Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – Massachusetts

As was the case with summaries from the previous quarters, the clerks at the Ordnance Department “shorted” Massachusetts in the battery listings. There were, eventually, sixteen batteries from the Bay State. And for the fourth quarter, we see a couple of omissions:

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  • 1st Battery: At Brandy Station, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery remained with the Artillery Brigade, Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac, and Captain William H. McCartney remained in command.  The battery saw action near the Saunders’ House during the battle of Mine Run, firing fifteen rounds.
  • 2nd Battery: No return. Captain Ormand F. Nims remained in command of this battery. Part of the Nineteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf, the battery transferred from the corps artillery reserve to the Cavalry Division. Around this time the battery exchanged six 6-pdr rifled field guns for a like number of 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery saw field service in the Teche Campaign in October and November. Moving from Brashear City, the cavalry column to which the battery was attached reached Opelousas on October 21, having skirmished frequently with Confederates along the way. A section under Lieutenant William Marland saw action at Carrion Crow Bayou and Grand Couteau (November 2 and 3, respectively). In the latter action, Marland found his battery surrounded and without support. He ordered the section limbered up and charged through to save the guns. The battery arrived at New Iberia on November 17 and remained there until January.
  • 3rd Battery: Reporting at Bealton, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Assigned to the Artillery Brigade, Fifth Corps, with Lieutenant Aaron F. Walcott in charge of the battery.  Captain Augustus P. Martin, of the battery, comanded the corps artillery brigade. Participating with the corps through the Bristoe Campaign and Mine Run, the battery went into winter quarters outside Brandy Station, off the north end of Fleetwood Hill.
  • 4th Battery: Reporting New Iberia, Louisiana with two 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch ordnance rifles.  Captain George G. Trull commanded. However, in Trull’s absence Lieutenant George W. Taylor led the battery in December 1863. The battery participated in the Teche Expedition in October. They were in action at Vermillion Bayou on November 11, without loss. The battery transferred from Third Division to First Division, Nineteenth Corps later in November.  
  • 5th Battery: Reporting at Rappahannock [Station], Virginia with six 3-inch rifles.  Captain Charles A. Phillips remained in command, and the battery assigned to the Fifth Corps.  The battery participated in the Bristoe and Mine Run Campaigns. Following those, the battery, alongside the 3rd Battery, went into winter quarters at Brandy Station.
  • 6th Battery: At New Iberia, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 12-pdr field howitzers. The battery was assigned to First Division, Nineteenth Corps.  When Captain William W. Carruth mustered out on October 3rd, Lieutenant Edward K. Russell (2nd Battery, above) transferred to command.  Then on December 9, Lieutenant John F. Phelps, of the battery, took command.  Phelps would be promoted to Captain with commission back dated to October 3. The battery participated in the Teche Campaign of that fall, arriving at New Iberia on November 16 and going into winter quarters.
  • 7th Battery: At Camp Barry, D.C., with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Captain Phineas A. Davis resigned at the start of October to receive a promotion.  In his place Lieutenant Newman W. Storer received the captaincy. This much traveled battery was not resting long at Camp Barry. In January, they embarked on a steamer for New Orleans and a transfer to the Nineteenth Corps.
  • 8th Battery: No return.  Mustered out in November 1862 at the end of a six-month enlistment.
  • 9th Battery: At Brandy Station, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Remaining with the First Volunteer Artillery Brigade, Artillery Reserve. Captain John Bigelow commanded, but was recovering from wounds.  Lieutenant Richard S. Milton filled in his place.
  • 10th Battery:  Also at Brandy Station, Virginia but with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain J. Henry Sleeper commanded this battery, assigned to Third Corps, Army of the Potomac. The battery was active in the field for both the Bristoe Station and Mine Run Campaigns.
  • 11th Battery: No return.  This battery mustered out of service in May 1863. However, it remained as a militia battery (and was called out to suppress riots in Boston in July).  On December 1, Captain Edward J. Jones, commanding the battery, received authorization to recruit up to full strength and prepare the battery for muster back into service. That re-muster occurred on January 2, 1864. Along the way, the battery received six new 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery:  At Port Hudson, Louisiana, with five 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer. Captain Jacob Miller remained in command. On October 15 the battery transferred from the New Orleans garrison to that of Port Hudson.
  • 13th Battery: Not listed. The 13th Battery was down to around fifty effective men by the fall of 1863.  Having transferred their guns and horses to fill out other batteries earlier in the year, the battery served as a detachment under the 2nd Battery (see above). At this time of the war, Captain Charles H. J. Hamlin was on recruiting duty.  In his place, Lieutenant Ellis L. Motte led the detachment.
  • 14th Battery: Not listed.  Philip H. Tyler, formerly a lieutenant in the 3rd Battery, received authorization to recruit this battery in December 1863. But his efforts failed and the authority was receded. In January, Joseph W.B. Wright, formerly of 1st Battery (original three month muster) and the 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, received authorization to begin recruiting. Wright’s efforts bore fruit with a February 1864 muster.
  • 15th Battery: At Lakeport, Louisiana with two 6-pdr field guns.  Captain Timothy Pearson saw most of his battery equipment and horses transferred to other units in the spring of 1863.  The men served at the forts protecting the road and railroad to Lake Ponchatrain. During that duty, they received two guns, horses, and necessary equipment. On December 29, the battery moved to Lakeport. Then on January 2nd, the battery embarked on the steamer Kate Dale for six weeks’ duty on Lake Ponchatrain. Of note, official accounts of that expedition indicate the 15th Battery mounted FOUR guns on the steamer (Lieutenant Albert Rouse in command of the detachment). Furthermore, later in the year the battery reported two 6-pdrs and four 12-pdr Napoleons on hand. Such leads to speculations.
  • 16th Battery: Not listed.  Battery did not begin recruiting until January-February 1864.

Thus we see three main themes with the Massachusetts batteries – chasing Lee in Virginia, serving in steamy Louisiana, and recruiting up for muster. Three of those activities required ammunition. And ammunition was reported. We start with the smoothbore:

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  • 1st Battery: 288 shot, 96 shell, and 288 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 3rd Battery: 192 shot, 96 shell, and 387 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 4th Battery: 24 shot, 150 shell, and 47 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 6th Battery: 57 shot, 179 shell, and 251 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 9th Battery: 180 shot, 64 shell, and 192 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 12th Battery: 107 shot and 147 case for 6-pdr field guns; 59 shell and 42 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
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  • 1st Battery: 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 3rd Battery: 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 4th Battery: 35 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 6th Battery: 63 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 9th Battery: 54 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 12th Battery: 285 canister for 6-pdr field guns and 19 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.

To the right we start the rifled projectiles, with the Hotchkiss leading off:

  • 4th Battery: 84 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 120 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 189 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

Continuing with more Hotchkiss:

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  • 4th Battery: 281 percussion fuse shell and 39 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 5th Battery: 97 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 236 percussion fuse shell and 120 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 98 percussion fuse shell, 341 case shot, and 115 canister for 3-inch rifles.

On the next page is an interesting entry for Parrott projectiles:

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  • 5th Battery: 41 Parrott canister for 3-inch bore rifles.

This deserves some consideration. Note the header has different columns for 10-pdr/2.9-inch and 10-pdr/3-inch Parrott. Clearly this is the latter. Could one fire a 3-inch Parrott projectile from a 3-inch Ordnance Rifle? Technically, I see no reason why not. If it fits down the bore, it will fire back out, right? But the poor 5th Battery had two types of canister on hand and no explosive projectiles! We see that was resolved in the Schenkl columns to the right:

  • 5th Battery: 140 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 41 shell for 3-inch rifles.

And more Schenkl on the page that followed:

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  • 5th Battery: 904 case shot for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 720 case shot for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 256 case shot for 3-inch rifles.

Moving to the small arms reported:

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  • 1st Battery: Eight Colt army revolvers, nine cavalry sabers, and five horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: One Colt army revolver, eight cavalry sabers, and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • 4th Battery: Seven Colt army revolvers and twenty-eight horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: One Colt army revolver and twenty-seven horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Seventeen Colt army revolvers and twenty-six cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Twenty Colt army revolvers and forty-eight horse artillery sabers.
  • 9th Battery: Eight Colt army revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Sixteen Colt navy revolvers and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Eighteen Colt army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 15th Battery: Fifty Springfield .58 caliber muskets, fourteen Colt navy revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and fifty-nine horse artillery sabers.

Let’s talk cartridge bags:

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  • 5th Battery: 1,185 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 1,234 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 162 cartridge bags for smoothbore field pieces.

And far to the right we see the 15th Battery records ammunition for it’s muskets:

  • 15th Battery: 100 cartridges for .58 caliber muskets. Two rounds per rifle? What’s up with that?

On the last page we review, there are many tallies to record. So keep up:

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  • 1st Battery: 104 cartridges for army revolvers and 2,844 friction primers;
  • 3rd Battery: 2,100 friction primers.
  • 4th Battery: 235 paper fuses; 2,500 friction primers; 50 yards of slow match; and 65 portfires.
  • 5th Battery: 1,847 friction primers and 50 yards of slow match.
  • 6th Battery: 2,440 friction primers.
  • 7th Battery: 600 cartridges for navy revolvers; 1,400 paper fuses; and 850 friction primers.
  • 9th Battery: 500 cartridges for army revolvers; 186 friction primers; and 50 yards of slow match.
  • 10th Battery: 753 paper fuses and 1,796 friction primers.
  • 12th Battery: 1,400 cartridges for army revolvers.
  • 15th Battery: 788 cartridges for navy revolvers; 1,524 friction primers; 2 yards of slow match; 1,400 percussion caps for pistols; and 20 portfires.

I’m often wondering how to reconcile the reported number of guns to projectiles, and thence out to the primers and fuses on hand. More so with regard to cartridges and percussion caps for small arms. To some extent, we have to consider this was the quantity deemed “reportable, on hand” as opposed to what actually might have been laying about. Nuanced, there is a difference. Particularly with the small arms. And I’d also say that applied to things like fuses and friction primers. Then again, there is a reason batteries were issued things like portfires and slow match.

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Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Wisconsin Batteries

The last heading for the state volunteers in the third quarter of 1863 summaries is Wisconsin.  Under this heading are a dozen independent (numbered) batteries along with four reports for sections from cavalry and infantry regiments.  We look at those artillery batteries first:

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I said “a dozen,” right?  But you count thirteen.  Yes, because one of those batteries didn’t exist.  Notice we have dated returns for all but the 11th Battery (the one that didn’t exist).  Some were late.  But returns to work from at least for the twelve:

  • 1st Battery:  Reporting at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as of March 1865.  But with no cannon on hand.  Captain Jacob T. Foster remained in command of the battery.  After Vicksburg, and the transfer of the Thirteenth Corps to the Department of the Gulf, the battery relocated to New Orleans.  They remained there until the first week of September, when they moved to Brashear City.  At the end of September Foster’s battery was at Berwick City (across the Atchafalaya from modern day Morgan City).  But they returned to Brashear City in early October. A report dated September 2 indicated the battery had four 30-pdr Parrotts.  That would be an upgrade from the 20-pdr Parrotts worn out during the Vicksburg Campaign.   Staff duties often kept Foster away from the battery. In his place, Lieutenant Daniel Webster led the battery.
  • 2nd Battery:  No location given, from a return posted November 1864, but with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 10-pdr Parrotts. With the end of Dix’s Peninsula Campaign, the battery moved to Yorktown.  The battery remained there through the rest of the summer and into fall, as part of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina.  Captain Charles Beger commanded this battery.  However, returns indicate he was absent at the end of the reporting period, with Lieutenant Charles Schultz standing in.
  • 3rd Battery: Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee with one 12-pdr field howitzer. Captain Lucius H. Drury, of the battery, was division artillery chief.  Under direct command of Lieutenant Cortland Livingston, as part of Third Division, Twenty-first Corps, Army of the Cumberland, the battery went into action at Chickamauga with four 10-pdr Parrotts and two 12-pdr field howitzers. On September 19, the battery fought near the Viniard cornfield, playing an important role checking the Confederates in that sector.  But on the afternoon of the 20, the battery was with others grouped by Mendenhall on the northwest of Dyer Field.  Loosing 30 horses in that desperate stand, the Livingston was only able to bring one howitzer off the field.
  • 4th Battery: At Gloucester Point, Virginia with six 3-inch rifles (likely Ordnance rifles).  Captain John F. Vallee commanded this battery at the start of the quarter.  When Vallee resigned on July 6, George B. Easterly was promoted to command. As part of Second Division, Fourth Corps the battery participated in the operations on the Peninsula through June and July.  Afterwards, the battery was part of the Yorktown Garrison, specifically assigned to Gloucester Point, across the York River.
  • 5th Battery: In Chattanooga, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  In the previous quarters, this battery reported two mountain howitzers instead of field howitzers.  Other equipment, and ammunition on hand (see below), reported was for field howitzers.  Still, I would leave a question mark for caution on that column. The battery was assigned to First Division, Twentieth Corps, and commanded by Captain George Q. Gardner. The battery was detached with the division’s First Brigade at the start of September.  During the battle of Chickamauga, they were at Valley Head, Alabama.  They did see action on September 22 skirmishing with Confederates as the siege of Chattanooga set in.
  • 6th Battery: “In the field”  with two 6-pdr field guns, two 24-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  However, I believe, based on the ammunition reported and previous quarter reporting, the 24-pdrs should instead be 12-pdr field howitzers. Assigned to Seventh (later Second) Division, Seventeenth Corps.  Captain Henry Dillon was in command.  However, with Dillon serving as division artillery chief, Lieutenant Samuel F. Clark stood in as commander.  The battery spent most of the summer at Vicksburg.  They were part of the force dispatched to Chattanooga, via Memphis and overland to Bridgeport, Alabama, starting the last week of September.
  • 7th Battery: At Memphis, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns and three 3.67-inch rifles, and one 3.80-inch James rifles (as opposed to four 3.80-inch James reported the previous quarter).  Captain Harry S. Lee returned to resume command of the battery for part of the summer.  But returns from October indicate Lieutenant William E. Hearsey was acting commander.   The battery was assigned to the District of Memphis, Sixteenth Corps. 
  • 8th Battery: At Chattanooga, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Assigned to First Division, Twentieth Corps. In Captain Henry E. Stiles’ absence,  Lieutenant John D. McLean lead the battery at Chickamauga.  The battery reported no loss in the battle.
  • 9th Battery: Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory with four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. Captain Cyrus H. Johnson remained in command, but he would be dismissed on October 21.  So a story for the next quarter.  The battery served by sections.  The right section, under Lieutenant James H. Dodge, first moved to Fort Union, New Mexico, before returning to Fort Lyon.  The left section, under Lieutenant Watson D. Crocker, continued on to Fort Larned, Kansas.  And the center section, which remained with Captain Johnson, set up operations at Fort Lyon.
  • 10th Battery: Reporting at Bridgeport, Alabama with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Yates V. Beebe’s battery was assigned to the Second Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  From the beginning of the year up to September, the battery performed escort duties based out of Nashville and Murfreesboro.  In late September the battery moved forward to Bridgeport and guarded key points in that area.
  • 11th Battery: No return. As mentioned above, before this battery could complete organization, it was assigned to Illinois for accounting, becoming Battery L, 1st Illinois Light Artillery.
  • 12th Battery: A February 1864 return has this battery at Chattanooga with four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain William Zickerick and his battery’s four 10-pdr Parrotts were assigned to Seventh Division (later Second), Seventeenth Corps. Alongside the 6th Battery, they spent most of the summer at Vicksburg.  In late September, they were among the forces dispatched to Chattanooga.
  • 13th Battery: From a March 1864 return, this battery was at Fort Williams, Louisiana with the annotation “no stores.”  The battery started forming in the summer of 1863.  In November, seventy-one men were mustered into service, with duty location of Camp Washburn, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Captain Richard R. Griffith would command the battery, with data of rank from December 23 of that year.

Moving down to the ammunition on hand, starting with the smoothbore:

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  • 2nd Battery: 120 shell, 160 case, and 32 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 3rd Battery: 70 shell, 160 case, and 27 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 5th Battery: 96 shot, 32 shell, 91 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 62 shell, 156 case, and 47 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 6th Battery: 73 shot, 173 case, and 105 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 21 shell, and 113 case for 12-pdr field howitzers;  65 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons. That last entry may be a transcription error by the clerks.
  • 7th Battery: 186 shot, 243 case, and 87 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 8th Battery: 32 shot, 94 shell, 64 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 9th Battery: 400 shot, 320 case, and 80 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 150 shell, 190 case, and 62 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.

Turning to the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles reported:

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  • 4th Battery: 117 canister, 603 (!!!) percussion shell, 266 fuse shell, and 116 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 26 shot and 146 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 81 shot, 80 percussion shell, 161 fuse shell, and 430 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 94 shot, 151 canister, and 479 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 120 canister, 245 percussion shell, and 235 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

We will break the next page down into sections for clarity.  Starting with the James projectiles reported:

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  • 6th Battery: 96 shell and 34 canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.

And then to the Parrott columns:

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  • 2nd Battery: 314 shot, 387 shell, and 96 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 3rd Battery: 195 shell, 188 case, and 75 canister for 10-pdr Parrott…. which, as of the time of the report, the battery didn’t have on hand.  So while losing the guns, the battery rescued their caissons.  Good work!
  • 5th Battery: 9 shot, 142 shell, 127 case, and 78 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 12th Battery: 116 shot, 321 shell, 247 case, and 136 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

A handful of Schenkl and Tatham’s reported:

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First the Schenkl:

  • 4th Battery: 33 shell and 23 case for 3 inch rifles.

And one entry for Tatham’s canister:

  • 6th Battery: 30 canister for 3.80-inch James.

Lastly we examine the small arms reported:

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  • 2nd Battery: Twenty army revolvers and 133 horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Fourteen army revolvers and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • 4th Battery: Sixteen army revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Six cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Thirty army revolvers and twenty-five cavalry sabers.
  • 8th Battery: Sixteen navy revolvers and four cavalry sabers.
  • 9th Battery: Ninety-five navy revolvers and nineteen cavalry sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Eight navy revolvers.

We can say there was an evolving theme across the Wisconsin batteries.  While that theme did not include all, at the close of the third quarter of 1863 many of these batteries were either at Chattanooga or moving to the city.  In the weeks that followed, the men of those batteries would support the efforts to lift the siege and eventually defeat the Confederates encircling the city.