Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Michigan

Michigan provided a full regiment of light artillery to the Federal cause.  As mentioned in previous installments, the clerks identified Michigan’s batteries with numbered designations, as per early war convention.  But the batteries were later designated with letters within the state’s 1st Light Artillery Regiment.  I will merge the two in an attempt to cover all bases here.  (Two more “independent” and numbered batteries would join the list in 1864, but that is for future posts.)

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Seven returns for the twelve batteries.  We’ll fill in some blanks:

  • 1st Battery (Battery A): No return.  Also known as the Loomis Battery, for its first commander.  Lieutenant George W. Van Pelt led this battery, supporting First division Fourteenth Corps, into action on September 19, at Chickamauga.   They worked their six (though reports earlier in the year indicated five) 10-pdr Parrotts through four changes of position before firing their first shot in the battle, near (not on) Winfrey Field.  The battery got off only 64 rounds before the Confederates were upon them.  “The men remained with the battery until the enemy’s bayonets were at their breasts,” wrote Captain George Kensel, Division Artillery Chief.  Van Pelt and five of his men were killed.  Six were seriously wounded and thirteen more captured.  Along with much of the battery equipment, five guns were captured.  Lieutenant August H. Bachman managed to extract one of the guns.  Three guns were recaptured later in the battle, but in poor shape.  (Of note… one Parrott was recaptured on Missionary Ridge and the last around Atlanta… and allegedly returned to the battery.)  Lieutenant Almerick W. Wilbur assumed command of the battery in Chattanooga.  With the exception of a few demonstrations, the battery would remain at Chattanooga for the rest of the war.
  • 2nd Battery (Battery B): Reporting from Corinth, Tennessee with two 12-pdr howitzers, two 3-inch Ordnance rifles (moved over from the “steel” column), and two 10-pdr Parrotts. Lieutenant Albert F. R. Arndt, still in command, was promoted to Captain in early September.  The battery remained at Corinth until October, when it moved to Pulaski, Tennessee, as part of the Sixteenth Corps.
  • 3rd Battery (Battery C): Still at Memphis, Tennessee, but now with four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain George Robinson remained in command of this battery, assigned to the District of Memphis (Fifth Division), Sixteenth Corps.
  • 4th Battery (Battery D): No return.  In the previous quarter,  Captain Josiah W. Church reported two 12-pdr field howitzers, two 10-pdr Parrotts, and two James 3.80-inch rifles.  And that’s what this battery, supporting Third Division, Fourteenth Corps, took into action at Chickamauga.  We might say this battery was “fought out” by two hard days fighting.  They left the field spent and with only one howitzer.  They lost 35 horses in the battle, but only seven men wounded and four missing.  Church provided a very detailed accounting of all material lost on the field.  So many items listed that I dare say a blank summary line would be close to accurate.  And, from the statements of several, that equipment was not given up without a fight! The battery reorganized in Chattanooga and would receive 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • 5th Battery (Battery E): At Nashville, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns and four 10-pdr Parrotts. This battery, part of the Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland, spent most of the summer in Murfreesboro.  In mid-September, Captain John J. Ely’s battery returned to Nashville.
  • 6th Battery (Battery F): At Glasgow, Kentucky with two 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  By some reports, the battery had sections at Munfordsville, Bowling Green, and Louisville, through October 1863.  Captain Luther F. Hale commanded overall, and at Munfordsville.  One section of the battery, under Hale, was at Munfordsville.  Another section, under Lieutenant Byron D. Paddock, garrisoned Bowling Green.  In October, both sections merged at Glasgow, Kentucky, part of the District of Central Kentucky, Department of the Ohio.  At that time Hale was promoted to major, and Paddock, with a captain’s commission, took the battery.
  • 7th Battery (Battery G):  At Carrolton, Louisiana with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  The battery was assigned to the Ninth Division, Thirteenth Corps, commanded by Captain Charles H. Lanphere, through August of 1863.  Subsequently assigned to the New Orleans garrison, Department of the Gulf.  Upon Lanphere’s resignation at the first of September, Lieutenant George L. Stillman took over the battery.
  • 8th Battery (Battery H): No return.  In the previous quarter, the battery reported two 12-pdr field howitzers, one 6-pdr (3.67-inch) rifles, and two James (3.80-inch) rifles.  With Captain Samuel De Golyer mortally wounded during the Vicksburg Siege, and Captain Theodore W. Lockwood moving to a cavalry unit. Lieutenant Marcus D. Elliot commanded this battery.  The battery was assigned to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps and spent the summer at Vicksburg (with most of the battery on furlough).
  • 9th Battery (Battery I): Reporting at Culpeper, Virginia with four 3-inch rifles.  Captain Jabez J. Daniels commanded this battery, assigned to the 1st Horse Artillery Brigade, Army of the Potomac.  The battery was reassigned to the Eleventh Corps in October, and move with that formation to Chattanooga.
  • 10th Battery (Battery K): At Chattanooga, Tennessee, with four 3-inch rifles.  However, this reflects the September 1864 posting date.  In September 1863, the battery was at Camp Barry, Washington, D.C..  Captain John C. Schuetz commanded.  The battery was sent west as part of the reinforcements sent to Chattanooga in November, as part of the Eleventh Corps.
  • 11th Battery (Battery L):  No return.  Under Captain Charles J. Thompson.  After seeing their first service in the response to Morgan’s Raid, the battery joined Third Division, Twenty-Third Corps, Department of the Ohio.  The battery saw service in the advance to Knoxville during the fall.
  • 12th Battery (Battery M):  No return. Captain Edward G. Hillier commanded.  The battery did not leave the state until July 9, being dispatched to Indianapolis in reaction to Morgan’s Raid.  From there, the battery moved to Camp Nelson, Kentucky, in mid-September.  From there, the battery joined Wilcox’s Division, Twenty-Third Corps advancing on the Cumberland Gap.

In the previous quarter, we saw three additional lines under Michigan’s batteries.  One of those was likely a section from the 6th Battery/Battery F.  Another was just reporting stores being held by the 18th Michigan Infantry, which were likely turned in by the end of the summer.  However, it is worth speculating that the 12th Michigan Infantry still retained a 12-pdr field howitzer while marching on Little Rock, Arkansas in the fall.

The first page detailed and some blanks filled in, we proceed to the ammunition pages, with smoothbores the first:

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Three batteries reporting:

 

  • 2nd Battery / Battery B: 152 shell, 128(?) case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 5th Battery / Battery E: 198 shot, 115 case, and 134 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 6th Battery / Battery F: 157 shot, 185 case, and 89 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

 

Moving to the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

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Four batteries reporting:

  • 2nd Battery / Battery B: 83 canister, 72 percussion shell, 72 fuse shell, and 240 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery / Battery G: 123 canister, 159 fuse shell, and 509 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 9th Battery / Battery I: 360 shot, 60 canister, 60 percussion shell, and 120 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery / Battery K: 402 shot, 96 canister, 165 percussion shell, and 179 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

On the next page, we can focus on the Parrott columns:

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Four batteries with quantities:

  • 2th Battery / Battery B: 51 shot, 183 shell, and 77 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 3rd Battery / Battery C: 57 shot, 40 shell, 601 case, and 95 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 5th Battery / Battery E: 129 shot, 383 shell, 40 case, and 170 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 6th Battery / Battery F: 177 shell, 141 case, and 62 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

And one battery with Schenkls:

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  • 5th Battery / Battery E: 60 shell and 100 case for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Lastly, the small arms:

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By battery:

  • 2nd Battery / Battery B: Twenty Army revolvers and forty-three cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery / Battery C: Eighteen cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery / Battery E: Twenty-five cavalry sabers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery / Battery F: Twenty-five Army revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery / Battery G: Nine Army revolvers and one cavalry saber.
  • 9th Battery / Battery I: Eleven Army revolvers and seventeen horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery / Battery H: Fifteen Army revolvers and sixty-nine horse artillery sabers.

Worth noting, Captain Church reported, within a lengthy list of accouterments and implements missing after Chickamauga, the 4th Battery lost four revolvers and five sabers.

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Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Kentucky’s batteries

Battery returns from Kentucky must have posed problems for the clerks at the Ordnance Department.  Not only was there conflicts with the designations – what with a numbered and lettered designation system being used to reference the same batteries – but even getting established how many different batteries existed seemed to be an issue.  At the end of 1862, two entry lines left little but confusion.  For the first quarter of 1863, the clerks listed two of the three batteries then on active service.   And the second quarter of 1863 gave the same two batteries, out of what was then four batteries, with some designation cross-ups (along with two sections reported with infantry regiments).  But things look better for the third quarter of 1863:

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Four batteries, out of what was then five batteries, plus a “section” from an infantry regiment.  That “section” actually had more guns than many real batteries!  So let us dive into the administrative details:

  • 1st Battery (or Battery A):  At Murfreesboro with two 6-pdr field guns, two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain Theodore S. Thomasson remained in command.  And the battery remained at Murfreesboro as unassigned artillery in the Army of the Cumberland.
  • 2nd Battery (or Battery B): No return.  Captain John M. Hewett’s battery detached from Second Division, Fourteenth Corps to support the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics at Elk River Bridge, Tennessee. An army return from late September 1863 indicated four artillery pieces were at the bridge, presumably all Hewett’s.  A wartime photo shows this bridge rivaled the famous “cornstalks and beanpoles” Potomac Creek Bridge of Virginia.

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  • 3rd Battery (or Battery C):  Not listed.  While organizing, earlier in the spring, the battery was captured (and paroled) when Confederates raided Lebanon, Kentucky, thus setting things back a bit.  Formally, the battery did not muster until September 1863.  The battery remained at Louisville, Kentucky through the fall.  Captain John W. Neville in command, the battery was assigned to First Division, Twenty-Third Corps.
  • Battery D: This battery never completed organization. I include here just to avoid the question, “what about Battery D?”
  • Battery E: At Camp Nelson, Kentucky, with no artillery.  Captain John J. Hawes commanded this brand new battery, formally mustered on October 6, 1863.
  • Simmonds’ Independent Battery, also 1st Kentucky Independent Battery: No location given, but with six 10-pdr Parrotts. This was Captain Seth J. Simmonds’ battery and was stationed at Gauley Bridge, West Virginia through the late summer.  The battery was assigned to Scammon’s Division, Department of West Virginia.  In late September the battery moved to Camp Toland, Charleston, West Virginia.  The battery remained active, supporting various scouting operations and expeditions in the department.
  • Company G(?), 14th Kentucky Infantry: At Louisa, Kentucky, with four 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles… yes, quite a battery in that infantry regiment!  Colonel George W. Gallup’s regiment was posted to Louisa as part of the Twenty-Third Corps.  Remaining behind during the Knoxville Campaign, the regiment formed into the District of Eastern Kentucky.  Though I don’t have any other details as to this “section” of artillery within the regiment.

Though we still have a mix, and mess, of designations, the clerks had made progress documenting the Kentucky batteries.

Turning to the ammunition on hand, we start as usual with the smoothbore:

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Two lines to consider:

  • 1st Battery: 320 shot, 180 case, and 111 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 14th Infantry: 532 shot, 358 case, and 295 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 56 case and 11 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.

One battery with 3-inch rifles, so one line on the Hotchkiss page:

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  • 1st Battery: 75 canister, 80 percussion shell, 80 fuse shell, and 160 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

We’ll break up the next page for clarity, starting with one additional entry for Hotchkiss:

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  • 1st Battery: 40 canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.

And speaking of James, we have entries for James patent projectiles:

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  • 1st Battery: 12 shot and 66 shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • 14th Infantry: 26 shot, 49 shell, and 36 canister for James Rifles.

Out in West Virginia, there were six Parrotts manned by Kentuckians, so we find Parrott patent projectiles:

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  • Simmonds’ Battery: 1504 shell and 265 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Simmonds’ Battery reported a large quantity of shells on hand in previous quarters.  So this is no quarterly aberration.

Turning to the Schenkl projectiles:

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Two batteries reporting:

  • 1st Battery: 250 Schenkl shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Simmonds’ Battery: 69 Schenkl shell for 10-pdr Parrott.

And off to the right, we see an entry for Tatham’s canister:

  • 1st Battery: 110 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Closing up Kentucky’s batteries, we have the small arms reported:

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Just two reporting:

  • 1st Battery: Fourteen Navy revolvers, ten cavalry sabers, and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Simmonds’ Battery: Twenty-four Army revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.

Next up, we turn to the Kansas batteries… you see, while the clerks were struggling with their accounting of Kentucky’s cannon, they were hard pressed to keep things alphabetical!

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

No surprise to Civil War students that Tennessee contributed troops to the Union cause.  While the infantry and cavalry receive their due, the artillery batteries are seldom mentioned.  And if we work from the summary statements for second quarter of 1863, that contribution was worthy only of a blank line:

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1st Battery Tennessee Artillery…. but there were actually two such 1st Batteries in existence as of June 1863.  Which one are we looking at here?  My short answer is “either, or!”  First let’s break down the two batteries that should be listed here.  The 1st Tennessee Light Artillery would eventually include eight batteries – A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and K.  The regiment (or battalion as it is sometimes identified by) was not formally created until November 1863.  Prior to that time, Batteries A and B existed as separate “1st Batteries” with separate identifications by the region in which they were assigned.

So our two batteries to consider:

  • 1st Middle Tennessee Battery:  Would be come Battery A, 1st Tennessee. Battery formed in the fall of 1862 under command of Captain Ephraim P. Abbott.  In June 1863 the battery was at Clarksville, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James rifles.  By the end of July, the battery was on campaign with the Third Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • 1st East Tennessee Battery: Started forming in the spring of 1863, being recruited from refugees from east Tennessee.  Mustered into service on April 16.  Stationed at Camp Nelson, Kentucky while being formed and trained.  No guns assigned… in fact very little equipment of any sort assigned.  Commanded by Captain Robert Clay Crawford.  Later became Battery B, 1st Tennessee.  And Crawford would become colonel of the regiment in the fall.

The clerks offered us no clues as to which of these batteries is represented by the line in the summary.  Quite possible they just threw a placeholder on the form, leaving it at that.  No other equipment appears on any of the columns that follow.  (I’ve uploaded all to Flickr, so you can gaze at empty columns…) Since we have little to discuss in regard to equipment, allow me to expand upon the early history of these batteries… with emphasis on the battery commanders.

Abbott was not a Tennessean by birth or by any other measure.  He was from Zanesville, Ohio.  I believe he is the same Ephraim P. Abbott with an appointment to West Point in 1851.  But he did not graduate from the academy.  The 1860 census listed him as a 27 year old living with his father (and, if I read the line correctly, working as a surveyor).  Abbott volunteered for the 3rd Ohio Infantry (three-year) in June 1861, and was commissioned as captain of Company E.  Then on August 24, 1862, Abbott transferred to the newly authorized 1st Middle Tennessee Battery.  Military Governor Andrew Johnson gave Abbott authority to recruit in the Nashville and middle Tennessee area.  and Abbott formally took command in September.

The biggest issue facing the 1st Middle Tennessee Battery, according to Abbott’s reports, was pay.  The State Comptroller, Joseph Fowler, insisted on paying the men in Tennessee script, from the Bank of Tennessee in Nashville.  This was valued at 20% less than US currency.  So when paid $10, the Tennessee artillerists could only get $8 of whiskey from the sutlers.  Not good…. and thus the battery protested and refused pay for several months until the matter could be resolved. Even statements from Fowler to honor an “indebtedness” of the state to the soldiers were not good enough.  The matter was finally resolved in the soldiers favor, though just as the soldiers were assigned to a field command and ordered south.  Willie and Joe of a later war would certainly sympathize.

Just a side note on Abbott – we will hear more of him in later summaries, but he was not destined to remain in command through the war.  In December 1864 he was dismissed due to an unauthorized leave of absence.  Writing to confirm that action, Brigadier-General John M. Brannan assessed, “I do not believe the battery will ever be worth anything under his command.”  So we might conclude Abbott was not a stellar artillerist.

Turing to the 1st East Tennessee Artillery, authorization to recruit the battery came in March 1863:

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Captain Robert Clay Crawford is an interesting character… and that is an understatement.  He was from Rogersville, Tennessee.  Crawford had an appointment (secured by Andrew Johnson, who was then a US Representative) to West Point before the war, being admitted in 1850.  Like Abbott, Crawford did not graduate.  At some point in the 1850s he was convicted of a crime and spent time in prison.  Forging his pardon, he escaped back to Tennessee.  In February 1863, Crawford secured a commission as captain of Company B, 5th (East) Tennessee Infantry.  There is some indication his connection to Johnson played a role in obtaining that position.   And, as indicated above, shortly after he was charged with recruiting a light battery, by order of Johnson.

Crawford was apparently an efficient recruiter.  The battery was officially mustered on April 16.  By May the battery reported 121 men… but no equipment.  The troops had to purchase their own clothing and accouterments, pending government issue.  And they had no guns for drill.  They relocated to Camp Nelson in late May.  Then moved to Somerset, Kentucky in July.  Later in September, the battery received guns, to be drawn by mules.  All of which dampened spirits.

By November, authorities decided Tennessee needed a full regiment of light artillery.  And Crawford was deemed the right person to lead the regiment (again, likely due to his connections with Johnson).  We’ll see Crawford again in the summaries, of course.  But I’ll throw out a teaser here.  Crawford was brought up on charges, in November 1864, of counterfeiting notes from the Bank of Tennessee along about twenty other counts of theft and corruption.  You can’t make this stuff up!

Though outside the scope of “light” artillery, I should mention two of Tennessee’s heavy artillery regiments which had just organized in June 1863.

The 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery (African Descent) formed in April 1863 to garrison Fort Pickering, Memphis, Tennessee.  Colonel Ignatz G. Kappner commanded the regiment.  But while the formation remained more battalion strength, Major Emil Smith was in command while Knapper commanded the fort’s overall garrison.  In March 1864, the regiment was re-designated the 2nd US Heavy Artillery (Colored).

The 2nd Tennessee Heavy Artillery (African Descent) was recruited from contrabands in and around Columbus, Kentucky.  Colonel Charles H. Adams (of Illinois) commanded.  The regiment had just formed in June 1863 and does not appear on returns until October.  In April 1864 the regiment became the 3rd US Heavy Artillery (Colored).

As you can see, Tennessee was providing many artillerists to the Federal cause in the summer of 1863.