Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Wisconsin artillery sections

Below the numbered batteries from Wisconsin, in the third quarter of 1863 summaries, are four lines based on returns submitted from sections directly assigned to cavalry or infantry regiments:

0297_1_Snip_WI_Misc

One of these is a carry over from the previous quarter.  Another matches to an entry from way back in the fourth quarter of 1862:

  • Battery attached to 3rd Cavalry: Reporting at Van Buren, Arkansas with no cannon.  But inferred, based on the ammunition reported (below), is the presence of 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  At this time of the war, the regiment was part of the District of the Frontier.  Colonel William A. Barstow commanded.  Minus some detachments, the regiment was at Fort Blunt (Fort Gibson), Cherokee Nation, in July 1863. After a busy summer and early fall, the regiment moved to Van Buren (accross the Arkansas River from Fort Smith) in early November. As far back as mid-1862 the regiment operated with a pair of mountain howitzers.  The regiment brought that section to Prairie Grove in December 1862.  But the lack of annotation here leaves questions.  What we can confirm from this entry is at a minimum the regiment retained stores through the fall of 1863, if not the howitzers themselves, at Van Buren… which brings us to the next entry….
  • Company C, 3rd Cavalry: No location given, but reporting one 12-pdr mountain howitzer.  This is one of those entries where other sources not only provide validation but point to a prominent role of the artillery piece.  Captain Edward R. Stevens commanded Company C, which was detached from the regiment and operating out of Fort Scott, Kansas.  A detachment (of men from Companies C and D, plus some Kansas USCT) under Lieutenant James B. Pond occupied Fort Blair (also called Fort Baxter), at Baxter Springs, Kansas.  Pond’s command included on mountain howitzer.  On October 6,  William Quantrill’s raiders attacked the fort.  Pond organized a hasty, but effective defense, centered around that howitzer.  While part of Quantrill’s force attacked the fort, the other wing encountered Major-General James Blunt and escort, who happened to be moving his headquarters from Fort Scott to Fort Smith at that time.  Blunt’s column was routed with over 100 killed. Though the general escaped, the incident was deemed a “massacre” in Federal accounts.  Despite demands and threats, Pond held out at Fort Blair.  In 1898, Pond received the Medal of Honor in recognition for his stand that day.
  • Section, Artillery, attached to 2nd Cavalry: Reporting at Fort Smith, Arkansas with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers. In September 1863, Colonel Thomas Stephens, of the regiment, was in command of a small brigade of cavalry assigned to Seventeenth Corps, then operating at Vicksburg.  Only eight companies were with Stephens. The other four companies formed a battalion under Major William H. Miller, which operated in Missouri.  This brings up a question about the reported location. The battalion remained part of the Rolla, Missouri garrison well into the fall of 1864, serving in the District of Rolla, Department of Missouri. There is no mention of movement to Fort Smith.  So this may be a transcription error.  One has to wonder if the clerks confused the 2nd and 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry. 
  • Detachment, 30th Infantry: I interpret their location as as “Indian expedition, Dakota Territory.”   The regiment reported four 6-pdr field guns (down from six) on hand.  The 30th Wisconsin served in Major-General John Pope’s Department of the Northwest, providing troops for garrisons in the Districts of Wisconsin and Iowa.  Colonel Daniel J. Dill commanded the regiment.  A detachment under Lieutenant-Colonel Edward M. Bartlett, comprised of Companies D and F, were on duty at Fort Sully, Dakota Territory, through the fall.  If I had to guess, this would be the likely location of those guns.

So four stories from the Trans-Mississippi ranging from an infamous massacre to mundane garrison duties.  And between these four lines, barely a battery between them.  Let’s look to what ammunition was on hand:

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  • 3rd Cavalry: 85 shell and 26 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • Company C, 3rd Cavalry: 30 shell, 36 case, and 36 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 2nd Cavalry: 76 case and 9 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 30th Infantry: 364 shot, 182 case, and 159 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

No rifled projectiles reported, of course.  But those sheets are posted for review (here, here, and here).   But there are small arms reported:

0300_3_Snip_WI_Misc
  • 2nd Cavalry: 75 breechloading carbines and 96 army revolvers.

That line from the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry has me wondering if the regiment simply submitted one return, covering both artillery and cavalry stories, as opposed to separate returns (as per regulation). 

These were the final lines in the third quarter 1863 summaries.  Before we move on to the last quarter’s summaries, let us account for the omissions.  We’ve discussed many of those “in line” with the state entries.  But there were a few others that fell between two chairs, so to speak.  Furthermore, I will also review the state of the heavy artillery at this stage of the war.  If for nothing else to say we’ve not cast our nets with prejudice.

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Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Kansas artillery

Despite its location, Kansas provided a surprising number artillerists to the Federal Army – three “formal” batteries, plus sections within infantry (to include USCT) and cavalry formations.  As a whole, the Kansas artillerists have not received much attention from historians.  And that is our loss, as each has an interesting service history along with a cast of characters worthy of attention.

When I started out to transcribe the summaries, one caution imposed was to limit discussion of each battery to a paragraph.  Basically, just indicating the battery commander, parent formation, any notable engagement during the quarter, and clarification to the information provided in the summary.  But often I find the need to refine and expand upon the basic information, if for nothing else to correct ambiguities… quite often enough from my own notes! Such is the case here with the Kansas summaries for the third quarter of 1863.

In the previous quarter, we found the clerks had allocated a healthy set of entries, evolved from some confusing lines in earlier quarters.  Earlier in 1863, just identifying the battery’s name must have been difficult as there was some reluctance to even accept batteries from Kansas (with some in the War Department feeling there was no need for artillery in the far west).  So the battery designations evolved from commander/organizer’s name to the formal allocated number.  We see that completely adopted for the third quarter and three batteries present:

0257_1_Snip_KS

But only two cavalry sections reporting this quarter.  Let’s work down the list:

  • 1st Battery:  Reporting at St. Louis with four 10-pdr Parrott rifles.  Captain Norman Allen died in St. Louis on July 9, 1863.  Lieutenant Marcus D. Tenney (who had for most of the year led the battery in the field) succeeded Allen, and was promoted to captain on July 20.  Around this same time of the early summer the battery transferred from Missouri to the District of Columbus, Kentucky, and was part of the Sixteenth Corps.  They took on duties guarding the railroad lines between that point and Nashville.  So by September their mail was going to a Kentucky address.
  • 2nd Battery:  At Fort Smith, Arkansas, with with four 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr Napoleons and two 10-pdr Parrotts. Recall we had some questions about this battery’s reported cannon in the previous quarter.  I think the line for the third quarter is more accurate, but still has question marks. The bronze 6-pdrs may have been iron.  And we have to wonder were those Parrotts came from. Captain Edward A. Smith remained in command, with the battery part of the District of the Frontier.  However, the battery was split into sections in the field.  Lieutenant Aristarchus Wilson led two sections at Fort Blunt, Cherokee Nation (where Smith was also on duty).  Lieutenant Daniel C. Knowles led the right section at Fort Scott, Kansas.  Smith reported taking two sections into action in the battle of Honey Springs, along Elk Creek, Cherokee Nation, on July 17, with Wilson in command of a section of “two 6-pounder iron guns.”  The other section possessed two 12-pdr Napoleons.  In the action, Smith moved his Napoleons through the 2nd Colorado Infantry to a position 100 yards in front, where he directed canister fire on Confederates at 300 yards, to good effect.
  • 3rd Battery: Also reporting at Fort Smith, Arkansas, with three 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer.  Let me circle back and properly discuss the origin of this battery.  Henry Hopkins and John F. Aduddell recruited this battery in 1861.  But, as Kansas needed cavalry more than artillery at that time, the unit became Company B, 2nd Kansas Cavalry (However, see NOTE at bottom).  In the battle of Maysville (or Old Fort Wayne, if you prefer), on October 22, 1862, the 2nd Kansas captured three 6-pdrs and one 12-pdr howitzer – the cannon we see on the summary.   Captain Henry Hopkins organized some of his original recruits to man this “Trophy Battery.”  Hopkins remained in command of this battery through September 1863, leading it in action at Cane Hill, Prairie Grove, and Honey Springs.  The battery was often listed as “Hopkins’ Kansas battery” on returns, though occasionally, starting in February 1863, as the “3rd Kansas Battery.”  However, not until October 1863 was the designation made official. Hopkins was not always in direct command of the battery on the field, and signed his reports as part of the 2nd Kansas Cavalry, giving some measure of the “ad-hoc” status of the unit.  The battery remained in the District of the Frontier, in Colonel William Philipps’ Brigade (also including the Indian Home Guards and the 6th Kansas Cavalry).  In late September, Hopkins accepted promotion to Major, in the 2nd Kansas Cavalry and took on other duties (he was shortly after defeated in the Second Battle of Cabin Creek, which falls outside the scope of our discussions).  Lieutenant Bradford S. Bassett held temporary command until Lieutenant Aduddell returned.
  • 6th Kansas Cavalry: Stationed at North Fork (Town), Creek Nation (?), with a lieutenant in charge of “art. stores.”  Those stores included two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  Companies of the regiment operated in the Indian Territories throughout the summer and fall.  But I do not know any specifics about the section of mountain howitzers or the officer in charge.
  • 2nd Kansas Cavalry: At Fort Smith, Arkansas, with the quartermaster reporting artillery stores. But no cannon reported.  Major Julius O. Fisk commanded the detachment of the 2nd Kansas at Fort Smith.  The Regimental Quartermaster was Lieutenant Cyrus Gorton.  Stores reported included a traveling forge and a fair quantity of tools.

If we cast our inquiries to ask if there were artillery units which should have appeared on the summary for Kansas, then the first I’d mention is Armstrong’s Battery.  Captain Andrew J. Armstrong was from Company C, 1st Kansas Colored Infantry (later 79th USCT).  The regiment formed in mid-1862, but unclear is when a section of artillery came to be associated with the unit and with Armstrong.   File this as “under research.”

Furthermore, there were several militia batteries reported by the state’s adjutant.  And as Kansas was a place where militia units would often see action, despite not being mustered into Federal service, we might mention them here (just because).  Captain A.L. Dornbergh’s Artillery was “Company D” from Allen County.  Dornbergh was a probate judge in the county and his command was called up for state service during the fall.  There were probably others, but I don’t have specific details.  But we know there were several Kansas militia batteries, as a year later, during Price’s Raid, at least four batteries were called up.  And batteries just don’t form out of thin air… someone has to have a cannon or two!

We’ll move from those speculations and on to the numbers recorded for the ammunition reported.  Starting with the smoothbore:

0259_1_Snip_KS

  • 2nd Battery: 178 shot, 229 case, and 170 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 100 shell, 36 case, and 82 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 3rd Battery: 100 shot, 300 case, and 100 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 100 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 150 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 6th Kansas Cavalry: 140 case and 32 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

In my opinion, we have several transcription errors here.  The 2nd Battery should have 12-pdr Napoleon ammunition. The 3rd Battery and the 6th Cavalry should not.  Just where the numbers should lay is not easy to determine.  The data does not track well against the previous quarter’s quantities, which did seem to be in order.

No Hotchkiss projectiles reported, so we move to the next page and specifically to the Parrott columns:

0260_1A_Snip_KS

Two batteries in mind:

  • 1st Battery: 537 shell, 125 case, and 130 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 2nd Battery: 132 shot, 444 shell, 156 case, and 75 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

With no Schenkl or Tatham’s on hand, we can proceed to the small arms reported:

0260_3_Snip_KS

Only the three batteries reporting:

  • 1st Battery: Forty-seven Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 2nd Battery: Thirty Army revolvers, 128 Navy revolvers, and twenty-three cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Eighty-nine Army revolvers and one Navy revolver.

The Kansas artillerymen would present, I think, a good topic for a graduate student looking to plow a fresh field of research.

NOTE:  On May 22, 1862, the 2nd Kansas was ordered to provide a detail to man six 10-pdr Parrott rifles at Fort Leavenworth.  As Hopkins was in charge of the detail (if not at the start, at least later), the unit appeared on returns as “Hopkins’ Battery.”  From there, the battery proceeded east to Columbus, Kentucky and eventually joined the Army of the Mississippi at Corinth, Mississippi.  In September, the detachment was released from this duty and returned to Kansas.  As these men had experience with artillery, they were, of course, selected to man the new “Trophy Battery” a month later.  Some have interpreted this as a single battery lineage, as the commander and many of the men were the same.  However, the muster rolls don’t bear that out, meaning at the time, at least administratively, the two were separate units.  I won’t argue against it! Nor will I make the statement for it!

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:

0043_Snip_IA_KY_KS_1

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:

0045_Snip_IA_KY_KS_1

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:

0046_Snip_IA_KY_KS_1

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:

0046_Snip_IA_KY_KS_2

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:

0046_Snip_IA_KY_KS_3

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.