Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – 3rd New York Artillery

Unlike their sister light artillery regiment, the 1st New York, the 3rd New York Light Artillery seldom receives proper attention from historians.  Starting organization as an infantry regiment, and serving as such for the summer campaigns of 1861, the regiment reorganized as light artillery to support operations in North Carolina. And the batteries played an important role in an underappreciated and under-studied (in my opinion) theater.  As alluded to for the previous quarter, with about half of the enlistments running out in the spring of 1863, the regiment went through a reorganization.  Four batteries mustered out completely, with those retaining time on enlistments transferred to bring others up to strength.  Not until early 1864 were batteries added back to the regiment’s strength.  And by that time the regiment was no longer serving just in North Carolina.

Colonel Charles H. Stewart commanded the regiment at the end of 1863. With his headquarters at New Berne, North Carolina, he also exercised direct command of four batteries stationed there. His second in command, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry M. Stone, also held command of the garrison of Fort Macon, North Carolina. Regimental Majors were Terence J. Kennedy, Edwin S. Jenney, and Theodore H. Schenck, all veteran leaders by this time of the war. Lieutenant Edgar H. Titus served as Regimental Adjutant until replaced by Lieutenant Thomas J. Mersereau on December 24. Lieutenant Paul Fay became regimental Quatermaster on the last day of the year, replacing Lieutenant Samuel B. Tobey, Jr. Regimental Surgeon William W. Knight was supported by Assistant Surgeons Alfred D. Wilson and Bradford S. Manly.

With that background of the regiment in mind, let us turn to the summary:

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  • Battery A: No return.  The original Battery A mustered out in June 1863. Not until September 1864 did a new Battery A muster in its place.
  • Battery B: Reported on Morris Island, South Carolina, with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain James E. Ashcroft remained in command of the battery, which was then part of the force facing Fort Sumter at the end of the Second Major Bombardment, assigned to the Tenth Corps. When Ashcroft took leave in December, Lieutenant Edward A. Wildt led the battery.
  • Battery C: Reporting at New Berne, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain William E. Mercer remained in command of this battery, which had just reorganized and mustered on September 30, 1863. The battery was part of a “battalion” then serving at New Berne, part of the Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery D: No return.  Another battery that mustered out in June 1863.  A new Battery D mustered in February 1864.
  • Battery E:  At New Berne, North Carolina with four 20-pdr Parrott rifles.  Captain George E. Ashby replaced Theodore H. Schenck (promoted to major) in command of the battery.  The battery was part garrison of New Berne, in the District of North Carolina, Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery F:  On Folly Island, with four 12-pdr (3.67-inch) Wiard rifles. Captain Samuel C. Day remained in command of the battery, assigned to Vogdes’ Division, Tenth Corps.
  • Battery G: No return. Another battery mustered out in early June. The new Battery G mustered in March 1864.
  • Battery H: Reporting at Newport News, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  In October the battery moved from New Berne to Newport News.  Captain William J. Riggs remained in command of the battery, assigned to Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery I:  At New Berne and with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain John H. Ammon transferred command of this battery to Captain John D. Clark at the end of the year.
  • Battery K: Also at New Berne but with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain James R. Angel remained in command.
  • Battery L:  As explained in earlier posts, this battery was not assigned to the 3rd New York.  Instead it served as the 24th Independent Battery.  Not until March 1865 was it officially assigned to the regiment.
  • Battery M: At Norfolk, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrott Rifles.  Captain John H. Howell commanded. The battery transferred to the Norfolk area, listed as serving at Fort Monroe, in October, assigned to Heckman’s Division, Eighteenth Corps.

Those administrative particulars explain the gaps in the summary. And with those in mind, most of the ammunition quantities reported make sense… save one entry:

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  • Battery B: 298 shot, 5 shell, and 462 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery E: 20 shell for 24-pdr field howitzers; 2 shell for 32-pdr field howitzers. Recall Battery E originally had the big field howitzers on their charge, and apparently retained ammunition. This suggests the howitzers were still at New Berne but not assigned to the battery (or regiment).
  • Battery H: 276 shot, 65 shell, and 313 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery I: 318 shot, 126 shell, and 326 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.

On to the next page of ammunition:

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  • Battery B: 128 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery E: 6 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers; 6 canister for 32-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery H: 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery I: 136 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Immediately to the right of the smoothbore columns is an entry for Dyer’s projectiles:

  • Battery C: 36 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Further to the right are columns for Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

  • Battery C: 504 (?) time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E: 84 time fuse shell for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery F: 84 shot and 92 time fuse shell for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • Battery K: 753 shot and 131 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

More Hotchkiss columns on the next page:

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  • Battery C: 110 percussion fuse shell, 1,167 (!) bullet shells, and 204 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F: 108 percussion fuse shell, 376 bullet shell, and 289 canister for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • Battery K: 34 percussion fuse shell and 188 canister for 3-inch rifles.

On the next page are columns for Parrott projectiles:

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  • Battery E: 378 shot, 82 shell, 102 case, and 30 canister for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery M: 648 shell, 15 case, and 134 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Turning to the small arms reported:

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  • Battery B: Sixteen Colt navy revolvers and seventy-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: One Colt army revolver and sixty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Twenty-eight Colt navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and forty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Thirty-seven Colt army revolvers and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Twenty Colt navy revolvers and fifty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Six Colt navy revolvers, nine Remington army revolvers and forty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Nineteen Colt navy revolvers, four Remington army revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and fifty-two horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Twenty-three Remington navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.

Next are the cartridge bags reported:

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  • Battery C: 375 bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E: 457 bags for 20-pdr Parrotts; 17 bags for 24-pdr or 32-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery F: 1,125 bags for 20-pdr guns (presumably Wiard 3.67-inch).
  • Battery K: 123 bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 185 bags for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Lastly, we look at the pistol cartridges, fuses, and miscellaneous items:

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  • Battery B: 316 navy pistol cartridges and 100 percussion caps.
  • Battery C: 100 army pistol cartridges; 250 paper fuses; 100 pounds of musket powder; 300 friction primers; and 20 yards of slow match.
  • Battery E: 500 navy pistol cartridges; 1,291 paper fuses; 75 pounds of musket powder; 1,472 friction primers; and 12 yards of slow match.
  • Battery F: 1,000 army pistol cartridges; 551 paper fuses; and 857 friction primers.
  • Battery I: 100 navy pistol cartridges.
  • Battery K: 200 army pistol cartridges and 450 navy pistol cartridges.
  • Battery M: 7,111 paper fuses and 1,200 friction primers.

As the calendar turned from 1863 to 1864, the 3rd New York Light Artillery filled back out as a regiment. By summer, ten batteries were in service. Furthermore, the needs of a war reaching its penultimate campaigns brought several of those batteries into the fighting around Petersburg.

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – 3rd New York Light Artillery Regiment

Given the nature of mustering, organizing, and outfitting, it was rare that all the batteries of a light artillery regiment went to war as a set.  Arguably, that is what happened with the 3rd New York Light Artillery Regiment.  Arguably… as the regiment was also not completely outfitted as light artillery, serving as heavy artillery.  I briefly discussed the regiment’s formation in the preface to the fourth quarter return.  And we saw the regiment (minus Battery L, which was really just a paper designation) served in North Carolina, mostly around New Bern.  With the new year changes came.  First, Colonel James H. Ledlie became the Chief of Artillery, Eighteenth Corps.  Lieutenant-Colonel Charles H. Stewart then assumed command of the regiment, with Lieutenant-Colonel Henry M. Stone as second in command.  But the regiment was not to remain intact.  Major-General David Hunter called for reinforcements for his planned offensive on Charleston.  Along with other units, Major-General John Foster sent Batteries A, B, C, D, E, F, and I to the Department of the South.  The other batteries remained in North Carolina, and many men saw action in the Siege of Washington, March 30-April 20, 1863.

With those changes in mind, what do we see on the returns for the quarter?

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Strictly according to the clerks at the Ordnance Department:

  • Battery A: No return.
  • Battery B: No location listed, but reporting six 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery C: Infantry Stores, New Bern, North Carolina.
  • Battery D: Infantry Stores, New Bern, North Carolina.
  • Battery E: New Berne, armed with two 24-pdr and two 32-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery F: No return.
  • Battery G: No return.
  • Battery H: New Berne with six 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery I: New Berne reporting four 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery K: New Berne with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
  • Battery L: No return.  Again, this battery did not exist
  • Battery M: Infantry Stores, New Bern, North Carolina.

But allow me to reconcile these lines against details from the regimental history.  First off, the batteries, or sections thereof, transferred to South Carolina:

  • Battery A: Lieutenant Martin Laughlin with 60 men to serve as heavy artillery, armed with rifles.
  • Battery B: Captain Joseph J. Morrison, with 102 men serving six 12-pdr Napoleons.  (Although Captain James B. Ashcroft appears on other records.)
  • Battery C: Lieutenant Charles B. Randolph with 26 men serving as heavy artillery.
  • Battery D: Lieutenant Luke Brannick with 25 men serving as heavy artillery.
  • Battery E: Captain Theodore H. Schenck with 90 men also serving as heavy artillery. Presumably leaving the heavy howitzers in North Carolina.
  • Battery F: Captain Edwin S. Jenny (when promoted, replaced by Captain David A. Taylor) and 94 men with six 6-pdr Wiards (Though I question if that caliber or the 12-pdrs were assigned).
  • Battery I: Lieutenant George W. Thomas, 98 men, and six 12-pdr Napoleons (in lieu of 20-pdr Parrotts?).  (However, Captain John H. Ammon was listed as battery commander.)

Note that some batteries were reduced much in manpower, in part due to expiration of enlistments.  We see some matches to the returns, with equipment reported.  And some clear misses!  And we might correctly allocate Batteries A, B, E, and I, at least, to Port Royal at this time.  These seven batteries/sections were carried on some returns as a battalion, under Schenk. (And I would mention, as a shameless promotion of other blog posts, you readers are familiar with these batteries from their work during the summer of 1863 on Morris Island.)

Back in North Carolina, Battery G was part of the Washington (North Carolina) garrison.   Batteries H, K, and M reported from New Bern. Sections, or at least detachments, from Batteries E, F, and I remained at New Bern. Thus we have some reconciliation between the actual duty location and that indicated on the summary.  Of those not mentioned above, here were the battery commander assignments:

  • Battery G:  Captain John Wall.
  • Battery H:  Captain William J. Riggs.
  • Battery K: Captain James R. Angel.
  • Battery M:  Captain John H. Howell.

I’ve spent much longer discussing the organization and activities of the regiment, as that sets up for a longer discussion, during the next couple of quarters, as batteries were mustered out and replaced.  And besides, with all those “Infantry Stores” lines, there are not a lot of artillery projectiles to count!

Turning beyond that organizational aspect of the 3rd New York, let us look at ammunition on hand.  First the smoothbore:

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Three batteries to consider:

  • Battery B: 648 shot, 408 shell, 848 case, and 440 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon (I believe column entries for shell is another clerking error.)
  • Battery E: 42 shell, 166 case, 42 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers; 66 shell, 130 case, and 48 canister for 32-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery H: 439 shot, 130 shell, 464 case, and 160 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.  (Again, the entry for case appears to be a transcription error by the clerks.)

We see above that Battery E did not take the big howitzers to South Carolina.  Later, there are reports of howitzers of those calibers around New Bern.  So I assume those were transferred to the garrison there.

Moving to ammunition for the rifles, there are short entries:

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Just one battery with Hotchkiss:

  • Battery K: 184 canister, 160 percussion shell, 287 fuse shell, 452 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

On the next page of rifled projectiles, we can focus on entries for Parrott-types:

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And that is for 20-pdrs that we might assume, based on regimental history, were left in North Carolina:

  • Battery I: 541 shell and 450 case shot for 20-pdr Parrotts.

Moving to the third page, likewise only one line reporting… and that on the far right of the section:

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Tatham’s:

  • Battery I: 123 Tatham 3.67-inch canister.

While Tatham is most associated with James and other bronze rifles, the 20-pdr Parrott’s bore was 3.67-inch.

Lastly, we turn to the small arms:

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By battery reporting:

  • Battery B: Twenty Army revolvers and thirty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Nineteen Navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and thirty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Thirty-one Navy revolvers and fifty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Ten Army revolvers, nine Navy revolvers, and forty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Twenty-seven Navy revolvers, three cavalry sabers, and fifty-two horse artillery sabers.

Would be interesting to have a full set of returns for the small arms.  Some of the “heavy” batteries are listed here, but not all.  Given the nature of the 3rd regiment’s service at this point in the war, it is odd not to see long guns reported.
(Details of the 3rd New York Artillery’s service from Henry Hall and James Hall, Cayuga in the field : a record of the 19th N. Y. Volunteers, all the batteries of the 3d New York Artillery, and 75th New York Volunteers, Auburn, New York, 1873.)