Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Rhode Island’s batteries

As we have discussed for the previous quarters, the small state of Rhode Island mustered a total of four artillery regiments for the Federal cause.  FOUR!

However, three of those regiments were heavy artillery.  And that means only the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery earns significant space in the summaries.  For the third quarter, we find every battery in that regiment (A through H) offered a return.  In addition Battery C, 3rd Rhode Island Heavy Artillery was serving as light artillery.  Thus nine batteries on the summary list:

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Colonel Charles H. Tompkins (not to be confused with the US Regulars cavalry officer), commanded the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery and doubled as the Chief of Artillery, Sixth Corps.  And all eight of his batteries gave reports for the quarter:

  • Battery A: “In the field” with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain William A. Arnold remained in command of this battery,  supporting Second Corps.  Their “in the field” location at the end of September was Culpeper County, Virginia.
  • Battery B: Also “In the field,” but with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Battery B also served in Second Corps’ artillery brigade, and thus was also in Culpeper at this time.  Captain  John G. Hazard of this battery was the corps artillery chief.  In his place, Lieutenant William S. Perrin commanded.
  • Battery C: Reporting at Warrenton, Virgnia, with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Richard Waterman commanded this battery supporting the Sixth Corps.
  • Battery D: At Loudon, Tennessee with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain William W. Buckley commanded this battery.  Assigned to First Division, Twenty-third Corps through this quarter (but would return to the Ninth Corps, specifically First Division, in October)
  • Battery E: Reporting at Culpeper, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery remained with Third Corps. Captain George E. Randolph, of this battery, was in command of the corps’ artillery brigade.  Lieutenant John K. Bucklyn commanded the battery in his place.
  • Battery F: At Newport News, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons (vice 10-pdr Parrotts reported in the last quarter). Captain James Belger commanded this battery, though he was at the time on extended leave recovering from a wound and on recruiting duty.  In his place Lieutenant Thomas Simpson commanded. The battery spent the summer assigned to the Defenses of New Berne, North Carolina.  And they supported several reconnaissance operations during those months.  In October the battery was ordered to NewPort News.
  • Battery G: Reporting at Warrenton with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain George W. Adams remained in command.  And the battery remained assigned to the Sixth Corps.
  • Battery H: At Fort Scott, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Assigned to the Twenty-second Corps from the Defenses of Washington.  Captain Jeffrey Hazard resigned in August.  Lieutenant Charles F. Mason stood in as commander in his absence.  Lieutenant Crawford Allen, Jr. would transfer from Battery G in December, and receive the captaincy.

Rhode Island would not form any other batteries within the 1st Artillery Regiment.

The last line in this section is for a battery in the 3rd Rhode Island Heavy Artillery.  This regiment, as readers will recall, served in the Department of the South at this time, providing garrison troops for Fort Pulaski, Hilton Head, Beaufort, and Folly Island.  But more importantly, the regiment provided troops for the siege of Battery Wagner.  One battery of this regiment was designated a light battery and appears on the summary:

  • Battery C: Reporting on Morris Island, South Carolina with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Charles R. Brayton remained in command.

We’ll cover the remainder of this regiment in a latter post focused on heavy artillery.

Guns need ammunition.  And the Rhode Island batteries reported plenty.  We start with the smoothbore:

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  • Battery B, 1st RI: 192 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery E, 1st RI: 288 shot, 96 shell, 284 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery F, 1st RI: 400 shot, 160 shell, 360 case, and 144 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery C, 3rd RI: 120 shell, 214 case, and 92 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.

For the rifled guns, we start with the Hotchkiss rounds:

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  • Battery A, 1st RI: 175 canister, 57 percussion shell, 533 fuse shell, and 509 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery G, 1st RI: 199 canister, 124 percussion shell, 149 fuse shell, and 334 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery H, 1st RI: 120 canister and 231 percussion shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 3rd RI: 180 canister, 84 percussion shell, 468 fuse shell, and 539 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

I’ll break down the next page into sections for clarity.  Starting with an entry for Dyer’s patent projectiles:

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  • Battery G, 1st RI: 34 shell for 3-inch rifles.

And the Parrott columns:

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  • Battery C, 1st RI: 491 shell, 367 case, and 122 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

And there were plenty of Schenkl projectiles reported:

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  • Battery A, 1st RI: 64 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery G, 1st RI: 146 shell and 33 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery H, 1st RI: 260 shell and 589 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery C, 3rd RI: 104 shell and 173 case for 3-inch rifles.

The last set of columns we review are the small arms:

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  • Battery A, 1st RI: Four army revolvers, nineteen navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B, 1st RI: Twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C, 1st RI: Seven navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D, 1st RI: Eight army revolvers, twelve navy revolvers, forty-five cavalry sabers, and five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E, 1st RI: Twelve navy revolvers and one horse artillery saber.
  • Battery F, 1st RI: 102 army revolvers and twenty horse cavalry sabers.
  • Battery G, 1st RI: Eight navy revolvers, ten cavalry sabers, and seventeen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H, 1st RI: Twenty army revolvers and thirty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C, 3rd RI: Forty-eight army revolvers, fifty-three cavalry sabers, and seventy-nine horse artillery sabers.

The Rhode Island batteries leave us with few questions.  The only question I pose what ammunition Battery D had on hand for its Napoleons?  Perhaps this nearly complete accounting from the Rhode Island batteries reflects the number of its officers then serving as artillery chiefs.

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Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery

For the second quarter of 1863, we find a remarkably clean summary entry for the batteries from Rhode Island:

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By way of refresher, Rhode Island provided four artillery regiments to the Federal ranks – one light regiment and three heavy regiments – along with two separate batteries (each of which only served three months early in the war).  Contradicting the normal progression, two of the Rhode Island heavy regiments evolved from infantry regiments.  The third was a USCT regiment.  We’ll consider the lone Battery C, 3rd Rhode Island Heavy, which served as a field battery and is seen on this listing, in a separate post.

That leaves us to concentrate on the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery and its batteries:

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Colonel Charles H. Tompkins commanded the regiment, though his primary duty was that of Artillery Chief of the Sixth Corps.  The 1st Rhode Island only ever mustered batteries A through H.  The inclusion of the others (I, K, L, and M) for this quarter of 1863 was apparently clerical efficiency…. or deficiency, if you prefer.  We find all eight batteries provided returns between July and September of 1863.  Give those men a gold “B” for bureaucratic efficiency!

  • Battery A: Reporting at Cedar Mountain, Virginia, as of September 26, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain William A. Arnold remained in commanded this battery,  supporting Second Corps.  Thus the location as of June 30 was outside Taneytown, Maryland.  The battery occupied a key position on Cemetery Ridge, July 2 and 3.
  • Battery B: “In the field” with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Battery B paired with Battery A (above) in Second Corps’ artillery brigade.  Thus their location at the end of June was also Taneytown.  Captain  John G. Hazard of this battery was the corps artillery chief.  In his place, Lieutenant Thomas Frederick Brown commanded. In the afternoon of July 2, the battery helped repulse the Confederate attack on the center of the Federal lines.  In that action the battery sustained heavy casualties, including Brown who was wounded.  Lieutenant William S. Perrin, of the second section, assumed command.  The battery briefly lost two guns in the fighting.  Those recovered, the battery still had to send two guns to the rear for lack of men and horses.  Lieutenant Joseph S. Milne, of this battery,  served with Battery A, 4th US (Cushing’s). He was mortally wounded on July 3.
  • Battery C: Reporting, as of August 26, at Warrenton, Virgnia, with six 10-pdr Parrotts (as opposed to six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles on the previous return).  Captain Richard Waterman commanded this battery, which had moved around a bit, organizationally speaking, in May and June.  The battery fought at Chancellorsville in the Fifth Corps.  An amendment to Special Orders No. 129 (May 12) sent the battery to the Third Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve (which Waterman commanded, briefly).  But just prior to the Gettysburg Campaign, the battery transferred to Sixth Corps (a temporary move made permanent on June 15).  Thus we place them near Manchester, Maryland, as of June 30.  The battery saw very little action at Gettysburg, being held in reserve for the most part.  Sometime during the month that followed, the battery exchanged Ordnance rifles for Parrotts.
  • Battery D: At Camp Nelson, Kentucky  with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain William W. Buckley commanded this battery.  With reorganizations within the Department of the Ohio, the battery moved from Second Division, Ninth Corps to First Division, Twenty-third Corps.
  • Battery E: Reporting on September 9 at Sulphur Springs, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery remained with Third Corps. Captain George E. Randolph, of this battery, was in command of the corps’ artillery brigade.  Lieutenant Pardon S. Jastram, formerly commanding the battery, accepted a position as Randolph’s adjutant.  Thus Lieutenant John K. Bucklyn commanded the battery at the start of the Gettysburg Campaign.  Marching with the Third Corps, the battery was at Emmitsburg on the evening of June 30.   In the afternoon of July 2, Battery E occupied a position on the Emmitsburg Pike near the Sherfy Farm.  There the battery faced Barksdale’s attack and was driven back with Graham’s Brigade.  With Bucklyn wounded, command devolved to Lieutenant Benjamin Freeborn.  Despite the desperate position, the battery managed to secure all its guns, losing only a caisson (which was recaptured after the battle).  Losses were five killed, and 24 wounded.  The battery lost forty horses, however.
  • Battery F: At New Berne, North Carolina with six 12-pdr Napoleons (vice 10-pdr Parrotts reported in the last quarter). Captain James Belger commanded this battery, part of the Artillery Brigade, Eighteenth Corps.  The battery sent sections in support of several operations during the spring and early summer.
  • Battery G: Reporting on August 29 at Warrenton with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain George W. Adams’ battery was another that moved around during the spring.  After Chancellorsville, the battery moved from Second Corps to the Fourth Brigade, Artillery Reserve. Then in June the battery was transferred to Colonel Tompkins’ brigade to support Sixth Corps.  The battery camped at Manchester, Maryland on the night of June 30.  The battery remained in reserve through the battle of Gettysburg.
  • Battery H: At Fort Ward, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Assigned to the Twenty-second Corps from the Defenses of Washington.  Captain Jeffrey Hazard commanded this battery.

Thus five of eight batteries were on the field of Gettysburg by July 3.  Notice all batteries were uniform in armament.

Moving to the ammunition, first the smoothbore columns:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • Battery B: 252 shot, 84 shell, 252 case, and 84 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery E: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery F: 400 shot, 160 shell, 360 case, and 144 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Battery D is noticeably absent from this page.

The Hotchkiss page is contains three lines worth of entries, for those 3-inch rifles:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • Battery A: 195 canister, 54 percussion shell, 464 fuse shell, and 504 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery G: 179 canister, 4 percussion shell, 133 fuse shell, 344 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 231 percussion shell and 589 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Let us break down the next page into two sections.  First the columns for Dyer’s patent projectiles:

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Two lines of Dyer’s patent projectiles:

  • Battery G: 34 shell and 20 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 120 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.

Moving to the left, there are Parrott and Schenkl projectiles:

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First those of the Parrott patent:

  • Battery C: 324 shell, 204 case, and 122 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Then Schenkl:

  • Battery C: 460 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

As most sources have Battery C on the field at Gettysburg with 3-inch Ordnance rifles, yet the returns give us Parrotts, the ammunition quantities may indicate an initial issue of ammunition.  The turn-over of guns appears to have occurred as the Gettysburg Campaign was winding down.   Still, that is a lot of shot for field gun duty.  And I am pressed to explain why a battery would switch guns at that particular time.

Turning to the remainder of the Schenkl columns:

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  • Battery A: 64 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery G: 146 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 260 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Lastly the small arms reported:

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By battery:

  • Battery A: Four Army revolvers, twenty Navy revolvers and thirty-nine horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Twenty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Eight Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: Eight Army revolvers, twelve Navy revolvers, forty-five cavalry sabers and eighteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Fifteen Navy revolvers and four (?) horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: 104 Navy revolvers, twenty cavalry sabers and nine horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Fourteen Navy revolvers, ten cavalry sabers, and eighteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Twenty Army revolvers and thirty-six horse artillery sabers.

One note with the small arms.  Battery F’s history alludes to service of detachments either as cavalry or as artillery assigned to support cavalry, on patrols in North Carolina.  The small arms reported seems to back that up.

 

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Batteries of New Hampshire and New Jersey

For this installment of the summary reports, we will look at the contributions of two states – New Hampshire and New Jersey.   Between the two, by June 1863 were only three batteries of light artillery:

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Just one battery from the Granite State.  For the New Hampshire battery:

  • 1st Battery: Reporting at Taneytown, Maryland with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. After the Chancellorsville Campaign, Captain Frederick M. Edgell’s battery transferred from First Corps to Third Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  If we go to Edgell’s official report of the Gettysburg Campaign, we find his battery expended 105 rounds on July 2nd (at ranges of 2,000 yards or more!) from a position off the Taneytown Road, in what is today the National Cemetery.  On July 3, they fired counter-battery and later helped repulse Longstreet’s assault, with 248 rounds.  The battery fired a total of 353 rounds, with Hotchkiss time shell and Schenkl percussion mentioned specifically.  Edgell complained about the Schenkl combination fused case.

And from the Garden State, two batteries (three more batteries would muster in September 1863, but are outside our scope here):

  • Battery A: In Maryland with six 10-pdr Parrotts. The battery was, after Chancellorsville, moved from the Sixth Corps to Fourth Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  Lieutenant Augustine N. Parsons remained in command, with the absence of Captain William Hexamer.  On June 30, the battery was, like most of the Artillery Reserve, near Taneytown.  On July 3, Battery A went into action near the present day Pennsylvania Memorial, and thus on the opposite flank of Longstreet’s assault from the New Hampshire battery mentioned above.  Parsons reported firing about 120 rounds of case against the infantry charge.  Afterward, he fired an additional 80 rounds of shell at Confederate batteries, for a total of around 200 on the day.
  • Battery B: Reported at Brandy Station, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts, reflecting a March 1864 receipt date. Of course the battery was with the Third Corps, Army of the Potomac, on June 30, 1863, and between Emmitsburg and Taneytown.  Captain A.Judson Clark commanded the battery.  However, at least at the start of the Gettysburg Campaign, Clark was listed as a divisional artillery chief, a position that should have been redundant with battery consolidation at the corps level.  Captain George E. Randolph, Battery E, 1st Rhode Island Artillery, was the corps artillery chief (somewhat confusing, even on the tablets at Gettysburg list both Randolph and Clark).  While Clark was serving as chief, Lieutenant Robert Sims had charge of the battery.  But all reports have Clark in command of the battery on July 2nd, when the battery advanced to support infantry at the Peach Orchard salient.

Thus we can place all three batteries in action at Gettysburg.  Writing these summaries, I have an urge to discuss so much of the “rest of the story.”  But for the moment, let us focus on the summaries and not the deeds (which most would agree are more interesting).

No smoothbores on hand, so no smoothbore ammunition to report.  Turning to the Hotchkiss projectiles:

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  • 1st New Hampshire: 80 canister, 158 fuse shell, and 238 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Keep in mind Edgell fired 353 rounds at Gettysburg.  And we’ll revisit the totals below.

On the next page, we can trim down to focus on the Parrott projectiles:

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The two New Jersey batteries reporting:

  • Battery A, New Jersey: 130 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery B, New Jersey: 568 shell, 360 case, and 120 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Parsons’ battery seems to be missing a large quantity of ammunition.  And that cannot simply be accounted for by that expended in battle in July.

Moving to the next page and the Schenkl columns:

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  • 1st New Hampshire:  322 shells for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery B, New Jersey: 152 shells for 10-pdr Parrotts.

We find here some of the Schenkl shells that Edgell complained about.  The total for that battery, on the summaries, is 798 rounds.  Again, the question here – was that “as of June 30, 1863”?  Or on hand as of the day the report was generated?  Or quantity on hand sometime after the great battle?

Moving to the small arms section:

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By battery:

  • 1st New Hampshire: Thirteen Navy revolvers and nine cavalry sabers.
  • Battery A, New Jersey: Fifteen Army revolvers and twenty-seven horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B, New Jersey: Sixteen Navy revolvers and fifteen horse artillery sabers.

Three batteries from two different states.  All three playing in action at Gettysburg.