Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Vermont’s Batteries

Not a populous state, yet Vermont arguably fought above their weight class during the Civil War with nearly 10% of the state’s population responding to the call.  We hear much of the two infantry brigades which served with the Army of the Potomac.  And the storied 1st Vermont Cavalry gets it due from those who chronicle the horse soldiers.  But with respect to the artillerymen, the most often mentioned is the 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery, which served through much of the war, in effect, as infantry.  What of the light batteries?  Well… let’s look to their summaries:

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At the close of the third quarter, 1863, Vermont had only two light batteries in service (the third would not muster until 1864).  And those two batteries were dealing with the heat, humidity, and mosquitoes of Louisiana.  Thus, in our “main theaters of operation” centered studies of the war, these two batteries garner little attention.  Let’s give them some attention here:

  • 1st Battery: Reporting from Brashear City (modern Morgan City), Louisiana with four 3-inch rifles. Under Captain George T. Hebard, the battery moved to Third Division, Nineteenth Corps in the reorganizations after the fall of Port Hudson.  Initially assigned to Baton Rouge, the battery returned to Port Hudson in late July.  During the first week of September, the battery participated in the unsuccessful Sabine Pass expedition.  After that, they returned to Brashear City on garrison duties.
  • 2nd Battery: At Port Hudson, Louisiana, with four 6-pdr (3.37-inch) rifles. Although using a column for bronze pieces, these were most certainly Sawyer rifles of cast steel.  After the fall of Port Hudson, the battery remained at that place as part of the Fourth Division, Nineteenth Corps (again, a transfer as part of the corps’ reorganization).  Captain Pythagoras E. Holcomb commanded the battery at the start of the summer.  But on August 19, he was mustered out of the battery to accept a promotion to major in the 1st Texas (US) Cavalry.  An interesting “unionist” story to follow.  But as this is “To the Sound of the Guns” and not “The Tinking of Sabers,” I’ll leave that story to those who write about the cavalry.  Lieutenant John W. Chase was promoted in October to replace Holcomb. 
  • 3rd Battery: Not listed.  This battery began forming in November.  So we will discuss them in the next quarter in more detail.  Captain Romeo H. Start received commission in the battery on November 23.  And was busy recruiting from that point forward.

So just two batteries to account for in the ammunition tables.  With no smoothbores reported, we can skip that page.  So we move to the Hochkiss columns:

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  • 1st Battery: 86 canister, 329 percussion shell, and 261 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

No Dyer, James, or Parrott rounds reported.  So we turn to the Schenkl columns:

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  • 1st Battery: 130 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 2nd Battery: 498 shell and 222 case for 3.67-inch rifles.

Note also, at the far end of the table, some of those rare Tatham’s canister were reported also:

  • 2nd Battery: 222 canister for 3.67-inch rifles.

This leads us to the small arms reported:

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  • 1st Battery: Fourteen army revolvers and thirty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • 2nd Battery: Seven army revolvers and fifty-one cavalry sabers.

These two batteries continued their service in Louisiana into the next year.  The 1st would muster out the following summer.  But the 3rd, which we mentioned only as a prelude here, would move up to the front around the same time to participate in some of the most violent fighting of the war. 

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Massachusetts batteries

Entering the fall of 1863, the volunteer light batteries from Massachusetts served either in the Eastern Theater or the Department of the Gulf.  All told, the Bay State provided sixteen light batteries to Federal service during the war (save one or two thirty-day batteries at the start of the war).  At the end of the third quarter, 1863, fourteen of those had mustered.  However, the clerks at the Ordnance Department “shorted” that count:

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With the addition of the 15th Battery, this is an improvement over the previous quarter.  While we can excuse the absence of the 14th and 16th Batteries, which would not form until the winter of 1864, the 13th Battery should be on this list.  I’ll list all sixteen here, with placeholders, for sake of complete coverage:

  • 1st Battery: At Culpepper [sic], Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery remained with the Artillery Brigade, Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac. and Captain William H. McCartney remained in command.  More precisely, the battery was with the corps near Stone-House Mountain, on the right end of the Federal deployment in Culpeper County at that time.
  • 2nd Battery: No return. Captain Ormand F. Nims commanded this battery, assigned to Nineteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf.  The battery may have retain six 6-pdr rifled field guns mentioned earlier in the year. Following the surrender of Port Hudson, the battery transferred to the corps artillery reserve (having been assigned to Fourth Division during the siege), and returned to Baton Rouge.  At the end of September, the battery transferred again, this time to the Cavalry Division of the corps.  The battery saw field service in the Teche Campaign later in the fall.
  • 3rd Battery: Reporting at Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 6-pdr field guns.   This is obviously an error, as the battery held 12-pdr Napoleons (no batteries then assigned to the Army of the Potomac had 6-pdrs this late in the war).  Assigned to the Artillery Brigade, Fifth Corps. With Captain Augustus Martin in command of the brigade, Lieutenant Aaron F. Walcott remained in charge of the battery.  We might quibble over the location and say the battery was in Culpeper at the end of September.
  • 4th Battery: Reporting from “Camin Grove Bayou” in Louisiana (a transcription I am struggling with).  The battery had four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch ordnance rifles.  Under Captain George G. Trull, the battery remained with Third Division, Nineteenth Corps.   The battery moved around much during the summer and early fall with stays at Port Hudson, Donaldsonville, Baton Rouge.  They were at Fort Brashear, outside Morgan City, Louisiana at the end of September.  The battery would participate in the Teche Expedition in October.
  • 5th Battery: Reporting at Centreville, Virginia with six 3-inch rifles.  Captain Charles A. Phillips remained in command, and the battery assigned to the Fifth Corps.  The location should be Culpeper, but reflects a later reporting date.
  • 6th Battery: At Algiers, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 12-pdr field howitzers. The battery was assigned to First Division, Nineteenth Corps, commanded by Captain William W. Carruth.  When Carruth mustered out on October 3rd, Lieutenant Edward K. Russell (2nd Battery, above) transferred to command.  Then in December, Lieutenant John F. Phelps, of the battery, took command.  Phelps would be promoted to Captain with commission back dated to October 3.  During their stay at Algiers, the battery was reequipped and reduced to four guns.
  • 7th Battery: At Camp Barry, D.C., with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  This battery had an eventful summer, though not one for winning battle streamers.  Battery assigned to First Division, Seventh Army Corps,  and commanded by Captain Phineas A. Davis at the start of the summer.  At the start of July, the battery was among the forces employed for an expedition from White House to the South Anna River. On July 20, the battery was sent to Camp Marshall, in D.C.  And from there dispatched by steamer to New York City, camping on Madison Square, to suppress the draft riots.  On September 11, the battery returned to Washington, going to Camp Barry.  Davis accepted a promotion, and left the battery to Lieutenant Newman W. Storer (who was soon made captain).
  • 8th Battery: No return.  Mustered out the previous November at the end of a six-month enlistment.
  • 9th Battery: Culpeper, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Remaining with the First Volunteer Artillery Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Captain John Bigelow commanded, but was recovering from wounds.  Lieutenant Richard S. Milton filled in his place.
  • 10th Battery:  At Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. When French’s Division came to the Army of the Potomac, the battery moved with its parent organization into Third Corps.  Captain J. Henry Sleeper commanded. The location is presumably associated with the November date of return.  At the end of September, the battery was with the corps, just west of Culpeper.
  • 11th Battery: No return.  This battery mustered out of service in May 1863. Though it did see some use suppressing draft riots in the mid-summer months.  Captain Edward J. Jones commanded. The battery would muster back into service, under Jones, in January 1864.
  • 12th Battery:  At Port Hudson, Louisiana, with four 6-pdr field guns (down two 3-inch rifles from the previous quarter). Listed in the artillery reserve of the Nineteenth Corps. After serving by detachments during the Port Hudson campaign, the battery consolidated back in New Orleans in late July.  It was stationed at Tivoli Circle (you know… were once a statue to a Confederate leader stood) at the end of September.  Captain Jacob Miller remained in command.
  • 13th Battery: Not listed. The 13th Battery suffered heavily in their first year of service.  They’d lost sixty horses in the transit to New Orleans (that included a six week stay at Fort Monroe). And what horses they had when arriving at New Orleans were re-assigned to other batteries. Put to work on the Port Hudson siege lines, sickness and disease brought the battery down to fifty men by the end of August.  At that time, Captain Charles H. J. Hamlin returned home to recruit more men.  In his place, Lieutenant Ellis L. Motte was in command of a detachment, assigned to the 2nd Battery (above).
  • 14th Battery: Not listed.  Battery did not begin recruiting until January-February 1864.
  • 15th Battery: At Bayou St. John, Louisiana with no reported artillery.  Captain Timothy Pearson’s battery arrived in Louisiana in April.  But their equipment and horses was re-allocated to other batteries at that time.  The men served at posts around New Orleans as garrison artillery until the end of December.
  • 16th Battery: Not listed.  Battery did not begin recruiting until January-February 1864.

Turning to the ammunition, we look at the smoothbore first:

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Lots of those to go around:

  • 1st Battery: 286 shot, 93 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 3rd Battery: 192 shot, 96 shell, 387 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon (at least the clerks got the ammunition in the right columns!)
  • 4th Battery: 269 shell, 147 case, and 55 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • 6th Battery: 41 shot, 163 shell, 251 case, and 60 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 96 shell, 128 case, and 32 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 9th Battery: 182 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 54 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 12th Battery: 4 shot and 175 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

Moving over to the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

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Four reporting:

  • 4th Battery: 39 canister, 265 percussion shell, and 60 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 5th Battery: 138 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 120 canister, 236 percussion shell, and 120 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 500 shot, 115 canister, 110 percussion shell, and 220 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

No reported quantities on the next page:

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But there were Schenkl projectiles to account for:

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Three batteries:

  • 5th Battery: 140 shell and 930 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 720 case for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 15 shell and  240 case for 3-inch rifles.

Lastly, the small arms columns:

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By battery:

  • 1st Battery: Eight Navy revolvers, nine cavalry sabers, and five horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: One Army revolver, eight cavalry sabers, and twenty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • 4th Battery: One breechloading carbine, seven Army revolvers, and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: One Army revolver and twenty-seven horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Fourteen Army revolvers, ten Navy revolvers, and thirty (?) cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Fifteen Navy revolvers and twenty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • 9th Battery: Eight Army revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Sixteen Navy revolvers and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and thirty-six (?) horse artillery sabers.
  • 15th Battery: Fifty rifles (type unspecified), fourteen Navy revolvers, and twenty-two horse artillery sabers.

We will discuss the Heavy Artillery from Massachusetts in a later post.  But for now that’s the summary of the numbered batteries.

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Indiana’s batteries, Part 3

Looking to the bottom of the Indiana section for the third quarter, 1863, we find five entries set aside from the independent batteries:

0249_1_Snip_IND_Pt1 Looking closer, those are two entry lines for the 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery and three sections from other arms:

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As we have not detailed the “heavies” often enough within the summaries, let us take those first two lines as license to formally discuss the 1st Indiana Heavy.  The “Jackass Regiment” mustered as the 21st Indiana Infantry in July 1861.  Assigned to the defenses of Baltimore, the regiment was among those sent on the New Orleans Expedition at the start of 1862.  In February 1863, the regiment was re-designated heavy artillery in light of its posting to fortifications around Louisiana.  Colonel John Keith Commanded the regiment.  Eight companies of the regiment served in the siege of Port Hudson.  With the fall of that river bastion, the regiment’s batteries were assigned to different posts in the Department of the Gulf.

In the last quarter, the summaries listed Batteries (or properly, “Companies”) A and E, both with 20-pdr Parrotts, serving at Port Hudson and Baton Rouge, respectively. For this quarter, we find Batteries E and L.  And the latter had a mix of big Parrotts and 12-pdr Napoleons.  Looking at the whole of the regiment:

  • Company A: No return.  Captain Eden H. Fisher remained in command, but resigned in November. Captain Harvey B. Hall was the replacement.  The battery was likely at Baton Rouge at the end of September.
  • Company B: No return.  Garrison artillery at New Orleans.  Captain James Grimsley commanded.
  • Company C: No return.  Captain Elihu E. Rose in command.
  • Company D: No return.  Captain William S. Hinkle’s command.
  • Company E:  No location given, but with four 20-pdr Parrotts. Captain James W. Hamrick in command.
  • Company F: No return.  Captain Francis W. Noblet’s battery.
  • Company G: No return.  Garrison artillery at New Orleans.  Captain Edward McLaflin was in command, but was absent from the battery, commanding a detachment from the regiment at Baton Rouge.
  • Company H: No return.  Captain James W. Connelly in command.
  • Company I: No return.  Captain Richard Campbell’s command.
  • Company K: No return.  Garrison artillery at New Orleans.  Under Captain Clayton Cox.
  • Company L: Reporting at New Orleans, Louisiana with three 12-pdr Napoleons and two 20-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Isaac C. Hendricks commanded.  The battery was assigned to an ad-hoc command under Major-General Cadwallader Washburn assembling at New Orleans that fall.
  • Company M: No return.  Garrison artillery at New Orleans.  This battery mustered in the early fall.  Captain Samuel A. Strong was in command.

I believe many of those for which a location is not indicated were at the time part of the detachment of the regiment at Baton Rouge.  Furthermore, I’d point out that several of these batteries would support the Red River Campaign in 1864, hauling 20-pdr and 30-pdr Parrotts along.

Below the two lines for the 1st Indiana Heavy are three lines for sections from cavalry or infantry regiments:

  • 1st Indiana Cavalry:  Artillery stores. At Pine Bluff, Arkansas with three 10-pdr Parrotts. As mentioned for the previous quarter, the detachment of this regiment then serving in Arkansas had a three gun section under Lieutenant Samuel Lefler, Company B.  The section fought well in an action at Pine Bluff on October 25, that fall.
  • 6th Indiana Cavalry: A lieutenant-colonel reporting artillery stores.  No location given.  Two 12-pdr mountain howitzers. Lieutenant-Colonel Courtland C. Matson and six companies of this regiment were assigned garrison duties in eastern Kentucky at this time of the war, and part of the Twenty-Third Corps.  The regiment, which was formed from the 71st Infantry in 1862 and reorganized as cavalry in the winter of 1863, arrived in Kentucky in August.
  • 87th Indiana Infantry: A lieutenant-colonel reporting artillery stores.  At Vicksburg, Mississippi with one 6-pdr field gun.  The only lieutenant-colonel in the regiment at the time as Thomas Sumner.  The 87th was assigned to Third Brigade, Third Division, Fourteenth Corps.  And from that we have to ask about the location given here, as that formation (and the regiment indicated) was at this time in Chattanooga.  And if we look at the reporting date – June 24, 1864 – we know the 87th was taking in Kennesaw Mountain at that time. So this entry is questionable from left to right. But the handwriting is clear – 87th Infantry and Vicksburg!  One or the other has to be incorrect.

Moving past that rather substantial question mark, we consider the ammunition reported.  Smoothbores first:

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Three lines reporting, and matching to the cannon mentioned on the first page:

  • Company L, 1st Heavy: 121 shot, 62 shell, 196 case, and 53 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • 6th Cavalry: 128 case and 124 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 87th Infantry:  23 shot, 48 case, and 40 canister for a 6-pdr field gun.

Looking to the rifled projectiles, we find no Hotchkiss, James, Schenkl, or Tatham’s.  But there are some Parrott rounds for those Parrott rifles:

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Three reporting:

  • Company E, 1st Heavy: 210 shell for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • Company L, 1st Heavy: 30 shot, 195 shell, and 34 canister for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • 1st Cavalry: 78 shell and 123 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

We then turn to the small arms:

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Just one line to consider:

  • Company L, 1st Heavy: 50 rifles (type unspecified) and six horse artillery sabers.

So we close out the third quarter, 1863 summary for Indiana’s artillery with a very difficult question, about that entry for the 87th Indiana Infantry, marring an otherwise relatively clear set of entries.  I wish there were answers!