Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 1st (West) Virginia Light Artillery

Although West Virginia was formally admitted to the Union in June, the clerks at the Ordnance Department still used the, then, obsolete header of “Virginia” when grouping batteries from the state:


Eight batteries of the 1st (West) Virginia Light Artillery and two artillery sections in infantry regiments.  We’ll break this down into two installments, for clarity and convenience.  So first we look at the 1st regiment’s batteries:


The 1st Regiment only ever had eight batteries.  Battery A’s first commander Philip Daum, was the regiment’s ranking officer, promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in mid-1862 (though some records indicate a rank of Colonel, I find no documentation of that rank in the US Volunteers).    Daum served as an artillery chief during the Valley Campaigns of 1862.  But I am unsure as to his role and responsibilities after that point.  The eight batteries were representing the new state in the field:

  • Battery A: At Camp Barry, D.C. with four 12-pdr Napoleons. This battery was in the Artillery Camp of Instruction, Camp Barry.  On September 3, George Furst was promoted to captain.  Later in December the battery would return to the field.
  • Battery B: At Beverly, (West) Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain John V. Keeper command this battery,  supporting Averill’s Brigade, Department of West Virginia.  
  • Battery C: At Rappahannock Station, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts (although a consolidated report from the Army of the Potomac, dated August 31, gives this battery four Parrotts). The “Pierpoint Battery” remained under Captain Wallace Hill.  The battery remained in the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  With reorganizations of the reserve, the battery moved from the Third Volunteer Brigade to the Fourth Volunteer Brigade.  And it would later move to the Second Volunteer Brigade.
  • Battery D: Reporting at New Creek, (West) Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain John Carlin’s battery was part of Mulligan’s Brigade, Department of West Virginia.  Recall this battery spiked and abandoned its guns with the retreat from 2nd Winchester. Just a few weeks later, the battery was re-equipped and in the field.
  • Battery E: Reporting at Mechanicsburg Gap, (West) Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Under Captain Alexander C. Moore, this battery was part of Campbell’s Independent Brigade, Department of West Virginia.  The battery is mentioned on interpretive markers at Fort Mill Ridge, overlooking the Mechanicsburg Gap.
  • Battery F: At Camp Barry, D.C. with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Recall this battery was caught up in the retreat from Martinsburg in June, losing all four guns (which were obviously replaced when they arrived at Camp Barry). Captain Thomas A. Maulsby, commanding the battery, was among the wounded.  In his place, Lieutenant John S.S. Herr commanded through July.  Herr became ill and relinquished command to Lieutenant James C. Means in August.  Finally, in October,  Lieutenant George W. Graham was promoted to battery captain. Again, note this battery was rapidly re-equipped after the disasters of June 1863.
  • Battery G: Indicated at Martinsburg, (West) Virginia with two 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Chatham T. Ewing commanded this battery.  But with Ewing wounded at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia on August 26, Lieutenant Howard Morton stood in as commander. The battery supported Averell’s Separate Brigade, Department of West Virginia.
  • Battery H:  No return. Captain James H. Holmes was commissioned as commander of this battery in late September. The battery was still organizing through the fall.

Moving on to the ammunition reported, first the smoothbore:

  • Battery A: 128 shot, 64 shell, 200 case, and 128 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 300 case for 6-pdr field guns.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, first the Hotchkiss:

  • Battery D: 120 canister, 18 percussion shell, 278 fuse shell, and 720 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E: 226 canister, 395 percussion shell, and 1,303 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F: 80 canister, 111 percussion shell, 370 fuse shell, and 252 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Yes, a lot of shells for Battery E as they protected their gap in the mountains.

On the next page, we only have Parrott projectiles to account for:

  • Battery B: 372 shell, 333 case, and 206 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery C: 653 shell, 270 case, and 213 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery G: 92 shell for 10-pdr Parrott.

One entry for Schenkl projectiles:

  • Battery C:  90 case for 10-pdr Parrott.

We turn last to the small arms reported:

  • Battery A: Fifteen army revolvers and seventy-five cavalry sabers.
  • Battery B: Eighteen navy revolvers and forty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Ten navy revolvers and nine cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Sixteen army revolvers and five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Twenty-nine army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Thirteen army revolvers, six navy revolvers, and twenty-five cavalry sabers.
  • Battery G: Thirteen army revolvers.

Save for Battery H, which was still organizing, a rather complete record for the West Virginia batteries.  We’ll look at the two sections reported in the infantry regiments next.

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – Virginia’s Batteries? Yes, West Virginia that is!

I always like to respect the particulars of administrative details.  And of course, the clerks at the Ordnance Department in 1863 were also mindful of those details. In the case of West Virginia, it was not formally admitted as a state until June 20, 1863.  So how to classify the batteries recruited and mustered by the Restored Government of Virginia in Wheeling?  Well, they were still Virginians:


We see seven batteries of the First Virginia Light Artillery Regiment along with two sub-lines for infantry companies doing artillery business.  To best understand these formations, let’s approach this in reverse … looking at the infantrymen working as artillerists.  Two lines to arbitrate here:

  • Company G, Second (West) Virginia Infantry:  In May 1863, this company was reformed as Battery G, 1st (West) Virginia Artillery.  The unit’s return was received in Washington in January 1864.  So not only was the battery in a new state, but had a new designation.  Thus we see them accounted for on line 58 as a battery.
  • Company C, Sixth (West) Virginia Infantry: Same transition at play here.  The company became Battery F, 1st (West) Virginia Artillery at some point in April 1863.  However, for reasons I can only guess about, the particulars for this return, received in March 1864, were carried against the infantry company designation.

In short, we can account for both these entry lines within the regimented artillery batteries, even if the data entry is not clean.  We see batteries A through G on the summary.  Battery H was not formed until 1864.  Of those existing as of the end of 1862, we have, relatively speaking, a complete summary:

  • Battery A: At Washington, D.C. with six 12-pdr Napleons.  At the end of 1862, this battery was in the Artillery Camp of Instruction, Camp Barry.  Captain John Jenks was in command at the time.
  • Battery B: At Winchester, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain John V. Keeper’s battery was assigned to Milroy’s Brigade (at Winchester), in the Eighth Corps, or Middle Department if you prefer.
  • Battery C: At Stafford Court House, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Wallace Hill commanded this battery, which was part of Third Division, Eleventh Corps, then just joining the Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery D: At Winchester, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain  John Carlin commanded this battery which was also part of Milroy’s command in the Eighth Corps.
  • Battery E: At Clarksburg, (West) Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Some returns place this battery at Romney, West Virginia, under Captain Alexander C. Moore. The battery was also part of the Eighth Corps.
  • Battery F: Indicated as “Not in service” but as indicated above, carried on the line for Company C, 6th (West) Virginia Infantry.  At what I read to be Palestine, West Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  I think that would be an error.  Department returns indicate Captain Thomas A. Maulsby commanded the company “serving as artillery” and stationed at Martinsburg, with a section at North Mountain.
  • Battery G: At Martinsburg, (West) Virginia with two 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Chatham T. Ewing commanded this battery, which, as mentioned above, was formed from the 2nd West Virginia Infantry.  This is another entry for which I have questions as to the duty location.  The infantry regiment was at Beverly, West Virginia at the end of 1862. If what was to become Battery G was there, then the command was part of the Department of the Ohio’s District of West Virginia.

So while I have some questions regarding the individual battery duty locations, at least we have an entry for each battery to work with.  We also see those western Virginians were serving primarily in their home state… at least what had been their home state prior to 1861.

As for ammunition quantities reported, we start with the smoothbore types:


Just two batteries with smoothbore guns on hand:

  • Battery A: 286 shot, 102 shell, 286 case, and 102 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 140 shot, 84 case, and 56(?) canister for 6-pdr field guns.

That matches to reported smoothbore guns on hand.  Now we move to the rifled guns, where the batteries reported a mix of Ordnance Rifles and Parrotts.  Starting with the Hotchkiss patent projectiles:


Two batteries with this type on hand (Note: that I am assuming the battery designation for Battery F, where carried as Company C, 6th West Virginia on the summary):

  • Battery D: 144 canister, 500 percussion shell, 240 fuse shell, and 226 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle.
  • Battery F: 400 canister, 450 percussion shell, 450 fuse shell, and 860 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle.

The next columns to consider are for Parrott-patent projectiles:


Three batteries had Parrott rifles, but only two had Parrott-type projectiles:

  • Battery B: 305 shell, 431 case, and 274 canister of Parrott-type for 10-pdr Parrott rifles.
  • Battery C: 810 shell, 270 case, and 144 canister of Parrot-type for 10-pdr Parrott rifles.

No indication of what, if any, the 10-pdr Parrots of Battery G had to fire.

Notice also the entry under the Schenkl column on the right:

  • Battery F (again, carried under Company C, 6th West Virginia): 169 shot, Schenkl-patent, for 3-inch rifles.

More Schenkl-patent projectiles on more columns on the next page:


Entries for:

  • Battery B: 240 Schenkl shells for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery F: 99 Schenkl shells for 3-inch rifles.

How about small arms?  One might think the West Virginians to be well equipped in that regard:


Let’s see:

  • Battery A: Thirty Army revolvers and 105 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery B: Twenty-four Army revolvers and 84 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Ten Navy revolvers and nine cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Thirty Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Twenty-nine Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Twenty-five carbines, seven Army revolvers, and 151 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery G: Twenty Army revolvers.

We’ve seen odder assortments, but these “mountain men” don’t disappoint!