Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – Louisiana

In the third quarter of 1863, we discussed a single line entry under the Louisiana heading, showing no ordnance reported with the 1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery (African Descent). From that I introduced the administrative history of that regiment. As noted in that post, in November 1863 the regiment changed names to the 1st Corps de Afrique Heavy Artillery. Later, in the spring of 1864, the regiment went through a series of designation changes, finally set as the 10th Heavy Artillery (USCT).

We also discussed, when summarizing all the batteries not covered within the official summaries, three Louisiana batteries formed in the second half of 1863. All of which were later given USCT designations.

But for the fourth quarter, all we have is a heading:

0329_1_Snip_LA

So let us try to fill in some of the blank spaces here and discuss those formations which should have appeared in this section:

  • 1st Corps de Afrique Heavy Artillery: In August, the department returns indicated two companies under Captain Soren Rygaard. The command later possibly included a third company and was rated as a battalion. As discussed in the previous quarter, Rygaard was relieved of duty on November 7, for insubordination. And much of Company C was either dismissed or sentenced to hard labor due. The department returns for the end of December have the “battalion” down to a single company, under Lieutenant Thomas McCormick, in the garrison of New Orleans. That officer was the senior lieutenant of Company B. Another company was organized under Lieutenant Charles A. Bailey starting in January, initially resuming the designation of Company C. The status of Company A remains a gap to be resolved.
  • 1st Battery Louisiana Light Artillery (AD):  Organized at Hebron’s Plantation, Louisiana, and mustered in November 1863. Captain Isaac B. Goodloe commanded. The battery’s first posting was Goodrich’s Landing, Louisiana. However, Goodloe, promoted from Battery E, 2nd Illinois Artillery, where he’d been a sergeant, was not long in command. In January he was brought up on charges of conduct unbecoming, and resigned instead of facing a court martial. Captain Robert Ranney replaced him in March. In April 1864, the battery became Battery C, 2nd US Colored Light Artillery. Based on the following quarter’s return, the battery had a mix of weapons – two 6-pdr field gun, one 12-pdr field howitzer, two 3.80-inch James rifles, and four 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 2nd Battery Louisiana Light Artillery (AD): Organized at Black River Bridge, outside Vicksburg, Mississippi, and mustered in December 1863. Captain William M. Pratt, who commanded, had been a lieutenant in Battery A, 1st Illinois Artillery. The battery was assigned to the garrison of Vicksburg. In the spring, it became Battery D, 2nd US Colored Light Artillery. In the following quarter (first of 1864), the battery reported four 6-pdr field guns.
  • 3rd Battery Louisiana Light Artillery (AD):  Also mustered in December. Captain Jonas Fred Lembke had been a corporal in Battery B, 1st Illinois Artillery.  The battery formed at Helena, Arkansas, and was posted there upon muster. They were designated Battery E, 2nd US Colored Light Artillery in April. Lembke was also not long in command. He was killed in action on July 26, 1864. Looking forward to the first quarter, 1864 returns, the battery had one 12-pdr field howitzer and one 3.80-inch James rifle.

Given the problems with leadership, recent musters, and general war situation in December 1863, we can understand why formal returns were not posted in Washington for these Louisiana batteries.

Historians have not spent much time examining the service of these USCT artillerists. The infantry formations tend to get most of the attention… where the USCT are discussed in any detail. And that is a shortfall for all of us to consider reconciling. Given that the service of the white artillerymen differed from that of the white infantrymen, we would assume the same for the USCT. What would make for an interesting study were the parallels, intersections, and divergences which existed in the experiences from artillerists, regardless of race, during the war.

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Missing Batteries

With the final entry for Wisconsin, I’ve presented all the sections from the Ordnance Summary Statements for the third quarter of 1863.  Those covered equipment reported from “light” batteries, or any other unit reporting field artillery on hand.  With any such accounting, and in particular during wartime, there will be gaps and missing information.  When I started these summary statement postings, I figured to just present the entries “as is” since that would leave the information in context.  But as I completed the first set (fourth quarter, 1862) realization set in that the context required identification of what was not mentioned.  Since then, I’ve preferred to identify these “in line” with the entries.  So where the clerks skipped, omitted, or simply didn’t know about a formation that WE, looking back from our perspective, knew existed, I’ll try to include those in the discussion under the appropriate heading.  And that’s what we’ve done for the third quarter of 1863.  Just a summary where those exist:

  • California: Two militia batteries organized in the summer of 1863, the The Washington Artillery (of Napa County) and  National Light Artillery (of Santa Clara County).  Neither were equipped until much later.  As these were militia batteries, one understands the omission. 
  • Connecticut: Batteries B and M, 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery served the 2nd Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  As these batteries used 4.5-inch siege rifles, they were not, strictly speaking, light batteries.  And, of course, there are no columns for the big siege rifles on the summary form!  (… but we will see such a column later.)
  • Delaware: Crossley’s Half-Company of Artillery mustered as part of the efforts to meet the emergency situation in June 1863.  They mustered out in September.
  • Iowa: The 4th Iowa Battery, just getting organized, escaped the clerk’s mention.
  • Kansas: Several militia batteries existed at the time.  Because of the nature of the war in Kansas, these units, arguably, saw glimpses of “the elephant” without being formally mustered.  Additionally, Armstrong’s Battery, part of the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry, escaped mention.
  • Maine: 7th Maine Light Battery began formation in the fall of 1863. Though it would not formally muster until December.
  • Massachusetts: The 13th Massachusetts Battery served in Louisiana at this time of the war, though heavily reduced due to sickness, death, and accidents.  The men serving with the battery were serving with the 2nd Massachusetts Battery.  That situation may justify the battery’s omission.
  • New Jersey: Chapin’s Battery was among the troops mustered for the emergency of June 1863.
  • New York: The 35th and 36th New York Independent Batteries were being organized during the third quarter. But neither would complete, and their men would eventually be transferred to heavy artillery regiments.
  • Ohio: Law’s Howitzer Battery, associated with the 2nd Ohio Cavalry, probably escaped mention due to the lack of reporting.
  • Pennsylvania: While the independent batteries can be accounted for, the clerks, understandably, did not list the militia and other emergency batteries that saw service from June through the fall of 1863.
  • Tennessee: Only a heading entry in the summary.  But there were five batteries, either in service or being organized, as part of the state’s light artillery regiment.  Furthermore the Memphis Light Artillery, a USCT formation, and Hurlbut’s Battery, a temporary unit detailed from the Memphis garrison, might be mentioned.

But that last reference, to Tennessee, brings up a couple of other sets that escaped mention.  The first of these, like Hurlbut’s Battery, were temporary or composite units formed in response to operational needs. 

  • Boyle’s Battery:  Appears to be named for Brigadier-General Jeremiah T. Boyle.  Comprised of volunteers from the 107th Illinois, 80th Indiana, and 13th & 33rd Kentucky. Served in Western Kentucky.
  • Post Artillery, Fort Leavenworth: Also known as the 4th Kansas Independent Battery. Captain Charles S. Bowman commanded. Later became Company M, 16th Kansas Cavalry.
  • Hurlbut’s Battery: Which I grouped under Tennessee (probably incorrectly) and mentioned above.  Again, this was a battery built around a pair of James rifles and a pair of 6-pdr field guns.  The men were volunteers from regiments then assigned to the Memphis garrison.
  • 1st Florida Battery: This battery formed under the 1st Florida (US) Cavalry in the Pensacola area.  I call it a battery here out of convenience, and because occasionally it was cited as such.  In reality, this was properly a detachment under the regiment.

Another category here which should be mentioned are the US Colored Troops.  I’ve speculated that two entry lines, one annotated under Missouri and another under Mississippi, were likely reports from artillery sections of US Colored Troops.  And the 1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery, later known as the 1st Corps de Afrique Heavy Artillery, and eventually re-designated the 10th US Colored Heavy Artillery, had a line in the summaries.  But there are a few other batteries which should be mentioned:

  • Memphis Light Battery (AD):  “AD” for African Descent, as I’m working from the somewhat “official” designation that appears in post-war War Department notations. Already mentioned. Captain Carl Adolf Lamberg commanded.  The battery was sometimes carried as the 1st Tennessee Colored Light Battery or similar derivations. 
  • 1st Battery Louisiana Light Artillery (AD):  Organizing at Hebron’s Plantation, Louisiana, but would not muster until November 1863. Captain Isaac B. Goodloe commanded.
  • 2nd Battery Louisiana Light Artillery (AD): Being organized at Black River Bridge, outside Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Would not muster until December 1863. Captain William M. Pratt would command.
  • 3rd Battery Louisiana Light Artillery (AD):  Also being organized, but in this case at Helena, Arkansas.  The battery did not muster until December. Captain Jonas Fred Lembke would be the commander. 

Another “gap” that I wish we could close up are the guns assigned to the various heavy artillery units (either serving as heavy in name, or otherwise employed as such).  It appears, unfortunately, the Ordnance Department preferred to carry those on separate forms, if not outright ignored these.  I can speculate at length as to why this would be the case.  But that would be speculation lacking documentation.  In an effort to at least identify the context of that “gap” I will follow this post with a listing of heavy artillery units in service in the third quarter of 1863.