Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – Massachusetts

As was the case with summaries from the previous quarters, the clerks at the Ordnance Department “shorted” Massachusetts in the battery listings. There were, eventually, sixteen batteries from the Bay State. And for the fourth quarter, we see a couple of omissions:

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  • 1st Battery: At Brandy Station, 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.  The battery saw action near the Saunders’ House during the battle of Mine Run, firing fifteen rounds.
  • 2nd Battery: No return. Captain Ormand F. Nims remained in command of this battery. Part of the Nineteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf, the battery transferred from the corps artillery reserve to the Cavalry Division. Around this time the battery exchanged six 6-pdr rifled field guns for a like number of 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery saw field service in the Teche Campaign in October and November. Moving from Brashear City, the cavalry column to which the battery was attached reached Opelousas on October 21, having skirmished frequently with Confederates along the way. A section under Lieutenant William Marland saw action at Carrion Crow Bayou and Grand Couteau (November 2 and 3, respectively). In the latter action, Marland found his battery surrounded and without support. He ordered the section limbered up and charged through to save the guns. The battery arrived at New Iberia on November 17 and remained there until January.
  • 3rd Battery: Reporting at Bealton, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Assigned to the Artillery Brigade, Fifth Corps, with Lieutenant Aaron F. Walcott in charge of the battery.  Captain Augustus P. Martin, of the battery, comanded the corps artillery brigade. Participating with the corps through the Bristoe Campaign and Mine Run, the battery went into winter quarters outside Brandy Station, off the north end of Fleetwood Hill.
  • 4th Battery: Reporting New Iberia, Louisiana with two 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch ordnance rifles.  Captain George G. Trull commanded. However, in Trull’s absence Lieutenant George W. Taylor led the battery in December 1863. The battery participated in the Teche Expedition in October. They were in action at Vermillion Bayou on November 11, without loss. The battery transferred from Third Division to First Division, Nineteenth Corps later in November.  
  • 5th Battery: Reporting at Rappahannock [Station], Virginia with six 3-inch rifles.  Captain Charles A. Phillips remained in command, and the battery assigned to the Fifth Corps.  The battery participated in the Bristoe and Mine Run Campaigns. Following those, the battery, alongside the 3rd Battery, went into winter quarters at Brandy Station.
  • 6th Battery: At New Iberia, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 12-pdr field howitzers. The battery was assigned to First Division, Nineteenth Corps.  When Captain William W. Carruth mustered out on October 3rd, Lieutenant Edward K. Russell (2nd Battery, above) transferred to command.  Then on December 9, Lieutenant John F. Phelps, of the battery, took command.  Phelps would be promoted to Captain with commission back dated to October 3. The battery participated in the Teche Campaign of that fall, arriving at New Iberia on November 16 and going into winter quarters.
  • 7th Battery: At Camp Barry, D.C., with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Captain Phineas A. Davis resigned at the start of October to receive a promotion.  In his place Lieutenant Newman W. Storer received the captaincy. This much traveled battery was not resting long at Camp Barry. In January, they embarked on a steamer for New Orleans and a transfer to the Nineteenth Corps.
  • 8th Battery: No return.  Mustered out in November 1862 at the end of a six-month enlistment.
  • 9th Battery: At Brandy Station, 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:  Also at Brandy Station, Virginia but with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain J. Henry Sleeper commanded this battery, assigned to Third Corps, Army of the Potomac. The battery was active in the field for both the Bristoe Station and Mine Run Campaigns.
  • 11th Battery: No return.  This battery mustered out of service in May 1863. However, it remained as a militia battery (and was called out to suppress riots in Boston in July).  On December 1, Captain Edward J. Jones, commanding the battery, received authorization to recruit up to full strength and prepare the battery for muster back into service. That re-muster occurred on January 2, 1864. Along the way, the battery received six new 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery:  At Port Hudson, Louisiana, with five 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer. Captain Jacob Miller remained in command. On October 15 the battery transferred from the New Orleans garrison to that of Port Hudson.
  • 13th Battery: Not listed. The 13th Battery was down to around fifty effective men by the fall of 1863.  Having transferred their guns and horses to fill out other batteries earlier in the year, the battery served as a detachment under the 2nd Battery (see above). At this time of the war, Captain Charles H. J. Hamlin was on recruiting duty.  In his place, Lieutenant Ellis L. Motte led the detachment.
  • 14th Battery: Not listed.  Philip H. Tyler, formerly a lieutenant in the 3rd Battery, received authorization to recruit this battery in December 1863. But his efforts failed and the authority was receded. In January, Joseph W.B. Wright, formerly of 1st Battery (original three month muster) and the 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, received authorization to begin recruiting. Wright’s efforts bore fruit with a February 1864 muster.
  • 15th Battery: At Lakeport, Louisiana with two 6-pdr field guns.  Captain Timothy Pearson saw most of his battery equipment and horses transferred to other units in the spring of 1863.  The men served at the forts protecting the road and railroad to Lake Ponchatrain. During that duty, they received two guns, horses, and necessary equipment. On December 29, the battery moved to Lakeport. Then on January 2nd, the battery embarked on the steamer Kate Dale for six weeks’ duty on Lake Ponchatrain. Of note, official accounts of that expedition indicate the 15th Battery mounted FOUR guns on the steamer (Lieutenant Albert Rouse in command of the detachment). Furthermore, later in the year the battery reported two 6-pdrs and four 12-pdr Napoleons on hand. Such leads to speculations.
  • 16th Battery: Not listed.  Battery did not begin recruiting until January-February 1864.

Thus we see three main themes with the Massachusetts batteries – chasing Lee in Virginia, serving in steamy Louisiana, and recruiting up for muster. Three of those activities required ammunition. And ammunition was reported. We start with the smoothbore:

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  • 1st Battery: 288 shot, 96 shell, and 288 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 3rd Battery: 192 shot, 96 shell, and 387 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 4th Battery: 24 shot, 150 shell, and 47 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 6th Battery: 57 shot, 179 shell, and 251 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 9th Battery: 180 shot, 64 shell, and 192 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 12th Battery: 107 shot and 147 case for 6-pdr field guns; 59 shell and 42 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
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  • 1st Battery: 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 3rd Battery: 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 4th Battery: 35 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 6th Battery: 63 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 9th Battery: 54 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 12th Battery: 285 canister for 6-pdr field guns and 19 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.

To the right we start the rifled projectiles, with the Hotchkiss leading off:

  • 4th Battery: 84 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 120 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 189 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

Continuing with more Hotchkiss:

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  • 4th Battery: 281 percussion fuse shell and 39 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 5th Battery: 97 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 236 percussion fuse shell and 120 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 98 percussion fuse shell, 341 case shot, and 115 canister for 3-inch rifles.

On the next page is an interesting entry for Parrott projectiles:

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  • 5th Battery: 41 Parrott canister for 3-inch bore rifles.

This deserves some consideration. Note the header has different columns for 10-pdr/2.9-inch and 10-pdr/3-inch Parrott. Clearly this is the latter. Could one fire a 3-inch Parrott projectile from a 3-inch Ordnance Rifle? Technically, I see no reason why not. If it fits down the bore, it will fire back out, right? But the poor 5th Battery had two types of canister on hand and no explosive projectiles! We see that was resolved in the Schenkl columns to the right:

  • 5th Battery: 140 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 41 shell for 3-inch rifles.

And more Schenkl on the page that followed:

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  • 5th Battery: 904 case shot for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 720 case shot for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 256 case shot for 3-inch rifles.

Moving to the small arms reported:

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  • 1st Battery: Eight Colt army revolvers, nine cavalry sabers, and five horse artillery sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: One Colt army revolver, eight cavalry sabers, and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • 4th Battery: Seven Colt army revolvers and twenty-eight horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: One Colt army revolver and twenty-seven horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Seventeen Colt army revolvers and twenty-six cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Twenty Colt army revolvers and forty-eight horse artillery sabers.
  • 9th Battery: Eight Colt army revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Sixteen Colt navy revolvers and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Eighteen Colt army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 15th Battery: Fifty Springfield .58 caliber muskets, fourteen Colt navy revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and fifty-nine horse artillery sabers.

Let’s talk cartridge bags:

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  • 5th Battery: 1,185 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 1,234 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 162 cartridge bags for smoothbore field pieces.

And far to the right we see the 15th Battery records ammunition for it’s muskets:

  • 15th Battery: 100 cartridges for .58 caliber muskets. Two rounds per rifle? What’s up with that?

On the last page we review, there are many tallies to record. So keep up:

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  • 1st Battery: 104 cartridges for army revolvers and 2,844 friction primers;
  • 3rd Battery: 2,100 friction primers.
  • 4th Battery: 235 paper fuses; 2,500 friction primers; 50 yards of slow match; and 65 portfires.
  • 5th Battery: 1,847 friction primers and 50 yards of slow match.
  • 6th Battery: 2,440 friction primers.
  • 7th Battery: 600 cartridges for navy revolvers; 1,400 paper fuses; and 850 friction primers.
  • 9th Battery: 500 cartridges for army revolvers; 186 friction primers; and 50 yards of slow match.
  • 10th Battery: 753 paper fuses and 1,796 friction primers.
  • 12th Battery: 1,400 cartridges for army revolvers.
  • 15th Battery: 788 cartridges for navy revolvers; 1,524 friction primers; 2 yards of slow match; 1,400 percussion caps for pistols; and 20 portfires.

I’m often wondering how to reconcile the reported number of guns to projectiles, and thence out to the primers and fuses on hand. More so with regard to cartridges and percussion caps for small arms. To some extent, we have to consider this was the quantity deemed “reportable, on hand” as opposed to what actually might have been laying about. Nuanced, there is a difference. Particularly with the small arms. And I’d also say that applied to things like fuses and friction primers. Then again, there is a reason batteries were issued things like portfires and slow match.

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 – 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery

The 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery (also known as the 43rd Pennsylvania Volunteers) was, perhaps, short-changed with its organization.  Instead of a full compliment of batteries, the 1st Pennsylvania only ever had Batteries A through I.  And even with that, Battery I was only organized in the war’s last months. Thus for the second quarter of 1863, we have only eight batteries to account for.

In June 1863, Colonel Robert M. West led the regiment, on the rolls.

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West, appearing in this photo with his lovely daughter, was at Yorktown, Virginia in a role that was more “garrison commander” than “field commander.”  His staff and one battery were at that location.  Overall, of the eight batteries in his small-ish regiment, only five had recorded returns for the quarter:

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Accounting for those in detail:

  • Battery A: No return.  Captain John G. Simpson’s battery was assigned to Second Division, Seventh Corps, then in the Norfolk area.  I believe the battery retained four 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery participated in the Siege of Suffolk and Dix’s Peninsula Campaign.
  • Battery B: Showing as at Rappahannock Station, Virginia, as of August 16, 1863, with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  But with an assignment to First Corps, we know well Captain James H. Cooper’s battery was, as of June 30, moving up toward Gettysburg.
  • Battery C: Claiming to be at Culpeper, Virginia… well in October, 1863… with  six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles (as opposed to 10-pdr Parrotts from the last quarter).  Captain Jeremiah McCarthy remained in command.  On June 25, the battery was sent out of the Army of the Potomac to Camp Barry, D.C.  However, by the end of the Gettysburg Campaign, the battery was back in the field at Harpers Ferry.
  • Battery D: No return.  Battery D was consolidated with Battery C through August.  Thus we list Battery D as at Camp Barry.  Lieutenant Andrew Rosney was the ranking officer of the battery.
  • Battery E: At Yorktown, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Thomas G. Orwig commanded this battery, assigned to First Division, Fourth Corps.
  • Battery F: Indicated at Falmouth, Virginia, with a March 1864 reporting date, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain R. Bruce Ricketts commanded a combined Batteries F and G, in 3rd Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve.  Thus their proper location, for June 30, was somewhere on the march up from Frederick, Maryland.
  • Battery G: Dittos indicating Battery G was with Battery F for the reporting period.  Lieutenant Belden Spence was the ranking officer remaining with the battery.
  • Battery H: At Camp Barry, D.C. with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Andrew Fagan commanded this battery, which in the Artillery Reserve, Fourth Corps.  Thus the battery was actually around Yorktown at reporting time.  The battery would transfer to Camp Barry in the fall.

And as mentioned above, Battery I would not muster until very late in the war.  Batteries K, L, and M never existed, save for a notional line allocated on the clerk’s form.

Only two lines of smoothbore ammunition to account for:

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  • Battery E: 176 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 80 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 182 shot, 54 shell, 162 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

No disputes there.

We move to the rifled projectile pages, starting with Mr. Hotchkiss’s types:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • Battery B: 20 canister, 180 fuse shell, and 338 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 180 canister, 104 percussion shell, and 344(?) bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F & G: 120 canister, 120 fuse shell, and 840 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Yes, a lot of case… er… bullet… in those chests.

We skip past the Dyers, James, and Parrott projectiles, with none reported, and go to the Schenkl:

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Again, three batteries reporting:

  • Battery B: 277 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 158 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F & G: 120 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Lastly, we look at the small arms reported:

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By battery:

  • Battery B: Sixteen Navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Seventeen Navy revolvers and five (?) cavalry sabers.
  • Battery E: Eight Navy revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F & G: Sixteen Army revolvers, eight Navy revolvers, one cavalry saber, and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Fourteen Navy revolvers and eleven horse artillery sabers.

Thus rounds out the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery’s report for the second quarter, 1863.