Battery A was organized under Ohio Militia Laws in Ravenna, Ohio as early as 1860 by Captain Charles S. Cotter. Before the Civil War, the well-drilled unit was used mainly for 4th of July celebrations, but, in 1861, after a three month stint in West Virginia, the battle of Scarey Creek exposed Battery A to its first taste of combat. By September of 1861, Battery A was mustered into national service for three-years at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio. The following day they were moved to Gallipolis, Ohio and assigned to Brigadier General Cox.
On October 22, 1860, they were ordered to report to General A.M. McCook, at Camp Nevin, Kentucky. By 1862 the unit had moved to Green River; Louisville; Nashville; Pittsburgh Landing; and the advance on Corinth. Still assigned to McCook they marched to Florence, Alabama; Battle Creek; Jasper; Decard Station; Winchester; Tullahoma; Shelbyville; and Nashville. With General Buell, they marched into Kentucky and fought at Dog Walk and Bowling Green, Kentucky. They also fought with General Rosecrans at Stones River.
In 1863 Battery A was combined with the 20th OIB and Simonson's Indiana Battery to constitute an artillery brigade in the Army of the Cumberland's Second Division. The brigade accompanied McCook at Tullahoma; Liberty; Hoovers Gap and over Sand Mountain. They fought with gallantry in the battle of Chickamauga, and for defense of Chattanooga. On October 18th, 1863, Battery A reported to General Speer, at Sale Creek. They advanced through East Tennessee to relive Burnside at Knoxville, and had daily engagements with confederate cavalry until the middle of January 1864.
The unit mustered out at the beginning of 1864, but by February, after a 30 day furlough, most of the men rejoined the unit in Cincinnati, Ohio. Battery A first returned to Nashville, and then on to Catoosa Springs, where they joined the Second Division, Fourth Army Corps, with General Sherman. After joining Sherman's Army, the unit moved on to Gallitin, Tennessee. Towards the end of the war Battery A was sent to New Orleans with Stanley's Division, and remained there until they were finally mustered out of national service on July 31, 1865.
By the end of the Civil War, Battery A served in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana. The unit had marched or been transported over six thousand miles, took part in thirty six skirmishes, and fought in nine of the hardest battles of the war. More than thirty thousand tons of ammunition was fired by the guns of Battery A, 1st Ohio Light Artillery. Surprisingly, the unit only lost a handful of men: 15 were killed or mortally wounded during battles and skirmishes and another 33 died from disease for a total of 48 men killed in action during the five years of the Civil War.
Read the letters of Private Alpheus Bloomfield from 1861 to 1865.
BATTERY A SERVICE NOTES:
1. Source of above text is Unit History on our Guns of the Civil War web document.
2. Alternate text from brochure: Battery A, one of 12 batteries in Ohio's 1st regiment of light artillery, was organized as state militia in 1860; the unit mustered into federal service at Camp Chase near Columbus in Sept. 1861.
Battery A took part in many important campaigns. The unit fought at Shiloh in Mississippi (April 1862), Stone's River in Tennessee (Dec. 1862), and Chickamauga in Georgia (Sept. 1863). During its nearly five years of service, Battery A served mostly under Gen. Don Carlos Buell in the Army of the Cumberland.
The battery also served under Ohio's Gen. Wm. Tecumseh Sherman in the Atlanta campaign and Sherman's "March to the Sea" (May-September 1864). During that campaign, the unit fought in Georgia at Kenesaw Mountain and Peach Tree Creek, among other places, and took part in the siege of Atlanta. The Battery also advanced against Nashville, Tennessee, in late 1864.
By the end of the war, the battery had lost 15 men killed in action and 33 to disease. The unit was mustered out of service in July 1865.
3. For detailed information, visit "Ohio in the Civil War" by Larry Stevens at http://www.ohiocivilwar.com/1laa.html
4. See also the free Google eBook - History of Battery A: First regiment of Ohio vol. light artillery, by Henry M. Davidson, Daily Wisconsin Steam Printing House, 1865 – Ohio - 199 pages
5. Photo of Battery A, 1st Ohio Light Artillery is from the collection of Larry Strayer. Photo of Charles S. Cotter is courtesy of the Library of Congress.