Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries, Part 3

The last dozen in dependent batteries from New York, the 25th through 36th Batteries, feature several story lines which had not played out by the end of 1863. Thus the listing is incomplete and lacking in some respects. And, we see just nine lines:

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But we’ll discuss all twelve here in order to fill in the gaps:

  • 25th Battery: No return.  Recall, while in transit to New Orleans in January, this battery’s transport wrecked.  This “hard luck” battery remained at New Orleans, assigned to the Fourth Division, Nineteenth Corps through October as part of the city defenses.  Captain John A. Grow remained in command.  Earlier in the year, the battery reported four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. A detachment from the battery saw action at Vermilionville, Louisiana as part of an expedition to the Teche Campaign in November.
  • 26th Battery: Reprting at Thibodaux, Louisiana, with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Also suffering loss in the January shipwreck, the 26th was, at the reporting time, part of the District of LaFourche. Captain George W. Fox remained in command of the battery.
  • 27th Battery: At Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  As part of the Department of the Susquehanna the battery was the artillery complement to the garrison of Philadelphia. Captain John B. Eaton commanded this battery.
  • 28th Battery: At Fort Schuyler, New York with no artillery listed.  The battery served at Fort Schuyler and Sandy Hook.  Captain Josiah C. Hannum retained command. Though in his absence, Lieutenant Ira W. Steward led the battery at the end of the year.
  • 29th Battery: No return. After July 1863, remaining enlistments with this battery transferred to the 32nd Battery (below).  Lieutenant Bernard Wever was the ranking officer left with the battery.
  • 30th Battery: At Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Alfred Von Kleiser remained in command.   The battery was assigned to Second Brigade, First Division, Department of West Virginia.
  • 31st Battery: No return.  Captain Gustav Von Blucher was in command.  The battery appears in the Department of West Virginia. But as it was reduced, with many of the men attached to the 30th Battery, the battery was in effect only a paper designation. Von Blucher himself was serving as a staff officer with the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.
  • 32nd Battery: At Sandy Hook, Maryland with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Charles Kusserow remained in command.  The battery served alongside the 30th in Second Brigade, First Division, Department of West Virginia.
  • 33rd Battery:  At Camp Barry, District of Columbia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  This freshly recruited battery served at the Artillery Camp of Instruction, in the Department of Washington (Twenty-second Corps).   Captain Algar M. Wheeler commanded. 
  • 34th Battery: Not listed. This number was reserved for Battery L, 2nd New York Artillery. Captain Jacob Roemer’s battery, then serving in 1st Division, Ninth Corps, officially took it’s “Independent” number in November. The battery operated near Knoxville in December 1863. For unknown reasons, the clerks failed to account for this battery under either the new or old designation. The battery maintained four 3-inch rifles.
  • 35th Battery: Not listed. Authorized on July 9.  Captain James B. Caryle was given the commission to recruit the battery.  But it never completed organization.  The authority was recalled. The recruited men were assigned to Battery A, 16th New York Heavy Artillery.
  • 36th Battery:  Not listed.  On August 11, 1863, Captain Charles Graham Bacon was authorized to recruit this battery. On October 14, authority was revoked and the men recruited by that time were transferred to the 13th New York Heavy Artillery. We will see this battery accounted for with in the miscellaneous listings to follow.

For those batteries filing returns, we look to the ammunition on hand. Starting with smoothbore:

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  • 26th Battery: 148 shot, 12 shell, and 48 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 27th Battery: 192 shot, 64 shell, and 192 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 30th Battery: 308 shot, 128 shell, and 320 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Continuing on to the next page:

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  • 26th Battery: 12 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • 27th Battery: 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • 30th Battery: 112 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

Only one of the rifled gun batteries reported Hotchkiss rounds on hand:

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  • 32nd Battery: 114 Hotchkiss case shot and 120 Hotchkiss canister for 3-inch rifles.

So the 33rd, being a new battery, presumably training hard at the artillery school, was not entrusted with ammunition… yet. The 32nd’s accounting continues on the next page with Schenkl projectiles:

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  • 32nd Battery: 583 Schenkl shell for 3-inch rifles.

And another entry on the next page:

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  • 32nd Battery: 383 Schenkl case shot.

All six reporting batteries indicated small arms on hand:

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  • 26th Battery: 17 Colt army revolvers, 12 cavalry sabers, and 11 horse artillery sabers.
  • 27th Battery: 17 Colt army revolvers, 30 cavalry sabers, and 10 horse artillery sabers.
  • 28th Battery: 145 Springfield muskets, .58-caliber.
  • 30th Battery: 13 Colt army revolvers and 64 cavalry sabers.
  • 32nd Battery: 9 Colt navy revolvers, 36 cavalry sabers, and 11 foot artillery swords.
  • 33rd Battery: 20 Colt navy revolvers and 30 horse artillery sabers.

Yes, some of those foot artillery swords were issued… allegedly.

Turning to the cartridge bags reported:

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  • 26th Battery: 100 cartridge bags for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 27th Battery: 10 cartridge bags for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 32nd Battery: 1,237 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • 33rd Battery: 50 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.

So we see that while in training the 33rd Battery was allowed to “make noise” but not “send things downrange!”

Finally to the last page for pistol cartridges, fuses, and miscellaneous articles:

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  • 26th Battery: 700 army pistol cartridges and 800 friction primers.
  • 27th Battery: 25 army pistol cartridges; 700 friction primers; and 500 regulation percussion caps.
  • 30th Battery: 48 army pistol cartridges; 500 friction primers; 38 yards of slow match; 60 pistol percussion caps; and 116 portfires.
  • 32nd Battery: 200 navy pistol cartridges; 1,086 paper fuses; and 2,009 friction primers.
  • 33rd Battery: 100 friction primers and 50 yards of slow match.

This concludes the independent batteries from New York, including some gaps. But we are not finished with the state. Below the independent batteries were three lines covering miscellaneous entries outside the normal unit organization. We’ll review those next.

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Indiana’s batteries, Part 2

We started on the last post working down this long list of Indiana batteries:

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In that last post, we discussed the first dozen independent batteries.  Picking up there, we have independent batteries 13 through 26:

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Yes, a baker’s dozen plus one.  But with those fourteen batteries, we actually have less numbers to consider as only half provided returns.  So a lot of administrative holes to resolve:

  • 13th Battery: No return.  Captain Benjamin S. Nicklin’s battery remained at Gallatin, Tennessee, garrisoning Fort Thomas, in the Army of the Cumberland.
  • 14th Battery: No return.  Lieutenant Francis W. Morse remained in command.  The battery started the summer in Jackson, Tennessee.  In June, the battery transferred to the railroad town of LaGrange and remained there for the remainder of the summer.  Presumably still with three 6-pdr field guns and one 3-inch Ordnance Rifle, the battery was part of the Sixteenth Corps’ many garrison commands.
  • 15th Battery: At Oak Springs, Tennessee with six 3-inch rifles.  Captain John C. H. von Sehlen commanded this battery, assigned to Fourth Division, Twenty-Third Corps and part of the campaign moving on Knoxville.   The report location is likely related to the November reporting date.
  • 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.  At the end of the Gettysburg Campaign, Captain Milton L. Miner’s battery became part of the Maryland Heights Division, Department of West Virginia.  The battery reported six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles in previous quarters.
  • 18th Battery:  No Return. Captain Eli Lilly’s battery supported Wilder’s Brigade, Fourth Division, Fourteenth Corps.  The battery brought six 3-inch rifles and four 12-pdr mountain howitzers to Chickamauga.  The mountain howitzers supported the 72nd Indiana on September 20, and one of those was lost in the fighting.  Lilly reported the lost of two men killed and eight wounded;  six horses (plus one wounded); and expending 778 rounds.  A shame we don’t have a return from this… unique… and storied battery.
  • 19th Battery: Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee with three 12-pdr Napoleons and one 3-inch Rifles (not under the usual Ordnance Rifle column). This was a return dated January 1864.  But the location is valid.  Captain Samuel J. Harris’s battery was also part of Fourth Division, Fourteenth Corps and went into action at Chickamuaga with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  On September 19, Harris was “disabled by a contusion” to his right side and turned command over to Lieutenant Robert S. Lackey.  During the fighting that disabled Harris, the battery lost a Napoleon and limber.  On the 20th, Lackey kept the battery in the fight, but would have one surviving Napoleon (axle straps) and a 3-inch rifle disabled.  While the Napoleon was brought off the field, the rifle’s axle came completely off and was had to be left behind.  Harris provided a very detailed statement of lost men, equipment and material after the battle.  In addition to the guns, the battery suffered two killed, 16 wounded, and two missing men.  The battery had fifteen horses lost or killed and six wounded. Harris accounted for four lost pistols, three sabers, seven sponges, four sponge buckets, two prolongs, among other items. The battery expended 350 3-inch rifle rounds and 750 12-pdr in the battle.  Harris recovered and remained in command of the battery.
  • 20th Battery:  At Nashville, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James rifles.  Captain Milton A. Osborne’s battery was assigned to the artillery reserve posted to Nashville, under the Army of the Cumberland. In October, the battery was among the forces pushed out to secure the railroad lines out of Nashville.
  • 21st Battery:  No return.  Captain William W. Andrew’s battery was the third Indiana battery assigned to Fourth Division, Fourteenth Corps.  However, Lieutenant William E. Chess field the battery’s report from the battle and appears to have lead the battery in the action.  They took six 12-pdr Napoleons into action, but lost one (and limber).  Chess recorded firing 10 shot, 168 case, 104 shell, and 160 canister – giving us some indication of the range at which this battery was engaged, and what targets they fired upon, during their part of the battle.
  • 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.  Through the fall, the battery served at both Bowling Green and Russellsville, Department of Southwestern Kentucky.
  • 23rd Battery:  Reporting at Jonesboro (?), Tennessee with six 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain James H. Myers’ battery came across the Ohio River in September and was assigned to the “Left Wing” of Twenty-Third Corps.  Moving by way of the Cumberland Gap, the battery was among the forces operating around Morristown at the start of October.
  • 24th Battery: No return. Under Captain Joseph A. Sims, this battery moved from the Third Division to the Fourth Division in Twenty-Third Corps in August.  Though that move was basically part of the alignment of forces for the campaign on Knoxville.
  • 25th Battery:  No return. The 25th would not organize until the late summer of 1864.  So this is simply a placeholder line.
  • 26th Battery or Wilder’s: At Concord, Tennessee (just west of Knoxville) with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles, with a report date of March, 1864.  Recall this battery was first organized by (then) Captain John T. Wilder, later colonel of the famous “Lightning Brigade.”  The battery was captured at Harpers Ferry in 1862 and then reorganized.  Though given the 26th as a designation, throughout its service the battery was better known as Wilder’s.  Captain Hubbard T. Thomas commanded the battery, assigned to the Twenty-Third Corps.  The battery participated in the Knoxville Campaign in East Tennessee.  The location given in the return, however, likely reflects its winter garrison assignment.

As with the first batch of batteries, we see the “mark” of Chickamauga here reflected with lost cannon and in some cases missing reports.

Making what we can of the small number of returns, we start with the smoothbore ammunition:

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Three to consider:

  • 19th Battery: 20 shot, 8 shell, 72 case, and 52 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 20th Battery: 189 shot, 150 case, and 35 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 22nd Battery: 98 shot, 119 shell, 144 case, and 121 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Note, the 19th Battery had but 152 rounds for their three Napoleons in the aftermath of Chickamauga.  That is if we take the report as precise for the moment in time.

Moving to the Hotchkiss columns:

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Four reporting:

  • 15th Battery: 460 canister, 402 fuse shell, and 1246 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 20th Battery: 145 percussion shell and 392 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • 23rd Battery: 365 percussion shell, 315 fuse shell, and 95 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • 26th Battery (Wilder’s): 520 canister, 260 percussion shell, 574 fuse shell, and 426 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

So we see those batteries sent into eastern Tennessee had ample ammunition on hand.

A couple more Hotchkiss entries on the next page:

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Two reporting:

  • 20th Battery: 150 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 23rd Battery: 210 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

But none of these fourteen batteries had Schenkl projectiles or Tatham’s canister on hand:

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So we move on to the small arms:

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Looking at these by battery:

  • 15th Battery: Twenty-eight Army revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • 19th Battery: Fourteen percussion pistols and fourteen horse artillery sabers.  I think the pistols are a transcription error, as the battery reported nineteen Army revolvers in the previous quarter.
  • 20th Battery: Twenty-two Army revolvers.
  • 22nd Battery: Thirty-two horse artillery sabers.
  • 23rd Battery: Thirty Navy revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • 26th Battery (Wilder’s): Nineteen horse artillery sabers.

Moving from the independent batteries from Indiana for this quarter, we still have five entries “below the line” to consider.  We’ll pick those up in the next installment.

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Heavy Artillery

Let me give the heavy artillery batteries, battalions, and regiments their due for this quarter of the summary.  While looking at each of the state sections, we’ve mentioned a few of these batteries.  But not the whole.  The omission, by those at the Ordnance Department, was mostly due to bureaucratic definitions than any overt action.

Briefly, the summary statements we are reviewing here are focused only on ordnance rated as “field artillery.” A further qualification is that only units assigned roles to use field artillery (as in for use as “mobile” artillery) are included.  So, IF a field howitzer was assigned to a fort’s garrison, AND that howitzer was considered part of the fort’s armament, and not part of the garrisoning unit’s property, THEN it was accounted for in a different set of sheets for accounting.  Such means a great number of field artillery pieces, not to mention the siege, garrison, and seacoast artillery, escapes mention in these summaries.  And we don’t have, to my knowledge, a full record for those anywhere in the surviving documents.  However, I would point out that in 1864 the Ordnance Department began using a common form to account for field, siege, garrison, and seacoast artillery.

But for the second quarter of 1863, that accounting is lacking in the known records.  We do have a handful of “heavies” that were assigned roles which required mobile artillery.  And those were mentioned as we proceeded through the summary.  For sake of completeness, let me list all the heavy units in service as of June 1863 and match those to summary lines where mentioned.  Keep in mind the varied service of these formations.  Traditionally, these were assigned to garrison fortifications.  But wartime contingencies would see the “heavies” employed as infantry or even cavalry were needed.  And those needs would evolve as the war continued.

By unit, ordered by state (these are regiments unless otherwise noted):

  • 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery:  As mentioned earlier, Batteries B and M served with the Army of the Potomac, in 2nd Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve.  They, and their 4.5-inch rifles, were left behind and missed Gettysburg (though were active in the pursuit which followed).  The remainder of Colonel Henry L. Abbot’s regiment served in Third Brigade of the Defenses South of the Potomac (DeRussy’s Division, Twenty-Second Corps), defending Washington, D.C.  Regimental headquarters were at Fort Richardson.
  • 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery: Serving at this time as the 19th Connecticut Infantry (designation would change in November 1863) under Lieutenant Colonel Elisha S. Kellogg, and assigned to Second Brigade, DeRussy’s Division, Twenty-Second Corps.  Companies B, F, and G manned Fort Ellsworth; Company A assigned to Redoubt A (in that sector); Company D to Redoubt B; Companies C and K to Redoubt C; and Companies E, H, and I were in Redoubt D.
  • 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery: Assigned to the Department of the Gulf, the regiment was in First Division, Nineteenth Corps (having converted from the 21st Indiana Infantry earlier in the year).  We discussed Batteries A and E and their work at Port Hudson.  Colonel John A. Keith commanded, with detachments at Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
  • 1st Maine Heavy Artillery: Second Brigade, Defenses North of the Potomac, Twenty-Second Corps under Colonel Daniel Chaplin.  Batteries assigned mostly to the defenses on the west side of Washington, and along the Potomac.
  • 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery: Assigned to First Brigade of the Defenses South of the Potomac – DeRussy’s Division, Twenty-Second Corps.  Colonel Thomas R. Tannatt commanded the regiment, and also commanded the brigade.
  • 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery:  Authorized in May 1863, this regiment, under Colonel Jones Frankle, would not complete formation until later in the fall.
  • 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Battalion: This battalion was formed with four previously independent batteries and served primarily at Fort Warren, Boston harbor.  The four companies were originally the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th unassigned heavy companies (becoming Companies A, B, C, and D respectively).  Major Stephen Cabot commanded this consolidated battalion.  In addition the 3rd and 6th unassigned companies also appear in the list of garrison troops around Boston.
  • 1st New Hampshire Heavy Artillery: This regiment, commanded by Colonel George A. Wainwright, would not officially form until later in July.
  • 2nd New York Heavy Artillery:  We discussed Colonel Joseph N. G. Whistler’s regiment while covering a lone entry for Battery L (which later became the 34th New York Independent Battery).  The 2nd New York Heavy was assigned to First Brigade, DeRussy’s Division, South of the Potomac.
  • 4th New York Heavy Artillery:  Under Colonel Henry H. Hall, this regiment formed the Fourth Brigade, DeRussy’s Division, Defenses South of the Potomac.  Detachments manned Fort Marcy and Fort Ethan Allen.
  • 5th New York Heavy Artillery:  Assigned to the defenses of Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Middle Department.  Commanded by Colonel Samuel Graham, but with Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Murray in charge of two battalions then at Baltimore.  Another battalion, under Major Gustavus F. Merriam, appears on the returns for First Brigade, DeRussy’s Division, South of the Potomac.
  • 6th New York Heavy Artillery:  Assigned to the First Division, Eighth Corps.  Colonel J. Howard Kitching commanded.  The regiment was part of the Harpers Ferry garrison before the Gettysburg Campaign, and soon brought into the Army of the Potomac.
  • 7th New York Heavy Artillery: Second Brigade, Defenses North of the Potomac, Twenty-Second Corps under Colonel Lewis O. Morris (who also commanded the brigade).
  • 8th New York Heavy Artillery: Under Colonel Peter A. Porter, this regiment had garrison duty at Forts Federal Hill, Marshall, and McHenry around Baltimore, as part of Eighth Corps, Middle Department.  On July 10, the regiment moved forward to Harpers Ferry, staying there until August 3.
  • 9th New York Heavy Artillery: Second Brigade, Defenses North of the Potomac, Twenty-Second Corps under Colonel Joseph Welling.
  • 10th New York Heavy Artillery: This regiment was all of the Third Brigade, Defenses North of the Potomac, Twenty-Second Corps.  Commanded by Colonel Alexander Piper.  One battalion (four companies) moved from the defenses of New York to Washington in June, joining the rest of the regiment. Their service was mostly on the southeast side of the perimeter around the Anacostia.
  • 11th New York Heavy Artillery:  We discussed their saga in an earlier post.  Colonel William B. Barnes’ regiment was still forming when thrust into the Gettysburg Campaign.
  • 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th New York Heavy Artillery:  These regiments were all authorized by the spring of 1863, but in various states of organization at the end of June.
  • 3rd New York Heavy Artillery Battalion: Also known as the German Heavy Artillery.  Under Lieutenant-Colonel Adam Senges, and assigned to Second Brigade, DeRussy’s Division, Twenty-Second Corps, on the south side of the Potomac.  This battalion was, later in the year, consolidated into the 15th New York Heavy Artillery, and came under Colonel Louis Schirmer.  For some reason, Schirmer’s name is associated with the command as early as June 1863.
  • 1st Ohio Heavy Artillery: Lieutenant-Colonel Chauncey G. Hawley’s command garrisoned Covington, Kentucky as part of Twenty-third Corps, Department of Ohio.
  • 2nd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery:  (the 112th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.) Under Colonel Augustus A. Gibson and assigned to First Brigade, Defenses North of the Potomac.  Regimental headquarters at Fort Lincoln.
  • 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery: We discussed Battery H and their “impressed” service at Gettysburg. While that battery was on detached service (Baltimore, then pushed out to guard the railroad), the remainder of the regiment served out of Fort Monroe providing detachments for garrisons in the Department of Virginia. Colonel Joseph Roberts commanded.
  • 3rd Rhode Island Heavy Artillery: We looked at this regiment, assigned to the Department of the South, in detail earlier.  Colonel Edwin Metcalf commanded the regiment
  • 5th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery:  Colonel George W. Tew commanded this regiment, serving in North Carolina, and being reorganized from an infantry formation.
  • 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery:  Colonel James M. Warner commanded this regiment, assigned to First Brigade, Defenses North of the Potomac, Twenty-second Corps.  Batteries garrisoned Forts Totten, Massachusetts, Stevens, Slocum, and others.
  • 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery:  Only Battery A of this regiment was mustered as of the end of June 1863. Captain Andrew J. Langworthy’s battery was assigned to the defenses of Alexandria, within DeRussy’s Division, Twenty-second Corps.
  • 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery (African Descent): I mentioned this regiment briefly at the bottom of the Tennessee section. Colonel Ignatz G. Kappner commanded this regiment, at the time more of battalion strength, garrisoning Fort Pickering in Memphis. The regiment later became the 3rd US Colored Troops Heavy Artillery.
  • 2nd Tennessee Heavy Artillery (African Descent): Also mentioned in the Tennessee section, this regiment, under Colonel Charles H. Adams, was forming up in June 1863.  The regiment would later be designated the 4th US Colored Troops Heavy Artillery.
  • 1st Alabama Siege Artillery (African Descent): Organized from the contraband camps around LaGrange, LaFayette, and Memphis, Tennessee starting on June 20, 1863. Captain Lionel F. Booth appears to be the ranking officer in the regiment in those early months.  The regiment would later be designated the 6th US Colored Troops Heavy Artillery, and then later the 11th USCT Infantry.
  • 1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery (African Descent):  Later in the year designated the 1st Corps de Afrique Heavy Artillery.  And still later in the war becoming the 10th US Colored Heavy Artillery.  And at times, the regiment appears on the rolls as the 1st Louisiana Native Guards Artillery (a name also associated with another USCT formation).  This regiment served throughout the war in the defenses of New Orleans, in the Department of the Gulf.

Yes, a lengthy post.  But this summarizes the status of over thirty regiments.  As you might deduce from reading the entries, the service of the “heavies” was weighted to the defenses of Washington, D.C.  However, the “heavies” also garrisoned places such as Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, and other remote points.

Some other trends one might note – a good number of these regiments formed in the spring and summer of 1863.  We can, in some cases, link that to the draft and those seeking light service.  But at the same time, let us not “Shelby Foote” our way through these units.  At the time of mustering, the Army wanted troops for garrison defense.  And that was a valid requirement, given the posture at the time.

Lastly, it is important to also frame the context of the four USCT regiments listed above.  These were largely formed out of contraband camps.  And their duties were, for the most part, to provide garrison troops that would free up the white volunteers for service in the field.  But, as the course of events played out, one of those regiments would defend Fort Pillow in April 1864.

So much for easy duty in those heavy regiments!