Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 1st (West) Virginia Light Artillery

Although West Virginia was formally admitted to the Union in June, the clerks at the Ordnance Department still used the, then, obsolete header of “Virginia” when grouping batteries from the state:

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Eight batteries of the 1st (West) Virginia Light Artillery and two artillery sections in infantry regiments.  We’ll break this down into two installments, for clarity and convenience.  So first we look at the 1st regiment’s batteries:

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The 1st Regiment only ever had eight batteries.  Battery A’s first commander Philip Daum, was the regiment’s ranking officer, promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in mid-1862 (though some records indicate a rank of Colonel, I find no documentation of that rank in the US Volunteers).    Daum served as an artillery chief during the Valley Campaigns of 1862.  But I am unsure as to his role and responsibilities after that point.  The eight batteries were representing the new state in the field:

  • Battery A: At Camp Barry, D.C. with four 12-pdr Napoleons. This battery was in the Artillery Camp of Instruction, Camp Barry.  On September 3, George Furst was promoted to captain.  Later in December the battery would return to the field.
  • Battery B: At Beverly, (West) Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain John V. Keeper command this battery,  supporting Averill’s Brigade, Department of West Virginia.  
  • Battery C: At Rappahannock Station, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts (although a consolidated report from the Army of the Potomac, dated August 31, gives this battery four Parrotts). The “Pierpoint Battery” remained under Captain Wallace Hill.  The battery remained in the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  With reorganizations of the reserve, the battery moved from the Third Volunteer Brigade to the Fourth Volunteer Brigade.  And it would later move to the Second Volunteer Brigade.
  • Battery D: Reporting at New Creek, (West) Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain John Carlin’s battery was part of Mulligan’s Brigade, Department of West Virginia.  Recall this battery spiked and abandoned its guns with the retreat from 2nd Winchester. Just a few weeks later, the battery was re-equipped and in the field.
  • Battery E: Reporting at Mechanicsburg Gap, (West) Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Under Captain Alexander C. Moore, this battery was part of Campbell’s Independent Brigade, Department of West Virginia.  The battery is mentioned on interpretive markers at Fort Mill Ridge, overlooking the Mechanicsburg Gap.
  • Battery F: At Camp Barry, D.C. with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Recall this battery was caught up in the retreat from Martinsburg in June, losing all four guns (which were obviously replaced when they arrived at Camp Barry). Captain Thomas A. Maulsby, commanding the battery, was among the wounded.  In his place, Lieutenant John S.S. Herr commanded through July.  Herr became ill and relinquished command to Lieutenant James C. Means in August.  Finally, in October,  Lieutenant George W. Graham was promoted to battery captain. Again, note this battery was rapidly re-equipped after the disasters of June 1863.
  • Battery G: Indicated at Martinsburg, (West) Virginia with two 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Chatham T. Ewing commanded this battery.  But with Ewing wounded at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia on August 26, Lieutenant Howard Morton stood in as commander. The battery supported Averell’s Separate Brigade, Department of West Virginia.
  • Battery H:  No return. Captain James H. Holmes was commissioned as commander of this battery in late September. The battery was still organizing through the fall.

Moving on to the ammunition reported, first the smoothbore:

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  • Battery A: 128 shot, 64 shell, 200 case, and 128 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 300 case for 6-pdr field guns.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, first the Hotchkiss:

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  • Battery D: 120 canister, 18 percussion shell, 278 fuse shell, and 720 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E: 226 canister, 395 percussion shell, and 1,303 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F: 80 canister, 111 percussion shell, 370 fuse shell, and 252 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Yes, a lot of shells for Battery E as they protected their gap in the mountains.

On the next page, we only have Parrott projectiles to account for:

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  • Battery B: 372 shell, 333 case, and 206 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery C: 653 shell, 270 case, and 213 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery G: 92 shell for 10-pdr Parrott.

One entry for Schenkl projectiles:

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  • Battery C:  90 case for 10-pdr Parrott.

We turn last to the small arms reported:

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  • Battery A: Fifteen army revolvers and seventy-five cavalry sabers.
  • Battery B: Eighteen navy revolvers and forty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Ten navy revolvers and nine cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Sixteen army revolvers and five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Twenty-nine army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Thirteen army revolvers, six navy revolvers, and twenty-five cavalry sabers.
  • Battery G: Thirteen army revolvers.

Save for Battery H, which was still organizing, a rather complete record for the West Virginia batteries.  We’ll look at the two sections reported in the infantry regiments next.

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Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 5th Regiment, US Regulars

At the start of July, Colonel (Brevet Brigadier-General) Harvey Brown commanded the regiment.  An 1818 graduate of West Point, Brown served in the Black Hawk, Seminole, and Mexican American Wars.  At the start of the Civil War, he turned down a volunteers commission with a star, opting instead for the colonelcy of the newly formed 5th US Artillery.

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Success at Santa Rosa Island, Florida, defending Fort Pickens, in October 1861 earned Brown a brevet to Brigadier-General and duty commanding the defenses of New York.  And in July, Brown led troops suppressing the New York Draft Riots.  But at the start of August, Brown came up on the retirement list.  Though his retirement date was August 1, Cullum’s Register indicates Brown was “awaiting orders” and “was retained until the close of the war in the command of Ft. Schuyler, and on other duties.”

For ten days (August 1 through 10), Lieutenant-Colonel George Nauman held temporary command.  Colonel Henry S. Burton was formally named to command the 5th on August 11, thus completing the transition.

Despite this change of command, for the third quarter of 1863, the 5th US Artillery offered a laudably complete set of returns, as reflected in the summaries:

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An entry for every battery.  And a line for the adjutant to boot!

  • Battery A: At Portsmouth, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Lieutenant James Gilliss’ battery remained with Getty’s Division, in the Department of Virginia and North Carolina.
  • Battery B:  Reporting at Martinsburg, West Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Under Lieutenant Henry A. Du Pont, the battery was rushed to the Department of the Susquehanna during the Gettysburg Campaign. As the campaign closed, the battery remained as unassigned artillery in the Department of West Virginia.
  • Battery C: At New York City, with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Though still allocated to the 1st Brigade of the Artillery Reserve, the battery was detached to New York after Gettysburg.  Lieutenant Gulian V. Weir remained in command of this battery, though Captain Dunbar R. Ransom accompanied to command all artillery dispatched to quell the Draft Riot.  By the end of September, the battery was at Camp Barry, Washington, D.C.  Later in the fall, the battery rejoined the Army of the Potomac with Lieutenant Richard Metcalf in command (with Wier going to Battery L).
  • Battery D: Reporting from Culpeper, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Lieutenant Benjamin F. Rittenhouse remained at the post he assumed on July 2, after Lieutenant Charles Hazlett’s death at Little Round Top. The battery supported Fifth Corps.
  • Battery E: At Chambersburg, Pennsylvania with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Lieutenant James W. Piper was in command.  Dispatched in June to Pennsylvania, the battery remained in the Department of the Susquehanna.
  • Battery F: At Warrenton, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Lieutenant Leonard Martin remained in command this battery.  The battery was assigned to Sixth Corps.
  • Battery G: Port Hudson, Louisiana with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Lieutenant  Jacob B. Rawles remained in command of this Nineteenth Corps battery.
  • Battery H: At Chattanooga, Tennessee with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  This was “flip” from the previous quarter, but an accurate adjustment of the records.  Captain George A. Kensel became artillery cheif for First Division, Fourteenth Corps.  In his place Lieutenant Howard M. Burnham commanded.  Burnham was killed when the battery was overrun on September 19.  Lieutenant Joshua A. Fessenden stood in his place. At Chickamauga, the battery lost two officers, 25 men, battery wagon, forge, and all their caissons.  Refitting in Chattanooga, the battery had sufficient limbers and caissons for the Napoleons, but only enough limbers for one Parrott.
  • Battery I: Reporting at Camp Marshall, D.C. with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.    Lieutenant Charles C. MacConnell remained in command of this battery, which was transferred from the Army of the Potomac for refitting and replacements.  Most references indicate the battery was assigned to Camp Barry.  And at least for a month Battery I was combined with Battery L for training.  In November, the battery was combined with Battery C.
  • Battery K: At Chattanooga, Tennessee with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Lieutenant David H. Kinzie, remained in command.  The battery transferred, with the rest of the Twelfth Corps, from Virginia to Tennessee in October.
  • Battery L: Also reporting at Camp Marshall, D.C., though Camp Barry is listed on returns, and with two 6-pdr field guns. Lieutenant Edmund D. Spooner’s battery recovering from the disaster of Winchester, earlier in June.  Spooner would soon head west to take command of Battery H at Chattanooga. (Wier of Battery C transferred over to Battery L.)
  • Battery M: At Stonehouse Mountain, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain James McKnight’s battery transferred from Yorktown to the Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac, in late July 1863.  I like this placename, as it prompts me to search through correspondence with Bud Hall.  Stone House Mountain (note the space) appears on Captain William H. Paine’s excellent map of the Culpeper area.  It is  close to Griffinsburg, west of Culpeper Courthouse.
  • Adjutant: Reported from Fort Hamilton, were the headquarters was located.  I’d like to put a name to this line.  Lieutenant Henry A. Dupont had been the regimental adjutant up until July, when he took command of Battery B.  However, Heitman’s Register indicates he was still officially the adjutant.  Lieutenant Thomson P. McElrath was the regimental quartermaster, and also appeared on correspondence from August and September 1863 as adjutant.

Overall, these are the cleanest set of administrative details and reported cannon from any regimental summary thus far.

The smoothbore ammunition table is, as we would expect, full:

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Seven batteries reporting:

  • Battery A: 192 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 192 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery C: 61 shot and 112 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery E: 192 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 290 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 11(?) canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 142(?) shot, 64 shell, 171(?) case, and 100 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery L: 96 shot, 56 case, and 48 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery M: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Only two batteries with 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  So not many Hotchkiss lines to account for:

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  • Battery B:  209 canister, 296 percussion shell, and 164 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery I: 50 canister for 3-inch rifles.

For the next page, we can focus down on the Parrott columns:

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Three batteries reporting quantities:

  • Battery D: 193 shell, 360 case, and 160 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery F: 480 shell, 480 case, and 144 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery H:  54 shot, 240 shell, and 94 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

The last page of rifled projectiles has Schenkl types:

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We see a mix of 3-inch and 10-pdr calibers… which differed by a tenth of an inch:

  • Battery B: 221(?) shell and 513 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery D: 599 shell for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery F: 120 shell for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery I: 318 case for 3-inch rifles.

With ammunition out of the way, we move to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery A: Twenty-seven Army revolvers and sixty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Fourteen Army revolvers and 135 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Three Army revolvers, one Navy revolver, and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: Thirteen Navy revolvers, fourteen cavalry sabers, and thirty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Twelve Army revolvers and 107 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Nineteen Army revolvers and twenty-six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Twenty-one (?) horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Sixteen Navy revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and thirty-nine horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Nine Army revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Fifty-two Army revolvers and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: Nothing….. for the second straight quarter.
  • Battery M: Twenty-four Navy revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • Adjutant: Twenty-seven horse artillery sabers.

In addition, the adjutant reported six nose bags, twenty-seven saber belts, eight bridles, five currycombs, six girths, six halters, five horse brushes, five lariats, four picket pins, six Model 1859 pattern saddles, six sweat-leathers, two surcingles, six artillery-type saddle blankets, six sets of spurs, and six screw-drivers.  And as mentioned above, Lieutenant P. McElrath was likely the officer accounting for those items – either as the adjutant or the quartermaster.  And once again…. all government property was accounted for.

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – West Virginia Batteries

At the close of the second quarter of 1863, West Virginia was but ten days a state.  Word of the state’s admission to the Union did not move quickly down Pennsylvania Avenue to the clerks at the Ordnance Department.  They continued to place the batteries under a heading of “Virginia.”

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The clerks allocated lines for batteries A to H.  Though Battery H had not formed at this time.  An additional line, dated August 7, accounts for a mountain howitzer in the charge of the 13th West Virginia Infantry.  Looking at the administrative details:

  • Battery A: At Camp Barry, D.C. with no cannon reported. This battery was in the Artillery Camp of Instruction, Camp Barry.  Lieutenant (later Captain) George Furst remained in command.  The battery only reported some equipment and small arms in its return.
  • Battery B: At New Creek, (West) Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain John V. Keeper command this battery,  supporting Averill’s Brigade, Department of West Virginia.
  • Battery C: At Taneytown, Maryland with four 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Wallace Hill commanded this battery.  In May, the battery transferred from Eleventh Corps to 3rd Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  Their Parrotts held a position on Cemetery Hill on July 2 and 3, at Gettysburg.  In the battle, Hill reported two men killed, two wounded, and the loss of five horses.  The battery expended 1,120 rounds.  “I think,” Hill concluded in his report, “I have just cause to feel proud of the part my men sustained during the entire terrible engagement.”
  • Battery D: Reporting at Hancock, Maryland with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain John Carlin’s battery was assigned to First Brigade, Second (Milroy’s) Division, Eighth Corps (Middle Department).  The battery was with that command during the battle of 2nd Winchester.  According to Carlin’s report, the battery had six 3-inch Ordnance rifles and 300 rounds as of June 12.  During the battle, the battery fired 265 rounds.  In the morning of June 14, Carlin received orders to spike the guns, destroy ammunition, and ride out with the horses.  He added, “Had I been allowed to do so, I could have taken my guns and equipment… and, in my opinion, could have rendered good service in covering the retreat….”
  • Battery E: Reporting at New Creek, (West) Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Under Captain Alexander C. Moore this battery supported Campbell’s Independent Brigade, Department of West Virginia.
  • Battery F: No return.  Captain Thomas A. Maulsby commanded the battery, supporting Third Brigade, First Divsion, Eighth Corps (Middle Department).  The battery reported six 3-inch Ordnance rifles in the previous quarter.  They were stationed at Martinsburg with their brigade when Confederates attacked on June 14.  In the withdrawal, Maulsby was wounded in the leg.  Lieutenant George W. Graham took over the battery.
  • Battery G: Indicated at Martinsburg, (West) Virginia with two 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Chatham T. Ewing commanded this battery, supporting Averell’s Separate Brigade, Department of West Virginia.
  • Battery H:  The state’s Adjutant’s report has Captain James H. Holmes commissioned as commander of this battery in late September.  This was a “six months” battery, and does not appear to have entered Federal service.  The battery was reformed in January 1864.
  • “Col. 13th Infantry”:  Colonel William R. Brown commanded the 13th West Virginia Infantry, part of Scammon’s Division of the Department of West Virginia.  The regiment spent the winter split between Point Pleasant and Hurricane Bridge, West Virginia.  They tangled with Confederates in late March.  Then in late June the regiment moved to Charleston, West Virginia, arriving on June 30.  Within a few days the regiment was dispatched to assist in the pursuit of Morgan’s Raiders.  The return indicates the 13th Infantry had use of one 12-pdr Mountain Howitzer.  But I have no further details.

One “administrative” note here for clarity.  Many of these West Virginia batteries were counted as part of the Middle Department.  With the Confederate drive down the Shenandoah and into Pennsylvania, changes to the Federal order of battle occurred on the fly.  Thus some elements were gathered into the Department of West Virginia.  I don’t have space here to detail, and the subject is a bit out of scope. Hopefully readers will appreciate the context.

Turning to the ammunition.  Just one battery and the infantry section reported smoothbore cannon:

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Those were:

  • Battery G: 100 shot, 90 (or 70?) case, and 56 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 13th Infantry: 92 case and 68 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, Hotchkiss first for the 3-inch Ordnance rifles:

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  • Battery E: 142 canister, 344 percussion shell, and 1,208 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

Keep in mind that Battery D, with 3-inch rifles at Winchester, expended or destroyed all it’s ammunition.  And Battery F, also with 3-inch rifles, did not file a return. Both were caught up in the debacle of the Federal retreat out of the Shenandoah.

For the next page, we can focus narrowly on the Parrott columns:

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Three reporting:

  • Battery B: 483 shell and 334 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery C: 383 shell, 240 case, and 163 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery G:  80 shell for 10-pdr Parrott.

In regard to Battery C, was that the quantity left on hand after firing 1,120 rounds at Gettysburg?  Or was that the quantity on hand as of December 29, 1863 – as the report was dated?

Battery B also reported some Schenkl projectiles for its Parrotts:

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  • Battery B: 308 shell and 610 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Turning to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery A: Fifteen Army revolvers and seventy-five cavalry sabers.
  • Battery B: Seventeen Army revolvers and forty-eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Ten Navy revolvers and nine cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: Sixteen (?) Navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Twenty-nine Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Thirteen Army revolvers.

Circling back to the service of these batteries at this particular time of the war, the statements offered by Captains Hall and Carlin (in the administrative section above) resonate.  One battery commander lamented the lack of cannon to perform his duty.  Another lauded his men for performance holding a critical line.