Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – 1st New York Artillery

For the second quarter in a row, the clerks shifted entries around to allocate New York it’s own pages within the summaries:

0349_ALL_Snip_NY

Our focus for this post is the top set of entry lines, for the 1st New York Light Artillery:

0349_1_Snip_NY1

Colonel Charles S. Wainwright commanded this regiment.  Wainwright, as we well know, commanded the artillery of First Corps. Lieutenant-Colonel Edward R. Warner was second in command within the regiment.  Regimental majors included Robert H. Fitzhugh, John A. Reynolds (Artillery Chief, Twelfth Corps), and Thomas W. Osborne (Artillery Chief, Eleventh Corps).  The remainder of the regimental staff included Edward L. Bailey, Quartermaster and Julius A. Skilton, Surgeon.

This being Wainwright’s regiment, we know a bit more about the “cooking” of the reports than other units.  We do know Wainwright’s staff consolidated these returns in the middle of January.  However, that process was incomplete, as we see three batteries failing to file.  And those three batteries were arguably within “hailing distance” of Wainwright, either being around Culpeper County (where he wintered) or at least up the railroad in Washington, D.C.   So let us look at the particulars:

  • Battery A: At Pottsville, Pennsylvania, on an April 1864 receipt date, with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Under Captain Thomas H. Bates, the battery was part of the Department of the Sesquehanna.
  • Battery B: At Brandy Station, Virginia with four 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Albert S. Sheldon commanded this battery but was absent, recovering from his Gettysburg wound. Lieutenant Robert E. Rogers, from Battery C, commanded in his place. The battery transferred to the 1st Volunteer Brigade, Reserve Artillery, Army of the Potomac, in December.
  • Battery C: No return.  As assigned to Fifth Corps, Battery C wintered at Rappahannock Station.  The battery retained four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Almont Barnes remained in command.
  • Battery D: Reporting from Brandy Station, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Supporting Third Corps, Captain George B. Winslow remained in command. With Winslow taking leave at the end of the year, Lieutenant Thomas H. Crego led the battery.
  • Battery E: No return.  With personnel attached to Battery L, Battery E was reorganized and recruited to strength over the winter.  Under Captain Henry W. Davis, the battery returned to the order of battle in May, 1864.
  • Battery F: No return.  At Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain William R. Wilson remained in command.  The battery, assigned to the Artillery Camp of Instruction, was in the Twenty-second Corps.
  • Battery G: Reporting at Stevensburg, Virginia, with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Nelson Ames’s battery supported Second Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery H: At Culpeper, Virginia, and re-equipped with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Charles E. Mink remained in command of this battery, now under Wainwright’s Brigade in First Corps.  With Mink on leave, Lieutenant David F. Ritchie would lead the battery.
  • Battery I: Now at Bridgeport, Alabama, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Michael Wiedrich commanded this battery, assigned to Eleventh Corps.   The battery saw action in the battles to take Lookout Mountain in November then settled into winter quarters.
  • Battery K: Reporting at Brandy Station, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery remained with the battery assigned to Third Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve.  The 11th New York Independent Battery was attached to Battery K at this time, and manned two of the guns.  With Robert H. Fitzhugh was promoted to Major and Lieutenant Edward L. Bailey serving on regimental staff, command fell to Captain John E. Burton of the 11th Battery.  At the end of the year, the battery transferred out of the Army of the Potomac to Camp Barry and the Artillery Camp of Instruction.
  • Battery L: At Culpeper, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Listed on the order of battle as a combined Batteries E & L, Captain Gilbert H. Reynolds commanded.  The battery supported First Corps and camped adjacent to the Alexander House, where Wainwright maintained his headquarters.
  • Battery M: Reporting from Bridgeport, Alabama, in January 1864, with four 10-pdr Parrott rifles.  Captain John D. Woodbury returned to command of this battery in the fall, as it supported Twelfth Corps.

Looking to the ammunition on hand, we start with the smoothbores:

0351_1_Snip_NY1

  • Battery A: 192 shot, 64 shell, and 320 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery D: 288 shot, 96 shell, and 288 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 262 shot, 93 shell, and 262 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 192 shot, 64 shell, and 192 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.

To the next page:

0351_2_Snip_NY1

  • Battery A: 136 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery D: 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 144 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

To the right are tallies for Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

  • Battery I: 281 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery K:  260 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

More Hotchkiss on the next page:

0352_1_Snip_NY1

  • Battery I: 114 percussion fuse shell, 564 bullet shell, and 116 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery K: 120 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery L: 39 percussion fuse shell and 120 canister for 3-inch rifles.

To the next page were we find Parrott projectiles:

0352_2_Snip_NY1

  • Battery B: 354 shell, 297 case, and 95 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery M: 298 shell, 412 case, and 94 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

To the right are some Schenkl listings:

  • Battery B: 57 shell for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery K: 338 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery L: 438 shell for 3-inch rifles.

More Schenkl on the next page:

0353_1_Snip_NY1

  • Battery K: 343 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery L: 600 case for 3-inch rifles.

Turning to the small arms:

0353_2_Snip_NY1

  • Battery A: Seventeen Colt navy revolvers, sixty-eight Remington army revolvers, and eighty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Sixteen Colt army revolvers and twenty cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Eight Colt army revolvers and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Eighteen Colt army revolvers and twenty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Twenty Colt navy revolvers, fifteen cavalry sabers, and five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Seven horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Nine Colt army revolvers and eighteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery L: Sixteen Colt navy revolvers and nine horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Eight Colt army revolvers and two horse artillery sabers.

Turning next to the cartridge bags:

0354_2_Snip_NY1

  • Battery A: 582 cartridge bags for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B: 460 cartridge bags for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery I: 940 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery K: 1,187 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 22 cartridge bags for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Our last page is a busy one… try to keep up:

0355_1_Snip_NY1

  • Battery A: 3,500 navy pistol cartridges and 2,160 friction primers.
  • Battery B: 600 army pistol cartridges; 1,625 paper fuses; 1,300 friction primers, and 50 yards of slow match.
  • Battery D: 300 army pistol cartridges; 650 friction primers; twelve yards of fast match; twelve yards of slow match.
  • Battery G: 50 army pistol cartridges and 1,190 friction primers.
  • Battery H: 800 navy pistol cartridges; 584 friction primers, and 7 yards of slow match.
  • Battery I: 676 paper fuses; 1,000 friction primers; and 25 yards of slow match.
  • Battery K: 1,507 paper fuses; 2,960 friction primers; 5 yards of fast match; 10 yards of slow match; and 36 portfires.
  • Battery L: 50 navy pistol cartridges.
  • Battery M: 390 paper fuses; 720 friction primers; and 250 pistol percussion caps.

The twelve batteries of the 1st New York Light Artillery was among the hardest fighting in the war on either side.  We have a very good record, from the Official Records, letters, and post-war accounts, of the batteries’ wartime service.  And with their regimental commander’s diary preserved, we have some interesting insight into the administrative activities of the batteries.  What stands out here is two of the three “no report” batteries.  Battery E can be excused as being consolidated with Battery L.  But Battery C was just two stops up the railroad from Wainwright.  And Battery F was in Washington, where one would think formal reporting was encouraged, if not mandated.  And we know, from his diary, Wainwright was quick to mention when one of his subordinates were not performing to expectations.  I tend to think what we see here is evidence, though not of some lax administrative habits.  But rather evidence pointing back to the way the summaries were complied and used by the Ordnance Department, for their functions.  A filter, if you will, that we must consider when taking these raw numbers into account.