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.
- 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:
- 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:
- 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:
- 3rd Battery: 40 Percussion fuse shell and 60 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
Next we have Parrott projectiles:
- 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:
- 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:
- 3rd Battery: 50 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
- 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.