Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery

The 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery (43rd Pennsylvania Volunteers) consisted of nine batteries.  One of those nine, Battery I, did not muster until near the war’s end.  And among the batteries on the rolls for the end of the third quarter of 1863, two were consolidated with other batteries in the regiment.  Colonel Robert M. West remained in command of the regiment, but was serving as garrison commander at Yorktown, Virginia.

Reviewing the summary, at first glance the regiment seems complete.  The Ordnance Department received at least something from seven of eight batteries:

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But this is somewhat deceptive.  Only four of the lines report cannon on hand.  Thus there are gaps to reconcile, starting right from the top:

  • Battery A: No return.  Captain John G. Simpson’s battery was assigned to Getty’s Division, Seventh Corps, at Portsmouth, Virginia.  All part of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina.  I believe the battery retained four 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B: Reporting from Bristoe Station, Virginia, with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain James H. Cooper remained in command.  And the battery remained with First Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery C: At Maryland Heights, Maryland, with no artillery indicated.  For the previous quarter the battery reported six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Jeremiah McCarthy remained in command.  The battery was among those transferred out of the Army of the Potomac in June, and assigned to Twenty-second Corps, Defenses of Washington, at Camp Barry.  But the battery moved forward to Maryland Heights as part of Lockwood’s Division (Later the Maryland Heights Division), which by August was part of the Department of West Virginia.  Most sources have this battery consolidated with Battery D on October 23.  McCarthy was discharged on October 8.
  • Battery D: Just an annotation of “Consolidated with Baty. C.” Like Battery C, Battery D left the Army of the Potomac in June and was assigned duty at Camp Barry.  In August, the battery transferred to the Department of West Virginia, and served at Harpers Ferry.  Lieutenant Andrew Rosney was the ranking officer with the battery at that time.
  • Battery E: At Williamsburg, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Thomas G. Orwig commanded this battery, assigned to the Yorktown garrison, Department of Virginia and North Carolina.
  • Battery F: Indicated at Culpeper, Virginia, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain R. Bruce Ricketts commanded a combined Batteries F and G.  After Gettysburg, the battery transferred to Second Corps’ artillery brigade.
  • Battery G: The annotation “Consolidated with Battery F” tells the story.  Although some sources considered this an “attachment” instead of consolidation. Lieutenant Belden Spence was the ranking officer remaining with the battery.
  • Battery H: At Camp Barry, D.C. with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Andrew Fagan commanded this battery, which arrived at Camp Barry in June 1863. The battery remained there through the spring of 1864, assigned to the Light Artillery Camp of Instruction.

Battery I would not muster until March 1865, and thus escapes our attention here.

Turning to the ammunition, with the smoothbore columns first:

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Two batteries with Napoleons reporting:

  • Battery E: 176 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 80 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 182 shot, 52 shell, 162 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Then the Hotchkiss page:

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Again, two batteries to consider:

  • Battery B: 127 canister, 34 percussion shell, 242 fuse shell, and 335 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F: 120 canister, 120 (?) fuse shell, and 200 (?) bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.  Those last two numbers appear faint, as if erased.  So we must wonder if those quantities were “retracted” for some reason.

No Dyer’s, James’, or Parrott’s patent projectiles reported.  So we move to Schenkl:

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  • Battery B: 79 shell and 18 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F: 120 shell and 640 case for 3-inch rifles.

This brings us to the small arms:

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By battery as reported:

  • Battery B: Sixteen navy revolvers and seventeen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Eight navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Eleven army revolvers, eight navy revolvers, one cavalry saber, and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Fourteen navy revolvers and twenty-three horse artillery sabers.

That wraps up a short discussion of what was a small regiment from Pennsylvania.  But in addition to this regiment, Pennsylvania’s summary for this quarter included thirteen more lines.  Those covered a battery from the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, eleven independent batteries, and an artillery section in the 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry.  So we have more to examine before completing Pennsylvania’s section.

 

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery

The 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery (also known as the 43rd Pennsylvania Volunteers) was, perhaps, short-changed with its organization.  Instead of a full compliment of batteries, the 1st Pennsylvania only ever had Batteries A through I.  And even with that, Battery I was only organized in the war’s last months. Thus for the second quarter of 1863, we have only eight batteries to account for.

In June 1863, Colonel Robert M. West led the regiment, on the rolls.

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West, appearing in this photo with his lovely daughter, was at Yorktown, Virginia in a role that was more “garrison commander” than “field commander.”  His staff and one battery were at that location.  Overall, of the eight batteries in his small-ish regiment, only five had recorded returns for the quarter:

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Accounting for those in detail:

  • Battery A: No return.  Captain John G. Simpson’s battery was assigned to Second Division, Seventh Corps, then in the Norfolk area.  I believe the battery retained four 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery participated in the Siege of Suffolk and Dix’s Peninsula Campaign.
  • Battery B: Showing as at Rappahannock Station, Virginia, as of August 16, 1863, with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  But with an assignment to First Corps, we know well Captain James H. Cooper’s battery was, as of June 30, moving up toward Gettysburg.
  • Battery C: Claiming to be at Culpeper, Virginia… well in October, 1863… with  six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (as opposed to 10-pdr Parrotts from the last quarter).  Captain Jeremiah McCarthy remained in command.  On June 25, the battery was sent out of the Army of the Potomac to Camp Barry, D.C.  However, by the end of the Gettysburg Campaign, the battery was back in the field at Harpers Ferry.
  • Battery D: No return.  Battery D was consolidated with Battery C through August.  Thus we list Battery D as at Camp Barry.  Lieutenant Andrew Rosney was the ranking officer of the battery.
  • Battery E: At Yorktown, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Thomas G. Orwig commanded this battery, assigned to First Division, Fourth Corps.
  • Battery F: Indicated at Falmouth, Virginia, with a March 1864 reporting date, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain R. Bruce Ricketts commanded a combined Batteries F and G, in 3rd Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve.  Thus their proper location, for June 30, was somewhere on the march up from Frederick, Maryland.
  • Battery G: Dittos indicating Battery G was with Battery F for the reporting period.  Lieutenant Belden Spence was the ranking officer remaining with the battery.
  • Battery H: At Camp Barry, D.C. with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Andrew Fagan commanded this battery, which in the Artillery Reserve, Fourth Corps.  Thus the battery was actually around Yorktown at reporting time.  The battery would transfer to Camp Barry in the fall.

And as mentioned above, Battery I would not muster until very late in the war.  Batteries K, L, and M never existed, save for a notional line allocated on the clerk’s form.

Only two lines of smoothbore ammunition to account for:

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  • Battery E: 176 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 80 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 182 shot, 54 shell, 162 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

No disputes there.

We move to the rifled projectile pages, starting with Mr. Hotchkiss’s types:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • Battery B: 20 canister, 180 fuse shell, and 338 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 180 canister, 104 percussion shell, and 344(?) bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F & G: 120 canister, 120 fuse shell, and 840 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Yes, a lot of case… er… bullet… in those chests.

We skip past the Dyers, James, and Parrott projectiles, with none reported, and go to the Schenkl:

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Again, three batteries reporting:

  • Battery B: 277 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 158 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F & G: 120 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Lastly, we look at the small arms reported:

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By battery:

  • Battery B: Sixteen Navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Seventeen Navy revolvers and five (?) cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: Eight Navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F & G: Sixteen Army revolvers, eight Navy revolvers, one cavalry saber, and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Fourteen Navy revolvers and eleven horse artillery sabers.

Thus rounds out the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery’s report for the second quarter, 1863.

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery

From Ohio, we move one state to the east for Pennsylvania.  As related for the previous quarter, the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery began with eight batteries, A through H.  Battery I was added near the end of the war.  So for the first quarter, 1863 we only have those original batteries to discuss.  Of those eight, the clerks recorded seven returns:

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None of those “odd” or “obsolete” weapons.  These batteries were all Napoleons, Ordnance Rifles, and Parrotts:

  • Battery A: No return.  This battery was kicked around all winter.  In January, Lieutenant John G. Simpson’s battery was in Third Division, First Corps at Belle Plain.  In February, the battery went to Third Division, Ninth Corps, then transferring to Fort Monroe.  When the corps was reassigned to Kentucky, the Third Division (Getty’s) was left behind, later being brought under the Seventh Corps. A good excuse for no report!  Somewhere along the way Simpson was promoted to Captain.  The battery had four 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B: Belle Plain, Virginia with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Assigned to Third Division, First Corps battery.  Captain James H. Cooper commanded.
  • Battery C: White Oak Church, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts (an increase from the last report). During the winter, Batteries C and D were consolidated, under Captain Jeremiah McCarthy (Battery C), remaining with Third Division, Sixth Corps.
  • Battery D: At White Oak Church, Virginia with four 10-pdr Parrotts.  As indicated above, consolidated with Battery C.  Captain Michael Hall, being a junior captain, mustered out.  So here’s where the clerk’s numbers come into question.  Were the two new guns for Battery C transferred from Battery D?  And if so, were do we reconcile the quantities given on the line below for Battery D?  I’ll just transcribe… you debate….
  • Battery E: At Yorktown, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Thomas G. Orwig commanded this battery, assigned to the Artillery Reserve of Fourth Corps.
  • Battery F: At Belle Plain, with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Lieutenant R. Bruce Ricketts commanded this battery, which supported Second Division, First Corps.
  • Battery G: Also at Belle Plain and with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Commanded by Captain Frank P. Amsden and assigned to Third Division, First Corps.  (Of note, Batteries G was soon to be attached to Battery F, but later in the spring.)
  • Battery H: At Gloucester Point, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Andrew Fagan commanded this battery, which was part of the Artillery Reserve, Fourth Corps.

Moving to the next page, we find smoothbore ammunition on hand is a simple pair of lines:

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  • Battery E: 176 shot, 64 shell, and 192 case for 12-pdr Napoleon.  The entry of 80 canister for 6-pdr field guns is likely a transcription error, which should be on the Napoleon column.
  • Battery H: 182 shot, 54 shell, 162 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Of course, nothing for Battery A, which had reported 239 shot, 181 case, and 92 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon the previous quarter.

Moving to rifled projectiles, the first page covers Hotchkiss patent types:

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These are all for 3-inch rifles:

  • Battery B: 20 canister and 380 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F: 80 canister, 80 percussion shell, 56 fuse shell, and 504 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery G:  223 fuse shell and 420 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

The next page of rifled projectiles, I’ll break down into segments.

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Battery G reported 80 3-inch Dyer’s canister on hand.

Moving right to the Parrott columns:

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The consolidated Battery C and D had two lines:

  • Battery C: 292 shell, 523 case, and 145 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery D: 299 shell, 503 case, and 96 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

So plenty of ammunition for that consolidated battery.

Not much more to consider for the Schenkl columns:

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  • Battery B: 285 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery G: 97 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Moving over to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery B: Sixteen Navy revolvers and seventeen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Seventeen Navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: Fifteen Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Eight Navy revolvers, twenty-four cavalry sabers, and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Eight Army revolvers, ten Navy revolvers, one cavalry saber, and four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Eleven Army revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Fourteen Navy revolvers and eleven horse artillery sabers.

That completes a relatively short entry for the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery.  But up next is what promises to be a lengthy entry on the independent batteries from the state!