Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Batteries from Massachusetts

We turn the page – page in the ledger, that is – with this installment on the summaries and find the next recorded state set is Massachusetts.

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There are a few administrative snags here which we must navigate around.  Three returns were not posted. And several of those posted offer incorrect locations.  And we have two “missing” batteries to mention. You will notice two themes here with the locations – Gettysburg and Port Hudson:

  • 1st Battery: Reported at Manchester, Maryland with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery was assigned to Artillery Brigade, Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac. Captain William H. McCartney commanded.  According to McCartney’s brief reports, the battery was “moving in a northerly direction through Maryland each day until July 2.”  He reported firing only four solid shot at Gettysburg.
  • 2nd Battery: No return. Captain Ormand F. Nims commanded this battery, assigned to the Fourth Division, Nineteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf.  The battery may have retain six 6-pdr rifled field guns mentioned earlier in the year. The battery was part of the force laying siege to Port Hudson in June 1863.
  • 3rd Battery: Indicated at Warrenton, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons from an August 24, 1863 posting date.  Assigned to the Artillery Brigade, Fifth Corps. When Captain Augustus Martin assumed command of the brigade, Lieutenant Aaron F. Walcott took command of the battery.  June 30 found the battery moving through Maryland with the parent formation.  Two days later, the battery was in action at Gettysburg.
  • 4th Battery: At Port Hudson, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch ordnance rifles.  This battery was assigned to the Third Division, Nineteenth Corps.   Captain George G. Trull was in command of the battery.  But the nature of service had sections detached (and under the lieutenants of the battery).  The previous quarter this battery’s guns were identified as 3-inch steel rifles. The most likely scenario is improper identification from the previous quarter, as often was the case with wrought iron guns.
  • 5th Battery: In Washington, D.C. with six 3-inch rifles.  That location does not match with any specific assignment for the battery.  After Chancellorsville, 5th Battery was reassigned to the First Volunteer Artillery Brigade (Lieutenant-Colonel Freeman McGilvery), Artillery Reserve.  Captain Charles A. Phillips remained in command.  So we’d place this battery near Taneytown, Maryland as of June 30.  Thrown into the Peach Orchard sector to shore up the lines on July 2, the battery was heavily engaged.  Phillips wrote,  “During the two days I fired 690 rounds; lost 1 officer, wounded; 4 men killed and 16 wounded, and 40 horses killed and a number disabled.”
  • 6th Battery: At Port Hudson with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 12-pdr field howitzers. The battery was assigned to First Division, Nineteenth Corps, under Captain William W. Carruth (however, Lieutenant John F. Phelps was listed as commander in the corps returns… and Carruth mustered out later in the fall).
  • 7th Battery: Indicated at White House, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Assigned to First Division, Seventh Army Corps,  the battery was commanded by Captain Phineas A. Davis.  At the start of July, the battery was among the forces employed for an expedition from White House to the South Anna River.
  • 8th Battery: No return.  Mustered out the previous November at the end of a six-month enlistment.
  • 9th Battery: Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons, as of the August 23, 1863 report. The 9th Battery was assigned to the First Volunteer Artillery Brigade, Artillery Reserve in mid-June.  So their actual location for the end of the quarter was Taneytown.  Captain John Bigelow commanded.  Along with the brigade (and the 5th Battery), the 9th Battery was rushed towards the Peach Orchard on July 2.  When Bigelow was wounded, Lieutenant Richard S. Milton assumed command.
  • 10th Battery:  Report dated August 18, 1863 placed this battery at Sulphur Springs, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery supported French’s Division, Eighth Corps, Middle Department (which would soon be folded into the Army of the Potomac).  Sent to Harpers Ferry in mid-June, the battery was among those forces withdrawn to Frederick, Maryland at the end of the month. Captain J. Henry Sleeper commanded.
  • 11th Battery: Indicted as “not in service.”  This battery mustered out of service on May 25, 1863.  After turning in equipment, the battery returned to Massachusetts where it remained in the state militia.  Captain Edward J. Jones remained as commander.  That said, the battery did see “action” that July… suppressing riots in Boston.  The Battery would return to Federal service the following winter.
  • 12th Battery:  At Port Hudson, Louisiana, with four 6-pdr field guns and two 3-inch Ordnance rifles. Listed as unattached in the Nineteenth Corps.  Actually, this battery was split into sections at this phase of the war.  Captain Jacob Miller commanded the battery, from Fort Banks near New Orleans.  Sections of the battery were forwarded to Port Hudson in support of the siege of that place, under Lieutenant Edwin M. Chamberlin.

Not mentioned in this list, the 13th Massachusetts Light Artillery was not only in service but also “in action” at the end of June 1863.  Captain Charles H. J. Hamlin commanded.  After troublesome and delayed passage from Massachusetts, the battery arrived at New Orleans on May 10.  There, the 13th was assigned garrison duties, with its horses turned over to the 12th Battery (see above).  On June 5, the men of the battery moved by steamboat to Port Hudson.  There, they served in two detachments – one under Captain Hamlin, the other under Lieutenant Timothy W. Terry – manning siege mortars.  Not acclimatized, the men of the battery suffered heavily during the siege.

The 14th and 16th Massachusetts would not muster until months later.  But the 15th Massachusetts Light Artillery may be included here.  The 15th left Boston in March 1863, for New Orleans, under Captain Timothy Pearson.  The battery arrived in May, but turned in equipment and horses (needed for the other batteries).  For the remainder of the year, the 15th Battery served garrison duties around New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain.

Moving past this lengthy administrative section, we turn to the ammunition.  These batteries reported a number of Napoleons.  No surprise we see a lot of 12-pdr rounds reported:

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Five batteries reporting:

  • 1st Battery: 287 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 3rd Battery: 192 shot, 96 shell, 387 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 4th Battery: 269 shell, 147 case, and 55 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 6th Battery: 198 shot, 106 shell, 150 case, and 58 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 90 shell, 136 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 9th Battery: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Notice the 12th battery reported no ammunition for the 6-pdrs.

Turning to the rifled projectiles, since we saw 3-inch Ordnance rifles on hand we can expect Hotchkiss rounds in the chests:

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Five batteries reporting quantities:

  • 4th Battery: 39 canister, 265 percussion shell, and 60 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 5th Battery: 121 canister and 322 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 168 canister, 188 fuse shell, and 486 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 115 canister, 110 percussion shell, 220 fuse shell, and 500 bullet shells for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 30 shot, 34 canister, 60 percussion shell, 70 fuse shell, and 112 bullet shells for 3-inch rifles.

We don’t often see solid shot reported from the field. But the 12th Battery had thirty.

Moving to the next page, we find entries for Dyer’s patent projectiles:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • 5th Battery: 550 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 221 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 240 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.

What may, or may not, be a correlation here, the three batteries were all Eastern Theater.  Though their service was varied.

We find those same three batteries reporting Schenkl projectiles:

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  • 5th Battery: 211 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 290 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 15 shell for 3-inch rifles.

To close out this lengthy examination, we turn to the small arms:

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  • 1st Battery: Eleven Army revolvers, twelve cavalry sabers, and five horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: One Army revolver, eight cavalry sabers, and twenty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • 4th Battery: One breechloading carbine, seven Army revolvers, and thirty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: One Army revolver and thirty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Ten Army revolvers and eight cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and 142 horse artillery sabers.
  • 9th Battery: Fourteen Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Seventeen Navy revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.

It seems the Massachusetts batteries received a healthy issue of horse artillery sabers. Perhaps proud products of Ames Manufacturing, of Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Maine’s batteries

Through June of 1863, the state of Maine provided six batteries to the Federal cause (a seventh would follow later in the year).  Looking at the summary for the second quarter, 1863, we find the Ordnance Department recorded returns from four of the six:

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Somewhat a regression from the previous quarter, where five of the six had recorded returns.  But there’s little to speculate on the two missing returns.  (And a reminder, Maine’s batteries are sometimes designated by number, and at other times by letter.  Here we will stick to the format from the summary):

  • 1st Battery: No return. Lieutenant John E. Morton remained in command of this battery, assigned to First Division, Nineteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf.  And at the end of June, that formation was laying siege to Port Hudson. Reports earlier in the year gave the battery had four 6-pdr rifled guns and three 12-pdr howitzers.
  • 2nd Battery: , Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  This is Captain James A. Hall’s battery, First Corps, Army of the Potomac.  This assignment had them marching up from Emmitsburg, Maryland, camping at Marsh Creek, on June 30.  We might attribute the location to the date of the return’s receipt – October 1863.
  • 3rd Battery:  No report.  At this stage of the war, 3rd Battery was re-designated Battery M, 1st Maine Heavy Artillery (it would later revert to light artillery). Captain James G. Swett commanded.  The battery was stationed in the Defenses of Washington, on the north side of the Potomac.  They were, for at least a portion of this time, assigned to Battery Jameson, outside Fort Lincoln.
  • 4th Battery: Reporting at Rappahannock, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  The location is likely connected to the receipt date of August 1863.  Captain O’Neil W. Robinson, Jr. commanded this battery.  Assigned to French’s Division, Eighth Corps, Middle Department, the battery was among those at Harpers Ferry at the start of June.  On June 30, the forces there moved to Frederick, Maryland.  Later in the summer, the battery transferred, with it’s parent, into the Third Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • 5th Battery: Reporting, appropriately “in the field” with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Greenleaf T. Stevens assumed command of this battery during the Chancellorsville Campaign.  And of course, the battery was part of Wainwright’s brigade, supporting First Corps.  Stevens has a knoll named for him at Gettysburg.
  • 6th Battery: At Taneytown, Maryland with four 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery was part of the 4th Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, then advancing across Maryland, so the location is very accurate. Lieutenant Edwin B. Dow remained in command.

So we find four of these batteries involved with the Gettysburg campaign (with three actually on the field).  One battery was at Port Hudson.  Only the 3rd was not actually in a fight at the return’s due date.

Moving to the ammunition, two batteries had Napoleons and two have ammunition on hand:

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  • 5th Battery: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 6th Battery: 192 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Nothing out of the ordinary there.

Moving on to the rifled projectiles.  Ordnance rifles were on hand, so we find Hotchkiss reported:

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Again, two batteries reporting:

  • 2nd battery: 359 fuse shell and 140 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 4th Battery: 120 canister, 381 fuse shell, and 699 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

For the next page, we can focus on the Dyer columns:

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Just one reporting:

  • 2nd Battery: 402 shrapnel and 137 canister of Dyer’s patent for 3-inch rifles.

Some time back, I was asked what Federal batteries might have had Dyer’s projectiles at Gettysburg.  Well there is the the lead – Hall’s battery.

The next page has one entry:

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Again, Hall’s battery:

  • 2nd Battery: 156 Schenkl shells for 3-inch rifles.

Since we are seeing a lot of Hall’s Battery here, I’d point out his expenditure and losses at Gettysburg.  In his official report, the battery fired 635 rounds.  Eighteen men wounded and four captured.  Twenty-eight horses killed and six wounded.  One gun-carriage destroyed, and two others disabled (probably due to axles).  But no guns lost…. Hall and a sergeant personally brought one abandoned gun off the field.

Turning last to the small arms:

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Of the four batteries reporting:

  • 2nd Battery: Sixteen Army revolvers and eleven cavalry sabers.
  • 4th Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and twenty-three(?) cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Eleven Army revolvers and sixteen cavalry sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Seven Army revolvers, 100(?) Navy revolvers and thirty-two(?) horse artillery sabers.

The odd bit here is with all those pistols in the 6th Battery.  The previous quarter, the battery had but seven.

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Indiana’s Independent Batteries (Part 2)

We move down the sheet to the second half of the Indiana independent batteries, numbering 13 through 25:

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Of the thirteen to consider, seven had posted returns for the quarter.  So more than a few blanks to fill here.  Organizationally, these batteries had very few administrative changes from the previous quarter to note:

  • 13th Battery: No return.  Captain Benjamin S. Nicklin’s battery remained at Gallatin, Tennessee.  Though part of the Army of the Cumberland, the battery was unattached.
  • 14th Battery: No return.  This battery remained part of the District of Jackson, Sixteenth Corps, presumably still with three 6-pdr field guns and one 3-inch Ordnance Rifle.  Lieutenant Francis W. Morse remained in command.
  • 15th Battery: Reporting at Paris, Kentucky with six 3-inch rifles.  After assignment to the Fourth Division, Twenty-Third Corps, the battery was part of the Federal response to Morgan’s July 1863 Raid.  Captain John C. H. von Sehlen commanded.
  • 16th Battery: A return of Fort Washington, Maryland without any guns listed.  There is a faint note “Infy Stores” under the regiment column.  Lieutenant Charles R. Deming’s battery were part of the Washington Defenses.
  • 17th Battery: No return.  Captain M. L. Miner’s battery was part of French’s Division, Eighth Corps.  During the pursuit phase of the Gettysburg Campaign, the battery would return to Maryland Heights at Harpers Ferry, with their six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
  • 18th Battery:  No Return. Captain Eli Lilly’s battery remained with the Fourth Division, Fourteenth Corps, and thus involved with the Tullahoma Campaign at the end of the reporting period.
  • 19th Battery: Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Rifles (not under the usual Ordnance Rifle column). Like the 18th, Captain Samuel J. Harris’s battery was part of Fourth Division, Fourteenth Corps.  Thus the location of Chattanooga reflected a later reporting date.
  • 20th Battery:  At Nashville, Tennessee with no weapons reported.  Captain Milton A. Osborne’s battery was assigned to the artillery reserve posted to Nashville, under the Army of the Cumberland.
  • 21st Battery:  At Camp Dennison, Ohio with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The location offered is clearly an error.  Captain William W. Andrew’s battery was the third Indiana battery assigned to Fourth Division, Fourteenth Corps.  And thus were on the move through middle Tennessee at the time.
  • 22nd Battery: At Bowling Green, Kentucky with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Under Captain Benjamin F. Denning, this battery was assigned to the Second Division, Twenty-Third Corps, Army of the Ohio.
  • 23rd Battery:  Reporting at Indianapolis, Indiana with six 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain James H. Myers’ battery remained in the District of Indiana and Michigan, charged with guarding prisoners. Later in the summer the battery would get the call to the field.
  • 24th Battery: No return. Under Captain Joseph A. Sims, this battery was newly assigned to the Third Division, Twenty-Third Corps, with duty in Kentucky.  The battery was among those mobilized to chase Morgan in July.
  • 25th Battery:  No return. This is a curious entry line.  The 25th would not organize for another year.  So at best this is simply a placeholder.

As I said earlier, very few changes from the previous quarter.

Turning to the smoothbore ammunition reported:

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Four batteries with quantities to report:

  • 19th Battery: 20 shot, 15 shell, 12 case, and 72 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 21st Battery: 463 shot, 126 shell, 491 case, and 161 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 22nd Battery: 131 shot, 141 shell, 144 case, and 155 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 23rd Battery: 930 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

So there we have the 23rd Battery, guarding prisoners in Indianapolis, with James rifles loaded up with 6-pdr canister.  Well, it would fit into a 3.80-inch bore!

Moving next to the Hotchkiss columns for rifled projectiles:

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A couple of batteries with 3-inch rifles on hand.  So we see their entries along with the James rifles of the 23rd Battery:

  • 15th Battery: 340 canister,  342 fuse shell, and 1,207 (?) bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 19th Battery: 76 canister, 68 percussion shell,  55 fuse shell, and 40 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 23rd Battery: 390 percussion shell and 330 fuse shells for 3.80-inch rifles.

The next page we can focus down to the Dyers and James columns:

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For Dyer’s:

  • 19th Battery: 17 shell for 3-inch rifles.

For James’:

  • 23rd Battery:  95 case shot for 3.80-inch rifles.

None of the batteries reported Schenkl’s or Tatham’s, so we may proceed on to the small arms:

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By battery reporting:

  • 15th Battery: Twenty-eight Army revolvers and twenty (?) horse artillery sabers.
  • 19th Battery: Fifteen Army revolvers and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 20th Battery: Nineteen Army revolvers.
  • 21st Battery: Thirty Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 22nd Battery: Thirty-two horse artillery sabers.
  • 23rd Battery:  Twenty horse artillery sabers.

Uniformity… somewhat.  And with that we can close the Indiana independent batteries. Or can we?

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Yes, there are six “others” at the bottom of the section.  One of which would become the 26th Indiana Independent Battery later in the war.  We’ll look at them in the next installment.

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Maine’s Batteries

Maine provided seven batteries of field artillery to the Federal war effort.  Of those six were in service during the winter of 1863 (the seventh did not muster until the following winter).  As mentioned for the previous quarter’s returns, we find both numbered and lettered designations for Maine’s batteries.  But I’ll conform to the convention given in the summary.  Of the six batteries to consider, the clerks recorded five returns:

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And of those five, we find only two types of cannon:

  • 1st Battery: No return. This battery was assigned to Nineteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf, and had a very active winter operating in Louisiana.  Reports from the department indicate the battery was under Captain E. W. Thompson, with four 6-pdr rifled guns and three 12-pdr howitzers. Lieutenant John E. Morton replaced Thompson early in the spring.
  • 2nd Battery: No location given, but reporting six 3-inch Ordnance rifles. Captain James A. Hall’s battery was assigned to First Corps, Army of the Potomac, in Colonel Charles S. Wainwright’s brigade.  They wintered around near White Oak Church (Fletcher’s Chapel is mentioned).
  • 3rd Battery:  Stationed at Fort [Battery] Jameson, Maryland, but no guns indicated. Captain James G. Swett’s battery was stationed in the Defenses of Washington, in a battery part of the larger Fort Lincoln. The 3rd had a varied history to this point in the war, most recently working with pontoons. Near the close of the quarter the battery became part of the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery (temporarily as Battery M of that regiment).
  • 4th Battery: At Harpers Ferry, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles. Captain O’Neil W. Robinson, Jr. commanded this battery, assigned to Kelley’s Division, Eighth Corps, Middle Department.
  • 5th Battery: Reporting at Fletcher’s Chapel, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain George F. Leppien commanded this battery, which also fell under Wainwright’s brigade, supporting First Corps.
  • 6th Battery: At Warrenton Junction, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  The location is likely reflecting the August 12 reporting date. The battery supported the Twelfth Corps at this time and was posted to Dumfries, Virginia. Lieutenant Edwin B. Dow replaced Captain Freeman McGilvery in command.

So we can fill in some of the blanks and make some minor corrections.  Relatively speaking, the Maine batteries were in order.. from the clerk’s point of view.  Note the artillery assigned to the 9th Maine Infantry dropped from the list for first quarter.

Smoothbore ammunition reported on hand for the quarter:

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Two batteries with Napoleons.  And two batteries reporting ammunition for that:

  • 5th Battery: 288 shot, 95 shell, 289 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • 6th Battery: 192 shot, 64 shell, 149 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

Moving to rifled projectiles, the batteries reported healthy quantities of Hotchkiss-patent:

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From those reporting:

  • 2nd Battery: 137 canister, 156 percussion shell, 354 fuse shell, and 146 bullet shell Hotchkiss for 3-inch rifle.
  • 4th Battery: 120 canister, 320 fuse shell, and 699 bullet shell Hotchkiss for 3-inch rifle.
  • 6th Battery: 100 canister, 24 percussion shell, 150 fuse shell, and 126 bullet shell Hotchkiss for 3-inch rifle.

No quantities of Dyer’s, James’, or Parrott’s projectiles were on hand.  And just one entry for Schenkl to consider:

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2nd Battery reported 402 Schenkl shells for 3-inch rifle.

Moving to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • 2nd Battery: Sixteen Army revolvers and eleven cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: 105 Army revolvers and one cavalry saber.
  • 4th Battery: Eighteen Navy revolvers and twenty-three cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Sixteen Army revolvers and seventeen cavalry sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Seven Army revolvers and twenty-two horse artillery sabers.

It would have been nice if the 1st Battery’s report was here to compare.  But we see 3rd Battery, stationed in the Washington defenses,  likely had a pistol for every man.

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – Maine’s Batteries

The next listing in the fourth quarter, 1862 summaries is Maine.  The Pine Tree State provided seven field batteries and one heavy artillery regiment for the Federal armies during the war.  The 18th Maine Infantry became the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery in early January 1863, and remained part of the Washington defenses.  That unit did not report any field artillery and thus falls outside the scope of our study.  Of the light batteries, only the first six were formed as of December 1862.  Maine numbered its batteries, although letter designations are often seen in reports and other documents.  I’ll stay with the Ordnance Department’s convention today and call the batteries by their numbers.

Counting reports for the quarter, we see the men from Maine were somewhat negligent, as only two of the field batteries provided returns.  In addition, the 9th Maine Infantry provided a return for artillery in their charge:

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Let me attempt to fill in some of the blanks here:

  • 1st Battery: No report. The battery was part of the Department of the Gulf at this time and at Thibodeauxville, Louisiana.  Later in the winter, official reports indicated the battery had four 6-pdr rifled guns and three 12-pdr howitzers.
  • 2nd Battery: At Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  The indicated date of report was December 14, 1862.  This stands at odds with official reports that have Captain James Hall’s battery in action at Fredericksburg supporting the First Corps, Army of the Potomac!
  • 3rd Battery: No report. This battery had an unconventional history.  Through the fall of 1862, the 3rd Battery served as pontooneers.  When reassigned to the Defenses of Washington, the battery was at first attached to the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery.  It is possible the mention of the 2nd Battery (above) at Camp Barry refers instead to the 3rd Battery.
  • 4th Battery: No report. This battery was detached from the Third Corps, Army of the Potomac and posted to Harpers Ferry.  Captain O’Neil Robinson’s battery had six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
  • 5th Battery: No location given.  Armed with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  This battery was with the First Corps (outside Fredericksburg) in December 1862.
  • 6th Battery: No report.  The battery supported the Twelfth Corps at this time and was posted to Dumfries, Virginia.  Captain Freeman McGilvery’s battery had last reported (September) a mix of Napoleons and Ordnance Rifles.
  • 9th Infantry:  Fernandina, Florida with one 24-pdr field howitzer and one 10-pdr Parrott. The annotation indicates this was a section in Company F of the regiment.  The howitzer may have been captured from Confederate forces.

Given the scant reports recorded, we have very little in the way of projectiles on hand to deliberate on:

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The 5th Battery had 355 shot, 111 shell, 272 case, and 96 canister for its 12-pdr Napoleons. And down in Florida, the 9th Maine Infantry reported 29 shells, 48 case, and 20 canister for that big 24-pdr howitzer.

On to rifled projectiles, for the Hotchkiss patent types:

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The 2nd Battery had 20 canister and 100 fuse shells for the 3-inch rifles.

For Parrott projectiles, we go back to Florida:

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The 9th Infantry had 30 shells, 34 case, and 30 canister for its lone 10-pdr Parrott.

No other projectiles mentioned in the summary for the Maine batteries.  So on to the small arms:

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Just three lines to review:

  • 2nd Battery: 17 Army revolvers and 16 cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery: 16 Army revolvers and 17 cavalry sabers.
  • 9th Infantry: 74 muskets of .69-caliber, 15 Army revolvers, 15 cavalry sabers, and two horse artillery sabers.

I suspect the entry for the 9th Maine Infantry included all the small arms assigned to Company F of the regiment. I would further note that the 9th Maine would go on to serve, the following summer and fall, on Morris Island. There, as did many of the infantry units, the Maine soldiers did their turns tending the heavy siege artillery.  This is somewhat a counter-point to the point I made yesterday about artillery serving as infantry or cavalry.  In this case we see infantry pressed into service with the big cannons.

Marching BACK through Loudoun: Return of the Army of the Potomac

Careful you don’t get whiplash as I shift between theaters. Last month I offered a series of posts detailing the movement of the Army of the Potomac through Loudoun. But let’s not forget the Army of the Potomac came back through Loudoun during the later half of July 1863. My research into that movement is not as thorough, however, as the Edwards Ferry crossings in June. At some point in the future, I’ll resolve that deficiency. But for now, let me call out movements from 150 years ago today (June 17) and mention the bridging operations that facilitated that movement. And just as during the June crossings going north, the bridges were vital to the return going south.

We last discussed the pontoon bridges, the engineers took them up at Edwards Ferry on June 28. About a thousand feet of bridging, from a set not used at Edwards Ferry, followed the Army into Maryland. Orders were to remove the rest of the bridging for refit in Washington. But the bulk of equipment remained at the crossing site until July 4. Damage to the C&O Canal, inflicted during Major-General J.E.B. Stuart’s crossing at Rowser’s Ford, prevented the timely movement.

Brigadier-General Henry Benham, commanding the Engineer Brigade, and Army headquarters exchanged frequent messages from July 4 through July 15 about the bridging equipment. At some point I need to offer a detailed analysis of those. But the bottom line is that Benham had repairs to make, lacked transportation, and contended with a turbulent rise of the Potomac. I don’t think the engineers could have laid any pontoon bridges earlier than completed in mid-July.

Between July 15 and morning of July 17, the engineer brigade put in bridges at Harpers Ferry (over both the Potomac and Shenandoah) and at Berlin, Maryland. On July 15, Brigadier-General Gouverneur Warren reported a “bridge over the Potomac will now let troops pass into the Shenandoah Valley.” Engineers built a pontoon bridge and repaired the railroad bridge along with a “wire bridge” at that point. Warren then turned the engineers to build a bridge over the mouth of the Shenandoah River. “We are at it,” Warren related.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ira Spaulding reported one bridge over the Potomac at Berlin was complete on the morning of July 17. The span measured 700 feet. Spaulding complained of damaged material in use that required replacement and repair. Later that day Spaulding built a second bridge there, at about the same place the engineers put in spans the previous fall to facilitate another pursuit of the Army of Northern Virginia. The map below shows the operational area with key locations highlighted and yellow lines (small yellow lines) for the bridge locations.

AreaOfOpeationsJuly17

Using Harpers Ferry and Berlin afforded the Army two good crossing sites separated sufficiently to reduce congestion, while keeping units close for mutual support.

When the Army of Northern Virginia escaped across the Potomac, Major-General George Meade began shifting the Army of the Potomac to pursue. This pursuit resembled the slower pursuit offered by Major-General George McClellan the previous fall. The infantry corps moved back towards South Mountain on July 15. By July 17, the Third and Fifth Corps camped along the Potomac.

The first movement orders putting the Army’s infantry back in Loudoun came at 2 p.m. on July 17. Major General William French, commanding the Third Corps at that time, received orders to move “by the Harper’s Ferry Bridge, and across the Shenandoah at its mouth, and proceed up the Valley of Sweet Run some 3 or 4 miles, and bivouac for the night.” This was a leisurely move compared to the crossings of June. Orders urged French to bring up supplies, to include replacement equipment for the troops. By 7:40 p.m. French reported going into camp just over a mile from the Shenandoah Bridge.

July17Crossing

Although I don’t have particulars, the Fifth Corps moved across the bridges at Berlin around the same time, reaching Lovettsville on the Virginia side. So that night, 150 years ago, two Federal infantry corps were camping in Loudoun… again.

And also out that evening were marching orders for July 18. The Third Corps would move out to Hillborough, followed by the Second Corps, which was to cross at Harpers Ferry early that morning. The Twelfth Corps would hold at Harpers Ferry waiting orders to move forward.

July18Crossing

The Fifth Corps would advance from Lovettsville out to the Waterford-Hillsborough Road (the old Vestal’s Gap Road if you are following here). The First Corps received orders to cross at Berlin and march to Waterford. The Reserve Artillery would cross after the First Corps, but then fall in behind the Fifth Corps. Headquarters relocated to Lovettsville. Both Eleventh and Sixth Corps would hold at Berlin waiting instructions to cross. Lastly, the tired cavalry troopers would cover the crossing on the Maryland side.

The only major deviation to these orders came mid-day on July 18. Brigadier-General John Buford’s cavalry division slipped into line in front of the Eleventh Corps and crossed that afternoon at Berlin. Otherwise, the army spent a relatively uneventful day marching. The remainder of the Army crossed the Potomac on July 19. The Army of the Potomac stayed much shorter on this visit to Loudoun. By July 24 all of the major combat elements moved south and cleared out of the county.

Three days to cross in June. Three days to cross back in July. And some of the bloodiest fighting ever seen in between.