Category Archives: Artillery

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – Independent Illinois Batteries and “Others”

The 1st Regiment and 2nd Regiment Illinois Artillery offered some quirks in terms of weapons assigned or organizational assignments (particularly with the Thirteenth Corps being an evolving field organization).  In addition to those two regiments, Illinois offered a collection of independent batteries for service. And these batteries offer even more “headaches” from the perspective of administrative tracking.

For brevity, allow me to step around a detailed history of “how this came to be.”  As my line of march today is simply to present what was listed in the summary for December 31, 1862, I will contain conversations about lineage to the essentials.  (Someday… I really want to build an annotated index of artillery formations to aid tracking these… someday.)  For the scope of today’s post, here are the Illinois batteries that fell into that “outside the numbered regiments” category, as of December 1862:


Not a lot of artillery pieces, but batteries we need to identify.  By line, here is the breakdown:

  • Battery A, Third Artillery:  At Germantown, Tennessee (outside Memphis).  Six 6-pdr James 3.80-inch.  Follow the ball on this identification.  This was Captain Thomas M. Vaughn’s battery (sometimes Vaughan, but Vaughn appears on his service card), better known as the Springfield Independent Battery (entry below).  It was assigned to the District of Jackson, Thirteenth Corps in December 1862.  However, I think the location referencing Germantown was valid for the date of the return – July 1863 – when the battery was posted around Memphis.  Other portions of this battery’s summary raise questions, which we will discuss below.
  • Stoke’s [Stokes’] Battery:  No return. This was the Chicago Board of Trade Battery, commanded by Captain James Stokes.  The battery played an important role in the fighting at Stones River. We know from reports the battery had four 3-inch rifles and two James rifles in the battle.  Stokes supported the Pioneer Brigade on December 31, 1862.  The battery fired 1,450 rounds in the battle.
  • Springfield Battery: With the annotation “Entered as Co. A, 3rd Arty.”  I have no supporting documentation to explain why the battery would be designated as such.  Perhaps the intention was consolidate all the independent batteries in a new regiment, but the idea never got past Vaughn’s.
  • Mercantile Battery:  Properly, the Chicago Mercantile Independent Battery, or Captain Charles G. Cooley’s Independent Battery.  Date of receipt of its report was December 1864 – two years late!  Location of Chicago, Illinois is indicated.  The battery had been in Chicago until early November 1862.  They moved to Memphis that month and participated in Sherman’s expedition to Chickasaw Bayou.  The battery reported four 6-pdr field guns and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
  • Elgin Battery:  Captain George W. Renwick’s Elgin Independent Battery.  Just mustered in the previous month, this battery was posted to the Department of Kentucky in December 1862.  No return posted.
  • Coggswell’s [Cogswell’s] Battery: Captain William Cogswell’s Independent Battery.  Originally Company A, 53rd Illinois Infantry.  Another late-posted return (June 1864) has this battery at Nashville, Tennessee.  That location is likely inferred due to the late report date.  Official records indicate Cogswell’s Battery was at Memphis, and part of the Thirteenth Corps’ Right Wing.   The battery reported four James rifles on hand.
  • Henshaw’s Battery:  Captain Edward Henshaw’s Independent Battery. No return posted.  This battery had just been mustered at the time of report.
  • 10th Illinois Cavalry:  Stores in charge, reported by a major.   The 10th was on duty in Missouri at the time.  On November 7, 1862, a detail of the 10th Illinois surrendered at Clark’s Mill, Missouri.  Among the weapons surrendered were two Woodruff Guns.  In fact, one might say the ineffectiveness of those guns, compared to conventional artillery (in that case lowly 6-pdrs, if I recall).  While no cannons or projectiles were carried in the summary, the 10th Cavalry had some implements on hand (though the return was not received until March 1864… slow mail).

That’s a lot to roll around.  But as you see, not a lot of cannons reported.  That makes the following snips easier to discuss… somewhat easier.  I say that as from the start there are questions with smoothbore ammunition:


The Springfield Battery, which indicated no smoothbores on hand, had 12-pdr howitzer ammunition – 72 shells, 42 case, and 50 canister.  The battery originally formed with a section of 12-pdr howitzers and apparently still had ammunition stocks left.

The Mercantile Battery had 308 shot, 252 case, and 252 canister for its 6-pdr field guns.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, first the Hotchkiss Patent:


Mercantile Battery had, in the 3-inch caliber (again, Hotchkiss) 160 shot, 40 canister, and 190 fuse shells.  Cogswell’s Battery reported 285 Hotchkiss shot for James 3.80-inch rifles. Continuing to the next page, the columns are entries for Hotchkiss (continued), Dyer’s, and James’ Patents:


The Springfield Battery had 180 Hotchkiss canister for James 3.80-inch rifles. The battery also reported 250 James patent 3.80-inch shot, 451 shell, and 30 canister.  Cogswell’s Battery also had James Patent projectiles – 25 shot, 350 shell, and 74 canister.

We see no entries for Parrot or Schenkl projectiles, but entries for Tatham’s pattern canister:


In the 3.80-inch caliber, the Springfield Battery had 36 on hand while Cogswell’s had 79. Lastly the small arms:


  •  Springfield Battery: 10 Horse artillery sabers.
  • Mercantile Battery: 30 Army revolvers and five horse artillery sabers.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: 13 Army revolvers, one Navy revolver, and two cavalry sabers.

One last note on the “others” listed here.  Looking specifically at the equipment reported by the 10th Illinois Cavalry, I find the “major” reported four sights for 6-pdr Wiard guns on hand, along with a few other implements specific to that caliber and make of weapon.  My first inclination is that the 10th Illinois was reporting the implements for Woodruff guns.  The closest weapons on the printed report, in terms of caliber, would be the 2.6-inch, or 6-pdr, Wiard gun.  Likewise, it may have been that in lieu of custom made Woodruff sights and sponges, the 10th was issued those made for the Wiards.

Regardless, that the 10th Illinois Cavalry, way out in remote southwestern Missouri, had to report these items (along with artilleryman’s haversacks, punches, and other artillery-specific equipment) speaks volumes for the tenacity and pure resiliency of those in the Ordnance Department!

Coffee Mill Guns? Or Woodruff Guns? What did Battery K, 1st Illinois tote on Grierson’s Raid?

Last week I offered a non-committal entry discussing the weapons assigned to Battery K, 1st Illinois:

Battery K: Paducah, Kentucky with ten Union Repeating Guns (or the Agar “coffee mill” gun).  This is intriguing, as we most identify the use of this weapon in the Eastern Theater.

With the length of the overall post covering the 1st Illinois, I didn’t wish to delve into interpretation of the entry.  The intent is to present the summaries “as is” from the start, with obvious corrections and questions offered.  From there, where the correction or question requires more discussion, offer that as a follow up.  Well… here’s a follow up!

First off, let us go back to the entry… or the “snip” … in question:


You might wish to click on the image above and open in Flickr to enlarge to see the fine details.  The line to follow across is 47.  The column in question is fourth from the right, or the first among the “Miscellaneous” sub-heading.  The column has a printed, not hand-written, name – “Union repeating gun.”  The summary indicates Battery K had ten of these on hand.


As mentioned in my original interpretation, the Union repeating gun was an invention of Wilson Agar (or Ager).  I have an affinity to the “campfire” name for the weapon – Coffee Mill Gun.  The name derives from the nature of the cranking mechanism used in this proto-machine gun:

While these machine gun type weapons are a bit out of my lane as they are not artillery “stuff.” So I am not claiming to be an expert on their design, manufacture, and use.  But as these are “ordnance,” I’ve run across a lot of interesting source references.  Over the years, the most interesting is the use of these Coffee Mill Guns in Loudoun County during the spring of 1862.  So while rare, the Coffee Mill Guns saw some use in the Eastern Theater.  Not counting the entry for Battery K, scant few accounts reference the use of these weapons in the western theater.  The only one that comes to mind is an account indicating the Federal riverine fleet received a few for use on gunboats.

Now this Battery K entry is not exclusive to just the December 1862 summary.  The summaries into 1863 report the same ten Union repeating guns.  In addition, if we expand the snip out a bit to look at columns for “unservicable” weapons (which rarely have any entries), we see the battery had ten more items tallied:


Again, you may wish to click and open in Flickr to see that next to last column.  If not, here’s a blow up of the header:


Second column from the right.  This one is a mix of hand-writing and printed – “Carriages & limbers for Union repeating guns.”

Now keep in mind the general process for getting the numbers in the columns.  The battery in the field would complete a return and send that to the Ordnance Department in Washington. The return was reviewed in Washington.  A clerk (or team of clerks, more likely) would extract the data for entry into a very large ledger.  That became the “summary.”  And let me stress again, that was the “quick and simple” explanation here.

Bottom line, when we apply that process, is that clerks back in Washington were trying to put numbers into a standard, very detailed, yet rigid entry form.  There was not a lot of room for “other” within the form’s columns.  Yes there are blank columns in which we see hand written column headers.  But for the most part, it seems the clerks sought to use the printed entry columns.  What we see here, I think is an attempt to adapt the printed columns to contend with some out of the ordinary data entry need.

In this case, the entry for Battery K puts us in front of a lot of questions.  Readers may recall that within a few months of the report (which was apparently filed in December 1862), Battery K had left Paducah, Kentucky for Memphis, Tennessee.  In April 1863 the battery was selected for a special mission.  Along with the 6th and 7th Illinois and 2nd Iowa Cavalry, Battery K was part of a raid led by (then) Colonel Benjamin Grierson (which you might have seen dramatized in a movie…).  And on that raid, the men of Battery K toted along a set (six, though some say four) of 2-pdr Woodruff light cannons.

The Woodruff gun is another thread that deserves a separate post (if not several).  Allow me to give the short version here for brevity.  James Woodruff of Quincy, Illinois came up with the idea for a very light artillery piece that could be pulled by men if the horses were disabled. The gun measured three feet in length and weighed just over 250 pounds.  The gun’s bore was 2 ⅛, and was intended to use canister (seven one ounce lead balls) or small caliber solid shot (the caliber closely matching 12-pdr grape-shot sizes).  Later in the war a solid projectile resembling a large mine-ball was produced for the Woodruff.  Cited range for the gun was 700 yards.

The Greenleaf Foundry in Quincy made six of these guns for local defense.  The Ordnance Department, under some high level political pressure, ordered thirty, complete with carriages and limbers.  Assuming that was the full production run, these weapons end up referenced in a surprising number of locations.  Aside from use on Grierson’s Raid, the weapons are mentioned in use around Memphis, and still later in Missouri at Pilot Knob.

If you are looking for more information on the Woodruff, there is a lengthy, but now somewhat dated, article on the weapon in the May 1973 issue of Civil War Times.  The whole of which is posted on a website for The Turner Brigade, Missouri Volunteers:

So where does that have us with respect to Battery K?

Well let’s go with “Door Number 1”:  The battery had Coffee Mill Guns at Paducah, then were issued Woodruff Guns sometime in the winter or spring of 1863, prior to Grierson’s Raid.  But I’d counter that the Ordnance Department kept listing Coffee Mill Guns well into 1863.  Why wouldn’t they have substituted a hand written column for the Woodruff Guns in order to ensure the integrity of the entry?

OK, “Door Number 2”: Battery K had both Coffee Mill Guns and Woodruff Guns through the reporting period, but only the machine guns were tallied.  Well, that might sound plausible.  But such would require more men than Battery K was authorized.

Now “Door Number 3”:  Battery K had Woodruff Guns at Paducah.  The clerk performing the entries didn’t find an easy place to put the tallies.  Perhaps he was confused as to the nomenclature.  At any rate, the tally of ten weapons in the “Union repeating gun” column are actually “Woodruff Guns.”  Likewise, lacking a column to indicate a quantity of non-standard carriages and limbers, the clerk used the repeating gun’s unservicable column.

My thinking is we have a case of Number 3.  All of this, of course, brings the observation that all these entries in the summaries need be taken with a grain of salt.  And such is why I offer “as is” to be used in conjunction with other sources.

One last note on Battery K, as they were certainly not just a collection of cannons (or machine guns) and equipment.  Captain Jason B. Smith organized and commanded the battery.  Smith was born in South Carolina in 1805, but his family moved west during his teenage years.  Pre-war records indicate he lived in Pope and Johnson Counties, in the southern part of Illinois.  He was a blacksmith and a preacher – two avocations that some would argue go together… and perhaps two professions that provide a good skill-set for a battery commander in war.

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 2nd Illinois Artillery Regiment

Like the First Regiment Illinois Artillery, the Second Regiment of the state’s artillery was serving almost exclusively in the Western Theater as of the end of December 1862.  However, the summary of equipment in use by the 2nd Regiment was far less complicated.  As usual, let us start by reviewing the postings of those batteries and their cannons (Standard declaration here – yellow lines are the “rules” across the data entry lines; red lines are the “cuts” needed to make these presentable for discussion):


First thing we notice is the lack of information filed for several batteries (thus, perhaps, greatly simplifying the summary).

  • Battery A:  No report.  This battery was on duty at Helena, Arkansas as part of the Department of Missouri.
  • Battery B: Corinth, Mississippi. No field artillery reported.  Notice the addition of the word “siege” in the regiment column.  The battery was part of the Thirteenth Corps, Army of the Tennessee.
  • Battery C: Fort Donelson, Tennesse. Four James 3.80-inch rifles.  Also part of the Thirteenth Corps, but posted to hold vital posts in the rear.  These artillerymen were destined to be garrison troops for most of the war.
  • Battery D: Decatur, Alabama.  Four James 3.80-inch rifles.  Also with the Thirteenth Corps.
  • Battery E: No report.  Battery E began the war as Schartz’s Missouri Battery.  In December 1862, they were part of the Thirteenth Corps and saw service in Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign.
  • Battery F: Lake Providence, Louisiana.  Two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr howitzers. This battery was part of the Thirteenth Corps, and was actually campaigning with Grant in Central Mississippi at the close of December 1862.  They would, however, be posted at Lake Providence in January.  So the location and tallies may be “as of” the moment the return was written (April 1863).
  • Battery G: No report.  Also in Thirteenth Corps and posted in Mississippi at the end of December.
  • Battery H: No report. If my sources are correct, this battery was at Clarksville, Tennessee.
  • Battery I: Nashville, Tennessee.  Two 12-pdr Napoleons and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Part of the Fourteenth Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  Battery I missed the battle of Stones River, but later joined the army forward at Murfreesboro.
  • Battery K: No report.  Another Thirteenth Corps battery and was assigned to the District of Jackson, Tennessee.
  • Battery L:  “In the Field” in Louisiana.  Four James 3.80-inch rifles. This may be another “as of this report” status. Battery L was with the District of Jackson, Thirteenth Corps, and Logan’s Division, Right Wing, of the Corps for Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign.  Shortly into the new year, Battery L was at Lake Providence, Louisiana.
  • Battery M: No report.  This battery surrendered at Harpers Ferry on September 15.  They were still un-exchanged, on parole, at the end of December.  Their guns, of course, were under new ownership.

There is a lot of “missing data” that I’d expect to see here.  Excepting Battery M, these batteries were in Grant’s command.  I’ve used the “easy out” of saying they were in Thirteenth Corps. Those knowledgeable of Western Theater operations recognize that as somewhat ambiguous.  Perhaps to clarify, I will post something on the lineage of the Thirteenth Corps and the formations it spawned through the winter of 1863.  If nothing else, would help to clarify the service assignments of these batteries!

The 2nd Regiment Illinois Artillery had but two batteries with smoothbore cannons:


  • Battery F: 6-pdr field gun – 188 shot, 163 case, and 46 canister.  12-pdr field howitzer – 120 shells, 145 case, and 31 canister.
  • Battery I: Had only 259 12-pdr shot for their Napoleons.

Moving on to rifled projectiles, find most of the entries are for James projectiles for those fine bronze James rifles:


Remember, these were listed by “Patent” pattern, then by weapon type and caliber.  Such as “Hotchkiss” for “James” of 3.80-inch”:

  • Battery C: James (Patent) 3.80-inch – 119 shot, 425 shell, and 125 canister.
  • Battery D: James 3.80-inch – 109 shot, 215 shell, 64 case, and 60 canister.
  • Battery I: James 3.80-inch – 368 shot.  Parrott 10-pdr – 440 shells.  This needs some explaining.
  • Battery L: Hotchkiss Patent for James  3.80-inch – 76 canister; James Pattern 3.80-inch – 14 shot, 376 shell, and 144 canister.

Remember that Battery I had 10-pdr Parrotts along with their two Napoleons.  Neither of which used 3.80-inch caliber projectiles. So what were the James shot being used for?  I recall some reference to Battery I having turned-in some James rifles earlier in the fall.  But I need to track that down to verify.

And one more rifled projectile entry for us on the next page:


Battery D with 128 Schenkl Patent James 3.80-inch shells.

Lastly, the small arms:


With all the missing reports, we have scant data here:

  • Battery C: 20 Army revolvers and 58 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: 4 carbines and 16 horse artillery sabers.

Earlier when I was constructing these snips and cross-referencing notes, I wanted to dig further to fill in the missing data.  In particular, cite the types of weapons on hand.  Many of these batteries were involved with the Vicksburg Campaign.  And the guns they pulled through Mississippi are known.  But I thought better of including that here for the moment.  This is a “snapshot in time” of the batteries, reflecting what was reported for December 1862 as opposed to what the batteries might have had months later.  That said, for now I prefer to leave the open spaces as they are.  There will be time later to fill in those blanks.

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 1st Illinois Artillery Regiment

During the war, Illinois provided two regiments of artillery and a regiment’s worth of independent batteries.  Many of those batteries achieved fame on the battlefield, and are well known to those familiar with the Western Theater.  Looking at their equipment, we will discover a wide array of issued weapons among these regiments.  We see that with the summary statement of the 1st Illinois Light Artillery Regiment:


We see that even into December 1862 the Illinois batteries reflected the “rush to war” in the nature of the cannons reported.  Also worth noting is the number of batteries which were not only “in the field” but also actually engaged in combat as of December 31, 1862:

  • Battery A: At Vicksburg Mississippi with four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers.  Battery A was assigned to the Thirteenth Corps, Army of the Tennessee at reporting time.  They were part of the action at Chickasaw Bayou outside Vicksburg at the end of the year.
  • Battery B: Also at Vicksburg, but with five 6-pdrs and only one 12-pdr field howitzer.  Battery B was also at Chickasaw Bluffs.
  • Battery C: At Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  They were assigned to Third Division (Sheridan), Right Wing, Fourteenth Corps, Army of the Cumberland.    In action on December 31, they fired 1,154 rounds, lost 95 horses, and all their guns.  Thus the slim return for this summary.  I don’t know exactly what Battery C had going into battle, but know they had at least some rifled guns.
  • Battery D: No return received.  The battery was part of the Right Wing, Thirteenth Corps, Army of the Tennessee, operating out of Jackson, Tennessee at the time.
  • Battery E: At Vicksburg with six James 3.80-inch rifles.  I don’t find this battery on the order of battle for Chickasaw Bayou, but it was part of the District of Memphis, from which Sherman drew his forces for the campaign.
  • Battery F: Camp Sherman, Mississippi with four James 3.80-inch rifles.  The battery was in the Right Wing (McPherson), Thirteenth Corps at the reporting time.
  • Battery G: Had four 24-pdr field howitzers.  Battery G was part of the District of Corinth, Thirteenth (later Seventeenth) Corps.
  • Battery H: At Vicksburg with two 6-pdr field guns and two 20-pdr Parrott rifles.  Also at Chickasaw Bayou.
  • Battery I: No return received.  Battery I was also part of McPherson’s Right Wing, Thirteenth Corps.  They were guarding the railroads outside Memphis at the time.
  • Battery K: Paducah, Kentucky with ten Union Repeating Guns (or the Agar “coffee mill” gun).  This is intriguing, as we most identify the use of this weapon in the Eastern Theater.  (UPDATE: Battery K likely did not have these guns, but some other “light” weapon.  More on this in a follow up post.)
  • Battery L: At New Creek, Virginia, with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four James 3.80-inch rifles.  Battery L was part of the Eighth Corps, and posted in soon-to-be West Virginia.
  • Battery M: Munfordsville, Kentucky, reporting three 10-pdr Parrott rifles.

As you can see, there are a lot of threads to follow among those twelve batteries. Again, were this post not focused on the summary, I’d love to break down individual battery histories.

But that is not the line of march today.  So onward to the smoothbore projectiles reported.  We’ll look at this in two sections.  First the 6-pdrs and 12-pdrs:


These were reported in three batteries:

  • Battery A:  6-pdr field gun – 148 shot,  512 case, and 117 canister. 12-pdr field howitzer – 120 shell, 107 case, and 36 canister.
  • Battery B: 6-pdr field gun – 350 shot, 270 case, and 131 canister.   12-pdr field howitzer – 30 shell, 160 (?) case, and 19 canister.
  • Battery L: 6-pdr field gun – 70 shot.  12-pdr Napoleon – 136 shot, 122 shell, 180 case, and 88 canister.

Note the entry for Battery L with seventy 6-pdr solid shot.  It was often reported that batteries would use 6-pdr ammunition in James rifles.  The projectile fit, of course. Here we see documentation of that practice in the field.

A lesser note here – Battery H, with two 6-pdrs, reported no rounds for those pieces on hand.

Also in the smoothbore category, we have Battery G with those big 24-pdr field howitzers:


So for four howitzers only 36 shells, 30 case, and 24 canister on hand.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, first on the sheet are those of Hotchkiss Patent:


Follow this close:

  • Battery F: Wiard 3.67-inch – 107 shot on hand.
  • Battery L: James 3.80-inch – 210 shot and 28 “bullet shell” or case. 3-inch – 40 percussion shells and 160 fuse shells.

For two lines, we have a lot to talk about.  Remember these are Hotchkiss-type projectiles made to work with particular types of rifled artillery – in the case of these two batteries those are James rifles.  But, what about Wiard?  My first response is “if it fits, we fire it!”  The difference between the Wiard 12-pdr’s 3.76-inch bore and the James 3.80-inch bore allows that.  But let us relegate that for the moment to supposition and speculation.  This could also be due to a mistake in the supply system… or a mistake in reporting.  That explanation could also carry over to the entries for Battery L, which would have little to no use for 3-inch projectiles.

Moving to the next page, none of the 1st Illinois batteries reported Dyer’s Patent projectiles.  But they did, of course, have those of James’ Patent:


Three batteries reporting quantities of “6-pdr James” of 3.80-inch bore:

  • Battery E – 480 shell and 160 canister.
  • Battery F – 100 shot, 378 shell, and 100 canister.
  • Battery L – 320 shot, 36 shell, and 19 canister.

So as one might expect in terms of issue, but interesting that Battery L had small quantities of shell and canister on hand.  Instead that battery had a lot of solid shot (also count the 70 6-pdr smoothbore and 107 Wiard solid shot mentioned above).  We’ll see more tallies for Battery L below.

Batteries H and M had Parrott rifles on hand, and they reported projectiles for those guns:


  • Battery H:  20-pdr (3.67-inch) Parrott – 120 shell, 48 case, and 57 canister.
  • Battery M: 10-pdr (2.9-inch) Parrott – 285 shell and 105 canister.

The next set of columns listed Schenkl projectiles:


Here we find Battery L had 132 Schenkl shells for their James rifles.  Still only a fraction of the shells on hand for the two western batteries.

On the far right of that snip, we can add 172 Tatham’s pattern canister, in 3.80-inch caliber, for Battery L’s James rifles.  However, Battery F reported 183 Tatham’s pattern canister in 3.67-inch for their James rifles.  One wonders how the logisticians kept track of projectiles which differed by just over a tenth of an inch.

Finally, the small arms:


Entries in almost every column:

  • Battery A: 14 Army revolvers, 60(?) Navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers and a horse artillery saber.
  • Battery B: 50 Navy revolvers and 11 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: 8 Navy revolvers and 8 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: 10 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery F: 25 Army revolvers and six cavalry sabers.
  • Battery G: 45 of what ever the .58-caliber long arm reported in the third column (See update below).  45 cavalry sabers and 16 foot artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: 17 Navy revolvers and 9 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: 12 Springfield .58-caliber rifles and 114 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: 17 carbines and 148 cavalry sabers.

UPDATE: Phil Spaugy suggested the third column’s written header could be “Whitney, cal .58.”  Those being modified Model 1841 rifles.  This matches information from Arming the Suckers by Ken Baumann, for Battery G.

Sorry for the length of this post.  But that’s what it takes to detail some of the anomalies in the 1st Illinois Light Artillery, as of December 1862.

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – Connecticut, California, and Delaware Volunteer Batteries

The majority of artillery batteries employed by Federal forces during the Civil War were volunteer formations from the states.  Indeed, with the initial call for troops, there were more volunteer artillery batteries than needed.  Because the states were responsible for organizing and in some cases equipping these batteries, there were many variations – organization, training, equipage, and others.  Most of the “workable” variations were flushed out by the end of 1862.  As I’ve discussed before, senior artillerists focused on organization and training as early as the summer of 1861.  But the Federals were stuck with some of these variations, for better or worse.

From the administrative perspective, the naming of units is perhaps the most annoying to the researcher.  Some states conformed to the same conventions as the regulars – regiments with lettered batteries.  Others simply went with an ordinal number for each battery (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.).  Some states, New York for instance, used both. There were separate regimental systems for “light” and “heavy” artillery.  And… and… some states just seemed to adopt a “whatever” approach.  Thus the volunteer batteries were often cited by different names in reports.  Add to the confusion the practice of calling the battery by the commander’s name (or mustering officer’s name) in the field.  Makes one glad the alternate designations section appears in each OR volume.

That aside, there were also interesting variations with the equipment used by these volunteer batteries.  We’ll see more hand-written column headers as we proceed.  And those lead to some interesting research trails to say the least.

That preface out of the way, let us look at summary statements, alphabetically by state.  The first being from the states of Connecticut, California, and Delaware… Um… did I say alphabetical?  I guess the ordnance clerks winged it:


Over to the far right, we see a written column – “Siege Gun 1861, 4.5 in bore, …..”  I don’t know what the last line in that nomenclature is, but know that the weapon cited was one of my favorite – the 4.5-inch rifle.

So let’s break down the list starting with Connecticut.  Note the first two are the “light” batteries for field duty (see above about the different regimental systems here… more confusion for the light readers!).  The third is a battery from the “heavies” assigned for field duty:

  • 1st Battery, Connecticut Field [Light] Artillery – Beaufort, South Carolina with two 12-pdr field howitzers and six 3.80-inch James rifles.  The 1st Battery was assigned to the Department of the South.
  • 2nd Battery, Connecticut Field [Light] Artillery – Occoquan, Virginia with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3.80-inch James rifles.  Officially part of the Military District of Washington, the 2nd Battery was assigned to duty at Wolf Run Shoals.
  • Battery B, 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery – Falmouth, Virginia with four 4.5-inch siege rifles.  This battery was assigned to the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.

And of course that last battery’s duty is well known.  I will venture to guess you’ve seen those guns before:

No mention in the summary of Battery M, 1st Connecticut Heavy, which was also assigned to the reserves at this time.  The two batteries were for all intents combined during their service in the field.

Moving out to California, one line is offered.  But it is not for a battery, but rather for 3rd California Volunteer Infantry having “stores in charge” that included two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  These were at Camp Douglas, Utah.  Keep in mind that the 3rd US Artillery had men assigned out west without artillery.  Yet we have the 3rd California Infantry with artillery without artillerists.  Go figure.

The last in this set that I’ve carved out of the summary is designated 1st Battery Delaware Artillery, Field.  That battery was sometimes known as Nield’s Independent Artillery, for it’s commander Benjamin Nields.  At the reporting date, it was stationed at Camp Barry in the District of Columbia.  They reported two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch steel rifles.  Wait… 3-inch steel rifles?  Perhaps some of those Singer, Nimick, and Company rifles?  Or one of the even more “exotic” weapons of more experimental nature?  I doubt either to be the case.  Looking forward a bit, a June 1864 report from the Official Records, when the battery was assigned to the Department of the Gulf, indicated four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles and two 12-pdr Napoleons:


Yes, enough time transpired between the two data points that guns may have changed out.  But I would submit it is more likely the wrong column was used in the summary due to a mistake at some point in the data gathering.

We’ve seen a lot of interesting entries from the first page of the summary.  The ammunition pages offer a few more.  However the smoothbore entries are as one might expect:


  • 1st Connecticut Light: 12-pdr field howitzer projectiles – 142 shells, 254 case, and 72 canister.
  • 2nd Connecticut Light: 12-pdr field howitzer – 120 shells, 160 case, and 31 canister.
  • 3rd California Infantry: 6-pdr field gun projectiles – 112 shot, 106 case, and 112 canister; 12-pdr mountain howitzer – 144 shell, 120 case, and 144 canister.
  • 1st Delaware: 12-pdr field howitzer – 26 shell, 54 case, and 20 canister.

For the rifled projectiles, we start with Hotchkiss patent:


  • 1st Connecticut Light: 6-pdr 3.80-inch projectiles – 120 Hotchkiss percussion shell, 120 Hotchkiss fuse shell, and 518 Hotchkiss bullet shell (case).
  • 2nd Connecticut Light: 6-pdr 3.80-inch – 70 Hotchkiss fuse shell and Hotchkiss 168 bullet shell (case).
  • 1st Delaware:  3-inch projectiles – 77 Hotchkiss canister and 340 Hotchkiss bullet shell (case).

Note the quantities for the 1st Connecticut.

As with yesterday’s discussion with the Parrott projectiles, keep in mind that different inventors modified their projectiles to fit in their competitor’s cannons.  Here we see Hotchkiss projectiles that fit into the James rifles.  More Hotchkiss  patent and the James Patent on the next page:


  • 1st Connecticut Light: 6-pdr 3.80-inch – 200 Hotchkiss canister and 235 James canister.
  • 2nd Connecticut Light: 6-pdr 3.80-inch – 50 (or 80?) Hotchkiss canister.

And rounding out the rifled projectiles, those of the Schenkl patent:


  • 1st Connecticut Light: 6-pdr 3.80-inch – 1,078 Schenkl shells.
  • 2nd Connecticut Light: 6-pdr 3.80-inch – 316 Schenkl shells.
  • 1st Delaware: 3-inch – 94 Schenkl shells.

Notice the variety of patent-types within the two Connecticut batteries.  Recall that mixing such types caused problems in the field.

And of course the quantities.  All told the 1st Connecticut Light had 2271 projectiles.  Their friends in the 2nd had but 604 (or 634, if I misread the one line).  At some point I will pull the numbers and make observations about the “load-out” for a battery, circa December 1862.  I suspect the 1st Connecticut will break the bell curve.

Last note about the projectiles – there are no entries for 4.5-inch to cover the heavy Connecticut battery.  So we are left not quantifying how well stocked (or not) those guns on the Rappahannock really were.

And finally, the small arms:


The handwritten column headers deserve some clarification.  From left to right, I read these as “Carbine”, “Springfield, Cal .58”, and <something> “Cal .58”.  Your guess is as good as mine about the third column.  It will come into play with the next installment, as for now there were no entries there for Connecticut, California, or Delaware.  Also note, further to the right, that the revolver calibers are replaced with “Army” and “Navy” :

  • 1st Connecticut Light: 135 Navy revolvers, 13 cavalry sabers, 46 horse artillery sabers, and 86 foot artillery sabers.
  • 2nd Connecticut Light: 20 Navy revolvers, 122 horse artillery sabers.
  • 1st Delaware: 24 Army revolvers and 142 horse artillery sabers.

No entries for the California infantry, presuming those small arms were carried against a regimental return elsewhere.

Again, roll the numbers around.  Nearly every man in the 2nd Connecticut and 1st Delaware had their own swords, though pistols were in shorter supply.  However, the 1st Connecticut, stationed in South Carolina, must have issued a revolver and sword for every man!

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 5th Regiment Artillery, US Regulars

If you are “Willing and Able” we will look at the 5th Artillery’s portion of the December 31, 1862 summary statement.  Unlike the other regular artillery regiments, the 5th did not have a history dating back to pre-war days.  It was formed on May 4, 1861.  Though a “young” formation, the batteries saw considerable action in the first two years of the war.  But again, this post will focus on the state of affairs at the end of December 1862.

As with previous installments, the yellow lines are the rules across the page, to help us verify the numbers.  The red lines are where I’ve “cut” a portion of the page to bring column headers and line declarations into view.  Please notice there are two horizontal red lines in these tables.  The 5th Artillery’s statement spans from the bottom of one set of pages and onto the next.  Yes, that complicates the effort.  But no bayonets or scissors are needed, thanks to some digital tools.


Not a lot of variation among the cannons assigned to the batteries of the regiment.  However, the locations of some batteries offer questions that need answers.  Here’s the breakdown of the assignments and charges:

  • Battery A: Newport News, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The location may reflect the assignment at the time of the ordnance report filing (March 1863).  Battery A was part of Ninth Corps, Army of the Potomac, at Fredericksburg and participated in the “Mud March” of January 1863.  Battery A remained with the corps when transferred to the Department of Virginia, arriving at Newport News in February.
  • Battery B: “Not organized until 1863.”  This battery was still forming at the reporting time.  Personnel were on duty at Fort Hamilton, New York.
  • Battery C: At Belle Plain, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Assigned to First Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery D: At Falmouth, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Assigned to Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery E: No return filed.  Like “B” above, Battery E was still getting organized and personnel were on duty at Fort Hamilton.
  • Battery F: At Berlin, Maryland with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 10-pdr Parrotts.  As with Battery A, the location is another “conundrum.” As with its sister, Battery F’s location may reflect that at the time of report filing.  In December 1862, Battery F supported Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac, on the banks of the Rappahannock.  However, in July 1863, when the report was filed, the battery was moving through Berlin, Maryland with the pursuit after Gettysburg.  Of note, by July 1863 the battery had six Parrotts.
  • Battery G: New Orleans, Louisiana.  No cannons reported.  The battery was in transit from Fort Hamilton to the Department of the Gulf.
  • Battery H: Murphreesboro, Tennessee with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Engaged at Stones River on December 31, thus explaining the delay with reporting, Battery H was part of an all “US Regulars” brigade in the Center Wing, Fourteenth Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • Battery I: No return filed.  Was assigned to Fifth Corps at Falmouth.  Presumably retained four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
  • Battery K: At Falmouth, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Assigned to the Reserve Artillery, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery L: Baltimore, Maryland with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Part of the Eighth Corps, Middle Department.
  • Battery M: Location not indicated, but with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Battery M was part of the artillery reserve of Fourth Corps, then posted at Yorktown.

Two additional lines appear on the Fifth Artillery’s summary for the Adjutant and 1st Lieutenant.  Both of these were at Fort Hamilton.  No cannons or ammunition were reported under these lines.  Just small arms and other equipment.

The Fifth Artillery reported this for smoothbore ammunition on hand:


The breakdown by battery:

  • Battery A: For 12-pdr caliber – 192 shot, 96 shells, 288 spherical case, and 192 canister.
  • Battery C: 12-pdr caliber – 119 shot, 11 shell, 212 case, and 120 canister.
  • Battery F: 12-pdr again – 96 shot, 32 shell, 96 case, and 40 canister.
  • Battery K: 12-pdr – 96 shot, 61 shell, 117 case, and 32 canister.
  • Battery M: 12-pdr – 233 shot, 87 shell, 274 case, and 96 canister.

Turning to the rifled projectiles, first the Hotchkiss projectiles:


We see only Battery L with any quantity on hand – 720 3-inch shot and 241 fused shells.  Would be interesting to compare Battery L’s quantities with Battery I’s… but the latter battery’s report did not find its way to the summary.

For Parrott rifled projectiles, we see two patterns – Parrott and Schenkel:


By battery:

  • Battery D: 10-pdr Parrott – 72  shells, 500 case, and 24 canister.
  • Battery F: 10-pdr Parrott – 160 shells, 320 case, and 96 canister; 320 Schenkel 10-pdr shot (note, this is Schenkel pattern cast for Parrott guns).
  • Battery H: 10-pdr Parrott – 310 shells, 93 case, and 63 canister.

More Schenkel pattern as the table continues to the next page:


  • Battery D: 251 Schenkel-pattern 10-pdr Parrott shells.
  • Battery L: 120 3-inch Schenkel shells and 120 3-inch canister, Tatham’s pattern canister.

Lastly, the small arms:


  • Battery A: 23 revolvers, .44 caliber, and 65 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: 27 .44-caliber and 27 .37-caliber revolvers.  17 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: 12 .37-caliber revolvers and 62 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: 27 .44-caliber revolvers and 22 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: 7 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: 17 .44-caliber revolvers, 5 .37 caliber revolvers, and 40 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: 58 .44-caliber revolvers and 16 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: 98 .37-caliber revolvers and 145 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: 24 .37-caliber revolvers and 20 horse artillery sabers.
  • Adjutant: 28 horse artillery sabers.

This concludes the statements for the US Regulars. I’ll turn to the volunteer batteries next, in alphabetical order by states.

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 4th Regiment Artillery, US Regulars

“No step backward” on the look at the summary statement from December 31, 1862.  Some will get my reference.  Others must be told that our focus is the 4th Regiment, US Artillery.

Most batteries of the 4th were posted on the frontier in the years prior to the Civil War.  However, by the end of 1862 the regiment was mostly in Virginia (Administrative note again – Yellow lines are the “rules” for the data lines, and red lines are the “tear lines” where I’ve cut-pasted for presentation):


Please note the dates the returns were received in Washington.  Most of the 4th Regiment was complete by mid-summer.  There are some “twists” to this block of data, so watch the run down here:

  • Battery A: Warrenton Junction, Virginia. Six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Earlier in the war, Batteries A and C (see below) were consolidated.  The two split in October 1862.  Battery A supported Second Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery B: Belle Plain, Virginia.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery supported First Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery C: Falmouth, Virginia. Six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Inheriting the equipment of Battery A (above), Battery C also supported Second Corps.
  • Battery D: Suffolk, Virginia. Six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Supported Seventh Corps, Department of Virginia.
  • Battery E: No return indicated.  Battery E supported Ninth Corps, and was outside Falmouth.  My references indicate the battery had six 10-pdr Parrotts at the reporting time.
  • Battery F: Location not indicated, but known to be near Falmouth.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons. Part of Twelfth Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery G: Again, no location, but near Falmouth.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons. Battery G was in the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery I: Location not indicated, but this battery was also with the Army of the Cumberland, though part of the Center Wing not engaged at Stones River.  Two 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery K: At Falmouth, this battery had six 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery was part of Third Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery L: At Suffolk with two 12-pdr howitzers and four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Battery L was part of the Seventh Corps.
  • Battery M: No return indicated.  As mentioned above, was consolidated with Battery H.  After the battle of Stones River, Battery M retained four 3-inch rifles and gained two 24-pdr field howitzers.

And that brings us to line 60.  What to make of the writing in the “Letter of company” column:


What is clear – On July 21, 1863 the Ordnance Department received a return from a command at Fort Washington, Maryland.  That command was reporting “stores in charge,” or at least from the way I read it.  Several sources place a detachments of the 4th US Regulars at the post during the reporting period. But the annotation appears, to my eyes, as “colored.”  However, keep in mind that as of December 31, 1862 there were no US Colored Troops – at least being called that by name.

UPDATEA sharp eyed reader offered another possibility, which I must agree is more likely.  The word may be “Colonel” thus indicating the regimental headquarters or such.

So I don’t know how to interpret the company line other than relating that line 60 included various tools and equipment at Fort Washington under the charge of the 4th Regiment.  So before we get all excited about what may or may not be indicated in the company column, we see no cannon or projectiles (or even any carriages or implements) reported by this detachment.  Only some small arms, which we’ll see later in the summary.

Questions of line 60 aside, let us look at the smoothbore projectiles reported for the 4th Regiment:


No surprises given the distribution of smoothbore weapons:

  • Battery B:  216 shot, 92 shells, 216 case, and 92 canister for the 12-pdr.
  • Battery C: 96 shot, 96 shell, 234 case, and 192 canister in 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery F: 252 shot, 76 shell, 252 case, and 76 canister – 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery G: 86 shot, 33 shell, 103 case, and 40 canister – 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery I: 261 shot, 148 case, and 42 canister for the 6-pdr field gun.
  • Battery K: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister – 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery L: 140 shell, 154 case, and 32 canister for the 12-pdr howitzers.

As for Hotchkiss pattern projectiles:


Again, given the guns assigned there are no surprises.  The batteries with Ordnance Rifles had Hotchkiss pattern projectiles:

  • Battery A: 3-inch projectiles – 120 canister, 50 percussion shell, 305 fuse shells, and 725 “bullet shell” (which I interpret as case).
  • Battery D: 3-inch projectiles – 83 canister, 271 fuse shells, and 846 “bullet shell” for the 3-inch rifles.

None of the batteries reported Dyer’s or James Pattern projectiles.  As for Parrott and Schenkel Pattern:


Batteries I and L had the Parrott rifles:

  • Battery I: 126 Parrott 10-pdr shell, 129 Parrott 10-pdr case shot, 47 Parrott 10-pdr canister, and 33 Schenkel 10-pdr shot.
  • Battery L: 480 Parrott 10-pdr shell, 240 Parrott 10-pdr case, and 46 (or 96?) Parrott 10-pdr canister.

No other Schenkel pattern projectiles were reported on the page. Small arms reported:


There were no muskets in the 4th Artillery:

  • Battery A: 15 .44-caliber revolvers and 25 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: 37 .37-caliber revolvers and 24 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: 15 .37-caliber revolvers and 21 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: 9 .37-caliber revolvers and 141 horse artillery sabers!
  • Battery F: 19 .37-caliber revolvers, 10 horse artillery sabers, and one foot artillery saber.
  • Battery G: 7 .37-caliber revolvers and 94 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Four percussion “Dragoon” pistols and 45 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: 21 .44-caliber revolvers, 106 .37-caliber revolvers, and 15 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: 14 .44-caliber revolvers and 118 horse artillery sabers.
  • And Line 60 – 3 .44-caliber revolvers and 29(?) horse artillery sabers.

We need to examine Battery I’s small arms in more detail.  More so as a footnote.  The column header is “Percussion,” with “Dragoon” written in.  Note that the other column headers to the right are “Revolver,” with either .44 size or .37 size written in.  So, it could be these were four percussion pistols of the Model 1855 or similar type.   Or were those Colt’s Dragoon Revolvers?  I would lean towards the latter.

Lastly, as mentioned above, we have the entries for line 60 here.  A handful of pistols and a few stands of sabers.  Yet, as the bureaucracy required, every one of them are counted here on the form.