Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery

Below the list of batteries for the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery is a lonely line for one battery – Battery (or more aptly, Company) H, 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery:

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Interpreting that line:

  • Battery H, 3rd Artillery: At Baltimore, Maryland with four 10-pdr Parrotts.

Captain William D. Rank commanded this battery, the “light” battery of the regiment.  As alluded to for the previous quarter’s entry, this battery was inadvertently caught up in the Gettysburg campaign. And for the record, the battery was not included in that previous quarter’s summary.  Rather it warranted mention as one overlooked by the Ordnance Department.

Battery H was originally recruited to round out Colonel (well really Major) Herman Segebarth’s battalion of “marine artillery” stationed at Fort Delaware.  Battery H was among those formed in the winter of 1862.  Later in the fall, the battalion was joined with batteries from Colonel Joseph Roberts’ battalion heavy artillery to form the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery (152nd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers).  And from that regiment, Battery H was detailed to serve at Baltimore, while most of the regiment was sent to Fort Monroe.  Battery H performed duties with the other garrison artillery there around Baltimore.

On May 6, 1863, Battery H reorganized as light artillery to support cavalry detachments in the Middle Division.  Battery H sent a section of two guns in support of the 1st Delaware Cavalry posted to defend the Baltimore & Ohio bridge over the Monocacy in June.

When word came of the Confederate movements into Maryland, the detachment was supposed to fall back to the Relay House, near the Thomas Viaduct.  But before the detachment could reach that point, the section was instead directed to accompany Gregg’s cavalry division from the Army of the Potomac.  The battery fired in support of the cavalry on July 2, from a position along the Hanover Road.  And then on July 3, went into position to support the Second Corps.

After the battle, the section moved to Frederick and then returned to its garrison assignment at Baltimore.  Which we see indicated on the return.  However, here’s the rub…. most sources indicate the battery had two 3-inch rifles (presumably Ordnance rifles, as there were no other weapons of that caliber in general service for the Federals in July of 1863).   But we see, clearly, the battery had four 10-pdr Parrotts on hand as of November 1863.  Furthermore, when one examines that monument at Gettysburg up close, the relief depicts a Parrott:

ECB 12 Apr 08 327

Now we might contend the section had 3-inch Ordnance rifles on those fateful days in July 1863, only to turn them in later for Parrotts.  Or perhaps it was only that section with the wrought iron guns.  Or, given the wonderful artwork on the monument, the battery had Parrotts on the field at Gettysburg.  Likely some Gettysburg historian has traced down the details of this small bit of trivia.  I would simply point out the battery reported Parrotts on hand four months after the battle.

As for ammunition, the battery had only Parrott rounds on hand:

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  • Battery H: 395 shell, 320 case, and 80 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

The other pages are posted on Flickr for those who wish to verify a stray tally went unnoticed.

As for small arms, the battery was equipped:

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Just edged weapons:

  • Battery H: Twenty-three horse artillery sabers.

But what of the other batteries/companies of the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery?  Well… here are some of them on parade at Fort Monroe:

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Most of the regiment was at Fort Monroe.  An August 31, 1863 return has nine batteries at Fort Monroe under direct command of Colonel Joseph Roberts, regimental commander. But let me list those individual batteries for reference here:

  • Battery A: Captain John S. Stevenson was promoted to Major in August, and replaced by John Krause, promoted on September 22.  The company was at Fort Monroe.
  • Battery B: Captain Franz Von Schilling in command.  Stationed at Fort Monroe.
  • Battery C: Captain George K. Bowen.  At Fort Monroe.
  • Battery D: Lieutenant Edwin A. Evans, prompted to captain in October. Stationed at Fort Monroe.
  • Battery E: Captain Samuel Hazard, Jr.  At Fort Monroe.
  • Battery F: Captain John A. Blake.  The company served as prison guards at Camp Hamilton, just outside Fort Monroe.
  • Battery G: Captain Joseph W. Sanderson.  At Fort Monroe.
  • Battery H:  As detailed above, under Captain Rank and serving at Baltimore.
  • Battery I: Captain Osbourn Wattson.  At Fort Monroe.
  • Battery K: Captain Eugene W. Scheibner.  At Fort Monroe.
  • Battery L: Captain Joseph B. Bispham.  At Fort Monroe.
  • Company M: Under Captain Francis H. Reichard and stationed at Fort Delaware.  This company appears to be the last to recruit up to full strength.  By December, the company was at Fort Monroe.

Now before we characterize the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy as some regiment that just lay about the fortifications for the war, let me say their service from the fall of 1863 to the end was varied.  Detachments of the regiment served in a “naval brigade” formed to man and support gunboats operating on the James and other waterways in coastal Virginia and North Carolina.  These saw much action keeping Federal supply lines open.  Twenty-two of the regiment were captured when their armed steamer Bombshell was sunk during the battle of Plymouth, North Carolina, on April 18, 1864.

Other detachments from the regiment secured and operated lighthouses along the Virginia coast and waterways.

Batteries D, E, G, and M served in the Army of the James during the Petersburg Campaign, on the Bermuda Hundred front, mostly supporting siege batteries.  Battery E, in particular, manned Fort Converse which secured the bridge over the Appomattox. And Battery I served as headquarters guard for the Army of the James.

In short, while only Battery H can claim to have seen the “big elephant” by way of circumstances that brought them to Gettysburg, the rest of the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery did contribute to the war effort.

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Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Pennsylvania, Independent and other artillery

In the first quarter, 1863 returns, we had trouble with the Pennsylvania independent batteries as the clerks identified the units by the commander’s or organizer’s name.  But with some cross-matching we could at least tentatively identify seven of nine such batteries from the returns.  For the second quarter, we have but a fraction of that:

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From the standpoint of accountability this is simply unacceptable.  A section of mountain howitzers assigned to a cavalry regiment and three independent batteries.  We should see eight batteries listed.   Furthermore, there was a battery from the heavy artillery which had a section detailed to the Army of the Potomac during this period. And, with the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania in June, we could also add in a good number of militia batteries called out to defend the Commonwealth.  Though, those batteries were not officially in the Federal army, just called out in defense of their state.  Still if we are counting all the gun tubes, those deserve mention.

Thus we have a lot of explaining to do and some blanks to fill in.  Starting with the first line on this section of the report, let’s consider those cavalrymen with the diminutive cannon:

  • 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry – The line read “Col. 11th Cav. Stores in charge.”  And among those stores were two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  The 11th was assigned to the Seventh Corps, Department of Virginia and spent an active spring with detachments posted around the Suffolk and Norfolk area. Colonel Samuel P. Spear commanded.  The regimental history has passing mention of “our” howitzers, but no specifics.  However, on a reconnaissance mounted towards the end of the month one howitzer, managed by Sergeant Stewart B. Shannon, of Company I, went along.

Moving down to the independent batteries, let us list what was… and match to what we see on the list.  :

  • Battery A:  Schaffer’s Battery.  Not listed. Commanded by Captain Stanislaus Mlotkowski.  The battery was posted to Fort Delaware, in the Middle Department, and serving as garrison artillery despite the light artillery title.
  • Battery B: Muehler’s Battery, but appearing as Stevens’ Battery (Line 36) on this summary, for Captain Alanson J. Stevens. “In the field” with four 6-pdr field guns and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  The battery was assigned to Third Division, Twenty-first Corps, Army of the Cumberland. Thus “in the field” was part of the Tullahoma Campaign.
  • Battery C: Thompson’s Battery. Not listed. Captain James Thompson’s Battery was, at this time, consolidated with Battery F (below) and assigned to 1st Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.  Their six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles went into action at the Peach Orchard, at Gettysburg, around 5 p.m. of July 2, two guns facing west and four south.
  • Battery D: Durell’s Battery. Not listed. Captain George W. Durell’s battery was part of the well traveled First Division (having moved from the Second Division), Ninth Corps, taking in the summer at Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  • Battery E: Knap’s Battery. Appearing on Line 35 of this summary, as at Catlett’s Station, Virginia, with six 10-pdr Parrotts, as of August 5.  The battery was assigned to Twelfth Corps, Army of the Potomac. When Captain Joseph M. Knap resigned on May 16, Lieutenant Charles A. Atwell assumed command.  Atwell’s battery held an often underappreciated position on Power’s Hill at Gettysburg.
  • Battery F: Hampton’s Battery combined with Battery C (above) at this stage of the war.  Their monument is next to Battery C’s at Gettysburg. Lieutenant Nathaniel Irish was the ranking officer on the rolls of the battery at this time.
  • Battery G: Young’s Battery.  Not listed. Captain John Jay Young’s battery was also assigned to Fort Delaware.
  • Battery H: John Nevin’s Battery. Commanded by Captain William Borrowe and appearing as Line 34, at Alexandria, Virginia, with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  The battery was assigned to the Defenses of Washington, serving south of the Potomac.
  • Battery I:  Getting ahead of ourselves… Captain Robert J. Nevin’s Battery would not form until December 1863.

So we can match the three lines in the summary to three of the independent batteries.  Though we are conspicuously missing two batteries in field service – Battery C and Battery D.

As mentioned above, there were several militia batteries called out for service in the summer of 1863.  However, let avoid undue length and work those in as a separate post.  Though I would like to call out two other batteries, which were listed in the order of battle during certain stages of the Gettysburg Campaign:

  • The Keystone Battery: Captain Matthew Hastings commanded.  Listed in Bate’s as a militia battery, the Keystone Battery was assigned to the Defenses of Washington in August 1862.  In June 1863 the battery was at Camp Barry.  Before mustering out in August 1863, the battery briefly served in the field with Third Corps.  Their muster out date (August 20) might explain the lack of report in this summary.
  • Battery H, 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery: The regiment’s batteries garrisoned several points from Baltimore to Fort Monroe (and perhaps we need a detailed posting on their service).  But Battery H, Commanded by William D. Rank, from Baltimore, had a section of 3-inch Ordnance Rifles sent forward to guard the railroad lines in Maryland.  That section was then caught up in the Gettysburg Campaign and saw serviced with First Brigade, Second Division, Cavalry Corps.  For more on this story, see Dana Shoaf’s video report.

With some of the blanks filled in and identification of what we do see on the summaries, let us turn to the ammunition reported:

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For smoothbore ammunition:

  • 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry: 100 case and 36 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzer.
  • Battery H ( Borrowe’s): 288 shot, 96 shell, 292 case, and 103 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery B (Stevens’): 448 shot and 200 case for 6-pdr field guns.

None of these batteries reported Hotchkiss projectiles on hand.  And on the next page we can focus on the Parrott columns:

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One reporting:

  • Battery E (Knap’s): 480 shell, 600 case, and 144 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

Turning to the last page of ammunition:

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Just one entry:

  • Battery B (Stevens’): 100 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.

Lastly the small arms: 0220_3_Snip_PA_MISC

Of the three artillery batteries:

  • Battery H ( Borrowe’s): Fourteen Navy revolvers and sixty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E (Knap’s): Thirty-seven Navy revolvers and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery B (Stevens’): Seven Navy revolvers, five cavalry sabers, and fourteen (?) horse artillery sabers.

In closing, we might complain the clerks “shorted” us four important batteries (if we include the Keystone Battery and Rank’s heavy artillerists).  But what was not listed provides us ample room for discussion.

And if you are keeping track, I “owe” a posting on the Pennsylvania militia batteries along with a full explanation of the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery’s dispositions.