Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Missouri Miscellaneous Mix-up

Having looked at the First and Second Missouri Volunteer Artillery regiments, we find nine lines at the bottom of the state’s section on the summary for the third quarter.  For most states, the “other” area, if there at all, is simply a short list of independent batteries and perhaps some artillery-equipped sections manned by cavalry or infantry.  But with Missouri, there are militia units on active service that must also be accounted for.  So let’s consider those nine lines:

0265_1_Snip_MO3

Let us first establish the “names” assigned to those nine lines:

  • 1st Battery Artillery.  This is most likely a Missouri State Militia battery.
  • 2nd Battery Artillery. This is most likely a Missouri State Militia battery.
  • Lovejoy’s Battery.  A section with the 2nd Missouri Cavalry.
  • Colonel, 3rd Colored Infantry?  Or is this the 3rd Volunteer Infantry? We will try to sort this out below.
  • 5th Missouri State Militia (M.S.M.) Cavalry.
  • 1st Battery Missouri State Militia: Appears to be a duplicate… we will sort out below.
  • Company G, 5th Cavalry.  But hold on… this isn’t the 5th Volunteer Cavalry, but I’ll save that explanation for the moment.
  • Company G, 6th Cavalry.
  • Company A, 10th Cavalry.

So these nine lines break down into four categories – militia; sections from the militia cavalry; sections from the volunteer cavalry; and sections with the infantry.  (Though I might argue for Lovejoy’s as an “independent” battery.. it was dependent upon its parent organization for the most part.)

So looking at lines 47, 48, and 52, we have some reconciliations to work.  The Missouri State Adjutant-General’s report of 1862 identified two Missouri State Militia batteries then in service.  The 1st was under Captain Horace B. Johnson.  The 2nd was under Captain Albert Waschman (See note below).  Johnson’s battery was armed with Woodruff guns, and is of some interest for that alone.   This battery was closely associated with the 1st Cavalry, Missouri State Militia.  By December 1862, Johnson was formally in command of Company L of that regiment, and it appears his “battery” was incorporated in that company.  At any rate, by the third quarter of 1863 the battery was not in existence… or at least was not in Federal service.

With Johnson’s being redesignated, or subsumed, as cavalry, the state changed Waschman’s to the 1st Battery.  In May 1863, Waschman was demoted to lieutenant and Captain Charles H. Thurber took command of the battery.  That battery was employed in sections, with one at Sedalia and the other at Westport.  Thus I believe we can interpret the three militia battery (47, 48, and 52) entries as such:

  • 1st Battery Artillery was First Section, 1st Battery Light Artillery, Missouri State Militia (or simply 1st Battery M.S.M.):  Reporting at Sedalia, Missouri with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers and four 10-pdr Parrotts.  Thurber was in command of this section.
  • 2nd Battery Artillery:  This was an obsolete line, left in because the clerks were confused (who wouldn’t be?) with the changes regarding Missouri State Militia.
  • 1st Battery Missouri State Militia: Line 52 indicates duty at Westport, which matches with the Second Section, under Waschman.  No guns listed. But we’ll see ammunition reported later.

With respect to those “Parrott” rifles, if you look to the comments from last quarter’s post, there is a good thread identifying these as 2.9-inch English Rifles.  Specifically Robert F. Mushet’s steel rifles, cast in Whales and bored out in London to an “off the books” purchase in October 1861.

And, as alluded to in two earlier posts, Thurber’s Battery would soon be pulled into the 2nd Missouri Artillery Regiment reorganization as Battery L.

Staying within the militia formations, we have line 51 with “5th M.S.M. Cav.”  This regiment was originally the 13th M.S.M. Cavalry, redesignated to the 5th in February 1863 (when we are talking about Missouri units, you can’t tell the players without a program).  The regiment had companies stationed around south-central Missouri at Rolla, Houston, Salem, and Waynesville.  And the regiment was rather active chasing irregulars and law-breakers.  We saw an entry, without cannon, for the regiment in the previous quarter.  So let’s see what they have in the third quarter:

  • 5th M.S.M. Cavalry: At Waynesville, with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers. The regimental headquarters was at Waynesville for some time before moving to Rolla in April.  However, companies A, E, and H, under Major Waldemar Fischer remained at Waynesville.  And going to the returns, we can pinpoint the officer in charge of these particular guns – Lieutenant John Sanger, of Company A.  He was detailed to the section of howitzers starting in March, and remained with them until at least June 1864.  At that time, he was ordered to take the howitzers (minus the men) to St. Louis.  Sanger turned over the mountain howitzers and equipment to Colonel Nelson Cole, 2nd Missouri Artillery. So we’ll know where those cannon are going.  I am going to track this as “Company A, 5th M.S.M. Cavalry“, however, for reasons that will appear below.

Lines 49, 53, 54, and 55 all represent sections in volunteer cavalry regiments.  Two of these carry over from the previous quarter.

  • Lovejoy’s Battery/2nd Missouri Cavalry: Reporting at Brownsville, Arkansas with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  Lieutenant George Lovejoy “commanded the regimental battery” of the 2nd Missouri Cavalry starting in June 1863, according to returns.  Colonel Lewis Merrill commanded the regiment. But while Merrill served as commander of First Brigade, First Cavalry Division, District of Southeast Missouri (later transferred to the Department of Arkansas), Major Garrison Harker led the regiment.  The regiment, and battery, saw action on the advance to Little Rock in August and September 1863.  And their location given is valid for the end of that month.
  • Company G, 5th Missouri Cavalry: Reporting at Houston, Texas County, Missouri (rather specific), with two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  Well, let’s hold off on that identification.  The 5th Missouri consolidated with the 4th Missouri Cavalry in November 1862.  And as far as I can tell, the 5th was never posted around Houston.  BUT…. recall the 5th M.S.M. Cavalry (above) indeed had detachments at Houston. And through the fall of 1863, Company G of the 5th M.S.M. was posted at that town.  Captain Thomas Thomas commanded the company.  I don’t know who, specifically, managed the howitzers.  But we will track this as Company G, 5th M.S.M. Cavalry.
  • Company G, 6th Missouri Cavalry: Reporting at Carrollton, Louisiana with four 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  After Vicksburg, the 6th Missouri Cavalry remained with Thirteenth Corps as it transferred to the Department of the Gulf.  The regiment was active on several expeditions in lower Louisiana.  But I cannot specifically place it at Carrollton (New Orleans) in the time period, just generally “around” in the theater of operations.  Furthermore, I have not located any references to confirm the presence of howitzers with the regiment.
  • Company A, 10th Missouri Cavalry: At Memphis, Tennessee with four 12-pdr mountain howitzers. The 10th Missouri Cavalry was assigned to the Sixteenth Corps at the start of the summer.  Lieutenant Peter Joyce of Company A had charge of two sections of mountain howitzers. These were cited as “The Banshees” in some accounts of action outside Iuka, Mississippi.

This leaves us with one line remaining – line 50.  And this one is difficult to square up with the records.  The arrow points at the unit designation:

0265_1A_Snip_MO3

I interpret this to read “Col. 3rd Col’d Infy.” or Colonel, 3rd Colored Infantry.  Missouri did raise regiments of colored troops, designated as such and attributed to the state.  But those were soon re-designated in the USCT system.  The 3rd Missouri Colored Infantry began organizing at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, in December 1863.  But the regiment was not mustered until February the following year.  And in March, the regiment became the 67th US Colored Troops.  Thus it is not likely the 3rd Missouri Colored, even as the 67th USCT, are the unit represented by that line.

The other candidate here is the 3rd Missouri Infantry.  As part of the Fifteenth Corps, after Vicksburg the 3rd Missouri remained around Vicksburg.  The regiment moved with its parent formation to reinforce Chattanooga. And there is no record of artillery assigned to this regiment.  So let’s rule them out.

The place name reported, Goodrich’s Landing, is along the Mississippi River about thirty miles upriver from Vicksburg.  It was the site of a contraband camp which was raided by Confederates in June 1863.  Federals reoccupied the camp and maintained a presence there through the war.  And consulting Dyer’s Compendium, there were two USCT artillery batteries posted there in 1864 – Batteries C and D, 2nd US Colored Artillery (re-designated from the 1st and 2nd Louisiana Artillery, African Descent).  Furthermore, among the supporting infantry sent to Goodrich’s Landing was the 3rd Mississippi Colored Infantry, which was later the 53rd USCT.  That, I would submit, is the best set of leads.  Perhaps the clerks in Washington hastily ascribed the 3rd Mississippi to Missouri.  As we know, that occurred with respect to the Mississippi Marine Brigade, despite a loose affiliation with Missouri.   I’ll leave it open for now, but identify this line as such:

  • 3rd Colored Infantry: Reporting at Goodrich’s Landing, Louisiana with two 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James rifles.  A full, but mixed, battery.

So of those nine lines, I think we have solid identification, down to the officer in charge, for five units.  Of the others, one didn’t exist (2nd M.S.M. Battery). Two others are clearly attributed properly to cavalry sections.  Only the 3rd Colored Infantry defies specific identification.  Not bad for the mysterious Missouri batteries.

Moving on to the ammunition pages, we have smoothbore ammunition to account for:

0267_1_Snip_MO3

Lots of mountain howitzer ammunition on hand.  For clarity, I’ll work these in the order they appear, but use my “adjusted” designations:

  • 1st Section, 1st M.S.M. Battery: 36 shell, 50 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • Lovejoy’s Battery, 2nd Cavalry: 14 shell, 44 case, and 11 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 3rd Colored Infantry: 25 shot, 125 case, and 170 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 157 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Company A, 5th M.S.M. Cavalry: 67 shell and 126 case for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • Company G, 5th M.S.M. Cavalry: 108 case for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • Company G, 6th Cavalry: 24 shell and 26 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • Company A, 10th Cavalry: 72 shell, 203 case, and 102 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

Turning to the rifled projectiles, the first page offers one lone entry for Hotchkiss:

0267_2_Snip_MO3

  • 3rd Colored Infantry: 90 bullet shell for 3.80-inch rifles.

And one entry on the over page for Hotchkiss:

0268_1H_Snip_MO3

Same unit again:

  • 3rd Colored Infantry: 50 canister for 3.80-inch James.

Interesting, entries on the Parrott columns:

0268_1P_Snip_MO3

  • 1st Section, 1st M.S.M. Battery: 91 shot, 255 shell, and 79 canister for 2.9-inch rifles.
  • 2nd Section, 1st M.S.M. Battery: 12 shell for 2.9-inch rifles.

These entries seem to imply the rifled guns were distributed between the sections.  Though I would also point out, these were not Parrott rounds, but rather rounds purchased for those English rifles.  I think the clerks simply used the Parrott columns as a handy expedient in the accounting.

No other projectile entries.  So we move to the small arms:

0268_3_Snip_MO3

Three batteries accounting for small arms here:

  • 1st M.S.M. Battery: Twenty navy revolvers, forty-three cavalry sabers, thirty-two horse artillery sabers, and forty-nine foot artillery swords.
  • Company G, 6th Cavalry: Eight Army revolvers and seven cavalry sabers.
  • Company A, 10th Cavalry: Sixty-eight Army revolvers and fifty cavalry sabers.

This post has run longer than most of in the summary series.  I figured it best to take the time to break down the different units by type and at the same time properly attribute the lines to units.  If nothing else, it’s fun to relate these numbers to names.

Note: The proper spelling of Albert Waschman’s name is, in my opinion, up for debate.  We find several derivations in the military records – Wachsman, Waschsman, Wachman, and others. However, most state records have it as Waschman.  And his grave stone says Waschman (which… if there’s anyplace the name would be correct, it has to be the gravestone).  So I’m convinced Waschman is the proper spelling.  I’ve circled back to old posts to make that consistent here on the blog.  If I missed any, please let me know.

Waschman, by the way, was the son-in-law of Jim Bridger, noted “mountain man” and subject of a great Johnny Horton ballad that I’ll leave in your head

Advertisements

A Wyeth painting and a battle: Westport

Today (October 23) is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Westport.  I’ve offered some “buildup” to this in previous posts about Major-General Sterling Price’s 1864 campaign.  There’s a lot to cover in regard to this battle.  With 30,000 men engaged, this was among the war’s largest actions.  And yet, Westport is often simply dismissed as “The Gettysburg of the West,” being something of importance but ancillary to other lines of study. (I’d submit if a comparison is needed, “The Cedar Creek of the West” would be a better one… but that’s just my opinion.)

But I try to limit posts to reasonable reading lengths.  A 10,000 word essay, refreshed from my college days, would not go over well with the TLDR crowd.  Some topics, like the twenty on one artillery duel, will show up at a later date. But if you are feeling guilty about not knowing much about Westport, let me offer the Battle of Westport Visitor Center page offering battle overview and tour routes.  You can do some touring “virtually” by photos on Civil War Album’s page for Westport. There are events going on this week to recognize the 150th of the battle.   And some battlefield artifacts are on display at the visitor center.

For now, allow me to focus on one aspect of Westport… probably the one item most identified with the battle… this painting:

This is the second of the paintings, commissioned by the state, from N.C. Wyeth.  I discussed the first back in 2011.  Again, I’m no art historian.  So don’t expect me to critique the style here.  I’m looking at this as how the history is portrayed and interpreted.   I would point out, when delivered in 1920 the two Wyeth paintings served as “bookends” to the story of the Civil War in Missouri.

Let us start by considering the painting uncropped, in all its intended glory:

Battle of Westport in Missouri State Capitol

There is an important comparison to make here between “The Battle of Westport” and “The Battle of Wilson’s Creek” (here for visual reference):

See how hazy and foggy Wilson’s Creek is?  On the other hand, we see blue skies and just a small cluster of clouds at Westport.  So does that indicate the war, like the haze which Wyeth used often in his Civil War illustrations, was clearing at Westport?  Maybe, but that’s getting too much into the artist’s head for me to say.  What I would draw your attention to are the authority figures in the paintings.  For Wilson’s Creek, we see a gray clad figure which most interpret to be Price.  But we see no corresponding Federals.  Look at the Westport painting for the counterpoint.

WestportWyeth2

Who is that fine officer leading from the front?  Colonel John F. Philips, 7th Missouri State Militia Cavalry, who commanded the First Brigade of Major-General Alfred Pleasonton’s provisional cavalry division at the battle. Just to his right (seen between Phillips and the horse’s head) is Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas T. Crittenden, another prominent officer of the 7th Missouri, leading the regiment in the battle.   Never heard of those guys?  Then let me offer some back-story.

Philips was not in command of the brigade in the morning of October 23, 1864.  Brigadier-General Egbert B. Brown, then in command, had orders to move his brigade up and push the Confederates at the Big Blue River near Byram’s Ford. But due to the need to resupply the brigade and other difficulties, some of which Brown should have attended, First Brigade was not in position and was not pressing the enemy as Pleasonton wanted.  Not wasting any time, Pleasonton relieved Brown and put Philips in command.

(A “Bud Hall” pause here, if I may. Yesterday I offered a comparison between Byram’s Ford and Beverly’s Ford.  Consider Pleasonton’s presence forward in the action on October 23, 1864 – at the point and dealing with subordinates who did not execute as ordered. Contrast with Pleasonton’s lack of presence on June 9, 1863 at Brandy Station.  Your mileage may vary.)

Philips immediately began pressing his dismounted skirmishers forward.  With “great difficulty and attended with some delay, in consequence of the egress from the creek having been obstructed,” the brigade gained the west bank of the Big Blue.  This opened the door for other elements of Pleasonton’s command to get across.  At that point in the battle, Price was fighting Major-General Samuel Curtis’s Federals to the north, in front of Westport.  With Philips leading, Pleasonton forced Price to fight on two fronts.

WestPort3

After a series of fights with the Confederate rear guard, Philips’ brigade moved to threaten Price’s retreat:

One mile brought us in view of the enemy formed on the prairie. After some maneuvering we advanced on a line at right angles with the old military road, leading from Westport to Fort Scott.  It was discovered that that portion of the enemy’s force which had been engaged with General Curtis at Westport, in the forenoon, were falling back, making a connection with the force in our front; Sandborn’s brigade coming upon our left a charge was ordered by the major-general commanding, and our entire force was hurled upon the enemy in open prairie, routing and scattering him in indescribable disorder, killing and wounding many and taking many prisoners.

That charge was the object of Wyeth’s work.  The Confederates on the left were those of Major-General John Marmaduke’s division, the majority of whom were Missourians.  So the subject captured Missourians fighting Missourians.

Let me stress again the identification of the leaders in the Westport painting.  Both men were war Democrats. After the war Philips had successful political and legal careers.  He was elected as a representative to the US Congress, defended Frank James in a murder trial, and sat on the US District Court bench for twelve years.  He died in 1919.

Crittenden left the service shortly after the 1864 campaign to take the post of state Attorney General.  He also served as a representative (sort of splitting time from the 7th district with Philips).  But his postwar path lead to the Missouri Governor’s mansion in 1881.  Tying in with the James Brothers theme, as governor Crittenden authorized a reward for their capture, leading to Jesse’s death and Frank’s trial.  Incidentally, Crittenden was succeeded in office by Marmaduke in 1885.  After his term as governor Crittenden served as US Consul General in Mexico City in the mid-1890s.  He died in 1909.

Both men, prominent politicians in the post-war state, represented the transition of the state from the war into uneasy peace and thence towards a time when the war’s scars healed.  I think one has to view the Wyeth paintings as a set in order to grasp the nature of that transition – 1861 to 1864; Price to Phillips/Crittenden; haze to clear sky.  But the common thread is Missourian fighting Missourian – one that would be reinforced over and over in the public mind throughout the generations.

(Citation from OR, Series I, Volume 41, Part I, Serial 83, pages 350-1.)