Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Wisconsin’s Batteries

By the summer months of 1863, Wisconsin’s allocation to the Union cause included eleven numbered batteries.  The 1st Battery through the 10th Battery, along with the 12th, were in service at that time.  The 13th Battery would form later in the year. Wait… why skip the 11th and include the “unlucky” 13th?  Glad you asked….

The 11th Wisconsin Light Artillery organized in 1861 as the “Oconto Irish Guards” as part of the 17th Wisconsin Infantry.  When the men indicated a desire for artillery service (who wouldn’t?) the unit was designated as the 11th Battery.  Still, organization took too long.  So Captain John Rourke took his men to Chicago where it was mustered as Battery L, 1st Illinois Light Artillery, in Colonel James Mulligan’s Irish Brigade.  And Wisconsin never re-used the battery designation.

Looking at the summaries, we find the clerks dutifully excluded the 11th from the list.  Though they added the 13th and two lines for infantry reporting artillery:

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Of those fourteen lines, only three lacked statements.  Though we have some adjustments to make, due to late filings:

  • 1st Battery:  Reporting at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as of March 1865.  But with no cannon on hand.  If we turn back the clock to June 1863, this battery was at Vicksburg, Mississippi under Ninth Division, Thirteenth Corps. The battery retained six 20-pdr Parrotts, putting them to good use earlier in May at Champion’s Hill.  Captain Jacob T. Foster, who was still division artillery chief, remained captain of the battery.  Lieutenant Charles B. Kimball, commanding in Foster’s place, became the division’s ordnance officer in late May.  In that absence, Lieutenant Oscar F. Nutting commanded the battery.
  • 2nd Battery:  No location given, but with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 10-pdr Parrotts (reverse from the previous quarter).   Captain Charles Beger commanded this battery, which at the time was under First Division, Fourth Corps (which had been reorganized in May).  Supporting Second Brigade, the battery reported at Williamsburg, Virginia as of June 30.  The battery participated in Dix’s Peninsula Campaign.
  • 3rd Battery: No return.  This battery, under Lieutenant Cortland Livingston, became was in Third Division, Twenty-first Corps, Army of the Cumberland and participated in the Tullahoma Campaign.  Though, the battery didn’t leave Murfreesboro until early July.  Captain Lucius H. Drury, of the battery, was division artillery chief.
  • 4th Battery: No return.  The battery was assigned to the Second Division, Fourth Corps under the reorganizations of the Department of Virginia in May.  The battery was at Yorktown, Virginia, presumably retaining six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  The participated in the operations on the Peninsula through June and July. Captain  John F. Vallee commanded this battery.
  • 5th Battery: Reporting from Winchester, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons, two 12-pdr mountain howitzers, and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  The battery was assigned to First Division, Twentieth Corps, and commanded by Captain George Q. Gardner. Participating in the Tullahoma Campaign, the battery moved out of Murfreesboro on June 24.
  • 6th Battery: With a report from Cartersville, Georgia, dated October 1864, this battery claimed two 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  As of June 30, 1863, this battery was with Seventh Division, Seventeenth Corps and part of the siege of Vicksburg.  Captain Henry Dillon commanded at the beginning of spring.  When Dillon became division artillery chief, Lieutenant Samuel F. Clark stood in as commander.
  • 7th Battery: At Memphis, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James rifles.  Lieutenant Galen E. Green remained in command of this battery, assigned to Third Division, Sixteenth Corps.  At the end of May, the battery was stationed in Jackson, Tennessee. They moved to Corinth, Mississippi on June 1.  But only remained their until July 1, when they moved to Memphis.
  • 8th Battery: At Winchester, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Assigned to First Division, Twentieth Corps. Captain Henry E. Stiles remained in command.  The battery accompanied the division on the Tullahoma Campaign.
  • 9th Battery: Fort Lyon, Colorado with four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. Captain Cyrus H. Johnson commanded this battery posted in the District of Colorado.
  • 10th Battery: Reporting at Stevenson, Alabama with six 6-pdr field guns, as of October 1863. Captain Yates V. Beebe’s battery was assigned to the Second Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  From the beginning of the year up to September, the battery performed escort duties based out of Nashville and Murfreesboro.
  • 12th Battery: Another dated return has this battery at Dixon’s Station, Alabama on November 25, 1863.  However, for June 30, Captain William Zickerick and his battery’s four 10-pdr Parrotts were assigned to Seventh Division, Seventeenth Corps. Thus they fell in next to the 6th Wisconsin Battery at Vicksburg.
  • 13th Battery: No return.  As alluded to above, the 13th Battery did not muster until December 1863.  But the battery started forming in the summer.  A glance through the battery rolls indicate a handful of enlistments in July and August.
  • Company A, 8th Wisconsin: At Young’s Point, Louisiana with four 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and one 3.80-inch James rifle.  This is the regiment with “Old Abe” the bald eagle as a mascot.  To be honest, until reading this line I had no knowledge of any artillery manned by the regiment.  Perhaps captured weapons impressed for the siege of Vicksburg?  Captain Josiah B. Redfield commanded Company A.
  • Detachment, 30th Wisconsin:  On the Missouri River with six 6-pdr field guns.  The 30th Wisconsin served by detachments at posts in Wisconsin and the Dakota Territories at this time of the war.  Colonel Daniel J. Dill commanded the regiment.  In May, a detachment under Lieutenant-Colonel Edward M. Bartlett supported Brigadier-General Alfred Sully’s expedition up the Missouri River.  Bartlett’s command guarded boats and supplies. Given the placename provided and the nature of the mission, a good possibility that detachment had the guns identified here.

With that lengthy discussion to identify just who these fourteen lines represented, let’s put some weight to the matter.  Starting with some smoothbore shot, shell, case, and canister:

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Look at all those numbers!

  • 2nd Battery: 120 shell and 52 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers; 160 case for 12-pdr field guns (likely a transcription error, and should be on the howitzer column).
  • 5th Battery: 96 shot, 32 shell, 96 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 65 shell, 159 case, and 49 canister for 12-pdr howitzer (field or mountain?).
  • 6th Battery: 77 shot, 145 case, and 124 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 21 shell, 89 case, and 18 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 7th Battery: 186 shot, 248 case, and 87 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 8th Battery: 32 shot, 96 shell, 64 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 9th Battery: 400 shot, 320 case, and 80 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 150 shells, 190 case, and 62 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 10th Battery: 569 shot, 480 case, and 120 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Company A, 8th Infantry: 269 shot, 44 case, and 636 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 48 case and 156 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons (or are those transcription errors and should be on the howitzer columns?)
  • 30th Infantry: 476 shot, 266 case, and 238 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

Regardless if the 12-pdr ammunition reported by the 8th Infantry was for Napoleons of howitzers, we see a rather substantial quantity of canister.  Such might indicate these were weapons assigned for use in the siege lines on guard points.

Four batteries reported Hotchkiss projectiles for rifled guns:

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Yes I said four.  Three of those batteries appear on this page.  The other, we’ll see on the “orphan” columns on the next page:

  • 6th Battery: 80 shot and 26 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 80 percussion shell, 160 fuse shell, and 450 bullet shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 150 canister, 486 fuse shell, and 94 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

I’ll break down the next page by section for clarity.  First the stray Hotchkiss columns:

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Two lines:

  • 7th Battery: 80 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Company A, 8th Infantry: 39 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Turning next to the James projectiles:

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One battery:

  • 6th Battery: 116 shell and 66 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Next the Parrott columns:

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A heavy set of numbers here:

  • 1st Battery: 2,208 shell and 1,183 case for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • 2nd Battery: 384 shell and 96 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 5th Battery: 142 shell, 168 case, and 79 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 12th Battery: 321 shell, 244 case, and 136 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Note that 1st Battery had no guns on the report.  Yet, they’d need a steamboat or two for the shells and case.  Someone left something out of the reports…

But we are not done with the Parrott batteries.  They also used Schenkl projectiles in those calibers:

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  • 1st Battery: 466 shot for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • 2nd Battery: 314 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 5th Battery: 9 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 12th Battery: 116 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

No more entries for the Schenkl columns:

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But a lone entry for Tatham’s canister:

  • 6th Battery: 62 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

That brings us to the small arms:

0228_3_Snip_WI

By battery:

  • 2nd Battery: Twenty Army revolvers and 153 horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Twenty-three cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Thirty Army revolvers and twenty cavalry sabers.
  • 8th Battery: Sixteen Navy revolvers and four cavalry sabers.
  • 9th Battery: Forty-five navy revolvers and nineteen cavalry sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Eight cavalry sabers.

No real surprises here with the small arms, with quantities similar to that reported the previous quarter… where quantities are reported!

But that brings up an interesting contrast to consider.  We have seen many lines for batteries without proper documentation.  Wisconsin, with just two lacking (I don’t count the 13th Battery here, as it didn’t exist formally), is much better than most of the sections.  We have two batteries – one in Tennessee and one in Virginia – with no data to consider.  Of course, we can project reasons for this upon the situation.  After all, the war had priority… paperwork could wait.

Yet, the 30th Wisconsin Infantry, with no “real” artillerists and scattered all over the western plains far away from the Ordnance Department, managed to provide a return for compilation.  The inconsistencies of reporting in the 1860s.

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Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – West Virginia Batteries

At the close of the second quarter of 1863, West Virginia was but ten days a state.  Word of the state’s admission to the Union did not move quickly down Pennsylvania Avenue to the clerks at the Ordnance Department.  They continued to place the batteries under a heading of “Virginia.”

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The clerks allocated lines for batteries A to H.  Though Battery H had not formed at this time.  An additional line, dated August 7, accounts for a mountain howitzer in the charge of the 13th West Virginia Infantry.  Looking at the administrative details:

  • Battery A: At Camp Barry, D.C. with no cannon reported. This battery was in the Artillery Camp of Instruction, Camp Barry.  Lieutenant (later Captain) George Furst remained in command.  The battery only reported some equipment and small arms in its return.
  • Battery B: At New Creek, (West) Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain John V. Keeper command this battery,  supporting Averill’s Brigade, Department of West Virginia.
  • Battery C: At Taneytown, Maryland with four 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Wallace Hill commanded this battery.  In May, the battery transferred from Eleventh Corps to 3rd Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  Their Parrotts held a position on Cemetery Hill on July 2 and 3, at Gettysburg.  In the battle, Hill reported two men killed, two wounded, and the loss of five horses.  The battery expended 1,120 rounds.  “I think,” Hill concluded in his report, “I have just cause to feel proud of the part my men sustained during the entire terrible engagement.”
  • Battery D: Reporting at Hancock, Maryland with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain John Carlin’s battery was assigned to First Brigade, Second (Milroy’s) Division, Eighth Corps (Middle Department).  The battery was with that command during the battle of 2nd Winchester.  According to Carlin’s report, the battery had six 3-inch Ordnance rifles and 300 rounds as of June 12.  During the battle, the battery fired 265 rounds.  In the morning of June 14, Carlin received orders to spike the guns, destroy ammunition, and ride out with the horses.  He added, “Had I been allowed to do so, I could have taken my guns and equipment… and, in my opinion, could have rendered good service in covering the retreat….”
  • Battery E: Reporting at New Creek, (West) Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Under Captain Alexander C. Moore this battery supported Campbell’s Independent Brigade, Department of West Virginia.
  • Battery F: No return.  Captain Thomas A. Maulsby commanded the battery, supporting Third Brigade, First Divsion, Eighth Corps (Middle Department).  The battery reported six 3-inch Ordnance rifles in the previous quarter.  They were stationed at Martinsburg with their brigade when Confederates attacked on June 14.  In the withdrawal, Maulsby was wounded in the leg.  Lieutenant George W. Graham took over the battery.
  • Battery G: Indicated at Martinsburg, (West) Virginia with two 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Chatham T. Ewing commanded this battery, supporting Averell’s Separate Brigade, Department of West Virginia.
  • Battery H:  The state’s Adjutant’s report has Captain James H. Holmes commissioned as commander of this battery in late September.  This was a “six months” battery, and does not appear to have entered Federal service.  The battery was reformed in January 1864.
  • “Col. 13th Infantry”:  Colonel William R. Brown commanded the 13th West Virginia Infantry, part of Scammon’s Division of the Department of West Virginia.  The regiment spent the winter split between Point Pleasant and Hurricane Bridge, West Virginia.  They tangled with Confederates in late March.  Then in late June the regiment moved to Charleston, West Virginia, arriving on June 30.  Within a few days the regiment was dispatched to assist in the pursuit of Morgan’s Raiders.  The return indicates the 13th Infantry had use of one 12-pdr Mountain Howitzer.  But I have no further details.

One “administrative” note here for clarity.  Many of these West Virginia batteries were counted as part of the Middle Department.  With the Confederate drive down the Shenandoah and into Pennsylvania, changes to the Federal order of battle occurred on the fly.  Thus some elements were gathered into the Department of West Virginia.  I don’t have space here to detail, and the subject is a bit out of scope. Hopefully readers will appreciate the context.

Turning to the ammunition.  Just one battery and the infantry section reported smoothbore cannon:

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Those were:

  • Battery G: 100 shot, 90 (or 70?) case, and 56 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 13th Infantry: 92 case and 68 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, Hotchkiss first for the 3-inch Ordnance rifles:

0227_2_Snip_VA

  • Battery E: 142 canister, 344 percussion shell, and 1,208 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

Keep in mind that Battery D, with 3-inch rifles at Winchester, expended or destroyed all it’s ammunition.  And Battery F, also with 3-inch rifles, did not file a return. Both were caught up in the debacle of the Federal retreat out of the Shenandoah.

For the next page, we can focus narrowly on the Parrott columns:

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Three reporting:

  • Battery B: 483 shell and 334 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery C: 383 shell, 240 case, and 163 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery G:  80 shell for 10-pdr Parrott.

In regard to Battery C, was that the quantity left on hand after firing 1,120 rounds at Gettysburg?  Or was that the quantity on hand as of December 29, 1863 – as the report was dated?

Battery B also reported some Schenkl projectiles for its Parrotts:

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  • Battery B: 308 shell and 610 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Turning to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery A: Fifteen Army revolvers and seventy-five cavalry sabers.
  • Battery B: Seventeen Army revolvers and forty-eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Ten Navy revolvers and nine cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Sixteen (?) Navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Twenty-nine Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Thirteen Army revolvers.

Circling back to the service of these batteries at this particular time of the war, the statements offered by Captains Hall and Carlin (in the administrative section above) resonate.  One battery commander lamented the lack of cannon to perform his duty.  Another lauded his men for performance holding a critical line.

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

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

0217_1_Snip_RI

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

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

0217_1_Snip_RI_1st

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

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

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

Moving to the ammunition, first the smoothbore columns:

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Three batteries reporting:

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

Battery D is noticeably absent from this page.

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

0219_2_Snip_RI_1st

Three batteries reporting:

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

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

0220_1A_Snip_RI_1st

Two lines of Dyer’s patent projectiles:

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

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

0220_1B_Snip_RI_1st

First those of the Parrott patent:

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

Then Schenkl:

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

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

Turning to the remainder of the Schenkl columns:

0220_2_Snip_RI_1st

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

Lastly the small arms reported:

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By battery:

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

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

 

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries, Part 2

For the first dozen of the New York independent batteries, discussed last week, we found all active batteries within the eastern theater.  Many were involved with the Gettysburg Campaign, directly or indirectly.  But looking to the second batch – 13th to the 24th Batteries – we find the service of that batch was much more varied:

0209_1_Snip_NY_IND_Pt2

Of the twelve, only eight had returns for the quarter.  Only one of those was posted to Washington before the end of July.  Three arrived in August.  Another in September.  And the last two were not filed until 1864.  An administrative “stretch” of the data.

 

  • 13th Independent Battery: Reported, on August 7, 1863, at Warrenton Junction, Virginia with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (down from six the previous quarter).  With reorganization after Chancellorsville, moved up to the Artillery Brigade, Eleventh Corps.  Captain  Julius Dieckmann resigned on May 15.  He was replaced by Lieutenant William Wheeler.  As of June 30, the battery was at Emmitsburg, Maryland.  The battery lost one gun on the field at Gettysburg, when the axle split. Despite efforts to drag the tube off the field, lashed to a limber by a prolong, the gun was left on the field.  However, that gun was recovered on July 5 and brought back to service.  The battery expended 850 rounds during the battle, but were “anxious for another opportunity to try their 3-inch guns.”
  • 14th Independent Battery: No return.  Earlier in the spring of 1862, personnel of this battery were distributed to other batteries.  As of June 1863, the first section  was assigned to Battery B, 1st New York; second and third sections to Battery G, 1st New York.  At Gettysburg, Captain James McKay Rorty, of the battery, commanded Battery B, 1st New York Light Artillery. But he was mortally wounded on July 3.  The battery was formally disbanded in September 1863.
  • 15th Battery:  As of the August 15 report, was at Rappahannock Station, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery was assigned to First Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, under Captain Patrick Hart.  In May, the battery had turned in their 3-inch rifles for the Napoleons.  At the end of June, the battery was, with the rest of McGilvery’s Brigade, in Maryland, with an appointment two days later at the Peach Orchard of Gettysburg.
  • 16th Battery: No return. Captain Frederick L. Hiller’s battery transferred to the Seventh Corps in April, and stationed at Newport News, Virginia. In the previous quarter, the battery reported six 10-pdr Parrott Rifles.
  • 17th Battery: At Camp Barry, District of Columbia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain George T. Anthony’s battery was assigned to the Artillery Camp of Instruction.
  • 18th Battery: At Port Hudson, Louisiana with six 20-pdr Parrotts.  The report was not received in Washington until August 1864.  The battery transferred from Second Division to First Division, Nineteenth Corps in May.  Captain Albert G. Mack retained command. The battery participated in the siege of Port Hudson.
  • 19th Battery: No return. The battery, under Captain William H. Stahl, transferred to First Division, Seventh Corps in April.  The battery saw action in the siege of Suffolk.  In the previous quarter, the battery reported six 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 20th Battery: At Fort Schuyler, New York with “infantry stores” only.  Captain  B. Franklin Ryer’s battery served as garrison artillery.  The battery would be involved with the suppression of the New York riots in July.
  • 21st Battery: At Port Hudson, Louisiana with four 3-inch steel guns (make and model unspecified). The report is from February 1864, but accurate.  This battery, under Captain James Barnes, was assigned to Second Division, Nineteenth Corps.
  • 22nd Battery: No return. Earlier in February the battery became Company M, 9th New York Heavy Artillery.  The designation remained on the clerk’s report as a placeholder.
  • 23rd Battery: Washington, North Carolina with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Originally, Battery A of the New York Rocket Battalion. 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 with this new designation taking effect in February.  This battery was also assigned to the Eighteenth Corps.  Captain Jay E. Lee resigned in mid-June.  Lieutenant A. Lester Cady was promoted and assigned command.

 

As I said, varied service – from New York harbor to Port Hudson on the Mississippi.

Turning to the ammunition, we have the smoothbore rounds accounted for:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • 15th Battery: 128 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 128 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 17th Battery: 288 shot, 69 shell, 388 (?) case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 24th Battery: 393 shot, 230 shell, 464 case, and 368 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

A straightforward, expected tally.

For the rifled projectiles, the Hotchiss columns are also straightforward:

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Three batteries with 3-inch rifles and one with 20-pdr Parrotts:

  • 13th Battery: 70 canister, 150 fuse shell, and 430 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 18th Battery: 95 fuse shell for 3.67-inch rifles (20-pdr Parrott).
  • 21st Battery: 310 canister and 473 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 23rd Battery: 191 canister, 68 percussion shell, 281 fuse shell, and 552 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

For the following page, we’ll break this down into two sections.  First a lone entry for Dyer’s patent:

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  • 23rd Battery: 30 (?) Dyer’s shell for 3-inch rifles.

Moving over to the Parrott and Schenkl projectiles:

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Just one battery with those big 20-pdr Parrotts:

  • 18th Battery: 786 shell, 168 case, and 137 canister, Parrott patent; 439 Schenkl shot, also for 20-pdrs.

More Schenkl on the next page:

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  • 13th Battery: 80 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 18th Battery: 40 shell for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • 21st Battery: 47 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Lastly, we have the small arms to account for:

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By battery:

  • 13th Battery: Seven Army revolvers, seven Navy revolvers, and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 15th Battery: Seventeen Navy revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • 17th Battery: Twenty Army revolvers and twenty-two horse artillery sabers.
  • 18th Battery: Four Springfield muskets (.58 caliber), three army revolves, and seven horse artillery sabers.
  • 21st Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 23rd Battery: Sixty Army revolvers and seventy-five cavalry sabers.
  • 24th Battery: Fifty-three Army revolvers.

We will find this pattern of varied service repeated in the last portion of independent batteries. We will look at batteries 25 to 32 in the next installment.  Along with three “detachment” lines.

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries, Part 1

In addition to batteries within the regimental formations, the state of New York provided thirty-six independent batteries during the course of the Civil War.  That number is somewhat misleading, as some of those independent batteries were simply re-designations of existing batteries; some were later re-designated within the regimental formation; others mustered out when their time came and were not replaced; or never completed organization. But, the clerks in Ordnance Department had to track those as lines for accounting purposes.  By June 1863, there were thirty-two of those independent batteries to account for:

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Plus three lines of “other” detachments.  I’ll break these down in groups of twelve, to allow proper examination.  So the first twelve look like this:

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Four of those twelve did not have a return on file:

  • 1st Independent Battery: At Warrenton, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The location probably reflected the August reporting date.  Captain Andrew Cowan remained in command of the battery, assigned to Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac.  On June 30, the battery was at Manchester, Maryland, with a long march toward Gettysburg in their immediate future.  On July 3, Cowan’s battery helped repulse Pickett’s charge, firing their last canister – double canister, that was – at 20 yards.
  • 2nd Independent Battery:  No return.  The battery mustered out, in New York, on June 13, 1863.  Captain Hermann Jahn was last in command. The men with time left on their enlistments transferred to Battery I, 1st New York.  A reorganized 2nd Independent was authorized, but instead was made part of the 15th New York Heavy Artillery.
  • 3rd Independent Battery: At Manchester, Maryland  with six 10-pdr Parrotts. The battery was part of Sixth Corps, under Lieutenant William A. Harn.  The battery saw less action at Gettysburg than Cowan’s, being positioned along the Taneytown Road.
  • 4th Independent Battery: No return.  Captain James E. Smith’s battery had six 10-pdr Parrotts when placed in defense of the Devil’s Den on July 2.   They were, of course, assigned to Third Corps. We are familiar with the 4th, thanks to their stand at the Devil’s Den at Gettysburg, and know they had six 10-pdr Parrotts.  By the end of the day, the battery would have only three of those Parrotts (and one was on a disabled carriage).  Smith reported firing 240 rounds during the battle.
  • 5th Independent Battery: At Warrenton Junction, Virginia (reflecting the August report date) with six 20-pdr Parrotts (increased from four over last quarter’s report).  This was Captain Elijah D. Taft’s battery in the Army of the Potomac’s Artillery Reserve.  And as such was near Taneytown, Maryland on June 30.  Taft’s battery went into action defending the cemetery on Cemetery Hill.  In the action, the battery had one Parrott burst, while expending 80 Schenkl percussion shell, 63 Schenkl combination-fuse shrapnel, 32 Parrott shell, and 382 Parrott shrapnel.
  • 6th Independent Battery: “In the field” and with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Joseph W. Martin held command of this battery, assigned to the First Brigade, Horse Artillery, Army of the Potomac.  Martin’s battery lost three guns on the field at Brandy Station.  After that battle, the battery was sent to Washington for refitting.  Rejoining the army on June 28, the battery had a full complement of guns.  A remarkable testament to the depth of Federal logistics at this time of the war.
  • 7th Independent Battery: At Norfolk, Virginia with three 12-pdr Napoleons (added during the quarter) and six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Peter C. Regan’s battery supported the Seventh Corps.
  • 8th Independent Battery: At Fort Keyes, Virginia with  six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Butler Fitch commanded this battery.  In the previous quarter, the battery reported at Yorktown.  The Fort Keyes assignment indicates it moved across the York River to Gloucester Point.
  • 9th Independent Battery: Fort Reno, District of Columbia, with only infantry stores. Captain Emil Schubert remained in command.  Battery assigned to the Twenty-Second Corps, defending Washington.  As indicated, the battery was not equipped as light artillery.
  • 10th Independent Battery: Marked “not in service.”  In May, the battery transferred from Third Corps to the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac. And in June, the battery was sent to Washington.  Members of the battery were transferred to four different batteries, none of which were from New York.  Captain John T. Bruen remained commander, but was absent for much of May.  Lieutenant Samuel Lewis was listed in command through early June.  Then Lieutenant Charles T. Bruen picked up the assignment.  For all practical purposes, the 10th Battery was “cross leveled” to bring other batteries up to strength.
  • 11th Independent Battery: No return and dittos for “not in service.” This battery moved from the Third Corps to the Fourth Brigade, Artillery Reserve in May 1863.  On, or about June 16, what remained of the battery was attached to Battery K, 1st New York Light.  Not until the end of the year was the 11th Battery brought up to strength.  Captain John E. Burton was, on the rolls at least, in command.
  • 12th Independent Battery: At Bealton, Virginia reporting six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (an increase from four reported the previous quarter). The location reflects a September reporting date, by which time the battery had not only moved, but also changed organizational assignments.  As of June 30, the battery was at Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. Later in the summer, the battery transferred to Third Corps.  Captain George F. McKnight remained in command.

So five of the twelve were directly involved with the Gettysburg Campaign.  Two other batteries had attachments at Gettysburg.

Moving to the ammunition, we start with the smoothbore:

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Only one battery had Napoleons, and we see their chests accounted for here.  But what of the other line?

  • 5th Battery: 96 canister for 6-pdr.
  • 7th Battery: 57 shot, 46 shell, 89 case, and 65 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Taft’s Battery had 20-pdr Parrotts, with a bore diameter of 3.67-inch, which is the same as a 6-pdr smoothbore.  However, in an otherwise detailed report for Gettysburg, Taft does not mention the use of that ammunition type.  So, was this reflective of Taft receiving, after Gettysburg, some 6-pdr stocks?   Or did he take 6-pdr canister to Gettysburg?  We also cannot rule out clerical error (at the battery or in Washington)… or for that matter that someone in the battery mistakenly identified Parrott canister as smoothbore type (hard to imagine… but a possibility).

Turning to the rifled projectiles, the Hotchkiss rounds are well represented:

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  • 1st Battery: 126 canister, 7 percussion shell, 3 fuse shell, and 456 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 93 canister, 10 fuse shell, and 128 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 152 canister, 64 percussion shell, 239 fuse shell, and 675 bullet shells for 3-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 66 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 60 canister, 65 percussion shell, 126 fuse shell, and 366(?) bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

And as with many of these reports for the second quarter, we have to ask if these are quantities reported strictly “as of June 30″…. or at a time when the officers got around to doing the paperwork.  Those numbers could tell us about the battery’s state prior to Gettysburg, or just after, as the case may be. There isn’t a way to say for sure.

Breaking the next page down by section for easier handling, we turn to Dyer’s projectiles:

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Three batteries with that type on hand:

  • 1st Battery: 571 Dyer’s Shrapnel in 3-inch rifle caliber.
  • 5th Battery: 4 Dyer’s Shrapnel in 3-inch rifle caliber.
  • 8th Battery: 369 shell, 650 shrapnel, and 109 canister, Dyer’s patent, for 3-inch rifles.

I cannot explain why 5th Battery would need 3-inch shrapnel.  Perhaps a transcription error.

Moving to the right, Parrott projectiles:

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Two batteries reporting:

  • 3rd Battery: 490 shell, 490 case, and 177 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 5th Battery: 46 shell and 138 case for 20-pdr Parrotts.

Of course, missing, as their return was not recorded, is 4th Battery.  Would be interesting to account for what Smith’s Battery took into action on July 2, compared to what was on hand July 3… or later when replenished.

Last of the ammunition columns, the Schenkl projectiles:

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A lot of lone entries:

  • 1st Battery: 37 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 3rd Battery: 67 shell for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 5th Battery: 84 shell for 20pdr Parrotts.
  • 6th Battery: 654 shell for 20-pdr Parrotts.  Yes, 20-pdr.
  • 8th Battery: 45 shell for 3-inch rifles.

The entry for 6th Battery may be a transcription error, just one column over from where it should be.

And the final section covers the small arms:

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By battery:

  • 1st Battery: Thirty-one Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Four Navy revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Twenty-five Army revolvers and twenty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: 131 Navy revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Eighteen Navy revolvers and twenty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • 8th Battery: Thirteen Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Twenty-eight Army revolvers and twenty-nine horse artillery sabers.

The first dozen independent batteries served in the Eastern Theater, with close association with the Army of the Potomac.  The next dozen, from the 13th to 24th Independent, saw much more diverse service.  We’ll look at those next.

 

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Batteries of New Hampshire and New Jersey

For this installment of the summary reports, we will look at the contributions of two states – New Hampshire and New Jersey.   Between the two, by June 1863 were only three batteries of light artillery:

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Just one battery from the Granite State.  For the New Hampshire battery:

  • 1st Battery: Reporting at Taneytown, Maryland with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. After the Chancellorsville Campaign, Captain Frederick M. Edgell’s battery transferred from First Corps to Third Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  If we go to Edgell’s official report of the Gettysburg Campaign, we find his battery expended 105 rounds on July 2nd (at ranges of 2,000 yards or more!) from a position off the Taneytown Road, in what is today the National Cemetery.  On July 3, they fired counter-battery and later helped repulse Longstreet’s assault, with 248 rounds.  The battery fired a total of 353 rounds, with Hotchkiss time shell and Schenkl percussion mentioned specifically.  Edgell complained about the Schenkl combination fused case.

And from the Garden State, two batteries (three more batteries would muster in September 1863, but are outside our scope here):

  • Battery A: In Maryland with six 10-pdr Parrotts. The battery was, after Chancellorsville, moved from the Sixth Corps to Fourth Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  Lieutenant Augustine N. Parsons remained in command, with the absence of Captain William Hexamer.  On June 30, the battery was, like most of the Artillery Reserve, near Taneytown.  On July 3, Battery A went into action near the present day Pennsylvania Memorial, and thus on the opposite flank of Longstreet’s assault from the New Hampshire battery mentioned above.  Parsons reported firing about 120 rounds of case against the infantry charge.  Afterward, he fired an additional 80 rounds of shell at Confederate batteries, for a total of around 200 on the day.
  • Battery B: Reported at Brandy Station, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts, reflecting a March 1864 receipt date. Of course the battery was with the Third Corps, Army of the Potomac, on June 30, 1863, and between Emmitsburg and Taneytown.  Captain A.Judson Clark commanded the battery.  However, at least at the start of the Gettysburg Campaign, Clark was listed as a divisional artillery chief, a position that should have been redundant with battery consolidation at the corps level.  Captain George E. Randolph, Battery E, 1st Rhode Island Artillery, was the corps artillery chief (somewhat confusing, even on the tablets at Gettysburg list both Randolph and Clark).  While Clark was serving as chief, Lieutenant Robert Sims had charge of the battery.  But all reports have Clark in command of the battery on July 2nd, when the battery advanced to support infantry at the Peach Orchard salient.

Thus we can place all three batteries in action at Gettysburg.  Writing these summaries, I have an urge to discuss so much of the “rest of the story.”  But for the moment, let us focus on the summaries and not the deeds (which most would agree are more interesting).

No smoothbores on hand, so no smoothbore ammunition to report.  Turning to the Hotchkiss projectiles:

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  • 1st New Hampshire: 80 canister, 158 fuse shell, and 238 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Keep in mind Edgell fired 353 rounds at Gettysburg.  And we’ll revisit the totals below.

On the next page, we can trim down to focus on the Parrott projectiles:

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The two New Jersey batteries reporting:

  • Battery A, New Jersey: 130 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery B, New Jersey: 568 shell, 360 case, and 120 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Parsons’ battery seems to be missing a large quantity of ammunition.  And that cannot simply be accounted for by that expended in battle in July.

Moving to the next page and the Schenkl columns:

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  • 1st New Hampshire:  322 shells for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery B, New Jersey: 152 shells for 10-pdr Parrotts.

We find here some of the Schenkl shells that Edgell complained about.  The total for that battery, on the summaries, is 798 rounds.  Again, the question here – was that “as of June 30, 1863”?  Or on hand as of the day the report was generated?  Or quantity on hand sometime after the great battle?

Moving to the small arms section:

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By battery:

  • 1st New Hampshire: Thirteen Navy revolvers and nine cavalry sabers.
  • Battery A, New Jersey: Fifteen Army revolvers and twenty-seven horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B, New Jersey: Sixteen Navy revolvers and fifteen horse artillery sabers.

Three batteries from two different states.  All three playing in action at Gettysburg.

The Folwell letters, June 29, 1863: “Co. I is rear guard of the grand army”

On June 28, 1863, Captain William W. Folwell lamented on the wait for the rear guard to cross the bridges at Edwards Ferry, as his command prepared to remove those pontoons.  June 29th found his company BEING the rear guard of the Army of the Potomac.  This was a two letter day for Folwell.  The first was posted in the morning:

Buckeys Town, Md.,

June 29th, 1863, 8 A.M.

Here I am.  Co. I is rear guard of the grand army.  We got to camp at 3 A.M. Got 3 hours good sleep and a good breakfast.  We march to Union Town.  We are well.

Just a short note. But some details that allow us to validate the movements of the engineers.  Aside from the pontoons sent back down the C&O Canal, the remainder of the detachment (parts of the Regulars and the 50th New York Engineers) was sent on a march toward Frederick, Maryland.  The march, which must have begun around mid-day on the 28th, took the detachment of engineers past Poolesville, over the Monocacy, and up to Buckeystown.

And this was the trail end of the Army of the Potomac.

Later in the day, Folwell had time to write another letter home:

Camp Engineer Brigade,

Frederick, Md.,

June 29th 1863.

I wrote you a hasty note in pencil this morning, which I mailed at Buckeystown, while marching hither.  Two miles this side of that place, we came up on the 5th Corps, which followed our trains.  I was then relieved of my duties as Provost Marshall.  I had some very active duty hurrying up some 11th Corps stragglers.  One fellow I had to handle roughly, and finally set two men with fixed bayonets to drive him on.  I was very glad to be relieved. Communication is cut off between us and Washington, the R.R. having been damaged at Mt. Airey Station some miles below here.  I presume, therefore, that said note will be slow in reaching you, as also this is likely to be.  Still, I wish to do all I can to keep you advised of my whereabouts and welfare.  We halted here at noon today, and pitched camp.  In the morning at two o’clock, we march, probably towards [Middleburg], the present H.Q. of the A.P. The news is scarce and uncertain.  Gen. Hooker is relieved and Gen. Meade is in his shoes.  It is said that both Reynolds and Sedgwick declined the appointment.  Co. I is rear guard again tomorrow, and no knapsacks will be carried.  Good Night.

Interesting, if the identification is correct, that Eleventh Corps soldiers would still be straggling on June 29.  That corps had crossed Edwards Ferry first, back on June 25.  There is, of course, a world of possibilities… to include mistaken identification.

I do find interesting that Folwell mentions a break in communications, but no problem with supply or delayed movements.  As I mentioned in the previous installment, Stuart’s cavalry moved through as a fast summer thunderstorm – there and gone.  Of course, Folwell was not getting all the news and knew nothing of the wagon train captured outside of Rockville the previous day.

At the end of the march, the engineers closed on Fifth Corps.  And the anticipated march for the following day was towards the Pipe Creek line. However, while the news of Meade’s assumption of command was correct, the rumors as to alternate commanders was not.

At this stage of the campaign, we leave the operations of the Potomac Crossing and the campaign transitions into the movements that would take the army to Gettysburg.  Folwell’s Company I was not to be in that fight.  Rather, they were placed back with their pontoons.  While not specific to my “lane” on Edwards Ferry, I’ll continue to post Folwell’s letters, so we may hear all of the engineer’s story.

(Citations from William Watts Folwell, Civil War Diary, unpublished, transcription retrieved from University of Minnesota Library, pages 423-24 (pages 429-30 of scanned copy))