Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Indiana’s Independent Batteries (Part 1)

By June 1863, Indiana had twenty-five independent batteries on the books, in one way or another.  In addition to those independent batteries, there were a couple of heavy artillery batteries with field artillery along with detachments and other miscellaneous formations.   So they covered most of a page on the summary sheets:

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We will review these in three parts, starting with the first dozen numbered independent batteries:

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Of these first twelve, only seven have recorded returns.  So let’s dive into those missing parts:

  • 1st Battery:  No report.  The battery remained with Fourteenth Division, Thirteenth Corps and was part of the siege of Vicksburg.  The battery had four (some sources say six) James rifles. Captain Martin Klauss commanded.
  • 2nd Battery:  Reporting at Springfield, Missouri with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Lieutenant Hugh Espey commanded this battery, assigned to the District of Southwestern Missouri.
  • 3rd Battery: Also indicated as at Springfield, Missouri but with two 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr Napoleons, and two 3.67-inch rifles.  Also part of the District of Southwestern Missouri, Captain James M. Cockefair commanded this battery.  The battery split duty between Springfield and Rolla during the summer.
  • 4th Battery:  No report. Last quarter found the battery at Murfreesboro, with two 12-pdr Napoleons, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Lieutenant David Flansburg command this battery, assigned to First Division, Fourteenth Corps.  So June found them participating in the Tullahoma Campaign.
  • 5th Battery: At Shell Mound, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3.80-inch James rifles. Shell Mound was a landing on the Tennessee River downstream from Chattanooga.  And that location was probably valid for the reporting time of February 1864.  In June 1863, the battery was with Second Division, Twentieth Corps, and part of the Tullahoma Campaign. Lieutenant Alfred Morrison remained in command, with Captain Peter Simonson the division artillery chief (temporarily at least).
  • 6th Battery: No report.  Last quarter’s returns gave the battery two 6-pdr field guns and two 3.80-inch James Rifles. Officially assigned to First Division, Sixteenth Corps. Captain Michael Mueller commanded. The battery had postings across west Tennessee until June, when dispatched with the rest of the division to Vicksburg.
  • 7th Battery: McMinnville, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain George R. Swallow’s battery supported Third Division, Twenty-First Corps.  So the battery was involved with the Tullahoma Campaign at the reporting time. McMinnville appears to be derived from the August report filing.
  • 8th Battery: No return. Captain George Estep retained command of this battery.  In the winter reorganizations, the battery was posted to First Division, Twenty-First Corps at Murfreesboro.  The battery had four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 9th Battery: No return. Lieutenant George R. Brown commanded this battery, assigned to Fourth Division, Sixteenth Corps.  It remained part of the garrison at District of Columbus, in Kentucky.
  • 10th Battery: Reporting at Pelham, Tennessee with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Lieutenant William A. Naylor remained in command of this battery, assigned to First Division, Twenty-First Corps that winter.  At the end of June the battery was involved in the Tullahoma Campaign.
  • 11th Battery: Chattanooga, Tennessee (which was accurate for October 1863 when the report was received) with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Arnold Sutermeister’s battery supported Third Division, Twentieth Corps and was on the Tullahoma Campaign at the end of June.
  • 12th Battery: At Nashville, Tennessee as siege artillery.  Returns list the battery assigned to Fort Negley, with four 4.5-inch Ordnance siege rifles under Captain James E. White.

So we can, using the Official Records mostly, fill in most of these blanks.

Turning to the ammunition, the smoothbore columns are particularly active:

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The usual sets of 6-pdr and 12-pdr rounds:

  • 2nd Battery: 203 shot, 203 case, and 191 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 3rd Battery:  105 shot, 141 case, and 132 canister for 6-pdr field guns;  136 shot, 406 shell, 227 case, and 300 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 5th Battery: 76 shot, 24 shell, 92 case, and 33 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 7th Battery: 75 shot, 32 shell, 101 case, and 48 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 10th Battery: 115 shell, 100 case, and 116 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 11th Battery: 132 shot, 122 shell, 110 case, and 120 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Moving to the next page, we start the rifled projectiles with the Hotchkiss columns:

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Not a lot to report:

  • 5th Battery: 24 shot, 24 fuse shell, and 132 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • 11th Battery: 100 canister, 140 fuse shell, and 150 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

There is one “stray” on the following page for Hotchkiss:

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  • 5th Battery: 32 canister for 3.80-inch Rifles.

Moving to the right, the James columns:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • 2nd Battery: 130 shot and 142 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 3rd Battery: 52 shot, 273 shell, and 24 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 5th Battery:  58 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

And over to the Parrotts:

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Two batteries with Parrotts, and two reporting:

  • 7th Battery: 197 shell, 273 case, and 157 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 10th Battery: 468 shell, 225 case, and 94 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Note to the right, there is one entry for Schenkl patent projectiles for Parrott rifles:

  • 7th Battery: 217 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

To the last page of ammunition columns, we find two entries:

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Both for 5th Battery:

  • 5th Battery:  150 Schenkl shell for 3.80-inch rifles; 40 Tatham canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Yes, 5th Battery reported canister from three different patterns to feed their James rifles (and that does not include canister for their 12-pdr Napoleons).  Would love to see a first hand account discussing those particulars.

Lastly, we have the small arms:

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By battery, of those reporting:

  • 2nd Battery: Eighteen rifles (no type specified), twenty-eight Army revolvers, and twenty-two cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Four Navy revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: One percussion pistol, fourteen cavalry sabers, and seven horse artillery sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Two cavalry sabers and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 11th Battery: Ten Army revolvers, twelve Navy revolvers, and eleven cavalry sabers.

Perhaps the 5th Indiana Battery must have been the last user of the percussion pistol?

Next we’ll pick up the bottom half of the Indiana Independent Batteries.

 

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – 3rd Regiment, US Regulars

The wartime service of the 3rd US Artillery was, in my opinion, “cushy”.  Several batteries remained on the west coast.  No doubt a vital assignment, ensuring the gold of California remained secure (and that’s not said with any sarcasm).  But since so much of the regiment served as garrison artillery, that left little to report in the Ordnance Returns. Thus a lot of white space for the 2nd quarter of 1863:

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We find only four batteries reported having field artillery tubes on hand!

  • Battery A – At Albuquerque, New Mexico with two 12-pdr field howitzers and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Same as the previous quarter.  And, updating my own notes here, Lieutenant John B. Shinn was in command of this battery (brevetted to captain for his service on the initial campaigns in New Mexico).
  • Battery B – Given the annotation “Infy. Stores.”  The battery remained at Fort Point, San Francisco, California.
  • Battery C – No location given, but with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Part of the Second Brigade of the Horse Artillery, Army of the Potomac.  Lieutenant William D. Fuller was in command.  The battery was not on the field at Gettysburg (and thus often left off some order of battle listings) but was with the Second Brigade, Second Division, Cavalry Corps at Westminster, Maryland.
  • Battery D – At Alcatraz Island, California with the annotation “Infy. Stores.”  Captain William A. Winder, of the 3rd US Artillery, commanded the garrison of Alcatraz at this time of the war.  Under his command were Batteries D, H, and I (which we will mention below).
  • Battery E – No return. Serving in the Department of the South, posted to Folly Island, South Carolina at the end of June.  Lieutenant  John R. Myrick was in command.
  • Battery F – At Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The location is certainly in error for the June 30th date, but accurate for August when the report was received in Washington.  This battery, combined with Battery K (below), was assigned to the 1st US Regular Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac, under Lieutenant John G. Turnbull.  So the location was somewhere between Frederick, Maryland and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
  • Battery G – Fort Turnbull, Connecticut  but without any assigned cannon. The battery had been disbanded the previous fall and was being reorganized with new recruits.  Eventually, Lieutenant Herbert F. Guthrie would command, but I am not certain as to the date of his assignment.
  • Battery H – “Infy. Stores” with location as Alcatraz Island, California.
  • Battery I – Also “Infy. Stores” and at Alcatraz Island.
  • Battery K – Annotated as “with Battery F”.  See that battery’s notes above.
  • Battery L – At Columbus, Kentucky with six 10-pdr Parrotts. Combined with Battery M, below.  Captain John Edwards in command.  The battery was assigned to First Division, Ninth Corps.  At the start of the spring was posted to Kentucky.  In early June, the battery moved with its parent division to reinforce Vicksburg.  And after the fall of Vicksburg the battery was part of the pursuit to Jackson, Mississippi.  So a well-traveled battery.
  • Battery M – “With Battery L” at Columbus.  — At Lexington, Kentucky with six 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Lieutenant – “Stores in Charge.”  This line tallied various implements and supplies, apparently assigned to a lieutenant of the regiment, but with no location indicated.

So the service details out of the way, we turn to the ammunition reported on hand, starting with smoothbore ammunition:

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Two lines to consider, but not without some notes:

  • Battery A: 148 shot, 112 case, and 216 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 170 shell, 240 case, and 88 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers; and 24 shells for 12-pdr field guns.
  • Battery F & K: 360 shot, 96 shell, 198 case, and 104 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

Battery F’s quantities, though with a rather high number of solid shot, are within reason.  But Battery A, out there in New Mexico, held on to ammunition for a pair of 6-pdrs that were no longer on hand.  I’m not going to say the 12-pdr shells there in Albuquerque were for Napoleons or the old 12-pdr heavy field guns.  Regardless, their listing here raises an unresolved question.

Moving to rifled projectiles, we have to consider Hotchkiss types first:

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Two batteries up again:

  • Battery A: 96 canister, 144 percussion shell, 110 fuse shell, and 288 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 30 canister and 50 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

We can trim the next page to focus only on the Parrott columns:

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That much traveled battery out at Vicksburg:

  • Batteries L & M: 618 shell, 435 case, and 265 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

And we have but one entry to consider for Schenkl:

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  • Battery C: 18 shells for 3-inch rifles.

That last entry fills up, somewhat, the allocation for Battery C.  But one expect to see more.  The report arrived in Washington in November, 1863.

We move last to the small arms:

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Hopefully those numbers are legible.  The original lacked clarity in the column lines. And overall the sheet’s quality diminishes towards the bottom of the page.  Here’s what I transcribe:

  • Battery A: Thirteen carbines, eighty-six Army revolvers, seventy-six Navy revolvers, and eighty-seven horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: One carbine, twenty-six Navy revolvers, thirty-five cavalry sabers, and 172 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F & K: Thirteen Navy revolvers and forty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Eighty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L & M: Fifteen Army revolvers and forty-five horse artillery sabers.

I can understand Battery A, out in the far west and given many non-artillery duties, would need carbines, pistols, and sabers.  But Battery C?  That’s a lot of sabers… even for a data entry error!

“No quarter will be shown to the negro troops whatever”: Confederate threat to Columbus, KY

In the spring of 1864, Colonel William H. Lawrence commanded a garrison at Columbus, Kentucky built around eight companies of Lawrence’s 34th New Jersey Infantry. Like many other similar posts in west Tennessee and Kentucky, the garrison’s duties were relatively quiet compared to the front lines of the war.  While earlier in the war, Columbus was a critical point of defense along the Mississippi River (though most of the fighting around the town was on the Missouri side), after the river-port’s fall to the Federals it was just another backwater of the war which required a garrison.

But with Major-General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s raid into west Tennessee and Kentucky that spring, Columbus, like many other garrisons in the region, was suddenly part of an active sector of war.  On the morning after the fall of Fort Pillow, a column of Confederates commanded by Brigadier-General Abraham Buford approached Columbus.  At around 6 a.m., as was the practice of Forrest’s raiders that spring, Buford sent a message over to Lawrence under a flag of truce:

Headquarters Confederate Forces,
Before Columbus, Ky., April 13, 1864.
The Commanding Officer U.S. Forces, Columbus, Ky.:

Fully capable of taking Columbus and its garrison by force, I desire to avoid the shedding of blood and therefore demand the unconditional surrender of the forces under your command. Should you surrender, the negroes now in arms will be returned to their masters. Should I, however, be compelled to take the place, no quarter will be shown to the negro troops whatever; the white troops will be treated as prisoners of war.

I am, sir, yours,
A. Buford,
Brigadier-General.

Lawrence took stock of his situation.  His garrison was in fortifications, though not well maintained or armed fortifications.  However, laying in port at Columbus was the steamer L.M. Kennett loaded with a battery of artillery and a detachment of infantry.  Lawrence also knew another steamer was due in that day with another 1,500 troops.  So Lawrence sent his reply:

Headquarters of the Post,
Columbus, Ky., April 13, 1864.
Brig. Gen. A. Buford,
Commanding Confederate Forces before Columbus, Ky.:

General: Your communication of this date is to hand. In reply I would state that, being placed by my Government with adequate force to hold and repel all enemies from my post, surrender is out of the question.

I am, general, very respectfully,
WM. Hudson Lawrence,
Colonel 34th New Jersey Volunteers, Commanding Post.

With his bluff called, Buford departed Columbus having put up little more than a light skirmish.  Columbus would not be a Fort Pillow nor a Union City.

Consider the words of Buford’s surrender demand and the context.  Particularly with Fort Pillow in mind.  I find it hard to accept a “the troops just got out of hand” explanation, sometimes advanced about Fort Pillow, in that light.

(Citations from OR, Series I, Volume 32, Part I, Serial 57, page 553.)