Fortification Friday: Attention to the all important traverse!

Thus far as we’ve examined, in meticulous detail, how to address relief in the planning of a field fortification, we’ve focused on the parapets.  Getting those tailored would protect against direct fire against the defenders of a particular face – direct defilement as we call it.  Mentioned earlier, the works also needed reverse defilement to protect the backs of those defenders.  That was the job of the traverse.

Let us pause for the moment to explain the traverse. The traverse was an internal structure within a work which was designed to intercept enemy fires or reduce the impact of an explosion.  Traverses filled a number of vital functions within the works and there were a number of variations, based on those functions.  We see traverses along a line, designed to intercept flanking fire.  Traverses might form a secondary facing along a line.  We also see traverses as sort of a “backstop” behind a sallyport.  And also traverses situated around magazines could prevent a disaster caused by a lucky shot (or stray ember).  But here we are looking at traverses built within a salient and intended to block enemy fire from the rear of the face. Such are defilade traverses (though I would point out defilade traverses apply here to both reverse and enfilade defense).

Going back to our notional figures, thus far Mahan had instructed how to determine the height of the parapet.

PlateIIFig16C

That accomplished….

To determine the height of the traverse is the next step.  To do this, the height of the tread of the banquette is ascertained on the three poles, B,C,D, and a distance of nine inches is set off on each pole above the tread.  Between the points thus determined a cord is stretched, or if the distance be too great for this, two pickets may be placed between B and C, and a cord, or straight edge, be fastened to them in the required direction.

Please note the mark set off on these well used poles.  This mark is but nine inches above the banquette – that being the location where the defender stands to shoot over the parapet.  The intent is to build a defense which will prevent the enemy from firing on that piece of ground from the rear.

An observer is then placed at the pole F, and another places himself behind the line B C, so as to bring the cord, and the points O’ and F, in the field of vision; he then shifts the position of the eye until the cord is brought to touch the point O’; he then directs the observer at F to mark the point on the pole where it is intersected by the plane of vision.

This is somewhat confusing at first read, but remember that at this time in the construction of the works, the parapets and other structures were not yet built. So the observers are walking over what is relatively level space. Still, this is difficult to depict on the diagram without the risk of confusion to the reader…

PlateIIFig16D

Work with me here – we have the line marked off between A-B-C.  The second observer is somewhere there behind that line (and outside what would be come the works later on).  Then the second observer directs the positioning of our original line of F-C until that cord, along with cord A-B-C and the line to O’ all sit in the same plane.  That would determine the “mark” used as the baseline for the traverse. (I know what you are thinking… nine inches?  Hold on to that for a second.)

Mahan continued:

A similar operation is performed with the point O, and the face C D, and above the highest point thus determined on F, a distance of five feet is set off for the top of the traverse at F; and five feet nine inches is set off above the tread of the banquette at C for the top of the traverse at that point.

So, pick the highest of the two baseline marks, add five feet to cover the backs of the standing musket-firing infantryman, and you have the desired height the traverse. Oh, and with that we have a new term to use:

The planes which determine the top of the traverse, are termed planes of reverse defilement.

That’s good because, as you probably have figured out, fortifications are built upon a firm foundations of technical terminology.  The more buzzwords the engineer offered, the better the fort.

The height established, there were other details needed to finalize the traverse:

The traverse is finished on top like the roof of a house, with a slight pitch; its thickness at top should seldom exceed ten feet, and will be regulated by the means the enemy can bring to the attack; its sides are made with the natural slope of the earth; but, when the height of the traverse is considerable, the base of the side slopes would occupy a large portion of the interior space; to remedy this, in some measure, the portion of the sides which are below the planes of direct defilement, may be made steeper than the natural slope; the earth being retained by a facing of sods, &c.

I would offer that the “etc.” mentioned here included gabions.

OK, that’s the height of the traverse… what about the length needed?

When the salient of the work is arranged for defense, the traverse cannot be extended to the salient angle; it is usual to change its direction within some yards of the salient, and unite it with the face most exposed.

Keep in mind the traverse outlined above was designed to counter reverse fire on a face.  We mentioned traverses also worked to stop enfilading fire.  So more traverses were needed in the works:

Traverses are also used to cover the faces exposed to an enfilade fire; for this purpose they are placed perpendicular to the face to be covered. If several are required, they may be placed twenty or thirty yards apart; each traverse should be about twenty-four feet long, and thick enough to be cannon proof.

With all that figuring in place, the engineer could start pointing out were the shovels should go to work.

Keep in mind this process applied to the open works (with the open gorge).  The same could be used for enclosed works, with a few other considerations.  Next week, we’ll look at those along with some other “tips” offered by Mahan.

(Citation from Dennis Hart Mahan, A Treatise on Field Fortifications, New York: John Wiley, 1852, page 28-30.)

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 1st New York Light Artillery Battalion

The next set of entries for the state of New York in the fourth quarter Summary Report includes one line for a section integrated with the 3rd New York Cavalry and four lines for the 1st Battalion, New York Artillery.  These need some explanation, which I’ll provide in line with the discussion of the entries.

0059_Snip_Dec62_1NY_BN_1

The first to discuss is this entry for “Artillery Detachment 3rd Cavalry“.  I think this references a unit also known as Allee’s Howitzer Battery.  As indicated the battery, or more properly a section, supported the 3rd New York Cavalry then at New Bern, North Carolina.  The section reported two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  Such matches in general terms to newspaper accounts mentioning mountain howitzers associated with that cavalry regiment. The next set of lines covers the “1st Battalion Artillery”.  And there are some twists here to consider.  The battalion was recruited starting in July 1861 by Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Brickel, a former German officer from Baden (sometimes erroneously mentioned as Brickell.  I go with the name as written on his tombstone).  As it was one of the “ethnic” formations, it was often mentioned as Brickel’s German Artillery.  The battalion had four batteries – A, B, C, and D.  The battalion was part of the Army of the Potomac’s Artillery Reserve, initially part of the Fifth Corps.  During the Fredericksburg Campaign, the battalion was still part of the reserve, but at that time separate from the corps structure.  In March 1863, the battalion was discontinued and the four became independent batteries.  We have two returns transcribed into the summaries, and I’ll try to fill in a few of the blanks:

  • Battery A: At Falmouth, Virginia with four 20-pdr Parrott Rifles.  In March it became the 29th Independent Battery.
  • Battery B: No return.  The battery reported four 20-pdr Parrotts during the Antietam Campaign and presumably had the same at the end of the year.  Battery B became the 30th Independent Battery.
  • Battery C:  No return.  Another with four 20-pdr Parrotts at an earlier time in 1862.  This battery became the 31st Independent Battery.
  • Battery D:  Reporting at Martinsburg, (West) Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  This was Captain Charles Kusserow’s battery and would become the 32st Independent Battery.

 

I’ve always put an asterisk next to Kusserow’s battery. The battery employed six 32-pdr field howitzers at Antietam.  Most secondary sources indicate Kusserow had 3-inch rifles at Fredericksburg.  And in discussions with some individuals knowledgeable on Fredericksburg, they often go back to this summary as to Kusserow’s guns.  I would point out the entry line indicates the return was received in June 1864.  At that time the battery, then the 32nd Independent, was indeed at Martinsburg.  Likewise, when we proceed forward in the paperwork, the summary for 1st quarter, 1863 indicates the same particulars – at Martinsburg with six 3-inch rifles, reporting in June 1864.

Again, we have a question about the entry as a point in time – was this a report indicating the armament of the battery valid for December 1862?  Or as was in June 1864?  When did Kusserow’s gunners trade in the 32-pdrs for 3-inch rifles?  (A quick check with Peter Glyer confirms that Kusserow had 3-inch rifles at Fredericksburg, so the exchange had to be between the end of September and start of December, 1862.)

None of the batteries carried smoothbore ammunition on their returns:

0061_Snip_Dec62_1NY_BN_1

I can understand those with the big Parrotts, but the mountain howitzers with the 3rd Cavalry should have something here.  And of course we have questions about Battery D’s entry already mentioned above.

For Hotckiss rifled projectiles, we have one entry line:

0061_Snip_Dec62_1NY_BN_2

Battery D reported 120 canister and 255 bullet shells of Hotchkiss patent for 3-inch rifles.  Again, put a grain of salt there. A little more “fun” with the page covering Dyer’s and Parrott patent projectiles:

0062_Snip_Dec62_1NY_BN_1

Battery A reported 155 shell, 229 case, and 80 canister of Parrott-type for their 20-pdrs. Battery D had 245 3-inch Dyer shrapnel (case) in their report.

Moving to the Schenkl columns:

0062_Snip_Dec62_1NY_BN_2

Battery A had 48 3.67-inch (20-pdr) Schenkl shells.  Battery D had 600 3-inch Schenkl shells. And those two batteries were the only representation on the small arms section:

0062_Snip_Dec62_1NY_BN_3

Battery A reported 19 Army revolvers and 54 horse artillery sabers.  Battery D was armed with 10 Army revolvers, 49 cavalry sabers, and 24 foot artillery sabers.

Seventeenth Annual Appomattox CH / Longwood U. Civil War Seminar

This year’s Civil War Seminar, hosted by Appomattox Court House National Historic Park and Longwood University is on Saturday, February 6, 2016.  As in the past few years, the place to be is Jarman Auditorium on the Longwood University campus, Farmville, Virginia.

This year’s focus is “After Appomattox.”  Speakers and schedule are:

  • 8:30 AM – Doors open.
  • 9:00 AM – Introduction by Dr. David Coles.
  • 9:10 AM – Ernie Price – Marching out of Formation: Confederates Going Home after Appomattox.
  • 10:15 AM – Patrick Schroeder – Appomattox: After the Surrender to 1865.
  • 11:15 AM – Rick Hatcher – Return to Fort Sumter.
  • 12:30 PM – Lunch.
  • 1:45 PM – Frank O’Reilly – Uneasy Alliance: Brokering Peace with Grant and Lee.
  • 2:45 PM – Eric Wittenberg – Wade Hampton and Joshua Chamberlain: Parallel Lives Well Lived.

So we see the seminar organizers are keeping somewhat with their sesquicentennial themes, and building upon the outstanding 2015 seminar (and what a grand three-day event that was!).  Though returning to the one-day format.

The cost is right in your range…. Free!

More details on the event website (here).  Hope to see you there.  If not, I’ll be doing my regular tweeting from the event… so join me virtually if you cannot attend in person.

Fortification Friday: Marking “Planes of Direct Defilement” on the Parapets

No doubt some readers are still battling with snow this Friday, with large berms of the white stuff piled high.  I’ve considered taking advantage of this to build our own little fortification with relief, Mahanian style.   But I must admit, despite encouragement… and bribery… I’ve yet to enlist my aide-de-camp to pose with a picket post in order to properly establish our fortification.  It is difficult enough just to get the aide to shovel the snow in the first place.  Seems it is much more fun to simply sled down the berm and assail neighborhood compatriots with snowballs.  Nobody wants to build up some intricate snow-works.  So, alas, readers will not have a depiction of relief in snow.

This week we will continue with Mahan’s lesson on building the relief of works. Thus far we’ve considered the need for relief in the works, defined defilement of the works,  and then begun planning the extents of that defilement.  Recall that by this point, the engineer has the basic idea of where he should place the traverse… as in this diagram:

PlateIIFig17A

Next the engineer needed to focus on the points e and e’ (again keep in mind the upper-case, lower-case distinctions here).  That brings us back to Figure 16 and the trace of the works:

PlateIIFig16A

Working on that plane, Mahan called for the engineer to address another set of planes… the planes of direct defilement.

Poles (Fig. 16) are planted at the points A B C, &c., and one at the point F, where the lines of the capital and gorge intersect.  On the pole F, a point is marked three feet above the ground and a point is likewise marked on the pole at C, which should be one foot six inches higher than that on F; that is, if the ground between the two poles be level, the point on C will be four feet six inches above the ground. Two stout pickets may next be planted between F and C, and a cord, or a straight edge, be fastened to them, so as to be in the same line as the points marked on the poles.

So let me dress up this figure to highlight what Mahan was referring to:

PlateIIFig16B

The blue lines are the posts at F and C.  The green are the two posts Mahan required on the line between F and C.  And the thin yellow line is the cord run between all four posts.  Due to the size and limitations of my graphical arts skills, I am not accurately demonstrating the height of the marks on those posts.  Keep in mind the desired marks for F (three feet) and C (four and a half, plus the height of the parapet).

These poles and cord in place, the engineer had a base line for further definition:

Observers are then placed at the poles A and B; and another places himself behind the cord [between F and C] so as to bring the posts O, A, and B, in the field of vision with it; then shifting the position of the eye until the cord is brought tangent to the highest point on O, he directs the observers at A and B, to mark on the respective poles the points where the plane of vision intersects them.  This operation will determine the rampant plane for one half of the work A B C F, and that for the other half will be determined by a similar process.  If the distance of five feet be set off on each pole above the points thus determined, these points will fix the position of the interior crests.

Looking at the diagram, let me attempt to illustrate this effort:

PlateIIFig16C

The poles at A and B are orange lines.  The line of observation, from the cord to O is in red.  Then we have the adjustments on B with the red arrows on that line.   With marks on the poles at A and B set, and a line (presumably another cord) between those posts, we set the height required for the parapet, specifically the interior crest in order to provide protection to the defenders.  The same could be repeated for D and E and set the height required on that side.  But there’s a catch here:

It is obvious that the interior crest of the part A B C is not the same plane as that of the part C D E.  These two planes are denominated planes of direct defilement.

Thus it may be that the interior crest on one side is higher than the other.  The engineer needed to “reconcile” or, simply ease the difference where the two planes come into contact on the parapet… that being at point C.  Thus there is an irregularity in the height of the parapet, which Mahan would address at a later point. But readers should keep this “conundrum” in mind as we go forward.

The poles, cords, and marks indicated here allowed the engineer to specify how much earth needed to be piled to make the parapet effective.  The verbiage used here is indicative of the desired effect – to intercept fires from the distant, high ground.  Thus we have “planes of direct defilement” here.  Next we need to look at the other side of this… that being the “planes of reverse defilement” and the details of the traverse.

Now, I ask, are you getting the feel for how complicated “pile it higher” really is?

(Citation from Dennis Hart Mahan, A Treatise on Field Fortifications, New York: John Wiley, 1852, page 27-8.)

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 3rd New York Light Artillery Regiment

So what is next with New York?  2nd Regiment of Artillery?  Well, for the fourth quarter, 1862 summary statement, the focus was on field artillery equipment.  And the 2nd New York Artillery Regiment was a “Heavy” assigned to the Washington Defenses. The 2nd was brought out to the field in the spring of 1864, with a lot of other heavies, to be used as infantry.  So another story for another day.

That brings us to the 3rd Regiment of Artillery from New York, the next “light” formation.  Unlike the 1st Regiment, which was all in Virginia, the 3rd Regiment’s service was in North Carolina at this stage of the war. Briefly, the 3rd New York Artillery was originally the 19th New York Infantry.  Reorganized in December 1861, the regiment contained Batteries A through K and M.  In March 1862, those eleven batteries, commanded by Colonel James H. Ledlie (who would go on to infamy for actions later in the war), went to North Carolina to be part of Burnside’s operations.  The batteries did not see a lot of action through the summer and into the fall, and were mostly deployed around New Berne.   As part of a general reorganization of the Department of North Carolina, the 3rd New York and the other artillery batteries were organized into a brigade under Ledlie, as part of the Eighteenth Corps.  Major Henry M. Stone assumed command of the regiment at that time.  Some of the batteries were involved with Major-General John Foster’s Goldsborough campaign in December 1862.  But the main duty of these batteries was garrisoning the post of New Berne.

That brings us to the regiment’s section of the summary:

0059_Snip_Dec62_3NY_1

Note the clerks only noted five received returns.  For brevity, with the exception of Battery L (which I’ll explain) were in the Artillery Brigade, Eighteenth Corps, Department of North Carolina.  And all, save Battery L, were reported at New Berne except where noted:

  • Battery A: No return.
  • Battery B: No location listed, but reporting six 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery C: No return.
  • Battery D: No return.
  • Battery E: New Berne, armed with two 24-pdr and two 32-pdr field howitzers.  Yes, the big ones!
  • Battery F: No return.
  • Battery G: No return.  Reported on duty at New Berne and Washington, North Carolina.
  • Battery H: New Berne with six 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery I: New Berne reporting four 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery K: New Berne with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
  • Battery L: No return.  This battery was a “special case” detailed in the next paragraph.
  • Battery M: No return.

 

The linage of Battery L deserves special mention.  Captain Terrence J. Kennedy was authorized to recruit a battery sometime in 1861.  This was designated the 1st Independent New York Light Artillery.  However, somewhere along the way Kennedy’s battery was linked to the 3rd Regiment, on some books at least, as Battery L.  Kennedy’s 1st New York served through the war with the independent battery designation, never serving as a 3rd regiment formation.  However, in March 1865, the 24th New York Independent Battery, formerly Battery B, New York Rocket Battalion, was re-designated Battery L, 3rd New York.  Thus we have a confusing story of three different batteries, one of which was only a paper designation.  Bottom line, there was no Battery L, 3rd Artillery in December 1862.

Moving on to the ammunition sections, first we have the smoothbores:

0061_Snip_Dec62_3NY_1

Notice here the 24-pdr and 32-pdr columns that I usually omit for clarity:

  • Battery B: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery E: 144 shell, 96 case, and 24 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers; 74 shell, 140 case, and 48 canister for 32-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery H: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery K: 15 case for 24-pdr field howitzer.

Why Battery K would have 24-pdr howitzer ammunition?  I only have speculative leads for now.  Those obviously would not fit in the Ordnance Rifles. Battery K had what I’d consider meager quantities of the right size ammunition on hand:

0061_Snip_Dec62_3NY_2

Battery K reported 184 canister, 107 fuse shell, and 132 bullet shell of the Hotchkiss patent for 3-inch rifles.

For it’s 20-pdr Parrotts Battery I reported 289 shell and 48 canister, all of Parrott’s patent type:

0062_Snip_Dec62_3NY_1a

The 3rd New York did not report any quantities of Dyer’s, James’, or Schenkl’s patent projectiles on hand for the reporting period.

As for small arms on hand:

0062_Snip_Dec62_3NY_3

By battery:

  • Battery B: 23 Army revolvers and 23 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: 19 Army revolvers, one cavalry saber, and 31 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: 17 Navy revolvers and 50(?) horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Nine Army revolvers and six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: 26 Army revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and 52 horse artillery sabers.

Circling back to to my “complaint” that the returns and summaries as inconsistent, I offer the 3rd New York Artillery as yet another example.  All of these batteries (save the non-existent Battery L) were in one place and under one command structure.  Yet the reporting was more miss than hit.  I could understand lax attitude across the board. But in this case within a field organization, some were recorded while others were not.  It implies to me that the returns were complied by battery and submitted by battery, as opposed to being consolidated by field or administrative (regimental) staff.

Maybe the omissions were due to the fault of the clerks?  Again, one would presume the entire 3rd Regiment, as they were co-located, would submit one package of returns.  So where omission occur, logically wouldn’t we see whole regiments missing?  Maybe one or two batteries?  But certainly not six out of eleven as we see here.  In short, it sort of defies the logic in most intra-office protocols.

All we can say for sure is there are a lot of empty cells in the book.

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 1st New York Light Artillery Regiment

New York’s contribution to the Federal war machine was not just a “cog” in a wheel.  Rather we might say the Empire State provided a whole wheel.  And part of that was of course a number of artillery batteries.  I could well spend several posts discussing the various formations – heavy artillery, light artillery regiments, independent batteries, independent battalions, National Guard batteries, etc…. oh, and don’t forget some rocket batteries.  But for the Fourth Quarter 1862 summaries we need focus on four groups – 1st New York Light Artillery Regiment, 3rd New York Light Artillery Regiment, 1st New York Light Artillery Battalion (sometimes cited as the “German” battalion), and numbered independent light artillery batteries.  There’s one additional line for reporting artillery assigned to a volunteer cavalry formation.  And we should also mind the German battalion’s batteries were later assigned independent battery numbers.  But that was the future.  For December 1862 we have two regiments, one battalion, thirty-two (minus four that were at the time in the battalion) independent batteries,  and one “other” line to consider.

So let us start with the 1st Regiment, New York Light Artillery… Colonel Charles S. Wainwright’s boys:

0059_Snip_Dec62_1NY_1

The clerks posted information from seven of the twelve batteries, most being received in 1863.  At this time of the war, most of the 1st New York batteries supported the Army of the Potomac in the east.  The breakdown by battery:

  • Battery A: No return.  This battery’s guns were captured earlier in the year at Seven Pines.  Most of the surviving men were transferred to other batteries while Captain Thomas Bates went about recruiting and reorganizing.  So in December 1862, there was no equipment to report.
  • Battery B: No return. Captain Rufus D. Pettit’s battery was part of Second Corps, having just participated in the Fredericksburg Campaign with six (or four?) 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery C: At Falmouth, Virginia with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  This was Lieutenant William H. Phillips’ battery assigned to support Fifth Corps.
  • Battery D: Fredericksburg, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Battery assigned to Ninth Corps and under Captain Thomas W. Osborn.
  • Battery E: No return. Reduced by sickness and other causes during the Peninsula Campaign, Battery E was assigned to 1st New York Independent Light Artillery at this reporting interval.
  • Battery F: Yorktown, Virginia with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain William R. Wilson’s battery was part of Fourth Corps, Department of Virginia.
  • Battery G: No return. This was Captain John D. Frank’s battery supporting Second Corps with four 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: Fort Keys, Gloucester Point, Virginia with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Also assigned to Fourth Army.  Captain Charles E. Mink commanded this battery.
  • Battery I: Falmouth, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Michael Weidrich’s battery supported Eleventh Corps.
  • Battery K: Brandy Station, Virginia with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  This location is obviously in error for December 1862.  It was correct for January, 1864, when the return was received in Washington.  Backing up a year and a month, Battery K was with the Twelfth Corps for the 4th Quarter, 1862.
  • Battery L: No location given but with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain John A. Reynolds’ battery supported First Corps, which was near Fredericksburg at the time.
  • Battery M: No return. This battery was also part of Twelfth Corps in December 1862.  Lieutenant Charles Winegar commanded the battery at the time, with Captain George W. Cothran on leave.  I believe it was equipped with 10-pdr Parrotts.

 

Of note here is the listing for Battery K with the discrepancy indicated with regard to reported location.  Often in correspondence (present day correspondence, that is), folks will eagerly inquire about these summary statements.  The perception, which I held when first looking them over, is we have a gold mine of “facts” to work with.  Not entirely true.  What we have are a lot of numbers that must be shaken down for some useful information.  The example seen here, with Battery K, one of the many issues that demonstrate the data is not “clean”.    The summaries are far short of the sound foundation of facts that might lead easily to solid information.  Though those summaries are a bit firmer than clay, I would quickly point out.

At the December 1862 reporting time, I believe Battery K was commanded by Lieutenant E. L. Bailey.  It was part of a battalion commanded by Captain Robert H. Fitzhugh, the battery’s former commander.  Batteries K and M constituted 2/3rds of the battalion. And it was part of Wainwright’s regiment.  Wainwright who, as we know from his diary, was very particular about keeping up with his paperwork.  Yet, this battery didn’t give a fourth quarter, 1862 report until over a year later.  And when that report was registered by the Ordnance Department, an erroneous location was recorded.

One would think such tardiness wouldn’t be allowed.  And one would rightly supposed Battery K’s officers would report on time and accurately.  Our impression is the chain of command above Battery K would insist on timely reporting.  Furthermore that the clerks in Washington were efficient and never lost such important paperwork.  Yet, the record indicates otherwise.

So we have reason to dispute one column for Battery K, why not the rest?  Was the clerk entering the 1862 data with just one cell (location) incorrect? Or is all the other data now suspect?  Enter that discussion with ample salt…. With that salt applied, let us walk through the reported ammunition quantities, starting with smoothbore:

0061_Snip_Dec62_1NY_1

The only smothbores among the reporting batteries were the Napoleons of Battery D.  That battery reported 288 shot, 96 shells, 238 case, and 96 canister.

We have more rifled guns to feed. Those projectiles start with the Hotchkiss Patent listings:

0061_Snip_Dec62_1NY_2

Four batteries reporting Hotchkiss projectiles on hand:

  • Battery C: 102 canister, 40 percussion shell, 235 fuse shell, and 576 bullet shell all in 3-inch caliber.
  • Battery F: 80 canister, 80 percussion shell, 160 fuse shell, and 430 bullet shell of 3-inch.
  • Battery I: 120 canister, 290 fuse shell, and 651 bullet shell in 3-inch.
  • Battery K: 97 canister, 117 percussion shell, 118 fuse shell, and 54 bullet shell also 3-inch.

We might attach some significance to the proportionally larger numbers for “bullet shell” or what I prefer to call case shot.

One battery reported Dyer’s patent projectiles:

0062_Snip_Dec62_1NY_1

Battery H had 140 shells, 576 shrapnel (case), and 164 canister, all in 3-inch caliber.

There are a couple of entries for the Shenkl patent projectiles:

0062_Snip_Dec62_1NY_2

Battery H had 285 3-inch shells and Battery I had 116 of the same.

None of the batteries known to have Parrott rifles had a return complied.  So we are certainly missing more than a handful of pieces to the puzzle.  And I would point out that while Battery K’s data did not include any projectiles, the other pages indicate the battery had other supplies accounted for in the belated report.

Finally, the small arms:

0062_Snip_Dec62_1NY_3

By battery:

  • Battery C: One Army revolver, eight Navy revolvers, and fourteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Eight Army revolvers and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Nineteen Army revolvers and sixteen foot artillery swords.
  • Battery H: Sixteen Navy revolvers and fifteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: Seventeen Navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: One Navy revolver and eight cavalry sabers.
  • Battery L: Seventeen Army revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.

In summary, and to reinforce the point made above in the battery details, we cannot take this summary as a clear, clean “snapshot” of what equipment was on hand at the specified time.  Even here for a set of Eastern Theater units, very close to Washington, we see easily recognized errors in the data.  So we are obligated to ask questions and search for answers that validate… or invalidate.