Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – 2nd Illinois Artillery

At the end of 1863, Colonel Thomas S. Mather remained the commander of the 2nd Illinois Light Artillery. Mather had been Chief of Staff for Major-General John McClernand. But with that officer’s relief during the Vicksburg Campaign, Mather had hitched his wagon to a falling star. Mather would go on to serve in other staff positions while remaining the colonel of the regiment. As for the rest of the regiment, batteries served in the Mississippi River Valley in Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

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  • Battery A:  No report. The battery remained with First Division, Thirteenth Corps (minus one detached section).  Captain Herman Borris remained in command.  Starting the fall at Carrollton, Louisiana, the battery supported some campaigning in October and November through west Louisiana. At the end of December the battery was assigned to the Defenses of New Orleans. At some point in the fall, the first section of the battery, which had served on detached service in Missouri, rejoined the command.
  • Battery B: No report. Captain Fletcher H. Chapman commanded the battery, part of the Sixteenth Corps and assigned to the District of Corinth. The battery would move to Memphis when Corinth was abandoned in January.
  • Battery C: At Fort Donelson, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain James P. Flood’s was assigned to Third Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland. But with that corps disbanded with the army’s reorganization, the garrison was part of the District of Nashville, Department of the Cumberland.
  • Battery D: Indicated at Grand Junction, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Charles S. Cooper remained in command of this battery, then assigned to Fifth Division, Sixteenth Corps, out of the Memphis District.
  • Battery E: No report. In the previous quarter, this battery was at Carrollton, Louisiana with three 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer.  Captain George L. Nipsel, promoted in the late summer, commanded the battery, which was assigned to Third Division, Thirteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf. After supporting campaigns in west Louisiana during the fall, the battery was assigned duty at Plaquemine, Louisiana, District of Baton Rouge. Lieutenant Emil Steger was acting commander at the close of the quarter.
  • Battery F: Indicated at what appears to be Hebron, Mississippi with two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers.  The battery was assigned to Fourth Division, Seventeenth Corps with Captain John W. Powell in command. But with him serving as division artillery chief, Lieutenant Walter H Powell led the battery. During the fall, the battery participated in an expedition into Louisiana (Harrisonburg). Then returned to Nachez, which is the actual battery location at the close of the year. Hebron, may be a contraction of New Hebron and a place associated with the Meridian Campaign. Thus may allude to the battery location in February 1864, when the report was filed.
  • Battery G: At Columbus, Kentucky with four rifled 6-pdr (3.67-inch) guns. Captain Frederick Sparrestrom commanded this battery. After duty in Vicksburg and Memphis through the summer and early fall, the battery was assigned to District of Columbus, Sixteenth Corps (with duty at times in Union City, Tennessee).
  • Battery H: Reporting at Clarksville, Tennessee  two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Henry C. Whittemore remained in command.  With the reorganization of the department’s Reserve Corps, the battery was listed in the garrison of Clarksville, District of Nashville, Department of the Cumberland.
  • Battery I:  At Chattanooga, Tennessee, turning in an assortment of weapons for six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Charles M. Barnett commanded this battery, assigned to Second Division, Fourteenth Corps.
  • Battery K: No report.  This battery, under Captain Benjamin F. Rodgers, was at Natchez at this time of the war. A series of reorganizations brought the battery back to Fourth Division, Seventeenth Corps. In the new year, the battery would be assigned to the Defenses and Post of Natchez.
  • Battery L: Listed at Vicksburg with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Part of Third Division, Seventeenth Corps. Captain William H. Bolton commanded.
  • Battery M: No report. In the previous quarter, the battery reported four 3.80-inch James Rifles and a location of Greenville, Tennessee.  Captain John C. Phillips command this battery, which assigned to the Twenty-third Corps, Army of the Ohio. Confederate advances in east Tennessee, in October, forced the withdrawal of Federal forces east of Knoxville, and that included Battery M. And around that time, Phillips was recalled to Nashville on other duties, leaving Lieutenant W.C.G.L. Stevenson in command. The battery was sent out in support of two regiments of cavalry scouting for Confederate raiders. This force was camped four miles outside Rogersville, Tennessee on November 6 when attacked by Confederates under Brigadier-General William E. Jones. Ill-prepared, outnumbered, and outmaneuvered, the force was all but destroyed. The battery spiked their guns. Survivors who were not captured reassembled under Phillips and assigned duty at Camp Nelson, Kentucky. Such events explain the lack of reporting for this battery.

Moving on to the ammunition and stores reported, we begin with smoothbore rounds:

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  • Battery F: 184 shot and 135 case for 6-pdr field guns; 120 shell and 133 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery H: 166 shot and 140 case for 6-pdr field guns.
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  • Battery F: 28 canister for 6-pdr field guns and 31 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery H: 42 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

On the right side of this page are the Hotchkiss columns for rifled projectiles:

  • Battery C: 100 shot and 68 shell (time fuse) for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • Battery G: 566 shell (time fuse) for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 10 shot for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • Battery I: 222 shell (time fuse) for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery L: 123 shell (time fuse) for 3.80-inch James rifles.

Additional Hotchkiss on the next page:

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  • Battery C: 385 shell (percussion fuse) and 346 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery G: 80 canister for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 32 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery I: 125 shell (percussion fuse) and 286 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery L: 161 shell (percussion fuse) and 60 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Moving to the right, we see James projectiles also on this page:

  • Battery C: 7 shot, 24 shell, and 2 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery D: 45 shot, 203 (?) shell, and 60 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 105 shot, 242 shell, and 214 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery L: 128 shell and 129 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

On the next page we focus on the Schenkl projectiles:

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  • Battery D: 64 shot and 128 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery I: 252 shot for 3-inch rifles.

One last entry for Schenkl on the next page:

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  • Battery D: 64 case shot for 3.80-inch rifles.

Turning now to the small arms reported:

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  • Battery C: Seventy-four Colt army revolvers, four cavalry sabers, and six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Twenty-three Colt army revolvers and twenty-three cavalry sabers.
  • Battery H: Fifty-four Colt army revolvers and seven cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: Thirteen Colt navy revolvers and fifteen horse artillery sabers.

Notice, no long guns…. On the next page there are cartridge bags reported:

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  • Battery C: 728 6-pdr or 12-pdr bags.
  • Battery D: 540 James rifle bags.
  • Battery G: 746 6-pdr or 12-pdr bags.

The last page lists small arms cartridges, fuses, primers, and other materials:

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  • Battery C: 1,880 army revolver cartridges; 1,150 friction primers; and 503 percussion caps.
  • Battery D: 222 navy revolver cartridges and 660 friction primers. (We might wonder if there are some un-reported revolvers with Battery D.)
  • Battery F: 1,010 army revolver cartridges and 365 friction primers.
  • Battery G: 566 paper fuses and 895 friction primers.
  • Battery H: 1,000 army revolver cartridges; 1,200 friction primers; 50 yards of slow match; and 500 percussion caps.
  • Battery I: 460 paper fuses and 1,694 friction primers.
  • Battery L: 800 friction primers.

At the close of 1863 the 2nd Illinois was sort of at an organizational cross-roads. Batteries from this regiment had participated in several of the important western campaigns of the year, in some cases playing an important role. Some would continue at the fore of the 1864 campaigns. But many of these batteries were sent to garrison duties. Some, such as Battery M, would never serve as a battery again. By the end of the year, enlistments would come due. Instead of recruiting up to full strength, the state consolidated many of these batteries. So this “snapshot” by way of the ordnance summary is in some ways a last good look at the unit as a full organization.

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 2nd Illinois Artillery Regiment

Before the war, Thomas Scott Mather was the state Adjutant General, where he demonstrated good organizational and administrative skills.  During the first fall of the war, Mather accepted the colonelcy of the 2nd Illinois Artillery.  As with most field artillery regiments, the 2nd never marched as a whole.  And thus the position of regimental commander was more so an administrative post.  But the rank gave Mather the ability to serve in other capacities.  For a time he was Chief of Staff for General John McClernand.  Later Mather served as the Inspector General for the Department of the Susquehanna.  For this “faithful and meritorious services” Mather received a brevet to brigadier-general at war’s end.

For the third quarter of 1863, Mather’s batteries appeared as such on the summaries:

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A “western theater” regiment:

  • Battery A:  No report. The battery remained with Fourteenth (or First, after reconciliation) Division, Thirteenth Corps.  When Captain Peter Davidson promoted to major in the spring, Lieutenant Herman Borris, promoted to captain that April, moved up to command the battery (though Lieutenant Frank B. Fenton lead the battery during the Vicksburg Campaign).  The battery remained with the division as the corps was transferred to the Department of the Gulf.  At the end of September, the battery was at Carrollton, Louisiana.
  • Battery B: Indicated at Fort Donelson, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James rifles. The location reported is possibly a transcription error, and should be applied to Battery C (below) along with the four James rifles.  Captain Fletcher H. Chapman commanded.  Champman’s battery remained part of the Sixteenth Corps and assigned to the District of Corinth.
  • Battery C: No report.  Captain James P. Flood’s battery remained at At Fort Donelson, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James Rifles, assigned to the Third Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • Battery D: Indicated at Memphis, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Charles S. Cooper remained in command of this battery, assigned to First Division, Sixteenth Corps, covering Memphis at the time.
  • Battery E: Reported at Carrollton, Louisiana with three 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer.  After Vicksburg, Lieutenant George L. Nipsel’s battery transferred to Third Division, Thirteenth Corps, which was subsequently assigned to the Department of the Gulf.
  • Battery F: Indicated at Natchez, Mississippi with two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers.  The battery was assigned to Fourth Division, Seventeenth Corps in the post-Vicksburg reorganizations. Captain John W. Powell remained in command, but with him serving as division artillery chief, Lieutenant Walter H Powell led the battery.
  • Battery G: At Vicksburg, Mississippi with four rifled 6-pdr guns. Captain Frederick Sparrestrom commanded this battery, assigned to Third Division, Sixteenth Corps.
  • Battery H: Reporting at Clarksville, Tennessee  two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Henry C. Whittemore assumed command of the battery at the end of June.  Battery assigned to Third Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland, and performing garrison and escort duties.
  • Battery I:  Under siege at Chattanooga, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons, two 10-pdr Parrotts, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain Charles M. Barnett commanded this battery.  It was assigned to Second Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • Battery K: No report.  This battery, under Captain Benjamin F. Rodgers, had been with Seventeenth Corps at the start of the year.  It transferred to the Sixteenth Corps when serving at Vicksburg.  And after that siege, transferred to the Thirteenth Corps (Fourth Division).   At this time, the battery was on garrison duties at Natchez.
  • Battery L: Listed at Vicksburg with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Part of Third Division, Seventeenth Corps.  Captain William H. Bolton commanded.
  • Battery M: Reporting at Greeneville, Tennesse with four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain John C. Phillips command this battery, which assigned to Fourth Division, Twenty-third Corps, Army of the Ohio.

Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana – but varied service and duties.

Looking to the smoothbore ammunition reported:

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Four batteries reporting:

  • Battery E: 204 shot, 164 case, and 203 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 34 shell, 60 case, and 34 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery F: 184 shot, 135 case, and 28 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 120 shell, 133 case, and 31 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery H: 176 shot, 150 case, and 42 canister for 6-pdr filed guns.
  • Battery I: 43 shot, 52 shell, 95 case, and 90 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, the Hotchkiss are first:

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No 3-inch Ordnance rifles, but a scattering of rounds for the 3.80-inch and 3.67-inch rifles:

  • Battery B: 100(?) shot, 430 percussion shell, and 68 fuse shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery G:  110 percussion shell and 955 fuse shell for 3.67-inch (6-pdr) rifles.
  • Battery I: 46 shot and 108(?) bullet shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery L: 161 percussion shell and 123 fuse shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery M: 40 shot, 50 percussion shell, 240 fuse shell, and 150 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James.

Let us break the next page down into sections for clarity.  Starting with a pair of Hotchkiss columns carried over to that page:

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  • Battery B: 250 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery G: 100 canister 3.67-inch (6-pdr) rifles.
  • Battery L: 60 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery M: 55 canister for 3.80-inch James.

As expected, many entries for the James projectiles:

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  • Battery B: 24 shell and 2 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery D: 45 shot, 203 shell, and 60 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery H: 115 shot, 252 shell, and 214 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery I: 108 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery L: 128 shell and 128 canister for 3.80-inch James.

We have only one battery with Parrott rifles:

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  • Battery I: 27 shot, 131 shell, 185 case, and 64 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

The last page of the rifled projectiles contains columns for Schenkl and Tatham:

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Two batteries with quantities of Schenkl to report:

  • Battery D: 64 shot, 128 shell and 64 case for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery I: 42 shell for 3.80-inch James.

But over to the far right is one line for Tatham’s canister:

  • Battery H: 32 canister for 3.80-inch James.

Lastly, we turn to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery B: Five (?) Army revolvers, nine Navy revolvers, four cavalry sabers, and six (?) horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Eight Army revolvers, twenty-four cavalry sabers, and forty foot artillery swords.
  • Battery F: Twenty-two Army revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • Battery H: Fifty-four Navy revolvers and seven cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: Seven Army revolvers, twenty-three Navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Twenty Army revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.

That concludes our look at the 2nd Illinois Artillery and their third quarter, 1863 returns.  Next are the independent batteries and “others” from Illinois.

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.