Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery C: At Maryland Heights, Maryland, with no artillery indicated.  For the previous quarter the battery reported six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Jeremiah McCarthy remained in command.  The battery was among those transferred out of the Army of the Potomac in June, and assigned to Twenty-second Corps, Defenses of Washington, at Camp Barry.  But the battery moved forward to Maryland Heights as part of Lockwood’s Division (Later the Maryland Heights Division), which by August was part of the Department of West Virginia.  Most sources have this battery consolidated with Battery D on October 23.  McCarthy was discharged on October 8.
  • Battery D: Just an annotation of “Consolidated with Baty. C.” Like Battery C, Battery D left the Army of the Potomac in June and was assigned duty at Camp Barry.  In August, the battery transferred to the Department of West Virginia, and served at Harpers Ferry.  Lieutenant Andrew Rosney was the ranking officer with the battery at that time.
  • Battery E: At Williamsburg, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Thomas G. Orwig commanded this battery, assigned to the Yorktown garrison, Department of Virginia and North Carolina.
  • Battery F: Indicated at Culpeper, Virginia, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain R. Bruce Ricketts commanded a combined Batteries F and G.  After Gettysburg, the battery transferred to Second Corps’ artillery brigade.
  • Battery G: The annotation “Consolidated with Battery F” tells the story.  Although some sources considered this an “attachment” instead of consolidation. Lieutenant Belden Spence was the ranking officer remaining with the battery.
  • Battery H: At Camp Barry, D.C. with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Andrew Fagan commanded this battery, which arrived at Camp Barry in June 1863. The battery remained there through the spring of 1864, assigned to the Light Artillery Camp of Instruction.

Battery I would not muster until March 1865, and thus escapes our attention here.

Turning to the ammunition, with the smoothbore columns first:

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Two batteries with Napoleons reporting:

  • Battery E: 176 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 80 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 182 shot, 52 shell, 162 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Then the Hotchkiss page:

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Again, two batteries to consider:

  • Battery B: 127 canister, 34 percussion shell, 242 fuse shell, and 335 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F: 120 canister, 120 (?) fuse shell, and 200 (?) bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.  Those last two numbers appear faint, as if erased.  So we must wonder if those quantities were “retracted” for some reason.

No Dyer’s, James’, or Parrott’s patent projectiles reported.  So we move to Schenkl:

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  • Battery B: 79 shell and 18 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F: 120 shell and 640 case for 3-inch rifles.

This brings us to the small arms:

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By battery as reported:

  • Battery B: Sixteen navy revolvers and seventeen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Eight navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Eleven army revolvers, eight navy revolvers, one cavalry saber, and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Fourteen navy revolvers and twenty-three horse artillery sabers.

That wraps up a short discussion of what was a small regiment from Pennsylvania.  But in addition to this regiment, Pennsylvania’s summary for this quarter included thirteen more lines.  Those covered a battery from the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, eleven independent batteries, and an artillery section in the 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry.  So we have more to examine before completing Pennsylvania’s section.

 

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