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.)

0265_1_Snip_MI

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: December 31, 1862 – Massachusetts batteries

For the last five sections of the summary statements, we’ve had a western-focus as the order of listing included western states.  So a break from that with the next state – Massachusetts.  However, that is not to say all these batteries introduced today were serving in the east…

Massachusetts’s naming convention was to number each light battery, instead of providing a regimental system (and keep in mind this stands separate from the Heavy Artillery which had a regimental system AND numbered separate companies) . However, in some correspondence those batteries were referred to by letter designations, as if there was a regimental system for the light batteries.  In other words, sometimes 1st Battery was “Battery A”; 2nd Battery was “Battery B”; etc.  For sake of convention here, I’ll use the numbered designations, just as the summaries offered.

During the war, the Bay Staters provided 18 battery-sized light artillery formations.  Subtract from the total one battery from Boston mustered early in the war (and mustered out by August 1861) and the reorganized 11th Battery.  That leaves us with the highest number of the 16th Battery.  Of those, the first eleven were in Federal service as of December 1862.  Two more, the 12th and 13th, were still organizing, and thus left off the summary.  That said, we have 1st Battery through 11th Battery to look at for the December 1862 summary:

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Of those eleven batteries, nine provided returns:

  • 1st Battery: White Oak Church, Virginia.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery was part of Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac, opposite Fredericksburg.
  • 2nd Battery: Carrolton, Louisiana. No weapons listed.  This battery was among those units involved with the Lower Mississippi (New Orleans and Baton Rouge) campaign and thus part of the Department of the Gulf.  As of January 1863, the battery reported six 6-pdr field guns.
  • 3rd Battery: Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Assigned to the Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac.  Captain Augustus Martin’s battery is credited with Napoleons at Antietam.  And they had Napoleons at Gettysburg.  There’s a longer story than I have room for here.
  • 4th Battery: No return.  This battery was also in the Department of the Gulf, with two sections posted to Fort Pike in December 1862. One section was at Carrolton, Louisiana with two 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 5th Battery: No location listed, but with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  At the time in question, the battery was part of Fifth Corps.
  • 6th Battery: No return.  The battery was also part of the Department of the Gulf, under Captain William W. Carruth, with four 6-pdr Sawyer guns and two 12-pdr howitzers.  A shame we don’t have more details in the summary.
  • 7th Battery: Suffolk, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Assigned to the Seventh Army Corps.
  • 8th Battery: Mustered out, but reporting two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 6-pdr (3.67-inch) rifles.  The battery had been part of the Ninth Corps before their six-month enlistment expired.
  • 9th Battery: Fort Ramsay, Virginia.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery was part of the defenses of Washington.  Fort Ramsay was a forward section of the defenses, on Upton’s Hill.  However, photos of the fort show siege weapons in place, not Napoleons.  Further confusing things, the 9th Company (Unassigned) Massachusetts Heavy Artillery was also posted to Fort Ramsay at some point in the war.  That aside for the moment, the 9th Battery Light Artillery was part of Abercrombie’s Division in December 1862.
  • 10th Battery:  Poolesville, Maryland with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery was assigned to the defenses of Washington, but detached for duty.
  • 11th Battery: Centreville, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Also part of Washington’s defenses. This battery was assigned to Casey’s Provisional Division.

Yes, with Captain Richard Arnold’s January report in hand, it is possible to determine the number of cannons, and types, on hand for the Massachusetts batteries.  Though there are still some questions that require chewing.

The batteries reported the following smoothebore ammunition on hand:

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By battery:

  • 1st Battery: 12-pdr Napoleon – 296 shot, 74 shell, 251 case, and 131 canister.
  • 5th Battery: 12-pdr Napoleon – 192 shot, 96 shell, 387 case, and 96 canister.
  • 8th Battery: 12-pdr Napoleon – 218 shell.  Also reporting 720 12-pdr field howitzer case shot and 79 canister for mountain howitzer.
  • 9th Battery:  12-pdr Napoleon – 199 shot, 267 shell, and 192 case.  Then 192 canister for the 12-pdr mountain howitzer.

The last entry leaves us a small question.  Certainly the use of 12-pdr howitzer case shot and canister in a Napoleon would work under the “if it fits down the bore we shoot it!” rule. However, I am inclined to think that is a transcription error for the 9th Battery.

Likewise, for the 8th battery, I’m inclined to question if the stores included 12-pdr field gun shells or 12-pdr howitzer shells.  Not that it mattered much for the 8th, as it would reflect quantities turned in by that time.

On to rifled ammunition:

0061_Snip_Dec62_MA_2

Reporting Hotchkiss projectiles:

  • 3rd Battery: 3-inch – 160 canister, 413 fuse shell, 540 bullet shell (case).
  • 7th Battery: 3-inch – 212 canister, 192 percussion shell, 346 fuse shell, and 364 bullet shell.
  • 8th Battery: 12-pdr (3.67-inch) – 18 shot and 1,464 fuse shell (!).
  • 10th Battery: 3-inch – 125 canister, 115 percussion shell, 246 fuse shell, and 720 bullet shell.
  • 11th Battery: 3-inch – 117 canister, 572 percussion shell, and 578 bullet shell.

The 8th Battery must have “husbanded” their allotment of shells at Antietam….

There were not reports of Dyer, James, or Parrott projectiles for the Massachusetts guns:

 

 

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Though I would caution that we don’t have documentation of the three batteries posted in Louisiana for the reporting period.

A lone entry for Schenkl projectiles:

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3rd Battery reporting 120 3-inch Schenkl shells for their Ordnance Rifles.

Finally, the small arms reported:

 

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By battery:

  • 1st Battery: 13 Army revolvers, 12 cavalry sabers, and 7 horse artillery sabers.
  • 2nd Battery: 3 Enfield .577 rifles.
  • 3rd Battery:  6 Army revolvers and 46 horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: 12 Army revolvers, 8 cavalry sabers, and 24 horse artillery sabers.
  • 7th Battery: 20 Army revolvers and 147 horse artillery sabers.
  • 8th Battery: 11 Navy revolvers and 47 horse artillery sabers.
  • 9th Battery: 15 Army revolvers and 3 horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: 20 Navy revolvers and 20 horse artillery sabers.
  • 11th Battery: 20 Army revolvers and 20 horse artillery sabers.

One would think that, coming from the home state of Ames and Colt, the Massachusetts men would be well equipped for small arms.  I think this part of the summary, across all the states and batteries, is the section to give the most latitude.  We have here the “reported” quantities, which might not directly correlate to the “issued” quantity, nor reflect the “acquired” quantity.  Then again, we don’t usually measure a battery’s firepower by the number of pop-guns and long edged weapons.