Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – 4th Regiment, US Regulars

When reviewing the 4th US Artillery Regiment’s summary from the fourth quarter, 1862, we saw an extra line designated for the “Colonel” of the regiment.  That line covered tools and stores on hand at Fort Washington, Maryland. The equipment, which did not include any cannons but did include some small arms, were items not issued to batteries.  Presumably, Colonel Charles S. Merchant, commander of the regiment (more a “paper” command, of course) had direct responsibility for those stores.

But for the first quarter, 1863, that line for Merchant’s stores is absent:

0092_1_Snip_4thUS

Not a significant change, but one worth pause for discussion.  When an officer received equipment, he was  responsible for the care, maintenance, and, very importantly, accountability of the equipment.  An officer might be held liable if the equipment is damaged or lost while assigned to him.  When the equipment was transferred, the officer needed documentation to support relief from responsibility.   This is one reason we often find correspondence between officers discussing relatively trivial matters of equipment. That said, there was probably some document in Merchant’s personal papers concerning the transfer of three revolvers or various implements to another party.  The good colonel would not want some trouble over such trivial issues to detain him later.  Just something to consider when looking through correspondence.

But we are not concerned with property accountability 150 years after the fact, but rather the status of those batteries.  And here’s what was reported:

  • Battery A – At Falmouth, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery was assigned to the artillery reserve of Second Corps, Army of the Potomac.  During the winter, Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing replaced Lieutenant Samuel Canby in command of the battery.
  • Battery B – Reporting in from Belle Plain, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Lieutenant James Stewart commanded this battery assigned to First Division of the First Corps.
  • Battery C – Around Falmouth, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Supporting First Division, Second Corps and commanded by Lieutenant Evan Thomas.
  • Battery D – From Suffolk, Virginia and reporting six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Assigned to Seventh Corps and commanded by Captain Frederick M. Follett.
  • Battery E – No report.  Transferred from the Ninth Corps in February, Lieutenant  Samuel S. Elder’s battery became part of the Horse Artillery assigned to the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery F – At Stafford Court House, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Lieutenant Franklin B. Crosby, who would not survive the Chancellorsville Campaign, commanded this battery supporting First Division, Twelfth Corps.
  • Battery G – Outside Fredericksburg, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Assigned to the Army of the Potomac’s Artillery Reserve and commanded by Lieutenant Marcus P. Miller.
  • Battery H – Out in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and in possession of four 12-pdr field howitzers.  In January, Batteries H and M (below) split.  Lieutenant Charles C. Parsons retained command of the battery at that time, but later in the springpassed command of the battery to Lieutenant Harry C. Cushing.  Battery H supported Second Division, Twenty-First Corps.
  • Battery I – Winchester… Tennessee, not Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Lieutenant Frank G. Smith commanded this battery, supporting Third Division, Fourteenth Corps.
  • Battery K – Another battery at Falmouth, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Lieutenant Francis W. Seeley remained in command of this battery, which was assigned to Second Division, Third Corps.
  • Battery L – At Suffolk, Virginia with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Lieutenant Henry C. Hasbrouck commanded this battery of Seventh Corps.
  • Battery M – At Murfreesboro, Tennessee reporting four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 24-pdr field howitzers.  After the split with Battery H, Lieutenant Francis L. D. Russell assumed command.  The battery supported Second Division, Twenty-First Corps.

Note that only one battery’s return was received in Washington for the quarter.  All received between April and August of 1863.  The 4th Artillery kept on top of their paperwork.

The regiment had thirty-eight Napoleons.  As such, we see a lot of 12-pdr rounds on hand:

0094_1_Snip_4thUS

Most of the entries are as we might expect, but one entry raises questions:

  • Battery B – 216 shot, 92 shell, 216 case, and 92 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery C – 96 shot, 96 shell, 384 case, and 192 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery F – 252 shot, 76 shell, 252 case, and 76 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery G – 86 shot, 35 shell, 103 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery H – 240 shell and 240 case for 12-pdr field howitzer.  Then 128 in the column for 12-pdr mountain howitzer canister. Though as mentioned last week, I think this was the clerk’s expediency and was actually canister for field howitzer of the same caliber.
  • Battery I – 200 shot, 64 shell, 188 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery K – 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery L – 140 shell and 154 case for 12-pdr field howitzer.  32 canister for 12-pdr mountain or field howitzer, as the case may be.
  • Battery M –  Here’s a question of what should have been.  The battery reported no ammunition for its 24-pdr field howitzers.  I’ve shown the empty columns here (split to the right as they appear on the next page of the form).  So were the ammunition chests empty?

One other question comes to mind when comparing the numbers to the previous quarter.  There are no changes, for the most part, in reported quantities within the batteries supporting the Army of the Potomac.  Is that to say the batteries were “topped off” in December 1862 and needed no more?  Or might this be a “copy what we reported last quarter” approach to filling the form?  Either way we have a reason to question the quantities.

Moving next to see what feed the gunners had for rifled guns, first the Hotchkiss projectiles:

0094_2_Snip_4thUS

Two batteries with 3-inch rifles and two batteries with Hotchkiss:

  • Battery A – 120 canister, 50 percussion shell, 305 fuse shell, and 725 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle. And note, these are the same quantities reported by the battery for the previous quarter…. go figure.
  • Battery D –  53 canister, 49 percussion shell, 342 fuse shell, and 576 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle.  Now these quantities do differ from the previous quarter.

The next page of the summary covers Dyers, James, and Parrott projectiles, along with a few columns for additional Hotchkiss and Schenkl projectiles.  But there is a lot of empty space in that section.  The whole snip is posted for your review.  I’ll focus on the Parrott columns:

0095_1A_Snip_4thUS

Just one battery reporting, as expected:

  • Battery L – 480 shell, 240 case, and 96 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

And yes, that is exactly what Battery L reported the previous quarter… the trend continues.

The Schenkl/ Tatham columns are bare:

0095_2_Snip_4thUS

So we turn to the small arms:

0095_3_Snip_4thUS

All except Battery E reporting something here:

  • Battery A – Seventeen Army revolvers and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B – Thirty-seven Navy revolvers and twenty-four cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C – Thirteen navy revolvers and thirty-two cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D – Nine Army revolvers and 139 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F – Sixteen Army revolvers and thirteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G – Seven Navy revolvers and Ninety-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H – Seventeen Army revolvers and six cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I – Four Army revolvers and forty-three cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K – Twelve Army revolvers, two Navy revolvers and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L – Fourteen Army revolvers and 118 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M – Seven Army revolvers and seventeen cavalry sabers.

I would point out these quantities differ from those reported the previous quarter.  And such leaves a conundrum.  Are we to conclude the ammunition quantities reported were accurate, with little to no resupply over the winter?  Perhaps there was some omission, across the board, of ammunition numbers?  Or maybe some clerical magic was in play?  And I’m sure you can come up with other possibilities.  Again, the point here is that the summaries should not be considered very accurate of data sets.  We have to keep the anomalies and questions in mind. But… they are the most complete sets of data available for the subject!

For Sale: Fifty Batteries of Field Artillery, Complete!

There are hundreds of artillery enthusiasts right now looking at their check book balances, just in case…. No, I’m not selling artillery, but in 1870 the Ordnance Department was:

CommercialAdvertiser_NY_29Oct1870_P3

This advertisement appeared in the October 29, 1870 edition of the Commercial Advertiser (New York).

This is like a dream list for collectors.  Thousands of muskets, carbines, and pistols along with accouterments and ammunition.  Then the artillery… “50 Batteries of Field Artillery, complete, with ammunition.” This quantity was deemed surplus and to be sold for disposal.  As detailed in the paragraph that followed:

Bids will be entertained for any one, or all of the foregoing lots.  The bids to specify the price offered for the Arms with Ammunition, for Accoutrements by them-selves. The bids for Artillery will be for Batteries complete, with Ammunition; so much for a Battery of light 12-pounders, and so much for a Battery of Parrott 3-inch Rifle Guns, or for Batteries and Ammunition separately.

Yes, it was a different time… one could just buy a whole battery of artillery with ammunition without so much as a photo ID.  Send a bid in the mail to Alexander B. Dyer.  If your prices are good, the good Chief will accept the offer.

But what would you do with a battery of artillery?  In 1870 there was very little interest in Living History or “reenacting” the Civil War (some might argue the war was still being “enacted” even at that late date).  One might post the battery on the lawn to intimidate neighbors.

But fifty batteries?  That’s enough for an army!  And that might be what some had in mind:

EveningPost_NY_NY_14Jul1870_Vol69_P2

This ad appeared on the same day (October 29, 1870) in the New York Herald. It is mostly coincidental, I think, the Ordnance Department ad ran the same day as Starr & Frazier’s.  I suspect one source for Starr & Frazier’s batteries was from an earlier sale, by the Navy:

NYHerald_27Jan1870_VolXXXV_Iss27_P9

You read that correctly, 390 guns, 354 carriages, and over 95,000 projectiles.  A lot of iron for sale!  And this lot includes the 20- and 30-pounders calibers that Starr & Frazier offered.

Let me run some numbers for you on Parrotts and their production.  Might be a little boring, but follow the numbers here:

  • Number of 10-pdr (2.9-inch bore) Parrotts produced for Army contracts during the war – 276 guns.
  • Number of 3-inch bore Parrotts produced for Army contracts during the war – 279 guns.

So an aggregate total of 555 Parrott rifles in the 2.9-inch and 3-inch caliber range. One quirk to the caliber, however. We know that 119 of the 2.9-inch rifles were taken in hand for conversion to 3-inch.  I’ve written on that before. If we need a refresher, drop a line.  But long story short, none of those 119 guns survive today… as far as we know.

Keep in mind those are “Army contracts.”  As we well know there were many Parrotts produced for state or other customers in the early days of the war.  The ad from the Army does not break down the number of Parrotts and Napoleons for sale.  But fifty batteries is somewhere between 200 and 300 guns, depending if those were assessed as four or six gun batteries.  You see, that sale might account for a rather large portion of the Army’s wartime-purchase Parrott rifles.

The numbers for the Navy for the advertised calibers:

  • 20-pdr Parrott rifles on Navy registries – 336.
  • 30-pdr Parrott rifles on Navy registries – 407.

Of those two calibers, a total of 743.  And of that total, we see the Navy selling off 390… more than half…. in 1870.

But wait… there’s more….Was there some event, perhaps, in 1870 that may have generated a market for Parrott rifles?  Um… well there was this:

collage_franco-prussian_war

The Franco-Prussian War erupted in mid-1870.  And the newspapers indicate indeed France was very interested in those Parrott rifles.  Rather accusatory, in May 1871 the Daily Albany (New York) Argus ran:

The radical administration of Washington and the majority of their organs throughout the country, have expressed the most profound sympathy for Prussia in the recent war.  Grant went so far as to congratulate the Emperor William on the near resemblance between the institutions of Germany and the United States. While loud in the expressions of love and admiration for the Germans, they were busily engaged in sending arms to the French.

So… our government worked both sides of the street?  Tell me something new.  What is interesting are the details and “naming of names” in the Argus article. The Remington arms company was singled out for providing $14 million to the French that included over 200,000 sand of arms.  The article did not single out a specific source, but indicated “50 Parrott batteries, six guns each” were sold to the French.

That’s a good, round number – 300 guns.  And it is a rather convenient correlation to those being sold in the fall of 1870.  Just soak that a bit…Those were not all 10-pdrs, and some 20-pdrs were mixed in.  But regardless that is a significant number of weapons taken from the US and boxed up for shipment to France.

And I want to ensure you catch that qualification… this is the number “sold” to France, but not necessarily the number delivered. The Daily Albany Argus later reported, on February 16, 1872, that some of the sales to the French fell through:

Another large contract with which the French Government found special fault as involving fraud… .  From General Dyer’s statement of sales, it appears that the [C.K.] Garrison purchase from the war department was 26 guns, Parrott batteries, with 10,000 rounds of fixed ammunition. This by contract, was to have been delivered in 35 days from the 24th of December, 1870. Afterward the French Government refused to pay on the ground that the contract was not performed in time, and that the charges were exorbitant.  The French authorities claim they were charged at the rate of $15,000 for batteries that cost $1,000.

Hey, war-profiteering mark-up of fifteen times the cost is somewhat reasonable (don’t get me to going on the rates the French charged in 1917, OK? They didn’t give away those Chauchat machine guns, don’t you know.).

Clearly, however, we have a link between the Ordnance Department ad of October 1870 and the sales of Parrotts to the French.  And that connection was rather evident to many on Capitol Hill in 1871… and Dyer was soon sworn in for testimony.  Had there been a 24/7 news cycle, the story might have dominated the media for a week or so.  But it was, after all, a minor affair in the end.  As there are some nice technical details thrown around, the record is interesting, to me at least, for that discussion.

In closing, let me circle back from the 19th century politics… because darn it, this is “To the Sound of the Guns” not “Fancy Politicians” blog.

Consider there are somewhere between 115 and 120 surviving Parrotts of the 10-pdr/3-inch calibers.  Again, that’s counting guns with a “US” acceptance, and not considering those with New York, Pennsylvania, or Navy acceptance marks.  Subtract that surviving number from the quantity of guns purchased on Army contracts during the Civil War (555).  That gives us roughly 435 to 440 Parrotts that were “lost” to scraping or other means over the last 150 years.  Of that number, I ask, how many ended up in France?  And of those that might have reach France, do any survive today?

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – 3rd Regiment, US Regulars

When we looked at the fourth quarter, 1862 summaries for the 3rd US Artillery Regiment, we saw assignments weighted to the “far west” reflecting the regiment’s pre-war duty.  That disposition continued into 1863.  However, there were changes in the service locations for several batteries serving in the east during the next reporting period.  Looking to summaries from the first quarter, 1863, we see “Kentucky” for several batteries:

0092_1_Snip_3rdUS

Most differences from the previous quarter reflected one of those army-level organizational changes occurring during the winter of 1863.  Specifically, the movement of the Ninth Corps to the Western Theater.

  • Battery A – At Albuquerque, New Mexico with two 12-pdr field howitzers and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Less a pair of 6-pdr field guns reported in the earlier quarter. Unknown to me is who commanded the battery at this (or any other) stage of the war.
  • Battery B – No location given or guns listed.  The annotation is “Infy. Stores.”  The battery remained at Fort Point, San Francisco, California.
  • Battery C – Reporting from Camp Bayard, Kentucky with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. But this battery was not in Kentucky.  Part of the Army of the Potomac, the battery started the winter in the Horse Artillery then moved to the Reserve Artillery. Lieutenant Henry Meinell was in command of the battery.
  • Battery D – At Alcatraz Island, California with the annotation “Infy. Stores.”
  • Battery E – No return. Serving in the Department of the South, posted to Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Lieutenant  John R. Myrick was in command.
  • Battery F – “With Battery K” at Potomac Creek, Virginia.
  • Battery G – No return.  This battery was disbanded in October 1862.
  • Battery H – “Infy. Stores” with location as San Francisco, California.
  • Battery I – Also “Infy. Stores” but at Alcatraz Island.
  • Battery K – At Potomac Creek with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Combined with Battery F (above).  This battery, under Captain John G. Turnbull, continued to support First Division, Third Corps with the Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery L – “with Battery M” at Lexington, Kentucky.
  • Battery M – At Lexington, Kentucky with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Assigned to First Division, Ninth Corps.  Commanded by Captain John Edwards.

Between twelve batteries only twenty-two field artillery pieces.  Of course there were siege and garrison guns in California, just not a whole lot of them.  The gunners would wait until later in the war for some big weapons to guard the Golden Gate.

Only two of those batteries reported smoothbore weapons on hand.  So we have this:

0094_1_Snip_3rdUS

  • Battery A – 148 shot, 112 case, and 216 canister for 6-pdr field guns that teh battery no longer had (supposedly).  454 shell and 240 case for 12-pdr field howitzer.  And 408 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzer.  However, notice there is no column dedicated for 12-pdr field howitzer canister, rather just columns for “12-pounder canister, fixed” and “12-pounder mountain howitzer canister, fixed.”  There were, as any good artillerist knows, three distinct 12-pdr canister types in this period.  Might we presume the clerk entered 12-pdr field howitzer canister in the mountain howitzer column for convenience?
  • Battery F/K – 360 shot, 96 shell, 198 case, and 104 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

Moving past Battery A’s complications, we have the rifled projectiles.  Starting with the Hotchkiss-types:

0094_2_Snip_3rdUS

Again, just two batteries to discuss:

  • Battery A – 96 canister, 144 percussion shell, 130 fuse shell, and 288 bullet shell in 3-inch rifle.
  • Battery C – 50 canister, 50 fuse shell, and 90 bullet shell in 3-inch rifle.

The next page for rifled projectiles detailed Dyer’s, James’, and Parrott’s patent types (Full page here).  Of those, only Parrott types were reported:

0095_1A_Snip_3rdUS

And right where we’d expect:

  • Battery L/M – 618 shell, 435 case, and 265 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

Schenkl?   Well I put in the time to snip and tuck this page:

0095_2_Snip_3rdUS

All for one entry:

  • Battery C – 30 shell for 3-inch rifle.

Well at least we have something to discuss for the small arms section:

0095_3_Snip_3rdUS

  • Battery A – One Sharps carbine, 76(?) Navy revolvers, and 87 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C – One Sharps carbine, 36 Navy revolvers, 36 cavalry sabers, and 173… yes 173, horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F/K – Thirteen Navy revolvers and 45 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L/M – Sixteen Army revolvers and 47 horse artillery sabers.

For the four batteries reporting, that’s a lot of edged weapons.

I would say that one gap in the 3rd Regiment’s summaries which I’d like to “cover” with research is the status of Battery E.  I can guess and estimate, somewhat, what cannon were on hand by working against what I know was in the Department of the South (more accurately what showed up later on Morris Island).  I also suspect that Battery E, like many others assigned to South Carolina, carried a lot of small arms.  But the reasoning for that guess-work is not firm enough for my standards.

Swords into Plowshares,Spears into Pruning Hooks… and Parrott Shells into Wrecking Balls…

The disposition of ordnance after the Civil War has always fascinated me.  The Federals produced enough cannon and projectiles to fight a couple of wars.  Add to that mountains of weapons and ammunition captured from the Confederates.  In short, enough to carry the nation through several wars… provided that no advances in technology rendered the stockpile obsolete… which, well, is pretty much what happened.

The large quantity of obsolete cannon and projectiles was a boon, somewhat.  We have some surviving cannon on the battlefields, in front of courthouses, and in cemeteries across the land as result. In a few cases, those weapons were resold to other nations.  However, reading newspapers from the second-half of the 19th century, it seems rumors of such weapons sales far outnumbered actual sales.  Surplus dealers were another outlet for disposing the obsolete ordnance.

Most notabe was Francis Bannerman IV, who amassed a fortune reselling anyone desirous of old Army equipment.  A browse through one of Bannerman’s Catalog offers tantalizing deals… a dozen decades after the fact.  Imagine Sharps Carbines for a couple bucks!  Or an original Gatling gun complete with carriage!

While rare in number, heavy ordnance appeared in the pages of Bannerman’s, indicating the Army occasionally disposed of large projectiles as scrap.  So what would one do with a large caliber shell?  Well aside from sitting it out on the front porch to impress visitors…

Well, a notice in the New York Evening Post from March 15, 1875 alludes to one other, more practical, use for a heavy shell:

A 500-pound Parrott shell, lately used for breaking iron in Peekskill, was filled with water which froze solid and burst the shell into three pieces, although the iron was upwards of three inches thick.

A 500 pounder?  The 10-inch Parrott, among the heaviest used in the Civil War, only rated 300-pounder.  Well assuming the weight is not some typographical error and assuming the type of projectile is properly attributed to Parrott, that leaves a question.  There were 12-inch Parrott projectiles produced for heavy rifle tests. The bolts for such rated as 600-pounders.  So it is not hard to figure the shell in the same caliber being lighter at 500 pounds… give or take.  Just a swag that might substantiate the story.  But that’s just me being a cannon-guy trying to get all technical.

What’s important is someone was using a very large projectile to break up iron!  Presumably filled with water to add more force to the impact.. as if a 500 pound conical mass of iron needed more “umph!”  Oh, and that water froze, expanded, and cracked the shell, ending its useful second life.  From shell to wrecking ball to scrap… such is the life-cycle for a Parrott shell… one enormously large Parrott shell, mind you.

 

 

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – 2nd Regiment, US Regulars

As we move forward with the summaries today, we look at the Second Regiment, US Artillery.  For the fourth quarter of 1862, we saw varied service for the batteries in this regiment – field and garrison, eastern and western theaters.  The service details remained varied into the first quarter of the new year.  Furthermore, the changes between the two reporting period reflected some of the organizational changes occurring in the winter of 1863.

That said, let’s examine the administrative details and reported cannon on hand:

0092_1_Snip_2ndUS

Looking at these particulars, I’ll work in the changes with each entry:

  • Battery A – No location given. Six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles on hand, as was reported in December.  The is was Captain John C. Tidball’s battery. Though part of the Army of the Potomac’s Artillery Reserve, the battery was nominally assigned to Second Division of the Cavalry Corps.
  • Battery B – At Aquia Creek, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  An increase of two guns over the last report. Battery assigned to the horse artillery brigade of the Cavalry Corps.  When Captain James M. Robertson moved up to command the horse artillery of the Cavalry Corps, Lieutenant Albert Vincent assumed command of the battery.
  • Battery C – Opelousas, Louisiana with six 12-pdr Napoleons, an increase of two over last report.  The battery was part of Fourth Division, Nineteenth Corps (one of those relatively new formations on paper), in the Department of the Gulf. Lieutenant Theodore Bradley commanded.
  • Battery D – No location given.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons on hand, as was the case the previous December.  Battery D was assigned to Sixth Corps and was thus in camp north of the Rappahannock.  A Medal of Honor was in the future (two campaign seasons later) for Lieutenant Edward D. Williston.
  • Battery E –  Reporting at Lexington, Kentucky with six 20-pdr Parrott Rifles.  This battery moved to Kentucky as part of the Ninth Corps in March 1863.  Lieutenant Samuel N. Benjamin remained in command.  Note the quantity of guns.  Hunt indicated the battery had six 20-pdrs during the battle of Fredericksburg.  But the December 1862 report clearly shows a “1” in the 20-pdr column.  By March 1863, the battery reported six.  So was the earlier report in error?  Or did the reporting period catch the battery during a stage of refitting with new guns?  At any rate, those guns which started the year in Virginia had more travels before June 1863.
  • Battery F – No report. The battery remained in the Corinth, Mississippi area and, despite all the reorganizations in the Army of the Tennessee, remained with the District of Corinth.  Lieutenant Charles Green commanded, replacing Captain Albert Molinard.
  • Battery G – No report.  The battery remained with Sixth Corps, north of the Rappahannock.  Lieutenant John H. Bulter was in command.
  • Battery H – Assigned to Fort Barrancas, Florida as garrison artillery.  No field weapons reported.
  • Battery I – Fort McHenry, Maryland.  No field artillery reported.
  • Battery K – Fort Pickens, Florida on garrison artillery assignment.
  • Battery L – Reported at Aquia Creek with the annotation “No stores”.  Battery L remained consolidated with Battery B (above).
  • Battery M – At Bealton Station, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Assigned to the Horse Artillery Brigade, Army of the Potomac.  Lieutenant Robert Clarke replaced Lieutenant Robert H. Chapin at the head of this battery.

One last entry line for the regiment is for “Adjutant, stores in charge.” The adjutant reported several types of implements, tools, and supplies but no cannon or projectiles.  The adjutant did have a few sabers to rattle around.

Looking to the smoothbore projectiles:

0094_1_Snip_2ndUS

As expected only the Napoleon batteries reported quantities:

  • Battery C – 144 shot, 16 shell, 528 case, and 208 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery D – 273 shot, 110 shell, 321 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

So no surprises with the Napoleons.

For the Hotchkiss-types, we have only one battery to mention:

0094_2_Snip_2ndUS

But that reporting a healthy quantity:

  • Battery B – 266 shot, 90 canister, 434 percussion shell, 307 fuse shell, and 69 bullet shell for the “3-inch wrought-iron gun.”

Moving to the next page, we see entries for Dyer’s and Parrott’s patent projectiles:

0095_1_Snip_2ndUS

Yes, a lot of space for four numbers for us to consider.  I am including, this time around, some of the draft snips such as this one so readers might fully review the entries.  I may interpret a stray mark incorrectly, so this is intended to allow better validation (though… alas, I’ve pretty much cut up the workspace by creating the snips to begin with).  Looking narrowly here:

0095_1A_Snip_2ndUS

For Dyer’s:

  • Battery M – 348 Dyer’s shrapnel for 3-inch rifle.

The Parrott projectiles are for those 20-pdrs:

  • Battery E – 822 shell, 204 case, and 72 canister for 3.67-inch bore. Plenty for a six-gun battery to start an engagement.

Moving to the next page (full snip here) and Schenkl columns:

0095_2A_Snip_2ndUS

Just one battery reporting:

  • Battery M – 494 shell and 72 canister for 3-inch rifle.

We have no records for Battery A’s ammunition state at this period of the war.

Moving down to the small arms:

0095_3_Snip_2ndUS

 

By battery:

  • Battery A – Fourteen Army revolvers, sixty-six Navy revolvers, twelve cavalry sabers, and seventy-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B – Thirteen cavalry sabers and two horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C – Twenty-eight horse artillery sabers and twenty-eight foot artillery swords.
  • Battery D – Fifteen Army revolvers and sixty-two horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E – Fifty-six Navy revolvers and thirty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M – 120 Army revolvers and twenty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • Adjutant – Twenty-four horse artillery sabers.

So… Captain Tidball had time to tally the number of revolvers and edged weapons on hand… and a large number at that!  But gave no numbers for ammunition on hand. Are we to believe this storied battery had empty ammunition chests?  Or was there something missing in the report?   I just can’t see someone with Tidball’s reputation leaving out such an important particular.  Must have been something rotten in the Ordnance Department.

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – 1st Regiment, US Regular

As I was working up the illustrations to start the next round of summary statements, I reviewed the entries for the 4th quarter, 1862 in order to gauge where the presentation had evolved. The 1st US Regulars Regiment, being the the “lead off” post, suffered as my effort had not fully evolved. I will make up for that as we lead off the entries for the 1st quarter of 1863.

Getting started on the quarter’s summary, consider what was happening in at the reporting period – administratively from January 1 to March 31, 1863.  The armies in the Western Theater went through major organizational changes.  The Army of the Cumberland, after Stones River, went from a three-wing formation to one of three corps – the Fourteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-third.  Likewise, the Army of Tennessee also transformed from wings and divisions into corps.  Complicating the organization’s evolution was the short-lived Army of Mississippi under Major-General John McClernand. Not until late January was Major-General U.S. Grant able to implement his planned (in the previous November) reorganization into four corps – the Thirteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth. All this not to downplay the significant activity within the Army of the Potomac in Virginia during this same period.  One change being the departure of Ninth Corps to the Department of Ohio. All the while the “side” theaters, such as Louisiana or South Carolina, also saw organizational changes.  So while there were few battles during the first three months of 1863, the shakeup of organizations moved batteries around in the order of battle.

The batteries of the 1st US Artillery Regiment served in Virginia, South Carolina, and Louisiana. as reflected in the first page of their summary:

0092_Snip_1stUS_1

Looking at these batteries in detail:

  • Battery A – Reporting at Camp Mansfield, Louisiana (outside New Orleans) with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch rifles.  Captain Edmund C. Bainbridge remained in command of this battery.  The reporting location was probably valid for January.  By March the battery was in the field as the Nineteenth Corps prepared to move on Port Hudson.  Battery A appears to have split equipment with Battery F (below) around this time.
  • Battery B – At Hilton Head, South Carolina with four 12-pdr field howitzers.  Lieutenant Guy V. Henry commanded this battery, assigned to the Department of the South’s Tenth Corps.
  • Battery C – At Fort Macon, North Carolina with a dim annotation I interpret as “inf’y service”.  However, the line does not tell the whole story. As winter closed, Battery C was transferred to Hilton Head.  Lieutenant Cornelius Hook was in command.
  • Battery D – Beaufort, South Carolina with four 3-inch rifles.  Lieutenant  Joseph P. Sanger’s name is associated with this battery, but I don’t have confirmation that he was indeed was the commander. Battery D was paired with Battery M on organizational returns.
  • Battery E – At Falmouth, Virginia with four 3-inch rifles.  Captain Alanson Randol was in command of this battery supporting Third Division, Fifth Corps.  Sometimes cited as combined Batteries E and G (see below).  Later, in May, the battery transferred to the Artillery Reserve… but that part of the story for another day.
  • Battery F – No report, but known to be posted in the defenses of New Orleans under Captain Richard C. Duryea, before assigned to Third Division, Nineteenth Corps for the Port Hudson campaign.
  • Battery G – No report.  Dyer’s has Battery G’s personnel serving with Batteries E and K at this time.  However, during the late winter, Lieutenant E.W. Olcott had the guidon, at least on one organizational return.
  • Battery H – At Falmouth, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Serving with Second Division, Third Corps at the time. Lieutenant Justin E. Dimick was the battery commander.
  • Battery I – At Falmouth, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Lieutenant George Woodruff commanded this battery from the Second Corps’ artillery park.
  • Battery K – At Falmouth, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Assigned to the Artillery Reserve, Captain William Graham was the commander. However, with Graham pulled to head the brigade, Lieutenant  Lorenzo Thomas, Jr. appears as the commander on organizational tables from the later part of the winter.
  • Battery L – Reporting at Port Hudson, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Henry W. Closson’s battery was in Forth Division, Nineteenth Corps.  They were part of a column advanced as a diversion against Port Hudson in March 1863.  So perhaps the location is possibly … maybe … accurate. However, I submit the location is also correct for July of 1863, when the report was received in Washington.
  • Battery M – At Beaufort, South Carolina with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Captain Loomis L. Langdon lead this battery.  It was also one of the batteries assigned to the Tenth Corps, and familiar to those of us following the Charleston campaigns.

One other portion of the 1st Artillery to mention, though they don’t appear on the summaries.  The Headquarters of the regiment appears in dispatches as at Fort Warren, Massachusetts.

Looking back at the previous quarter’s returns, we see a few changes at the battery level. Batteries E and K exchanged their Napoleons for Ordnance Rifles. Down in South Carolina, where cannons were scarce, some cross leveling may have taken place.  Battery B lost two 3-inch Rifles, while Battery D gained a pair. Battery B also gave up two Napoleons as  Battery M added two (they replaced two 24-pdr howitzers).  Stripped of its “good” guns, Battery B worked four 12-pdr field howitzers.  Not changing armament, Batteries A, H, I, and L reported the same types and quantities from the previous quarter.

Looking to the ammunition tables, we start with the smoothbore projectiles:

0094_Snip_1stUS_1

Rather healthy reports here, but some question marks:

  • Battery A – 520 case shot and 168 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery B – 250 shell, 250 case, and 78 canister for 12-pdr field howitzer.
  • Battery E – 128 shot, 60 shell, 196 case, and 184 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons. Are we to assume the battery had these quantities still on hand after exchanging for rifles?
  • Battery H – 299 shot, 96 shell, 279(?) case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery I – 96 shell, 240(?) case, and 296(?) canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery L – 272 shot, 64 shell, 204 case, and 56 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery M – 485 shot, 150 shell, 506 case, and 110 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, we start with the Hotchkiss section:

0094_Snip_1stUS_2

Four batteries reporting:

  • Battery A – 42 shot, 114 canister, 170 percussion shell, 340(?) fuse shell, and 120 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle…. all for two guns.
  • Battery D – 86 canister, 60 percussion shell, 96 fuse shell, and 150 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle.
  • Battery K – 39 fuse shells in 3-inch rifle.
  • Battery M – 12 canister, 12 percussion shell, 24 fuse shell, and 20 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle.

Moving to the next page, there are entries for Dyer’s and Parrott’s projectiles:

0095_Snip_1stUS_1

One battery with Dyer’s:

  • Battery K – 133(?) 3-inch shrapnel.

As for Parrotts:

  • Battery L: 320 10-pdr Parrott shell.
  • Battery M: 120 10-pdr Parrott case.  And remember that the battery had 3-inch rifles, not Parrott rifles.

There was but one battery reporting Schenkl projectiles:

0095_Snip_1stUS_2

And plenty of them:

  • Battery K – 805 shell and 130 canister for 3-inch rifle.

One has to wonder what had been under that battery’s Christmas tree.

Lastly, the small arms reported:

0095_Snip_1stUS_3

Note the two penciled columns here.  “Sharps’ Carbine Cal .52” and “Springfield Cal. 58.”  Only the later factors into the 1st US returns:

  • Battery A – Ten Army revolvers and 59 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B – 84 Springfield rifles, 100 Army revolvers, seven cavalry sabers, and seventy horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D – 125 Army revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and 107 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E – Fourteen Navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H – Twenty-two Navy revolvers and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I – Twelve Navy revolvers and twenty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K – Sixteen Army revolvers, thirty-nine cavalry sabers, and eighty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L – Four Springfield rifles, 62 Army revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and 107 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M – 85 Springfield rifles, 103 Army revolvers, one Navy revolver, nine cavalry sabers, and 104 horse artillery sabers.

Recall the small arms considerations for artillery service.  We see Batteries B, D, and M, all serving in South Carolina, were armed to the teeth.  And of course those batteries were often required to pull duties normally assigned to infantry troops in the larger field armies.  However, it is fair to point out that by late summer of 1863, some of the infantry in South Carolina were pulling duties normally assigned to artillery… as the big guns on Morris Island required crews.

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

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

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

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

0059_Snip_Dec62_3NY_1

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

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

 

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

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

0061_Snip_Dec62_3NY_1

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

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

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

0061_Snip_Dec62_3NY_2

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

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

0062_Snip_Dec62_3NY_1a

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

As for small arms on hand:

0062_Snip_Dec62_3NY_3

By battery:

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

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

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

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