Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Kentucky’s Batteries

Kentucky’s batteries appear with different designations across the various sources I have used to formally identify units.  A good example is that organized and commanded through May 1863 by Captain David C. Stone.  The battery appears on the Army of the Cumberland’s return for Stone’s River as “Kentucky, Battery A” which might also be transformed to “Battery A, Kentucky Light Artillery” or as the State Adjutant’s report, compiled post-war, indicated “Battery A, 1st Kentucky Light Artillery.”  But later in 1863, the same battery, under the command of Captain Theodore S. Thomasson, appears in the Army of the Cumberland’s returns as “1st Kentucky Battery” (and there was, just below that entry a 2nd Kentucky Battery, so this was not simply a truncated version with the regimental designation retained).   I’ve written on this before, for the previous quarters.  But for those not tracking posts day-to-day (for shame!), I bring this up again to preface the discussion of the batteries and their returns for the second quarter of 1863.

That all said, we are looking at a couple of numbered batteries plus a couple of detachments for that quarter’s summary:

0185_1_Snip_KY

It appears to me we have “1st Battery” and “3rd Battery” along with detachments under the 14th and 27th Infantry.  But right off the bat, there were indeed three batteries, either numbered or lettered, from Kentucky serving at this time of the war.  And furthermore there was an independent battery serving in West Virginia.  So there is some explaining in order.  First, let’s go with what the summary offers:

  • 1st Battery: At Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with three(?) 6-pdr field guns, three(?) 3-inch Ordnance Rifles, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • 3rd Battery: At Gualey Bridge, West Virginia, with six 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Company K, 14th Regiment: At Louisa, Kentucky with four 6-pdr field guns.
  • Company H, 27th Regiment, Infantry:  At Munfordsville, Kentucky, with two 6-pdr field guns.

I have several issues with the identifications offered by the clerks at the Ordnance Department.  But they were there and I was not.  So we’ll work with those.  But before proceeding, here’s what I think those entries should have been:

  • Battery A, or 1st Battery:  At Murfreesboro under Captain Thomasson.  Placed in First Division, Fourteenth Corps when the Army of the Cumberland reorganized. But by June the battery was unassigned.  In May, Captain David C. Stone was relieved due to disability.  It appears around that time the battery was detached from the division and remained in Murfreesboro.  This should be the line marked “1st Battery” on the summary.
  • Battery B, or 2nd Battery: Assigned to Second Division, Fourteenth Corps, under Captain John M. Hewett.  The battery accompanied the division on the Tullahoma Campaign.  There’s no reason the battery should be missing from the summary.  But here we are.  However, I would point out a listing of artillery complied from returns for the Army of the Cumberland indicated Hewett’s battery did not provide a return for the quarter.
  • Battery C, or 3rd Battery:  Authorized in May 1863, according to returns, this battery did not complete organization until September 1863.  Captain John W. Neville would command.  However a curious story-line which I have not completely confirmed places the battery, while still organizing, at Lebanon, Kentucky in July 1863.  And Lebanon fell to Brigadier-General John Hunt Morgan on July 5, 1863, with most of the garrison surrendering, receiving parole. At any rate, this is not the 3rd Battery we see on the summary.
  • Simmonds’ Independent Battery, also 1st Kentucky Independent Battery: Captain Seth J. Simmonds commanded a battery formed out of Company E, 1st Kentucky Infantry.  The battery served at Gauley Bridge and Kanawha Falls, West Virginia in June 1863.  The battery became part of 3rd Division, Eighth Corps.  This battery is probably that identified by the clerks as “3rd Battery.”   This matches the armament and location given for the battery in the previous quarter.
  • 14th Kentucky Infantry: The regiment was formed at Louisa, Kentucky in December 1861.  And they returned home for a while during the winter and spring of 1863.  The regiment was part of the Army of the Ohio.  Colonel George W. Gallup commanded the regiment.  But while he served as commander of the Louisa garrison, Lieutenant-Colonel Orlando Brown, Jr. was in charge.  No further details that I know of regarding the four gun detachment.
  • 27th Kentucky Infantry: This regiment was also part of the Army of the Ohio.  And it was, as indicated on the summary, serving at Munfordsville, Kentucky in June.  Colonel Charles D. Pennebaker was commander. But while he served as garrison commander, Lieutenant-Colonel John H. Ward served in his place.

For clarity, allow me to identify the four lines using the clerks’ convention.  But I will put my identification in parenthesis.

For smoothbore ammunition on hand, we have this short report:

0187_1_Snip_KY

  • 1st Battery (Battery A): 197 shot, 180 case, 111 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 14th Infantry: 596 shot, 411 case, and 306 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

No indication what, if any, the 27th Infantry had on hand.

There are no Hotchkiss projectiles reported on the first page.  That is notable, as the 1st Battery/Battery A had 3-inch rifles on hand.  So no rounds reported to “feed” those guns.

Moving to the next page, we can break those columns down into two sections.  First entries for James rifle projectiles:

0188_1A_Snip_KY

Note, we have a ‘stray’ column of Hotchkiss here:

  • 1st Battery (Battery A):  40 Hotchkiss canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.

Then to the “James” proper:

  • 1st Battery (Battery A): 12 shot and 66 shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.

To the right of that are the Parrott and Schenkl columns:

0188_1B_Snip_KY

These all go to the battery at Gauley Bridge:

  • 3rd Battery (Simmonds’):  1027 shell, 575 case, and 265 canister for 10-pdr Parrott; and 69 Schenkl shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

Simmonds’ Battery reported a substantial stockpile of ammunition the previous quarter, keeping with the trend.

For the next page, there are two entries:

0188_2_Snip_KY

  • 1st Battery (Battery A): 250 Schenkl shell for 3.80-inch rifles; 110 Tatham canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

So, in all a few gaps to question, particularly the 3-inch ammunition for 1st Battery/Battery A.  Otherwise nothing stands out to argue with.

Lastly we have the small arms:

0188_3_Snip_KY

Only the two artillery batteries reporting:

  • 1st Battery (Battery A): Fourteen Navy revolvers, ten cavalry sabers, and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery (Simmonds’): Thirty-eight Army revolvers and fourteen cavalry sabers.

That concludes a toiling translation of four lines of the summaries.  I don’t like all the guesswork, but that is unfortunately where the trail runs.

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Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – Michigan Batteries

During the Civil War, the state of Michigan mustered fourteen light artillery batteries. Of that set, only ten were organized at the time of the December 1862 report.   According to many official reports and returns, the first twelve were lettered batteries within the 1st Regiment Light Michigan Artillery (i.e. Battery A, 1st Michigan; Battery B, 1st Michigan, etc).  But other references cite these as numbered batteries (i.e. 1st Michigan Battery, 2nd Michigan Battery, etc).  As Dyer’s recognizes the first twelve as lettered batteries within a regiment of light artillery, I’m normally inclined to use such designations.  However, the summary statement for December 1862 lists these batteries by number.  So for this post I’ll translate from the listed designation to the other designation.

I said ten batteries, right?  Well we have ten and a detachment to discuss:

0051_Snip_Dec62_MI_1

We see all but the first two were diligent and filed their returns as required… all received by the fall of 1863.  Let me fill in the few blanks regarding battery assignments:

  • Battery A (1st Battery): No return.  Was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland’s Center Wing (1st Division) and at Stones River in December 1862. Lieutenant George Van Pelt’s battery rendered good service that day, firing 697 rounds.
  • Battery B (2nd Battery): No return. This battery was still smarting from losses sustained on April 6, 1862 … you know, first day at Shiloh.  A surviving section was attached to Battery C, 1st Missouri Light Artillery (Mann’s Battery).  And the reorganized, freshly recruited sections were in transit to west Tennessee that December.
  • Battery C (3rd Battery): Corinth, Mississippi.  One 12-pdr field howitzer and three 10-pdr Parrotts.  Assigned to the cumbersome 13th Corps at the time.
  • Battery D (4th Battery): Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Two 12-pdr field howitzers, two 10-pdr Parrotts, and two James 3.80-inch rifles.  Assigned to the Third Division, Center Wing, Army of the Cumberland, Captain Josiah Church’s battery expended 170 rounds in the battle of Stones River.
  • Battery E (5th Battery): At Nashville, Tennessee with four 6-pdr field guns. This battery was on garrison duty.
  • Battery F (6th Battery): Munfordsville, Kentucky. Two 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Records show that one section (type of guns unknown) was at Munfordsville under Lieutenant L.F. Hale.  Another section was at Bowling Green under Lieutenant D.B. Paddock.
  • Battery G (7th Battery):  Carrollton, Louisiana.  Six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Carrollton was the battery’s location in September 1863, when the report was received in Washington.  In December 1862, this battery was with Sherman’s ill-fated Chickasaw Bayou expedition.
  • Battery H (8th Battery): No location indicated.  Two 12-pdr field howitzers, two 6-pdr (3.67-inch) rifles, and two James (3.80-inch) rifles.  This battery was in transit down the Mississippi River to Memphis, where it would join the 13th Corps.
  • Battery I (9th Battery): Washington, D.C.  Six 3-inch rifles.  This battery was assigned to the defenses of Washington. It would later become part of the Army of the Potomac’s Horse Artillery.
  • Battery K (10th Battery): Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch steel rifles. Was preparing for a posting to the defenses of Washington. Captain John Schuetz commanded this battery through the war.
  • Finch’s Section: Lexington, Kentucky. Two 12-pdr field howitzers.  Lieutenant A. J. Finch (18th Michigan Infantry, if my research is correct) commanded this section in the “Army of Kentucky” or District of Central Kentucky.

A fair allocation of the Michigan artillerists, weighted as one might expect to the Western Theater.

Turning to the ammunition, first the smoothbore reported:

0053_Snip_Dec62_MI_1

By battery from those reporting:

  • Battery C: 30 shell, 80 case, and 25 canister for 12-pdr field howitzer.
  • Battery D: 100 shell, 50 case, and 40 canister in 12-pdr field howitzer.
  • Battery E: 316 shot, 257 case, and 277 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery H: 240 shell and 63 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery K: 156 shell, 204 case, and 43 canister for 12-pdr field howitzer.
  • Finch’s Section: 96 shell, 96 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.

Rifled projectile listings start with Hotchkiss:

0053_Snip_Dec62_MI_2

We see those for:

  • Battery G: 302 3-inch canister of the Hotchkiss type.
  • Battery H: 281 shot and 130 percussion shell of the Hotchkiss type for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • Battery I: 108 canister, 75 percussion shell, and 200 fuse shells of Hotchkiss type for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery K: 96 canister, 165 percussion shell, 165 fuse shell, and 390 bolts of Hotickiss patent for 3-inch rifles.

Moving over to the James, Parrott, and Schenkle types:

0054_Snip_Dec62_MI_1

  • Battery C: 40 shell and 382 case Parrott-patent for 10-pdr Parrott.  And then 57 Schenkle shot for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery D: 30 case Parrott-type for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery H: 97 James-type for 3.80-inch rifles.

Continuing with Schenkle projectiles on the second page:

0054_Snip_Dec62_MI_2

  • Battery C: 126 Schenkle canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery D: 150 Schenkle shell for 10-pdr Parrott and 265 Schenkle shell for James 3.80-inch rifles.

Added to the end columns we see Battery H had 186 canister of 3.67-inch and 41 canister of 3.80-inch, both quantities of Tatham’s type.

And finally, the small arms reported by the Michigan batteries:

0054_Snip_Dec62_MI_3

  • Battery C:  Seven cavalry sabers.
  • Battery D: 20 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: 10 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: 16 Army revolvers, 8 cavalry sabers, and 6 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: 50 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: 161 Army revolvers and 33 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: 20 Army revolvers and 167 horse artillery sabers.
  • Finch’s section: Four cavalry sabers.

Clearly those Michigan troops in Washington, or destined to be posted to Washington, got the lion’s share of the pistols and edged weapons.

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 1st Illinois Artillery Regiment

During the war, Illinois provided two regiments of artillery and a regiment’s worth of independent batteries.  Many of those batteries achieved fame on the battlefield, and are well known to those familiar with the Western Theater.  Looking at their equipment, we will discover a wide array of issued weapons among these regiments.  We see that with the summary statement of the 1st Illinois Light Artillery Regiment:

0035_Snip_Dec62_1ILL_1

We see that even into December 1862 the Illinois batteries reflected the “rush to war” in the nature of the cannons reported.  Also worth noting is the number of batteries which were not only “in the field” but also actually engaged in combat as of December 31, 1862:

  • Battery A: At Vicksburg Mississippi with four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers.  Battery A was assigned to the Thirteenth Corps, Army of the Tennessee at reporting time.  They were part of the action at Chickasaw Bayou outside Vicksburg at the end of the year.
  • Battery B: Also at Vicksburg, but with five 6-pdrs and only one 12-pdr field howitzer.  Battery B was also at Chickasaw Bluffs.
  • Battery C: At Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  They were assigned to Third Division (Sheridan), Right Wing, Fourteenth Corps, Army of the Cumberland.    In action on December 31, they fired 1,154 rounds, lost 95 horses, and all their guns.  Thus the slim return for this summary.  I don’t know exactly what Battery C had going into battle, but know they had at least some rifled guns.
  • Battery D: No return received.  The battery was part of the Right Wing, Thirteenth Corps, Army of the Tennessee, operating out of Jackson, Tennessee at the time.
  • Battery E: At Vicksburg with six James 3.80-inch rifles.  I don’t find this battery on the order of battle for Chickasaw Bayou, but it was part of the District of Memphis, from which Sherman drew his forces for the campaign.
  • Battery F: Camp Sherman, Mississippi with four James 3.80-inch rifles.  The battery was in the Right Wing (McPherson), Thirteenth Corps at the reporting time.
  • Battery G: Had four 24-pdr field howitzers.  Battery G was part of the District of Corinth, Thirteenth (later Seventeenth) Corps.
  • Battery H: At Vicksburg with two 6-pdr field guns and two 20-pdr Parrott rifles.  Also at Chickasaw Bayou.
  • Battery I: No return received.  Battery I was also part of McPherson’s Right Wing, Thirteenth Corps.  They were guarding the railroads outside Memphis at the time.
  • Battery K: Paducah, Kentucky with ten Union Repeating Guns (or the Agar “coffee mill” gun).  This is intriguing, as we most identify the use of this weapon in the Eastern Theater.  (UPDATE: Battery K likely did not have these guns, but some other “light” weapon.  More on this in a follow up post.)
  • Battery L: At New Creek, Virginia, with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four James 3.80-inch rifles.  Battery L was part of the Eighth Corps, and posted in soon-to-be West Virginia.
  • Battery M: Munfordsville, Kentucky, reporting three 10-pdr Parrott rifles.

As you can see, there are a lot of threads to follow among those twelve batteries. Again, were this post not focused on the summary, I’d love to break down individual battery histories.

But that is not the line of march today.  So onward to the smoothbore projectiles reported.  We’ll look at this in two sections.  First the 6-pdrs and 12-pdrs:

0037_Snip_Dec62_1ILL_1

These were reported in three batteries:

  • Battery A:  6-pdr field gun – 148 shot,  512 case, and 117 canister. 12-pdr field howitzer – 120 shell, 107 case, and 36 canister.
  • Battery B: 6-pdr field gun – 350 shot, 270 case, and 131 canister.   12-pdr field howitzer – 30 shell, 160 (?) case, and 19 canister.
  • Battery L: 6-pdr field gun – 70 shot.  12-pdr Napoleon – 136 shot, 122 shell, 180 case, and 88 canister.

Note the entry for Battery L with seventy 6-pdr solid shot.  It was often reported that batteries would use 6-pdr ammunition in James rifles.  The projectile fit, of course. Here we see documentation of that practice in the field.

A lesser note here – Battery H, with two 6-pdrs, reported no rounds for those pieces on hand.

Also in the smoothbore category, we have Battery G with those big 24-pdr field howitzers:

0037_Snip_Dec62_1ILL_2

So for four howitzers only 36 shells, 30 case, and 24 canister on hand.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, first on the sheet are those of Hotchkiss Patent:

0037_Snip_Dec62_1ILL_3

Follow this close:

  • Battery F: Wiard 3.67-inch – 107 shot on hand.
  • Battery L: James 3.80-inch – 210 shot and 28 “bullet shell” or case. 3-inch – 40 percussion shells and 160 fuse shells.

For two lines, we have a lot to talk about.  Remember these are Hotchkiss-type projectiles made to work with particular types of rifled artillery – in the case of these two batteries those are James rifles.  But, what about Wiard?  My first response is “if it fits, we fire it!”  The difference between the Wiard 12-pdr’s 3.76-inch bore and the James 3.80-inch bore allows that.  But let us relegate that for the moment to supposition and speculation.  This could also be due to a mistake in the supply system… or a mistake in reporting.  That explanation could also carry over to the entries for Battery L, which would have little to no use for 3-inch projectiles.

Moving to the next page, none of the 1st Illinois batteries reported Dyer’s Patent projectiles.  But they did, of course, have those of James’ Patent:

0038_Snip_Dec62_1ILL_1

Three batteries reporting quantities of “6-pdr James” of 3.80-inch bore:

  • Battery E – 480 shell and 160 canister.
  • Battery F – 100 shot, 378 shell, and 100 canister.
  • Battery L – 320 shot, 36 shell, and 19 canister.

So as one might expect in terms of issue, but interesting that Battery L had small quantities of shell and canister on hand.  Instead that battery had a lot of solid shot (also count the 70 6-pdr smoothbore and 107 Wiard solid shot mentioned above).  We’ll see more tallies for Battery L below.

Batteries H and M had Parrott rifles on hand, and they reported projectiles for those guns:

0038_Snip_Dec62_1ILL_2

  • Battery H:  20-pdr (3.67-inch) Parrott – 120 shell, 48 case, and 57 canister.
  • Battery M: 10-pdr (2.9-inch) Parrott – 285 shell and 105 canister.

The next set of columns listed Schenkl projectiles:

0038_Snip_Dec62_1ILL_3

Here we find Battery L had 132 Schenkl shells for their James rifles.  Still only a fraction of the shells on hand for the two western batteries.

On the far right of that snip, we can add 172 Tatham’s pattern canister, in 3.80-inch caliber, for Battery L’s James rifles.  However, Battery F reported 183 Tatham’s pattern canister in 3.67-inch for their James rifles.  One wonders how the logisticians kept track of projectiles which differed by just over a tenth of an inch.

Finally, the small arms:

0038_Snip_Dec62_1ILL_4

Entries in almost every column:

  • Battery A: 14 Army revolvers, 60(?) Navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers and a horse artillery saber.
  • Battery B: 50 Navy revolvers and 11 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: 8 Navy revolvers and 8 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: 10 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery F: 25 Army revolvers and six cavalry sabers.
  • Battery G: 45 of what ever the .58-caliber long arm reported in the third column (See update below).  45 cavalry sabers and 16 foot artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: 17 Navy revolvers and 9 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: 12 Springfield .58-caliber rifles and 114 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: 17 carbines and 148 cavalry sabers.

UPDATE: Phil Spaugy suggested the third column’s written header could be “Whitney, cal .58.”  Those being modified Model 1841 rifles.  This matches information from Arming the Suckers by Ken Baumann, for Battery G.

Sorry for the length of this post.  But that’s what it takes to detail some of the anomalies in the 1st Illinois Light Artillery, as of December 1862.