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1st Michigan Light Artillery
in the American Civil War

Regimental History
First Michigan Light Artillery. Col., Cyrus O. Loomis; Lieut. -Cols., Luther F. Hale, William H. Ross; Majs., Josiah W. Church, John J. Ely, A. F. R. Arndt, John C. Shuetz. This regiment was organized by batteries twelve in number, of 6 guns each.

Battery A, "Loomis' battery" was organized at Detroit and was mustered in, May 28, 1861. It left the state May 31, reported at Cincinnati, and was ordered to Camp Dennison. It moved to Clarksburg, W. Va., in June, thence to Buckhannon, and was engaged at Rich mountain, being supplied there with six 10-pound Parrott guns. It was engaged at Elkwater and Green Brier; encamped at Elkwater, Huttonsville and Philippi, during the fall; was ordered to Louisville in December; was the first to cross the river at Munfordville, and reached Bowling Green Feb. 14, 1862, where it threw the first shell, which disabled an engine and detained 9 others, all in readiness to move the enemy's stores, they being about to evacuate. The battery double- quicked, reached the scene ahead of the army, and aided by a regiment of cavalry that had followed it drove the enemy from the town and captured the trains with provisions, ammunition and other property. Going into camp near Nashville, it joined in numerous scouting expeditions, and on Aug. 1 joined Buell's retreat to Louisville. At Perryville it fired the first and last artillery shot of the day, saved the right wing from being flanked, repelled five charges, being absolutely without support at a point recognized as the key to the situation, and at night brought off the entire battery, after having been ordered to spike the guns and save the men. Its loss here was 18 killed and wounded and 33 horses killed. At Stone's river it opened on the enemy with double charges of canister, repelled two desperate assaults, swept the field and scattered 6,000 of the enemy with terrible loss. The battery lost 22 men killed and wounded and some 40 horses. It remained in camp until June. and was then engaged at Hoover's gap. At Chickamauga it was nearly annihilated, being left without support, and after one of the most determined defenses on record compelled to surrender. Its commander, Lieut. Van Pelt and 13 men were killed or wounded, 13 reported missing, probably captured, and 50 horses killed. All the guns but 1 were captured, but subsequently 3 of these were recaptured and at the battle of Missionary ridge 1 more was retaken. The battery was stationed at Chattanooga during 1864, where 22 reenlisted as veterans. It was mustered out at Jackson, Mich. July 28, 1865. Total enrollment, 311 : loss by death 37.

Battery B was organized at Grand Rapids and was mustered in Nov. 26, 1861. It left the state Dec. 17 and was sent to Pittsburg landing. It participated in the battle of Shiloh, and was heavily engaged, repelling repeated assaults by an overwhelming force, but being cut off from support, lost 4 of its pieces with 52 officers and men taken prisoners. A correspondent said: "There was more fighting over this battery than any other battery on the field. The rebel troops attacked it under the immediate direction of Gen. Beauregard, who urged forward three regiments and who at the time, received a bullet wound in the arm." Lieut. Bliss, one of the captured, was murdered by a Confederate sentinel May 1. The remaining section, under Lieut. Laing, was connected with a Missouri battery and participated in the siege of Corinth in May and at the battle of Corinth in October. The section captured at Shiloh was exchanged and reported at Columbus, Ky., in December. In Jan. and Feb., 1863, the battery was stationed at Bethel. It returned to Corinth June 7, and moved to Pulaski in November. In December 48 of the men reenlisted as veterans and were furloughed home. On April 21, 1864 the battery was ordered south for the Atlanta campaign; was engaged at Resaca, Lay's ferry, Calhoun ferry, and Rome cross-roads; was then stationed at Rome during the summer, and was in engagements at Cave springs, Turkey ridge. On the march to Savannah it fought at Griswoldville, distinguishing itself by its effective work, the brigade with which it was serving defeating a much superior force, of which over 1,500 were killed, wounded or taken prisoners. It was also engaged at the Ogeechee river and Savannah, and in the campaign of the Carolinas was in the engagements at Salkehatchie river, Columbia, Cox's bridge, and Bentonville. It participated in the grand review at Washington and was mustered out at Detroit June 6, 1865. Its total enrollment was 235; loss by death, 35.

Battery C was organized at Grand Rapids and was mustered in Nov. 28, 1861. It left the state Dec. 17 ; was first engaged at Farmington, Miss. ; was in the siege of Corinth ; fought at Iuka in September, and at the battle of Corinth in October performed efficient work, losing 11 wounded. It was engaged at Lumpkin's mill, disabling 2 of the enemy's guns, and passed the winter at Oxford and Corinth. One section was engaged at Town creek, in April, 1863, and in May the battery was ordered to Memphis where it was in garrison until October. It was stationed at Iuka during the winter and then joined Gen. Sherman's movement on Atlanta being in action at Resaca, Dallas, Big Shanty, Kennesaw mountain, Nickajack creek, Decatur and the siege of Atlanta. It was in an engagement near Savannah in December and left that city Jan. 4, 1865, by transport for Beaufort, S. C. It fought at the South Edisto river, Cheraw, where it assisted in the capture of 28 guns, at Fayetteville, South river, and Bentonville. It reached Washington May 23, and was mustered out at Detroit June 22, 1865. Total enrollment, 239; loss by death, 34.

Battery D was organized at Coldwater, was mustered in Sept. 17, 1861, and left the state Dec. 9 for Kentucky. It was engaged at Hoover's gap in June, 1863, and in the battle of Chickamauga, was overwhelmed by numbers, lost 5 of its guns, nearly all of its horses being shot. A correspondent said: "No battery was more skillfully handled, nor did better execution in that bloody battle-field than Church's and although 5 of his guns were captured, after the horses were killed, he has the proud satisfaction of hearing it said by his superiors, that no commander could have fought longer under like circumstances, nor retreated from the field, with more honor." When Confederate Gen. Preston was told by a wounded soldier whose battery he had captured, he said: "If you live to see Capt. Church, give him my compliments and tell him that he had the d---dest battery that I ever fought. I lost over 400 men in taking it." It was in the battle at Chattanooga in November, joined in the assault on Missionary ridge, moved to Nashville in December, remained there during the winter, and assisted in the defense of that city. It was at Murfreesboro during 1864 and until July 18, 1865. It was mustered out at Jackson Aug. 3, 1865. Total enrollment, 334; loss by death, 40.

Battery E was organized at Marshall and was mustered in Dec. 6, 1861. It left the state Dec. 17, joined the Western army and was engaged at Shiloh. It fought at Fort Riley, Tenn., in October and was sent to Nashville in November, constituting part of the artillery reserve. On June 1, 1863, it was ordered to Murfreesboro and three months later to Nashville, where it served the balance of the year. Fifty-seven of the battery reenlisted as veterans and were given the usual furlough. The battery was stationed at Nashville during 1864, and in July, one section participated in a raid into Alabama and Georgia, being engaged at Coosa and Chehaw. In December it participated in the defense of Nashville and joined in the pursuit of Hood's forces on their retreat. The battery was ordered to Decatur, Ala., in Feb., 1865, for garrison duty, and was mustered out at Jackson, July 30, 1865. Total enrollment, 327; loss by death, 30.

Battery F was organized at Coldwater in the fall of 1861 and was mustered in Jan. 9, 1862. It left the state March 3 and was first assigned to garrison duty at West Point, Ky. It was engaged at Henderson, and Richmond Ky., where, being left without support its guns were captured. On Oct. 31 it was stationed at Louisville; one section was detached for garrison duty at Bowling Green; the rest of the battery was ordered to Munfordville for garrison duty and remained until Oct., 1863, when it moved to Glasgow. It moved to Knoxville in Jan., 1864, remained there until April. While here 50 men reenlisted as veterans and were furloughed home. On the Atlanta campaign the battery participated at Resaca, near Lost mountain, at Kennesaw mountain, Marietta, the Chattahoochee river, where it drove a battery from its position, at Decatur, and threw the first shell into Atlanta. It was in the severe fight at Utoy creek, spent some time in camp at Chattanooga, then moved to Nashville, thence to Johnsonville, where it remained until Nov. 24, when it marched toward Columbia. After the battle of Franklin it joined the retreat toward Nashville, reaching there on the 8th, and participated in the defense of that place against Hood's attack. On Jan. 19, 1865, it moved by rail to Alexandria, Va., took transports there for Fort Fisher, N. C, reached New Berne Feb. 26, was engaged at Wise's Forks, and was mustered out at Jackson July 1, 1865. Total enrollment 245 ; loss by death, 30.

Battery G was organized in the fall of 1861 and was mustered in Jan. 17, 1862. It left the state Feb. 12, for West Point, Ky., and was stationed at Cumberland ford from Apr. 18 to June 11. It was engaged at Tazewell and moved to Cumberland gap in June. It was ordered to Portland, Ohio, in September; embarked from Memphis in November and joined the Yazoo river expedition. It was engaged at Chickasaw bluffs, and after the surrender of Arkansas post, moved to Young's Point, La. It ran the blockade in April ; was engaged at Port Gibson, contributing largely to the success of the army; fought at Champion's hill, the Big Black river, and participated in the siege of Vicksburg, shelling the enemy's works daily. It was engaged in the siege of Jackson and passed the summer at Carrollton, La. It was ordered to Texas in November, was engaged at Fort Esperanza in Matagorda island, encamped in Indianola until the last of May, returned to Carrollton in June, and remained there until October. It then moved to the vicinity of Mobile bay, remained there until April 10, 1865, and participated in the siege of Mobile until its capture. It was mustered out at Jackson Aug. 6, 1865. Total enrollment, 318; loss by death, 45.

Battery H was organized at Monroe and was mustered in March 6, 1862. It left the state March 13 for St. Louis and was ordered at once to New Madrid. It participated in the siege of Island No. 10 and was stationed at Columbus, Ky., during a part of October. It was in various movements in Tennessee and Mississippi from Nov., 1862, to March 1863; was engaged at Port Gibson, Raymond, Champion's hill, and was in the siege of Vicksburg until its surrender. Its commander, Capt. De Golyer, received a wound on May 28 which caused his death. The battery was engaged at Brownsville and Clinton, and in the Atlanta campaign, was in action at Big Shanty, Kennesaw mountain, Nickajack creek, Peachtree creek, in the siege of Atlanta, Jonesboro, and Lovejoy's Station. It was on duty at Nashville from Nov. 18, 1864, to Feb. 16, 1865, and then moved to Chattanooga. It was mustered out at Jackson July 22, 1865. Total enrollment, 325 ; loss by death, 44.

Battery I was organized at Detroit and was mustered in Aug. 20, 1862. It left the state Dec. 4, joined the Army of the Potomac, and was first engaged at Aldie, Va., in April, 1863. It participated at Gettysburg, then moved to Culpeper Court House, and was ordered to Nashville in October, where it remained in reserve until March 7, 1864, when it was ordered to Whiteside. It participated in the Georgia campaign, engaged the enemy at Cassville, New Hope Church, Lost mountain, Kolb's farm, Marietta, Peachtree creek, reached Atlanta on July 27, and took part in the siege until Aug. 25. It was engaged at Turner's ferry, in August, and remained at Atlanta until Nov. 1 , when it was ordered to Chattanooga and mounted as horse artillery until ordered home. It was mustered out at Jackson July 14, 1865. Total enrollment, 234; loss by death, 29.

Battery K was organized at Grand Rapids and was ordered to Washington May 23, 1863. It garrisoned Forts Ramsey and Buffalo at Upton's hill, Va., and moved to Camp Washington in June. On Oct. 28 it moved to Nashville and was in the reserve artillery until Mar. 6, 1864, when it was sent to Chattanooga for garrison duty. Two detachments were attached to other batteries and four detachments for service on gunboats and trains posts. The remainder assisted in repelling Wheeler's attack on Dalton and was stationed at Chattanooga from Nov. 1, 1864, until Mar. 31, 1865, when it moved to Nashville, Tenn. The battery was mustered out at Detroit July 22. Total enrollment, 208; loss by death, 16.

Battery L was organized at Coldwater and was mustered in, Apr. 11, 1863. It left the state May 20, reported at Covington, Ky., and was ordered to camp Nelson. It was in engagements at Triplett's bridge, Lebanon, and Buffington island, where the greater portion of Morgan's force was captured. It was also engaged at Steubenville and Salineville, Ohio, then moved to Morristown, and was in various movements until it reached Cumberland gap in December, where it remained until June 27, 1864. It then moved to Knoxville and remained there until the end of the war. It was mustered out at Jackson Aug. 22, 1865. Total enrollment, 290; loss by death, 26.

Battery M was organized at Dearborn and was mustered in, June 30, 1863. It left the state July 9, for Indianapolis, and on Sept. 18 moved to Kentucky. It proceeded to Cumberland gap, was in an engagement at Blue Springs, and in various movements until Jan., 1864, being engaged at Walker's ford and Tazewell. It occupied fortifications at Cumberland gap for the remainder of the year, and in the winter and spring of 1865, joined in frequent scouts and expeditions into Virginia. On Apr. 1 it was transferred to the 2nd brigade, 1st division, Army of the Cumberland, and proceeded to Strawberry plains, remaining there until July 7. It was mustered out at Jackson Aug. 1, 1865. Total enrollment, 297; loss by death, 16.

The 13th battery was organized at Grand Rapids in 1863 and was mustered in Jan. 20, 1864. It left the state Feb. 3, went into camp near Washington, was stationed at different points about Washington during the year, and assisted in the defense of Fort Stevens against the attack of Early's forces in July. Attached to Hardin's division, 22nd corps, it was on garrison duty until Feb. 27, 1865, when it was mounted as cavalry and detailed for the suppression of guerrillas in Maryland. It was in the pursuit of the conspirators against the president and his cabinet after Lincoln's assassination and was mustered out at Jackson, July 1. Total enrollment, 257; loss by death, 13.

The 14th battery was organized at Kalamazoo in 1863 and was mustered in Jan. 5, 1864. It left the state Feb. 1 and reported at Washington, where it was mounted Apr. 20 and ordered to Fort Bunker Hill on May 15. It returned on the 27th and was dismounted and stationed in the vicinity of Washington during the year. It was engaged as heavy artillery in the defense of Washington against Early's attack in July, then garrisoned Forts Snyder, Carroll and Greble, until June 17, 1865, and was mustered out at Jackson, Mich., July 1. Total enrollment, 225; loss by death, 9.

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

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