Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Delaware’s Batteries

Yes, Delaware’s batteries.  Plural.

In past quarters, we’ve looked at one lone entry line for Delaware.  That being Captain Benjamin Nields’ battery, often cited as the 1st Delaware Battery.  And that was it, so far as field batteries are concerned.  But the state also provided a company and a half … yes a half-company… of heavy artillery.  While that half-company’s service was so brief as to escape the need for an ordnance return, the other company was allocated a line for the third quarter of 1863:

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Two lines, but let us add that half-battery here for complete coverage:

  • 1st Battery: Reporting at Camp Barry, District of Columbia, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  As mentioned above, Captain Benjamin Nields commanded.  The battery returned to Washington around the first week of July (after duty with the Seventh Corps on the Peninsula).  But no time to rest!  With the Draft Riots in New York, Nields’ battery was ordered to that city, where they fell under Brigadier-General Edward Canby’s command.  Among the last details of this detached service was a posting to Kingston, New York, on September 5, were a draft was being conducted.  By September 12, the battery was headed back to Washington and the training grounds of Camp Barry.
  • Ahl’s Independent Heavy Battery: Reporting only infantry stores.  In late July, 1st Lieutenant George W. Ahl left Pennsylvania Independent Battery G, then stationed at Fort Delaware, to become captain and commander of a new independent battery formed from former Confederates and Irish immigrants.  Designated Ahl’s Independent Heavy Battery, and allocated to Delaware, it began organization in mid-July.  Formally mustered on July 27, the battery’s assignment was Fort Delaware.  The men of Ahl’s spent little time with the fort’s armament of heavy Rodman guns. Rather, they served almost exclusively as prison guards.  Former Confederates, who’d “swallowed the dog” serving watch over Confederate prisoners…. what could go wrong?
  • Crossley’s Half-Company of Artillery: Not listed.  With Lee’s invasion of Pennsylvania in June 1863, Delaware mustered several emergency formations, just as other northern states did.  As far as artillery is concerned, they only had enough for half a battery.  And 1st Lieutenant Thomas Crossley commanded.  Crossley’s half-battery mustered on June 29, 1863 with three month terms.  Their duty was mostly along the railroad between Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore, replacing other units had moved to more vital and threatened points.  They mustered out on September 30.  In some organizational reports, Crossley’s is mentioned as the Delaware Emergency Troops, or Battery.  And in some correspondence, the battery is mentioned as the 2nd Delaware Battery.

There are no smoothbore cannon reported, so we can skip that page of the ammunition details.  Moving on to the Hotchkiss columns:

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Just Nield’s guns:

  • 1st Battery: 142 canister, 299 percussion shell, 3 fuse shell, and 172 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

No Dyer, James, or Parrott projectiles reported.  So we move to the Schenkl section:

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Again, Nields’ reporting:

  • 1st Battery: 494 case shot for 3-inch rifles (for that column header, canister is struck and case written in).

Lastly, the small arms:

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Presumably Ahl’s muskets were carried on an infantry ordnance return.  So again all we see are Nields’:

  • 1st Battery: Thirty Army revolvers and thirty-eight horse artillery sabers.

Before closing out this installment, let’s look a bit closer at Ahl’s Battery.  There is much of interest beyond those administrative details.  First off, George Washington Ahl was a proud descendant of a Revolutionary War veteran, from Massachusetts.  Before the war, he lived in Allegheny County, just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he worked as a clerk. Married to Sarah Eleanor Hay Ahl, the couple had a young son on the 1860 census.  As mentioned above, Ahl received a commission in Pennsylvania Independent Battery G.  And in July received promotion to Captain in command of his own battery.

Through the rest of the war Ahl was in practice the prison commander at Fort Delaware.  Brigadier-General Albin Francisco Schoepf was in overall command, but gave his adjutant, Ahl, control over the operations.  With Confederate defeats in Mississippi and Pennsylvania, the prison population swelled.

Fort_Delaware-700x484

Over time, the prison population swelled to over 11,500.  All on little Pea Patch Island.  And those prisoners didn’t have nice things to say about Ahl.  According to Brian Temple, in “The Union Prison at Fort Delaware: A Perfect Hell on Earth,” prisoners referred to George as “Ahl-fired mean” and “Ape Ahl.”  Though not exactly a healthy and pleasant experience, Fort Delaware was at least not the worst. Still, it was not a comfortable place for a prisoner.

On the other hand, a photo on file with the Delaware Historical Society Collections tells us Ahl’s wartime service was rather comfortable:

Ahl_Fort_Delaware

Ahl is third from the left.  Among the thirteen men identified, several are battery commanders mentioned in earlier posts about Fort Delaware – particularly Captains Stanislaus Mlotkowski and John Jay Young (Pennsylvania Independent Batteries A and G, respectively).  But on the back we read “Mamma was with him.”  Presumably indicating Sarah accompanied her husband to his wartime post.

The complement of Ahl’s command was not your normal Civil War battery muster.  Practically every entry in the Compiled Service Records offer intriguing stories.  A few to mention:

  • Private Jasper M. Barker: From Randolph County, North Carolina.  He joined Company F, 2nd North Carolina Battalion when the war broke out.  He was captured on Roanoke Island in February 1862, but paroled shortly after.  Remained with the regiment until the Gettysburg Campaign.  Falling ill, he was left behind at Shippensburg, Pennsylvania and captured.  A few weeks later, on July 27, 1863, he enlisted in Ahl’s Battery.  The book has him at five-feet, 11 ¼ inches tall; light complexion; blue eyes; light hair; and nineteen when joining the US service.
  • Private Reuben Barnes: When joining Ahl’s Battery in July 1863, Barnes was nineteen.  He hailed from Tyrell County, North Carolina.  He spent some time hospitalized for various ailments.  Barnes came north in June with company G, 1st North Carolina Infantry.  He was captured at Gettysburg on July 5 (there is an odd note on one of his cards stating “we failed to locate him” by . Sent to Fort Delaware, he obviously determined to make the best of the situation.  Barnes received the remaining $25 for bounty when mustering out on July 25, 1865.
  • Private John Bates: A farmer from Clinton, Missouri, Bates was a member of the Missouri State Guard (Company D, 2nd Cavalry, 8th Division) when the war started.  In June 1862, at age 18, he joined Company E, 4th Missouri Infantry.  All told, he saw action at Pea Ridge, Farmington, Iuka, Corinth, Hatchie Bridge, Port Gibson, and Grand Gulf.  He was wounded and captured at Champion’s Hill on May 16, 1863.  His Federal enlistment, dated like the others as July 27, has him at five feet, nine inches, hazel eyes, and light hair.  In May, 1864, Bates was entrusted to a detail escorting prisoners to Dry Tortugas (indicating he was deemed more loyal than the other Confederates, perhaps).  On July 25, 1865, he mustered out receiving $16.36 in back pay and $25 toward his bounty.  While I cannot say for sure, there is evidence Bates returned to Missouri after the war.
  • Private John Grady:  Born in Tipperary, Ireland. Age 38 when enlisting on July 27, 1863.  Grady escorted some prisoners to Fort Monroe in the summer of 1864.  Returning through Baltimore on August 9, he deserted.  He is among several who deserted while on similar escort duties.
  • Private Cornelius Layhan: A 24-year old, blue-eyed farmer from Cork, Ireland. Enlisted when the battery first formed.  Served as a cook and orderly when not on guard duty.   Escorted prisoners to Dry Tortugas in the spring of 1864.  Mustered out in July 1865, receiving $25 left on his bounty.
  • Private J.M. McDouaugh: Aged forty when enlisting in Ahl’s Battery, McDouaugh was from Sligo County, Ireland. McDouaugh also served on a detail taking prisoners to Dry Tortugas in the spring of 1864.  When mustered out, he received $28.06 in pay along with his bounty.
  • Private John Vaughn:  A short, 21-year old, blue-eyed and blond haired farmer from Jackson County, Alabama.  Vaughn was captured at Champion’s Hill on May 17, 1863.  Not entirely clear which regiment he was from.  He enlisted on July 27 for three years “or the war” with rank of corporal.  But he was reduced to private the following month.  Lost a bayonet the following year, for which he paid the government.  But he mustered out in July 1865 and collected his bounty.
  • James Waddington: At age 31 and hailing from Lancanshire, England, Waddington’s enlistment was a bit different than the others mentioned here.  He joined for a one year hitch starting in January 1865.  He was a cotton spinner by trade.  And his enlistment was credited to a ward in Philadelphia, leading me to wonder if this was some means to escape the draft.  He was discharged, with the rest, on July 25, 1865, and received $33.33 due on his bounty.

Certainly not the familiar stories for artillery service during the war.  But Ahl’s men received credit for service just the same.  One has to wonder how their post-war lives worked out.

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 4th Regiment, US Regulars

In the third quarter, 1863 summaries, the ordnance clerks allocated thirteen lines for the Fourth US Artillery.  Of those lines, a full twelve were based on received returns.  Battery E had no recorded return.  Of the twelve recorded lines, all but three were marked received during the fall months of that year.  Three were not received until January of 1864.  Thus, we have a relatively complete set of records to discuss.

Yes, I did say thirteen lines.  But the regiment was authorized twelve batteries.  Ah, but the regimental adjutant was given a line:

0233_1_Snip_4thUS

Looking at each battery in turn, there are several changes to discuss with the administrative details and cannon assigned:

  • Battery A: Reporting, on October 28, at Gainesville, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Following the death of Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing at Gettysburg, several different officers, and one non-commissioned officer, led the battery… some for just the briefest of battlefield moments.  For brevity, I’ll cite Lieutenant Horatio B. Reed in command of the battery for the Bristoe Campaign.  Two other significant changes took place after Gettysburg.  The battery replaced its 3-inch Rifles with Napoleons.  Further, in the weeks after Gettysburg the battery transferred to the First Brigade, Horse Artillery.
  • Battery B: “In the field” with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The very capable Lieutenant James Stewart remained in command of this battery.  And the battery remained in Colonel Charles Wainwright’s brigade, of the First Corps.  So their “in the field” location for September 30 was Culpeper County.
  • Battery C:  Reporting at Washington, D.C (with a date of January 22, 1864) with four 12-pdr Napoleons. The location raises questions, as the battery remained with the Regular Brigade, Artillery Reserve.  With Lieutenant Evan Thomas reassigned to staff duties, Lieutenant Charles L. Fitzhugh held command.
  • Battery D: Reporting at Portsmouth, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.    Captain Frederick M. Follett’s battery supported Seventh Corps.
  • Battery E: No report.  Lieutenant  Samuel S. Elder’s was in the First Brigade, Horse Artillery assigned to the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles assigned.  We can thus place this battery “in the field” and on duty along the Rapidan during those days before the Bristoe campaign.
  • Battery F: Reporting, on December 1, at Stevenson, Alabama with six 12-pdr Napoleons. This veteran battery moved with the Twelfth Corps from Virginia to reinforce Chattanooga, in the aftermath of Chickamauga.  Lieutenant Edward D. Muhlenberg, having been replaced in his role as Corps Artillery Chief, resumed battery command.
  • Battery G: I like this line –  Reporting on November 19 at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Lieutenant Eugene A. Bancroft remained in command.  Battery G supported the Eleventh Corps.  As with Battery F, above, they were sent to Tennessee as reinforcements.  If we interpret the reporting date literally, we can place the battery below Lookout Mountain.  The battery would support an assault on the mountain five days later.
  • Battery H: At Chattanooga, Tennessee with three 12-pdr field howitzers. Lieutenant Harry C. Cushing’s battery lost a howitzer and many horses at Chickamuaga.  And they expended a lot of ammunition.  Battery assigned to Second Division, Twenty-First Corps.
  • Battery I: Also at Chattanooga, this battery reported four 12-pdr Napoleons. Lieutenant Frank G. Smith commanded this battery, supporting Third Division, Fourteenth Corps.  Smith reported leaving the field at Chickamauga, on September 20, with only six rounds.
  • Battery K: Reporting at Culpeper, Virginia, with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery remained with Third Corps.  Badly wounded at Gettysburg, Lieutenant Francis W. Seeley was recuperating.  In his place, Lieutenant Robert James held command.
  • Battery L: At Portsmouth, Virginia, with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Under command of Captain Robert V. W. Howard, and assigned to First Division, Seventh Corps, in Southeast Virginia. .
  • Battery M: At Chattanoooga, Tennessee reporting four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 24-pdr field howitzers.  Lieutenant Francis L. D. Russell remained in command and the battery remained with Second Division, Twenty-First Corps.  In his report for Chickamauga, Russell noted his losses were “…2 men killed, 6 wounded, 14 horses killed and wounded, and 3 caissons abandoned.”
  • Adjutant: Reporting at Fort Washington, Maryland.  Of course with no artillery, but we will see an accounting of other arms and equipment.

We don’t often consider the service details of the regular’s regimental headquarters, as those rarely figured into the field formations.  However, with the adjutant mentioned, let us consider the duty of the 4th US Headquarters and Staff.  At this time of the war, they were assigned to the Defenses of Washington.  Colonel Charles S. Merchant, having served more than 45 years at that time, retired from active service.  Colonel Horace Brooks, West Point class of 35 and with 28 years of service, took command.

Moving from the administration, we turn to the reported ammunition for the regiment.  Starting with the smoothbore types:

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And there was a lot to report:

  • Battery A: 160 shot, 64 shell, 176 case, and 112 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B: 192 shot, 192 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery C: 97 shot, 51 shell, 256 case, and 108 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery F: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 221 shell, 234 case, and 116 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery I: 161 shot, 42 shell, 154 case, and 66 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery K: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery L: 96 shot, 32 shell, 96 case, and 32 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery M: 10 case for 12-pdr Napoleons; 54 shell, 48 case, and 30 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers.

The uniform quantities reported by Batteries F, G, and K seem too perfect.  Almost as if, perhaps, the officers simply estimated what they should have on hand, by regulation.  But that’s just my speculation.

Quantities for Batteries H, I, and M (particularly the latter) seem to reflect expenditures in battle at Chickamauga.

We have but one 3-inch battery to consider, and thus not a lot on the Hotchkiss page:

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Just Battery D:

  • Battery D: 15 canister, 342 fuse shell, and 330(?) bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

We will break down the next page by section for clarity.  First the Dyer’s patent columns:

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Again D Battery:

  • Battery D: 68 Dyer’s canister for 3-inch rifles.

One battery reported Parrotts:

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Battery L, down at Portsmouth:

  • Battery L: 484 shell, 250 case, and 96 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

Turning to the Schenkl projectiles:

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Battery D completed its assortment of types:

  • Battery D: 100 shell and 155 case for 3-inch rifles.

That brings us to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery A: Eighteen Army revolvers and eighteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Twenty-one Navy revolvers and nine cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: Thirteen Navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: Nine Army revolvers, 135 horse artillery sabers, and one foot artillery saber.
  • Battery F: Thirteen Army revolvers, nineteen horse artillery sabers, and one foot artillery saber.
  • Battery G: Three Army revolvers, four Navy revolvers, and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Sixteen Army revolvers and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Two Army revolvers and twenty-nine cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: Twelve Army revolvers, one Navy revolver, one cavalry saber, and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: Fourteen Army revolvers and 116 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Eight Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Regimental Adjutant: Three Army revolvers and twenty-nine horse artillery sabers.

The adjutant also reported thirty-one sword belts and plates.  And once again, all government property was accounted for!

 

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – West Virginia Batteries

At the close of the second quarter of 1863, West Virginia was but ten days a state.  Word of the state’s admission to the Union did not move quickly down Pennsylvania Avenue to the clerks at the Ordnance Department.  They continued to place the batteries under a heading of “Virginia.”

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The clerks allocated lines for batteries A to H.  Though Battery H had not formed at this time.  An additional line, dated August 7, accounts for a mountain howitzer in the charge of the 13th West Virginia Infantry.  Looking at the administrative details:

  • Battery A: At Camp Barry, D.C. with no cannon reported. This battery was in the Artillery Camp of Instruction, Camp Barry.  Lieutenant (later Captain) George Furst remained in command.  The battery only reported some equipment and small arms in its return.
  • Battery B: At New Creek, (West) Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain John V. Keeper command this battery,  supporting Averill’s Brigade, Department of West Virginia.
  • Battery C: At Taneytown, Maryland with four 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Wallace Hill commanded this battery.  In May, the battery transferred from Eleventh Corps to 3rd Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  Their Parrotts held a position on Cemetery Hill on July 2 and 3, at Gettysburg.  In the battle, Hill reported two men killed, two wounded, and the loss of five horses.  The battery expended 1,120 rounds.  “I think,” Hill concluded in his report, “I have just cause to feel proud of the part my men sustained during the entire terrible engagement.”
  • Battery D: Reporting at Hancock, Maryland with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain John Carlin’s battery was assigned to First Brigade, Second (Milroy’s) Division, Eighth Corps (Middle Department).  The battery was with that command during the battle of 2nd Winchester.  According to Carlin’s report, the battery had six 3-inch Ordnance rifles and 300 rounds as of June 12.  During the battle, the battery fired 265 rounds.  In the morning of June 14, Carlin received orders to spike the guns, destroy ammunition, and ride out with the horses.  He added, “Had I been allowed to do so, I could have taken my guns and equipment… and, in my opinion, could have rendered good service in covering the retreat….”
  • Battery E: Reporting at New Creek, (West) Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Under Captain Alexander C. Moore this battery supported Campbell’s Independent Brigade, Department of West Virginia.
  • Battery F: No return.  Captain Thomas A. Maulsby commanded the battery, supporting Third Brigade, First Divsion, Eighth Corps (Middle Department).  The battery reported six 3-inch Ordnance rifles in the previous quarter.  They were stationed at Martinsburg with their brigade when Confederates attacked on June 14.  In the withdrawal, Maulsby was wounded in the leg.  Lieutenant George W. Graham took over the battery.
  • Battery G: Indicated at Martinsburg, (West) Virginia with two 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Chatham T. Ewing commanded this battery, supporting Averell’s Separate Brigade, Department of West Virginia.
  • Battery H:  The state’s Adjutant’s report has Captain James H. Holmes commissioned as commander of this battery in late September.  This was a “six months” battery, and does not appear to have entered Federal service.  The battery was reformed in January 1864.
  • “Col. 13th Infantry”:  Colonel William R. Brown commanded the 13th West Virginia Infantry, part of Scammon’s Division of the Department of West Virginia.  The regiment spent the winter split between Point Pleasant and Hurricane Bridge, West Virginia.  They tangled with Confederates in late March.  Then in late June the regiment moved to Charleston, West Virginia, arriving on June 30.  Within a few days the regiment was dispatched to assist in the pursuit of Morgan’s Raiders.  The return indicates the 13th Infantry had use of one 12-pdr Mountain Howitzer.  But I have no further details.

One “administrative” note here for clarity.  Many of these West Virginia batteries were counted as part of the Middle Department.  With the Confederate drive down the Shenandoah and into Pennsylvania, changes to the Federal order of battle occurred on the fly.  Thus some elements were gathered into the Department of West Virginia.  I don’t have space here to detail, and the subject is a bit out of scope. Hopefully readers will appreciate the context.

Turning to the ammunition.  Just one battery and the infantry section reported smoothbore cannon:

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Those were:

  • Battery G: 100 shot, 90 (or 70?) case, and 56 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 13th Infantry: 92 case and 68 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, Hotchkiss first for the 3-inch Ordnance rifles:

0227_2_Snip_VA

  • Battery E: 142 canister, 344 percussion shell, and 1,208 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

Keep in mind that Battery D, with 3-inch rifles at Winchester, expended or destroyed all it’s ammunition.  And Battery F, also with 3-inch rifles, did not file a return. Both were caught up in the debacle of the Federal retreat out of the Shenandoah.

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

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Three reporting:

  • Battery B: 483 shell and 334 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery C: 383 shell, 240 case, and 163 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery G:  80 shell for 10-pdr Parrott.

In regard to Battery C, was that the quantity left on hand after firing 1,120 rounds at Gettysburg?  Or was that the quantity on hand as of December 29, 1863 – as the report was dated?

Battery B also reported some Schenkl projectiles for its Parrotts:

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  • Battery B: 308 shell and 610 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Turning to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery A: Fifteen Army revolvers and seventy-five cavalry sabers.
  • Battery B: Seventeen Army revolvers and forty-eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Ten Navy revolvers and nine cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Sixteen (?) Navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Twenty-nine Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Thirteen Army revolvers.

Circling back to the service of these batteries at this particular time of the war, the statements offered by Captains Hall and Carlin (in the administrative section above) resonate.  One battery commander lamented the lack of cannon to perform his duty.  Another lauded his men for performance holding a critical line.