Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Kansas

Yes, we are in Kansas.  Well, in the Kansas section of the second quarter, 1863 summaries:

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Three batteries and three sections, assigned to cavalry.  Of which only one line lacks a receipt date.  Let us marvel the over zealous clerk who listed these batteries by designation and commander’s (or at least organizer’s) name:

  • 1st (Allen’s) Battery:  No report.  A June 30, 1863 return had Captain Norman Allen’s battery assigned to the District of Rolla, Missouri.  Presumably still with six 10-pdr Parrotts from the previous quarter.  Allen was absent from the battery through much of the first half of the year, and died in St. Louis in July.  Lieutenant (later Captain) Marcus Tenney replaced Allen.
  • 2nd (Blair’s) Battery:  Fort Blunt, Cherokee Nation (adjacent to Fort Gibson) with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four rifled 6-pdrs (3.67-inch rifle).  Captain Edward A. Smith remained in command.  According to returns, the battery was, in June, still at Fort Scott, Kansas, as part of the District of the Frontier.   By September, when the return was received in Washington, the battery had moved into the Cherokee Nation.  Of note, this battery was in action on July 17 at Honey Springs.  In his report, Smith listed his charge as, “two 12-pounder brass guns and two 6-pounder iron guns“.  I will speculate about this below.
  • 3rd (Hopkin’s) Battery: At Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation, with three 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer.  Captain Henry Hopkins remained in command of this battery, operating with the Indian Brigade and four companies of the 6th Kansas Cavalry, at Fort Gibson.  And we’ll see more from the 6th Cavalry below.

Moving down to the sections, these were all listed as mountain howitzer detachments assigned to cavalry.  In the previous quarter, two such detachments were recorded – with the 2nd and 9th Cavalry.  Here’s the list for the second quarter:

  • Section, Mt. Howitzers, 2nd Cavalry: At Springfield, Missouri with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  Eight companies of this regiment were at Springfield under Major Julius G. Fisk.  Lieutenant Elias S. Stover was probably still in charge of this section.  Stover was promoted to Captain later in the year.
  • Section, Mt. Howitzers, 6th Cavalry: At Camp Dole, Cherokee Nation with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  Captain John W. Orahood is listed as commanding a detachment of the regiment then at Fort Gibson at the end of June.  Later in July, Lieutenant-Colonel William T. Campbell was in command of that detachment (up to five companies).  I don’t have a name of the officer (commissioned or non-commissioned) assigned to the howitzers. Also I’m not certain as to the place-name of “Camp Dole.”  That surname is that of both an Indian Agent and an officer of the Indian Brigade.  So we might assume the place was near Fort Gibson, where the 6th Cavalry was operating at the time.
  • Section, Mt. Howitzers, 7th Cavalry: Listed at Fayetteville, Tennessee, but with no cannon reported.  Colonel Thomas P. Herrick’s regiment was assigned to the Sixteenth Corps, and operated in west Tennessee around the Memphis area.  I presume this placename refers to LaFayette there.  With no cannon mentioned on the report, we will look at stores.

That’s the basic administrative details for the Kansas units.

Moving to the ammunition, we have a busy smoothbore table:

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A lot of “feed” for the guns:

  • 2nd Battery:  444 shot, 564 case, and 478 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 17 shot, 100 shell, 57 case, and 43 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 152 canister for 12-pdr howitzer, either field or mountain (as that column was used interchangeably by the clerks).
  • 3rd Battery: 196 shot, 406 case, and 196 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 406 case for 12-pdr Napoleons; 166 case and 150 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.  I’m willing to consider the 406 case shot for Napoleons was a data entry error, and should be 406 field howitzer shell.
  • Section, 2nd Cavalry:  144 case and 12 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • Section, 6th Cavalry: 12 shell, 120 case, and 48 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

Turning to the rifled projectiles, there is but one page to discuss:

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And an odd one at that:

  • Section, 7th Cavalry: 490 Hotchkiss fuse shell and 190 Hotchkiss bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

This would be part of the stores which the 7th Kansas Cavalry had to report.  Along with those Hotchkiss shells, the troopers had 900 friction primers, 875 paper fuses, and 837 packing boxes…. all of which the Ordnance Department wanted an accounting.

We have no entries for James, Parrott, or Shenkl projectiles.  And this is worth noting, as we consider 2nd Battery’s 6-pdr rifles.  But before we open speculation, let’s finish up the summaries on the small arms:

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We have:

  • 2nd Battery:  128 Navy revolvers and twenty-three cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Eleven Army revolvers and thirty-five Navy revolvers.
  • Section, 2nd Cavalry: Twenty Army revolvers, one Navy revolver, and one cavalry saber.

Notice the very small number of edged weapons.  Make of it what you wish.

Now, let’s talk about Captain Smith’s guns.  As indicated above, the summary states these were two 12-pdr Napoleons and four BRONZE rifled 6-pdrs.  If we take that literally, those would be a quartet of the “don’t call them James” rifles.  But, we have the report from Smith, in which he specifically says he had two 6-pdr iron guns.  The discrepancy with the quantity aside (though not an expert on the battle, I seem to recall a section of guns detached), I’m inclined to go with Smith’s description of the guns.  If Smith could tell the Napoleons were bronze, then surely he could tell the 6-pdrs were iron!  So I would lean towards these being iron guns.

But we have the question of smoothbore or rifling.  Smith’s report fails to give clues in that regard.  The summary indicates his guns had smoothbore ammunition.  However, there are a few examples where smoothbore ammunition was employed by rifled guns in the 6-pdr/3.80-inch range.  So that is not necessarily definitive.

If these were smoothbores, plenty of candidates come to mind – batches of ancient (pre-1830s) guns were still around; private or state purchases, of course; and during the war there were a handful of rare iron types produced – all of which could be properly identified as “6-pdrs”.  And, of course, that assumes the caliber identification is a proper one.  Likewise, if these were rifled guns, a score of candidates come to mind.  I’d say Wiard and Delafield would be unlikely.  But Sawyer rifles seemed to get around.  And if the caliber (3.67-inch) is not definite, we might even discuss Blakelys.  Though I would be quick to point out the use of smoothbore ammunition would be unlikely in those “named” rifles.

An interesting detail to track.

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Indiana’s Independent Batteries (Part 1)

By June 1863, Indiana had twenty-five independent batteries on the books, in one way or another.  In addition to those independent batteries, there were a couple of heavy artillery batteries with field artillery along with detachments and other miscellaneous formations.   So they covered most of a page on the summary sheets:

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We will review these in three parts, starting with the first dozen numbered independent batteries:

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Of these first twelve, only seven have recorded returns.  So let’s dive into those missing parts:

  • 1st Battery:  No report.  The battery remained with Fourteenth Division, Thirteenth Corps and was part of the siege of Vicksburg.  The battery had four (some sources say six) James rifles. Captain Martin Klauss commanded.
  • 2nd Battery:  Reporting at Springfield, Missouri with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Lieutenant Hugh Espey commanded this battery, assigned to the District of Southwestern Missouri.
  • 3rd Battery: Also indicated as at Springfield, Missouri but with two 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr Napoleons, and two 3.67-inch rifles.  Also part of the District of Southwestern Missouri, Captain James M. Cockefair commanded this battery.  The battery split duty between Springfield and Rolla during the summer.
  • 4th Battery:  No report. Last quarter found the battery at Murfreesboro, with two 12-pdr Napoleons, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Lieutenant David Flansburg command this battery, assigned to First Division, Fourteenth Corps.  So June found them participating in the Tullahoma Campaign.
  • 5th Battery: At Shell Mound, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3.80-inch James rifles. Shell Mound was a landing on the Tennessee River downstream from Chattanooga.  And that location was probably valid for the reporting time of February 1864.  In June 1863, the battery was with Second Division, Twentieth Corps, and part of the Tullahoma Campaign. Lieutenant Alfred Morrison remained in command, with Captain Peter Simonson the division artillery chief (temporarily at least).
  • 6th Battery: No report.  Last quarter’s returns gave the battery two 6-pdr field guns and two 3.80-inch James Rifles. Officially assigned to First Division, Sixteenth Corps. Captain Michael Mueller commanded. The battery had postings across west Tennessee until June, when dispatched with the rest of the division to Vicksburg.
  • 7th Battery: McMinnville, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain George R. Swallow’s battery supported Third Division, Twenty-First Corps.  So the battery was involved with the Tullahoma Campaign at the reporting time. McMinnville appears to be derived from the August report filing.
  • 8th Battery: No return. Captain George Estep retained command of this battery.  In the winter reorganizations, the battery was posted to First Division, Twenty-First Corps at Murfreesboro.  The battery had four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 9th Battery: No return. Lieutenant George R. Brown commanded this battery, assigned to Fourth Division, Sixteenth Corps.  It remained part of the garrison at District of Columbus, in Kentucky.
  • 10th Battery: Reporting at Pelham, Tennessee with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Lieutenant William A. Naylor remained in command of this battery, assigned to First Division, Twenty-First Corps that winter.  At the end of June the battery was involved in the Tullahoma Campaign.
  • 11th Battery: Chattanooga, Tennessee (which was accurate for October 1863 when the report was received) with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Arnold Sutermeister’s battery supported Third Division, Twentieth Corps and was on the Tullahoma Campaign at the end of June.
  • 12th Battery: At Nashville, Tennessee as siege artillery.  Returns list the battery assigned to Fort Negley, with four 4.5-inch Ordnance siege rifles under Captain James E. White.

So we can, using the Official Records mostly, fill in most of these blanks.

Turning to the ammunition, the smoothbore columns are particularly active:

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The usual sets of 6-pdr and 12-pdr rounds:

  • 2nd Battery: 203 shot, 203 case, and 191 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 3rd Battery:  105 shot, 141 case, and 132 canister for 6-pdr field guns;  136 shot, 406 shell, 227 case, and 300 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 5th Battery: 76 shot, 24 shell, 92 case, and 33 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 7th Battery: 75 shot, 32 shell, 101 case, and 48 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 10th Battery: 115 shell, 100 case, and 116 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 11th Battery: 132 shot, 122 shell, 110 case, and 120 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Moving to the next page, we start the rifled projectiles with the Hotchkiss columns:

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Not a lot to report:

  • 5th Battery: 24 shot, 24 fuse shell, and 132 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • 11th Battery: 100 canister, 140 fuse shell, and 150 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

There is one “stray” on the following page for Hotchkiss:

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  • 5th Battery: 32 canister for 3.80-inch Rifles.

Moving to the right, the James columns:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • 2nd Battery: 130 shot and 142 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 3rd Battery: 52 shot, 273 shell, and 24 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 5th Battery:  58 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

And over to the Parrotts:

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Two batteries with Parrotts, and two reporting:

  • 7th Battery: 197 shell, 273 case, and 157 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 10th Battery: 468 shell, 225 case, and 94 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Note to the right, there is one entry for Schenkl patent projectiles for Parrott rifles:

  • 7th Battery: 217 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

To the last page of ammunition columns, we find two entries:

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Both for 5th Battery:

  • 5th Battery:  150 Schenkl shell for 3.80-inch rifles; 40 Tatham canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Yes, 5th Battery reported canister from three different patterns to feed their James rifles (and that does not include canister for their 12-pdr Napoleons).  Would love to see a first hand account discussing those particulars.

Lastly, we have the small arms:

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By battery, of those reporting:

  • 2nd Battery: Eighteen rifles (no type specified), twenty-eight Army revolvers, and twenty-two cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: Four Navy revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: One percussion pistol, fourteen cavalry sabers, and seven horse artillery sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Two cavalry sabers and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • 11th Battery: Ten Army revolvers, twelve Navy revolvers, and eleven cavalry sabers.

Perhaps the 5th Indiana Battery must have been the last user of the percussion pistol?

Next we’ll pick up the bottom half of the Indiana Independent Batteries.