Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – 1st Illinois Artillery

I contend the 1st Illinois Artillery Regiment punched well above its weight during the war. Not just in terms of where they served or battles fought. Though, from a western theater perspective, batteries from this regiment always seemed in the tick of the fight. But the regiment’s impact was beyond just the metal it threw around in battle. This regiment produced several officers who went on to serve in important positions outside the regiment. In last quarter’s post, I mentioned Colonel Joseph D. Webster, the regiment’s first commander, who served as a chief of staff for both Grant and Sherman. Colonel Ezra Taylor, who replaced Webster in May 1863, was dual-hatted as Sherman’s chief of artillery from Shiloh through Vicksburg (in the latter, formally the Chief of Artillery, Fifteenth Corps). Major Charles Houghtaling, who would later become the regimental Colonel, served a similar role for the Fourteenth Corps, in the Army of the Cumberland. Lieutenant-Colonel Charles H. Adams left the regiment for the top spot in the 2nd Tennessee Heavy Artillery, forming at Memphis. Major Allen C. Waterhouse lead the artillery brigade of the Seventeenth Corps, at times filling in as Artillery Chief. And those are just a few notables. As we look down to the battery officers, many very capable officers with fine records stand out. Let’s look at a few of those as we walk through this summary:

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  • Battery A: Larkinsville, Alabama, with five 12-pdr Napoleons and one 10-pdr Parrott.  The battery remained with Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, with Captain Peter P. Wood in command.  The battery was part of Sherman’s force sent to relieve Chattanooga, and later sent to relieve Knoxville. They would winter in north Alabama.
  • Battery B: Also at Larkinsville, Alabama, with four 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer. Like Battery A, this battery was also assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps.  Likewise, the battery supported the reliefs of Chattanooga and Knoxville. Captain Israel P. Rumsey remained in command.
  • Battery C:  Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee, now with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles, being refitted after the campaigns around that city. Captain Mark H. Prescott remained in command, but the battery transferred to the First Division, Fourteenth Corps as the Army of the Cumberland reorganized in October.
  • Battery D: At Vicksburg, Mississippi, now reverting back to reporting four 24-pdr field howitzers, vice four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles reported the previous quarter… which implies a transcription error. Regardless, battery remained with Third Division, Seventeenth Corps, and part of the occupation force at Vicksburg. The battery participated in a couple of expeditions out of Vicksburg in the fall. Then moved, with the division, to duty on the Big Black River, east of Vicksburg. Lieutenant George P. Cunningham was promoted to captain of the battery in December 1864.
  • Battery E: At Corinth, Mississippi, with five 12-pdr Napoleons and one 3.80-inch James Rifle.  Lieutenant John A. Fitch remained in command, and the battery remained under Third Division, Fifteenth Corps. The battery participated in a couple of expeditions across Mississippi during the fall. The division reached Corinth as part of the movement to Chattanooga, but was not forwarded. In November, the division, along with the battery, moved to Memphis (part of the rundown of the Corinth garrison at that time).
  • Battery F: No report. Captain John T. Cheney remained in command of this battery.  As part of Fourth Division, Fifteenth Corps, the battery was part of the reinforcement sent to Chattanooga. Like the other Fifteenth Corps batteries, Battery F played a supporting role at Chattanooga and later at Knoxville.
  • Battery G:  Serving as siege artillery at Corinth, Mississippi, with four 24-pdr siege guns. The battery was assigned to Second Division, Sixteenth Corps.  Captain Raphael G. Rombauer remained in command. When the Corinth garrison was disbanded, Battery G moved to Fort Pickering, in Memphis, in January.
  • Battery H: At Bellefonte, Alabama with three 20-pdr Parrotts.  Assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps, Lieutenant Francis DeGress remained in command of this battery (he would receive promotion to captain in December, after Captain Levi W. Hart was discharged).  As with the other Fifteenth Corps Illinois batteries, DeGress’ were setup to support Sherman’s crossing of the Tennessee in the ill-fated assault on Tunnel Hill. After the march to Knoxville, the battery returned to north Alabama with the division.
  • Battery I: At Scottsboro, Alabama with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. The battery came to Chattanooga as part of Fourth Division, Fifteenth Corps. However, Captain Albert Cudney, who had taken over the battery in June, was not present. Lieutenant Josiah H. Burton, of Battery F, led the battery in support, alongside Battery H (above).  After the relief of Knoxville, the battery followed the division into winter quarters in northern Alabama.
  • Battery K: No return. This battery was stationed at Memphis, Tennessee as part of Grierson’s Cavalry Division, Sixteenth Corps. Recall this battery was, at least up through the spring, equipped with Woodruff guns. Without a return, the equipment at the end of 1863 cannot be confirmed. Captain Jason B. Smith remained in command. 
  • Battery L: In Washington, D.C., with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain John Rourke commanded this battery, assigned supporting Mulligan’s Brigade, Scammon’s Division, then in West Virginia. So the location given for the return is in question. 
  • Battery M:  Reporting at Loudon, Tennessee with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (losing its Napoleons and converting to a uniform battery of rifles). Captain George W. Spencer, promoted in September, commanded this battery. With the reorganization of the Army of the Cumberland, the battery transferred to Second Division Fourth Corps.

Those particulars out of the way, we can look to the ammunition reported for this varied lot of cannon. Starting with the smoothbore:

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  • Battery A: 207 shot, 80 shell, and 270 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery D: 177 shell for 24-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery E: 163 shot, 159 shell, and 246 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 314 shot and 120 shell for 24-pdr siege guns.
  • Battery L: 70 shot and 504 shell for 6-pdr field guns; 385 shot (unprepared) for 12-pdr “heavy” guns; 134 shot and 639 case for 12-pdr Napoleons; and 189 shell and 48 case for 12-pdr field howitzers (a wide array of ammunition types perhaps reflecting garrison duty in West Virginia).

We’ll split this next page into groupings for the rest of the smoothbore and then the first columns of rifle ammunition:

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Smoothbore:

  • Battery A: 69 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery D: 140 case and 33 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery E: 158 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 72 case, 89 canister, and 113 stands of grape for 24-pdr siege guns.
  • Battery L: 255 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers; 923 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

And the other half of this section covers rifled projectiles:

  • Battery C: 448 Hotchkiss time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E: 93 Hotchkiss time fuse shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • Battery L: 580 Dyer’s case for 3-inch rifles; 1005 Hotchkiss time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles; 186 Hotchkiss shot and 144 Hotchkiss time fuse shell for 3.80-inch James rifles. (Apparently Battery L was managing an ammunition dump.)
  • Battery M: 343 Hotchkiss time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

Hotchkiss and James Projectiles on the next page:

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The remaining Hotchkiss first:

  • Battery C: 238 percussion fuse shell, 11 bullet shell, and 252 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E: 17 percussion fuse shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • Battery H: 49 canister for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery L: 232 bullet shell and 268 canister for 3.80-inch rifles; and 115 percussion fuse shell and 504 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 232 percussion fuse shell, 409 bullet shell, and 29 canister for 3-inch rifles.

And the James columns:

  • Battery E: 50 canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • Battery I: 64 shot, 214 shell, and 256 canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • Battery L: 387 shot, 106 shell, and 19 canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.

Parrott and Schenkl on the next page:

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First the Parrotts:

  • Battery A: 121 shell, 24 case, and 16 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery H: 163 shell, 77 case, and 17 canister for 20-pdr Parrott.

Then Schenkl:

  • Battery L: 300 shell for 3-inch rifles; and 282 shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.

On to the small arms:

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  • Battery A: Three Colt army revolvers, thirty Colt navy revolvers, and four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Six Colt navy revolvers and two cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: Seven Colt army revolvers, ten Colt navy revolvers, and ten cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Five cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: Two cavalry sabers.
  • Battery G: Sixty .58 caliber Springfield muskets and thirteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: Eleven Colt navy revolvers and three cavalry sabers.
  • Battery L: Seventeen Sharps carbines, twenty-eight Colt army revolvers, and 148 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery M: One Colt army revolver and one cavalry saber.

Lots of cartridge bags, cartridges, and fuses over the last two pages:

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  • Battery C: 33 cartridge bags for case shot (field guns or howitzers).
  • Battery E: 161 cartridge bags for James rifles.
  • Battery G: 120 cartridge bags for 24-pdr siege guns and 2,400 musket cartridges.
  • Battery I: 515 cartridge bags for James rifles.
  • Battery L: 2,283 cartridge bags for James rifles and 765 cartridge bags for case (for 12-pdr Napoleons)
  • Battery M: 872 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
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  • Battery A: 550 army caliber and 900 navy caliber pistol cartridges.
  • Battery B: 120 navy caliber pistol cartridges and 1,336 friction primers.
  • Battery C: 344 paper fuses and 275 friction primers.
  • Battery D: 500 friction primers.
  • Battery E: 1,750 friction primers and four portfires.
  • Battery G: 2,620 pounds of cannon powder and 569 friction primers.
  • Battery H: 1,410 paper fuses, 1,850 friction primers, 19 yards of slow match, and 48 portfires.
  • Battery I: 240 navy caliber pistol cartridges and 556 friction primers.
  • Battery L: 3,000 army pistol cartridges, 609 paper fuses, 4,540 friction primers, and 3,600 percussion caps (pistol).
  • Battery M: 1.096 paper fuses, 628 friction primers, 250 percussion caps (musket?), and 10 portfires.

That covers the 1st Illinois Artillery. We’ll pick up the 2nd Illinois in the next installment.

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – First Illinois Artillery Regiment

When we looked at the returns for the 1st Illinois Artillery for first quarter, 1863, we found many of the batteries along the Mississippi River or in central Tennessee preparing for spring campaigns.  Reviewing the administrative details for the second quarter of the year, we find some of those batteries had indeed played important roles in the campaigns…. while others had their turn in the weeks to follow.  Here’s the regiment’s rows for the reporting period ending June 30, 1863:

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Recorded entries for all but two of the batteries, meaning we have a fairly complete set to work with.  However, six of these returns were not received until 1864:

  • Battery A: Larkinsville, Alabama, with five 12-pdr Napoleons and one 10-pdr Parrott.  That is where the battery wintered in 1864, when the report was received at the Department.  In June 1863 the battery was with Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, under Captain Peter P. Wood, outside Vicksburg, Mississippi. Of note, the battery had completely re-equipped from the earlier quarter.
  • Battery B: At Vicksburg, Mississippi with five 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer.  Like Battery A, this battery was also assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps.  Captain Samuel E. Barrett commanded.
  • Battery C:  Reporting at Bridgeport, Alabama with three 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The location reflected the 1864 reporting location.  In June of 1863 the battery was involved with the Tullahoma Campaign in middle Tennessee. Lieutenant Edward M. Wright’s battery remained with Third Division, Twentieth Corps.
  • Battery D: No report. The battery was assigned to Third Division, Seventeenth Corps, and was at Vicksburg that June.  This was Edward McAllister’s old battery, retaining four 24-pdr field howitzers. Captain Henry A. Rogers was killed in action on May 29.  Lieutenant George J. Wood temporarily commanded the battery, but resigned a few weeks later.  To fill the void, Captain Frederick Sparrestrom of Battery G, 2nd Illinois Artillery was placed in temporary command (There’s an interesting story line here to follow when we pick up the 2nd Illinois Artillery).  When Sparrestrom returned to his battery, Lieutenant George P. Cunningham, who had rose through the ranks.
  • Battery E: At “Bear Creek,” behind the Vicksburg siege lines, with five 12-pdr Napoleons and one 3.80-inch James Rifle.  This was an addition of four Napoleons, at the expense of three James, from the previous quarter.   Captain Allen C. Waterhouse remained in command, and the battery remained under Third Division, Fifteenth Corps.
  • Battery F: No report. Captain John T. Cheney commanded this battery assigned to First Division, Sixteenth Corps.  The battery began the spring at Memphis.  In mid-June, the division was sent to Vicksburg.  The battery was part of the force sent towards Jackson, Mississippi late in June.
  • Battery G:   Serving as siege artillery at Corinth, Mississippi.  Captain Raphael G. Rombauer assumed command of the battery earlier in the spring.
  • Battery H: At Vicksburg with four 20-pdr Parrotts.  This famous battery was assigned to Second Division, Fifteenth Corps.  Captain Levi W. Hart resumed command during the spring (though Lieutenant Francis DeGress would replace him permanently later in the year).
  • Battery I: Camp Sherman, Mississippi with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Camp Sherman was near Bear Creek, and also in the rear of the siege lines at Vicksburg. The battery was assigned to First Division, Sixteenth Corps.  When Captain Edward Bouton accepted a colonelcy in a USCT regiment, Lieutenant William N. Lansing assumed command.
  • Battery K: Memphis, Tennessee with with ten Union Repeating Guns.  But as noted earlier, that column was likely being utilized by the clerks to track Woodruff guns. Captain Jason B. Smith resumed command (which had temporarily, at least on the order of battle, been that of Lieutenant Issac W. Curtis).  The battery was assigned to the Cavalry Division, Sixteenth Corps at that time.  As many will recall, the battery accompanied Colonel Benjamin Grierson’s raid in April-May.  As with the rest of Grierson’s command, the battery would operate under the Nineteenth Corps after the raid.
  • Battery L: New Creek, (West) Virginia, with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain John Rourke commanded this battery, assigned to First Division, Eighth Corps.  They guarded an important point on the B&O Railroad and Upper Potomac.
  • Battery M:  Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee (reflecting location when the return was received in February 1864) with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (a reversal of numbers reported the previous quarter). Lieutenant George W. Spencer commanded this battery, assigned to the Second Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  This puts the battery on the march, on along Manchester Pike, at the end of June.

A lengthy administrative section.  But all due for a set of batteries heavily engaged at that time of the war.   And as we move next to discuss the ammunition on hand, there remains a need for lengthy discussions!  Lots of entries. Some that need explanation.

We start with the smoothbore ammunition reported on hand:

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Lots of round ammunition on hand:

  • Battery A: 220 shot, 84 shell, 262 case, and 123 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 120 canister for 6-pdr field guns; and 134 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery B: 348 shot, 180 case, and 121 canister for 6-pdr field guns;    20 shell, 30 case, and 20 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery C: 42 case for 6-pdr field guns; 203 shell, 258 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery E: 113 shot, 123 shell, 260 case, and 160 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery L: 70 shot, 504 case, and 823 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 519 shot, 189 shell, 639 case, and 134 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; and 48 case and 231 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery M: 82 shot, 224 shell, 268 case, and 59 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Battery A had upgraded from a mix of 6-pdr guns and 12-pdr howitzers earlier in the spring.  They apparently still had ammunition for those weapons on hand awaiting disposition.  One would expect sometime during the siege of Vicksburg those were cross-leveled to needy batteries, and Battery A didn’t carry all those useless rounds all the way to Alabama!

On the other hand, hard to account for why Battery C would have 6-pdr case shot on hand at this time of the war.

Battery L reported a large quantity of 6-pdr smoothbore ammunition on hand in the previous quarter.  As I speculated before, we have primary sources that indicate 6-pdr smoothbore ammunition was at times used from James rifles.  But the 12-pdr howitzer canister?  Well it would fit in the Napoleons, though would have a reduced charge.  Still, I’d like to see something documenting these substitutions, if indeed used for this specific battery.

Moving past the questions about the smoothbore ammunition, we proceed to the Hotchkiss projectiles:

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We normally see the Hotchkiss closely associated with 3-inch rifles.  That is true here, but with the added twist of the James 3.80-inch rifles:

  • Battery C: 197 canister, 270 percussion shell, 214 fuse shell, and 358 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E:  17 percussion shell and 93 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Battery L: 504 canister, 115 percussion shell, and 1,005 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles; 186 shot, 144 fuse shell, and 232 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • Battery M: 83 canister, 32 fuse shell, and 273 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Again we see Battery L with ammunition on hand that does not match the guns assigned.  In this case, 3-inch rifle projectiles would be useless for James rifles. But recall, the battery also reported a quantity of 3-inch projectiles … a smaller quantity… the previous quarter.  So I don’t think this is a transcription error.  Perhaps Battery L was tasked with maintaining a divisional-level supply, out there in West Virginia.

The next page of rifled projectiles uses every section in the header. So I’m going to break this down for ease:

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Rarely we see Dyer’s reported. But here is one entry:

  • Battery L: 580(?) 3-inch shrapnel.

So more of these projectiles that don’t match to the battery’s guns.

Moving to the James columns, we would expect to see a lot of entries:

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And we are not disappointed:

  • Battery E: 60 case shot and 50 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Battery I: 64 shot, 320 shell, and 256 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Battery L: 387 shot, 106 shell, and 19 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifles.

Then moving right, we have the Parrott columns:

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Two batteries reporting Parrott rifles. And two reporting that inventor’s projectiles:

  • Battery A: 145 shell, 47 case, and 65 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery H:  30 canister for 20-pdr Parrotts.

Well, we hope Battery H had more than a handful of canister rounds per gun.

Let us also break down the next page by section, starting with Schenkl:

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One line, but noteworthy:

  • Battery L: 356 shell for 3-inch rifles; 382 shell for 3.80-inch James.

Again, Battery L reporting a rather substantial number of 3-inch projectiles.

We often associate Tatham canister with James rifles:

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Two batteries reporting:

  • Battery H: 40 canister for 3.67-inch rifle.
  • Battery L: 268 canister for 3.80-inch James Rifle.

Yes, 20-pdr Parrotts were 3.67-inch bore.  So are we to believe that Battery H, there at Vicksburg, only had seventy rounds of canister… and nothing else?

Moving to the small arms columns, the 1st Illinois remains defiant to this transcriber:

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Like a canister blast, there’s a lot of scatter here:

  • Battery A: Three Army revolvers, forty-three Navy revolvers, and four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Seventeen Navy revolvers and five cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: Ten Army revolvers, nine Navy revolvers, and thirteen cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: Ten cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: Eleven Navy revolvers and three cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: Twenty breechloading carbines and ninety-seven cavalry sabers.
  • Battery L:  Seventeen muzzle-loading carbines, twenty-eight Army revolvers and 148 cavalry sabers.

Noteworthy for their absence is Battery H.  But I guess if you are pushing around a 20-pdr Parrott, small arms are an encumbrance.  Notice also the entries,  generic though it be, for breechloading and muzzle-loading carbines.  As discussed at length in earlier posts, many times the small arms allocations for the batteries reflected additional duties, such as providing security and details for patrols, at remote posts.

Lengthy… but interesting… that’s the summary for the 1st Illinois Artillery, giving a “sort of” picture for June 1863.