1st Michigan Light Artillery

Battery L


Battery "L" of the First Michigan Artillery and the Ninth Michigan Cavalry, were recruited and rendezvous together at Coldwater, both being mustered into the service of the United States on April 11, 1863. The appointed officers were: Captain Charles J. Thompson, of Detroit. First Lieutenant Cyrus D. Roys, Hudson. First Lieutenant Thomas Gallagher, Detroit and Second Lieutenant Frederick J. Fairbrass of Hancock.

The Battery left the State with the 9th. Cavalry on May 20, 1863, for operations in Kentucky via Cincinnati and Covington. On June the 4th., they proceeded from the latter point, on the 6th., reporting to Camp Nelson. then to Mt. Sterling, Ky., June 12. Attached to Artillery, 3rd Division, 23rd Army Corps, Dept. of the Ohio, to September, 1863. Willcox's Division, Cumberland Gap, Left Wing Forces, Dept. of the Ohio, to January, 1864. District of the Clinch, Dept. of the Ohio, to April, 1864. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 23rd Army Corps, Dept. of the Ohio, to August, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 23rd Army Corps, to February, 1865. 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, District of East Tennessee, Dept. of the Cumberland, to August, 1865.

On the 13th., they were ordered to Mount Sterling, then on the 16th., a section under the command of Captain Thompson and Lieutenant Roys, on a reconnaissance with the 8th. and 9th. Michigan Cavalry, engaging a force of guerrillas at Triplett's Bridge, attacking and scattering them. On July the 4th., they received orders to move from Stamford to Lebanon, where Morgan's forces were said to be advancing. On reaching there a section of the Battery, under Lieutenant Roys, became engaged with their rear guard, when they were driven from the town, when the Battery marched back to Danville. On the 6th. they entered upon the chase after Morgan, then on his Northern raid, being attached to the 8th. and 9th. Cavalry, they brigaded together. On arriving at Cincinnati, via Westport, the Battery was divided.

One section, under the command of Lieutenant Roys, proceeded overland with the Cavalry, meeting the Confederates at Buffingtons Island, July the 19th., where the greater portion of Morgan's force was captured, this section being the first to open fire upon the rebels at that point.

Captain Thompson and Lieutenant Fairbass had proceeded with another section from Cincinnati up the river on steamers, doing good service in preventing Morgan from escaping across the Ohio River.

The other section, under Lieutenant Gallagher, proceeded also from Cincinnati, moving by rail to Steubenville, Ohio, then assisting in the final capture of Morgan and his force at Salineville, in that State, on the 26th. of July, 1863.

Having returned to Kentucky, the Battery being again reunited, during August, they participated in the movement of the Army of the Ohio, into East Tennessee, arriving at Lenoir on September the 22nd. On the same day they shelled the retreating Confederate forces at Loudon. On September 3rd., the Battery arrived at Knoxville, moving thence to Morristown, Tennessee.

On the 1st. of November, 1863, they were stationed at Morristown, from there marching on the 9th., they arrived at Bean's Station on the following day. On the 12th. they started for Tazewell, where they arrived after a three day's fatiguing march over the Clinch Mountains, the weather being very cold and stormy. On the 18th., the Battery moved to the Cumberland Gap, returning to Tazewell on the 25th., thence proceeded, on the 26th., to Evan's Ford, on the Clinch River, where they served as guard for the crossing until the 3rd. of December. On the 12th., they returned to the Cumberland Gap, where, it being impossible to procure sufficient forage, the horses of the Battery were sent to the rear, while the guns were placed in position in the fortifications of the Gap.

The Battery, then under the command of Captain Gallagher, remaining there inactive until the 27th. of June, 1864, when they were again furnished with horses and proceeded to Knoxville, reaching there July the 1st. They were here assigned to the 2nd. Brigade, Reserve Artillery, 4th. Division of the 23rd. Army Corp.

The Battery continued on service at Knoxville, where on December the 8th., one section, with 25 men, was detached and ordered to Strawberry Plains, to guard the railroad bridge over the Holstein River, until the 10th. of April, when they were ordered to return to Knoxville, to rejoin the Battery.

The Battery remained at Knoxville, engaged in garrison duty until early in August of 1865, when they were ordered to return to Michigan, arriving at Jackson on the 19th. of that month, where on the 22nd., they were paid off and disbanded.

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

Buffington's Island,Oh
Triplett's Bridge,Ky

SERVICE.--Reconnaissance from Mr. Sterling, Ky., Bridge June 16. Moved to Lebanon, Ky., July 4. Action with Morgan at Lebanon July 5. Pursuit of Morgan July 6-29. Buffington Island, Ohio, July 19 (Section). Steubenville, Ohio, July 26 (Section). Burnside's Campaign in East Tennessee August 16-October 17. March across Cumberland Mountains to Knoxville, Tenn., August 16-September 2. Winter's Gap August 31. Moved to Morristown September 4. Operations about Cumberland Gap September 7-10. Carter's Depot September 22. Zollicoffer September 24. Jonesboro September 28. Blue Springs October 5 and 10. Sweetwater October 10-11. Moved to Bean's Station November 9 and to Tazewell November 12. To Cumberland Gap November 18. Return to Tazewell December 25, thence to Evans' Ford, Clinch River, December 26, To Cumberland Gap January 12, 1864, and duty there until June 27. Moved to Knoxville June 27-July 1 and duty there until August, 1865. (One Section detached to guard railroad at Strawberry Plains December 6, 1864, to April 10, 1865.) Ordered to Jackson, Mich., August 15, and there mustered out August 22, 1865.

Total Enrollment--290
Died of Disease--25
Killed in Action--1
Total Casualty Rate--8.9%

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