Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – Kentucky

Kentucky before Kansas… in the non-alphabetic order used by the Ordnance Department:

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Within this section, the clerks tallied four batteries. There were actually five on the rolls as of December 1863. So let us fill in that blank as we proceed through the list:

  • 1st Battery (or Battery A):  At Murfreesboro with two 6-pdr field guns, one 3-inch Ordnance Rifles, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain Theodore S. Thomasson remained in command.  And the battery remained unattached artillery in the Army of the Cumberland. Their main activity was guarding the railroad line, either in garrison or supporting patrols along the lines.
  • 2nd Battery (or Battery B): At Lebanon, Kentucky with four 6-pdr field guns and two 3-inch rifles.  Captain John M. Hewett’s battery was also serving as unattached artillery in the Army of the Cumberland, assigned to defend the railroad lines. However, returns have it at Elk River Bridge, Tennessee. The placename given on this line does not match with the known service history of the battery. See next entry.
  • 3rd Battery (or Battery C): Not listed. This battery formed (but didn’t muster) in May 1863 at Lebanon, Kentucky. Captain John W. Neville commanded. However, as related in earlier quarters, the battery was captured, while still being organized, by General John H. Morgan’s forces on July 3 (along with the rest of the town’s garrison). They were released shortly after. Not until September did the battery formally muster. At that time, Neville had the battery at Lousiville. Later in the fall, the battery returned to Lebanon as part of the District of Southern Central Kentucky, Twenty-Third Corps. Likely the clerks conflated details between the 2nd and 3rd Batteries, leading to one confused entry. Though it is not clear what cannon Neville’s battery had on hand.
  • Battery D: Well there was no Battery D from Kentucky. I’ll leave this placeholder as an explanatory note.
  • Battery E: At Point Isabel (now Burnside), Kentucky, with two 6-pdr field guns and two 3.67-inch rifled 6-pdrs.  Captain John J. Hawes’ battery formally mustered on October 6, 1863. They were assigned to First Division, Twenty-Third Corps.
  • Simmonds’ Independent Battery, also 1st Kentucky Independent Battery: At Charleston, West Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts. This was Captain Seth J. Simmonds’ battery then stationed at Camp Toland, outside Charleston.  The battery remained part of Scammon’s Division, Department of West Virginia.

Those particulars established, and the omission of Neville’s Battery noted, we move on to the ammunition reported, starting with smoothbore:

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  • 1st Battery: 220 shot and 180 case for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 2nd Battery: 392 shot and 252 case for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery E: 203 shot and 152 case for 6-pdr field guns.

Canister on the following page:

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  • 1st Battery: 111 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 2nd Battery: 108 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery E: 40 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

To the right are columns reporting Hotchkiss rounds:

  • 1st Battery: 70 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 2nd Battery: 50 shot and 150 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E: 98 time fuse shell for 3.67-inch rifles.

More Hotchkiss reported on the following page:

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  • 1st Battery: 68 percussion fuse shell, 140 bullet shell, and 65 canister for 3-inch rifles; 40 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 2nd Battery: 100 bullet shell and 100 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E: 48 percussion fuse shell, 96 bullet shell, and 56 canister for 3.67-inch rifles.

To the right on this page are James projectiles:

  • 1st Battery: 12 shot, 66 shell, and 110 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

The next page we find Parrott rounds for those guns in West Virginia:

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  • Simmonds’ Battery: 1,027 shell, 502 case, and 265 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts. Well stocked indeed.

On the right of this page are entries for Schenkl projectiles:

  • 1st Battery: 250 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Simmonds’ Battery: 69 shell for 10-pdr Parrott.

No additional projectiles tallied. So we move to the small arms:

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  • 1st Battery: Fourteen Colt navy revolvers, ten cavalry sabers, and twenty-five horses artillery sabers.
  • 2nd Battery: Eight Springfield muskets (.58 caliber), thirty Colt navy revolvers, and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Simmonds’ Battery: Twenty-three Colt army revolvers, ten horse artillery sabers, and twenty foot artillery swords.

Cartridge bags reported on the page that followed:

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  • 1st Battery: 249 bags for 3-inch rifles and 319 for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 2nd Battery: 100 bags for 3-inch rifles and 32 for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery E: 200 bags for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Simmonds’ Battery: 1,691 cartridge bags for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Lastly, columns for small arms cartridges, fuses, and other articles:

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  • 2nd Battery: 120 friction primers and 50 yards of slow match.
  • Battery E: 75 paper fuses.
  • Simmonds’ Battery: 500 navy caliber pistol cartridges; 2,543 paper fuses; 3,645 friction primers; 56 yards of slow match; and 500 percussion caps.

We turn next to Kansas… which is next down on the summary pages.

Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – The Indian Home Guard

Below the listing of Iowa’s summaries is this short section with the heading “Indian Brigade”:

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In earlier quarters, we’ve discussed the origins of the Indian Brigade, or more specifically the units in the Indian Home Guard. For the second and third quarters, only a section from 3rd Indian Home Guard Regiment appeared in the summaries. Here, we find two entries. The lower of the two is consistent with earlier quarters. But the upper line is a fresh field to consider:

  • Company E, 2nd Indian Home Guards: Actually reading “2nd Infy’ | Arty Stores|” or something along those lines. The unit is reporting from Fort Gibson… indicated as “Arkansas” but this should read “Cherokee Nation” or “Indian Territories.” During the war, the post was sometimes cited as Fort Blunt. The line reports two 12-pdr field howitzers. No leads as to who was in charge of this pair of howitzers. But in the time period we are reviewing, Major Moses B.C. Wright commanded the 2nd Indian Home Guards.
  • Company L, 3rd Indian Home Guards: And again to be precise this line reads “3rd Infy’ Indian Home Guard, Stores.” No location given, but the 3rd was also operating out of Fort Gibson/Blunt. The report indicates three 12-pdr mountain howitzers. We have connected Captain Solomon Kaufman with these cannon in previous quarters.

At the end of December, 1863, the Indian Home Guards were part of the First Brigade, District of the Frontier, Department of Missouri. Colonel William A. Phillips, who’d led the organization of these guards, led the brigade, with his headquarters at Fort Gibson/Blunt. In addition to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Indian Home Guards, the brigade included the 14th Kansas Cavalry. Their mission was to maintain the lines between Fort Gibson, Fort Smith, and other Federal strongholds in the district. With that charge, these regiments did a lot of patrolling, with much interaction with Confederate forces operating in the same area.

The details about the artillery use of these units remains an unclear and imprecise area of my studies. Certainly these cannon were employed to defend the post. And at times they are used to support patrols. As mentioned in the second quarter discussion, the mountain howitzers were used at Cabin Creek in July 1863. Beyond that, I can only speculate.

Turning to the ammunition reported, howitzers need shells and case shot:

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  • 2nd Home Guards: 130 shell and 124 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 3rd Home Guards: 50 case for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

And canister on the next page:

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  • 2nd Home Guards: 19 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 3rd Home Guards: 60 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

No rifled projectiles were reported on hand, of course. So we move to the small arms:

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  • 2nd Home Guards: Three .69-caliber musketoons, 31 Sharps’ .52-caliber rifles, and one Colt navy revolver.
  • 3rd Home Guards: One Sharps’ .52-caliber cabine and 33 Sharps’ .52-caliber rifles.

And those Sharps’ needed cartridges:

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  • 2nd Home Guards: 1,000 Sharps cartridges.

As for powder, not much reported:

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  • 3rd Home Guards: Two pounds of musket powder.

The presence of even a small number of howitzers at the advance post of Fort Gibson was an important resource in the hands of Federal commanders in this theater of war. On the Confederate side, several officers noted the lack of artillery supporting their allies from the tribes. And the Federals were keen to maintain their edge in regard to the artillery. In correspondence dated February 11, 1864, sent to Colonel Phillips in Fort Gibson, Major-General Samuel Curtis noted that more artillery was needed at that post. Underscoring that desire, three days later Curtis communicated to Major-General Henry Halleck, in Washington, his designs to strengthen the hold in the Indian Territories, pointing out, “Fort Gibson has been fortified by the volunteers, making it a pretty safe position; but some finishing and repairing are necessary, and two or three good siege guns would be a great additional strength.”

Yes, a couple of heavy guns in the blockhouses would ensure control of the Arkansas River. And with that a sizable portion of the territory beyond. However, there is no indication Halleck considered Curtis’ request.

Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – Iowa’s Batteries

Iowa became a state just a decade and a half prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. In those antebellum years, Iowa transitioned from a frontier state into one with a growing industrialization, all the while retaining its strong agrarian base (which is still there to this day). While not a populous state, Iowa sent over 10% of its population into uniform for the war (76,242 men in arms out of a total population of 674,913 in 1860). And of that total, we have focused on the story of four batteries and one attached artillery section within the scope of these summaries. For the fourth quarter, 1863, summary, the clerks at the Ordnance Department tallied three batteries and the attached section. They omitted the 4th Iowa Battery, which had just mustered in November.

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  • 1st Iowa Battery: Reporting from Woodville, Alabama with one 12-pdr field howitzer and three 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Henry H. Griffiths commanded, however he also served as division artillery chief and also departed in December on recruiting duty.  In his place Lieutenants William H. Gay led the battery. The battery remained with First Division, Fifteenth Corps, participating in the relief of Chattanooga in November. Afterwards, the battery followed its parent formation into winter quarters in northern Alabama.  The armament listed is noteworthy. The battery reported its long-serving smoothbores were worn out. And starting in December they received new Parrott rifles.
  • 2nd Iowa Battery: Reporting at LaGrange, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. As Captain Nelson T. Spoor served as division artillery chief, Lieutenant Joseph R. Reed led this battery. The battery remained with Third Division, Fifteenth Corps, and moved to Memphis with that formation in early November.  As part of the movement toward Chattanooga, the battery was assigned to the garrison guarding the railroad lines in vicinity of LaGrange. And with that assignment, the battery transferred to the First Division, Sixteenth Corps.
  • 3rd Iowa Battery: At Little Rock, Arkansas with two 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, one 3-inch Ordnance Rifle, and one 10-pdr Parrott. Captain Mortimer M. Hayden remained in command, but served in staff positions. Lieutenant Melville C. Wright led the battery in his absence.  The battery served in the Third Division, Department of Arkansas (which would become the Seventh Corps later in 1864). After accompanying an expedition to Arkadelphia, the battery returned to Little Rock and remained there through the winter.
  • 4th Iowa Battery:  Not listed.  Captain Philip H. Goode’s battery mustered on September 24, 1863. They had two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery’s first assignment was to the Department of the Northwest. But that was a short posting. By February the battery was moving to St. Louis, with New Orleans as their ultimate destination.
  • Section attached to 2nd Cavalry –  At Collierville, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons, two 12-pdr mountain howitzers, and two 10-pdr Parrotts. However, I think, based on the ammunition reported, the section had two 12-pdr field howitzers instead of the Napoleons. And section? Well, more like a battery.   Recall from our discussion in the previous quarter, Lieutenant Perry L. Reed is mentioned in charge of two howitzers in a dispatch from November.  So he is likely the officer in charge of these cannon. Still, that’s a lot of cannon for a bunch of cavalrymen to handle. The 2nd Iowa Cavalry was part of the First Cavalry Division, Sixteenth Corps and operated in the Memphis area at this time of the war.

We have a majority of smoothbore cannon in the aggregate, so we have a lot of smoothbore rounds to talk about:

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  • 2nd Battery: 57 shot and 42 case for 6-pdr field guns; 74 shell and 20 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 3rd Battery: 175 shot and 165 case for 6-pdr field guns; 109 shell and 156 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 2nd Cavalry: 94 shell and 163 case for 12-pdr field howitzers; 192 shell and 192 case for 12-pdr mountain howitzer. (The ammunition tallies are why I suggested the 2nd Cavalry had howitzers vice Napoleons).

Continuing smoothbore ammunition totals on the next page:

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  • 2nd Battery: 80 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 60 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 3rd Battery: 60 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 32 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 2nd Cavalry: 52 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers; 276 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

To the right is one entry of Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

  • 3rd Battery: 40 Hotchkiss time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

More Hotchkiss on the next page:

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  • 3rd Battery: 40 Percussion fuse shell and 60 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Next we have Parrott projectiles:

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  • 1st Battery: 218 shell, 6 case, and 3 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 3rd Battery: 130 shell, 99 case, and 45 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

No quantities on the next page, so we move to the small arms:

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  • 1st Battery: Eleven cavalry sabers.
  • 2nd Battery: Four cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Three Colt navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and nine horse artillery sabers.

Not much in the way of cartridges:

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  • 3rd Battery: 50 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
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  • 3rd Battery: 50 paper fuses; 1,000 friction primers; and 1,000 percussion caps.
  • 2nd Cavalry: 360 friction primers.

That rounds out our look at the status of the Iowa batteries, as they were in December 1863… at least according to the Ordnance Department. Next up… the not-well-known Indian Home Guard Brigade.