I hesitate to apply the designation “Light” artillery to the 2nd Missouri Artillery, at least not as it existed at the end of 1863. As chronicled in earlier posts, this regiment had an unconventional organizational history in many regards. Starting in the late summer of 1863, the regiment was reorganized, from the section up, with the aim of forming all into field artillery batteries. However, that process took time. And at the close of 1863, only four batteries were equipped and serving as field artillery. The remainder, if they were indeed reorganized, served as heavy artillery. We’ll look at their story in this “snapshot” view that the summaries provide.
Lieutenant-Colonel Nelson Cole remained in command of the regiment, and would receive promotion to full colonel in February 1864. In December, his second in command was Major Frank Backof. However, Backof was shortly dismissed from service in early 1864 (a story I hope to detail in a follow up post). As the regiment was still reforming, there was little to report in the way of “on hand” cannon and stores. Just the four “reorganized” field batteries mentioned above:
But there’s more to the regimental’s December status than those four lines, as we fill in the gaps:
- Battery A: No report. This battery was the consolidation of the old Batteries C and D and remained at Cape Girardeau, manning Fort B as heavy artillery. The battery was part of the District of St. Louis. Captain John E. Strodtman commanded. Men from Battery C (below) were also under his command. Not until June was the battery reorganized as light artillery.
- Battery B: No report. This battery moved from St. Louis in early December and was stationed at Fort No. 4 defending New Madrid, Missouri by the end of the month. Captain John J. Sutter remained in command. The posting, as heavy artillery, was part of the extended District of St. Louis.
- Battery C: No report. The new Battery C was formed from the old batteries H and I. Captain Frederick W. Fuchs, formerly Company I, commanded the new battery. This new battery was stationed at Cape Girardeau, consolidated with Battery A at the time, as heavy artillery. The battery waited until May to reorganize as light artillery.
- Battery D: Reporting from DeValls Bluff, Arkansas with two 12-pdr field howitzers and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery reorganized in September at St. Louis with the consolidation of old Batteries A, F, G, K, and M. Most of the first three batteries had mustered out in St. Louis. What remained was a large “section” reformed at that place. The “old” batteries K and M were at Little Rock and consolidated into the “new” Battery D. The battery was assigned to 1st Cavalry Division, Army of Arkansas. Those sections from the old Batteries K and M served at DeValls Bluff, protecting the railroad line to Little Rock. Captain Charles Schareff commanded. The St. Louis section, under Lieutenant Frederick W. von Bodengen served detached with the 1st Nebraska Cavalry. Bodengen’s section left St. Louis on December 3, moving through Rolla, West Plains, and finally to Bateville, Arkansas on the 25th.
- Battery E: Reporting at Little Rock, Arkansas with six 3.67-inch bronze rifles. Reorganized from parts of old Batteries E, L, and M, under Captain Gustave Stange (old Battery M) during the fall. The battery served in 1st Cavalry Division, Department of Arkansas.
- Battery F: At Woodville, Alabama with four 12-pdr field howitzers. Captain Clemens Landgraeber’s First Missouri Flying Artillery transferred into the regiment during the reorganization. The battery supported First Division, Fifteenth Corps. In October, the battery supported their division during operations on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad (part of the relief of Chattanooga). In November, they participated in fighting around Lookout Mountain and the advance on the Federal right onto Missionary Ridge. After the relief of Knoxville, the battery moved with its parent formation into winter quarters.
- Battery G: At St. Louis with one 3.67-inch bronze rifle. The battery reformed on November 15 and stationed at Fort No. 3, in St. Louis, Captain William T. Arthur commanded.
- Battery H: No return. A new Battery H formed out of men (new and old enlistments) at Springfield, Missouri on December 4, 1863, under command of Captain William C. Montgomery (formerly of the Missouri State Cavalry). The battery was initially part of a heavy artillery battalion formed at Springfield.
- Battery I: No return. The new Battery I began reforming on December 28 at Springfield. Captain Stephen H. Julian commanded. Initially, the battery was designated heavy artillery.
- Battery K: No return. A new Battery K was formed in January at Springfield, Missouri with Captain William P. Davis in command. The battery was also organized initially as heavy artillery.
- Battery L: No return. A new Battery L formed at Sedalia, Missouri in January 1864 and was formerly the 1st Battery, Missouri State Militia. So we will see them accounted for under the “miscellaneous” portion of Missouri’s returns in this quarter. Captain Charles H. Thurber commanded.
- Battery M: No return. The new Battery M organized at Fort No. 2, St. Louis, on February 15, 1864, and thus escapes our summary for this quarter. Captain Napoleon Boardman would command this battery.
Of note, the battalion of heavy artillery, consisting of Batteries H, I, and K, came under the command of Major John W. Rabb, formerly of the 2nd Indiana Battery. This arrangement remained until the spring of 1864 when the batteries were reorganized (again) as light batteries.
Turning to back to the summary, we have ammunition to account for, starting with smoothbore rounds:
- Battery D: 113 shell and 77 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
- Battery F: 288 shell and 197 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
The smoothbore columns continue on the next page:
- Battery D: 43 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
- Battery F: 84 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
For the Hotchkiss columns to the right, two entries:
- Battery D: 61 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
- Battery E: 240 time fuse shell for 3.67-inch rifles.
More Hotchkiss on the next page:
- Battery D: 115 percussion fuse shell, 102 bullet shell, and 80 canister for 3-inch rifles.
- Battery E: 120 percussion fuse shell, 720 bullet shell, and 120 canister for 3.67-inch rifles.
No other projectiles reported by the 2nd Missouri batteries in this quarter, so we turn to the small arms:
- Battery D: Fourteen Colt army revolvers, eight Colt navy revolvers, twelve Remington army revolvers, and twelve horse artillery sabers.
- Battery E: Twelve Colt navy revolvers, thirty-five Remington navy revolvers, thirteen cavalry sabers, and twenty-nine horse artillery sabers.
- Battery F: Eighteen Colt navy revolvers and seventy-two cavalry sabers.
- Battery G: Two Springfield .58-caliber muskets, thirteen Colt army revolvers, and thirteen horse artillery sabers.
From there, we turn to the columns for pistol ammunition, fuses, powder, and primers:
- Battery D: 1,000 army caliber and 1,000 navy caliber pistol cartridges; and 1,000 friction primers.
- Battery E: 1,400 navy caliber pistol cartridges.
- Battery F: 1,200 navy caliber pistol cartridges.
- Battery G: 1,000 navy caliber pistol cartridges (perhaps a transcription error?).
While the 2nd Missouri was not engaged in many pitched battles or heavy combat, its stories from outside the battlefield continue to fascinate me. They certainly kept the clerks busy.
Next we’ll look at the Missouri State Militia batteries that were in service along with some of the artillery sections serving with the state’s cavalry.