An Indiana Legion Artillery Company


I have heard it asked before, "What else could possible be studied about the Civil War?" My answer is usually something along the lines of "More than you could ever imagine." Or take the more recent example on my hometown newspaper’s Facebook page. There a rather "nice" fellow commented that my future book will just be a "regurgitation of what has been written for decades." I wanted to assure him, politely, that no, this is not a "regurgitation" but something all together new. As I have discovered in the research for my own projects and studies, there is a ton of material and topics that remain untouched and hidden. Take the Indiana Legion for example. Besides the reports during and shortly after the war, there has only been one study published on the topic, and that was a master's thesis by John P. Etter in 2006. It is a great intro into the Indiana Legion, and if you read it, will make you want to learn even more (Order it HERE). As of right now, the only way to do that is to visit the Indiana State Archives and dive into the documents yourself. If that's what I have to do, I won't complain. I love going there. Back in December, I visited to research information on the 3rd Indiana Legion (Warrick County), and came across some fantastic documents on the Legion that I have not seen covered anywhere else...The Jackson Artillery of Newburgh, Indiana in Warrick County.


Warrick County, Indiana and surrounding area.

One thing about the Legion, is that its regiments were assigned by county, and all the companies within its borders were a part of the county regiment. Some counties had dozens of companies at differing levels of organization, armaments, and competence, and when called upon, might field anywhere between a few hundred to well over a thousand men. Each regiment had its own infantry, cavalry, and artillery, with each reporting to the colonel in overall command. In this instance it was Colonel Daniel F. Bates of the 3rd Indiana Legion in Warrick County. The 3rd Indiana Legion was responsible for safeguarding their portion of the Ohio River (See map above) from any marauding Kentucky rebels, something they failed to do in July 1862. It was then that Adam Rankin Johnson deceived the local legion commander, Captain Union Bethel, into surrendering the town and its cache of supplies and weapons with the use of two faux guns on the Kentucky shore, just across the Ohio. From a distance, the charred log and stovepipe mounted on carriages looked like a small battery of artillery ready to cause extensive damage to Newburgh. Bethel fell for the bluff and did not impede Johnson's getaway. Johnson and his small band of Confederate partisans escaped back across the Ohio without firing a shot. This daring raid woke the Legion from its slumber, especially in the counties in the southern part of the state, and regular drill and inspection became common place. The 3rd Legion's artillery, the Jackson Artillery, were spared the humiliation of the raid, as they were not organized until August 1862, one month later. The details of this small battery fascinated me as I came across them and realizing that this might be the first time in over 150 years that anyone has given this organization any serious thought or attention. Everything about them, I might argue, is completely new to our study of the war. Just what did an Indiana Legion artillery battery look like? Especially one that was close to hostile territory and the prospect of some sort of action?


The 3rd Indiana Legion attempted to form a battery in the summer of 1861, without success. Several letters and communications were sent to Governor Oliver P. Morton, begging him to furnish Warrick County with artillery. One letter stressed the importance and vulnerability of the Warrick County river towns. Colonel Bates wrote that his area was "laying on the river (Ohio River)," and that "plenty of Secesh just over on the other side" threatened the safety of his home county. Another officer begged Morton to furnish the 3rd Legion with some sort of artillery to repel the rumored and often expected rebel invasion of Indiana. He implored, "We ask you in the name of our Beloved Union, sacred trust, and all things that make a man--to give us what we ask for--If you cannot give 3 (Artillery Pieces)--give us as many as you can and that without Delay. In the name of my god and my own honor I am strugling for our Union." This same officer informed Morton that he had "56 good and tried men who had seen service in several battles in Mexico...if you will but give us the 3 guns we ask for you will not regret it." Ironically, Johnson's raid into Indiana in July 1862, shook the necessary people in Indiana to get the proper armaments to the places that needed it most.



The Jackson Artillery appears to have been a battery composed primarily of Germans, at least their names seem to reveal that fact. Commanding the small battery was Captain Yost Moog (Jost Moug), an immigrant from the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt. On his 1867 passport application, he describes himself as a naturalized citizen of the United States wishing to visit "the old country." The application also provided details of his physical features, and recounted Moog as five feet and nine inches tall, possessing a projecting forehead, blue eyes, light hair, and a sharp chin. In 1861, he was 34 years old. Moog's lieutenants were Frederick Roeter and Herman Ulrich. One piece of correspondence alludes to Moog's outfit as German. In September 1862, the Newburgh Flying Artillery had just been mustered into the service of the Indiana Legion and commanded by a Captain I.S. Power. In a letter to General Love, commander of the Indiana Legion, Power wished to make clear that his battery was not affiliated with Moog. He wrote, "This company has no connection with the German company formed here a few weeks since." Southern Indiana had, and still has, a strong German presence, and the formation of German companies was commonplace.


In 1863, Moog attempted to properly arm the officers of his battery with pistols. He wrote General Love in September to request several pistols for his battery, but Love replied that he did not have any on hand. Moog appears to have settled for "the short Guns that we wanted you will please send them. You need not send any muskets as there are plenty of them about here." Moog's commanding officer, Colonel Daniel Bates received two Colt Army revolvers with holsters and 150 rounds of ammunition. It is unknown whether these weapons were issued to Moog and his officers or not. His men eventually received the coveted side arms, though they went without uniforms during the entirety of their service. In 1864, the German captain was able to boast a company of:


3 officers

8 NCO

42 privates

2 "Common 6 pounders"

22 1/2 boxes of ammunition on hand.



So how was a militia battery on the "border" equipped? The documents tell us that the German gunners were armed with two bronze 6-pounders and one 3-inch, iron gun. Moog's notebook also reveals the specifics of each of the bronze pieces, including their company of manufacture. He recorded:


What about the battery's ammunition? What sort of shot where they issued, and how many of each? Based on the battery's supply, can we infer anything about what they were preparing for? Capt. Moog's log recorded the following types and amounts:

150 rounds of fixed shot for 6 Pounder Gun

200 rounds of fixed shells for 12 Pounder Howitzer

108 rounds of fixed spherical case shot for 6 Pounder

22 rounds of fixed canister for 6 Pounder

20 rounds of unfixed canister for 6 Pounder

50 rounds of 3 inch fuze shell, Hotchkiss Patent

100 rounds of fixed 3 inch canister, Hotchkiss Patent, Ind. Arsenal


The battery was also equipped with:


350 1 pound cartridge bags filled with powder

925 Friction primers

50 Fuzes


Judging by the type of ammunition, the battery's main goal was to prevent or stop Confederate raids across the Ohio River. Boats would be necessary for any raiding party, no matter how large, and three guns firing this type of ammunition would be enough to deter another raid across the Ohio River on Newburgh, Indiana. If they happened to actually cross, then there was sufficient canister to deal with the problem until other Legion companies drove off the enemy.


In September 1862, the 4th Indiana Legion (from neighboring Spencer County) under the command of Colonel John W. Crooks, successfully closed with the 10th Kentucky Partisan Rangers south of Owensboro, Kentucky and drove them from the field. The Hoosiers at that fight possessed only a single bronze 6-pounder, which blew its trunnion caps and was rendered useless after only three shots. Had this gun been available after those three shots, Confederate casualties would have been even higher. This skirmish between Legion and guerrillas occurred just a few weeks after Moog's Jackson Artillery organized and mustered into state service, and so were not called upon for Owensboro's relief. Union and Legion officers recognized the advantage of using artillery against a quick moving enemy, especially cavalry, and the German battery was issued the appropriate ammunition to fit their unique situation on the Ohio River.


From Captain Moog's Notebook

The Hoosier dutch were also issued the other pieces of equipment, common for any artillery battery. Capt. Moog again recorded these items in his log as follows:

All guns have carriages


BUCKETS

2 Buckets, sponge, iron

3 Buckets, tar, iron

4 Buckets, watering, Gutta Percha

FUZE IMPLEMENTS

2 Fuze Augers

2 Fuze Wrenches

GUNNER IMPLEMENTS

0 Calipers

4 Gunner's Gimlets

6 Gunner's Haversacks

2 Gunner's Pincers

8 Handspikes Trail


HARNESSES

2 harnesses for Artillery Harness, sets for 2 wheel horses

2 harnesses for Artillery Harness, sets for 2 lead horses

6 lanyards for friction primers


PENDULUM HAUSSES (Hausses are a type of sight for the gun)

1 Pendulum Hausses for 6 pounder gun

1 Pendulum Hausses for 3 inch rifled gun

2 Pouches for Pendulum Hausses


3 Priming Wires


3 Prolonges (Hemp rope that is 12' long and was used to quickly and temporarily attach the gun to the limber when changing positions or advancing and retreating. Definition from www.civilwarartillery.com.)


SPONGE COVERS

2 Sponge Covers for 3 inch gun

4 Sponge Covers for 6 pounder gun


SPONGE AND RAMMERS

6 Sponge and Rammers for 6 Pounder Gun and 12 Pounder Howitzers

2 Sponge and Rammers for 3 Inch Rifled Gun


TARPAULINS

3 12x15 Tarpaulins (tarp)

6 Thumb Stalls


TOMPIONS

1 Tompion for 6 Pounder

1 Tompion Strap


4 Tow Hooks

4 Tube Pouches

2 Vent Covers

4 Vent Punches

2 Worms and Staves for Field Guns


2 Telescopes

3 Pole Pads

6 pairs of Pole Straps



By December 1864, Moog, like several Legion commanders, struggled to keep his command together. Many of his men enlisted in the service of the United States, and consequently, Moog commanded too few men for an effective battery. The German cannoneers, as long as they had men, continued to drill at least once a month. Realizing that he would soon cease to have enough men to command, Moog remarked, "it is not desired to maintain the organization of this company any longer as several of its members have gone in the United States service."


At the close of the war, the militia companies and regiments began transferring their weapons and equipment to state authorities in Indianapolis. According to a transfer receipt, the state officers found the statement of ordnance and supplies "deficient." The reason for this deficiency--missing buckets. Moog was quick to respond to the charge of missing buckets in a sworn deposition in July 1866, and set the record straight by claiming that the two buckets were stolen from the guns during the war. One state official recommended that the battery be turned over to the state as the guns and carriages were "exposed to the weather" in the summer of 1865.


The Jackson Artillery may never have fired a single shot in anger, but their existence is still important to the war along the border. Their proficiency in drill, along with the other Legion companies, provided the citizens of southern Indiana with an extra layer of security, and possibly prevented additional serious raids in that region. There are other organizations like this that have yet to be uncovered, their story sitting in an archive or library, waiting to be told.