5th U.S. Artillery - Battery Composition

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At First Bull Run:

Taken from Section D, Reports of B.G. Irvin McDowell, commanding U.S. forces. From Statement of artillery lost in the battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861: Fifth U.S. Artillery [Company D], Cpt. Griffin commanding. (1st Bgd., 2nd Div., Army of Northeastern Virginia) Battery composition: Two – 10-lb. Parrotts (’61), two – 6-lb. (old), two – 12-lb. howitzers. Guns lost: 1 rifled, 5 smoothbore. Remarks: One 10-pounder saved. 1 Not a good start.

The battery composition stated above is contradicted. According to Report of Maj. William F. Barry, Fifth U.S. Artillery, Chief of Artillery: "Griffin’s battery, D, Fifth Artillery, four 10-pounder Parrot rifle guns, two 12-pounder howitzers." 2 Great report.

Unfortunately Cpt. Charles Griffin’s Report does NOT clear up the question of the battery’s composition. Also see page 769. Henry Hunt. Re-arming of Battery D, 5th U.S.: two – 12-lb. Napoleons, three – 10-lb. Parrotts. This in addition to the one 10-lb. Parrott remaining after First Bull Run. This indicates that the second battery composition at Antietam given below may be correct. Of course it is possible that the two 12-lb. Napoleons were exchanged for 10-lb. Parrotts before 17SEP62. I have found no evidence of this as yet.

At Antietam:

Battery D, 5th U.S., Lt. Charles E. Hazlett commanding. (1st Div., V Corps) Battery composition: Six – 10-lb. Parrotts (’61). From Joseph M. Hanson’s Report (NPS 1940).3

Battery D, 5th U.S., Lt. Charles E. Hazlett. Battery composition: Four – 10-lb. Parrotts (’61), two – 12-lb. Napoleons. (Hunt Papers, Barry to Hunt, p. 7)4 Why is there a discrepancy between this entry and above entry?

Maurin’s (Donaldsonville) LA Battery (Saunder’s Battalion, R.H. Anderson’s Division, Longstreet’s Wing, ANV) was involved in a rear guard action on September 19th, at Shepardstown, VA on the Potomac. One of the battery’s 10-lb. Parrotts was abandoned. According to the authors this gun was the 10-lb. Parrott lost at First Bull Run by Griffin’s Battery (D, 5th U.S.) 5 Confirmed loss of 10-lb. Parrott at First Bull Run in OR (Series I, Vol. 2). See First Bull Run Section above.

1. Official Records, Series I, Volume 2. pp. 315, 328.
2. Ibid. pp. 346.
3. Johnson, Curt and Richard C. Anderson, Jr. Artillery Hell: The Employment of Artillery at Antietam. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX, 1995. p. 36.
4. Ibid. pp. 74.
5. Ibid. pp. 87, 107.

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