The 2nd US Artillery’s wartime service was varied – in terms of theater assignments and duties performed. The batteries served as horse artillery, field artillery, and garrison artillery. They saw service in Virginia, the Western Theater, and the Gulf Coast. For the third quarter of 1863, we find nine returns from the twelve batteries. And two extra lines were thrown in under the regiment:
Let us break down the service by battery:
- Battery A – Reporting at Culpeper, Virginia as of October 31, 1863 with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. That location was valid for the end of September. But, we know from the war’s chronology on Halloween of that year Battery A was in Fauquier County north of the Rappahannock, having returned from a brisk march on the Bristoe Campaign. Lieutenant Robert Clarke (Battery M) replaced Lieutenant John H. Calef after Gettysburg. The Battery remained with Second Brigade, Horse Artillery.
- Battery B – With a report, as of December 1863, located at Stevensburg, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. I might could “sell” this location for the end of September 1863… or for December 1863. But neither, I feel, tell the full story. This was actually combined Batteries B and L (see below), assigned to First Brigade of the Horse Artillery, under Lieutenant Edward Heaton.
- Battery C – New Orleans, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons (a reduction of two guns). The battery was part of Nineteenth Corps (transferring from Fourth Division to Second Division as the corps reorganized). Lieutenant Theodore Bradley commanded at the start of the quarter. But late in the summer Lieutenant John I. Rodgers returned from leave to resume command.
- Battery D – At Warrenton, Virginia, according to a reporting date of November 1863, with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Battery D moved from Sixth Corps to the First Brigade, Horse Artillery at the end of the Gettysburg Campaign. Lieutenant Edward D. Williston remained in command.
- Battery E – Nicholasville, Kentucky with four 20-pdr Parrott Rifles (vice six reported the previous quarter). This battery was part of the Second Division, Ninth Corps, which returned from Vicksburg. After returning to Kentucky, the battery was assigned directly under the corps for reporting. Lieutenant Samuel N. Benjamin remained in command, and also served as the Corps Chief of Artillery.
- Battery F – Reporting from Memphis, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns and six 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery remained with the District of Memphis, of the Sixteenth Corps. Lieutenant Albert M. Murray replaced Lieutenant Charles Green in command.
- Battery G – Reporting at Germantown, Virginia (in Fauquier County) with four 12-pdr Napoleons (report dated January 1864). We can move past inquiries about the location, and accuracy, to focus on the assignment. After Gettysburg, the battery moved from Sixth Corps to Second Brigade, Horse Artillery. Lieutenant John H. Bulter remained in command.
- Battery H – “Infty. Stores” with a location of Fort Haggerty, Virginia. This is out of order. Battery H was, at this time, in Pensacola, Florida assigned to Fort Barrancas, Florida as garrison artillery. Not until the spring of 1864 would the battery move to the Eastern Theater, and even then to Baltimore. Captain Frank H. Larned was in command.
- Battery I – No report. During the Gettysburg Campaign, the battery was assigned to the Second Brigade, Defenses of Baltimore, in the Eighth Corps or Middle Department. Lieutenant James E. Wilson (a different James Wilson than that in Battery C, 1st Artillery at this time) commanded through much of the summer. But in early September, a newly promoted 1st Lieutenant Wilson was ordered to report to his original battery – Battery G – in Virginia. Captain Thomas Gray replaced Wilson.
- Battery K – No report. The battery garrisoned Fort Pickens, Florida under Captain Harvey A. Allen.
- Battery L – We see a description “with Battery B”, as discussed above.
- Battery M – A reporting date of October 31, 1863 has this battery at Gainesville, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Considering the movements of the Bristoe Campaign, this might be accurate. Assigned to First Brigade, Horse Artillery, Lieutenant Alexander C.M. Pennington commanded.
Keep in mind, when considering the regimental officers the service of Captains John C. Tidball and James M. Robertson. Tidball had accepted command of the 4th New York Heavy Artillery and departed his position with the Second Brigade, Horse Artillery. Robertson commanded the First Brigade, Horse Artillery.
Now as for those additional lines:
- Adjutant, 2nd Artillery: No location but a reporting date of October 4, 1863.
- U.S. Corps of Cadets, West Point, New York: The annotation is “inf stores.” Not sure if this entry was placed at this point on the summary because of an affiliation with the 2nd Artillery, or if was simply entered on an open line. Regardless, no cannon reported. No equipment was reported on the forms under any columns for this line. So we can wonder if this was simply an act by the clerks seeking an accounting.
We will return to these lines later in our discussion.
Turing to the smoothbore ammunition, the summary is clean:
The figures match to the batteries reporting smoothbores:
- Battery C: 26 shot, 135 shell, 160 case, and 68 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
- Battery D: 224 shot, 113 shell, 224 case, and 32 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
- Battery F: 135 shot, 104 case, and 145 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 448 shot, 152 shell, 448 case, and 152 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 20 case and 17 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
- Battery G: 69 shot, 96 shell, 192 case, and 128 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
The only question is the presence of 12-pdr howitzer ammunition with Battery F. But that battery was at the time serving in a garrison role. And the accumulation of additional stores might thus be explained.
Moving to the rifled rounds, first we see Hotchkiss:
Four batteries reporting:
- Battery A: 300 percussion shell for 3-inch rifles.
- Battery B & L: 95 canister and 290 percussion shell for 3-inch rifles.
- Battery E: 103 bullet shell for 20-pdr (3.67-inch) Parrott.
- Battery M: 161 canister for 3-inch rifles.
On the next page, we see more projectiles for those 20-pdr Parrotts:
But those are of three different makes:
- Battery E: 50 Hotchkiss cannister, 150 Parrott shell, and 160 Schenkl shot for 20-pdr (3.67-inch) Parrott.
The last page of projectiles cover the other Schenkls:
- Battery A: 70 case for 3-inch rifles.
- Battery B & L: 554 shells for 3-inch rifles.
- Battery M: 538 shell and 218 case for 3-inch rifles.
So we see a mix of Hotchkiss and Schenkl in the horse artillery batteries, probably to the dismay of General Henry Hunt.
Last, we look at the small arms reported:
- Battery A: Eleven Army revolvers, fifty Navy revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and seventy-three horse artillery sabers.
- Battery B & L: Six Army revolvers, fifteen cavalry sabers, and one horse artillery saber.
- Battery C: Eight Army revolvers and thirty-three horse artillery sabers.
- Battery D: Thirteen Army revolvers and one horse artillery saber.
- Battery E: Fifty Army revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and thirty horse artillery sabers.
- Battery F: Thirty-five Army revolvers, fourteen cavalry sabers, and forty-eight horse artillery sabers.
- Battery G: Twelve Army revolvers and thirteen horse artillery sabers.
- Battery M: 112 Army revolvers, two Navy revolvers, and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
- Adjutant, 2nd Artillery: Twenty-four cavalry sabers.
Looking beyond the armaments, let’s take a look at the other stores reported by the Adjutant. Matching with the number of sabers reported, the Adjutant also had twenty-four saber belts, waist belts, and plates. And, with full accounting for all government property, the adjutant had one “packing box” on hand.
I hope that packing box was put to good use!