When we looked at the returns for the 1st Illinois Artillery for first quarter, 1863, we found many of the batteries along the Mississippi River or in central Tennessee preparing for spring campaigns. Reviewing the administrative details for the second quarter of the year, we find some of those batteries had indeed played important roles in the campaigns…. while others had their turn in the weeks to follow. Here’s the regiment’s rows for the reporting period ending June 30, 1863:
Recorded entries for all but two of the batteries, meaning we have a fairly complete set to work with. However, six of these returns were not received until 1864:
- Battery A: Larkinsville, Alabama, with five 12-pdr Napoleons and one 10-pdr Parrott. That is where the battery wintered in 1864, when the report was received at the Department. In June 1863 the battery was with Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, under Captain Peter P. Wood, outside Vicksburg, Mississippi. Of note, the battery had completely re-equipped from the earlier quarter.
- Battery B: At Vicksburg, Mississippi with five 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer. Like Battery A, this battery was also assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps. Captain Samuel E. Barrett commanded.
- Battery C: Reporting at Bridgeport, Alabama with three 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The location reflected the 1864 reporting location. In June of 1863 the battery was involved with the Tullahoma Campaign in middle Tennessee. Lieutenant Edward M. Wright’s battery remained with Third Division, Twentieth Corps.
- Battery D: No report. The battery was assigned to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps, and was at Vicksburg that June. This was Edward McAllister’s old battery, retaining four 24-pdr field howitzers. Captain Henry A. Rogers was killed in action on May 29. Lieutenant George J. Wood temporarily commanded the battery, but resigned a few weeks later. To fill the void, Captain Frederick Sparrestrom of Battery G, 2nd Illinois Artillery was placed in temporary command (There’s an interesting story line here to follow when we pick up the 2nd Illinois Artillery). When Sparrestrom returned to his battery, Lieutenant George P. Cunningham, who had rose through the ranks.
- Battery E: At “Bear Creek,” behind the Vicksburg siege lines, with five 12-pdr Napoleons and one 3.80-inch James Rifle. This was an addition of four Napoleons, at the expense of three James, from the previous quarter. Captain Allen C. Waterhouse remained in command, and the battery remained under Third Division, Fifteenth Corps.
- Battery F: No report. Captain John T. Cheney commanded this battery assigned to First Division, Sixteenth Corps. The battery began the spring at Memphis. In mid-June, the division was sent to Vicksburg. The battery was part of the force sent towards Jackson, Mississippi late in June.
- Battery G: Serving as siege artillery at Corinth, Mississippi. Captain Raphael G. Rombauer assumed command of the battery earlier in the spring.
- Battery H: At Vicksburg with four 20-pdr Parrotts. This famous battery was assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps. Captain Levi W. Hart resumed command during the spring (though Lieutenant Francis DeGress would replace him permanently later in the year).
- Battery I: Camp Sherman, Mississippi with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Camp Sherman was near Bear Creek, and also in the rear of the siege lines at Vicksburg. The battery was assigned to First Division, Sixteenth Corps. When Captain Edward Bouton accepted a colonelcy in a USCT regiment, Lieutenant William N. Lansing assumed command.
- Battery K: Memphis, Tennessee with with ten Union Repeating Guns. But as noted earlier, that column was likely being utilized by the clerks to track Woodruff guns. Captain Jason B. Smith resumed command (which had temporarily, at least on the order of battle, been that of Lieutenant Issac W. Curtis). The battery was assigned to the Cavalry Division, Sixteenth Corps at that time. As many will recall, the battery accompanied Colonel Benjamin Grierson’s raid in April-May. As with the rest of Grierson’s command, the battery would operate under the Nineteenth Corps after the raid.
- Battery L: New Creek, (West) Virginia, with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain John Rourke commanded this battery, assigned to First Division, Eighth Corps. They guarded an important point on the B&O Railroad and Upper Potomac.
- Battery M: Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee (reflecting location when the return was received in February 1864) with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (a reversal of numbers reported the previous quarter). Lieutenant George W. Spencer commanded this battery, assigned to the Second Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland. This puts the battery on the march, on along Manchester Pike, at the end of June.
A lengthy administrative section. But all due for a set of batteries heavily engaged at that time of the war. And as we move next to discuss the ammunition on hand, there remains a need for lengthy discussions! Lots of entries. Some that need explanation.
We start with the smoothbore ammunition reported on hand:
Lots of round ammunition on hand:
- Battery A: 220 shot, 84 shell, 262 case, and 123 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 120 canister for 6-pdr field guns; and 134 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
- Battery B: 348 shot, 180 case, and 121 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 20 shell, 30 case, and 20 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
- Battery C: 42 case for 6-pdr field guns; 203 shell, 258 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
- Battery E: 113 shot, 123 shell, 260 case, and 160 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
- Battery L: 70 shot, 504 case, and 823 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 519 shot, 189 shell, 639 case, and 134 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; and 48 case and 231 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
- Battery M: 82 shot, 224 shell, 268 case, and 59 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
Battery A had upgraded from a mix of 6-pdr guns and 12-pdr howitzers earlier in the spring. They apparently still had ammunition for those weapons on hand awaiting disposition. One would expect sometime during the siege of Vicksburg those were cross-leveled to needy batteries, and Battery A didn’t carry all those useless rounds all the way to Alabama!
On the other hand, hard to account for why Battery C would have 6-pdr case shot on hand at this time of the war.
Battery L reported a large quantity of 6-pdr smoothbore ammunition on hand in the previous quarter. As I speculated before, we have primary sources that indicate 6-pdr smoothbore ammunition was at times used from James rifles. But the 12-pdr howitzer canister? Well it would fit in the Napoleons, though would have a reduced charge. Still, I’d like to see something documenting these substitutions, if indeed used for this specific battery.
Moving past the questions about the smoothbore ammunition, we proceed to the Hotchkiss projectiles:
We normally see the Hotchkiss closely associated with 3-inch rifles. That is true here, but with the added twist of the James 3.80-inch rifles:
- Battery C: 197 canister, 270 percussion shell, 214 fuse shell, and 358 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
- Battery E: 17 percussion shell and 93 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
- Battery L: 504 canister, 115 percussion shell, and 1,005 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles; 186 shot, 144 fuse shell, and 232 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
- Battery M: 83 canister, 32 fuse shell, and 273 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
Again we see Battery L with ammunition on hand that does not match the guns assigned. In this case, 3-inch rifle projectiles would be useless for James rifles. But recall, the battery also reported a quantity of 3-inch projectiles … a smaller quantity… the previous quarter. So I don’t think this is a transcription error. Perhaps Battery L was tasked with maintaining a divisional-level supply, out there in West Virginia.
The next page of rifled projectiles uses every section in the header. So I’m going to break this down for ease:
Rarely we see Dyer’s reported. But here is one entry:
- Battery L: 580(?) 3-inch shrapnel.
So more of these projectiles that don’t match to the battery’s guns.
Moving to the James columns, we would expect to see a lot of entries:
And we are not disappointed:
- Battery E: 60 case shot and 50 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
- Battery I: 64 shot, 320 shell, and 256 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
- Battery L: 387 shot, 106 shell, and 19 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
Then moving right, we have the Parrott columns:
Two batteries reporting Parrott rifles. And two reporting that inventor’s projectiles:
- Battery A: 145 shell, 47 case, and 65 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
- Battery H: 30 canister for 20-pdr Parrotts.
Well, we hope Battery H had more than a handful of canister rounds per gun.
Let us also break down the next page by section, starting with Schenkl:
One line, but noteworthy:
- Battery L: 356 shell for 3-inch rifles; 382 shell for 3.80-inch James.
Again, Battery L reporting a rather substantial number of 3-inch projectiles.
We often associate Tatham canister with James rifles:
Two batteries reporting:
- Battery H: 40 canister for 3.67-inch rifle.
- Battery L: 268 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifle.
Yes, 20-pdr Parrotts were 3.67-inch bore. So are we to believe that Battery H, there at Vicksburg, only had seventy rounds of canister… and nothing else?
Moving to the small arms columns, the 1st Illinois remains defiant to this transcriber:
Like a canister blast, there’s a lot of scatter here:
- Battery A: Three Army revolvers, forty-three Navy revolvers, and four horse artillery sabers.
- Battery B: Seventeen Navy revolvers and five cavalry sabers.
- Battery C: Ten Army revolvers, nine Navy revolvers, and thirteen cavalry sabers.
- Battery E: Ten cavalry sabers.
- Battery I: Eleven Navy revolvers and three cavalry sabers.
- Battery K: Twenty breechloading carbines and ninety-seven cavalry sabers.
- Battery L: Seventeen muzzle-loading carbines, twenty-eight Army revolvers and 148 cavalry sabers.
Noteworthy for their absence is Battery H. But I guess if you are pushing around a 20-pdr Parrott, small arms are an encumbrance. Notice also the entries, generic though it be, for breechloading and muzzle-loading carbines. As discussed at length in earlier posts, many times the small arms allocations for the batteries reflected additional duties, such as providing security and details for patrols, at remote posts.
Lengthy… but interesting… that’s the summary for the 1st Illinois Artillery, giving a “sort of” picture for June 1863.