Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Delaware’s Batteries

Yes, Delaware’s batteries.  Plural.

In past quarters, we’ve looked at one lone entry line for Delaware.  That being Captain Benjamin Nields’ battery, often cited as the 1st Delaware Battery.  And that was it, so far as field batteries are concerned.  But the state also provided a company and a half … yes a half-company… of heavy artillery.  While that half-company’s service was so brief as to escape the need for an ordnance return, the other company was allocated a line for the third quarter of 1863:

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Two lines, but let us add that half-battery here for complete coverage:

  • 1st Battery: Reporting at Camp Barry, District of Columbia, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  As mentioned above, Captain Benjamin Nields commanded.  The battery returned to Washington around the first week of July (after duty with the Seventh Corps on the Peninsula).  But no time to rest!  With the Draft Riots in New York, Nields’ battery was ordered to that city, where they fell under Brigadier-General Edward Canby’s command.  Among the last details of this detached service was a posting to Kingston, New York, on September 5, were a draft was being conducted.  By September 12, the battery was headed back to Washington and the training grounds of Camp Barry.
  • Ahl’s Independent Heavy Battery: Reporting only infantry stores.  In late July, 1st Lieutenant George W. Ahl left Pennsylvania Independent Battery G, then stationed at Fort Delaware, to become captain and commander of a new independent battery formed from former Confederates and Irish immigrants.  Designated Ahl’s Independent Heavy Battery, and allocated to Delaware, it began organization in mid-July.  Formally mustered on July 27, the battery’s assignment was Fort Delaware.  The men of Ahl’s spent little time with the fort’s armament of heavy Rodman guns. Rather, they served almost exclusively as prison guards.  Former Confederates, who’d “swallowed the dog” serving watch over Confederate prisoners…. what could go wrong?
  • Crossley’s Half-Company of Artillery: Not listed.  With Lee’s invasion of Pennsylvania in June 1863, Delaware mustered several emergency formations, just as other northern states did.  As far as artillery is concerned, they only had enough for half a battery.  And 1st Lieutenant Thomas Crossley commanded.  Crossley’s half-battery mustered on June 29, 1863 with three month terms.  Their duty was mostly along the railroad between Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore, replacing other units had moved to more vital and threatened points.  They mustered out on September 30.  In some organizational reports, Crossley’s is mentioned as the Delaware Emergency Troops, or Battery.  And in some correspondence, the battery is mentioned as the 2nd Delaware Battery.

There are no smoothbore cannon reported, so we can skip that page of the ammunition details.  Moving on to the Hotchkiss columns:

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Just Nield’s guns:

  • 1st Battery: 142 canister, 299 percussion shell, 3 fuse shell, and 172 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

No Dyer, James, or Parrott projectiles reported.  So we move to the Schenkl section:

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Again, Nields’ reporting:

  • 1st Battery: 494 case shot for 3-inch rifles (for that column header, canister is struck and case written in).

Lastly, the small arms:

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Presumably Ahl’s muskets were carried on an infantry ordnance return.  So again all we see are Nields’:

  • 1st Battery: Thirty Army revolvers and thirty-eight horse artillery sabers.

Before closing out this installment, let’s look a bit closer at Ahl’s Battery.  There is much of interest beyond those administrative details.  First off, George Washington Ahl was a proud descendant of a Revolutionary War veteran, from Massachusetts.  Before the war, he lived in Allegheny County, just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he worked as a clerk. Married to Sarah Eleanor Hay Ahl, the couple had a young son on the 1860 census.  As mentioned above, Ahl received a commission in Pennsylvania Independent Battery G.  And in July received promotion to Captain in command of his own battery.

Through the rest of the war Ahl was in practice the prison commander at Fort Delaware.  Brigadier-General Albin Francisco Schoepf was in overall command, but gave his adjutant, Ahl, control over the operations.  With Confederate defeats in Mississippi and Pennsylvania, the prison population swelled.

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Over time, the prison population swelled to over 11,500.  All on little Pea Patch Island.  And those prisoners didn’t have nice things to say about Ahl.  According to Brian Temple, in “The Union Prison at Fort Delaware: A Perfect Hell on Earth,” prisoners referred to George as “Ahl-fired mean” and “Ape Ahl.”  Though not exactly a healthy and pleasant experience, Fort Delaware was at least not the worst. Still, it was not a comfortable place for a prisoner.

On the other hand, a photo on file with the Delaware Historical Society Collections tells us Ahl’s wartime service was rather comfortable:

Ahl_Fort_Delaware

Ahl is third from the left.  Among the thirteen men identified, several are battery commanders mentioned in earlier posts about Fort Delaware – particularly Captains Stanislaus Mlotkowski and John Jay Young (Pennsylvania Independent Batteries A and G, respectively).  But on the back we read “Mamma was with him.”  Presumably indicating Sarah accompanied her husband to his wartime post.

The complement of Ahl’s command was not your normal Civil War battery muster.  Practically every entry in the Compiled Service Records offer intriguing stories.  A few to mention:

  • Private Jasper M. Barker: From Randolph County, North Carolina.  He joined Company F, 2nd North Carolina Battalion when the war broke out.  He was captured on Roanoke Island in February 1862, but paroled shortly after.  Remained with the regiment until the Gettysburg Campaign.  Falling ill, he was left behind at Shippensburg, Pennsylvania and captured.  A few weeks later, on July 27, 1863, he enlisted in Ahl’s Battery.  The book has him at five-feet, 11 ¼ inches tall; light complexion; blue eyes; light hair; and nineteen when joining the US service.
  • Private Reuben Barnes: When joining Ahl’s Battery in July 1863, Barnes was nineteen.  He hailed from Tyrell County, North Carolina.  He spent some time hospitalized for various ailments.  Barnes came north in June with company G, 1st North Carolina Infantry.  He was captured at Gettysburg on July 5 (there is an odd note on one of his cards stating “we failed to locate him” by . Sent to Fort Delaware, he obviously determined to make the best of the situation.  Barnes received the remaining $25 for bounty when mustering out on July 25, 1865.
  • Private John Bates: A farmer from Clinton, Missouri, Bates was a member of the Missouri State Guard (Company D, 2nd Cavalry, 8th Division) when the war started.  In June 1862, at age 18, he joined Company E, 4th Missouri Infantry.  All told, he saw action at Pea Ridge, Farmington, Iuka, Corinth, Hatchie Bridge, Port Gibson, and Grand Gulf.  He was wounded and captured at Champion’s Hill on May 16, 1863.  His Federal enlistment, dated like the others as July 27, has him at five feet, nine inches, hazel eyes, and light hair.  In May, 1864, Bates was entrusted to a detail escorting prisoners to Dry Tortugas (indicating he was deemed more loyal than the other Confederates, perhaps).  On July 25, 1865, he mustered out receiving $16.36 in back pay and $25 toward his bounty.  While I cannot say for sure, there is evidence Bates returned to Missouri after the war.
  • Private John Grady:  Born in Tipperary, Ireland. Age 38 when enlisting on July 27, 1863.  Grady escorted some prisoners to Fort Monroe in the summer of 1864.  Returning through Baltimore on August 9, he deserted.  He is among several who deserted while on similar escort duties.
  • Private Cornelius Layhan: A 24-year old, blue-eyed farmer from Cork, Ireland. Enlisted when the battery first formed.  Served as a cook and orderly when not on guard duty.   Escorted prisoners to Dry Tortugas in the spring of 1864.  Mustered out in July 1865, receiving $25 left on his bounty.
  • Private J.M. McDouaugh: Aged forty when enlisting in Ahl’s Battery, McDouaugh was from Sligo County, Ireland. McDouaugh also served on a detail taking prisoners to Dry Tortugas in the spring of 1864.  When mustered out, he received $28.06 in pay along with his bounty.
  • Private John Vaughn:  A short, 21-year old, blue-eyed and blond haired farmer from Jackson County, Alabama.  Vaughn was captured at Champion’s Hill on May 17, 1863.  Not entirely clear which regiment he was from.  He enlisted on July 27 for three years “or the war” with rank of corporal.  But he was reduced to private the following month.  Lost a bayonet the following year, for which he paid the government.  But he mustered out in July 1865 and collected his bounty.
  • James Waddington: At age 31 and hailing from Lancanshire, England, Waddington’s enlistment was a bit different than the others mentioned here.  He joined for a one year hitch starting in January 1865.  He was a cotton spinner by trade.  And his enlistment was credited to a ward in Philadelphia, leading me to wonder if this was some means to escape the draft.  He was discharged, with the rest, on July 25, 1865, and received $33.33 due on his bounty.

Certainly not the familiar stories for artillery service during the war.  But Ahl’s men received credit for service just the same.  One has to wonder how their post-war lives worked out.

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Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, and Delaware!

Well, well.  Finally!  In the second quarter of 1863, the bureaucrats of the Ordnance Department finally caught up with those fellows serving the Union out in the vast Trans-Mississippi theater.  Sloppy entries, but at least there are entries:

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Yes, right up top, we see “Arkansas” with two lines – one for an artillery battery and the other for a detachment serving with cavalry.  Below that we see formal headings for Connecticut and Delaware.  However, shoved under the Connecticut header are entry lines for a California cavalry detachment (with a howitzer on hand) and the 1st Colorado Battery.  This pulls several entries off the “Batteries that were overlooked” from the previous quarter.  Huzzah for good record keeping!

Kidding aside, let’s focus first on the batteries from Connecticut and Delaware, which carry over from the previous quarter:

  • 1st Connecticut Light Artillery Battery: Reporting at Folly Island, South Carolina with six 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain Alfred P. Rockwell remained in command, with the battery still assigned to Tenth Corps, Department of the South.  However, a more accurate location would be Beaufort, as the battery remained there until later in the summer, when it did move (with other reinforcements) to Folly and Morris Islands in support of the campaign against Battery Wagner.
  • 2nd Connecticut Light Artillery Battery: At Taneytown, Maryland with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  The Gettysburg nutcases fanatics students will remind us this was the only Federal battery at Gettysburg with James rifles and 12-pdr field howitzers.  As part of the transfer of garrison troops from Washington to reinforce the Army of the Potomac, Captain John W. Sterling’s battery became part of the 2nd Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve.
  • 1st Delaware Light Artillery Battery: At Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Benjamin Nields’ battery traveled a lot during the spring and early summer of 1863… but never left the Eastern Theater.  In April, the battery proceeded to Norfolk, where it reinforced the Seventh Corps as Confederates threatened that point and Suffolk.  The battery was still with the Seventh Corps for Dix’s campaign, or demonstration if you prefer, on the Peninsula in June-July.  Then on July 8, the battery was ordered back to Camp Barry in Washington.

Please note we do not see a listing here for Battery M, 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery, which had on hand 4.5-inch rifles, and were in the field supporting the Army of the Potomac (if not actually at Gettysburg).

With those three batteries out of the way, let’s look to the “new comers” to the form:

  • 1st Arkansas Artillery Battery: At Springfield, Missouri with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles. The battery formed with troops at both Springfield and Fayetteville, Arkansas during the early months of the year.  Fully manned, the battery was posted to Springfield through the summer.  Captain  Denton D. Stark commanded this battery assigned to the District of Southwest Missouri.
  • Detachment of 1st Arkansas Cavalry: At Fayetteville, Arkansas with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  This regiment was among those defending Fayetteville against a Confederate attack in April.  I am not sure if the two howitzers were formally assigned to one of the companies.  The regiment, under Colonel Marcus LaRue Harrison, would see duties across Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas through the summer and early fall.  I will save the rest of that story for someone to write on a “To the sound of Clashing Sabers” blog.
  • Detachment of 3rd California Cavalry?: The notation clearly says “Cavalry”… but there was no 3rd California Cavalry.  There was, however, a 3rd California Infantry and it had reported artillery on hand back in December 1862.  However, the location is given as Camp Independence, California.  And it is the 2nd California Cavalry which is most associated with that outpost in the Owen’s Valley.  Let us just say that “A California Detachment” had one 12-pdr mountain howitzer for our purposes.
  • 1st Colorado Artillery Battery: at Camp Weld, Colorado Territory with no cannon reported.  There is an annotation after the state name which is illegible.  Records show this battery posted to Fort Lyon, and under the command of Lieutenant Horace W. Baldwin, at the end of June 1863.  In July the battery moved to Camp Weld.  Not sure what cannon were assigned at this time.  However in December 1863 the battery reported four 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  So that’s the likely answer.

How’s that for “rounding out” the list?  We will see more of these missing batteries and detachments accounted for as we continue through the second quarter, 1863.

That introduction out of the way, let us look to these seven lines from five different states (or territories, as you wish).  Starting with the smoothbore ammunition:

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Three to consider for this page:

  • 1st Arkansas Cavalry: 36 shell, 132 case, and 36 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 2nd Connecticut Battery: 160 shell, 120 case, and 13 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • California Detachment: 24 shell, 24 case, and 24 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

Those entries seem in line with expectations.

Looking to the next page, we look at the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

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Hotchkiss is normally associated with 3-inch rifles.  That holds true here, but there’s also some for the James rifles:

  • 1st Arkansas Battery: 84 canister, 84 percussion shell, 156 fuse shell, and 480 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 1st Connecticut Battery: 90 percussion shell, 120 fuse shell, and 468 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles (and we’ll see another column of Hotchkiss on the next page).
  • 2nd Connecticut Battery: 49 fuse shell and 191 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • 1st Delaware Battery: 172 shot, 238 canister, 545 percussion shell, and 121(?) fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

Very interesting the Delaware battery had so many shot, or “bolts”, on hand.  Particularly given their service in southeastern Virginia. Though it is likely the result of them having on hand what was issued, as opposed to any specific tactical requirement.

Turning to the next page, we can narrow our view down to the extended Hotchkiss, Dyer’s, and James’ columns:

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First off, that left over Hotchkiss entry:

  • 1st Connecticut Battery: 190 canister for 3.80-inch James.

We don’t see many Dyer’s projectiles reported, so this entry is noteworthy:

  • 1st Delaware Battery: 764 shrapnel and 37 canister for 3-inch rifles.

And the James-patent projectiles:

  • 1st Connecticut Battery: 185 canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • 2nd Connecticut Battery: 28 shell and 80 canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.

The variety of projectiles continues as we look on the next page:

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Again, the Connecticut batteries.  And again, projectiles for the James rifles.  This time of Schenkl-patent type:

  • 1st Connecticut Battery: 978 shells for 3.80-inch James.
  • 2nd Connecticut Battery: 320 shells for 3.80-inch James.

So the 1st Connecticut had plenty of everything from everyone!

Something in regard to the small arms section, that readers might have picked up on this with some of the earlier posts, is the frequent use of written annotation on the column headers.  Almost every page set will have its own “custom” columns.  We see that here for the top of this page set:

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And one might think with all these Trans-Mississippi units reporting, we’d see a lot of long arms.  Not the case here.  Either those far western artillerists had no small arms, or (more likely) the officers reporting didn’t provide details.  So we’ll look to the three eastern batteries:

  • 1st Connecticut Battery: 135 Navy revolvers, thirteen cavalry sabers, and forty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • 2nd Connecticut Battery: Nineteen Army revolvers and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 1st Delaware Battery: Twenty-four Army revolvers and thirty-one horse artillery sabers.

Yes, I would like to have seen a good accounting for the 1st Arkansas and 1st Colorado batteries here.  Would certainly add to some discussions about reeactor impressions, to say the least!  But from the data we do have presented here, I am most drawn to the 1st Connecticut Battery.  Not only did that battery, posted to South Carolina, have a wide variety of projectiles (by pattern, that is), but also a large number of pistols.

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Connecticut and Delaware

After a full set of pages for the US Regulars, the first quarter, 1863 summaries moved to the volunteer batteries, grouped by state.  The first of those were Connecticut and Delaware. Between those two, there were three entries on the summary for the quarter:

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There are some subtractions from the previous quarter’s summary which we need to address in turn.  And first of those would be to note the absence of California from the list. California did not provide units designated as batteries during the war.  The previous quarter recorded artillery stores on hand with the 3rd California Infantry.

Also in the earlier quarter, Connecticut was represented by three batteries – 1st and 2nd Light Artillery and  Battery B, 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery.  The latter was not recorded for the first quarter, 1863:

  • 1st Connecticut Light Artillery Battery: Reporting at Beaufort, South Carolina with six 3.80-inch James Rifles.  The battery shed two 12-pdr howitzers reported the previous quarter. Captain Alfred P. Rockwell commanded this battery, assigned to the garrison at Beaufort, Tenth Corps, Department of the South.
  • 2nd Connecticut Light Artillery Battery: At Wolf Run Shoals, Virginia with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain  John W. Sterling commanded this battery.  It was assigned to Casey’s Division in the Defenses of Washington.

The 3rd Connecticut Light Artillery would not be formed until 1864.

Delaware’s lone entry on the summary remained:

  • 1st Delaware Light Artillery Battery: At Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Note the battery dropped two howitzers off their charge and increased to a uniform battery of rifles. Captain Benjamin Nields was in command of this battery.  At the close of the quarter the battery remained at the Artillery Camp of Instruction.  But in April the battery moved to Norfolk, Virginia and became part of the Seventh Corps.  Briefly, that is, part of the Seventh Corps.

This makes for “short work” of the remaining pages.  Moving down to the smoothbore projectiles, we see one entry line, as we would expect:

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2nd Connecticut reported 110 shell, 158 case, and 29 canister for their pair of 12-pdr field howitzers.

On to the rifled projectiles, starting with the Hotchkiss columns:

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Everybody gets some Hotchkiss here:

  • 1st Connecticut: 90 percussion shell, 120 fuse shell, and 468 bullet shell of Hotchkiss-type for the 3.80-inch James rifle.  Cumbersome way of explaining this, but think – these are Hotchkiss projectiles made for James rifles.
  • 2nd Connecticut: 229 Hotchkiss bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • 1st Delaware:  75 canister, 40 percussion shell, 80 fuse shell, and 474 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

But we are not done with Hotchkiss, as we see entries in a couple of rarely used columns on the next page:

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I’ve posted the whole of this snip for review.  But for display here, I’ve cropped to just the Hotchkiss, Dyer, and James columns were entries are posted:

  • 1st Connecticut: 190 Hotchkiss canister for 3.80-inch James Rifle;  225 James canister 3.80-inch James rifle (redundant, but to be clear – James-type projectile for use in James rifle).
  • 2nd Connecticut: 80 Hotchkiss canister for 3.80-inch James Rifle;
  • 1st Delaware: 40 Dyer canister 3-inch rifle.

Moving over to the Schenkl columns:

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One entry for each battery:

  • 1st Connecticut: 978 Schenkl shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • 2nd Connecticut:  291 Schenkl shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • 1st Delaware: 86 Schenkl shell for 3-inch rifles.

That gets us to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • 1st Connecticut: 135 Navy revolvers, thirteen cavalry sabers, and forty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • 2nd Connecticut: Twenty Navy revolvers and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 1st Delaware:  Twenty-four Army revolvers and seventy-one horse artillery sabers.

So a quick summary for the batteries from these two states.  I mentioned some of the changes in reported cannons on hand above, but did not mention variations with the reported ammunition. Unlike many of the US Regulars, the Connecticut and Delaware batteries reports differed from quarter to quarter.  Other than explaining the reduced number of entry lines, not a lot to question with these summaries.