Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Second Illinois Artillery Regiment

As we continue with the summaries through the second quarter of 1863, a pattern emerges with respect to the equipment issued to batteries serving in the east.  We might even narrow that down to just the batteries serving with the Army of the Potomac and Washington Defenses.  Those tend to be armed with just one caliber and type of weapon.  And that type tends to be one of the important three – 12-pdr Napoleon, 3-inch Ordnance Rifles, or 10-pdr Parrott.  Likewise, the ammunition reported tends to be predictable, with Hotchkiss and Parrott the preferred rifled projectiles.

But when we look at those batteries outside that set, particularly out to the western theater, uniformity is thrown away for sake of availability.  More so for the projectiles issued for use.  We’ve seen some of this with the First Illinois Artillery Regiment.  Now another dose as we look to the Second Illinois:

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Of twelve batteries listed, the clerks recorded nine returns.  And of those nine, six reported James rifles and one reported the “odd cousins” – rifled 6-pdrs.

  • Battery A:  No report. The battery marched with Fourteenth (or First, after reconciliation) Division, Thirteenth Corps.  Captain Peter Davidson was in command, but during the Vicksburg Campaign Lieutenant Frank B. Fenton lead the battery.
  • Battery B: No report, but with an annotation of “siege”. No cannon reported. Captain Fletcher H. Chapman commanded.  The battery was part of the Sixteenth Corps, and assigned to the District of Corinth.
  • Battery C: Reported at At Fort Donelson, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain James P. Flood’s battery was actually in middle Tennessee at the reporting date, 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.  The location is “as of date of receipt” for September 1863.  In June 1863, Lieutenant George L. Nipsel’s battery was with Fourth Division, Sixteenth Corps, which was detached for duty in the Vicksburg siege lines.
  • Battery F: Indicated at Natchez, Mississippi with two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers.  Another “as of receipt” location.  In this case, the battery was assigned to Sixth Division, Seventeenth Corps, with Captain John W. Powell in command, and at Vicksburg.
  • Battery G: Outside Vicksburg, Mississippi with four rifled 6-pdr guns. Captain Frederick Sparrestrom commanded this battery, assigned to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps.  There is an interesting, if trivial, sidebar that I hope to present in a follow up post.  The short story – While being ferried across the Mississippi River at Bruinsburg on May 1, 1863, a collision resulted in the loss of most battery equipment and horses.  As related earlier, Sparrestrom temporarily commanded Battery D, 1st Illinois Artillery for a time.  The battery was re-equipped in Memphis and forwarded to Vicksburg, reporting on June 30 (or there-abouts).
  • Battery H: Showing as posted to Fort Donelson.  Reporting two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Lieutenant  Jonas Eckdall’s battery was transferred to the Third Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland earlier in the spring.  But the battery was among the forces posted to guard the army’s supply lines.
  • Battery I:  At Nashville, 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, was part of the Fourth Division, Sixteenth Corps, which was forwarded to Vicksburg during the siege.
  • 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: Cited as still in Chicago, Illinois, but gaining four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  The battery was reforming after its surrender at Harpers Ferry the previous fall.  In May, the battery, still under the command of Captain John C. Phillips, moved to Kentucky.  There the battery became part of Fourth Division, Twenty-third Corps, Army of the Ohio.  At the end of June, the battery was at Louisville, Kentucky.

As you can see, a lot of story-lines with the 2nd Illinois Artillery.

Moving to the ammunition, we start with the smoothbore rounds on hand:

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Four batteries reporting smoothbore cannon.  And four reporting ammunition on hand:

  • Battery E: 207 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-pd field guns; 120 shell, 133 case, and 31 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.  Interpreting the last figure as a transcription error by the clerks.
  • Battery H:  186 shot, 160 case, and 42 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery I:  25 shot, 38 shell, 130 case, and 63 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, here’s where we get busy.  We start with the first page of the Hotchkiss columns:

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Heavy use of the Hotchkiss rounds, but for James and 6-pdr calibers:

  • Battery C: 100 shot, 430 percussion shell, and 68 fuse shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery G: 110 percussion shell and 935(?) fuse shell for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • Battery H:  10 shot for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery I: 103 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery L: 300 percussion shell, 200 fuse shell, and 200 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery M:  70 shot, 340 fuse shell, and 270 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James.

But… we are not done with the Hotchkiss.  Moving to the next page, which I’ll break down by section for ease of presentation, we find more Hotchkiss projectiles:

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Canister for everyone! Well at least for four batteries:

  • Battery C:  250 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery G: 100 canister for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • Battery L: 60 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery M: 70 canister for 3.80-inch James.

And note, with underlines, the ordnance department and the battery in the field carried the 3.67-inch rifles and their ammunition separately from the James rifles.  These weapons looked the same on the outside.  The bore diameter was just over a tenth of an inch different.  But for accounting and handling, these were different weapons.  The Ordnance Department associated the 3.67-inch caliber with Wiard.  But I don’t think we should read too much into that.

Moving to the right, we skip Dyer’s columns for the James-type projectiles:

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Everything in 3.80-inch caliber:

  • Battery C: 7 shot, 24 shell, and 2 canister in 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery D: 45 shot, 203 shell, 64 case, and 60 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery H: 125 shot, 267 shell, and 214 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery I: 121 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery L: 300 shell and 128 canister for 3.80-inch James.

Next we have the Parrott columns. Battery I had a pair of those, and here’s what they could fire:

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  • Battery I:  119 shell, 233 case, and 46 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

And to be sure we are tracking, those were Parrott-patent projectiles.  More in the same caliber, but Schenkl, are on the far right:

  • Battery I: 30 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

Then off to the next page where there are more Schenkl columns to consider:

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But these are for James rifles:

  • Battery D: 64 shot and 128 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery I: 102 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.

And looking to the right of those, we find some Tatham canister reported:

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More James caliber stuff:

  • Battery H: 33 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

So to summarize the rifled projectiles reported on hand for the 2nd Illinois Artillery…. a wide variety of types.

Lastly we move to the small arms:

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By battery reporting:

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

With that, we close the Second Illinois.  But we are not done with this state’s contributions for the second quarter of 1863.  Next up is the somewhat official Third Regiment and miscellaneous batteries.

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – First Illinois Artillery Regiment

When we looked at the returns for the 1st Illinois Artillery for first quarter, 1863, we found many of the batteries along the Mississippi River or in central Tennessee preparing for spring campaigns.  Reviewing the administrative details for the second quarter of the year, we find some of those batteries had indeed played important roles in the campaigns…. while others had their turn in the weeks to follow.  Here’s the regiment’s rows for the reporting period ending June 30, 1863:

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Recorded entries for all but two of the batteries, meaning we have a fairly complete set to work with.  However, six of these returns were not received until 1864:

  • Battery A: Larkinsville, Alabama, with five 12-pdr Napoleons and one 10-pdr Parrott.  That is where the battery wintered in 1864, when the report was received at the Department.  In June 1863 the battery was with Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, under Captain Peter P. Wood, outside Vicksburg, Mississippi. Of note, the battery had completely re-equipped from the earlier quarter.
  • Battery B: At Vicksburg, Mississippi with five 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer.  Like Battery A, this battery was also assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps.  Captain Samuel E. Barrett commanded.
  • Battery C:  Reporting at Bridgeport, Alabama with three 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The location reflected the 1864 reporting location.  In June of 1863 the battery was involved with the Tullahoma Campaign in middle Tennessee. Lieutenant Edward M. Wright’s battery remained with Third Division, Twentieth Corps.
  • Battery D: No report. The battery was assigned to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps, and was at Vicksburg that June.  This was Edward McAllister’s old battery, retaining four 24-pdr field howitzers. Captain Henry A. Rogers was killed in action on May 29.  Lieutenant George J. Wood temporarily commanded the battery, but resigned a few weeks later.  To fill the void, Captain Frederick Sparrestrom of Battery G, 2nd Illinois Artillery was placed in temporary command (There’s an interesting story line here to follow when we pick up the 2nd Illinois Artillery).  When Sparrestrom returned to his battery, Lieutenant George P. Cunningham, who had rose through the ranks.
  • Battery E: At “Bear Creek,” behind the Vicksburg siege lines, with five 12-pdr Napoleons and one 3.80-inch James Rifle.  This was an addition of four Napoleons, at the expense of three James, from the previous quarter.   Captain Allen C. Waterhouse remained in command, and the battery remained under Third Division, Fifteenth Corps.
  • Battery F: No report. Captain John T. Cheney commanded this battery assigned to First Division, Sixteenth Corps.  The battery began the spring at Memphis.  In mid-June, the division was sent to Vicksburg.  The battery was part of the force sent towards Jackson, Mississippi late in June.
  • Battery G:   Serving as siege artillery at Corinth, Mississippi.  Captain Raphael G. Rombauer assumed command of the battery earlier in the spring.
  • Battery H: At Vicksburg with four 20-pdr Parrotts.  This famous battery was assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps.  Captain Levi W. Hart resumed command during the spring (though Lieutenant Francis DeGress would replace him permanently later in the year).
  • Battery I: Camp Sherman, Mississippi with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Camp Sherman was near Bear Creek, and also in the rear of the siege lines at Vicksburg. The battery was assigned to First Division, Sixteenth Corps.  When Captain Edward Bouton accepted a colonelcy in a USCT regiment, Lieutenant William N. Lansing assumed command.
  • Battery K: Memphis, Tennessee with with ten Union Repeating Guns.  But as noted earlier, that column was likely being utilized by the clerks to track Woodruff guns. Captain Jason B. Smith resumed command (which had temporarily, at least on the order of battle, been that of Lieutenant Issac W. Curtis).  The battery was assigned to the Cavalry Division, Sixteenth Corps at that time.  As many will recall, the battery accompanied Colonel Benjamin Grierson’s raid in April-May.  As with the rest of Grierson’s command, the battery would operate under the Nineteenth Corps after the raid.
  • Battery L: New Creek, (West) Virginia, with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain John Rourke commanded this battery, assigned to First Division, Eighth Corps.  They guarded an important point on the B&O Railroad and Upper Potomac.
  • Battery M:  Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee (reflecting location when the return was received in February 1864) with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (a reversal of numbers reported the previous quarter). Lieutenant George W. Spencer commanded this battery, assigned to the Second Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  This puts the battery on the march, on along Manchester Pike, at the end of June.

A lengthy administrative section.  But all due for a set of batteries heavily engaged at that time of the war.   And as we move next to discuss the ammunition on hand, there remains a need for lengthy discussions!  Lots of entries. Some that need explanation.

We start with the smoothbore ammunition reported on hand:

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Lots of round ammunition on hand:

  • Battery A: 220 shot, 84 shell, 262 case, and 123 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 120 canister for 6-pdr field guns; and 134 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery B: 348 shot, 180 case, and 121 canister for 6-pdr field guns;    20 shell, 30 case, and 20 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery C: 42 case for 6-pdr field guns; 203 shell, 258 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery E: 113 shot, 123 shell, 260 case, and 160 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery L: 70 shot, 504 case, and 823 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 519 shot, 189 shell, 639 case, and 134 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; and 48 case and 231 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery M: 82 shot, 224 shell, 268 case, and 59 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Battery A had upgraded from a mix of 6-pdr guns and 12-pdr howitzers earlier in the spring.  They apparently still had ammunition for those weapons on hand awaiting disposition.  One would expect sometime during the siege of Vicksburg those were cross-leveled to needy batteries, and Battery A didn’t carry all those useless rounds all the way to Alabama!

On the other hand, hard to account for why Battery C would have 6-pdr case shot on hand at this time of the war.

Battery L reported a large quantity of 6-pdr smoothbore ammunition on hand in the previous quarter.  As I speculated before, we have primary sources that indicate 6-pdr smoothbore ammunition was at times used from James rifles.  But the 12-pdr howitzer canister?  Well it would fit in the Napoleons, though would have a reduced charge.  Still, I’d like to see something documenting these substitutions, if indeed used for this specific battery.

Moving past the questions about the smoothbore ammunition, we proceed to the Hotchkiss projectiles:

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We normally see the Hotchkiss closely associated with 3-inch rifles.  That is true here, but with the added twist of the James 3.80-inch rifles:

  • Battery C: 197 canister, 270 percussion shell, 214 fuse shell, and 358 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E:  17 percussion shell and 93 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Battery L: 504 canister, 115 percussion shell, and 1,005 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles; 186 shot, 144 fuse shell, and 232 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • Battery M: 83 canister, 32 fuse shell, and 273 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Again we see Battery L with ammunition on hand that does not match the guns assigned.  In this case, 3-inch rifle projectiles would be useless for James rifles. But recall, the battery also reported a quantity of 3-inch projectiles … a smaller quantity… the previous quarter.  So I don’t think this is a transcription error.  Perhaps Battery L was tasked with maintaining a divisional-level supply, out there in West Virginia.

The next page of rifled projectiles uses every section in the header. So I’m going to break this down for ease:

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Rarely we see Dyer’s reported. But here is one entry:

  • Battery L: 580(?) 3-inch shrapnel.

So more of these projectiles that don’t match to the battery’s guns.

Moving to the James columns, we would expect to see a lot of entries:

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And we are not disappointed:

  • Battery E: 60 case shot and 50 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Battery I: 64 shot, 320 shell, and 256 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Battery L: 387 shot, 106 shell, and 19 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifles.

Then moving right, we have the Parrott columns:

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Two batteries reporting Parrott rifles. And two reporting that inventor’s projectiles:

  • Battery A: 145 shell, 47 case, and 65 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery H:  30 canister for 20-pdr Parrotts.

Well, we hope Battery H had more than a handful of canister rounds per gun.

Let us also break down the next page by section, starting with Schenkl:

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One line, but noteworthy:

  • Battery L: 356 shell for 3-inch rifles; 382 shell for 3.80-inch James.

Again, Battery L reporting a rather substantial number of 3-inch projectiles.

We often associate Tatham canister with James rifles:

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Two batteries reporting:

  • Battery H: 40 canister for 3.67-inch rifle.
  • Battery L: 268 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifle.

Yes, 20-pdr Parrotts were 3.67-inch bore.  So are we to believe that Battery H, there at Vicksburg, only had seventy rounds of canister… and nothing else?

Moving to the small arms columns, the 1st Illinois remains defiant to this transcriber:

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Like a canister blast, there’s a lot of scatter here:

  • Battery A: Three Army revolvers, forty-three Navy revolvers, and four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Seventeen Navy revolvers and five cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: Ten Army revolvers, nine Navy revolvers, and thirteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: Ten cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: Eleven Navy revolvers and three cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: Twenty breechloading carbines and ninety-seven cavalry sabers.
  • Battery L:  Seventeen muzzle-loading carbines, twenty-eight Army revolvers and 148 cavalry sabers.

Noteworthy for their absence is Battery H.  But I guess if you are pushing around a 20-pdr Parrott, small arms are an encumbrance.  Notice also the entries,  generic though it be, for breechloading and muzzle-loading carbines.  As discussed at length in earlier posts, many times the small arms allocations for the batteries reflected additional duties, such as providing security and details for patrols, at remote posts.

Lengthy… but interesting… that’s the summary for the 1st Illinois Artillery, giving a “sort of” picture for June 1863.

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Michigan Artillery

The Wolverine State sent a full regiment of light artillery to war along with a couple of independent batteries.  But for the first quarter of 1863, only ten of those were on the rolls.  As mentioned in the review of the previous quarterly summary for Michigan, the Ordnance Department clerks used designations for independent batteries (i.e. 1st Battery, 2nd Battery), while other official records consider these as regimented batteries (i.e. Battery A, Battery B).  I’ll use regimental designations here, but call to reader’s attention the this should be a natural match – as 1st Battery appears to be Battery A; 2nd Battery as Battery B; and so on:

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In addition to the ten light batteries, there are two separate sections to consider (and hopefully identify):

  • Battery A (1st Battery): No return.  This should be Lieutenant George Van Pelt’s battery, assigned to First Division, Fourteenth Corps.  A February 1863 roll-up of all artillery in the Department of the Cumberland indicates the battery had five 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery B (2nd Battery): Reporting from Bethel, Tennessee with two 12-pdr howitzers and three 3-inch rifles. Long story short on this battery’s history – having been overwhelmed at Shiloh the previous spring, it had just reconstituted and returned to duty.  The battery, under Lieutenant Albert F. R. Arndt, was posted to West Tennessee, under the District of Corinth, in the “catch all” Sixteenth Corps.
  • Battery C (3rd Battery): At Corinth, Mississippi.  One 12-pdr field howitzer and three 10-pdr Parrotts.  Under Captain George Robinson, this battery was also part of the District of Corinth, Sixteenth Corps during the winter of 1863.
  • Battery D (4th Battery): Reporting somewhere in Tennessee, which I cannot make out. Two 12-pdr field howitzers, two 10-pdr Parrotts, and two James 3.80-inch rifles.  Assigned to the Third Division, Fourteenth Corps, under Captain Josiah Church, which was of course at Murfreesboro at the time in question.
  • Battery E (5th Battery): At Nashville, Tennessee with three 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain John J. Ely’s battery was part of the Artillery of the Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland, and then serving in the garrison of Nashville.
  • Battery F (6th Battery): Munfordsville [sic], Kentucky. Two 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Records show that one section was at Munfordville under Lieutenant Luther F. Hale with two 6-pdrs and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Another section was at Bowling Green under Lieutenant Byron Paddock also with two 6-pdrs and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  So did only one section report?  Or should we look to one of the separate sections entered separably?
  • Battery G (7th Battery):  At Vicksburg, Mississippi… which it indeed visited later in July!  But this battery spent the winter of 1863 between Young’s Point and Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana, as part of the Ninth Division, Thirteenth Corps.  The summary indicates six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles on hand.  Captain Charles H. Lanphere commanded (Lieutenant Robert M. Wilder held the command temporarily during the winter).
  • Battery H (8th Battery): At Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana with with two 12-pdr field howitzers, two 6-pdr (3.67-inch) rifles, and two James (3.80-inch) rifles.  Captain Samuel De Golyer’s battery was assigned to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps.
  • Battery I (9th Battery): Reporting at Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia with six 3-inch rifles.  Captain Jabez J. Daniels commanded this battery assigned to the Cavalry Division of the Department of Washington.
  • Battery K (10th Battery): Arriving at Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. at the end of the winter.  The battery reported two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch steel rifles. Captain John Schuetz commanded this battery through the war.

With the organized batteries out of the way, let us turn to the two section entries:

  • Finch’s Section: Hickman’s Bridge, Kentucky. Two 12-pdr field howitzers.  Lieutenant Amasa. J. Finch of the 18th Michigan Infantry had charge of a section in the District of Central Kentucky. This was a temporary assignment, apparently disbanded before the end of the March.
  • Section at Munfordville – Clearly indicated as at Munfordville and with three 10-pdr Parrotts.  The “name” column may be “Boyd’s” or other common name.  But without any other leads, all I will commit to is this line referenced a three-gun section at Munfordville.

With that, question tabled, we can turn to the smoothbore ammunition reported:

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With a lot of 6-pdr field guns and 12-pdr field howitzers to feed:

  • Battery B: 152 shell, 152 case, and 94 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery C: 30 shell, 80 case, and 35 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery D: 98 shell, 108 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery E: 206 shot, 133 case, and 137 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery F: 258 shot, 209 case, and 115 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery H: 240 shell and 63 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery K: 156 shell for 12-pdr mountain howitzers; 204 shell for 12-pdr field howitzers; and 48 shell for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Finch’s Section: 192 shell, 192 case, and 128 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.

Battery K’s quantities raises eyebrows. Then again, the battery was in the “school house.”

Moving to the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

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Note the calibers and quantities cited here:

  • Battery B: 48 canister, 48 percussion shell, 72 fuse shell, 240 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery G: 202 canister, 156 percussion shell, 252 fuse shell, 600 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery H:  281 shot and 130 percussion shell for 12-pdr Wiard (3.67-inch) rifles.
  • Battery I: 96 canister, 200 percussion shell, 400 fuse shell, 720 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery K:  96 canister, 165 percussion shell, and 165 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

First off, we see an abundance of case shot (bullet shell) for a couple of batteries. As for Battery H, those are not Wiard projectiles but rather Hotchkiss type that were made for a specific caliber.  That caliber happened to be associated closely to Wiard’s guns… at least by the clerks counting things. Clearly those were meant for use in the 3.67-inch rifled 6-pdrs.  This is also an indicator we’ll see Tatham’s columns used later.

On the next page, we can focus on just the James, Parrott, and Schenkl projectiles:

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The full page is posted, if you need reference.  But let us look specifically at the quantities reported.  First the James patent projectiles:

  • Battery D: 12 canister for James 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 97 shell for James 3.80-inch rifles.

Now the Parrott patent projectiles:

  • Battery C: 40 shell, 382 case, and 126 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery D: 150 shell, 150 case, and 45 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery E: 196 shell, 129 case, and 47 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery F: 422 shell, 381 case, and 92 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Munfordville Section:  417 shell and 150 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

Lastly, the first set of Schenkl projectile columns:

  • Battery C: 57 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery E:  33 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

And there is one more Schenkl projectile entry line listed on the next page:

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  • Battery D: 333 shell for 3.80-inch James.

And on the far right, the Tatham canister columns:

  • Battery H: 186 canister for 3.67-inch rifles; 41 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Yes, that 0.13-th of an inch mattered.

Finally, we can turn to the small arms on hand for the winter reporting period:

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By battery:

  • Battery B: Thirty Army revolvers and thirty-one cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: Eighteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Twenty cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: Ten horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Twenty-five Army revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • Battery G: Fifteen Army revolvers, fifty-eight cavalry sabers, and six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Fifty cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: 141 Army revolvers and thirty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Fifteen Army revolvers and 128 horse artillery sabers.
  • Finch’s Section: One Army revolver and three cavalry sabers.
  • Munfordville Section: Two Army revolvers.

The biggest question mark for the Michigan summary in this quarter is that Munfordville section. Oh… bad penmanship of some clerk 153 years ago!

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – 1st Missouri Artillery

Earlier in January, I offered a brief, general service history of the batteries of the 1st Missouri Light Artillery in the preface to the fourth quarter, 1862 summary.  As noted at that time, there is much to “untangle” when matching the Missouri batteries to alternate names and designations that appear in the records.  Keep that in mind as we review the Missouri entries over the next couple of posts in this set.

For the first regiment, we have eight returns from the twelve batteries.  Two of those were filed in 1864:

0116_1_Snip_MO_1

So a fair sampling to consider:

  • Battery A: No return.  Captain George W. Schofield’s battery began the quarter as part of the District of Eastern Arkansas.  Their formation bore the very unlucky designation of the Thirteenth Division, Thirteenth Corps.  As the corps organized for the Vicksburg Campaign, the battery shifted to the Twelfth Division of that corps. The battery accompanied it’s parent formation during the Yazoo Pass operations that winter.  They returned to Milliken’s Bend in April.
  • Battery B: No return.  The battery was assigned to the Second Division, Department of Missouri during the quarter.  Captain Martin Welfley remained in command. However, Welfley also served as artillery chief for the department, starting in mid-March.  It is unclear if a subordinate held battery command at that time.
  • Battery C: Reporting from Lake Providence, Louisiana with two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers.  Formerly known as Mann’s Independent Battery, the battery was under Lieutenant Edward Brotzmann at the start of the year and assigned to Sixth Division, Sixteenth Corps.  Captain Charles Mann returned to command the battery during the winter.  When Sixth Division transferred to Seventeenth Corps, Mann’s battery went along.
  • Battery D:  At Corinth, Mississippi, with four 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3-inch rifles.  The battery, under Captain Henry Richardson, was part of a battalion of Missouri artillery serving at Corinth under Major George H. Stone, in Sixteenth Corps.  Of note, the battery’s reported armament differed greatly from that indicated the previous quarter (five 20-pdr Parrotts).
  • Battery E: Indicated at St. Louis with four 10-pdr Parrotts and three “English Guns, Cal. 3.5.”  The latter were products of Fawcett & Preston in Liverpool.  During the winter, Captain Nelson Cole resumed command of this battery assigned to the Department of the Frontier.  The battery moved to Springfield, Missouri in mid-February.  Later moved to Rolla.  Not until later in the spring did the battery reach St. Louis, as part of the reinforcements sent to Vicksburg.  A reorganization to be discussed in the next quarter.
  • Battery F: At Rolla, Missouri with two 3.80-inch James Rifles and four 3.5-inch English Guns.  Battery F’s story is paired with Battery E’s for the most part.  During the winter, Captain Joseph Foust (from Battery E) assumed command.  And like Battery E, Foust’s remained with the Department of the Frontier through the winter, to be pulled into the Vicksburg Campaign later in the spring.
  • Battery G: No return.  Captain Henry Hescock’s battery wintered at Murfreesboro, being placed in the Third Division, Twentieth Corps.
  • Battery H: Also at Corinth in Stone’s Battalion and reporting two 6-pdr field guns, one 24-pdr field howitzer, and two 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Frederick Welker remained in command.
  • Battery I:  Also part of Stone’s Battalion at Corinth, with two 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  By the end of the spring, Captain Benjamin Tannrath commanded the battery.
  • Battery K: At Germantown, Tennessee with four 10-pdr Parrotts. Transferring out of Stone’s Battalion, Captain Stillman O. Fish’s battery was placed in the District of Jackson.  Later in the spring, the battery began movement to Helena, Arkansas.
  • Battery L: No report. Captain Frank Backof’s Battery was part of the Department of the Frontier and station at Springfield.
  • Battery M: On July 10, 1863, this battery could proudly claim to be at Vicksburg, Mississippi.  But at the end of March of that year, they’d only begun the journey to that place.  Captain Junius W. MacMurray’s battery was around Lake Providence at the close of the quarter, assigned to Seventh Division, Seventeenth Corps.  The battery reported four 10-pdr Parrotts.

With administrative details and the number of guns reported in mind, let us turn to the smoothbore ammunition on hand:

0118_1_Snip_MO_1A

Yes, extended columns because we have a 24-pdr field howitzer to feed.  And one should notice something appears off with the line for Battery K.  There were no smoothbores in the battery.  And at the same time, Battery H had smoothbores to feed, yet only quantities listed for the 24-pdr howitzer.  Is this a transcription error?  Or admission that the wrong ammunition was carried by Battery K?  I think the former.  But to be accurate in my transcription here, I’ll reflect the lines as recorded on the form:

  • Battery C: 160 shot, 160 case, and 80 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 108 shells, 108 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery D: 280 shot, 204 case, and 145 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 120 shell, 337 case, and 38 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery H: 109 shell, 62 case, and 66 canister for their 24-pdr field howitzer.
  • Battery L: 15 shot, 260 case, and 155 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 120 shell, 109 case, and 145 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery K:  90 case and 28 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, we start with Hotchkiss:

0118_2_Snip_MO_1

Two batteries reporting, and with different calibers:

  • Battery D: 42 canister, 46 percussion shell, 80 fuse shell, and 240 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F: 52 shot for 3.80-inch “James”; 400 percussion shell for 3.67-inch “Wiard”; and 200 percussion shell for 3.80-inch “James.”

I break out Battery F in detail as the battery reported rifles in two distinct calibers.  We have to question here if they were using 3.67-inch projectiles in their James Rifles, or if some quantities might reflect the clerk’s attempt to reconcile 3.5-inch ammunition quantities in the form.

We find more from Battery F on the next page:

0119_1_Snip_MO_1

For James’ patent projectiles:

  • Battery K: 172 shot and 12 shell in 3.80-inch.

Moving to the Parrott columns, we see:

  • Battery E: 630 shell and 131 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery H: 13 shell, 60 case, and 117 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery I: 44 shell, 74 case, and 46 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery K: 160 shell, 340 case, and 120 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery M: 152 shell, 240 case, and 152 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

Lastly the Schenkl columns:

  • Battery E: 89 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery I: 79 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery K: 90 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery M: 80 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

On the last page for rifled projectiles, we find Battery K again:

0119_2_Snip_MO_1

Tatham’s canister:

  • Battery K: 200 cansiter for 3.67-inch and 100 canister for 3.80-inch.

And again, we must wonder if some of these were 3.5-inch caliber, but lacking a column were simply “dropped” into the form by the clerks.

And for last the small arms:

0119_3_Snip_MO_1

At least no “special” columns, just those as printed:

  • Battery C: Three Army revolvers and thirty cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Thirty cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: Eighty-one Army revolvers and fourty-seven cavalry sabers.
  • Battery F: Six Army revolvers, six Navy revolvers, and fifteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery  H: Six Army revolvers and forty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Fourteen Army revolvers, 136 cavalry sabers, and one horse artillery saber.
  • Battery K: Three Navy revolvers and twenty-five cavalry sabers.
  • Battery M: Seven Army revolvers and seven cavalry sabers.

The small arms reports are always interesting to me, as I look for correlations between quantities and the assignments.  In this case, maybe Backof’s Battery needed a lot of edged weapons given their duty in southeast Missouri.

We’ll look at Missouri’s Second Light Artillery Regiment in the next installment.

 

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Second Illinois Artillery Regiment

You won’t find mention of any battery of the 2nd Illinois Artillery in the Gettysburg Campaign studies.  On the other hand, the gunners of the 2nd Illinois were very familiar with places in Louisiana and Mississippi as they played a role in the Vicksburg Campaign.  Not all of them, but a significant portion of the regiment did as most were under Major-General Ulysses S. Grant’s wide-spread command.  Looking at the first quarter, 1863 summaries, we find eight of the twelve batteries had recorded returns.  But only six reported cannon on hand:

0100_1_Snip_2nd_ILL

Two of these batteries were assigned duty as siege & garrison artillery, explaining their lack of field guns:

  • Battery A: Listed as “siege battery” at Helena, Arkansas.  No cannon reported. Captain Peter Davidson’s battery received orders to become a “field battery” later in the spring, assigned to First Division, Thirteenth Corps.
  • Battery B: Also listed as “siege battery” but posted to Corinth, Mississippi.  No cannon reported. Captain Fletcher H. Chapman commanded.
  • Battery C: At Fort Donelson, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain James P. Flood’s battery would shortly after this report receive a transfer to the Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • Battery D: At Grand Junction, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Charles S. Cooper replaced Lieutenant Harrison C. Barger in command of this battery during the winter. The battery was assigned to First Division, Sixteenth Corps, covering Memphis at the time.
  • Battery E: No report. In January this battery, at the time commanded by Sergeant Martin Mann, became part of Sixteenth Corps, guarding the railroad lines outside Memphis. Lieutenant George L. Nipsel resumed command later in the spring.
  • Battery F: Reporting at Lake Providence, Louisiana with two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. Attached to Seventeenth Corps, Captain John W. Powell was the commander at the end of March 1863.
  • Battery G: No report. Captain Frederick Sparrestrom commanded this battery, assigned to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps, at the time either at Milliken’s Bend or Lake Providence.
  • Battery H: Another posted to Fort Donelson.  Reporting two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Lieutenant  Jonas Eckdall’s battery was part of the “rear echelon” in Grant’s command guarding the communications and logistics lines.  But later in the spring the battery was transferred to the Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
  • Battery I:  Reporting at Nashville, 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 Fourth Division, Fourteenth Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  Changes later in the spring sent the battery to the Reserve Corps.
  • Battery K: No report. The battery was also part of the push on Vicksburg.  Specifically Fourth Division, Sixteenth Corps.  Cpatain  Benjamin F. Rodgers commanded.
  • Battery L: Listed at Barry’s Landing, Louisiana (which again, matches to a placename that I think was in Arkansas) with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Part of Third Division, Seventeenth Corps, Captain William H. Bolton commanded.
  • Battery M: No report. This battery remained in Chicago through the reporting period.  It was reforming after its surrender at Harpers Ferry the previous fall.

Take note.  With eighteen on hand, the 2nd Illinois’ artillerymen were familiar with the James Rifles. Only two Napoleons and two Parrotts in the whole regiment.  Just how it was out in the western armies.  Of course, that simplifies some of the projectile tables, right?

Let’s look first at the smoothbore ammunition reported:

0102_1_Snip_2nd_ILL

Just three reporting quantities on hand:

  • Battery F: 188 shot, 163 case, and 46 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 120 shell, 145 case, and 30 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery H: 186 shot, 160 case, and 42 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery I: 27 shot, 53 shell, 112 case, and 42 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

Please note, I’m of the mind that the 12-pdr canister columns (last two on the right) are somewhat ambiguous based on use.  We see 12-pdr field howitzer canister listed at times on either column, despite the labeling.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, we start with Hotchkiss and find three batteries reporting:

0102_2_Snip_2nd_ILL

No surprises here, these are feed for the James Rifles (Again, Hotchkiss-pattern for James Rifles):

  • Battery C: 100 shot, 450 percussion shell, and 68 fuse shell for 3.80-inch rifle.
  • Battery H: 10 shot and 150 percussion shell also for those 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery I: 45 shot in 3.80-inch.

But wait!  There’s more Hotchkiss to consider, along with a lot of other patterns on the next page.  Let’s break those down to reduce squinting:

0103_1A_Snip_2nd_ILL

Three batteries again, but notice we drop off I and add L:

  • Battery C: 250 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery H: 120 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery I: 76 canister for 3.80-inch James.

Moving to the James pattern columns we see, as one might expect, a lot of ammunition tallies:

0103_1B_Snip_2nd_ILL

Looks like everyone got something here!

  • Battery C: 7 shot, 24 shell, and 2 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery D: 45 shot, 220 shell, 64 case, and 56 canister for 3.80-inch.
  • Battery H: 125 shot, 262 shell, and 214 canister for 3.80-inch.
  • Battery I: 56 shot and 123 canister for 3.80-inch.
  • Battery L: 14 shot, 376 shell, and 144 canister for 3.80-inch.

Again, those are James projectiles for James rifles.  Remember the redundancy there.

Now we had one battery reporting a pair of Parrotts on hand.  What did they feed those Parrotts?

0103_1C_Snip_2nd_ILL

And that battery had:

  • Battery I: Parrott pattern – 122 shell, 240 case, and 46 canister for 10-pdr; and 17 Schenkl shot for 10-pdr.

To make this one of the most diverse listing of rifled projectiles we’ve considered, we move to the other Schenkl columns:

0103_2_Snip_2nd_ILL

Two batteries reporting:

  • Battery D: 64 shot and 123 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery I: 97 Schenkl shell for 3.80-inch.

Also note:

  • Battery H: 32 Tatham canister for 3.80-inch rifle.

All of these quantities must have made for busy ammunition boxes during the spring.

Lastly we turn to the small arms:

0103_3_Snip_2nd_ILL

By battery:

  • Battery C: Fourteen Army revolvers, fifty-one cavalry sabers, and six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Twenty-five Army revolvers.
  • Battery H: Eight Army revolvers, ten Navy revolvers, and six cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: Twenty-five Navy revolvers and sixteen horse artillery sabers.

The most significant observation for the 2nd Illinois Artillery’s summaries for this period is the diverse ammunition, in just one caliber, issued to the batteries.  Later in the spring and summer of 1863, those James rifles would sent Hotchkiss, James, Schenkl, and Tatham rounds down range.

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – First Illinois Artillery Regiment

Assignments for individual batteries in the 1st Illinois Light Artillery Regiment for the first quarter, 1863 reflected the reorganizations completed during that winter for the western armies.  When the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Corps reorganized into manageable formations, the batteries shifted with their supported infantry brigades to serve under new corps banners.  To grasp these changes, one must dig past the basic details offered in the summary pages.  A third of the regiment reported at Young’s Point, Louisiana, just up the river from Vicksburg:

YoungsPoint

Here they joined an assembly of forces under Major-General Ulysses S. Grant arrayed to capture Vicksburg. Historian Marion Bragg, charged with recording the historic place names along the Mississippi River, described Young’s Point in 1977:

Youngs Point, on the Louisiana side of the river just above Vicksburg, is today one of the most tranquil places imaginable.  Nothing disturbs the quiet of the rural countryside but the occasional throb of a diesel towboat gliding past the point, or the chug of a farmer’s tractor in one of the nearby bean or cotton fields.

In 1863, Youngs Point was literally covered with thousands upon thousands of Federal soldiers, and a whole fleet of Union Navy vessels were tied up in the willows along the shore….

A contrast in times. Those four Illinois batteries were but loops in a spring being coiled that winter.

OK, so I got to foist one of my unused sesquicentennial post illustrations upon you to preface this post.  Let’s get back to the battery summaries:

0100_1_Snip_1st_ILL

Again, we must look below the surface of the administrative details to see the changes from the previous quarter:

  • Battery A: At Young’s Point with four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. Captain Peter P. Wood commanded this battery.  As part of the transformation of Thirteenth Corps, it remained under Sherman’s portion of the army, assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps.
  • Battery B: Also reporting at Young’s Point, but with five 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer. And this battery was also assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps with the reorganization.  Captain Samuel E. Barrett commanded.
  • Battery C:  At Murfreesboro, Tennessee with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Assigned to Sheridan’s division under the old Fourteenth Corps, the battery followed that division to become part of the Third Division, Twentieth Corps (NOTE: An earlier designation separate from the merged corps from the Army of the Potomac in 1864.)  Lieutenant Edward M. Wright commanded.
  • Battery D: Reporting at Berry’s Landing, Louisiana.  I place this landing just upriver of Helena in Arkansas, rather than Louisiana.  But, of course, there could be several landings by that name.  The battery reported four 24-pdr field howitzers. With the reorganization of Thirteenth Corps, Captain Henry A. Rogers’ command went to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps.
  • Battery E: Another reporting at Young’s Point, this battery with four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  A reduction from six rifles reported the previous quarter.  Captain Allen C. Waterhouse commanded.  With the reorganization, this battery went to Third Division, Fifteenth Corps.
  • Battery F: No report. The battery was stationed at Memphis through the winter of 1863, presumably still with James rifles.  However, it was under First Division, Sixteenth Corps.  Captain John T. Cheney commanded.
  • Battery G:   Serving as siege artillery at Corinth, Mississippi. Lieutenant Gustave Dechsel commanded the battery.
  • Battery H: At Young’s Point with two 20-pdr Parrott Rifles. Lieutenant Francis De Gress’ battery was assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps.  The battery retained two 20-pdr Parrotts.  And those big Parrotts would see much service during the war.
  • Battery I: No report.  Captain Edward Bouton commanded this battery which was assigned to First Division, Sixteenth Corps.
  • Battery K: Memphis, Tennessee with with ten Union Repeating Guns.  But as noted earlier, that column was likely being utilized by the clerks to track Woodruff guns.  Lieutenant  Isaac W. Curtis’ battery was assigned to the Sixteenth Corps and would later see action in the cavalry operations of the Vicksburg Campaign.
  • Battery L: New Creek, (West) Virginia, with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain John Rourke commanded this battery, assigned to First Division, Eighth Corps.
  • Battery M:  Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee (reflecting location when the return was received in February 1864) with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery was posted to Franklin, Tennessee during the winter of 1863.  Lieutenant George W. Spencer commanded.

The guns of the 1st Illinois Artillery would make an impact later in the spring and summer months during the Vicksburg Campaign.  So what ammunition did they report on hand?  Starting with the smoothbores:

0102_1_Snip_1st_ILL

Yes, we have some of the extra columns here, reflecting ammunition for the big howitzers:

  • Battery A: 375 shot, 314 case, and 117 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 122 shell, 153 case, and 36 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery B: 450 shot, 430 case, and 133 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 30 shell, 110 case, and 17 canister for their lone 12-pdr field howitzer.
  • Battery C: 132 shell, 180 case, and 50 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery D: 336 shell, 225 case, and 83 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery L: 70 shot for 6-pdr field guns; 136 shot, 192 shell, 554 case, and 132 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons. Why 6-pdr shot? Well, my guess is those were used with the James Rifles.
  • Battery M: 50 shot, 150 shell, and 200 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Moving next to the rifled projectiles, we start with the Hotchkiss-patterns:

0102_2_Snip_1st_ILL

Three lines to report:

  • Battery C: 234 canister, 95 percussion shell, 210 fuse shell, and 242 bullet shell in 3-inch rifle caliber.
  • Battery L: 156 shot, 40 percussion shell, 156 fuse shell, and 28 bullet shell in 3.80-inch (James) caliber; Also reporting 150 fuse shell in 3-inch.  And I still cannot offer an explanation for the later type in this battery.
  • Battery M: 450 shot, 168 canister, and 250 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

On the next page of the summary, we can focus on just the James and Parrott columns:

0103_1_Snip_1st_ILL

Again, three batteries to consider:

  • Battery E: 480 shell and 160 canister of James-patent in 3.80-inch rifle caliber.
  • Battery H: 114 shell, 48 case, and 73 canister for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery L: 320 shot, 36 shell, and 19 canister of James-patent for 3.80-inch rifles.

And the last page of rifled projectiles:

0103_2_Snip_1st_ILL

One line:

  • Battery L: 316 Schenkl shells for 3.80-inch James rifles; 172 Tatham canister for 3.80-inch rifle.

Now on to the small arms:

0103_3_Snip_1st_ILL

Considering by battery:

  • Battery A: Three Army revolvers, forty-four Navy revolvers, and four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Twenty-seven Navy revolvers and six cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: Eight Navy revolvers and thirteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Fifteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: Ten cavalry sabers.
  • Battery H: Thirteen Navy revolvers and nine cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: Twenty-two Burnside’s Carbines and 101 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery L: Seventeen Smith’s Carbines, Twenty-eight Army revolvers, and 148 cavalry sabers.

Those last two lines deserve some discussion.  Battery K served alongside cavalry.  Battery L, on the other hand, was guarding the railroad in West Virginia.  Interesting to see those batteries reporting quantities of carbines.

Keeping in sequence, we’ll turn to the 2nd Illinois Light Artillery next week.

April 1862… a pivotal month of the war

Today marks the 155th anniversary of the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, generally called the “start” of the American Civil War.  I don’t know what to call the 155th other than just “155th.”  Likewise, I have no smart name for the 151st anniversaries of the surrender at Appomattox (last Saturday) or Lincoln’s assassination (coming Thursday).  Having just experienced the sesquicentennial years, I trust we are all aware that April 1861 and April 1865 serve as convenient bookends of the Civil War.  And thus we see a number of good, scholarly works aimed to explain the events from those months. That is, in my opinion, a focus well spent.  Yet, there is a lot of “in between” laying between those two Aprils which is also due focus.

One “in between” that has always struck my fancy is April 1862.  Just a lot of moving parts in that spring month.  Consider –

  • April 4- Major-General George McClellan lead the Army of the Potomac up the Peninsula toward Confederate defenses at Yorktown.
  • April 6 – General Albert Sidney Johnston’s army struck Major-General U.S. Grant’s force camped around Pittsburg Landing.
  • April 7- Major-General John Pope landed a force at Watson’s Landing, on the Tennessee shore below New Madrid, Missouri, and behind Island No. 10.
  • April 10 – Federal batteries directed by (then) Captain Quincy Gillmore opened fire on Fort Pulaski.
  • April 12 – James Andrews hijacked the locomotive General at Big Shanty, Georgia.
  • April 17 – Major-General Nathaniel Banks occupied New Market, Virginia, with Major-General Thomas Jackson’s command falling back to the vicinity of Harrisonburg.
  • April 18 – Federal fleet under Commodore David Farragut began bombardment of Forts Jackson and St. Philip downstream from New Orleans. Days later the fleet would run past those forts.
  • April 26 – After a month long siege, Confederates surrendered Fort Macon on the North Carolina coast.

Those being, mostly, start or end points of longer campaigns or operations.  The conclusions seen were:

  • A prolonged siege at Yorktown.
  • Over 23,000 casualties and a major Confederate reverse at Shiloh.
  • Some 7,000 Confederates captured at Island No. 10 and the Mississippi laid open south nearly (Fort Pillow) to Memphis.
  • New Orleans lost to the Confederacy – both as a port and manufacturing center.
  • Savannah mostly closed as a port.
  • The coast of North Carolina, save Wilmington, under Federal control.  As were large portions of the Shenandoah Valley, Tennessee, and Arkansas.

I added the Great Locomotive Chase entry as it had some impact on the Confederate logistic system at the time.

Furthermore, in a era without the benefit (or handicap) of the 24-hour news cycle, the timing of that raid reminds us how these events were connected in time. Imagine the newspaper headlines each morning, as the events unfolded.  In learning about the war, we approached the initial study by chapters… nicely defined chapters covering specific campaigns.

But unfortunately a format that failed to give us that appreciation for how those events were experienced – real time.  Those of us who waded into the sesquicentennial gained much from “real time, 150 years after the fact” following.  And I do hope that added to the perspective of many.  However I think in general that historians have not done enough to demonstrate the connection between these events and how such factored into the course of the war.  Nor have us students done enough to bring out those connections in our studies.  Thus several logical, time-line groupings of events have not received due attention.  There were several pivotal weeks and months in which the course of the war turned.

April 1862 was one of them.  The war entered its first mature campaign season… from the plains of Kansas to the Atlantic Ocean (and beyond).  And given the victories cited above, April 1862 might have been a turning point sending the Confederacy to an early end.  As a “western theater guy” I am fond of saying the Confederates lost the war at Shiloh on the night of April 6, 1862 and the Federals won the war atop Missionary Ridge on November 24, 1863.  Easterners will disagree, but the fact is defeat at Shiloh broke the back of the Confederate army in the west.  Shiloh set-up Vicksburg.  Vicksburg set-up Chattanooga and that Missionary Ridge thing.  Missionary Ridge set-up Atlanta.  And from Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston, Columbia, and Fayetteville … and set-up Appomattox. The long way around, to be sure.  But that’s how my “western-centered” perspective views it… feel free to disagree.

Yet from the opposite side of the coin, April 1862 was also an important set-up for the Confederacy. Consider the closures… or results… from some of those Federal actions:

  • The Army of the Potomac invested Yorktown, not taking that place until the first days of May.
  • Major-General Henry Halleck took direct control of the advance toward Corinth, Mississippi, concentrating forces across the western theater for a slow pursuit.  The Crossroads of the Confederacy would not be in Federal hands until the end of May.
  • Major-General Samuel Curtiss, due to logistic constraints and in spite of a victory at Pea Ridge in March, fell back into Missouri.

This turn of events, again happening concurrently, gave openings and created angles which the Confederates could exploit. One of those, of course, being Jackson’s Valley Campaign.  That campaign, and actions on other fronts, setup six months in which the Confederacy would reach its zenith… and take the war onto northern soil.

Maybe April 1862 was not the turning point it could have been.  And maybe it was not the most important thirty days of the Civil War.  But I submit it was a pivotal month in the course of the war.