Battery A was called into service by Governor Yates, in response to the first call of President Lincoln for troops to defend the Nation. Our first appearance in the sanguinary conflict was on Sunday morning, April 2, 1861, and by 9 P.M. we moved for Cairo, via, the Illinois Central Railroad. On our arrival there we were assigned the duty of bringing to all downward bound boats with the view of preventing the shipment of contraband goods within the rebel lines. The mode adopted for bringing boats, to, was to fire a blank shot in their direction. On the 24th of April, the steamer Baltic, in passing Cairo, disregarded the blank shot, when a solid shot was fired across her bow, which had the desired effect. These shots were fired by squad one, under command of Lieutenant J. R. Botsford, and they were the first that were fired across this mighty river.
After about a week's stay at Cairo, we were ordered to take a position two miles above, on the Mississippi River bank. The position was christened Camp Smith, in honor of our commander, and was occupied by the Battery nearly five months.
The Battery did not muster into the United States three month's service, but was mustered into the three years service July 16, 1861. While stationed at Cairo the Battery was presented with a beautiful silk flag by Miss Katie Sturges, of Chicago. This flag was carried by the Battery through all its campaigns.
On September 6, the Battery moved with General Grant to Paducah, where it remained until February 4, 1862, participating in the various expeditions from that place, under command of Generals Lew. Wallace and C. A. Smith, among which was the feint on Columbus simultaneous with General Grant's attack on Belmont.
Early in February we moved up the Tennessee River, landing below Fort Heiman. We occupied the rebels' camp at Fort Heiman until the 13th of February, when we received orders at midnight to proceed to Fort Donelson, whither we proceeded without delay, and on our arrival were quickly put in position, and opened fire at once, using canister in repelling the last decisive charges, firing fifty-five round. The Fort surrendered next day, when we were marched back to Fort Heiman, where we remained until March 6, when we started on the grand advance up the Tennessee. March 27 we marched to Pittsburg Landing, when we were transferred from Gen. Lew. Wallace's Division to Gen. C. F. Smith's, Second Brigade, General McArthur commanding. The Battery took a conspicuous part in the memorable battle of April 6, going into the fight at 8 o'clock A.M., and retiring some time after 4 P.M. Daniel R. Farnham, Ed. Russel and John Flannigan lost their lives in this engagement, while A. C. Hall, Charles Kimball and Little Bailey were wounded.
About 5 o'clock we fell back to the landing, and about 5:30 the enemy made their last attack on our lines, which was easily repulsed with the aid of two gunboats. Thus ended the first day's fight.
We slept on our arms that night. At 8 o'clock next morning we were ordered to the front, and shelled the timber for about half an hour. Fighting continued at intervals through the day, the rebels making the most stubborn resistance. After the enemy had been routed, General Sherman rode up to Lieutenant Wood and publicly thanked him for the gallant service the Battery had rendered, an don the 12th of April we were presented with a stand of colors "From Friends at Home".
Our next move was with General Lew. Wallace's Division, in the direction of Corinth. From Corinth we moved to Bolivar; thence to Union Station, near Memphis. On the 17th of June we reached Memphis, where we remained until November 26. While there we took part in several expeditions from that place, including the Tallahatchie march.
On the 20th of December we moved to Yazoo and took part in the Chickasaw Bayou fight, being under fire about four hours, and firing 807 rounds.
Our next move was to Arkansas Post. We were engaged in a battle here on the 10th and 11th of January 1863.
We next moved to Young's Point, where we remained all winter.
In the latter part of the winter our right section went with Colonel Giles A. Smith up the Sunflower River and Black Bayou to the relief of Porter's gunboats.
On April 13 we witnessed the grand sight of our gunboats running past the rebel batteries at Vicksburg. Soon after this we went with Sherman up the Yazoo, and made a feint on Haines' Bluff.
On May 15, we were hurried back, and the next day the battle at Champion Hill was fought, where we were in position, but were not engaged.
On May 17 we marched to Big Black to a place called Bridgeport, and captured a rebel Lieutenant and 12 men.
On the 18th of May we advanced on the works around Vicksburg. On the 19th and 22d of May, ineffective charges were made upon the works, when the regular siege was begun, which lasted until July 4, when the city was surrendered with 33,000 troops.
On the 5th of July we moved with the Division to Jackson. We besieged the city from the 10th to the 17th, when the place was evacuated. While here our loss was 7 prisoners and 1 killed -Sergeant Wilber J. Willcox. We moved back to Big Black, where we remained until September 27, when we were ordered to Chattanooga.
On the 24th of November our Corps moved forward and occupied a spur of Missionary Ridge without firing a shot. Next day we attacked the enemy's right flank and pressed it vigorously all day. About 4 o'clock the Army of the Cumberland made a charge in the center and swept everything before them. Hooker had taken Lookout Mountain, driving Bragg from his fortifications. We followed him until he took refuge at Dalton, Ga. We then returned to camp near Chattanooga. We moved next to Bellfont, Ala., reaching there about Christmas; thence to Larkinsville, where we went into winter quarters.
On May 1, 1864, we started on the Atlanta Campaign, reaching Snake Creek gap May 9. We were drawn up in line of battle at its east end, looking into Resaca, where the enemy was protected by earthworks. On the 11th, Johnson massed his forces in Resaca, and on the 15th the battle was fought, when the rebels evacuated their fortifications and retreated, burning their bridges behind them. Here Lieutenant Rumsey was severely wounded.
We next engaged the enemy at Dallas. They charged on us repeatedly, but were each time repulsed with heavy loss. Here Colonel Taylor was shot in the breast, the ball glancing on a rib, and the same ball struck General Logan in the arm.
The rebels retreated to Kenesaw Mountain, where there was fighting at close intervals from June 10 until July 3, when they were forced to retreat to Atlanta. On July 12, the three-year men, whose term of service had expired, were ordered to the rear to be mustered out.
On the evening of the 12th of July the battery moved with the Corps to North-east Atlanta, marching all night and all the next day. We took part in the engagement of July 19 and 21, losing two of our new men. On the 22d the battery was posted on a high ridge through which the railroad passed. During the day we were attacked from the front and rear, and, being overpowered by superior numbers, the battery was captured and many of the men taken prisoners, while a number were killed and wounded. Subsequently the infantry rallied and forced the rebels back, regaining our position, but the retreating column carried with four of our guns.
We took part in the grand move in the rear of Atlanta, which culminated in the severe battle of Jonesboro on the 28th of July, and which compelled the evacuation of Atlanta.
Here we re-organized, and Captain E. P. Wilcox, formerly of Battery B, was placed in command. After about a month's encampment on the outskirts of Atlanta, we moved northward towards Hood's army, and when he countermarched by our left lank and went south, we were ordered to Nashville, where we arrived about Nov. 1, and were in the reserve line during the battle there. From here we were sent to Chattanooga, remaining till the latter part of June 1865, when we were ordered home for muster-out, arriving at Chicago July 3, where we received a royal welcome at the hands of our friends, who gave us a grand banquet in honor of our return.
Battery B was organized in April 1861, and left in June for Cairo, where it lay three weeks and then moved to Bird's Point, Missouri. One section of the Battery participated in the fight at Frederictown, October 26th. The entire Battery went with Grant to Belmont on the 7th of November, going into action with six guns and coming out with eight, completely demolishing the rebel battery. Then at Donelson in W.H.L. Wallace's Brigade the Battery occupied the extreme right, fighting with scarce any intermission for three days. The day before the battle of Shiloh it was transferred to Sherman's Division and was in that fight; it was also with him on the right at the siege of Corinth; was at Lagrange and Holly Springs, and at Memphis with Sherman on the 22d of July 1862. Was at Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, the siege of Vicksburg, Champion Hills, Mechanicsburg and Richmond, La. Its valor was attested at all these places. Thence it moved to Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville to the relief of Burnside. It wintered at Larkinsville. On the 1st of May 1863, it moved with Sherman on his Atlanta campaign. The Battery was all through those fights, doing bravely at Resaca and Dallas. General Logan highly complimented the Battery for its gallantry at the latter place. It was at Kenesaw and took part in many minor engagements. On the 12th of July 1864, it was ordered to Springfield that the men might be mustered out of the service. The Battery had 219 men altogether on its muster rolls and lost by death 16, six in battle and wounded 27.
The Battery was re-organized by the consolidation of A and B, and afterward participated in the balance of the Atlanta campaign, and the chase of Hood toward Nashville, and when Sherman left Atlanta the Battery remained with General Thomas, taking part in the fight at Nashville with Hood. It arrived in Chicago, July 2, 1865, where it was mustered out and discharged.
Battery D, First Light Artillery, was organized at Cairo, September 2, 1861, by Captain Edward McAllister.
September 18, moved to Fort Holt, Kentucky. February 3, 1862, ordered to Fort Henry, with three 24-pdr. iron howitzers. Was engaged in the siege of Fort Donelson, two of the guns being disabled. March 6, moved to Paducah. On the 14th, moved to Savannah, Tennessee, with four 24-pdr. bronze howitzers. On April 6 and 7, took part in battle of Shiloh; took eight positions during the action. June 6, moved to Bethel, Tennessee, and on 18th, arrived at Bolivar.
November 3 and 4, marched to Lagrange, in Third Division, Thirteenth Army Corps.
November 28, 1862, went on Yocona expedition, in Brigadier General Logan's Division, returning to Tallahatchie River, December 24, 1862.
The Battery was mustered out of service at Chicago, July 28, 1865.
Battery E was organized at Camp Douglas during the fall of 1861. The Battery was mustered into service December 19, 1861. February 13, 1862, were sent to Cairo, where horses, guns and all other necessary equipments were procured.
On the 27th of March, took boat to Pittsburg Landing, arriving the 30th, and received a baptism of fire at Shiloh, April 6. Casualties, one killed, sixteen wounded, and one missing. After Shiloh, moved on Corinth, which was taken by Sherman's army May 29, 1862. Followed the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, skirmishing, camping, etc., till we reached Memphis, Tenn. Went into camp at Fort Pickering. Here the Battery had their first opportunity to drill with horses and guns, and the occasion was improved.
November 26, went with Sherman's expedition to Oxford, Miss., and thence to Corinth via Bolivar, and on to White's Station January 31, 1863, where the Company remained for a time in camp. Returned to Memphis about the 14th of March 1863, and embarked for Duckport, La., to join Sherman's army.
On May 2 went to Grand Gulf, Miss.; thence to Jackson, Miss., and May 14, assisted in its capture. May 16, moved on Vicksburg, Miss., arriving the 18th, and took an active part in the siege of that place, losing two killed and six wounded. July 5, marched back to Jackson, and assisted in a nine-days siege, when Johnson evacuated.
On the 23d of July went into camp on Bear Creek, in rear of Vicksburg, on Oak Ridge. This became summer camp, and expeditions were made to Mechanicsburg, Miss., Canton, and other places. November 5, went to Vicksburg, and took boat for Memphis, arriving there the 12th. During winter went to Lagrange, Tenn.; also, Corinth, Jack Creek, and again to Corinth, and back to Memphis via Lagrange.
On the 10th of February 1864, had a skirmish at Wyatt, Tenn., on the Tallahatchie River. Returned to Memphis. Camped at head of Main street, near Navy Yard.
In April went to Bolivar, Miss., and Ripley, in search of General Forrest; but supplies giving out, returned to Memphis to refit.
June 1, 1864, marched to Guntown, Miss., and fought in the disastrous battle of Brice's Cross Roads, losing 1 killed, 3 wounded and 4 missing. Returned to Memphis, every man for himself, and very much demoralized.
After a few days' rest, on June 21, under command of General A. J. Smith, went to Lagrange, Miss. July 5, marched on Tupelo, and July 12, fought at Pontotoc, Miss.
July 13, were ambushed, and lost one wounded.
On the 14th of July, fought and whipped the rebel General Forrest, at Tupelo, Miss.
July 15, returned to Memphis. September 3, 1864, took boat down Mississippi to White River Gap to Duvall's Bluff, Ark. Marched through Arkansas swamps to Cape Girardeau under General J. A. Mower. Took boat to Jefferson City, Mo., and followed the rebel General Price to the western boundary of the State, and returned to St. Louis, where we arrived November 15, 1864. After drawing new complement of horses, took boat for Nashville, Tenn., and were with General Thomas during the siege of Nashville and annihilation of Hood's Army.
The time of enlistment of Battery E expired December 19, 1864, but they were not mustered out of service until the evening of December 24, 1864, at Louisville, Ky. The new recruits and one or two other companies consolidated with Battery E, remained in service till June 1865, and were mustered out in June at or near Chattanooga, Tenn.
Battery F, First Light Artillery, was recruited at Dixon by Captain John T. Cheney, was mustered in at Springfield, February 25, 1862.
Moved to Benton Barracks, Mo., March 15, with four 6-pdrs. April 1, ordered to Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., and arrived April 9, and was assigned to Major General Lew. Wallace's Third Division, Army of the Tennessee.
Was engaged in the siege of Corinth, and, June 9, marched for Memphis, arriving on the 18th. November 26, moved from Memphis, and arrived at the Tallahatchie River December 2. On the 11th, in Denver's Division, went on the Yocona expedition, returning to Tallahatchie River, and finally to Holly Springs, Miss.
March 7, 1865, Battery F was consolidated with other batteries in the Regiment.
Battery G, First Light Artillery, was organized at Cairo by Captain Arthur O'Leary, and was mustered in September 28, 1861.
March 18, 1862, moved to Columbus, Ky.; thence to Island No. 10 and New Madrid, as garrison, and returned to Cairo April 11. On 13th, moved down river to Fort Pillow, and on 16th, returned. April 22, moved to Hamburg, Tenn., and was engaged in the siege of Corinth, in May 1862, Captain O'Leary commanding, and in battle of Corinth, Oct. 4, 1862.
The Battery was mustered out of service at Camp Butler, July 24, 1865.
Battery H was recruited in and about Chicago, by Captain Axel Silversparre, during January and February 1862. In March it was ordered to St. Louis, where it was equipped as a four 20-pounder Parrott gun Battery, and was immediately sent down the river to join General Grant's command. The Battery arrived at Pittsburg Landing, April 5, and participated in the battle of Shiloh the next day, April 6, it formed the centre of that line of artillery which, with the gun-boats on the Tennessee, repulsed the last charges of the confederates on the first day of Shiloh. Soon after the Battery became part of General Sherman's command, and was always thereafter attached to the Second Division of the Fifteenth Army Corps.
At Memphis, during the summer of 1862, Captain Silversparre was made Chief of Artillery at Fort Pickering, and in pursuance of his duties was captured by the enemy, and never again rejoined the Battery.
The command then devolved upon Frank DeGress, who some time afterwards was commissioned Captain, and who made the Battery (known at DeGress' Battery) a very famous one in General Sherman's command. The Battery participated in all of the battles in which the Fifteenth Corps was engaged, and was one of the working Companies of that famous Corps at Vicksburg, Mission Ridge, Atlanta campaign, March to the Sea, and finally marched in review before the President at Washington, and was mustered out with the rest of the Fifteenth Corps. The guns were captured on the 22d of July 1864, in front of Atlanta, but were soon recaptured and turned with good effect upon the retreating enemy.
Battery I, First Light Artillery, was organized at Camp Douglas, by Captain Edward Bouton, and was mustered in February 10, 1862.
On March 1 moved to Benton Barracks, Mo. On April 1 moved for Pittsburg Landing, arriving on the 4th. On 6th and 7th, was engaged in battle of Shiloh. In May was engaged in the siege of Corinth, and afterward moved to Memphis. Went on an expedition, in October, into Arkansas, and afterward into Mississippi, where it engaged the enemy's cavalry.
Remained at Memphis until November 28, 1862, when participated in Tallahatchie raid, and returned to Lagrange and Holly Springs, and to Moscow, Tenn., - Brigadier General J. W. Denver commanding Division. Remained until June 6, 1863, when moved to Memphis. Embarked for Vicksburg, - Colonel John Mason Loomis commanding Brigade, and Brigadier General W. S. Smith commanding Division, - and arrived at Snyder's Bluff, on the Yazoo, June 11, 1863. Went into position, and fortified, to prevent Johnson's approach. Moved with Sherman's army, July 5, and participated in the siege of Jackson, and returned to Black River.
Moved, under General Sherman, via Memphis and Corinth, to Chattanooga, and was engaged in the battles of November 25, 26 and 27. Moved thence to Ringgold, and back to Chattanooga, Bridgeport and Scottsboro, Alabama. Veteranized March 17, 1864, and moved to Illinois for furlough. Returned to Nashville, Tennessee, and remained there. Participated in the battle of Nashville, December 15 and 16, 1864.
The Company was in Hatch's Cavalry Division, Wilson's Corps. Engaged in pursuit of Hood, to Florence, Alabama.
Moved to Eastport, and there remained until the Battery was ordered to Chicago for muster out.
Mustered out July 25, 1865.
Battery K was organized at Shawneetown and mustered into the service Jan. 9, 1862. The first year of the service of this battery was spent in chasing guerrillas through Kentucky, chiefly in and about Perryville. It was then ordered to Louisville and remained there to protect the city until Burnsides' Tennessee expedition was fitted out. Of that expedition it formed a part, participating in all its arduous service in connection with the First Cavalry Division of the army to which it had been attached. It was the first battery in East Tennessee, and was foremost in the capture of Knoxville. During its service in Tennessee it was attached to the Brigade of which the Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry formed a part. A part of the men were mustered out of the service at Springfield in June 1865, and the remainder at Chicago in the month following.
Battery M was organized at Camp Douglas and mustered into the service August 12, 1862, for three years.
On September 27 the Battery left for Louisville, where it did garrison duty until Nov. 11.
On October 24, while drilling on the gallop, a caisson exploded, killing two men and severely wounding more.
On November 11 the Battery went by rail to Lebanon, Ky., was then in the Thirty-fourth Brigade, Tenth Division, Army of the Ohio. From Lebanon they marched to Columbia, to help guard against the incursions of Morgan and others, and on the 27th, the Centre Section and twenty-four Cavalrymen were sent to Millerville, 14 miles south, to repel Morgan, but he passed around far to the west. On December 22 the Battery marched back to Lebanon.
January 6 marched for New Haven, where they took cars for Louisville on the 22d, and on 29th, embarked on the ferry boat "James Thompson", for Louisville, with a fleet of 65 transports, to reinforce General Rosecrans. Reached Nashville on the 7th, where Captain Miller left the Battery permanently, the command devolving on Senior First Lieutenant George W. Spencer. On the 12th they went to Franklin where they fired a few shots at the retreating rebels.
On the 23d, started with the army driving General Bragg. They lay at Shelbyville from June 29th until September 6, when they started on the Chickamauga campaign, being in General Gordon Granger's Reserve Corps, Second Lieutenant Thomas Burton commanding, Lieutenant Spencer being at home on "leave", where he was mustered in as Captain. September 12th, Battery went with small command under General Steadman, to near Ringgold, Ga. On the 18th Battery again went out under General Steadman. They went about 8 miles on the Lafayette road, and in the night captured about 25 wagons and 70 men, belonging to General Longstreet. Some of the members of his brass band. Went back to Roseville Gap in A.M. of 19th, and in P.M. went on the gallop to the battlefield, on the Ringgold road, to McAfee's Church, about 4 miles out. At 11 A.M. of June 20th, engaged a rebel battery belonging to General Stearns. We repulsed General Longstreet repeatedly, until sunset, losing two men killed, 14 wounded and 16 horses killed. In the words of General Rosecrans Official Report, "Swift was the charge, and terrible the conflict, but the enemy was broken. A thousand of our brave men, killed and wounded, paid for its possession. But we held the Gap. Two divisions of Longstreet's Corps confronted the position. Determined to take it, they successively came to the assault. A battery of six guns placed in the gorge poured death and slaughter into them. They charged within a few yards of the pieces, but our grape and cannister, and the leaden hail of musketry, delivered in sparing but terrible volleys was too much even for Longstreet's men".
On September 21, the Battery was placed in Ringgold Gap of Mission Ridge, whence it shelled the rebel cavalry that appeared in the valley beyond. That night all the troops were taken into Chattanooga, and Battery M was left at the front without any support of any kind, and with no orders. They reached the lines the next morning about 8 o'clock, with the rebels close upon their heels. They were sent across the river and remained on Stringer's Point until October 20, when they were put in the works to the left of Fort Negley - the left section having guarded Brown's Ferry for a while. During the siege of Chattanooga, the men and horses suffered for food, as did those of the other commands, many of their horses having starved at the picket ropes. The Battery was now attached to the Third Brigade, Indiana Division, Fourth Corps. Captain Spencer rejoined the Battery September 29.
November 2, the Battery drove away a lot of rebels who had begun to fortify in front of Fort Negley, and on the 25th fired its last shot at General Bragg, from near Fort Negley.
On 28th, started for the relief of Knoxville, and reached there December 7.
On 15th, went to Strawberry Plains, and on the 18th to Blain's X Roads.
On January 15, 1864, went to Dandridge; returned to Knoxville by rail, and thence to London, and did garrison duty until April 18, when they left for Cleveland.
On May 3, started on Atlanta Campaign, and on the 8th, at night, drew the guns of the right section to the top of Rocky Face, where the rebels thought no gun could be put. Shelled the rebel camps from there on 9th.
On the 13th, followed the rebels to Resaca. Were kept on the skirmish line on 16th and 17th, on the latter day shelling them from in front of Adairsville. Drove rebels on 18th and 19th, and rested near Kingston until 23d, when they moved toward Dallas by way of Burnt Hickory. Were put in the works near New Hope Church on 26th.
Early on June 1, the rebel fort opened on them, putting their shells through Battery M's embrasures, but they soon silenced the fort, and did a second time toward night. The rebels left on the night of the 4th, and Battery M went into camp a few miles ahead, and remained there until the 10th.
On the 14th we shelled the mountain, killing Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk.
On the 18th, while engaging a rebel battery in front, another Battery enfladed them from the right rear, wounding one man who died from gangrene July 29. Battery M soon silenced both batteries, firing 403 rounds that day. At night they went into captured rebel works that three batteries had tried to reach during the day. They were almost against a very strong rebel fort. They reversed the works to be ready for the morning, but the enemy retreated during the night.
Followed the rebels on 19th. In afternoon took position near woods, to shell Kenesaw, but rebel sharpshooters were so near and killed our horses so that we withdrew.
On 21st, went to the right about a mile. In the evening they were ordered to fire at rebel batteries that were killing of the men and horses very fast of batteries where M was the day before. They had to fire "by sound", as the rebel batteries were behind heavy woods. They soon silenced them, for which General Howard sent this thanks, and the Division Chief of Artillery said: "I never saw anything to equal it as to splendid shots". Took position in captured works near by on 22d. On 26th, a detailed man was killed by a sharp-shooter. On 27th, the Battery was sent as reserve for the Second Division, Fourteenth Corps, but were not called into action, and therefore had a full view of the fearful slaughter of the Union troops that day.
Battery M being now short of men and horses, turned over its left section guns, and had but four guns thereafter as long as it remained in the field. During June they traveled 33 miles, and were under fire 20 days.
On July 2, rebels withdrew south of Marietta, and Battery M followed on 3d and 5th taking positions on the west bank of the Chattahoochie, in sight of Atlanta. On the 6th, Generals Sherman, Thomas, Howard, Palmer, Schofield, Newton, Barry, Corse, Wood, Brannan and Whipple visited the Battery and fired a few shots at a rebel battery on opposite bank. On the 7th, the Battery shelled the rebel works, and at night engaged in a general artillery duel. Crossed the river on 13th. Engaged and silenced a rebel battery on the 18th, at Nancy's Creek, and on 20th repulsed the charges of the rebels under General Stevens, he being killed in front of the Battery as he attempted to capture the bridge over Peach Tree Creek. They doubled shotted their guns with cannister. General Thomas was among the gunners throughout, cheering them on. On the 22d, they took position in the works before Atlanta, and lay there until they went with Sherman to flank the enemy out on August 24.
On September 1, they engaged and silenced a rebel battery, and on the 5th they fired, near Lovejoy, the last shot they sent at the Nation's foes. They returned to Atlanta, and being so worn out were sent to Chattanooga November 1, and did garrison duty there and at Cleveland and Charleston, Tennessee, until July 14, when they started for Chicago, where they were mustered out July 24, 1864 - 99 strong. They had 7 commissioned officers, 170 men mustered in, 157 detailed men, lost 2 killed in battle, 1 detail man killed, 1 man died of wounds, 2 killed by accident, 7 died of disease, 1 taken prisoner (at the capture of Atlanta), 31 previously discharged, 7 transferred, 22 deserted, 16 wounded, 39 horses killed, traveled 3102 miles, fired 7845 rounds at the enemy, and were under fire 178 days.