Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – 3rd New York Artillery

Unlike their sister light artillery regiment, the 1st New York, the 3rd New York Light Artillery seldom receives proper attention from historians.  Starting organization as an infantry regiment, and serving as such for the summer campaigns of 1861, the regiment reorganized as light artillery to support operations in North Carolina. And the batteries played an important role in an underappreciated and under-studied (in my opinion) theater.  As alluded to for the previous quarter, with about half of the enlistments running out in the spring of 1863, the regiment went through a reorganization.  Four batteries mustered out completely, with those retaining time on enlistments transferred to bring others up to strength.  Not until early 1864 were batteries added back to the regiment’s strength.  And by that time the regiment was no longer serving just in North Carolina.

Colonel Charles H. Stewart commanded the regiment at the end of 1863. With his headquarters at New Berne, North Carolina, he also exercised direct command of four batteries stationed there. His second in command, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry M. Stone, also held command of the garrison of Fort Macon, North Carolina. Regimental Majors were Terence J. Kennedy, Edwin S. Jenney, and Theodore H. Schenck, all veteran leaders by this time of the war. Lieutenant Edgar H. Titus served as Regimental Adjutant until replaced by Lieutenant Thomas J. Mersereau on December 24. Lieutenant Paul Fay became regimental Quatermaster on the last day of the year, replacing Lieutenant Samuel B. Tobey, Jr. Regimental Surgeon William W. Knight was supported by Assistant Surgeons Alfred D. Wilson and Bradford S. Manly.

With that background of the regiment in mind, let us turn to the summary:

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  • Battery A: No return.  The original Battery A mustered out in June 1863. Not until September 1864 did a new Battery A muster in its place.
  • Battery B: Reported on Morris Island, South Carolina, with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain James E. Ashcroft remained in command of the battery, which was then part of the force facing Fort Sumter at the end of the Second Major Bombardment, assigned to the Tenth Corps. When Ashcroft took leave in December, Lieutenant Edward A. Wildt led the battery.
  • Battery C: Reporting at New Berne, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain William E. Mercer remained in command of this battery, which had just reorganized and mustered on September 30, 1863. The battery was part of a “battalion” then serving at New Berne, part of the Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery D: No return.  Another battery that mustered out in June 1863.  A new Battery D mustered in February 1864.
  • Battery E:  At New Berne, North Carolina with four 20-pdr Parrott rifles.  Captain George E. Ashby replaced Theodore H. Schenck (promoted to major) in command of the battery.  The battery was part garrison of New Berne, in the District of North Carolina, Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery F:  On Folly Island, with four 12-pdr (3.67-inch) Wiard rifles. Captain Samuel C. Day remained in command of the battery, assigned to Vogdes’ Division, Tenth Corps.
  • Battery G: No return. Another battery mustered out in early June. The new Battery G mustered in March 1864.
  • Battery H: Reporting at Newport News, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  In October the battery moved from New Berne to Newport News.  Captain William J. Riggs remained in command of the battery, assigned to Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery I:  At New Berne and with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain John H. Ammon transferred command of this battery to Captain John D. Clark at the end of the year.
  • Battery K: Also at New Berne but with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain James R. Angel remained in command.
  • Battery L:  As explained in earlier posts, this battery was not assigned to the 3rd New York.  Instead it served as the 24th Independent Battery.  Not until March 1865 was it officially assigned to the regiment.
  • Battery M: At Norfolk, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrott Rifles.  Captain John H. Howell commanded. The battery transferred to the Norfolk area, listed as serving at Fort Monroe, in October, assigned to Heckman’s Division, Eighteenth Corps.

Those administrative particulars explain the gaps in the summary. And with those in mind, most of the ammunition quantities reported make sense… save one entry:

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  • Battery B: 298 shot, 5 shell, and 462 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery E: 20 shell for 24-pdr field howitzers; 2 shell for 32-pdr field howitzers. Recall Battery E originally had the big field howitzers on their charge, and apparently retained ammunition. This suggests the howitzers were still at New Berne but not assigned to the battery (or regiment).
  • Battery H: 276 shot, 65 shell, and 313 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery I: 318 shot, 126 shell, and 326 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.

On to the next page of ammunition:

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  • Battery B: 128 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery E: 6 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers; 6 canister for 32-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery H: 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery I: 136 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Immediately to the right of the smoothbore columns is an entry for Dyer’s projectiles:

  • Battery C: 36 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Further to the right are columns for Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

  • Battery C: 504 (?) time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E: 84 time fuse shell for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery F: 84 shot and 92 time fuse shell for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • Battery K: 753 shot and 131 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

More Hotchkiss columns on the next page:

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  • Battery C: 110 percussion fuse shell, 1,167 (!) bullet shells, and 204 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F: 108 percussion fuse shell, 376 bullet shell, and 289 canister for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • Battery K: 34 percussion fuse shell and 188 canister for 3-inch rifles.

On the next page are columns for Parrott projectiles:

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  • Battery E: 378 shot, 82 shell, 102 case, and 30 canister for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery M: 648 shell, 15 case, and 134 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Turning to the small arms reported:

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  • Battery B: Sixteen Colt navy revolvers and seventy-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: One Colt army revolver and sixty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Twenty-eight Colt navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and forty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Thirty-seven Colt army revolvers and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Twenty Colt navy revolvers and fifty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Six Colt navy revolvers, nine Remington army revolvers and forty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Nineteen Colt navy revolvers, four Remington army revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and fifty-two horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Twenty-three Remington navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.

Next are the cartridge bags reported:

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  • Battery C: 375 bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E: 457 bags for 20-pdr Parrotts; 17 bags for 24-pdr or 32-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery F: 1,125 bags for 20-pdr guns (presumably Wiard 3.67-inch).
  • Battery K: 123 bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 185 bags for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Lastly, we look at the pistol cartridges, fuses, and miscellaneous items:

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  • Battery B: 316 navy pistol cartridges and 100 percussion caps.
  • Battery C: 100 army pistol cartridges; 250 paper fuses; 100 pounds of musket powder; 300 friction primers; and 20 yards of slow match.
  • Battery E: 500 navy pistol cartridges; 1,291 paper fuses; 75 pounds of musket powder; 1,472 friction primers; and 12 yards of slow match.
  • Battery F: 1,000 army pistol cartridges; 551 paper fuses; and 857 friction primers.
  • Battery I: 100 navy pistol cartridges.
  • Battery K: 200 army pistol cartridges and 450 navy pistol cartridges.
  • Battery M: 7,111 paper fuses and 1,200 friction primers.

As the calendar turned from 1863 to 1864, the 3rd New York Light Artillery filled back out as a regiment. By summer, ten batteries were in service. Furthermore, the needs of a war reaching its penultimate campaigns brought several of those batteries into the fighting around Petersburg.

Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – 1st New York Artillery

For the second quarter in a row, the clerks shifted entries around to allocate New York it’s own pages within the summaries:

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Our focus for this post is the top set of entry lines, for the 1st New York Light Artillery:

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Colonel Charles S. Wainwright commanded this regiment.  Wainwright, as we well know, commanded the artillery of First Corps. Lieutenant-Colonel Edward R. Warner was second in command within the regiment.  Regimental majors included Robert H. Fitzhugh, John A. Reynolds (Artillery Chief, Twelfth Corps), and Thomas W. Osborne (Artillery Chief, Eleventh Corps).  The remainder of the regimental staff included Edward L. Bailey, Quartermaster and Julius A. Skilton, Surgeon.

This being Wainwright’s regiment, we know a bit more about the “cooking” of the reports than other units.  We do know Wainwright’s staff consolidated these returns in the middle of January.  However, that process was incomplete, as we see three batteries failing to file.  And those three batteries were arguably within “hailing distance” of Wainwright, either being around Culpeper County (where he wintered) or at least up the railroad in Washington, D.C.   So let us look at the particulars:

  • Battery A: At Pottsville, Pennsylvania, on an April 1864 receipt date, with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Under Captain Thomas H. Bates, the battery was part of the Department of the Sesquehanna.
  • Battery B: At Brandy Station, Virginia with four 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Albert S. Sheldon commanded this battery but was absent, recovering from his Gettysburg wound. Lieutenant Robert E. Rogers, from Battery C, commanded in his place. The battery transferred to the 1st Volunteer Brigade, Reserve Artillery, Army of the Potomac, in December.
  • Battery C: No return.  As assigned to Fifth Corps, Battery C wintered at Rappahannock Station.  The battery retained four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Almont Barnes remained in command.
  • Battery D: Reporting from Brandy Station, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Supporting Third Corps, Captain George B. Winslow remained in command. With Winslow taking leave at the end of the year, Lieutenant Thomas H. Crego led the battery.
  • Battery E: No return.  With personnel attached to Battery L, Battery E was reorganized and recruited to strength over the winter.  Under Captain Henry W. Davis, the battery returned to the order of battle in May, 1864.
  • Battery F: No return.  At Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain William R. Wilson remained in command.  The battery, assigned to the Artillery Camp of Instruction, was in the Twenty-second Corps.
  • Battery G: Reporting at Stevensburg, Virginia, with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Nelson Ames’s battery supported Second Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery H: At Culpeper, Virginia, and re-equipped with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Charles E. Mink remained in command of this battery, now under Wainwright’s Brigade in First Corps.  With Mink on leave, Lieutenant David F. Ritchie would lead the battery.
  • Battery I: Now at Bridgeport, Alabama, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Michael Wiedrich commanded this battery, assigned to Eleventh Corps.   The battery saw action in the battles to take Lookout Mountain in November then settled into winter quarters.
  • Battery K: Reporting at Brandy Station, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery remained with the battery assigned to Third Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve.  The 11th New York Independent Battery was attached to Battery K at this time, and manned two of the guns.  With Robert H. Fitzhugh was promoted to Major and Lieutenant Edward L. Bailey serving on regimental staff, command fell to Captain John E. Burton of the 11th Battery.  At the end of the year, the battery transferred out of the Army of the Potomac to Camp Barry and the Artillery Camp of Instruction.
  • Battery L: At Culpeper, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Listed on the order of battle as a combined Batteries E & L, Captain Gilbert H. Reynolds commanded.  The battery supported First Corps and camped adjacent to the Alexander House, where Wainwright maintained his headquarters.
  • Battery M: Reporting from Bridgeport, Alabama, in January 1864, with four 10-pdr Parrott rifles.  Captain John D. Woodbury returned to command of this battery in the fall, as it supported Twelfth Corps.

Looking to the ammunition on hand, we start with the smoothbores:

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  • Battery A: 192 shot, 64 shell, and 320 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery D: 288 shot, 96 shell, and 288 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 262 shot, 93 shell, and 262 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 192 shot, 64 shell, and 192 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.

To the next page:

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  • Battery A: 136 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery D: 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 144 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

To the right are tallies for Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

  • Battery I: 281 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery K:  260 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

More Hotchkiss on the next page:

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  • Battery I: 114 percussion fuse shell, 564 bullet shell, and 116 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery K: 120 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery L: 39 percussion fuse shell and 120 canister for 3-inch rifles.

To the next page were we find Parrott projectiles:

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  • Battery B: 354 shell, 297 case, and 95 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery M: 298 shell, 412 case, and 94 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

To the right are some Schenkl listings:

  • Battery B: 57 shell for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery K: 338 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery L: 438 shell for 3-inch rifles.

More Schenkl on the next page:

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  • Battery K: 343 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery L: 600 case for 3-inch rifles.

Turning to the small arms:

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  • Battery A: Seventeen Colt navy revolvers, sixty-eight Remington army revolvers, and eighty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Sixteen Colt army revolvers and twenty cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Eight Colt army revolvers and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Eighteen Colt army revolvers and twenty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Twenty Colt navy revolvers, fifteen cavalry sabers, and five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Seven horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Nine Colt army revolvers and eighteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery L: Sixteen Colt navy revolvers and nine horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Eight Colt army revolvers and two horse artillery sabers.

Turning next to the cartridge bags:

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  • Battery A: 582 cartridge bags for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B: 460 cartridge bags for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery I: 940 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery K: 1,187 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 22 cartridge bags for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Our last page is a busy one… try to keep up:

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  • Battery A: 3,500 navy pistol cartridges and 2,160 friction primers.
  • Battery B: 600 army pistol cartridges; 1,625 paper fuses; 1,300 friction primers, and 50 yards of slow match.
  • Battery D: 300 army pistol cartridges; 650 friction primers; twelve yards of fast match; twelve yards of slow match.
  • Battery G: 50 army pistol cartridges and 1,190 friction primers.
  • Battery H: 800 navy pistol cartridges; 584 friction primers, and 7 yards of slow match.
  • Battery I: 676 paper fuses; 1,000 friction primers; and 25 yards of slow match.
  • Battery K: 1,507 paper fuses; 2,960 friction primers; 5 yards of fast match; 10 yards of slow match; and 36 portfires.
  • Battery L: 50 navy pistol cartridges.
  • Battery M: 390 paper fuses; 720 friction primers; and 250 pistol percussion caps.

The twelve batteries of the 1st New York Light Artillery was among the hardest fighting in the war on either side.  We have a very good record, from the Official Records, letters, and post-war accounts, of the batteries’ wartime service.  And with their regimental commander’s diary preserved, we have some interesting insight into the administrative activities of the batteries.  What stands out here is two of the three “no report” batteries.  Battery E can be excused as being consolidated with Battery L.  But Battery C was just two stops up the railroad from Wainwright.  And Battery F was in Washington, where one would think formal reporting was encouraged, if not mandated.  And we know, from his diary, Wainwright was quick to mention when one of his subordinates were not performing to expectations.  I tend to think what we see here is evidence, though not of some lax administrative habits.  But rather evidence pointing back to the way the summaries were complied and used by the Ordnance Department, for their functions.  A filter, if you will, that we must consider when taking these raw numbers into account.

Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – New Hampshire

New Hampshire was represented by one line in the fourth quarter summary for 1864. That one line accounted for the lone field battery from the state:

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  • 1st Light Battery: At Brandy Station with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery remained under command of Captain Frederick M. Edgell. In October the battery transferred out of the Third Brigade, Reserve Artillery to the Third Corps, Army of the Potomac. And with that formation, they were in winter quarters during the February when their return was submitted.

Allow me to expand upon this battery’s service through the fall a bit, as we have space to do so and… well… anytime we have a Brandy Station story I like to pontificate. The winter quarters was the 1st New Hampshire’s fourth visit to Brandy Station, if my count is correct. The first being at the opening of the 2nd Manassas Campaign, in the late summer of 1862, as part of Pope’s command.

Going forward to 1863, as part of the Reserve artillery, the battery passed through Brandy Station, and Culpeper at the close of the Gettysburg Campaign. Of course, that stay ended when Confederates initiated the Bristoe Campaign. In November, the Army of the Potomac crossed the Rappahannock into Culpeper County again. And on November 8, Edgell’s battery fought around Brandy Station. I’ll let his words summarize the engagement:

My battery marched with the reserve batteries of the Third Corps, on the morning of the 7th. Crossed the river at Kelly’s Ford at dark the same day and took position with the Second Division, reporting to General Prince. On the morning of the 8th, reported to General Carr, Third Division, and marched with his advanced brigade, arriving at the railroad at 10 a.m. About noon the enemy were found posted with artillery on a ridge east of the railroad and about a mile north of Brandy Station. One section of my battery was ordered up, and opened on the enemy with shell at about 2,000 yards distance. This, with the advance of our skirmishers, caused them to retire after firing a few rounds. My section immediately occupied the position, but finding the enemy out of range, pushed on and took position in the edge of the wood to the left of and near Brandy Station. The enemy now opened, with two 20-pounders and two smaller guns, at about 1,800 yards distance, to which we replied, and they again retired. My remaining section now came up and took position to the right of the railroad, and fired a few shots at bodies of the enemy’s cavalry, but with what effect is not known. This closed the operations for the day.

My battery expended in the whole affair 56 rounds of percussion and time shell, but a strong wind blowing across the line of fire much impaired its accuracy.

I have no casualties to report.

OR, Series I, Volume 29, Part I, Serial 48, page 573

Captain George E. Randolph, commanding the artillery brigade of Third Corps, recorded in more detail the number and type of rounds fired by the New Hampshire gunners – 20 Schenkl case, 10 Schenkl shell, and 30 Hotchkiss fuse (time or percussion not specified) shell. Randoph said 60 rounds, while Edgell said 56. Perhaps the New Hampshire battery fired four additional rounds on the previous day. Randolph went on to relate Edgell complained about the Schenkl percussion fuses, as they failed to burst on occasion. But added “I was surprised at this, for I have seldom known them to fail.” However, he did note the other batteries did not seem to have a problem.

After the fight on November 8, the Army of the Potomac pressed the Army of Northern Virginia out of Culpeper for the last time in the war. That, in turn, setup the Mine Run Campaign with the Federals moving over the Rapidan into the Wilderness. After the anti-climatic close of that campaign, the Army of the Potomac returned to Culpeper for winter quarters. First Sergeant Samuel S. Piper later described, in a service narrative for the state’s Adjutant General, the battery’s quarters as, “at Brandy Station, Va., on the plantation of the Hon. John Minor Botts.” Piper went on to call it the best camp the battery ever had. While I have not seen a photo of the New Hampshire battery in those quarters, we do have a photo of Auburn, Botts’ house on the plantation:

I am not certain exactly where the Third Corps’ artillery park was that winter. Likely between Auburn and the railroad station. Readers will recall Auburn still stands. Hopefully some future owner will recognize the significance of the structure and restore the house to its past prominence.

There are two other formations from New Hampshire that we should mention here. Both were employed as heavy artillery, and thus didn’t have cannon or stores of their own to report:

  • 1st New Hampshire Heavy Artillery Company: Not listed. Garrison of Fort Constitution, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Captain Charles H. Long remained in command.
  • 2nd New Hampshire Heavy Artillery Company: Not listed.  Garrison of Fort McClary, Portsmouth Harbor, across the entrance in Maine. Captain Ira M. Barton commanded. 

Both companies spent the winter months guarding Portsmouth. In May, both moved to Washington, D.C. to replace the other “heavies” sent forward to the front lines. Later, those two companies formed the nucleus of a full regiment of New Hampshire heavy artillery formed starting in the late summer of 1864.

The stories aside, we turn to the ammunition reported. No smoothbore, so we can move right to the Hotchkiss columns:

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  • 1st Light Battery: 169 Hotchkiss time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

On to the next page for more Hotchkiss rounds:

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  • 1st Light Battery: 26 percussion fuse shell, 182 bullet shell, and 80 canister for 3-inch rifles.

The next page tallies those Schenkl shells that Edgell complained of:

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  • 1st Light Battery: 180 shell for 3-inch rifles.

And another Schenkl entry on the next page:

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  • 1st Light Battery: 145 case shot for 3-inch rifles.

Turning to the small arms:

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  • 1st Light Battery: Eight Colt army revolvers, seven Colt navy revolvers, and twelve cavalry sabers.

Cartridge bags reported on the next page:

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  • 1st Light Battery: 12 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.

Lastly, pistol cartridges, fuse, primers, and other items:

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  • 1st Light Battery: 200 navy caliber pistol cartridges; 485 paper fuses; 1,300 friction primers; 23 yards of slow match; 500 pistol percussion caps; and 5 portfires.

One might call attention to the lack of metallic fuses reported here. Edgell complained about the Schenkl fuses in November. Then in February had no tallies. Had he discarded the object of his ire? I don’t think so. It seems the returns counted the rounds, with fuses, as a whole unit. And the columns on this page were used to account for fuses issued separate from the projectile. Regardless, we have Edgell reporting both Hotchkiss and Schenkl, a mix not preferred by Brigadier-General Henry Hunt in charge of the Army of the Potomac’s artillery.