Miles Greenwood and the Eagle Iron Works… the Ohio War Machine!

As I tallied the particulars for the Ohio batteries last week, the number of James rifles reported on hand reminded me of an “Ohio story” if you will and how many of those batteries were equipped for war.  I’ve mentioned Miles Greenwood and the Eagle Foundry on occasion.  Time to formally introduce this important manufacturer of cannon… and other things!

Miles Greenwood is much the stereotypical 19th century American success story.   Ohio History Central (and the Farm Collector website) offer basic biographies of Greenwood.   Allow me to skip some of those details and focus on those pertaining to armaments manufacture.  Greenwood established the Eagle Iron Works (sometimes cited as a “foundry”) in 1832.  Cincinnati was a bustling riverport on the Ohio with connections (via canal) to Lake Erie at this time, and was a lucrative place for such manufacturing. Greenwood captured that market, producing, among other things, hardware, farm implements, river-boat equipment, and even fire-fighting apparatus.  Greenwood’s Eagle Iron Works stood along the Miami Canal, off what is today Central Parkway, in downtown Cincinnati. (Far as I know, the Ohio Mechanics Institute building is the only vestige of Greenwood’s once powerful industrial empire.  Please drop a note if you know of others!)


But mass production of military grade weapons require specialty techniques.  Bronze cannon casting, for instance, necessitated careful monitoring and demanding inspections before simply “letting fly”.  So how much experienced did the Eagle Iron Works have at cannon production?

Well the vendor is connected to a couple of cannon cast for Texians in 1836.  These were purchased by sympathetic citizens of Cincinnati and sent to Texas under false shipping documents.  Named the “Twin Sisters” in lore, these cannon are not well described in first hand accounts.  Where these bronze or iron?  Where these 4-pdr or 6-pdr guns?  And were they actually produced by Greenwood, or simply sold by Greenwood?  (As readers know, I get particular about such… particulars…)  At any rate, the guns saw action at San Jacinto in April 1836.  That we can connect Greenwood to cannon is significant, as at least we know the firm was involved with armaments.  As it stands there is scant indication Greenwood’s corporation, before the Civil War, had the ability to produce large quantities of cannon or small arms.

But when the calendar turned to 1861, Greenwood’s factory suddenly became a major supplier of arms.  In April 1861, the state of Ohio needed rifled muskets to arm their volunteers.  The solution reached was for Greenwood to convert Model 1842 smoothbore muskets to rifles.  And that was done at a prodigious rate!  By December 1861, some 8,400 were converted.  Throughout the war, Greenwood continued to modify old weapons, to include conversions of flintlocks to percussion.  (See George D. Moller’s American Military Shoulder Firearms, Volume III for more background on the Greenwood rifles… or better still, join me in calling for Phil Spaugy to walk us through all those details… to include the special sights provided!)

Since this is “To the Sound of the Guns” and we talk artillery, my interest with Greenwood is on the cannon.  In the past I’ve mentioned the firm’s 6-pdr field gunsJames rifles, 12-pdr howitzers, and 12-pdr Napoleons.  Reviewing Ordnance Department records, Greenwood delivered forty-six 6-pdr field guns, fifty-one James Rifles, fourteen 12-pdr field howitzers, and fifty Napoleons.  So just 161 guns from the Eagle Iron Works?  Not hardly.

Keep in mind the procurement system of 1861 was not as today’s.  In addition to Federal orders from the Ordnance Department, state authorities placed orders for artillery pieces.  Ohio, of course, was among those placing orders.  Likely, some of the James rifles listed with the Ohio batteries in January 1863 were Greenwood products.

In addition to new castings, Ohio also attempted the same “trick” applied to those old muskets – conversion of 6-pdr smoothbores to rifles.  From from the Annual Report of the Ohio Quartermaster-General, for 1861 (page 587):

Of the thirty-three smooth bore six-pounders under the control of the [State] Quartermaster-General at the beginning of the rebellion, twenty-seven have been rebushed, rebored, and rifled, at a cost of thirteen hundred and fifty dollars.  These guns are all now in service, and in all respects are fully equal to the best rifled six-pounders in the field.

Of course, “equal to the best rifled six-pounders in the field” was a relative assessment. A good portion, if not all, of this work was completed by Greenwood.

And Ohio was not the only state calling on Greenwood.  On May 7, 1861, the Cincinnati Daily Enquirer reported:

Miles Greenwood & Co. yesterday received an order from Governor Morton, of Indiana, to manufacture twenty large pieces of brass cannon forthwith.

In addition, Greenwood attempted to make wrought iron guns… though with not so good results.  On July 9 the same paper seconded a report:

The Indianapolis Sentinel insists that Governor Morton has sent back to Miles Greenwood, Esq, of this city, Captain Wilder’s wrought iron guns, for the reason they were unfit for use.


This seems to reference to the 26th Indiana Artillery.  We know, at least by January 1863, that battery had 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.

Lower echelons of government were also wanting for artillery.  On August 29, 1861, the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune reported the city’s Military Committee approved the mayor to contact Greenwood “for two batteries of artillery, consisting of six pieces each, together with equipments….” The cost was not to exceed $7,930 per battery.  Later reports indicated disbursement of the approved funds.  So the city received at least some cannon from Greenwood, type and caliber not specified.

And even private citizens had interest in Greenwood’s guns. On April 19, 1861, when the war was still just a great storm fast approaching, the Commercial Tribune ran a news item:

We understand Miles Greenwood was waited upon yesterday afternoon, by a company of patriotic ladies from the Sixth Ward, to ascertain from him whether the Government had given him any encouragement for the manufacture of cannon for the defense of our country.  If not, they had concluded to take the responsibility, and would order a number of 42-pounder rifle cannon, to be ready at the earliest possible moment. They are intended for fortifying the hills about our city.  This is patriotism for you.

There is no indication Greenwood produced any 42-pdr rifled cannon in response.  But without doubt, the presence of the foundry set many civilian minds at ease.

With the ramp-up for war, Greenwood expanded.  By October 12 of the year, the Commercial Tribune indicated, “At the foundry of Miles Greenwood about four hundred men are now employed in the manufacture, rifling and improvement of field pieces, lances and muskets for the army.” And this was just the start.  As the war progressed, Greenwood expanded to include turrets for river ironclads and even Gatling guns!

There in Cincinnati at south the edge of Over-the-Rhine, Greenwood’s Eagle Iron Works became a converted arms industry providing weapons for Ohio and neighboring states. There are parallels to mobilization of industry for World War I and World War II in the 20th century.  The facilities for making plowshares were re-tasked for making swords.  And once the war was over, just as would occur in 1919 and 1945, the factory returned to plowshares.

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Ohio’s Independent Batteries, Part 1

Ohio designated twenty-six batteries as “independent” numbered units during the Civil War.  As with our look at the previous quarter, we’ll split those into halves to facilitate detailed discussion (… and well.. also because the section is split across two pages in the summaries!).  So the first fourteen appear as such:


With ten of those reporting:

  • 1st Battery: No report. Captain James R. McMullin commanded this battery, supporting the Third Division, Eighth Corps, and posted to Kanawha Falls, West Virginia. The battery had 3-inch Ordnance Rifles at this time.
  • 2nd Battery: Reporting at Helena, Arkansas with  two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. At the start of the winter, Captain Newton J. Smith commanded this battery assigned to Twelfth Division (later Third Division), Thirteenth Corps.  Lieutenant Augustus Beach replaced Smith near the beginning of spring.
  • 3rd Battery: At Berry’s Landing, Louisiana with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles.   Berry’s Landing was a placename upstream of Helena, Arkansas, not in Louisiana!  In this case, the battery was around Lake Providence at the end of winter 1863.  So it is likely there were two such placenames in use.  Was assigned to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps.  Captain William S. Williams commanding.
  • 4th Battery:  At Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain Louis Hoffmann’s battery assigned to First Divsision, Fifteenth Corps.
  • 5th Battery:  At Memphis, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Commanded by Lieutenant Anthony B. Burton.  Briefly assigned to the Seventeenth Corps at the start of the winter months. Later, in January, moved with the rest of the division (Fourth) to Sixteenth Corps.
  • 6th  Battery:  Reporting from Murfreesboro, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons (replacing 6-pdrs) and four 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Cullen Bradley remained in command of the battery, which was assigned to First Division, Twenty-First Corps with the reorganizations that winter.
  • 7th Battery: Memphis, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Like the 5th Battery, the 7th was briefly listed in the Seventeenth Corps until the Forth Division transferred to the Sixteenth Corps.   Captain Silas A. Burnap remained commander.
  • 8th Battery: No report.  Commanded by Captain (promoted)  James F. Putnam, this battery was assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps.
  • 9th Battery: Brentwood, Tennessee (between Franklin and Nashville) with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Commanded by Captain Harrison B. York and assigned to the Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • 10th Battery: Lake Providence, Louisiana with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. At the start of January 1863, this battery,  under Captain Hamilton B. White, was in Sixth Division, Sixteenth Corps.  But that division moved to the Seventeenth Corps later in the month.  You need a cheat sheet to follow Grant’s old Thirteenth Corps reorganizations!
  • 11th Battery: No report. Was part of the Seventh Division, Sixteenth Corps at the start of January.  When the division transferred to the Seventeenth Corps, the battery went along. By the end of spring, Lieutenant Fletcher E. Armstrong was in command.
  • 12th Battery: At Aquia Creek, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Aaron C. Johnson commanded this battery assigned to the Eleventh corps.
  • 13th Battery: No report. Losing all its guns at Shiloh, this battery ceased to exist after April 1862.
  • 14th Battery: Jackson, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3-inch Ordnance rifles. The battery part of the District of Jackson (though at Lynnville, Tennessee), Thirteenth Corps at this time, under Lieutenant Homer H. Stull.

What I like about this set of batteries is the variation among gun tubes assigned.  We see some 6-pdrs and field howitzers still on hand.  A lot of James Rifles.  But the Napoleons, Parrotts, and Ordnance Rifles beginning to replace the older weapons. An interesting mix for the middle of the war.

Turning to smoothbore projectiles:


Like a canister blast pattern!

  • 2nd Battery: 41 shell, 113 case, and 77 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 3rd Battery: 120 shot, 143 case, and 59 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 4th Battery: 110 shell, 105 case, and 92 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 5th Battery: 40 shot, 267 case, and 93 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 57 shell, 147 case, and 82 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 6th Battery: 118 shot, 52 shell, 76 case, and 80 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 9th Battery: 180 shot, 243 shell, 446 case, and 310 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 14th Battery: 148 shot, 48 shell, 150 case, and 58 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

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


We can split this page between the James Rifles (majority) and the Ordnance Rifles (two battery).  Starting with Hotchkiss projectiles for James rifles:

  • 2nd Battery: 60 shot, 127 percussion shell, and 310 fuse shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 3rd Battery: 58 fuse shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 4th Battery: 55 shot and 240 percussion shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 66 shot for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 39 shot and 71 fuse shell for 3.80-inch rifles.

Now the two batteries with Hotchkiss for 3-inch Ordnance Rifles:

  • 12th Battery: 171 percussion shell, 497 fuse shell, and 407 bullet shell in 3-inch.
  • 14th Battery: 148 canister, 160 percussion shell, 160 fuse shell, and 340 bullet shell in 3-inch.

For simplicity, let’s break the next page into batches.  Starting with some “trailing columns” of Hotchkiss and those of Dyer’s Patent:


One line for Hotckiss left:

  • 10th Battery: 389 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

And likewise for Dyer’s:

  • 12th Battery: 120 canister for 3-inch.

Moving to the James-patent projectiles, as we would expect there are many entries:


  • 2nd Battery: 51 shot in 3.80-inch.
  • 3rd Battery: 63 shot and 210 shell in 3.80-inch.
  • 4th Battery: 170 shell in 3.80-inch.
  • 5th Battery: 55 shot, 151 shell, and 95 canister in 3.80-inch.
  • 7th Battery: 60 shell and 100 canister in 3.80-inch.
  • 10th Battery:  203 shell in 3.80-inch.

Moving to the right, one battery with Parrotts, so….


  • 6th Battery:  440 shell, 347 case, and 60 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

Turning to the next page…


Just a few entries for Schenkl shells:

  • 3rd Battery: 122 shells for 3.80-inch.
  • 7th Battery: 320 shells for 3.80-inch.
  • 10th Battery: 176 shells for 3.80-inch.

Where we see James rifles in use, we often see Tatham’s Canister:

  • 2nd Battery: 144 canister in 3.80-inch.
  • 3rd Battery: 78 canister in 3.80-inch.
  • 4th Battery: 90 canister in 3.80-inch.
  • 7th Battery: 80 canister in 3.80-inch.

I find interesting that among these batteries with James rifles, there is a mix of shells from different patent types.  And with the canister, we see the 7th Battery reported both James’ and Tatham’s on hand – thus alluding to differences with the two types.

We close with the small arms:


By battery reporting:

  • 2nd Battery: Three Army revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Twenty-three Army revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • 4th Battery: Twenty-five Army revolvers, fifty-five cavalry sabers, six horse artillery sabers, and eighteen foot artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Seven Navy revolvers and sixteen cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Ten Army revolvers and seven horse artillery sabers.
  • 9th Battery: Thirteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Five Army revolvers and thirteen cavalry sabers.
  • 14th Battery: Thirty Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.

Notice the 12th Battery, posted in Virginia, reported no small arms on hand. I would expect the battery to have some arms on hand, but not many.

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

O-H!  I-O!  All the Buckeyes are standing up making letters with their arms now…..

Referring back to the fourth quarter, 1862 summaries, we noted the 1st Ohio Light Artillery Regiment was equipped with some of the less preferred cannons.  We also found the regiment split between the Armies of the Cumberland and Potomac:


Given the reorganizations that winter, we have dots to connect for the administrative columns:

  • Battery A: At Murfreesboro, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  According to the unit history, the battery held two 12-pdr howitzers and a pair of Napoleons through the winter months.  On March 22th, they received four new James Rifles, turning in the howitzers. Captain Wilbur F. Goodspeed resumed command during the winter.  Under reorganizations, the battery went to Second Division, Twentieth Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • Battery B: Reporting at Nashville, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Remaining under Captain William E. Standart, this battery was part of Second Division, Twenty-First Corps, Army of the Cumberland. And as such, was actually at the forward outpost position (with the rest of the division) “up on Cripple Creek”…Tennessee.
  • Battery C: At Lavergne, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons (replacing two 6-pdr field guns from the previous report) and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Daniel K. Southwick remained commanded this battery. Under reorganizations, it was assigned to the Third Division, Fourteenth Corps.
  • Battery D: Wintering at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with three 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  This report covered just one section, under Lieutenant Nathaniel M. Newell, with the Second Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  Captain Andrew J. Konkle was the batter commander, but his name does not appear on reports until later in the spring, with a section assigned to First Division of the same Cavalry Corps.  Konkle reported ill through the winter, leaving him unable to perform manual labor and the basis for an invalid pension claim after the war.
  • Battery E: No report. Captain Warren P. Edgarton’s battery was initially assigned to Second Division, Twentieth Corps.   This battery suffered heavily, losing its guns, at Stones River. As such, it was posted to Nashville through the winter months.  Edgarton became the artillery commander of the Nashville garrison.  Lieutenant Stephen W. Dorsey assumed command of the battery, which was later assigned to the Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • Battery F: No report. Lieutenant Norval Osburn assumed on the field at Stones River. Later in the winter Captain Daniel T. Cockerill recovered from his wounds and returned to command.  The battery served in Second Division, Twenty-first Corps. For the previous quarter, reporting two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. But consolidated reports indicate the battery had six 12-pdr Napoleons and five 3.80-inch James Rifles (!).
  • Battery G: At Murfreesboro with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (completely re-equipped after Stones River).  Captain Alexander Marshall’s battery assigned to Second Division, Fourteenth Corps.
  • Battery H: At Falmouth, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain James F. Huntington resumed command of this battery.  The battery supported Third Division, Third Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery I: Reporting at Stafford Court House, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Hubert Dilger’s battery were part of Third Division, Eleventh Corps.
  • Battery K: No report.  Commanded by Captain William L. De Beck, this battery supported First Division, Eleventh Corps.  I believe they were armed with 12-pdr Napoleons at this time.
  • Battery L:  At Stafford, Virginia with Six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Frank C. Gibbs had command of this battery, supporting Second Division, Fifth Corps.
  • Battery M: Also at Murfreesboro and reporting one 6-pdr field gun, two 3-inch steel guns, and three 3.80-inch James Rifles (considerably different from the previous quarter, but still a mixed battery).  Captain Frederick Schultz commanded this battery, assigned to Second Division, Fourteenth Corps.

Two tangents to recognize with the administrative details and cannons reported.  As mentioned before the Army of the Cumberland’s reorganization from one corps (with wings) into multiple corps caused considerable re-alignment through the winter.  Secondly, those same batteries, while not quite up to the level of those in the east, were phasing out the less efficient 6-pdr guns and 12-pdr howitzers.  The James Rifles, however, persisted.

With the winter refitting of the batteries in mind, consider the quantities and types of smoothbore ammunition reported on hand:


Excepting Batteries D and H, every reporting battery had some smoothbore ammunition on hand:

  • Battery A: 56 shot, 64 shell, 108 case, and 72 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B: 40 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery C: 15 shot, 42 case, and 46 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 96 shot, 32 shell, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery G: 77 shot and 148 canister for 6-pdr guns; 168 shot, 64 shells, 128 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; then 143 shell and 46 canister for 12-pdr howitzers.
  • Battery I: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery L: 312 shot, 112 shell, 296 case, and 136 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery M: 64 shot, 105 case, and 27 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

So Battery B only had canister for its 6-pdrs.  Battery C retained 6-pdr ammunition, at least at the end of the quarter, after turning in two 6-pdrs.  But those are small issues compared with Battery G, which had substantial amounts of ammunition for guns it had lost earlier.

Turning to the rifled projectiles, there are first the Hotchkiss:


Two calibers to consider – 3-inch and 3.80-inch:

  • Battery A:  90 shot for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery C: 102 shot, 379 fuse shell, and 96 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery D: 54 canister and 60 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery G: 77 canister, 96 percussion shell, 120 fuse shell, and 96 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 96 canister, 450 percussion shell, and 754 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery M:  56 canister, 115 percussion shell, 40 fuse shell, and 180 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles; 75 shot and 56 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James.

A couple more Hotchkiss entries on the next page, along with one for James projectiles:


The last two Hotchkiss columns:

  • Battery A: 60 Hotchkiss canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery M: 94 Hotchkiss canister for 3.80-inch James.

And just one column of James-patent:

  • Battery C: 61 James shells for 3.80-inch James.

Moving to the last page of rifled projectiles:



  • Battery A: 440 Schenkl shells for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery B: 240 Schenkl shells for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery C: 403 Schenkl shells for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery M:  102 Schenkl shells for 3.80-inch James.

And Tatham:

  • Battery B: 200 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery M: 42 canister for 3.80-inch James.

Lastly, we move to the small arms:


By battery:

  • Battery A: Three Navy revolvers and two cavalry sabers.
  • Battery B:  Three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Nine Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Twenty Army revolvers and fourty-eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Twelve Navy revolvers and fourty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: Eighteen Navy revolvers and thirty-seven horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Seven Army revolvers and eight cavalry sabers.

Those eastern batteries seemed to carry more small arms than their western counterparts.

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries (Part 3)

Time to “close out” the New York Independent Battery summaries for first quarter, 1863 by looking at the last set – the 25th and higher:


Like a half empty ammunition chest!  The Ordnance Department recorded batteries numbered up to the 32nd.  And we see only the 25th, 27th, and 32nd gave returns.  So we should make short work of this set.  But since we are here… Dyer’s reminds us New York offered thirty-six of these independent batteries by war’s end.  Let’s give a full accounting of those just to round out the list:

  • 25th Battery: Reporting at New Orleans, Louisiana with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain John A. Grow remained in command of this hard-luck battery.  Recovered from a shipwreck in transit to New Orleans, the battery went into the defenses of the city as part of the Nineteenth Corps.
  • 26th Battery: No return.  Also a shipwreck survivor!  Captain George W. Fox’s battery was also listed in the New Orleans defenses.  Very likely the battery had not been reequipped for field service by the spring of 1863.
  • 27th Battery: At Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Under Captain John B. Eaton, this relatively new battery was still training up to standards at the start of spring 1863.
  • 28th Battery: No return. This battery would spend the war at Fort Schuyler, New York.  Captain Cyprian H. Millard is listed as commander.
  • 29th Battery: No return. Formerly, Battery A, 1st New York Light Artillery Battalion. This battery was assigned to the Army of the Potomac’s Artillery Reserve, likely retaining its four 20-pdr Parrotts. Returns from the period list Lieutenant Gustav Von Blucher as commander, but Captain Otto Diedrich was listed on the battery rolls.
  • 30th Battery: No return.  Re-designation of Battery B, 1st New York Light Artillery Battalion. Also with the Artillery Reserve at this time, and also a battery with four 20-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Adolph Voegelee commanded.
  • 31st Battery: No return.  And this was old Battery C of that New York light battalion.  Also assigned four 20-pdr Parrotts.  This battery’s history is somewhat vague.  Captain Robert Langner remained battery commander. But the battery does not appear on Army of the Potomac rolls at the end of the winter.  However, the battery appears to have taken nine casualties during the Chancellorsville Campaign.
  • 32nd Battery: At Martinsburg, (West) Virginia, and reporting six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  The location is valid for the June 1864 reporting date.  Starting the spring of 1863, the battery was still with the Army of the Potomac’s Artillery Reserve. Captain Charles Kusserow gave way to Lieutenant George Gaston, temporary, at the start of spring.
  • 33rd Battery:  Not listed.  This battery would not muster until September 1863.
  • 34th Battery: Not listed. Recall, this is the re-designation for Battery L, 2nd New York Heavy.
  • 35th Battery: Not listed. Recruiting of this battery started in July 1863 but never progressed far.  Battery never formally organized and those recruited transferred to the 16th New York Heavy Artillery.
  • 36th Battery: Not listed. Another battery authorized in the summer of 1863.  And it also failed to organize.  Recruits sent to the 13th New York Heavy Artillery.

So much for administrative histories.  As you see, we should have eight returns and probably twenty-six gun tubes to discuss.  Instead, we have three returns and fourteen cannon.  Of those, only one smoothbore battery to report ammunition:


  • 27th Battery: 229 shot, 62 shell, 254 case, and 72 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Moving to those 3-inch rifles, Hotchkiss was issued:


  • 25th Battery: 80 canister, 60 percussion shell, 300 fuse shell, and 300 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 32nd Battery: 120 canister, 600 percussion shell, and 480 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

How about Dyer’s, James’, Parrott’s, and Schenkl’s?





But there were small arms to report:


  • 25th Battery: Eighteen horse artillery sabers, perhaps saved from the shipwreck of January 9, 1863.
  • 27th Battery:  Nineteen Army revolvers, thirty cavalry sabers, and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • 32nd Battery: Nine Army revolvers, forty-four cavalry sabers, and eighteen foot artillery swords.

Thus we round out the New York Independent Batteries.  The unit’s service varied.  Some of these batteries stood at pivotal moments of the war.  Others, as we have seen from administrative accounting, were posted well out of the war.

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries (Part 2)

Continuing with the first quarter, 1863 summaries for the New York Independent Batteries, the second batch consists of batteries numbered 13 to 24:


Compared to the first twelve batteries, the second set exhibits more variation in armament… just a little:

  • 13th Independent Battery: At Brook’s Station, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain  Julius Dieckmann commanded.  Battery assigned to First Division, Eleventh Corps.
  • 14th Independent Battery: No return.  As related for last quarter’s return, this was more a paper designation, which was never fully activated.  Personnel of the battery were distributed for service in other batteries at the time.  The battery  would not be officially struck until the fall of 1863.
  • 15th Battery:  Reporting at Falmouth, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.   The battery was assigned to the Artillery Reserve, under Captain Patrick Hart.
  • 16th Battery: In Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. with six 10-pdr Parrott Rifles. Originally Dickinson’s Light Artillery, this battery was under Captain Frederick L. Hiller and posted to the Artillery Camp of Instruction.  The battery would transfer to Seventh Corps in April.
  • 17th Battery: Minor’s Hill, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain George T. Anthony’s battery was part of Abercrombie’s Division, defending Washington.
  • 18th Battery: At Opelousas, Louisiana with six 20-pdr Parrotts.  Assigned to Second Division, Nineteenth Corps at the time.  Captain Albert G. Mack retained command. The battery was around New Orleans at the start of spring 1863.  Opelousas was their location the following summer, corresponding to the report’s receipt date of August 1864.
  • 19th Battery: Another battery in Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. Reporting six 12-pdr Napoleons.   Posted to the Camp of Instruction under Captain William H. Stahl.
  • 20th Battery: No report. Captain  B. Franklin Ryer’s battery was assigned to Fort Schuyler, New York.
  • 21st Battery: Indicated at Port Hudson, Louisiana with four 3-inch steel guns. Actually, in the spring of 1863, this battery was in New Orleans, under Captain  James Barnes, on garrison duty.  I am at a loss to definitively identify the 3-inch steel guns. Perhaps, Sawyer 3-inch rifles?
  • 22nd Battery: Indicated as “Attached to Ninth Artillery.”  By February the battery became Company M, 9th New York Heavy Artillery.
  • 23rd Battery: Washington, North Carolina with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The redesignation from Battery A, New York Rocket Battalion was not official until February 1863. Captain Alfred Ransom was in charge of this battery, assigned to the Eighteenth Corps, Department of North Carolina.
  • 24th Battery: At Plymouth, North Carolina with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Likewise, Battery B of the Rocket Battalion was not “officially” the 24th Battery until February 1863.  This battery was under Captain J. E. Lee and was also assigned to the Eighteenth Corps.

Turning to the ammunition reported, first the smoothbore types:


All 12-pdr ammunition:

  • 17th Battery: 269 shot, 107 shell, 236 case, and 144 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • 19th Battery: 268 shot, 88 shell, 272 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • 24th Battery:  194 shot, 91 shell, 288 case, and 168 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

Notice that I am “calling” the 24th Battery’s shells as a data entry error – to be 12-pdr field gun shells, vice those for 12-pdr field howitzers.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, first the Hotchkiss:


Four batteries reporting quantities:

  • 13th Battery: 120 canister, 120 percussion shell, 340 fuse shell, and 720 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 15th Battery: 365 percussion shell and 720 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 21st Battery: 80 canister, 480 percussion shell, and 240 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 23rd Battery: 197 canister, 129 percussion shell, 269 fuse shell, and 564 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Moving to the next page of projectiles…


Let us break this down into sections for clarity.  We find some Dyer’s projectiles reported:


One entry:

  • 15th Battery: 120 Dyer’s canister for 3-inch rifles.

And over to the Parrott columns:


Two lines here:

  • 16th Battery: 456 shell, 625 case, and 135 canister, of Parrott-type, for 10-pdr Parrott rifles.
  • 18th Battery: 302 shell, 336 case, and 308 canister, Parrott patent, for 20-pdr Parrott rifles.

And one column on this page for Schenkl, but let us combine that line with those on the next page:


Just one battery reporting Schenkl:

  • 18th Battery: 100 Schenkl shot and 230 Schenkl shell for 3.67-inch bore, which corresponds to 20-pdr Parrotts.

Moving lastly to the small arms:


By battery:

  • 13th Battery: Fifteen Navy revolvers and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • 15th Battery: Eighteen Navy revolvers and sixteen cavalry sabers.
  • 16th Battery: Fourteen Army revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • 17th Battery: Twenty Army revolvers and thirty (?) horse artillery sabers.
  • 18th Battery: Four Springfield .58 caliber rifles, three Army revolvers, and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 19th Battery: Twenty Army revolvers and fifty horse artillery sabers.
  • 21st Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and eighteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 23rd Battery: Sixty Army revolvers and seventy-five cavalry sabers.
  • 24th Battery: Fifty-three Army revolvers.

So we find those former rocket batteries assigned to North Carolina with a larger quantity of small arms than expected.  Might be a reflection of the unit’s previous organization.  Might be due to the assigned garrison duties.

Next we will look at the last set of these New York Independent Batteries, 25th and above.

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?


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:


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:


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:


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:



  • 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:


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”:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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.