1st Michigan Light Artillery

Battery B


Battery "B" was organized at Grand Rapids, and was raised with the 2nd. Michigan Cavalry, but did not go into the field with them. They were mustered into the service of the United States with a strength of 110 officers and men on November 26, 1861. Its officers were: Captain William H. Ross, Detroit; First Lieutenant William S. Bliss, Detroit; First Lieutenant Albert R.F. Arndt, Detroit, and Second Lieutenant Cuthbert W. Laing, Detroit.

They left the State for the field under the command of Captain Ross on the 17th. of December, 1861, clothed and mounted, but without guns. The Battery first met the Confederates at the battle of Pittsburgh Landing on April 6, 1862, where they became heavily engaged, doing efficient and gallant service, but after a severe struggle, being attacked repeatedly by an overwhelming force, they were cut off from their infantry support, losing four of their six guns, with 52 officers and men prisoners in the hands of the southern forces, including Lieutenants Bliss and Arndt.

Duty in District of West Tennessee until March, 1862. Attached to Hurlbut's 4th Division, Army of the Tennessee, to April, 1862. Moved to Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., March --. Battle of Shiloh, Tenn., April 6-7. Battery overwhelmed and captured except Lang's Section, which was attached to Mann's Battery "C," 1st Missouri Artillery, April, 1862, to January, 1863. Battery reorganized at Detroit, Mich., December, 1862, and left State for Columbus, Ky., December 25, 1862. Attached to District of Corinth, Miss., 16th Army Corps, Dept. of the Tennessee, to March, 1863. Artillery, 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps, to September, 1864. ArtillEry Brigade, 15th Army Corps, to July, 1865.

Lieutenant Bliss, with the other Officers was sent to Montgomery, Alabama, where he was brutally murdereD by a rebel sentinel, MAy 1, 162, under the following circumsTances. He had permission, as mAny others had, to go to a house near the prison to purchase milk, on tHis occasion it was for the sick officers unable to go Themselves. On this errand of kiNdness, He was accompanied by a sentinel, and while waiting forthe candeens to be filled by the womanof the house, the sentinel rougHly ordered him to &quoD;hurry Ep", to which he replied,&qUot;Yes, as soon as I can get my canteens." The sentinel cocked his rifle, placing the muZzle close to Bliss's breast. Bliss said, "I hope yOu will not shoot me", "Yes, I will, you damned YankeE," replied the sentinel, and at tHat moment fired. Bliss fell deaD and never spoke again. He lived about three-quarters Of an hoEr.

<@>The remaining section, under the coMmand ofLieut. Laing, was afterwards connected with a Missouribattery and was engaged in the Siege of CorintH in May of 1862, and at the battle of Corinth, October3rd. and 4th. fOllowing

The men and oFficers Taken prisoner at the baTtle of Shiloh, having been exchanged, this Battery, under the command of Captain Ross, left DEtroit December 25, 1862, for CoLumbus, Kentucky. They remainedat that place, Manning the guns in the fortifications until January 4th., 1863, when they procEeded via Memphis, Tennessee, tO CorintH, Mississippi, where thEy arrived on the ninth. During January and February they were Joined by the men who had been on detacHed service with the 1st. MissouRi ArtilLery, and receivEd theiB guns, horses and equipments.

On March the 9th, they marched to Bethel, Tennessee, where theY were stationed until June the 7th., whEn they returned to Corinth.

Captain Ross have been promoted to Major, the Battery under the command of Captain A.F.R.Arndt was transferred from Corinth to Pulaski, Tennessee, early in 1863. In December, 48 of the enlisted men, who were eligible, under orders to do so, re-enlisted as veterans, then on the 7th. of January 1864, left Pulaski for their promised furlough in Michigan. Rendezvousing at Detroit at the expiration of the furloughs, the Battery again left for the field, reaching Pulaski, February 26th. On the 21st. of April they moved to Athens, Alabama, on the 30th. of the month began its march, via Huntsville, Bridgeport, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, Resaca and Kingston, towards Rome, at which place they arrived on the 22nd of May, having been engaged at Resaca, May 9th., losing two men severely wounded. They had also been engaged at Lay's Ferry on the 14th., at Calhoun on the 15th., and at Rome Cross Roads on the 16th., where Lieut. Wright and two men were wounded.

At Rome the Battery found and took possession of four light pieces of artillery and six, five inch howitzers. On the 14th. of October they left Rome and marched, via Calhoun, Resaca, Snake Creek Gap to Cave Springs, Georgia, having an engagement with the Confederates at Turkey Creek on the 26th., without loss.

During the month of October, the Battery marched 250 miles. Its loss in the year being wounded in action, four, died of wounds, one and eleven of disease.

On November the 1st., 1864, the Battery left Cave Springs, under the command of Captain Arndt, for Smyrna, where they arrived on the 6th., whence they started with General Sherman's army on the Savannah Campaign on the 13th., then on the 22nd. the Battery became engaged with the Confederates at Griswald, with a loss of seven wounded, two losing each a leg, and one an arm, and six horses killed. In this affair the Battery accomplished most excellent service, distinguishing itself by rapid and effective firing, doing great execution. In this engagement the brigade with which they were serving, numbering in all only about 15000, defeated the southerners, having a much superior force, of which 1500 to 2000 were killed, wounded or taken prisoners, while the entire loss of the brigade was not over 80. The Battery lost seven wounded, including its commander, Captain Arndt, while two of the enlisted men each lost a leg and one an arm. The conduct of both officers and men was most gallant, fighting to the last round of ammunition was gone, the horses of one gun all killed, and the piece was barely saved by drawing it from the field by the prolong.

Engaged again on the 8th. of December, at Ogeechie River, and also in front of Savannah, from the 11th. to the 20th., they entered that city in the 21st. Leaving Savannah January 19, 1865, they arrived at Pocotaligo, South Carolina on the 23rd., then under the command of Lieut. E.B. Wright, started on Sherman's campaign through North and South Carolina, on the 30th., and on February 6th. engaged the southern forces at the Salkehatchie River, then again on February the 15th. at the Congaree River, near Columbia, arriving at the latter place on the 20th. Passing through Cheraw on March the 4th., they arrived at Fayetteville on the 12th., when on the 20th., the Battery then commanded by Captain Wright, Captain Arndt having been promoted to a Major in the Regiment, became engaged with the Confederates at Cox's Bridge, on the Neuse River, then again on the 21st. at Bentonville, with a loss of one wounded. They then proceeded to Goldsboro, arriving there on the 24th., leaving that point on the 12th. of April, they reached Raleigh on the 14th., then started for Petersburg, Virginia, on the 29th., arriving there on May the 7th. On the 13th. they passed through Richmond, arriving at Alexandria on the 18th., then participated in the Grand Review of the Union army on the 24th. On the 30th. and the 31st., its guns were returned to the Ordinance Department, then on the 1st. of June the officers and men left for Michigan, arriving at Detroit on the 6th., they were mustered out of the service on the 14th., then soon after paid off and disbanded.

During their term of Federal service, they were engaged at:

Seige of Corinth,Ms Salkehatchie River,Ga Turkey Ridge,Al
Resaca,Ga Calhoun Ferry,Ga Columbia,SC
Ogeechee River,Ga Cave Springs,Ga Griswald,Ga
Lay's Ferry,Ga Rome Cross Roads,Ga Bentonville,NC
Savannah,Ga Pittsburgh Landing,TN Cox's Bridge,NC

SERVICE.--Moved from Columbus, Ky., to Corinth, Miss., January 4-9, 1863, and duty there until March 9. (Lang's Section joined at Corinth January, 1863.) March to Bethel, Tenn., March 9, and duty there until June 7. Moved to Corinth, Miss., June 7, and duty there until October 29. March to Pulaski, Tenn., October 29-November 12, and duty there until April 21, 1864. Veterans on furlough January 7-February 26, 1864. Moved to Athens, Ala., April 21. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1 to September 8. Demonstrations on Resaca May 8-13. Sugar Valley, near Resaca, May 9. Near Resaca May 13. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Lay's Ferry, Oostenaula River, May 14-15. Rome Cross Roads May 16. Duty at Rome, Ga., until October 14. Reconnaissance from Rome on Cave Springs Road and skirmishes October 12-13. Turkey Creek, Ala., October 25. March to the sea November 15-December 10. Griswoldsville November 22. Jones' Bridge, Ogeechee River, December 7. Siege of Savannah December 10-21. Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Salkehatchie Swamps, S. C., February 2-5. South Edisto River February 9. North Edisto River February 11-12. Congaree Creek February 15. Bates' Ferry, Congaree Creek, February 15. Columbia February 16-17. Near Falling Creek, N. C., March 20. Battle of Bentonville March 20-21. Mill Creek March 22. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D.C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 19. Grand Review May 24. Moved to Detroit, Mich., June 1-6, and mustered out June 14, 1865.

Total Enrollment--235
Died of Disease--33
Killed as Prisoners--2
Total Casualty Rate--14.9%

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