Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Independent and Miscellaneous Illinois Artillery

Looking at the artillery formations Illinois sent to war, there are over a dozen independent batteries or sections which we may discuss.  Some of these became batteries in the two artillery regiments.  Others remained independent throughout the war.  Famous independent batteries, I may add.

Looking at the third quarter, 1863, the summaries carried eight independent batteries and one artillery section.  However, the clerks at the Ordnance Department continued to carry one of those batteries under “3rd Illinois Artillery,” a formation that cannot be found in the final records.  Thus we have a split set to discuss in this installment:

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As discussed in previous quarters, we can identify Battery A, 3rd Illinois Artillery as Springfield Light Artillery, or Vaughn’s Battery (after Captain Thomas F. Vaughn).

The other batteries appear on the next page:

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Working from the top… of my snips, we start with that miss-identified battery and work down:

  • Battery A, 3rd Illinois / Springfield Light Artillery: At Little Rock, Arkansas with six 3.80-inch James rifles.  Captain Thomas F. Vaughn commanded this battery, which was assigned to the Sixteenth Corps.  As part of Steele’s Expedition to Little Rock, the battery got its first real taste of battle on September 10 at Bayou Fourche.  In that action, Vaughn reported firing 14 shot, 292 shell, and 8 canister over three hours.  The battery lost two men in the fight.
  • Stokes’ Battery / Chicago Board of Trade Battery: Reporting at Nashville, Tennessee with four 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, one 3-inch Ordnance Rifle, one rifled 6-pdr (3.67-inch), and two 3.80-inch James rifles.  At the end of September, this battery was, like most of the Army of the Cumberland, holding on at Chattanooga.  The battery was with the force holding the river crossings above the city.  By the time of the reporting date (November), the battery was posted near Huntsville, Alabama, having spent some of the intervening time supporting operations against Confederate cavalry raids.  The battery remained with Second Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  During the siege of Chattanooga, Captain James H. Stokes commanded Second Division of the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Cumberland (the “right batteries” in reports).   In his place, Lieutenant George Robinson led the battery, with more than it’s fair share of cannon!
  • Chicago Mercantile Battery: At Franklin, Louisiana with four 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  In the reorganizations after Vicksburg, this battery moved with parent formation to the Fourth Division, Thirteenth Corps, which was sent to the Department of the Gulf.  Captain Patrick H. White remained in command.
  • Elgin Battery: No return.  Assigned to the 23rd Corps, this battery participated in the Knoxville Campaign.  Captain George W. Renwick resigned in May 1863 and was replaced by Captain Andrew M. Wood.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: At Nashville, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James rifles. This battery moved to Vicksburg in June as part of First Division, Sixteenth Corps.  In July, just after the fall of that city, the battery transferred to Fourth Division, Fifteenth Corps.  Thence transferring again to Seventh Division, Seventeenth Corps.  And that division later became Second Division of the corps.  Good thing corps badges were not used in the western theater at the time!  In late September the battery moved to Memphis as part of the force sent to reinforce Chattanooga.  The indicated location reflects the July 1864 reporting date. Though Captain William Cogswell remained in command of the battery, Lieutenant Henry G. Eddy appears to have led the battery in the field.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: Reporting from Loudon, Tennessee with four 6-pdr field guns and two 3.80-inch James rifles.  In September 1863, this battery was part of Twenty-third Corps and in the advance toward Knoxville.  So the Loudon location reflects a November reporting date. Captain Edward C. Henshaw commanded.
  • Bridges’ Battery: At Chattanooga, Tennessee with one 12-pdr Napoleon and three 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Assigned to Second Division, Fourteenth Corps and under command of Captain Lyman Bridges.  Going into battle at Chickamauga, the battery boasted two Napoleons and four Ordnance rifles.  Posted on the morning September 20 astride the road near the McDonald House, the battery suffered heavily.  Six killed, twenty wounded, and four missing out of a command of 126.  Aside from the two guns (a Napoleon and an Ordnance rifle) the battery lost 46 horses, three limbers, one caisson, and much equipment.  Bridges would, rightfully in my view, complain of lacking infantry support.  The battery pulled four of its guns off the field and moved to Snodgrass Hill.   Bridges would later pull four guns,  abandoned by other batteries, off the field.  The position of Bridges’ desperate fight on the morning of the 20th is marked today:

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  • Colvin’s Battery: “In the field, Tennessee” with two 3-inch Ordnance rifles and two 10-pdr Parrotts. Overlooked in the previous quarter, this battery was assigned to Twenty-Third Corps, and, as of the end of September, was part of the force in East Tennessee aimed at Knoxville.  Captain John H. Colvin commanded.
  • 14th Cavalry, Artillery Section:  No location given, with four 12-pdr mountain howitzers. The 14th Illinois Cavalry was part of Twenty-third Corps at this time of the war and participated in the advance on Knoxville.  The regiment, under Colonel Horace Capron, retained a section of mountain howitzers, led by Lieutenant Henry Clay Connelly.

Taken with the service details of the 1st and 2nd Regiments, we see almost all the Illinois artillerymen were serving in the Western Theater at this time of the war.

Moving to the ammunition reported, let us take this in blocks with the Springfield Light Artillery getting the lead position.  That battery reported no smoothbore ammunition. But did have some Hotchkiss rounds:

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  • Springfield Battery: 274 Hotchkiss percussion shell for 3.80-inch rifles..

More Hotchkiss appear on the next page along with James patent projectiles:

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  • Springfield Battery: 172 Hotchkiss canister; 236 James shot, 212 James Shells, and 30 James canister, all for 3.80-inch rifles.

And more canister on the last page of projectiles:

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  • Springfield Battery: 36 Tatham’s canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Turning to the other independent batteries, we look back to the smoothbore:

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  • Chicago Board of Trade Battery: 173 shot, 283 case, and 244 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: 286 shot, 315 case, and 138 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Bridges’ Battery: 4 shot, 148 shell, and 34 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.  No canister.
  • 14th Illinois Cavalry: 108 shell, 576 case, and 60 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

Advancing to the Hotchkiss columns:

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  • Chicago Board of Trade Battery: 7 shot and 30 percussion shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Chicago Mercantile Battery: 90 canister, 195 percussion shell,  201 fuse shell, and 281 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: 170 percussion shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: 95 percussion shell and 80 fuse shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Bridges’ Battery: 66 canister, 130 percussion shell, 186 fuse shell, and 163 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Colvin’s Battery: 38 canister, 50 percussion shell, and 160 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

We have more Hotchkiss on the next page along with James and Parrott rounds:

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Hotchkiss:

  • Chicago Board of Trade Battery: 33 cansiter for 3.80-inch rifles.

James:

  • Chicago Board of Trade Battery: 33 shot and 45 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: 31 shot, 247 shell, and 109 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Parrott:

  • Colvin’s Battery: 165 case for 10-pdr Parrott.

Both Schenkl and Tatham’s on the last page of projectiles:

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Schenkl:

  • Chicago Board of Trade Battery: 219 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: 66 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Colvin’s Battery: 23 case for 10-pdr Parrott.

Tathams:

  • Cogswell’s Battery: 149 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Finally to the small arms, we can “bounce” these in one listing from two snips:

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And….

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By battery:

  • Springfield Battery: Ten horse artillery sabers.
  • Chicago Board of Trade Battery: Two Army revolvers, 133 Navy revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • Chicago Mercantile Battery: One Army revolver and four horse artillery sabers.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: Two Army revolvers and two cavalry sabers.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Bridges’ Battery: Ten Army revolvers, fifteen cavalry sabers, and five horse artillery sabers.
  • Colvin’s Battery: Two Navy revolvers and eight cavalry sabers.
  • 14th Illinois Cavalry Section: Six rifled muskets (foreign manufacture) and thirty-one Army revolvers.

Consider here the story of Bridges’ Battery at Chickamuaga.  I think we see some of that story reflected in the numbers reported for the returns.  Certainly we see the reduction of the number of guns reported.  Ammunition might be replenished, but I’d advance the quantities were still low for the battery (as resupply of Chattanooga was desperate until late November).  Though the small arms quantities look average for a field battery, I’d bet many of those men who survived September 20, 1863 would “acquire” more – officially or unofficially.

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Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Independent batteries from Illinois

Proceeding through the Summary Statements for first quarter, 1863, we arrive at the various non-regimented batteries from Illinois.  Like a blast of canister into the darkest night, these tables are hit and miss:

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Ten lines, but with six registered entries.  And all of these referring to a battery commander’s (or former commander’s) name.  We had the same issue with the previous quarter’s summary, so this is nothing new:

  • Stoke’s [Stokes’] Battery: Also known as the Chicago Board of Trade Independent Battery Light Artillery, commanded by Captain James Stokes.  At Murfreesboro, Tennessee with four 6-pdr field guns, one 6-pdr (3.67-inch) rifle, and two 3.80-inch James rifles.  One of the 6-pdrs was a Confederate gun captured at Stones River, to replace a gun damaged in the battle.  This battery was authorized as a seven gun battery during the quarter, presumably adding the 6-pdr rifle at that time.  The battery was assigned to the Cavalry Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • Vaughn’s Battery: Also known as known as the Springfield Independent Battery. Outside Memphis, at Germantown, Tennessee with six 3.80-inch James rifles. However, returns show Captain Thomas F. Vaughn’s battery was assigned to the District of Jackson, as part of Sixteenth Corps as of April 30, 1863.  Same corps, just a duty location dependency.
  • Busteed’s Battery: No report.  This is an odd entry, if the name matches to other records.  This battery, which according to a Chicago Tribune report dated February 17, 1862, was raised at war’s onset by Captain Richard Busteed, Jr. as the Chicago Light Battery (not to be confused with Battery A, 1st Illinois Artillery).  They were soon assigned to Washington, D.C. However, when Busteed and other officers resigned in November 1861, leading to the battery being disbanded.  Most of the artillerymen were reassigned to what became the 4th New York Independent Artillery.  So why is there a line here?
  • Phillips’ Battery: No report.Another curious line entry.  This might match to Captain John C. Phillips’ Battery M, 2nd Illinois, which had suffered the indignity of capture at Harpers Ferry the previous fall.
  • Cooley’s Battery: This was the Chicago Mercantile Independent Battery.  Reporting at Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana with four 6-pdr field guns and two 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Under Captain Patrick H. White, this battery was assigned to Tenth Division, Thirteenth Corps.
  • Bridges’ Battery: Also at Murfreesboro but with three(?) 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr Napoleon and two 3-inch Ordnance rifles. The battery formed from Company G, 19th Illinois Infantry, officially, in January 1863.  However, during the previous fall, the men had been detailed to service guns in the defenses of Nashville.   Captain Lyman Bridges commanded the battery, which supported the Pioneer Brigade, Army of the Cumberland.
  • Elgin’s Battery: Should read (non-possessive) Elgin Battery. Lieutenant Andrew M. Wood assumed command of this battery during the spring (replacing Captain George W. Renwick).  The battery was assigned to the District of Western Kentucky. Later in June 1863, the battery reported four 24-pdr field howitzers and six 3.80-inch James rifles. But for the first quarter, we have no report.
  • Colvin’s Battery: No report. This battery was being organized during the winter from parts of the 107th Illinois Infantry, 33rd Kentucky Infantry and 22nd Indiana Battery. Captain John H. Colvin’s command was part of the Department of the Ohio.
  • Coggswell’s [Cogswell’s] Battery: Reporting at Camp Sherman, Mississippi with four 3.80-inch James rifles.  Captain William Cogswell’s battery supported First Division, Sixteenth Corps at this time.  When Cogswell moved up to command the artillery brigade, Lieutenant Henry G. Eddy assumed command of the battery.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: At Loudon, Tennessee (which probably better reflects the November 7, 1863 reporting date) with four 6-pdr field guns and two 3.80-inch James rifles. This was Captain Edward C. Henshaw’s battery, which had just formed at the end of 1862.  The battery was also part of the District of Western Kentucky.

One side note, those batteries listed as part of the District of Western Kentucky at this time were soon pulled into the Twenty-Third Corps when General Burnside took command of the Department of the Ohio.  So there was another administrative change for these batteries just weeks into the next quarter.

Of those reporting, we see fifteen 6-pdr smoothbores, one rifled 6-pdr, and fourteen James rifles.  Quite possible that all three types used the same casting pattern – that of the Model 1841 field gun.  Keep such in mind as we review the ammunition reports.

And speaking of which, we start with the smoothbore rounds on hand:

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I’m going to stick with the names provided on the summaries, but keep in mind the alternate designations mentioned above (which are just half the story, as some of those independent batteries were at times cited within the regimental system, with much confusion). By battery:

  • Stokes’ Battery: 334 shot, 302 case, and 259 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Vaughn’s Battery: 72 shell, 42 case, and 50 canister for 12-pdr field howitzer.  Recall the battery reported similar quantities on hand the previous quarter, with no weapons in that caliber on hand.
  • Cooley’s Battery: 397 shot, 327 case, and 74 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Bridges’ Battery: 98 shot, 366 case, and 122 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 100 shot, 50 shell, 250 case, and 50 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: 522 shot, 406 case, and 84 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

So just one question mark, and that one retained from the previous quarter.

Moving over to the rifled projectiles, we start with the products of Mr. Hotchkiss:

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We see quantities on hand for those four 3-inch rifles, along with rounds for the James rifles:

  • Stokes’ Battery:  17 shot and 50 fuse shell, Hotchkiss, in 3.67-inch caliber.  Presumably feed for the lone rifled 6-pdr. (And more to add to that on the next page.)
  • Cooley’s Battery: 44 canister, 96 percussion shell, 82 fuse shell, and 167 bullet shell, Hotchkiss, for 3-inch rifles.
  • Bridges’ Battery:  84 canister, 65 percussion shell, 320 fuse shell, and 115 bullet shell, Hotchkiss, for 3-inch rifles.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: 148 shot, Hotchkiss, for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: 40 percussion shell, 80 fuse shell, and 280 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.

Moving to the next page, we have quantities in the “spill over” Hotchkiss columns, in addition to some James-patent (full page here):

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First, breaking out the orphaned Hotchkiss entries:

  • Stokes’ Battery: 40 canister, Hotchkiss, 3.67-inch rifle caliber.
  • Vaughn’s Battery:  180 canister, Hotchkiss, 3.80-inch rifle caliber.

Moving to the James columns:

  • Stokes’ Battery: 33 shot and 72 shell, James, 3.80-inch.
  • Vaughn’s Battery: 250 shot, 451 shell, and 30 canister, James, 3.80-inch.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: 31 shot, 327 shell, and 47 canister, James, 3.80-inch.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: 120 shell, James, 3.80-inch.

Onto the next page, we have some sparse entries:

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Of Schenkl-patent projectiles:

  • Stokes’ Battery: 392 shell, Schenkl, for 3.80-inch rifle.

And Tatham’s Canister:

  • Vaughn’s Battery: 36 canister in 3.80-inch.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: 107 canister in 3.80-inch.

With all the projectiles out of the way, we turn to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Stokes’ Battery: Eight Army revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • Vaughn’s Battery: Ten horse artillery sabers.
  • Cooley’s Battery:  Four horse artillery sabers.
  • Bridges’ Battery: Ten Army revolvers and fifteen cavalry sabers.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: Two Army revolvers and six horse artillery sabers.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: Twenty army revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.

So not a lot of small arms issued to the batteries.  We might translate such to indicate these were artillerymen who were primarily performing the role of artillerymen.

Overall, we see one nice line item separation that I’d like to highlight.  The rifled 6-pdr guns and the James 3.80-inch rifles are very similar in many regards, notably metal used, external appearance and rifling standards.  However, they were slightly different calibers.  Exactly 0.13-inch different as we dry measure things.  But that difference meant ammunition lots had to be kept straight.  We see indications that was done in Stokes’ Chicago Board of Trade Battery.