Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – West Virginia, Sections with Infantry

Below the listings for the 1st West Virginia Light Artillery in the third quarter, 1863 are two lines for artillery sections reporting from infantry regiments:

0289_1_Snip_WV_Misc

One of these is a repeat from the previous quarter.  Both are reports from infantry regiments then operating in the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia. And both fell under First Brigade (Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes), First Division (Brigadier-General Parker Scammon), of the Department of West Virginia:

  • Section attached to 5th Infantry: Reporting from Gauley Bridge, West Virginia with one 6-pdr smoothbore field gun and one 6-pdr (3.67-inch) rifle.  Colonel Abia A. Tomlinson commanded the regiment.  Ten different companies of the regiment reported postings at Gauley Bridge during the fall (not all at the same time, however).  So the two guns could have been a static assignment rotated among the companies.  Or could have been manned by a semi-permanent detail. 
  • Section attached to 13th Infantry:  No location offered.  But reporting one 12-pdr mountain howitzer.  Colonel William R. Brown commanded the 13th West Virginia Infantry.  The regiment spent most of the fall in the Kanawha Valley.  As with the 5th, no specific details as to the assignment or use of the cannon.

Noteworthy, a return from December 1863 for the Department of West Virginia indicates the entire division had sixteen field pieces.  The division had two batteries assigned – Captain James R. McMullin’s 1st Ohio Battery and Simmonds’ Kentucky Battery.  We are working from incomplete returns from those batteries.  But subtract out the 10 or 12 guns those batteries must have had.  And also subtract the three guns mentioned here with the infantry.  That would still leave us one, and maybe three, field guns unreported.  By that time of the war the Federals always seemed to have a spare piece of artillery about.

Moving down to the ammunition, the smoothbore comes first:

0291_1_Snip_WV_Misc
  • 5th Infantry: 84 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 13th Infantry: 92 case and 68 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

No Hotchkiss rounds reported. But we can cut down the next page to look at James projectiles:

0292_1J_Snip_WV_Misc
  • 5th Infantry: 60 shell for 3.80-inch James.  Which leaves us with a conundrum – was this an error with the report or with transcription?  This could be the incorrect rounds assigned to the piece; an error reporting the piece; or an error reporting the ammunition on hand.

The next page seems to re-affirm the caliber of the weapon in question:

0292_2_Snip_WV_Misc
  • 5th Infantry: 30 Schenkl shells for 3.67-inch rifles.

The infantry regiments did not report small arms assigned to these artillery sections.  And that brings this entry to a close. 

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Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Kentucky’s batteries

Battery returns from Kentucky must have posed problems for the clerks at the Ordnance Department.  Not only was there conflicts with the designations – what with a numbered and lettered designation system being used to reference the same batteries – but even getting established how many different batteries existed seemed to be an issue.  At the end of 1862, two entry lines left little but confusion.  For the first quarter of 1863, the clerks listed two of the three batteries then on active service.   And the second quarter of 1863 gave the same two batteries, out of what was then four batteries, with some designation cross-ups (along with two sections reported with infantry regiments).  But things look better for the third quarter of 1863:

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Four batteries, out of what was then five batteries, plus a “section” from an infantry regiment.  That “section” actually had more guns than many real batteries!  So let us dive into the administrative details:

  • 1st Battery (or Battery A):  At Murfreesboro with two 6-pdr field guns, two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain Theodore S. Thomasson remained in command.  And the battery remained at Murfreesboro as unassigned artillery in the Army of the Cumberland.
  • 2nd Battery (or Battery B): No return.  Captain John M. Hewett’s battery detached from Second Division, Fourteenth Corps to support the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics at Elk River Bridge, Tennessee. An army return from late September 1863 indicated four artillery pieces were at the bridge, presumably all Hewett’s.  A wartime photo shows this bridge rivaled the famous “cornstalks and beanpoles” Potomac Creek Bridge of Virginia.

ElkRiverBridge_small

  • 3rd Battery (or Battery C):  Not listed.  While organizing, earlier in the spring, the battery was captured (and paroled) when Confederates raided Lebanon, Kentucky, thus setting things back a bit.  Formally, the battery did not muster until September 1863.  The battery remained at Louisville, Kentucky through the fall.  Captain John W. Neville in command, the battery was assigned to First Division, Twenty-Third Corps.
  • Battery D: This battery never completed organization. I include here just to avoid the question, “what about Battery D?”
  • Battery E: At Camp Nelson, Kentucky, with no artillery.  Captain John J. Hawes commanded this brand new battery, formally mustered on October 6, 1863.
  • Simmonds’ Independent Battery, also 1st Kentucky Independent Battery: No location given, but with six 10-pdr Parrotts. This was Captain Seth J. Simmonds’ battery and was stationed at Gauley Bridge, West Virginia through the late summer.  The battery was assigned to Scammon’s Division, Department of West Virginia.  In late September the battery moved to Camp Toland, Charleston, West Virginia.  The battery remained active, supporting various scouting operations and expeditions in the department.
  • Company G(?), 14th Kentucky Infantry: At Louisa, Kentucky, with four 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles… yes, quite a battery in that infantry regiment!  Colonel George W. Gallup’s regiment was posted to Louisa as part of the Twenty-Third Corps.  Remaining behind during the Knoxville Campaign, the regiment formed into the District of Eastern Kentucky.  Though I don’t have any other details as to this “section” of artillery within the regiment.

Though we still have a mix, and mess, of designations, the clerks had made progress documenting the Kentucky batteries.

Turning to the ammunition on hand, we start as usual with the smoothbore:

0259_1_Snip_KY

Two lines to consider:

  • 1st Battery: 320 shot, 180 case, and 111 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 14th Infantry: 532 shot, 358 case, and 295 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 56 case and 11 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.

One battery with 3-inch rifles, so one line on the Hotchkiss page:

0259_2_Snip_KY

  • 1st Battery: 75 canister, 80 percussion shell, 80 fuse shell, and 160 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

We’ll break up the next page for clarity, starting with one additional entry for Hotchkiss:

0260_1A_Snip_KY

  • 1st Battery: 40 canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.

And speaking of James, we have entries for James patent projectiles:

0260_1B_Snip_KY

  • 1st Battery: 12 shot and 66 shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • 14th Infantry: 26 shot, 49 shell, and 36 canister for James Rifles.

Out in West Virginia, there were six Parrotts manned by Kentuckians, so we find Parrott patent projectiles:

0260_1C_Snip_KY

  • Simmonds’ Battery: 1504 shell and 265 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Simmonds’ Battery reported a large quantity of shells on hand in previous quarters.  So this is no quarterly aberration.

Turning to the Schenkl projectiles:

0260_2_Snip_KY

Two batteries reporting:

  • 1st Battery: 250 Schenkl shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Simmonds’ Battery: 69 Schenkl shell for 10-pdr Parrott.

And off to the right, we see an entry for Tatham’s canister:

  • 1st Battery: 110 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Closing up Kentucky’s batteries, we have the small arms reported:

0260_3_Snip_KY

Just two reporting:

  • 1st Battery: Fourteen Navy revolvers, ten cavalry sabers, and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Simmonds’ Battery: Twenty-four Army revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.

Next up, we turn to the Kansas batteries… you see, while the clerks were struggling with their accounting of Kentucky’s cannon, they were hard pressed to keep things alphabetical!