Recruiting add from “Ripley Bee”
“Battery F, 1st Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery”
Written by Ned Lodwick, U.S. Grant Homestead Assoc
Battery F. 1st Ohio Light Artillery was organized on December 2nd, 1861 at West Union and Locust Ridge of Adams County and Ripley of Brown County. They trained first at Camp Lucas, near Olive Branch, Clermont County then at Camp Dennison.
The battery was made up of six cannon organized into three two gun sections. The battery was manned by about one hundred and twenty men and around to same number of horses. When the battery was “on the march” all of the men would ride on the teams that pulled the cannons and caissons or on the caissons themselves. They carried three types of ammunition; solid shot, exploding shell, and canister.
Solid shot was just that, a solid iron ball that was best used in attacking fixed positions like forts or buildings but could be used against infantry if they were in large numbers. If the shot could be fired down a line of soldiers a solid shot could wreak havoc, killing or wounding men by the dozen.
Exploding shells were hollow steel balls filled with black powder and smaller steel balls. The shells had a wooden fuse that was ignited when the cannon fired. The fuse was set so that the shell would explode ten to fifteen feet over advancing troops. Pieces of the shell called shrapnel would rain down on troops as far as 800 yards away.
Canister was the most feared of the artillery ammunitions. It consisted of a tin can filled with 36 steel balls and sawdust. It turned a cannon into a giant shotgun. At 300 yards or less a single canister shot could tear large holes in advancing lines. When the troops got within 100 yards the artillery would fire double canister so that 72 balls would be waiting for the infantry when the next shot was fired.
Battery F arrived at Shiloh after the battle was over and the men thought they may have lost their chance to fight. They shouldn’t have worried for they were heavily engaged at Perryville, Kentucky on October 8th and 9th of 1862.
Battery F was stationed at Murfreesboro, Tennessee on December 31, 1862 when the Battle of Stone’s River began. During the fight Major Daniel Cockerill was struck by a six pound solid shot that took off his foot and killed his horse. Battery F lost thirteen other men, thirty horses, and had one limber-chest exploded but aided in the repulse of several attacks “with great slaughter”. They were the only battery to hold their original position on January 1st.
At Chickamauga on September 19, 1863 Battery F was in heavy fighting all morning, but by afternoon the firing had actually increased. Battery F and two other batteries “checked any further advance” of the Confederates. On the 20th the battery helped repulse several assaults on the far left of to Union lines at Kelly’s field. At one time the battery was firing at three directions at the same time. Sgt Jesse Bloom in command of one section of two guns said, “The enemy charged straight up the hill at us yelling like madmen; first I gave then shell, then canister, then double canister, fairly blasting them from in front of our guns. Our infantry support was three lines deep back of us; while the front line fired, the two other lines loaded, thus keeping up a continuous deadly fire, my men were stripped to the waists, and fought their guns through at times the enemy were, less than a hundred feet away and their ammunition almost exhausted. Time and again the enemy returned to the attack determined to break though, but be held our line to the end.” Battery F fired 180 shots that day.
Following Chickamauga the battery was at Chattanooga and Nashville and finished their service at Bridgeport, Alabama. The battery lost 1 officer and 7 enlisted men killed and 28 enlisted men to disease.
For more information see www.ohiocivilwar.com