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.

Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Maine’s batteries

Through June of 1863, the state of Maine provided six batteries to the Federal cause (a seventh would follow later in the year).  Looking at the summary for the second quarter, 1863, we find the Ordnance Department recorded returns from four of the six:

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Somewhat a regression from the previous quarter, where five of the six had recorded returns.  But there’s little to speculate on the two missing returns.  (And a reminder, Maine’s batteries are sometimes designated by number, and at other times by letter.  Here we will stick to the format from the summary):

  • 1st Battery: No return. Lieutenant John E. Morton remained in command of this battery, assigned to First Division, Nineteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf.  And at the end of June, that formation was laying siege to Port Hudson. Reports earlier in the year gave the battery had four 6-pdr rifled guns and three 12-pdr howitzers.
  • 2nd Battery: , Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  This is Captain James A. Hall’s battery, First Corps, Army of the Potomac.  This assignment had them marching up from Emmitsburg, Maryland, camping at Marsh Creek, on June 30.  We might attribute the location to the date of the return’s receipt – October 1863.
  • 3rd Battery:  No report.  At this stage of the war, 3rd Battery was re-designated Battery M, 1st Maine Heavy Artillery (it would later revert to light artillery). Captain James G. Swett commanded.  The battery was stationed in the Defenses of Washington, on the north side of the Potomac.  They were, for at least a portion of this time, assigned to Battery Jameson, outside Fort Lincoln.
  • 4th Battery: Reporting at Rappahannock, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  The location is likely connected to the receipt date of August 1863.  Captain O’Neil W. Robinson, Jr. commanded this battery.  Assigned to French’s Division, Eighth Corps, Middle Department, the battery was among those at Harpers Ferry at the start of June.  On June 30, the forces there moved to Frederick, Maryland.  Later in the summer, the battery transferred, with it’s parent, into the Third Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • 5th Battery: Reporting, appropriately “in the field” with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Greenleaf T. Stevens assumed command of this battery during the Chancellorsville Campaign.  And of course, the battery was part of Wainwright’s brigade, supporting First Corps.  Stevens has a knoll named for him at Gettysburg.
  • 6th Battery: At Taneytown, Maryland with four 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery was part of the 4th Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, then advancing across Maryland, so the location is very accurate. Lieutenant Edwin B. Dow remained in command.

So we find four of these batteries involved with the Gettysburg campaign (with three actually on the field).  One battery was at Port Hudson.  Only the 3rd was not actually in a fight at the return’s due date.

Moving to the ammunition, two batteries had Napoleons and two have ammunition on hand:

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  • 5th Battery: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 6th Battery: 192 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Nothing out of the ordinary there.

Moving on to the rifled projectiles.  Ordnance rifles were on hand, so we find Hotchkiss reported:

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Again, two batteries reporting:

  • 2nd battery: 359 fuse shell and 140 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 4th Battery: 120 canister, 381 fuse shell, and 699 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

For the next page, we can focus on the Dyer columns:

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Just one reporting:

  • 2nd Battery: 402 shrapnel and 137 canister of Dyer’s patent for 3-inch rifles.

Some time back, I was asked what Federal batteries might have had Dyer’s projectiles at Gettysburg.  Well there is the the lead – Hall’s battery.

The next page has one entry:

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Again, Hall’s battery:

  • 2nd Battery: 156 Schenkl shells for 3-inch rifles.

Since we are seeing a lot of Hall’s Battery here, I’d point out his expenditure and losses at Gettysburg.  In his official report, the battery fired 635 rounds.  Eighteen men wounded and four captured.  Twenty-eight horses killed and six wounded.  One gun-carriage destroyed, and two others disabled (probably due to axles).  But no guns lost…. Hall and a sergeant personally brought one abandoned gun off the field.

Turning last to the small arms:

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Of the four batteries reporting:

  • 2nd Battery: Sixteen Army revolvers and eleven cavalry sabers.
  • 4th Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and twenty-three(?) cavalry sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Eleven Army revolvers and sixteen cavalry sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Seven Army revolvers, 100(?) Navy revolvers and thirty-two(?) horse artillery sabers.

The odd bit here is with all those pistols in the 6th Battery.  The previous quarter, the battery had but seven.

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

The batteries of the 2nd US Artillery saw varied service during the Civil War – across several theaters of war and with several different assignments.  We saw examples of that service from the previous quarterly summaries.  Moving from winter into spring, the nature of the 2nd’s service remained… in a word… varied.

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We might also say the 2nd was orderly.  All returns filed were posted between July and October of 1863 (excepting, as you see above, that of Battery F).  However there are some blanks to fill in and some clarifications to make:

  • Battery A – Reporting from Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The location is certainly reflecting the August 10, 1863 receipt date, as we know for a fact this battery was just outside Gettysburg on June 30. As most readers likely know, after Chancellorsville and reorganization with the Horse Artillery, Captain John C. Tidball took over the freshly constituted 2nd Brigade of the Horse Artillery.  That brigade would include his old battery.  Lieutenant John H. Calef would famously command this battery when it went into action, July 1, 1863, on McPherson’s Ridge. And of course, one of those six Ordnance rifles is still out there today.
  • Battery B – Reporting at Taneytown, Maryland with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.   This was actually combined Batteries B and L (see below).  The battery was assigned to Second Brigade of the Horse Artillery, which was commanded it’s old commander, Captain James M. Robertson. Lieutenant Albert Vincent commanded the battery during the spring.  However, for the Gettysburg Campaign, Lieutenant Edward Heaton held the command.
  • Battery C – Port Hudson, Louisiana with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery was part of Fourth Division, Nineteenth Corps. Lieutenant Theodore Bradley commanded.
  • Battery D – “In the field, VA” with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Where else should a battery of Napoleons be?  Maybe a better description would be “on the way to Gettysburg.”  Battery D was assigned to Sixth Corps and commanded by Lieutenant Edward D. Williston.
  • Battery E –  [Illegible], Mississippi with six 20-pdr Parrott Rifles. While I cannot identify the placename, this battery was part of the Second Division, Ninth Corps, which had been sent from Kentucky to Vicksburg.  Lieutenant Samuel N. Benjamin remained in command.
  • Battery F – No report. Lieutenant Charles Green remained in command.  The battery moved to the District of Memphis, of the Sixteenth Corps.
  • Battery G – Reporting at Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.   The battery remained with Sixth Corps, and was among the mass of men moving towards Gettysburg at the end of June.  Lieutenant John H. Bulter was in command.
  • Battery H – Assigned to Fort Barrancas, Florida as garrison artillery.  We see “Infty. stores” indicated with no artillery equipment reported.  Captain Frank H. Larned was in command.
  • Battery I – Fort McHenry, Maryland.  No field artillery reported.  Lieutenant James E. Wilson commanded.
  • Battery K – Fort Pickens, Florida on garrison artillery assignment.  Captain Harvey A. Allen had command of this battery.
  • Battery L – We see a description “with Battery B” but with a location of [Illegible] City,  Maryland.  The Battery reported no cannon.
  • Battery M – No location given, but with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Assigned to 1st Brigade, Horse Artillery.  And like others, the location might be summarized as “on the way to Gettysburg.”  Lieutenant A.C.M. Pennington resumed command, replacing Lieutenant Robert Clarke, after the Chancellorsville Campaign.

With at least some of the blanks filled in and questions answered, let us move on to the ammunition reported on hand.  Here we find a rather clean set of entries:

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Three batteries with Napoleons, so we have three lines to consider:

  • Battery C: 96 shot, 128 shell, 160 case, and 128 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons
  • Battery D: 273 shot, 110 shell, 321 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery G: 144 shot, 144 shell, 288 case, and 192 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Moving to the next page, we see the Ordnance Rifle batteries had Hotchkiss proejctiles:

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  • Battery A: 167 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery B: 136 canister, 574 percussion shell, 307 fuse shell, and 213 bullet shells for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 72 canister and 185 bullet shells for 3-inch rifles.

Here we have some room for interpretation and conjecture about the numbers, and the reporting process. Batteries A and M would report quantities of Schenkl shells on the later pages, which we will get to.  But we see here those two batteries did not report a substantial quantity of ammunition on hand.  Hard to believe those two batteries, particularly Calef’s, had only a few dozen rounds per gun as of the end of June.  More likely is the reports were filed giving quantities on hand after the battle or at some point during the pursuit phase of the campaign.  But we simply don’t know that for sure.  We must make of the numbers what we can.

One other point I’d raise here is in regard to Battery B.  Reports indicate the battery suffered from a batch of bad shells during the Gettysburg Campaign.  We might speculate there is something beyond just the numbers here also.

Moving over to the next page, we can focus on the Parrott projectiles used by Battery E:

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  • Battery E: 522 shell, 204 case, and 72 canister for 20-pdr Parrott rifles.

Moving to the last page of projectiles, we have a couple of entries for Schenkl:

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These make up, somewhat, for the shortages observed for Batteries A and M above:

  • Battery A: 145 shells for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 389 shells for 3-inch rifles.

Still the aggregate quantities come up short for what one would assume the batteries carried into action at Gettysburg.  Particularly noteworthy is the absence of canister for Battery A.

Lastly we turn to the small arms reported:

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By battery:

  • Battery A:  Fourteen Army revolvers, sixty-six Navy revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and seventy-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Six Army revolvers, thirteen cavalry sabers, and one horse artillery saber.
  • Battery C: Nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: Eighteen Arm revolvers and forty-three horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Fifty-two Army revolvers, eight cavalry sabers, and thirty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Twelve Army revolvers and fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: 119 Army revolvers and twenty-six (or is it eighty-six?) horse artillery sabers.

The standout line on this end of the summary, if not the entire summary, is that of Battery A’s small arms.  If this is accurate for June 30, or at least representing what was on hand during the battle of Gettysburg, it is significant. The numbers are similar to that reported the previous quarter…. only indicating a net loss of four cavalry sabers.  I don’t have at my fingertips the personnel returns for Calef’s battery, but clearly most of the men would have had a revolver and a saber.  Such would contradict some assumptions often stated about artillerymen and small arms.