Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery

We have mentioned the 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery briefly in previous quarter summaries. The “Jackass” Regiment received short notice in those quarters, as only two of its batteries reported what was rated as field artillery. With the expansion of the tables to include siege and garrison artillery, the 1st Indiana received its own, proper, section:

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This regiment’s story, briefly, begins in July 1861 being mustered as the 21st Indiana Infantry. Sent to garrison Baltimore, the regiment was later among the forces forwarded to the Gulf as part of Butler’s expedition to New Orleans. In February 1863, the regiment converted to heavy artillery, retaining its colorful nickname. As artillerymen, the regiment was posted at several points in the Department of the Gulf. During the summer, the regiment sent eight companies to support the siege of Port Hudson. After the fall of that bastion, the batteries resumed duties at points in Louisiana. Colonel John Keith remained in command of the regiment. (And for more on this interesting regiment, you might consult Phillip E. Faller’s excellent regimental history.) For the end of 1863, we have the above summary noting the postings of all but two of the batteries:

  • Company A: At New Iberia with four 20-pdr Parrott rifles.  Captain Eden H. Fisher resigned on November 20th. Captain Harvey B. Hall replaced him. 
  • Company B: Perhaps an administrative error, this battery is listed on the third line down, below Battery C.  No return. The battery was posted to New Orleans at this time of the war. Captain James Grimsley was promoted to major on October 1. Lieutenant John W. Day accepted the captaincy.
  • Company C: Listed out of order, on the second line, reporting at Baton Rouge, with four 8-inch siege howitzers .  Captain Elihu E. Rose resigned on December 8, and was replaced by Lieutenant William Bough (promoted to captain, date of rank December 9).
  • Company D: At Baton Rouge with five 24-pdr siege guns.  Captain William S. Hinkle remained in command.
  • Company E:  Also at Baton Rouge, reporting four 20-pdr Parrotts. Captain James W. Hamrick in command.
  • Company F: Another battery at Baton Rouge, but no cannon reported.  Captain Francis W. Noblet commanded.
  • Company G: At Baton Rouge and also reporting no cannon.  Captain Edward McLaflin, of this battery, was the detachment commander at Baton Rouge and thus in charge of what amounted to a battalion-plus of artillery. However, Company G was split between the assignment at Baton Rouge and the New Orleans garrison.
  • Company H: Reporting at New Iberia, Louisiana with two 30-pdr Parrotts.  Captain James W. Connelly in command.
  • Company I: Garrison artillery at New Orleans, but reporting no cannon. Captain Richard Campbell’s command.
  • Company K: No return. Also garrison artillery in New Orleans. Under Captain Clayton Cox.
  • Company L: Reporting at Matagorda, Texas with three 12-pdr Napoleons and two 20-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Isaac C. Hendricks commanded this battery, which was part of Major-General Cadwallader Washburn expedition sent to the Texas coast that fall.
  • Company M: Only reporting stores on hand.  Garrison artillery at New Orleans.  This battery mustered in October.  Captain Samuel A. Strong was in command.

Before we leave the administrative section, let us consider a couple of photos from the Photographic History of the Civil War (that old classic). Both are captioned as showing a battery of the 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery (and specifically mentioned as formerly the 21st Indiana Infantry) at drill in Baton Rouge:

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Remarkable photos depicting the company (heavy artillery being companies that is) in battery (top) and in march order (bottom). Parrott rifles, obviously. And while I had reservations about the size, these do appear to be 20-pdrs. So we might tentatively identify this as Company E. Though as we don’t have a specific date to work from this might also show Company A. Or perhaps one of the other companies borrowing equipment… or for full speculation perhaps one of the other companies with rifles assigned to the garrison (and thus escaped the summary lines). A wealth of details in the photographs, particularly for anyone studying drill and tactics.

But the caption in the Photographic History points to another significant attribute for these photos.

The clearest and most trustworthy evidence of an opponent’s strength is of course an actual photograph. Such evidence, in spite of the early stage of the art and the difficulty of “running in” chemical supplies on “orders to trade,” was supplied to the Confederate leaders in the Southwest by [Andrew D.] Lytle, the Baton Rouge photographer – really a member of the Confederate secret service. Here are photographs of the First Indiana Heavy Artillery (formerly the Twenty-first Indiana Infantry), showing its strength and position on the arsenal grounds at Baton Rouge. As the Twenty-first Indiana, the regiment had been at Baton Rouge during the first Federal occupation, and after the fall of Port Hudson it returned there for garrison duty. Little did its officers suspect that the quiet man photographing the batteries at drill was about to convey the “information” beyond their lines to their opponents.

So those cannon we tally in the summaries? Reportedly the Confederates were also counting them… in the photographs. Not quite the microfilm drop of Cold War espionage, but still the use of imagery to gather intelligence.

We turn now to the ammunition reported on hand, starting with the smoothbore columns:

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  • Company L: 71 shot, 62 shell, and 98 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
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  • Company L: 48 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Nothing on the first page of rifled projectiles. So we move to the second and the Parrott projectiles.

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  • Company A: 9 shot, 357 shell, and 72 canister for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • Company E: 210 shell for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • Company L: 30 shot, 192 shell, and 34 canister for 20-pdr Parrotts.

No tallies on the “Miscellaneous” pattern projectiles page. So we move to the small arms:

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  • Company A: Six Sharps’ rifles and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Company D: Sixty Remington army revolvers.
  • Company E: Fifteen Remington army revolvers and twenty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • Company G: Thirty-nine Sharps’ rifles.
  • Company H: Fifty-six Sharps’ rifles, eleven foot officer’s sword, and one musician’s sword.
  • Company I: Seventy Sharps’ rifles and nine horse artillery sabers.

Moving on to the cartridge bags and small arms ammunition reported:

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  • Company A: 340 bags for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • Company E: 339 bags for 20-pdr Parrott; and 3,000 Sharps’ cartridges.
  • Company I: 4,300 Sharps’ cartridges.
  • Company L: 226 bags for 20-pdr Parrott.

And on to the next page with fuses, primers, and other items:

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  • Company E: 71 paper fuses and 295 friction primers.
  • Company I: 5,750 percussion caps.
  • Company L: 146 paper fuses, 6 pounds of musket powder, and 590 friction primers.

That concludes the “Jackass” Regiment’s summary. I do believe this summary is lacking because certain equipment (particularly large cannon) were considered part of the garrison property, and not part of a regiment or company assignment. But the inclusion of the entire regiment in this quarter’s summary sheds light on how those heavy regiments served when indeed they served as artillery.

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

Looking to the bottom of the Indiana section for the third quarter, 1863, we find five entries set aside from the independent batteries:

0249_1_Snip_IND_Pt1 Looking closer, those are two entry lines for the 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery and three sections from other arms:

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As we have not detailed the “heavies” often enough within the summaries, let us take those first two lines as license to formally discuss the 1st Indiana Heavy.  The “Jackass Regiment” mustered as the 21st Indiana Infantry in July 1861.  Assigned to the defenses of Baltimore, the regiment was among those sent on the New Orleans Expedition at the start of 1862.  In February 1863, the regiment was re-designated heavy artillery in light of its posting to fortifications around Louisiana.  Colonel John Keith Commanded the regiment.  Eight companies of the regiment served in the siege of Port Hudson.  With the fall of that river bastion, the regiment’s batteries were assigned to different posts in the Department of the Gulf.

In the last quarter, the summaries listed Batteries (or properly, “Companies”) A and E, both with 20-pdr Parrotts, serving at Port Hudson and Baton Rouge, respectively. For this quarter, we find Batteries E and L.  And the latter had a mix of big Parrotts and 12-pdr Napoleons.  Looking at the whole of the regiment:

  • Company A: No return.  Captain Eden H. Fisher remained in command, but resigned in November. Captain Harvey B. Hall was the replacement.  The battery was likely at Baton Rouge at the end of September.
  • Company B: No return.  Garrison artillery at New Orleans.  Captain James Grimsley commanded.
  • Company C: No return.  Captain Elihu E. Rose in command.
  • Company D: No return.  Captain William S. Hinkle’s command.
  • Company E:  No location given, but with four 20-pdr Parrotts. Captain James W. Hamrick in command.
  • Company F: No return.  Captain Francis W. Noblet’s battery.
  • Company G: No return.  Garrison artillery at New Orleans.  Captain Edward McLaflin was in command, but was absent from the battery, commanding a detachment from the regiment at Baton Rouge.
  • Company H: No return.  Captain James W. Connelly in command.
  • Company I: No return.  Captain Richard Campbell’s command.
  • Company K: No return.  Garrison artillery at New Orleans.  Under Captain Clayton Cox.
  • Company L: Reporting at New Orleans, Louisiana with three 12-pdr Napoleons and two 20-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Isaac C. Hendricks commanded.  The battery was assigned to an ad-hoc command under Major-General Cadwallader Washburn assembling at New Orleans that fall.
  • Company M: No return.  Garrison artillery at New Orleans.  This battery mustered in the early fall.  Captain Samuel A. Strong was in command.

I believe many of those for which a location is not indicated were at the time part of the detachment of the regiment at Baton Rouge.  Furthermore, I’d point out that several of these batteries would support the Red River Campaign in 1864, hauling 20-pdr and 30-pdr Parrotts along.

Below the two lines for the 1st Indiana Heavy are three lines for sections from cavalry or infantry regiments:

  • 1st Indiana Cavalry:  Artillery stores. At Pine Bluff, Arkansas with three 10-pdr Parrotts. As mentioned for the previous quarter, the detachment of this regiment then serving in Arkansas had a three gun section under Lieutenant Samuel Lefler, Company B.  The section fought well in an action at Pine Bluff on October 25, that fall.
  • 6th Indiana Cavalry: A lieutenant-colonel reporting artillery stores.  No location given.  Two 12-pdr mountain howitzers. Lieutenant-Colonel Courtland C. Matson and six companies of this regiment were assigned garrison duties in eastern Kentucky at this time of the war, and part of the Twenty-Third Corps.  The regiment, which was formed from the 71st Infantry in 1862 and reorganized as cavalry in the winter of 1863, arrived in Kentucky in August.
  • 87th Indiana Infantry: A lieutenant-colonel reporting artillery stores.  At Vicksburg, Mississippi with one 6-pdr field gun.  The only lieutenant-colonel in the regiment at the time as Thomas Sumner.  The 87th was assigned to Third Brigade, Third Division, Fourteenth Corps.  And from that we have to ask about the location given here, as that formation (and the regiment indicated) was at this time in Chattanooga.  And if we look at the reporting date – June 24, 1864 – we know the 87th was taking in Kennesaw Mountain at that time. So this entry is questionable from left to right. But the handwriting is clear – 87th Infantry and Vicksburg!  One or the other has to be incorrect.

Moving past that rather substantial question mark, we consider the ammunition reported.  Smoothbores first:

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Three lines reporting, and matching to the cannon mentioned on the first page:

  • Company L, 1st Heavy: 121 shot, 62 shell, 196 case, and 53 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • 6th Cavalry: 128 case and 124 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 87th Infantry:  23 shot, 48 case, and 40 canister for a 6-pdr field gun.

Looking to the rifled projectiles, we find no Hotchkiss, James, Schenkl, or Tatham’s.  But there are some Parrott rounds for those Parrott rifles:

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Three reporting:

  • Company E, 1st Heavy: 210 shell for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • Company L, 1st Heavy: 30 shot, 195 shell, and 34 canister for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • 1st Cavalry: 78 shell and 123 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

We then turn to the small arms:

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Just one line to consider:

  • Company L, 1st Heavy: 50 rifles (type unspecified) and six horse artillery sabers.

So we close out the third quarter, 1863 summary for Indiana’s artillery with a very difficult question, about that entry for the 87th Indiana Infantry, marring an otherwise relatively clear set of entries.  I wish there were answers!

 

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Indiana, miscellaneous lines

Before we can leave the Indiana batteries, here for the 2nd quarter, 1863, there is the matter of six lines below the numbered independent batteries:

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One of these, Wilder’s Battery on line 28, is familiar from the previous quarter.  Furthermore, that battery would receive a number designation, the 26th, later in the war.  But the others are “new” formations from the perspective of the summary reports.  So we should allow space for detailed “administrative” discussion:

  • Wilder’s Battery (26th Battery): At Somerset, Kentucky with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Lieutenant Casper W. McLaughlin was in command, with battery assigned to Second Brigade, First Division, Twenty-third Corps.  A Department of the Ohio artillery report, dated June 30, 1863, indicated the battery had six 3-inch steel rifles.  However, as we have often seen, the description of wrought iron guns was often imprecise, from a metallurgical standpoint.
  • Arty Det. 65th Vols“- or 65th Indiana Infantry (mounted):  First the listed particulars – this detachment reported from Raleigh, North Carolina with one 12-pdr field howitzer and three 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  The location most likely reflects the date of report receipt in Washington – May 6, 1865.  And in June 1863, the 65th Indiana had many, many miles to travel before reaching Raleigh.  Backing up to that spring, the regiment was mounted, and assigned to the Second Division, Twenty-third Corps, then serving in Kentucky.  Other than that, I don’t have details of the artillery detachment.
  • Battery [attached] to 1st Ind. Cavalry“: At Pine Bluff, Arkansas with three 10-pdr Parrott rifles.  During the spring of 1863, a portion of the 1st Indiana Cavalry operated in eastern Arkansas, at least six companies.  (Detachments of the regiment were assigned to both Eastern and Western theaters, with varied service histories.)  A June 1863 return has Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas N. Pace in command.  In his report for the Battle of Helena (July 4), Pace indicated First Lieutenant Samuel Lefler, Company B, had command of “our battery.”
  • Battery A, 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery: At Port Hudson, Louisiana with four 20-pdr Parrotts.  Part of the siege operations at that place, and assigned to the First Division, Nineteenth Corps.  Captain Eden H. Fisher was in command.  Interesting to note the clerks rated this battery as “field” and those 20-pdr Parrotts as field guns, despite the battery’s tactical role as siege artillery.
  • Battery E, 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery: Reporting from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with four 20-pdr Parrotts.  Part of the garrison then at the state capital, and part of the Nineteenth Corps.  Captain James W. Hamrick was in command at this time, according to the State Adjutant’s report.  As with the sister battery, it is worth noting the clerks rated this garrison battery as a field battery, with its Parrotts.
  • Lieut. 35 Infy“:  Reporting at Nashville, Tennessee with three 6-pdr field guns.  The 35th Indiana Infantry was at that time assigned to the Third Brigade, Third Division, Twenty-first Corps.  Recruited as an Irish regiment, the unit was under Major John P. Dufficy at this juncture of the war.  But why those Irish infantrymen were assigned three cannon is unknown to me.  No reports link these guns with the regiment (or higher units) during winter months at Murfreesboro or the Tullahoma Campaign.  The receipt date of this return was in 1865.  After the Atlanta Campaign, the regiment was among those sent to middle Tennessee, and fought there in the battles of late 1864.  So the unit has several periods of service in and around Nashville which this return might match with.

So a lot of unanswered questions remain within those six entries.  But, thankfully, the ammunition pages leave few questions.  Starting with the smoothbore rounds:

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With only two lines reporting, which appropriately matches to the cannon reported on hand:

  • 65th Infantry Detachment: 250 shell, 20 case, and 470 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers; and also 48 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 35th Infantry Detachment: 28 shot and 4 case for 6-pdr field guns.

Perhaps it would have been nice for the 65th Infantry to send over that canister to the 35th?

Moving to the Hotchkiss page:

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Two batteries reported 3-inch rifles on hand.  But how about that third entry line?

  • Wilder’s Battery:  600 canister, 174 percussion shell, 350 fuse shell, and 426 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 65th Infantry Detachment: 140 canister and 150 percussion shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery A, 1st Heavy: 439 fuse shell in 3.67-inch rifle caliber.  And that corresponds to the bore of a 20-pdr Parrott.  Interesting entry, as we more often see Hotchkiss of this caliber issued to James Rifles.  And, as seen from the column header, the Ordnance Department considered it a “Wiard” caliber.  Sort of hitting all the spots there.

Moving to the next page, we can focus on the Parrott and Schenkl columns:

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Three batteries reported Parrott rifles.  And we have three lines to consider:

  • 1st Cavalry Detachment:  60 shell and 20 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery A, 1st Heavy: 250 shell for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery E, 1st Heavy:  260 shell and 8 canister for 20-pdr Parrott.

Under the Schenkl columns:

  • Battery A, 1st Heavy: 40 shot for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery E, 1st Heavy:  16 shot for 20-pdr Parrott.

There are no entries on the next page of projectiles.  So we move to the small arms reported:

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  • Wilder’s Battery: Nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery A, First Heavy:  Forty-eight rifles and eighteen foot artillery swords.

I am certain there are lots of “back stories” within the unanswered questions surrounding these six lines.  If any readers have leads, I would greatly appreciate a comment here.