1 Reply Latest reply on Feb 4, 2021 1:19 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking “The Quarterly Ordnance Reports” from 1861 & 1862

    Donald Dixon Newbie

      I have been working on a book project on the importation of Austrian Army weapons by the Federal and Confederate Armies during the Civil War. As part of my research I purchased a copy of the Summary of Quarterly Returns of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores on Hand in Regular and Volunteers Army Organizations (“The Quarterly Ordnance Reports”) (Microfilm M1281). M1281 contains the 35 volumes of the Quarterly Ordnance Report ledgers contained in Record Group 156, Entries 109, 110, 111, and 112. For the Civil War, the ledgers contain summaries of the quarterly ordnance reports submitted by unit commanders from the 4th quarter of 1862 through the first quarter of 1865.

       

      Additionally, I looked at Register of Inventories of Ordnance Stores Under General Order No. 167, October 24, 1862 (RG156, Entry 108). This very roughly prepared ledger summarizing unit ordnance reports from the 3rd quarter of 1862, and was perhaps a prototype for the later Quarterly Ordnance Report ledgers contained in Microfilm M1281.

       

      Letters Received by the Chief of Ordnance (RG156, Entry 21) contains a number of letters of transmittal from unit commanders submitting Quarterly Ordnance Reports for 1861 and the first two quarters of 1862, but the enclosed ordnance reports have been removed. So, at one time quarterly reports for that period did exist.

       

      My research also led me to Daniel M. Roche's unpublished PhD dissertation The Acquisition and Use of Foreign Shoulder Arms by the Union Army, 1861-1865, University of Colorado, 1949. It appears that Dr. Roche did extensive research at the Archives in the 1940s in the preparation of his dissertation. In his analysis and footnotes Dr. Roche repeatedly made reference to what he referred to in his bibliography as "Summary of Statements, Ordnance and Ordnance Stores on Hand, Infantry Regiments, I-XII" and "Summary of Statements, Ordnance and Ordnance Stores on Hand, Cavalry Regiments, I-IV." These citations would appear to correlate with RG156, Entries 108, 109, 110, 111, and 112.

       

      In his dissertation Dr. Roche discussed the percentages of Federal Army regiments armed with foreign weapons at the Battles of 1st Bull Run ,Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and the Peninsular Campaign, but all of these battles pre-date the ordnance reports summarized in RG156, Entries 108, 109, 110, 111, and 112. While Dr. Roche's dissertation was never published, his research has been repeatedly cited by more recent published authors.  I am seeking a record group or file which contains the Quarterly Ordnance Reports from 1861 and the first two quarters of 1862. I wanted to make one more attempt to locate the quarterly ordnance reports from that period.