As we have discussed for the previous quarters, the small state of Rhode Island mustered a total of four artillery regiments for the Federal cause. FOUR!
However, three of those regiments were heavy artillery. And that means only the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery earns significant space in the summaries. For the third quarter, we find every battery in that regiment (A through H) offered a return. In addition Battery C, 3rd Rhode Island Heavy Artillery was serving as light artillery. Thus nine batteries on the summary list:
Colonel Charles H. Tompkins (not to be confused with the US Regulars cavalry officer), commanded the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery and doubled as the Chief of Artillery, Sixth Corps. And all eight of his batteries gave reports for the quarter:
- Battery A: “In the field” with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain William A. Arnold remained in command of this battery, supporting Second Corps. Their “in the field” location at the end of September was Culpeper County, Virginia.
- Battery B: Also “In the field,” but with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Battery B also served in Second Corps’ artillery brigade, and thus was also in Culpeper at this time. Captain John G. Hazard of this battery was the corps artillery chief. In his place, Lieutenant William S. Perrin commanded.
- Battery C: Reporting at Warrenton, Virgnia, with six 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain Richard Waterman commanded this battery supporting the Sixth Corps.
- Battery D: At Loudon, Tennessee with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain William W. Buckley commanded this battery. Assigned to First Division, Twenty-third Corps through this quarter (but would return to the Ninth Corps, specifically First Division, in October)
- Battery E: Reporting at Culpeper, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons. The battery remained with Third Corps. Captain George E. Randolph, of this battery, was in command of the corps’ artillery brigade. Lieutenant John K. Bucklyn commanded the battery in his place.
- Battery F: At Newport News, Virginia with six 12-pdr Napoleons (vice 10-pdr Parrotts reported in the last quarter). Captain James Belger commanded this battery, though he was at the time on extended leave recovering from a wound and on recruiting duty. In his place Lieutenant Thomas Simpson commanded. The battery spent the summer assigned to the Defenses of New Berne, North Carolina. And they supported several reconnaissance operations during those months. In October the battery was ordered to NewPort News.
- Battery G: Reporting at Warrenton with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain George W. Adams remained in command. And the battery remained assigned to the Sixth Corps.
- Battery H: At Fort Scott, Virginia with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Assigned to the Twenty-second Corps from the Defenses of Washington. Captain Jeffrey Hazard resigned in August. Lieutenant Charles F. Mason stood in as commander in his absence. Lieutenant Crawford Allen, Jr. would transfer from Battery G in December, and receive the captaincy.
Rhode Island would not form any other batteries within the 1st Artillery Regiment.
The last line in this section is for a battery in the 3rd Rhode Island Heavy Artillery. This regiment, as readers will recall, served in the Department of the South at this time, providing garrison troops for Fort Pulaski, Hilton Head, Beaufort, and Folly Island. But more importantly, the regiment provided troops for the siege of Battery Wagner. One battery of this regiment was designated a light battery and appears on the summary:
- Battery C: Reporting on Morris Island, South Carolina with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Charles R. Brayton remained in command.
We’ll cover the remainder of this regiment in a latter post focused on heavy artillery.
Guns need ammunition. And the Rhode Island batteries reported plenty. We start with the smoothbore:
- Battery B, 1st RI: 192 shot, 64 shell, 192 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
- Battery E, 1st RI: 288 shot, 96 shell, 284 case, and 96 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
- Battery F, 1st RI: 400 shot, 160 shell, 360 case, and 144 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
- Battery C, 3rd RI: 120 shell, 214 case, and 92 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
For the rifled guns, we start with the Hotchkiss rounds:
- Battery A, 1st RI: 175 canister, 57 percussion shell, 533 fuse shell, and 509 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
- Battery G, 1st RI: 199 canister, 124 percussion shell, 149 fuse shell, and 334 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
- Battery H, 1st RI: 120 canister and 231 percussion shell for 3-inch rifles.
- Battery C: 3rd RI: 180 canister, 84 percussion shell, 468 fuse shell, and 539 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.
I’ll break down the next page into sections for clarity. Starting with an entry for Dyer’s patent projectiles:
- Battery G, 1st RI: 34 shell for 3-inch rifles.
And the Parrott columns:
- Battery C, 1st RI: 491 shell, 367 case, and 122 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
And there were plenty of Schenkl projectiles reported:
- Battery A, 1st RI: 64 shell for 3-inch rifles.
- Battery G, 1st RI: 146 shell and 33 case for 3-inch rifles.
- Battery H, 1st RI: 260 shell and 589 case for 3-inch rifles.
- Battery C, 3rd RI: 104 shell and 173 case for 3-inch rifles.
The last set of columns we review are the small arms:
- Battery A, 1st RI: Four army revolvers, nineteen navy revolvers and thirty horse artillery sabers.
- Battery B, 1st RI: Twenty horse artillery sabers.
- Battery C, 1st RI: Seven navy revolvers and twelve horse artillery sabers.
- Battery D, 1st RI: Eight army revolvers, twelve navy revolvers, forty-five cavalry sabers, and five horse artillery sabers.
- Battery E, 1st RI: Twelve navy revolvers and one horse artillery saber.
- Battery F, 1st RI: 102 army revolvers and twenty horse cavalry sabers.
- Battery G, 1st RI: Eight navy revolvers, ten cavalry sabers, and seventeen horse artillery sabers.
- Battery H, 1st RI: Twenty army revolvers and thirty-six horse artillery sabers.
- Battery C, 3rd RI: Forty-eight army revolvers, fifty-three cavalry sabers, and seventy-nine horse artillery sabers.
The Rhode Island batteries leave us with few questions. The only question I pose what ammunition Battery D had on hand for its Napoleons? Perhaps this nearly complete accounting from the Rhode Island batteries reflects the number of its officers then serving as artillery chiefs.