Entering the fall of 1863, the volunteer light batteries from Massachusetts served either in the Eastern Theater or the Department of the Gulf. All told, the Bay State provided sixteen light batteries to Federal service during the war (save one or two thirty-day batteries at the start of the war). At the end of the third quarter, 1863, fourteen of those had mustered. However, the clerks at the Ordnance Department “shorted” that count:
With the addition of the 15th Battery, this is an improvement over the previous quarter. While we can excuse the absence of the 14th and 16th Batteries, which would not form until the winter of 1864, the 13th Battery should be on this list. I’ll list all sixteen here, with placeholders, for sake of complete coverage:
- 1st Battery: At Culpepper [sic], Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery remained with the Artillery Brigade, Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac. and Captain William H. McCartney remained in command. More precisely, the battery was with the corps near Stone-House Mountain, on the right end of the Federal deployment in Culpeper County at that time.
- 2nd Battery: No return. Captain Ormand F. Nims commanded this battery, assigned to Nineteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf. The battery may have retain six 6-pdr rifled field guns mentioned earlier in the year. Following the surrender of Port Hudson, the battery transferred to the corps artillery reserve (having been assigned to Fourth Division during the siege), and returned to Baton Rouge. At the end of September, the battery transferred again, this time to the Cavalry Division of the corps. The battery saw field service in the Teche Campaign later in the fall.
- 3rd Battery: Reporting at Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 6-pdr field guns. This is obviously an error, as the battery held 12-pdr Napoleons (no batteries then assigned to the Army of the Potomac had 6-pdrs this late in the war). Assigned to the Artillery Brigade, Fifth Corps. With Captain Augustus Martin in command of the brigade, Lieutenant Aaron F. Walcott remained in charge of the battery. We might quibble over the location and say the battery was in Culpeper at the end of September.
- 4th Battery: Reporting from “Camin Grove Bayou” in Louisiana (a transcription I am struggling with). The battery had four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch ordnance rifles. Under Captain George G. Trull, the battery remained with Third Division, Nineteenth Corps. The battery moved around much during the summer and early fall with stays at Port Hudson, Donaldsonville, Baton Rouge. They were at Fort Brashear, outside Morgan City, Louisiana at the end of September. The battery would participate in the Teche Expedition in October.
- 5th Battery: Reporting at Centreville, Virginia with six 3-inch rifles. Captain Charles A. Phillips remained in command, and the battery assigned to the Fifth Corps. The location should be Culpeper, but reflects a later reporting date.
- 6th Battery: At Algiers, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 12-pdr field howitzers. The battery was assigned to First Division, Nineteenth Corps, commanded by Captain William W. Carruth. When Carruth mustered out on October 3rd, Lieutenant Edward K. Russell (2nd Battery, above) transferred to command. Then in December, Lieutenant John F. Phelps, of the battery, took command. Phelps would be promoted to Captain with commission back dated to October 3. During their stay at Algiers, the battery was reequipped and reduced to four guns.
- 7th Battery: At Camp Barry, D.C., with six 3-inch Ordnance rifles. This battery had an eventful summer, though not one for winning battle streamers. Battery assigned to First Division, Seventh Army Corps, and commanded by Captain Phineas A. Davis at the start of the summer. At the start of July, the battery was among the forces employed for an expedition from White House to the South Anna River. On July 20, the battery was sent to Camp Marshall, in D.C. And from there dispatched by steamer to New York City, camping on Madison Square, to suppress the draft riots. On September 11, the battery returned to Washington, going to Camp Barry. Davis accepted a promotion, and left the battery to Lieutenant Newman W. Storer (who was soon made captain).
- 8th Battery: No return. Mustered out the previous November at the end of a six-month enlistment.
- 9th Battery: Culpeper, Virginia with four 12-pdr Napoleons. Remaining with the First Volunteer Artillery Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Captain John Bigelow commanded, but was recovering from wounds. Lieutenant Richard S. Milton filled in his place.
- 10th Battery: At Warrenton Junction, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. When French’s Division came to the Army of the Potomac, the battery moved with its parent organization into Third Corps. Captain J. Henry Sleeper commanded. The location is presumably associated with the November date of return. At the end of September, the battery was with the corps, just west of Culpeper.
- 11th Battery: No return. This battery mustered out of service in May 1863. Though it did see some use suppressing draft riots in the mid-summer months. Captain Edward J. Jones commanded. The battery would muster back into service, under Jones, in January 1864.
- 12th Battery: At Port Hudson, Louisiana, with four 6-pdr field guns (down two 3-inch rifles from the previous quarter). Listed in the artillery reserve of the Nineteenth Corps. After serving by detachments during the Port Hudson campaign, the battery consolidated back in New Orleans in late July. It was stationed at Tivoli Circle (you know… were once a statue to a Confederate leader stood) at the end of September. Captain Jacob Miller remained in command.
- 13th Battery: Not listed. The 13th Battery suffered heavily in their first year of service. They’d lost sixty horses in the transit to New Orleans (that included a six week stay at Fort Monroe). And what horses they had when arriving at New Orleans were re-assigned to other batteries. Put to work on the Port Hudson siege lines, sickness and disease brought the battery down to fifty men by the end of August. At that time, Captain Charles H. J. Hamlin returned home to recruit more men. In his place, Lieutenant Ellis L. Motte was in command of a detachment, assigned to the 2nd Battery (above).
- 14th Battery: Not listed. Battery did not begin recruiting until January-February 1864.
- 15th Battery: At Bayou St. John, Louisiana with no reported artillery. Captain Timothy Pearson’s battery arrived in Louisiana in April. But their equipment and horses was re-allocated to other batteries at that time. The men served at posts around New Orleans as garrison artillery until the end of December.
- 16th Battery: Not listed. Battery did not begin recruiting until January-February 1864.
Turning to the ammunition, we look at the smoothbore first:
Lots of those to go around:
- 1st Battery: 286 shot, 93 shell, 288 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
- 3rd Battery: 192 shot, 96 shell, 387 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon (at least the clerks got the ammunition in the right columns!)
- 4th Battery: 269 shell, 147 case, and 55 canister for 12-pdr Napoleon.
- 6th Battery: 41 shot, 163 shell, 251 case, and 60 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 96 shell, 128 case, and 32 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
- 9th Battery: 182 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 54 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
- 12th Battery: 4 shot and 175 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
Moving over to the Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:
- 4th Battery: 39 canister, 265 percussion shell, and 60 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
- 5th Battery: 138 canister for 3-inch rifles.
- 7th Battery: 120 canister, 236 percussion shell, and 120 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
- 10th Battery: 500 shot, 115 canister, 110 percussion shell, and 220 fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
No reported quantities on the next page:
But there were Schenkl projectiles to account for:
- 5th Battery: 140 shell and 930 case for 3-inch rifles.
- 7th Battery: 720 case for 3-inch rifles.
- 10th Battery: 15 shell and 240 case for 3-inch rifles.
Lastly, the small arms columns:
- 1st Battery: Eight Navy revolvers, nine cavalry sabers, and five horse artillery sabers.
- 3rd Battery: One Army revolver, eight cavalry sabers, and twenty-four horse artillery sabers.
- 4th Battery: One breechloading carbine, seven Army revolvers, and thirty horse artillery sabers.
- 5th Battery: One Army revolver and twenty-seven horse artillery sabers.
- 6th Battery: Fourteen Army revolvers, ten Navy revolvers, and thirty (?) cavalry sabers.
- 7th Battery: Fifteen Navy revolvers and twenty-three horse artillery sabers.
- 9th Battery: Eight Army revolvers and ten horse artillery sabers.
- 10th Battery: Sixteen Navy revolvers and nineteen horse artillery sabers.
- 12th Battery: Eighteen Army revolvers and thirty-six (?) horse artillery sabers.
- 15th Battery: Fifty rifles (type unspecified), fourteen Navy revolvers, and twenty-two horse artillery sabers.
We will discuss the Heavy Artillery from Massachusetts in a later post. But for now that’s the summary of the numbered batteries.