Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Wisconsin Batteries

The last heading for the state volunteers in the third quarter of 1863 summaries is Wisconsin.  Under this heading are a dozen independent (numbered) batteries along with four reports for sections from cavalry and infantry regiments.  We look at those artillery batteries first:

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I said “a dozen,” right?  But you count thirteen.  Yes, because one of those batteries didn’t exist.  Notice we have dated returns for all but the 11th Battery (the one that didn’t exist).  Some were late.  But returns to work from at least for the twelve:

  • 1st Battery:  Reporting at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as of March 1865.  But with no cannon on hand.  Captain Jacob T. Foster remained in command of the battery.  After Vicksburg, and the transfer of the Thirteenth Corps to the Department of the Gulf, the battery relocated to New Orleans.  They remained there until the first week of September, when they moved to Brashear City.  At the end of September Foster’s battery was at Berwick City (across the Atchafalaya from modern day Morgan City).  But they returned to Brashear City in early October. A report dated September 2 indicated the battery had four 30-pdr Parrotts.  That would be an upgrade from the 20-pdr Parrotts worn out during the Vicksburg Campaign.   Staff duties often kept Foster away from the battery. In his place, Lieutenant Daniel Webster led the battery.
  • 2nd Battery:  No location given, from a return posted November 1864, but with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 10-pdr Parrotts. With the end of Dix’s Peninsula Campaign, the battery moved to Yorktown.  The battery remained there through the rest of the summer and into fall, as part of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina.  Captain Charles Beger commanded this battery.  However, returns indicate he was absent at the end of the reporting period, with Lieutenant Charles Schultz standing in.
  • 3rd Battery: Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee with one 12-pdr field howitzer. Captain Lucius H. Drury, of the battery, was division artillery chief.  Under direct command of Lieutenant Cortland Livingston, as part of Third Division, Twenty-first Corps, Army of the Cumberland, the battery went into action at Chickamauga with four 10-pdr Parrotts and two 12-pdr field howitzers. On September 19, the battery fought near the Viniard cornfield, playing an important role checking the Confederates in that sector.  But on the afternoon of the 20, the battery was with others grouped by Mendenhall on the northwest of Dyer Field.  Loosing 30 horses in that desperate stand, the Livingston was only able to bring one howitzer off the field.
  • 4th Battery: At Gloucester Point, Virginia with six 3-inch rifles (likely Ordnance rifles).  Captain John F. Vallee commanded this battery at the start of the quarter.  When Vallee resigned on July 6, George B. Easterly was promoted to command. As part of Second Division, Fourth Corps the battery participated in the operations on the Peninsula through June and July.  Afterwards, the battery was part of the Yorktown Garrison, specifically assigned to Gloucester Point, across the York River.
  • 5th Battery: In Chattanooga, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  In the previous quarters, this battery reported two mountain howitzers instead of field howitzers.  Other equipment, and ammunition on hand (see below), reported was for field howitzers.  Still, I would leave a question mark for caution on that column. The battery was assigned to First Division, Twentieth Corps, and commanded by Captain George Q. Gardner. The battery was detached with the division’s First Brigade at the start of September.  During the battle of Chickamauga, they were at Valley Head, Alabama.  They did see action on September 22 skirmishing with Confederates as the siege of Chattanooga set in.
  • 6th Battery: “In the field”  with two 6-pdr field guns, two 24-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  However, I believe, based on the ammunition reported and previous quarter reporting, the 24-pdrs should instead be 12-pdr field howitzers. Assigned to Seventh (later Second) Division, Seventeenth Corps.  Captain Henry Dillon was in command.  However, with Dillon serving as division artillery chief, Lieutenant Samuel F. Clark stood in as commander.  The battery spent most of the summer at Vicksburg.  They were part of the force dispatched to Chattanooga, via Memphis and overland to Bridgeport, Alabama, starting the last week of September.
  • 7th Battery: At Memphis, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns and three 3.67-inch rifles, and one 3.80-inch James rifles (as opposed to four 3.80-inch James reported the previous quarter).  Captain Harry S. Lee returned to resume command of the battery for part of the summer.  But returns from October indicate Lieutenant William E. Hearsey was acting commander.   The battery was assigned to the District of Memphis, Sixteenth Corps. 
  • 8th Battery: At Chattanooga, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Assigned to First Division, Twentieth Corps. In Captain Henry E. Stiles’ absence,  Lieutenant John D. McLean lead the battery at Chickamauga.  The battery reported no loss in the battle.
  • 9th Battery: Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory with four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. Captain Cyrus H. Johnson remained in command, but he would be dismissed on October 21.  So a story for the next quarter.  The battery served by sections.  The right section, under Lieutenant James H. Dodge, first moved to Fort Union, New Mexico, before returning to Fort Lyon.  The left section, under Lieutenant Watson D. Crocker, continued on to Fort Larned, Kansas.  And the center section, which remained with Captain Johnson, set up operations at Fort Lyon.
  • 10th Battery: Reporting at Bridgeport, Alabama with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Yates V. Beebe’s battery was assigned to the Second Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  From the beginning of the year up to September, the battery performed escort duties based out of Nashville and Murfreesboro.  In late September the battery moved forward to Bridgeport and guarded key points in that area.
  • 11th Battery: No return. As mentioned above, before this battery could complete organization, it was assigned to Illinois for accounting, becoming Battery L, 1st Illinois Light Artillery.
  • 12th Battery: A February 1864 return has this battery at Chattanooga with four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain William Zickerick and his battery’s four 10-pdr Parrotts were assigned to Seventh Division (later Second), Seventeenth Corps. Alongside the 6th Battery, they spent most of the summer at Vicksburg.  In late September, they were among the forces dispatched to Chattanooga.
  • 13th Battery: From a March 1864 return, this battery was at Fort Williams, Louisiana with the annotation “no stores.”  The battery started forming in the summer of 1863.  In November, seventy-one men were mustered into service, with duty location of Camp Washburn, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Captain Richard R. Griffith would command the battery, with data of rank from December 23 of that year.

Moving down to the ammunition on hand, starting with the smoothbore:

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  • 2nd Battery: 120 shell, 160 case, and 32 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 3rd Battery: 70 shell, 160 case, and 27 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 5th Battery: 96 shot, 32 shell, 91 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 62 shell, 156 case, and 47 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 6th Battery: 73 shot, 173 case, and 105 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 21 shell, and 113 case for 12-pdr field howitzers;  65 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons. That last entry may be a transcription error by the clerks.
  • 7th Battery: 186 shot, 243 case, and 87 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 8th Battery: 32 shot, 94 shell, 64 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 9th Battery: 400 shot, 320 case, and 80 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 150 shell, 190 case, and 62 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.

Turning to the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles reported:

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  • 4th Battery: 117 canister, 603 (!!!) percussion shell, 266 fuse shell, and 116 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 26 shot and 146 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 81 shot, 80 percussion shell, 161 fuse shell, and 430 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 94 shot, 151 canister, and 479 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 120 canister, 245 percussion shell, and 235 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

We will break the next page down into sections for clarity.  Starting with the James projectiles reported:

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  • 6th Battery: 96 shell and 34 canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.

And then to the Parrott columns:

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  • 2nd Battery: 314 shot, 387 shell, and 96 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 3rd Battery: 195 shell, 188 case, and 75 canister for 10-pdr Parrott…. which, as of the time of the report, the battery didn’t have on hand.  So while losing the guns, the battery rescued their caissons.  Good work!
  • 5th Battery: 9 shot, 142 shell, 127 case, and 78 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 12th Battery: 116 shot, 321 shell, 247 case, and 136 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

A handful of Schenkl and Tatham’s reported:

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First the Schenkl:

  • 4th Battery: 33 shell and 23 case for 3 inch rifles.

And one entry for Tatham’s canister:

  • 6th Battery: 30 canister for 3.80-inch James.

Lastly we examine the small arms reported:

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  • 2nd Battery: Twenty army revolvers and 133 horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Fourteen army revolvers and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • 4th Battery: Sixteen army revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Six cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Thirty army revolvers and twenty-five cavalry sabers.
  • 8th Battery: Sixteen navy revolvers and four cavalry sabers.
  • 9th Battery: Ninety-five navy revolvers and nineteen cavalry sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Eight navy revolvers.

We can say there was an evolving theme across the Wisconsin batteries.  While that theme did not include all, at the close of the third quarter of 1863 many of these batteries were either at Chattanooga or moving to the city.  In the weeks that followed, the men of those batteries would support the efforts to lift the siege and eventually defeat the Confederates encircling the city.

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Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries, Part 1

From that long page of New York entries for the third quarter, 1863 summaries, we have thirty-three lines covering the independent batteries from the state:

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Some of these are simply placeholder lines for batteries either mustered out or being mustered in.  Still a notable measure of New York’s support of the war… in terms of men.  All told, New York designated a total of thirty-six of these “independent” batteries.  Convenient for blog posting as I can split this discussion into three parts of a dozen each.  For the third quarter, the first part, covering 1st through 12th New York Independent Batteries, includes eight received returns.  Only five of which were received by the end of the year:

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A lot of Culpeper County addresses for those batteries:

  • 1st Independent Battery: In Culpeper, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.   Captain Andrew Cowan remained in command of the battery, assigned to Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • 2nd Independent Battery:  No return.  The battery mustered out, in New York, on June 13, 1863.  The men with time left on their enlistments transferred to Battery I, 1st New York.  Captain Wolfgang Bock had authority to recruit a reorganized 2nd Independent Battery.  On October 14, that authority was revoked and men recruited into the new 2nd were instead was made part of the 15th New York Heavy Artillery.
  • 3rd Independent Battery: Also in Culpeper, Virginia but with six 10-pdr Parrotts. The battery was part of Sixth Corps, under Lieutenant William A. Harn.
  • 4th Independent Battery: No return.  Recall Captain James E. Smith’s battery lost three 10-pdr Parrotts on July 2 at Gettysburg (and one of those was on a disabled carriage).   During that battle, the 4th was assigned to Third Corps.  But on July 31st, the battery shows up on the returns for the Department of Washington, assigned to the Artillery Camp of Instruction, Camp Barry.  Smith’s battery returned to the Army of the Potomac in August, assigned to First Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve. And on a monthly report dated August 31, the battery had six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Smith took leave around that time. Lieutenant Thomas Goodman, and later Lieutenant William T. McLean, held command of the battery in Smith’s absence.  And, of course, with the assignment to the Reserve Artillery the battery was in Culpeper at the end of September.
  • 5th Independent Battery: And another battery reporting from Culpeper.  with six 20-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Elijah D. Taft remained in command of this battery, in the Second Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve.
  • 6th Independent Battery: For a slight change, reporting at Brandy Station, Virginia, and with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Joseph W. Martin held command of this battery, assigned to the First Brigade, Horse Artillery, Army of the Potomac.  And Martin, having fought hard at Fleetwood Hill earlier in June, certainly knew Brandy Station quite well!
  • 7th Independent Battery: At Norfolk, Virginia with two 12-pdr Napoleons (down from three) and six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Peter C. Regan’s battery supported the Seventh Corps.
  • 8th Independent Battery: At Gloucester Point, Virginia with  six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Butler Fitch commanded this battery.  In the previous quarter, the battery reported specific assignment to Fort Keyes in the defenses of Gloucester Point.
  • 9th Independent Battery: Fort Reno, District of Columbia, with only infantry stores. Captain Emil Schubert remained in command.  Battery assigned to the Twenty-Second Corps, defending Washington.  Originally Company F, 41st New York Infantry, it was equipped as artillery and formally redesignated as an independent battery in December 1861.  As indicated, the battery was not equipped as light artillery.
  • 10th Independent Battery: Marked “not in service.”  In the previous quarter, we discussed how this battery was broken up in June, with men mustering out or transferred to other batteries: 1st New Hampshire Battery; Battery E, 1st Massachusetts; and Batteries C and G, 1st Rhode Island.  A detachment remained, udner Lieutenant Charles T. Bruen, and served in the Washington Defenses through June of 1864.
  • 11th Independent Battery: No return.  On, or about June 16, what remained of the battery was attached to Battery K, 1st New York Light.  Captain John E. Burton was busy bringing this battery back up to strength (which he would not complete until the end of the year).
  • 12th Independent Battery: At Brandy Station, Virginia reporting six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. This battery transferred to Third Corps, being among the troops Major General William French brought over.  Captain George F. McKnight remained in command.

Very clean, from an administrative standpoint.

We turn to the smoothbore ammunition reported:

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Two batteries:

  • 5th Battery: 91 canister for 6-pdr.
  • 7th Battery: 41 shot, 46 shell, 89 case, and 65 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

The bore diameter for 20-pdr Parrotts was 3.67-inches.  The bore diameter for 6-pdr field guns was also 3.67-inches.  Apparently we are seeing, in a pinch, that Taft’s battery received smoothbore ammunition when supplies of proper Parrott canister ran low.  At least that’s the inference the data leads us to.

Turning to the Hotchkiss page:

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Five lines to consider:

  • 1st Battery: 120 canister, 7 percussion shell, 3 fuse shell, and 435 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 93 canister, 10 fuse shell, and 128 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 147 canister, 60 percussion shell, 228 fuse shell, and 619 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 175 canister and 70 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 60 canister, 65 percussion shell, 126 fuse shell, and 116 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

We’ll break the next page down into sections for clarity, starting with Dyer’s Patent projectiles:

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And just one of those:

  • 8th Battery: 321 shell and 650(?) shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.

To the right of those are the Parrott columns:

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Two lines:

  • 3rd Battery: 502 shell, 502 case, and 177 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 5th Battery: 3 shell and 42 case for 20-pdr Parrott.

Yes, no Parrott canister for the 5th Battery.

More rounds on the Schenkl page:

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Like a canister blast across the page:

  • 1st Battery: 217 shell and 420 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • 3rd Battery: 67 shell for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 5th Battery: 216 shell and 248 case for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • 6th Battery: 654 shell and 4 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 353 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery:  250 case for 3-inch rifles.

The projectiles in the chests accounted for, we turn to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • 1st Battery: Twenty Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Four Navy revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Twenty-five Army revolvers and twenty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: 119 Navy revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Eighteen Navy revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • 8th Battery: Thirteen Navy revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Twenty-eight Army revolvers and twenty-nine cavalry sabers.

That’s the first dozen of these New York Independent Batteries.  Next up is the middle set.

 

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – New York’s miscellaneous detachments and batteries

Below the second quarter, 1863 listing for the New York independent batteries are three lines derived from returns of separate, non-artillery battery, detachments:

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Recall we discussed a fourth “line” earlier in this series – the 3rd New York Cavalry – as that entry was better placed in the order it appeared on the summaries. These remaining “orphans” include artillery pieces and stores under the charge of a Lieutenant (unit unspecified) and reported by two infantry regiments:

  • “Lieutenant – Stores in Charge”: The unnamed lieutenant was at Gloucester Point, Virginia.  With several artillery batteries, in particular some New York batteries, at that station, one wonders why the stores were not distributed to the artillerists.
  • 100th New York Infantry:   Reporting a pair of 6-pdr field guns at Morris Island, South Carolina.  Of course, as of June 30, the regiment was actually on Folly Island, across the Stono River.  They would land on the southern end of Morris Island on July 10.  These guns were not part of the masked batteries on Folly Island.  More likely the 6-pdrs were assigned to the works securing the southwestern end of the island.
  • 132nd New York Infantry: The regiment was stationed at New Bern, North Carolina at this time.  No cannon on hand. Just stores and equipment.  With so many artillery batteries stationed there, we must again wonder why the infantry was stuck with this charge.

There are, however, two light batteries which escaped the tallies of the clerks in Washington.  And that was not due to some administrative oversight.  Rather, that battery’s service, as a mustered “Federal” battery, was very brief.

Colonel William B. Barnes received authorization to recruit the 11th New York Artillery Regiment in February 1863.  Handbills and newspaper announcements proclaimed this regiment would man the fortifications around New York City, with promises of no marches or backpacks.  Good duty if you can get it!  By June, Barnes had upwards of 1,000 recruits at Rochester, New York.

Then the other shoe dropped.  With reports of Confederates moving into Pennsylvania, authorities in Washington and New York reached for any and all resources to meet the threat.  Among those was the 11th New York.  On June 15, orders came for the regiment to report to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Before that could happen, the mustering officer culled out unfit or otherwise unqualified recruits.  This limited the regiment to just four batteries – A, B, C, and D.

Of those four, only Battery D was equipped as a light battery.  Captain William F. Goodwin recruited his battery with an additional enticement – service with a unique and advanced weapon.  From a notice run in the Albany Evening Journal, on, quite appropriately, June 15:

Goodwin’s Battery. – Capt. Goodwin is recruiting in this city for a Battery to be attached to the 11th Artillery.  His company is nearly half full, and he hopes, in the course of a few weeks, to be in position to take the field.

His guns – his own invention – have been warmly approved by leading artillery officers and accepted by the Government.  They are breech-loaders, and are claimed to have the widest range of any in the world.  They have projected a ball the enormous distance of six miles, and can be fired at the rate of fifteen times a minute.  Capt. G. assures us that they can be fired fifteen hundred rounds without cleaning or swabbing.

Capt. Goodwin is an officer of high character and large experience in the science of gunnery, and his Battery is destined to make its mark.

Artillery enthusiasts know well this song.  Such advanced weapons rarely lived up to the sales pitch hype! The details of this weapon are best saved for a dedicated post.  But Goodwin did provide an illustration of the mechanism with a patent application:

 

GoodwinGun

Goodwin’s design included a breech plug, lined with rubber or other material.  That was forced into a seat with a breech piece swung horizontally on a yoke.  I’ll offer more details separately, but the main point today is this was of Goodwin’s own design.

Goodwin’s Battery, along with the three others, boarded trains for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on June 17.  In Pennsylvania, the 11th was part of the scratch force assembled to defend Harrisburg.  On July 1, the 11th was ordered to proceed to Carlisle, in reaction to Confederate cavalry, to serve as infantry.  This prompted a mutiny, as the rank and file had not signed up for such. Writing on July 10, Brigadier-General Lorenzo Thomas, in Harrisburg, had unflattering words about the regiment as a whole, but held a favorable impression of Goodwin’s:

… Goodwin’s battery of four 10-pounder rifled breech-loading guns went forward [to Chambersburg] this morning.  The Eleventh New York Heavy Artillery, excepting Goodwin’s battery, which rendered good service, left this morning for New York City, to report to General Wool. This is the regiment which refused to go forward as infantry when the rebels were advancing and near this place.  (OR, Series I, Volume 27, Part III, Serial 45, pages 633-4.)

Thomas’ report confirms Goodwin’s Battery did serve as field artillery during their brief active service. Furthermore, we have some indication as to the caliber of weapon, if indeed those were of Goodwin’s design.  While not precise, the 10-pounder label is often used for 3-inch caliber.

While Batteries A, B, and C of the 11th proceeded back to New York, Battery D briefly served in Pennsylvania.  By the end of July all were back in their home state, serving at Fort Richmond (Battery A), Fort Hamilton (Batteries B and D), and Sandy Hook (Battery C).  The 11th was mustered out shortly afterwards, but remained on state rolls.  Because of the brief, perhaps only six weeks in total, service of Battery D, we do not see them recorded on this summary.

Goodwin’s Battery was still at Fort Hamilton on September 18 when disaster struck.  While practicing, one of the guns discharged prematurely.  Goodwin was badly injured and a private lost his arm when the breech plug blew out the back of the gun.  A report in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, on October 3, lamented, “… it is feared the Captain will lose his eyesight.”

The second of these militia batteries caught up in the emergency was Varian’s State Militia Battery.  This battery had served in Maryland and Virginia in the earliest days of the war.  When it mustered out on July 20, 1861, conveniently missing First Manassas, the guns remained behind while the men returned to New York.  It was reorganized as a battery in the 8th Regiment, New York National Guard.  In June 1863, the regiment, with the battery attached, was mustered into service for thirty days.  It would advance as far as Carlisle, Pennsylvania as part of First Division, Department of the Susquehanna.  The battery was mustered out of Federal service on July 23, 1863, returning to its state assignment.

Turning back to the summaries, we find the 100th New York Infantry had ammunition on hand for it’s 6-pdrs:

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  • 100th New York Infantry: 40 shot, 40 case, and 20 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

Ample supply for a couple of guns guarding the approaches to Folly Island.

The 132nd New York had Hotchkiss projectiles on hand:

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  • 132nd New York Infantry: 26 shot, 20 percussion shell, and 40 fuse shell for 2.6-inch rifles, presumably Wiard 6-pdrs.

Further down, we see the unnamed lieutenant at Gloucester Point had his hands full with 3-inch projectiles:

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  • Gloucester Point: 73 Dyer’s shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.

Add to several chests worth of Schenkl shells:

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  • Gloucester Point: 299 Shenkl shell for 3-inch rifles.

As a taxpayer, I am profoundly irritated, 150 years after the fact, at this gross wastage.  Why weren’t these 372 projectiles simply transferred over to the 8th New York Independent Battery?  Instead, some lieutenant wasted his time, and my tax money, accounting for and maintaining this pile of shells!   If only the Ordnance Department were as “vigorous” for accounting of Goodwin’s Battery!

Things never seem to change, do they?

Turning to the small arms we see…..

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Nothing.  Of course, these units would report their small arms on a separate report specifically for infantry weapons.

Thus concludes New York for the second quarter of 1863.  Up next… OHIO!

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries, Part 1

In addition to batteries within the regimental formations, the state of New York provided thirty-six independent batteries during the course of the Civil War.  That number is somewhat misleading, as some of those independent batteries were simply re-designations of existing batteries; some were later re-designated within the regimental formation; others mustered out when their time came and were not replaced; or never completed organization. But, the clerks in Ordnance Department had to track those as lines for accounting purposes.  By June 1863, there were thirty-two of those independent batteries to account for:

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Plus three lines of “other” detachments.  I’ll break these down in groups of twelve, to allow proper examination.  So the first twelve look like this:

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Four of those twelve did not have a return on file:

  • 1st Independent Battery: At Warrenton, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The location probably reflected the August reporting date.  Captain Andrew Cowan remained in command of the battery, assigned to Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac.  On June 30, the battery was at Manchester, Maryland, with a long march toward Gettysburg in their immediate future.  On July 3, Cowan’s battery helped repulse Pickett’s charge, firing their last canister – double canister, that was – at 20 yards.
  • 2nd Independent Battery:  No return.  The battery mustered out, in New York, on June 13, 1863.  Captain Hermann Jahn was last in command. The men with time left on their enlistments transferred to Battery I, 1st New York.  A reorganized 2nd Independent was authorized, but instead was made part of the 15th New York Heavy Artillery.
  • 3rd Independent Battery: At Manchester, Maryland  with six 10-pdr Parrotts. The battery was part of Sixth Corps, under Lieutenant William A. Harn.  The battery saw less action at Gettysburg than Cowan’s, being positioned along the Taneytown Road.
  • 4th Independent Battery: No return.  Captain James E. Smith’s battery had six 10-pdr Parrotts when placed in defense of the Devil’s Den on July 2.   They were, of course, assigned to 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.  By the end of the day, the battery would have only three of those Parrotts (and one was on a disabled carriage).  Smith reported firing 240 rounds during the battle.
  • 5th Independent Battery: At Warrenton Junction, Virginia (reflecting the August report date) with six 20-pdr Parrotts (increased from four over last quarter’s report).  This was Captain Elijah D. Taft’s battery in the Army of the Potomac’s Artillery Reserve.  And as such was near Taneytown, Maryland on June 30.  Taft’s battery went into action defending the cemetery on Cemetery Hill.  In the action, the battery had one Parrott burst, while expending 80 Schenkl percussion shell, 63 Schenkl combination-fuse shrapnel, 32 Parrott shell, and 382 Parrott shrapnel.
  • 6th Independent Battery: “In the field” and with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Joseph W. Martin held command of this battery, assigned to the First Brigade, Horse Artillery, Army of the Potomac.  Martin’s battery lost three guns on the field at Brandy Station.  After that battle, the battery was sent to Washington for refitting.  Rejoining the army on June 28, the battery had a full complement of guns.  A remarkable testament to the depth of Federal logistics at this time of the war.
  • 7th Independent Battery: At Norfolk, Virginia with three 12-pdr Napoleons (added during the quarter) and six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Peter C. Regan’s battery supported the Seventh Corps.
  • 8th Independent Battery: At Fort Keyes, Virginia with  six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Butler Fitch commanded this battery.  In the previous quarter, the battery reported at Yorktown.  The Fort Keyes assignment indicates it moved across the York River to Gloucester Point.
  • 9th Independent Battery: Fort Reno, District of Columbia, with only infantry stores. Captain Emil Schubert remained in command.  Battery assigned to the Twenty-Second Corps, defending Washington.  As indicated, the battery was not equipped as light artillery.
  • 10th Independent Battery: Marked “not in service.”  In May, the battery transferred from Third Corps to the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac. And in June, the battery was sent to Washington.  Members of the battery were transferred to four different batteries, none of which were from New York.  Captain John T. Bruen remained commander, but was absent for much of May.  Lieutenant Samuel Lewis was listed in command through early June.  Then Lieutenant Charles T. Bruen picked up the assignment.  For all practical purposes, the 10th Battery was “cross leveled” to bring other batteries up to strength.
  • 11th Independent Battery: No return and dittos for “not in service.” This battery moved from the Third Corps to the Fourth Brigade, Artillery Reserve in May 1863.  On, or about June 16, what remained of the battery was attached to Battery K, 1st New York Light.  Not until the end of the year was the 11th Battery brought up to strength.  Captain John E. Burton was, on the rolls at least, in command.
  • 12th Independent Battery: At Bealton, Virginia reporting six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (an increase from four reported the previous quarter). The location reflects a September reporting date, by which time the battery had not only moved, but also changed organizational assignments.  As of June 30, the battery was at Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. Later in the summer, the battery transferred to Third Corps.  Captain George F. McKnight remained in command.

So five of the twelve were directly involved with the Gettysburg Campaign.  Two other batteries had attachments at Gettysburg.

Moving to the ammunition, we start with the smoothbore:

0211_1_Snip_NY_IND_Pt1

Only one battery had Napoleons, and we see their chests accounted for here.  But what of the other line?

  • 5th Battery: 96 canister for 6-pdr.
  • 7th Battery: 57 shot, 46 shell, 89 case, and 65 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Taft’s Battery had 20-pdr Parrotts, with a bore diameter of 3.67-inch, which is the same as a 6-pdr smoothbore.  However, in an otherwise detailed report for Gettysburg, Taft does not mention the use of that ammunition type.  So, was this reflective of Taft receiving, after Gettysburg, some 6-pdr stocks?   Or did he take 6-pdr canister to Gettysburg?  We also cannot rule out clerical error (at the battery or in Washington)… or for that matter that someone in the battery mistakenly identified Parrott canister as smoothbore type (hard to imagine… but a possibility).

Turning to the rifled projectiles, the Hotchkiss rounds are well represented:

0211_2_Snip_NY_IND_Pt1

  • 1st Battery: 126 canister, 7 percussion shell, 3 fuse shell, and 456 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 93 canister, 10 fuse shell, and 128 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 152 canister, 64 percussion shell, 239 fuse shell, and 675 bullet shells for 3-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 66 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 60 canister, 65 percussion shell, 126 fuse shell, and 366(?) bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

And as with many of these reports for the second quarter, we have to ask if these are quantities reported strictly “as of June 30″…. or at a time when the officers got around to doing the paperwork.  Those numbers could tell us about the battery’s state prior to Gettysburg, or just after, as the case may be. There isn’t a way to say for sure.

Breaking the next page down by section for easier handling, we turn to Dyer’s projectiles:

0212_1A_Snip_NY_IND_Pt1

Three batteries with that type on hand:

  • 1st Battery: 571 Dyer’s Shrapnel in 3-inch rifle caliber.
  • 5th Battery: 4 Dyer’s Shrapnel in 3-inch rifle caliber.
  • 8th Battery: 369 shell, 650 shrapnel, and 109 canister, Dyer’s patent, for 3-inch rifles.

I cannot explain why 5th Battery would need 3-inch shrapnel.  Perhaps a transcription error.

Moving to the right, Parrott projectiles:

0212_1B_Snip_NY_IND_Pt1

Two batteries reporting:

  • 3rd Battery: 490 shell, 490 case, and 177 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 5th Battery: 46 shell and 138 case for 20-pdr Parrotts.

Of course, missing, as their return was not recorded, is 4th Battery.  Would be interesting to account for what Smith’s Battery took into action on July 2, compared to what was on hand July 3… or later when replenished.

Last of the ammunition columns, the Schenkl projectiles:

0212_2_Snip_NY_IND_Pt1

A lot of lone entries:

  • 1st Battery: 37 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 3rd Battery: 67 shell for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 5th Battery: 84 shell for 20pdr Parrotts.
  • 6th Battery: 654 shell for 20-pdr Parrotts.  Yes, 20-pdr.
  • 8th Battery: 45 shell for 3-inch rifles.

The entry for 6th Battery may be a transcription error, just one column over from where it should be.

And the final section covers the small arms:

0212_3_Snip_NY_IND_Pt1

By battery:

  • 1st Battery: Thirty-one Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Four Navy revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Twenty-five Army revolvers and twenty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: 131 Navy revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Eighteen Navy revolvers and twenty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • 8th Battery: Thirteen Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Twenty-eight Army revolvers and twenty-nine horse artillery sabers.

The first dozen independent batteries served in the Eastern Theater, with close association with the Army of the Potomac.  The next dozen, from the 13th to 24th Independent, saw much more diverse service.  We’ll look at those next.

 

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery

From Ohio, we move one state to the east for Pennsylvania.  As related for the previous quarter, the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery began with eight batteries, A through H.  Battery I was added near the end of the war.  So for the first quarter, 1863 we only have those original batteries to discuss.  Of those eight, the clerks recorded seven returns:

0140_1_Snip_PA1

None of those “odd” or “obsolete” weapons.  These batteries were all Napoleons, Ordnance Rifles, and Parrotts:

  • Battery A: No return.  This battery was kicked around all winter.  In January, Lieutenant John G. Simpson’s battery was in Third Division, First Corps at Belle Plain.  In February, the battery went to Third Division, Ninth Corps, then transferring to Fort Monroe.  When the corps was reassigned to Kentucky, the Third Division (Getty’s) was left behind, later being brought under the Seventh Corps. A good excuse for no report!  Somewhere along the way Simpson was promoted to Captain.  The battery had four 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B: Belle Plain, Virginia with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Assigned to Third Division, First Corps battery.  Captain James H. Cooper commanded.
  • Battery C: White Oak Church, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts (an increase from the last report). During the winter, Batteries C and D were consolidated, under Captain Jeremiah McCarthy (Battery C), remaining with Third Division, Sixth Corps.
  • Battery D: At White Oak Church, Virginia with four 10-pdr Parrotts.  As indicated above, consolidated with Battery C.  Captain Michael Hall, being a junior captain, mustered out.  So here’s where the clerk’s numbers come into question.  Were the two new guns for Battery C transferred from Battery D?  And if so, were do we reconcile the quantities given on the line below for Battery D?  I’ll just transcribe… you debate….
  • Battery E: At Yorktown, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Thomas G. Orwig commanded this battery, assigned to the Artillery Reserve of Fourth Corps.
  • Battery F: At Belle Plain, with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Lieutenant R. Bruce Ricketts commanded this battery, which supported Second Division, First Corps.
  • Battery G: Also at Belle Plain and with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Commanded by Captain Frank P. Amsden and assigned to Third Division, First Corps.  (Of note, Batteries G was soon to be attached to Battery F, but later in the spring.)
  • Battery H: At Gloucester Point, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Andrew Fagan commanded this battery, which was part of the Artillery Reserve, Fourth Corps.

Moving to the next page, we find smoothbore ammunition on hand is a simple pair of lines:

0142_1_Snip_PA1

  • Battery E: 176 shot, 64 shell, and 192 case for 12-pdr Napoleon.  The entry of 80 canister for 6-pdr field guns is likely a transcription error, which should be on the Napoleon column.
  • Battery H: 182 shot, 54 shell, 162 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Of course, nothing for Battery A, which had reported 239 shot, 181 case, and 92 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon the previous quarter.

Moving to rifled projectiles, the first page covers Hotchkiss patent types:

0142_2_Snip_PA1

These are all for 3-inch rifles:

  • Battery B: 20 canister and 380 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F: 80 canister, 80 percussion shell, 56 fuse shell, and 504 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery G:  223 fuse shell and 420 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

The next page of rifled projectiles, I’ll break down into segments.

0143_1_Snip_PA1A

Battery G reported 80 3-inch Dyer’s canister on hand.

Moving right to the Parrott columns:

0143_1_Snip_PA1B

The consolidated Battery C and D had two lines:

  • Battery C: 292 shell, 523 case, and 145 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery D: 299 shell, 503 case, and 96 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

So plenty of ammunition for that consolidated battery.

Not much more to consider for the Schenkl columns:

0143_2_Snip_PA1

  • Battery B: 285 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery G: 97 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Moving over to the small arms:

0143_3_Snip_PA1

By battery:

  • Battery B: Sixteen Navy revolvers and seventeen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Seventeen Navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: Fifteen Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Eight Navy revolvers, twenty-four cavalry sabers, and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Eight Army revolvers, ten Navy revolvers, one cavalry saber, and four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Eleven Army revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Fourteen Navy revolvers and eleven horse artillery sabers.

That completes a relatively short entry for the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery.  But up next is what promises to be a lengthy entry on the independent batteries from the state!

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – New York Independent Batteries, Part 1

After looking at those New York light batteries within the regimental system (First and Third) and those in the lone light battalion, along with the “other” equipment assigned to non-artillery units, it is time to look at the number of batteries from New York given “independent” designations.  And… that is not a short list:

0067_Snip_Dec62_NY_Ind1_1a

To make these shorter posts, let us break the list into parts.  Here’s the first part of that, looking at the 1st through 14th:

0067_Snip_Dec62_NY_Ind1_1

Perhaps not a clean half in number, but I’ve already cut the snips.  Of the first fourteen listed, the clerks recorded eight returns.  Two of those were not received until 1864:

  • 1st Independent Battery: At Belle Plain, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. We’ve already mentioned Captain Terrence J. Kennedy’s linked to Battery L, 3rd New York Light Battery in “rumor and innuendo.” Captain Andrew Cowan commanded the battery by December 1862 and supported Second Division, Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • 2nd Independent Battery:  No return. Captain Louis Schirmer’s battery was assigned to the Eleventh Corps.  It would be broken up in June of 1863.
  • 3rd Independent Battery: At Potomac Creek, Virginia with four 10-pdr Parrotts. Supported Sixth Corps and led by Lieutenant William A. Harn.
  • 4th Independent Battery: No return.  Captain James Smith’s battery supported Second Division, Third Corps.  Please note that Lieutenant Joseph E. Nairn was in “executive command” of the battery while Smith held the post of battalion commander.  The battery had six 10-pdr Parrotts in action at Fredericksburg.
  • 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 return. Captain W. M. Bramhall’s battery was also part of the Artillery Reserve and would later be part of the Horse Artillery (under a new commander).  They had six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
  • 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 Gloucester Point, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Part of the Fourth Corps left behind on the Peninsula, Captain Butler Fitch commanded this battery.
  • 9th Independent Battery: No return.  Captain Emil Schubert led this battery.  It was assigned to the defense of Washington and, at least for the reporting period, was listed at Fort Washington.
  • 10th Independent Battery: At Falmouth with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Recruited as the 2nd Excelsior Battery, Captain John T. Bruen’s battery supported Third Division, Third Corps.
  • 11th Independent Battery: Also at Falmouth but with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Formed as a “flying battery” under Captain Albert Von Puttkammer, this battery also supported Third Division of Third Corps.
  • 12th Independent Battery: Posted to Washington, D.C. and reporting four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Under Captain William H. Ellis, this battery was assigned to the Artillery Camp of Instruction.
  • 13th Independent Battery: No return.  At the time commanded by Captain  Julius Dieckmann and part of Eleventh Corps.  I presume this battery was equipped with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
  • 14th Independent Battery: No return.  Shall we call this a “phantom” battery?  The 2nd New York Light Artillery Battalion was never recruited to full manning.  So it was consolidated into two batteries (A and B) for the spring 1862 campaigns.  By the fall of 1862 both batteries were reconstituted as independent batteries.  Battery B became the 14th (and Battery A would be the 15th – remember for Part 2).  By the end of the year, all three sections of the 14th were assigned to other batteries (one to Battery B, 1st New York, another to Battery C, 4th US, and a third to Battery G, 4th US).

Of the fourteen batteries summarized here, nine were in the Army of the Potomac.  One, the 14th, was for all practical purposes in the same army, but detailed as parts.  Two were formerly of the Army of the Potomac, but serving in the Virginia tidewater.  And the last two batteries were part of Washington’s defenses.  Geographically concentrated.

Turning to the ammunition, we have one battery with smoothbores:

0069_Snip_Dec62_NY_Ind1_1

The 10th Battery had 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for its 12-pdr Napoleons.

But the New Yorkers were thick on rifled cannon.  For the Hotchkiss patent projectiles, they reported thus:

0069_Snip_Dec62_NY_Ind1_2

Starting from the top:

  • 1st Battery:  129 canister, 211 percussion shell, 270 fuse shell, and 570 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 114 canister, 47(?) percussion shell, 259 fuse shell, and 715 bullet shell for their 3-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 175 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 11th Battery: 156 canister, 428 percussion shell, and 290 fuse shell for the 3-inch rifle.
  • 12th Battery: 193 canister, 135 percussion shell, and 594 bullet shell for 3-inch rifle.

Moving over to the Dyers, James, and Parrott patent types:

0070_Snip_Dec62_NY_Ind1_1

The 8th Battery reported having 369 Dyer shell and 650 Dyer shrapnel for 3-inch rifles (to go with their Hotchkiss canister).  The 3rd Battery reported 325 Parrott shell and 313 Parrott case for their 10-pdr Parrott rifles.  And the 5th Battery had 45 Parrott shell and 56 Parrott canister for their big 20-pdr rifles.

As for Schenkl projectiles:

0070_Snip_Dec62_NY_Ind1_2

Mind the calibers here:

  • 1st Battery: 29 Schenkl 3-inch shell.
  • 3rd Battery: 81 Schenkl shell and 109 Schenkl canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 8th Battery: 45 Schenkl 3-inch shell.
  • 11th Battery: 89 Schenkl 3-inch shell.

We see the 3rd Battery mixing up their ammunition lots a bit.

Lastly, we look at the small arms:

0070_Snip_Dec62_NY_Ind1_3

By battery:

  • 1st Battery: 28 Navy revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: 22 Army revolvers and 21(?) horse artillery sabers.
  • 7th Battery: 18 Navy revolvers and 26 horse artillery sabers.
  • 8th Battery: 14 Navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: 24 Army revolvers, 130 Navy revolvers, and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 11th Battery: 20 Army revolvers and 22 cavalry sabers.
  • 12th Battery:  29 Navy revolvers and 113 cavalry sabers.

So… if you wanted a revolver, they you preferred a position with the 10th New York Independent. If you were fond of edged weapons, you might consider enlisting in the 12th.

Next we’ll look at the other half of these New York independent batteries.