Support Services - Blacksmith

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Tom Elmore

2nd Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Other threads have discussed Blacksmiths and their duties, but the focus here is on estimated numbers within an army, specifically the CSA Army of Northern Virginia and USA Army of the Potomac in summer 1863. I do not assert the following numbers are definitive, but merely present them for debate. Given the daily demands of shoeing animals, making minor repairs to metalwork, and some major repairs to artillery spindles, etc., it may be reasonable to claim that both armies employed a few hundred Blacksmiths and Assistant Blacksmiths, the demand being greatest while on the march.

CSA Infantry/Cavalry: One principal Blacksmith was assigned to the staffs of the Army (1), Corps (3), Division (10), and Brigade (44); total 58. Rare mention is made of a regimental blacksmith, but these men may actually have been detailed to one of the above staffs. Evidence of assistants seems scarce. Blacksmiths were paid an extra 25 cents per day. Several have been identified as a Blacksmith in the cited commands:

McLaw's Division - M. D. Thomson (15 SC)
Kemper's Brigade - R. M. Hawkins (18 VA)
Hays' Brigade - Edouard Wagnon (9 LA)
Nicholls' Brigade - James R. Miller (1 LA)
Wilcox's Brigade - Abner B. Euton (9 AL)
? - J. B. Johnson (15 AL)
? - Israel P. Dellinger (10 VA)
? - David Mooman (7 VA Cavalry)

CSA Artillery: It is presumed that each battery was allotted one Blacksmith (with the forge), as well as one on each battalion staff; total 85. Other Blacksmiths were assigned to ordnance wagon trains; estimate total 14.

Grand total of principal CSA Blacksmiths: 157 Assistants: ?

----------------------------

USA Infantry/Cavalry: One principal Blacksmith was assigned to the staffs of the Army (1), Corps (8), Division (21), and Brigade (61); total 91. A recent post on this board (david_n) containing an early 1863 letter from the Quartermaster of Carr's Brigade states his brigade staff employed one Blacksmith and six (!) Assistant Blacksmiths, the former paid an extra 40 cents per day and the latter 25 cents per day. Here are some identified Blacksmiths from Maine:

Army - Stephen E. Welch (10 ME BN)
Bartlett's Brigade - William C. Phinney (5 ME)
Ward's Brigade - Allen P. Farrington (4 ME)

USA Artillery: Batteries had one principal Blacksmith; total 64. Presumably so did each brigade; total 14. Ordnance wagon trains likely had an assigned Blacksmith; estimate total 30. Every battery may have had one Assistant Blacksmith as well (an extant example is Battery E, 1st Rhode Island).

Grand total of principal USA Blacksmiths: 199 Assistants: ?
 

Mike Serpa

Major
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top