Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – 3rd New York Artillery

Unlike their sister light artillery regiment, the 1st New York, the 3rd New York Light Artillery seldom receives proper attention from historians.  Starting organization as an infantry regiment, and serving as such for the summer campaigns of 1861, the regiment reorganized as light artillery to support operations in North Carolina. And the batteries played an important role in an underappreciated and under-studied (in my opinion) theater.  As alluded to for the previous quarter, with about half of the enlistments running out in the spring of 1863, the regiment went through a reorganization.  Four batteries mustered out completely, with those retaining time on enlistments transferred to bring others up to strength.  Not until early 1864 were batteries added back to the regiment’s strength.  And by that time the regiment was no longer serving just in North Carolina.

Colonel Charles H. Stewart commanded the regiment at the end of 1863. With his headquarters at New Berne, North Carolina, he also exercised direct command of four batteries stationed there. His second in command, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry M. Stone, also held command of the garrison of Fort Macon, North Carolina. Regimental Majors were Terence J. Kennedy, Edwin S. Jenney, and Theodore H. Schenck, all veteran leaders by this time of the war. Lieutenant Edgar H. Titus served as Regimental Adjutant until replaced by Lieutenant Thomas J. Mersereau on December 24. Lieutenant Paul Fay became regimental Quatermaster on the last day of the year, replacing Lieutenant Samuel B. Tobey, Jr. Regimental Surgeon William W. Knight was supported by Assistant Surgeons Alfred D. Wilson and Bradford S. Manly.

With that background of the regiment in mind, let us turn to the summary:

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  • Battery A: No return.  The original Battery A mustered out in June 1863. Not until September 1864 did a new Battery A muster in its place.
  • Battery B: Reported on Morris Island, South Carolina, with four 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain James E. Ashcroft remained in command of the battery, which was then part of the force facing Fort Sumter at the end of the Second Major Bombardment, assigned to the Tenth Corps. When Ashcroft took leave in December, Lieutenant Edward A. Wildt led the battery.
  • Battery C: Reporting at New Berne, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain William E. Mercer remained in command of this battery, which had just reorganized and mustered on September 30, 1863. The battery was part of a “battalion” then serving at New Berne, part of the Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery D: No return.  Another battery that mustered out in June 1863.  A new Battery D mustered in February 1864.
  • Battery E:  At New Berne, North Carolina with four 20-pdr Parrott rifles.  Captain George E. Ashby replaced Theodore H. Schenck (promoted to major) in command of the battery.  The battery was part garrison of New Berne, in the District of North Carolina, Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery F:  On Folly Island, with four 12-pdr (3.67-inch) Wiard rifles. Captain Samuel C. Day remained in command of the battery, assigned to Vogdes’ Division, Tenth Corps.
  • Battery G: No return. Another battery mustered out in early June. The new Battery G mustered in March 1864.
  • Battery H: Reporting at Newport News, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  In October the battery moved from New Berne to Newport News.  Captain William J. Riggs remained in command of the battery, assigned to Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery I:  At New Berne and with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain John H. Ammon transferred command of this battery to Captain John D. Clark at the end of the year.
  • Battery K: Also at New Berne but with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain James R. Angel remained in command.
  • Battery L:  As explained in earlier posts, this battery was not assigned to the 3rd New York.  Instead it served as the 24th Independent Battery.  Not until March 1865 was it officially assigned to the regiment.
  • Battery M: At Norfolk, Virginia with six 10-pdr Parrott Rifles.  Captain John H. Howell commanded. The battery transferred to the Norfolk area, listed as serving at Fort Monroe, in October, assigned to Heckman’s Division, Eighteenth Corps.

Those administrative particulars explain the gaps in the summary. And with those in mind, most of the ammunition quantities reported make sense… save one entry:

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  • Battery B: 298 shot, 5 shell, and 462 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery E: 20 shell for 24-pdr field howitzers; 2 shell for 32-pdr field howitzers. Recall Battery E originally had the big field howitzers on their charge, and apparently retained ammunition. This suggests the howitzers were still at New Berne but not assigned to the battery (or regiment).
  • Battery H: 276 shot, 65 shell, and 313 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery I: 318 shot, 126 shell, and 326 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.

On to the next page of ammunition:

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  • Battery B: 128 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery E: 6 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers; 6 canister for 32-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery H: 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery I: 136 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Immediately to the right of the smoothbore columns is an entry for Dyer’s projectiles:

  • Battery C: 36 shell for 3-inch rifles.

Further to the right are columns for Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

  • Battery C: 504 (?) time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E: 84 time fuse shell for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery F: 84 shot and 92 time fuse shell for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • Battery K: 753 shot and 131 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

More Hotchkiss columns on the next page:

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  • Battery C: 110 percussion fuse shell, 1,167 (!) bullet shells, and 204 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery F: 108 percussion fuse shell, 376 bullet shell, and 289 canister for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • Battery K: 34 percussion fuse shell and 188 canister for 3-inch rifles.

On the next page are columns for Parrott projectiles:

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  • Battery E: 378 shot, 82 shell, 102 case, and 30 canister for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • Battery M: 648 shell, 15 case, and 134 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Turning to the small arms reported:

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  • Battery B: Sixteen Colt navy revolvers and seventy-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery C: One Colt army revolver and sixty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Twenty-eight Colt navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and forty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Thirty-seven Colt army revolvers and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Twenty Colt navy revolvers and fifty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Six Colt navy revolvers, nine Remington army revolvers and forty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Nineteen Colt navy revolvers, four Remington army revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and fifty-two horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Twenty-three Remington navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.

Next are the cartridge bags reported:

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  • Battery C: 375 bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery E: 457 bags for 20-pdr Parrotts; 17 bags for 24-pdr or 32-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery F: 1,125 bags for 20-pdr guns (presumably Wiard 3.67-inch).
  • Battery K: 123 bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery M: 185 bags for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Lastly, we look at the pistol cartridges, fuses, and miscellaneous items:

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  • Battery B: 316 navy pistol cartridges and 100 percussion caps.
  • Battery C: 100 army pistol cartridges; 250 paper fuses; 100 pounds of musket powder; 300 friction primers; and 20 yards of slow match.
  • Battery E: 500 navy pistol cartridges; 1,291 paper fuses; 75 pounds of musket powder; 1,472 friction primers; and 12 yards of slow match.
  • Battery F: 1,000 army pistol cartridges; 551 paper fuses; and 857 friction primers.
  • Battery I: 100 navy pistol cartridges.
  • Battery K: 200 army pistol cartridges and 450 navy pistol cartridges.
  • Battery M: 7,111 paper fuses and 1,200 friction primers.

As the calendar turned from 1863 to 1864, the 3rd New York Light Artillery filled back out as a regiment. By summer, ten batteries were in service. Furthermore, the needs of a war reaching its penultimate campaigns brought several of those batteries into the fighting around Petersburg.

Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – 3rd New York Artillery Regiment

In previous installments, covering the earlier summaries, I’ve discussed the evolution of the 3rd New York Artillery.  The regiment began as the 19th New York Infantry but was reorganized as artillery and sent to North Carolina as part of Burnside’s early war campaign.  Based on the needs in that theater, the regiment’s batteries worked as garrison artillery and occasionally supported field operations.  In the winter of 1863, a several batteries of the regiment transferred to the Department of the South in preparation for operations against Charleston. Then between May and June 1863 a sizable portion of the regiment mustered out, with several batteries reorganized for recruiting.  So that leaves us with a regiment in part reorganizing; and in part performing duties in the field.

Colonel Charles H. Stewart commanded the regiment at this time.   He would directly command the portion of the regiment that remained at New Berne, North Carolina, all in the District of North Carolina, and part of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, or simply the Eighteenth Corps. Four batteries had that address on their returns (and a fifth was technically there at the end of the reporting period):

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Looking the individual batteries:

  • Battery A: No return.  As mentioned last quarter, this battery returned to New York and mustered out in June. Men with time still on their enlistments transferred to Batteries E, I, and K.  A new Battery A reformed in September 1864.
  • Battery B: Reported on Morris Island, South Carolina, with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain James E. Ashcroft, who’d transferred from Battery C in May, commanded this battery assigned to the Tenth Corps. The battery manned a position on the Second Parallel of the siege lines extending toward Battery Wagner that summer.
  • Battery C: No return.  The original Battery C mustered out on May 22, 1863, with its remaining three-year men transferred to Batteries I and K.  On September 30, 1863, just getting into our reporting period, a new Battery C mustered under the command of William E. Mercer.
  • Battery D: No return.  Another battery that mustered out in June 1863.  Those with enlistments remaining went to Batteries E, I, and K.  A new Battery D mustered in February 1864.
  • Battery E:  At New Berne, North Carolina with four 20-pdr Parrott rifles.  Captain Theodore H. Schenck remained in command.  The battery was part of the force under Stewart, in the District of North Carolina, technically in the Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery F:  On Morris Island with six 12-pdr (3.67-inch) Wiard rifles. Another battery holding down real estate on the Second Parallel of Morris Island.   Lieutenant Paul Birchmeyer commanded this battery in the position. Captain David A. Taylor mustered out in mid-July (having been on detached service, and later joining the 16th Cavalry).  Samuel C. Day, transferred from Battery B, was appointed captain of the battery in late July,  though Birchmeyer appears on the reports from Morris Island.
  • Battery G: No return. Another battery mustered out in early June. Remaining men transferred to Battery K.  The new Battery G mustered in March 1864.
  • Battery H: Reporting at Newport News, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  That location is valid for the December 1863 reporting date.  In September the battery was stationed at New Berne.  In October the battery moved to Newport News.  Captain William J. Riggs in command.  Assigned to Eighteenth Corps.
  • Battery I:  At New Berne and with six 12-pdr Napoleons.  Captain John H. Ammon held command.
  • Battery K: Also at New Berne but with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain James R. Angel remained in command.
  • Battery L:  As explained in earlier posts, this battery was not assigned to the 3rd New York.  Instead it served as the 24th Independent Battery.  Not until March 1865 was it officially assigned to the regiment.
  • Battery M: At New Berne with six 10-pdr Parrott Rifles.  Captain John H. Howell commanded.
  • Lieutenant with “Stores in Charge” at New Berne.  On this line the regiment reported implements, tools, and stores, but no cannon or ammunition.

Turning to the ammunition, returns indicated retention of heavy howitzer rounds. And thus we must look at the extended columns:

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Four lines to consider here:

  • Battery B: 848 shot, 304 shell, 1,928 case, and 568 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons (all there on Morris Island and being put to good use!)
  • Battery E: 20 shell and six canister for 24-pdr field howitzers; 2 shell and six canister for 32-pdr field howitzers. Battery E had turned over those howitzers during the previous winter, but still had rounds on hand to account for.
  • Battery H: 384 shot, 75 shell, 439 case, and 160 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Battery I: 282 shot, 138 shell, 290 case, and 136 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Turning to the Hotchkiss page:

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More than just 3-inch rounds here:

  • Battery E: 84 fuse shell for 3.67-inch rifle (20-pdr Parrott).
  • Battery F: 100 shot, 361 percussion shell, 397 fuse shell and 274(?) bullet shell for 3.67-inch rifles (12-pdr Wiard).
  • Battery K: 768 shot, 188 canister, 36 percussion shell, and 150 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

Let me break up the next page for clarity, and start with the “orphan” set of Hotchkiss columns:

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  • Battery F: 437 canister for 3.67-inch rifles (12-pdr Wiard).

Moving over to the Parrott columns:

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Two batteries with Parrotts:

  • Battery E: 390 shot, 110 shell, and 30 canister for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • Battery M: 1,155 shell, 33 case, and 134 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

No Schenkl rounds reported, so we can move to the small arms:

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By battery:

  • Battery B: One Army revolver, nineteen Navy revolvers, and fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery E: Twenty-nine Navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and forty-one horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Twenty-five Army revolvers and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery H: Four Army revolvers, seventeen Navy revolvers, and fifty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery I: Ten Army revolvers, six Navy revolvers, and forty horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery K: Four Army revolvers, nineteen Navy revolvers, two cavalry sabers, and fifty-two horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery M: Twenty-four Army revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.

We might say the 3rd New York was a “half in” regiment as the summer of 1863 came to a close with so many batteries mustered out.  Though it would recruit back up to strength before the war’s end.  What batteries were in service did good work on Morris Island and holding down positions in North Carolina.