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5th Indiana Light Battery
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
5th Indiana Light Battery Officer Roster - Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana, Volume 3, by W.H.H. Terrell, Adjutant General, Indiana, 1866 View Entire Book
5th Indiana Light Battery Soldier Roster - Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana, Volume 7, by W.H.H. Terrell, Adjutant General, Indiana, 1867 View Entire Book

Regimental History
Fifth Indiana Light Battery. — Capts., Peter Simonson, Alfred Morrison. This battery was organized at Indianapolis in the fall of 1861, being mustered in Nov. 22. It left the state on the 27th with 148 men, going to Camp Gilbert, near Louisville, where it remained until Dec. 20, when it was assigned to Mitchell's division of Buell's army, then stationed at Bacon creek. On Feb. 9, 1862, it proceeded via Bowling Green to Nashville. In March it moved to Murfreesboro, thence to Fayetteville, Tenn., and Huntsville, Ala. Being in the advance, its guns were trained on the enemy's trains near Huntsville, all being stopped but one. The same day 2 guns were placed on platform cars and run ahead of locomotives for 70 miles each way on the Memphis & Charlestown railroad, the bridges being destroyed on the return trip. It participated in many raids, frequently as cavalry. In June half the battery was attached to the 19th Ill., and marched to Bridgeport, Ala., where it remained until August, when the balance of the battery joined it. On Aug. 24 it moved to Stevenson to cover the removal of the government stores from that point, and was in a sharp engagement on the 31st, when a strong force of the enemy attacked. It moved with the army to Nashville, thence to Louisville, and then took part in the campaign against Bragg, participating in the battle of Perryville, where it was hotly engaged for six hours, maintaining its position an hour longer than any other command on the field, losing 2 killed, 18 wounded, 32 horses killed and crippled, and receiving high compliments for its conduct. Moving via Crab Orchard and Bowling Green, it reached Nashville Nov. 9, and was assigned to the 2nd division, under Gen. R. W. Johnson, with which it was engaged at Triune and Stone's river, where its division was fiercely attacked by a superior force and driven back 2 miles, the battery losing 3 killed, 16 wounded, 32 horses and 2 guns. It performed effective service during the remainder of the battle and was complimented by the division commander. It passed the winter at Murfreesboro; was engaged at Liberty gap in June, 1863; then moved to Tullahoma; thence to Bellefonte and Stevenson, Fla., then to Hog Jaw valley, Ga., from which point it fell back to Winston springs, and at Pond Springs formed a junction with the main army on Sept. 19. It became engaged at Chickamauga the same day at noon and fought until after dark, losing 1 gun. The battle was resumed the next morning and was fought with great fury, the battery holding its position under heavy fire, until 2 p. m., when it was ordered to fall back, losing another gun in making the move. It finally reached the main line near Ringgold after dark, having lost 1 killed, 9 wounded and 2 prisoners, and 26 horses. Ordered to Shell Mound, Tenn., it crossed Waldron's ridge, where the men were obliged to draw the guns and caissons with the picket ropes, the ascent of 3 miles being made in one and a half days. It remained at Shell Mound until Feb., 1864, when it moved to Blue Springs and was attached to the 1st division of the 4th corps. During the winter 15 of the battery reenlisted. In Feb., 1864, it was engaged at Buzzard Roost. In the Atlanta campaign, it participated in the engagements at Tunnel Hill, Rocky Face ridge, Resaca, Adairsville, Kingston, Cassville, Pine mountain, New Hope Church, Kennesaw mountain, Hurst's Church, Peachtree creek, Atlanta and Jonesboro. At Pine mountain, Capt. Simonson was killed. The battery turned over its guns and horses to the ordnance officer at Atlanta, Sept. 20, the non-veterans proceeding to Indianapolis, where they were mustered out Nov. 26. The veterans and recruits were transferred to the 7th battery and on April 5, 1865, they were permanently consolidated with that battery, serving with it until mustered out in July. The shot that killed Lieut. -Gen. Polk of the Confederate army at Pine mountain was fired from one of the Rodman guns of this battery. The battery's losses during its term of service were 9 killed, 3 mortally and 48 slightly wounded, 21 died of disease, and 3 were captured, total, 84. It lost in battle 4 guns, expended over 60,000 rounds of ammunition and its armament was renewed three times during its service.

Footnotes:
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 3

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