The last heading for the state volunteers in the third quarter of 1863 summaries is Wisconsin. Under this heading are a dozen independent (numbered) batteries along with four reports for sections from cavalry and infantry regiments. We look at those artillery batteries first:
I said “a dozen,” right? But you count thirteen. Yes, because one of those batteries didn’t exist. Notice we have dated returns for all but the 11th Battery (the one that didn’t exist). Some were late. But returns to work from at least for the twelve:
- 1st Battery: Reporting at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as of March 1865. But with no cannon on hand. Captain Jacob T. Foster remained in command of the battery. After Vicksburg, and the transfer of the Thirteenth Corps to the Department of the Gulf, the battery relocated to New Orleans. They remained there until the first week of September, when they moved to Brashear City. At the end of September Foster’s battery was at Berwick City (across the Atchafalaya from modern day Morgan City). But they returned to Brashear City in early October. A report dated September 2 indicated the battery had four 30-pdr Parrotts. That would be an upgrade from the 20-pdr Parrotts worn out during the Vicksburg Campaign. Staff duties often kept Foster away from the battery. In his place, Lieutenant Daniel Webster led the battery.
- 2nd Battery: No location given, from a return posted November 1864, but with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 10-pdr Parrotts. With the end of Dix’s Peninsula Campaign, the battery moved to Yorktown. The battery remained there through the rest of the summer and into fall, as part of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina. Captain Charles Beger commanded this battery. However, returns indicate he was absent at the end of the reporting period, with Lieutenant Charles Schultz standing in.
- 3rd Battery: Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee with one 12-pdr field howitzer. Captain Lucius H. Drury, of the battery, was division artillery chief. Under direct command of Lieutenant Cortland Livingston, as part of Third Division, Twenty-first Corps, Army of the Cumberland, the battery went into action at Chickamauga with four 10-pdr Parrotts and two 12-pdr field howitzers. On September 19, the battery fought near the Viniard cornfield, playing an important role checking the Confederates in that sector. But on the afternoon of the 20, the battery was with others grouped by Mendenhall on the northwest of Dyer Field. Loosing 30 horses in that desperate stand, the Livingston was only able to bring one howitzer off the field.
- 4th Battery: At Gloucester Point, Virginia with six 3-inch rifles (likely Ordnance rifles). Captain John F. Vallee commanded this battery at the start of the quarter. When Vallee resigned on July 6, George B. Easterly was promoted to command. As part of Second Division, Fourth Corps the battery participated in the operations on the Peninsula through June and July. Afterwards, the battery was part of the Yorktown Garrison, specifically assigned to Gloucester Point, across the York River.
- 5th Battery: In Chattanooga, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 10-pdr Parrotts. In the previous quarters, this battery reported two mountain howitzers instead of field howitzers. Other equipment, and ammunition on hand (see below), reported was for field howitzers. Still, I would leave a question mark for caution on that column. The battery was assigned to First Division, Twentieth Corps, and commanded by Captain George Q. Gardner. The battery was detached with the division’s First Brigade at the start of September. During the battle of Chickamauga, they were at Valley Head, Alabama. They did see action on September 22 skirmishing with Confederates as the siege of Chattanooga set in.
- 6th Battery: “In the field” with two 6-pdr field guns, two 24-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles. However, I believe, based on the ammunition reported and previous quarter reporting, the 24-pdrs should instead be 12-pdr field howitzers. Assigned to Seventh (later Second) Division, Seventeenth Corps. Captain Henry Dillon was in command. However, with Dillon serving as division artillery chief, Lieutenant Samuel F. Clark stood in as commander. The battery spent most of the summer at Vicksburg. They were part of the force dispatched to Chattanooga, via Memphis and overland to Bridgeport, Alabama, starting the last week of September.
- 7th Battery: At Memphis, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns and three 3.67-inch rifles, and one 3.80-inch James rifles (as opposed to four 3.80-inch James reported the previous quarter). Captain Harry S. Lee returned to resume command of the battery for part of the summer. But returns from October indicate Lieutenant William E. Hearsey was acting commander. The battery was assigned to the District of Memphis, Sixteenth Corps.
- 8th Battery: At Chattanooga, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Assigned to First Division, Twentieth Corps. In Captain Henry E. Stiles’ absence, Lieutenant John D. McLean lead the battery at Chickamauga. The battery reported no loss in the battle.
- 9th Battery: Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory with four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. Captain Cyrus H. Johnson remained in command, but he would be dismissed on October 21. So a story for the next quarter. The battery served by sections. The right section, under Lieutenant James H. Dodge, first moved to Fort Union, New Mexico, before returning to Fort Lyon. The left section, under Lieutenant Watson D. Crocker, continued on to Fort Larned, Kansas. And the center section, which remained with Captain Johnson, set up operations at Fort Lyon.
- 10th Battery: Reporting at Bridgeport, Alabama with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. 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. In late September the battery moved forward to Bridgeport and guarded key points in that area.
- 11th Battery: No return. As mentioned above, before this battery could complete organization, it was assigned to Illinois for accounting, becoming Battery L, 1st Illinois Light Artillery.
- 12th Battery: A February 1864 return has this battery at Chattanooga with four 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain William Zickerick and his battery’s four 10-pdr Parrotts were assigned to Seventh Division (later Second), Seventeenth Corps. Alongside the 6th Battery, they spent most of the summer at Vicksburg. In late September, they were among the forces dispatched to Chattanooga.
- 13th Battery: From a March 1864 return, this battery was at Fort Williams, Louisiana with the annotation “no stores.” The battery started forming in the summer of 1863. In November, seventy-one men were mustered into service, with duty location of Camp Washburn, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Captain Richard R. Griffith would command the battery, with data of rank from December 23 of that year.
Moving down to the ammunition on hand, starting with the smoothbore:
- 2nd Battery: 120 shell, 160 case, and 32 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
- 3rd Battery: 70 shell, 160 case, and 27 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
- 5th Battery: 96 shot, 32 shell, 91 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 62 shell, 156 case, and 47 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
- 6th Battery: 73 shot, 173 case, and 105 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 21 shell, and 113 case for 12-pdr field howitzers; 65 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons. That last entry may be a transcription error by the clerks.
- 7th Battery: 186 shot, 243 case, and 87 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
- 8th Battery: 32 shot, 94 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 shell, 190 case, and 62 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
Turning to the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles reported:
- 4th Battery: 117 canister, 603 (!!!) percussion shell, 266 fuse shell, and 116 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
- 6th Battery: 26 shot and 146 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
- 7th Battery: 81 shot, 80 percussion shell, 161 fuse shell, and 430 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
- 8th Battery: 94 shot, 151 canister, and 479 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
- 10th Battery: 120 canister, 245 percussion shell, and 235 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
We will break the next page down into sections for clarity. Starting with the James projectiles reported:
- 6th Battery: 96 shell and 34 canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.
And then to the Parrott columns:
- 2nd Battery: 314 shot, 387 shell, and 96 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
- 3rd Battery: 195 shell, 188 case, and 75 canister for 10-pdr Parrott…. which, as of the time of the report, the battery didn’t have on hand. So while losing the guns, the battery rescued their caissons. Good work!
- 5th Battery: 9 shot, 142 shell, 127 case, and 78 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
- 12th Battery: 116 shot, 321 shell, 247 case, and 136 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
A handful of Schenkl and Tatham’s reported:
First the Schenkl:
- 4th Battery: 33 shell and 23 case for 3 inch rifles.
And one entry for Tatham’s canister:
- 6th Battery: 30 canister for 3.80-inch James.
Lastly we examine the small arms reported:
- 2nd Battery: Twenty army revolvers and 133 horse artillery sabers.
- 3rd Battery: Fourteen army revolvers and eight horse artillery sabers.
- 4th Battery: Sixteen army revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
- 6th Battery: Six cavalry sabers.
- 7th Battery: Thirty army revolvers and twenty-five cavalry sabers.
- 8th Battery: Sixteen navy revolvers and four cavalry sabers.
- 9th Battery: Ninety-five navy revolvers and nineteen cavalry sabers.
- 10th Battery: Fifteen horse artillery sabers.
- 12th Battery: Eight navy revolvers.
We can say there was an evolving theme across the Wisconsin batteries. While that theme did not include all, at the close of the third quarter of 1863 many of these batteries were either at Chattanooga or moving to the city. In the weeks that followed, the men of those batteries would support the efforts to lift the siege and eventually defeat the Confederates encircling the city.