Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – First Illinois Artillery Regiment

When we looked at the returns for the 1st Illinois Artillery for first quarter, 1863, we found many of the batteries along the Mississippi River or in central Tennessee preparing for spring campaigns.  Reviewing the administrative details for the second quarter of the year, we find some of those batteries had indeed played important roles in the campaigns…. while others had their turn in the weeks to follow.  Here’s the regiment’s rows for the reporting period ending June 30, 1863:

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Recorded entries for all but two of the batteries, meaning we have a fairly complete set to work with.  However, six of these returns were not received until 1864:

  • Battery A: Larkinsville, Alabama, with five 12-pdr Napoleons and one 10-pdr Parrott.  That is where the battery wintered in 1864, when the report was received at the Department.  In June 1863 the battery was with Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, under Captain Peter P. Wood, outside Vicksburg, Mississippi. Of note, the battery had completely re-equipped from the earlier quarter.
  • Battery B: At Vicksburg, Mississippi with five 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer.  Like Battery A, this battery was also assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps.  Captain Samuel E. Barrett commanded.
  • Battery C:  Reporting at Bridgeport, Alabama with three 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The location reflected the 1864 reporting location.  In June of 1863 the battery was involved with the Tullahoma Campaign in middle Tennessee. Lieutenant Edward M. Wright’s battery remained with Third Division, Twentieth Corps.
  • Battery D: No report. The battery was assigned to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps, and was at Vicksburg that June.  This was Edward McAllister’s old battery, retaining four 24-pdr field howitzers. Captain Henry A. Rogers was killed in action on May 29.  Lieutenant George J. Wood temporarily commanded the battery, but resigned a few weeks later.  To fill the void, Captain Frederick Sparrestrom of Battery G, 2nd Illinois Artillery was placed in temporary command (There’s an interesting story line here to follow when we pick up the 2nd Illinois Artillery).  When Sparrestrom returned to his battery, Lieutenant George P. Cunningham, who had rose through the ranks.
  • Battery E: At “Bear Creek,” behind the Vicksburg siege lines, with five 12-pdr Napoleons and one 3.80-inch James Rifle.  This was an addition of four Napoleons, at the expense of three James, from the previous quarter.   Captain Allen C. Waterhouse remained in command, and the battery remained under Third Division, Fifteenth Corps.
  • Battery F: No report. Captain John T. Cheney commanded this battery assigned to First Division, Sixteenth Corps.  The battery began the spring at Memphis.  In mid-June, the division was sent to Vicksburg.  The battery was part of the force sent towards Jackson, Mississippi late in June.
  • Battery G:   Serving as siege artillery at Corinth, Mississippi.  Captain Raphael G. Rombauer assumed command of the battery earlier in the spring.
  • Battery H: At Vicksburg with four 20-pdr Parrotts.  This famous battery was assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps.  Captain Levi W. Hart resumed command during the spring (though Lieutenant Francis DeGress would replace him permanently later in the year).
  • Battery I: Camp Sherman, Mississippi with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Camp Sherman was near Bear Creek, and also in the rear of the siege lines at Vicksburg. The battery was assigned to First Division, Sixteenth Corps.  When Captain Edward Bouton accepted a colonelcy in a USCT regiment, Lieutenant William N. Lansing assumed command.
  • Battery K: Memphis, Tennessee with with ten Union Repeating Guns.  But as noted earlier, that column was likely being utilized by the clerks to track Woodruff guns. Captain Jason B. Smith resumed command (which had temporarily, at least on the order of battle, been that of Lieutenant Issac W. Curtis).  The battery was assigned to the Cavalry Division, Sixteenth Corps at that time.  As many will recall, the battery accompanied Colonel Benjamin Grierson’s raid in April-May.  As with the rest of Grierson’s command, the battery would operate under the Nineteenth Corps after the raid.
  • Battery L: New Creek, (West) Virginia, with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain John Rourke commanded this battery, assigned to First Division, Eighth Corps.  They guarded an important point on the B&O Railroad and Upper Potomac.
  • Battery M:  Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee (reflecting location when the return was received in February 1864) with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (a reversal of numbers reported the previous quarter). Lieutenant George W. Spencer commanded this battery, assigned to the Second Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  This puts the battery on the march, on along Manchester Pike, at the end of June.

A lengthy administrative section.  But all due for a set of batteries heavily engaged at that time of the war.   And as we move next to discuss the ammunition on hand, there remains a need for lengthy discussions!  Lots of entries. Some that need explanation.

We start with the smoothbore ammunition reported on hand:

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Lots of round ammunition on hand:

  • Battery A: 220 shot, 84 shell, 262 case, and 123 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 120 canister for 6-pdr field guns; and 134 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery B: 348 shot, 180 case, and 121 canister for 6-pdr field guns;    20 shell, 30 case, and 20 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery C: 42 case for 6-pdr field guns; 203 shell, 258 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery E: 113 shot, 123 shell, 260 case, and 160 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery L: 70 shot, 504 case, and 823 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 519 shot, 189 shell, 639 case, and 134 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; and 48 case and 231 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery M: 82 shot, 224 shell, 268 case, and 59 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Battery A had upgraded from a mix of 6-pdr guns and 12-pdr howitzers earlier in the spring.  They apparently still had ammunition for those weapons on hand awaiting disposition.  One would expect sometime during the siege of Vicksburg those were cross-leveled to needy batteries, and Battery A didn’t carry all those useless rounds all the way to Alabama!

On the other hand, hard to account for why Battery C would have 6-pdr case shot on hand at this time of the war.

Battery L reported a large quantity of 6-pdr smoothbore ammunition on hand in the previous quarter.  As I speculated before, we have primary sources that indicate 6-pdr smoothbore ammunition was at times used from James rifles.  But the 12-pdr howitzer canister?  Well it would fit in the Napoleons, though would have a reduced charge.  Still, I’d like to see something documenting these substitutions, if indeed used for this specific battery.

Moving past the questions about the smoothbore ammunition, we proceed to the Hotchkiss projectiles:

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We normally see the Hotchkiss closely associated with 3-inch rifles.  That is true here, but with the added twist of the James 3.80-inch rifles:

  • Battery C: 197 canister, 270 percussion shell, 214 fuse shell, and 358 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E:  17 percussion shell and 93 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Battery L: 504 canister, 115 percussion shell, and 1,005 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles; 186 shot, 144 fuse shell, and 232 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • Battery M: 83 canister, 32 fuse shell, and 273 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Again we see Battery L with ammunition on hand that does not match the guns assigned.  In this case, 3-inch rifle projectiles would be useless for James rifles. But recall, the battery also reported a quantity of 3-inch projectiles … a smaller quantity… the previous quarter.  So I don’t think this is a transcription error.  Perhaps Battery L was tasked with maintaining a divisional-level supply, out there in West Virginia.

The next page of rifled projectiles uses every section in the header. So I’m going to break this down for ease:

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Rarely we see Dyer’s reported. But here is one entry:

  • Battery L: 580(?) 3-inch shrapnel.

So more of these projectiles that don’t match to the battery’s guns.

Moving to the James columns, we would expect to see a lot of entries:

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And we are not disappointed:

  • Battery E: 60 case shot and 50 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Battery I: 64 shot, 320 shell, and 256 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Battery L: 387 shot, 106 shell, and 19 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifles.

Then moving right, we have the Parrott columns:

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Two batteries reporting Parrott rifles. And two reporting that inventor’s projectiles:

  • Battery A: 145 shell, 47 case, and 65 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery H:  30 canister for 20-pdr Parrotts.

Well, we hope Battery H had more than a handful of canister rounds per gun.

Let us also break down the next page by section, starting with Schenkl:

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One line, but noteworthy:

  • Battery L: 356 shell for 3-inch rifles; 382 shell for 3.80-inch James.

Again, Battery L reporting a rather substantial number of 3-inch projectiles.

We often associate Tatham canister with James rifles:

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Two batteries reporting:

  • Battery H: 40 canister for 3.67-inch rifle.
  • Battery L: 268 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifle.

Yes, 20-pdr Parrotts were 3.67-inch bore.  So are we to believe that Battery H, there at Vicksburg, only had seventy rounds of canister… and nothing else?

Moving to the small arms columns, the 1st Illinois remains defiant to this transcriber:

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Like a canister blast, there’s a lot of scatter here:

  • Battery A: Three Army revolvers, forty-three Navy revolvers, and four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Seventeen Navy revolvers and five cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: Ten Army revolvers, nine Navy revolvers, and thirteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: Ten cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: Eleven Navy revolvers and three cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: Twenty breechloading carbines and ninety-seven cavalry sabers.
  • Battery L:  Seventeen muzzle-loading carbines, twenty-eight Army revolvers and 148 cavalry sabers.

Noteworthy for their absence is Battery H.  But I guess if you are pushing around a 20-pdr Parrott, small arms are an encumbrance.  Notice also the entries,  generic though it be, for breechloading and muzzle-loading carbines.  As discussed at length in earlier posts, many times the small arms allocations for the batteries reflected additional duties, such as providing security and details for patrols, at remote posts.

Lengthy… but interesting… that’s the summary for the 1st Illinois Artillery, giving a “sort of” picture for June 1863.

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 1st Illinois Artillery Regiment

During the war, Illinois provided two regiments of artillery and a regiment’s worth of independent batteries.  Many of those batteries achieved fame on the battlefield, and are well known to those familiar with the Western Theater.  Looking at their equipment, we will discover a wide array of issued weapons among these regiments.  We see that with the summary statement of the 1st Illinois Light Artillery Regiment:

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We see that even into December 1862 the Illinois batteries reflected the “rush to war” in the nature of the cannons reported.  Also worth noting is the number of batteries which were not only “in the field” but also actually engaged in combat as of December 31, 1862:

  • Battery A: At Vicksburg Mississippi with four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers.  Battery A was assigned to the Thirteenth Corps, Army of the Tennessee at reporting time.  They were part of the action at Chickasaw Bayou outside Vicksburg at the end of the year.
  • Battery B: Also at Vicksburg, but with five 6-pdrs and only one 12-pdr field howitzer.  Battery B was also at Chickasaw Bluffs.
  • Battery C: At Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  They were assigned to Third Division (Sheridan), Right Wing, Fourteenth Corps, Army of the Cumberland.    In action on December 31, they fired 1,154 rounds, lost 95 horses, and all their guns.  Thus the slim return for this summary.  I don’t know exactly what Battery C had going into battle, but know they had at least some rifled guns.
  • Battery D: No return received.  The battery was part of the Right Wing, Thirteenth Corps, Army of the Tennessee, operating out of Jackson, Tennessee at the time.
  • Battery E: At Vicksburg with six James 3.80-inch rifles.  I don’t find this battery on the order of battle for Chickasaw Bayou, but it was part of the District of Memphis, from which Sherman drew his forces for the campaign.
  • Battery F: Camp Sherman, Mississippi with four James 3.80-inch rifles.  The battery was in the Right Wing (McPherson), Thirteenth Corps at the reporting time.
  • Battery G: Had four 24-pdr field howitzers.  Battery G was part of the District of Corinth, Thirteenth (later Seventeenth) Corps.
  • Battery H: At Vicksburg with two 6-pdr field guns and two 20-pdr Parrott rifles.  Also at Chickasaw Bayou.
  • Battery I: No return received.  Battery I was also part of McPherson’s Right Wing, Thirteenth Corps.  They were guarding the railroads outside Memphis at the time.
  • Battery K: Paducah, Kentucky with ten Union Repeating Guns (or the Agar “coffee mill” gun).  This is intriguing, as we most identify the use of this weapon in the Eastern Theater.  (UPDATE: Battery K likely did not have these guns, but some other “light” weapon.  More on this in a follow up post.)
  • Battery L: At New Creek, Virginia, with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four James 3.80-inch rifles.  Battery L was part of the Eighth Corps, and posted in soon-to-be West Virginia.
  • Battery M: Munfordsville, Kentucky, reporting three 10-pdr Parrott rifles.

As you can see, there are a lot of threads to follow among those twelve batteries. Again, were this post not focused on the summary, I’d love to break down individual battery histories.

But that is not the line of march today.  So onward to the smoothbore projectiles reported.  We’ll look at this in two sections.  First the 6-pdrs and 12-pdrs:

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These were reported in three batteries:

  • Battery A:  6-pdr field gun – 148 shot,  512 case, and 117 canister. 12-pdr field howitzer – 120 shell, 107 case, and 36 canister.
  • Battery B: 6-pdr field gun – 350 shot, 270 case, and 131 canister.   12-pdr field howitzer – 30 shell, 160 (?) case, and 19 canister.
  • Battery L: 6-pdr field gun – 70 shot.  12-pdr Napoleon – 136 shot, 122 shell, 180 case, and 88 canister.

Note the entry for Battery L with seventy 6-pdr solid shot.  It was often reported that batteries would use 6-pdr ammunition in James rifles.  The projectile fit, of course. Here we see documentation of that practice in the field.

A lesser note here – Battery H, with two 6-pdrs, reported no rounds for those pieces on hand.

Also in the smoothbore category, we have Battery G with those big 24-pdr field howitzers:

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So for four howitzers only 36 shells, 30 case, and 24 canister on hand.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, first on the sheet are those of Hotchkiss Patent:

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Follow this close:

  • Battery F: Wiard 3.67-inch – 107 shot on hand.
  • Battery L: James 3.80-inch – 210 shot and 28 “bullet shell” or case. 3-inch – 40 percussion shells and 160 fuse shells.

For two lines, we have a lot to talk about.  Remember these are Hotchkiss-type projectiles made to work with particular types of rifled artillery – in the case of these two batteries those are James rifles.  But, what about Wiard?  My first response is “if it fits, we fire it!”  The difference between the Wiard 12-pdr’s 3.76-inch bore and the James 3.80-inch bore allows that.  But let us relegate that for the moment to supposition and speculation.  This could also be due to a mistake in the supply system… or a mistake in reporting.  That explanation could also carry over to the entries for Battery L, which would have little to no use for 3-inch projectiles.

Moving to the next page, none of the 1st Illinois batteries reported Dyer’s Patent projectiles.  But they did, of course, have those of James’ Patent:

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Three batteries reporting quantities of “6-pdr James” of 3.80-inch bore:

  • Battery E – 480 shell and 160 canister.
  • Battery F – 100 shot, 378 shell, and 100 canister.
  • Battery L – 320 shot, 36 shell, and 19 canister.

So as one might expect in terms of issue, but interesting that Battery L had small quantities of shell and canister on hand.  Instead that battery had a lot of solid shot (also count the 70 6-pdr smoothbore and 107 Wiard solid shot mentioned above).  We’ll see more tallies for Battery L below.

Batteries H and M had Parrott rifles on hand, and they reported projectiles for those guns:

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  • Battery H:  20-pdr (3.67-inch) Parrott – 120 shell, 48 case, and 57 canister.
  • Battery M: 10-pdr (2.9-inch) Parrott – 285 shell and 105 canister.

The next set of columns listed Schenkl projectiles:

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Here we find Battery L had 132 Schenkl shells for their James rifles.  Still only a fraction of the shells on hand for the two western batteries.

On the far right of that snip, we can add 172 Tatham’s pattern canister, in 3.80-inch caliber, for Battery L’s James rifles.  However, Battery F reported 183 Tatham’s pattern canister in 3.67-inch for their James rifles.  One wonders how the logisticians kept track of projectiles which differed by just over a tenth of an inch.

Finally, the small arms:

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Entries in almost every column:

  • Battery A: 14 Army revolvers, 60(?) Navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers and a horse artillery saber.
  • Battery B: 50 Navy revolvers and 11 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: 8 Navy revolvers and 8 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: 10 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery F: 25 Army revolvers and six cavalry sabers.
  • Battery G: 45 of what ever the .58-caliber long arm reported in the third column (See update below).  45 cavalry sabers and 16 foot artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: 17 Navy revolvers and 9 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: 12 Springfield .58-caliber rifles and 114 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: 17 carbines and 148 cavalry sabers.

UPDATE: Phil Spaugy suggested the third column’s written header could be “Whitney, cal .58.”  Those being modified Model 1841 rifles.  This matches information from Arming the Suckers by Ken Baumann, for Battery G.

Sorry for the length of this post.  But that’s what it takes to detail some of the anomalies in the 1st Illinois Light Artillery, as of December 1862.