Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Miscellaneous Ohio artillery

The last battery in the long list of Ohio independent batteries is the 26th Ohio Independent Battery.  The transformation of “Yost’s Captured Battery” of the 32nd Ohio Infantry into the 26th Ohio Battery… administrative that it was… is a good starting point for discussing a couple of lines from the third quarter 1863 summary statements from Ohio.  These two lines cover infantry regiments reporting, dutifully, about cannon in their possession:

0281_1_Snip_OH_Misc

Those two lines, for those who won’t click the image to “embiggin,” read:

  • Company K, 86th Ohio Infantry:  Indicating “Artillery Stores” on hand at Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. The company reported one 6-pdr field gun, two 12-pdr mountain howitzers, one 12-pdr field howitzer, one 3-inch (steel or iron) rifle, and one 3.80-inch James rifle.  I’ll discuss this company and regiment in more detail below.
  • Company H, 71st Ohio Infantry:  Again “artillery stores” on hand.  In this case at Carthage, Tennessee.  The 71st Ohio reported two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.

Let’s look at these in detail.

86th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

First in the queue and perhaps the most interesting in regard to the background story is this less-well known regiment.  First off, there were two 86th Ohios during the war. The first mustered in the June 1862 as a three month regiment.  They mustered out in late September 1862.  So not the 86th we are looking for here.  The second 86th Ohio mustered (or re-organized, as some sources indicate) as a six-month regiment on July 17, 1863 at Camp Cleveland, Ohio.  The muster was in response to Confederate activity, and akin to the militia and other emergency musters seen in other northern states.  Colonel Wilson C. Lemert (formerly the major of the original 86th) commanded.

The “hot issue” in Ohio at that time was Morgan’s Raid.  So the 86th moved to Camp Tod, Columbus, Ohio, and operated in pursuit of the raiders.  On August 11, the regiment moved to Camp Nelson, Kentucky.  There, the regiment joined Colonel John De Courcy’s brigade which was moving on the Cumberland Gap.  On September 9, the 86th deployed on the Harlen Road, leading into the north side of the gap, along with two guns from the 22nd Ohio Independent Battery, confronting one of the Confederate forts.   Concurrently, other Federal troops deployed to cover approaches on both sides of the gap.  This compelled the Confederates to surrender.  A bloodless victory for Burnside.

And with that surrender, a substantial amount of stores fell into Federal hands.  Captain Henry M. Neil, 22nd Ohio Battery, provided a list of those in a detailed report:

CumberlandGapCapturedStores

Most of these cannon and ordnance stores were repurposed by the Federals to help establish their garrison in the Cumberland Gap.  And the 86th Ohio was part of that garrison. Matching Neil’s report with the summary, it seems one of the bronze 6-pdr field guns, the two 12-pdr mountain howitzers, and one James rifle were assigned to the 86th. Those are simple, easy matches.

The summary indicates the 86th had a bronze 12-pdr field howitzer, but Neil indicates two iron 12-pdr field howitzer among those captured.  So we have to consider if the clerks in Washington simply tallied an iron howitzer as bronze; if the 86th reported a bronze howitzer where in fact that was an iron howitzer; if Neil got the description wrong; or… if the 86th received a bronze howitzer from another source.

Lastly, Neil did not mention any 3-inch rifles among the captured guns.  Or for that matter any 3-inch ammunition.  I suspect this came from another source (other than the captured lot).  However, we might entertain the possibility that a Confederate 3-inch rifle was among those turned over to the 86th Ohio.  Perhaps a slim possibility.

Either from capture or reorganization, the 86th Ohio had six cannon by the end of September, 1863.  These were commanded by Captain James W. Owens of Company K.  The 86th Ohio remained at the Cumberland Gap through the middle of January 1864.  At that time, they started a long seven day winter march out of the mountains and back to Ohio.  They were mustered out on February 10, 1864.  The cannon, however, were left up at the Cumberland Gap.

71st Ohio Volunteer Infantry

In the words of one historian, this regiment had a checkered wartime service but in the end was “redeemed” in battle. Suffering from a bad reputation after Shiloh and having been captured in August 1862, the regiment was mostly assigned to garrison duties.  In the summer of 1863, the regiment was assigned to First Brigade, Third Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  The regiment had duties protecting the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, with headquarters at Gallatin, Tennessee.  Colonel Henry K. McConnell commanded.

Carthage, Tennessee, was indeed one of the points garrisoned by the Third Division of the Reserve Corps.  But there are no specific details I’ve found regarding details from the 71st assigned to that garrison.  Though it was a concentration point for Tennessee unionists being formed into regiments.  Furthermore, as Burnside reached Knoxville, Carthage, with its position on the Cumberland River, became an important connection between two armies then operating in Tennessee.

We can confirm that two 3-inch Ordnance rifles were at Carthage, however.  In a January 14, 1864 report on the artillery within the Department of the Cumberland, Major John Mendenhall commented that a lieutenant and thirteen men from the 13th Indiana Battery were at that post with the two rifles. So perhaps, for a short period during the summer and fall of 1863, the 71st Ohio had charge of those guns in Carthage.  If I read the column correctly, and that assignment was to Company H, then Captain Elihu S. Williams of that company was responsible for the guns.

Ammunition reported

Smoothbore first:

0283_1_Snip_OH_Misc

  • 86th Ohio: 203 shot, 100 case, and 95 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 6 shot for 12-pdr field guns; 34 shell and 13 case for 12-pdr field howitzers; and 26 canister for either 12-pdr field howitzers or 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

Referencing Neil’s report, it appears the 86th Ohio received only a portion of the overall ammunition stores.  Perhaps only a portion issued for ready use, while the rest remained in centralized magazines?  The presence of shot for 12-pdr field guns opens questions. Neil reported the Confederates had, what would be non-standard, 12-pdr shot for their howitzers.  So is this six 12-pdr shot for field guns? Or for howitzers?  I could see either being the case.

The 71st Ohio reported Hotchkiss rounds for their Ordnance rifles:

0283_2_Snip_OH_Misc

  • 71st Ohio Infantry:  43 canister, 9 percussion shell, and 290 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

Now back to the Cumberland Gap, where the 86th reported James projectiles on hand:

0284_1_Snip_OH_Misc

  • 86th Ohio Infantry: 61 shot and 77 shell for 3.80-inch James.

The questions here, with respect to what Neil reported, is if the shells are percussion shell and if these are “Federal” James projectiles being recaptured…. or Confederate copies.

Neither infantry regiment reported Schenkl projectiles on hand.  And they did not tally any small arms for these detachments.  But I’ve posted those blank pages out of habit.

Before leaving this discussion of Ohio’s non-artillery formations that happened to have cannon on hand, we have one other organization that is not listed on the summary.  In mid-1863, returns from central Tennessee included an organization titled “Law’s Howitzer Battery” or simply “Mountain Howitzer Battery” under Lieutenant Jesse S. Law.

We can trace that battery back to a report from Colonel August V. Kautz, 2nd Ohio Cavalry, written on June 11, 1863 concerning a demonstration made to Monticello, Kentucky a few days before.  A minor affair of only passing interest.  But what concerns us is this accolade:

I must not forget to mention the gallant conduct of Private Jesse Law, commanding the howitzer battery.  This man well deserves a commission, and has been recommended for promotion.

And indeed, Private Law was soon Lieutenant Law. And he remained in charge of four mountain howitzers. This battery supported Kautz’ brigade, First Division, Twenty-Third Corps, which was part of Burnside’s campaign in east Tennessee.  Late in the campaign the battery remained intact, but serving separate from the 2nd Ohio Cavalry.  With that, we can place the howitzers, and Law, somewhere around Knoxville at the close of the third quarter, 1863.  However it appears by the end of the year Law’s howitzers were turned over to some other organization and the Lieutenant resumed cavalry duties.

As for Law himself, I’ve got a lot of information about his career still being complied and organized.  Not ready to post that just yet.  I am fairly confident in saying he was an artilleryvman before the war with Battery G, 4th US.  And he was discharged just after the battle of Antietam.  From there, he enlisted in the 2nd Ohio Cavalry and later received the promotion mentioned above.  Unfortunately, Law didn’t retain those lieutenant bars long.  Law was dismissed from the service in December 1864.  The details of that part of the story I am still working on.

 

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Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Ohio Independent Batteries, Part 2

Twenty-six independent batteries from Ohio, recall?  But only twenty-four of those might properly be called “complete” as Ohio batteries.  We looked at what the first dozen of those were doing in the third quarter, 1863.  So we turn now to the remainder:

0281_1_Snip_OH_Ind_2

Looking at each battery in detail:

  • 13th Battery: Not listed.  Most histories indicate this battery was never fully organized and ceased to exist, officially, in April 1862. But that’s not exactly accurate.  The battery did organize and saw action at Shiloh.  There it lost five of six guns (for a good, brief discussion, see this article).  As the battery fell into disfavor (and likely was the scapegoat for the poor performance of a division commander…) it was disbanded. The men and equipment remaining were distributed to other Ohio batteries (namely the 7th, 10th, and 14th Batteries).
  • 14th Battery: Reporting at Corinth, Mississippi with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3-inch Ordnance rifles. The battery was part of Second Division, Sixteenth Corps.   Captain Jerome B. Burrows remained in command.  In November, the battery was part of the “Left Wing” of the corps, advanced to Lynnville, in south-central Tennessee to guard the sensitive supply lines in that area.
  • 15th Battery: At Natchez, Mississippi with four 6-pdr field guns.  Captain Edward Spear, Jr. remained in command.  The battery was in Fourth Division, Sixteenth Corps at the end of the Vicksburg campaign. And it took part in the Jackson Campaign which followed.  Transferred in late July, with the division, to the Seventeenth Corps, it formed part of the garrison of Natchez. The battery took part in an expedition to Harrisonburg, Louisiana in September.
  • 16th Battery: Reporting at Carrollton, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Russell P. Twist remained in command.  The battery was with Third Division, Thirteenth Corps, recently transferred to the Department of the Gulf.  In late September, the battery transferred to Berwick Bay (Morgan City), southwest of New Orleans, for garrison duty.
  • 17th Battery: At Vermilion Bridge, Louisiana with six 10-pdr Parrotts. The battery was assigned to Tenth Division (re-designated Fourth), Thirteenth Corps.  When transferred to the Department of the Gulf, the battery was assigned to the garrison at Brashear City (Morgan City), Louisiana.  Later the battery moved to the location given in the return. The battery was among the forces used in the Teche Expedition in October. Captain Charles S. Rice remained in command.
  • 18th Battery: No report.  Captain Charles Aleshire’s battery was in First Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland, and had six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  The battery saw action on September 18, supporting the division along the Ringold Road. And was in action again on September 20 on Snodgrass Hill on the left end of the Federal line. With the general withdrawal that evening, the battery returned to Chattanooga.
  • 19th Battery: At Knoxville, Tennessee with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Joseph C. Shields commanded this battery, assigned to the Twenty-third Corps.  After contributing to the pursuit of Morgan in July, the battery was among the forces under General Burnside’s East Tennessee Campaign.
  • 20th Battery: Reporting, in May 1864, at Nashville, Tennessee with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch Ordnance rifles. However, the battery actually had two 12-pdr Napoleons, not field howitzers. The entry is a clerical data-entry error. The battery remained under Captain [John T.] Edward Grosskopff  and assigned to assigned to Second Division, Twentieth Corps. And the battery was with that division at Chickamauga. Grosskopff reported firing 85 rounds of ammunition at Chickamagua.  In terms of material, he lost only one caisson.  The location for this battery, for the end of the quarter, is accurately Chattanooga.
  • 21st Battery: At Greenville, Tennessee with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain James W. Patterson commanded.  Recall this battery was organized in April 1863.  After assisting with the pursuit of Morgan in July, the battery remained at Camp Dennison, Ohio, through much of the summer. Only in September did they move to Camp Nelson, Kentucky.  They arrived in Greenville, as the return indicates, around the first of October. The battery was part of the “Left Wing Forces” of the Ninth Corps.
  • 22nd Battery: No report.  The battery began the quarter stationed at Camp Chase, Ohio, where they’d just received their full complement of six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Commanded by Captain Henry M. Neil, the battery would not move out of Ohio until mid-August.  After spending time at Camp Nelson, the battery was dispatched with other forces to the Cumberland Gap, as part of the “Left Wing Forces” of the Ninth Corps.  According to the department returns at that time, Neil was serving as Artillery Chief for the Second Division, Ninth Corps.  And in his absence, Lieutenant Amos B. Alger led the battery.
  • 23rd Battery: Not listed. This battery was formed from the 2nd Kentucky Infantry and later became the 1st Kentucky Independent Light Battery. Only mentioned here due to “placeholder” status.
  • 24th Battery:  At Cincinnati, Ohio with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Officially mustered on August 4, this battery was posted to Camp Dennison until September 22, when they moved to Cincinnati.  Captain John L. Hill commanded.
  • 25th Battery: Reporting from Little Rock, Arkansas, in May 1864, with two 3-inch Ordnance rifles and four 3.67-inch rifles.  Captain Julius L. Hadley remained in command.  Assigned to First Cavalry Division, Department of Southeast Missouri, the battery served on expeditions into northeast Arkansas in July.  In August, the battery was among the forces sent toward Little Rock as part of Steele’s Expedition.
  • 26th Battery:  At Vicksburg, Mississippi, with no cannon reported. An interesting unit history, originally being a company in the 32nd Ohio Infantry, that I alluded to in the last quarter.  Briefly, detailed to artillery service earlier in the war, but still under the 32nd Infantry, the battery was captured at Harpers Ferry in September 1862.  Exchanged, the “battery” resumed infantry duties.  That is until during the siege at Vicksburg when captured Confederate cannon were assigned to the regiment.  “Yost’s Captured Battery”, named for Captain Theobold D. Yost, served in the siege lines, being highly regarded by senior officers.  And after the fall of Vicksburg the men of this temporary battery were detached to Battery D, 1st Illinois and the 3rd Ohio Independent Battery.  Yost would command the Illinois battery for a short time that summer. Not until December was the 26th formally authorized.  While not officially a battery at the end of September 1863, the men would would form the 26th were indeed stationed around Vicksburg.

Those details established, we turn to the smoothbore ammunition:

0283_1_Snip_OH_Ind_2

Six lines to consider:

  • 14th Battery:  60 shot, 32 shell, 106 case, and 50 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 15th Battery: 220 shot, 132 case, and 220 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 16th Battery: 44 shot, 123 shell, 169 case, and 48 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 19th Battery: 74 shot, 230 shell, 269 case, and 234 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 20th Battery: 47 shot and 39 shell for 12-pdr Napoleons; 32 case and 32 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.  As with the issue mentioned above for this battery, the howitzer ammunition tallies are likely a data-entry error and should be 12-pdr Napoleon rounds.
  • 21st Battery: 276 shot, 126 shell, 164 case, and 128 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Moving to the Hotchkiss page:

0283_2_Snip_OH_Ind_2

A mix of calibers here:

  • 14th Battery: 147 canister, 355 percussion shell, and 276 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 16th Battery: 88 shot, 70 fuse shell, and 304 bullet shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 20th Battery: 168 canister, 227 percussion shell, and 351 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 24th Battery: 48 shot, 168 canister, 120 percussion shell, and 290 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.  Yes, the seldom reported Hotchkiss solid shot for 3-inch rifles!
  • 25th Battery: 116 canister, 85 percussion shell, 43 fuse shell, and 65 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles; 112 shot, 291 percussion shell, and 158 fuse shell for “12-pounder” 3.67-inch rifles.

Two entries in the Hotchkiss columns on the next page:

0284_1H_Snip_OH_Ind_2

  • 16th Battery: 104 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 25th Battery: 216 canister for 3.67-inch rifles.

No James projectiles reported, for what it is worth.

But one battery with Parrott guns:

0284_1P_Snip_OH_Ind_2

  • 17th Battery: 48 shot, 677 shell, 155 case, and 363 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

We turn then to the Schenkl page:

0284_2_Snip_OH_Ind_2

  • 24th Battery: 720 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • 25th Battery: 37 shell and 46 case for 3-inch rifles.

Lastly, we have the small arms reported on hand:

0284_3_Snip_OH_Ind_2

By battery:

  • 14th Battery: Thirty army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 15th Battery: Eight cavalry sabers.
  • 16th Battery: Twenty-four navy revolvers and two cavalry sabers.
  • 17th Battery: Eight army revolvers.
  • 19th Battery: Thirty navy revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • 20th Battery: Eight army revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • 21st Battery: Twenty-eight navy revolvers and thirteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 24th Battery: Thirty army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 25th Battery: Twenty-six navy revolvers and fourteen cavalry sabers.

That concludes the Ohio independent batteries.  Next we will look at a couple of lines below those listings, covering artillery reported from infantry regiments.  And I’ll mention a couple that escaped notice of the Ordnance officers.