September 13, 1845



U. S. Artillery. — Some of the patriotic presses of the country have chuckled with great apparent delight that the U. S. Artillery under Gen. Taylor should have found themselves at Corpus Christi “without guns.”  At the risk of  disturbing their equanimity, we copy the following explanatory article from the last number of the Union:


Our artillery regiments are not armed as field-artillery, and were never meant to be, in the whole, so armed.  They are armed, (the regiments, except one company in each,) and always have been, as infantry serving in the fortifications with heavy guns.  They are called artillery in the law, and are meant for garrisons to the sea-coast fortifications.  We have four regiments of this artillery, or forty companies.  If these were all field-artillery, they would require 240 field-pieces, guns and howitzers – field-artillery sufficient for an army of 240,000 men, according to the rule which prevails in modern armies.  This, though a preposterous force of artillery, if armed as field-artillery, for any army the United States can ever maintain or send into the field, is much too small for complete garrisons of our forts on the sea-coast and lake frontiers.  These forts, when completed, are estimated to mount 6800 heavy guns.  The four regiments of artillery contain, rank and file, as we see from the Army Register, 2168 men – less than one man to three heavy cannon.  In time of war this force would be increased; but it is not meant ever to garrison the forts entirely with regulars.  The militia would, in great part, be employed for that purpose; and it is certainly the best and most useful employment for that force.  We shall, however, have in each garrison a disciplined, well-instructed body of artillerists, for the more difficult duties at the guns.  This statement shows the purpose of that part of our army called artillery.  Of this, four companies are, by law, equipped as field-artillery, with guns and horses.  Four such companies have been ordered to Texas.  The other twelve artillery companies sent thither are armed and instructed as infantry; and, of course, are without “guns” – that is, “field cannon.”  The newspapers which have commented upon this mater may now understand it.


Source: The Daily Picayune, September 13, 1845, p. 2, col. 3.

Corpus Christi Public Libraries © 2003