Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 2nd Missouri (soon to be Light!) Artillery

Given the twists and turns of the regiment’s history, you can probably see why I consider the 2nd Missouri Artillery Regiment a store of those “lesser known” stories from the Civil War.  But our focus with the summaries is what was reported and the context from which those reports were written.  That said, we consult the 2nd Missouri’s summary for the third quarter of 1863, officially ending in September:

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Keep in mind, given the time line in the previous post, what was happening behind the scenes of this summary.  Special Orders No. 219, issued on August 13, directed the muster out of those deemed to have enlisted under the “Reserve Corps” and the reorganization of the regiment.  Also, under that order, a board reviewed all officers of the regiment to determine who would be retained.  Colonel Henry Almstedt resigned on August 27. The first round of muster-outs came in September.  Many of the released officers have a muster out date of September 28.

The start of the reorganization was a new commander.  Nelson Cole came over from the 1st Missouri Artillery, to accept a Lieutenant-Colonel’s position, with date of rank from October 2.  Under Special Orders No 261, issued September 24, Batteries E, L, and M were consolidated into Battery E.  Batteries A and B were concentrated at St. Louis, but was to be organized into a new battery.  Batteries C and D in Cape Girardeau, and likewise reorganized into a new battery.  Other batteries were regrouped geographically, with detachments of D and E around Little Rock, Arkansas; and other batteries   So let’s see how this matches (or not) with the summary given:

  • Battery A: Filing, in July 1864, from Cape Girardeau, Missouri with “infantry stores.”  This battery was the consolidation of the old Batteries C and D.  Captain John E. Strodtman was appointed commander, transferred over from the old Battery G.  (His cards indicate an alias of Emil Strodtman, who appears on the rolls of Battery D, but pending full reconciliation I must consider these two different men for now).   The battery served as heavy artillery in the Cape Girardeau defenses, part of the District of St. Louis.
  • Battery B:  A December return has this battery at New Madrid, Missouri reporting only infantry stores.  Captain John J. Sutter remained in command.  The posting, as heavy artillery, was part of the extended District of St. Louis.
  • Battery C:  An April 1864 return has this battery at Helena, Arkansas with one 6-pdr field gun and one 3.80-inch James Rifle. This data does not match with the known battery history at all.  The new Battery C was formed from the old batteries H and I.  Captain Frederick W. Fuchs, Company I, commanded the new battery.  This new battery was stationed at Cape Girardeau, alongside Battery A, as heavy artillery.  The return from Helena with field guns does not match any of the known history of this battery.
  • Battery D: A timely October 20 return places this battery at Cape Girardeau sitting on “infantry stores.”  This may be partially accurate.  The battery name transferred to St. Louis, concurrent to the regiment reorganization, and reformed with a consolidation of old Batteries A, F, G, and K.  Captain Charles Schareff (formerly of Battery I) was appointed commander at the end of September.  The battery later equipped for the field and sent forward to support the cavalry operating in Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas (raising the possibility Battery C’s return above was actually Battery D’s… reflecting confusion with the reorganization).
  • Battery E: No return.  This battery was, as of the end of September, reorganized from parts of old Batteries E, L, and M, under Captain Gustave Stange (old Battery M).  The battery was assigned to 1st Cavalry Division, Department of Arkansas.  On “paper” this battery was reorganized in St. Louis.  I would offer the men and equipment remained at Little Rock, with the new battery being organized by orders issued in St. Louis.  The battery reported four 12-pdr Mountain howitzers (see below).
  • Battery F: Indicated at Iuka, Mississippi as of October 25, with four 12-pdr field howitzers.  With the regimental reorganization, Captain Clemens Landgraeber’s First Missouri Flying Artillery transferred into the regiment.  The battery supported First Division, Fifteenth Corps and was en-route with other reinforcements sent to Chattanooga.
  • Battery G: A July 1864 return date places the battery at St. Louis.  There is an illegible notation for the battery.  Remaining men in the battery were mostly transferred to Battery A.  The battery reformed on November 15, stationed at Fort No. 3, in St. Louis, “equipped with 3-inch brass guns” according to the State Adjutant-General. Lieutenant William T. Arthur transferred from Battery F, 1st Missouri for a captaincy and command of the new Battery G, 2nd Missouri.
  • Battery H: No return. Most of old Battery H transferred to new Battery C.  A new Battery H formed out of men (new and old enlistments) at Springfield, Missouri on December 4, 1863, under command of Captain William C. Montgomery (formerly of the Missouri State Cavalry).
  • Battery I: A March 1864 return has this battery at Cape Girardeau with infantry stores.  Battery I was also reformed (recreated, may be the more applicable word) in Springfield Missouri.  It’s organization date was December 28, so beyond the scope of this quarter’s summary.  Captain Stephen H. Julian would command.  Julian had previously served with the Missouri State Militia batteries.
  • Battery K: Reporting from Little Rock, Arkansas with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch rifles.  Here again we catch the regiment in the state of reorganization.  This is the old Battery K, at that time part of the 1st Cavalry Division, Department of Arkansas and under Lieutenant Thaddeus S. Clarkson, a former officer on Brigadier-General John Davidson’s staff, and not actually a regimental officer.  However, that old Battery K was broken up, with most of its men transferred to the new Battery D.  A new Battery K was formed in January at Springfield, Missouri with Captain William P. Davis (briefly… but that is for the story ahead) in command.
  • Battery L: No return.  Most of the old Battery L folded into the new Battery E.  A new Battery L formed at Sedalia, Missouri and was formerly the 1st Battery, Missouri State Militia in January.  So we will see them accounted for under the “miscellaneous” portion of Missouri’s returns in this quarter.
  • Battery M: A January 1864 return has this battery at Little Rock, with four 12-pdr mountain howitzers. I would contend this was actually  Captain Gustave Stange’s old Battery M, reorganized into the new Battery E (above).  The new Battery M was organized at Fort No. 2, St. Louis, on February 15, 1864, and thus escapes our summary for this (and next) quarter.  Captain Napoleon Boardman would command this battery.
  • Quartermaster:  “Stores in charge” at St. Louis.  No doubt with all the reorganization ongoing, the regimental quartermaster was likely busy processing the turn in of government equipment from the many men mustering out.  And at the same time, he would need to account for equipment staying with the men, but moving over to new battery designations.  Certainly a job for a perfectionist.

Thus what we see in this section of the summary is a little of the “old” mixed with the “new.”  Of the four batteries reporting field artillery on hand, two were clearly the old batteries, with entries not yet reflecting the reorganization.  A third was a formerly independent battery transferred into the regiment.  The fourth eludes exact identification, but is likely one of the old batteries, prior to reorganization.  These reorganizations would continue through the next two quarters.  And beyond that, the heavy batteries were afterwards re-equipped as light batteries, completing the transformation of the regiment in late 1864.

Another point to make is the nature of the service.  The 2nd Missouri had not been thrust into major campaigns, up to this time of the war.  Other than the batteries, or portions thereof, in Little Rock and the “Flying Artillery” with the Fifteenth Corps, none of these were involved in active campaigns.  Duty with the 2nd Missouri was still “safe” for the third quarter.

That said, we have four batteries worth of ammunition to account for, starting with the smoothbores:

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Four batteries:

  • Battery C: 59 shot, 114 case, and 91 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Battery F: 240 shell, and 64 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers; 330 case for mountain howitzers (likely a transcription error, and should be under the field howitzer column).
  • Battery K: 62 shell, 10 case, and 43 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery M: 2 shell, 73 case, and 46 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

Not many, but a few, rifles on hand.  And Hotchkiss for those 3-inch rifles reported:

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  • Battery K: 321 canister, 193 percussion shell, 124 fuse shell, and 188 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Moving over to the James columns:

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  • Battery C: 80 shot, 150 shell, and 70 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

And more in that caliber under the Schenkl columns:

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  • Battery C: 40 Schenkl case for 3.80-inch rifles.

We then turn to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery F: Twelve (?) Army revolvers, twenty Navy revolvers, and eighty-one cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: Fifty-five Army revolvers, Thirty-nine Navy revolvers and thirty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Seventeen Army revolvers, sixty-four Navy revolvers, sixty-seven cavalry sabers, and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Quartermaster: Sixteen Army revolvers and sixteen cavalry sabers.

The report of small arms looks suspicious to me.  We don’t usually see a mix of revolver calibers.  Usually the battery was issued one or the other.  Where there are a mix reported, the quantities of one of the two is usually short.  Here we see substantial quantities.   Almost as if a column was transposed. But without the original returns, it would be impossible to determine where that error might be… if in error at all.

Though I would point out the quartermaster line has a nice even sixteen and sixteen.  As if sixteen officers turned in their pistols and sabers before mustering out.  Perhaps?

We are not done with Missouri for this quarter.  There are nine lines below the 2nd Missouri for militia batteries, independent batteries, and artillery sections in the other arms.

 

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