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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

We start with the smoothbore ammunition reported on hand:

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Lots of round ammunition on hand:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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And we are not disappointed:

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

Then moving right, we have the Parrott columns:

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

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

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

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

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One line, but noteworthy:

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

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

We often associate Tatham canister with James rifles:

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Two batteries reporting:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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