Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Batteries from Massachusetts

We turn the page – page in the ledger, that is – with this installment on the summaries and find the next recorded state set is Massachusetts.

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There are a few administrative snags here which we must navigate around.  Three returns were not posted. And several of those posted offer incorrect locations.  And we have two “missing” batteries to mention. You will notice two themes here with the locations – Gettysburg and Port Hudson:

  • 1st Battery: Reported at Manchester, Maryland with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery was assigned to Artillery Brigade, Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac. Captain William H. McCartney commanded.  According to McCartney’s brief reports, the battery was “moving in a northerly direction through Maryland each day until July 2.”  He reported firing only four solid shot at Gettysburg.
  • 2nd Battery: No return. Captain Ormand F. Nims commanded this battery, assigned to the Fourth Division, Nineteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf.  The battery may have retain six 6-pdr rifled field guns mentioned earlier in the year. The battery was part of the force laying siege to Port Hudson in June 1863.
  • 3rd Battery: Indicated at Warrenton, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons from an August 24, 1863 posting date.  Assigned to the Artillery Brigade, Fifth Corps. When Captain Augustus Martin assumed command of the brigade, Lieutenant Aaron F. Walcott took command of the battery.  June 30 found the battery moving through Maryland with the parent formation.  Two days later, the battery was in action at Gettysburg.
  • 4th Battery: At Port Hudson, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch ordnance rifles.  This battery was assigned to the Third Division, Nineteenth Corps.   Captain George G. Trull was in command of the battery.  But the nature of service had sections detached (and under the lieutenants of the battery).  The previous quarter this battery’s guns were identified as 3-inch steel rifles. The most likely scenario is improper identification from the previous quarter, as often was the case with wrought iron guns.
  • 5th Battery: In Washington, D.C. with six 3-inch rifles.  That location does not match with any specific assignment for the battery.  After Chancellorsville, 5th Battery was reassigned to the First Volunteer Artillery Brigade (Lieutenant-Colonel Freeman McGilvery), Artillery Reserve.  Captain Charles A. Phillips remained in command.  So we’d place this battery near Taneytown, Maryland as of June 30.  Thrown into the Peach Orchard sector to shore up the lines on July 2, the battery was heavily engaged.  Phillips wrote,  “During the two days I fired 690 rounds; lost 1 officer, wounded; 4 men killed and 16 wounded, and 40 horses killed and a number disabled.”
  • 6th Battery: At Port Hudson with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 12-pdr field howitzers. The battery was assigned to First Division, Nineteenth Corps, under Captain William W. Carruth (however, Lieutenant John F. Phelps was listed as commander in the corps returns… and Carruth mustered out later in the fall).
  • 7th Battery: Indicated at White House, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Assigned to First Division, Seventh Army Corps,  the battery was commanded by Captain Phineas A. Davis.  At the start of July, the battery was among the forces employed for an expedition from White House to the South Anna River.
  • 8th Battery: No return.  Mustered out the previous November at the end of a six-month enlistment.
  • 9th Battery: Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons, as of the August 23, 1863 report. The 9th Battery was assigned to the First Volunteer Artillery Brigade, Artillery Reserve in mid-June.  So their actual location for the end of the quarter was Taneytown.  Captain John Bigelow commanded.  Along with the brigade (and the 5th Battery), the 9th Battery was rushed towards the Peach Orchard on July 2.  When Bigelow was wounded, Lieutenant Richard S. Milton assumed command.
  • 10th Battery:  Report dated August 18, 1863 placed this battery at Sulphur Springs, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery supported French’s Division, Eighth Corps, Middle Department (which would soon be folded into the Army of the Potomac).  Sent to Harpers Ferry in mid-June, the battery was among those forces withdrawn to Frederick, Maryland at the end of the month. Captain J. Henry Sleeper commanded.
  • 11th Battery: Indicted as “not in service.”  This battery mustered out of service on May 25, 1863.  After turning in equipment, the battery returned to Massachusetts where it remained in the state militia.  Captain Edward J. Jones remained as commander.  That said, the battery did see “action” that July… suppressing riots in Boston.  The Battery would return to Federal service the following winter.
  • 12th Battery:  At Port Hudson, Louisiana, with four 6-pdr field guns and two 3-inch Ordnance rifles. Listed as unattached in the Nineteenth Corps.  Actually, this battery was split into sections at this phase of the war.  Captain Jacob Miller commanded the battery, from Fort Banks near New Orleans.  Sections of the battery were forwarded to Port Hudson in support of the siege of that place, under Lieutenant Edwin M. Chamberlin.

Not mentioned in this list, the 13th Massachusetts Light Artillery was not only in service but also “in action” at the end of June 1863.  Captain Charles H. J. Hamlin commanded.  After troublesome and delayed passage from Massachusetts, the battery arrived at New Orleans on May 10.  There, the 13th was assigned garrison duties, with its horses turned over to the 12th Battery (see above).  On June 5, the men of the battery moved by steamboat to Port Hudson.  There, they served in two detachments – one under Captain Hamlin, the other under Lieutenant Timothy W. Terry – manning siege mortars.  Not acclimatized, the men of the battery suffered heavily during the siege.

The 14th and 16th Massachusetts would not muster until months later.  But the 15th Massachusetts Light Artillery may be included here.  The 15th left Boston in March 1863, for New Orleans, under Captain Timothy Pearson.  The battery arrived in May, but turned in equipment and horses (needed for the other batteries).  For the remainder of the year, the 15th Battery served garrison duties around New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain.

Moving past this lengthy administrative section, we turn to the ammunition.  These batteries reported a number of Napoleons.  No surprise we see a lot of 12-pdr rounds reported:

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Five batteries reporting:

  • 1st Battery: 287 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 3rd Battery: 192 shot, 96 shell, 387 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 4th Battery: 269 shell, 147 case, and 55 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 6th Battery: 198 shot, 106 shell, 150 case, and 58 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 90 shell, 136 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 9th Battery: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Notice the 12th battery reported no ammunition for the 6-pdrs.

Turning to the rifled projectiles, since we saw 3-inch Ordnance rifles on hand we can expect Hotchkiss rounds in the chests:

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Five batteries reporting quantities:

  • 4th Battery: 39 canister, 265 percussion shell, and 60 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 5th Battery: 121 canister and 322 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 168 canister, 188 fuse shell, and 486 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 115 canister, 110 percussion shell, 220 fuse shell, and 500 bullet shells for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 30 shot, 34 canister, 60 percussion shell, 70 fuse shell, and 112 bullet shells for 3-inch rifles.

We don’t often see solid shot reported from the field. But the 12th Battery had thirty.

Moving to the next page, we find entries for Dyer’s patent projectiles:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • 5th Battery: 550 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 221 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 240 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.

What may, or may not, be a correlation here, the three batteries were all Eastern Theater.  Though their service was varied.

We find those same three batteries reporting Schenkl projectiles:

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  • 5th Battery: 211 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 290 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 15 shell for 3-inch rifles.

To close out this lengthy examination, we turn to the small arms:

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  • 1st Battery: Eleven Army revolvers, twelve cavalry sabers, and five horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: One Army revolver, eight cavalry sabers, and twenty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • 4th Battery: One breechloading carbine, seven Army revolvers, and thirty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: One Army revolver and thirty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Ten Army revolvers and eight cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and 142 horse artillery sabers.
  • 9th Battery: Fourteen Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Seventeen Navy revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.

It seems the Massachusetts batteries received a healthy issue of horse artillery sabers. Perhaps proud products of Ames Manufacturing, of Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – Massachusetts batteries

For the last five sections of the summary statements, we’ve had a western-focus as the order of listing included western states.  So a break from that with the next state – Massachusetts.  However, that is not to say all these batteries introduced today were serving in the east…

Massachusetts’s naming convention was to number each light battery, instead of providing a regimental system (and keep in mind this stands separate from the Heavy Artillery which had a regimental system AND numbered separate companies) . However, in some correspondence those batteries were referred to by letter designations, as if there was a regimental system for the light batteries.  In other words, sometimes 1st Battery was “Battery A”; 2nd Battery was “Battery B”; etc.  For sake of convention here, I’ll use the numbered designations, just as the summaries offered.

During the war, the Bay Staters provided 18 battery-sized light artillery formations.  Subtract from the total one battery from Boston mustered early in the war (and mustered out by August 1861) and the reorganized 11th Battery.  That leaves us with the highest number of the 16th Battery.  Of those, the first eleven were in Federal service as of December 1862.  Two more, the 12th and 13th, were still organizing, and thus left off the summary.  That said, we have 1st Battery through 11th Battery to look at for the December 1862 summary:

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Of those eleven batteries, nine provided returns:

  • 1st Battery: White Oak Church, Virginia.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery was part of Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac, opposite Fredericksburg.
  • 2nd Battery: Carrolton, Louisiana. No weapons listed.  This battery was among those units involved with the Lower Mississippi (New Orleans and Baton Rouge) campaign and thus part of the Department of the Gulf.  As of January 1863, the battery reported six 6-pdr field guns.
  • 3rd Battery: Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Assigned to the Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac.  Captain Augustus Martin’s battery is credited with Napoleons at Antietam.  And they had Napoleons at Gettysburg.  There’s a longer story than I have room for here.
  • 4th Battery: No return.  This battery was also in the Department of the Gulf, with two sections posted to Fort Pike in December 1862. One section was at Carrolton, Louisiana with two 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 5th Battery: No location listed, but with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  At the time in question, the battery was part of Fifth Corps.
  • 6th Battery: No return.  The battery was also part of the Department of the Gulf, under Captain William W. Carruth, with four 6-pdr Sawyer guns and two 12-pdr howitzers.  A shame we don’t have more details in the summary.
  • 7th Battery: Suffolk, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Assigned to the Seventh Army Corps.
  • 8th Battery: Mustered out, but reporting two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 6-pdr (3.67-inch) rifles.  The battery had been part of the Ninth Corps before their six-month enlistment expired.
  • 9th Battery: Fort Ramsay, Virginia.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery was part of the defenses of Washington.  Fort Ramsay was a forward section of the defenses, on Upton’s Hill.  However, photos of the fort show siege weapons in place, not Napoleons.  Further confusing things, the 9th Company (Unassigned) Massachusetts Heavy Artillery was also posted to Fort Ramsay at some point in the war.  That aside for the moment, the 9th Battery Light Artillery was part of Abercrombie’s Division in December 1862.
  • 10th Battery:  Poolesville, Maryland with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery was assigned to the defenses of Washington, but detached for duty.
  • 11th Battery: Centreville, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Also part of Washington’s defenses. This battery was assigned to Casey’s Provisional Division.

Yes, with Captain Richard Arnold’s January report in hand, it is possible to determine the number of cannons, and types, on hand for the Massachusetts batteries.  Though there are still some questions that require chewing.

The batteries reported the following smoothebore ammunition on hand:

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By battery:

  • 1st Battery: 12-pdr Napoleon – 296 shot, 74 shell, 251 case, and 131 canister.
  • 5th Battery: 12-pdr Napoleon – 192 shot, 96 shell, 387 case, and 96 canister.
  • 8th Battery: 12-pdr Napoleon – 218 shell.  Also reporting 720 12-pdr field howitzer case shot and 79 canister for mountain howitzer.
  • 9th Battery:  12-pdr Napoleon – 199 shot, 267 shell, and 192 case.  Then 192 canister for the 12-pdr mountain howitzer.

The last entry leaves us a small question.  Certainly the use of 12-pdr howitzer case shot and canister in a Napoleon would work under the “if it fits down the bore we shoot it!” rule. However, I am inclined to think that is a transcription error for the 9th Battery.

Likewise, for the 8th battery, I’m inclined to question if the stores included 12-pdr field gun shells or 12-pdr howitzer shells.  Not that it mattered much for the 8th, as it would reflect quantities turned in by that time.

On to rifled ammunition:

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Reporting Hotchkiss projectiles:

  • 3rd Battery: 3-inch – 160 canister, 413 fuse shell, 540 bullet shell (case).
  • 7th Battery: 3-inch – 212 canister, 192 percussion shell, 346 fuse shell, and 364 bullet shell.
  • 8th Battery: 12-pdr (3.67-inch) – 18 shot and 1,464 fuse shell (!).
  • 10th Battery: 3-inch – 125 canister, 115 percussion shell, 246 fuse shell, and 720 bullet shell.
  • 11th Battery: 3-inch – 117 canister, 572 percussion shell, and 578 bullet shell.

The 8th Battery must have “husbanded” their allotment of shells at Antietam….

There were not reports of Dyer, James, or Parrott projectiles for the Massachusetts guns:

 

 

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Though I would caution that we don’t have documentation of the three batteries posted in Louisiana for the reporting period.

A lone entry for Schenkl projectiles:

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3rd Battery reporting 120 3-inch Schenkl shells for their Ordnance Rifles.

Finally, the small arms reported:

 

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By battery:

  • 1st Battery: 13 Army revolvers, 12 cavalry sabers, and 7 horse artillery sabers.
  • 2nd Battery: 3 Enfield .577 rifles.
  • 3rd Battery:  6 Army revolvers and 46 horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: 12 Army revolvers, 8 cavalry sabers, and 24 horse artillery sabers.
  • 7th Battery: 20 Army revolvers and 147 horse artillery sabers.
  • 8th Battery: 11 Navy revolvers and 47 horse artillery sabers.
  • 9th Battery: 15 Army revolvers and 3 horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: 20 Navy revolvers and 20 horse artillery sabers.
  • 11th Battery: 20 Army revolvers and 20 horse artillery sabers.

One would think that, coming from the home state of Ames and Colt, the Massachusetts men would be well equipped for small arms.  I think this part of the summary, across all the states and batteries, is the section to give the most latitude.  We have here the “reported” quantities, which might not directly correlate to the “issued” quantity, nor reflect the “acquired” quantity.  Then again, we don’t usually measure a battery’s firepower by the number of pop-guns and long edged weapons.