Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Kentucky’s batteries

Battery returns from Kentucky must have posed problems for the clerks at the Ordnance Department.  Not only was there conflicts with the designations – what with a numbered and lettered designation system being used to reference the same batteries – but even getting established how many different batteries existed seemed to be an issue.  At the end of 1862, two entry lines left little but confusion.  For the first quarter of 1863, the clerks listed two of the three batteries then on active service.   And the second quarter of 1863 gave the same two batteries, out of what was then four batteries, with some designation cross-ups (along with two sections reported with infantry regiments).  But things look better for the third quarter of 1863:

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Four batteries, out of what was then five batteries, plus a “section” from an infantry regiment.  That “section” actually had more guns than many real batteries!  So let us dive into the administrative details:

  • 1st Battery (or Battery A):  At Murfreesboro with two 6-pdr field guns, two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain Theodore S. Thomasson remained in command.  And the battery remained at Murfreesboro as unassigned artillery in the Army of the Cumberland.
  • 2nd Battery (or Battery B): No return.  Captain John M. Hewett’s battery detached from Second Division, Fourteenth Corps to support the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics at Elk River Bridge, Tennessee. An army return from late September 1863 indicated four artillery pieces were at the bridge, presumably all Hewett’s.  A wartime photo shows this bridge rivaled the famous “cornstalks and beanpoles” Potomac Creek Bridge of Virginia.

ElkRiverBridge_small

  • 3rd Battery (or Battery C):  Not listed.  While organizing, earlier in the spring, the battery was captured (and paroled) when Confederates raided Lebanon, Kentucky, thus setting things back a bit.  Formally, the battery did not muster until September 1863.  The battery remained at Louisville, Kentucky through the fall.  Captain John W. Neville in command, the battery was assigned to First Division, Twenty-Third Corps.
  • Battery D: This battery never completed organization. I include here just to avoid the question, “what about Battery D?”
  • Battery E: At Camp Nelson, Kentucky, with no artillery.  Captain John J. Hawes commanded this brand new battery, formally mustered on October 6, 1863.
  • Simmonds’ Independent Battery, also 1st Kentucky Independent Battery: No location given, but with six 10-pdr Parrotts. This was Captain Seth J. Simmonds’ battery and was stationed at Gauley Bridge, West Virginia through the late summer.  The battery was assigned to Scammon’s Division, Department of West Virginia.  In late September the battery moved to Camp Toland, Charleston, West Virginia.  The battery remained active, supporting various scouting operations and expeditions in the department.
  • Company G(?), 14th Kentucky Infantry: At Louisa, Kentucky, with four 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles… yes, quite a battery in that infantry regiment!  Colonel George W. Gallup’s regiment was posted to Louisa as part of the Twenty-Third Corps.  Remaining behind during the Knoxville Campaign, the regiment formed into the District of Eastern Kentucky.  Though I don’t have any other details as to this “section” of artillery within the regiment.

Though we still have a mix, and mess, of designations, the clerks had made progress documenting the Kentucky batteries.

Turning to the ammunition on hand, we start as usual with the smoothbore:

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Two lines to consider:

  • 1st Battery: 320 shot, 180 case, and 111 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 14th Infantry: 532 shot, 358 case, and 295 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 56 case and 11 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.

One battery with 3-inch rifles, so one line on the Hotchkiss page:

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  • 1st Battery: 75 canister, 80 percussion shell, 80 fuse shell, and 160 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

We’ll break up the next page for clarity, starting with one additional entry for Hotchkiss:

0260_1A_Snip_KY

  • 1st Battery: 40 canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.

And speaking of James, we have entries for James patent projectiles:

0260_1B_Snip_KY

  • 1st Battery: 12 shot and 66 shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • 14th Infantry: 26 shot, 49 shell, and 36 canister for James Rifles.

Out in West Virginia, there were six Parrotts manned by Kentuckians, so we find Parrott patent projectiles:

0260_1C_Snip_KY

  • Simmonds’ Battery: 1504 shell and 265 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Simmonds’ Battery reported a large quantity of shells on hand in previous quarters.  So this is no quarterly aberration.

Turning to the Schenkl projectiles:

0260_2_Snip_KY

Two batteries reporting:

  • 1st Battery: 250 Schenkl shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Simmonds’ Battery: 69 Schenkl shell for 10-pdr Parrott.

And off to the right, we see an entry for Tatham’s canister:

  • 1st Battery: 110 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Closing up Kentucky’s batteries, we have the small arms reported:

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Just two reporting:

  • 1st Battery: Fourteen Navy revolvers, ten cavalry sabers, and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Simmonds’ Battery: Twenty-four Army revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.

Next up, we turn to the Kansas batteries… you see, while the clerks were struggling with their accounting of Kentucky’s cannon, they were hard pressed to keep things alphabetical!

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Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Kentucky’s Batteries

Kentucky’s batteries appear with different designations across the various sources I have used to formally identify units.  A good example is that organized and commanded through May 1863 by Captain David C. Stone.  The battery appears on the Army of the Cumberland’s return for Stone’s River as “Kentucky, Battery A” which might also be transformed to “Battery A, Kentucky Light Artillery” or as the State Adjutant’s report, compiled post-war, indicated “Battery A, 1st Kentucky Light Artillery.”  But later in 1863, the same battery, under the command of Captain Theodore S. Thomasson, appears in the Army of the Cumberland’s returns as “1st Kentucky Battery” (and there was, just below that entry a 2nd Kentucky Battery, so this was not simply a truncated version with the regimental designation retained).   I’ve written on this before, for the previous quarters.  But for those not tracking posts day-to-day (for shame!), I bring this up again to preface the discussion of the batteries and their returns for the second quarter of 1863.

That all said, we are looking at a couple of numbered batteries plus a couple of detachments for that quarter’s summary:

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It appears to me we have “1st Battery” and “3rd Battery” along with detachments under the 14th and 27th Infantry.  But right off the bat, there were indeed three batteries, either numbered or lettered, from Kentucky serving at this time of the war.  And furthermore there was an independent battery serving in West Virginia.  So there is some explaining in order.  First, let’s go with what the summary offers:

  • 1st Battery: At Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with three(?) 6-pdr field guns, three(?) 3-inch Ordnance Rifles, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • 3rd Battery: At Gualey Bridge, West Virginia, with six 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Company K, 14th Regiment: At Louisa, Kentucky with four 6-pdr field guns.
  • Company H, 27th Regiment, Infantry:  At Munfordsville, Kentucky, with two 6-pdr field guns.

I have several issues with the identifications offered by the clerks at the Ordnance Department.  But they were there and I was not.  So we’ll work with those.  But before proceeding, here’s what I think those entries should have been:

  • Battery A, or 1st Battery:  At Murfreesboro under Captain Thomasson.  Placed in First Division, Fourteenth Corps when the Army of the Cumberland reorganized. But by June the battery was unassigned.  In May, Captain David C. Stone was relieved due to disability.  It appears around that time the battery was detached from the division and remained in Murfreesboro.  This should be the line marked “1st Battery” on the summary.
  • Battery B, or 2nd Battery: Assigned to Second Division, Fourteenth Corps, under Captain John M. Hewett.  The battery accompanied the division on the Tullahoma Campaign.  There’s no reason the battery should be missing from the summary.  But here we are.  However, I would point out a listing of artillery complied from returns for the Army of the Cumberland indicated Hewett’s battery did not provide a return for the quarter.
  • Battery C, or 3rd Battery:  Authorized in May 1863, according to returns, this battery did not complete organization until September 1863.  Captain John W. Neville would command.  However a curious story-line which I have not completely confirmed places the battery, while still organizing, at Lebanon, Kentucky in July 1863.  And Lebanon fell to Brigadier-General John Hunt Morgan on July 5, 1863, with most of the garrison surrendering, receiving parole. At any rate, this is not the 3rd Battery we see on the summary.
  • Simmonds’ Independent Battery, also 1st Kentucky Independent Battery: Captain Seth J. Simmonds commanded a battery formed out of Company E, 1st Kentucky Infantry.  The battery served at Gauley Bridge and Kanawha Falls, West Virginia in June 1863.  The battery became part of 3rd Division, Eighth Corps.  This battery is probably that identified by the clerks as “3rd Battery.”   This matches the armament and location given for the battery in the previous quarter.
  • 14th Kentucky Infantry: The regiment was formed at Louisa, Kentucky in December 1861.  And they returned home for a while during the winter and spring of 1863.  The regiment was part of the Army of the Ohio.  Colonel George W. Gallup commanded the regiment.  But while he served as commander of the Louisa garrison, Lieutenant-Colonel Orlando Brown, Jr. was in charge.  No further details that I know of regarding the four gun detachment.
  • 27th Kentucky Infantry: This regiment was also part of the Army of the Ohio.  And it was, as indicated on the summary, serving at Munfordsville, Kentucky in June.  Colonel Charles D. Pennebaker was commander. But while he served as garrison commander, Lieutenant-Colonel John H. Ward served in his place.

For clarity, allow me to identify the four lines using the clerks’ convention.  But I will put my identification in parenthesis.

For smoothbore ammunition on hand, we have this short report:

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  • 1st Battery (Battery A): 197 shot, 180 case, 111 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 14th Infantry: 596 shot, 411 case, and 306 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

No indication what, if any, the 27th Infantry had on hand.

There are no Hotchkiss projectiles reported on the first page.  That is notable, as the 1st Battery/Battery A had 3-inch rifles on hand.  So no rounds reported to “feed” those guns.

Moving to the next page, we can break those columns down into two sections.  First entries for James rifle projectiles:

0188_1A_Snip_KY

Note, we have a ‘stray’ column of Hotchkiss here:

  • 1st Battery (Battery A):  40 Hotchkiss canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.

Then to the “James” proper:

  • 1st Battery (Battery A): 12 shot and 66 shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.

To the right of that are the Parrott and Schenkl columns:

0188_1B_Snip_KY

These all go to the battery at Gauley Bridge:

  • 3rd Battery (Simmonds’):  1027 shell, 575 case, and 265 canister for 10-pdr Parrott; and 69 Schenkl shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

Simmonds’ Battery reported a substantial stockpile of ammunition the previous quarter, keeping with the trend.

For the next page, there are two entries:

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  • 1st Battery (Battery A): 250 Schenkl shell for 3.80-inch rifles; 110 Tatham canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

So, in all a few gaps to question, particularly the 3-inch ammunition for 1st Battery/Battery A.  Otherwise nothing stands out to argue with.

Lastly we have the small arms:

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Only the two artillery batteries reporting:

  • 1st Battery (Battery A): Fourteen Navy revolvers, ten cavalry sabers, and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery (Simmonds’): Thirty-eight Army revolvers and fourteen cavalry sabers.

That concludes a toiling translation of four lines of the summaries.  I don’t like all the guesswork, but that is unfortunately where the trail runs.