Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries, Part 3

Continuing with the second quarter, 1863 summaries, we turn at last to the “high dozen” of the New York independent batteries.   The quarterly summary contained lines for batteries up to the 32nd:

0209_1_Snip_NY_IND_Pt3

But to provide a complete assessment, we’ll discuss up to the 36th in the administrative section for an even dozen.  To facilitate that discussion, we will break those dozen into three groups.  The first of those, the 25th, 26th, 27th, and 28th Batteries had returns listed in the summaries:

  • 25th Battery: Reporting at New Orleans, Louisiana with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain John A. Grow remained in command. Recall this battery, and the 26th, below, had suffered shipwrecks when transiting from New York to Louisiana.  The 25th remained part of the garrison of New Orleans, in the Nineteenth Corps’ rear area.  In late June, the battery was among forces dispatched to deal with a Confederate force aiming to disrupt supply lines.  The battery received differing assessments for performance at LaFourche Crossing, June 20-21.  Of interest, Grow reported having charge, in addition to his four rifles, of a 18-pdr gun, two 12-pdr howitzers, and one 6-pdr.  All of those pieces, according to Grow, were spiked, disabled, and thrown in the bayou owing to a hasty withdrawal.
  • 26th Battery: Also at New Orleans, but with four 12-pdr Napoleons.   Captain George W. Fox’s battery was part of the garrison of that city.
  • 27th Battery: At Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain John B. Eaton commanded this battery.  In mid-July, the battery transferred to the Department of the Susquehanna.
  • 28th Battery: At Fort Schuyler, New York with “infantry stores.”  The battery served at Fort Schuyler and Sandy Hook.  Captain Cyprian H. Millard was dismissed on June 15, 1863.  Captain Josiah C. Hannum then took command.

 

The next four batteries, the 29th, 30th, 31st, and 32nd, were originally batteries of the 1st New York Light Battalion.  These were Battery A, B, C, and D, respectively.  According to the tables of organization, all four batteries were part of the Army of the Potomac’s Artillery Reserve (2nd Volunteer Brigade) at the start of June.  But hard service took a toll on these batteries and many enlistments were due up.   On June 25, Special Orders No. 173 assigned the 30th and 32nd by name to Camp Barry.  And I believe the other two batteries were also reassigned around the same time.  Only one of these has a return for the quarter:

  • 29th Battery: No return. At the end of 1862 the battery had four 20-pdr Parrotts.  But by the end of June, the battery was run down.  Captain Otto Diedrich remained commander, but many of the men were detailed to the 32nd Battery.
  • 30th Battery: No return.  Also a battery previously armed with four 20-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Adolph Voegelee commanded.   The battery would later serve with the Eighth Corps at Harpers Ferry, towards the end of July.
  • 31st Battery: No return.  Captain Gustav Von Blucher took command of this battery during the winter. But as it was reduced, the men were attached to other batteries.
  • 32nd Battery: At Maryland Heights, Maryland with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Charles Kusserow resumed command in May.  By the end of July, the battery was with the Eighth Corps’ Maryland Heights Division.

The last four batteries of this set, 33nd, 34th, 35th, and 36th, do not appear on the Ordnance Department’s accounting.  But these did exist, in some form or another, during the time frame we are discussing:

  • 33rd Battery:  Authorized on July 9, 1863, the battery did not leave the state until September 5.  Captain Algar M. Wheeler was in command.
  • 34th Battery: This number was reserved for Battery L, 2nd New York Artillery.
  • 35th Battery: Also authorized on July 9.  Captain James B. Caryle was in command. But the 35th was never completely formed.  What men were recruited were allocated to Battery A, 16th New York Heavy Artillery.
  • 36th Battery:  Authorized on August 11, 1863, Captain Charles Graham Bacon was named commander. But the battery never completed formation. Instead, men were transferred to the 13th New York Heavy Artillery.

So of twelve batteries we’ve considered, only five posted returns.  And only four of those had field artillery assigned.

Only two of those batteries had smoothbores:

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  • 26th Battery: 148 shot, 12 shell, 48 case, and 12 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 27th Battery: 192 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Two batteries with 3-inch rifles.  So that means some Hotchkiss projectiles were on hand:

0211_2_Snip_NY_IND_Pt3

  • 25th Battery: 148 canister, 80(?) percussion shell, 290 fuse shell, and 326 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 32nd Battery: 120 canister and 497 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

No Dyers, James, Parrott projectiles reported by any battery.  And just one entry for Schenkl:

0212_2_Snip_NY_IND_Pt3

  • 32nd Battery: 583 shells for 3-inch rifles.

Turning last to the small arms:

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By Battery:

  • 25th Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 26th Battery: Twenty Army revolvers.
  • 27th Battery: Seventeen Army revolvers, thirty cavalry sabers, and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • 32nd Battery: Nine Army revolvers, thirty-six cavalry sabers, and fifteen foot artillery swords.

I’d intended to throw in the three lines covering miscellaneous detachments with this last set of independent batteries.  But upon full reflection, I feel those warrant a more detailed look.  Those three, along with a separate battery which escaped notice, are for the next installment.

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Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries, Part 2

For the first dozen of the New York independent batteries, discussed last week, we found all active batteries within the eastern theater.  Many were involved with the Gettysburg Campaign, directly or indirectly.  But looking to the second batch – 13th to the 24th Batteries – we find the service of that batch was much more varied:

0209_1_Snip_NY_IND_Pt2

Of the twelve, only eight had returns for the quarter.  Only one of those was posted to Washington before the end of July.  Three arrived in August.  Another in September.  And the last two were not filed until 1864.  An administrative “stretch” of the data.

 

  • 13th Independent Battery: Reported, on August 7, 1863, at Warrenton Junction, Virginia with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (down from six the previous quarter).  With reorganization after Chancellorsville, moved up to the Artillery Brigade, Eleventh Corps.  Captain  Julius Dieckmann resigned on May 15.  He was replaced by Lieutenant William Wheeler.  As of June 30, the battery was at Emmitsburg, Maryland.  The battery lost one gun on the field at Gettysburg, when the axle split. Despite efforts to drag the tube off the field, lashed to a limber by a prolong, the gun was left on the field.  However, that gun was recovered on July 5 and brought back to service.  The battery expended 850 rounds during the battle, but were “anxious for another opportunity to try their 3-inch guns.”
  • 14th Independent Battery: No return.  Earlier in the spring of 1862, personnel of this battery were distributed to other batteries.  As of June 1863, the first section  was assigned to Battery B, 1st New York; second and third sections to Battery G, 1st New York.  At Gettysburg, Captain James McKay Rorty, of the battery, commanded Battery B, 1st New York Light Artillery. But he was mortally wounded on July 3.  The battery was formally disbanded in September 1863.
  • 15th Battery:  As of the August 15 report, was at Rappahannock Station, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery was assigned to First Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, under Captain Patrick Hart.  In May, the battery had turned in their 3-inch rifles for the Napoleons.  At the end of June, the battery was, with the rest of McGilvery’s Brigade, in Maryland, with an appointment two days later at the Peach Orchard of Gettysburg.
  • 16th Battery: No return. Captain Frederick L. Hiller’s battery transferred to the Seventh Corps in April, and stationed at Newport News, Virginia. In the previous quarter, the battery reported six 10-pdr Parrott Rifles.
  • 17th Battery: At Camp Barry, District of Columbia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain George T. Anthony’s battery was assigned to the Artillery Camp of Instruction.
  • 18th Battery: At Port Hudson, Louisiana with six 20-pdr Parrotts.  The report was not received in Washington until August 1864.  The battery transferred from Second Division to First Division, Nineteenth Corps in May.  Captain Albert G. Mack retained command. The battery participated in the siege of Port Hudson.
  • 19th Battery: No return. The battery, under Captain William H. Stahl, transferred to First Division, Seventh Corps in April.  The battery saw action in the siege of Suffolk.  In the previous quarter, the battery reported six 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 20th Battery: At Fort Schuyler, New York with “infantry stores” only.  Captain  B. Franklin Ryer’s battery served as garrison artillery.  The battery would be involved with the suppression of the New York riots in July.
  • 21st Battery: At Port Hudson, Louisiana with four 3-inch steel guns (make and model unspecified). The report is from February 1864, but accurate.  This battery, under Captain James Barnes, was assigned to Second Division, Nineteenth Corps.
  • 22nd Battery: No return. Earlier in February the battery became Company M, 9th New York Heavy Artillery.  The designation remained on the clerk’s report as a placeholder.
  • 23rd Battery: Washington, North Carolina with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Originally, Battery A of the New York Rocket Battalion. Captain Alfred Ransom was in charge of this battery, assigned to the Eighteenth Corps, Department of North Carolina.
  • 24th Battery: At Plymouth, North Carolina with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Likewise, Battery B of the Rocket Battalion with this new designation taking effect in February.  This battery was also assigned to the Eighteenth Corps.  Captain Jay E. Lee resigned in mid-June.  Lieutenant A. Lester Cady was promoted and assigned command.

 

As I said, varied service – from New York harbor to Port Hudson on the Mississippi.

Turning to the ammunition, we have the smoothbore rounds accounted for:

0211_1_Snip_NY_IND_Pt2

Three batteries reporting:

  • 15th Battery: 128 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 128 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 17th Battery: 288 shot, 69 shell, 388 (?) case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 24th Battery: 393 shot, 230 shell, 464 case, and 368 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

A straightforward, expected tally.

For the rifled projectiles, the Hotchiss columns are also straightforward:

0211_2_Snip_NY_IND_Pt2

Three batteries with 3-inch rifles and one with 20-pdr Parrotts:

  • 13th Battery: 70 canister, 150 fuse shell, and 430 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 18th Battery: 95 fuse shell for 3.67-inch rifles (20-pdr Parrott).
  • 21st Battery: 310 canister and 473 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 23rd Battery: 191 canister, 68 percussion shell, 281 fuse shell, and 552 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

For the following page, we’ll break this down into two sections.  First a lone entry for Dyer’s patent:

0212_1A_Snip_NY_IND_Pt2

  • 23rd Battery: 30 (?) Dyer’s shell for 3-inch rifles.

Moving over to the Parrott and Schenkl projectiles:

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Just one battery with those big 20-pdr Parrotts:

  • 18th Battery: 786 shell, 168 case, and 137 canister, Parrott patent; 439 Schenkl shot, also for 20-pdrs.

More Schenkl on the next page:

0212_2_Snip_NY_IND_Pt2

  • 13th Battery: 80 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 18th Battery: 40 shell for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • 21st Battery: 47 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Lastly, we have the small arms to account for:

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By battery:

  • 13th Battery: Seven Army revolvers, seven Navy revolvers, and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 15th Battery: Seventeen Navy revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • 17th Battery: Twenty Army revolvers and twenty-two horse artillery sabers.
  • 18th Battery: Four Springfield muskets (.58 caliber), three army revolves, and seven horse artillery sabers.
  • 21st Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 23rd Battery: Sixty Army revolvers and seventy-five cavalry sabers.
  • 24th Battery: Fifty-three Army revolvers.

We will find this pattern of varied service repeated in the last portion of independent batteries. We will look at batteries 25 to 32 in the next installment.  Along with three “detachment” lines.

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – Connecticut, California, and Delaware Volunteer Batteries

The majority of artillery batteries employed by Federal forces during the Civil War were volunteer formations from the states.  Indeed, with the initial call for troops, there were more volunteer artillery batteries than needed.  Because the states were responsible for organizing and in some cases equipping these batteries, there were many variations – organization, training, equipage, and others.  Most of the “workable” variations were flushed out by the end of 1862.  As I’ve discussed before, senior artillerists focused on organization and training as early as the summer of 1861.  But the Federals were stuck with some of these variations, for better or worse.

From the administrative perspective, the naming of units is perhaps the most annoying to the researcher.  Some states conformed to the same conventions as the regulars – regiments with lettered batteries.  Others simply went with an ordinal number for each battery (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.).  Some states, New York for instance, used both. There were separate regimental systems for “light” and “heavy” artillery.  And… and… some states just seemed to adopt a “whatever” approach.  Thus the volunteer batteries were often cited by different names in reports.  Add to the confusion the practice of calling the battery by the commander’s name (or mustering officer’s name) in the field.  Makes one glad the alternate designations section appears in each OR volume.

That aside, there were also interesting variations with the equipment used by these volunteer batteries.  We’ll see more hand-written column headers as we proceed.  And those lead to some interesting research trails to say the least.

That preface out of the way, let us look at summary statements, alphabetically by state.  The first being from the states of Connecticut, California, and Delaware… Um… did I say alphabetical?  I guess the ordnance clerks winged it:

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Over to the far right, we see a written column – “Siege Gun 1861, 4.5 in bore, …..”  I don’t know what the last line in that nomenclature is, but know that the weapon cited was one of my favorite – the 4.5-inch rifle.

So let’s break down the list starting with Connecticut.  Note the first two are the “light” batteries for field duty (see above about the different regimental systems here… more confusion for the light readers!).  The third is a battery from the “heavies” assigned for field duty:

  • 1st Battery, Connecticut Field [Light] Artillery – Beaufort, South Carolina with two 12-pdr field howitzers and six 3.80-inch James rifles.  The 1st Battery was assigned to the Department of the South.
  • 2nd Battery, Connecticut Field [Light] Artillery – Occoquan, Virginia with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3.80-inch James rifles.  Officially part of the Military District of Washington, the 2nd Battery was assigned to duty at Wolf Run Shoals.
  • Battery B, 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery – Falmouth, Virginia with four 4.5-inch siege rifles.  This battery was assigned to the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.

And of course that last battery’s duty is well known.  I will venture to guess you’ve seen those guns before:

No mention in the summary of Battery M, 1st Connecticut Heavy, which was also assigned to the reserves at this time.  The two batteries were for all intents combined during their service in the field.

Moving out to California, one line is offered.  But it is not for a battery, but rather for 3rd California Volunteer Infantry having “stores in charge” that included two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  These were at Camp Douglas, Utah.  Keep in mind that the 3rd US Artillery had men assigned out west without artillery.  Yet we have the 3rd California Infantry with artillery without artillerists.  Go figure.

The last in this set that I’ve carved out of the summary is designated 1st Battery Delaware Artillery, Field.  That battery was sometimes known as Nield’s Independent Artillery, for it’s commander Benjamin Nields.  At the reporting date, it was stationed at Camp Barry in the District of Columbia.  They reported two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch steel rifles.  Wait… 3-inch steel rifles?  Perhaps some of those Singer, Nimick, and Company rifles?  Or one of the even more “exotic” weapons of more experimental nature?  I doubt either to be the case.  Looking forward a bit, a June 1864 report from the Official Records, when the battery was assigned to the Department of the Gulf, indicated four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles and two 12-pdr Napoleons:

OR_34_Pt4_S64_P322

Yes, enough time transpired between the two data points that guns may have changed out.  But I would submit it is more likely the wrong column was used in the summary due to a mistake at some point in the data gathering.

We’ve seen a lot of interesting entries from the first page of the summary.  The ammunition pages offer a few more.  However the smoothbore entries are as one might expect:

0037_Snip_Dec62_CA_CT_DE_1

  • 1st Connecticut Light: 12-pdr field howitzer projectiles – 142 shells, 254 case, and 72 canister.
  • 2nd Connecticut Light: 12-pdr field howitzer – 120 shells, 160 case, and 31 canister.
  • 3rd California Infantry: 6-pdr field gun projectiles – 112 shot, 106 case, and 112 canister; 12-pdr mountain howitzer – 144 shell, 120 case, and 144 canister.
  • 1st Delaware: 12-pdr field howitzer – 26 shell, 54 case, and 20 canister.

For the rifled projectiles, we start with Hotchkiss patent:

0037_Snip_Dec62_CA_CT_DE_2

  • 1st Connecticut Light: 6-pdr 3.80-inch projectiles – 120 Hotchkiss percussion shell, 120 Hotchkiss fuse shell, and 518 Hotchkiss bullet shell (case).
  • 2nd Connecticut Light: 6-pdr 3.80-inch – 70 Hotchkiss fuse shell and Hotchkiss 168 bullet shell (case).
  • 1st Delaware:  3-inch projectiles – 77 Hotchkiss canister and 340 Hotchkiss bullet shell (case).

Note the quantities for the 1st Connecticut.

As with yesterday’s discussion with the Parrott projectiles, keep in mind that different inventors modified their projectiles to fit in their competitor’s cannons.  Here we see Hotchkiss projectiles that fit into the James rifles.  More Hotchkiss  patent and the James Patent on the next page:

0038_Snip_Dec62_CA_CT_DE_1

  • 1st Connecticut Light: 6-pdr 3.80-inch – 200 Hotchkiss canister and 235 James canister.
  • 2nd Connecticut Light: 6-pdr 3.80-inch – 50 (or 80?) Hotchkiss canister.

And rounding out the rifled projectiles, those of the Schenkl patent:

0038_Snip_Dec62_CA_CT_DE_2

  • 1st Connecticut Light: 6-pdr 3.80-inch – 1,078 Schenkl shells.
  • 2nd Connecticut Light: 6-pdr 3.80-inch – 316 Schenkl shells.
  • 1st Delaware: 3-inch – 94 Schenkl shells.

Notice the variety of patent-types within the two Connecticut batteries.  Recall that mixing such types caused problems in the field.

And of course the quantities.  All told the 1st Connecticut Light had 2271 projectiles.  Their friends in the 2nd had but 604 (or 634, if I misread the one line).  At some point I will pull the numbers and make observations about the “load-out” for a battery, circa December 1862.  I suspect the 1st Connecticut will break the bell curve.

Last note about the projectiles – there are no entries for 4.5-inch to cover the heavy Connecticut battery.  So we are left not quantifying how well stocked (or not) those guns on the Rappahannock really were.

And finally, the small arms:

0038_Snip_Dec62_CA_CT_DE_3

The handwritten column headers deserve some clarification.  From left to right, I read these as “Carbine”, “Springfield, Cal .58”, and <something> “Cal .58”.  Your guess is as good as mine about the third column.  It will come into play with the next installment, as for now there were no entries there for Connecticut, California, or Delaware.  Also note, further to the right, that the revolver calibers are replaced with “Army” and “Navy” :

  • 1st Connecticut Light: 135 Navy revolvers, 13 cavalry sabers, 46 horse artillery sabers, and 86 foot artillery sabers.
  • 2nd Connecticut Light: 20 Navy revolvers, 122 horse artillery sabers.
  • 1st Delaware: 24 Army revolvers and 142 horse artillery sabers.

No entries for the California infantry, presuming those small arms were carried against a regimental return elsewhere.

Again, roll the numbers around.  Nearly every man in the 2nd Connecticut and 1st Delaware had their own swords, though pistols were in shorter supply.  However, the 1st Connecticut, stationed in South Carolina, must have issued a revolver and sword for every man!