Arming the Army of the Ohio - Fascinating 1861 List of Small Arms & Artillery Shipped to Cincinnati, Louisville, & Loyal Kentucky Militias


Arming the Army of the Ohio - Fascinating 1861 List of Small Arms & Artillery Shipped to Cincinnati, Louisville, & Loyal Kentucky Militias


Item No. 6728511

A fascinating undated document, but likely from about October or November 1861, detailing the various shipments of muskets, pistols, swords, and artillery that would arm the thousands of Union volunteers gathering along the banks of the Ohio River in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana—men who would form the nucleus of the Army of the Ohio. The list appears to have been a working document, with entries being made as they were received, listing the quantities of arms, the date (sometimes out of chronological order), and the individual to whom they were sent. The Lincoln Administration, taking care not to violate Kentucky’s tenuous neutrality, was stockpiling volunteers, arms, and equipment at Cincinnati and other key points, while also organizing loyal Kentucky troops at Louisville and other locations in the northern part of the state. The careful distribution of these weapons at key points helped secure Kentucky’s loyalty to the Union. Individuals mentioned in the list include:

  • General Robert Anderson of Fort Sumter fame, original commander of troops in the region, whose command headquarters were at Louisville

  • William T. Sherman, later a Major General, who succeeded Anderson at Louisville in October 1861, but due to his pessimistic attitude about the numbers of men and resources needed to control Kentucky, was replaced in early November by Don Carlos Buell

  • Navy Lieutenant (later Major General) William “Bull” Nelson, who would command the Army of the Ohio’s 4th Division

  • James S. Negley, later a Major General, who in late 1861 brought his brigade of Pennsylvanians to join the Army of the Ohio

  • Joshua Fry Speed, a friend of Abraham Lincoln’s who helped organize Union efforts in Kentucky

  • Kentucky Militia Colonel Bushrod W. Foley

  • “P. R. Shipman,” which may refer to Louisville Journal editor Paul R. Shipman

The document reads:

List of Arms sent to Kentucky.

June 5 Lt Nelson USN 5000 Muskets
[June] 29 B. W. Foley 1000 [Muskets]
July 4 Lt Nelson (for Eastern Tenn.) 5000 [Muskets]
2 6-pnd, 2 10-pnd rifle guns & 2 Mt Howitz.
[July] 9 [Lt Nelson] 3000 Muskets
[July] 27 Capt S. F. Miller 1000 [Muskets]
[July] 31 P. R. Shipman 2000 [Muskets]
Sept 18 Genl. Anderson 4000 [Muskets]
[Sept] 21 [Genl. Anderson] 4000 [Muskets]
[Sept] 25 Laze Anderson 4 6-pdr guns & 2 10-pdr rifle guns
[Sept] 29 Genl. Anderson 20 6-pdr guns & 10 10-pdr rifles
Oct 21 Mr Speed 500 Minee Rifles
[Oct] 7 Genl Negley’s Brigade 3000 Muskets
[Oct] 11 [Negley’s Brigade] 6 6-pdr guns
Oct 18 Genl Sherman 1850 Belgian rifle-muskets
Sept 28 Genl Anderson 3000 Muskets
Total 33550 Small arms
32 6-pdr guns
14 10-pdr rifle guns
2 Mt. Hows.

The State of Ohio is preparing for the field at Cincinnati 188 guns. (124 6-pdr Rifle, 62 6-pdr smooth Ready for inspection)

Indiana — 10 Batteries (40 3-in. Rifle Guns, Nearly ready)

Illinois — 14 [Batteries] (James Rifle, 6-pdr)

The small arms here generally have supplies with 80 rounds of ammunition.

Artillery with a simple compliment 200 rounds or so [writing illegible]

Sept 28 Genl Anderson purchase 768 Colts Rifles angular bayonets, 48 sword [bayonets]
Nov 8 Genl Sherman 1000 Muskets, 1000 Sabres, 1000 Pistols

The list covers 2+ pages of this 8” x 9 3/4” document. It is in very good condition with minor edge and corner wear, also with some minor toning. Creased where originally folded. There is also significant separation along the center fold between the two halves of the sheet, though virtually all the writing is on the first two pages. Minor separation at the folds along the margins.

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