Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 4th Regiment, US Regulars

In the third quarter, 1863 summaries, the ordnance clerks allocated thirteen lines for the Fourth US Artillery.  Of those lines, a full twelve were based on received returns.  Battery E had no recorded return.  Of the twelve recorded lines, all but three were marked received during the fall months of that year.  Three were not received until January of 1864.  Thus, we have a relatively complete set of records to discuss.

Yes, I did say thirteen lines.  But the regiment was authorized twelve batteries.  Ah, but the regimental adjutant was given a line:

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Looking at each battery in turn, there are several changes to discuss with the administrative details and cannon assigned:

  • Battery A: Reporting, on October 28, at Gainesville, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Following the death of Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing at Gettysburg, several different officers, and one non-commissioned officer, led the battery… some for just the briefest of battlefield moments.  For brevity, I’ll cite Lieutenant Horatio B. Reed in command of the battery for the Bristoe Campaign.  Two other significant changes took place after Gettysburg.  The battery replaced its 3-inch Rifles with Napoleons.  Further, in the weeks after Gettysburg the battery transferred to the First Brigade, Horse Artillery.
  • Battery B: “In the field” with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The very capable Lieutenant James Stewart remained in command of this battery.  And the battery remained in Colonel Charles Wainwright’s brigade, of the First Corps.  So their “in the field” location for September 30 was Culpeper County.
  • Battery C:  Reporting at Washington, D.C (with a date of January 22, 1864) with four 12-pdr Napoleons. The location raises questions, as the battery remained with the Regular Brigade, Artillery Reserve.  With Lieutenant Evan Thomas reassigned to staff duties, Lieutenant Charles L. Fitzhugh held command.
  • Battery D: Reporting at Portsmouth, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.    Captain Frederick M. Follett’s battery supported Seventh Corps.
  • Battery E: No report.  Lieutenant  Samuel S. Elder’s was in the First Brigade, Horse Artillery assigned to the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles assigned.  We can thus place this battery “in the field” and on duty along the Rapidan during those days before the Bristoe campaign.
  • Battery F: Reporting, on December 1, at Stevenson, Alabama with six 12-pdr Napoleons. This veteran battery moved with the Twelfth Corps from Virginia to reinforce Chattanooga, in the aftermath of Chickamauga.  Lieutenant Edward D. Muhlenberg, having been replaced in his role as Corps Artillery Chief, resumed battery command.
  • Battery G: I like this line –  Reporting on November 19 at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Lieutenant Eugene A. Bancroft remained in command.  Battery G supported the Eleventh Corps.  As with Battery F, above, they were sent to Tennessee as reinforcements.  If we interpret the reporting date literally, we can place the battery below Lookout Mountain.  The battery would support an assault on the mountain five days later.
  • Battery H: At Chattanooga, Tennessee with three 12-pdr field howitzers. Lieutenant Harry C. Cushing’s battery lost a howitzer and many horses at Chickamuaga.  And they expended a lot of ammunition.  Battery assigned to Second Division, Twenty-First Corps.
  • Battery I: Also at Chattanooga, this battery reported four 12-pdr Napoleons. Lieutenant Frank G. Smith commanded this battery, supporting Third Division, Fourteenth Corps.  Smith reported leaving the field at Chickamauga, on September 20, with only six rounds.
  • Battery K: Reporting at Culpeper, Virginia, with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery remained with Third Corps.  Badly wounded at Gettysburg, Lieutenant Francis W. Seeley was recuperating.  In his place, Lieutenant Robert James held command.
  • Battery L: At Portsmouth, Virginia, with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Under command of Captain Robert V. W. Howard, and assigned to First Division, Seventh Corps, in Southeast Virginia. .
  • Battery M: At Chattanoooga, Tennessee reporting four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 24-pdr field howitzers.  Lieutenant Francis L. D. Russell remained in command and the battery remained with Second Division, Twenty-First Corps.  In his report for Chickamauga, Russell noted his losses were “…2 men killed, 6 wounded, 14 horses killed and wounded, and 3 caissons abandoned.”
  • Adjutant: Reporting at Fort Washington, Maryland.  Of course with no artillery, but we will see an accounting of other arms and equipment.

We don’t often consider the service details of the regular’s regimental headquarters, as those rarely figured into the field formations.  However, with the adjutant mentioned, let us consider the duty of the 4th US Headquarters and Staff.  At this time of the war, they were assigned to the Defenses of Washington.  Colonel Charles S. Merchant, having served more than 45 years at that time, retired from active service.  Colonel Horace Brooks, West Point class of 35 and with 28 years of service, took command.

Moving from the administration, we turn to the reported ammunition for the regiment.  Starting with the smoothbore types:

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And there was a lot to report:

  • Battery A: 160 shot, 64 shell, 176 case, and 112 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B: 192 shot, 192 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery C: 97 shot, 51 shell, 256 case, and 108 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery F: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 221 shell, 234 case, and 116 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery I: 161 shot, 42 shell, 154 case, and 66 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery K: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery L: 96 shot, 32 shell, 96 case, and 32 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery M: 10 case for 12-pdr Napoleons; 54 shell, 48 case, and 30 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers.

The uniform quantities reported by Batteries F, G, and K seem too perfect.  Almost as if, perhaps, the officers simply estimated what they should have on hand, by regulation.  But that’s just my speculation.

Quantities for Batteries H, I, and M (particularly the latter) seem to reflect expenditures in battle at Chickamauga.

We have but one 3-inch battery to consider, and thus not a lot on the Hotchkiss page:

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Just Battery D:

  • Battery D: 15 canister, 342 fuse shell, and 330(?) bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

We will break down the next page by section for clarity.  First the Dyer’s patent columns:

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Again D Battery:

  • Battery D: 68 Dyer’s canister for 3-inch rifles.

One battery reported Parrotts:

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Battery L, down at Portsmouth:

  • Battery L: 484 shell, 250 case, and 96 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

Turning to the Schenkl projectiles:

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Battery D completed its assortment of types:

  • Battery D: 100 shell and 155 case for 3-inch rifles.

That brings us to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery A: Eighteen Army revolvers and eighteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Twenty-one Navy revolvers and nine cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: Thirteen Navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: Nine Army revolvers, 135 horse artillery sabers, and one foot artillery saber.
  • Battery F: Thirteen Army revolvers, nineteen horse artillery sabers, and one foot artillery saber.
  • Battery G: Three Army revolvers, four Navy revolvers, and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Sixteen Army revolvers and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Two Army revolvers and twenty-nine cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: Twelve Army revolvers, one Navy revolver, one cavalry saber, and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: Fourteen Army revolvers and 116 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Eight Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Regimental Adjutant: Three Army revolvers and twenty-nine horse artillery sabers.

The adjutant also reported thirty-one sword belts and plates.  And once again, all government property was accounted for!

 

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Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – 4th Regiment, US Regulars

Looking at the summary for the 4th US Artillery for the 2nd quarter (ending in June) of 1863, we see ten of the twelve batteries posted returns (or more accurately, had their returns recorded by the Ordnance Department… assuming nothing here).  Of those ten returns, all but one was received by the end of 1863.  But only six offered a location for the battery as of the time of report.  Is this the impact of active campaigning on the administrative reports?  Let’s see….

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Looking at these lines by battery:

  • Battery A – Reported at Sulphur Springs, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The location is obviously reflecting the date when the report was actually filed, not where the battery was located on June 30 of the year.  The battery was, on that date, marching through Maryland.  Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing had but three more days in command of this battery, supporting Second Corps.
  • Battery B – No location given, but with  six 12-pdr Napoleons. Of course we know this battery, led by Lieutenant James Stewart, was supporting First Corps and was camped south of Gettysburg on June 30.  And of course, the following day the battery would perform admirably on the field.
  • Battery C – And no location given, but also reporting six 12-pdr Napoleons. In late May the battery transferred to the 1st Brigade (Regular), Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  Lieutenant Evan Thomas remained in command.  That brigade was moving up from Frederick, Maryland on June 30.
  • Battery D – Yet another without location given, though with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. This battery remained at Suffolk, Virginia, assigned to First Division, Seventh Corps and commanded by Captain Frederick M. Follett.
  • Battery E – No report.  Lieutenant  Samuel S. Elder’s was in the First Brigade, Horse Artillery assigned to the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles assigned.  Another battery with a location “on the march” and destined for the fields of Gettysburg.
  • Battery F – Reporting at Kelly’s Ford, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Yes, another reflecting the “as of report” location.  Lieutenant Sylvanus T. Rugg commanded this battery in support of Twelfth Corps.  We can place them, also, among the columns moving through Maryland and southern Pennsylvania on June 30.
  • Battery G – No report given for this quarter.  Battery G was assigned to the Eleventh Corps artillery earlier in June.  The battery location as of June 30 was on the road between Emmitsburg and Gettysburg, with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Lieutenant Marcus Miller went on recruiting duty and was replaced, briefly, by Lieutenant Bayard Wilkeson.  But Wilkeson would be mortally wounded on July 1 while leading his battery at a poor position on what became known as Barlow’s Knoll.  Lieutenant Eugene A. Bancroft succeeded in command.
  • Battery H – At Murfreesboro, Tennessee with four 12-pdr field howitzers. Lieutenant Harry C. Cushing in command of this battery, assigned to Second Division, Twenty-First Corps.
  • Battery I – Belle Creek, Kentucky with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Lieutenant Frank G. Smith commanded this battery, supporting Third Division, Fourteenth Corps.  the location is a question mark.  The battery was, at this time, with its parent formation around Murfreesboro.
  • Battery K – Bridgeport, Maryland with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Another location which reflects the later reporting date.  This battery, under Lieutenant Francis W. Seeley, was supporting Third Corps and was around Emmitsburg on June 30. Seeley was wounded on July 2 (so badly that he later resigned his commission), and Lieutenant Robert James assumed command.
  • Battery L – No location offered, but with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Under command of Captain R. V. W. Howard, and assigned to First Division, Seventh Corps, in Southeast Virginia. .
  • Battery M – At Murfreesboro, Tennessee reporting four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 24-pdr field howitzers.  Lieutenant Francis L. D. Russell remained in command and the battery remained with Second Division, Twenty-First Corps.  Of note, the battery upgraded from field howitzers to Napoleons.

So comparing what we know about each particular battery’s service to what was recorded administratively, there does appear to have been some disruption of paperwork at the end of the second quarter.  Though I don’t think anyone would fault the officers for inattention to cyclic reports at this interval of the war.  They were more concerned with the real business of artillery.

Turning to the ammunition pages, we start with the smoothbore columns… noting the need to extend those to support the “big howitzers” of Battery M:

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A lot of Napoleons and howitzers, so a lot to discuss:

  • Battery B: 360 shot, 236 shell, and 164 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons. However, a tally of 452 case for 6-pdr field guns is offered.  I think this is a transcription error and should correctly be interpreted as case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery C: 163 shot, 186 shell, 388 case, and 196 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery F: 288 shot, 96 shell, 388 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery H: 219 shell, 342 case, and 146 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery I: 192 shot, 62 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery K: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery L: 96 shot, 32 shell, 96 case, and 33 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery M: 138 shot, 64 shell, 212 case, and 128 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 72 shell, 72 case, and 48 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers.

With so many of these batteries seeing action at Gettysburg, we might seek some insight as to what was on hand for the battle and what was used.  But yet again we must exercise some caution with making conjectures. There is an “as of date” along with a “reporting date” and other variables to consider here.  More than a grain of salt is required, in my opinion.

Moving to ammunition for the rifled guns, we start with Hotchkiss:

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Two batteries reporting:

  • Battery A: 120 canister, 36 percussion shell,  319 fuse shell, and 673 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery D:  83 canister, 100 percussion shell, 542 fuse shell, and 475 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

As there was no record for Battery E, we are left to wonder what Elder’s gunners had on hand.

Moving to the next page, we can focus specifically on the Parrott columns:

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Just that one battery at Suffolk to consider here:

  • Battery L: 474 shell, 340(?) case, and 96 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

None of these batteries reported Schenkl projectiles on hand.  So we can move to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery A: Sixteen Army revolvers and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Twenty-two Navy revolvers and seven cavalry sabers.
  • Battery C: Eighteen (?) Navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: Nine Army revolvers and 135 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Thirteen Army revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Sixteen Army revolvers, six cavalry sabers, and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Three Army revolvers and forty-five cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: Twelve Army revolves, one Navy revolver, and thirteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: Fourteen Army revolvers and 117 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Eight Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.

With so many of these batteries seeing action in the opening days of July, the figures are, again, tempting.  While trivial of sorts, the number of small arms reflect weapons of war used by the batteries.  In some cases, we might seek precision as to the use of those weapons.  For instance, when Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing drew his revolver to order his men back to their posts on July 3, was that an Army revolver, as was reported with his battery?  Colt or Remington? Or something the Lieutenant had come by outside of official channels?