Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – 1st Ohio Light Artillery

The 1st Ohio LIGHT Artillery…. which needs to be emphasized, as there was a 1st Ohio Heavy Artillery.  The “heavy” regiment spent most of the war in garrison locations across Kentucky and Tennessee.  The “light” regiment, on the other hand, was active in the field supporting armies in both eastern and western theaters. Colonel of the regiment was James Barnett, who also doubled as the Chief of Artillery, Department/Army of the Cumberland.

For the second quarter of 1863, the clerks in Washington complied reports from nine of twelve batteries:

0217_1_Snip_Ohio_1st

And, as a bonus, we have a line for the 32nd Ohio Infantry and their four cannon.  As mentioned while discussing the independent batteries, the clerks opted to misplace what would become the 26th Independent Battery with the 1st Ohio Light.

Putting that on hold for the moment, let us look at the administrative details for the 1st Ohio Light:

  • Battery A: Reported, as of August 1864, at Tullahoma, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Wilbur F. Goodspeed remained in command of this battery assigned to Second Division, Twentieth Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • Battery B: “In the field” with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles.   Remaining under Captain William E. Standart, this battery was part of Second Division, Twenty-First Corps (with Standart also serving as division chief of artillery). The battery remained at Cripple Creek, Tennessee until June 24, when it moved with the rest of the division on the Tullahoma Campaign.
  • Battery C: At Elk River, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Daniel K. Southwick commanded the battery asigned to Third Division, Fourteenth Corps.  The battery supported its parent division on the Tullahoma Campaign.
  • Battery D: No report. Battery D was, as of the June 30 reporting date, in the field supporting the Cavalry of the Army of the Cumberland, on the Tullahoma Campaign.  One section, under Captain Andrew J. Konkle supported Second Brigade, First Division, of the corps.  Another, under Lieutenant Nathaniel M. Newell, supported First Brigade, Second Division.   with three 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  This report covered just one section, under Lieutenant Nathaniel M. Newell, with the Second Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  The battery was armed with 3-inch Ordnance rifles.
  • Battery E: No report. This battery was assigned to Second Division, Reserve Corps, still recovering from heavy losses the previous winter at Stones River.  It was posted to Nashville through the spring.  Lieutenant Stephen W. Dorsey remained in command of the battery.  Later in July, the battery moved forward to Chattanooga.  Captain Warren P. Edgarton, of the battery, was in command of the Nashville garrison artillery.
  • Battery F: No report. Captain Daniel T. Cockerill remained in command of this battery, part of Second Division, Twenty-first Corps. Consolidated reports, complied at the department, indicate the battery had six 12-pdr Napoleons and five 3.80-inch James Rifles (!).
  • Battery G: At Decherd, Tennessee with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Alexander Marshall’s battery assigned to Second Division, Fourteenth Corps.  As such, they were involved with the Tullahoma Campaign.
  • Battery H: At Brownsville, Maryland (likely a location associated with the August 7th report date) with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Although Captain James F. Huntington held the command billet, Lieutenant George W. Norton lead the battery in the field.  Transferred to the 3rd Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac in late spring.  Thus, instead sitting at the base of South Mountain on June 30, Battery H was north of Frederick, Maryland.
  • Battery I: At Emmitsburg, Maryland with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Hubert Dilger’s battery was assigned to Eleventh Corps.  Dilger and his battery would do good work supporting the left of the corps on July 1.
  • Battery K: Bridgeport, Alabama, with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain William L. De Beck resigned on May 11, 1863, and was replaced by Captain Lewis Heckman.  This battery supported Eleventh Corps.  On July 1, the battery went into action just on the edge of Gettysburg (corner of Carlisle Street and Lincoln Avenue today).  Heckman reported firing 113 rounds that day, “mostly canister”, in an effort to delay the Confederate advance. The battery lost two men killed, eleven men wounded, nine horses, and two pieces.  The location is valid for later in the fall when the battery, along with the rest of the Eleventh Corps, reinforced Chattanooga.
  • Battery L: “In the field” with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Frank C. Gibbs had command of this battery, supporting Fifth Corps.  The battery played a vital role defending Little Round Top on July 2, 1863.
  • Battery M: Stevenson, Alabama with two 3-inch guns and four 3.80-inch James rifles. Captain Frederick Schultz commanded this battery, assigned to Second Division, Fourteenth Corps.  Thus, instead of being just south of Bridgeport, Alabama, as indicated on this line, the battery was further north, near Hoover’s Gap, on June 30, 1863.

As mentioned, one line from outside the regiment:

  • Company F, 32nd Infantry: At Vicksburg, Mississippi with two 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Company F, 32nd Ohio was originally formed in August 1861.  In July 1862, the company was detached for service as artillery and known as “Potts’s Ohio Battery” after it’s first commander, Captain Benjamin F. Potts.  The battery served in the Shenandoah and was caught up in the surrender at Harpers Ferry in September 1862.  The battery was exchanged, along with the rest of the regiment, on January 21, 1863.  The 32nd was then assigned to Third Brigade, Third Division, Seventeenth Corps, then in operations against Vicksburg.   At Champion’s Hill, the brigade captured a Confederate battery.  The division commander, Major General John A. Logan, knowing of the unit’s artillery service, assigned the captured guns to Company F.  Under Captain Theobold D. Yost, they were called “Yost’s Captured Battery” and were posted opposite Fort Hill in the Vicksburg siege lines.  After the siege, the battery was broken up, with men assigned to other batteries.  However, in December 1863, the battery was officially reformed as the 26th (Independent) Ohio Battery.  The exact identification of the guns assigned to the battery during the siege, being captured from Confederates, is open for interpretation.

From top to bottom, including the battery formed from the 32nd, we see all these batteries experienced active field service that summer.

Moving to the ammunition pages, we see a busy section for smoothbore projectiles:

0219_1_Snip_Ohio_1st

A pyramid of rounds:

  • Battery A: 56 shot, 64 shell, 108 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B: 40 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery C: 13 shot, 42 case, and 46 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 96 shot, 82 shell, 96 case, and 32 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 77 shot for 6-pdr field guns; 211 shot, 64 shell, 128 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 143 case and 46 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery I: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery K: 192 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery L: 300 shot, 102 shell, 280 case, and 117 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Company F, 32nd Infantry: 17 shell and 20 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Two flags to consider with this list.  Battery C didn’t have 6-pdrs at this stage of the war, having turned those in sometime in January.  But the rounds, theoretically, could be fired from their James rifles.  So those might have simply been residual ammunition left over from earlier service… or service ammunition set aside for special use with the rifles.

Battery G had no use at all for 6-pdr rounds.  And use of howitzer rounds in Napoleons would be puzzling.  So this escapes any simple conjecture.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, we consider the Hotchkiss columns:

0219_2_Snip_Ohio_1st

Two calibers in play here – 3-inch and 3.80-inch:

  • Battery A: 90 shot for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery B: 20 bullet shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 109 fuse shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery G: 77 canister, 96 percussion shell, and 120 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles; Also 121 percussion shell for 3.80-inch rifles!!!
  • Battery K: 98 canister and 643 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 56 canister, 115 percussion shell, and 40 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles; And 75 shot, 56 fuse shell, and 180 bullet shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Company F, 32nd Infantry: 107 fuse shell and 451 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

As Battery G had no use for James caliber projectiles, the quantities of that caliber on hand may have been a transcription error by the clerks.  But where to put 121 percussion shells, I don’t know.

The next page offers a mix of Hotchkiss, Dyer’s, and James projectiles.

0220_1A_Snip_Ohio_1st

Taking these in turn, first the “left over” Hotchkiss columns:

  • Battery A: 140 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery G: 148 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 94 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Here again we see Battery G with James-caliber projectiles… but no James rifles on hand.

Dyer’s projectiles:

  • Battery G: 96 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.

We don’t often see Dyer’s projectiles issued to batteries in the western theater.

James’ projectiles:

  • Battery C: 102 shot and 61 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.

Turning to the Shenkl columns on the next page:

0220_2_Snip_Ohio_1st

Five batteries reported quantities:

  • Battery A: 318 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery B: 240 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 239 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 349 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 278 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.

Two batteries reported Tatham’s canister:

  • Battery B: 180 canister for 3.80-inch.
  • Battery M: 66 canister for 3.80-inch.

Lastly we move to the small arms:

0220_3_Snip_Ohio_1st

By battery:

  • Battery A: Three Navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Twenty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Just eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Nine Navy revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • Battery H: Twenty Army revolvers and thirty-eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Twelve Navy revolvers and thirty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Twelve Army revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: Nineteen Navy revolvers and thirty-four (?) foot artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Seven Army revolvers and three (?) cavalry sabers.

Closing out the Ohio batteries, we find that at the closing date for the second quarter, 1863, all of the 1st Light Regiment were well employed.  And we must also add the fine work by Company F, 32nd Ohio Infantry to that list.

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150 years ago: Railroads west to Tennessee

If you read the monuments at Gettysburg for the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps, specifically the battle honors of the regiments, you will notice a lot of western place-names listed along with the great eastern battlefields.  Most recall this is due to the transfer of the two corps in the fall of 1863 to reinforce the besieged Army of the Cumberland at Chattanooga.  We often wave our hand over the map to explain this movement, but forget this was a herculean effort of strategic mobility.

Earlier in the season, the Confederates shifted part of General James Longstreet’s Corps to northern Georgia using some sixteen different railroad lines.  The first of those troops left the station in Orange, Virginia on September 8 or 9, 1863.  The lead elements of the force arrived in Georgia in time for the battle of Chickamauga.  But it is a misconception to say the movement was complete at that time.  Significant combat force remained on the trains or at the depots on September 20, and baggage would arrive only in the weeks following the battle.

Now it was time for the Federals to demonstrate their rail lines.  As reports from the battle trickled into Washington, President Abraham Lincoln, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, and others debated the best way to reinforce Major-General William Rosecrans’ (for the moment) Army of the Cumberland at Chattanooga.  On paper, Major-General Ambrose Burnside was close by at Knoxville.  But in reality the terrain did not allow for a rapid march, particularly where provisions were scarce and Confederate raiders were thick.  Likewise the movement of 20,000 troops from Vicksburg, Mississippi, under command of Major-General William T. Sherman, looked easy on paper but was not easily conducted on the ground.

The solution offered was to move two corps from the Army of the Potomac in Virginia out by rail to Tennessee.  Though some cautioned the movement would require over a month. But such estimates were largely based on pre-war experience.  Stanton and the railroad men felt the move could be done with much more speed, if properly organized.  Orders went out on September 24 to Major-General George Meade to release the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps for movement.

Initially, the Eleventh was to use Bristoe Station and Rappahannock Station.  But after organizing the rolling stock and coordinating troop movements, Major-General O.O. Howard loaded his troops at Manassas Junction (with artillery going on the trains at Alexandria).  The Twelfth loaded at Brandy Station.   And there was some counter-marching required in order to keep this movement of troops out of sight from the Confederate observers on Clark’s Mountain.

To reach Chattanooga, the troops started their journey on the Orange & Alexandria (O&A) at some of the war’s most important rail junctions.  The trains then would move, by way of Washington, to Baltimore and switch to the B&O for a westward leg. Reaching the Ohio River at Benwood, the troops were to ferry (later move by pontoon bridge) across to Bellaire, Ohio where they would board trains on the Central Ohio Railroad and make the run to Columbus, Ohio.  Next the troops would switch to the Indiana Central and move to Indianapolis.  There the plan called for another transfer onto the Jeffersonville, Madison, and Indianapolis Railroad for a trip to Jeffersonville, Indiana.  Another ferry ride would put the troops in Louisville, Kentucky where they would take the Louisville & Nashville Railroad (L&N).  In Nashville the troops would board trains for their last leg on the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad (N&C).  The closest terminus would be Bridgeport, Alabama.  All told the troops would transit eight states, plus the District of Columbia, and cross four major rivers (the Ohio and the Potomac twice), in their journey of 1200 miles.

Leading this movement effort was a mix of civilian and military officials.  Stanton coordinated with John M. Garrett of the B&O, Samuel M. Felton of the Pennsylvania Railroad, H.J. Jewett of the Central Ohio, James Guthrie of the L&N, and several others with connecting rail lines.  And on the military side, Colonel Thomas Scott (who was more a War Department official with military rank) supervised the operation.  There was at times friction with Colonel William Innes, who supervised Rosecrans’ railroad department.  But Stanton’s directives brushed aside any disagreements.

While planning the move on September 23, Stanton forwarded inquiries to Brigadier-General Jeremiah T. Boyle in regards to the L&N:

Please ascertain and report to me immediately:
1. How many men can be transported by employing the whole rolling stock of the road from Louisville to Nashville, enumerating the number of cars of every description that could be employed?
2. How many hours it usually takes to make the trip from Nashville to Louisville, and at what rate of speed?
3. Is the road from Nashville to Chattanooga the same gauge as the road from Louisville to Nashville, so that cars can go direct from Louisville to Chattanooga, and what time does it take from Nashville to Chattanooga?
4. If the gauge of the roads is different, what is the supply of rolling stock on the  [Nashville] and Chattanooga road?

The following morning, Boyle responded that the L&N could transport 3,000 men a day, requiring sixteen hours to cover the 185 mile distance.  The L&N connected to the N&C in Nashville, but Boyle was unable to determine the rates for that last leg of the trip.  Military campaigns of the last eight months had used up and badly damaged the N&C, but with repairs, Boyle felt the lines could support 4,000 men.

Contrary to some statements you hear today, the Federal railroad lines were not uniform gauge.  An alternative route crossing the Ohio at Cincinnati and using the Covington & Lexington Railroad was considered.  However, the president of that line warned of the different gauge of track between Lexington and Louisville.  Later, the War Department would spend an estimated $38,000 to rectify this issue.  Another modification to the rail lines was the laying of connecting track in Indianapolis to allow cars to switch over, instead of having the troops disembark.

On September 25, the first troop cars passed through Washington as the first of nearly three days of nearly continual movement through the city.  Some 390 B&O railcars sent down the O&A allowed for rapid transition in Baltimore.  By September 28 the first troop trains reached Indianapolis.  A day later those lead elements prepared to recross the Ohio River into Kentucky at Louisville.  On September 30, four trains arrived in Nashville with the lead elements of the Eleventh Corps.  Within a few days, the bulk of the Eleventh Corps arrived at Bridgeport, where they looked over the Tennessee River at the broken bridge which prevented their transit to Chattanooga.

A few days later, the troop movement was complete with the two corps ready to assume operations in what would become the Chattanooga Campaign.  Historian Thomas Weber summarized the movement:

By October 3, the first regiments of the 11th Corps began arriving at their base camp 26 miles from Chattanooga.  October 6, the last regiment passed through Indianapolis, and by October 8, the troop movement was complete.  In 14 days, 23,000 men had moved 1,233 miles, an accomplishment not to be surpassed during the war …. The baggage of the two corps, including horses, wagons, ambulances, and commissary, moved west over the same route during the first two weeks of October…. Thus the complete transfer of men and equipment took only about three weeks, a time so far under the general estimate that it must have greatly surprised Halleck and Lincoln.

Indeed, the movement put two veteran corps in a place that left the Confederates concerned.  More than the bickering among generals, I would submit the rapid movement of the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps contained the Confederate gains in September 1863.

And as a side note, this is perhaps the only post narrative that one might mention “Brandy Station” with “Louisville” and “Bridgeport.”  More than anything, this troop movement shows how interconnected the theaters of war really were.

(Citations from OR, Series I, Volume 29, Part I, Serial 48, page 147; Thomas Weber, The Northern Railroads in the Civil War: 1861-1865, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1952, page 186.)