Ohio provided twenty-six numbered independent batteries to the Federal cause during the Civil War. As mentioned in last week’s post, two of those twenty-six were discontinued before the middle of the war. That leaves us, for the purposes of the third quarter, 1863’s summary statement, just twenty-four batteries to account for. So two batches of a dozen. Let’s look at the first twelve:
Seven of the twelve submitted returns. And we see service from Washington, D.C. all the way west to Little Rock, Arkansas:
- 1st Battery: No report. Captain James R. McMullin commanded this battery, supporting the Third Division (Scammon’s), Department/Army of West Virginia, then based at Charleston, West Virginia. Most likely the battery retained four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles received just after the battle of Antietam, a year earlier.
- 2nd Battery: No return. This battery was assigned to Third Division, Thirteenth Corps. During the summer months, the battery followed its parent formation to New Orleans and became part of the Department of the Gulf. Lieutenant Augustus Beach was promoted to captain in October 1863, and commanded the battery. A corps-level return from September 26, 1863 indicates the battery had two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3.80-inch James rifles.
- 3rd Battery: At Vicksburg, Mississippi with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. The battery was assigned to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps. Captain William S. Williams remained in command. The battery remained at Vicksburg through April 1864. Williams served as division artillery chief. So on some order of battles Lieutenant Thomas J. Blackburn appears in command of the battery.
- 4th Battery: No return. The battery was assigned to First Division, Fifteenth Corps. After the battle of Jackson, Mississippi, the battery followed its parent formation back to the Big Black River and spent most of the summer there. At the end of September, the battery was among those forces dispatched to reinforce Chattanooga. When Captain Louis Hoffman resigned at the end of June, George Froehlich took his place, and was advanced to captain. The battery likely retained two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. This mix would change in December, as the battery received replacements from what was left behind on Missionary Ridge.
- 5th Battery: At Little Rock, Arkansas with two 6-pdr field guns and two 3.80-inch James rifles. With Captain Andrew Hickenlooper serving as the Seventeenth Corps’ Chief Engineer, Lieutenants John D. Burner and, later, Anthony B. Burton led this battery. The battery served in Fourth Division, Sixteenth Corps and remained around Vicksburg through the early summer. The battery was among the forces detached for Steele’s Expedition to Little Rock in August. And thence became part of the garrison of that place.
- 6th Battery: Reporting from Chattanooga, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Cullen Bradley remained in command of the battery, which was assigned to First Division, Twenty-First Corps. The battery saw heavy action at Chickamuauga, as evidenced in Bradley’s very detailed report. On September 19 the guns fired 209 rounds, “of this some 20 rounds were canister” attesting to the range at which the fighting occurred. All told the battery fired 336 rounds in the battle.
- 7th Battery: No return. Captain Silas A. Burnap remained commander. The battery was assigned to Fourth Division, Sixteenth Corps through August, 1863. However, the battery moved with its parent division as reorganizations occurred later in the summer, temporarily listed in the Thirteenth Corps before finally moving to the Seventeenth Corps. The battery participated in the campaign to Jackson in July and was later moved to Natchez, where it stayed through November. In the first quarter, the battery reported four 3.80-inch James Rifles.
- 8th Battery: Reporting in January 1864 as at Vicksburg, Mississippi (with the annotation of “positions in Fort ????”). The battery had two 30-pdr Parrotts (not listed, as those were not considered field artillery). Commanded by Captain James F. Putnam, this battery was assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps. After Vicksburg, one section was sent with the expedition to Jackson. But the rest of the summer was spent at Vicksburg. In September, the battery transferred to First Division, Seventeenth Corps.
- 9th Battery: Tullahoma, Tennessee with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery was commanded by Captain Harrison B. York and assigned to the Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland. The battery was among the forces arrayed to protect the Army of the Cumberland’s supply lines. The battery was at Murfreesboro until September 5, and then moved forward to Tullahoma. At that position, the battery inherited two 24-pdr siege guns (which would not appear on our field artillery listings for this quarter).
- 10th Battery: At Vicksburg, Mississippi with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Under Captain Hamilton B. White, the battery remained with Sixth (later First) Division, Seventeenth Corps. Aside from the Jackson campaign, The battery remained at Vicksburg until April 1864.
- 11th Battery: No report. Was part of the Seventh Division, Seventeenth Corps. Captain Frank C. Sands was commander (though Lieutenant Fletcher E. Armstrong appears on some returns, with Sands on detail away from the battery). The battery was among the troops assigned to Steele’s Little Rock Expedition in August 1863. The battery had a mix of two (or three according to some reports) 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and one (or two) rifled 6-pdr guns.
- 12th Battery: At Camp Barry, District of Columbia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Aaron C. Johnson commanded this battery. Having lost their posting with the Army of the Potomac, the battery remained at the Artillery Camp of Instruction through the summer. In late September, the battery received assignment back to the Eleventh Corps, then moving west to reinforce Chattanooga.
Thus of the five batteries not reporting, and the 8th Battery without any tallies, we can at least pencil in what should have been on those lines. With a few reservations, of course.
Turning next to the ammunition, the smoothbore columns reflect the varied armament of these batteries:
Four batteries reporting:
- 3rd Battery: 70 shot, 40 case, and 56 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
- 5th Battery: 5 shot, 633 case, and 154 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 102 shell, and 230 case for 12-pdr field howitzers. (See comment below.)
- 6th Battery: 42 shot, 65 shell, 64 case, and 72 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
- 9th Battery: 104 shot, 153 shell, 307 case, and 223 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
5th Battery had a pair of 12-pdr field howitzers on hand the previous quarter. It appears they still had ammunition to report, even after turning in the howitzers.
Moving to the rifled projectiles, first we have the Hotchkiss type:
Interesting that we see a good number of rounds for the James calibers:
- 3rd Battery: 113 percussion shell and 112 fuse shell for 3.80-inch James.
- 5th Battery: 60 percussion shell and 80 fuse shell for 3.80-inch James.
- 9th Battery: 85 canister, 50 percussion shell, 135 fuse shell, and 150 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
- 10th Battery: 20 shot and 104 fuse shell for 3.80-inch James.
- 12th Battery: 120 canister, 502 fuse shell, and 403 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
I’ll break up the next page for clarity, starting with a left-over set of Hotchkiss entries:
- 3rd Battery: 69 Hotchkiss canister for 3.80-inch James.
- 10th Battery: 325 Hotchkiss canister for 3.80-inch James.
Then to the James (actual) columns:
- 3rd Battery: 15 shot and 35 shell for 3.80-inch James.
- 5th Battery: 4 shot, 123 shell, and 87 canister for 3.80-inch James.
- 10th Battery: 120 shell for 3.80-inch James.
Only one battery reported Parrotts on hand:
- 6th Battery: 351 shell, 90 case, and 53 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
Then completing this assortment of projectiles, we turn to the Schenkl columns:
- 5th Battery: 11 shell for 3.80-inch James.
- 10th Battery: 204 shell for 3.80-inch James.
- 12th Battery: 167 shell for 3-inch rifles.
And note, the 5th Battery could look in their chests to find Hotchkiss, James, and Schenkl projectiles. Not to mention a few left over 12-pdr field howitzer rounds. Enough to make a good ordnance officer wince!
Last we have the small arms:
- 3rd Battery: Twenty-three army revolvers and eight cavalry sabers.
- 5th Battery: Seven navy revolvers and seven cavalry sabers.
- 6th Battery: Ten horse artillery sabers.
- 9th Battery: Thirteen horse artillery sabers.
- 10th Battery: Two army revolvers and six cavalry sabers.
- 12th Battery: Twelve army revolvers, four cavalry sabers, and twenty horse artillery sabers.
We’ll look at the other half of the Ohio independent batteries in the next installment.