Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Miscellaneous Missouri artillery units

Having looked at the second quarter, 1863 summaries for the First Regiment and Second Regiment (first formation) Missouri Artillery, we can now turn to eight entries carried at the bottom of the state’s listings:

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Eight lines.  Double the number from the previous quarter.  There is some carry-over from the previous quarter, but each line deserves close scrutiny:

  • 1st Battery Missouri State Militia (M.S.M.) Artillery: Matches up from the previous quarter.  Reporting at Sedalia, Missouri with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers and four 10-pdr Parrotts. This was Captain Charles H. Thurber’s battery.  The return was posted to Washington in September 1863.  So we might think this reasonably accurate.  Think again.  Indeed most of the battery was at Sedalia, in the District of Central Missouri, at this time of the war.  But a muster roll from that same time indicates, a section of two 2.9″ English Rifled Guns, 21 men, and 24 horses under Lieutenant Albert Waschman was on escort duty with the 4th M.S.M. Cavalry.  The guns mentioned were undoubtedly imported from Liverpool, England, manufactured by Fawcett, Preston & Company, with some affiliation to the Blakely rifles of note (Very likely a CORRECTION here, see comments below).  The caliber was, of course, the same as the 10-pdr Parrott.  So perhaps a clerk somewhere along the way made a decision to tally under that column.  Call it clerical expediency?
  • Lovejoy’s (?) Battery, Mountain Howitzer: Listed at Brownsville, Arkansas with four 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  The location is almost certainly reflecting the August 1864 reporting date.  If my read of the name is correct, this is a battery in the 2nd Missouri Cavalry (Merrill’s Horse) commanded by Lieutenant George F. Lovejoy.  And, if so, the regiment, along with its battery, was posted in central Missouri.  The 2nd Cavalry was in the 1st Brigade, First Cavalry Division, Department of Missouri.
  • Howitzer Battery Attached to 5th Cavalry M.S.M.: This unit reported from Waynesville, Missouri, but with no cannon indicated.  Three companies from that regiment were at Waynesville under Major Waldemar Fischer. A listing of equipment reported included: four thumbstalls, two tube pouches, two vent covers, two vent punches, two whips, two tar buckets, two leather buckets, two gimlets, one guners’ pincers, four sets of mountain howitzers harnesses, four lanyards, two priming wires, and 250 friction primers.  We might say that’s the left-overs from a couple of mountain howitzers.  Maybe?
  • 2nd Cavalry M.S.M. :  At Cape Girardeau, Missouri, with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  The 2nd Cavalry M.S.M. was assigned to the District of Southeast Missouri at this time of the war, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hiram M. Hiller.  Dyer’s mentions McClanahan’s Battery associated with this regiment, but I have no other particulars.
  • Company G?, 6th Cavalry:  Reporting at Vicksburg, the 6th Missouri Cavalry was assigned to Thirteenth Corps at the time.  Colonel Clark Wright commanded.  During the campaign, the 6th was initially assigned to the corps headquarters.  Later they were assigned to the Ninth Division of the corps (remember, at that time the Western armies gave unique numbers to each division).  When given verbal orders to report to Brigadier-General Peter Osterhaus, commanding that division, on May 25, Wright refused, asking for written orders.  Reason I bring that up, in addition to demanding written orders, Wright also asked for two 12-pdr howitzers. (See OR, Series I, Volume XXIV, Part III, Serial 38, page 347.) Such implies Wright had found use for light artillery with his troopers, perhaps based on experiences. At any rate, the 6th Cavalry would, for the second quarter running, report ammunition on hand… for 12-pdr mountain howitzers… which we will count below.
  • Company A, 10th Cavalry: Reporting at Memphis, Tennessee, with four 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  The 10th Missouri Cavalry was assigned to the Sixteenth Division, specifically the District of Corinth, and commanded by Colonel Florence M. Cornyn.  Lieutenant Peter Joyce of Company A had charge of two sections of mountain howitzers.  State records cite this as Joyce’s Battery.  The battery received praise for work on July 7 in action near Iuka, Mississippi.
  • 18th Missouri Volunteers: The location is difficult to read, but indicating a Tennessee address.  The regiment reported two 6-pdr field guns. Colonel Madison Miller commanded this regiment, which at the time was part of the District of Corinth, Sixteenth Corps.
  • 6th Co., 1st Missouri Engineers:  Reporting no guns, but stores, and at Pocahontas, Tennessee.  And yet another interesting story.  During the Vicksburg Campaign a battalion of the engineers were sent to Pocahontas on orders to gather timber and other supplies.  While there, the engineers found themselves heavily involved with suppressing irregulars and other sorts.  From the regimental history, page 97:

The train used by the Regiment for bringing timbers and other materials required, was fitted out with a guard of boiler iron for the Engineer on the locomotive, and a flat car was fitted up with a timber guard faced on the outside with boiler iron, and carrying a ten pounder Parrott gun with a train guard of fifteen men, they called this bullet-proof car their gunboat.

So maybe the engineers are reporting the stores on hand for that Parrott gun?  Well, I’m going to dispute the identification of the gun based on the ammunition reported, below.

One glaring omission from the list above, and the two regimental listings, is Landgraeber’s Battery.  Originally organized in October 1861 as the First Missouri Flying Battery, or sometimes the First Missouri Horse Artillery, or Pfenninghausen’s Battery (after the battery’s first commander), in June 1863, this battery was assigned to First Division, Fifteenth Corps.  Captain Clemens Landgraeber commanded. The battery had four 12-pdr howitzers (some indications mountain, others field) on hand.  After September 1863, the battery would receive the official designation of Battery F, 2nd Missouri Light Artillery.  And that is actually how the battery appears on the consolidated returns from the Official Records in June.  However, I would contend the designation was retroactively applied.  The “first” Battery F was at that time in Missouri, counting down the days to mustering out, but with no report entered for the summary.  Either way around, we have two units which can be called Battery F, but no data from either of them.

Another battery missing from Missouri’s lists is Walling’s Battery.  But they appear elsewhere in the summaries under the Mississippi Marine Brigade.

With those administrative details aired out… or at least the questions laid on the table… we can move to account for the ammunition.  With a lot of mountain howitzers, the smoothbore page is busy:

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By battery:

  • 1st Battery M.S.M.: 36 shell, 50 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • Lovejoy’s Battery: 64 shell, 372 case, and 116 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 2nd Cavalry M.S.M.: 20 case and 24 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 6th Missouri Cavalry: 64 shell and 40 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 10th Missouri Cavalry: 30 shell, 160 case, and 30 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 18th Missouri Infantry: 217 shot, 179 case, and 123 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

So we have an indication that the 6th Missouri Cavalry had mountain howitzers at one time.

Moving over to the rifled projectiles, none of these units reported Hotchkiss projectiles on hand.  But moving to the next page, there are some points to discuss:

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Two batteries reporting quantities:

  • 1st Battery M.S.M.:  245 Parrott shell and 80 Parrott canister in 2.9-inch caliber; 100 Schenkl shot in 2.9-inch caliber.
  • 1st Missouri Engineers: 26 James shells, 3.80-inch caliber.

If we work from the premise that Washman’s section used 2.9-inch English rifles, then we have to question the identification of Parrott projectiles here.  When those rifles were purchased, a quantity of projectiles were included.  So might those be Britten rifled projectiles, 2.9-inch, instead of Parrott?  I can make a case the clerks simply transcribed these as Parrott projectiles, lacking an open column header.

As for the 1st Missouri Engineers, let’s also consider the next page:

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  • 1st Missouri Engineers: 72 Schenkl shells, 3.80-inch caliber; 20 Tatham’s canister, 3.80-inch caliber.

The 1st Missouri Engineers didn’t report any cannon, but we have a citation from the regimental history mentioning a Parrott rifle.  However, the detachment reported having James caliber projectiles on hand.  I’d lean towards this unit having a James rifle on the armored flat car (if indeed that is what we are looking at here), and the regimental history incorrectly identifying the gun.

To close out this section and all of Missouri for the second quarter, we have the small arms:

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Looking down the list, we see a scatter of entries:

  • 1st Battery M.S.M.: Thirty Navy revolvers, twenty-eight cavalry sabers, twenty horse artillery sabers, and forty-nine (?) foot artillery sabers.
  • 10th Missouri Cavalry: Sixty-nine cavalry sabers.
  • 18th Missouri Infantry: Three Army revolvers.
  • 1st Missouri Engineers: Twenty-six breechloading carbines and three rifles (type not specific).

My presumption is the “train guard” from the 1st Missouri Engineers carried those long arms while doing their escort work.  As to why those appear on the artillery’s ordnance return as opposed to one for infantry weapons, I think this goes back to who was filing the paperwork.  If you are the ordnance officer for a detachment of engineers working in Tennessee, would you submit two separate reports?  Or just consolidate it all onto one report, regardless if artillery or small arms?  All that paperwork was going to Washington anyway.

Sherman’s March, March 11, 1865: The Federals drive into Fayetteville

After spending weeks spread out across the Carolina countryside, on March 11, 1865, Sherman’s columns converged on Fayetteville, North Carolina.  In military terms, particularly in regard to logistics and control measures, the movement into Fayetteville was much like the descent upon Savannah.  Let me expand upon that in my “closing statement” after explaining the movements of the day.

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The “point” formations on March 11 were the Fourteenth and Seventeenth Corps.  As cited yesterday, Sherman wanted the Fourteenth Corps to capture Fayetteville with support from the Seventeenth Corps.  Perhaps, Sherman did this to give the Fourteenth the honors for the day (as they were all too often the last on the march).  However, the move made military sense.  The Confederates were largely to the north and east of Fayetteville.  By advancing Fourteenth from the west on the Plank Road, Sherman was sealing off the objective.  So, that was the plan, but not how it worked out when applied.

On point for the Fourteenth’s advance that day was Major-General Absalom Baird’s Third Division.  And Baird’s account was to the point:

Moving at 6 a.m…. 11th, struck the rebel pickets at Beaver Creek, six miles from Fayetteville; drove them from their barricades, pushed on and entered the city at 9 a.m., recapturing and placing guards over the old U.S. Arsenal, basely surrendered by the traitor, Samuel S. Anderson, at the beginning of the rebellion.  It contained a number of cannon and small-arms, together with valuable machinery for their manufacture.

Only slight resistance in front of Baird that morning.  As for Samuel Anderson, Baird was writing this report on March 24, from the field and definitely not working from references.  Interesting that even the minor details pertaining to secession remained in the minds of men like Baird.

Despite Sherman’s intent, it was the Seventeenth Corps which first broke into Fayetteville.  To “hedge” a bit, Major-General Oliver O. Howard organized a flying column to rush into town.  Once again, Howard turned to his able staff officer, Captain William Duncan:

Early the next morning, March 11, I directed him to take all the available mounted men at my headquarters and scout toward Fayetteville. He encountered the enemy’s pickets just outside of the town, which he drove before him easily, but on entering the town he met a large force of the enemy’s cavlary.  The scouts were driven back, and Captain Duncan was captured.  He afterward escaped, and reports that he was stripped of everything valuable and in the presence of Hampton and Butler.

Duncan’s initial success, with a force cobbled together for the task, is another indicator of the poor Confederate dispositions.  The rear guard was porous at best.  And the Confederate cavalry, which had arrived late the day before, was not disposed to confront these Federal advances.  Reports and later accounts point to some confusion as to which command assumed the rear guard in Fayetteville.  Lieutenant-General Wade Hampton himself was nearly captured (which would have been an interesting turn considering the near capture of Major-General H. Judson Kilpatrick the day before).

Behind Duncan’s rush, Major-General Giles Smith advanced the Fourth Division, with a mounted force of foragers leading the way.  At Little Rockfish Creek, the main body of the division paused while the bridge was repaired.  But the foragers pressed on to gain possession of Arsenal Hill.  The mounted men from Fourth Division were unable, however, to secure the bridge before the retreating Confederates set fire to the wooden structure.  Shortly afterward, the infantry arrived to secure the rest of the city.  The mayor of Fayetteville surrendered the city to Lieutenant-Colonel W.E. Strong of Howard’s staff.

In his report, Howard mentioned Confederate artillery firing into the city in an attempt to delay the Federal advance, “the shot passing through the houses of Fayetteville.”  And he also incriminated Hampton directly in regard to a violation of wartime convention:

We found several of our men lying dead in the streets.  Captain Duncan reports to me that one of the men was badly wounded and endeavoring to walk away without arms, when the “chivalrous” Lieutenant-General Hampton rode after him and hacked him down with his own saber, thus adding another to his boasted victims.

For what it was worth, Hampton’s post-war account differed greatly.  Personally, I’m inclined to criticize Hampton for the lax security of Fayetteville that morning.  Duncan later mentioned a heated discussion between Hampton and Lieutenant-General William Hardee.  One has to wonder if the two Confederate chiefs were assessing (arguing?) the failure of the picket line, which under normal circumstances would have been Hampton’s charge.  But again, there is no direct indication that Hampton had been given that responsibility.

The other Federal formations, the Fifteenth Corps, Twentieth Corps, and Cavalry Division, all converged on Fayetteville that afternoon.  The Fifteenth Corps remained badly strung out along the roads, with much of the trains remaining west of Rockfish Creek.  The rear of Twentieth Corps, Major-General John Geary’s division, went into camp that evening some thirteen miles outside Fayetteville, after an “unusually laborious” march.  The Cavalry followed the Fourteenth Corps, with a somewhat leisurely pace. (And let me mention the last installment of Eric’s series on Monroe’s Crossroads is up.)

The ease at which the Federals gained Fayetteville is often contrasted with the failure to take the bridge over the Cape Fear River.  There is no doubt the Federals wanted – would have preferred – to have that bridge intact.  But the destruction of the bridge was not a major setback.  The Right Wing’s pontoon train was held up on the 11th supporting Fifteenth Corps movements.  They camped that night one mile outside Fayetteville.  But by 7 p.m. the next day, the 1st Missouri Engineers had a seventeen-boat bridge across the Cape Fear River. Making better time, the Left Wing’s pontoon train had a 400 foot span over the river by 2 p.m., laid just below the original bridge.  Thus the destruction of the bridge delayed Sherman by a day at most.  Sherman chose to delay his march at Fayetteville for reasons other than the bridges.

That’s where I circle back to the comparison of Savannah and Fayetteville.  Much like the end of the March to the Sea in December 1864, Sherman arrived outside Fayetteville with the need to replenish supplies and refit the army.  After five weeks marching through the Carolinas, the army was running short on items it could not acquire from foraging – bullets, shoes, uniforms, weapons, repair parts, and other “military” supplies.  Just the same as outside Savannah the previous December.  And recall that Sherman and subordinates expressed much anxiety over the opening of a supply line at Savannah.  This prompted the attack on Fort McAllister – somewhat “rushed” we might say.

At Fayetteville, the Confederates didn’t offer significant resistance to Sherman’s advance.  Instead, Hampton and Hardee never planned to put up a delay, much less a fight.  We might debate IF the Confederates could have put up a fight (and I’d lean towards the “not really” side). But we also have to consider Sherman’s dispositions – two corps up and two corps stuck in the mud.  Sherman was being deliberate in the approach to Fayetteville.  A deliberate opposition to that approach might have better served Confederate interests.

Call it my “revisionist” moment for the day, but I don’t think we can say the burnt bridge at Fayetteville caused any additional delays for Sherman’s march.  Sherman planned to loiter at Fayetteville for a few days regardless of the condition of bridges over the Cape Fear River.

(Citations from OR, Series I, Volume 47, Part I, Serial 98, pages 203-4, 551.)

Sherman’s March, March 5, 1865: It “rained…shells very promiscuously” in Cheraw; Federals turned back at Florence

On March 5, 1865, Major-General William T. Sherman gave marching instructions for his wing commanders for movements beyond the PeeDee River to the next major objective – Fayetteville, North Carolina.  Writing from Cheraw, Sherman outlined the scheme of maneuver to Major-General Henry Slocum of the Left Wing:

Let General [Jefferson C.] Davis lead into Fayetteville, holding the Twentieth in support with the cavalry on his left rear.  I will hold General Howard back, but close enough to come up if Joe Johnston wants to fight.  I will now fight him if he dares, and therefore wish to act on that idea, keeping each corps ready to hold the enemy if he appears in force on your left, but his strength must be developed before other corps are called from their roads.

Orders to Major-General Oliver O. Howard, with the Right Wing, sent the previous day, were similar, except the two commanders agreed to implement slow marches instead of halting at any one particular place (to allow for easier foraging in the sparse pine barrens).  Sherman described the scheme of maneuver as such “that the columns may assume an echelon towards the north.”  This arrangement, leading with the left while holding the right back for the punch, was the framework for a grand movement to contact.  But the disadvantage to the order of march was one corps would always be exposed to the possibility of being isolated and destroyed.

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Movements on March 5, 1865 were not great marches, but rather constrained by the need to get across the PeeDee in good order.  On the Left Wing, Major-General Jefferson C. Davis expended more curse words and condemnations towards the pontoon train’s leadership.  Work constructing a bridge at Haile’s (or Pegues’) Ferry progressed.  But lack of boats forced the engineers to improvise.  Wagons, wrapped in canvas, became makeshift pontoons.  The Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps remained in camp.

The Right Wing expanded the bridgehead across the PeeDee on the 5th. The remainder of the Seventeenth Corps crossed and moved to the right.  Most of the Fifteenth Corps, save a rear guard in Cheraw, crossed.  The “big” event in Cheraw, however, was not the crossing, but rather a large explosion.  The Confederates had left Cheraw in such haste that large quantities of munitions (much of it from Charleston, originally) were left behind.  With orders to destroy what could not be used or carried, Federal details began stacking powder kegs and other ordnance in a ravine.  The hope was exposure to water in the creek there would render the powder inert.  This proved a tragic decision, as recorded by the 1st Missouri Engineers:

In camp at Cheraw, waiting the passage of the troops across the Great Peedee River.  Details were employed fitting artillery wagon wheels to the boat wagons.  A great many of these wheels were found here, left by the enemy, as well as a large amount of ordnance stores, powder, shells, etc. This was all dumpted in a ravine through which a creek flowed. The ravine was filled and piled up ten or twelve feet deep until even with the banks – thirty-six thousand pounds of it.  There was not water enough in the creek to dampen all the mass of powder and shells, and our infantry soldiers were amusing themselves with taking the dry powder some two hundred yards to their cook fire and exploding it, carrying it in their hands.  The ravine was visited so often and the powder carried so loosely that after a time a train was formed reaching back to the ravine, and as a pile was exploded the fire ran back in the trail to the mass and it all went off with a terrible noise, and it rained around there for a half-mile shells and pieces of shells very promiscuously for a minute or so.

Though the explosion had enough force to damage houses all around Cheraw, only a handful of men were killed.  Still, this was a sad repetition of events seen at Charleston and Columbia.  Loose powder and fire never mix well.

Further south, Colonel Reuben Williams had his detail up early on the morning of the 5th on their way to Darlington and eventually Florence.

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Between Dove’s Station and Darlington, the mounted infantry burned several trestle bridges.  On arrival in Darlington, the Federals destroyed the depot, 250 bales of cotton, and a printing office.  Proceeding south out of Darlington, scouts reported a train heading north from Florence.  Williams took up dispositions to ambush the train.

The Twenty-ninth Missouri being in the advance immediately deployed on the side of the track for the purpose of capturing it as soon as it came up. The engineer, however, must have discovered us, as the train was turned back to Florence.

Opportunity missed, Williams pressed forward on the appointed task, burning trestles along the way to Florence.  Two miles outside of their destination, the Federals met skirmishers.

I immediately formed the command in line, with a proper reserve, and ordered a charge, which was made in good style, some of the men gaining the depot building, but were unable either to hold or fire it. About this time the enemy re-enforced his left with infantry and drove back our right in some disorder. I had in the meantime thrown the Seventh Illinois on the left of the line to prevent a flank movement which I discovered was being made by the enemy. I here received notice from an officer who was on picket on the railroad to my rear that a train was coming from the direction of Kingsville, and a few minutes later I was informed that a party of about 400 men, with artillery, were getting off the train. Finding that I was outflanked and outnumbered by the enemy, and with a force of 400 moving in my rear, I concluded to withdraw the command and at once proceeded to do so. I fell back in good order, leaving the Ninth Illinois to cover the rear and proceeded in the direction of Darlington.

The Confederate commander of the forces defending Florence was Brigadier-General Beverly Robertson.  This was part of a brigade, which at the first of the month had been facing the Federals in the John’s Island sector.  Withdrawn north with the rest of the Charleston garrison, Robertson’s men were cut off from the main body when the Federals occupied Cheraw.  With the reinforcements, the defenders likely numbered around 1,400, and included a battery (Williams said ten pieces) of artillery and a cavalry detachment.  Recall that Williams’ force numbered only 546 men.

Robertson pressed Williams very hard, hitting the rear guard “two or three times between Florence and Darlington.” The pressure was so great that Williams opted to move over Black Creek in order to set a defensive line for the evening.  But Robertson continued to threaten the Federals even after dark.

About 8 p.m. the pickets informed me that the enemy was moving across Black Creek, on my left, in force, and the report was confirmed by negroes who came into our lines. The evident object of this move was to reach Society Hill before us and cut us off at that point, which, if successful, would necessitate a long march to the left before I could return. I therefore concluded to at once move to Society Hill, which I did, arriving there at 12 m. on the night of the 5th.

From Society Hill, Williams moved back to Cheraw on the 6th without incident.  Summarizing the raid, Williams counted the damage inflicted and losses suffered:

The results of the expedition may be summed up as follows: The destruction of 500 yards of trestle-work, 2 depots, 11 freight and 4 passenger cars, 4,000 pounds bacon, 80 bushels wheat, 50 sacks corn, 250 bales of cotton, 1 printing office, 1 caisson and battery wagon, 30 stand of small-arms, and the capture of 31 prisoners. Our casualties are 7 wounded and 8 missing. A lieutenant and one man are reported to have been captured at Society Hill on our return.

Not bad for such a small force.  But Florence remained an open railroad junction for use by the Confederates.  However the rail lines there were somewhat amputated with no endpoints of strategic value.

(Citations from OR, Series I, Volume 47, Part I, Serial 98, pages 255-6; Part II, Serial 99, pages 676, 691; William A. Neal, An illustrated History of the Missouri Engineer and the 25th Infantry Regiments, Chicago: Donohue & Henneberry, 1889, page 171.)