Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – Massachusetts batteries

For the last five sections of the summary statements, we’ve had a western-focus as the order of listing included western states.  So a break from that with the next state – Massachusetts.  However, that is not to say all these batteries introduced today were serving in the east…

Massachusetts’s naming convention was to number each light battery, instead of providing a regimental system (and keep in mind this stands separate from the Heavy Artillery which had a regimental system AND numbered separate companies) . However, in some correspondence those batteries were referred to by letter designations, as if there was a regimental system for the light batteries.  In other words, sometimes 1st Battery was “Battery A”; 2nd Battery was “Battery B”; etc.  For sake of convention here, I’ll use the numbered designations, just as the summaries offered.

During the war, the Bay Staters provided 18 battery-sized light artillery formations.  Subtract from the total one battery from Boston mustered early in the war (and mustered out by August 1861) and the reorganized 11th Battery.  That leaves us with the highest number of the 16th Battery.  Of those, the first eleven were in Federal service as of December 1862.  Two more, the 12th and 13th, were still organizing, and thus left off the summary.  That said, we have 1st Battery through 11th Battery to look at for the December 1862 summary:

0059_Snip_Dec62_MA_1

Of those eleven batteries, nine provided returns:

  • 1st Battery: White Oak Church, Virginia.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery was part of Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac, opposite Fredericksburg.
  • 2nd Battery: Carrolton, Louisiana. No weapons listed.  This battery was among those units involved with the Lower Mississippi (New Orleans and Baton Rouge) campaign and thus part of the Department of the Gulf.  As of January 1863, the battery reported six 6-pdr field guns.
  • 3rd Battery: Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Assigned to the Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac.  Captain Augustus Martin’s battery is credited with Napoleons at Antietam.  And they had Napoleons at Gettysburg.  There’s a longer story than I have room for here.
  • 4th Battery: No return.  This battery was also in the Department of the Gulf, with two sections posted to Fort Pike in December 1862. One section was at Carrolton, Louisiana with two 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 5th Battery: No location listed, but with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  At the time in question, the battery was part of Fifth Corps.
  • 6th Battery: No return.  The battery was also part of the Department of the Gulf, under Captain William W. Carruth, with four 6-pdr Sawyer guns and two 12-pdr howitzers.  A shame we don’t have more details in the summary.
  • 7th Battery: Suffolk, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles.  Assigned to the Seventh Army Corps.
  • 8th Battery: Mustered out, but reporting two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 6-pdr (3.67-inch) rifles.  The battery had been part of the Ninth Corps before their six-month enlistment expired.
  • 9th Battery: Fort Ramsay, Virginia.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery was part of the defenses of Washington.  Fort Ramsay was a forward section of the defenses, on Upton’s Hill.  However, photos of the fort show siege weapons in place, not Napoleons.  Further confusing things, the 9th Company (Unassigned) Massachusetts Heavy Artillery was also posted to Fort Ramsay at some point in the war.  That aside for the moment, the 9th Battery Light Artillery was part of Abercrombie’s Division in December 1862.
  • 10th Battery:  Poolesville, Maryland with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The battery was assigned to the defenses of Washington, but detached for duty.
  • 11th Battery: Centreville, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Also part of Washington’s defenses. This battery was assigned to Casey’s Provisional Division.

Yes, with Captain Richard Arnold’s January report in hand, it is possible to determine the number of cannons, and types, on hand for the Massachusetts batteries.  Though there are still some questions that require chewing.

The batteries reported the following smoothebore ammunition on hand:

0061_Snip_Dec62_MA_1

By battery:

  • 1st Battery: 12-pdr Napoleon – 296 shot, 74 shell, 251 case, and 131 canister.
  • 5th Battery: 12-pdr Napoleon – 192 shot, 96 shell, 387 case, and 96 canister.
  • 8th Battery: 12-pdr Napoleon – 218 shell.  Also reporting 720 12-pdr field howitzer case shot and 79 canister for mountain howitzer.
  • 9th Battery:  12-pdr Napoleon – 199 shot, 267 shell, and 192 case.  Then 192 canister for the 12-pdr mountain howitzer.

The last entry leaves us a small question.  Certainly the use of 12-pdr howitzer case shot and canister in a Napoleon would work under the “if it fits down the bore we shoot it!” rule. However, I am inclined to think that is a transcription error for the 9th Battery.

Likewise, for the 8th battery, I’m inclined to question if the stores included 12-pdr field gun shells or 12-pdr howitzer shells.  Not that it mattered much for the 8th, as it would reflect quantities turned in by that time.

On to rifled ammunition:

0061_Snip_Dec62_MA_2

Reporting Hotchkiss projectiles:

  • 3rd Battery: 3-inch – 160 canister, 413 fuse shell, 540 bullet shell (case).
  • 7th Battery: 3-inch – 212 canister, 192 percussion shell, 346 fuse shell, and 364 bullet shell.
  • 8th Battery: 12-pdr (3.67-inch) – 18 shot and 1,464 fuse shell (!).
  • 10th Battery: 3-inch – 125 canister, 115 percussion shell, 246 fuse shell, and 720 bullet shell.
  • 11th Battery: 3-inch – 117 canister, 572 percussion shell, and 578 bullet shell.

The 8th Battery must have “husbanded” their allotment of shells at Antietam….

There were not reports of Dyer, James, or Parrott projectiles for the Massachusetts guns:

 

 

0062_Snip_Dec62_MA_1

Though I would caution that we don’t have documentation of the three batteries posted in Louisiana for the reporting period.

A lone entry for Schenkl projectiles:

0062_Snip_Dec62_MA_2

3rd Battery reporting 120 3-inch Schenkl shells for their Ordnance Rifles.

Finally, the small arms reported:

 

0062_Snip_Dec62_MA_3

By battery:

  • 1st Battery: 13 Army revolvers, 12 cavalry sabers, and 7 horse artillery sabers.
  • 2nd Battery: 3 Enfield .577 rifles.
  • 3rd Battery:  6 Army revolvers and 46 horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: 12 Army revolvers, 8 cavalry sabers, and 24 horse artillery sabers.
  • 7th Battery: 20 Army revolvers and 147 horse artillery sabers.
  • 8th Battery: 11 Navy revolvers and 47 horse artillery sabers.
  • 9th Battery: 15 Army revolvers and 3 horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: 20 Navy revolvers and 20 horse artillery sabers.
  • 11th Battery: 20 Army revolvers and 20 horse artillery sabers.

One would think that, coming from the home state of Ames and Colt, the Massachusetts men would be well equipped for small arms.  I think this part of the summary, across all the states and batteries, is the section to give the most latitude.  We have here the “reported” quantities, which might not directly correlate to the “issued” quantity, nor reflect the “acquired” quantity.  Then again, we don’t usually measure a battery’s firepower by the number of pop-guns and long edged weapons.

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Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 4th Regiment Artillery, US Regulars

“No step backward” on the look at the summary statement from December 31, 1862.  Some will get my reference.  Others must be told that our focus is the 4th Regiment, US Artillery.

Most batteries of the 4th were posted on the frontier in the years prior to the Civil War.  However, by the end of 1862 the regiment was mostly in Virginia (Administrative note again – Yellow lines are the “rules” for the data lines, and red lines are the “tear lines” where I’ve cut-pasted for presentation):

0026_Snip_Dec62_4thUS_1

Please note the dates the returns were received in Washington.  Most of the 4th Regiment was complete by mid-summer.  There are some “twists” to this block of data, so watch the run down here:

  • Battery A: Warrenton Junction, Virginia. Six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Earlier in the war, Batteries A and C (see below) were consolidated.  The two split in October 1862.  Battery A supported Second Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery B: Belle Plain, Virginia.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery supported First Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery C: Falmouth, Virginia. Six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Inheriting the equipment of Battery A (above), Battery C also supported Second Corps.
  • Battery D: Suffolk, Virginia. Six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Supported Seventh Corps, Department of Virginia.
  • Battery E: No return indicated.  Battery E supported Ninth Corps, and was outside Falmouth.  My references indicate the battery had six 10-pdr Parrotts at the reporting time.
  • Battery F: Location not indicated, but known to be near Falmouth.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons. Part of Twelfth Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery G: Again, no location, but near Falmouth.  Six 12-pdr Napoleons. Battery G was in the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery I: Location not indicated, but this battery was also with the Army of the Cumberland, though part of the Center Wing not engaged at Stones River.  Two 6-pdr field guns and two 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery K: At Falmouth, this battery had six 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery was part of Third Corps, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery L: At Suffolk with two 12-pdr howitzers and four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Battery L was part of the Seventh Corps.
  • Battery M: No return indicated.  As mentioned above, was consolidated with Battery H.  After the battle of Stones River, Battery M retained four 3-inch rifles and gained two 24-pdr field howitzers.

And that brings us to line 60.  What to make of the writing in the “Letter of company” column:

0026_Snip_Dec62_4thUS_2

What is clear – On July 21, 1863 the Ordnance Department received a return from a command at Fort Washington, Maryland.  That command was reporting “stores in charge,” or at least from the way I read it.  Several sources place a detachments of the 4th US Regulars at the post during the reporting period. But the annotation appears, to my eyes, as “colored.”  However, keep in mind that as of December 31, 1862 there were no US Colored Troops – at least being called that by name.

UPDATEA sharp eyed reader offered another possibility, which I must agree is more likely.  The word may be “Colonel” thus indicating the regimental headquarters or such.

So I don’t know how to interpret the company line other than relating that line 60 included various tools and equipment at Fort Washington under the charge of the 4th Regiment.  So before we get all excited about what may or may not be indicated in the company column, we see no cannon or projectiles (or even any carriages or implements) reported by this detachment.  Only some small arms, which we’ll see later in the summary.

Questions of line 60 aside, let us look at the smoothbore projectiles reported for the 4th Regiment:

0028_Snip_Dec62_4thUS_1

No surprises given the distribution of smoothbore weapons:

  • Battery B:  216 shot, 92 shells, 216 case, and 92 canister for the 12-pdr.
  • Battery C: 96 shot, 96 shell, 234 case, and 192 canister in 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery F: 252 shot, 76 shell, 252 case, and 76 canister – 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery G: 86 shot, 33 shell, 103 case, and 40 canister – 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery I: 261 shot, 148 case, and 42 canister for the 6-pdr field gun.
  • Battery K: 288 shot, 96 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister – 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery L: 140 shell, 154 case, and 32 canister for the 12-pdr howitzers.

As for Hotchkiss pattern projectiles:

0028_Snip_Dec62_4thUS_2

Again, given the guns assigned there are no surprises.  The batteries with Ordnance Rifles had Hotchkiss pattern projectiles:

  • Battery A: 3-inch projectiles – 120 canister, 50 percussion shell, 305 fuse shells, and 725 “bullet shell” (which I interpret as case).
  • Battery D: 3-inch projectiles – 83 canister, 271 fuse shells, and 846 “bullet shell” for the 3-inch rifles.

None of the batteries reported Dyer’s or James Pattern projectiles.  As for Parrott and Schenkel Pattern:

0029_Snip_Dec62_4thUS_1

Batteries I and L had the Parrott rifles:

  • Battery I: 126 Parrott 10-pdr shell, 129 Parrott 10-pdr case shot, 47 Parrott 10-pdr canister, and 33 Schenkel 10-pdr shot.
  • Battery L: 480 Parrott 10-pdr shell, 240 Parrott 10-pdr case, and 46 (or 96?) Parrott 10-pdr canister.

No other Schenkel pattern projectiles were reported on the page. Small arms reported:

0029_Snip_Dec62_4thUS_2

There were no muskets in the 4th Artillery:

  • Battery A: 15 .44-caliber revolvers and 25 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: 37 .37-caliber revolvers and 24 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: 15 .37-caliber revolvers and 21 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: 9 .37-caliber revolvers and 141 horse artillery sabers!
  • Battery F: 19 .37-caliber revolvers, 10 horse artillery sabers, and one foot artillery saber.
  • Battery G: 7 .37-caliber revolvers and 94 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Four percussion “Dragoon” pistols and 45 cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: 21 .44-caliber revolvers, 106 .37-caliber revolvers, and 15 horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L: 14 .44-caliber revolvers and 118 horse artillery sabers.
  • And Line 60 – 3 .44-caliber revolvers and 29(?) horse artillery sabers.

We need to examine Battery I’s small arms in more detail.  More so as a footnote.  The column header is “Percussion,” with “Dragoon” written in.  Note that the other column headers to the right are “Revolver,” with either .44 size or .37 size written in.  So, it could be these were four percussion pistols of the Model 1855 or similar type.   Or were those Colt’s Dragoon Revolvers?  I would lean towards the latter.

Lastly, as mentioned above, we have the entries for line 60 here.  A handful of pistols and a few stands of sabers.  Yet, as the bureaucracy required, every one of them are counted here on the form.