Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Heavy Artillery

For the last post of this blogging year, we have the last post in the series covering the summary statements of the third quarter of 1863. This is simply an administrative summary of the heavy artillery units in Federal service at the end of that quarter. Some of these did appear in the summary statements, usually offering little more than a location. In this installment, we’ll expand upon that a bit with the aim (which will fall short, no doubt) to have at least mention of all Federal units designated as artillery which were serving at that time of the war.

The reality of the heavy artillery service is those units were by intent garrison troops. So in effect part artillery, but also part infantry. Both being on the “heavy” side of things. Not a lot of marching. Not a lot of combat. But a lot of drill and other propriety. And if artillery was crewed by the unit, those were typically considered property of the installation (be that a fort or other post) and not owned by the unit – for accounting purposes that is. Over my years of research, I’ve only seen a handful of these installation ordnance returns. The form was different, usually completed by an actual ordnance officer. I would presume from there the summaries were kept on a separate ledger. And I’ve never seen that ledger… if such exists.

All that means is we are left simply accounting for units, assignments, and duty locations. And even then we must acknowledge the list will be incomplete. Some infantry units served, for all practical purposes, as heavy artillery. And, particularly in the New England states, un-mustered militia units often pulled duty in the seacoast fortifications. So there are a lot of hairs to split in order to claim a full, complete accounting. For now, let us just focus on units mustered as, and thus designated as, heavy artillery. And we’ll look at those by state.

Alabama

  • 1st Alabama Siege/Heavy Artillery (African Descent): This unit had a date with destiny at a place called Fort Pillow… though under a different name. Initially organized in June 1863, from contrabands in Tennessee and Mississippi, by the end of September four companies were part of the Corinth, Mississippi garrison. No regimental commander was appointed until the spring 1864. The regiment would then be redesignated to the 6th US Colored Heavy Artillery (and after Fort Pillow, to the 7th US Colored Heavy Artillery; and in 1865 to the 11th USCT Infantry). The four companies, and commanders, at Corinth for the end of the third quarter were:
    • Company A: Captain Lionel F. Booth
    • Company B: Captain John H. Baker
    • Company C: Captain William T. Smith
    • Company D: Captain Delos Carson

Connecticut

  • 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery: As mentioned earlier, Batteries B and M served with the Army of the Potomac, in 2nd Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve.  The remainder of Colonel Henry L. Abbot’s regiment transferred to Second Brigade of the Defenses South of the Potomac (DeRussy’s Division, Twenty-Second Corps), defending Washington, D.C.  Regimental headquarters were at Fort Richardson. Abbot pulled double duty as the brigade commander.
  • 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery: Also serving in Second Brigade of the Defenses South of the Potomac. This regiment was under Lieutenant-Colonel Elisha S. Kellogg.

Delaware

Illinois

Indiana

Louisiana

  • 1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery (African Descent): A placeholder entry in the summaries. See post for details.

Maine

  • 1st Maine Heavy Artillery: Under Colonel Daniel Chaplin, was part of the defenses of Washington, D.C., assigned to the north side of the Potomac.  The regiment had detachments in Maine on recruiting duties and at the seacoast fortifications (mostly recruits being trained up for duty). 

Maryland

  • Company A, 1st Maryland Heavy Artillery: Details of this unit are scarce. Not exactly sure when it began to organize. By mid-1864, the entire regiment numbered only fifty men. As it failed to fully organize, those present were assigned to duties around Baltimore.

Massachusetts

  • 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment: Assigned to First Brigade of the Defenses South of the Potomac – DeRussy’s Division, Twenty-Second Corps.  Colonel Thomas R. Tannatt commanded the regiment, and also commanded, temporarily, the brigade.
  • 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment: Freshly formed under Colonel Jones Frankle, this regiment left Massachusetts during the first weeks of September. Headquarters were going to New Berne, North Carolina. But the companies would serve at different stations throughout North Carolina and tidewater Virginia.
  • 1st Battalion, Massachusetts Heavy Artillery: This battalion was formed with four previously independent batteries and served primarily at Fort Warren, Boston harbor.  The four companies were originally the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th unassigned heavy companies (becoming Companies A, B, C, and D respectively).  Major Stephen Cabot commanded this consolidated battalion. 
  • 3rd Company, Massachusetts Heavy Artillery: At Fort Independence, Boston, under Captain Lyman B. Whiton. Mustered into Federal service in January 1864 (as part of 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery).
  • 6th Company, Massachusetts Heavy Artillery: Under Captain John A.P. Allen at Fort at Clark’s Point, New Bedford, Massachusetts. Would not actually muster into Federal service until May 1864 (as part of 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery) .
  • 7th Company, Massachusetts Heavy Artillery: Unattached, but serving alongside the 1st Battalion at Fort Warren. Captain George S. Worchester commanded. Mustered into Federal service in August 1864 (as part of 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery).
  • 8th Company, Massachusetts Heavy Artillery: Captain Loring S. Richardson commanded. Boston garrison. Mustered into Federal service in August 1864 (as part of 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery).
  • 9th Company, Massachusetts Heavy Artillery: Captain Leonard Gordon commanded. Boston garrison. Mustered into Federal service in August 1864 (as part of 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery).
  • 10th Company, Massachusetts Heavy Artillery: Commanded by Captain Cephas C. Bumpas. Boston garrison. Mustered into Federal service in September 1864 (as part of 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery).
  • 11th and 12th Companies, Massachusetts Heavy Artillery: These companies were still organizing at the close of September 1863. They were, like the others, earmarked for garrison duty around Boston. Not mustered into Federal service until October-November 1864 (as part of 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery).

Missouri

  • 2nd Missouri Artillery: As detailed in the summary post, this regiment was reorganizing and transforming from garrison artillery to light artillery.

Mississippi

  • 1st Mississippi Heavy Artillery (African Descent): Formed at Vicksburg in September. Colonel Herman Lieb commanded. Later became the 5th US Colored Heavy Artillery.
  • 2nd Mississippi Heavy Artillery (African Descent): Formed at Natchez in September, we looked at this regiment as a possible explanation for an entry line with the Mississippi Marine Brigade. Colonel Bernard G. Farrar commanded. Later became the 6th US Colored Heavy Artillery (a duplicate of the 1st Alabama Siege Artillery, above).

New Hampshire

  • 1st Company New Hampshire Heavy Artillery: Under Captain Charles H. Long, this battery formed in the spring of 1863 and was mustered into service at the end of July. The company garrisoned Fort Constitution. In 1864, this company, along with the 2nd, below, became the nucleus for the new 1st New Hampshire Heavy Artillery Regiment.
  • 2nd Company New Hampshire Heavy Artillery: Organized in August and mustered in September, this company garrisoned Fort McClary, Kittery Point, New Hampshire. Captain Ira M. Barton commanded.

New York

  • 2nd New York Heavy Artillery:  We discussed Colonel Joseph N. G. Whistler’s regiment while covering a lone entry for Battery L (which later became the 34th New York Independent Battery).  The 2nd New York Heavy was assigned to First Brigade, DeRussy’s Division, South of the Potomac. While Whistler commanded the brigade, Major William A. McKay led the regiment.
  • 4th New York Heavy Artillery:  Assigned to the Fourth Brigade, DeRussy’s Division, Defenses South of the Potomac.  Detachments manned Fort Marcy and Fort Ethan Allen. When Colonel Henry H. Hall was promoted to Brigadier-General, Captain John C. Tidball, of the regular army, was commissioned at the regimental commander in August.
  • 5th New York Heavy Artillery:  This regiment served by battalions at different postings. Colonel Samuel Graham, of the regiment, commanded the Second Brigade of Baltimore’s defenses. Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Murray was in charge of two battalions of the regiment in that brigade.  Third Battalion, under Major Gustavus F. Merriam, was in the defenses of Washington in First Brigade, DeRussy’s Division, South of the Potomac.
  • 6th New York Heavy Artillery:  Colonel J. Howard Kitching commanded.  The regiment was part of the Harpers Ferry garrison before the Gettysburg Campaign, and soon brought into the Army of the Potomac. At the time of the Bristoe Campaign, the regiment was serving as ammunition guards and handlers for the Army of the Potomac.
  • 7th New York Heavy Artillery: Second Brigade, Defenses North of the Potomac, Twenty-Second Corps under Colonel Lewis O. Morris (who also commanded the brigade).
  • 8th New York Heavy Artillery: Under Colonel Peter A. Porter, this regiment had garrison duty at Forts Federal Hill, Marshall, and McHenry around Baltimore, as part of Eighth Corps, Middle Department.  On July 10, the regiment moved forward to Harpers Ferry. On August 3, the regiment returned to Baltimore.
  • 9th New York Heavy Artillery: Second Brigade, Defenses North of the Potomac, Twenty-Second Corps under Colonel Joseph Welling.
  • 10th New York Heavy Artillery: This regiment formed the Third Brigade, Defenses North of the Potomac, Twenty-Second Corps.  Commanded by Colonel Alexander Piper. 
  • 11th New York Heavy Artillery:  We discussed their saga in an earlier post.  Colonel William B. Barnes’ regiment was still forming and incomplete when thrust into the Gettysburg Campaign. The total number of men mustered was about a battalion strength. Returning to New York in mid-July, the regiment helped suppress the draft riots. Afterward, the companies of the regiment served the forts around the harbor. However, with the end of July and regiment not forming out to full strength, the men were transferred at replacements to the 4th New York Heavy and the regiment disbanded.
  • 12th New York Heavy Artillery: Colonel Robert P. Gibson began recruiting this regiment in March, 1863. Never fully recruited, the state revoked the authorization and the men were transferred to the 15th New York Heavy.
  • 13th New York Heavy Artillery: Recruited by Colonel William A. Howard starting in May 1863, this regiment mustered by company and served by company and battalion detachments. First Battalion, with Companies A, B, C, and D, under Major Oliver Wetmore, Jr., departed for Norfolk in October.
  • 14th New York Heavy Artillery: Colonel Elisha G. Marshall recruited and organized this regiment starting in May 1863. Mustering by company, only six were in service by mid-October. Those mustered were initially assigned to the defenses of New York City.
  • 15th New York Heavy Artillery: Also authorized in May 1863, Colonel Louis Schirmer commanded this regiment. The nucleus of this regiment was the 3rd Battalion New York (German) Heavy Artillery, which had served from the fall of 1861, mostly in the Washington defenses. On September 30, that battalion (five companies) was consolidated with new recruits originally from the 12th Heavy to form the 15th Heavy. They were assigned to Fourth Brigade, DeRussy’s Division, South of the Potomac (with Schirmer commanding the brigade).
  • 16th New York Heavy Artillery:  Colonel Joseph J. Morrison began organizing this regiment in June 1863. Receiving men from the 35th Independent Battery and other organizations, the 16th Heavy began mustering in September. Companies A, B, and C left the state for Fort Monroe in October.
  • 9th Independent Battery: Assigned to Fort Reno, in the defenses of Washington.
  • 20th Independent Battery: Part of the garrison of Fort Schuyler, New York.
  • 28th Independent Battery: Also assigned to Fort Schuyler.

Ohio

  • 1st Ohio Heavy Artillery: Originally the 117th Ohio Infantry, this regiment changed to heavy artillery in May 18663. Colonel Chauncey G. Hawley, who was promoted in August, commanded this regiment. They garrisoned Covington, Paris, and other posts in Kentucky as part of Twenty-third Corps, Department of Ohio. In October, the regiment moved to cover posts in Tennessee.
  • 2nd Ohio Heavy Artillery: Under Colonel Horatio G. Gibson, this regiment began mustering, by company, in July 1863. By the end of September, all twelve were in service. The companies initially served at Covington Barracks, but were soon detailed to other posts in Kentucky.

Pennsylvania

  • 2nd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery:  (the 112th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.) Under Colonel Augustus A. Gibson and assigned to First Brigade, Defenses North of the Potomac.  Regimental headquarters at Fort Lincoln.
  • 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery: Since Battery H appeared in the summaries as a light battery, we discussed this regiment’s service in detail in an earlier post. Colonel Joseph Roberts commanded.
  • Ermentrout’s Battery: This militia battery, mustered during the Gettysburg Campaign, was mustered out at the end of August.

Rhode Island

  • 3rd Rhode Island Heavy Artillery: Battery C of this regiment appeared in the summaries, equipped as a light battery.  The remainder of the regiment served as heavy artillery in support of the Department of the South (which has been chronicled at length on this blog….) Colonel Edwin Metcalf commanded the regiment.
  • 5th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery:  Colonel George W. Tew commanded this regiment, the serving the defenses of New Berne, District of North Carolina.
  • 14th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery (African Descent): Organized on August 28, 1863, Colonel Nelson Viall commanded (some correspondence indicates a rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, as the regiment was only battalion strength at this time of the war). While forming, the regiment remained at Providence, Rhode Island. By the end of the year, one battalion would sail for Louisiana.

Tennessee

  • 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery (African Descent): Colonel Ignatz G. Kappner commanded this regiment, at the time more of battalion strength, garrisoning Fort Pickering in Memphis. The regiment later became the 3rd US Colored Troops Heavy Artillery.
  • 2nd Tennessee Heavy Artillery (African Descent): This regiment, under Colonel Charles H. Adams, served at Columbus, Kentucky.  The regiment would later be designated the 4th US Colored Troops Heavy Artillery.

Vermont

  • 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery:  Colonel James M. Warner commanded this regiment, assigned to First Brigade, Defenses North of the Potomac, Twenty-second Corps.  Batteries garrisoned Forts Totten, Massachusetts, Stevens, Slocum, and others.

Wisconsin

  • Company A, 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery:  Captain Andrew J. Langworthy’s battery was assigned to the defenses of Alexandria, within DeRussy’s Division, Twenty-second Corps.
  • Company B, 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery: Captain Walter S. Babcock’s company did not leave Wisconsin until September 1863. It was assigned duty at Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
  • Company C, 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery: Still organizing in Wisconsin under Captain John R. Davies. This company moved to Chattanooga in October.
  • Company D, 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery: Would muster in November and then move to New Orleans.

US Colored Troops Heavy Artillery

  • 1st US Colored Heavy Artillery: Would organize in February 1864 at Knoxville.
  • 2nd US Colored Artillery: Light batteries organized starting in 1864.
  • 3rd US Colored Heavy Artillery: See 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery (African Descent).
  • 4th US Colored Heavy Artillery: See 2nd Tennessee Heavy Artillery (African Descent).
  • 5th US Colored Heavy Artillery: See 1st Mississippi Heavy Artillery (African Descent).
  • 6th US Colored Heavy Artillery: Two units held this designation. The 2nd Mississippi Heavy Artillery (African Descent) and the 1st Alabama Siege/Heavy Artillery (African Descent). The former would retain the designation.
  • 7th US Colored Heavy Artillery: The 1st Alabama Siege/Heavy Artillery (African Descent), assigned this designation after de-conflicting the duplication mentioned above. And to further confuse things, initially the 1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery (African Descent) was given this designation before using the 10th US Colored Heavy Artillery.
  • 8th/11th US Colored Heavy Artillery: See 14th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery (African Descent), but would change to the 11th US Colored Heavy Artillery, as a new regiment with this designation was raised in Paducah, Kentucky, in April 1864.
  • 10th US Colored Heavy Artillery: See 1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery (African Descent), formerly the 1st Corps de Afrique Heavy Artillery.
  • Others: The 9th, 12th, and 13th US Colored Heavy Artillery were all new regiments formed in 1864. The 14th US Colored Heavy Artillery, also formed in 1864, began as the 1st North Carolina Heavy Artillery (African Descent). All to be detailed in later quarter summaries.

In closing, please pardon the lengthy resource post. Much of this was derived from raw notes in my files. And as you can see, particularly with the USCT regiments, lead into interesting discussions about designation changes.

On to the summaries for the fourth quarter of 1863! See you in 2019!

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery

Below the list of batteries for the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery is a lonely line for one battery – Battery (or more aptly, Company) H, 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery:

0289_1_Snip_PA3

Interpreting that line:

  • Battery H, 3rd Artillery: At Baltimore, Maryland with four 10-pdr Parrotts.

Captain William D. Rank commanded this battery, the “light” battery of the regiment.  As alluded to for the previous quarter’s entry, this battery was inadvertently caught up in the Gettysburg campaign. And for the record, the battery was not included in that previous quarter’s summary.  Rather it warranted mention as one overlooked by the Ordnance Department.

Battery H was originally recruited to round out Colonel (well really Major) Herman Segebarth’s battalion of “marine artillery” stationed at Fort Delaware.  Battery H was among those formed in the winter of 1862.  Later in the fall, the battalion was joined with batteries from Colonel Joseph Roberts’ battalion heavy artillery to form the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery (152nd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers).  And from that regiment, Battery H was detailed to serve at Baltimore, while most of the regiment was sent to Fort Monroe.  Battery H performed duties with the other garrison artillery there around Baltimore.

On May 6, 1863, Battery H reorganized as light artillery to support cavalry detachments in the Middle Division.  Battery H sent a section of two guns in support of the 1st Delaware Cavalry posted to defend the Baltimore & Ohio bridge over the Monocacy in June.

When word came of the Confederate movements into Maryland, the detachment was supposed to fall back to the Relay House, near the Thomas Viaduct.  But before the detachment could reach that point, the section was instead directed to accompany Gregg’s cavalry division from the Army of the Potomac.  The battery fired in support of the cavalry on July 2, from a position along the Hanover Road.  And then on July 3, went into position to support the Second Corps.

After the battle, the section moved to Frederick and then returned to its garrison assignment at Baltimore.  Which we see indicated on the return.  However, here’s the rub…. most sources indicate the battery had two 3-inch rifles (presumably Ordnance rifles, as there were no other weapons of that caliber in general service for the Federals in July of 1863).   But we see, clearly, the battery had four 10-pdr Parrotts on hand as of November 1863.  Furthermore, when one examines that monument at Gettysburg up close, the relief depicts a Parrott:

ECB 12 Apr 08 327

Now we might contend the section had 3-inch Ordnance rifles on those fateful days in July 1863, only to turn them in later for Parrotts.  Or perhaps it was only that section with the wrought iron guns.  Or, given the wonderful artwork on the monument, the battery had Parrotts on the field at Gettysburg.  Likely some Gettysburg historian has traced down the details of this small bit of trivia.  I would simply point out the battery reported Parrotts on hand four months after the battle.

As for ammunition, the battery had only Parrott rounds on hand:

0292_1_Snip_PA3

  • Battery H: 395 shell, 320 case, and 80 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

The other pages are posted on Flickr for those who wish to verify a stray tally went unnoticed.

As for small arms, the battery was equipped:

0292_3_Snip_PA3

Just edged weapons:

  • Battery H: Twenty-three horse artillery sabers.

But what of the other batteries/companies of the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery?  Well… here are some of them on parade at Fort Monroe:

03828v

Most of the regiment was at Fort Monroe.  An August 31, 1863 return has nine batteries at Fort Monroe under direct command of Colonel Joseph Roberts, regimental commander. But let me list those individual batteries for reference here:

  • Battery A: Captain John S. Stevenson was promoted to Major in August, and replaced by John Krause, promoted on September 22.  The company was at Fort Monroe.
  • Battery B: Captain Franz Von Schilling in command.  Stationed at Fort Monroe.
  • Battery C: Captain George K. Bowen.  At Fort Monroe.
  • Battery D: Lieutenant Edwin A. Evans, prompted to captain in October. Stationed at Fort Monroe.
  • Battery E: Captain Samuel Hazard, Jr.  At Fort Monroe.
  • Battery F: Captain John A. Blake.  The company served as prison guards at Camp Hamilton, just outside Fort Monroe.
  • Battery G: Captain Joseph W. Sanderson.  At Fort Monroe.
  • Battery H:  As detailed above, under Captain Rank and serving at Baltimore.
  • Battery I: Captain Osbourn Wattson.  At Fort Monroe.
  • Battery K: Captain Eugene W. Scheibner.  At Fort Monroe.
  • Battery L: Captain Joseph B. Bispham.  At Fort Monroe.
  • Company M: Under Captain Francis H. Reichard and stationed at Fort Delaware.  This company appears to be the last to recruit up to full strength.  By December, the company was at Fort Monroe.

Now before we characterize the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy as some regiment that just lay about the fortifications for the war, let me say their service from the fall of 1863 to the end was varied.  Detachments of the regiment served in a “naval brigade” formed to man and support gunboats operating on the James and other waterways in coastal Virginia and North Carolina.  These saw much action keeping Federal supply lines open.  Twenty-two of the regiment were captured when their armed steamer Bombshell was sunk during the battle of Plymouth, North Carolina, on April 18, 1864.

Other detachments from the regiment secured and operated lighthouses along the Virginia coast and waterways.

Batteries D, E, G, and M served in the Army of the James during the Petersburg Campaign, on the Bermuda Hundred front, mostly supporting siege batteries.  Battery E, in particular, manned Fort Converse which secured the bridge over the Appomattox. And Battery I served as headquarters guard for the Army of the James.

In short, while only Battery H can claim to have seen the “big elephant” by way of circumstances that brought them to Gettysburg, the rest of the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery did contribute to the war effort.

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Miscellaneous New York artillery

As a convention, I prefer to work through each state entry starting with “regimented” batteries first (where regiments existed of course), then through independent batteries, and lastly through any miscellaneous lines.  However, to ease handling and processing of these snips for transcription, I’m going to turn next to the miscellaneous lines before going to the independent batteries.

You see, the lines between the 2nd New York and 3rd New York include a couple of sections from infantry regiments.  Those are lines 18 and 19:

0273_1_Snip_NY_MISC

Then, at the bottom of the page, we find entries for two cavalry regiments and stores held by an infantry regiment.  Those last three returns were received in the forth quarter of 1863, roughly when they were expected.  But those on the upper lines were not received until 1864.  So imagine how this conversation went down…..

Clerk:  Sir, I just received these two returns from the 98th and 99th New York Infantry claiming they have cannons. And I don’t have room to fit them at the bottom of the New York page in the summary.  What ever shall I do?

Ordnance Officer: Stick them in where you have space after the 2nd New York Artillery. Nobody will ever notice.  Nobody cares about these summaries anyway!

But yet, here we are in 2018 with that annoying second red line as result of the split data!

So we have five “miscellaneous” to consider from the New York section of the summary:

  • 98th New York Infantry:  Companies E and H, if my reading is correct, assigned to Croatan Station, North Carolina with two 6-pdr field guns.
  • 99th New York Infantry: A detachment reporting on the Gunboat Smith Briggs, in Virginia, with one 12-pdr field howitzer and one 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 3rd New York Cavalry: A detachment at New Berne, North Carolina with two 12-mountain howitzers.
  • 5th New York Cavalry: A detachment also at New Berne, and also with two (or is it three?) 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 51st New York Infantry:  “Stores in Charge” of a Lieutenant Colonel at Camp Nelson, Kentucky.

Let me explore these five in more detail.

The 98th New York Infantry was among the forces sent from North Carolina to the Department of the South earlier in 1863, as part of the build-up before the Ironclad Attack.  When that effort failed, the 98th was among the forces sent back to North Carolina, specifically Beaufort.   On April 25, Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick F. Wead, then in command of the regiment, received orders to garrison “Newport Barracks, Havelock, Croatan, [and] Bogue sound blockhouse” which guarded the railroad between Beaufort / Morehead City and New Berne.  After the war, William Kreutzer (then Captain, but later Colonel of the regiment) mentioned these dispositions in a history of the regiment:

This writer was assigned to the command of two posts, one at a point where the railroad crosses Newport river, called Havelock, and the other at Croatan, ten miles above, along the road to New Berne.  Each post had a small earthwork in which was mounted on Napoleon gun.

This passage establishes the ‘who’ portion of the return but on disagrees with the summary’s line.  Perhaps, writing post war and being an infantryman, Kreutzer was simply mistaken about the guns.  At any rate, we can at least verify some cannon were under the care of the 98th New York at Croatan around this time of the war, performing “boring” garrison duty.

The 99th New York Infantry, with names like “Bartlett’s Naval Brigade” and “Lincoln Divers” offers a bit more interesting story.  Colonel William A. Bartlett began recruiting what was intended to be a full brigade in the spring of 1861.  It included almost as many men from Massachusetts and New Jersey as it did New York.  The intent was to assign these companies to Army gunboats and have them patrol the coast.  But by the time Bartlett reported to Fort Monroe, he’d met with an accident and the brigade was understrength. The “brigade” was then reorganized as an infantry and assigned duty at various posts around Fort Monroe and on vessels operating in that area.  Colonel David W. Waldrop commanded.    By the spring of 1863, most of those detachments were recalled and the regiment served at Suffolk, Virginia.  Of those still on detached duty was Company I, manning the gunboats West End and Smith Briggs.  The latter, we have a sketch to work from:

SmithBriggsGunboat

The Smith Briggs was a chartered (not outright purchased) 280 ton steamer converted to an armed transport, with a rifled 32-pdr and a rifled 42-pdr (probably converted seacoast guns using the James system).  Based on the entry here in the summary, I would contend the 99th New York maintained a 12-pdr field howitzer and a 10-pdr Parrott to supplement those big guns, and perhaps use on patrols off the gunboat.  Captain John C. Lee, of the 99th New York, commanded the Smith Briggs in 1863.  And he was still in command when the vessel ran aground off Smithfield, Virginia on February 1, 1864, and was destroyed.

The detachment from the 3rd New York Cavalry should be familiar to readers from the previous quarter.  These was Lieutenant James A. Allis command.

And a similar detachment was formed in the 12th New York Cavalry which also operated out of New Berne.  During the summer, Lieutenant Joseph M. Fish, of Company F, was detached to command a section of howitzers.  And these show up in some returns as “Fish’s Howitzers” or “Fish’s Battery.”

And lastly the 51st New York Infantry.  This regiment, part of the Second Division, Ninth Corps in the summer of 1863.  It was transferred to the Twenty-Third Corps in September and performed garrison duties in the District of Kentucky.  We’ll see some of the stores accounted for in the ammunition tables that follow.  The regiment’s Lieutenant-Colonel was R. Charlton Mitchell at this time of the war.

With that summary of the five units represented by the lines, let us turn to the ammunition reported. Starting with the smoothbore:

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  • 98th New York Infantry: 57 shot, 41 case, and 42 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 99th New York Infantry: 42 shell and 88 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 12th New York Cavalry: 32 shell, 44 case, and 46 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 51st New York Infantry:  56 shot, 56 case, and 48 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

Note that no ammunition was reported (for the second quarter in a row) for Allis’ detachment from the 3rd New York Cavalry.

No Hotchkiss or Schenkl projectiles to report.  But there were some Parrott projectiles:

0276_1_Snip_NY_MISC

Yes, on the ill-fated Smith Briggs:

  • 99th New York Infantry: 137 shell and 40 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

No small arms were reported by these five detachments on the artillery summaries.  Usually infantry and cavalry commands filed their reports on different forms that were complied on a separate set of summaries.

Before leaving the “miscellaneous” of New York, there are two other batteries that deserve mention.  Recall Goodwin’s Battery, with its rather exotic breachloaders, and Varian’s State Militia Battery were mustered into Federal service to meet the emergency posed by Lee’s invasion of Pennsylvania.  Both were still in Federal service at the start of the quarter.  But only briefly in service.  Goodwin’s was mustered on July 27.  Varian’s was mustered out six days earlier.  As these batteries were off the Federal rolls by the end of September, they were not required to send in returns.  Lucky for them!


Citation: William Kreutzer, Notes and Observations Made During Four years of Service with the Ninety-Eighth N.Y. Volunteers in the War of 1861, Philadelphia: Grant, Faires & Ridgers, 1878, page 164.

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – Wisconsin’s Batteries

The last state with entries in the fourth quarter, 1862 summary statements was Wisconsin.  During the war, the Badger State provided thirteen light batteries.  One of those, the 13th Battery, would not be organized until December 1863 and thus falls outside scope for this post.  But the other twelve should be accounted for.  The summary carries six returns for those batteries on hand at the end of 1862, plus an additional line for weapons assigned to the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry.

0084_Snip_Dec62_WI_1

With a few gaps to fill in, here are the Wisconsin batteries:

  • 1st Battery:  Reporting at New Orleans with six 20-pdr Parrotts.  The location was valid for August 1864, when the return was received in Washington.  As of the end of 1862, Captain Jacob T. Foster’s battery was employed with Sherman’s forces in the action at Chickasaw Bayou (Third Division, Right Wing, Thirteenth Corps).  Foster’s men fired 2,380 rounds in three days there.  Foster reported his men were very fatigued after the battle, “…the guns were handled as rapidly as light artillery, whereas they are in fact siege pieces, and should have at least 175 men to maneuver there.”  Foster’s gunners would be in action again less than two weeks later at Arkansas Post.
  • 2nd Battery:  No return.  Captain Ernst F. Herzberg commanded this battery at the end of 1862, but was replaced by  Charles Beger within the first week of the new year. The battery served at Camp Hamilton, outside Fortress Monroe, Virginia, at this time of the war.
  • 3rd Battery: No return.  Lieutenant Cortland Livingston took this battery into action at Stones River, as part of Third Division, Left Wing, Fourteenth Corps (Army of the Cumberland).  The battery fired 358 rounds in the battle.
  • 4th Battery: No return.  Was also at Camp Hamilton, Virginia.  Captain  John F. Vallee commanded this battery.
  • 5th Battery: No return.  Captain Oscar F. Pinney was mortally wounded on the first day at Stones River.  Lieutenant Charles B. Humphrey assumed command.  The battery was in First Division, Right Wing, Fourteenth Corps. The battery fired 726 rounds and lost one gun in the battle.
  • 6th Battery: At Cartersville, Georgia with two 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Another case of a location derived from a later reporting date.  In this case the battery was at Cartersville in October 1864.  In December 1862, the “Buena Vista Battery” was operating in northern Mississippi as part of Seventh Division, Thirteenth Corps.  Captain Henry Dillon commanded.
  • 7th Battery: At Jackson, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer.  Lieutenant Galen E. Green commanded this battery, which was assigned to the District of Jackson, Thirteenth Corps.  A somewhat sedate assignment at the time for the “Badger State Flying Artillery.”
  • 8th Battery: No return. “Lyons’ Pinery Battery” also supported First Division, Right Wing, Fourteenth Corps at Stones River. Captain Stephen J. Carpenter, in command, was killed on the first day of the battle.  Lieutenant Henry E. Stiles assumed command. The 8th fired 375 rounds in the battle.  It lost a 6-pdr and a 10-pdr Parrott.  At the end of the first day, Stiles reported two guns serviceable (type not specified).
  • 9th Battery: Fort Lyon, Colorado with four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. Captain Cyrus H. Johnson commanded this battery posted in the District of Colorado (alongside McLain’s Colorado Battery, I might add)
  • 10th Battery: At Nashville, Tennessee with six 6-pdr field guns.  Assigned to the Fourth Division, Center Wing, Fourteenth Corps.  Captain Yates V. Beebe’s battery did not see action at Stones River.
  • 11th Battery: No return. An interesting back story to cover this blank line.  Formed in February 1862 as the 11th, this battery was transferred out as Battery L, 1st Illinois Light Artillery.  So we’ve covered them in a previous post.
  • 12th Battery: At Germantown, Tennessee with four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Sort of the reverse happened with this battery. It was formed in Missouri, but under authority of the Wisconsin governor.  Captain William Zickerick commanded the 12th at the end of 1862.  It was part of the Seventh Division, Thirteenth Corps at the time.

And as mentioned, one additional line:

  • 3rd Cavalry:  Reporting at Fort Scott, Kansas with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  The company designation appears to be “E.” The 3rd Cavalry had a section of mountain howitzers at the battle of Prairie Grove.  So we might arbitrate the location given in the summary.

So we see the Wisconsin batteries were posted to the Western and Trans-Mississippi theaters and involved with (probably, counting the 3rd Cavalry detachment) three different battles in December 1862.

Moving down to the ammunition pages, here are the smoothbore quantities on hand:

0086_Snip_Dec62_WI_1

And we have some entries to plant question marks next to:

  • 1st Battery: Seventy-one 6-pdr canister.  Now recall that 6-pdr caliber was 3.67-inch diameter, as was 20-pdr Parrott.  So this might be a case of “it fits in the bore, so we must be able to use it….”  to put things simply.  Plant a question mark there.
  • 6th Battery: 131 shot, 238 case, and 146 canister for 6-pdr field gun; 81 shell and 68 case  for 12-pdr field howitzer; 144 cainster for 12-pdr mountain howitzer.  Now 6th Battery was mixed with smoothbore guns, rifled guns, and field howitzers.  But were they using mountain howitzer canister in field howitzers? Or is that last entry a data entry error?  Again, we have a question mark.
  • 7th Battery: 60 shot, 80 case, and 45 canister for 6-pdr field gun; 15 case and 15 canister for 12-pdr field howitzer.  Small quantities might be explained by the battery having only three tubes on hand.
  • 9th Battery: 400 shot, 320 case, and 80 canister for 6-pdr field gun; 150 shell, 190 case, and 62 canister for 12-pdr howitzer.
  • 10th Battery:  598 shot and 550(?) case for 6-pdr field gun.
  • 3rd Cavalry: 69 shell and 7 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzer.

While the smoothbore section leaves us some questions to ponder, the rifled projectile sections are noticeably empty…. starting with the Hotchkiss columns:

0086_Snip_Dec62_WI_2

Hotchkiss was unknown, apparently, to the Wisconsin men.  Furthermore, Parrott and Schenkl were only a little more familiar:

0087_Snip_Dec62_WI_1A

Well… we can zoom in there…:

0087_Snip_Dec62_WI_1

Two batteries with quantities to mention:

  • 1st Battery: 124 shell, 415 case, and 51 canister of Parrott-patent for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • 12th Battery: 502 shell, 149 case, and 119 canister of Parrott-patent for 10pdr Parrott; also 28 Schenkl shot for 10-pdr Parrott rifle.

But nothing further on the Schenkl columns on the next page:

0087_Snip_Dec62_WI_2

So we are left to speculate about what projectiles were on hand for the James rifles.

On to the small arms:

0087_Snip_Dec62_WI_3

For the four batteries reporting quantities:

  • 1st Battery: Sixteen Army revolvers and six horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Sixty-six cavalry sabers.
  • 9th Battery: 135 Navy revolvers and twenty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Eighteen horse artillery sabers.

Closing this post, we come to the end of the fourth quarter, 1862 summaries. I’m going to take a short break on these posts before starting the first quarter, 1863.  There will be a few “administrative” notes to make as the column headers changed a bit with the new year.  But we’ll continue working through all these rows and columns in a somewhat orderly fashion.

 

 

“I feel desirous to do something…”: Foster looking for action along the James

On this day (October 8) in 1863, Major-General John G. Foster, commanding  the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, wrote to Major-General Henry Halleck in Washington to propose a series of operations in his sector.  Foster’s command included everything from the Virginia Peninsula down to the northern border of South Carolina.  Earlier in the summer, he’d forwarded reinforcements to the Department of the South when operations on Morris Island evolved into an extended siege.  Such limited Foster’s activity through the summer. Not one to be idle, he looked to create an opening that fall to break the quiet James River sector.  From his headquarters at Fort Monroe, he addressed Halleck:

General: I feel desirous to do something, and although my force is very small, I hope, by substituting the defense of citadels for that of the long lines, as Williamsburg, Yorktown, Gloucester, and Getty’s line, outside of Portsmouth, to obtain a small but effective movable column. The sickness which has prevailed at Williamsburg, Gloucester, Yorktown, and throughout the whole of North Carolina, has very much enfeebled the troops and made them for a time incapable of long marches. They are, however, available for expeditions by water, and what marches I may be forced to make can be borne by the negro troops. This is the case in the expedition now out scouring Matthews-County, of which the infantry is wholly composed of negro troops. To come to the point, I propose (now that I am obliged to understand that the troops sent to the Department of the South cannot be replaced so as to give me force enough to go to Weldon or to take Fort Caswell) to undertake little operations in succession, calculated to attract the attention of the enemy and draw off his force, which can be made very safe by means of the aid of the navy and the army gunboats.

The first point is Fort Powhatan, now deserted, which I propose to seize and turn into a small but strong work for us, from which I can commence a system of cavalry raids. Then, as soon as this has attracted the attention of the enemy so as to accumulate force enough to stop the operations of the cavalry, to seize a point on the other shore of the James, higher up, say, at Wilcox’s or Swynyard’s Wharves, or Harrison’s Landing, and pursue the same game. Then, with a small increase of force, City Point may be seized and fortified, and a dash be made toward Petersburg. To make sure of taking it will require quite an increase of force, say, 20,000 men; but this force can be sent, if you judge expedient, at any time. All that I can do now is to annoy the enemy, and from time to time to accumulate a force to meet an apprehended attack. If this meets with your approval, I will at once enter upon the necessary preparations.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
J. G. Foster, Major General.

With hindsight we know this proposal was dead on arrival.  After September 21, the weight of the Federal armies shifted towards Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Sickness and the need to hold the purchase gained at Morris Island prevented Gillmore from releasing troops.  And within a day the Army of Northern Virginia would take up the march once again, threatening to take back any gains of the summer’s fighting in the east.

Take Petersburg to cut off connections to the deep South?  Foster was about a year ahead things.

(Foster’s letter appears in OR, Series I, Volume 29, Part II, Serial 49, page 267.)

From ’63 to ’66: The later batches of 3-inch Ordnance Rifles

In earlier posts I’ve discussed the 3-inch Ordnance Rifles produced by Phoenix Iron Company through 1862.  Early guns had “side sights” and lacked a stamp for Samuel Reeves’ patent.  Although some sources indicate the patent stamp appeared with registry number 236 in the series, I have offered a rebuttal on that point.  Regardless of the stamps, around registry number 284 the guns received an auxiliary sight between the trunnions.  Now let me turn to guns produced after March 1863.

…. Oh, and before going too far, conceded a point to a reader who wishes to remain anonymous – the Phoenix guns are properly identified as “wrought iron ordnance rifles” to set them apart from other weapons made to the ordnance pattern.  But I hope you will allow me to use the short name to reduce the word count!

As alluded to in the earlier post, the later batches of guns from Phoenix simplified the sights to a single set – pendulum hausse and muzzle blade sights.  Among the first guns to conform to that new standard is registry number 597, credited in the last week of March 1863.

9 July 2011 242
3-inch Ordnance Rifle #597 at Fort Monroe

The gun is a bit pitted, and … well… the better collection of ordnance rifles is up at Gettysburg.   So let me introduce you to registry number 616 over near the Gettysburg maintenance facility.

Gettysburg 4 Feb 12 110
Muzzle of #616

Fairly typical muzzle markings indicate Theodore Thadeus Sobieski Laidley (a name like that inspires a post!) inspected this gun in 1863. He called the weight at 816 pounds – like so many ordnance rifles.  The right trunnion stamp reiterates the vendor’s name.

Gettysburg 4 Feb 12 111
Right Trunnion of 3-inch #616

The left trunnion displays the patent date for the manufacturing process.

Gettysburg 4 Feb 12 114
Left Trunnion of 3-inch #616

But between the trunnions, only the “U.S.” acceptance mark.  No hole for the auxiliary sight.

Gettysburg 4 Feb 12 113
Trunnions of 3-inch rifle #616

This gun only retains the pendulum hausse seat and muzzle sight.

Gettysburg 4 Feb 12 112
3-inch Ordnance Rifle #616

The front sight originally stood taller than what we see today.  Handling has left them just a stub. Number 616 actually has a substantial base to the sight.  Most survivors simply have the remainder or “nubbin.” Some surviving 3-inch rifles have more substantial muzzle sights, such as the base left on 616.  Others have only the threaded hole for the sight.

Gettysburg 4 Feb 12 138
Hole for muzzle sight on #674

Again, the variations seen here (markings and sights) had no substantial effect on the use of the guns.  Or at least not that I’ve found in the veteran’s accounts.  So something must have worked!   With a few possible and minor exceptions, all remaining 3-inch Ordnance Rifles confirmed to those particulars.

Gettysburg 18 Feb 12 230
3-inch Ordnance Rifle #931

That includes registry number 931 delivered in 1866, more than a year after the last Confederate surrender.

So in conclusion, the long line of 3-inch Ordnance Rifles – over 950 of them – conformed in all practical details to the pattern set by the Ordnance Board in 1861.  There are no major variations that would affect performance of the weapon.  However for modern-day visitors, there are some subtle differences with the markings and sight arrangements.  These are in some cases clues to the story of the otherwise silent guns.

Oh, and don’t think I’m done with the Ordnance Rifles.  I fully intend to bore you readers with more minutia about these guns!

The Big Rodmans: 20-inch Rodmans, Part 2

In yesterday’s post on the 20-inch Rodman Gun, I’d mentioned the gun pictured below arrived at Fort Hamilton, New York for testing in the fall of 1864.

20-inch Rodman #1

Compared to the trials of the 15-inch gun, the 20-inch gun received a bit more fanfare – and full coverage in Harper’s Weekly. When first fired on October 26, 1864, those in attendance included the gun’s inventor Major Thomas J. Rodman; Army Chief of Ordnance, Brigadier General Alexander B. Dyer; Captain Henry Augustus Wise, Chief of the Navy’s Bureau of Ordnance; and General W. F. Smith. If illustrations accompanying the Harper’s article are any indication, a rather large crowd of onlookers joined the dignitaries.

“Large” was the word for every aspect of the gun. The gun rested upon a specially built 18 ton carriage from the Watertown Arsenal, which was also designed by Rodman. As a measure of the size of the gun, prior to firing, a man lowered himself into the bore of the gun and wormed down to the vent in order to clear an obstruction. 1

The objective of the test was only to verify the gun could fire the heavy projectiles. Unfortunately I’ve never come across any first hand account or report of the gun’s trials. Most secondary sources point to a caption in Francis Miller’s Photographic History of the Civil War. Although Miller incorrectly identified the photo of the 15-inch prototype as the 20-inch gun, he stated the big gun fired four shots in 1864. Firing a 1,080 pound solid shot, the gun used charges increasing through 50, 75, 100, and finally 125 pounds of powder. According to Miller, tests resumed in March 1867 with four more shots. This time charges of 125, 150, 175, and then 200 pounds, fired at a 25° elevation, propelled shot to a maximum range of 8,000 yards.2

Certainly impressive figures, but with the war winding down that massive iron gun was too much for peacetime budgets. Fort Pitt delivered one more 20-inch gun in 1869. This gun also survives today, on display at Fort Hancock, New Jersey. (And again let me thank Bill Coughlin for the photo.)

20-inch Rodman #2 at Fort Hancock

This gun bears the registry number 2 along with its weight marks of 115,100 pounds. John Alexander Kress inspected this monster gun. Once accepted, #2 went to Fort Monroe. In 1876 the gun went to Philadelphia for the Centennial Exposition.3

20-inch Rodman at Centennial Exposition

From there the gun eventually ended up at Fort Hancock among other heavy guns also undergoing trials in the later decades of the 19th century. Thankfully it was preserved to “guard” the post instead of being discarded.

Although the Army received only two 20-inch Rodmans, the guns significantly influenced post-war planning. Plans considered these largest of guns for the critical locations along the seacoast. Over the years, schemes for the 20-inch guns included more advanced carriages, muzzle loading rifled variants, and even breechloading conversions. None of these progressed far. Army acquisition at the time focused on refinement of weapons which could be mass produced in the event of war (since everyone felt there’d be ample warning before any future war). As such, the 1864 testimony of William Wade, part owner of the Fort Pitt Foundry, is worth note. When asked by the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, Wade indicated his foundry’s capacity was, “two 10-inch or 8-inch guns per day, three 15-inch guns per week, and two 20-inch guns per month.4

Perhaps we could end the story there, simply saying the two 20-inch Rodmans were great guns that were never called to action. But that’s not the case. In the late 1870’s Peru came shopping for weapons due to heated tensions with Bolivia and Chile. In addition to some of the 15-inch Rodmans, the Peruvians acquired at least on 20-inch Rodman (sometimes noted as a 1000-pdr gun), presumably a surplus weapon at the foundry. During the War of the Pacific, this Rodman, paired with a 20-inch Dahlgren gun also cast by Fort Pitt, was used in defense of the port of Callao. 5 The guns presumably wound up in the hands of the Chileans at that point. Perhaps the big Rodman guns did fire more than a few “test shots” after all.

The legacy of the 20-inch Rodman was to American seacoast defenses in the last decades of the 19th century. While the days of muzzleloading, black powder, smoothbores waned after the Civil War, the range of the 20-inch guns influenced plans. With these larger guns, defenders could control larger expanses of waterways. Instead of just defending the harbor entrances, the Coast Artillery could think about covering likely approaches to the coast. The real change would wait until modern breechloading, rifled, steel guns arrived.

———————————————————————-

  1. Harper’s Weekly, Volume VIII, No. 412, November 19, 1864, page 749.
  2. Miller, Francis Trevelyan, The Photographic History of the Civil War: Volume 5 – Forts and Artillery (New York: Review of Reviews, 1911), page 137.
  3. Ingram, J.S., The Centennial Exposition Described and Illustrated (Philadelphia: Hubbard Brothers, 1876), page 146.
  4. Testimony of William Wade, “Heavy Ordnance,” Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War at the Second Session, Thirty-Eighth Congress (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1865), page 86.
  5. Markham, Sir Clements R., The War Between Peru and Chile, 1879-1882 (London: Sampson Low, Marston, and Company, 1882) page 186.