The next listing in the fourth quarter, 1862 summaries is Maine. The Pine Tree State provided seven field batteries and one heavy artillery regiment for the Federal armies during the war. The 18th Maine Infantry became the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery in early January 1863, and remained part of the Washington defenses. That unit did not report any field artillery and thus falls outside the scope of our study. Of the light batteries, only the first six were formed as of December 1862. Maine numbered its batteries, although letter designations are often seen in reports and other documents. I’ll stay with the Ordnance Department’s convention today and call the batteries by their numbers.
Counting reports for the quarter, we see the men from Maine were somewhat negligent, as only two of the field batteries provided returns. In addition, the 9th Maine Infantry provided a return for artillery in their charge:
Let me attempt to fill in some of the blanks here:
- 1st Battery: No report. The battery was part of the Department of the Gulf at this time and at Thibodeauxville, Louisiana. Later in the winter, official reports indicated the battery had four 6-pdr rifled guns and three 12-pdr howitzers.
- 2nd Battery: At Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The indicated date of report was December 14, 1862. This stands at odds with official reports that have Captain James Hall’s battery in action at Fredericksburg supporting the First Corps, Army of the Potomac!
- 3rd Battery: No report. This battery had an unconventional history. Through the fall of 1862, the 3rd Battery served as pontooneers. When reassigned to the Defenses of Washington, the battery was at first attached to the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery. It is possible the mention of the 2nd Battery (above) at Camp Barry refers instead to the 3rd Battery.
- 4th Battery: No report. This battery was detached from the Third Corps, Army of the Potomac and posted to Harpers Ferry. Captain O’Neil Robinson’s battery had six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
- 5th Battery: No location given. Armed with six 12-pdr Napoleons. This battery was with the First Corps (outside Fredericksburg) in December 1862.
- 6th Battery: No report. The battery supported the Twelfth Corps at this time and was posted to Dumfries, Virginia. Captain Freeman McGilvery’s battery had last reported (September) a mix of Napoleons and Ordnance Rifles.
- 9th Infantry: Fernandina, Florida with one 24-pdr field howitzer and one 10-pdr Parrott. The annotation indicates this was a section in Company F of the regiment. The howitzer may have been captured from Confederate forces.
Given the scant reports recorded, we have very little in the way of projectiles on hand to deliberate on:
The 5th Battery had 355 shot, 111 shell, 272 case, and 96 canister for its 12-pdr Napoleons. And down in Florida, the 9th Maine Infantry reported 29 shells, 48 case, and 20 canister for that big 24-pdr howitzer.
On to rifled projectiles, for the Hotchkiss patent types:
The 2nd Battery had 20 canister and 100 fuse shells for the 3-inch rifles.
For Parrott projectiles, we go back to Florida:
The 9th Infantry had 30 shells, 34 case, and 30 canister for its lone 10-pdr Parrott.
No other projectiles mentioned in the summary for the Maine batteries. So on to the small arms:
Just three lines to review:
- 2nd Battery: 17 Army revolvers and 16 cavalry sabers.
- 5th Battery: 16 Army revolvers and 17 cavalry sabers.
- 9th Infantry: 74 muskets of .69-caliber, 15 Army revolvers, 15 cavalry sabers, and two horse artillery sabers.
I suspect the entry for the 9th Maine Infantry included all the small arms assigned to Company F of the regiment. I would further note that the 9th Maine would go on to serve, the following summer and fall, on Morris Island. There, as did many of the infantry units, the Maine soldiers did their turns tending the heavy siege artillery. This is somewhat a counter-point to the point I made yesterday about artillery serving as infantry or cavalry. In this case we see infantry pressed into service with the big cannons.