Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – 3rd Rhode Island Heavy Artillery

Readers will be familiar with the 3rd Rhode Island Heavy Artillery due to their service along the South Carolina coast.  Hardly a month passes without mention of that unit here on this blog.  Though the main story-line in the 3rd’s service was operations against Charleston, batteries from the regiment served at times in Florida and Virginia.  And their service often defied the label of “heavy” artillery, as often the gunners served in the field as field artillery proper.

A bit of background on this regiment is in order.  The 3rd Rhode Island Volunteers first mustered as an infantry formation in August 1861.  As they prepared for their first major operation, as part of Brigadier-General Thomas W. Sherman’s expedition to Port Royal, they camped at Fort Hamilton, New York.  While there, under orders from Sherman, the regiment drilled on both heavy and light artillery.  By the time the regiment arrived at Hilton Head, it was for all practical purposes an artillery regiment.  Though the formal change did not occur until December of that year.

Over the months that followed, the 3rd Rhode Island served by batteries and detachments as garrison artillery, field artillery, infantry, and even ship’s complement as needs of the particular moment called.  In the winter of 1863, Battery C was designated a light battery in light of its habitual service.  We’ve seen that reflected in returns from the fourth quarter, 1862 and first quarter, 1863. However, the battery seemed to change armament with each quarter.  I believe this reflects more the “ad hoc” nature of tasking in the theater at that time.  For the second quarter, 1863, we find the guns reported on hand again changed:

0217_1_Snip_RI_3rd

At the end of June, Battery C had just returned from the raid on Darien, Georgia.  They were at Hilton Head on June 30, preparing for transit to Folly Island.  So this tally of two 12-pdr field howitzers may reflect a status as of January 1864, when the return was received in Washington.

This brief line, along with “clerical” lines for Batteries A and B, brings up a couple of facets to the summaries as they relate to the “real” operational situations.  First off, we know, based on official records and other accounts, not to mention photographs, the 3rd Rhode Island had more than just a couple of howitzers.  We must also consider the property management within the military and how that was reflected in the reports. The military in general tends to be very anal about tracking property.  For any given item, someone, somewhere is on the hook as the “owner” of said item.  Doesn’t matter if that item is a belt buckle or a cannon.  The “owner” might be a specific unit or could be a facility.  So, in the Civil War and specific to the context of this discussion, that “owner” could be a battery in the 3rd Rhode Island… or it could be the garrison commander at Hilton Head.  However, we rarely, if ever, see those garrison commands reflected in the summaries.  A significant blank that we cannot resolve with satisfaction.

What we can do, in the case of the 3rd Rhode Island, is use primary and secondary sources to provide a glimpse into that blank.  Let’s consider the 3rd Rhode Island by battery at this point in time of the war.  Recall, the 3rd and other units were, at the end of June, preparing for an assault from Folly Island onto Morris Island. Colonel Edwin Metcalf was in command of the regiment, with his headquarters on Hilton Head:

  • Battery A:  On Port Royal Island, under command of Lieutenant Edward F. Curtis (in absence of Captain William H. Hammer), serving as garrison artillery.
  • Battery B:  On Folly Island under Captain Albert E. Greene, having moved from Hilton Head at the end of June.  The battery manned six 10-inch siege mortars.
  • Battery C: Transferring from St. Helena Island to Hilton Head, and thence to Folly Island in the first week of July.  Commanded by Captain Charles R. Brayton.  The battery would man two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles and four 30-pdr Parrotts (along with a detachment from Battery C, 1st US Artillery).  Likely the reported howitzers were in reserve.
  • Battery D: Part of the original garrison sent to Folly Island in April.  Under the command of Captain Robert G. Shaw and manning eight 30-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery E: On Hilton Head, serving as garrison artillery under Captain Peter J. Turner (who was serving as a staff officer, thus one of his lieutenants was in temporary command).
  • Battery F: On Hilton Head, serving as garrison artillery under Captain David B. Churchill.
  • Battery G: Stationed at Fort Pulaski and under Captain John H. Gould.
  • Battery H: On Hilton Head, serving as garrison artillery under Captain Augustus W. Colwell.  Would deploy to Morris Island in July.
  • Battery I:  On Folly Island under Captain Charles G. Strahan.  The battery manned four 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery K: On Hilton Head, serving as garrison artillery under Lieutenant Horatio N. Perry.
  • Battery L: On Hilton Head, serving as garrison artillery under Captain Jeremiah Lanhan.
  • Battery M:  Part of the force on Folly island, under Captain Joseph J. Comstock.  They manned four 10-inch siege mortars and five 8-inch siege mortars.

Thus we see the 3rd Rhode Island was spread between garrison duties and advanced batteries preparing for a major offensive from Folly Island.  Those on the north end of Folly Island, overlooking Light House Creek, were armed with a variety of field guns, heavy Parrotts, and mortars.  Only the former category would have been covered by the summaries, as they existed in June 1863.  And what we have to work with is, based on official reports at the time, inaccurate.

But that’s what we must work with!  Turning to the smoothbore ammunition:

0219_1_Snip_RI_3rd

  • Battery C: 156 shell, 214 case, and 132 canister for 12-pdr field howitzer.

One might think no rifled projectiles would be on hand… but perhaps related to the two 3-inch rifles reported on Folly Island and manned by Battery C, we find some Hotchkiss projectiles on hand:

 

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  • Battery C: 48 canister and 108 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

No ammunition reported on the next page, of Dyer’s, James, or Parrott patents:

0220_1_Snip_RI_3rd

But some Schenkl on hand:

0220_2_Snip_RI_3rd

  • Battery C: 100 shell for 3-inch rifles.

As for small arms:

0220_3_Snip_RI_3rd

  • Battery C: Forty-eight Army revolvers and 102 cavalry sabers.

I suspect, given the varied nature of the 3rd Rhode Island’s duties, the other batteries had a large number of small arms on hand also.  But because of the selective record, we don’t have the details.

Just to say we discussed ALL the Rhode Island artillery, let me mention two other heavy artillery regiments.  The 5th Rhode Island Infantry was reorganized as the 5th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery on May 27, 1863.  Stationed at New Berne, North Carolina, Colonel George W. Tew commanded the reorganized regiment.

Though not organized, we can trace the story of another heavy artillery regiment back to June 1863.  In response to the emergency developing in Pennsylvania, the governor of Rhode Island authorized Colonel Nelson Viall (formerly of the 1st Rhode Island Infantry) to form a six-month regiment.  Designated the 13th Rhode Island, recruitment was slow due to the war situation, small bounties, and the draft.  By July, the War Department decided no more six-month regiments would be accepted and insisted on a three-year enlistment standard.  With that, the 13th was disbanded and in its place the 14th Rhode Island was authorized.  That formation, which began organization in August, was a US Colored Troops Regiment of heavy artillery.

 

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Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery

For the second quarter of 1863, we find a remarkably clean summary entry for the batteries from Rhode Island:

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By way of refresher, Rhode Island provided four artillery regiments to the Federal ranks – one light regiment and three heavy regiments – along with two separate batteries (each of which only served three months early in the war).  Contradicting the normal progression, two of the Rhode Island heavy regiments evolved from infantry regiments.  The third was a USCT regiment.  We’ll consider the lone Battery C, 3rd Rhode Island Heavy, which served as a field battery and is seen on this listing, in a separate post.

That leaves us to concentrate on the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery and its batteries:

0217_1_Snip_RI_1st

Colonel Charles H. Tompkins commanded the regiment, though his primary duty was that of Artillery Chief of the Sixth Corps.  The 1st Rhode Island only ever mustered batteries A through H.  The inclusion of the others (I, K, L, and M) for this quarter of 1863 was apparently clerical efficiency…. or deficiency, if you prefer.  We find all eight batteries provided returns between July and September of 1863.  Give those men a gold “B” for bureaucratic efficiency!

  • Battery A: Reporting at Cedar Mountain, Virginia, as of September 26, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain William A. Arnold remained in commanded this battery,  supporting Second Corps.  Thus the location as of June 30 was outside Taneytown, Maryland.  The battery occupied a key position on Cemetery Ridge, July 2 and 3.
  • Battery B: “In the field” with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Battery B paired with Battery A (above) in Second Corps’ artillery brigade.  Thus their location at the end of June was also Taneytown.  Captain  John G. Hazard of this battery was the corps artillery chief.  In his place, Lieutenant Thomas Frederick Brown commanded. In the afternoon of July 2, the battery helped repulse the Confederate attack on the center of the Federal lines.  In that action the battery sustained heavy casualties, including Brown who was wounded.  Lieutenant William S. Perrin, of the second section, assumed command.  The battery briefly lost two guns in the fighting.  Those recovered, the battery still had to send two guns to the rear for lack of men and horses.  Lieutenant Joseph S. Milne, of this battery,  served with Battery A, 4th US (Cushing’s). He was mortally wounded on July 3.
  • Battery C: Reporting, as of August 26, at Warrenton, Virgnia, with six 10-pdr Parrotts (as opposed to six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles on the previous return).  Captain Richard Waterman commanded this battery, which had moved around a bit, organizationally speaking, in May and June.  The battery fought at Chancellorsville in the Fifth Corps.  An amendment to Special Orders No. 129 (May 12) sent the battery to the Third Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve (which Waterman commanded, briefly).  But just prior to the Gettysburg Campaign, the battery transferred to Sixth Corps (a temporary move made permanent on June 15).  Thus we place them near Manchester, Maryland, as of June 30.  The battery saw very little action at Gettysburg, being held in reserve for the most part.  Sometime during the month that followed, the battery exchanged Ordnance rifles for Parrotts.
  • Battery D: At Camp Nelson, Kentucky  with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain William W. Buckley commanded this battery.  With reorganizations within the Department of the Ohio, the battery moved from Second Division, Ninth Corps to First Division, Twenty-third Corps.
  • Battery E: Reporting on September 9 at Sulphur Springs, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery remained with Third Corps. Captain George E. Randolph, of this battery, was in command of the corps’ artillery brigade.  Lieutenant Pardon S. Jastram, formerly commanding the battery, accepted a position as Randolph’s adjutant.  Thus Lieutenant John K. Bucklyn commanded the battery at the start of the Gettysburg Campaign.  Marching with the Third Corps, the battery was at Emmitsburg on the evening of June 30.   In the afternoon of July 2, Battery E occupied a position on the Emmitsburg Pike near the Sherfy Farm.  There the battery faced Barksdale’s attack and was driven back with Graham’s Brigade.  With Bucklyn wounded, command devolved to Lieutenant Benjamin Freeborn.  Despite the desperate position, the battery managed to secure all its guns, losing only a caisson (which was recaptured after the battle).  Losses were five killed, and 24 wounded.  The battery lost forty horses, however.
  • Battery F: At New Berne, North Carolina with six 12-pdr Napoleons (vice 10-pdr Parrotts reported in the last quarter). Captain James Belger commanded this battery, part of the Artillery Brigade, Eighteenth Corps.  The battery sent sections in support of several operations during the spring and early summer.
  • Battery G: Reporting on August 29 at Warrenton with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain George W. Adams’ battery was another that moved around during the spring.  After Chancellorsville, the battery moved from Second Corps to the Fourth Brigade, Artillery Reserve. Then in June the battery was transferred to Colonel Tompkins’ brigade to support Sixth Corps.  The battery camped at Manchester, Maryland on the night of June 30.  The battery remained in reserve through the battle of Gettysburg.
  • Battery H: At Fort Ward, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Assigned to the Twenty-second Corps from the Defenses of Washington.  Captain Jeffrey Hazard commanded this battery.

Thus five of eight batteries were on the field of Gettysburg by July 3.  Notice all batteries were uniform in armament.

Moving to the ammunition, first the smoothbore columns:

0219_1_Snip_RI_1st

Three batteries reporting:

  • Battery B: 252 shot, 84 shell, 252 case, and 84 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery E: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery F: 400 shot, 160 shell, 360 case, and 144 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Battery D is noticeably absent from this page.

The Hotchkiss page is contains three lines worth of entries, for those 3-inch rifles:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • Battery A: 195 canister, 54 percussion shell, 464 fuse shell, and 504 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery G: 179 canister, 4 percussion shell, 133 fuse shell, 344 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 231 percussion shell and 589 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Let us break down the next page into two sections.  First the columns for Dyer’s patent projectiles:

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Two lines of Dyer’s patent projectiles:

  • Battery G: 34 shell and 20 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 120 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.

Moving to the left, there are Parrott and Schenkl projectiles:

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First those of the Parrott patent:

  • Battery C: 324 shell, 204 case, and 122 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Then Schenkl:

  • Battery C: 460 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

As most sources have Battery C on the field at Gettysburg with 3-inch Ordnance rifles, yet the returns give us Parrotts, the ammunition quantities may indicate an initial issue of ammunition.  The turn-over of guns appears to have occurred as the Gettysburg Campaign was winding down.   Still, that is a lot of shot for field gun duty.  And I am pressed to explain why a battery would switch guns at that particular time.

Turning to the remainder of the Schenkl columns:

0220_2_Snip_RI_1st

  • Battery A: 64 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery G: 146 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 260 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Lastly the small arms reported:

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By battery:

  • Battery A: Four Army revolvers, twenty Navy revolvers and thirty-nine horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Twenty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Eight Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: Eight Army revolvers, twelve Navy revolvers, forty-five cavalry sabers and eighteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Fifteen Navy revolvers and four (?) horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: 104 Navy revolvers, twenty cavalry sabers and nine horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Fourteen Navy revolvers, ten cavalry sabers, and eighteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Twenty Army revolvers and thirty-six horse artillery sabers.

One note with the small arms.  Battery F’s history alludes to service of detachments either as cavalry or as artillery assigned to support cavalry, on patrols in North Carolina.  The small arms reported seems to back that up.

 

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Pennsylvania’s Emergency Batteries

Last post, I mentioned the Pennsylvania militia and emergency batteries appearing on the Federal order of battle during the crucial summer months of 1863.  While those batteries escaped mention in the summaries, in the interest in cataloging ALL the artillery batteries from Pennsylvania, I do wish to at least name the organizations for reference.

To properly frame this, let’s turn to a proclamation issued by Governor Andrew G. Curtain on June 12, 1863.  At that time, the War Department had just created two new departments – Department of the Monongahela (also called Western Pennsylvania) including parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio; and Department of the Susquehanna, or Eastern Pennsylvania.  Major-Generals William T.H. Brooks and Darius N. Couch, respectively, commanded these departments.  This was all in response to a growing emergency as reports indicated a large Confederate force was on the move north.  In that proclamation, Curtain urged:

I earnestly invite the attention of the people of Pennsylvania to the general orders issued by these officers on assuming the command of their respective departments. The importance of immediately raising a sufficient force for the defense of the State cannot be overrated. The corps now proposed to be established will give permanent security to our borders. I know too well the gallantry and patriotism of the freemen of this Commonwealth to think it necessary to do more than commend this measure to the people, and earnestly urge them to respond to the call of the General Government, and promptly fill the ranks of these corps, the duties of which will be mainly the defense of our own homes, firesides, and property from devastation.

And the people of Pennsylvania did respond.  Over thirty-five regiments (though not “full” in terms of the number of companies) and numerous independent infantry companies formed up, in addition to cavalry battalions and companies.  The artillery component was eleven batteries, most of which existed as militia before the declaration of the emergency.

We find the administrative details of these batteries in Samuel P. Bates’ History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5, Volume V, and from the returns provided by Brooks and Couch.  I’ll combine some details from those sources for this listing of batteries:

  • Frishmuth’s Battery: The Philadelphia Union Battery commanded by Benoni Frishmuth.  Mustered on June 26 and discharged on August 1.  Four officers and 100 men.  The battery had four guns, “the private property of [Frishmuth’s] company.”  A return from July 10 places the battery at Harrisburg, part of a brigade led by Brigadier-General William Hall, New York National Guard. Then on July 31, the battery was back in Philadelphia.
  • Miller’s Battery: Philadelphia Howitzer Battery. Commanded by Captain E. Spencer Miller.  Mustered June 19 and discharged July 25.  Three offices and 99 men.  This battery served in Brigadier-General William F. Smith’s division of the Susquehanna Department.  They supported the movement to Carlisle and subsequent pursuit of the Confederates.  Smith’s report indicates the battery had four pieces.
  • Landis’ Battery: 1st Philadelphia Battery. Captain Henry D. Landis’ battery mustered on June 27, serving until discharged on July 30.  Three officers and 105 men.  Also from Philadelphia and also assigned to Smith’s division.  This battery saw action at Sporting Hill and Carlisle.  Returns at the end of July place the battery at Chambersburg.
  • Joseph Knap’s Battery: Captain Joseph M. Knap had recently mustered out from Battery E, Pennsylvania Light Artillery (which is the connection to the “original” Knap’s Battery).  But he responded to the governor’s call, leading a battery of five officers and 121 men, which mustered on June 27.  They mustered out on August 16.
  • Ermentrout’s Battery: Captain William C. Ermentrout’s was a company of heavy artillery.  Mustered on July 3, and discharged on August 25, the company numbered five officers and 144 enlisted.  The battery formed in Reading and saw service around Camp Curtain and Harrisburg.
  • Guss’s Battery: Chester County Artillery. Commanded by Captain George R. Guss.  The battery consisted of five officers and 144 enlisted.  It mustered on July 3 and was discharged on August 25.  At the end of July, this battery was at Reading, Pennsylvania.
  • Fitzki’s Battery: Second Keystone Battery with Captain Edward Fitzki in command.  Five officers and 138 enlisted mustered with this battery, starting on July 6. The battery mustered out on August 24.  Fitzki had served with Battery G, 1st Pennsylvania earlier in the war. Returns place the battery at Camp Curtain and Harrisburg during July.
  • Woodward’s Battery: Captain William H. Woodward’s battery mustered on July 8.  Unlike these other batteries, Woodward’s was not mustered out until November 4, 1863, just short of a full six month enlistment.  The battery mustered with three officers and 128 enlisted.  Returns through July have the battery unattached and serving at Philadelphia.
  • Tyler’s Battery: Park Battery. Captain Horatio K. Tyler, who’d served earlier in the war with an infantry regiment, commanded this battery.  Mustered on July 16, the battery consisted of four officers and 138 enlisted.  In late August, the battery was in Colonel James Mulligan’s Brigade serving in West Virginia.  The battery remained in service until January 28, 1864.
  • Robert Nevin’s Battery: (Not to be confused with John Nevin’s Battery H, Pennsylvania Light.) Captain Robert J. Nevin’s battery mustered sometime in the first week of July and numbered five officers and 147 men.  On July 10, the battery was on the returns for Camp Curtain.  Then in late August, the battery reported a posting at Philadelphia.  It was armed with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. During the fall, the battery was posted to West Virginia.  On January 7, 1864, the battery was mustered out in Philadelphia, but most of the men, including Nevin, would re-enlist for three years.  As such unit was re-designated Battery I, Pennsylvania Light Artillery.

Also, we might list Captain Matthew Hasting’s Keystone Battery which was on duty at Camp Barry until the end of June.  That battery appears on Bates’ list as a militia battery, though was actually on service in Washington, D.C.  As mentioned in the earlier post, the battery mustered out on August 20.

From the perspective of a “bean counting” clerk at the Ordnance Department, only four of these batteries were mustered prior to the end of the second quarter reporting period (June 30).  And only three of these batteries would be in Federal service at the end of third quarter (September 30).  So this gives the clerks a clean alibi for not allocating lines on the summary.  Their tracking was still not thorough, however, as they would allocate only one line to the three batteries for the third quarter (which we must wait to discuss).

Regardless of the administrative particulars which prevented the inclusion of the emergency batteries on the summaries, I offer them here as to help paint a more complete picture.  While briefly serving, it was service at a time of a crisis.  And the batteries appear on orders of battle for formations thrown into that crisis.  Their story also allows us to consider the structure of state and local militia organizations in relation to the more familiar volunteer organizations in Federal service.

(Citations:  OR, Series I, Volume 27, Part III, Serial 44, page 233; Serial 45, pages 79-80.)

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Pennsylvania, Independent and other artillery

In the first quarter, 1863 returns, we had trouble with the Pennsylvania independent batteries as the clerks identified the units by the commander’s or organizer’s name.  But with some cross-matching we could at least tentatively identify seven of nine such batteries from the returns.  For the second quarter, we have but a fraction of that:

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From the standpoint of accountability this is simply unacceptable.  A section of mountain howitzers assigned to a cavalry regiment and three independent batteries.  We should see eight batteries listed.   Furthermore, there was a battery from the heavy artillery which had a section detailed to the Army of the Potomac during this period. And, with the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania in June, we could also add in a good number of militia batteries called out to defend the Commonwealth.  Though, those batteries were not officially in the Federal army, just called out in defense of their state.  Still if we are counting all the gun tubes, those deserve mention.

Thus we have a lot of explaining to do and some blanks to fill in.  Starting with the first line on this section of the report, let’s consider those cavalrymen with the diminutive cannon:

  • 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry – The line read “Col. 11th Cav. Stores in charge.”  And among those stores were two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  The 11th was assigned to the Seventh Corps, Department of Virginia and spent an active spring with detachments posted around the Suffolk and Norfolk area. Colonel Samuel P. Spear commanded.  The regimental history has passing mention of “our” howitzers, but no specifics.  However, on a reconnaissance mounted towards the end of the month one howitzer, managed by Sergeant Stewart B. Shannon, of Company I, went along.

Moving down to the independent batteries, let us list what was… and match to what we see on the list.  :

  • Battery A:  Schaffer’s Battery.  Not listed. Commanded by Captain Stanislaus Mlotkowski.  The battery was posted to Fort Delaware, in the Middle Department, and serving as garrison artillery despite the light artillery title.
  • Battery B: Muehler’s Battery, but appearing as Stevens’ Battery (Line 36) on this summary, for Captain Alanson J. Stevens. “In the field” with four 6-pdr field guns and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  The battery was assigned to Third Division, Twenty-first Corps, Army of the Cumberland. Thus “in the field” was part of the Tullahoma Campaign.
  • Battery C: Thompson’s Battery. Not listed. Captain James Thompson’s Battery was, at this time, consolidated with Battery F (below) and assigned to 1st Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  Their six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles went into action at the Peach Orchard, at Gettysburg, around 5 p.m. of July 2, two guns facing west and four south.
  • Battery D: Durell’s Battery. Not listed. Captain George W. Durell’s battery was part of the well traveled First Division (having moved from the Second Division), Ninth Corps, taking in the summer at Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  • Battery E: Knap’s Battery. Appearing on Line 35 of this summary, as at Catlett’s Station, Virginia, with six 10-pdr Parrotts, as of August 5.  The battery was assigned to Twelfth Corps, Army of the Potomac. When Captain Joseph M. Knap resigned on May 16, Lieutenant Charles A. Atwell assumed command.  Atwell’s battery held an often underappreciated position on Power’s Hill at Gettysburg.
  • Battery F: Hampton’s Battery combined with Battery C (above) at this stage of the war.  Their monument is next to Battery C’s at Gettysburg. Lieutenant Nathaniel Irish was the ranking officer on the rolls of the battery at this time.
  • Battery G: Young’s Battery.  Not listed. Captain John Jay Young’s battery was also assigned to Fort Delaware.
  • Battery H: John Nevin’s Battery. Commanded by Captain William Borrowe and appearing as Line 34, at Alexandria, Virginia, with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery was assigned to the Defenses of Washington, serving south of the Potomac.
  • Battery I:  Getting ahead of ourselves… Captain Robert J. Nevin’s Battery would not form until December 1863.

So we can match the three lines in the summary to three of the independent batteries.  Though we are conspicuously missing two batteries in field service – Battery C and Battery D.

As mentioned above, there were several militia batteries called out for service in the summer of 1863.  However, let avoid undue length and work those in as a separate post.  Though I would like to call out two other batteries, which were listed in the order of battle during certain stages of the Gettysburg Campaign:

  • The Keystone Battery: Captain Matthew Hastings commanded.  Listed in Bate’s as a militia battery, the Keystone Battery was assigned to the Defenses of Washington in August 1862.  In June 1863 the battery was at Camp Barry.  Before mustering out in August 1863, the battery briefly served in the field with Third Corps.  Their muster out date (August 20) might explain the lack of report in this summary.
  • Battery H, 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery: The regiment’s batteries garrisoned several points from Baltimore to Fort Monroe (and perhaps we need a detailed posting on their service).  But Battery H, Commanded by William D. Rank, from Baltimore, had a section of 3-inch Ordnance Rifles sent forward to guard the railroad lines in Maryland.  That section was then caught up in the Gettysburg Campaign and saw serviced with First Brigade, Second Division, Cavalry Corps.  For more on this story, see Dana Shoaf’s video report.

With some of the blanks filled in and identification of what we do see on the summaries, let us turn to the ammunition reported:

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For smoothbore ammunition:

  • 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry: 100 case and 36 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzer.
  • Battery H ( Borrowe’s): 288 shot, 96 shell, 292 case, and 103 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B (Stevens’): 448 shot and 200 case for 6-pdr field guns.

None of these batteries reported Hotchkiss projectiles on hand.  And on the next page we can focus on the Parrott columns:

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One reporting:

  • Battery E (Knap’s): 480 shell, 600 case, and 144 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

Turning to the last page of ammunition:

0220_2_Snip_PA_MISC

Just one entry:

  • Battery B (Stevens’): 100 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.

Lastly the small arms: 0220_3_Snip_PA_MISC

Of the three artillery batteries:

  • Battery H ( Borrowe’s): Fourteen Navy revolvers and sixty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E (Knap’s): Thirty-seven Navy revolvers and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B (Stevens’): Seven Navy revolvers, five cavalry sabers, and fourteen (?) horse artillery sabers.

In closing, we might complain the clerks “shorted” us four important batteries (if we include the Keystone Battery and Rank’s heavy artillerists).  But what was not listed provides us ample room for discussion.

And if you are keeping track, I “owe” a posting on the Pennsylvania militia batteries along with a full explanation of the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery’s dispositions.

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery

The 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery (also known as the 43rd Pennsylvania Volunteers) was, perhaps, short-changed with its organization.  Instead of a full compliment of batteries, the 1st Pennsylvania only ever had Batteries A through I.  And even with that, Battery I was only organized in the war’s last months. Thus for the second quarter of 1863, we have only eight batteries to account for.

In June 1863, Colonel Robert M. West led the regiment, on the rolls.

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West, appearing in this photo with his lovely daughter, was at Yorktown, Virginia in a role that was more “garrison commander” than “field commander.”  His staff and one battery were at that location.  Overall, of the eight batteries in his small-ish regiment, only five had recorded returns for the quarter:

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Accounting for those in detail:

  • Battery A: No return.  Captain John G. Simpson’s battery was assigned to Second Division, Seventh Corps, then in the Norfolk area.  I believe the battery retained four 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery participated in the Siege of Suffolk and Dix’s Peninsula Campaign.
  • Battery B: Showing as at Rappahannock Station, Virginia, as of August 16, 1863, with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  But with an assignment to First Corps, we know well Captain James H. Cooper’s battery was, as of June 30, moving up toward Gettysburg.
  • Battery C: Claiming to be at Culpeper, Virginia… well in October, 1863… with  six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (as opposed to 10-pdr Parrotts from the last quarter).  Captain Jeremiah McCarthy remained in command.  On June 25, the battery was sent out of the Army of the Potomac to Camp Barry, D.C.  However, by the end of the Gettysburg Campaign, the battery was back in the field at Harpers Ferry.
  • Battery D: No return.  Battery D was consolidated with Battery C through August.  Thus we list Battery D as at Camp Barry.  Lieutenant Andrew Rosney was the ranking officer of the battery.
  • Battery E: At Yorktown, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Thomas G. Orwig commanded this battery, assigned to First Division, Fourth Corps.
  • Battery F: Indicated at Falmouth, Virginia, with a March 1864 reporting date, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain R. Bruce Ricketts commanded a combined Batteries F and G, in 3rd Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve.  Thus their proper location, for June 30, was somewhere on the march up from Frederick, Maryland.
  • Battery G: Dittos indicating Battery G was with Battery F for the reporting period.  Lieutenant Belden Spence was the ranking officer remaining with the battery.
  • Battery H: At Camp Barry, D.C. with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Andrew Fagan commanded this battery, which in the Artillery Reserve, Fourth Corps.  Thus the battery was actually around Yorktown at reporting time.  The battery would transfer to Camp Barry in the fall.

And as mentioned above, Battery I would not muster until very late in the war.  Batteries K, L, and M never existed, save for a notional line allocated on the clerk’s form.

Only two lines of smoothbore ammunition to account for:

0219_1_Snip_PA_1st

  • Battery E: 176 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 80 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 182 shot, 54 shell, 162 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

No disputes there.

We move to the rifled projectile pages, starting with Mr. Hotchkiss’s types:

0219_2_Snip_PA_1st

Three batteries reporting:

  • Battery B: 20 canister, 180 fuse shell, and 338 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 180 canister, 104 percussion shell, and 344(?) bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F & G: 120 canister, 120 fuse shell, and 840 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Yes, a lot of case… er… bullet… in those chests.

We skip past the Dyers, James, and Parrott projectiles, with none reported, and go to the Schenkl:

0220_2_Snip_PA_1st

Again, three batteries reporting:

  • Battery B: 277 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 158 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F & G: 120 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Lastly, we look at the small arms reported:

0220_3_Snip_PA_1st

By battery:

  • Battery B: Sixteen Navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Seventeen Navy revolvers and five (?) cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: Eight Navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F & G: Sixteen Army revolvers, eight Navy revolvers, one cavalry saber, and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Fourteen Navy revolvers and eleven horse artillery sabers.

Thus rounds out the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery’s report for the second quarter, 1863.

108th Day of the Siege – Enemy Opened Fire : 2nd Major Bombardment of Fort Sumter

On this day in 1863, around 12:30 PM, the Federal batteries on Morris Island along with two monitors in the main ship channel, opened a massive bombardment of Fort Sumter.  As detailed back during the sesquicentennial, that eruption marked the start of the Second Major Bombardment of the fort.  Those “major” and “minor” bombardments, along with “desultory” bombardments, were defined by the Confederates on the receiving end.  Though the periods track well with Federal operational accounts.  And this “major” was indeed a rather substantial bombardment by any measure. Between October 26 and December 6, the Federals fired over 18,000 rounds at Fort Sumter.  That’s not counting shots fired at other points in and around Charleston during the same period, which was no small number.

The following morning, subscribers to the Charleston Courier saw this lead on the second column of the front page:

CharlestonCourier_Oct_27_63_Vol_LXI_Issue19607_P1_Col2

Notice how this news was titled and categorized.  This was the 108th day, going back to July 10, of the siege of Fort Sumter and for all practical purposes Charleston itself.  This is a point I drive home in presentations about the war around Charleston.  The siege of Fort Sumter was the longest battle of the war, running from the summer of 1863 through February 1865.  And by extension, the campaign against Charleston was the longest of the war, if we take into account the blockade operations beginning in May 1861.  The citizens of Charleston, the Confederates defending Charleston, and the Federals on Morris Island all counted those days.

The full article read:

News from the Islands.

One Hundred and Eighth Day of the Siege – Enemy Opened Fire

The enemy on Morris’ Island having completed his preparations, about half-past 10 o’clock, Monday morning, opened a vigorous fire from Batteries Gregg and Wagner, with seven guns mounted in the former and four in the latter, all of heavy calibre, being mostly two and three hundred pounder Parrotts.  The heaviest fire was directed on Fort Sumter.  Out of one hundred and eighty-eight shots fired from Morris’ Island at Fort Sumter during the day, one hundred and sixty-five struck the fort and twenty-three passed over.  Two of the guns on Battery Gregg devoted their entire attention to Fort Johnson, which also received an occasional shot from Battery Wagner.

Forts Moultrie and Johnson, and batteries Marion, Simkins and Cheves, kept up a spirited reply.  The firing on both sides ceased about dark.  The enemy threw some ten or fifteen shots and shells from a twelve pounder Parrott, mounted on Gregg, at Battery Bee and Fort Moultrie, but did no damage.  Two monitors, which rounded Cummings’ Point, were also engaged, and fired some ten shots at Sumter.  No casualties to the garrisons or injuries to the works are reported at any of the forts or batteries.

The fire from Fort Moultrie and the batteries upon the advanced Monitors and the enemy’s works, was excellent, and it is believed did considerable execution.  It was reported that one of the enemy’s guns burst in Battery Gregg early in the action Monday morning on the third or fourth trial.

The firing is expected to be renewed this morning.  With the exception of the two Monitors engaged there was no change in the position of the fleet.

The newspaper report is noteworthy in the details.  However, Federal sources insist the bombardment began around noon, and not earlier.  And there is not mention of a burst gun on that day from Federal accounts (although, one is recorded as bursting the following day).  Usually, and I doubt this day’s report was any exception, the Courier’s writers blended information obtained from Confederate officers along with what their reporters saw first hand.  After all, the war was happening, day and night, right outside their windows.

On the other side of the battle line, the 3rd Rhode Island Heavy Artillery was very active, handling the big guns. From their regimental history:

Please notice the handling of one of those guns.  The piece has just recoiled from the last firing, and is out of battery; it is instantly depressed to a level; up step the spongers; back and forth, with a rolling twist, goes the sponge, and it is withdrawn; up rises the great bag-like cartridge and is entered; quickly the rammers drive it home to the clean, moist, but warm chamber; stout men lift the great conical shell and pass it into the black lips of the monster; and again the rammers bend to their work and drive back the projectile upon the powder; now the gunners heave the piece into battery; the sergeant looks to and adjusts the training, right or left; now he turns to secure again his proper and exact elevation, and makes his allowance for windage; the primer is entered; the lanyard is attached, and the gunner, standing behind the traverse, waits order.  The officer cries: “Ready!  Fire!” Hold your ears.  Note the smoke – an aerial maelstrom and cataract, with voice of an earthquake.  See that black spot traveling on its parabolic journey.  Ha! How smokes and tumbles the rebel wall.  Up go the loyal cheers and the boys pat their gun.

This work would continue, shot after shot, day after day, through the first week of December.  Some days the fire would slack to only a hundred or so rounds, particularly toward the first week of December.  But in those early days of the Second Major Bombardment, the tallies often reached 900 or 1000 rounds a day.

Such was the start of a loud phase in a long battle.

(Citations from Charleston Courier, October 27, 1863, page 1, column 2; Frederic Denison, Shot and Shell: The Third Rhode Island Heavy Artillery Regiment in the Rebellion, 1861-1865, Providence, R.I.: Third Rhode Island Artillery Veterans Association, 1879, page 195.)

 

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – 1st Ohio Light Artillery

The 1st Ohio LIGHT Artillery…. which needs to be emphasized, as there was a 1st Ohio Heavy Artillery.  The “heavy” regiment spent most of the war in garrison locations across Kentucky and Tennessee.  The “light” regiment, on the other hand, was active in the field supporting armies in both eastern and western theaters. Colonel of the regiment was James Barnett, who also doubled as the Chief of Artillery, Department/Army of the Cumberland.

For the second quarter of 1863, the clerks in Washington complied reports from nine of twelve batteries:

0217_1_Snip_Ohio_1st

And, as a bonus, we have a line for the 32nd Ohio Infantry and their four cannon.  As mentioned while discussing the independent batteries, the clerks opted to misplace what would become the 26th Independent Battery with the 1st Ohio Light.

Putting that on hold for the moment, let us look at the administrative details for the 1st Ohio Light:

  • Battery A: Reported, as of August 1864, at Tullahoma, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Wilbur F. Goodspeed remained in command of this battery assigned to Second Division, Twentieth Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • Battery B: “In the field” with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles.   Remaining under Captain William E. Standart, this battery was part of Second Division, Twenty-First Corps (with Standart also serving as division chief of artillery). The battery remained at Cripple Creek, Tennessee until June 24, when it moved with the rest of the division on the Tullahoma Campaign.
  • Battery C: At Elk River, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Daniel K. Southwick commanded the battery asigned to Third Division, Fourteenth Corps.  The battery supported its parent division on the Tullahoma Campaign.
  • Battery D: No report. Battery D was, as of the June 30 reporting date, in the field supporting the Cavalry of the Army of the Cumberland, on the Tullahoma Campaign.  One section, under Captain Andrew J. Konkle supported Second Brigade, First Division, of the corps.  Another, under Lieutenant Nathaniel M. Newell, supported First Brigade, Second Division.   with three 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  This report covered just one section, under Lieutenant Nathaniel M. Newell, with the Second Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  The battery was armed with 3-inch Ordnance rifles.
  • Battery E: No report. This battery was assigned to Second Division, Reserve Corps, still recovering from heavy losses the previous winter at Stones River.  It was posted to Nashville through the spring.  Lieutenant Stephen W. Dorsey remained in command of the battery.  Later in July, the battery moved forward to Chattanooga.  Captain Warren P. Edgarton, of the battery, was in command of the Nashville garrison artillery.
  • Battery F: No report. Captain Daniel T. Cockerill remained in command of this battery, part of Second Division, Twenty-first Corps. Consolidated reports, complied at the department, indicate the battery had six 12-pdr Napoleons and five 3.80-inch James Rifles (!).
  • Battery G: At Decherd, Tennessee with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Alexander Marshall’s battery assigned to Second Division, Fourteenth Corps.  As such, they were involved with the Tullahoma Campaign.
  • Battery H: At Brownsville, Maryland (likely a location associated with the August 7th report date) with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Although Captain James F. Huntington held the command billet, Lieutenant George W. Norton lead the battery in the field.  Transferred to the 3rd Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac in late spring.  Thus, instead sitting at the base of South Mountain on June 30, Battery H was north of Frederick, Maryland.
  • Battery I: At Emmitsburg, Maryland with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Hubert Dilger’s battery was assigned to Eleventh Corps.  Dilger and his battery would do good work supporting the left of the corps on July 1.
  • Battery K: Bridgeport, Alabama, with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain William L. De Beck resigned on May 11, 1863, and was replaced by Captain Lewis Heckman.  This battery supported Eleventh Corps.  On July 1, the battery went into action just on the edge of Gettysburg (corner of Carlisle Street and Lincoln Avenue today).  Heckman reported firing 113 rounds that day, “mostly canister”, in an effort to delay the Confederate advance. The battery lost two men killed, eleven men wounded, nine horses, and two pieces.  The location is valid for later in the fall when the battery, along with the rest of the Eleventh Corps, reinforced Chattanooga.
  • Battery L: “In the field” with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Frank C. Gibbs had command of this battery, supporting Fifth Corps.  The battery played a vital role defending Little Round Top on July 2, 1863.
  • Battery M: Stevenson, Alabama with two 3-inch guns and four 3.80-inch James rifles. Captain Frederick Schultz commanded this battery, assigned to Second Division, Fourteenth Corps.  Thus, instead of being just south of Bridgeport, Alabama, as indicated on this line, the battery was further north, near Hoover’s Gap, on June 30, 1863.

As mentioned, one line from outside the regiment:

  • Company F, 32nd Infantry: At Vicksburg, Mississippi with two 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Company F, 32nd Ohio was originally formed in August 1861.  In July 1862, the company was detached for service as artillery and known as “Potts’s Ohio Battery” after it’s first commander, Captain Benjamin F. Potts.  The battery served in the Shenandoah and was caught up in the surrender at Harpers Ferry in September 1862.  The battery was exchanged, along with the rest of the regiment, on January 21, 1863.  The 32nd was then assigned to Third Brigade, Third Division, Seventeenth Corps, then in operations against Vicksburg.   At Champion’s Hill, the brigade captured a Confederate battery.  The division commander, Major General John A. Logan, knowing of the unit’s artillery service, assigned the captured guns to Company F.  Under Captain Theobold D. Yost, they were called “Yost’s Captured Battery” and were posted opposite Fort Hill in the Vicksburg siege lines.  After the siege, the battery was broken up, with men assigned to other batteries.  However, in December 1863, the battery was officially reformed as the 26th (Independent) Ohio Battery.  The exact identification of the guns assigned to the battery during the siege, being captured from Confederates, is open for interpretation.

From top to bottom, including the battery formed from the 32nd, we see all these batteries experienced active field service that summer.

Moving to the ammunition pages, we see a busy section for smoothbore projectiles:

0219_1_Snip_Ohio_1st

A pyramid of rounds:

  • Battery A: 56 shot, 64 shell, 108 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B: 40 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery C: 13 shot, 42 case, and 46 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 96 shot, 82 shell, 96 case, and 32 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 77 shot for 6-pdr field guns; 211 shot, 64 shell, 128 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 143 case and 46 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery I: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery K: 192 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery L: 300 shot, 102 shell, 280 case, and 117 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Company F, 32nd Infantry: 17 shell and 20 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Two flags to consider with this list.  Battery C didn’t have 6-pdrs at this stage of the war, having turned those in sometime in January.  But the rounds, theoretically, could be fired from their James rifles.  So those might have simply been residual ammunition left over from earlier service… or service ammunition set aside for special use with the rifles.

Battery G had no use at all for 6-pdr rounds.  And use of howitzer rounds in Napoleons would be puzzling.  So this escapes any simple conjecture.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, we consider the Hotchkiss columns:

0219_2_Snip_Ohio_1st

Two calibers in play here – 3-inch and 3.80-inch:

  • Battery A: 90 shot for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery B: 20 bullet shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 109 fuse shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery G: 77 canister, 96 percussion shell, and 120 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles; Also 121 percussion shell for 3.80-inch rifles!!!
  • Battery K: 98 canister and 643 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 56 canister, 115 percussion shell, and 40 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles; And 75 shot, 56 fuse shell, and 180 bullet shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Company F, 32nd Infantry: 107 fuse shell and 451 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

As Battery G had no use for James caliber projectiles, the quantities of that caliber on hand may have been a transcription error by the clerks.  But where to put 121 percussion shells, I don’t know.

The next page offers a mix of Hotchkiss, Dyer’s, and James projectiles.

0220_1A_Snip_Ohio_1st

Taking these in turn, first the “left over” Hotchkiss columns:

  • Battery A: 140 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery G: 148 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 94 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Here again we see Battery G with James-caliber projectiles… but no James rifles on hand.

Dyer’s projectiles:

  • Battery G: 96 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.

We don’t often see Dyer’s projectiles issued to batteries in the western theater.

James’ projectiles:

  • Battery C: 102 shot and 61 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.

Turning to the Shenkl columns on the next page:

0220_2_Snip_Ohio_1st

Five batteries reported quantities:

  • Battery A: 318 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery B: 240 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 239 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 349 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 278 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.

Two batteries reported Tatham’s canister:

  • Battery B: 180 canister for 3.80-inch.
  • Battery M: 66 canister for 3.80-inch.

Lastly we move to the small arms:

0220_3_Snip_Ohio_1st

By battery:

  • Battery A: Three Navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Twenty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Just eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Nine Navy revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • Battery H: Twenty Army revolvers and thirty-eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Twelve Navy revolvers and thirty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Twelve Army revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: Nineteen Navy revolvers and thirty-four (?) foot artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Seven Army revolvers and three (?) cavalry sabers.

Closing out the Ohio batteries, we find that at the closing date for the second quarter, 1863, all of the 1st Light Regiment were well employed.  And we must also add the fine work by Company F, 32nd Ohio Infantry to that list.