Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – 5th Regiment, US Regulars

Moving in order now to close out the summary statement pages for the US Regular Artillery batteries, we come to the 5th Artillery:

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When we looked at the Fifth Regiment as part of the fourth quarter, 1862 summaries, the batteries were split between two pages.  Huzzah!  A clerical victory!  And speaking of clerks, the dates on the far left might lend more credence to the data here… we might presume.  Of the twelve batteries, only one does not have a report date registered (reason for that will be seen shortly).  Furthermore, we have nine batteries reporting quantities of what makes a battery something more than a collection of soldiers – cannons!  And at the bottom line, we see an entry for the regimental headquarters.  And we see a relatively straight forward listing of key battery information:

  • Battery A: At Suffolk, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Battery A began the winter under Third Division, Ninth Corps, commanded by Lieutenant George Crabb, outside Fredericksburg. By March, the battery was under Lieutenant James Gilliss, supporting the same division at Suffolk.
  • Battery B: No report. This new battery continued to form-up at Fort Hamilton through the winter and spring of 1863.
  • Battery C: Reporting at Belle Plain, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Dunbar R. Ransom commanded this battery supporting Second Division, First Corps.  The battery added two Napoleons over the previous quarter.
  • Battery D: Falmouth, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrotts. We find Lieutenant Charles Hazlett’s battery supporting First Division, Fifth Corps with the six Parrotts that would go on to some renown on some small hill later in the summer.
  • Battery E: At Fort Hamilton, New Jersey but without cannons.  As with Battery B above, Battery E was still organizing, under regimental headquarters’ charge, at this point in the war.
  • Battery F: White Oak Church, Virginia, with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 10-pdr Parrotts. Lieutenant Leonard Martin commanded this battery (though Captain Romeyn B. Ayres held command on early winter returns, split between battery and brigade postings).  The battery supported Second Division, Sixth Corps.
  • Battery G: Way out in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Lieutenant  Jacob B. Rawles commanded this battery from Second Division, Nineteenth Corps.
  • Battery H: Wintering at Murfreesboro, Tennessee and armed with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 10-pdr Parrotts. With the reorganization of the Army of the Cumberland, Lieutenant Francis Guenther took his battery to First Division, Fourteenth Corps.
  • Battery I: At Falmouth, Virginia but reporting no cannon.  Lieutenant Malbone F. Watson commanded this battery in support of Second Division, Fifth Corps.  Other records indicate this battery had four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
  • Battery K: Also at Falmouth and with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Lieutenant David H. Kinzie led this battery of the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.
  • Battery L: Reporting at Winchester, Virginia with six 3-inch rifles. Lieutenant Edmund D. Spooner’s battery joined Milroy’s command at Winchester at the start of spring that year.
  • Battery M: At Yorktown, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain James McKnight’s battery was unassigned, but part of the Seventh Corps at this phase of the war.
  • Regimental HQ: “Sr. Maj.” maybe?  At any rate, reporting from Fort Hamilton.   For those curious, the equipment on hand included a battery forge, a battery wagon, and a fair quantity of implements, accouterments, and supplies.

So from an organizational perspective, we don’t see a lot of changes with the batteries of the regiment.  Nor any significant changes in cannon reported.

What of the ammunition reported?  Starting with the smoothbore section, as expected we have only 12-pdr Napoleon

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More lines reporting here compared to the previous quarter:

  • Battery A: 192 shot, 96 shells, 288 spherical case, and 192 canister for Napoleons.
  • Battery C: 535 shot, 167 shell, 651 case, and 301 canister in 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery F: 96 shot, 32 shell, 96 case, and 40 canister all for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery G: 190 shot, 106 shell, 360 case, and 128 canister in 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery H: 173 shot, 64 shell, 175 case, and 100 canister for the Napoleons.
  • Battery K: No quantities reported..
  • Battery M: 283 shot, 87 shell, 274 case, and 96 canister for their Napoleons.

Note that Batteries A, F, and M reported the same quantities from the previous month.  (I probably transcribed the numbers of shot for Battery M incorrectly in that previous quarter.)

Looking to the rifled projectiles, we start with the Hotchkiss variety:

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One battery reporting:

  • Battery L: 120 canister, 120 percussion shell, 240 (or 340) fuse shell, and 720 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

Battery I is noticeably absent quantities again.

On the next page, no quantities of Dyer’s or James’ appear, but there are Parrott projectiles for those Parrott rifles:

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Three batteries reporting:

  • Battery D:  72 shell, 500 case, and 24 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery F: 160 shell, 320 case, and 96 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery H: 250 shell, 56 case, and 94 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

Comparing to the previous quarter, Battery D’s and Battery F’s quantities remained the same; and Battery H reported a smaller quantity of 10-pdr shell.

Moving to Schenkl projectiles:

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Two batteries reporting:

  • Battery D: 251 Schenkl shell for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery F:  320 Schenkl shell for 10-pdr Parrott.

Battery D’s quantities did not differ from the previous quarter. Battery F appears to have lost 320 Schenkel 10-pdr shot listed in the last quarter, then gained the same quantity of shell.  Go figure.

Finally we reach the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery A: Twenty-nine Army revolvers, one cavalry saber, and sixty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Twenty-seven Army revolvers, twenty-six Navy revolvers, and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: Twelve Navy revolvers and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: One-hundred-and-ten horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Twenty-seven Army revolvers and twenty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Twenty-two horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Sixteen Army revolvers, five Navy revolvers, and thirty-nine cavalry sabers.
  • Battery K: Fifty-eight Army revolvers and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery L:  One-hundred-and-fifty horse artillery sabers!
  • Battery M: Twenty-four Navy revolvers and twenty horse artillery sabers.

I can see a use for Battery E, which was still forming, to have a large number of sabers on hand.  We might presume there was a lot of saber drill going on at Fort Hamilton.

But Battery L?  I guess they would put those 150 sabers to good use later in the summer.

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Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery

Let us move a little to the east and look at the reported condition and status of the Pennsylvania light artillery batteries at the end of 1862.  The Keystone State provided over 360,000 men to the Federal cause.  There were 215 numbered regiments formed from that pool of men.  Most of those were infantry regiments, of course.  However cavalry and artillery regiments were assigned numbers in that range before re-designation.  Such was the case for the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery Regiment.  It began as the 14th Pennsylvania Reserves (NOTE: not an “infantry regiment” but just a “regiment”) in May 1861 and morphed into the 43rd Pennsylvania Regiment. This formation became the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery with eight batteries (A through H), later that year. Battery I was added in 1865, and thus escapes our attention today.   The regiment’s service through the first half of the war was in Virginia, and mostly associated with the Army of the Potomac.  I’m stepping past some of the particulars for the sake of brevity here to reach December 1862.  All but two of these batteries were with the Army of the Potomac at the time:

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And my what a wonderful summary we have.  Eight batteries with eight returns showing!

  • Battery A: At Portsmouth, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Well, Lieutenant John G. Simpson’s battery was actually in camp with Third Division, First Corps, at Belle Plain.  The Portsmouth location was valid for January 1864, when the return was received in Washington.
  • Battery B: Belle Plain, Virginia with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Another Third Division, First Corps battery.  Captain James H. Cooper commanded.
  • Battery C: No location given, but with four 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Jeremiah McCarthy led this battery, assigned to Third Division, Sixth Corps and likely camping near White Oak Church.
  • Battery D: At White Oak Church, Virginia with four 10-pdr Parrotts.  As with Battery C, also assigned to Third Division, Sixth Corps.  Captain Michael Hall commanded.
  • Battery E: No location given, but with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Thomas G. Orwig commanded this battery, assigned to the Artillery Reserve of Fourth Corps, and posted at Yorktown.
  • Battery F: At Belle Plain, with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Lieutenant R. Bruce Ricketts commanded this battery, which supported Second Division, First Corps.
  • Battery G: Also at Belle Plain and with four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Likewise, another battery, commanded by Captain Frank P. Amsden, assigned to Third Division, First Corps.
  • Battery H: At Yorktown, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain Andrew Fagan commanded this battery, which was part of the Artillery Reserve, Fourth Corps.

So with all batteries reporting, we should have a clean set of information on projectiles?  Well, not so fast:

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Given the type of guns indicated on the first page, we should only see ammunition for 12-pdr Napoleons on this page.  But we have some entries under the 12-pdr howitzer columns – both field and mountain – for Battery E (stationed at Yorktown and Gloucester Point at the time).

  • Battery A: 239 shot, 181 case, and 92 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
  • Battery E:  176 shot for 12-pdr Napoleon; 64 shell and 192 case for 12-pdr field howitzers; and 80 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • Battery H:  182 shot, 54 shell, 162 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.

There are some possibilities here to explain Battery E.  This may be a rather conspicuous transcription error, at either end.  Or perhaps a miss-identification of the type of fixed ammunition by some battery officer taking inventory.  Another possibility, since the battery was on garrison duty, is the rounds counted included those for weapons not directly assigned to the battery.  And of course, 12-pdr howitzer rounds, for either the field or mountain type, work under the “if it fits down the bore” rule.  However this return was received in Washington in January 1865, when Battery E was in the Petersburg lines. So we might speculate on this all day.

Moving to the rifle projectiles, we find everything fits neatly into two calibers – 3-inch and 10-pdr. Starting with the Hotchkiss-types:

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These projectiles are where we expect them:

  • Battery B: 20 canister and 220 bullet shell in 3-inch bore.
  • Battery G: 223 shell and 333 bullet shell for their 3-inch rifles.

The Pennsylvania batteries reported quantities of Dyer’s and Parrott’s projectiles:

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  • Battery G: 97 shell, 87 shrapnel, and 80 canister of Dyer’s patent for 3-inch rifle.
  • Battery C: 278 Parrott case shot for their 10-pdr rifles.
  • Battery D: 60 shell and 65(?) case shot of Parrott-patent in 10-pdr.

Over to the Schenkl columns:

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Two entries here:

  • Battery B: 285 Schenkl shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery C: 145 Schenkl shell and 96 Schenkl canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

My first impression is that the rifled batteries of the 1st Pennsylvania were short, or maybe under-reporting, ammunition quantities.  Battery B, for instance, had twenty canister on hand.  Dividing the shell and case shot equitably between four guns, we’d see only 71 shells and 55 “bullet shell” for each tube.

Lastly, we turn to the small arms:
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By battery:

  • Battery A: Eight Navy revolvers and nine horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B: Sixteen Navy revolvers and seventeen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: Seventeen Army revolvers and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery D: Seventeen Navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Eight Navy revolver, twenty-four cavalry sabers, and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Eighteen Army revolvers and four horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery G: Eleven Navy revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Seventeen Army revolvers and twenty-three horse artillery sabers.

I think that reflects a healthy allotment of small arms for the batteries.  Not a lot of pistols or sabers.  But enough to meet needs which might arise.  And no long guns.

Next we will turn to the independent batteries of Pennsylvania.