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.

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Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Batteries from Massachusetts

We turn the page – page in the ledger, that is – with this installment on the summaries and find the next recorded state set is Massachusetts.

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There are a few administrative snags here which we must navigate around.  Three returns were not posted. And several of those posted offer incorrect locations.  And we have two “missing” batteries to mention. You will notice two themes here with the locations – Gettysburg and Port Hudson:

  • 1st Battery: Reported at Manchester, Maryland with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery was assigned to Artillery Brigade, Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac. Captain William H. McCartney commanded.  According to McCartney’s brief reports, the battery was “moving in a northerly direction through Maryland each day until July 2.”  He reported firing only four solid shot at Gettysburg.
  • 2nd Battery: No return. Captain Ormand F. Nims commanded this battery, assigned to the Fourth Division, Nineteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf.  The battery may have retain six 6-pdr rifled field guns mentioned earlier in the year. The battery was part of the force laying siege to Port Hudson in June 1863.
  • 3rd Battery: Indicated at Warrenton, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons from an August 24, 1863 posting date.  Assigned to the Artillery Brigade, Fifth Corps. When Captain Augustus Martin assumed command of the brigade, Lieutenant Aaron F. Walcott took command of the battery.  June 30 found the battery moving through Maryland with the parent formation.  Two days later, the battery was in action at Gettysburg.
  • 4th Battery: At Port Hudson, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch ordnance rifles.  This battery was assigned to the Third Division, Nineteenth Corps.   Captain George G. Trull was in command of the battery.  But the nature of service had sections detached (and under the lieutenants of the battery).  The previous quarter this battery’s guns were identified as 3-inch steel rifles. The most likely scenario is improper identification from the previous quarter, as often was the case with wrought iron guns.
  • 5th Battery: In Washington, D.C. with six 3-inch rifles.  That location does not match with any specific assignment for the battery.  After Chancellorsville, 5th Battery was reassigned to the First Volunteer Artillery Brigade (Lieutenant-Colonel Freeman McGilvery), Artillery Reserve.  Captain Charles A. Phillips remained in command.  So we’d place this battery near Taneytown, Maryland as of June 30.  Thrown into the Peach Orchard sector to shore up the lines on July 2, the battery was heavily engaged.  Phillips wrote,  “During the two days I fired 690 rounds; lost 1 officer, wounded; 4 men killed and 16 wounded, and 40 horses killed and a number disabled.”
  • 6th Battery: At Port Hudson with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 12-pdr field howitzers. The battery was assigned to First Division, Nineteenth Corps, under Captain William W. Carruth (however, Lieutenant John F. Phelps was listed as commander in the corps returns… and Carruth mustered out later in the fall).
  • 7th Battery: Indicated at White House, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Assigned to First Division, Seventh Army Corps,  the battery was commanded by Captain Phineas A. Davis.  At the start of July, the battery was among the forces employed for an expedition from White House to the South Anna River.
  • 8th Battery: No return.  Mustered out the previous November at the end of a six-month enlistment.
  • 9th Battery: Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons, as of the August 23, 1863 report. The 9th Battery was assigned to the First Volunteer Artillery Brigade, Artillery Reserve in mid-June.  So their actual location for the end of the quarter was Taneytown.  Captain John Bigelow commanded.  Along with the brigade (and the 5th Battery), the 9th Battery was rushed towards the Peach Orchard on July 2.  When Bigelow was wounded, Lieutenant Richard S. Milton assumed command.
  • 10th Battery:  Report dated August 18, 1863 placed this battery at Sulphur Springs, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery supported French’s Division, Eighth Corps, Middle Department (which would soon be folded into the Army of the Potomac).  Sent to Harpers Ferry in mid-June, the battery was among those forces withdrawn to Frederick, Maryland at the end of the month. Captain J. Henry Sleeper commanded.
  • 11th Battery: Indicted as “not in service.”  This battery mustered out of service on May 25, 1863.  After turning in equipment, the battery returned to Massachusetts where it remained in the state militia.  Captain Edward J. Jones remained as commander.  That said, the battery did see “action” that July… suppressing riots in Boston.  The Battery would return to Federal service the following winter.
  • 12th Battery:  At Port Hudson, Louisiana, with four 6-pdr field guns and two 3-inch Ordnance rifles. Listed as unattached in the Nineteenth Corps.  Actually, this battery was split into sections at this phase of the war.  Captain Jacob Miller commanded the battery, from Fort Banks near New Orleans.  Sections of the battery were forwarded to Port Hudson in support of the siege of that place, under Lieutenant Edwin M. Chamberlin.

Not mentioned in this list, the 13th Massachusetts Light Artillery was not only in service but also “in action” at the end of June 1863.  Captain Charles H. J. Hamlin commanded.  After troublesome and delayed passage from Massachusetts, the battery arrived at New Orleans on May 10.  There, the 13th was assigned garrison duties, with its horses turned over to the 12th Battery (see above).  On June 5, the men of the battery moved by steamboat to Port Hudson.  There, they served in two detachments – one under Captain Hamlin, the other under Lieutenant Timothy W. Terry – manning siege mortars.  Not acclimatized, the men of the battery suffered heavily during the siege.

The 14th and 16th Massachusetts would not muster until months later.  But the 15th Massachusetts Light Artillery may be included here.  The 15th left Boston in March 1863, for New Orleans, under Captain Timothy Pearson.  The battery arrived in May, but turned in equipment and horses (needed for the other batteries).  For the remainder of the year, the 15th Battery served garrison duties around New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain.

Moving past this lengthy administrative section, we turn to the ammunition.  These batteries reported a number of Napoleons.  No surprise we see a lot of 12-pdr rounds reported:

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Five batteries reporting:

  • 1st Battery: 287 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 3rd Battery: 192 shot, 96 shell, 387 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 4th Battery: 269 shell, 147 case, and 55 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 6th Battery: 198 shot, 106 shell, 150 case, and 58 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 90 shell, 136 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 9th Battery: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Notice the 12th battery reported no ammunition for the 6-pdrs.

Turning to the rifled projectiles, since we saw 3-inch Ordnance rifles on hand we can expect Hotchkiss rounds in the chests:

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Five batteries reporting quantities:

  • 4th Battery: 39 canister, 265 percussion shell, and 60 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 5th Battery: 121 canister and 322 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 168 canister, 188 fuse shell, and 486 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 115 canister, 110 percussion shell, 220 fuse shell, and 500 bullet shells for 3-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 30 shot, 34 canister, 60 percussion shell, 70 fuse shell, and 112 bullet shells for 3-inch rifles.

We don’t often see solid shot reported from the field. But the 12th Battery had thirty.

Moving to the next page, we find entries for Dyer’s patent projectiles:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • 5th Battery: 550 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 221 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 240 shrapnel for 3-inch rifles.

What may, or may not, be a correlation here, the three batteries were all Eastern Theater.  Though their service was varied.

We find those same three batteries reporting Schenkl projectiles:

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  • 5th Battery: 211 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 290 shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 10th Battery: 15 shell for 3-inch rifles.

To close out this lengthy examination, we turn to the small arms:

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  • 1st Battery: Eleven Army revolvers, twelve 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-six horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: One Army revolver and thirty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Ten Army revolvers and eight cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and 142 horse artillery sabers.
  • 9th Battery: Fourteen Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Seventeen Navy revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.

It seems the Massachusetts batteries received a healthy issue of horse artillery sabers. Perhaps proud products of Ames Manufacturing, of Chicopee, Massachusetts.