Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Kansas

Yes, we are in Kansas.  Well, in the Kansas section of the second quarter, 1863 summaries:

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Three batteries and three sections, assigned to cavalry.  Of which only one line lacks a receipt date.  Let us marvel the over zealous clerk who listed these batteries by designation and commander’s (or at least organizer’s) name:

  • 1st (Allen’s) Battery:  No report.  A June 30, 1863 return had Captain Norman Allen’s battery assigned to the District of Rolla, Missouri.  Presumably still with six 10-pdr Parrotts from the previous quarter.  Allen was absent from the battery through much of the first half of the year, and died in St. Louis in July.  Lieutenant (later Captain) Marcus Tenney replaced Allen.
  • 2nd (Blair’s) Battery:  Fort Blunt, Cherokee Nation (adjacent to Fort Gibson) with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four rifled 6-pdrs (3.67-inch rifle).  Captain Edward A. Smith remained in command.  According to returns, the battery was, in June, still at Fort Scott, Kansas, as part of the District of the Frontier.   By September, when the return was received in Washington, the battery had moved into the Cherokee Nation.  Of note, this battery was in action on July 17 at Honey Springs.  In his report, Smith listed his charge as, “two 12-pounder brass guns and two 6-pounder iron guns“.  I will speculate about this below.
  • 3rd (Hopkin’s) Battery: At Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation, with three 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer.  Captain Henry Hopkins remained in command of this battery, operating with the Indian Brigade and four companies of the 6th Kansas Cavalry, at Fort Gibson.  And we’ll see more from the 6th Cavalry below.

Moving down to the sections, these were all listed as mountain howitzer detachments assigned to cavalry.  In the previous quarter, two such detachments were recorded – with the 2nd and 9th Cavalry.  Here’s the list for the second quarter:

  • Section, Mt. Howitzers, 2nd Cavalry: At Springfield, Missouri with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  Eight companies of this regiment were at Springfield under Major Julius G. Fisk.  Lieutenant Elias S. Stover was probably still in charge of this section.  Stover was promoted to Captain later in the year.
  • Section, Mt. Howitzers, 6th Cavalry: At Camp Dole, Cherokee Nation with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  Captain John W. Orahood is listed as commanding a detachment of the regiment then at Fort Gibson at the end of June.  Later in July, Lieutenant-Colonel William T. Campbell was in command of that detachment (up to five companies).  I don’t have a name of the officer (commissioned or non-commissioned) assigned to the howitzers. Also I’m not certain as to the place-name of “Camp Dole.”  That surname is that of both an Indian Agent and an officer of the Indian Brigade.  So we might assume the place was near Fort Gibson, where the 6th Cavalry was operating at the time.
  • Section, Mt. Howitzers, 7th Cavalry: Listed at Fayetteville, Tennessee, but with no cannon reported.  Colonel Thomas P. Herrick’s regiment was assigned to the Sixteenth Corps, and operated in west Tennessee around the Memphis area.  I presume this placename refers to LaFayette there.  With no cannon mentioned on the report, we will look at stores.

That’s the basic administrative details for the Kansas units.

Moving to the ammunition, we have a busy smoothbore table:

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A lot of “feed” for the guns:

  • 2nd Battery:  444 shot, 564 case, and 478 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 17 shot, 100 shell, 57 case, and 43 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 152 canister for 12-pdr howitzer, either field or mountain (as that column was used interchangeably by the clerks).
  • 3rd Battery: 196 shot, 406 case, and 196 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 166 case and 150 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Section, 2nd Cavalry:  144 case and 12 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • Section, 6th Cavalry: 12 shell, 120 case, and 48 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

Turning to the rifled projectiles, there is but one page to discuss:

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And an odd one at that:

  • Section, 7th Cavalry: 490 Hotchkiss fuse shell and 190 Hotchkiss bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

This would be part of the stores which the 7th Kansas Cavalry had to report.  Along with those Hotchkiss shells, the troopers had 900 friction primers, 875 paper fuses, and 837 packing boxes…. all of which the Ordnance Department wanted an accounting.

We have no entries for James, Parrott, or Shenkl projectiles.  And this is worth noting, as we consider 2nd Battery’s 6-pdr rifles.  But before we open speculation, let’s finish up the summaries on the small arms:

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We have:

  • 2nd Battery:  128 Navy revolvers and twenty-three cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Eleven Army revolvers and thirty-five Navy revolvers.
  • Section, 2nd Cavalry: Twenty Army revolvers, one Navy revolver, and one cavalry saber.

Notice the very small number of edged weapons.  Make of it what you wish.

Now, let’s talk about Captain Smith’s guns.  As indicated above, the summary states these were two 12-pdr Napoleons and four BRONZE rifled 6-pdrs.  If we take that literally, those would be a quartet of the “don’t call them James” rifles.  But, we have the report from Smith, in which he specifically says he had two 6-pdr iron guns.  The discrepancy with the quantity aside (though not an expert on the battle, I seem to recall a section of guns detached), I’m inclined to go with Smith’s description of the guns.  If Smith could tell the Napoleons were bronze, then surely he could tell the 6-pdrs were iron!  So I would lean towards these being iron guns.

But we have the question of smoothbore or rifling.  Smith’s report fails to give clues in that regard.  The summary indicates his guns had smoothbore ammunition.  However, there are a few examples where smoothbore ammunition was employed by rifled guns in the 6-pdr/3.80-inch range.  So that is not necessarily definitive.

If these were smoothbores, plenty of candidates come to mind – batches of ancient (pre-1830s) guns were still around; private or state purchases, of course; and during the war there were a handful of rare iron types produced – all of which could be properly identified as “6-pdrs”.  And, of course, that assumes the caliber identification is a proper one.  Likewise, if these were rifled guns, a score of candidates come to mind.  I’d say Wiard and Delafield would be unlikely.  But Sawyer rifles seemed to get around.  And if the caliber (3.67-inch) is not definite, we might even discuss Blakelys.  Though I would be quick to point out the use of smoothbore ammunition would be unlikely in those “named” rifles.

An interesting detail to track.

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Kentucky and Kansas Batteries

The entries offered in the summary statements for the Kentucky and Kansas batteries have less precise identities than those for other states.  We might call it sloppy clerical work.  Or perhaps the imprecise entries point to a larger issue – that of organizing a massive army, spread across a continent, in short order.  Just getting the designations to comply with standard conventions was a reach.  The snip of the first page illustrates the lack of those conventions:

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Looking first to Kentucky (because the clerks didn’t use alphabetical order!), we see two entries and those for the 1st and 2nd Kentucky.  Wartime correspondence of the time-period in question use lettered and numbered batteries, with some irritating interchangeability.  And, there was a third, independent, battery mentioned usually by the commander’s name.  That said, let me look at the conundrum from the reverse angle.  These are the batteries mentioned in Dyer’s Compendium, as a starting point:

  • Battery A:  Captain David C. Stone’s battery was assigned to First Division, Fourteenth Corps at the start of the new year. Later in the spring, the battery was detached, being unassigned and serving in the garrison of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  In May, 1st Lieutenant Theodore S. Thomasson was promoted to Captain and appointed commander of the “1st Kentucky Battery”, still listed by some sources as Stone’s Battery.  So this is likely the battery indicated as “1st Battery” on the summary.  And for simplicity, I’ll refer to them as 1st Kentucky through the remainder of this post.  No ordnance listed for this battery in the reporting period.
  • Battery B: This was Captain John M. Hewett’s battery.  Hewett was captured in July 1862 and did not return to the battery until March 1863.  Lieutenant Alban A. Ellsworth commanded in his absence.  The battery was assigned to Second division, Fourteenth Corps.  And this battery is often cited as 2nd Battery Kentucky Light Artillery.  However, the listing in the summary is clearly referencing a different battery.  I submit Hewett’s Battery escaped the clerk’s tally.
  • Battery C: Not organized until May 1863.  So this battery should not concern us for first quarter, 1863.
  • Battery D: Never completed organization, so we need not worry about this battery.
  • Battery E: Not organized until October-December 1863.
  • Simmond’s Battery:  Captain Seth J. Simmonds commanded a battery formed out of Company E, 1st Kentucky Infantry.  The battery served at Gauley Bridge and Kanawha Falls, West Virginia through the winter and early spring of 1863.  Under reorganizations, the battery became part of 3rd Division, Eighth Corps.  Given the place location referenced, the clerks referenced Simmond’s as the 2nd Kentucky Battery.  I will use Simmond’s here for clarity.  The battery reported six 10-pdr Parrotts.

As you can see, the lax administrative details lead to lengthy explanations 150 years later.

As for Kansas, we see five batteries listed.  All are by commander’s name or reference non-artillery parent units:

  • Allen’s Battery: I think this references Captain Norman Allen and the 1st Kansas Independent Battery. At the first of the year, Allen’s was part of the garrison in Springfield, Missouri. Later in the spring the battery moved to Fort Scott.  So the reporting location of Lawrence, Kansas is problematic.  The battery reported six 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Blair’s Battery: Fort Scott, Kansas. Four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. This should be Lieutenant Edward A. Smith’s 2nd Battery Kansas Artillery.  The name references Captain Charles W. Blair, the battery’s first commander.
  • Hopkins’ Battery: Captain Henry Hopkins’ 3rd Kansas Battery. The battery had three 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer. At the start of the year, the battery was in the Department of Northwest Arkansas, at Van Buren on the Arkansas River.  Later in the spring the battery moved to Fort Gibson, in the Cherokee Nation (and that post was briefly named Fort Blunt, as the ledger indicates).
  • 2nd Cavalry: A section in the regiment reported two 12-pdr mountain howitzers. The section was with the regiment at Springfield, Missouri.  Lieutenant Elias S. Stover is listed as the section commander.
  • 9th Cavalry:  A section under Lieutenant Henry H. Opedyke, reporting two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  The section’s reported location was Trading Post, Kansas on the Marais des Cygnes River.

As you can see, it is possible to “square” the summary entries for Kansas with units listed from other sources. For clarity, for this post I’ll use the same designations indicated on the summary for the Kansas batteries instead of the (perhaps more proper) numerical designations.

Turning now to the ammunition on hand, as per the format we see the smoothbore projectiles on hand first:

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Kentucky:

  • 1st Battery: Though they reported no guns, they had 28 spherical case for 6-pdr field guns.  Go figure.

Kansas:

  • Blair’s Battery:  146 shot, 200 case, and 100 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 46 shell, and 74 case for 12-pdr howitzers; 120 case and 98 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers. (As mentioned in earlier posts, the latter column was often used for both field and mountain howitzer canister tallies.)
  • 2nd Kansas Cavalry:  55 case and 8 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 9th Kansas Cavalry: 41 shell, 116 case, and 57 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

None of the batteries reported Hotchkiss projectiles on hand.  And from the next page of rifled projectiles, only Parrotts were on hand:

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For those Parrott columns:

  • Simmond’s Battery: 1000 shell, 575 case, and 137 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Allen’s Battery: 804 shell, 228 case, and 152 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

The next page, for Schenkl’s and Tatham’s projectiles, is blank. so we can move directly to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Simmond’s Battery: Nine Army revolvers and thirty-three cavalry sabers.
  • Allen’s Battery: 100 Navy revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.
  • Blair’s Battery: 134 Navy revolvers and twenty-four cavalry sabers.
  • Hopkins’ Battery: Fifty-one Navy revolvers.
  • 2nd Kansas Cavalry section: Seven Navy revolvers and one cavalry saber.
  • 9th Kansas Cavalry section: One cavalry saber.

Yes, I’d expect to see more small arms reported from the sections in the cavalry.  But the large number of pistols in the other Kansas artillery formations makes up for that, somewhat.  The Kentucky gunners defending Gauley Bridge had ample Parrott shells around, and were without need of many small arms.

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – Batteries from Iowa, Kentucky, and Kansas

Following the order presented in the summary statements, the next set of volunteer batteries came from Iowa, Kentucky, and Kansas.  Yes, not exactly alphabetical, but we’ll go with the clerk’s ordering.

At the time of the report, in December 1862, Iowa had only three batteries accepted for service (a fourth battery was not mustered until the fall of 1863). All three are listed on the summary with only two showing reports.

There were three volunteer batteries from Kentucky were in Federal service in December 1862, according to Dyer’s Compendium.  And Dyer’s identifies two of those as lettered batteries.  But there are only two entry lines in the summary of that period, and those are listed as numbered, implied independent, batteries.  So we have questions to address for Kentucky’s batteries.

For the summary, Kansas was represented by five entries.  Three are batteries identified by commanders and two are artillery assigned to cavalry. I contend that a full, proper study of the Kansas artillery is a book waiting to be written. Many of the batteries were formed as companies within infantry or cavalry regiments (which, like Texas, was a delineation that was often blurred).  And regimental commanders were very reluctant to release those to formal artillery organizations.

And one more twist to consider with these entries – most were not received in Washington until 1864!  Those preface notes out of the way, here are the entry lines for the batteries and their cannons:

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Starting with the Hawkeye State:

  • 1st Iowa Independent Light Battery: The location annotation does not make sense to me.  The battery was with Sherman’s ill-fated expedition to Vicksburg, landing at Chickasaw Bayou.  It reported four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers (as they had on hand at Pea Ridge earlier in the year).
  • 2nd Iowa Independent Light Battery: No report.  The 2nd was posted between LaGrange and Germantown, Tennessee at this time, part of the Thirteenth Corps.
  • 3rd Iowa Independent Light Battery: Helena, Arkansas.  The 3rd reported four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. The battery was assigned to the District of Eastern Arkansas, Department of Missouri, but soon to be collected into the Vicksburg campaign.

Now over to the Bluegrass State, and the aforementioned confusions:

  • 1st Kentucky Independent Light Battery:  Located at Gualey Bridge, (West) Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  This was Captain Seth J. Simmonds’ battery, assigned to the District of the Kanawha.
  • 2nd Kentucky Artillery?:   This entry line has the notation “not in service.”  My guess is this references the 2nd Kentucky Heavy Artillery Regiment that never got organized.

Not listed on the return, but worth noting are the lettered Kentucky Batteries (sometimes identified as with the 1st Kentucky Artillery Regiment, but most often just the letter and state designation):

  • Battery A: This was Captain David C. Stone’s battery, supporting the Center Wing, Fourteenth Corps, Army of the Cumberland and in action at Stones River.
  • Battery B: Also known as Hewett’s Battery, and (to add more confusion) in some reports as the 2nd Kentucky Independent Battery.  Commanded by Lieutenant Alban A. Ellsworth.  Also saw action at Stones River in the Center Wing, Fourteenth Corps.

Allow me to hold off a more detailed discussion of the important service of those two batteries, conspicuously omitted from the summary.

Now Kansas, where more questions follow.  Let me “swag” some proper identifications here:

  • Allen’s Battery:  No report.  I think this references Captain Norman Allen and the 1st Kansas Independent Battery.  The battery saw action at Prairie Grove, as part of the Army of the Frontier, with four 12-pdr howitzers (according to my notes).
  • Blair’s Battery:  Fort Scott, Kansas.  Four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers.  This should be Lieutenant Edward A. Smith’s 2nd Battery Kansas Artillery.  The name references Captain Charles W. Blair, the battery’s first commander.
  • Hopkins’ Battery:  Captain Henry Hopkins’ 3rd Kansas Battery.  The battery had three 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer.  The battery was also at Prairie Grove.
  • [Illegible] Ninth Volunteers:  This appears to reference a section under 2nd Lieutenant Henry H. Opdyke, of the 9th Kansas Cavalry.  The section had two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  They saw action in the Prairie Grove campaign.
  • 2nd Cavalry:  Fort Smith.  Two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  Another detachment within a cavalry formation.  This one under Lieutenant Elias S. Stover.

Not mentioned is another artillery section, also of two 12-pdr mountain howitzers, in the 6th Kanasas Cavalry.

So again, we have a lengthy “first page” in the summary, due to setting the context of the numbers.  The summary certainly illuminates the holes in the summary statements… and why I prefer to present “as is” and then circle back for validation.

Moving on to the smoothbore ammunition tallies:

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By the batteries:

  • 1st Iowa: 6-pdr field gun – 400 shot, 320 case, and 80 canister; 12-pdr field howitzer – 120 shell, 160 case, and 42 canister.
  • 3rd Iowa: 6-pdr field gun – 410 shot, 325 case, and 85 canister; 12-pdr field howitzer – 129 shell, 86 case, and 36 canister.
  • 2nd Kansas: 6-pdr field gun – 196 shot, 236 case, and 108 canister; 12-pdr field howitzer – 46 shell, 170 case, and 72 canister.  Also reporting a large quantity of mountain howitzer ammunition – 124 case and 34 canister.
  • 9th Kansas Cavalry section: 12-pdr mountain howitzer – 41 shell, 116 case, and 57 canister.
  • 2nd Kansas Cavalry section: 12-pdr mountain howitzer – 80 case and 8 canister.

So we have one more question – why the 2nd Kansas Battery would hold on to mountain howitzer ammunition?  Perhaps, as they were operating alongside some of the cavalry with the smaller howitzers, the ordnance handlers in the 2nd Kansas assumed some oversight in ordnance matters.

The only battery we’ve discussed today with rifled guns was the 1st Kentucky (Simmonds’) Battery with 10-pdr Parrotts.  Accordingly, we look to the Parrott columns on the corresponding pages:

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The Kentuckians had 490 shells, 455 shot, and 60 canister of the Parrott make.

The 1st Kentucky also had a quantity of Schenkl rounds for their Parrot rifles:

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Yes a lot of work for me to snip that, for one entry – 69 Schenkl 10-pdr shells.

I suspected the small arms section would be interesting, given the varied service. But it is somewhat pedestrian compared to others:

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The 1st Iowa reported eight cavalry sabers and fifty foot artillery sabers.  The 1st Kentucky had nine Army revolvers and 26 cavalry Sabers.  Then we have the Kansas troops:

  • 2nd Kansas – 129 Army revolvers and 24 cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Kansas – 53 Army revolvers and 17 cavalry sabers.
  • 9th Kansas Cavalry section – one cavalry saber.
  • 2nd Kansas Cavalry section – 21 Navy revolvers and one cavalry saber.

I’d half suspected and expected the Kansans to have some odd assortment of long guns.