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

In previous installments, covering the earlier summaries, I’ve discussed the evolution of the 3rd New York Artillery.  The regiment began as the 19th New York Infantry but was reorganized as artillery and sent to North Carolina as part of Burnside’s early war campaign.  Based on the needs in that theater, the regiment’s batteries worked as garrison artillery and occasionally supported field operations.  In the winter of 1863, a several batteries of the regiment transferred to the Department of the South in preparation for operations against Charleston. Then between May and June 1863 a sizable portion of the regiment mustered out, with several batteries reorganized for recruiting.  So that leaves us with a regiment in part reorganizing; and in part performing duties in the field.

Colonel Charles H. Stewart commanded the regiment at this time.   He would directly command the portion of the regiment that remained at New Berne, North Carolina, all in the District of North Carolina, and part of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, or simply the Eighteenth Corps. Four batteries had that address on their returns (and a fifth was technically there at the end of the reporting period):

0273_1_Snip_NY3

Looking the individual batteries:

  • Battery A: No return.  As mentioned last quarter, this battery returned to New York and mustered out in June. Men with time still on their enlistments transferred to Batteries E, I, and K.  A new Battery A reformed in September 1864.
  • Battery B: Reported on Morris Island, South Carolina, with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain James E. Ashcroft, who’d transferred from Battery C in May, commanded this battery assigned to the Tenth Corps. The battery manned a position on the Second Parallel of the siege lines extending toward Battery Wagner that summer.
  • Battery C: No return.  The original Battery C mustered out on May 22, 1863, with its remaining three-year men transferred to Batteries I and K.  On September 30, 1863, just getting into our reporting period, a new Battery C mustered under the command of William E. Mercer.
  • Battery D: No return.  Another battery that mustered out in June 1863.  Those with enlistments remaining went to Batteries E, I, and K.  A new Battery D mustered in February 1864.
  • Battery E:  At New Berne, North Carolina with four 20-pdr Parrott rifles.  Captain Theodore H. Schenck remained in command.  The battery was part of the force under Stewart, in the District of North Carolina, technically in the Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery F:  On Morris Island with six 12-pdr (3.67-inch) Wiard rifles. Another battery holding down real estate on the Second Parallel of Morris Island.   Lieutenant Paul Birchmeyer commanded this battery in the position. Captain David A. Taylor mustered out in mid-July (having been on detached service, and later joining the 16th Cavalry).  Samuel C. Day, transferred from Battery B, was appointed captain of the battery in late July,  though Birchmeyer appears on the reports from Morris Island.
  • Battery G: No return. Another battery mustered out in early June. Remaining men transferred to Battery K.  The new Battery G mustered in March 1864.
  • Battery H: Reporting at Newport News, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  That location is valid for the December 1863 reporting date.  In September the battery was stationed at New Berne.  In October the battery moved to Newport News.  Captain William J. Riggs in command.  Assigned to Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery I:  At New Berne and with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain John H. Ammon held command.
  • 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 New Berne with six 10-pdr Parrott Rifles.  Captain John H. Howell commanded.
  • Lieutenant with “Stores in Charge” at New Berne.  On this line the regiment reported implements, tools, and stores, but no cannon or ammunition.

Turning to the ammunition, returns indicated retention of heavy howitzer rounds. And thus we must look at the extended columns:

0275_1_Snip_NY3

Four lines to consider here:

  • Battery B: 848 shot, 304 shell, 1,928 case, and 568 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons (all there on Morris Island and being put to good use!)
  • Battery E: 20 shell and six canister for 24-pdr field howitzers; 2 shell and six canister for 32-pdr field howitzers. Battery E had turned over those howitzers during the previous winter, but still had rounds on hand to account for.
  • Battery H: 384 shot, 75 shell, 439 case, and 160 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery I: 282 shot, 138 shell, 290 case, and 136 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Turning to the Hotchkiss page:

0275_2_Snip_NY3

More than just 3-inch rounds here:

  • Battery E: 84 fuse shell for 3.67-inch rifle (20-pdr Parrott).
  • Battery F: 100 shot, 361 percussion shell, 397 fuse shell and 274(?) bullet shell for 3.67-inch rifles (12-pdr Wiard).
  • Battery K: 768 shot, 188 canister, 36 percussion shell, and 150 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

Let me break up the next page for clarity, and start with the “orphan” set of Hotchkiss columns:

0276_1H_Snip_NY3

  • Battery F: 437 canister for 3.67-inch rifles (12-pdr Wiard).

Moving over to the Parrott columns:

0276_1P_Snip_NY3

Two batteries with Parrotts:

  • Battery E: 390 shot, 110 shell, and 30 canister for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery M: 1,155 shell, 33 case, and 134 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

No Schenkl rounds reported, so we can move to the small arms:

0276_3_Snip_NY3

By battery:

  • Battery B: One Army revolver, nineteen Navy revolvers, and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Twenty-nine Navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and forty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Twenty-five Army revolvers and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Four Army revolvers, seventeen Navy revolvers, and fifty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Ten Army revolvers, six Navy revolvers, and forty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Four Army revolvers, nineteen Navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and fifty-two horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Twenty-four Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.

We might say the 3rd New York was a “half in” regiment as the summer of 1863 came to a close with so many batteries mustered out.  Though it would recruit back up to strength before the war’s end.  What batteries were in service did good work on Morris Island and holding down positions in North Carolina.

 

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

As we’ve discussed in the entries for earlier quarters, a number of the 3rd Artillery’s batteries were assigned garrison duties in California.  Others in relatively quiet sectors.  But the 3rd was represented well in the Army of the Potomac and other active field armies.  Still, the nature of that collective service lead to a “spotty” summary statement.  For the 3rd quarter of 1863, we find only four lines reporting artillery on hand:

0233_1_Snip_3rdUS

Let us look at the administrative details for explanations:

  • Battery A: At Albuquerque, New Mexico with two 12-pdr field howitzers and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Same as the previous quarter.  Lieutenant John B. Shinn was in command of this battery.  Shinn’s promotion to captain would come in January of the next year.
  • Battery B: Given the annotation “Infy. Stores” at Camp Reynolds, on Angel Island, off San Francisco, California.  Lieutenant Louis Hasbrouk Fine was the senior officer with the battery at this time, but Captain (brevet Major) George E.P. Andrews, of the 3rd Artillery, was returning to that post from extended duties elsewhere.
  • Battery C: Simply “Army of the Potomac,” with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Part of the Second Brigade of the Horse Artillery, Army of the Potomac.  Still under Lieutenant William D. Fuller, the battery performed well in a sharp action on the Rapidan River, covering the cavalry, in mid-September.  Captain Dunbar R. Ransom, recovered from a wound suffered at Gettysburg, resumed command near the end of September.  The battery was still near Stevensburg, Virginia at the start of the Bristoe Campaign.
  • Battery D: At Alcatraz Island, California with the annotation “Infy. Stores.”  Captain William A. Winder, of the 3rd US Artillery, commanded the garrison of Alcatraz at this time of the war.  Under his command were Batteries D and I (Battery H having moved out of that post).
  • Battery E: No return. Serving in the Department of the South, under Lieutenant  John R. Myrick.  The battery had six 10-pdr Parrotts at this time.  In late September the battery transferred from Morris Island to Folly Island.
  • Battery F & K: No location given, but with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  This combined battery was assigned to the 1st US Regular Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  In September Lieutenant George F. Barstow replaced Lieutenant John G. Turnbull as the battery commander.
  • Battery G: Fort Turnbull, Connecticut  but without any assigned cannon. Lieutenant Lewis Smith held command of this battery, just completing reorganization.
  • Battery H: “Infy. Stores” with location as Fort Point, California.  Captain Joseph Stewart appears on records as the senior officer in the battery.
  • Battery I: Also “Infy. Stores” but on Alcatraz Island with Battery D.
  • Battery K: Annotated as “with Battery F”.  See that battery’s notes above.
  • Battery L & M: No location given, but with four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Captain John Edwards remained in command of this combined battery.  The battery was assigned to First Division, Ninth Corps.  This well-traveled battery returned from Mississippi in time to participate in the Knoxville Campaign.
  • Lieutenant: “Stores in Charge.”  This line tallied various implements and supplies, apparently assigned to a lieutenant of the regiment, but with no location indicated.
  • Band: Another “Stores in Charge” and listed at Fort Turnbull, Connecticut.

Of note, with those last two lines, the regimental commander, with his headquarters and staff, were stationed at Fort Turnbull at this time.  Colonel William Gates had served well over 45 years active duty by this point in his life.  Looking at his portrait, he strikes me as a “worn” man:

colonel_william_gates_usa

Then again, maybe it is the scratchy photo negative.

He’d fought in the War of 1812, Seminole Wars, and the Mexican War.  Though his career was somewhat marred by the sinking of the SS San Francisco in 1853, carrying his regiment to California, and the loss of some 300 lives.

Moving to the ammunition, we have two batteries with smoothbores:

0235_1_Snip_3rdUS

And two reporting:

  • Battery A: 148 shot, 112 case, and 216 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 170 shell, 240 case, and 88 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery F & K: 192 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

As noted under the previous quarters, Battery A held on to ammunition for 6-pdrs it no longer had on charge.

Moving to the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

0235_2_Snip_3rdUS

Again, two lines.  But not a lot to talk about:

  • Battery A: 96 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 30 canister for 3-inch rifles.

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

0236_1A_Snip_3rdUS

  • Battery L & M: 559 shell, 289 case, and 133 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Moving right along, we have the Schenkl columns:

0236_2_Snip_3rdUS

Again, two batteries reporting:

  • Battery A: 254 shell and 288 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 18 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Thus, if we work strictly off quantities reported, Battery C seems short of projectiles.

Turning to the last set of columns, we have the small arms:

0236_3_Snip_3rdUS

By battery:

  • Battery A: Thirteen breech loading carbines, eighty-six Army revolvers, two Navy revolvers, and eighty-nine horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: One breech loading carbine, twenty-five Navy revolvers, twenty-nine cavalry sabers, and 100(?) horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F & K: Four Army revolvers and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Six cavalry sabers, eighty-eight horse artillery sabers, and twenty-four foot artillery swords.
  • Battery L & M: Twelve Navy revolvers and forty-eight horse artillery sabers.
  • The Band: Thirteen rifles.

Yes, the BAND with thirteen rifles!  Perhaps somewhere in the Army’s vast bureaucracy is a library of forms accounting for musical instruments – drums, fifes, horns, and such.  But this is “To the Sound of the Guns” and not Philip Sousa’s greatest hits!  So here we must ask why the band had a baker’s dozen rifles?  Perhaps Colonel Gates preferred a “fighting band”?   Or, at least one that looked sharp for formal affairs and ceremonial guard.  Toward that end, the band also reported thirteen sets of accouterments – cartridge boxes, cap pouches, belts, and bayonet scabbards.

As for the “Lieutenant” line, I find only one equipment bag listed.  But … let’s say it together…. “All government equipment must be accounted for!”

 

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 1st Regiment, US Regulars

In our journey through the Summary Statements, we’ve arrived at the third quarter of 1863.  Readers well know the chronology of events for July, August, and September.  In some theaters, particularly the Eastern Theater and Trans-Mississippi, armies awaited the signal to resume campaigns.  In places such as Northern Georgia and the South Carolina coast, hard campaigning proceeded.  So we have the task of projecting the data into that time line, looking to correlate reports about cannon and shells to the actions.

For the quarter, there are a few changes to column headers.  Clearly the clerks in the Ordnance Department were adjusting to new “paradigms” with respect to ammunition usage.  But, ever watchful of the government’s expenditures, they opted to modify existing forms.

First in our queue is the 1st US Artillery and their twelve batteries:

0233_1_Snip_1stUS

Of those twelve, ten provided returns.  We see their service spanned from Louisiana, to the Carolina coastline, to Virginia:

  • Battery A – Reporting at New Orleans, Louisiana with two (down from four) 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch rifles.  Captain Edmund C. Bainbridge remained in command of this battery, and also served as division artillery chief.  Battery was assigned to First Division, Nineteenth Corps. Bainbridge, who was actually a 5th Artillery officer, was reassigned to duty in Tennessee in October.
  • Battery B – Reported on Morris Island, South Carolina with four 12-pdr field howitzers, and adding two 3-inch rifles.  Battery B was assigned to Tenth Corps, Department of the South.  By late September, the battery had moved to Folly Island.  Lieutenant Guy V. Henry held command of this battery.  But after a short detail as the Department’s Chief of Artillery, Henry transferred to command the 40th Massachusetts Infantry.  Henry’s designated replacement was Captain Samuel Elder.  However, that officer would not arrive until later in the fall.  Lieutenant Theodore K. Gibbs was ranking officer in the battery through the transition.
  • Battery C – At Fort Macon, North Carolina and serving as infantry.  Lieutenant Cornelius Hook held command of the battery, assigned to the Department of North Carolina. However, a detachment from Battery C, under Lieutenant James E. Wilson moved to South Carolina and served in the Tenth Corps.  They would man Battery Stevens during the First Major Bombardment of Fort Sumter.   Sergeant Michael Leahy, in that detachment, later received a commission and served in Battery B.
  • Battery D – Located at Beaufort, South Carolina with four 3-inch rifles. Lieutenant John S. Gibbs commanded the battery, assigned to General Saxton’s Division on Port Royal Island.
  • Battery E – Reporting at Centreville, Virginia with four 3-inch rifles.  With Captain Alanson Randol moved to command the 1st Regular Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac, Lieutenant Egbert W. Olcott had command.  The battery was assigned to 2nd Brigade of Horse Artillery,  Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery F – At Camp Bisland, Bayou Teche, Louisiana with four (down from six) 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Richard C. Duryea commanded.  This battery served Third Division, Nineteenth Corps.  Duryea is also listed as commanding the division’s artillery at this time. Lieutenant Hurdman P. Norris was the next ranking officer in the battery.
  • Battery G – No report.  Dyer’s has Battery G’s personnel serving with Battery E at this time.
  • Battery H – Reporting at Culpeper, Virginia with four (down from six) 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery remained under Lieutenant Philip D. Mason, in First Brigade, Artillery Reserve.
  • Battery I – No return.  But we are familiar with Lieutenant Frank S. French replaced Lieutenant George Woodruff, mortally wounded at Gettysburg, in command of this battery.  I believe they were reduced to four 12-pdr Napoleons, as they supported Second Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery K – Reporting at Warrenton, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.   Battery assigned to Second Brigade, Horse Artillery.  With Captain William Graham in command of that brigade, Lieutenant John Egan was senior officer.
  • Battery L – Reporting at a plantation, which is illegible to me, in Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Frank E. Taylor replaced the Henry W. Closson, who’d been brevetted to Major.  After Port Hudson, the battery transferred to the Nineteenth Corps’ artillery reserve.
  • Battery M – At Beaufort, South Carolina with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Loomis L. Langdon lead this battery,  assigned to the Tenth Corps.

With those particulars established, we turn to the ammunition reported.  Starting with the smoothbore projectiles:

0235_1_Snip_1stUS

The tallies match to the reported cannon on hand:

  • Battery A: 15 shot, 34 shell, 10 case, and 12 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B: 240 shell, 280 case, and 112 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery F: 144 shot, 48 shell, 144 case, and 54 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 188 shot, 68 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery L: 106 shot, 38 shell, 182 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery M: 466 shot, 111 shell, 469 case, and 88 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

I’ve learned, through long reviews of the summaries, not to reach too far with speculations about the quantities of ammunition reported.  But we see the number of rounds for Battery A’s two Napoleons is but one chest.  On the other hand, Battery M had plenty.

Turning to the Hotchkiss projectiles next:

0235_2_Snip_1stUS

Here we have some explaining to do:

  • Battery A:  12 canister and 202 percussion shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery B: 106 canister, 396 percussion shell, 160 fuse shell, and 155 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery D: 46 canister, 110 percussion shell, 85 fuse shell, and 158 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E: 60 canister, 90 percussion shell, and 340 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery K: 72 canister, 311 percussion shell, and 300 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery M:  12 canister, 12 percussion shell, 24 fuse shell, and 20 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

We see again Battery A was in short supply.  But the 3-inch rounds with Battery M, which had only Napoleons, stand out.  Battery M had a pair of Ordnance Rifles earlier in the year.  Couldn’t Battery M simply did not transfer this meager quantity of Hotchkiss rounds to Battery D (located on the other side of Beaufort)?  Probably some paperwork issue….

Before moving to the next page in the summary, let me call attention to a column header change:

Page 4 Header 1 0236

We see here the clerks erased a dividing line between the James and Parrott columns. They then put a new divider, two columns to the left.  And wrote in new column names:

  • 10-pdr Parrott Shot, 2.9 inch bore.
  • 20-pdr Parrott Shot 3.64 inch bore.

These replaced columns for James canister in calibers 3.80-inch and 4.62-inch, respectively.  We see the two columns to the left of those have hand written “canister,” but with no strike through of case shot.  These changes reflected the disfavor and declining use of James projectiles by the mid-point of the war.

And those columns are put to use for the 1st US (full page here):

0236_1A_Snip_1stUS

Two lines:

  • Battery L:  50 shot, 160 shell, 20 case, and 170 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery M: 40 case for 10-pdr Parrott.

Again, we see Battery M with rifled projectiles on hand.

The next page, for the Schenkl projectiles, also has some hand-written changes to the column header:

Page 4 Header 2 0236

In this case, we have six strike-through amendments as the clerks ensured the form remained current:

  • 6-pounder “Wiard” case, 2.6-inch bore.
  • 10-pdr “Parrott” case, 2.9-inch bore.
  • 3-inch wrought-iron gun case, 3-inch bore
  • 12-pdr “Wiard” or 20-pdr “Parrott” Case, 3.67-inch bore.
  • 6-pdr bronze rifled case, 3.67-inch bore.
  • 6-pdr “James” case, 3.80-inch bore.

These all replaced canister columns for their respective calibers.  This, I would submit, reflected the greater utility and use of case, vice canister.  At least for the bean counters in Washington, that is!

But those “referbished” columns were of no mind to the 1st Artillery:

0236_2_Snip_1stUS

Three entry lines, again Schenkl patent projectiles here:

  • Battery A: 52 shell for 3-inch rifles,
  • Battery E: 92 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery K: 144 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Turning to the last columns, we see that header is a mess of hand-written changes:

0236_3_Snip_1stUS

But that is typical for the small arms columns:

  • Battery A: Nine Army revolvers and forty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Ninty-six Army revolvers, nine cavalry sabers, and 130 horse artillery sabers!
  • Battery D: 121 Army revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and 106 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Eight Navy revolvers and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Three Army revolvers, five Navy revolvers, forty cavalry sabers, and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Twenty-one Army revolvers and sixteen foot artillery swords.
  • Battery K: Fifteen Army revolvers, twenty-nine cavalry sabers, and fifty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: Four rifles (type not specified), forty-four Army revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and 106 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: 103 Army revolvers, nine cavalry sabers, and ninety-five horse artillery sabers.

In previous returns, the batteries in South Carolina and Louisiana reported a substantial quantity of small arms.  And this could be explained by the additional duties taken on by artillerymen in those locations – patrolling and garrison duties.  Though I would point out, Battery M turned in 77 Springfield rifles reported in June.

We’ll look at the 2nd US Artillery next.

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – 3rd Rhode Island Heavy Artillery

Readers will be familiar with the 3rd Rhode Island Heavy Artillery due to their service along the South Carolina coast.  Hardly a month passes without mention of that unit here on this blog.  Though the main story-line in the 3rd’s service was operations against Charleston, batteries from the regiment served at times in Florida and Virginia.  And their service often defied the label of “heavy” artillery, as often the gunners served in the field as field artillery proper.

A bit of background on this regiment is in order.  The 3rd Rhode Island Volunteers first mustered as an infantry formation in August 1861.  As they prepared for their first major operation, as part of Brigadier-General Thomas W. Sherman’s expedition to Port Royal, they camped at Fort Hamilton, New York.  While there, under orders from Sherman, the regiment drilled on both heavy and light artillery.  By the time the regiment arrived at Hilton Head, it was for all practical purposes an artillery regiment.  Though the formal change did not occur until December of that year.

Over the months that followed, the 3rd Rhode Island served by batteries and detachments as garrison artillery, field artillery, infantry, and even ship’s complement as needs of the particular moment called.  In the winter of 1863, Battery C was designated a light battery in light of its habitual service.  We’ve seen that reflected in returns from the fourth quarter, 1862 and first quarter, 1863. However, the battery seemed to change armament with each quarter.  I believe this reflects more the “ad hoc” nature of tasking in the theater at that time.  For the second quarter, 1863, we find the guns reported on hand again changed:

0217_1_Snip_RI_3rd

At the end of June, Battery C had just returned from the raid on Darien, Georgia.  They were at Hilton Head on June 30, preparing for transit to Folly Island.  So this tally of two 12-pdr field howitzers may reflect a status as of January 1864, when the return was received in Washington.

This brief line, along with “clerical” lines for Batteries A and B, brings up a couple of facets to the summaries as they relate to the “real” operational situations.  First off, we know, based on official records and other accounts, not to mention photographs, the 3rd Rhode Island had more than just a couple of howitzers.  We must also consider the property management within the military and how that was reflected in the reports. The military in general tends to be very anal about tracking property.  For any given item, someone, somewhere is on the hook as the “owner” of said item.  Doesn’t matter if that item is a belt buckle or a cannon.  The “owner” might be a specific unit or could be a facility.  So, in the Civil War and specific to the context of this discussion, that “owner” could be a battery in the 3rd Rhode Island… or it could be the garrison commander at Hilton Head.  However, we rarely, if ever, see those garrison commands reflected in the summaries.  A significant blank that we cannot resolve with satisfaction.

What we can do, in the case of the 3rd Rhode Island, is use primary and secondary sources to provide a glimpse into that blank.  Let’s consider the 3rd Rhode Island by battery at this point in time of the war.  Recall, the 3rd and other units were, at the end of June, preparing for an assault from Folly Island onto Morris Island. Colonel Edwin Metcalf was in command of the regiment, with his headquarters on Hilton Head:

  • Battery A:  On Port Royal Island, under command of Lieutenant Edward F. Curtis (in absence of Captain William H. Hammer), serving as garrison artillery.
  • Battery B:  On Folly Island under Captain Albert E. Greene, having moved from Hilton Head at the end of June.  The battery manned six 10-inch siege mortars.
  • Battery C: Transferring from St. Helena Island to Hilton Head, and thence to Folly Island in the first week of July.  Commanded by Captain Charles R. Brayton.  The battery would man two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles and four 30-pdr Parrotts (along with a detachment from Battery C, 1st US Artillery).  Likely the reported howitzers were in reserve.
  • Battery D: Part of the original garrison sent to Folly Island in April.  Under the command of Captain Robert G. Shaw and manning eight 30-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery E: On Hilton Head, serving as garrison artillery under Captain Peter J. Turner (who was serving as a staff officer, thus one of his lieutenants was in temporary command).
  • Battery F: On Hilton Head, serving as garrison artillery under Captain David B. Churchill.
  • Battery G: Stationed at Fort Pulaski and under Captain John H. Gould.
  • Battery H: On Hilton Head, serving as garrison artillery under Captain Augustus W. Colwell.  Would deploy to Morris Island in July.
  • Battery I:  On Folly Island under Captain Charles G. Strahan.  The battery manned four 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery K: On Hilton Head, serving as garrison artillery under Lieutenant Horatio N. Perry.
  • Battery L: On Hilton Head, serving as garrison artillery under Captain Jeremiah Lanhan.
  • Battery M:  Part of the force on Folly island, under Captain Joseph J. Comstock.  They manned four 10-inch siege mortars and five 8-inch siege mortars.

Thus we see the 3rd Rhode Island was spread between garrison duties and advanced batteries preparing for a major offensive from Folly Island.  Those on the north end of Folly Island, overlooking Light House Creek, were armed with a variety of field guns, heavy Parrotts, and mortars.  Only the former category would have been covered by the summaries, as they existed in June 1863.  And what we have to work with is, based on official reports at the time, inaccurate.

But that’s what we must work with!  Turning to the smoothbore ammunition:

0219_1_Snip_RI_3rd

  • Battery C: 156 shell, 214 case, and 132 canister for 12-pdr field howitzer.

One might think no rifled projectiles would be on hand… but perhaps related to the two 3-inch rifles reported on Folly Island and manned by Battery C, we find some Hotchkiss projectiles on hand:

 

0219_2_Snip_RI_3rd

  • Battery C: 48 canister and 108 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

No ammunition reported on the next page, of Dyer’s, James, or Parrott patents:

0220_1_Snip_RI_3rd

But some Schenkl on hand:

0220_2_Snip_RI_3rd

  • Battery C: 100 shell for 3-inch rifles.

As for small arms:

0220_3_Snip_RI_3rd

  • Battery C: Forty-eight Army revolvers and 102 cavalry sabers.

I suspect, given the varied nature of the 3rd Rhode Island’s duties, the other batteries had a large number of small arms on hand also.  But because of the selective record, we don’t have the details.

Just to say we discussed ALL the Rhode Island artillery, let me mention two other heavy artillery regiments.  The 5th Rhode Island Infantry was reorganized as the 5th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery on May 27, 1863.  Stationed at New Berne, North Carolina, Colonel George W. Tew commanded the reorganized regiment.

Though not organized, we can trace the story of another heavy artillery regiment back to June 1863.  In response to the emergency developing in Pennsylvania, the governor of Rhode Island authorized Colonel Nelson Viall (formerly of the 1st Rhode Island Infantry) to form a six-month regiment.  Designated the 13th Rhode Island, recruitment was slow due to the war situation, small bounties, and the draft.  By July, the War Department decided no more six-month regiments would be accepted and insisted on a three-year enlistment standard.  With that, the 13th was disbanded and in its place the 14th Rhode Island was authorized.  That formation, which began organization in August, was a US Colored Troops Regiment of heavy artillery.

 

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – New York’s miscellaneous detachments and batteries

Below the second quarter, 1863 listing for the New York independent batteries are three lines derived from returns of separate, non-artillery battery, detachments:

0209_1_Snip_NY_MISC

Recall we discussed a fourth “line” earlier in this series – the 3rd New York Cavalry – as that entry was better placed in the order it appeared on the summaries. These remaining “orphans” include artillery pieces and stores under the charge of a Lieutenant (unit unspecified) and reported by two infantry regiments:

  • “Lieutenant – Stores in Charge”: The unnamed lieutenant was at Gloucester Point, Virginia.  With several artillery batteries, in particular some New York batteries, at that station, one wonders why the stores were not distributed to the artillerists.
  • 100th New York Infantry:   Reporting a pair of 6-pdr field guns at Morris Island, South Carolina.  Of course, as of June 30, the regiment was actually on Folly Island, across the Stono River.  They would land on the southern end of Morris Island on July 10.  These guns were not part of the masked batteries on Folly Island.  More likely the 6-pdrs were assigned to the works securing the southwestern end of the island.
  • 132nd New York Infantry: The regiment was stationed at New Bern, North Carolina at this time.  No cannon on hand. Just stores and equipment.  With so many artillery batteries stationed there, we must again wonder why the infantry was stuck with this charge.

There are, however, two light batteries which escaped the tallies of the clerks in Washington.  And that was not due to some administrative oversight.  Rather, that battery’s service, as a mustered “Federal” battery, was very brief.

Colonel William B. Barnes received authorization to recruit the 11th New York Artillery Regiment in February 1863.  Handbills and newspaper announcements proclaimed this regiment would man the fortifications around New York City, with promises of no marches or backpacks.  Good duty if you can get it!  By June, Barnes had upwards of 1,000 recruits at Rochester, New York.

Then the other shoe dropped.  With reports of Confederates moving into Pennsylvania, authorities in Washington and New York reached for any and all resources to meet the threat.  Among those was the 11th New York.  On June 15, orders came for the regiment to report to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Before that could happen, the mustering officer culled out unfit or otherwise unqualified recruits.  This limited the regiment to just four batteries – A, B, C, and D.

Of those four, only Battery D was equipped as a light battery.  Captain William F. Goodwin recruited his battery with an additional enticement – service with a unique and advanced weapon.  From a notice run in the Albany Evening Journal, on, quite appropriately, June 15:

Goodwin’s Battery. – Capt. Goodwin is recruiting in this city for a Battery to be attached to the 11th Artillery.  His company is nearly half full, and he hopes, in the course of a few weeks, to be in position to take the field.

His guns – his own invention – have been warmly approved by leading artillery officers and accepted by the Government.  They are breech-loaders, and are claimed to have the widest range of any in the world.  They have projected a ball the enormous distance of six miles, and can be fired at the rate of fifteen times a minute.  Capt. G. assures us that they can be fired fifteen hundred rounds without cleaning or swabbing.

Capt. Goodwin is an officer of high character and large experience in the science of gunnery, and his Battery is destined to make its mark.

Artillery enthusiasts know well this song.  Such advanced weapons rarely lived up to the sales pitch hype! The details of this weapon are best saved for a dedicated post.  But Goodwin did provide an illustration of the mechanism with a patent application:

 

GoodwinGun

Goodwin’s design included a breech plug, lined with rubber or other material.  That was forced into a seat with a breech piece swung horizontally on a yoke.  I’ll offer more details separately, but the main point today is this was of Goodwin’s own design.

Goodwin’s Battery, along with the three others, boarded trains for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on June 17.  In Pennsylvania, the 11th was part of the scratch force assembled to defend Harrisburg.  On July 1, the 11th was ordered to proceed to Carlisle, in reaction to Confederate cavalry, to serve as infantry.  This prompted a mutiny, as the rank and file had not signed up for such. Writing on July 10, Brigadier-General Lorenzo Thomas, in Harrisburg, had unflattering words about the regiment as a whole, but held a favorable impression of Goodwin’s:

… Goodwin’s battery of four 10-pounder rifled breech-loading guns went forward [to Chambersburg] this morning.  The Eleventh New York Heavy Artillery, excepting Goodwin’s battery, which rendered good service, left this morning for New York City, to report to General Wool. This is the regiment which refused to go forward as infantry when the rebels were advancing and near this place.  (OR, Series I, Volume 27, Part III, Serial 45, pages 633-4.)

Thomas’ report confirms Goodwin’s Battery did serve as field artillery during their brief active service. Furthermore, we have some indication as to the caliber of weapon, if indeed those were of Goodwin’s design.  While not precise, the 10-pounder label is often used for 3-inch caliber.

While Batteries A, B, and C of the 11th proceeded back to New York, Battery D briefly served in Pennsylvania.  By the end of July all were back in their home state, serving at Fort Richmond (Battery A), Fort Hamilton (Batteries B and D), and Sandy Hook (Battery C).  The 11th was mustered out shortly afterwards, but remained on state rolls.  Because of the brief, perhaps only six weeks in total, service of Battery D, we do not see them recorded on this summary.

Goodwin’s Battery was still at Fort Hamilton on September 18 when disaster struck.  While practicing, one of the guns discharged prematurely.  Goodwin was badly injured and a private lost his arm when the breech plug blew out the back of the gun.  A report in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, on October 3, lamented, “… it is feared the Captain will lose his eyesight.”

The second of these militia batteries caught up in the emergency was Varian’s State Militia Battery.  This battery had served in Maryland and Virginia in the earliest days of the war.  When it mustered out on July 20, 1861, conveniently missing First Manassas, the guns remained behind while the men returned to New York.  It was reorganized as a battery in the 8th Regiment, New York National Guard.  In June 1863, the regiment, with the battery attached, was mustered into service for thirty days.  It would advance as far as Carlisle, Pennsylvania as part of First Division, Department of the Susquehanna.  The battery was mustered out of Federal service on July 23, 1863, returning to its state assignment.

Turning back to the summaries, we find the 100th New York Infantry had ammunition on hand for it’s 6-pdrs:

0211_1_Snip_NY_MISC

  • 100th New York Infantry: 40 shot, 40 case, and 20 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

Ample supply for a couple of guns guarding the approaches to Folly Island.

The 132nd New York had Hotchkiss projectiles on hand:

0211_2_Snip_NY_MISC

  • 132nd New York Infantry: 26 shot, 20 percussion shell, and 40 fuse shell for 2.6-inch rifles, presumably Wiard 6-pdrs.

Further down, we see the unnamed lieutenant at Gloucester Point had his hands full with 3-inch projectiles:

0212_1_Snip_NY_MISC

  • Gloucester Point: 73 Dyer’s shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.

Add to several chests worth of Schenkl shells:

0212_2_Snip_NY_MISC

  • Gloucester Point: 299 Shenkl shell for 3-inch rifles.

As a taxpayer, I am profoundly irritated, 150 years after the fact, at this gross wastage.  Why weren’t these 372 projectiles simply transferred over to the 8th New York Independent Battery?  Instead, some lieutenant wasted his time, and my tax money, accounting for and maintaining this pile of shells!   If only the Ordnance Department were as “vigorous” for accounting of Goodwin’s Battery!

Things never seem to change, do they?

Turning to the small arms we see…..

0212_3_Snip_NY_MISC

Nothing.  Of course, these units would report their small arms on a separate report specifically for infantry weapons.

Thus concludes New York for the second quarter of 1863.  Up next… OHIO!

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – 3rd New York Artillery Regiment

When we examined the 1st New York Light Artillery last week ago, it’s service at the mid-point of the Civil War was mainly within Virginia.  Or shall we say the Eastern Theater proper?  In contrast, the 3rd New York Artillery (which was a mix of heavy and light) spent the first half of the war serving in the Carolinas.  For the fourth quarter of 1862, we briefly looked at the origins of the 3rd regiment.  And for the first quarter of 1863, we noted the split of the regiment, with some batteries going to reinforce efforts against Charleston.  In addition to that move, over 500 two year enlistments came up in May.  This brought the overall regimental strength down to 889 men.  Men were transferred within the regiment to meet obligations to maintain field batteries at full manning.  Between May and June, the remaining men of Batteries A, C, D, and G were transferred to batteries B, E, F, H, I, and M.  Colonel Charles H. Stewart remained in command of the regiment, though as time progressed it was more so an administrative assignment.  And with Stewart’s administrative responsibilities, he received permission to recruit replacements (with the objective of a full 1,700 men).

That history in mind, we turn to the first page of the summary:

0201_1_Snip_NY3rd

As mentioned above, many of these batteries were not fully staffed.  And what did remain were either employed as garrison troops or other support roles.  Referencing Henry and James Hall’s Cayuga in the Field, we can fill in some of the blanks from the summary:

  • Battery A: No return.  Captain Charles White was in command of the battery when mustered out in Syracuse, on June 2.  The three-year men transferred to Batteries E, I, and K.
  • Battery B: Reported at Folly Island, South Carolina, with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain James E. Ashcroft commanded. Returns from the end of June had the battery assigned to Seabrook Island, but of course part of the force concentrating for the Morris Island Campaign.
  • Battery C: No return.  Ashcroft transferred to Battery B (above) on May 22, leaving Lieutenant Charles B. Randolph in charge of the two-year men.  They were mustered out on June 2.  The three year men from this battery moved to Batteries I and K.
  • Battery D: No return.  Captain Owen Gavigan was among the two year men mustered out in June.  Those with enlistments remaining went to Batteries E, I, and K.
  • Battery E:  At New Berne, North Carolina with four 20-pdr Parrott rifles.  Captain Theodore H. Schenck remained in command.  This battery was originally earmarked for South Carolina, but returned to North Carolina by April, part of Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery F:  On Morris Island with six 12-pdr (3.67-inch) Wiard rifles.  The location was valid for September, 1863, when the return was received in Washington.  Lieutenant Paul Birchmeyer commanded this battery, then on Folly Island. Captain David A. Taylor was on detached service, with the Signal Corps.
  • Battery G: No return. Another battery mustered out in early June.  Captain John Wall rolled up that guidon.  Remaining men transferred to Battery K.
  • Battery H: At New Berne, North Carolina with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain William J. Riggs in command.  Assigned to Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery I:  Also at New Berne and with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain John H. Ammon held command.
  • Battery K: No return.  Also assigned to New Berne at this time of the war. Captain James R. Angel was in command.  For the previous quarter, and the one that followed, this battery had six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles on hand.  Likely that was the case for the second quarter.  This battery received many three-year men from the disbanding batteries.
  • Battery L:  As explained in earlier posts, this battery did not exist as part of 3rd New York Artillery at this stage of the war.  Near war’s end The 24th Independent Battery was assigned this title, somewhat retroactively.
  • Battery M: At New Berne with six 10-pdr Parrott Rifles.  Captain John H. Howell commanded.

The batteries mustered out at the start of June (A, C, D, and G) were replaced by new batteries with the same designations starting in the fall of 1863 running through the winter of 1864.  So we will see them again in the summaries.

One other note.  We have seen the Napoleons of Battery B

Napoleon_Battery1A

and the Wiards of Battery F

Wiard_Battery

in the photos from Morris Island.

Turning to the ammunition, we have to use the extended columns to handle the smoothbore rounds.  And we have a “problem”:

0203_1_Snip_NY3rd

Three Napoleon batteries and some “leftover” in Battery E:

  • Battery B: 678 shot, 382 shell, 872 case, and 406 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery E: 84 shells for 12-pdr Napoleons; 20 shell, 78 case, and 6 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers; 2 shell and 6 canister for 32-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery G (?): 396 shot, 87 shell, 439 case, and 160 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H (?): 294 shot, 150 shell, 303 case, and 136 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

First off, Battery E had heavy field howitzers on hand in the previous quarter.  And apparently the battery retained some ammunition for those big howitzers (awaiting turn in, perhaps).  But that does not explain the Napoleon shells on hand.

Battery G, as indicated above, mustered out in the first week of June.  And no return was indicated on the first page of the summary.  I offer this was a transcription error.  If so, did the clerk just move everything up one line?  In other words, what’s on line 60 being Battery H’s ammuntion; and line 61 that for Battery I?  No evidence, just expectations!

Moving to the rifled projectiles, we start with the Hotchkiss patent types:

0203_2_Snip_NY3rd

One, well stocked, battery:

  • Battery F: 100 shot, 1065 percussion shell, 300 fuse shell, and 650 bullet shell for 12-pdr / 3.67-inch Wiard Rifles.

And we know those projectiles were destined to be fired at Battery Wagner and, occasionally, Fort Sumter in the months to come.

Let’s split up the next page for clarity:

0204_1A_Snip_NY3rd

  • Battery F: 240 Hotchkiss canister for 12-pdr / 3.67-inch Wiard Rifles.

Moving to Parrott and Schenkl projectiles:

0204_1B_Snip_NY3rd

Two batteries reporting:

  • Battery E: 126 Parrott shell, 30 Parrott canister, and 402 Schenkl shot for 20-pdr Parrott, 3.67-inch caliber.
  • Battery M: 1203 Parrott shell, 57 Parrott case, and 134 Parrott canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

There were no tallies for any additional Schenkl projectiles or the Tatham’s canister.

So on to the small arms:

0204_3_Snip_NY3rd

By battery:

  • Battery A:  One Army revolver, thirteen Navy revolvers, and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Twenty-nine Navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and forty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Eleven Army revolvers and seven horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G (?): Four Army revolvers, seventeen Navy revolvers, and fifty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H (?): Ten Army revolvers, seven Navy revolvers, and forty-nine horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M:  Thirty Navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.

As with the smoothbore ammunition columns, I offer that lines 60 and 61 were moved up by one.  So those should be Battery H and Battery I.  In the previous quarter, Battery H reported thirty-one Navy revolvers and fifty horse artillery sabers.  Battery I reported Ten Army revolvers, nine Navy revolvers, and forty horse artillery sabers.  Not a close match, but at least a little weight to consider.

We’ll continue with the New York batteries with consideration of yet another “straggler” line – some mountain howitzers in the 3rd New York Cavalry!

 

Fortification Friday: Splinter proof shelter, from the wartime experience

Last week, we split all manner of hairs regarding shelters within fortifications. Some of this hair-splitting had to do with nomenclature – shot proof, shell proof, and splinter proof.  And we saw that post-war writings introduced differences between facilities designated magazines and those designated shelters.  We can read into this a shift in doctrine.  Not only fortification doctrine, but also that of the practice of artillery.  After all, there existed (and still exists) a direct relationship between fortifications and artillery.

Let us focus on the splinter proof shelter for the moment.  Prior to the war, Mahan mentioned splinter proofing as a means to protect the magazine entrance.  But after the war, he introduced a structure called splinter proof shelter:

Splinter proofs for trenches and enclosed works faced with timber from eight to twelve inches in diameter, and covered with a sheeting of thick boards, and from four to six feet of earth, which are supported by uprights at the back; having a board flooring as shown in the figure, have been recently used in our field works and trenches with great benefit in the saving of life.

And the illustration provided demonstrates such as structure:

MahanFig39bis

Note the dimensions of the interior of this splinter proof.  Eight feet tall at the entrance, slanting to six feet.  Shown as 3 ½ feet wide, with a plank floor.  The structure is open to the left, which would be the interior, or rear, of the line of works.  And it is partially sunk into the ground, roughly three feet deep.  The arrangement would protect the occupants from direct fire (from the right of view) and high angle fire (dropping on top).  Being partially sunk down, some protection was afforded against shells bursting behind (to the left) of the structure.  But clearly the solution balance ease of access against protection.

And notice the caption, “Shows a section of Splinter Proof used in the trenches at the Siege of Fort Wagner.”  Yes, we’ve seen this sort of structure before… many times:

MorrisIslandBatteries2

Looking to a handy example, right at the top is the a-a’ profile line, working from one of the splinter proofs forward through Battery Brown to the Howitzer Battery in the Second Parallel. For cross reference, this line runs through the red oval highlighted here:

BatteriesRight2ndParallel_A

A clean look at the profile:

BatteryBrownProfile

Looking to the left, we see a slightly more elaborate splinter proof shelter, with two supporting uprights.  But notice the Battery Brown splinter proof is at surface level, not sunk in.

Something closer to what Mahan illustrated stood just a few yards behind Battery Brown, indicated by profile d-d’:

InfantryTrenches2ndParallelPlan_dd

In profile:

InfantryTrenches2ndParallelProfile_dd

The walk-space is wider than on Mahan’s diagram. But the structure generally matches. We know from reading accounts from the campaign, the intent was to provide shelter for troops staged for work on the parallels.  The orientation of the trench provided protection from Confederate batteries further up on Morris Island, as well as those on James Island. The Confederate fires reaching this point of the Federal lines were typically large caliber weapons fired at higher elevations.  Though not high-angle as used with mortars, which were out of range to hit these Federal trenches, the columbiad shells arrived at an angle which would normally defeat standard parapets.  So a splinter proof provided some overhead protection.

So we see, documented with the maps, diagrams, and accounts from Morris Island, a shift in emphasis for field fortifications.  This is not to say overhead cover was not used prior to the Civil War. Nor is it to say splinter proof shelters did not appear on earlier battlefields.  What it does say is that field experience in the Civil War caused engineers to focus more attention on overhead cover, to the extent that more elaborate shelters were built.  A shift in doctrine, you see.

Keep in mind, these examples come from a field army engaged in a siege.  So field fortifications directed for offensive purposes, as opposed to defensive arrangements.  Certainly these sort of works continued to appear on Morris Island after the fall of Battery Wagner, as the Federal presence shifted more to garrison of the hard-gained foothold in front of Charleston.  But more to the point – field fortifications are “tools” that can be used for either defense or offense as the tactical situation demands.  (And thus we’ll see later “lessons” from Mahan on how to build fortifications in support of siege operations.)

Writing even later, Junius Wheeler would further refine wartime experience to suggest even more elaborate shelters, in particular using wartime experience building the defenses of Washington.  We’ll consult Wheeler’s lessons in turn… before then, we should consider another of those split hairs – shelters vs. magazines.

(Citation from Mahan, An Elementary Course of Military Engineering: Part 1: Field Fortifications, Military Mining, and Siege Operations, New York: John Wiley & Son, 1870, page 52.)