Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries, Part 1

After a long break, let us resume this line of march. Picking up where we left off with in the New York section of fourth quarter summary statements for 1863. Next up are the independent batteries and miscellaneous lines:

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No we won’t try to jump all thirty-six lines at once. Rather in batches, as was our convention, starting with the first dozen:

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Of those first dozen, eight offered returns. Three of which were timely, posted within thirty days. However, one was tardily received in August. And for the data received, we see a lot of familiar placenames:

  • 1st Independent Battery: At Brandy Station, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.   Captain Andrew Cowan remained in command of the battery, assigned to Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • 2nd Independent Battery:  No return.  The original battery mustered out on June 13, 1863.  Captain Wolfgang Bock received authority to recruit a reorganized 2nd Independent Battery.  However, on October 14, that authority was revoked and men recruited into the new 2nd were instead was made part of the 15th New York Heavy Artillery.
  • 3rd Independent Battery: Also at Brandy Station, Virginia and now with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery was also part of Sixth Corps, under Captain William A. Harn.
  • 4th Independent Battery: No return.  With Lieutenant William T. McLean in command, the battery was discontinued on December 4, 1863.  Remaining men of the battery transferred to the 5th New York Battery, 15th New York Battery, and to Battery B, 1st New York Light Artillery. In addition, one officer and 40 enlisted transferred to the 1st New York Engineers. At the time the battery disbanded, it was assigned six 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 5th Independent Battery: Also at Brandy Station.  Reporting with six 20-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Elijah D. Taft remained in command of this battery, in the Second Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve.
  • 6th Independent Battery: At Camp Barry, District of Columbia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Joseph W. Martin held command of this battery, assigned to the First Brigade, Horse Artillery, Army of the Potomac.  So, as of the end of December 1863, the battery was actually at Brandy Station. The reporting location reflects the date of posting – June 1864 – when the battery was reassigned to the Defenses of Washington.
  • 7th Independent Battery: At Norfolk, Virginia with two 12-pdr Napoleons and six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Peter C. Regan’s battery was part of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina.
  • 8th Independent Battery: At Gloucester Point, Virginia with  six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Butler Fitch commanded this battery, also in the Department of Virginia and North Carolina. 
  • 9th Independent Battery: Fort Reno, District of Columbia with no reported cannon. Captain Emil Schubert remained in command.  Battery assigned to the Twenty-Second Corps, defending Washington, serving as heavy artillery. 
  • 10th Independent Battery: No Return. This battery was broken up the previous summer. A detachment remained, under Lieutenant Charles T. Bruen, and served in the Washington Defenses through June of 1864.
  • 11th Independent Battery: No return.  Detachments from this battery served with Battery K, 1st New York Light.  Captain John E. Burton was busy bringing this battery back up to strength. In January 1864 the battery, fully manned, would re-appear in the Army of the Potomac’s order of battle, in the Second Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve.
  • 12th Independent Battery: At Brandy Station, Virginia reporting six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery remained with Third Corps, under Captain George F. McKnight.

Traversing on to the ammunition columns, we start with the smoothbore rounds:

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  • 3rd Battery: 288 shot, 96 shell, and 288 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 7th Battery: 41 shot, 46 shell, and 89 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.

More rounds to count on the next page:

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  • 3rd Battery: 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • 5th Battery: 91 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 7th Battery: 65 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

The 5th Battery line offers an interesting question. What would they need with smoothbore canister in a battery of big Parrott rifles? Well, I again go to my “if it fits the bore, it is of some use” speculation. 3.67-inches is the caliber of the 20-pdr Parrott. I’ll offer that until a better explanation is proffered.

To the right are rifled projectiles. First the Dyer Patents:

  • 8th Battery: 321 Dyer shell and 650 Dyercase for 3-inch rifles.

And further right, Hotchkiss:

  • 1st Battery: 3 Hotchkiss shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 10 Hotchkiss shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 223 Hotchkiss shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 142 Hotchkiss shell for 3-inch rifles.

More Hotchkiss from the next page:

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  • 1st Battery: 7 shell, 432 case, and 120 canister, all for 3-inch rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 28 case and 93 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 56 shell, 566 case, and 132 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 40 case and 175 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 9 shell, 116 case, and 67 canister for 3-inch rifles.

The next page has entries for Parrott and Schenkl rounds:

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First the Parrotts:

  • 5th Battery: 75 shell and 74 case for 20-pdr Parrott. Note, no canister.

Then the Schenkl:

  • 1st Battery: 217 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 5th Battery: 215 shell for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 544 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 44 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 90 shell for 3-inch rifles.

More Schenkl on the next page:

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  • 1st Battery: 420 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • 5th Battery: 202 case for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 15 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 200 case for 3-inch rifles.

Turning next to the small arms:

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  • 1st Battery: 15 Colt navy revolvers and 6 horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: 4 Colt navy revolvers and 9 cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery: 25 Colt army revolvers and 21(?) horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: 103 Colt army revolvers, 10 Colt navy revolvers, and 10 cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: 18 Colt navy revolvers and 17 horse artillery sabers.
  • 8th Battery: 13 Colt navy revolvers and 20 horse artillery sabers.
  • 9th Battery: 84 Springfield .58 caliber muskets and 6 foot officer’s swords.
  • 12th Battery: 28 Colt army revolvers and 8 horse artillery sabers.

The next page, we see the tally of cartridges:

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  • 5th Battery: 572(?) cartridge bags for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • 6th Battery: 166 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 81 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • 9th Battery: 2000 musket cartridges and 170 of something… in a column with no title?
  • 12th Battery: 987 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.

The last page we cover tallies pistol cartridges, powder, fuses, and other items:

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  • 3rd Battery: 600 navy pistol cartridges; 1,480 friction primers; 17 pounds of quick match; and 29 yards of slow match.
  • 5th Battery: 161 paper fuses.
  • 6th Battery: 370 navy pistol cartridges; 154 paper fuses; and 921 friction primers.
  • 7th Battery: 46 army and 550 navy pistol cartridges and 420 paper fuses.
  • 8th Battery: 444 navy pistol cartridges; 360 paper fuses; and 760 friction primers.
  • 12th Battery: 100 army pistol cartridges; 290 paper fuses; 1,515 friction primers; 50 yards of slow match; and 100 percussion caps.

In the snapshot of time, that was the end of 1863, the records of these first twelve of the New York Independent batteries speak to the intensity of war in that year. Batteries disbanded and mustered out. Others recruiting up to replace losses. And the rest armed after a hard season of campaigning, preparing for the worst the next year would offer.

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Published by Craig Swain

"Historical marker hunter" and Civil War enthusiast.

One thought on “Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries, Part 1

  1. Good to see these resurface. And while I didn’t catch it live, the Facebook presentation on tactics was excellent – especially the use of Mahan and Outpost. (Old Blinky did take it on the chin, however).

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