Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – Michigan, more artillery

Turning back to the Michigan section of the fourth quarter summary, consider the last two entry lines:

0339_1ALL_Snip_MI

Isolating those down, we see entries for artillery assigned to an infantry regiment and another for the “6th Regt. Vol. Artillery”:

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But wait, you say, Michigan didn’t have six regiments of artillery! Well, it did have a 6th Regiment of Artillery. Let us look at the administrative details backing these lines:

  • Battery attached to 14th Mounted Infantry: The battery reports from Columbia, Tennessee with one 6-pdr (2.6-inch) Wiard rifle and one 3.80-inch James Rifle. Colonel Henry R. Mizner commanded the 14th Michigan Infantry, which on paper was assigned to the Fourth Division, Fourteenth Corps. However, the regiment was detached for service protecting the supply lines in Tennessee from guerillas and irregulars. In that capacity, on September 6, 1863, the regiment was mounted. Eight companies moved to Columbia and received Spencer rifles, revolvers, sabers, and mounts. In addition, the regiment outfitted and manned a section of light artillery. A report in January 1864 from Major John Mendenhall, Inspector of Artillery, Army of the Cumberland, indicates Lieutenant Gideon W. Gifford commanded this section. Gifford originally enlisted, as a private, in Battery C, 1st Michigan Artillery in October 1861. He was detailed as a hospital steward, but in May 1863 he accepted a commission to lieutenant in Company K, 14th Michigan Infantry. He made captain just before being mustered out in 1865. Early in the spring of 1864, the 14ths stint on garrison duty was at an end. Rejoining the Fourteenth Corps, the men reluctantly turned in their mounts and resumed duties as traditional infantry.
  • 6th Regiment Volunteer Artillery: At Port Hudson, Louisiana with one 12-pdr Napoleon. On July 10, 1863, Major-General Nathaniel Banks ordered this regiment converted to heavy artillery, assigned to the garrison of Port Hudson. Colonel Thomas S. Clark commanded this regiment. Certainly the regiment manned more than one Napoleon in their duties, but apparently all other cannon were considered part of the garrison itself and not of the regiment. However, there are hints to additional field artillery in the ammunition totals.

Before leaving the administrative section, there are two other artillery formations that deserve mention as they were in existence if not yet mustered. These were two independent batteries:

  • 13th Battery: Organized at Grand Rapids, the battery was under command of Callaghan H. O’Riordon. The battery was still forming at the end of December, but formally entered service on January 20, 1864. The battery left the state in February for its assignment – the Defenses of Washington.
  • 14th Battery: Also organized at Grand Rapids, this battery mustered on January 5, 1864. Captain Charles Heine commanded. Likewise, leaving the state in February, 14th Battery was sent to the Defenses of Washington.

For the two sections that are on the return, we must consider their ammunition and other stores, starting with smoothbore ammunition:

0341_1_Snip_MImsc
  • 6th Michigan Heavy Artillery: 366 shot and 362 case for 6-pdr field guns; 36 shot, 14 shells, and 16 case for 12-pdr Napoleons; 93 shells and 200 case for 12-pdr field howitzers; 156 shells for 24-pdr field howitzers; and 3 shot and 11 shells for 24-pdr siege guns.

Much to consider there with the calibers reported. Perhaps just stores on hand. But likewise, perhaps indicating weapons on hand but not considered reportable by the unit.

Moving to the rest of the smoothbore ammunition:

0341_2_Snip_MImsc
  • 6th Michigan Heavy Artillery: 106 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 96 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers; 48 canister for 12-pdr field guns; and 158 case and 99 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers.

To the right are reported quantities of Hotchkiss rounds:

  • 14th Michigan Infantry: 102 shot and 72 time fuse shell for 2.6-inch Wiard; 48 shot and 18 time fuse shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • 6th Michigan Heavy Artillery: 3 shot for 3-inch rifles.

More Hotchkiss on the next page:

0342_1_Snip_MImsc
  • 14th Michigan Infantry: 40 percussion fuse and 74 canister for 2.6-inch Wiard rifles; 18 percussion fuse, 72 bullet shell, and 168 canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • 6th Michigan Heavy Artillery: 13 canister for 3-inch rifles.

To the right is a lone entry for James projectiles:

  • 14th Michigan Infantry: 50 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.

Further to the left is one column for Parrott rounds:

  • 6th Michigan Heavy Artillery: 127 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

The next page continues the Parrott projectiles:

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  • 6th Michigan Heavy Artillery: 30 shell, 30 case, and 47 canister for 10-pdr Parrott; 10 shell for 24-pdr siege guns; 40 canister for 20-pdr Parrott.

To the right is one Schenkl tally:

  • 6th Michigan Heavy Artillery: 24 shell for 10-pdr Parrott.

No additional projectiles reported. So we turn to the small arms:

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  • 6th Michigan Heavy Artillery: Two Colt army revolvers. Yes, that’s all.

Reporting cartridge bags for the cannon:

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  • 14th Michigan Infantry: 90 bags for 6-pdr (2.9-inch) Wiard, 28 bags for 6-pdr (3.8-inch) James.
  • 6th Michigan Heavy Artillery: 189 10-pdr Parrott bags, 2 field gun (6-pdr field gun or 12-pdr field howitzer) bags; 90 bags for 20-pdr Parrott, and 113 bags for 24-pdr siege guns.

The last page contains tallies for fuses, primers, and miscellaneous items:

0345_1_Snip_MImsc
  • 14th Michigan Infantry: 700 paper fuses and 220 friction primers.
  • 6th Michigan Heavy Artillery: 534 paper fuses, 34 pounds of cannon powder, 2,832 friction primers, 3 yards of slow match, and 11 portfires.

There is much to talk about in those two lines. These speak to units in transition from the intended role of infantry to, respectively, cavalry and heavy artillery. And along the way, a lot of equipment and stores moving about.

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