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:

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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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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: December 31, 1862 – 1st New York Light Artillery Battalion

The next set of entries for the state of New York in the fourth quarter Summary Report includes one line for a section integrated with the 3rd New York Cavalry and four lines for the 1st Battalion, New York Artillery.  These need some explanation, which I’ll provide in line with the discussion of the entries.

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The first to discuss is this entry for “Artillery Detachment 3rd Cavalry“.  I think this references a unit also known as Allee’s Howitzer Battery.  As indicated the battery, or more properly a section, supported the 3rd New York Cavalry then at New Bern, North Carolina.  The section reported two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  Such matches in general terms to newspaper accounts mentioning mountain howitzers associated with that cavalry regiment.

The next set of lines covers the “1st Battalion Artillery”.  And there are some twists here to consider.  The battalion was recruited starting in July 1861 by Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Brickel, a former German officer from Baden (sometimes erroneously mentioned as Brickell.  I go with the name as written on his tombstone).  As it was one of the “ethnic” formations, it was often mentioned as Brickel’s German Artillery.  The battalion had four batteries – A, B, C, and D.  The battalion was part of the Army of the Potomac’s Artillery Reserve, initially part of the Fifth Corps.  During the Fredericksburg Campaign, the battalion was still part of the reserve, but at that time separate from the corps structure.  In March 1863, the battalion was discontinued and the four became independent batteries.  We have two returns transcribed into the summaries, and I’ll try to fill in a few of the blanks:

  • Battery A: At Falmouth, Virginia with four 20-pdr Parrott Rifles.  In March it became the 29th Independent Battery.
  • Battery B: No return.  The battery reported four 20-pdr Parrotts during the Antietam Campaign and presumably had the same at the end of the year.  Battery B became the 30th Independent Battery.
  • Battery C:  No return.  Another with four 20-pdr Parrotts at an earlier time in 1862.  This battery became the 31st Independent Battery.
  • Battery D:  Reporting at Martinsburg, (West) Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  This was Captain Charles Kusserow’s battery and would become the 32st Independent Battery.

 

I’ve always put an asterisk next to Kusserow’s battery. The battery employed six 32-pdr field howitzers at Antietam.  Most secondary sources indicate Kusserow had 3-inch rifles at Fredericksburg.  And in discussions with some individuals knowledgeable on Fredericksburg, they often go back to this summary as to Kusserow’s guns.  I would point out the entry line indicates the return was received in June 1864.  At that time the battery, then the 32nd Independent, was indeed at Martinsburg.  Likewise, when we proceed forward in the paperwork, the summary for 1st quarter, 1863 indicates the same particulars – at Martinsburg with six 3-inch rifles, reporting in June 1864.

Again, we have a question about the entry as a point in time – was this a report indicating the armament of the battery valid for December 1862?  Or as was in June 1864?  When did Kusserow’s gunners trade in the 32-pdrs for 3-inch rifles?  (A quick check with Peter Glyer confirms that Kusserow had 3-inch rifles at Fredericksburg, so the exchange had to be between the end of September and start of December, 1862.)

None of the batteries carried smoothbore ammunition on their returns:

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I can understand those with the big Parrotts, but the mountain howitzers with the 3rd Cavalry should have something here.  And of course we have questions about Battery D’s entry already mentioned above.

For Hotckiss rifled projectiles, we have one entry line:

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Battery D reported 120 canister and 255 bullet shells of Hotchkiss patent for 3-inch rifles.  Again, put a grain of salt there. A little more “fun” with the page covering Dyer’s and Parrott patent projectiles:

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Battery A reported 155 shell, 229 case, and 80 canister of Parrott-type for their 20-pdrs. Battery D had 245 3-inch Dyer shrapnel (case) in their report.

Moving to the Schenkl columns:

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Battery A had 48 3.67-inch (20-pdr) Schenkl shells.  Battery D had 600 3-inch Schenkl shells. And those two batteries were the only representation on the small arms section:

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Battery A reported 19 Army revolvers and 54 horse artillery sabers.  Battery D was armed with 10 Army revolvers, 49 cavalry sabers, and 24 foot artillery sabers.