Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries, Part 2

For the first dozen of the New York independent batteries, discussed last week, we found all active batteries within the eastern theater.  Many were involved with the Gettysburg Campaign, directly or indirectly.  But looking to the second batch – 13th to the 24th Batteries – we find the service of that batch was much more varied:

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Of the twelve, only eight had returns for the quarter.  Only one of those was posted to Washington before the end of July.  Three arrived in August.  Another in September.  And the last two were not filed until 1864.  An administrative “stretch” of the data.

 

  • 13th Independent Battery: Reported, on August 7, 1863, at Warrenton Junction, Virginia with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (down from six the previous quarter).  With reorganization after Chancellorsville, moved up to the Artillery Brigade, Eleventh Corps.  Captain  Julius Dieckmann resigned on May 15.  He was replaced by Lieutenant William Wheeler.  As of June 30, the battery was at Emmitsburg, Maryland.  The battery lost one gun on the field at Gettysburg, when the axle split. Despite efforts to drag the tube off the field, lashed to a limber by a prolong, the gun was left on the field.  However, that gun was recovered on July 5 and brought back to service.  The battery expended 850 rounds during the battle, but were “anxious for another opportunity to try their 3-inch guns.”
  • 14th Independent Battery: No return.  Earlier in the spring of 1862, personnel of this battery were distributed to other batteries.  As of June 1863, the first section  was assigned to Battery B, 1st New York; second and third sections to Battery G, 1st New York.  At Gettysburg, Captain James McKay Rorty, of the battery, commanded Battery B, 1st New York Light Artillery. But he was mortally wounded on July 3.  The battery was formally disbanded in September 1863.
  • 15th Battery:  As of the August 15 report, was at Rappahannock Station, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery was assigned to First Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, under Captain Patrick Hart.  In May, the battery had turned in their 3-inch rifles for the Napoleons.  At the end of June, the battery was, with the rest of McGilvery’s Brigade, in Maryland, with an appointment two days later at the Peach Orchard of Gettysburg.
  • 16th Battery: No return. Captain Frederick L. Hiller’s battery transferred to the Seventh Corps in April, and stationed at Newport News, Virginia. In the previous quarter, the battery reported six 10-pdr Parrott Rifles.
  • 17th Battery: At Camp Barry, District of Columbia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain George T. Anthony’s battery was assigned to the Artillery Camp of Instruction.
  • 18th Battery: At Port Hudson, Louisiana with six 20-pdr Parrotts.  The report was not received in Washington until August 1864.  The battery transferred from Second Division to First Division, Nineteenth Corps in May.  Captain Albert G. Mack retained command. The battery participated in the siege of Port Hudson.
  • 19th Battery: No return. The battery, under Captain William H. Stahl, transferred to First Division, Seventh Corps in April.  The battery saw action in the siege of Suffolk.  In the previous quarter, the battery reported six 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 20th Battery: At Fort Schuyler, New York with “infantry stores” only.  Captain  B. Franklin Ryer’s battery served as garrison artillery.  The battery would be involved with the suppression of the New York riots in July.
  • 21st Battery: At Port Hudson, Louisiana with four 3-inch steel guns (make and model unspecified). The report is from February 1864, but accurate.  This battery, under Captain James Barnes, was assigned to Second Division, Nineteenth Corps.
  • 22nd Battery: No return. Earlier in February the battery became Company M, 9th New York Heavy Artillery.  The designation remained on the clerk’s report as a placeholder.
  • 23rd Battery: Washington, North Carolina with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Originally, Battery A of the New York Rocket Battalion. Captain Alfred Ransom was in charge of this battery, assigned to the Eighteenth Corps, Department of North Carolina.
  • 24th Battery: At Plymouth, North Carolina with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Likewise, Battery B of the Rocket Battalion with this new designation taking effect in February.  This battery was also assigned to the Eighteenth Corps.  Captain Jay E. Lee resigned in mid-June.  Lieutenant A. Lester Cady was promoted and assigned command.

 

As I said, varied service – from New York harbor to Port Hudson on the Mississippi.

Turning to the ammunition, we have the smoothbore rounds accounted for:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • 15th Battery: 128 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 128 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 17th Battery: 288 shot, 69 shell, 388 (?) case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 24th Battery: 393 shot, 230 shell, 464 case, and 368 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

A straightforward, expected tally.

For the rifled projectiles, the Hotchiss columns are also straightforward:

0211_2_Snip_NY_IND_Pt2

Three batteries with 3-inch rifles and one with 20-pdr Parrotts:

  • 13th Battery: 70 canister, 150 fuse shell, and 430 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 18th Battery: 95 fuse shell for 3.67-inch rifles (20-pdr Parrott).
  • 21st Battery: 310 canister and 473 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 23rd Battery: 191 canister, 68 percussion shell, 281 fuse shell, and 552 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

For the following page, we’ll break this down into two sections.  First a lone entry for Dyer’s patent:

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  • 23rd Battery: 30 (?) Dyer’s shell for 3-inch rifles.

Moving over to the Parrott and Schenkl projectiles:

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Just one battery with those big 20-pdr Parrotts:

  • 18th Battery: 786 shell, 168 case, and 137 canister, Parrott patent; 439 Schenkl shot, also for 20-pdrs.

More Schenkl on the next page:

0212_2_Snip_NY_IND_Pt2

  • 13th Battery: 80 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 18th Battery: 40 shell for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • 21st Battery: 47 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Lastly, we have the small arms to account for:

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By battery:

  • 13th Battery: Seven Army revolvers, seven Navy revolvers, and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 15th Battery: Seventeen Navy revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • 17th Battery: Twenty Army revolvers and twenty-two horse artillery sabers.
  • 18th Battery: Four Springfield muskets (.58 caliber), three army revolves, and seven horse artillery sabers.
  • 21st Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 23rd Battery: Sixty Army revolvers and seventy-five cavalry sabers.
  • 24th Battery: Fifty-three Army revolvers.

We will find this pattern of varied service repeated in the last portion of independent batteries. We will look at batteries 25 to 32 in the next installment.  Along with three “detachment” lines.

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Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – 4th Regiment, US Regulars

Looking at the summary for the 4th US Artillery for the 2nd quarter (ending in June) of 1863, we see ten of the twelve batteries posted returns (or more accurately, had their returns recorded by the Ordnance Department… assuming nothing here).  Of those ten returns, all but one was received by the end of 1863.  But only six offered a location for the battery as of the time of report.  Is this the impact of active campaigning on the administrative reports?  Let’s see….

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Looking at these lines by battery:

  • Battery A – Reported at Sulphur Springs, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The location is obviously reflecting the date when the report was actually filed, not where the battery was located on June 30 of the year.  The battery was, on that date, marching through Maryland.  Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing had but three more days in command of this battery, supporting Second Corps.
  • Battery B – No location given, but with  six 12-pdr Napoleons. Of course we know this battery, led by Lieutenant James Stewart, was supporting First Corps and was camped south of Gettysburg on June 30.  And of course, the following day the battery would perform admirably on the field.
  • Battery C – And no location given, but also reporting six 12-pdr Napoleons. In late May the battery transferred to the 1st Brigade (Regular), Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  Lieutenant Evan Thomas remained in command.  That brigade was moving up from Frederick, Maryland on June 30.
  • Battery D – Yet another without location given, though with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. This battery remained at Suffolk, Virginia, assigned to First Division, Seventh Corps and commanded by Captain Frederick M. Follett.
  • Battery E – No report.  Lieutenant  Samuel S. Elder’s was in the First Brigade, Horse Artillery assigned to the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles assigned.  Another battery with a location “on the march” and destined for the fields of Gettysburg.
  • Battery F – Reporting at Kelly’s Ford, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Yes, another reflecting the “as of report” location.  Lieutenant Sylvanus T. Rugg commanded this battery in support of Twelfth Corps.  We can place them, also, among the columns moving through Maryland and southern Pennsylvania on June 30.
  • Battery G – No report given for this quarter.  Battery G was assigned to the Eleventh Corps artillery earlier in June.  The battery location as of June 30 was on the road between Emmitsburg and Gettysburg, with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Lieutenant Marcus Miller went on recruiting duty and was replaced, briefly, by Lieutenant Bayard Wilkeson.  But Wilkeson would be mortally wounded on July 1 while leading his battery at a poor position on what became known as Barlow’s Knoll.  Lieutenant Eugene A. Bancroft succeeded in command.
  • Battery H – At Murfreesboro, Tennessee with four 12-pdr field howitzers. Lieutenant Harry C. Cushing in command of this battery, assigned to Second Division, Twenty-First Corps.
  • Battery I – Belle Creek, Kentucky with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Lieutenant Frank G. Smith commanded this battery, supporting Third Division, Fourteenth Corps.  the location is a question mark.  The battery was, at this time, with its parent formation around Murfreesboro.
  • Battery K – Bridgeport, Maryland with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Another location which reflects the later reporting date.  This battery, under Lieutenant Francis W. Seeley, was supporting Third Corps and was around Emmitsburg on June 30. Seeley was wounded on July 2 (so badly that he later resigned his commission), and Lieutenant Robert James assumed command.
  • Battery L – No location offered, but with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Under command of Captain R. V. W. Howard, and assigned to First Division, Seventh Corps, in Southeast Virginia. .
  • Battery M – At Murfreesboro, Tennessee reporting four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 24-pdr field howitzers.  Lieutenant Francis L. D. Russell remained in command and the battery remained with Second Division, Twenty-First Corps.  Of note, the battery upgraded from field howitzers to Napoleons.

So comparing what we know about each particular battery’s service to what was recorded administratively, there does appear to have been some disruption of paperwork at the end of the second quarter.  Though I don’t think anyone would fault the officers for inattention to cyclic reports at this interval of the war.  They were more concerned with the real business of artillery.

Turning to the ammunition pages, we start with the smoothbore columns… noting the need to extend those to support the “big howitzers” of Battery M:

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A lot of Napoleons and howitzers, so a lot to discuss:

  • Battery B: 360 shot, 236 shell, and 164 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons. However, a tally of 452 case for 6-pdr field guns is offered.  I think this is a transcription error and should correctly be interpreted as case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery C: 163 shot, 186 shell, 388 case, and 196 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery F: 288 shot, 96 shell, 388 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 219 shell, 342 case, and 146 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery I: 192 shot, 62 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery K: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery L: 96 shot, 32 shell, 96 case, and 33 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery M: 138 shot, 64 shell, 212 case, and 128 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 72 shell, 72 case, and 48 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers.

With so many of these batteries seeing action at Gettysburg, we might seek some insight as to what was on hand for the battle and what was used.  But yet again we must exercise some caution with making conjectures. There is an “as of date” along with a “reporting date” and other variables to consider here.  More than a grain of salt is required, in my opinion.

Moving to ammunition for the rifled guns, we start with Hotchkiss:

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Two batteries reporting:

  • Battery A: 120 canister, 36 percussion shell,  319 fuse shell, and 673 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery D:  83 canister, 100 percussion shell, 542 fuse shell, and 475 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

As there was no record for Battery E, we are left to wonder what Elder’s gunners had on hand.

Moving to the next page, we can focus specifically on the Parrott columns:

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Just that one battery at Suffolk to consider here:

  • Battery L: 474 shell, 340(?) case, and 96 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

None of these batteries reported Schenkl projectiles on hand.  So we can move to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery A: Sixteen Army revolvers and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Twenty-two Navy revolvers and seven cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: Eighteen (?) Navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: Nine Army revolvers and 135 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Thirteen Army revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Sixteen Army revolvers, six cavalry sabers, and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Three Army revolvers and forty-five cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: Twelve Army revolves, one Navy revolver, and thirteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: Fourteen Army revolvers and 117 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Eight Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.

With so many of these batteries seeing action in the opening days of July, the figures are, again, tempting.  While trivial of sorts, the number of small arms reflect weapons of war used by the batteries.  In some cases, we might seek precision as to the use of those weapons.  For instance, when Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing drew his revolver to order his men back to their posts on July 3, was that an Army revolver, as was reported with his battery?  Colt or Remington? Or something the Lieutenant had come by outside of official channels?