Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 3rd Regiment, US Regulars

As we’ve discussed in the entries for earlier quarters, a number of the 3rd Artillery’s batteries were assigned garrison duties in California.  Others in relatively quiet sectors.  But the 3rd was represented well in the Army of the Potomac and other active field armies.  Still, the nature of that collective service lead to a “spotty” summary statement.  For the 3rd quarter of 1863, we find only four lines reporting artillery on hand:

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Let us look at the administrative details for explanations:

  • Battery A: At Albuquerque, New Mexico with two 12-pdr field howitzers and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Same as the previous quarter.  Lieutenant John B. Shinn was in command of this battery.  Shinn’s promotion to captain would come in January of the next year.
  • Battery B: Given the annotation “Infy. Stores” at Camp Reynolds, on Angel Island, off San Francisco, California.  Lieutenant Louis Hasbrouk Fine was the senior officer with the battery at this time, but Captain (brevet Major) George E.P. Andrews, of the 3rd Artillery, was returning to that post from extended duties elsewhere.
  • Battery C: Simply “Army of the Potomac,” with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Part of the Second Brigade of the Horse Artillery, Army of the Potomac.  Still under Lieutenant William D. Fuller, the battery performed well in a sharp action on the Rapidan River, covering the cavalry, in mid-September.  Captain Dunbar R. Ransom, recovered from a wound suffered at Gettysburg, resumed command near the end of September.  The battery was still near Stevensburg, Virginia at the start of the Bristoe Campaign.
  • Battery D: At Alcatraz Island, California with the annotation “Infy. Stores.”  Captain William A. Winder, of the 3rd US Artillery, commanded the garrison of Alcatraz at this time of the war.  Under his command were Batteries D and I (Battery H having moved out of that post).
  • Battery E: No return. Serving in the Department of the South, under Lieutenant  John R. Myrick.  The battery had six 10-pdr Parrotts at this time.  In late September the battery transferred from Morris Island to Folly Island.
  • Battery F & K: No location given, but with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  This combined battery was assigned to the 1st US Regular Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  In September Lieutenant George F. Barstow replaced Lieutenant John G. Turnbull as the battery commander.
  • Battery G: Fort Turnbull, Connecticut  but without any assigned cannon. Lieutenant Lewis Smith held command of this battery, just completing reorganization.
  • Battery H: “Infy. Stores” with location as Fort Point, California.  Captain Joseph Stewart appears on records as the senior officer in the battery.
  • Battery I: Also “Infy. Stores” but on Alcatraz Island with Battery D.
  • Battery K: Annotated as “with Battery F”.  See that battery’s notes above.
  • Battery L & M: No location given, but with four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain John Edwards remained in command of this combined battery.  The battery was assigned to First Division, Ninth Corps.  This well-traveled battery returned from Mississippi in time to participate in the Knoxville Campaign.
  • Lieutenant: “Stores in Charge.”  This line tallied various implements and supplies, apparently assigned to a lieutenant of the regiment, but with no location indicated.
  • Band: Another “Stores in Charge” and listed at Fort Turnbull, Connecticut.

Of note, with those last two lines, the regimental commander, with his headquarters and staff, were stationed at Fort Turnbull at this time.  Colonel William Gates had served well over 45 years active duty by this point in his life.  Looking at his portrait, he strikes me as a “worn” man:

colonel_william_gates_usa

Then again, maybe it is the scratchy photo negative.

He’d fought in the War of 1812, Seminole Wars, and the Mexican War.  Though his career was somewhat marred by the sinking of the SS San Francisco in 1853, carrying his regiment to California, and the loss of some 300 lives.

Moving to the ammunition, we have two batteries with smoothbores:

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And two reporting:

  • Battery A: 148 shot, 112 case, and 216 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 170 shell, 240 case, and 88 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery F & K: 192 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

As noted under the previous quarters, Battery A held on to ammunition for 6-pdrs it no longer had on charge.

Moving to the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

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Again, two lines.  But not a lot to talk about:

  • Battery A: 96 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 30 canister for 3-inch rifles.

For the next page, we can focus on the Parrott projectile columns:

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  • Battery L & M: 559 shell, 289 case, and 133 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Moving right along, we have the Schenkl columns:

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Again, two batteries reporting:

  • Battery A: 254 shell and 288 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 18 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Thus, if we work strictly off quantities reported, Battery C seems short of projectiles.

Turning to the last set of columns, we have the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery A: Thirteen breech loading carbines, eighty-six Army revolvers, two Navy revolvers, and eighty-nine horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: One breech loading carbine, twenty-five Navy revolvers, twenty-nine cavalry sabers, and 100(?) horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F & K: Four Army revolvers and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Six cavalry sabers, eighty-eight horse artillery sabers, and twenty-four foot artillery swords.
  • Battery L & M: Twelve Navy revolvers and forty-eight horse artillery sabers.
  • The Band: Thirteen rifles.

Yes, the BAND with thirteen rifles!  Perhaps somewhere in the Army’s vast bureaucracy is a library of forms accounting for musical instruments – drums, fifes, horns, and such.  But this is “To the Sound of the Guns” and not Philip Sousa’s greatest hits!  So here we must ask why the band had a baker’s dozen rifles?  Perhaps Colonel Gates preferred a “fighting band”?   Or, at least one that looked sharp for formal affairs and ceremonial guard.  Toward that end, the band also reported thirteen sets of accouterments – cartridge boxes, cap pouches, belts, and bayonet scabbards.

As for the “Lieutenant” line, I find only one equipment bag listed.  But … let’s say it together…. “All government equipment must be accounted for!”

 

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Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries (Part 1)

All told, thirty-six formations from New York received the designation “Independent Battery, Light Artillery” during the war.  Some of these were simply re-designation of existing batteries, to better align record keeping with practice (such as Battery L, 2nd New York Heavy discussed last week, which became the 34th Independent Battery).  Others were completely new batteries formed outside the regimental system.  Of those, some were short lived or never completely formed.  Still, these independent batteries were a rather substantial number of lines to account for in the quarterly summaries.  For the first quarter, 1863, there were thirty-two enumerated:

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Let us look at these in batches, for better focus:

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Starting with the first dozen:

  • 1st Independent Battery: At Belle Plain, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Andrew Cowan commanded the battery assigned to Second Division, Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • 2nd Independent Battery:  No return. At the start of the winter, Captain Louis Schirmer commanded this battery, assigned First Division, Eleventh Corps.  When Schirmer was promoted to command the corps’ artillery reserve later in the spring, Captain Hermann Jahn took command of the battery.
  • 3rd Independent Battery: At Potomac Creek, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts (an increase from the last quarter). The battery served in Second Division, Sixth Corps, under Lieutenant William A. Harn.
  • 4th Independent Battery: No return.  Assigned to Second Division, Third Corps. We are familiar with the 4th, thanks to their stand at the Devil’s Den at Gettysburg, and know they had six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Through the winter, the battery saw several officers depart for other commands and Lieutenant George F. Barstow, 3rd US Artillery, took command late in the winter.  “The men were despondent,” Captain James E. Smith later recounted, “and became lax in their duties, not without some excuse.”  For this, and other reasons, Smith returned to command his old battery in May.
  • 5th Independent Battery: At Falmouth, Virginia with four 20-pdr Parrotts.   This was Captain Elijah D. Taft’s battery in the Army of the Potomac’s Artillery Reserve.
  • 6th Independent Battery: No location listed, but with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. At the start of the winter, the 6th was under Captain W. M. Bramhall and part of the Artillery Reserve.  By spring, Lieutenant Joseph W. Martin assumed command with the battery transferred to the Horse Artillery (First Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac).
  • 7th Independent Battery: At Norfolk, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Peter C. Regan’s battery supported the Seventh Corps.
  • 8th Independent Battery: At Yorktown, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Part of the Fourth Corps, on the Peninsula, Captain Butler Fitch commanded this battery.
  • 9th Independent Battery: Fort Reno, District of Colulmbia, with only infantry stores.  Captain Emil Schubert, of the 4th US Artillery, was commander of this battery, assigned to the Twenty-Second Corps.  As indicated, the battery was not equipped as light artillery.
  • 10th Independent Battery: At Falmouth with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Lieutenant Samuel Lewis replaced Captain John T. Bruen during the winter.  The battery remained with Third Division, Third Corps until later in the spring.
  • 11th Independent Battery: Also at Falmouth but with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Battery also assigned to Third Division, Third Corps. Lieutenant John E. Burton replaced Captain Albert Von Puttkammer in command.
  • 12th Independent Battery: At Camp Barry, Artillery Camp of Instruction, District of Columbia and reporting four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain George F. McKnight replaced Captain William H. Ellis.

A few changes in command and only one significant transfer through the winter.  And not many changes in the number and type of cannon.  Notice all these batteries served in the Eastern Theater.  More specifically, in Virginia and the defenses of Washington.

Only one battery reported smoothbores on hand:

0134_1_Snip_NYInd1

But we have two lines?

  • 5th Battery:  56 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 10th Battery:  288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

Why would Taft’s Battery have canister for 6-pdr smoothbores?  Perhaps for use in their 20-pdr Parrotts.  The bore size was the same.  Notably, the battery didn’t report these in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, 10th Battery seemed short of ammunition for it’s Napoleons. No change from the previous quarter’s report.  Such leads me to believe someone made “quick work” of their duties.

Hotchkiss projectiles were favored for the 3-inch Ordnance Rifles in the Army of the Potomac, and accordingly, we see a lot of those reported on hand:

0134_2_Snip_NYInd1

Six batteries with entries:

  • 1st Battery: 129 canister, 211 percussion shell, 370 fuse shell, and 570 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 59 canister, 285 percussion shell, 44 fuse shell, and 323 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 114 canister, 47 percussion shell, 259 fuse shell, and 715 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 175 canister and 45 percussion shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 11th Battery: 151 canister, 258 fuse shell, and 775 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 137 canister, 73 percussion shell, 40 fuse shell, and 120 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Not to fret about the 8th Battery, as they were not short on ammunition.  Turning to the next page:

0135_1_Snip_NYInd1

We see the 8th had Dyer’s patent projectiles:

  • 8th Battery:  369 shell and 650 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.

And there are two Parrott batteries (not counting Smith’s which didn’t submit a report):

  • 3rd Battery: 480 shell , 480 case, and 190 canister of Parrott for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 5th Battery: 45 Parrott Shell for 20-pdr Parrotts.

And the last page of rifled projectiles has a couple more entry lines for Schenkl:

0135_2_Snip_NYInd1

  • 1st Battery: 29 Schenkl shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 3rd Battery: 120 Schenkl shell for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Lastly, we turn to the small arms reported on hand:

0135_3_Snip_NYInd1

Seems like everyone had something:

  • 1st Battery: Twenty-eight Navy revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Four Army revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Twenty-three Army revolvers and twenty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: 155 Navy revolvers, twenty cavalry sabers, and two horse artillery sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Eighteen Navy revolvers and twenty-six cavalry sabers.
  • 8th Battery: Fourteen Navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Fifty-eight Navy revolvers and eleven horse artillery sabers.
  • 11th Battery: Twenty Army revolvers and twenty-two cavalry sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Twenty-eight Army revolvers and twenty-nine horse artillery sabers.

For the next installment, we’ll look at the second batch of New York’s independent batteries – 13th through 24th.