Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 1st Tennessee Light Artillery

For the previous quarter, we saw the clerks at the Ordnance Department had single line allocated for batteries formed from Tennessee volunteers.  At that time, there were two light artillery batteries, formed from Tennessee unionists.  Though others were forming up.  And two regiments of heavy artillery were getting organized, being recruited from the contraband camps in west Tennessee. 

Moving into the third quarter, the clerks still offered no clarity for the Tennessee artillerymen:

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The entry as “1st Battery Artillery” from Tennessee is not specific.  There were two batteries at this time which could lay claim as the 1st Tennessee Battery – The 1st East Tennessee Battery and 1st Middle Tennessee Battery.  But that cumbersome designation system was soon reconciled with both batteries entered into the 1st Tennessee Light Artillery Regiment.  Some sources indicate the regiment was authorized in June 1862.  And there is no doubt the formation was mentioned by authorities from that point forward. But not until November 1, 1863 was the regiment properly organized with commander appointed.  And that commander was Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Clay Crawford.  The regiment, which arguably was but a battalion, comprised of five batteries:

  • Battery A: This was the former 1st Middle Tennessee battery, commanded by Captain Ephraim P. Abbott.  The battery was assigned to Third Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland. The battery moved down from Murfreesboro to Chattanooga in September, arriving just after the battle of Chickamauga.  Earlier in the summer, the battery reported two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • Battery B: This was the 1st East Tennessee Battery, and had been commanded by Captain Robert C. Crawford.  By the summer of 1863 it was assigned to the Fourth Division, District of Kentucky.  This battery played a small part in Burnside’s East Tennessee Campaign.  Captain James A. Childress commanded.  The battery was on duty around the Cumberland Gap at the end of September.
  • Battery C: Still being organized, this battery would not muster until early 1864.  Captain Vincent Myers would command. 
  • Battery D:  Likewise still organizing and not mustering until 1864.  Captain David R. Young would command.
  • Battery E: Assigned to the District of North Central Kentucky.  Captain Henry C. Lloyd commanded this battery.  This battery served at various posts – Bonneville, Camp Nelson, Flemmingsburg, Mt. Sterling, and Paris – through the spring of 1864.

In addition to those listed, Batteries F, G, and K appear later in later organization tables.  But at the close of the third quarter of 1863, those were not even planned.  With no returns submitted, we have no cannon, ammunition, or even small arms to discuss in regard to these Tennessee artillerists.  But the record is clear in that three batteries from the 1st Tennessee Light Artillery were mustered as of the end of September and were doing duty. 

But there are other batteries we should tally here. There actually was a fourth light battery, and possibly a fifth, that existed in the fall of 1863 and should mentioned here.  In the “definitely” category is the Memphis Light Artillery.  This battery is sometimes mentioned as the 1st Tennessee Battery, African Descent (or A.D.).  Forming, starting the late summer of 1863, in Memphis and commanded by Captain Carl A. Lamberg (formerly of the 3rd Michigan Battery, which was then at Memphis), the battery’s official muster date was November 23. Later, in the following year, the battery would be re-designated as U.S.C.T. and assigned to the 2nd U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery as Battery F.

In the “maybe” category is an independent battery called “Hurlbut’s Battery.”  During the Vicksburg Campaign, the garrison in Memphis formed a “River Guard” to maintain security along the Mississippi River near the city.  In command of this guard was Major George Cubberly, from the 89th Indiana.  For those duties, Cubberly required some light artillery.  From the garrison’s armory came two 3.80-inch James Rifles and two 6-pdr field guns. This temporary battery actually saw limited action against Confederates along the river.  From one roll:

Hurlbut’s Battery consists of 2 James Rifled pieces and 2 smooth bore 6 pounders. Was in engagement at Bradley’s Landing, Ark., June 17, [1863] about 18 miles from Memphis, Tenn., up the river.  Fired about 60 shell with James Rifled pieces.


Later in the summer, the battery appears on returns in the First Brigade, District of Memphis (along with the Memphis Light Artillery, for what it is worth).   Lieutenant Albert Cudney commanded, from, apparently, Battery I, 1st Illinois Artillery.  And the battery appears on Sixteenth Corps orders at the first of September.  All of which still gives us little to go on.  The battery, temporary as it was, certainly existed during the third quarter of 1863.  And it saw action… at least sixty rounds worth of action.  Though it was likely broken up shortly afterwards.  As for its attribution to Tennessee, that is less certain.  With only an index card heading to work from, evidence is thin.  Rather, this temporary, improvised battery was likely made up of more Illinois or Indiana troops than Tennessee boys.

In summary, though the clerks did not have returns to work from, Tennessee had three batteries in Federal service at the end of September, one USCT battery forming, plus a couple more “unionist” batteries forming.   And that’s why we have a heading for Tennessee in the third quarter, 1863 summaries.

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Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Ohio Independent Batteries, Part 2

Twenty-six independent batteries from Ohio, recall?  But only twenty-four of those might properly be called “complete” as Ohio batteries.  We looked at what the first dozen of those were doing in the third quarter, 1863.  So we turn now to the remainder:

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Looking at each battery in detail:

  • 13th Battery: Not listed.  Most histories indicate this battery was never fully organized and ceased to exist, officially, in April 1862. But that’s not exactly accurate.  The battery did organize and saw action at Shiloh.  There it lost five of six guns (for a good, brief discussion, see this article).  As the battery fell into disfavor (and likely was the scapegoat for the poor performance of a division commander…) it was disbanded. The men and equipment remaining were distributed to other Ohio batteries (namely the 7th, 10th, and 14th Batteries).
  • 14th Battery: Reporting at Corinth, Mississippi with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3-inch Ordnance rifles. The battery was part of Second Division, Sixteenth Corps.   Captain Jerome B. Burrows remained in command.  In November, the battery was part of the “Left Wing” of the corps, advanced to Lynnville, in south-central Tennessee to guard the sensitive supply lines in that area.
  • 15th Battery: At Natchez, Mississippi with four 6-pdr field guns.  Captain Edward Spear, Jr. remained in command.  The battery was in Fourth Division, Sixteenth Corps at the end of the Vicksburg campaign. And it took part in the Jackson Campaign which followed.  Transferred in late July, with the division, to the Seventeenth Corps, it formed part of the garrison of Natchez. The battery took part in an expedition to Harrisonburg, Louisiana in September.
  • 16th Battery: Reporting at Carrollton, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Russell P. Twist remained in command.  The battery was with Third Division, Thirteenth Corps, recently transferred to the Department of the Gulf.  In late September, the battery transferred to Berwick Bay (Morgan City), southwest of New Orleans, for garrison duty.
  • 17th Battery: At Vermilion Bridge, Louisiana with six 10-pdr Parrotts. The battery was assigned to Tenth Division (re-designated Fourth), Thirteenth Corps.  When transferred to the Department of the Gulf, the battery was assigned to the garrison at Brashear City (Morgan City), Louisiana.  Later the battery moved to the location given in the return. The battery was among the forces used in the Teche Expedition in October. Captain Charles S. Rice remained in command.
  • 18th Battery: No report.  Captain Charles Aleshire’s battery was in First Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland, and had six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  The battery saw action on September 18, supporting the division along the Ringold Road. And was in action again on September 20 on Snodgrass Hill on the left end of the Federal line. With the general withdrawal that evening, the battery returned to Chattanooga.
  • 19th Battery: At Knoxville, Tennessee with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Joseph C. Shields commanded this battery, assigned to the Twenty-third Corps.  After contributing to the pursuit of Morgan in July, the battery was among the forces under General Burnside’s East Tennessee Campaign.
  • 20th Battery: Reporting, in May 1864, at Nashville, Tennessee with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch Ordnance rifles. However, the battery actually had two 12-pdr Napoleons, not field howitzers. The entry is a clerical data-entry error. The battery remained under Captain [John T.] Edward Grosskopff  and assigned to assigned to Second Division, Twentieth Corps. And the battery was with that division at Chickamauga. Grosskopff reported firing 85 rounds of ammunition at Chickamagua.  In terms of material, he lost only one caisson.  The location for this battery, for the end of the quarter, is accurately Chattanooga.
  • 21st Battery: At Greenville, Tennessee with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain James W. Patterson commanded.  Recall this battery was organized in April 1863.  After assisting with the pursuit of Morgan in July, the battery remained at Camp Dennison, Ohio, through much of the summer. Only in September did they move to Camp Nelson, Kentucky.  They arrived in Greenville, as the return indicates, around the first of October. The battery was part of the “Left Wing Forces” of the Ninth Corps.
  • 22nd Battery: No report.  The battery began the quarter stationed at Camp Chase, Ohio, where they’d just received their full complement of six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Commanded by Captain Henry M. Neil, the battery would not move out of Ohio until mid-August.  After spending time at Camp Nelson, the battery was dispatched with other forces to the Cumberland Gap, as part of the “Left Wing Forces” of the Ninth Corps.  According to the department returns at that time, Neil was serving as Artillery Chief for the Second Division, Ninth Corps.  And in his absence, Lieutenant Amos B. Alger led the battery.
  • 23rd Battery: Not listed. This battery was formed from the 2nd Kentucky Infantry and later became the 1st Kentucky Independent Light Battery. Only mentioned here due to “placeholder” status.
  • 24th Battery:  At Cincinnati, Ohio with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Officially mustered on August 4, this battery was posted to Camp Dennison until September 22, when they moved to Cincinnati.  Captain John L. Hill commanded.
  • 25th Battery: Reporting from Little Rock, Arkansas, in May 1864, with two 3-inch Ordnance rifles and four 3.67-inch rifles.  Captain Julius L. Hadley remained in command.  Assigned to First Cavalry Division, Department of Southeast Missouri, the battery served on expeditions into northeast Arkansas in July.  In August, the battery was among the forces sent toward Little Rock as part of Steele’s Expedition.
  • 26th Battery:  At Vicksburg, Mississippi, with no cannon reported. An interesting unit history, originally being a company in the 32nd Ohio Infantry, that I alluded to in the last quarter.  Briefly, detailed to artillery service earlier in the war, but still under the 32nd Infantry, the battery was captured at Harpers Ferry in September 1862.  Exchanged, the “battery” resumed infantry duties.  That is until during the siege at Vicksburg when captured Confederate cannon were assigned to the regiment.  “Yost’s Captured Battery”, named for Captain Theobold D. Yost, served in the siege lines, being highly regarded by senior officers.  And after the fall of Vicksburg the men of this temporary battery were detached to Battery D, 1st Illinois and the 3rd Ohio Independent Battery.  Yost would command the Illinois battery for a short time that summer. Not until December was the 26th formally authorized.  While not officially a battery at the end of September 1863, the men would would form the 26th were indeed stationed around Vicksburg.

Those details established, we turn to the smoothbore ammunition:

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Six lines to consider:

  • 14th Battery:  60 shot, 32 shell, 106 case, and 50 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 15th Battery: 220 shot, 132 case, and 220 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 16th Battery: 44 shot, 123 shell, 169 case, and 48 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 19th Battery: 74 shot, 230 shell, 269 case, and 234 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 20th Battery: 47 shot and 39 shell for 12-pdr Napoleons; 32 case and 32 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.  As with the issue mentioned above for this battery, the howitzer ammunition tallies are likely a data-entry error and should be 12-pdr Napoleon rounds.
  • 21st Battery: 276 shot, 126 shell, 164 case, and 128 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Moving to the Hotchkiss page:

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A mix of calibers here:

  • 14th Battery: 147 canister, 355 percussion shell, and 276 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 16th Battery: 88 shot, 70 fuse shell, and 304 bullet shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 20th Battery: 168 canister, 227 percussion shell, and 351 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 24th Battery: 48 shot, 168 canister, 120 percussion shell, and 290 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.  Yes, the seldom reported Hotchkiss solid shot for 3-inch rifles!
  • 25th Battery: 116 canister, 85 percussion shell, 43 fuse shell, and 65 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles; 112 shot, 291 percussion shell, and 158 fuse shell for “12-pounder” 3.67-inch rifles.

Two entries in the Hotchkiss columns on the next page:

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  • 16th Battery: 104 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 25th Battery: 216 canister for 3.67-inch rifles.

No James projectiles reported, for what it is worth.

But one battery with Parrott guns:

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  • 17th Battery: 48 shot, 677 shell, 155 case, and 363 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

We turn then to the Schenkl page:

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  • 24th Battery: 720 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • 25th Battery: 37 shell and 46 case for 3-inch rifles.

Lastly, we have the small arms reported on hand:

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By battery:

  • 14th Battery: Thirty army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 15th Battery: Eight cavalry sabers.
  • 16th Battery: Twenty-four navy revolvers and two cavalry sabers.
  • 17th Battery: Eight army revolvers.
  • 19th Battery: Thirty navy revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • 20th Battery: Eight army revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • 21st Battery: Twenty-eight navy revolvers and thirteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 24th Battery: Thirty army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 25th Battery: Twenty-six navy revolvers and fourteen cavalry sabers.

That concludes the Ohio independent batteries.  Next we will look at a couple of lines below those listings, covering artillery reported from infantry regiments.  And I’ll mention a couple that escaped notice of the Ordnance officers.

 

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Michigan

Michigan provided a full regiment of light artillery to the Federal cause.  As mentioned in previous installments, the clerks identified Michigan’s batteries with numbered designations, as per early war convention.  But the batteries were later designated with letters within the state’s 1st Light Artillery Regiment.  I will merge the two in an attempt to cover all bases here.  (Two more “independent” and numbered batteries would join the list in 1864, but that is for future posts.)

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Seven returns for the twelve batteries.  We’ll fill in some blanks:

  • 1st Battery (Battery A): No return.  Also known as the Loomis Battery, for its first commander.  Lieutenant George W. Van Pelt led this battery, supporting First division Fourteenth Corps, into action on September 19, at Chickamauga.   They worked their six (though reports earlier in the year indicated five) 10-pdr Parrotts through four changes of position before firing their first shot in the battle, near (not on) Winfrey Field.  The battery got off only 64 rounds before the Confederates were upon them.  “The men remained with the battery until the enemy’s bayonets were at their breasts,” wrote Captain George Kensel, Division Artillery Chief.  Van Pelt and five of his men were killed.  Six were seriously wounded and thirteen more captured.  Along with much of the battery equipment, five guns were captured.  Lieutenant August H. Bachman managed to extract one of the guns.  Three guns were recaptured later in the battle, but in poor shape.  (Of note… one Parrott was recaptured on Missionary Ridge and the last around Atlanta… and allegedly returned to the battery.)  Lieutenant Almerick W. Wilbur assumed command of the battery in Chattanooga.  With the exception of a few demonstrations, the battery would remain at Chattanooga for the rest of the war.
  • 2nd Battery (Battery B): Reporting from Corinth, Tennessee with two 12-pdr howitzers, two 3-inch Ordnance rifles (moved over from the “steel” column), and two 10-pdr Parrotts. Lieutenant Albert F. R. Arndt, still in command, was promoted to Captain in early September.  The battery remained at Corinth until October, when it moved to Pulaski, Tennessee, as part of the Sixteenth Corps.
  • 3rd Battery (Battery C): Still at Memphis, Tennessee, but now with four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain George Robinson remained in command of this battery, assigned to the District of Memphis (Fifth Division), Sixteenth Corps.
  • 4th Battery (Battery D): No return.  In the previous quarter,  Captain Josiah W. Church reported two 12-pdr field howitzers, two 10-pdr Parrotts, and two James 3.80-inch rifles.  And that’s what this battery, supporting Third Division, Fourteenth Corps, took into action at Chickamauga.  We might say this battery was “fought out” by two hard days fighting.  They left the field spent and with only one howitzer.  They lost 35 horses in the battle, but only seven men wounded and four missing.  Church provided a very detailed accounting of all material lost on the field.  So many items listed that I dare say a blank summary line would be close to accurate.  And, from the statements of several, that equipment was not given up without a fight! The battery reorganized in Chattanooga and would receive 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • 5th Battery (Battery E): At Nashville, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns and four 10-pdr Parrotts. This battery, part of the Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland, spent most of the summer in Murfreesboro.  In mid-September, Captain John J. Ely’s battery returned to Nashville.
  • 6th Battery (Battery F): At Glasgow, Kentucky with two 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  By some reports, the battery had sections at Munfordsville, Bowling Green, and Louisville, through October 1863.  Captain Luther F. Hale commanded overall, and at Munfordsville.  One section of the battery, under Hale, was at Munfordsville.  Another section, under Lieutenant Byron D. Paddock, garrisoned Bowling Green.  In October, both sections merged at Glasgow, Kentucky, part of the District of Central Kentucky, Department of the Ohio.  At that time Hale was promoted to major, and Paddock, with a captain’s commission, took the battery.
  • 7th Battery (Battery G):  At Carrolton, Louisiana with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  The battery was assigned to the Ninth Division, Thirteenth Corps, commanded by Captain Charles H. Lanphere, through August of 1863.  Subsequently assigned to the New Orleans garrison, Department of the Gulf.  Upon Lanphere’s resignation at the first of September, Lieutenant George L. Stillman took over the battery.
  • 8th Battery (Battery H): No return.  In the previous quarter, the battery reported two 12-pdr field howitzers, one 6-pdr (3.67-inch) rifles, and two James (3.80-inch) rifles.  With Captain Samuel De Golyer mortally wounded during the Vicksburg Siege, and Captain Theodore W. Lockwood moving to a cavalry unit. Lieutenant Marcus D. Elliot commanded this battery.  The battery was assigned to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps and spent the summer at Vicksburg (with most of the battery on furlough).
  • 9th Battery (Battery I): Reporting at Culpeper, Virginia with four 3-inch rifles.  Captain Jabez J. Daniels commanded this battery, assigned to the 1st Horse Artillery Brigade, Army of the Potomac.  The battery was reassigned to the Eleventh Corps in October, and move with that formation to Chattanooga.
  • 10th Battery (Battery K): At Chattanooga, Tennessee, with four 3-inch rifles.  However, this reflects the September 1864 posting date.  In September 1863, the battery was at Camp Barry, Washington, D.C..  Captain John C. Schuetz commanded.  The battery was sent west as part of the reinforcements sent to Chattanooga in November, as part of the Eleventh Corps.
  • 11th Battery (Battery L):  No return.  Under Captain Charles J. Thompson.  After seeing their first service in the response to Morgan’s Raid, the battery joined Third Division, Twenty-Third Corps, Department of the Ohio.  The battery saw service in the advance to Knoxville during the fall.
  • 12th Battery (Battery M):  No return. Captain Edward G. Hillier commanded.  The battery did not leave the state until July 9, being dispatched to Indianapolis in reaction to Morgan’s Raid.  From there, the battery moved to Camp Nelson, Kentucky, in mid-September.  From there, the battery joined Wilcox’s Division, Twenty-Third Corps advancing on the Cumberland Gap.

In the previous quarter, we saw three additional lines under Michigan’s batteries.  One of those was likely a section from the 6th Battery/Battery F.  Another was just reporting stores being held by the 18th Michigan Infantry, which were likely turned in by the end of the summer.  However, it is worth speculating that the 12th Michigan Infantry still retained a 12-pdr field howitzer while marching on Little Rock, Arkansas in the fall.

The first page detailed and some blanks filled in, we proceed to the ammunition pages, with smoothbores the first:

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Three batteries reporting:

 

  • 2nd Battery / Battery B: 152 shell, 128(?) case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 5th Battery / Battery E: 198 shot, 115 case, and 134 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 6th Battery / Battery F: 157 shot, 185 case, and 89 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

 

Moving to the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

0267_2_Snip_MI

Four batteries reporting:

  • 2nd Battery / Battery B: 83 canister, 72 percussion shell, 72 fuse shell, and 240 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery / Battery G: 123 canister, 159 fuse shell, and 509 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 9th Battery / Battery I: 360 shot, 60 canister, 60 percussion shell, and 120 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery / Battery K: 402 shot, 96 canister, 165 percussion shell, and 179 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

On the next page, we can focus on the Parrott columns:

0268_1P_Snip_MI

Four batteries with quantities:

  • 2th Battery / Battery B: 51 shot, 183 shell, and 77 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 3rd Battery / Battery C: 57 shot, 40 shell, 601 case, and 95 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 5th Battery / Battery E: 129 shot, 383 shell, 40 case, and 170 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 6th Battery / Battery F: 177 shell, 141 case, and 62 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

And one battery with Schenkls:

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  • 5th Battery / Battery E: 60 shell and 100 case for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Lastly, the small arms:

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By battery:

  • 2nd Battery / Battery B: Twenty Army revolvers and forty-three cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery / Battery C: Eighteen cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery / Battery E: Twenty-five cavalry sabers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery / Battery F: Twenty-five Army revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery / Battery G: Nine Army revolvers and one cavalry saber.
  • 9th Battery / Battery I: Eleven Army revolvers and seventeen horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery / Battery H: Fifteen Army revolvers and sixty-nine horse artillery sabers.

Worth noting, Captain Church reported, within a lengthy list of accouterments and implements missing after Chickamauga, the 4th Battery lost four revolvers and five sabers.

One of Beauregard’s Columbiads recovered from the ocean floor?

I’ve written some in the past about the remarkable find of the steamer Philadelphia. (And note, this is not the gunboat USS Philadelphia which plied the waters around Charleston during the war.) Some time after the Civil War the steamer left Charleston with a load of scrap metal, including several heavy artillery pieces of Confederate vintage. The Philadelphia never made it out of South Carolina waters and sank off the coast. Recently Rufus Perdue discovered the wreck and began recovery of some 25 cannons (!).

I mentioned a Bellonia 10-inch columbiad donated to the South Carolina Military Museum in that earlier post. Recently another of the cannons, this one a Tredegar columbiad of the same caliber, showed up in the news. Earlier this month, WMBF News of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina ran a story about cannons found in recent years, featuring both the Philadelphia cannons and relics from the CSS Pee Dee. Regarding the columbiads, the article notes:

Mr. Rufus Perdue was fishing for grouper off the coast of McClennanville when he discovered the sunken USS Philadelphia. The ship sank under the weight of cannons decommissioned from Charleston after the Civil War, being transported north.

“This is one of about 25 cannons,” Perdue said. “They were shipped out of Charleston at the end of Reconstruction.”

Mr. Perdue unearthed those cannons, which he now proudly displays outside his Murrells Inlet home.

I can’t embed the video from the article here, but please give it a look. I mean really take a look at around the 1:34 mark:

RecoveredColumbiad

The four digit number on the muzzle stands out in white. Is that 1676? 1678? 1873? Any of those numbers match the Tredegar Gun Book entries for 10-inch columbiads. The first two are of interest to the discussion of Charleston’s defenses in March 1863.

Foundry numbers 1676 and 1678 appear on a receipt list from November 1862. According to the receipt, number 1676 was sent to Cumberland Gap (yes, up in the mountains).

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I’ll have to research a bit to determine if the gun ever got there, and if not where it was redirected.

But number 1678, paired with 1681, were bound for Charleston.

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Keep in mind this table from the Charleston board, which shows three 10-inch columbiads delivered to the First Military District in November of that year.

heavyOrd

The J.R. Anderson receipt accounts for all three of the November columbiads – number 1672 delivered by the foundry on November 5 along with the two mentioned above. The receipt also accounts for 10-inch columbiad number 1687 delivered at Richmond in the last days of the month, the forwarded to Charleston in December.

But… if the number is 1873, then it was cast in July 1863 and was a later arrival at Charleston. Either way, the recovered columbiad was likely a participant in the long siege of Charleston.

150 Years Ago: Cumberland Gap

On June 18, 1862, Federal forces under Brigadier General George W. Morgan occupied Cumberland Gap.  Of his success, Morgan wrote:

The enemy evacuated this American Gibraltar this morning at 10 o’clock, and De Courcy’s brigade took possession at 3 this afternoon. The enemy destroyed a considerable amount of his stores, and precipitated several cannon over the cliffs, spiking others, and carried a few away. I believe, however, that seven have been found in position. The tents were left standing, but cut into slits. He had not time to destroy or take a portion of his stores, and they have been taken possession of by the proper officers. The Stars and Stripes were raised by De Courcy, and a national salute was fired in honor of the capture of this stronghold of treason. Each brigade, in the order of its arrival, will on successive days plant its flag at sunset upon the pinnacle of the mountain, accompanied by a national salute.

In my hurried dispatches of this morning I neglected speaking in terms of just praise of the valuable services of Lieutenant Fisher and his brother officers of the Signal Corps, and also of the energy and devotion of Lieutenant-Colonel Munday and his handful of cavalry; but every officer and every soldier has nobly discharged his duty. (OR, Series I, Vol. 10, Serial 10, page 56)

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Fields and Road Trace on the Kentucky side of Cumberland Gap

This was a victory achieved more by sweat and toil than bloodshed.  An important component of Morgan’s command was a battery of heavy Parrott rifles directed by Captain Jacob T. Foster, First Wisconsin Battery.  Foster’s men hauled two 20-pdr and two 30-pdr Parrott Rifles through the hills and right up to the Cumberland Gap.   A passage from Foster’s official report, discussing the movement of guns on June 10, attested to the difficulty moving these heavy guns:

After halting until late in the evening all were closed up, and Wetmore’s Ninth Ohio Battery allowed to pass and make the descent in advance. The 30-pounder guns being so heavy, weighing 8,000 pounds, were left at the top of the mountain, as the descent was too difficult to think for one moment of moving them down in the night.  The 20-pounders, being more nearly allied to light artillery, were moved down the mountain into Powell’s Valley during the night, but not without difficulty, for in many instances would they have been whirled down the rocks but for the constant care and tugging at the ropes by all the men we had…. (OR, Series I, Vol. 10, Serial 10, page 65)

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20-pdr Naval Parrott on display at Cumberland Gap

The capture of Cumberland Gap, at least on the map, secured the last corner of Kentucky. The move opened the door, long called for from Washington, to the east Tennessee and west North Carolina unionists.  It also opened doors into southwest Virginia.  The gap figured prominently in the American mind of the 1800s.  The Civil War generation was not far removed from those who passed through the gap on the Wilderness Road.  Planting the Stars-and-Stripes at the Cumberland Gap was a symbolic victory – setting the link that bound east and west.

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Remains of the fortifications in Cumberland Gap

But this was not the end of Civil War activity at Cumberland Gap.  It would change hands a couple more times with the ebb and flow of the war.