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:

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

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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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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:

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

Turning to the small arms:

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  • 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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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.

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries, Part 1

From that long page of New York entries for the third quarter, 1863 summaries, we have thirty-three lines covering the independent batteries from the state:

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Some of these are simply placeholder lines for batteries either mustered out or being mustered in.  Still a notable measure of New York’s support of the war… in terms of men.  All told, New York designated a total of thirty-six of these “independent” batteries.  Convenient for blog posting as I can split this discussion into three parts of a dozen each.  For the third quarter, the first part, covering 1st through 12th New York Independent Batteries, includes eight received returns.  Only five of which were received by the end of the year:

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A lot of Culpeper County addresses for those batteries:

  • 1st Independent Battery: In Culpeper, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.   Captain Andrew Cowan remained in command of the battery, assigned to Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • 2nd Independent Battery:  No return.  The battery mustered out, in New York, on June 13, 1863.  The men with time left on their enlistments transferred to Battery I, 1st New York.  Captain Wolfgang Bock had authority to recruit a reorganized 2nd Independent Battery.  On October 14, that authority was revoked and men recruited into the new 2nd were instead was made part of the 15th New York Heavy Artillery.
  • 3rd Independent Battery: Also in Culpeper, Virginia but with six 10-pdr Parrotts. The battery was part of Sixth Corps, under Lieutenant William A. Harn.
  • 4th Independent Battery: No return.  Recall Captain James E. Smith’s battery lost three 10-pdr Parrotts on July 2 at Gettysburg (and one of those was on a disabled carriage).   During that battle, the 4th was assigned to Third Corps.  But on July 31st, the battery shows up on the returns for the Department of Washington, assigned to the Artillery Camp of Instruction, Camp Barry.  Smith’s battery returned to the Army of the Potomac in August, assigned to First Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve. And on a monthly report dated August 31, the battery had six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Smith took leave around that time. Lieutenant Thomas Goodman, and later Lieutenant William T. McLean, held command of the battery in Smith’s absence.  And, of course, with the assignment to the Reserve Artillery the battery was in Culpeper at the end of September.
  • 5th Independent Battery: And another battery reporting from Culpeper.  with six 20-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Elijah D. Taft remained in command of this battery, in the Second Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve.
  • 6th Independent Battery: For a slight change, reporting at Brandy Station, Virginia, and with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Joseph W. Martin held command of this battery, assigned to the First Brigade, Horse Artillery, Army of the Potomac.  And Martin, having fought hard at Fleetwood Hill earlier in June, certainly knew Brandy Station quite well!
  • 7th Independent Battery: At Norfolk, Virginia with two 12-pdr Napoleons (down from three) and six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Peter C. Regan’s battery supported the Seventh Corps.
  • 8th Independent Battery: At Gloucester Point, Virginia with  six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Butler Fitch commanded this battery.  In the previous quarter, the battery reported specific assignment to Fort Keyes in the defenses of Gloucester Point.
  • 9th Independent Battery: Fort Reno, District of Columbia, with only infantry stores. Captain Emil Schubert remained in command.  Battery assigned to the Twenty-Second Corps, defending Washington.  Originally Company F, 41st New York Infantry, it was equipped as artillery and formally redesignated as an independent battery in December 1861.  As indicated, the battery was not equipped as light artillery.
  • 10th Independent Battery: Marked “not in service.”  In the previous quarter, we discussed how this battery was broken up in June, with men mustering out or transferred to other batteries: 1st New Hampshire Battery; Battery E, 1st Massachusetts; and Batteries C and G, 1st Rhode Island.  A detachment remained, udner Lieutenant Charles T. Bruen, and served in the Washington Defenses through June of 1864.
  • 11th Independent Battery: No return.  On, or about June 16, what remained of the battery was attached to Battery K, 1st New York Light.  Captain John E. Burton was busy bringing this battery back up to strength (which he would not complete until the end of the year).
  • 12th Independent Battery: At Brandy Station, Virginia reporting six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. This battery transferred to Third Corps, being among the troops Major General William French brought over.  Captain George F. McKnight remained in command.

Very clean, from an administrative standpoint.

We turn to the smoothbore ammunition reported:

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Two batteries:

  • 5th Battery: 91 canister for 6-pdr.
  • 7th Battery: 41 shot, 46 shell, 89 case, and 65 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

The bore diameter for 20-pdr Parrotts was 3.67-inches.  The bore diameter for 6-pdr field guns was also 3.67-inches.  Apparently we are seeing, in a pinch, that Taft’s battery received smoothbore ammunition when supplies of proper Parrott canister ran low.  At least that’s the inference the data leads us to.

Turning to the Hotchkiss page:

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Five lines to consider:

  • 1st Battery: 120 canister, 7 percussion shell, 3 fuse shell, and 435 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 93 canister, 10 fuse shell, and 128 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 147 canister, 60 percussion shell, 228 fuse shell, and 619 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 175 canister and 70 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 60 canister, 65 percussion shell, 126 fuse shell, and 116 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

We’ll break the next page down into sections for clarity, starting with Dyer’s Patent projectiles:

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And just one of those:

  • 8th Battery: 321 shell and 650(?) shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.

To the right of those are the Parrott columns:

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Two lines:

  • 3rd Battery: 502 shell, 502 case, and 177 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 5th Battery: 3 shell and 42 case for 20-pdr Parrott.

Yes, no Parrott canister for the 5th Battery.

More rounds on the Schenkl page:

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Like a canister blast across the page:

  • 1st Battery: 217 shell and 420 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • 3rd Battery: 67 shell for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 5th Battery: 216 shell and 248 case for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • 6th Battery: 654 shell and 4 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 353 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery:  250 case for 3-inch rifles.

The projectiles in the chests accounted for, we turn to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • 1st Battery: Twenty Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Four Navy revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Twenty-five Army revolvers and twenty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: 119 Navy revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Eighteen Navy revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • 8th Battery: Thirteen Navy revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Twenty-eight Army revolvers and twenty-nine cavalry sabers.

That’s the first dozen of these New York Independent Batteries.  Next up is the middle set.

 

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries, Part 1

In addition to batteries within the regimental formations, the state of New York provided thirty-six independent batteries during the course of the Civil War.  That number is somewhat misleading, as some of those independent batteries were simply re-designations of existing batteries; some were later re-designated within the regimental formation; others mustered out when their time came and were not replaced; or never completed organization. But, the clerks in Ordnance Department had to track those as lines for accounting purposes.  By June 1863, there were thirty-two of those independent batteries to account for:

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Plus three lines of “other” detachments.  I’ll break these down in groups of twelve, to allow proper examination.  So the first twelve look like this:

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Four of those twelve did not have a return on file:

  • 1st Independent Battery: At Warrenton, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The location probably reflected the August reporting date.  Captain Andrew Cowan remained in command of the battery, assigned to Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac.  On June 30, the battery was at Manchester, Maryland, with a long march toward Gettysburg in their immediate future.  On July 3, Cowan’s battery helped repulse Pickett’s charge, firing their last canister – double canister, that was – at 20 yards.
  • 2nd Independent Battery:  No return.  The battery mustered out, in New York, on June 13, 1863.  Captain Hermann Jahn was last in command. The men with time left on their enlistments transferred to Battery I, 1st New York.  A reorganized 2nd Independent was authorized, but instead was made part of the 15th New York Heavy Artillery.
  • 3rd Independent Battery: At Manchester, Maryland  with six 10-pdr Parrotts. The battery was part of Sixth Corps, under Lieutenant William A. Harn.  The battery saw less action at Gettysburg than Cowan’s, being positioned along the Taneytown Road.
  • 4th Independent Battery: No return.  Captain James E. Smith’s battery had six 10-pdr Parrotts when placed in defense of the Devil’s Den on July 2.   They were, of course, assigned to Third Corps. We are familiar with the 4th, thanks to their stand at the Devil’s Den at Gettysburg, and know they had six 10-pdr Parrotts.  By the end of the day, the battery would have only three of those Parrotts (and one was on a disabled carriage).  Smith reported firing 240 rounds during the battle.
  • 5th Independent Battery: At Warrenton Junction, Virginia (reflecting the August report date) with six 20-pdr Parrotts (increased from four over last quarter’s report).  This was Captain Elijah D. Taft’s battery in the Army of the Potomac’s Artillery Reserve.  And as such was near Taneytown, Maryland on June 30.  Taft’s battery went into action defending the cemetery on Cemetery Hill.  In the action, the battery had one Parrott burst, while expending 80 Schenkl percussion shell, 63 Schenkl combination-fuse shrapnel, 32 Parrott shell, and 382 Parrott shrapnel.
  • 6th Independent Battery: “In the field” and with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Joseph W. Martin held command of this battery, assigned to the First Brigade, Horse Artillery, Army of the Potomac.  Martin’s battery lost three guns on the field at Brandy Station.  After that battle, the battery was sent to Washington for refitting.  Rejoining the army on June 28, the battery had a full complement of guns.  A remarkable testament to the depth of Federal logistics at this time of the war.
  • 7th Independent Battery: At Norfolk, Virginia with three 12-pdr Napoleons (added during the quarter) and six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Peter C. Regan’s battery supported the Seventh Corps.
  • 8th Independent Battery: At Fort Keyes, Virginia with  six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Butler Fitch commanded this battery.  In the previous quarter, the battery reported at Yorktown.  The Fort Keyes assignment indicates it moved across the York River to Gloucester Point.
  • 9th Independent Battery: Fort Reno, District of Columbia, with only infantry stores. Captain Emil Schubert remained in command.  Battery assigned to the Twenty-Second Corps, defending Washington.  As indicated, the battery was not equipped as light artillery.
  • 10th Independent Battery: Marked “not in service.”  In May, the battery transferred from Third Corps to the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac. And in June, the battery was sent to Washington.  Members of the battery were transferred to four different batteries, none of which were from New York.  Captain John T. Bruen remained commander, but was absent for much of May.  Lieutenant Samuel Lewis was listed in command through early June.  Then Lieutenant Charles T. Bruen picked up the assignment.  For all practical purposes, the 10th Battery was “cross leveled” to bring other batteries up to strength.
  • 11th Independent Battery: No return and dittos for “not in service.” This battery moved from the Third Corps to the Fourth Brigade, Artillery Reserve in May 1863.  On, or about June 16, what remained of the battery was attached to Battery K, 1st New York Light.  Not until the end of the year was the 11th Battery brought up to strength.  Captain John E. Burton was, on the rolls at least, in command.
  • 12th Independent Battery: At Bealton, Virginia reporting six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (an increase from four reported the previous quarter). The location reflects a September reporting date, by which time the battery had not only moved, but also changed organizational assignments.  As of June 30, the battery was at Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. Later in the summer, the battery transferred to Third Corps.  Captain George F. McKnight remained in command.

So five of the twelve were directly involved with the Gettysburg Campaign.  Two other batteries had attachments at Gettysburg.

Moving to the ammunition, we start with the smoothbore:

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Only one battery had Napoleons, and we see their chests accounted for here.  But what of the other line?

  • 5th Battery: 96 canister for 6-pdr.
  • 7th Battery: 57 shot, 46 shell, 89 case, and 65 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Taft’s Battery had 20-pdr Parrotts, with a bore diameter of 3.67-inch, which is the same as a 6-pdr smoothbore.  However, in an otherwise detailed report for Gettysburg, Taft does not mention the use of that ammunition type.  So, was this reflective of Taft receiving, after Gettysburg, some 6-pdr stocks?   Or did he take 6-pdr canister to Gettysburg?  We also cannot rule out clerical error (at the battery or in Washington)… or for that matter that someone in the battery mistakenly identified Parrott canister as smoothbore type (hard to imagine… but a possibility).

Turning to the rifled projectiles, the Hotchkiss rounds are well represented:

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  • 1st Battery: 126 canister, 7 percussion shell, 3 fuse shell, and 456 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 93 canister, 10 fuse shell, and 128 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 152 canister, 64 percussion shell, 239 fuse shell, and 675 bullet shells for 3-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 66 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 60 canister, 65 percussion shell, 126 fuse shell, and 366(?) bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

And as with many of these reports for the second quarter, we have to ask if these are quantities reported strictly “as of June 30″…. or at a time when the officers got around to doing the paperwork.  Those numbers could tell us about the battery’s state prior to Gettysburg, or just after, as the case may be. There isn’t a way to say for sure.

Breaking the next page down by section for easier handling, we turn to Dyer’s projectiles:

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Three batteries with that type on hand:

  • 1st Battery: 571 Dyer’s Shrapnel in 3-inch rifle caliber.
  • 5th Battery: 4 Dyer’s Shrapnel in 3-inch rifle caliber.
  • 8th Battery: 369 shell, 650 shrapnel, and 109 canister, Dyer’s patent, for 3-inch rifles.

I cannot explain why 5th Battery would need 3-inch shrapnel.  Perhaps a transcription error.

Moving to the right, Parrott projectiles:

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Two batteries reporting:

  • 3rd Battery: 490 shell, 490 case, and 177 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 5th Battery: 46 shell and 138 case for 20-pdr Parrotts.

Of course, missing, as their return was not recorded, is 4th Battery.  Would be interesting to account for what Smith’s Battery took into action on July 2, compared to what was on hand July 3… or later when replenished.

Last of the ammunition columns, the Schenkl projectiles:

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A lot of lone entries:

  • 1st Battery: 37 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 3rd Battery: 67 shell for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 5th Battery: 84 shell for 20pdr Parrotts.
  • 6th Battery: 654 shell for 20-pdr Parrotts.  Yes, 20-pdr.
  • 8th Battery: 45 shell for 3-inch rifles.

The entry for 6th Battery may be a transcription error, just one column over from where it should be.

And the final section covers the small arms:

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By battery:

  • 1st Battery: Thirty-one Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Four Navy revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Twenty-five Army revolvers and twenty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: 131 Navy revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Eighteen Navy revolvers and twenty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • 8th Battery: Thirteen Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Twenty-eight Army revolvers and twenty-nine horse artillery sabers.

The first dozen independent batteries served in the Eastern Theater, with close association with the Army of the Potomac.  The next dozen, from the 13th to 24th Independent, saw much more diverse service.  We’ll look at those next.

 

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – New York Independent Batteries (Part 1)

All told, thirty-six formations from New York received the designation “Independent Battery, Light Artillery” during the war.  Some of these were simply re-designation of existing batteries, to better align record keeping with practice (such as Battery L, 2nd New York Heavy discussed last week, which became the 34th Independent Battery).  Others were completely new batteries formed outside the regimental system.  Of those, some were short lived or never completely formed.  Still, these independent batteries were a rather substantial number of lines to account for in the quarterly summaries.  For the first quarter, 1863, there were thirty-two enumerated:

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Let us look at these in batches, for better focus:

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Starting with the first dozen:

  • 1st Independent Battery: At Belle Plain, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Andrew Cowan commanded the battery assigned to Second Division, Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • 2nd Independent Battery:  No return. At the start of the winter, Captain Louis Schirmer commanded this battery, assigned First Division, Eleventh Corps.  When Schirmer was promoted to command the corps’ artillery reserve later in the spring, Captain Hermann Jahn took command of the battery.
  • 3rd Independent Battery: At Potomac Creek, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts (an increase from the last quarter). The battery served in Second Division, Sixth Corps, under Lieutenant William A. Harn.
  • 4th Independent Battery: No return.  Assigned to Second Division, Third Corps. We are familiar with the 4th, thanks to their stand at the Devil’s Den at Gettysburg, and know they had six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Through the winter, the battery saw several officers depart for other commands and Lieutenant George F. Barstow, 3rd US Artillery, took command late in the winter.  “The men were despondent,” Captain James E. Smith later recounted, “and became lax in their duties, not without some excuse.”  For this, and other reasons, Smith returned to command his old battery in May.
  • 5th Independent Battery: At Falmouth, Virginia with four 20-pdr Parrotts.   This was Captain Elijah D. Taft’s battery in the Army of the Potomac’s Artillery Reserve.
  • 6th Independent Battery: No location listed, but with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. At the start of the winter, the 6th was under Captain W. M. Bramhall and part of the Artillery Reserve.  By spring, Lieutenant Joseph W. Martin assumed command with the battery transferred to the Horse Artillery (First Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac).
  • 7th Independent Battery: At Norfolk, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Peter C. Regan’s battery supported the Seventh Corps.
  • 8th Independent Battery: At Yorktown, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Part of the Fourth Corps, on the Peninsula, Captain Butler Fitch commanded this battery.
  • 9th Independent Battery: Fort Reno, District of Colulmbia, with only infantry stores.  Captain Emil Schubert, of the 4th US Artillery, was commander of this battery, assigned to the Twenty-Second Corps.  As indicated, the battery was not equipped as light artillery.
  • 10th Independent Battery: At Falmouth with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Lieutenant Samuel Lewis replaced Captain John T. Bruen during the winter.  The battery remained with Third Division, Third Corps until later in the spring.
  • 11th Independent Battery: Also at Falmouth but with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Battery also assigned to Third Division, Third Corps. Lieutenant John E. Burton replaced Captain Albert Von Puttkammer in command.
  • 12th Independent Battery: At Camp Barry, Artillery Camp of Instruction, District of Columbia and reporting four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain George F. McKnight replaced Captain William H. Ellis.

A few changes in command and only one significant transfer through the winter.  And not many changes in the number and type of cannon.  Notice all these batteries served in the Eastern Theater.  More specifically, in Virginia and the defenses of Washington.

Only one battery reported smoothbores on hand:

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But we have two lines?

  • 5th Battery:  56 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 10th Battery:  288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

Why would Taft’s Battery have canister for 6-pdr smoothbores?  Perhaps for use in their 20-pdr Parrotts.  The bore size was the same.  Notably, the battery didn’t report these in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, 10th Battery seemed short of ammunition for it’s Napoleons. No change from the previous quarter’s report.  Such leads me to believe someone made “quick work” of their duties.

Hotchkiss projectiles were favored for the 3-inch Ordnance Rifles in the Army of the Potomac, and accordingly, we see a lot of those reported on hand:

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Six batteries with entries:

  • 1st Battery: 129 canister, 211 percussion shell, 370 fuse shell, and 570 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 59 canister, 285 percussion shell, 44 fuse shell, and 323 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 114 canister, 47 percussion shell, 259 fuse shell, and 715 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 175 canister and 45 percussion shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 11th Battery: 151 canister, 258 fuse shell, and 775 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 137 canister, 73 percussion shell, 40 fuse shell, and 120 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Not to fret about the 8th Battery, as they were not short on ammunition.  Turning to the next page:

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We see the 8th had Dyer’s patent projectiles:

  • 8th Battery:  369 shell and 650 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.

And there are two Parrott batteries (not counting Smith’s which didn’t submit a report):

  • 3rd Battery: 480 shell , 480 case, and 190 canister of Parrott for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 5th Battery: 45 Parrott Shell for 20-pdr Parrotts.

And the last page of rifled projectiles has a couple more entry lines for Schenkl:

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  • 1st Battery: 29 Schenkl shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 3rd Battery: 120 Schenkl shell for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Lastly, we turn to the small arms reported on hand:

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Seems like everyone had something:

  • 1st Battery: Twenty-eight Navy revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Four Army revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Twenty-three Army revolvers and twenty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: 155 Navy revolvers, twenty cavalry sabers, and two horse artillery sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Eighteen Navy revolvers and twenty-six cavalry sabers.
  • 8th Battery: Fourteen Navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Fifty-eight Navy revolvers and eleven horse artillery sabers.
  • 11th Battery: Twenty Army revolvers and twenty-two cavalry sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Twenty-eight Army revolvers and twenty-nine horse artillery sabers.

For the next installment, we’ll look at the second batch of New York’s independent batteries – 13th through 24th.