Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Wisconsin’s Batteries

By the summer months of 1863, Wisconsin’s allocation to the Union cause included eleven numbered batteries.  The 1st Battery through the 10th Battery, along with the 12th, were in service at that time.  The 13th Battery would form later in the year. Wait… why skip the 11th and include the “unlucky” 13th?  Glad you asked….

The 11th Wisconsin Light Artillery organized in 1861 as the “Oconto Irish Guards” as part of the 17th Wisconsin Infantry.  When the men indicated a desire for artillery service (who wouldn’t?) the unit was designated as the 11th Battery.  Still, organization took too long.  So Captain John Rourke took his men to Chicago where it was mustered as Battery L, 1st Illinois Light Artillery, in Colonel James Mulligan’s Irish Brigade.  And Wisconsin never re-used the battery designation.

Looking at the summaries, we find the clerks dutifully excluded the 11th from the list.  Though they added the 13th and two lines for infantry reporting artillery:

0225_1_Snip_WI

Of those fourteen lines, only three lacked statements.  Though we have some adjustments to make, due to late filings:

  • 1st Battery:  Reporting at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as of March 1865.  But with no cannon on hand.  If we turn back the clock to June 1863, this battery was at Vicksburg, Mississippi under Ninth Division, Thirteenth Corps. The battery retained six 20-pdr Parrotts, putting them to good use earlier in May at Champion’s Hill.  Captain Jacob T. Foster, who was still division artillery chief, remained captain of the battery.  Lieutenant Charles B. Kimball, commanding in Foster’s place, became the division’s ordnance officer in late May.  In that absence, Lieutenant Oscar F. Nutting commanded the battery.
  • 2nd Battery:  No location given, but with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 10-pdr Parrotts (reverse from the previous quarter).   Captain Charles Beger commanded this battery, which at the time was under First Division, Fourth Corps (which had been reorganized in May).  Supporting Second Brigade, the battery reported at Williamsburg, Virginia as of June 30.  The battery participated in Dix’s Peninsula Campaign.
  • 3rd Battery: No return.  This battery, under Lieutenant Cortland Livingston, was in Third Division, Twenty-first Corps, Army of the Cumberland and participated in the Tullahoma Campaign.  Though, the battery didn’t leave Murfreesboro until early July.  Captain Lucius H. Drury, of the battery, was division artillery chief.
  • 4th Battery: No return.  The battery was assigned to the Second Division, Fourth Corps under the reorganizations of the Department of Virginia in May.  The battery was at Yorktown, Virginia, presumably retaining six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  The participated in the operations on the Peninsula through June and July. Captain  John F. Vallee commanded this battery.
  • 5th Battery: Reporting from Winchester, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons, two 12-pdr mountain howitzers, and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  The battery was assigned to First Division, Twentieth Corps, and commanded by Captain George Q. Gardner. Participating in the Tullahoma Campaign, the battery moved out of Murfreesboro on June 24.
  • 6th Battery: With a report from Cartersville, Georgia, dated October 1864, this battery claimed two 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  As of June 30, 1863, this battery was with Seventh Division, Seventeenth Corps and part of the siege of Vicksburg.  Captain Henry Dillon commanded at the beginning of spring.  When Dillon became division artillery chief, Lieutenant Samuel F. Clark stood in as commander.
  • 7th Battery: At Memphis, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James rifles.  Lieutenant Galen E. Green remained in command of this battery, assigned to Third Division, Sixteenth Corps.  At the end of May, the battery was stationed in Jackson, Tennessee. They moved to Corinth, Mississippi on June 1.  But only remained their until July 1, when they moved to Memphis.
  • 8th Battery: At Winchester, Tennessee with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Assigned to First Division, Twentieth Corps. Captain Henry E. Stiles remained in command.  The battery accompanied the division on the Tullahoma Campaign.
  • 9th Battery: Fort Lyon, Colorado with four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. Captain Cyrus H. Johnson commanded this battery posted in the District of Colorado.
  • 10th Battery: Reporting at Stevenson, Alabama with six 6-pdr field guns, as of October 1863. Captain Yates V. Beebe’s battery was assigned to the Second Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland.  From the beginning of the year up to September, the battery performed escort duties based out of Nashville and Murfreesboro.
  • 12th Battery: Another dated return has this battery at Dixon’s Station, Alabama on November 25, 1863.  However, for June 30, Captain William Zickerick and his battery’s four 10-pdr Parrotts were assigned to Seventh Division, Seventeenth Corps. Thus they fell in next to the 6th Wisconsin Battery at Vicksburg.
  • 13th Battery: No return.  As alluded to above, the 13th Battery did not muster until December 1863.  But the battery started forming in the summer.  A glance through the battery rolls indicate a handful of enlistments in July and August.
  • Company A, 8th Wisconsin: At Young’s Point, Louisiana with four 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and one 3.80-inch James rifle.  This is the regiment with “Old Abe” the bald eagle as a mascot.  To be honest, until reading this line I had no knowledge of any artillery manned by the regiment.  Perhaps captured weapons impressed for the siege of Vicksburg?  Captain Josiah B. Redfield commanded Company A.
  • Detachment, 30th Wisconsin:  On the Missouri River with six 6-pdr field guns.  The 30th Wisconsin served by detachments at posts in Wisconsin and the Dakota Territories at this time of the war.  Colonel Daniel J. Dill commanded the regiment.  In May, a detachment under Lieutenant-Colonel Edward M. Bartlett supported Brigadier-General Alfred Sully’s expedition up the Missouri River.  Bartlett’s command guarded boats and supplies. Given the placename provided and the nature of the mission, a good possibility that detachment had the guns identified here.

With that lengthy discussion to identify just who these fourteen lines represented, let’s put some weight to the matter.  Starting with some smoothbore shot, shell, case, and canister:

0227_1_Snip_WI

Look at all those numbers!

  • 2nd Battery: 120 shell and 52 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers; 160 case for 12-pdr field guns (likely a transcription error, and should be on the howitzer column).
  • 5th Battery: 96 shot, 32 shell, 96 case, and 40 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 65 shell, 159 case, and 49 canister for 12-pdr field howitzer (though they reported two mountain howitzers on hand).
  • 6th Battery: 77 shot, 145 case, and 124 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 21 shell, 89 case, and 18 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 7th Battery: 186 shot, 248 case, and 87 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 8th Battery: 32 shot, 96 shell, 64 case, and 64 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 9th Battery: 400 shot, 320 case, and 80 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 150 shells, 190 case, and 62 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 10th Battery: 569 shot, 480 case, and 120 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Company A, 8th Infantry: 269 shot, 44 case, and 636 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 48 case and 156 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons (or are those transcription errors and should be on the howitzer columns?)
  • 30th Infantry: 476 shot, 266 case, and 238 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

Regardless if the 12-pdr ammunition reported by the 8th Infantry was for Napoleons or howitzers, we see a rather substantial quantity of canister.  Such might indicate these were weapons assigned for use in the siege lines on guard points.

Four batteries reported Hotchkiss projectiles for rifled guns:

0227_2_Snip_WI

Yes I said four.  Three of those batteries appear on this page.  The other, we’ll see on the “orphan” columns on the next page:

  • 6th Battery: 80 shot and 26 bullet shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 80 percussion shell, 160 fuse shell, and 450 bullet shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 8th Battery: 150 canister, 486 fuse shell, and 94 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

I’ll break down the next page by section for clarity.  First the stray Hotchkiss columns:

0228_1A_Snip_WI

Two lines:

  • 7th Battery: 80 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Company A, 8th Infantry: 39 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Turning next to the James projectiles:

0228_1B_Snip_WI

One battery:

  • 6th Battery: 116 shell and 66 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Next the Parrott columns:

0228_1C_Snip_WI

A heavy set of numbers here:

  • 1st Battery: 2,208 shell and 1,183 case for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • 2nd Battery: 384 shell and 96 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 5th Battery: 142 shell, 168 case, and 79 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 12th Battery: 321 shell, 244 case, and 136 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Note that 1st Battery had no guns on the report.  Yet, they’d need a steamboat or two for the shells and case.  Someone left something out of the reports…

But we are not done with the Parrott batteries.  They also used Schenkl projectiles in those calibers:

0228_1D_Snip_WI

  • 1st Battery: 466 shot for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • 2nd Battery: 314 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 5th Battery: 9 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • 12th Battery: 116 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

No more entries for the Schenkl columns:

0228_2_Snip_WI

But a lone entry for Tatham’s canister:

  • 6th Battery: 62 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

That brings us to the small arms:

0228_3_Snip_WI

By battery:

  • 2nd Battery: Twenty Army revolvers and 153 horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Twenty-three cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Thirty Army revolvers and twenty cavalry sabers.
  • 8th Battery: Sixteen Navy revolvers and four cavalry sabers.
  • 9th Battery: Forty-five navy revolvers and nineteen cavalry sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Fifteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 12th Battery: Eight cavalry sabers.

No real surprises here with the small arms, with quantities similar to that reported the previous quarter… where quantities are reported!

But that brings up an interesting contrast to consider.  We have seen many lines for batteries without proper documentation.  Wisconsin, with just two lacking (I don’t count the 13th Battery here, as it didn’t exist formally), is much better than most of the sections.  We have two batteries – one in Tennessee and one in Virginia – with no data to consider.  Of course, we can project reasons for this upon the situation.  After all, the war had priority… paperwork could wait.

Yet, the 30th Wisconsin Infantry, with no “real” artillerists and scattered all over the western plains far away from the Ordnance Department, managed to provide a return for compilation.  The inconsistencies of reporting in the 1860s.

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Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Iowa’s light artillery

The next state’s batteries listed in the first quarter, 1863 summaries was Iowa.  Yes, we have Iowa following Illinois and Indiana saved for the next set of pages.  The clerks at the Ordnance Department were not concerned with alphabetical order.  They wanted to maximize space utilization on the form.  After all there was a war on and must have been some paper shortage, right?

So that makes short work for us in this installment, just three batteries and a ‘stores on hand’ line to consider:

0100_1_Snip_Iowa All three batteries, and the referenced cavalry regiment, served in the lower Mississippi Valley that winter as Federals angled to capture Vicksburg:

  • 1st Iowa Battery: At Sherman’s Landing, Louisiana with four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. Sherman’s Landing was near Young’s Point, where the battery supported First Division, Fifteenth Corps.  Captain Henry H. Griffiths commanded.
  • 2nd Iowa Battery: Reporting from Young’s Point, Louisiana with two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. Lieutenant Joseph R. Reed commanded this battery, part of the Eighth Division, Sixteenth Corps.
  • 3rd Iowa Battery: At Helena, Arkansas with four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. Captain Mortimer M. Hayden commanded this battery.  It was assigned on paper to the “new” Thirteenth Corps, but operated as part of the District of Eastern Arkansas out of Helena.
  • 4th Iowa Cavalry: Stores in charge, no guns tallied on the summary.  We’ll look at this entry in detail later.  The regiment served under Lieutenant-Colonel Simeon D. Swan during the winter, mostly operating around Helena.

So three batteries, all reporting a mix of 6-pdr field guns and 12-pdr howitzers.  We can make short work of this, right?

0102_1_Snip_Iowa

Smoothbore ammunition reported by battery:

  • 1st Iowa: 400 shot, 320 case, and 80 canister for 6-pdr field gun;  120 shell, 160 case, and 42 canister for 12-pdr field howitzer.
  • 2nd Iowa: 142 shot 160 case, and 111 canister for 6-pdr field gun; 120 shell, 120 case, and 74 canister for 12-pdr field howitzer.
  • 3rd Iowa: 375 shot, 299 case, and 85 canister for 6-pdr field gun;  95 shell, 66 case, and 32 canister for 12-pdr field howitzer.

I would point out the 1st Iowa’s quantities are the same as reported the previous quarter.  The other two reflect changes of ordnance on hand.

As expected, there were no quantities of rifled projectiles on hand.  I’ve posted the snips to prove it (here, here, and here).

So we turn to the small arms:

0103_3_Snip_Iowa

And find just nine sabers on hand:

  • 1st Iowa: Five cavalry sabers.
  • 2nd Iowa:  Four cavalry sabers.

A short discussion for those three batteries – ten 6-pdr guns and six 12-pdr howitzers along with well stocked ammunition chests and a handful of sabers.

But what of the 4th Cavalry line?  What “stores” did they have on hand?  Looking through the implements and equipment pages, there are three each – tar bucket, gunner’s haversack, gunner’s pincers, two wheel harnesses, lanyards, piercing wires, and tube punches.  So we might gather there were, or at least were at some time, three guns assigned.  And one more line item offers another clue – the regiment reported three 2.6-inch Wiard sponges.  As noted before, the ordnance clerks would sometime tally equipment associated with Woodruff guns under the 2.6-inch Wiard columns (or in some cases the “repeating gun” columns, to add to their inconsistencies).  And if we look to the regimental history, we get some conformation:

On the 8th of March [1863], a detachment of two hundred and fifty men of the Fourth Iowa, commanded by Major Spearman, forming part of a column under Major Walker, of the Fifth Kansas Cavalry… had a skirmish with the rebels at Big Creek, about ten miles west of Helena.  The creek was impassable, and the enemy were on the opposite side. Private Benoni F. Kellogg, of L, a popular soldier was killed, but no one else was struck.  Kellogg’s comrades, unwilling to leave his body, lashed it to one of the “Woodruff” guns, and so brought it into camp, where they buried it with honors.

A Woodruff gun used as an ambulance… some might argue that was the best possible utilization of the diminutive cannon.  But, let us be kind.  The regimental history continues to describe the guns and explain how the troopers used them:

The Woodruff guns were three small iron pieces, throwing a two-pound solid shot, which about this time in some way came into the hands of the regiment. They were placed in charge of Private “Cy” Washburn, of B, who had a few men detailed to assist him.  They were of no value, and were generally voted a nuisance.  They were never known to hit anything, and never served any useful purpose, except in promoting cheerfulness in the regiment. The men were never tired of making jokes and teasing Washburn about them; but he was proud of his artillery, and thirsted for an opportunity to justify its existence.  When the regiment left Helena he was not permitted to take it along with him; but he pined for a gun, and in the Vicksburg campaign he was given a small brass piece, captured at Jackson, upon which he organized another “battery” and considered himself handsomely promoted. An opportunity for glory came suddenly one fine day, but before it could be fully achieved the unfeeling rebels carried off Washburn, battery and all.

Poor Washburn.  I am certain readers can sympathize with this eager artillerist diligently working to enlighten the wooden-heads of the mounted arm as to the value of artillery.  Yet, when given a chance to demonstrate on the field of battle, his opportunity foiled.

But we do have some clean evidence to support speculations.  The regimental history mentions three Woodruffs.  We see indications of three “sets” of equipment with the regiment.  And we know the guns were employed in March 1863… though not in the manner designed for. Regardless, such fills in some blanks left on the summaries.

(Citations from William Forse Scott, The Story of a Cavalry Regiment: The Career of the Fourth Iowa Veteran Volunteers from Kansas to Georgia, 1861-1865, New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1893, page 62.)

Summary Statement: December 31, 1862 – Ohio Independent Batteries, Part 1

We saw last week that the 1st Ohio Light Artillery Regiment’s batteries were pulling duty, as of the end of 1862, with two armies – the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the Cumberland.  In contrast, the independent batteries saw more varied service from the standpoint of assignment as of that point on the timeline.  During the war, there were twenty-six designated independent batteries from Ohio, along with a few National Guard batteries brought on active duty for short duration (falling outside our survey of the moment), according to Dyer’s Compendium.  The summary for fourth quarter, 1862 offered reports for some of the first twenty of those:

0067_Snip_Dec62_2_Ohio_1

To avoid a flurry of “Too long, didn’t read” remarks, let us focus on the first half of those.  So looking closely at the 1st through 10th Ohio Independent Light Batteries, we have this snip to work with:

0067_Snip_Dec62_2_Ohio_1A

Of these, the clerks skipped the 3rd and 8th Batteries.  However, of those listed, only the 1st’s details are absent.  And all but two of those reporting had the paperwork in Washington by the end of 1863.  With those, we have:

  • 1st Ohio Independent Battery: No return. Captain James R. McMullin commanded this battery, supporting the Kanawha Division, then in (what is today) West Virginia. Earlier in the fall, the battery fought at South Mountain with six James Rifles. However it is likely the battery re-equipped with 3-inch Ordnance Rifles shortly afterward.
  • 2nd Ohio Independent Battery: At Helena, Arkansas with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Newton J. Smith commanded this battery, which was assigned to the District of Eastern Arkansas at the time.
  • 3rd Ohio Independent Battery: Not listed. Was part of Third Division, Right Wing, Thirteenth Corps, at Memphis in December 1862.  Captain William S. Williams commanding.
  • 4th Ohio Independent Battery:  At Greenville, Mississippi with two 12-pdr field howitzers and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Louis Hoffmann’s battery was also with General Frederick Steele’s force at Helena in December 1862.  The battery was involved with an expedition to Greenville in April 1863, when the report was filed.
  • 5th Ohio Independent Battery:  At Holly Springs, Mississippi with two 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Assigned to the Fourth Division, Right Wing, Thirteenth Corps (soon to be in the Seventeenth Corps).  Commanded by Lieutenant Anthony B. Burton.
  • 6th  Ohio Independent Battery: I interpret the location to say “Thomas’s East Line.”  And I think that refers to the battery’s location at Chattanooga, Tennessee for the September 1863 reporting date.  Feel free to look that over so we might get it right.  The battery reported two 6-pdr field guns and four 10-pdr Parrotts. As of December 31, 1862, the battery was in the field at Stones River supporting First Division, Left Wing, Fourteenth Corps.  Captain Cullen Bradley commanded the battery, which suffered the loss of two killed, two wounded, and one captured in the battle.  Bradley reported firing 500 rounds.
  • 7th  Ohio Independent Battery: Tallahatchie, Mississippi with four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Also assigned to Fourth Division, Right Wing, Thirteenth Corps.  Commanded by Captain Silas A. Burnap.
  • 8th  Ohio Independent Battery: Not listed. This battery was part of Sherman’s force at Chickasaw Bayou, commanded by Lieutenant  James F. Putnam.
  • 9th  Ohio Independent Battery: Tullahoma, Tennessee with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Another case where the location (and possibly other particulars) refer to the battery’s state at the time of the report’s receipt in Washington.  As of December 1862, the battery was commanded by Captain Harrison B. York and was part of the Third Division, Army of Kentucky. It would soon join the Army of the Cumberland, as part of the Reserve Corps.
  • 10th  Ohio Independent Battery: Young’s Point, Louisiana with four 3.80-inch James Rifles.  The location may be valid for a reporting date later in 1863.  In December 1862, this battery was under Captain Hamilton B. White and in Sixth Division, Left Wing, Thirteenth Corps, among those operating in Northern Mississippi.

So we see varied service – batteries in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas (and later Louisiana also).

For smoothbore ammunition, here is the appropriate section:

0069_Snip_Dec62_2_Ohio_1

By battery, they reported:

  • 2nd Battery:  All for 12-pdr field howitzer – 41 shell, 113 case, and 77 canister.
  • 4th Battery:  For their 12-pdr field howitzers – 162 shell, 105 case, and 92 canister.
  • 5th Battery:  For 6-pdr field guns – 40 shot, 267 case, and 93 canister.  For the 12-pdr field howitzers – 57 shell and 82 canister.  There is an entry for 147 12-pdr Napoleon spherical case, but I would guess this was a transcription error, and should be under the 12-pdr field howitzer case column.
  • 6th Battery:  For 6-pdr field guns – 175 shot and 72 canister.
  • 9th Battery: For 12-pdr Napoleons – 84 shot, 289 shells, 484 case, and 310 canister.

Moving to the rifled projectiles, starting with the Hotchkiss type:

0069_Snip_Dec62_2_Ohio_2

All of these were for the reported James Rifles, 3.80-inch caliber:

  • 2nd Battery:  100 shot, 127 percussion shell, and 190 fuse shell.
  • 4th Battery: 169 shot and 106(?) percussion shell
  • 7th Battery: 40 shot.
  • 10th Battery:  39 shot and 71 fuse shell.

Moving over to the next set of columns, we see one more entry for Hotckhiss, along with James and Parrott types:

0070_Snip_Dec62_2_Ohio_1

Note to self:  In the future try to split these sections up a bit to make them easier to read and flow better….Let me break these down by type:

Hotchkiss, continued:

  • 10th Battery:  389 Hotchkiss-type canister for 3.80-inch James Rifles.

James:

  • 2nd Battery:  100 James-patent shot for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 4th Battery: 304 James-patent shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 5th Battery:   55 shot, 150 shell, and 95 canister in James-patent for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 7th Battery: 100 James-patent 3.80-inch canister.

Parrott:

  • 6th Battery: 310 shell, 217 case, and 80 canister Parrott projectiles for 10-pdr rifles.

The last page of the rifled projectiles lists Schenkl’s and Tatman’s:

0070_Snip_Dec62_2_Ohio_2

Schenkl, all 3.80-inch James Rifle caliber:

  • 7th Battery: 340 shells.
  • 10th Battery: 176 shells.

Tatham’s, all 3.80-inch James Rifle caliber:

  • 2nd Battery: 144 canister.
  • 4th Battery: 90 canister.
  • 7th Battery:  80 canister.

Just an off-the-cuff observation, but these Ohio batteries had quite a quantity of canister of all types.

Finally the small arms:

0070_Snip_Dec62_2_Ohio_3

No long arms, not a lot of pistols, but a fair allocation of edged weapons:

  • 2nd Battery: Three Army revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.
  • 4th Battery: Forty cavalry sabers and six horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: Seven Navy revolvers and fifty-six cavalry sabers.
  • 6th Battery: Fourteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 7th Battery: Eleven Army revolvers and seven horse artillery sabers.
  • 9th Battery: Thirteen horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: Five Army revolvers and twelve cavalry sabers.

That’s the first half of the Ohio Independent Batteries.  Should have the second half of that section posted in the next few days.