Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – Maine

I apologize to readers for the scarcity of posts for the last few months. As a part-time hobby enterprise, blogging must take a back seat sometimes. Let us move forward, however, with our discussions of the fourth quarter, summary statements. The next state to consider is Maine. As of the end of December 1863, there was one heavy artillery regiment and seven light artillery batteries from Maine on active Federal service. The summary returns only indicate six:

0329_1_Snip_ME

We will put the heavy artillery regiment on hold for now, as I promise a review of the “heavies” at the end of the quarter. It is the light batteries which interest us here:

  • 1st Battery: No location indicated, but reporting four 12-pdr Napoleons (which they received in mid-August). Captain Albert W. Bradbury remained in command.  Battery remained assigned to First Division, Nineteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf.  And by the end of the year, the battery was at New Iberia, having participated in an expedition into the Teche in October-November. For his report to the state adjutant-general, Bradbury hoped to increase his battery to full strength and add a pair of ordnance rifles.
  • 2nd Battery: At Camp Barry, D.C., with four 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  With James A. Hall’s promotion to Major (on paper in June, but effective in July) and then to Lieutenant-Colonel (in September), Captain Albert F. Thomas took command of the battery. Reduced somewhat from attrition during the year, the battery left First Corps, Army of the Potomac in November and reported to Camp Barry. Their stay was just for the winter.
  • 3rd Battery:  No report.  At this stage of the war, 3rd Battery was re-designated Battery M, 1st Maine Heavy Artillery (it would later revert to light artillery). Captain Ezekiel R. Mayo commanded.  The battery was stationed in the Defenses of Washington, on the north side of the Potomac.  
  • 4th Battery: Reporting at Brandy Station, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Captain O’Neil W. Robinson, Jr. remained in command, then attached to Third Corps, Army of the Potomac. The battery was very active during the fall. In a sharp engagement at Union Mills (McLean’s Ford) on October 15, the battery dismounted two Confederate guns. The battery crossed the Rappahannock at Kelly’s Ford on November 7. After the Mine Run campaign, the battery returned with its parent unit to Culpeper, going into winter quarters at Brandy Station. Robinson became the corps artillery brigade commander in December. After which Lieutenant Melville C. Kimball led the battery.
  • 5th Battery: No location given, but with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Greenleaf T. Stevens remained in command of this battery, which remained with First Corps, Army of the Potomac, through the end of the reporting period.  Their location, as of the end of December was just outside Culpeper Court House, adjacent to the Alexander house.
  • 6th Battery: Also giving no location and reporting four 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery started the fall in the First Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac (commanded by its original commander – Lieutenant Colonel Freeman McGilvery). Lieutenant Edwin B. Dow commanded. With a reorganization of the Artillery Reserve in the first week of December, the battery shifted to the Third Volunteer Brigade. They went into winter camp, with the rest of the reserve, behind Fleetwood Hill at Brandy Station.
  • 7th Battery: Not listed. This battery officially mustered on December 31, 1863. As such we can justify the omission on this summary. Captain Adelbert B. Twitchell commanded. The battery would not leave Augusta, Maine, until February. They brought with them six 12-pdr Napoleons.

Napoleons and Ordnance Rifles. None of the 6-pdrs, James Rifles, or odd mountain howitzer we’ve seen from the western theater. These guys got the “new stuff.” So let us look to see about the ammunition issued to those “new stuff” cannon:

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  • 1st Battery: 64 shot for 6-pdr field guns… which I think is a transcription error, and should be one column over under 12-pdr Napoleons; 64 shell and 318 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 5th Battery: 192 shot, 64 shell, and 188 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 6th Battery: 192 shot, 64 shell, and 192 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
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  • 1st Battery: 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 5th Battery: 68 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 6th Battery: 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

To the right are listings for Hotchkiss projectiles:

  • 2nd Battery: 71 shot and 240 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 4th Battery: 311 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

More Hotchkiss on the next page:

0332_1_Snip_ME
  • 2nd Battery: 99 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 4th Battery: 349 case shot and 120 canister for 3-inch rifles.

Moving to the next page, we see tallies for Schenkl projectiles:

0332_2_Snip_ME
  • 2nd Battery: 375 shot and 115 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 4th Battery: 74 shell for 3-inch rifles.

One more Schenkl column on the following page:

0333_1_Snip_ME
  • 4th Battery: 150 case shot for 3-inch rifles.

Small arms? Yes these Mainers had small arms:

0333_2_Snip_ME
  • 1st Battery: Eleven Colt army revolvers, seventeen cavalry sabers, and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • 2nd Battery: Sixteen Colt navy revolvers and twenty-four cavalry sabers.
  • 4th Battery: Eighteen Colt army revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Ten Colt army revolvers and eleven cavalry sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Seven Colt army revolvers and 100 Remington army revolvers. Yes… a lot of pistols.

Reporting cartridge bags:

0334_2_Snip_ME
  • 2nd Battery: 800 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • 4th Battery: 668 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.

On the last page we cover are listings for pistol cartridges, fuses, primers, and other items:

0335_1_Snip_ME
  • 1st Battery: 421(?) friction primers; 20 yards of slow match; and 39 portfires.
  • 2nd Battery: 435 paper fuses and 729 friction primers.
  • 4th Battery: 150 cartridges for army revolvers; 718 friction primers and six yards of slow match.
  • 5th Battery: 50 (?) yards of slow match.
  • 6th Battery: 1,200 cartridges for army revolvers; 550 friction primers; 20 yards of slow match; and 23 portfires.

With the exception of the, just formed, 7th Battery and the 3rd Battery, then serving as heavy artillery, we have a comparatively complete record for the Maine batteries. In campaign season of 1864 all seven of these batteries would see active field service, mostly in the eastern theater in support of the Overland and Petersburg Campaigns.

4 thoughts on “Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – Maine

  1. Am I interpreting the 2nd’s allotment of “shot” correctly? That seems like quite a supply of Hotchkiss and Schenkl 3″ bolts for a battery that presumably would have been destined to come under Hunt’s ultimate control in 1864. If I recall correctly, his prescribed chest for rifles would not have included those projectiles.

    • That is what I read. If you see it more clearly and the number is wrong, let me know. We sort of have to consider these numbers as reporting a status, not necessarily the intent. Items that were issued but unused tended to grow in “on hand” quantity until disposition was allowed. Items that were issued and widely used were more often in short supply.

    • I’m definitely reading it the same way you are. This gives the 2nd 346 bolts, 0 case, 355 shell, and 99 canister. That makes little sense to me for a rifled battery (unless it was intended for some type of siege operation). I’m wondering if somebody mistakenly entered case shot under “shot”.

    • Also, they are not “in the field” exactly. Rather in the “school”. What better to practice with than solid bolts? Wouldn’t want to disturb those legislators just a few blocks away, would we?

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