Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 5th Regiment, US Regulars

At the start of July, Colonel (Brevet Brigadier-General) Harvey Brown commanded the regiment.  An 1818 graduate of West Point, Brown served in the Black Hawk, Seminole, and Mexican American Wars.  At the start of the Civil War, he turned down a volunteers commission with a star, opting instead for the colonelcy of the newly formed 5th US Artillery.

harvey_brown

Success at Santa Rosa Island, Florida, defending Fort Pickens, in October 1861 earned Brown a brevet to Brigadier-General and duty commanding the defenses of New York.  And in July, Brown led troops suppressing the New York Draft Riots.  But at the start of August, Brown came up on the retirement list.  Though his retirement date was August 1, Cullum’s Register indicates Brown was “awaiting orders” and “was retained until the close of the war in the command of Ft. Schuyler, and on other duties.”

For ten days (August 1 through 10), Lieutenant-Colonel George Nauman held temporary command.  Colonel Henry S. Burton was formally named to command the 5th on August 11, thus completing the transition.

Despite this change of command, for the third quarter of 1863, the 5th US Artillery offered a laudably complete set of returns, as reflected in the summaries:

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An entry for every battery.  And a line for the adjutant to boot!

  • Battery A: At Portsmouth, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Lieutenant James Gilliss’ battery remained with Getty’s Division, in the Department of Virginia and North Carolina.
  • Battery B:  Reporting at Martinsburg, West Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Under Lieutenant Henry A. Du Pont, the battery was rushed to the Department of the Susquehanna during the Gettysburg Campaign. As the campaign closed, the battery remained as unassigned artillery in the Department of West Virginia.
  • Battery C: At New York City, with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Though still allocated to the 1st Brigade of the Artillery Reserve, the battery was detached to New York after Gettysburg.  Lieutenant Gulian V. Weir remained in command of this battery, though Captain Dunbar R. Ransom accompanied to command all artillery dispatched to quell the Draft Riot.  By the end of September, the battery was at Camp Barry, Washington, D.C.  Later in the fall, the battery rejoined the Army of the Potomac with Lieutenant Richard Metcalf in command (with Wier going to Battery L).
  • Battery D: Reporting from Culpeper, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Lieutenant Benjamin F. Rittenhouse remained at the post he assumed on July 2, after Lieutenant Charles Hazlett’s death at Little Round Top. The battery supported Fifth Corps.
  • Battery E: At Chambersburg, Pennsylvania with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Lieutenant James W. Piper was in command.  Dispatched in June to Pennsylvania, the battery remained in the Department of the Susquehanna.
  • Battery F: At Warrenton, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Lieutenant Leonard Martin remained in command this battery.  The battery was assigned to Sixth Corps.
  • Battery G: Port Hudson, Louisiana with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Lieutenant  Jacob B. Rawles remained in command of this Nineteenth Corps battery.
  • Battery H: At Chattanooga, Tennessee with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  This was “flip” from the previous quarter, but an accurate adjustment of the records.  Captain George A. Kensel became artillery cheif for First Division, Fourteenth Corps.  In his place Lieutenant Howard M. Burnham commanded.  Burnham was killed when the battery was overrun on September 19.  Lieutenant Joshua A. Fessenden stood in his place. At Chickamauga, the battery lost two officers, 25 men, battery wagon, forge, and all their caissons.  Refitting in Chattanooga, the battery had sufficient limbers and caissons for the Napoleons, but only enough limbers for one Parrott.
  • Battery I: Reporting at Camp Marshall, D.C. with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.    Lieutenant Charles C. MacConnell remained in command of this battery, which was transferred from the Army of the Potomac for refitting and replacements.  Most references indicate the battery was assigned to Camp Barry.  And at least for a month Battery I was combined with Battery L for training.  In November, the battery was combined with Battery C.
  • Battery K: At Chattanooga, Tennessee with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Lieutenant David H. Kinzie, remained in command.  The battery transferred, with the rest of the Twelfth Corps, from Virginia to Tennessee in October.
  • Battery L: Also reporting at Camp Marshall, D.C., though Camp Barry is listed on returns, and with two 6-pdr field guns. Lieutenant Edmund D. Spooner’s battery recovering from the disaster of Winchester, earlier in June.  Spooner would soon head west to take command of Battery H at Chattanooga. (Wier of Battery C transferred over to Battery L.)
  • Battery M: At Stonehouse Mountain, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain James McKnight’s battery transferred from Yorktown to the Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac, in late July 1863.  I like this placename, as it prompts me to search through correspondence with Bud Hall.  Stone House Mountain (note the space) appears on Captain William H. Paine’s excellent map of the Culpeper area.  It is  close to Griffinsburg, west of Culpeper Courthouse.
  • Adjutant: Reported from Fort Hamilton, were the headquarters was located.  I’d like to put a name to this line.  Lieutenant Henry A. Dupont had been the regimental adjutant up until July, when he took command of Battery B.  However, Heitman’s Register indicates he was still officially the adjutant.  Lieutenant Thomson P. McElrath was the regimental quartermaster, and also appeared on correspondence from August and September 1863 as adjutant.

Overall, these are the cleanest set of administrative details and reported cannon from any regimental summary thus far.

The smoothbore ammunition table is, as we would expect, full:

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Seven batteries reporting:

  • Battery A: 192 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 192 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery C: 61 shot and 112 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery E: 192 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 290 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 11(?) canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 142(?) shot, 64 shell, 171(?) case, and 100 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery L: 96 shot, 56 case, and 48 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery M: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Only two batteries with 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  So not many Hotchkiss lines to account for:

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  • Battery B:  209 canister, 296 percussion shell, and 164 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery I: 50 canister for 3-inch rifles.

For the next page, we can focus down on the Parrott columns:

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Three batteries reporting quantities:

  • Battery D: 193 shell, 360 case, and 160 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery F: 480 shell, 480 case, and 144 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery H:  54 shot, 240 shell, and 94 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

The last page of rifled projectiles has Schenkl types:

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We see a mix of 3-inch and 10-pdr calibers… which differed by a tenth of an inch:

  • Battery B: 221(?) shell and 513 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery D: 599 shell for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery F: 120 shell for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery I: 318 case for 3-inch rifles.

With ammunition out of the way, we move to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery A: Twenty-seven Army revolvers and sixty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Fourteen Army revolvers and 135 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Three Army revolvers, one Navy revolver, and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: Thirteen Navy revolvers, fourteen cavalry sabers, and thirty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Twelve Army revolvers and 107 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Nineteen Army revolvers and twenty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Twenty-one (?) horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Sixteen Navy revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and thirty-nine horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Nine Army revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Fifty-two Army revolvers and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: Nothing….. for the second straight quarter.
  • Battery M: Twenty-four Navy revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • Adjutant: Twenty-seven horse artillery sabers.

In addition, the adjutant reported six nose bags, twenty-seven saber belts, eight bridles, five currycombs, six girths, six halters, five horse brushes, five lariats, four picket pins, six Model 1859 pattern saddles, six sweat-leathers, two surcingles, six artillery-type saddle blankets, six sets of spurs, and six screw-drivers.  And as mentioned above, Lieutenant P. McElrath was likely the officer accounting for those items – either as the adjutant or the quartermaster.  And once again…. all government property was accounted for.

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Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Batteries from Minnesota

Minnesota provided three light batteries to the Federal cause.  All three of those were on active service at the end of the second quarter, 1863:

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All three offered returns for the quarter, though posted in Washington with some delays:

  • 1st Battery: Received in September 1863, with location of Vicksburg, Mississippi.  This is probably correct, as the battery supported Sixth Division, Seventeenth Corps at this juncture.  In fact, the battery would spend most of its time through the subsequent fall and winter around Vicksburg.  The battery reported two 12-pdr field howitzers and two 3.67-inch (6-pdr) rifles.  Captain William Z. Clayton commanded.
  • 2nd Battery:  For the second quarterly return in a row, we see Chattanooga, Tennessee as the location for this battery.  Certainly valid for a posting date of January 1864.  But as of June 30, 1863, the battery was assigned to First Division, Twentieth Corps, and active on the Tullahoma Campaign through middle Tennessee.  Chattanooga was the objective, but not quite yet reached.  Two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 10-pdr Parrotts were in the battery’s charge.  Lieutenant Albert Woodbury remained in command.  Woodbury would be mortally wounded at Chickamauga later in the summer.  Lieutenant Richard L. Dawley did get the battery off the field, however.
  • 3rd Battery:  Reporting from Fort Snelling, Minnesota with two 6-pdr field guns and six 12-pdr field howitzers (But… see note below).  Captain John Jones commanded this battery assigned to the District of Minnesota, Department of the Northwest.  Far away from the big battles in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania, the 3rd did not have a quiet summer by the lake.  At the end of June, the Battery was among the forces on an expedition against the Sioux.   Lieutenant J. C. Whipple, commanding a section (of howitzers, if my memory is correct), served with distinction at Stony Lake later in July.

Three batteries.  Three different campaigns. No light duty for the Minnesota batteries.

The 3rd Battery’s howitzers deserve some attention… or question marks, perhaps.  We see field howitzers on the cannon summary page.  But later in the summary, we find the ammunition reported was for mountain howitzers.  And Brigadier-General Henry H. Sibley, commanding the expedition against the Sioux, specifically mentioned a section of 6-pdrs and two sections of mountain howitzers in his official report.  I would make the case for four mountain howitzers, and the tally being placed in the wrong column.

Turning to their ammunition, we look at the smoothbore page first:

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All three had some quantities to report:

  • 1st Battery: 74 shell, 128 case, and 90 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 2nd Battery: 96 shot, 32 shell, 96 case, and 32 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 3rd Battery:  130 shot, 230 case, and 42 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 60 shell, 224 case, and 84 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzer.  (That last entry, I’m suggesting is another column entry error and should have been entered one to the right.)

Moving to the rifled projectiles, we saw the 1st Battery reported rifled 6-pdrs.  These were, based on the column entry, REAL 6-pdrs that were rifled.  In other words 3.67-inch caliber.  And that’s the ammunition they reported:

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These on the first page of Hotchkiss projectiles:

  • 1st Battery: 122 shot, 36 percussion shell, and 26 bullet shell for 3.67-inch rifles.

Note the Ordnance Department called this “Wiard” caliber, related to the rifled guns from that inventor.  But we know that caliber pre-dated Wiard’s guns.

More Hotchkiss on the next page, which we will break down into sections:

0196_1A_Snip_MN

  • 1st Battery:  116 canister for 3.67-inch.  Again “Wiard” is the association, but we should properly disassociate from the eccentric inventor.

Moving over to the right, there are some Parrott projectiles to account for:

0196_1B_Snip_MN

  • 2nd Battery:  444 shell, 207 case, and 143 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

There were no Schenkl or Tatham projectiles reported.  So we move quickly to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • 1st Battery: Two rifles (type, non-specific) and eleven Navy revolvers.
  • 2nd Battery: One Navy revolver and nine cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Thirty Army revolvers and 126 cavalry sabers.

3rd Battery must have issued a saber to every man when stepping out on Sibley’s Sioux Expedition.

Looking ahead to the next installments, one might wonder “Where’s Michigan?”  Well the clerks at the Ordnance Department, never ones to be constrained by the alphabet, shifted that state’s batteries to the next page.  That gave room for all the batteries of Missouri to be considered in one contiguous group.

Rebel bounty: Captured guns at Chickamauga

As the sun rose on September 21, 1863, the Confederates in the Army of Tennessee experienced a rare experience – possession of a battlefield following a clear victory.  Taking inventory of the debris of the battle, Confederate ordnance officers found a substantial amount of artillery equipment – on paper enough cannons to equip over six batteries.

In his report of the battle, Colonel James Barnett detailed the loss of 39 cannons and carriages.  By type these were:

  • Six 3-inch rifles
  • Seven 10-pdr Parrotts
  • Four 12-pdr Napoleons
  • Nine James rifles
  • Six 6-pdr field guns
  • Six 12-pdr field howitzers
  • One 12-pdr mountain howitzer

In addition, Barnett recorded the loss of 13 limbers, 30 caissons, and one battery wagon.  Oh, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

On the other side of the line, Captain O.T. Gibbs, ordnance officer for the Army of Tennessee, recorded a different quantity and breakdown in his statement of stores received at Ringold, Georgia:

  • Six 3-inch rifles
  • Two 12-pdr Napoleons
  • Eleven James rifles
  • Eight 6-pdr field guns
  • Fifteen 12-pdr field howitzers
  • Seven 12-pdr mountain howitzers
  • Two 24-pdr howitzers

Fifty-one total.  The reason for the discrepancy?  Gibbs tallied the weapons received by his office, including old, worn out, or simply disfavored weapons.  Gibbs also appears to have included in his list guns captured by Federals on the field, then recaptured by the Confederates, and turned in for repairs.  Furthermore, in several cases, the batteries helped themselves to Federal guns and turned in their old weapons to the ordnance depot. (And in at least one case, a battery ‘horded’ a field howitzer without letting the ordnance officers know about it.) In short, Gibbs’ list is far from definitive for the tally of captured guns.  Although it does offer a wealth of details about those guns.

The numbers are interesting on both sides.  Looking first to Barnett’s tally, I consider three types to be “top notch” favored weapons of the Civil War – 3-inch Ordnance Rifles, 10-pdr Parrotts, and 12-pdr Napoleons.  The Federals gave up only seventeen of those.  Or enough for four four-gun batteries (or three six-gun batteries).  The remainder of the lost guns were of less favored types.

Many would return to action in the spring in a different guise – melted down by the Confederate foundries into 12-pdr Napoleons.  Gibbs’ inventory reads like a “who’s who” of ordnance manufacture, with vendors, both north and south, represented:

6-pounder bronze gun, with carriage and limber, made at Greenwood’s,  Cincinnati, Ohio. 1861….

12-pounder howitzer, with carriage and limber, Saint Louis, Mo., Marshall  &Co., 1862….

12-pounder bronze howitzer, with carriage, damaged, A. B. R. & Bro., Vicksburg, Miss….

3-inch iron rifled gun, with carriage and limber, Rome, Ga., Noble &  Bro.. 1862….

12-pounder bronze howitzer and carriage, J. Clark, New Orleans….

A substantial number of weapons turned in to the depot included early war Tredegar products:

12-pounder iron howitzer, with carriage. J. R. & Co., 1861

12-pounder iron howitzer, with carriage. J. R. & Co., 1862

3-inch rifled gun, with carriage, No. 1480, J. R. & Co

The foundry number of the 3-inch rifle matches one invoiced in May 1862:

Page 380b

Although the receipt does not indicate, other weapons cast around that time were iron.  So it leads to the logical inference that #1480 was an iron 3-inch rifle. We might also presume that, just as in the eastern theater, the iron 3-inch rifle and iron 12-pdrs had fallen into disfavor among the gunners of the western theater.  So these were selected for return to the ordnance depot when nice new Yankee cannon were in hand.

With Gibbs’ tally, only three of the “top notch” guns were turned in to the ordnance depot – two Napoleons and one 3-inch Ordnance Rifle.  Two of the Napoleons captured on the field were immediately incorporated into Battery D, 9th Georgia Artillery (Captain Tyler M. Peeples), who turned in the two 24-pdr howitzers seen in Gibbs’ report.   All the Parrott rifles and five of the 3-inch Ordnance Rifles were put to immediate use.  The one 3-inch Ordnance Rifle received at Ringold had the detailed listing of:

3-inch steel rifled gun, U.S., No. 86, P.A. & Co., 817 pounds.

That gun is still around, but on another field.

Gettysburg 199

Where would that be?  Don’t click on the photo… no cheating!

Gettysburg 203

This gun stands today on Hancock Avenue at Gettysburg, representing Battery H, 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery.

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Practically a world away from the woods of Northern Georgia.  I’ve long wondered if a swap arrangement might be appropriate.  But then again, every time I pass the gun at Gettysburg, I pause to recall that the war was not ONLY fought for three days in July 1863.

(Barnett’s and Gibbs’ reports are from OR, Series I, Volume 30, Part I, Serial 50, pages 237-9, Part II, Serial 51, pages 40-43.)

150th on the “River of Death” – Chickamauga

The next big round of sesquicentennial events in the western theater puts the spot light on Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park. For the 150th, the park has broken out events in three sets.

September 14-15 – Civil War Timeline and Special Programs:

A Civil War Timeline featuring living historians, guided by park employees, will propel visitors through North Georgia between 1861 and 1864. Living historians and park staff will also present programs at places like Horseshoe Ridge, the Wilder Brigade Monument, and the park visitor center.

A page on the park’s website provides full details.

September 18-20 – 150th Anniversary Ranger-Guided Programs:

On the actual dates of the battle, 150 years later, park historians and rangers will lead a series of “real time” walks covering the same ground soldiers fought upon in 1863.

I like what I see in the schedule of events – from Alexander’s Bridge to Snodgrass Hill.

 

September 21-22 – Special Programs:

Learn about soldiers and families caught in the midst of the battle. Living historians portraying civilians will discuss the impact the fighting had on the lives and on the survival of those living here 150 years ago. Park rangers will also provide programs based upon the lives of individuals portrayed in the new park orientation film, “The Campaign for Chattanooga: Death Knell of the Confederacy.”

The Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra will present a pops concert at the Wilder Brigade Monument on Chickamauga Battlefield on September 21. “This 2013 event will be a special and nostalgic evening for residents and visitors, who are invited to converge on the beloved tower with blankets, camp chairs, picnic baskets and a taste for stirring American music.”

 

Right now September is a big question mark for me, and I cannot commit to attending. I’d love to attend the September 18-20 events in particular. But we’ll have to see how things work out. In lieu of attending, I’d entertain any readers out there who’d like to take a shot at guest blogging and reporting on the activities. Drop a comment if you are interested.

Looking at the September events, I’m reminded that the park staff will have to quickly reset for another round of events that culminate on November 25. No rest for the weary!