Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – Louisiana

In the third quarter of 1863, we discussed a single line entry under the Louisiana heading, showing no ordnance reported with the 1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery (African Descent). From that I introduced the administrative history of that regiment. As noted in that post, in November 1863 the regiment changed names to the 1st Corps de Afrique Heavy Artillery. Later, in the spring of 1864, the regiment went through a series of designation changes, finally set as the 10th Heavy Artillery (USCT).

We also discussed, when summarizing all the batteries not covered within the official summaries, three Louisiana batteries formed in the second half of 1863. All of which were later given USCT designations.

But for the fourth quarter, all we have is a heading:

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So let us try to fill in some of the blank spaces here and discuss those formations which should have appeared in this section:

  • 1st Corps de Afrique Heavy Artillery: In August, the department returns indicated two companies under Captain Soren Rygaard. The command later possibly included a third company and was rated as a battalion. As discussed in the previous quarter, Rygaard was relieved of duty on November 7, for insubordination. And much of Company C was either dismissed or sentenced to hard labor due. The department returns for the end of December have the “battalion” down to a single company, under Lieutenant Thomas McCormick, in the garrison of New Orleans. That officer was the senior lieutenant of Company B. Another company was organized under Lieutenant Charles A. Bailey starting in January, initially resuming the designation of Company C. The status of Company A remains a gap to be resolved.
  • 1st Battery Louisiana Light Artillery (AD):  Organized at Hebron’s Plantation, Louisiana, and mustered in November 1863. Captain Isaac B. Goodloe commanded. The battery’s first posting was Goodrich’s Landing, Louisiana. However, Goodloe, promoted from Battery E, 2nd Illinois Artillery, where he’d been a sergeant, was not long in command. In January he was brought up on charges of conduct unbecoming, and resigned instead of facing a court martial. Captain Robert Ranney replaced him in March. In April 1864, the battery became Battery C, 2nd US Colored Light Artillery. Based on the following quarter’s return, the battery had a mix of weapons – two 6-pdr field gun, one 12-pdr field howitzer, two 3.80-inch James rifles, and four 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 2nd Battery Louisiana Light Artillery (AD): Organized at Black River Bridge, outside Vicksburg, Mississippi, and mustered in December 1863. Captain William M. Pratt, who commanded, had been a lieutenant in Battery A, 1st Illinois Artillery. The battery was assigned to the garrison of Vicksburg. In the spring, it became Battery D, 2nd US Colored Light Artillery. In the following quarter (first of 1864), the battery reported four 6-pdr field guns.
  • 3rd Battery Louisiana Light Artillery (AD):  Also mustered in December. Captain Jonas Fred Lembke had been a corporal in Battery B, 1st Illinois Artillery.  The battery formed at Helena, Arkansas, and was posted there upon muster. They were designated Battery E, 2nd US Colored Light Artillery in April. Lembke was also not long in command. He was killed in action on July 26, 1864. Looking forward to the first quarter, 1864 returns, the battery had one 12-pdr field howitzer and one 3.80-inch James rifle.

Given the problems with leadership, recent musters, and general war situation in December 1863, we can understand why formal returns were not posted in Washington for these Louisiana batteries.

Historians have not spent much time examining the service of these USCT artillerists. The infantry formations tend to get most of the attention… where the USCT are discussed in any detail. And that is a shortfall for all of us to consider reconciling. Given that the service of the white artillerymen differed from that of the white infantrymen, we would assume the same for the USCT. What would make for an interesting study were the parallels, intersections, and divergences which existed in the experiences from artillerists, regardless of race, during the war.

Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – Kansas Batteries

Quarterly reviews of the Kansas batteries are always interesting, and demanding of attention. There were three formal batteries mustered and counted against the state’s quota of volunteers. And those did not have “conventional” lineages as we see with most state batteries. Furthermore, there were several sections formed within infantry and cavalry formations, which, while temporary, seemed always present on the summaries. Then there were militia batteries called out during the war by state or Federal authorities. From our 21st century perspective, it appears Kansas was awash with mountain howitzers and field pieces. All of which makes an exact, precise accounting of every tube difficult… if not impossible.

For the fourth quarter of 1863, we find six lines – four were from the formal batteries (the 2nd Kansas Battery reporting by section) and two were sections reported in cavalry regiments. And neither of those cavalry-reported sections match to those reported in the third quarter!

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  • 1st Battery:  Waverly, Tennessee with six 10-pdr Parrott rifles.  Captain Marcus D. Tenney remained in command.  In November the battery transferred from the Sixteenth Corps to the Department of the Cumberland, and assigned to the District of Nashville. They would guard the Nashville & Northwestern Railroad at Waverly until November 1864.
  • 2nd Battery:  At Fort Smith, Arkansas, with with four 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Edward A. Smith remained in command, with the battery part of the District of the Frontier.  After campaigning in the Cherokee Nation through mid-November, the battery arrived at Fort Smith on November 15. They remained there through much of the war. However, one section was detached, as noted in the next line.
  • Section of 2nd Battery: At Fort Scott, Kansas, with two 3.67-inch (6-pdr) rifles. Lieutenant Daniel C. Knowles commanded this section, part of the District of the Border.
  • 3rd Battery: Reported at Van Buren, Arkansas with three 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer. Still appearing on department returns as “Hopkins’ Battery,” Lieutenant John F. Aduddell commanded in the field. The battery was assigned to Third Brigade, District of the Frontier.
  • Battery Attached to 5th Kansas Cavalry: At Pine Bluff, Arkansas with six 12-pdr mountain howitzers. The 5th Kansas participated in the expedition to Little Rock in September. Then moved to Pine Bluff later that month, where they stayed through the winter of 1864. Department returns have ten companies under Lieutenant Colonel Wilton A. Jenkins assigned to Colonel Powell Clayton’s Independent Cavalry Brigade at the close of December 1863. Captain William F. Creitz had charge of this improvised battery, which sometimes appears in dispatches as Creitz’s battery. Based on the timing this entry appears in the records, it appears the howitzers were transferred from other units (notably Missouri batteries) then being reorganized or mustered out.
  • Battery Attached to 7th Kansas Cavalry: At Corinth, Mississippi with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers. Colonel Thomas P. Herrick commanded the regiment, then assigned to the First Brigade, Cavalry Division, Sixteenth Corps. These were also reported in the second quarter of 1863, though not in the third quarter.

I submit there are a few missing entries here. In the previous quarter, both the 2nd and 6th Kansas Cavalry had posted returns. The 2nd had just a traveling forge and stores. And those were probably turned over for proper disposition. The 6th reported a couple mountain howitzers on hand, which were probably passed along to one of the Indian Brigade regiments or other units then operating in the Indian Territories.

We should also mention Armstrong’s Battery, affiliated with the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry (later 79th USCT). No return to reference in the summary, but the unit appears in dispatches from around this time of the war.

Also worth mentioning is the Leavenworth Post Battery, at times referred to as the 4th Kansas Battery (without any official sanction by the state I would add). Captain Charles S. Bowman commanded. Later became Company M, 16th Kansas Cavalry.

Lastly, there were several Kansas militia batteries which were activated at the state level, if not officially by the federal authorities. As such, no returns were filed. But again, the units were “out there” and doing some service.

With those shortfalls noted, let us move back to what was reported… as in the ammunition:

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  • Fort Scott Section, 2nd Kansas Battery: 83 shot and 90 case for 6-pdr field guns. We often see 6-pdr ammunition issued for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • 3rd Kansas Battery: 100 shot and 300 case for 6-pdr field guns; 150 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 7th Kansas Cavalry: 396 shell and 300 case for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

More smoothbore on the next page:

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  • Fort Scott Section, 2nd Kansas Battery: 94 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 3rd Kansas Battery: 100 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 100 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers. .
  • 7th Kansas Cavalry: 98 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

We then skip a couple pages to the Parrott columns:

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  • 1st Kansas Battery: 317 shell, 205 case, and 141 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 2nd Kansas Battery: 592 shell, 240 case, and 75 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

To the left is a single entry for Schenkl:

  • 2nd Kansas Battery: 224 shot for 3.67-inch rifles. This is an odd entry which could be entered on the wrong column (two to the left is the 10-pdr Parrott column for shot). Or could be entered on the wrong line, as the 3rd Kansas reported cannon of this caliber.

We now turn to the small arms:

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  • 1st Kansas Battery: Eighty-one Colt navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 2nd Kansas Battery: Eighty-eight Colt navy revolvers, nineteen Remington army revolvers, one Remington navy revolver, and seven cavalry sabers.
  • Fort Scott Section, 2nd Kansas: Twenty-nine Colt navy revolvers, fourteen Remington Navy revolvers, and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Kansas Battery: Eleven Colt army revolvers, one Colt navy revolver, seventy-three Remington army revolvers, and three Remington navy revolvers.

Clearly the Kansans preferred pistols over edged weapons.

One item entry on the next page:

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  • 1st Kansas Battery: 88 cartridge bags for 10-pdr Parrotts.

But healthy report of small arms ammunition, powder, fuses, and primers:

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  • 1st Kansas Battery: 1,000 cartridges for navy revolvers; 1,300 paper fuses; 10 pounds of musket powder; 2,100 friction primers; and 20 portfires.
  • 2nd Kansas Battery: 500 cartridges for army revolvers; 200 pounds of musket powder; and 122 friction primers.
  • For Scott Section, 2nd Kansas: 1,000 cartridges for navy revolvers.
  • 3rd Kansas Battery: 900 friction primers.

That concludes our look at the Kansas artillerymen for this quarter. They guarded railroads and outposts from Tennessee westward to the Indian Territories and their home state of Kansas.

“Into a Marshy No-man’s Land” – Fort Sumter Civil War Roundtable

Save the date! As mentioned earlier, I will be speaking at the Fort Sumter Civil War Roundtable on June 10. Here are the particulars:

  • Program: Into a Marshy No-Man’s Land: Intelligence and Special Operations on the South Carolina and Georgia Coasts, 1862-65.
  • Date: June 10, 2019
  • Time: Gather at 6:00 for a bit of socializing; program begins at 6:30.
  • Place: The Citadel, Jenkins Hall

So if you live around Charleston, you have my “special” invite to this discussion of “special” operations in the Civil War.

A little more about the topic:

Through much of the Civil War neither side firmly controlled the marshlands of South Carolina and Georgia. While the Federals established bases on the coast (starting with Port Royal in November 1861), the topography of the low country favored the Confederate defender.  Yet, the Confederates were unable and unwilling to establish permanent garrisons out to the coastline.  Major operations, such as against Fort Pulaski or on Morris Island, were rare with neither side able to gain a firm upper hand. As result, the marshes and coastal estuaries were in effect a no-man’s land in which scouts, spies, raiders, and irregulars operated.  The Confederates, with local knowledge of the terrain, scouted Federal activities; ambushed Yankee patrols; monitored communications; and maintained supply routes skirting the blockade.  The Federals, employing escaped slaves, trained “marsh scouts,” and naval landing parties, sent out raids to disrupt rice and salt production; spied on Confederate operations; interdicted blockade runners; and “hacked” communications lines.  These intelligence gathering activities and special operations continued right up to the end of the Civil War.

Readers are well aware from my blogging missives of my definition of the “Charleston Theater” which includes the South Carolina, Georgia, and northern Florida coastlines. In that theater, most – if not all – operations were focused toward control of Charleston. And within that broad scope, we tend to focus on operations directly at Charleston – Morris Island, bombardment of Fort Sumter, and blockade operations there. Yet there were many operations conducted along that coast which supported and sustained the campaign which escape attention as we summarize the high points. And those operations often took the color of what we’d characterize today as “special operations.” Not so much Rangers, SEAL teams, Delta Force, and guys with green berets… as such “special” units did not exist at the time. Rather operations that fit the definition of “special” often being conducted by regular forces – infantry detachments or naval landing parties for instance. And at the same time, we also find true “irregular” or at least “unconventional” players operating in those marshes.

With that teaser out there, please mark this on your calendars and plan on attending. The Fort Sumter Roundtable is a new group, with my friend Jim “A Little Short of Boats at Balls Bluff” Morgan a co-founder. They have a lot of interesting programs scheduled for upcoming months.