Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – MSM and cavalry-attached artillery

As with previous quarters, below the 2nd Missouri Artillery were some assorted units reporting in Federal service and with artillery on hand:

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In this quarter, we have three categories to consider – the Missouri State Militia (MSM) batteries on active service, MSM cavalry reporting artillery sections, and volunteer cavalry regiments with artillery sections to report. Let us take the first category first, and look at the first two lines of this section of the summary:

  • 1st MSM Battery: Reporting at Sedalia, Missouri, with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers and four 10-pdr Parrotts. As discussed for earlier quarters, instead of Parrotts the battery actually had a like quantity of 2.9-inch English Rifles (Robert F. Mushet’s steel rifles). Captain Charles H. Thurber remained in command. The battery assigned to District of Central Missouri. It officially became Battery L, 2nd Missouri Artillery in January.
  • 2nd MSM Battery: No report, obsolete entry. As discussed in the previous quarter, when the original 1st MSM was inactivated in March 1863, with most of the men going to the 1st MSM Cavalry, Company L. And at that time, the 2nd MSM Battery was re-designated the 1st MSM Battery (above). So by the end of 1863 there was no 2nd Battery to record. (One must really dig into the state Adjutant-General reports to follow these Missouri units.)

The actual batteries on the listing out of the way, the remainder of our discussion takes on a “horse soldier” tone. Important to keep in mind there are two flavors of cavalry under this heading – volunteers and state militia. As the war was very much active inside the borders of Missouri, its militia was called upon to provide active service against Confederate regulars, irregulars, and lawless types of all flavors. And in some cases, those militiamen were given cannon to perform these duties. While a full accounting for the MSM cavalry is beyond scope, I will try to summarize the service of the units reporting artillery. However, for good order, I will discuss those in numerical sequence instead of that used on the summary:

  • 1st MSM Cavalry (Line 55): Reporting at Lexington, Missouri with no cannon on hand. The 1st Regiment served as part of the District of Central Missouri, and Colonel James McFerren commanded. Though the regiment was spread across several garrisons, Companies G and H were at Lexington at the end of December. However, Companies L and M, along with the headquarters element had just relocated from Lexington to Warrensburg. And it is Company L that might raise our attention regarding artillery. Company L is what became of the original 1st MSM Battery when ordered converted to cavalry in March 1863. Regardless of the status, the 1st MSM reported ammunition on hand if not any cannon.
  • 2nd MSM Cavalry (Line 54): At Bloomfield, Missouri with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers. The 2nd, under Colonel John B. Rodgers, pulled duty in southeast Missouri, under the District of St. Louis. The outpost at Bloomfield consisted of Companies A and M of the regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hiram M. Hiller. Captain William Dawson commanded Company A. Captain Samuel Shibley led Company M.
  • Company G, 5th MSM Cavalry (Line 50): Stationed at Houston (Texas County), Missouri with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers. The 5th MSM Cavalry reformed under under Colonel Albert Siegel in February 1863 (though he was mostly away in St. Louis on detail). Assigned to the District of Rolla, they operated in south-central Missouri escorting wagon trains and scouting. Company G, along with Company B, operated out of Houston, the seat of Texas County. Captain Richard Murphy, of Company B, was in overall command. Captain Thomas Thomas led Company G. Lieutenant Adam Hillerick (or Heilerich) had charge of the howitzers.
  • Howitzer Battery, 5th MSM Cavalry (Line 51): At Waynesville, Missouri with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers. The garrison of of that place consisted of Companies A, E, and H, under overall command of Major Waldemar Fischer of the regiment.
  • Company A, 6th MSM Cavalry (Line 49): From Springfield, Missouri with two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. Part of the District of Southwester Missouri, Colonel Edwin C. Catherwood commanded the regiment and the garrison of Springfield. Captain George W. Murphy (of Company E, and later promoted to Major) led the regiment with the colonel attending other duties. Captain James Dundin commanded Company A. The regiment captured a cannon from the Confederates on October 6, though the type was not reported. Nor if that weapon is included with the four reported here.

Beyond those units, there are two lines for the Missouri volunteer cavalry regiments:

  • 3rd (or 2nd?) Missouri Cavalry: At Little Rock, Arkansas with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers. While I am willing to entertain the summary reflects a cross assignment of the howitzer section from the 2nd to the 3rd Missouri Cavalry, this is most likely Lovejoy’s Artillery. Lieutenant George F. Lovejoy commanded a section of mountain howitzers in the 2nd Missouri Cavalry (Merrill Horse). Both the 2nd and the 3rd were serving in Second Brigade, First Cavalry Division in Steele’s Army of Arkansas.
  • 10th Missouri Cavalry: At Memphis, Tennessee with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers and two 3.80-inch James rifles. Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick W. Benteen commanded the much traveled 10th Missouri Cavalry. At the end of December 1863, the battery was assigned duty with the Sixteenth Corps, and stationed at Natchez, Mississippi. They were among the forces assigned to the Meridian Expedition in early 1864. And indeed, as the return date indicates, they were in Memphis in September 1864. Lieutenant Peter Joyce received a deserved promotion to captain in September. It is not clear who led the “Banshees,” as the section was called, after Joyce moved up.

There was one other “tier” to the Missouri troops in service at the close of 1863 – the Enrolled Missouri Militia (EMM), first organized in the summer of 1862. These troops were in state service, but could be called upon by the local military commanders. The distinction between MSM and EMM was more than semantics. The MSM was, or at least could, be called up directly into Federal service (though on paper only within the state) and often worked offensively to engage Confederate forces in Missouri. The EMM, on the other hand, was more so a local garrison or guard force in a defensive role. And while the EMM might operate with other forces, there were a lot of string attached. The intent was for the EMM to include all loyal, able-bodied men. Persons who didn’t take an oath, of course, didn’t have to serve… but that meant authorities knew to arrest those persons for being dis-loyal! Because of this, the EMM contained some non-committal southern sympathizers or at least folks who were not enamored of either cause. Due to concerns about the EMM’s reliability, the state formed Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia (PEMM) in 1863, as “trusted” regiments by selecting truly “loyal” men from the EMM. At the close of 1863, the State Adjutant-General counted 45,893 men in the EMM within over 80 numbered regiments.

None of the EMM (or PEMM) were designated as artillery. However, dispatches and reports from the EMM sometimes mention mountain howitzers or other artillery. Each mention has to be taken by its own context. Some are clearly cases where volunteer or MSM cannons are supporting the EMM. Though others leave open the alternative that some EMM companies had cannon on hand. With all the pre-war proliferation of arms in the state, there were indeed a few cannon laying about. But those all fall outside the purview of the Summary Statement and thus outside of our main discussion. But for sake of complete coverage, I do want to mention their presence, even if outside the order of battle and speculative.

Those details… or trivia… out of the way, we turn to the reported ammunition on hand for these MSM and cavalry-attached artillery formations. The smoothbore rounds are first:

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  • 1st MSM Battery: 37 shells and 42 case for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • Company A, 6th MSM Cavalry: 4 shot and 53 case for 6-pdr field guns; 17 shells and 83 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Company G, 5th MSM Cavalry: 102 case for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • Howitzer Battery, 5th MSM Cavalry: 67 shell and 126 case for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 2nd/3rd Missouri Cavalry: 47 shell and 42 case for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 10th Missouri Cavalry: 72 shell and 203 case for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 2nd MSM Cavalry: 35 (or 20? See below) shells and 24 case for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 1st MSM Cavalry: 20 case for 6-pdr field guns.

Of note, the 2nd MSM Cavalry’s entry has a double entry. If you look close under the column for shells:

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Focusing on that bottom cell, this appears to be a “20” over a “35.” A small difference at this time of the war. But accuracy insists I call out this point of ambiguity.

Turning to the next page:

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  • 1st MSM Battery: 36 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • Company A, 6th MSM Cavalry: 13 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 9 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Company G, 5th MSM Cavalry: 24 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 10th Missouri Cavalry: 112 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 2nd MSM Cavalry: 16 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 1st MSM Cavalry: 99 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

To the right are entries for Hotchkiss projectiles:

  • 1st MSM Battery: 62 shot and 98 time fuse shell for 2.9-inch rifles.
  • 1st MSM Cavalry: 40 shot and 149 time fuse shell for 2.9-inch rifles.

Continuing Hotchkiss columns on the next page:

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  • 1st MSM Battery: 134 percussion fuse shell and 84 canister for 2.9-inch rifles.

To the right are entries for James projectiles:

  • 10th Missouri Cavalry: 40 shot, 120 shell, and 40 canister for 3.80-inch James.

No other projectiles reported from this Missouri mishmash. So we go to the small arms columns:

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  • 1st MSM Battery: Eighteen Colt army revolvers, ten Remington army revolvers, forty-four cavalry sabers, thirty-two horse artillery sabers, and forty-nine foot artillery swords.
  • Company A, 6th MSM Cavalry: Two Burnsides carbines, fifty-four Enfield muskets, three Colt army revolvers, and sixteen cavalry sabers. (Side note here: this regiment reported a lot of Austrian muskets on reports to the State Adjutant-General. So leave a couple of question marks here.)
  • 10th Missouri Cavalry: Sixty-nine Colt army revolvers and fifty cavalry sabers.

Recording artillery cartridge bags and small arms cartridges on the next page:

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  • 1st MSM Battery: 297 cartridges for 10-pdr Parrott and 25 cartridges for mountain howitzers.
  • Company A, 6th MSM Cavalry: 70 cartridges for 6-pdr field guns/12-pdr field howitzers, 1000 .54 caliber ball, and 1000 .577 caliber ball.
  • Company G, 5th MSM Cavalry: 26 12-pdr mountain howitzer cartridges.
  • Howitzer Battery, 5th MSM Cavalry: 50 cartridges for 3-inch rifles…. which likely is a transcription error, quantity intended for the mountain howitzer column.

Lastly, we look at the reported quantities of pistol cartridges, fuses, powder, and primers:

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  • 1st MSM Battery: 305 navy revolver cartridges (or is that supposed to be on the ARMY column?); 181 paper fuses; 5 pounds of musket powder; 289 friction primers.
  • Company G, 5th MSM Cavalry: 60 friction primers.
  • Howitzer Battery, 5th MSM Cavalry: 386 friction primers.
  • 2nd Cavalry MSM: 60 friction primers.

The tallies of munitions and small arms leaves several questions, as I am all but certain there were transcription errors. But it is the administrative details that I find of interest with these MSM and cavalry-attached artillery formations from Missouri. Each has a story worthy of at least an article… and in some cases perhaps book-length treatment.

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