Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries, Part 3

We start this, the third and final installment for the New York Independent Batteries and the summaries of their third quarter returns, looking at less than a dozen lines:

0273_1_Snip_NY_IND3 But, there were, technically speaking, independent batteries numbered 25 to 36 around in the third quarter.  But the clerks at the ordnance department cut that tally short for reasons we will explore.  So let us consider these batteries in detail:

  • 25th Battery: No return.  Recall, while in transit to New Orleans in January, this battery’s transport wrecked.  This “hard luck” battery remained at New Orleans, assigned to the Fourth Division, Nineteenth Corps through October as part of the city defenses.  Captain John A. Grow remained in command.  In the previous quarter, the battery reported four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
  • 26th Battery: Reprting at Thibodaux, Louisiana, with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Also suffering loss in the January shipwreck, the 26th was, at the reporting time, part of the District of LaFourche. Captain George W. Fox remained in command of the battery, organizationally assigned to the Fourth Division, Nineteenth Corps.
  • 27th Battery: At Camp Niagara (?), Pennsylvania with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  In July the battery moved from Camp Barry, D.C. to the Department of the Susquehanna, and assigned to the garrison at Philadelphia. Captain John B. Eaton commanded this battery.
  • 28th Battery: At Fort Schuyler, New York with “infantry stores.”  The battery served at Fort Schuyler and Sandy Hook.  Captain Josiah C. Hannum retained command.
  • 29th Battery: No return. At the end of June, the battery was run down with troops with remaining enlistments assigned to the 32nd Battery.  However, at least through the first week of July the battery remained on the organizational returns, assigned to the Harpers Ferry garrison. Captain Otto Diedrich remained commander, on paper at least.
  • 30th Battery: On Maryland Heights, Maryland, with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Adolph Voegelee was dismissed in August, having not been in the field for some time.  Lieutenant Alfred Von Kleiser, who’d lead the battery through much of the last year, was promoted to battery captain in his place.   At this time of the war, the battery was part of the Department of West Virginia.
  • 31st Battery: No return.  Captain Gustav Von Blucher was in command.  The battery appears in the Department of West Virginia. But as it was reduced, with many of the men attached to the 30th Battery, the battery was in effect only a paper designation. Von Blucher himself was serving as a staff officer with the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.
  • 32nd Battery: At Maryland Heights, Maryland with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Charles Kusserow remained in command.  And the battery remained with  Maryland Heights Division, staying there as the command was folded into the Department of West Virginia.
  • 33rd Battery:  No return.  Authorized on July 9, 1863, mustered on September 4.  It was initially assigned to the Artillery Camp of Instruction, Camp Barry, in the Department of Washington (Twenty-second Corps).   Captain Algar M. Wheeler commanded.  However, with Wheeler still in New York, Lieutenant J. DeWitt Woods held operational command of the battery at its first posting.
  • 34th Battery: Not listed. This number was reserved for Battery L, 2nd New York Artillery. Captain Jacob Roemer’s battery, then serving in East Tennessee, would officially take it’s “Independent” number in November.
  • 35th Battery: Not listed. Authorized on July 9.  Captain James B. Caryle was given the commission to recruit the battery.  But it never completed organization.  The authority was recalled. The recruited men were assigned to Battery A, 16th New York Heavy Artillery.
  • 36th Battery:  Not listed.  On August 11, 1863, Captain Charles Graham Bacon was authorized to recruit this battery. On October 14, authority was revoked and the men recruited by that time were transferred to the 13th New York Heavy Artillery.

See?  An even dozen in existence, even if only on paper.  Those in actual service being mainly in “garrisons” – New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Harpers Ferry, and New Orleans.  But still having equipment to account for.

And ammunition on hand.  We start with the smoothbores:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • 26th Battery: 148 shot, 12 shell, 48 case, and 12 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 27th Battery: 192 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 30th Battery: 308 shot, 128 shell, 320 case, and 112 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

But just one line for the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

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  • 32nd Battery: 120 canister and 104 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

No entries on the next page, so we skip to the Schenkl projectiles:

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  • 32nd Battery: 583 shell and 393 case for 3-inch rifles.

That leads us to the small arms on hand:

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By battery reporting:

  • 26th Battery: Twenty-five (?) army revolvers, twelve cavalry sabers, and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 27th Battery: Seventeen army revolvers, thirty cavalry sabers, and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • 30th Battery: Six army revolvers and fifteen cavalry sabers.
  • 32nd Battery: Nine army revolvers, thirty-six cavalry sabers, and eleven foot artillery swords.

This wraps up the entire page from the third quarter 1863 summaries allocated to New York units.  In addition to these light batteries, New York provided several heavy artillery organizations.  As those fall outside these summaries, I’ll look at those at the end of the quarter’s entries as part of a broader look at all the “heavies” then in service.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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None….

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Nada!

But there were small arms to report:

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

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