Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – 3rd New York Light Artillery Regiment

Given the nature of mustering, organizing, and outfitting, it was rare that all the batteries of a light artillery regiment went to war as a set.  Arguably, that is what happened with the 3rd New York Light Artillery Regiment.  Arguably… as the regiment was also not completely outfitted as light artillery, serving as heavy artillery.  I briefly discussed the regiment’s formation in the preface to the fourth quarter return.  And we saw the regiment (minus Battery L, which was really just a paper designation) served in North Carolina, mostly around New Bern.  With the new year changes came.  First, Colonel James H. Ledlie became the Chief of Artillery, Eighteenth Corps.  Lieutenant-Colonel Charles H. Stewart then assumed command of the regiment, with Lieutenant-Colonel Henry M. Stone as second in command.  But the regiment was not to remain intact.  Major-General David Hunter called for reinforcements for his planned offensive on Charleston.  Along with other units, Major-General John Foster sent Batteries A, B, C, D, E, F, and I to the Department of the South.  The other batteries remained in North Carolina, and many men saw action in the Siege of Washington, March 30-April 20, 1863.

With those changes in mind, what do we see on the returns for the quarter?

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Strictly according to the clerks at the Ordnance Department:

  • Battery A: No return.
  • Battery B: No location listed, but reporting six 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery C: Infantry Stores, New Bern, North Carolina.
  • Battery D: Infantry Stores, New Bern, North Carolina.
  • Battery E: New Berne, armed with two 24-pdr and two 32-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery F: No return.
  • Battery G: No return.
  • 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.  Again, this battery did not exist
  • Battery M: Infantry Stores, New Bern, North Carolina.

But allow me to reconcile these lines against details from the regimental history.  First off, the batteries, or sections thereof, transferred to South Carolina:

  • Battery A: Lieutenant Martin Laughlin with 60 men to serve as heavy artillery, armed with rifles.
  • Battery B: Captain Joseph J. Morrison, with 102 men serving six 12-pdr Napoleons.  (Although Captain James B. Ashcroft appears on other records.)
  • Battery C: Lieutenant Charles B. Randolph with 26 men serving as heavy artillery.
  • Battery D: Lieutenant Luke Brannick with 25 men serving as heavy artillery.
  • Battery E: Captain Theodore H. Schenck with 90 men also serving as heavy artillery. Presumably leaving the heavy howitzers in North Carolina.
  • Battery F: Captain Edwin S. Jenny (when promoted, replaced by Captain David A. Taylor) and 94 men with six 6-pdr Wiards (Though I question if that caliber or the 12-pdrs were assigned).
  • Battery I: Lieutenant George W. Thomas, 98 men, and six 12-pdr Napoleons (in lieu of 20-pdr Parrotts?).  (However, Captain John H. Ammon was listed as battery commander.)

Note that some batteries were reduced much in manpower, in part due to expiration of enlistments.  We see some matches to the returns, with equipment reported.  And some clear misses!  And we might correctly allocate Batteries A, B, E, and I, at least, to Port Royal at this time.  These seven batteries/sections were carried on some returns as a battalion, under Schenk. (And I would mention, as a shameless promotion of other blog posts, you readers are familiar with these batteries from their work during the summer of 1863 on Morris Island.)

Back in North Carolina, Battery G was part of the Washington (North Carolina) garrison.   Batteries H, K, and M reported from New Bern. Sections, or at least detachments, from Batteries E, F, and I remained at New Bern. Thus we have some reconciliation between the actual duty location and that indicated on the summary.  Of those not mentioned above, here were the battery commander assignments:

  • Battery G:  Captain John Wall.
  • Battery H:  Captain William J. Riggs.
  • Battery K: Captain James R. Angel.
  • Battery M:  Captain John H. Howell.

I’ve spent much longer discussing the organization and activities of the regiment, as that sets up for a longer discussion, during the next couple of quarters, as batteries were mustered out and replaced.  And besides, with all those “Infantry Stores” lines, there are not a lot of artillery projectiles to count!

Turning beyond that organizational aspect of the 3rd New York, let us look at ammunition on hand.  First the smoothbore:

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Three batteries to consider:

  • Battery B: 648 shot, 408 shell, 848 case, and 440 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon (I believe column entries for shell is another clerking error.)
  • Battery E: 42 shell, 166 case, 42 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers; 66 shell, 130 case, and 48 canister for 32-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery H: 439 shot, 130 shell, 464 case, and 160 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.  (Again, the entry for case appears to be a transcription error by the clerks.)

We see above that Battery E did not take the big howitzers to South Carolina.  Later, there are reports of howitzers of those calibers around New Bern.  So I assume those were transferred to the garrison there.

Moving to ammunition for the rifles, there are short entries:

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Just one battery with Hotchkiss:

  • Battery K: 184 canister, 160 percussion shell, 287 fuse shell, 452 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

On the next page of rifled projectiles, we can focus on entries for Parrott-types:

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And that is for 20-pdrs that we might assume, based on regimental history, were left in North Carolina:

  • Battery I: 541 shell and 450 case shot for 20-pdr Parrotts.

Moving to the third page, likewise only one line reporting… and that on the far right of the section:

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Tatham’s:

  • Battery I: 123 Tatham 3.67-inch canister.

While Tatham is most associated with James and other bronze rifles, the 20-pdr Parrott’s bore was 3.67-inch.

Lastly, we turn to the small arms:

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By battery reporting:

  • Battery B: Twenty Army revolvers and thirty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Nineteen Navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and thirty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Thirty-one Navy revolvers and fifty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Ten Army revolvers, nine Navy revolvers, and forty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Twenty-seven Navy revolvers, three cavalry sabers, and fifty-two horse artillery sabers.

Would be interesting to have a full set of returns for the small arms.  Some of the “heavy” batteries are listed here, but not all.  Given the nature of the 3rd regiment’s service at this point in the war, it is odd not to see long guns reported.
(Details of the 3rd New York Artillery’s service from Henry Hall and James Hall, Cayuga in the field : a record of the 19th N. Y. Volunteers, all the batteries of the 3d New York Artillery, and 75th New York Volunteers, Auburn, New York, 1873.)

Fortification Friday: Applying what we know about fortification batteries

So we’ve defined and examined the different types of batteries used in field fortifications.  We know barbettes allowed the guns to fire over the parapet, while embrasures had the guns firing through the parapet.  And we also referred to rules for building platforms under the guns.

Lots of “book learning” but how does that apply out in the field?  Again, let us turn to one of the great primary sources we have for the Civil War – photographs!

First stop, a photo captioned “Company H, 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery at Fort Lincoln”:

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Three Parrott rifles in view.  We’ll hold off discussing the 6.4-inch on the right.  It is the two 30-pdr Parrotts (correct me if I have the type wrong) in the center of view.  These are in barbette.  We see the classic layout as described by the textbook.  Note the raised earth, on which the engineers had platforms.  One platform for each gun, plus additional platform between the guns. Such leads me to consider this “beautification” of the works, to prevent a lot of wear and tear from foot traffic.  The parapet stands just higher than the axles of the carriages (siege carriages, by the way).  The gun on the left is at zero elevation (or at least darn close to it), with a few inches at the muzzle to clear the parapet allowing some declination… though without being there at that place and time, we don’t know for sure how much.  Lastly, note this battery one ramp directly behind the right side gun.  That is probably another ramp to the left of view (and there is likely another gun out of frame).  All in all a clean barbette battery.  Glad those heavies had time to keep the fort in order!

Now lets move over to Fort Richardson, where the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery had their guns firing through embrasures:

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Six guns in view here.  The one on the distant left looks to be in barbette, but the rest are embrasure.  Those on siege carriages sit atop platforms. The nearest is at the level of the fort’s parade.  Platforms for the siege gun on the far wall and that at the bastion (far distant right) are elevated at least a slight bit.  From the photograph’s angle, we cannot make out much of the embrasure’s details – the sole and other features are out of view.  But we do see a well cut opening.  The nearest gun and the next over (on a garrison/seacoast carriage) are situated so that the line of the bore is right at the interior crest.  Part of the muzzle is above the crest.  So the embrasure did not provide complete protection for the crew. Just enough, perhaps.

Now those are “garrison” troops well to the rear with plenty of time to make the fortifications look good.  How about those on the front lines who are busy sending over hot iron?  OK, how about Fort Brady, outside Richmond:

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Up front we have a big 6.4-inch Parrott firing through a well constructed embrasure.  Note the gabions and sandbags laid to reinforce the parapet.  And the parapet extends well above the line of the bore.  This crew had ample headroom…. but the embrasure is also rather wide.  Had we walked around the gun, we might find a shutter constructed in the embrasure to protect against sharpshooters.  Now this is not a field or siege carriage, but a wrought iron seacoast carriage adapted to the situation (and I think this gun is placed to cover an approach on the James… making it “seacoast” in function).  Note the shelf placed in front of the gun.  When hefting a 100 pound Parrott projectile, one needed a leg up… or two.

Behind that big Parrott are a couple of smaller brothers.  These also fire through embrasures.  We need to strain through the resolution to see the arrangements.  But there are platforms and the guns are given plenty of space to recoil.  All in all, this portion of the line looks well kept and orderly.  Almost like the crew knew they were to serve as an example 150 years later… yep!

A little less orderly, but still in good order, is a battery at Fort Putnam, on Morris Island:

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Another couple of Parrotts on siege carriages firing through embasures.   These were aimed at Fort Sumter.  They share a platform.  Notice again the gabions used to reinforce the embrasures.  What we clearly do not see are any shutters.  We know some batteries on Morris Island employed iron shutters for protection, though not present here.  The field piece on the far left appears to be a Napoleon.  It has no parapet, but is sitting on a platform.  It is my interpretation that field gun is situated to provide close-in defense, should the Confederates attempt a raid.  As such, it was there in part to be “seen” more so than to be used.  Sort of like an alarm-company sign on the front lawn.

Elsewhere in Fort Putnam, the field guns out for defense were given better protection:

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Talking about that on the left.  The gun is in barbette, though a stockade aligns to give more protection.  And of course to the right is another of those big Parrotts.  But this weapon is arranged to “super-elevate” beyond what the carriage was designed for.  Something seen often at Charleston in an effort to get maximum range out of the guns firing on the city or other points.  I call it out because, in a form follows function manner, the battery layout was altered from the textbook standards.  The gun fired over the parapet, but situated lower behind the parapet than a barbette battery.  In this case, the gunners were not concerned about direct fire.  Their iron blessings were sent indirectly to the target.

Bullet Shells? Why not case shot? Hotchkiss projectiles, Part 3

Let me pick up where I left off, several months back, discussing the Hotchkiss brothers and their ordnance patents.  Recall from those earlier posts, Andrew K. Hotchkiss possessed a keen mechanical mind.  He was behind the first set of patents issued to the brothers.  Specifically, Andrew’s name is associated with a rifle projectile using three parts – the main body, a lead ring, and a tail cup.  And when fired, the force of the charge pushed the cup to expand the lead ring, thus forcing the projectile into the rifling. However, Andrew, who was born crippled, died in 1858 at the age of only 35.

His brother, Benjamin B. Hotchkiss, who might best be described as an entrepreneur/inventor, continued the work on ordnance.  And we see that name associated with improvements to the pre-war Hotchkiss rifle projectile (and canister refinements).  Throughout the evolution, the basic design remained – main body, lead ring, and tail cup. And Benjamin used that design to create solid shot, shell (with timed and percussion fuses), and case shot.  The nomenclature of the case shot intrigues me, as the Ordnance Department referred to them as “bullet shells” in the summaries.

Now the basic premise of a bullet shell… er… case shot was to simply take a normal shell and fill it with sub-projectile balls (iron, but more often lead) and set off with a bursting charge while in flight (with a carefully set fuse), so as to scatter the sub-projectiles across the target.  We see these sometimes referred to as shrapnel after General Henry Shrapnel of the British Army. But as no weapon design is perfect, there were problems with that basic recipe.

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First off, the sudden movement when the shrapnel/case shot was fired could cause the “bullets” to rub against the powder.  Such lead to premature explosions… not good for the crew serving the gun.  One refinement was to simply seal off the powder behind a diaphragm.  But that reduced the bursting charge and still left the bullets rattling around, possibly sparking against the cast iron body.  Another refinement was to place the bullets in some non-explosive solution (resin or sulfur for example) that cooled and hardened, thus gluing the bullets into place.  But this also reduced the room for the bursting charge and further introduced more (though slight) resistance to the bursting. Not to mention, the bursting charge itself remained loose and might possibly ignite due to rasping (the friction of the powder against it’s containing structure).

The problem with filling case shot (and shells in general) was more pronounced with rifle guns where the movement was on three axis.  Benjamin advanced his solution to this in Patent Number 35,153, issued on May 6, 1862:

My improvement relates to the contents or filling of the projectile, and to the adhesion of the same to the inclosing [sic] part, and it applicable to all forms and constructions of explosive projectiles.

The first feature of my invention is attained by solidifying the powder in the shell by use of collodion or an equivalent adhesive material not by its presence destructive to the explosive character of the powder, so as to prevent the friction of the powder upon itself and upon the sides of the shell or balls … to prevent a displacement of the powder from interfering with the proper action of the exploding apparatus in percussion-shells.

The nature of my invention also consists in causing the filling of an explosion projectile to adhere firmly to the sides thereof by employment of a solution of shellac or other proper adhesive substance… whereby the said filling is compelled to rotate with the shell, and much friction and danger of premature explosion avoided.

In essence, Benjamin Hotchkiss added something to the powder turning it into the glue to hold the bullets in place.  And he further cemented the payload with a generous application of adhesive to the shell interior.

Hotchkiss_Patent_35153

Hotchkiss described the construction as such (my parenthesis and emphasis added to the figure references for clarity):

(A) is the body of the projectile, which may be made in any of the approved forms. (P) is the powder.  (B) are bullets interspersed with the powder….

The manner of filling as shell to produce the advantages of my invention is as follows: I first pour into the shell a solution of shellac in alcohol, and coat the whole interior therewith, as indicated by a brown line, (C). While this is still wet, I place in the balls (B), if there are any to be used, and then fill all the interstices with the powder (P). I then pour into the shell a sufficient quantity of “collodion” (gun-cotton dissolved in ether and alcohol) to fill all the interstices, and place the shell away to dry.  The alcohol and ether readily evaporate and leave the charge in a solid mass, the collodion serving as a cement to hold the grains of powder together, but offering no serious obstruction to the proper and rapid action of the fire when it is desired to explode the same. This solidified powder holds the balls (B) firmly in place… and the whole is cemented to the sides of the shell by the cement (C), so as that on firing the shell from a gun there is little or no liability of the powder becoming prematurely igninted, either by friction among the balls or its own particles against themselves or the sides of the shell or by backward motion of the exploding device.

Hotchkiss noted that while he was not the inventor of collodion, nor the first to use collodion to solidify gunpowder, he was the first to propose such use in a shell.

Clearly Hotchkiss had a viable solution to the cited problems – movement of the payload inside the shell.  But as is always the case, the soldiers in the field always find another problem to be solved.  The more gunners used case shot from their rifles, they began to notice poor shot patterns on the distant end.  When a spinning projectile explodes, the sub-projectiles and fragments disperse laterally and not directly on the line of flight.  Good artillerists looked for a way to project the sub-projectiles directly forward along the line of flight.  We might consider this as producing long range canister.

That requirement lead to another Hotchkiss patent:

Hotchkiss_Patent_38359

… and ammunition for another post in this series.

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – 1st New York Light Artillery Regiment

For the next several installments covering the summaries, we will look at New York batteries.  The first of these is the 1st New York Light Artillery Regiment, which was administratively commanded by Colonel Charles S. Wainwright.  Though, as Wainwright lamented at different times, administrative command really amounted to being responsible for more paperwork.

And that is just what we are dealing with here today:

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Of the twelve batteries of the regiment, there are ten returns:

  • Battery A: At Pottsville, Pennsylvania with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  The location may be correct for February 1864 (as indicated for the receipt of return).  But in the winter of 1863, Battery A, under Captain Thomas H. Bates, was at Camp Barry. The battery, recently reformed after losing all guns during the Peninsula Campaign, was training new crews.
  • Battery B: At Falmouth, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Rufus D. Pettit’s battery was assigned to Second Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery C: Also at Falmouth, Virginia, but with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  This battery was assigned to support Fifth Corps.  Captain Almont Barnes resumed command in the winter months.
  • Battery D: And another battery at Falmouth, this with six 12-pdr Napoleons. After a short assignment to the Ninth Corps, Captain Thomas W. Osborn’s battery came back to Second Division, Third Corps.  Lieutenant George B. Winslow assumed command with Osborn holding artillery brigade duties.
  • 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 remained part of Fourth Corps, Department of Virginia.
  • Battery G: Another New York battery at Falmouth.  They reported six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain John D. Frank held command at the start of the winter.  But illness forced him to turn command over to Lieutenant Nelson Ames at the start of the spring.  The battery was assigned to Third Division, Second Corps.
  • Battery H: Fort Keys, Gloucester Point, Virginia with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Also assigned to Fourth Corps.  Captain Charles E. Mink commanded this battery.
  • Battery I: Stafford Court House, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Michael Wiedrich commanded this battery, assigned to Second Division, Eleventh Corps.
  • Battery K: Reporting at Brandy Station, Virginia with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  For the second straight quarter, this battery’s location reflects a  January, 1864, report. During the winter of 1863, Battery K was with the First Division, Twelfth Corps and under Edward L. Bailey.
  • Battery L: At Pratt’s Landing, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain John A. Reynolds’ battery supported First Division, First Corps.
  • Battery M: No return. This battery was also part of First Division, Twelfth Corps in December 1862.  Lieutenant Charles Winegar commanded the battery.  I believe it was equipped with 10-pdr Parrotts.

So we see barely any assignment changes for the 1st New York Light.

Moving to the ammunition pages, there were three batteries reporting Napoleons on hand:

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And three lines of smoothbore ammunition to discuss:

  • Battery A: 192 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 72 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery D: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister (see note to follow) for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery G: 308 shot, 120 shell, 116 case, and 144 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

If you refer back to the previous quarter, Battery D’s numbers for shot, shell, and case appear to be the same.  And they reported 96 canister in December.  My call is a transcription error put the “96” in the column for 6-pdr canister.  That’s a lot more plausible than some supply foul-up.

More batteries reported rifles on hand, and thus we see more rifled projectiles were counted for the summary:

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Hotchkiss projectiles reported:

  • Battery C: 102 canister,  40 percussion shell, 226 fuse shell, and 544 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F: 80 canister,  80 percussion shell, 160 fuse shell, and 480 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 20 canister and 70 percussion shell for 3-inch rifle.
  • Battery I: 120 canister, 390 fuse shell, and 651 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle.
  • Battery K: 97 canister, 257 percussion shell, 118 fuse shell, 274 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle.
  • Battery L: 36 canister and 982 fuse shell for 3-inch rifle.

Seems the 3-inch batteries with the Army of the Potomac had a lot of case shot for their Ordnance rifles.

For the next page of rifle projectiles, I’ll do extra cuts to aid those reading (the full page is posted):

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Three different makes of projectiles.  Three batteries reporting.  Each with a different make:

  • Battery B: 623 shell, 520 case shot, and 123 canister of Parrott patent for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery H:  58 shell, 560 shrapnel, and 140 canister of Dyer’s patent for 3-inch rifle.
  • Battery L: 180 Schenkl solid shot for 3-inch rifles.

More Schenkl entries on the last page of projectiles:

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Two lines for discussion:

  • Battery H: 285 Schenkl shells for 3-inch rifle.
  • Battery I: 116 Schenkl shells for 3-inch rifle.

And as always, closing out with the small arms reported:

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Note, Battery A reported no small arms.  The others:

  • Battery B: Fifteen Navy revolvers and six cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: One Army revolver, eight Navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: Eight Army revolvers and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Thirteen Army revolvers and sixteen foot artillery swords.
  • Battery G: Sixteen Army revolvers and eighteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery H: Sixteen Navy revolvers and fifteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: Seventeen Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: One Navy revolver and twenty-two cavalry sabers.
  • Battery L: Seventeen navy revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.

As we might expect for well organized batteries operating in the east, where non-artillery duty assignments were few.

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Massachusetts Batteries

Keeping strictly to the order presented in the summaries, the next state’s volunteer batteries to consider are from Massachusetts:

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At first glance, this looks “clean” compared to the respective sections from western states.  Twelve numbered batteries, with nine reporting, and no lines for sections attached to cavalry or infantry.  But there are still kinks to work out and questions to ask:

  • 1st Battery: White Oak Church, Virginia.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery was assigned to First Division, Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac. Captain William H. McCartney commanded.
  • 2nd Battery: No return.  Captain Ormand F. Nims commanded this battery, assigned to the Fourth Division, Nineteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf.  As of January 1863, the battery reported six 6-pdr rifled field guns (if strictly interpreted, 3.67-inch caliber, but 3.80-inch sometimes were identified as such). Reports indicate the battery’s duty station was Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  • 3rd Battery: Falmouth, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons (corrected from the previous quarter’s return… see 5th Battery below). Assigned to the First Division, Fifth Corps and under Captain Augustus Martin.
  • 4th Battery: At Baton Rouge, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch steel rifles. This battery was assigned to the Third Division, Nineteenth Corps, under Captain George G. Trull (though Lieutenant Joseph B. Briggs was temporarily in command during part of the winter).  The nature of the 3-inch rifles is a question for me.  With Sawyer and Wiard weapons of that caliber associated (by presence of surviving examples) with Massachusetts, but no direct citations at my grasp, I’ll leave full identification open.
  • 5th Battery: At Falmouth, Virginia with six 3-inch rifles.  Also assigned to 1st Division, Fifth Corps. The battery was under Captain Charles A. Phillips. The previous quarter, this battery supposedly had six 12-pdr Napoleons.  I think this a mix-up between the 3rd and 5th Batteries by the clerks, being corrected here in the first quarter of 1863.
  • 6th Battery: No return.  The battery was assigned to First Division, Nineteenth Corps, under Lieutenant William W. Carruth, with four 6-pdr Sawyer guns and two 12-pdr howitzers.
  • 7th Battery: Suffolk, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Assigned to the Seventh Army Corps, commanded by Captain Phineas A. Davis.
  • 8th Battery: No return.  Mustered out the previous November at the end of a six-month enlistment.
  • 9th Battery: Fort Ramsay, Virginia.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery was part of the defenses of Washington.  The 9th Battery Light Artillery was part of Abercrombie’s Division with Lieutenants Charles Erickson and later John Bigelow, commanding.  Of course, we know the battery went on to some renown for action later in the year.
  • 10th Battery:  Poolesville, Maryland with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery was assigned to the defenses of Washington, assigned to the Corps of Observation.  Captain J. Henry Sleeper commanded.
  • 11th Battery: Centreville, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Also part of Washington’s defenses. This battery was assigned to Casey’s Provisional Division and commanded by Captain Edward J. Jones..
  • 12th Battery:  At New Orleans, Louisiana, with an annotation, “Stores turned over March 27 to…” a Lieutenant who’s name is illegible to me. Lieutenant Edwin M. Chamberlin commanded this battery of unattached artillery in the Nineteenth Corps. The battery arrived in Louisiana that winter and performed garrison and guard duties through the winter and early spring.

Turning now to the ammunition reported with the smoothbore types first:

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Four batteries reporting, all of the same caliber:

  • 1st Battery: 396 shot, 74 shell, 251 case, and 131 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • 3rd Battery: 192 shot, 96 shell, 387 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • 4th Battery: 136 shot, 64 shell, 264 case, and 112 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • 9th Battery: 272 shot, 242 shell, 191 case, and 191 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

Of note, in each battery were were always more shot than canister.  And on most reporting lines more shell and case. While there are more canister on hand than one might expect, the majority of the rounds on hand reflected the tactical preference for artillery use.  I often wonder if the reported quantities of canister reflected some “over stock” due to the issue process.  As issue was often by chest (akin to what modern armies do with a “unit of fire”), there may have been a portion of unused canister retained.

Moving to rifled projectiles, we again find just one caliber to deal with.  And when turning to the Hotchkiss projectiles, we find five batteries reporting:

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For those 3-inch rifles (be they standard Ordnance or otherwise):

  • 4th Battery: 40 canister, 240 percussion shell, and 120 fuse shell for 3-inch rifle.
  • 5th Battery: 80 canister, 120 percussion shell, 413 fuse shell and 540 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle.
  • 7th Battery: 205 canister, 198 percussion shell, 284 fuse shell, and 750 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle.
  • 10th Battery: 123 canister, 110 percussion shell, 240 fuse shell and 760 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle.
  • 11th Battery:  117 canister, 512 percussion shell, and 575 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle.

We are able to skip the next page of rifled projectiles as there were no Dyer’s, James’, or Parrott’s on hand.  Turning to the Schenkl columns:

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A couple of lines:

  • 5th Battery: 80 Schenkl canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 15 Schenkl shell for 3-inch rifles.

Thus by a wide margin the Massachusetts artillerists had Hotchkiss projectiles for the first quarter.

Lastly, the small arms:

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By battery:

  • 1st Battery: Thirteen Army revolvers, twelve cavalry sabers, and seven horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Twelve Army revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and twenty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • 4th Battery: One .54 caliber carbine, seven Army revolvers, and forty-two horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Six Army revolvers and forty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Nineteen Army revolvers and 143 horse artillery sabers.
  • 9th Battery: Fourteen Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Twenty Navy revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • 11th Battery: Twenty Army revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.

Other than the 7th Battery’s large number of sabers, all within reason!

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Michigan Artillery

The Wolverine State sent a full regiment of light artillery to war along with a couple of independent batteries.  But for the first quarter of 1863, only ten of those were on the rolls.  As mentioned in the review of the previous quarterly summary for Michigan, the Ordnance Department clerks used designations for independent batteries (i.e. 1st Battery, 2nd Battery), while other official records consider these as regimented batteries (i.e. Battery A, Battery B).  I’ll use regimental designations here, but call to reader’s attention the this should be a natural match – as 1st Battery appears to be Battery A; 2nd Battery as Battery B; and so on:

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In addition to the ten light batteries, there are two separate sections to consider (and hopefully identify):

  • Battery A (1st Battery): No return.  This should be Lieutenant George Van Pelt’s battery, assigned to First Division, Fourteenth Corps.  A February 1863 roll-up of all artillery in the Department of the Cumberland indicates the battery had five 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery B (2nd Battery): Reporting from Bethel, Tennessee with two 12-pdr howitzers and three 3-inch rifles. Long story short on this battery’s history – having been overwhelmed at Shiloh the previous spring, it had just reconstituted and returned to duty.  The battery, under Lieutenant Albert F. R. Arndt, was posted to West Tennessee, under the District of Corinth, in the “catch all” Sixteenth Corps.
  • Battery C (3rd Battery): At Corinth, Mississippi.  One 12-pdr field howitzer and three 10-pdr Parrotts.  Under Captain George Robinson, this battery was also part of the District of Corinth, Sixteenth Corps during the winter of 1863.
  • Battery D (4th Battery): Reporting somewhere in Tennessee, which I cannot make out. Two 12-pdr field howitzers, two 10-pdr Parrotts, and two James 3.80-inch rifles.  Assigned to the Third Division, Fourteenth Corps, under Captain Josiah Church, which was of course at Murfreesboro at the time in question.
  • Battery E (5th Battery): At Nashville, Tennessee with three 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain John J. Ely’s battery was part of the Artillery of the Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland, and then serving in the garrison of Nashville.
  • Battery F (6th Battery): Munfordsville [sic], Kentucky. Two 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Records show that one section was at Munfordville under Lieutenant Luther F. Hale with two 6-pdrs and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Another section was at Bowling Green under Lieutenant Byron Paddock also with two 6-pdrs and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  So did only one section report?  Or should we look to one of the separate sections entered separably?
  • Battery G (7th Battery):  At Vicksburg, Mississippi… which it indeed visited later in July!  But this battery spent the winter of 1863 between Young’s Point and Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana, as part of the Ninth Division, Thirteenth Corps.  The summary indicates six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles on hand.  Captain Charles H. Lanphere commanded (Lieutenant Robert M. Wilder held the command temporarily during the winter).
  • Battery H (8th Battery): At Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana with with two 12-pdr field howitzers, two 6-pdr (3.67-inch) rifles, and two James (3.80-inch) rifles.  Captain Samuel De Golyer’s battery was assigned to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps.
  • Battery I (9th Battery): Reporting at Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia with six 3-inch rifles.  Captain Jabez J. Daniels commanded this battery assigned to the Cavalry Division of the Department of Washington.
  • Battery K (10th Battery): Arriving at Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. at the end of the winter.  The battery reported two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch steel rifles. Captain John Schuetz commanded this battery through the war.

With the organized batteries out of the way, let us turn to the two section entries:

  • Finch’s Section: Hickman’s Bridge, Kentucky. Two 12-pdr field howitzers.  Lieutenant Amasa. J. Finch of the 18th Michigan Infantry had charge of a section in the District of Central Kentucky. This was a temporary assignment, apparently disbanded before the end of the March.
  • Section at Munfordville – Clearly indicated as at Munfordville and with three 10-pdr Parrotts.  The “name” column may be “Boyd’s” or other common name.  But without any other leads, all I will commit to is this line referenced a three-gun section at Munfordville.

With that, question tabled, we can turn to the smoothbore ammunition reported:

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With a lot of 6-pdr field guns and 12-pdr field howitzers to feed:

  • Battery B: 152 shell, 152 case, and 94 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery C: 30 shell, 80 case, and 35 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery D: 98 shell, 108 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery E: 206 shot, 133 case, and 137 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery F: 258 shot, 209 case, and 115 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery H: 240 shell and 63 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery K: 156 shell for 12-pdr mountain howitzers; 204 shell for 12-pdr field howitzers; and 48 shell for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Finch’s Section: 192 shell, 192 case, and 128 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.

Battery K’s quantities raises eyebrows. Then again, the battery was in the “school house.”

Moving to the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

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Note the calibers and quantities cited here:

  • Battery B: 48 canister, 48 percussion shell, 72 fuse shell, 240 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery G: 202 canister, 156 percussion shell, 252 fuse shell, 600 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery H:  281 shot and 130 percussion shell for 12-pdr Wiard (3.67-inch) rifles.
  • Battery I: 96 canister, 200 percussion shell, 400 fuse shell, 720 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery K:  96 canister, 165 percussion shell, and 165 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

First off, we see an abundance of case shot (bullet shell) for a couple of batteries. As for Battery H, those are not Wiard projectiles but rather Hotchkiss type that were made for a specific caliber.  That caliber happened to be associated closely to Wiard’s guns… at least by the clerks counting things. Clearly those were meant for use in the 3.67-inch rifled 6-pdrs.  This is also an indicator we’ll see Tatham’s columns used later.

On the next page, we can focus on just the James, Parrott, and Schenkl projectiles:

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The full page is posted, if you need reference.  But let us look specifically at the quantities reported.  First the James patent projectiles:

  • Battery D: 12 canister for James 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 97 shell for James 3.80-inch rifles.

Now the Parrott patent projectiles:

  • Battery C: 40 shell, 382 case, and 126 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery D: 150 shell, 150 case, and 45 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery E: 196 shell, 129 case, and 47 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery F: 422 shell, 381 case, and 92 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Munfordville Section:  417 shell and 150 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

Lastly, the first set of Schenkl projectile columns:

  • Battery C: 57 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery E:  33 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

And there is one more Schenkl projectile entry line listed on the next page:

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  • Battery D: 333 shell for 3.80-inch James.

And on the far right, the Tatham canister columns:

  • Battery H: 186 canister for 3.67-inch rifles; 41 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Yes, that 0.13-th of an inch mattered.

Finally, we can turn to the small arms on hand for the winter reporting period:

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By battery:

  • Battery B: Thirty Army revolvers and thirty-one cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: Eighteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Twenty cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: Ten horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Twenty-five Army revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • Battery G: Fifteen Army revolvers, fifty-eight cavalry sabers, and six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Fifty cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: 141 Army revolvers and thirty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Fifteen Army revolvers and 128 horse artillery sabers.
  • Finch’s Section: One Army revolver and three cavalry sabers.
  • Munfordville Section: Two Army revolvers.

The biggest question mark for the Michigan summary in this quarter is that Munfordville section. Oh… bad penmanship of some clerk 153 years ago!

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Minnesota and Maryland Batteries

Continuing through the summaries in the order of presentation, the next sections are for batteries from Minnesota and Maryland.  What of Maine? And shouldn’t Massachusetts and Michigan be ahead of Minnesota? Clearly the clerks of the Ordnance Department placed line count and page layout above ease of data retrieval.  We’ll see those other states represented… after Missouri!

For now we have the business of five batteries from “The star of the North” and the “Old Line State.”

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Minnesota provided one heavy artillery regiment (very late in the war) and three light batteries to the cause.  The last of those light batteries was fully formed until late spring 1863.  So we see two listed here for the winter quarter of that year:

  • 1st Battery: Received on April 14, 1863, their report gave a location of Lake Providence, Louisiana, with two 12-pdr field howitzers and two 3.67-inch (6-pdr) rifles.  When Grant’s ponderous Thirteenth Corps was reorganized, the battery moved with its parent, the Sixth Division, into Seventeenth Corps.  During the winter the division moved from Memphis to Lake Providence, with other formations focused on Vicksburg.  Freshly promoted Captain William Z. Clayton commanded.
  • 2nd Battery:  On paper, we see this battery’s report arrived in Washington on April 15, claiming an advanced position at Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Something is certainly amiss with the entry.  Two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 10-pdr Parrotts is correct.  But the battery was actually at Murfreesboro with the rest of the Army of the Cumberland.  With the reorganization, the battery moved to First Division, Twentieth Corps.  Captain William A. Hotchkiss relinquished command of the battery to serve as the artillery chief.  Lieutenant Albert Woodbury assumed command.
  • 3rd Battery:  As mentioned above, this battery was still organizing at the reporting time and thus not on the summary.  Men from the 10th Minnesota Infantry transferred to form the battery.  Captain John Jones commanded.

Maryland had three batteries serving the Federal cause at this time in the war:

  • Battery A: The report received on June 23, 1863 indicated the battery wintered around White Oak Church, Virginia and possessed six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain James H. Rigby remained in command.  The battery was part of Sixth Corps at the time.
  • Battery B:  No date on the return, but the battery was also posted at White Oak Church. The battery reported four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Alonzo Snow commanded.  At the start of the quarter the battery was also part of the Sixth Corps.  By mid-spring the battery was listed as “unassigned” within the Army of the Potomac, then later assigned to the Provost Guard Brigade.
  • Baltimore Battery: The return of April 19 had the battery at Harpers Ferry, with one 6-pdr field gun and six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  The battery, under Captain F. W. Alexander, was in Kenley’s Division of the Eighth Corps (Middle Department).  Later the battery would transfer to Milroy’s Division at Winchester.

Among those five (reporting) batteries, we have three with smoothbore cannons:

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And those had ammunition on hand to count:

  • 1st Minnesota: 92 shell, 104 case, and 130 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 2nd Minnesota: 96 shot, 32 shell, 96 case, and 32 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Baltimore Battery:  100 case and 100 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, first those of Hotchkiss:

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Four with quantities to report:

  • 1st Minnesota: 74 shot, 96 fuse shell, and 12 bullet shell for 3.67-inch rifle (labeled “Wiard” in the column header, but we know that caliber was also used by the rifled 6-pdr guns).
  • Battery A, Maryland: 40 canister and 181 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery B, Maryland: 120 fuse shell and 452 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Baltimore Battery:  150 canister, 616 percussion shell, and 712 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

We cannot “cut down” the next page due to the various projectiles reported.

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Let us consider these by type.  One battery had Dyer’s on hand:

  • Battery A, Maryland: 32 shell, 527 shrapnel, and 80 canister for 3-inch rifle.

Now to the Parrott columns:

  • 2nd Minnesota: 416 shell and 149 canister for 10-pdr (2.9-inch) Parrott.

Lastly, there are some Schenkl columns on this page:

  • 2nd Minnesota: 15 shot for 10-pdr Parrott – reminder, these are Schenkl projectiles but made to work in Parrott rifles.

We see more Schenkl projectiles on the next page:

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These are in the Maryland batteries:

  • Battery A, Maryland: 332 shell in 3-inch rifle caliber.
  • Battery B, Maryland: 179 shell in 3-inch rifle caliber.

Then all the way to the right, we find Tatham’s canister in use:

  • 1st Minnesota: 126 canister for 3.67-inch (6-pdr) rifle caliber.

I do like that we see the 3.67-inch rifle caliber projectiles specifically called out on the forms.  This underscores the difference – practical and administrative – between the James Rifles and the rifled 6-pdrs.

Moving to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • 1st Minnesota: Eleven Navy revolvers and thirteen cavalry sabers.
  • 2nd Minnesota: One Navy revolver and eight cavalry sabers.
  • Battery A, Maryland: Eight Army revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B, Maryland: Fourteen Army revolvers and 102 cavalry sabers.
  • Baltimore Battery: Six Springfield .58-caliber muskets, twenty Army revolvers, and thirty horse artillery sabers.

We see, with one small exception, a desired small arms issue for artillery batteries.

Perhaps this is the best rounded, complete set of returns submitted thus far.  Just one question, about the location of the 2nd Minnesota battery.  And we see every cannon on the report had some projectile to fire!