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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I’m getting familiar with Confederate records. This is an explanation of the most-used, and how they’ve been digitized. I’ve made appointments for more days in the National Archives, but I just learned that a lot of the Confederate ordnance material was accessible online and that’ll save me more trips to downtown DC.

“Confederate Records Digitization Project

The Archives I Reference Section is currently engaged in an in-house digitization project in honor of the Civil War Sesquicentennial. The end result will be the full digitization and online publication of the 2,750 volumes comprising the Collected Record Books of Various Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Offices of the Confederate States of America, 1860-1865. This particular project was chosen as a digitization effort because of the intrinsic value of the records.

These record books, part of Record Group 109, War Department Collection of Confederate Records, are a significant collection of bound volumes encompassing nearly all aspects of the Confederate Government and military. These records, which were created by various elements of the Confederate States during the Civil War, came into the custody of the U.S. War Department during and at the end of the war by capture or surrender. A significant portion were captured along with Jefferson Davis and his cabinet. In the post-war years, the U.S. War Department added to their collection of Confederate records through purchase or donation by private individuals throughout the South.

Between 1874 and 1898, the records comprising RG 109 were in the physical custody of the Archive Office as well as the Record and Pension Office of the Adjutant General’s Office. During this period, the Confederate records were catalogued and organized. They were heavily used as part of the publication of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, andwere consulted and transcribed as part of the creation of both the Union and Confederate Compiled Military Service Records.

As part of the cataloguing and organizing of the Confederate records, the bound volumes were classified according to provenance into groups called “chapters.” Volumes were then numbered serially within these chapters. The chapters are as follows:

I: Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office
II: Military Commands
III: Engineer Department
IV: Ordnance Department
V: Quartermaster Department
VI: Medical Department
VII: Legislative Records
VIII: Miscellaneous Records
IX: Office of the Secretary of War
X: Treasury Department
XI: Post Office Department
XII: Judiciary


The War Department transferred their Confederate records to the National Archives in 1938. NARA rebound the Collected Record Books, but still maintains the “chapter volume” arrangement. The Preliminary Inventory of the War Department Collection of Confederate Records (Record Group 109) compiled by Elizabeth Bethel in 1957, describes each of the volumes in detail. Within RG 109, the Collected Record Books are the most heavily used series, and are requested by historians, genealogists, and preservationists on a regular basis. They are also perhaps the most interesting, not only because of the wide range of information they contain, but in their wide physical variety – an assortment of shapes, weights, paper color and paper type, and ink and pencil, prevail throughout the collection.


To access the volumes online, go here: About the National Archives Catalog Type 596501 in the search box, then click View All Online Holdings. The volumes, in pdf format, will appear as a listing, in no particular order”
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
We’re still going over the Confederate ordnance-related records mentioned above, finding some interesting pages even though they don’t contribute directly to our goal. Many of these records were created 160 years ago using very poor-quality ink, so trying to read faded pages now is nearly impossible. If we knew a barely-legible page had valuable info, we could digitally-enhance it, but don't have any candidates yet. Maybe some particular date and location would prompt that kind of work. Meanwhile I’ll,post a few pages from the book of lists of issues/receipts from Corinth, MS for May 1862. I chose these pages because they include artillery pieces. The entire book is only about 20 pages, and is in N.A. R. G. 109.4.

Handwriting Book Font Diary Writing

Handwriting Font Paper Paper product Document
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
New info: post no. 3 of 1 August here: https://civilwartalk.com/threads/fi...-ripley-robert-p-parrott.196816/#post-2569331. by CWT member “Hannover” gives names of 4 Confederate units that had Parrott rifles at some point after Bull Run.

His list:
“The following batteries were present at First Manassas and I have recorded how many 10pdrs they had at known earliest dates:
Lynchburg Artillery 1 x 10pdr August 1862
1st Richmond Howitzers 2 x 10pdr August 1862
Rockbridge Artillery 2 x 10pdr April 1862
Washington Artillery 1st Company 2 x 10pdr August 1862
None of the other batteries present at First Manassas ever had a 10pdr Parrott recorded in their inventory.”
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I’ve read the book

In Camp and Battle with the Washington Artillery of New Orleans: A Narrative ...
By William Miller Owen

up thru December 1862 and the author noted everything noteworthy about the weapons and ammo. Since he made no mention of receiving Parrott rifles, I’ve concluded that none of the nine captured 2.9 inch Parrott rifles went to the Washington Artillery during that period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
I’ve read the book

In Camp and Battle with the Washington Artillery of New Orleans: A Narrative ...
By William Miller Owen

up thru December 1862 and the author noted everything noteworthy about the weapons and ammo. Since he made no mention of receiving Parrott rifles, I’ve concluded that none of the nine captured 2.9 inch Parrott rifles went to the Washington Artillery during that period.
Given Some info found today in the “Official Records” I’m updating my tentative list of those Confederate units that received any of the 9 10-pounder Parrotts captured at Bull Run.

Unit. ____ # captured 2.9 Parrotts

*1st Rockbridge ___ 2
Lynchburg Artillery. __ 1?
Richmond Howitzers. _ 2?

There are 5 possibilities, where did the other 4 go?



*Assignment of Bull Run-captured Parrott(s) to unit is documented

Font Rectangle Screenshot Material property Software
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Here’s a photo of the drag marks on top of the tube. These could help identify it if we get it narrowed down to a few possibilities and only one of them is known to have been dragged off the battlefield because its carriage was destroyed.
Automotive tire Cylinder Gas Automotive wheel system Bicycle part
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
A friend in UK sent this in answer to my question of where did the other 4 go.


Have been through information I have on Virginia batteries and have two more possibles and a long shot for you.



1. Henrico Company B Artillery Organised Autumn 1861 Reorganised Apr 1862

24 June 1862 armed with1 x 10pdr Parrott, 3 x 6pdr SB



2. Richmond ‘Crenshaw’ Artillery Organised March 1862

Known to have 2 x 10pdr Parrotts in 1863, may have had them from the start.



Long shot is:

Nottoway Artillery Organised June 1861 Reorganised May 1862

Probably armed with 6pdrs in 1861 but the reorganisation date is earlier than many batteries.

Unusual in that the battery ended up with 4 x 10pdr Parrotts. This is recorded later on in the war but is a very unusual structure as I know of no other Virginia battery thus armed.”

Haven‘t had time to study this info yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Here’s another input from Steve, adding info regarding two more Parrott 10-pounders captured at Bull Run. “Hi John,
First the good news I can confirm that 2 of the 10pdr Parrotts captured were given to
Company D, 1st North Carolina Artillery aka ‘Reilly’s Battery’ aka ‘Rowan Artillery’
On July 27th 1861, arrived in Richmond and went on to Manassas, where it was equipped with two 10-pounder Parrott Rifles and two 24-pounder (sic) Dahlgrens that had been captured at the Battle of Manassas. The battery was assigned to Whiting’s Brigade, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac.
There is a history of the Rowan Artillery - 'Men of God, Angels of Death' by Jack Travis (a well known reenactor so probably well researched).
I think there is a reenactor battery that may have some information on the battery history.
Looking at the strengths for this battery:
Company D, 1st North Carolina Artillery aka ‘Reilly’s Battery’ aka ‘Rowan Artillery’
July 1861 2 x 10pdr Parrotts, 2 x 24pdr (sic) Dalhgren Howizers
May 1862 2 x 3” Burton and Ascher (?) Rifles added
July 1862 At Gaines Mill abandoned one of the Ascher Rifles for a captured Federal 3” Rifle
Antietam 2 x10pdr Parrotts, 2 x 3” Rifles, 2 x 24pdr (sic) Dahlgren Howitzers
Feb 1863 2 x 24pdr (sic) left in Richmond, exchanged for 2 x 12pdr Napoleons
Gettysburg 2 x 10pdr Parrotts, 2 x 3” Rifles, 2 x 12pdr Napoleons
10 pounder Parrott substituted? Lost 1 Rifle – barrel burst
Apr 1864 2 x 10pdr Parrotts, 1 x 3” Rifles, 2 x 12pdr Napoleons
Dec 1864 3 x 10pdr Parrotts, 1 x 12pdr Whitworth, 2 x 8pdr Armstrongs
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
So here’s the “final list” of Confederate batteries we think had one or more 10-pounder Parrott rifles that were captured at Bull Run. How sure we are ranges from “certain” such as 1st Rockbridge, to “maybe” as with Nottoway.

1st Rockbridge
Henrico Company B Artillery
Lynchburg Artillery
Nottoway Artillery
Reilly’s Battery
Richmond ‘Crenshaw’ Artillery
Richmond Howitzers

Now we’ll look more closely at the engagements in which those batteries participated to identify any where a Parrott rifle carriage was destroyed and the tube was dragged away over rocky soil. When we’re done we won’t be certain we’ve identified THE Confederate battery that No. 10 served, but we will have done as much as possible with the limited information available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 · (Edited)
Keep after this John, you will get it.
Read this free book, fantastic, tells it like it was. One unique feature of this book: graphic descriptions of the effects of artillery projectiles on men, horses, and equipment. Not for the squeamish.

I read the book because this unit was armed, in part, with two 10-pounder Parrott rifles captured at BullmRun.

The Story of a Cannoneer Under Stonewall Jackson

The Story of a Cannoneer Under Stonewall Jackson

In which is Told the Part Taken by the Rockbridge Artillery in the Army of Northern Virginia

By Edward Alexander Moore · 1907
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
After reading a few books on the “ Richmond Howitzers “ one passage came back to me, and unfortunately I hadn’t made a note on where I saw it. It was like “our 10 pounder Parrott rifles were named ‘The Cat’ and ‘the Eagle.’ “. Some rationale for the names was given but told by a man who may have made it up, didn’t sound very convincing to me. Here’s another possible explanation: Those names were indicative of numbers, maybe gun registry numbers. What numbers and why? A cat has nine lives, and an eagle was a ten-dollar gold coin. I can’t yet back this up but it is at least an intriguing possibility. Parrott rifles no. 9 and 10 were both captured at Bull Run and redistributed to Confederate batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Thx Shred, possibly.

Info is continuing to come in. I now believe the scarring on top of the tube is ballistic damage. I couldn’t find ant instances of tubes being dragged; normal practice to move a tube without carriage is to lash it up under a limber. But I read about many instances of tubes and carriages being shot up badly. The Richmond Howitzers regiment had to send 3 guns back to Richmond. Tubes had to be recast, or that’s how I read it. This was after the Battle of Malvern Hill, a disaster for the South.
 

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Normal movement of tubes may be careful and with proper gear. But, at war's end, a sudden cache of 54 tubes to be recovered throws all the normal procedures out the window. Especially if recovery is being done by other than artillery guys who know the "proper" way. "Use your horses and drag those dang cannons out of those holes and up to the road and someone will pick them up and we can get back to being cavalry." Not "their" guns, just "captured stuff, not even captured in battle."

Those look like marks from being dragged over several rocks with the weight of the barrel holding it in contact as it passed over. Ballistic damage would more likely be a short point of contact before being deflected/ ricochet away, not several long parallel scrapes. IMHO.
 
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