John and Larry,
John, you are welcome for the small role I played in helping you solve this riddle. Larry performed the lion's share of the rescue.
Regarding Captain Johnson's own artillery, I am again at a loss on the topic. I do know that when his large patrol of 64 men was ambushed near the Hopkins' home 12 miles from Independence March 22 he had with him besides men of the "Old" 5th Cav MSM, some troopers of the 1st Cav MSM, and some artillerymen. I doubt the artillermen brought any field pieces with them, because as bad a mauling as George Todd's ambushers gave Johnson's patrol, any such cannon would have had to been discarded as a hindrance and taken by the guerrillas. The loss of such a piece of ordnance would have made itself into the Union military records in some fashion. This was a rare ambush in that after the initial shooting gallery was finished the guerrillas mounted and chased the panicked survivors most of the 12 miles to Independence and shot some more of the Federals when their horses stumbled in a large mud hole in the road.
John, if I run across anything about Captain Horace B. Johnson having his own "steel" guns, I will speak up. In my reading about him, I didn't see it. I don't dispute it, but I haven't seen it.
Larry, you are correct about the reprieve for the disbandment of the 5th Cav MSM (old) to June 1863. Thank goodness I got it right in my book.
You asked me what the NARA should do. My opinion is that may increase their per-page copy rate and they may increase their overall charge to keep up with economics. But to simply charge a flat rate of I think it's $125 for ANY Civil War record like that compared to the previous rate of I think it was $27 is not only ludicrous but hurtful! This places use of these public records out of the reach of everyday working people and leaves genealogy and appreciation of ancestors to only the wealthy. It gives the very insulting message that "if you insist on bothering us, we will make you pay dearly for your information."
There is a private library I have used that did just that, and I refuse to return to their high-toned establishment. Fortunately, I can obtain what I need elsewhere, but we don't have that luxury with the NARA. This library raised their copy rates overnight from 10 cents to 25 cents a copy back in the 80s or 90s. This was merely to discourage "frivolous" photocopying, as the librarian informed me. Frankly, I was paying for my photocopies with "Mad Money" at the time, and I didn't consider them "frivolous." I doubt they would have made such a severe jump in price except this library refuses to allow their patrons to perform their own photocopies and insists that the users surrender what they need copied to library personnel in order to prevent damage to the old books, papers, etc. I can understand preserving the materials entrusted to them, but the cavalier way they performed the rate increase was galling. I even offered to pay dues and join their membership if I could obtain a reduced photocopying rate, but the membership chairman just laughed at my pennypinching suggestion and waved me away with a "now, really, Mr. Nichols" parting remark. I read the NARA chief archivist's paper, and I distinctly get the same feeling when that society matron dismissed me with a wave of her hand. The message I received was "if you cannot afford to pay our prices, you probably don't need to be researching history." This is very upsetting when you consider that this is OUR history.
I think the NARA may need to ask for private help from historical societies, clubs, and the like, and not make up their budget shortfalls by gouging private citizens. I think inquirers should pay for services, but at an affordable rate. The NARA is a national treasure, and I have always spoken and written glowingly about NARA employees, in spite of their occasional shortcomings. I dislike this blunder in their change of rates. I think it will only bring discredit upon a fine institution of our government.
There. Now I have calmed down again.