Become a Sponsor!
Battery History
   Biographies A - M
   Biographies N - Z
   Original Documents
   Other Service
   GAR Membership
   Burial Sites
   Battery Mysteries
   Upcoming Events
Become a Member!
   Our Guns
  Gallery 2018 - 1
  Gallery 2017
Gallery 2015 - 2
  Gallery 2015 - 1
  Gallery 2014 - 2
  Gallery 2014 - 1
  Gallery-2 2013
  Gettysburg 2013
  Gallery-1 2013
   Gallery 2012
   Gallery 2011
   Gallery 2010
   Gallery 2009
   Gallery - 2008 & Prior
   Other Eras
   Advancing the Guidon
   Members' Articles
   In the News / Honors
Ceremonies/ Poems
Civil War Artillery
   Ammunition & Equipment
   Famous Weapons
Encyclopedia of Civil War Artillery
   Guns - Page 1
   Guns - Page 2
   Guns - Page 3
Information Desk
National Register of Surviving Civil War Artillery
   Sites A - F
   Sites G - P
   Sites R - Z

Table of Contents

Activities During the War
     Captain Dees's Artillery Company
     Letters by Captain Dees about Battery Business
     "Bound to see this thing through"
     The Battle of Corinth 1862
     Garrison Duty
     Target Practice
     An Encounter at Decatur
     Henry Shier's Field Report on the Atlanta Campaign
     The Galena Blakely
     Additional Letters about Battery Business
The Grand Review
Battery Casualties
Officers of the Battery
Generals Under Whom the Battery Served
Official Reports
News Articles Printed During the War
Company Brigade Assignments & Maps
Map of Camp Blair

Activities During the War

Note:  The following is copyrighted material written by John Hughes of Robinson's Battery for an upcoming book.  It may not be used without the express written permission of the author.

The Third Battery (Battery C) of the First Regiment of Michigan Light Artillery, having recruited throughout southern Michigan in the fall of 1861, was mustered in at Grand Rapids in November of that year. (See Captain Dee's Artillery Company below.)  The Battery was intended to take the field as a flying battery with the Third Michigan Cavalry, but was instead sent to the western theatre of the War. Armed with three Parrott rifles and a 12-pounder howitzer, the Battery was assigned to one of the more eccentric units formed during the War: Napoleon Bonaparte Buford's "Flotilla Brigade."  (See "Bound to See This Thing Through" below.)  Mounted on whatever boats and barges could be scraped together, the Battery supported the infantry forces of General John Pope's Army of the Mississippi in the Siege of New Madrid and the capture of Island No. 10 in the Mississippi River in March and April of 1862.

Under the command of Captain Alexander Dees, the Third Battery fought as part of the Army of the Mississippi throughout the remainder of that year. Assigned to Fuller's Ohio Brigade, it participated in the Seige of Corinth, Mississippi. The Battery was stationed at Camp Clear Creek, outside Corinth, for most of the summer of 1862, while Halleck allowed the army in northern Mississippi to remain unused. Then in late August, in response to increased Confederate activity, the armies began to move.  

After being heavily engaged in the Battle of Iuka on September 19, the Battery lost its first battlefield casualties in the fight for possession of the vital railroad crossing at Corinth on October 3 and 4, 1862. Fuller's Brigade drew the tough assignment of protecting the Union lines at Battery Robinett, a small earthwork near the crossing; the Third Battery was detached to protect the right flank of the Brigade, near General Rosecrans's headquarters on the edge of town. The Confederate thrust at Battery Robinett broke the Union lines; the Battery's guns were momentarily abandoned, but quickly retaken and assisted in the repulse of the Rebel forces.

The Union victory at Corinth, with Antietam and Perryville that same fall, were the trio of victories that marked the beginning of the long, slow strangulation of the Confederacy. Private Abraham Evans served as a teamster in the Battery from December 1861 to February 1863, when he was mustered out on a surgeon's certificate. His wife, Mary Tennant Evans, accompanied him to the theatre of war in northern Mississippi, and worked as a nurse in the hospital at Corinth. After desultory fighting in northern Mississippi that fall and winter, the Battery was sent to garrison duty in Memphis from May 1863 to May 1864. (See Garrison Duty below.) 

It had a new commander: Captain George Robinson, risen from the rank of sargent, with whom the Battery would become so closely identified that most post-War records would refer to it as Robinson's Battery. Capt. Robinson spent the layover well, using a firm hand and target practice to instill a new spirit of unit pride in his men.  (See Target Practice below.) 

This is  the second Blakely cannon captured at Cheraw, SC in March of 1865 which was temporarily  assigned to Robinson’s Battery until it shipped north as a war trophy. It is now located at the Rock Island Armoury Museum.

These last months were full of momentous events, including action at the last major battle of the Civil War, Bentonville, and the surrender of the last Confederate army in the east, both in North Carolina. The Battery was ordered to the Grand Review in Washington on May 24, 1865 and then was sent home to Michigan to be mustered out. Of the 229 men who served, 37 would not return, four of these having been killed or mortally wounded in battle.  (See The Grand Review below.)

Captain Dee's Artillery Company

In the fall of 1861, Alexander W. Dees, a recently widowed 38 year old draughtsman from Detroit, received a commission from Governor Austin Blair to raise a battery of horse artillery in conjunction with the Third Michigan Cavalry then being formed in Grand Rapids. [1]

The rendezvous point for the Battery was at Camp Anderson - the Kent County Fairgrounds. [2] While in camp recruits filled the ranks, and as the last faint notes of reveille drifted away on a cold, frosty morning of November 28, 1861, one hundred nine men from all walks of life prepared to take a step that would lead them to places that many had never heard of, and to sights that many of them would wish that they had never seen. Some among that number would never return to their homes, but those men who did come back to Michigan after the war could feel proud that they had done the duty that had been asked of them. As the day slowly drew to a close, Captain Dees' Artillery Company of the Third Regiment Cavalry was officially mustered into service in the United States Army. [3]

A number of men who had initially enlisted in the cavalry were transferred to the Battery because the allotted number of men had filled the roster for the Third Cavalry, which left Camp Anderson for the front on the same day. During the next few weeks, the men began to adjust to army life.

On the 17th day of December, the men of the Battery boarded the cars of the Michigan Central Railroad for a two day journey to the army's training center at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri. Along the way the train would stop for fuel and water in a number of towns and villages. While awaiting refueling, often times patriotic citizens would bring food to the hungry soldiers, and on a number of occasions the young ladies would pass out their kisses quite freely to any soldier available. [4]

Once the train left Michigan, it continued down through Springfield and on to Alton, Illinois, where the troops marched to a levee along the Mississippi River. After embarking onto a steamboat, the men had a two hour ride to St. Louis, Missouri. After disembarking, the cannoneers marched five miles to the Missouri State Fairgrounds and the whitewashed barracks that they would call home for the next two months. [5]

While the Battery was at Benton Barracks (named for Thomas Benton, the United States senator whose farmlands adjoined the Fairgrounds), it was issued three M1861 rifled Parrotts (2.9-inch bore) and one M1841 bronze field howitzer (4.62-inch bore) along with the associated limbers, caissons, battery wagons, traveling forge and harness. [6] Horses were drawn, and the men began to train to become artillerymen. While the Battery was at Benton Barracks, over 12,000 men from all branches of service were present, all under the watchful eye of General William Tecumseh Sherman who commanded the camp of instruction. [7]

Toward the end of the Battery's training period, it was ordered out for a Grand Review. Sgt. Mortimer Hempstead, of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry, entered this description in his diary:

Grand Review at 11 o'clock. 3 regt's (2nd Iowa, 2nd Mich, & 3rd Mich. Cavalry and their battery's of artillery, making a column when marching by four's about 1/2 mile long. Marched down to the city & through some principle streets & returned to camp, passing in review of General William Halleck.[8]

But the time for training and reviews would be brief. Union forces were gathering for a new season of campaigning, and the Third Battery would soon plunge into the midst of war.

[1] Record of Service - Roster of Michigan Soldiers in the Civil War. v. 42, p. 46.
[2] Diary of Mortimer Hempstead, Co. , 2nd Michigan Cavalry. Unpublished transcript, Marshall Historical Society, Marshall, Michigan.
[3] Returns of Capt. Alexander Dees' Battery. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[4] Hempstead Diary.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Summary Statement of Ordnance, July 16, 1863. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[7] Ewing, Joseph H. Sherman at War. Morningside Press, 1992.
[8] Hempstead Diary.  

Battery Business Letters by Captain Dees

From Benton Barracks to Hiram Cooley

Benton Barracks
Jan 3d/62  

Harmon Cooley  

Your letter came to hand yesterday, you will if it is possible, go out to the Central (Michigan Central Railroad) office and Mr. R.N.Rice  gen Supt of the Michigan Central R.R. with yourself …… or any Recruits that you may being with passes, to St-Louis by telegraphing him where you want to go and for which Company you wish to join.

You will not have to pay any thing for your telegraph me, I shall draw your pay for you and keep it for you until you can come.

Yours in Haste  
Capt A.W. Dees
3d Mich Artillery  

PS If you will bring Safford with you when you come if it is possible for you to find him. Capt. Dees 

Ed. - The Battery had two Saffords: Mason and Edward/Edwin.  This postscript probably is in reference to the latter who was listed as a deserter in December 1861.  Mason didn't join the Battery until 1864.

July 10, 1862 - Recommendations for Promotions

 July 10th 1862  

To Austin Blair  
Governor of the State of Michigan  

Dear Sir  
In consideration of my Battery having but two commissioned officers now in service & the consideration of the ability, Courage, dedication of faithful discharge of Geo. Robinson, now Orderly Sergeant of my battery. I respectfully & earnestly petition that he be promoted to the post of Second Lieutenant & that for the same reasons W.H. Sinclair be promoted from the Jr. Second Lieutenant to the Jr. First Lieutenant.  

I am Dear Sir with much Regard,
Yours, very truly  

Alex W. Dees Capt.
Dees Battery        
3d Mich LA

July 15, 1862 - Lambert's Commission

Camp Clear Creek
Army of the Mississippi
Head Quarters Dee’s Battery 

July 15th 1862 

John Robertson
Adjutant Gen for the
State of Mich 


Lieut Carl A Lamberg Not having received his Commission of which I Spoke to you about, when you were here, I would most respectfully ask that you would forward at your earliest convenience his commission as first Lieut., He (Lieut. Lamberg) having receivedhis appointment as Such Dec 6th 61 and was Mustered into service Feb 28th 62 and has Served with Credit to him-Self Since, and is justly entitled to it, this condition. 

I remain with great
Respect your Most Obdnt 

A.W. Dees 
Capt of Dee’s Battery 
L. A.

Full-length portrait photograph of Carl Adolf Lamberg in dress uniform, from the Civil War 3rd Michigan Cavalry picture album. Handwritten on back: "Respectfully yours truly, Carl Adolf Lamberg, 1st Lieut. 1st Mich. Artillery. Camp Benton, Mo. 28th Jan., 1862."

Burton's Photograph Collection

Carl Lamberg's Response to the Lack of Promotion

Ed. - Carl wrote to General Rosecrans about the lack of promotion in the following letter.  The rest of his military career is under his biography.

Memphis Tenn
April 25th 1863 


The friendship and interest you so kindly bestowed upon me during the time I had the honor to serve under you may be my excuse that I take the liberty to trouble you with this letter.  

After the glorious battle at Corinth last October, Mr Dees, the Captain of the battery /3rd Michigan/ in which I served, was tried by a Court-martial for cowardice, but the charges against him was withdrawn on condition that he should tender his resignation, which he did. I was the senior officer of the battery, and more over, Gen.’s Grant and Hamilton, Col. Lothrop and several others officers were kind enough to recommend me, by special orders to the Governor of Michigan, for the Captaincy of the men I had the honor to command at Iuka, Corinth and other battles and engagements but not withstanding this, the 2nd Lieut. In the battery was promoted to Captain without any known reason neither to me nor to anybody else.  

This happened last January and as a matter of course I immediately tendered my resignation, which after long delay was accepted on the 23rd of March.  

All officers, who left Sweden about the same time as I did and entered the service of the U.S.have been promoted.  

Most of them have not seen so much service as I have in this war and I have always done my duty according to my best knowledge, but I fear very much that the record wont be believed about myself in my own country when it becomes known that I did not obtain the vacant Captaincy of the 3rd Mich battery.  

With regards to the above noted and wishing to remain in the service of the U.S. until the death blow is given to the rebellion, for which reason I already last fall asked for and succeeded in getting my leave of absence prolonged, I take the liberty most respectfully to ask you, General, for a position on your staff. It would for me be the greatest honor and satisfaction to serve under the immediate command of a general, who has understood so well to make himself known throughout the world as the bravest, most skillful and noblest of the U.S. Generals, and who I myself have learned so much to esteem and love.  

This honor bestowed upon me would even be the best recommendation in my own country.  

I leave all this to your favorable consideration and would be greatly obliged if you would honor me with an answer.  Address Memphis, Tenn. 

I am General
Most respectfully
Your obedient servant 

Carl Adolf Lamberg 

Captain Dees's Resignation

Ed. - the certificates of disability can be read here

To His Excellency   
Gov Blair of the State of Mich 


I tendered My Resignation as Captain of the Third Michigan Light Artillery on Nov 15th and it was returned Accepted on the 20th of the Same month, on three Surgeons certificates of Disability. 

I would respectfully, and Most earnestly Recommend the appointment of 2nd Lieutenant George Robinson, of the Third Mich Light Artillery as Captain of that Battery, as he is the only man Now in the Battery Capable of Commanding it (the Battery). 

 I remain With the
Greatest Respect
Your Most Obedient Servant 

A.W. Dees
Late Capt 3d Mich L. Artillery 
Detroit Mich      
Dec. 3d A.D. 1862

Portrait photograph of George Robinson in uniform, from the Civil War 3rd Michigan Cavalry picture album. Handwritten on front: "Yours &c, Geo. Robinson." Printed on back: "Detroit, J.J. Bardwell, photographer, Michigan."

Burton's Photographic Collection

This seated photo and the standing photo of Robinson, on the homepage, were probably taken at the same sitting in Detroit in 1864 while the Battery was home on veteran furlough January through March. He wouldn't have had time to get back to Detroit after his Dec 22 discharge at Savannah, GA.

"Bound to See This Thing Through"

The Battery left Benton Barracks onFebruary 16th, 1862, being assigned to the Flotilla Brigade, under the command of General Napoleon Bonaparte Buford, half-brother to cavalry General John Buford. [1] The men boarded a steamer for the trip to Cairo,Illinois, passing the recently vacated Rebel fortifications at Commerce, Missouri.While at Cairo, the cannoneers had the opportunity to see Commodore Foote's ironclad fleet, which still showed the effects of the recent fight at Ft. Henry, steaming north with several boatloads of captured Secesh who had recently defended Ft. Donelson.

The Battery's cannon and men were unloaded February 21 at Ft. Holt on the Kentucky shore. The following day the Battery, along with all the artillery situated near Cairo and Birds Point, Missouri,fired a salute in honor of President George Washington's birthday. [2]
Image from Harpers Weekly "Unloading Artillery at Bird's Point"

The Battery then proceeded overland to a position near New Madrid, Missouri,bypassing the strong Confederate fortifications at Belmont and Columbus, Tennessee. In an entry made in Sergeant Hempstead's diary while near New Madrid, he notes:

March 7th, Our Battalion was on the extream right & took a position in a wood back of town, on the left & above town a strong force of Artillery, with their support was posted behind another piece of timber. . .Soon our light Battery's opened a rapid fire, which in the course of 1/2 hour was answered by the heavy guns of their upper fort and gunboats For a couple hours this shot & shell screeched & howled through the air incessantly, when the firing ceased on both sides. . . Gen. Pope says that he will not attempt to take the town without some heavy artillery, unless the gunboats should leave, a requisition has been sent for Siege guns. . . [3]

Dees' Battery was attached to the Artillery Division, Army of the Mississippi, under the command of Major General John Pope. The mood of the men in the Battery was one of determination to serve their country and engage the enemy. In a letter to his brother, dated March 21, 1862, Sergeant George Robinson states:

I share the same wish as you with regard to our Battery, I shall be glad when we get right down to our work, we have got plenty of cast iron to through at the rebels. . . I have made up my mind to obey orders under all circumstances and in all places so long as life remains, and I am in the Army.. . A number of men came into camp today from Michigan. A battery of artillery, some say, with-out guns or horses, perhaps we may get some of the men in our company, we need them badly, just one-fifth of our men are absent sick, we left them on the road, in hospitals. This country and weather is hard on men, we never had our full compliment of men yet. . . You have seen by Ruth's letter that I hurt my shoulder [near Birds Point, Missouri] it is most well. I can get my jacket on myself now. It was awlful painfull at first, how would you like to ride 20 miles horseback with your right arm in a sling, not knowing how soon you would get into a fight, when it gets well so I can use my Saber, then hurrah for the field. . . [4]

The Battery then moved to a position near Island No. 10 in the Mississippi River and helped in the siege and capture of that strategic fortification. Again Sergeant Robinson writes to his brother on April 6, from camp near New Madrid:

I think it will not be many days before we are in Tenn. We are close to a fight sure enough, there has been considerable firing today and it was very rapid at sunset, but has almost ceased now. They have sent for heavier guns today for earth-work defences, I know this because one of our Lieutenants have gone after them and ammunition. When we move, it will be for the field of battle. . . I can do duty, but cannot handle my Saber very good yet. I do not depend upon that altogether as I have borrowed a six-shooter until we get some for the company. I carry one saber, one revolver, and one dirk knife, and God help the man that comes in my way in the shape of a rebel, for shoot I will while my ammunition lasts, then I can't use my saber, my knife will come very convienient. . . I am better fit for duty then some of our other sergeants who are well, you will not see me again until this war is honorably closed, or I am sent home wounded in action, for I am bound to see this thing through at all hazzards. . . [5]

All day, General Pope ordered the artillery to shell the enemy's fortifications; the Rebels, finding that the Union fire was becoming too much to bear, decamped during the night. In their haste they left all the baggage of the officers and the knapsacks of the soldiers behind, and their dead unburied.[6]

In a report made by Colonel Joseph L. Kirby Smith of the 43rd Ohio Infantry, and in command of the Second Brigade, First Division, dated April 17th, the Colonel writes:

The Brigade, consisting of the 43rd Ohio, Lieut. Col. Wagner Swayne; and the 63rd Ohio Infantry, Col. John W. Sprague, crossed the [Mississippi] river on the Morning of the 7th instant, embarking at the upper fort at New Madrid, and landing at the site of the three gun rebel battery, just captured by our gun-boats, and having been formed in line of battle, moved forward a half mile from the landing. . . A Company was sent back to the landing to render assistance and support the rifle battery of Captain Dees, which had crossed with us. . .[7]

The Battery's cannon were again loaded onto steamers April 15th, and headed back up river (Columbus and Belmont having been vacated) to Cairo, then on the Ohio River to Paducah, Kentucky, where a large Union supply depot was located. After a brief stop, the Battery continued south on the Tennessee River. In an entry dated April 21st, Sergeant Hempstead wrote:

Occasionally the dead body of a soldier floats past us, relics I suppose of the terrible battle Shiloh, which has passed about long enough for the bodies of the drowned to float. We passed Ft. Henry today. [8]

[1] Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion. New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1959. v. 1, p. 478.
[2] Diary of Mortimer Hempstead, 2nd MichiganCavalry. Unpublished transcript, Marshall Historical Society, Marshall, Michigan.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Letter from Sergeant George Robinson, Dees' Michigan Battery. March 21, 1862, near New Madrid, Missouri. Pension Records, Veterans Administration, Detroit, Michigan.
[5] Letter from Sergeant George Robinson, Dees' Michigan Battery. April 6, 1862, near New Madrid, Missouri. Pension Records, Veterans Administration, Detroit, Michigan.
[6] Headley, J. T. The Great Rebellion. v. 1.
[7] U.S.War Department. War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. 128 V. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1880-1901. 8(1): 100.
[8] Hempstead Diary.

The Battle of Corinth 1862

Third Battery’s Lt. Lamberg reported: 

On the morning of the 3rd of October - 1862, the Battery with a section of the 8th Wisc Battery under Lt. McLean - temporarily under my command, marched from a camp 4 miles from Corinth on the Kossuth Rd. with the1rst Brigade 2nd Division, Army of the Miss - Col. John W. Fuller commanding - towards Corinth and took position fronting southwest of town.  After remaining a short time in the position the Battery was again ordered forward and entered town about sundown and parked for the night north of the Memphis & Charleston RR depot.  [The 5th Minnesota and 2nd Iowa Battery were encamped here.]  About 4 am on the Morning of the 4th the enemy commenced shelling the town and threw several shells in to the Battery without causing loss or damage.  I marched the Battery to a position a short distance to the right and halted - whereupon I was ordered into position by Lt. Col. Lothrop Chief of Artillery, in rear of Gen. Rosecrans headquarters, fronting west, one Ohio Battery immediately on my right and the Memphis & Charleston railroad on my left.           

Seeing the enemy's skirmishers in the woods in my front I commenced firing about 8 AM and shelled the above named woods about ten minutes, when the enemy disappeared without giving me any reply.  Later in the day a large force of the enemy appeared advancing on my right and front when I again opened fire driving them back into the woods but they reappeared in greater force advancing towards the Battery and I gave the order for canister in double shots.  The enemy continued to advance.  The infantry on the right of the Ohio Battery broke.  The Ohio Battery limbered up and retreated leaving my right flank unprotected and the Battery entirely without support.  The enemy now being within 20 yds of my Battery I ordered to limber to the rear and retired to the street in front of Gen. Rosecrans headquarters. 

By 10 am, the assault began.  One Confederate column moved against Gen. Davies, to the right of the Third Battery's position, and a column under CS Col. Elipah Gates came up the crest of the hill into a line of battle.  The Rebels swept through Davis's troops and captured a large number of cannon at bayonet point. Gen. Green's confederate troops poured through the gap in the Union lines, fighting down Polk, Jackson and Fillmore Streets almost to the railroad depot.         

C.S. Gen. John C. Moore reported: 

“We had been previously notified by Gen. Maury that we would advance when Hebert's Division made the attack on our left.  Our brigade being supported by Cabell's on our right and Phifer's on our left. . . We had not gone 100 yds before the enemy seemed to discover our designs and at once opened on us, and kept up the severest fire I ever imagined possible to concentrate on one point in front of a fortification, yet we suffered but little, being protected by timber until we reached the fallen timber and open space which extended about 100 yards in front of their works.  On reaching this point we charged and carried the enemy's works the whole extent of our line, and penetrated to the very heart of Corinth, driving the enemy from house to house and frequently firing in at the windows and driving them out.  The enemy were driven from the breastworks in great confusion, leaving their guns, some with the teams still hitched, while others had their horses cut loose and ran off. Gen. Moore captured a battery of light artillery where he had crossed the Memphis & Ohio, had driven the Union infantry through the town, and had come close to entirely crushing the Federal right”.            

Union Brigadier General David S.Stanley's report concerning the actions of the Second Division mentions:           

“At 4 o'clock, it being still quite dark, the enemy opened upon our position with four batteries at close range, one, firing grape, being not more than 300 yards distant.  The flight of shot and shell and the crashing of houses was trying to our young soldiers, but they took it quietly, and fortunately, being under the crest of the ridge, met few casualties.  At break of day Captain Williams and Lieutenant Robinett opened upon the enemy's batteries, and Lieutenant Lamberg, of the Third Michigan Battery, opening a flank fire, the enemy fled leaving a gun and caisson . . . In a few moments the plan of the enemy was apparent.  Three deep columns burst simultaneously from the wood north of Corinth and pushed rapidly for the position of the batteries. . . At this instant I sent the Fifth Minnesota to attack the flank of the second column of the enemy counting from his right, and I am happy to bear testimony to the gallant fight of the little regiment, commanded by Colonel Hubbard.  Few regiments on the field did more effective killing than they . . .”            

In Colonel Lucius F. Hubbard's report on the actions of the Fifth Minnesota Infantry on the same day, Hubbard indicates that perhaps not all of the Third Battery's guns were repositioned according to Lieutenant Lamberg's report as set forth above; Hubbard states: “I was ordered by General [David] Stanley . . . to support a battery,which had been in position about 400 yards toward the front and right, but which was being driven from the field . . . By this time the battery mentioned [the Ohio battery] had retired from the field entirely.  Captain Dees' Michigan Battery, occupying the crest of a ridge near the Memphis & Charleston toward the left, had been abandoned and had fallen into the hands of the enemy, our line for the distance of several hundred yards had been repulsed, became scattered, and was rapidly retreating . . . I moved on outside the town and halted on the crest of a ridge to the left of and on a line with the former position of the battery I was ordered to support, regaining meantime, possession of the abandoned guns of the Michigan battery. .”             

A Battery private, Sanford Smith, a 17 year old watchmaker and jeweler from Wayne County, received a bayonet wound in the lower left back as he attempted to save his cannon from capture.
In his report to John Robertson, Adjutant General for the State of Michigan, Lt. Lamberg provided a list of men and horses killed, wounded and missing: 
Killed men - none. 
Wounds men
   Cpl. Angus Frazer - wounded in the hip slightly
   Pvt. Peter Desnoyer -  “ in the right arm or hand
   Pvt.  Philip O’Brien - wounded in the arm - amputated

Wounded men temporarily attached to the Battery
   Sgt. W. Riley - 8th Wis. Battery - in the hip slightly
   Pvt. George Beck - 39th Ohio - arm broken
   "  ---- Miller   -        "        "  - shoulder severely
   "  W. Harwood  -    "      "    - in the thigh slightly
   "   ---- Squires -       "       "   - in the loin    "
   "  ---- Curles  - 27th Ohio - in the wrist  "

   Pvt. Amos Dowsher - 63rd Ohio
   Pvt. George Gillett - Dees' Battery 

   Killed   6
   Wounded   8
   Total   14 

150 Rounds ammunition expended.            

Another Robinson’s Battery Private, Frank Higgins, wrote to his father in Allegan, Michigan, on October 7th from Corinth: “One of our boys that was wounded has had his arm taken off just below the shoulder.  The ball that hit him was poisoned.  He is doing well.”  

Terry Reimer, Director of Research at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine wrote to John Hughes regarding where Philip O’Brien may have been transferred   “There was no mention of where he was sent or the operating surgeon,but I found additional information in an online database which stated that he was discharged at Keokuk, IA. There was a General Hospital at Keokuk so it is possible that this is where he was sent after being in Corinth. The online database mentions that he was wounded on October 4, 1862. It also says that he was 43 at the time of his enlistment on October 1, 1861, and that he originally joined the 3rd Michigan Cavalry. He transferred to the 1st Michigan Light Artillery on November 11, 1861. It also states that he lived in Cheboygan, MI after the war.”     

Corinth, MS in 1862 from the railroad intersection looking towards the Tishomingo Hotel

Robinson's Battery camped here the night of Oct 3, 1862.

Garrison Duty

Upon returning to Corinth on May 2nd the Battery prepared to move via rail, and on the 13th the horses, cannon and men were loaded onto a train to Memphis, Tennessee. Arriving in Memphis the men in Fuller's Brigade set up their tents on Poplar Street, and became part of the Union garrison there. It was now part of the Sixteenth Army Corps, District of Memphis, commanded by Gen. Richard Oglesby, who was severely wounded at the Battle of Corinth. The Battery was assigned to the Third Brigade, Fifth Division, under the command of James Vetch.

The city was under martial law and was strongly fortified near the river. Most of the civilians were Union people, but a large number were bitter secessionists, and some of the women applied insulting epithets to the soldiers. Sutlers were in plentiful supply and stores, express offices and business establishments were open and carrying on a large business. The soldiers, many of them simple country farm lads, had been away from large cities during most of their military service, and the temptation to partake of the hospitality of the citizens was irresistable. A number who were incorrigible on account of drunkeness were lodged in the Irving Block Guard House. Most, however, under the rigid discipline of army life, soon were reacquainted with usual military regulations and the novelty of their surroundings wore off.

Gen. Fuller, from his first day of command, had seen to it that every platoon, squad, company or battalion performed drill every day while in camp; he maintained the strictest military discipline, which was fully enforced by his subordinate officers. Always scrupulously neat and genteel in his personal appearance and conduct, he required the same, so far as was possible, from his men. As a brigade commander, in return, he was always solicitous for their comfort and welfare. He secured the best uniforms, equipment and rations obtainable, and gave his personal attention to the selection, arrangement and policing of the camps. Fuller always took, and freely expressed, great pride in the good appearance and conduct of his men, for which he was often complimented by his superior officers.

Although Gen. Fuller was a strict disciplinarian, persistent and unrelenting in his enforcement of military rules and regulations, he impressed upon his men the absolute necessity of it, for their own good, for their health, their efficiency and preparedness to acquit themselves honorably in the hour of battle. Line officers and men responded enthusiastically to his demands and strove diligently and willingly to bring themselves to a degree of precision in drill and evolutions for which they would always be distinguished throughout the Army of the Tennessee, and to which is attributed the fact that his brigade was never routed, never disorganized. It never failed in a charge, and never yielded a position it was ordered to hold.

Capt. Robinson corrected a small oversight by former Capt. Dees, and 11 men were now properly mustered into Federal service. Several of these soldiers had served nearly a year and a half with the Battery, and two men had not been paid since their enrollment. On May 23rd the following men were officially mustered in for three years: Corp. Michael Johnson; Privates John Charden, George Cole, Warren Corey, George Dickerson, Chancey Ingham, Orson Prouty, and Ira Smith; bugler Jefferson Steward; blacksmith Christian Staffer; and Henry Wilber.

On May 28th, one section of the Battery again marched against the Rebel forces with Gen. Grenville Dodge and engaged the enemy at Town Creek. Capt. Robinson with 37 enlisted men expended 24 rounds of ammunition. The section then returned to Memphis, where over 5000 prisoners of war had arrived from Vicksburg by steamboat. The men of Fuller's Brigade were detailed to guard these captured Confederates until other transports arrived to take the prisoners deeper into the North, to Indianapolis and Fort Delaware.

Life as garrison troops consisted mostly of camp and picket duty, which was not merely a routine show to keep up discipline. Camp guards were doubled and several small skirmishes occurred: at Nonconnah Creek, out on the Hernando and Pigeon Roost Roads, and at McGee Station on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad.

On the 6th of June, a great celebration took place, commemorating the occupation of Memphis by Federal troops. Military and civic parades were held, with eloquent and patriotic speeches by noted orators. The United States flag was displayed all over the city and the citizens turned out in large numbers.

Not much is known of the Battery's activities while performing garrison duty, but Capt. Robinson apparently had his hands full in trying to keep the high-spirited young men of the Battery in line, and was not always successful. According to Capt. Ethan Hurd of the 39th Ohio:

We were encamped in a beautiful grove a short distance east of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad depot in Memphis.. . Part of the duty of my companies was to patrol the streets and act as Provost Guard. We had the usual trouble with illicit sale of liquors to soldiers. At one place, we confiscated several barrels of whisky and emptied it into the gutter.

On June 13th, Privates Benjamin Stalder, 22, and Orson Prouty, 20, of Kalamazoo, decided to "absent" themselves from the Battery's camp without the permission of their officers. After returning to camp the following morning, Stalder, who appears to have been a wee bit inebriated, refused to harness a team of horses when he was ordered to do so by Sgt. Hunter. These infractions resulted in the arrest and subsequent court martial of Stalder and Prouty. Their appearance in front of a military court on June 15th resulted in both being found guilty of the various charges and specifications preferred by Capt. Robinson, and the court sentenced each man to forfeit $10 from his monthly pay.

In the 2nd Quarterly Return of Ordnance, dated June 1863, the Battery showed one 12-pound bronze howitzer; three 10-pound Parrotts; four gun carriages; four caissons; one traveling forge "A" complete; one battery wagon"C" complete; implements and equipments for the above; eight harness sets for two wheel horses; 20 harness sets for two lead horses; 17 cavalry sabers; 98 saber belts and plates; and seven sword knots.

The men of Fuller's Brigade spent July 4, 1863, on picket duty. On the 6th a dress parade was held, after which Gen. Hurlbut, then commanding the District of Memphis, read the news that 28,000 rebels had surrendered to Gen. Grant at Vicksburg two days before. The soldiers could not be restrained in their jubilation, flinging their hats in the air and yelling with delight so loudly that neighboring citizens rushed out of their houses, concerned to know the cause for the cheering. On July 16th and 17th, veterans from the successful campaign for Vicksburg began arriving in Memphis. These men's skin appeared yellow and their frames emaciated from their long service in the Mississippi swamps. At this same time, thousands of the citizens of Memphis took the oath of allegiance to the United States, and many who had been afraid to show themselves as Unionists were now vocal in their loyalty to the old flag.

On July 19th Capt. Robinson mustered in and commissioned 1st Lt. Henry Shier and 2nd Lt. William Hyzer. At about this same time, the Battery turned in its cannon, and was reissued four new 10-pounder Parrotts. Thischange in armament greatly reduced the logistics of transporting and supply of two different calibres of artillery ammunition with the Battery. On September 3rd, Fuller's Brigade was assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 5th Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, Gen. James Vetch commanding. On October 1st, as preparations were being made to leave Mamphis, Gen. Fuller and his men were assembled for parade when a representative of the citizens living near the camp made the following address:

, Tenn., Oct 1, 1863 We, the undersigned citizens of Memphis, residing in the vicinity of your camp, beg leave to tender to you and your command our heartfelt gratitude for your uniform courtesy and manly bearing toward us during your sojourn here.

During that time we have made the personal acquaintance of many of you, both officers and men, for whom we shall ever cherish a most kindly remembrance, and rest assured that wherever you may go, wherever Fate may lead you, you carry with you our kindest regards. You have always, in the language of one of your great generals, `Evinced a determination to punish disorder and wrong and to encourage honesty, order, and fair dealing, and that kindly sentiment among brothers, and even enemies, which can alone restore peace to us as a people.'

Officers and soldiers, you are an honor to your cause and the government you represent. Such men are bound to make friends wherever they go. . . No despoiler of defenseless households will be known where you and men like you have the care and keeping of the public weal. Again we thank you, and in so doing we feel confident that we reflect the sentiment and feeling of our fellow citizens. With our best wishes for your future welfare and the expression of the hope that you may all soon return to the joys and pleasures that await you in your happy homes, we are, dear sirs, your as much as possible. "Citizens"

The Battery remained in Memphis until October 18, 1863, whereupon it made a hard march for the old battleground of Iuka, Mississippi, arriving on the 27th. The Battery was assigned to the Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps on November 1st. In December, the Battery was removed to Prospect, Tennessee, to secure the rail route to Decatur, Alabama. While in winter camp in Decatur, the original two-year term of enlistment expired for most of the cannoneers. On December 22nd, Lt. Shier appointed Lt. Hyzer to receive volunteers to reenlist as Veteran Soldiers, per General Order #58.

Among the first of the 52 men who reenlisted were Orson Prouty and Ben Stalder, who officially transferred from the 63rd Ohio to the Battery. In a letter to his parents on December 26th wrote:

It is hard to part with a fellow soldier, but the scenes of the battlefield at Corinth didn't begin to touch the heart of me as the death of my sister. Although I was an eye-witness to it, an seen men murdered and mingled in all kinds of ways, both scenes was hard enough to break the heart of stone. . . Well dear parents I am coming home next month, but am sorry to say that I can't stay with you, for I have re-enlisted. . . I know that you won't like to hear of it, but my Country calls, and I feel it is my duty to attend. . . I don't think but what we can whip the rebs in the year of '65. . . I don't belive but what every man will re-enlist in our brigade. . .

During February the soldiers who had reenlisted as veterans were given a 30-day furlough and returned to Michigan. While they were home, they also recruited replacements for those who had not reenlisted. A number of men from the Jackson, Michigan area joined the Battery and returned with the cannoneers to Prospect, Tennessee. Among those recruits was Mason Safford, an 18 year old from the Detroit area (see photo below).

In Company Orders #1 dated January 1, 1864, Capt. Robinson announced the non-commissioned officers of the Third Battery Light Artillery Michigan Veteran Volunteers:
Thomas Gregg - 1st Sergeant
Hiram Towne - Quartermaster Sergeant
Asa Estabrook - Sergeant
John Cheney - Sergeant
John Durfee - Sergeant
Judson Parker - Corporal
Allen Sterns - Corporal

The furlough and designation as Veteran Volunteers were designed by the Federal commanders to encourage reenlistments. The State of Michigan, whose government was enthusiastically pro-Union throughout the War, added its own incentives. After returning to camp near Prospect, Private Stalder mentions in a letter dated February 27th, 1864:

All the boys is well and appear happy because they got home. . . I got Fifty dollars in Coldwater, Mich. of State bounty, and circitificate for One hundred more, I tell you that Michigan is the State for me, she thinks of her soldiers that has bin in the field as well as those that is going out. . .

During this regrouping of the Battery's forces, Capt. Robinson continued to act upon his belief that the Battery should follow strict military discipline, in order to be better suited to fulfill its duty for the Union. On February 28th, he gave the following orders:

Part I

After this date the following bugle calls will be sounded and observed:
Reveille and Roll Call at Daybreak
Stable Call at 6 AM at which time the horses will be cleaned, picket lines policed and horses fed
Breakfast 7 AM
Water Call 8 AM
Drill Call (drill for 2 hrs) 9 AM
Roll Call & Dinner 12 Noon
Drill Call (drill for 1 1/2 hrs) 1:30 PM
Stable Call (as in morning & water) 4 PM
Retreat and inspection of men 5:30 PM
Supper Call 6 PM
Tattoo 8 PM
Taps 8:15 PM

Part II

The Noncommissioned officers and Privates of this command will wear their Uniform Jacket buttoned saber belts outside of jackets upon all occasions of duty except fatigue.

Corporals Parker and Sterns were promoted to sergeants, and Privates Ben Stalder, John Charden, Ira Smith, Calvin Ashley, William Delameter, William Royston and Andrew Bailey were now corporals. Corporal Stalder had obviously redeemed himself from his spree of the previous summer. In March, on the other hand, Pvt. Orson Prouty had $1 deducted from his pay to cover the loss of a canteen and haversack.

The Battery remained at Prospect, where it was supplied with clothing, harness, horses, and ammunition, and each gun's maintenance brought the Battery up to peak condition. The Military Division of the Mississippi changed commanders when Gen.Grant was called to Washington to become the new commander of the Union Army, and the first Lieutenant General since George Washington. His old friend, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, quietly assumed the vacated office and began his plans to "make Georgia howl."

The photograph of Mason Safford has been made available through the courtesy of Dale R. Niesen.

Target Practice

[The following letter from John Hughes appeared in the Fall, 1996 issue of The Artilleryman.]

I recently received some copies of documents relating to the 3rd MichiganBattery (Battery C, 1st Michigan Light Artillery) and thought that perhaps this would also interest the readers of The Artilleryman.

These are two diagrams of a practice that took place on April 21, 1864, near Decatur, Alabama, just a few weeks before the Battery commenced operations in General Sherman's Atlanta campaign.

Three of these guns had been in service with the 3rd Battery since early 1862 and had seen some combat usage at Corinth, Iuka, and other minor skirmishes in Mississippi and Alabama.The remaining gun had replaced a 12-pdr. howitzer 10 months earlier.

Diagram of shots fired atfirst target.

It is interesting to note that scarcely three months after this practice took place, the 3rd Michigan Battery received and mounted four new tubes on July 28, 1864, which were then used for the remainder of the War, seeing action at Atlanta, on the March to the Sea, Savannah, the Carolinas Campaign, Columbia, and several actions in North Carolina.

Both reports were submitted by George Robinson, Captain, 1st Michigan Light Artillery, and Acting Chief of Artillery, 4th Division, 16th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee. The Reports were sent to division commander Gen. James C. Vetch.

The text written at the side of each grid reads as follows:
"Diagram of the target used for artillery practice, by Battery C, 1st Regiment, Michigan Light Artillery, at Decatur, Ala., on the 21st day of April 1864.
"Target 12 feet Square
"Kind of gun 10 pd Parrott
"Old ammunition as furnished for field service"

The first target was at 650 yards, the second at 1000 yards. Each of four guns fired four shots at the first target and three shots per gun at the second. The narrative continues:
"The circles on diagram show the point struck by the shot, and the number in the circle, the number of the gun by which the shot was fired.
"The circles marked (R) represent shots which fell short and ricocheting struck the target as shown.
"The circles outside the diagram show the shots that missed the target on those sides."

Robinson noted on the first target that "the number of shots striking to the right of the center is due I think in part to a slight wind, that was blowing on our left flank."

After the second practice at 1000 yards he observed: "the atmosphere was thick, and the gunners could not get as good a sight on the target, as was desirable for which reason we only fired the above number of rounds at this range."

I hope that this provides a glimpse of what the Civil War guns, using field service ammunition, would be capable of.
John Hughes
Battle Creek, Michigan

An Encounter at Decatur

John Sprague, as a brigadier general
Library of Congress photograph

On July 22nd, one section of the Third Battery left Roswell,Georgia, along with five companies of the Ninth Illinois Mounted Infantry, as escort for the 400 supply wagons of the train of the Army of the Tennessee. As they neared their destination, which was Decatur, Georgia,c annonading was heard, and it was soon ascertained that the rebel forces were attacking the town in force. The train was directed to a crossroad that led to the rear of the Twenty-third Corps and safety. At the crossroad, all availablet roops except three companies of the 9th Illinois (which moved to assist Colonel John W. Sprague's brigade, retiring from Decatur on the same road) were accumulated and disposed for the defense of the wagon train. After these troops followed the train for a quarter mile, they returned and rejoined the Brigade, now in position. OR 38(3): 513

Colonel Sprague, of the 63rd Ohio, was in command of the Second Brigade, Fourth Division of the Sixteenth Army Corps (Fuller's old brigade) at Decatur, when Confederate General Joseph Wheeler lead his cavalry in the attack.

The Battery's left Section, under the direct command of First Lieutenant Henry Shier, was in position near the high railroad embankment, commanding a road leading south of the town. Lieutenant Shier described his actions in his official report:

 I received orders. . . to take a position a little to the right of the road, so as to have a greater range for our guns. Shortly after our skirmishers began to fall back before the greatly superior force of the enemy. About the same time the enemy opened with batteries from their right and left; we replied to the left battery. I received in return a cross-fire from both batteries. I still continued firing, but on account of the position of the enemy's guns could not tell the effect of our shots, their guns being hid behind the crest of a hill. Our infantry having all been driven in I ordered the section limbered. I received orders from Col. J. W. Sprague to take a position on a hill near the jail in town, but finding it occupied by the Chicago Board of Trade Battery, I moved a little to the left of them and commenced firing at the enemy's left battery; but wishing to embarrass them as much as possible we moved to the right and rear about fifty yards and commenced again on their skirmishers, who were advancing on our left. We caused them to fall back for a short time.

Perceiving the enemy endeavoring to gain our right and rear we moved still farther to the right and again checked their advance, and kept them from gaining the road on which the train was passing. We then fell back 150 yards and took another position, using a few rounds of cannister on the enemy with good effect. We held this position with one company of the Twenty-fifth Wisconsin, until all our troops had left town and passed us; we then fell back and fell in line with the Chicago Board of Trade Battery by order of Col. J. W. Sprague.

Of casualties there were none. Number of rounds of ammunition expended, 59.

Our loss consisted of 1 battery wagon with contents, 1 army wagon with contents, 12 mules with harness, 4 horses disabled by wounds and abandoned, 1 horse captured, with riding equipments, 2 horses fell in harness through weakness - abandoned. We lost a number of saddles and valises, which had been taken off horses having sore backs.

This report would not be complete without noticing the good conduct of all the men belonging to the command and engaged in the action, who, although under heavy fire of artillery and musketry, still stood by their pieces until limbered, and then following in every new position occupied by the section.

First Sergeant [Thomas] Gregg, who had charge of the caissons, acted throughout with judgment and bravery, keeping the caissons as near as prudence would allow. Praise should be awarded also to Sergeants [William] White and [John] Cheney for good conduct; the latter had his horse shot under him.

Of First Lieut. William W. Hyzer, whose section was represented in the action , too much praise cannot be said; his coolness and gallantry under fire cannot be excelled. . . OR 38(3): 536

Postwar emblem of Fuller's Ohio Brigade
Drawing by Geoff Liebrandt

Sprague moved quickly to cover the retreating artillerymen; catching up with remnants of the 63rd Ohio, Colonel Sprague ordered them to form a line of battle and to hold until further orders. Assisted by the three companies of the Ninth Illinois Mounted Infantry who had left the Sixteenth Corps wagon train earlier, the 63rd Ohio, 25th Wisconsin and Lieutenant Shier's Michigan Battery held the rebels until the union troops had reached safety. The Battery then retired to a commanding ridge at the intersection of the Shallowford and Pace's Ferryroads (present-day Clairmont and North Decatur Roads). Out of approximately 900 men in Colonel Sprague's brigade, 18 men had been killed, 118 wounded, and 118 were missing.

Had the men of the Second Brigade not made their stand, the entire ordnance and supply trains of the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Twentieth Corps could have been lost. Although this loss would not have stopped General Sherman's advance on Atlanta, it would have slowed it down considerably, possibly enough that the presidential election could have been affected. Without the early capture of the "Gate City" to encourage the war-weary voters of the North, the Yankees voters might have elected the Peace Candidate, George B. McClellan, as President.

Colonel Sprague was promoted to Brigadier General on July 30; he ended the war as a Brevet Major General. In 1894 Congress awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor to General John W. Sprague for distinguished gallantry at the Battle of Decatur, Georgia, July 22, 1864. Sprague never saw this medal, having died several weeks before it arrived. Evans, David. "The Fight for the Wagons: A Battle in Decatur." Civil War Times Illustrated, February 1988.

Henry Shier's Field Report on the Atlanta Campaign

A copy of the following field report on the Atlanta Campaign in Henry’s handwriting is in the possession of the Shier family. Thanks to George & Quita Shier for sending this interesting field report for the members of the Battery.

Headquarters Battery C, 1st Michigan Lt. Artillery

East Port, GA,Sept 8, 1864[1] 


In compliance with special Order No. 102, Headquarters 4th Div, 16th Army Corps, I have the honor to submit the following report.

May 1, 1864, the Battery under the command of Capt. George Robinson marched from Decatur, AL and arrived near Resaca, GA, on the 12th day of May, 1864.

May 13th, the Battery being ordered forward, one section took position on a hill with a section of the 14th Ohio Bty and commenced an attack on the Rebel works, and soon silenced a battery.  The section fired 60 Rds. Am.

May 14, the Battery occupied the aforesaid hill and in desultory firing, expended 70 Rds. Am. and drove the enemy’s skirmishers from their works.

May 15, During the action which took place in the evening, the Battery drew a portion of the enemy’s fire and expended 50 Rds. Am.

May 16, Started in pursuit of the enemy.

May 26, Arrived in Dallas, GA.

May 27, The Battery was ordered into line, and held a position near the Hd. Qtrs of Gnls Dodge and Veach.  Expended this day 29 Rds. Am.

May 29, Same position. Expended 156 Rds. Am. during a night attack by the enemy.

June 1, Moved back from Dallas about 6 miles.

June 2, Lt. Shier detached with the right section is suddenly and by surprise attacked by a section of the enemy’s Battery.  The section changed front and replied and after firing 29 Rds repulsed the enemy.

June 3, the Battery was again united.

June 6, Arrived at Acworth, GA.

June 9, Battery was ordered to 2nd Div, 16th Army Corps.

June 10, Camped at Big Shanty, GA.

June 15, Battery took position in line near Kennesaw Mountain and assisted in driving in the enemy’s skirmishers. Fired 23 Rds. Am.

June 30 to July 2, The Battery having been moved to the left of the line occupied a new position in front of Kennesaw Mountain.  Expended here in 3 days 233 Rds. Am.

Kennesaw Mountain in 1864 from approximately the position that Robinson's Battery fired; the remains of the gun positions are still present.

July 4, Have moved around the mountain.  One section was ordered out, Lt. Shier commanding, and fired 76 Rds. Am. with good effect. 

July 7, One section under Lt Shier commanding Battery ordered to crossing known as Sandtown Ferry to attack a rebel fort containing two 20 Pounder guns. Commenced firing late in the afternoon but could not damage the enemy much as he was well fortified.  One man was killed by the enemy’s shell and one slightly wounded.  On the morning of the 8th, the left section coming to our assistance under Lt. Towne, and getting a cross fire on the enemy, he was obliged to keep silent all day, and firing was kept up by order at intervals until night. Ammunition expended in two days 152 Rds.

July 9, Marched for Roswell, GA

July 10, Arrived at Roswell, GA

July 17, The left section of the Battery accompanied the 2nd Division on march for Decatur,GA.  The right section under Lt. Towne was ordered to remain at Roswell.

July 19, Arrived at Decatur.

July 21, Left Section reported to Col. J.W. Sprague, commanding 4th Div, 2nd Brigade.

July 24, Left section assisted in holding the enemy in check during the attack on this date.  Expended 59 Rds. Am.  Our loss consisted of 7 horses shot or captured, one Battery Wagon, complete, one Army Wagon and 12 mules with harness and tack. No casualties among the men. Officers present Lts Shier and Hyzer. In the evening the right section joined the command and since that date the Battery has been acting mostly with the 4th Division.

July 27, Our old guns were turned over and new ones received and as soon as mounted were ordered into line in front of Atlanta.

August 1, We commenced throwing shell into the town on the enemy’s works, expending from the 1st to 25th __ Rds. Am. and with good effect, generally silencing the enemy’s batteries after a few rounds were fired.  On the 15th one man was wounded severely in the knee.  On the 19th one horse was killed and one wounded.  On the 24th one man was wounded severely.
In the outset of the campaign the horses of the Battery were in poor condition, the result of having been unavoidably exposed to the inclement weather of the previous winter without shelter and short allowance of (long?) forage and this with the incessant labor imposed upon them caused many to die on the road and in camp.  At Resaca and Dallas they were obliged to stand in harness night and day and at the latter place on ¼ rations.  The Battery has had its full share of hardships and privations during the campaign, which have been submitted to with cheerfulness by Officers and Men, knowing that everything was done that could be for their comfort.  In action all  have acted bravely and done that which was required of them with alacrity. 

Our casualties have been very light and are as follows –
Killed in action - Enlisted men                            One

Wounded inaction severely - Enlisted men          Two

Wounded inaction slightly - Enlisted men            One    

Number of horses killed in action                        Eight

Number of rounds of ammunition expended        2010

Very Respectfully, 1st Lt. H. Shier, Commanding Battery

[1] This report was written after Atlanta was captured; East Port is a rail junction south of Atlanta.

[2] The position of the 14th Ohio Battery is shown on a map in The Campaign for Atlanta by William R. Scaife, p 39, as being on the extreme south end of the Union line near the Oostanaula River.  The batteries were supporting an attack on the Confederate position by 15th Corps.

Robinson's Battery would have looked like this 4 gun battery of Parrott rifles during the Atlanta, Savannah and Carolina campaigns.

The Galena Blakely

We have a remarkable rifled cannon, 12-pdr., superior to any other here. . . The piece was a gift to the people of South Carolina from Charles K. Prioleau of Frazer & Co. of London and is said to have borne a plaque inscribed. . .

"Presented to the State of South Carolina by a citizen resident abroad in commemoration of the 20th December, 1860. . ."

General P. G. T. Beauregard to Confederate Secretary of War L. P. Walker, quoted in Ripley, Artillery and Ammunition of the Civil War, New York: Promontory Press, 1970. Chapter 8, pp. 148-149.

British Captain Theophilus Alexander Blakely was a prolific designer of rifled cannon, in a variety of models. Since his own government did not adopt his designs, he sold his weapons overseas; several of his guns were purchased by the Confederacy and used during the Civil War. This particular Blakely, a 12-pounder, had the distinction of being the only rifled cannon used on April 12, 1861, to bombard the Union garrison inside Fort Sumter. One of the projectiles fired from this gun was picked up by a member of Major Robert Anderson's command and later donated to the U.S. Military Academy, where it remains on display.

The rifle drew some attention in the northern press, with an article and picture in Harpers Weekly:

The rifled gun which did so much execution on Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina

After its participation in the opening salvo of the War, the Blakely disappears from the pages of history until nearly the closing days of the conflict. South Carolina, whose interior was until 1865 nearly untouched by Union forces, was suddenly center stage for the invasion of troops led by William Tecumseh Sherman. In skirmishing outside Cheraw, the Blakely, along with a several other pieces of ordnance, was captured by Union troops.

Private James G. Birney Palmer, Company A, 32nd Wisconsin Infantry, referred to this capture in a letter written from his camp near Goldsborough, North Carolina, on March 27th:

These stores had been removed from Charleston previous to the evacuation. The most valuable pieces of artillery were brought along. The 3rd Michigan Battery has two pieces, English made, one of them with the following inscription upon it. "Presented to the Sovereign State of South Carolina, by one of her citizens residing abroad in commemoration of her noble conduct on the 20th of Dec. 1860"

The cannon was again featured in Harper's Weekly, which published, on April 1, 1865, a sketch of Federal troops firing a captured Blakely across the Peedee River during the invasion of South Carolina.

As the rebels fled across the river, Maj. Gen. Mower
sent after them a few shells from a Blakely gun which
he had captured and which had been presented to the
state of South Carolina by citizens residing abroad.

These guns were sent north after the War as trophies. In 1892, for the dedication of Grant Park, in Galena, Illinois, the gun was requested from the Rock Island Arsenal. The plaque on its breech has been lost, probably to vandals, but the marks of its placement leave no doubt that this is the Blakely that fired on Fort Sumter and finished the War fighting for the Union in the service of the Third Battery, First Michigan Light Artillery. Its location was forgotten for many years, until it was "found" by the authors of Field Artillery Weapons of the Civil War, James C. Hazlett, Edwin Olmstead, and M. Hume Parks.

The Galena Blakeley in position at Grant Park, Galena, IL

Additional Letters of Battery Business

Correcting the Rolls

Hd Qrs Batt C 1st Mich Lt. Art
Nov 10 1864  

I have this honor herewith to State that 28 men carried on the old rolls of this Battery were not properly members but Infantry detailed from Ohio and Minn Regiments. Of this class 21 are returned as having been transferred to their Regts. And one of the 12 reported Died of Disease is of this class. And (6) Six men have reenlisted out of this class for this Battery and are now permanent members thereof.  
Very Respectfully

H. Shier 1st Lt
Comdg Battery

Mustering Out of Robinson and Shier

H.d Qrs  
Battery C 1rst Mich Lt Art   
Before Savannah Ga.
Dec 21st 1864    

John Robertson      
Adjt. Genl  


I have the honor to inform You that Captain George Robinson and 1st Lieut. Henry Shier of Battery C 1st Mich Lt Art have been Mustered out of the United States Service by reason of Expiration of Service.  
Date of Muster out
Capt George Robinson Dec. 18th 1864
1st Lieut Henry Shier Dec. 19th 1864  

Very Respectfully
Your Obedient Servant
W. W. Hyzer
1st Lieut. Comdg Battery

The Grand Review

On April 29th, the Battery received orders to move to Washington,D.C., immediately, traveling through Richmond, Virginia, arriving in the nation's capital on May 23rd. On the next day, the Third Michigan Battery marched in the Grand Review along with the seventy thousand veterans of the Army of the Tennessee.

Each day the procession began at 9:00 am, lasting until late into the afternoon. Spectators came from all areas of the north. Washington was decked in flags, floral arches, banners and bunting, all intermingled with black decorations that still marked Lincoln'sdeath.

An artillery battery at the Grand Review

While Gen. Sherman watched the Army of the Potomac march past the reviewing stand, he made plans for his army on the following day. He noticed that a great many Potomac soldiers turned to gawk at the generals and cabinet members, and the civilian bands were playing opera tunes. Sherman decided that only his regimental bands would play. Back in Alexandria his orders went out. The men were to do their best marching, keep proper distance, and keep their eyes to the front. All were to stay in line until they returned to camp. Sherman also decided to let the crowd see his army as it really was, though it was too late to show off their true ragged splendor. At Goldsboro had come new boots, barbers, and fresh uniforms. Some officers had even purchased white gloves for their men. But thousands still wore their battered uniforms, stained with Carolina mud, and many still went barefoot.

A few float-like displays were arranged, such as pontoons cut open to show how they worked.

On the fine morning of May 24th, Sherman was in his place early. The crowd of spectators was even bigger than the 75,000 who watched the Army of the Potomac the day before. At the boom of the signal gun,the review started down Pennsylvania Avenue, under arches that welcomed the Western Heroes and spelled their battlefields in flowers. The crowd started roaring; they were anything but jaded after the previous day's ecstasy. The Army of the Potomac had been a familiar sight; the armies of the west would be entirely new.

The 20th Corps marching in the Grand Review
Library of Congress photograph

Sherman's great concern was that his men not disgrace themselves by sloppy marching; he knew that this was the one thing at which the Army of the Potomac had excelled. As he came up the rise by the Treasury Building, he could stand the suspense no longer, and turned in his saddle for a look. "The sight was simply magnificent. The column was compact, the glittering muskets looked like a solid mass of steel, moving with the regularity of a pendulum." Sherman would remember this sight as the happiest moment of his life.

As he neared the reviewing stand, the cabinet members giving him a standing ovation and the crowd screaming, Generals Sherman and Howard drew their swords and rode by saluting. They pulled out of line and dismounted, making their way to the front of the stand. Sherman stayed there for six and a half hours, savoring his triumph over Gen. Meade, as he felt his men marched better than the easterners and struck more awe in the assembled throngs. Their steps boomed down in unison and they gazed forward so rigidly that to some onlookers it seemed eerie - they marched as if there were no audience. Their strides were longer than the eastern pace and they moved with more spring. "They march like the lords of the world." One private stole a sideways glance as he marched and saw in his friends' eyes "a glory look."

To a reporter, their faces seemed more intelligent, self-reliant and determined than the Potomac soldiers. Their bodies were reduced to skin, bone and muscle.

But the personality of the western armies still shone through. At the head of the Fifteenth Army Corps, in a place of honor, rode Mother Bickerdyke. They drove along their cows, goats and pigs. In the wagons came dogs, game cocks, and raccoons. Behind many regiments rolled their ambulances, the stretchers caked and stained with dried blood. Most of these regiments had covered a thousand miles in the past year, and Sherman saw plenty who had done 1500.

Some regiments were tricked out with new flags. But the flags which drew the greatest cheers were the ones that were only rags now. The crowds had to strain to read the muddy letters: Ezra Church. . . Chattanooga. . . Shiloh. . . Bentonville. . . Atlanta.

Battery Casualties

                                                       Forever in realms of glory
                                                     Shall shine their starry claims,
                                                 For the angels have heard their story,
                                                     And God knows all their names.

The first Battery man killed in action was 21 year old Orson Prouty of Kalamazoo, who enlisted December 20, 1861, and re-enlisted December 28, 1863. He was killed in an engagement near the Sandstone Ferry, Georgia on July 7, 1864 and is buried in the National Cemetery at Marietta, Georgia, Section F, Grave No. 5246.

The second man killed in action was 40 year old Jeremiah Gardner of Litchfield, Michigan who enlisted on February 13, 1864. He was killed in a skirmish on the Edisto River in South Carolina on February 9, 1865.

Two men were mortally wounded: Joseph Watson, 25, of Jackson,enlisted in Company E, 3rd Michigan Cavalry, and then transferred to the Battery on December 1, 1861. He was wounded during the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi, in May of 1862. He died on June 1 and is buried in the National Cemetery at Corinth.

Elliott Norton (or Morton) enlisted in the Battery, at the age of 19, at Coldwater on February 11, 1864. He was wounded in action and captured near Goldsborough, North Carolina on March 24, 1865. Finally succumbing to his injuries, he died on May 21. He is buried in the National Cemetery at Raleigh, North Carolina, in Grave No. 171.

Three men were wounded in action on October 4, 1862 during the Battle of Corinth: Peter J. Desnoyer of St. Louis, Missouri, Angus Frazer of Allegan, Michigan and Philip O'Brien of Cheboygan, Michigan.

William S. Platt of Coldwater was wounded during the Siege of Atlanta on August 15, 1864 and Mason Safford of Detroit was wounded during operations against Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia in November of 1864.The last man wounded was Michael Kelley of Detroit, who received an injury while fighting near Savannah on December 11, 1864.

Four men were captured and held a prisoners of war by the Confederates. Corporals John Charden of St. Louis, Missouri, and William H. Delameter of Jackson, and Private Sanford Smith, also of Jackson, were captured on March 24, 1865 near Goldsborough, North Carolina. The following day, Corporal Ira Smith, of Hillsdale, was also captured. All four were turned over to the Federal troops and discharged at Camp Chase, Ohio in June of 1865.

The first men to die of disease while in the Battery were William Halland and Henry Lynes (Lyons), both 20 years old, both dying on January 18,1862 at Benton Barracks, Missouri. They are buried at St. Louis, Missouri.

Fitch Barker of Allegan, aged 31, died at St. Louis on March 11th and is buried in the National Cemetery at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, Section 53, Grave No. 956.

David J. Ballard, 36, of Ypsilanti, died April 22nd at Hamburg Landing, Tennessee and is buried in the National Cemetery at Shiloh.

James Lilly, 34, of Washtenaw County, died on April 30th and is buried at the National Cemetery at Jefferson Barracks, Section 52, Grave No. 888.

Edward Nichols, Allegan, died on May 14th at Evansville, Indiana, 20 years old.

Abraham Norris, Allegan, died May 19th at Hamburg Landing, Tennessee; also 20 years old.

On July 1st, 23 year old Edward Boyers of Jackson died at Camp Clear Creek, Mississippi.

On the 16th, Corporal Benjamin Cole, from Coldwater, died at age 22 and was buried at the National Cemetery in Corinth, Mississippi, Grave No. 2568.

Corporal Asa M. Russell, Ypsilanti, died on September 1st at Iuka, Mississippi, at the age of 23. He is buried in the National Cemetery at Corinth.

Reuben McFall, age 37, also died at Iuka, and is buried at Corinth, Grave No. 3380. He came from Howell, Michigan.

Twenty-one year old Levi Conrad, of St. Louis, Missouri, died October 30, 1862 and is also buried at the National Cemetery at Corinth.

On January 6, 1863, Thomas West died and was buried in the NationalCemetery at Nashville, Tennessee.

Henry Gomer died on the 24th; his body was reinterred at Oakland Cemetery, Keokuk, Iowa.

Thirty-two year old James O'Brien from Mackinac died October 2nd, at Memphis, Tennessee, as did 23 year old Jeremiah Marks of LenaweeCounty; both men were buried in the National Cemetery at Memphis.

Grand Rapids native Sterne L. Ripley, 42, died October 1st at St. Louis, Missouri, and is buried in the National Cemetery at Jefferson Barracks, Section 32, Grave No. 2827.

New recruits John Down (or Doones), 27, of Leslie, Michigan and 21year old William Partridge, of Jackson, joined the Battery at Prospect, Tennessee, in January of 1864. By March 7th, both had died.

On April 14th, Israel Ramala, 21 years old, from Hillsdale, died at New Madrid, Missouri. He is also buried in the National Cemetery at Memphis.

During the Atlanta Campaign the Battery's cannoneers suffered long marches, poor food, and the hot southern summer; in addition, simple diseases ran rampant through the camps. During July the Battery lost four more men. On the 1st, William R. Jameson, of Quincy, died; he was 28 when he was buried at the National Cemetery at Nashville,Tennessee. Austin Hayward (or Haywood) of Leslie, the same age, died on the 8th. He was buried in the National Cemetery at Marietta, Georgia, Section C, Grave No. 1593.

Charles Prell from Jackson, 18 years old, died the next day at Rome, Georgia. On the 17th, William Royston from Leslie died at Windship Furnace, Georgia. He was 26 and is buried in the National Cemetery at Marietta, Georgia Section C, Grave No. 2096.

Marietta's National Cemetery is also the resting place for 23 year old John Hemmet of Trowbridge, Michigan, who died August 27th at Rome, Georgia. He is buried in Section C, Grave No. 1320. John Herr from Hankin, 18 years old, died on the 31st at Marietta, where he remains in the National Cemetery, Section A, Grave No. 35.

Harrison Bryant, also 18, from Jackson, died September 10th, and is buried in the National Cemetery at Knoxville, Tennessee. Samuel Sloat, 44, also of Jackson, died on September 20th, and is buried in the National Cemetery in Marietta, Section G, Grave No. 8191. A short distance away lies Edwin (or Edward) Munger, 26, from Detroit. He died on the 28th, and was buried in Section G, Grave No. 8292.

Daniel Martin, of Leslie, died December 21st near Savannah, Georgia. He was 37 years old and is buried in the National Cemetery at Beaufort, South Carolina, Section 41, Grave No. 4758.

In 1865, John L. Huntly of Leslie died on February 28th, near Cheraw,South Carolina, at the age of 19. Another Leslie native was the last cannoneer to die of disease; James Rathbone, 28 years old, died on June 23, 1865, two days after the Battery was mustered out, while in a hospital on Davids Island in New York harbor, and is buried in the National Cemetery at Brooklyn, New York.

Fifty-two men had re-enlisted as Veterans in the Battery. (Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War, 1861-1865. Kalamazoo: Ihling Bros. & Everard, 1907. Volume 42, First Michigan Light Artillery, Battery C, pp. 46-64.)

Although events and battles in the East often overshadowed the many engagements and skirmishes fought by the Army of the Tennessee, it was men such as the cannoneers of the Third Michigan Battery who marched and fought and died, implementing General Sherman's concept of total war upon the enemy, that brought the War to an end.

The men who served in the Battery were men who believed in the concept of the Union and voluntarily enlisted to preserve that belief. They were often close to middle-aged: farmers and factory workers, clerical and business men. They left their employment, their homes and their families to help wage a war that would have a far-reaching and lasting effect on their country. Their actions can never be forgotten.

Officers of the Battery

During the Battery's term of service, it carried on the muster rolls 239 officers and enlisted men. The Battery's losses included two men killed in action, two men died of wounds received in action, six men were wounded in action, and four men were captured and held as prisoners of war. Nine men deserted from the Battery (recruits, many of them leaving before the Battery left Michigan). Thirty-two men died of disease while in the field, with several men discharged for disabilities incurred during the four years that the Battery was in service.

The Battery had two men commissioned as officers in other regiments and over the years, twelve men served as officers in the Third Michigan Battery. Several of these were selected to serve on the staffs of three different generals. Thirty-eight year old Alexander W. Dees from Detroit was commissioned Captain of the Battery at its organization on September 1, 1861 and remained as such until the Battery was assigned to the Thirteenth Corps in November 1862; he resigned his commission on the 20th.

Richard W. Hawes, also of Detroit, was commissioned on September 7, 1861 as First Lieutenant at the age of 24; he resigned in April 1862 at Birds Point, Missouri. On December 6, 1861, three more officers received commissions in the Battery. The two Sinclairs were either brothers or cousins; both had enlisted in Company C, 7th Michigan Infantry on June 19, 1861 and were discharged to accept commissions in the Battery. The elder, Robert O. Sinclair, of Jonesville, age 25, accepted a rank of senior Lieutenant, maintaining that position until he resigned on June 26, 1862.

William H. Sinclair of Hillsdale County, age 23, was commissioned as Second Lieutenant. He was selected to the staff of General David S. Stanley and on July 15, 1862, promoted to First Lieutenant; to Captain and Assistant Adjutant General for the U.S. Volunteers on November 5, 1862; then to Major and AAG on May 5, 1863; on March 13, 1865, he was breveted Colonel of U.S.Volunteers for faithful and meritorious service. He was mustered out on September 1, 1866.

Carl A. Lamberg, of Grand Rapids,was commissioned as Senior Lieutenant. He was selected the Aide-de-Camp for Brigadier General Isham N. Haynie in January 1863. He resigned on March 23, 1863 to return to Sweden. He had been an officer of the Swedish Army on a two year leave to fight in the Union Army. Lamberg returned to U. S. service later in the year, accepting a commission as captain of the Memphis Light Artillery (African Decent) which was later converted to Battery D, 2nd US Colored Light Artillery.

The next man to be commissioned was George Robinson, a 28 year old steam engine machinist from Detroit when he enlisted as First Sergeant on September 15, 1861. He was knocked from his horse and received an injury to the base of his skull while the Battery was near New Madrid, Missouri in March 1862. On July 15, 1862, he received a commission as senior Second Lieutenant, then as Captain of the Battery on November 20, 1862. On July 2, 1864, he was put on special duty as Chief of Artillery for the Fourth Division, Sixteenth Corps; and on October 13th, he was placed on detached duty as the Assistant Artillery Inspector General for the Seventeenth Army Corps under the command of Brigadier General Thomas E.G. Ransom.

On December 18, 1864, he was discharged at the expiration of his term of service, primarily because of a worsening physical condition due to the injury received in 1862. After his discharge, he came back to Detroit and his old job, but he progressively worsened, and in 1873 moved to Chicago, Illinois. In 1877 he was unable to perform any kind of work due to a general paralysis. He filed for a governmental pension, citing his war-time injury as the cause of his ill health, and finally received it in May of 1881. On August 7, 1883, George Robinson died of his injury; he was 48 years old. He is buried in the Graceland Cemetery (Section S, Lot 1, Grave1), Chicago, Illinois.

Henry Shier of Ypsilanti was the next officer commissioned in the Battery. At the age of 32, he enlisted as a corporal on October 7, 1861 and was promoted to First Sergeant in 1862.  On June 30, 1863, he was commissioned as senior First Lieutenant. One Section of the Battery was under his command at the battle of Decatur, Georgia. He was discharged at the end of his term of service near Savannah, Georgia on December 19, 1864.

William W. Hyzer, also of Ypsilanti, enlisted in the Battery as a corporal on October 14, 1861. Promoted to Sergeant at the mustering in on November 28, 1861, he served as such until June 30, 1863, when he was commissioned as senior Second Lieutenant. On February 20, 1864, he was made junior First Lieutenant eventually becoming the senior. He became the Battery's last Captain on March 27, 1865 and mustered out with the Battery at Detroit on June 22, 1865.

John J. Calkins accepted a commission a junior Second Lieutenant in January 1864 when the Battery was home on furlough. He accepted the rank of senior Second Lieutenant in July 1864 and was commissioned junior First Lieutenant on December 18, 1864. He remained in this rank until he mustered out with the Battery on June 22, 1865. His uniformis part of the State of Michigan's Historical collection. He is buried in Leslie, Michigan.

Hiram M. Towne enlisted in the Battery as the Quartermaster Sergeant on October 1, 1861 at the age of 23. He fulfilled this position until he received a commission as junior Second Lieutenant on February 20, 1864. In June, he was commissioned senior Second Lieutenant, and was commissioned as senior First Lieutenant on December 19. He also mustered out with the Battery on June 22, 1865.

The last two officers commissioned were Asa Estabrook of Allegan and Thomas Gregg of Detroit. Asa Estabrook enlisted on November 28, 1861, aged 24, as a private in the Battery. In January 1864, when the veterans returned from furlough, he was promoted to Sergeant. On December 18, he accepted a commission as junior Second Lieutenant where he remained until mustered out with the Battery on June 22, 1865.

Thomas Gregg had enlisted in the 1st Michigan Infantry, Company F (the Michigan Hussars), on May 2,1861 in Detroit. (The 1st Michigan, a 90-day regiment, fought in the First Battle of Bull Run, Manassas, Virginia.) He was mustered out of the 1st on August 7, 1861. On October 6th, he enlisted in the Battery as a Sergeant. On January 1, 1864, he was promoted to First Sergeant and on December 19 he was commissioned as senior Second Lieutenant. He also was mustered out with the Battery on June 22, 1865 and died on May 11, 1900.

The two other men who were commissioned from the Battery were: Caleb A. Ensign, who enlisted in the Battery on October 22, 1862 and accepted a promotion to Second Lieutenant in Company M, 1st Michigan Engineers & Mechanics on December 8, 1863; and Alexander M. Hunter, who enlisted in the Battery as Sergeant on October 1, 1861 and was discharged on November 16, 1863 to accept a commission in the 1st Tennessee Artillery (Union).

Generals Under Whom the Battery Served

Maj. Gen. Grenville M. Dodge

Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant

Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson

Maj. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut

Maj. Gen. Frank P. Blair (brother to Michigan Governor Austin Blair)

Brig. Gen. John W. Sprague

Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman

Maj. Gen. Joseph A. Mower

Maj. Gen. John A. Logan

Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard

Brig. Gen. John Pope

Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans

Official Reports

Captain Dees's Official Report -May 1, 1862

Camp on Corinth Road
May 1st 1862 

Col. Grosbeck

I most respectfully submit the following report, as to the present condition of my Battery. I have, 3 Ten Pounder Parrot Guns, with Carriages and Cassions. Complete with 225 Rounds of Fixed Ammunition to each Gun. 1 Twelve Pounder Howitzer, with Carriage and Cassion complete, and 180 Rounds of Fixed Ammunition for same.
Servicable Horses on hand---76
Unservicable horses on hand---8
The Equipments for Horses and Battery are complete.
Whole number of men in Camp---92
     “       “          fit for duty---67
Sick in Camp---25
Clothing for Company New
Tents and Camp equipage complete
The Battery is ready for immediate field service in any emergency. 

I certify that the above is a correct statement of the present condition of my Battery. 

Alex. W. Dees
Capt 3d Mich Artillery

Captain Dees's Official Report - November 14, 1862

Head Quarters 3rd Mich Lt Artillery
Camp Near Grand Junction Tenn
November 14th 1862

John Robertson
Adj’t Gen State of Michigan


In compliance with your circular of the 21st ofOctober 1862 I make the following report.

Names and sites of engagements in which the Battery has participated:

May 24th 1862  During the siege of Corinth the Battery was ordered out to assist the 14th Mich Infantry who were on Picket guard. After shelling the enemy for ½ hour, from two different positions, succeeded in driving him from his position without loss to the Battery. The enemy were in very strong force. 

May 28th 1862 Being ordered to occupy an advanced position with the main army at 10 o’clock A.M. the enemy opened on us from a masked Battery. After shelling them from two different positions for one hour we were ordered to retire- The day being exceedingly hot and sultry- water very scarce and of bad quality. At 3 P.M. the enemy appeared on our right and front in force opened a sharp fire of musketry and charged on the Battery.We sustained the conflict for some time but were forced to retire which we did in good order the Battery being without Infantry support. Several regiments of Infantry coming up at this time drove the enemy back when we again took our position and remained until ordered in pursuit of the enemy May 30th 1862 

Sept. 13th 1862. We were attacked at Iuka Miss by the enemy in force on the south and east side of town. I kept them at bay with the two Guns composing the Left section throughout the day. The right section being at that time on detached service under 1rst Lieut Carl A. Lamberg. At 12 midnight received orders to be in readiness to retreat and at 5 A.M. of the 14th left Iuka covering the retreat with this portion of my Battery to Farmington a distance of about 25 miles. On the 15th being joined by the right section at the above place were ordered back to Iuka on a reconnaissance in which the Battery took a very active part. On the 19th at the Battle of Iuka the Battery was in position but owing to the darkness was not allowed to take a part in the action. 

Corinth Oct. 4th 1862- The Battery engaged the enemy and was complimented by Gen. Rosecrans in person for skill and good conduct. 


Corinth Miss   May 24th1862
Corinth Miss   May 28th 1862
Iuka Miss    September13th 1862
Iuka Miss   September19th 1862
Corinth Miss October 4th 1862  

Names of men ordered to be reported Deserters by Gen. Order No. 73 
No.     Name                     Rank           Date                 Remarks 
1       Harry Brown           Private         
2       Joseph Ingham             "    
3       Henry Zupp                  "
4       Martin Wall                  "
5       Sterne A. Ripley           "
6       Henry H. Wilber            " 
7       James Sullivan             " 
8       Edward E. Trubey         "
9       James C. Marrion         “
10      Orson Prouty               “
11      Abel  Clinton                “
12      George W. Percival      “
13      Earl B. Tyler                “
14      Absolom Walker          “
15      Thomas Johnson          “
16      Asa J. McFall              “
17      Henry Palmer              “
18      Edwin Safford              “                                          Neverleft Michigan
19      Harmon Cooley            “                                             “        “     “ 

Names of men Died of Disease 
Name                         Rank         Date                 Place                     Remarks 
William H. Hall        Private      Jan. 18, 1862    St. Louis
Henry D. Lyons               “         “     “      “             “
Fitch R. Barker                “        Mar 11   “              “
Israel Ramala                  “        April 14    “      New Madrid
David J. Ballard               “        April 29    “       Hamberg
James Lilly                      “        April 30    “      St. Louis
Edward Nichols               “        May 14    “      Evansville 
Abraham Norris               “        May 19    “              “
Joseph Watson                “        June 1     “       Corinth               

Died from wounds in action   
Edward Boyers                  “          July 1       “      Camp Clear Creek
Benjamin Cole            Corporal     July 16      “             “        “         “
Asa M. Russell                  “          Sept 1      “       Iuka
Reuban  McFall            Private         “   3       “          “
Conrad Levi                       “         Oct 30       “        Corinth 

Names of men Deserted  
Name                               Date             Rank        Place                        Remarks 
Henry P. Cummings       Jan 31 1862   Private      Benton Barracks   
Martin V. B. Cassad       Feb  18   “         “           Cario
Henry C. Cady               April  20  “         “              “
John H. Howard             May 28   “          “           Corinth           Deserted while in Action

Names of men discharged for Disability 
Name                           Rank             Date                  Place                           Remarks 
Levi L. Williams          Private           Mar 24 1862
John S. Cray                    “                   “    “    “
Philip Vahue                     “                   “    “    “
Benoni  Collins                 “                   “   “     “
Wanew  Collins                “                  “     “     “
Martin V. Heath          Sergeant         April 4     “       St Louis
James E. Griffin          Farrier                “   20  “        Cario
John P. Sinclair          Sergeant         June 9    “        Boonville
Levi R. Tift                  Private            July 19   “       Camp Clear Creek
Jessai  Dunn                      “              Aug  6    “          “       “         “
Volney Clark                      “                  “   7   “           “       “        “
Emmanuel Ish                    “                  “   9   “            “        “       “
William Thompson             “              Oct   8   “         Corinth
Chandler B. Jones              “                  “   “   “            “
John Frank                         “                 “   “   “             “  

Names of men Missing in Action 
Name                            Rank                Date                  Place                 Remarks 
William G. Weaver     Private          Sept 13 1862        Iuka
Joseph M. Robb               “                “   14  “              “
Amos S. Bowsher             “             Oct  3    “            Corinth       

Names of men Wounded in Action 
Name                            Rank         Date               Place          Remarks 
George Beck              Private       Oct 4 1862      Corinth      Detailed from Ohio Rgmt

Benjamin F. Stalder       “                “  “   “              “                 “           “       “       “
Nathanial Curliss           “                “   “  “              “                 “          “        “        "
Angus Fraser             Corporal        “    “  “             “
Philip O’Brien             Private          “    “  “             “
Peter J. Desnoyer          “               “    “   “             “  

I certify that the above report is correct and that exhibitst the past and present condition of the Battery 

A. W. Dees
Capt 3rd Mich Light Artillery

Lumkin Mills and Tallahatchie River

Action at Lumkins Mills and Tallahatchie River
Nov 29th & 30th

Col. Lee Comdg 

1 Section of Battery under Comd of 2nd Lieut. (Geo) Robinson
No. of Officers Present     1
No. of men Present         
36 Rounds of ammunition Expended   
79 Casualties     none
Length of time under fire estimate of 4 hours.

George Robinson's Official Report - December 1863

Head Quarters 3d Mich Battery
Prospect Tenn
Dec. 23d 1863 


Your communication dated Dec.4th is received, and in reply I have the honor to report as follows:-

Nov. 2nd 1862.  The Battery under command of Capt A.W. Dees marched from                                  Corinth Miss
Nov. 4th   “       Encamped at Grand Junction Tenn.
 “    11th  “       Marched from Grd. Junction to Davis Mills 
 “    20th   “      Capt Dee’s resignation accepted 1rst Lieut. Lamberg in command
 “    29th   “      Lieut. George Robinson in command of Left Section was ordered to                                report to Col. Lee commanding Cav. Brigade- engaged the enemy                                        at Lumpkins Mills, disabling two of the enemies guns, and with                             the Cav. Brigade succeeded in forcing the enemy into their
                            earthworks at the Tallahatchie river. Causalities-none
Dec. 11th1862  The Battery encamped at Oxford Miss. 
   “   21st    “     Left Oxford Miss 
   “   30th    “     Encamped at Lagrange Tenn
Jan. 7th    1863 Lieut. Robinson having been commissioned Captain, assumed                              command of the Battery. 
 “    8th      “      Left Lagrange Tenn. 
 “    13th    “      Encamped at Corinth Miss where the Battery was stationed until
April  20th  “     When one Section, Capt. Robinson commanding accompanied                              Gen. Dodge on an expedition into Alabama-engaged the enemy                                Cavalry at Town Creek, Alabama.  Causalities-none.
May 2nd 1863   Returned to Corinth, Miss
May 13th 1863  The Battery was transported by Rail Road to Memphis Tenn where                             it remained as part of the garrison, until Oct. 18th 1863.
Oct. 18th   “     Left Memphis and after a hard march arrived, and encamped at Iuka Miss.
Oct. 27th   “      and remained there until
Nov. 1st    “                                                       


George Robinson  Capt.            Date of commission Nov. 20 1862
Henry Shier          1rst Lieut.      “     “        “            June 30 1863
Wm. H. Hyzer      2nd Lieut.      “       “      “              “        “   “  
Capt. A.W. Dees                      resigned-----------------Nov    20 1862
1rst Lieut. Carl A.Lamberg        resigned                 March 23 1863
1rst Lieut. Wm. H.Sinclair        Appointed Capt       
       And A.A.G. in A. Gen. Department                   Nov.5th 1862                 

                              Loss and Gain in Enlisted men of the Battery           

Loss                                                      Gain 
No. died of Disease                  3              Joined as recruits    2
  “  discharged for disability       6               From Desertion       7
  “         “          by Order          3                       Total              9
  “  Deserted                            2           
                            Total         14                 

                     Loss and Gain of numbers of Inft. Regiments                
                                 doing duty in this Battery            

Loss                                                      Gain 

Discharged forDisability          2                   From missing in action   1
Returned to Regt. ByOrder     2 
Died of Disease                     1
Enlisted in Miss Marine Brig    1
Deserted                               2                      
                   Total                  8                     

Total Enlisted Oct 31st 1862            107                    
Gain during this year                         10                                             
                       Total                       117                    
Loss during the year                         22                    
Total Enlisted Nov. 1st 1863              95  

I am Sir Very Respectfully
Your Obdt. Servt

George RobinsonCapt.
Comdg. Battery
Fuller’s Brigade
Left Wing 16th Army Corps  

To. John Robertson
Adjutant General

Reenlistment Notification - January 1, 1864

Head Quarters 3rd Mich Battery L.A.
Prospect Tenn. 
Jan 1st 1864 


I have the honor most respectfully to inform you that 46 men (three-fourths) of this Command have Reenlisted in the Veteran Vol. Corps under the provisions of Gen. Order No.191, War Dept 1863. The men were formally mustered out of the U.S. Service Dec 31st 1863 and were Mustered in as Veterans this Jan 1st 1864.  

Six men from detachments of Inft Regts that have been doing duty in the Battery for the last Eighteen months have also Reenlisted in the Battery. It is expected that they will start for Mich. on the 3rd or 4th inst. I most respectfully request that they may be rendezvoused at Detroit. 

To.                                                           I am Sir
Jno Robertson                                           Very respectfully
Adjt Genl                                                  Geo Robinson
State of Mich                                            Capt comdg 3d Mich Battery

Final Battery Report -June 23, 1865

Head Quarters Battery 1 Regt. Mich Artillery
1 Division 17t Corps
Army of Tenn
Detroit June 23 1865 

To the Adjutant General
State of Michigan Detroit,  


I have the honor respectfully to forward to you the following statement of causalities and alterations occurring in this Regiment from Nov. 1st, 1864 to May 31st, 1865, also its history during that period, together with a List of Commissioned Officers now in, and who have been in the Regiment and also of enlisted men of the Regiment who have been commissioned as Officers in it, and in other Regiments since its organization. 

Casualties and Alterations  
Number Died in Action and of Wounds                     1   One
    “        “    of Disease                                          1   One 
    “        “    Discharged for Disability  
    “        “    by Order & etc.                                   3   Three 
    “        “    Transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps
    “        “    Deserted 
    “        “    Wounded in Action                               2    Two
    “        “    Missing in Action 
    “        “    Taken Prisoner                                    4   Four
    “        “    Joined the Regiment 
    “        “    Re-Enlisted as Veterans 
    “        “    Discharged Expiration of Service          18    Eighteen 

History of the Regiment 

Nov 1st was in pursuit of rebel Genl Hood until the 12th
Nov 15th Started on the march towards Savannah, Ga.
Dec 9th engaged the enemy near Savannah driving him into their works
Dec 14th silenced the enemy dismounting one (1) of their Guns mover to the right and was not engaged during the remainder of the campaign

Jan 4th Embarked on a steamer for Beaufort S.C. arrived 9 AM
Jan 16th was camped at Pocatalico S.C., 29th broke camps and started on the Carolinas Campaign. Feb 9th came up with and engaged the enemy at South Edisto River 1) man killed -Jeremiah Gardner, one 1 man wounded - James Lambie
17th of Feb reached Columbia S.C.
March 4th engaged the enemy at Cheraw S.C. capturing 28 guns
March 13th crossed the Cape Fear river at Fayetteville N.C. attacked the enemy and drove them from their position
March   started for Raleigh arrived on the 14th
March 15th engaged the enemy at South river
21st in position near Bentonville & 23rd in camp at Goldsboro N.C.
24th of March started for Washington via Richmond arrived at Washington May 23rd
Transferred Property at Washington and received Orders to report at Detroit 

There have been two Officers Mustered out of Service
   Capt Geo Robinson
   1st Lieut Henry Shier

   1 Captain Wm. H. Hyzer
   2 1st Lieut H. M. Towne  
       “    “   J. J. Calkins
   2 2nd Lieut Thomas Gregg 
      “     “       Asa Estrabrook  

The Company was mustered out on the 21st of June 1865.

News Articles Printed During the War

The following period reports regarding Battery C published in the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit Advertiser & Tribune newspapers were found by Ronald Cleveland.  Thanks to Ron for sharing this information with us.

Free Press, February 20, 1862-  
Captain Dee’s Battery-
A dispatch from St. Louis states that the steamer John Warner left on Monday for the Tennessee River, having on board, among other troops, the Third Michigan Battery.

Free Press, May 7, 1862-   
Michigan Troops with Gen. Pope-   No command in the field enjoys more the full confidence of the people than General Pope. It will, therefore be gratifying to the citizens of Michigan to know that the States troops are largely represented in forces on the left wing of Hallack’s Army. In this command, we find the Tenth and Fourteenth Regiments in the First Division. Second Brigade, Colonel J.D. Morgan acting Brigadier, and Dee’s Battery in the First Brigade of the Second Division, Col. John Groesbeck, acting Brigadier. The Second and Third Cavalry are in his Cavalry Corps, the whole under the command of Col. Gordon Granger of this State. The Fifthteenth Regiment is also under Pope’s command.

Detroit Free Press, June 3, 1862-
From Corinth-
Scenery near Corinth--Dee’s Michigan Battery in a skirmish--Picket shooting resumed--Death of the Adjutant of the Tenth Michigan--An improvement in the Sanitary Department—Visit of Governor Blair and Adjutant General Robertson.
Special Correspondence of the Detroit Free Press                                                
Farmington, Miss.--- 
In my last to you, I referred to a skirmish and surprise between a small portion of our force and a large body of troops from the rebel army. We are now encamped and strongly intrenched on the contested ground.  Slowly but surely have we advanced upon them and driven them back. Their pickets are actively near us, and keep an eye out for a shot. With guns of long range, carrying balls 12 to the pound, they can be out of range of our ordinary muskets, and yet do their duty until driven out by regimental force, our the terrible shelling of our batteries.   

Yesterday, a well-planned movement resulted in scattering their pickets, and reserve in a manner quite to our liking.  The right of the left wing of the army rests in Farmington. The location is a beautiful one—on high rolling ground, large cleared fields, with here and there a strip of heavy timber—not as with us apparently cleared to a section line or other sub-division of land survey, but a clump of trees remain for shade in a field, or a belt of timber skirting a field on a hill or ravine, gives to the eye a pleasing variety of scenery. Through these woods an army wagon may be driven in almost any direction, or a platoon of cavalry canter through without hindrance from underbrush or fallen timber. Beyond this, towards Corinth, the ground descends rapidly, and a low marshy swamp skirts a range of country similar to the immediate surroundings of Farmington—that is, the enemy are intrenched and fortified on high commanding ground as we are, with this advantage, a swamp, not easily passed skirts the very hills on which their batteries, &c are placed, and they can at any moment “shell out” all attempts to bridge or make passable the swamp. The opposing fortifications are less than two miles apart. Occasionally the enemy sends out and across a force to test our strength, but as yet, they go back sorrowful. The problem involving modes of attack, is, doubtless, being just now a subject matter of interest to our Generals.  

Yesterday, the engagement referred to was between the Tenth Missouri, Thirty-ninth Illinois, Dee’s Michigan Battery, and two regiments of rebel infantry and one of cavalry.   The Fourteenth Michigan was on picket duty ranged along the line of our front. The attack by the enemy was upon the left of the Michigan regiment. From a belt of wood, the enemy, firing across a field, made demonstrations of strength, suggesting an attack. The Missouri and Illinois regiments while engaged with the enemy from the woods on our side of the field, were ordered to give place to the battery that was approaching. So successfully was it placed, that not until it opened on the rebels were they aware of the movement. A storm of shells was poured upon them with admirable precision, and the entire rebel force left hastily in disgust—skeddaddled, as the camp term has it. It has afforded no small amusement to the witness, Captain Dee’s enthusiastic comments upon the success of his first engagement. He winked extensively on the occasion.  

Today picket shooting is resumed—the Michigan Tenth on duty. The Adjutant, Lieutenant Cowles, was killed instantly by a rifle shot in the breast. He will be missed from the regiment for his bravery and skill as an officer. The need for such men causes regret and sorrow for such a loss to those not personally acquainted with him. To us, a Michigan man is gone—the Michigan regiments form a brother-hood here, and what affects one affects all. I omitted giving you an item of our repulse from Farmington, until I could give it “officially”.   The day before our repulse, one of Company “F”, a private named Abner Roger, Fourteenth Michigan, lagged behind while the regiment was in Farmington, and lay down in one of the houses to sleep, (during the night the town had been occupied and was in the possession of the rebels), and late next morning was awakened by a man in “butternuts” asking him “Who are you?”  “I belong to company F, Fourteenth Michigan” and the secesh stepped forward to pick-up company F’s rifle, “Let that gun alone, you ----.” Michigan picked up his gun and chased Mr. Rebel out the door, loaded his gun and shot at secesh as he joined two others some distance off. A company of rebel cavalry dashed along and after Michigan, who at a turn in the road, jumped into a thicket of bushes, and lay still till they passed by. He then scampered toward camp, and soon found an Illinois regiment, stepped into the ranks and fought till all concluded to go to camp as soon as convenient. Abner says, “He never woke up in such a hornet’s nest before.” Subsequent inquiry has shown that his statement of the matter as above is substantially true.  

We have had for more than a week, quite cool weather, which, together with the rest afforded men here, has made a very noticeable change for the better in the health of the army. This high and healthy location and better water have added materially to our strength. About a week after I wrote you in regard to the suffering and need of our sick, Major Shaw, formerly of Eaton Rapids, Michigan, of the Second Michigan Cavalry, took the matter of refusal to carry our sick on the sanitary boats so much to heart, that, in a way of his own, he succeeded in getting twenty-eight soldiers of Michigan men and their officers on board and safely on their way to their friends. He plead as for his own brothers and succeeded. The reward, which nothing on earth can equal, was his. These “cups of cool water” to thirsty men, have their reward.  

“The camp” was surprised and gratified with a visit a visit from Governor Blair and Adjutant General Robertson on Thursday last. I doubt not but something will be immediately done worthy of them and the State they represent, for the relief of the suffering sick. The Governor found a great lack of surgeons in our regiments, and in one case none at all. He assures us that all shall be provided for. He had already provided a mode of transportation to their homes of those deemed beyond hope of recovery at this crisis. But I judge the management on one of the sanitary boats may have prejudged him against the plans so admirably arranged and executed on the others. Having seen what most needs to be guarded against, he can find men and women in Michigan who can be trusted with the heart-offerings that brothers, sisters, wives, fathers, and mothers send from Michigan for sick soldiers in Mississippi.  

Colonel R.P.Sinclair has been obliged to leave the command of the Fourteenth, owing to continued ill health, and has gone to Covington, Kentucky. He has been sick since we landed at Hamburg, and is now quite feeble. He struggled against exposure and disease, but was forced to abandon all hope of leading the regiment, and we hope health and strength will be restored to him by change of life and careful medical treatment. Lieutenant Colonel R.W.Davis now commands the regiment. To-night the entire command are ordered to sleep on their arms.                                                            ODANA  

Detroit Free Press, July 8, 1862-     
The Michigan Sick of Gen. Halleck's Army

The following list has been furnished us by Mr. L.B. Willard, one of the committee appointed to look after the condition of our troops in the army of the Mississippi. The hospital near Farmington is stated by the committee to be in excellent order, neat and quiet, with the best professional talent in attendance.  Dr. Bryan, the hospital Surgeon, is a kind-hearted, pleasant gentleman, and as a medical man he has few superiors. The friends of the Michigan sick soldiers may rest assured that the men in this hospital are properly cared for in every particular:                                      
Third Battery  
   James Lambie 
   James C. Roubacks* 
   Wm. Wallace  
   Ira Smith  
   Peter Desnoyer 
   James Lambury*

* Not listed in the Michigan Rosters, Vol. 42

Detroit Free Press, August 6, 1862-    
Headquarters, Army of the Mississippi, July 11, 1862.
List of Absentees belonging to the Third Michigan Battery, who have been notified to return, or be reported Deserters, without certificate from Army Surgeons, of disability, to be furnished as required by General Order No. 72, giving their names, rank, &c.  
   Henry Brown, Quincy, Mich.
   Luman Cooley, Allegan, Mich.
   Chandler B. Jones, Allegan, Mich.
   Earl B. Tyler, Allegan, Mich.
   Abeslom Walker, Allegan, Mich.
   Henry Palmer, St. Clair, Mich. 
   John Cheney, Hospital, Savannah, Tenn. 
   Jas. Sullivan, Hospital, Savannah, Tenn. 
   Abel Dunton, Hospital Savannah, Tenn. 
   Edward.  E. Truby, Grand Rapids, Mich. 
   Abraham Evans, St. Joseph, Mich. 
   James C. Monroe,  Allegan, Mich. 
   Jas. Lambie, Allegan, Mich. 
   Stephen Percival, Hospital, Hamburg Landing, Tenn. 
   Geo. W. Percival, Hospital, Hamburg Landing, Tenn. 
   Ira Smith, Hospital, Hamburg Landing, Tenn.
   Austin Pronts, Kalamazoo, Mich.*
   Martin Wall, Howell, Mich.*
   Henry Loop, Hillsdale, Mich.* 
   John Frank, Allegan, Mich. 
   Jos. Ingram, Almont, Mich. 
   Sterne Ripley, Paw Paw, Mich. 
   Philip Vahue, Allegan, Mich.  Henry Wilber, Quincy, Mich. 
   Edwin Safford, Allegan, Mich. 
   Harmon Cooley, Allegan, Mich. 
   Martin V. Heath, Allegan, Mich. 
   Asa J. M.cFall, Howell, Mich. 
   Edward Nichols, Allegan, Mich. 
   Capt. A. W. Dee’s, Detroit, Mich.  

* Not listed in the Michigan Rosters, Vol. 42

Detroit Free Press, December 24, 1862-      
We are pleased to learn that Lieut. George Robinson, of Captain Dee’s Battery, has been promoted to the Captaincy of the Battery, for meritorious conduct. At the battle of Corinth, General Rosecrans observed the efficiency of the battery and the great service it rendered, and summoned the officer in command and complimented him on the spot, and recommended him for promotion. It is such conduct on the part of commanding Generals that makes an efficient army.

Detroit Advertiser and Tribune, June 3, 1863-
From the Third Michigan Battery.    
Overlooked, but still alive—in the fight at Town Creek—Negro troops—Hard knocks for Copperheads—Home correspondence.
Special Correspondence Advertiser and Tribune
Camp of the 3d Michigan Battery             
Memphis, Tenn., May 6, 1863    
I notice a communication signed “Michigan” in your last week’s issue, in which the writer makes the assertion that there are only three Michigan regiments in Grant’s Army, entirely ignoring the existence of this gallant little Battery, which has done such good service in several hard-fought battles.   We soldiers, as a class, are very jealous of our good name, and like to be remembered and printed in our home journals. The principal fighting in the recent engagement at Town Creek, beyond Tuscumbia, Ala. was done by this Battery, in connection with the Kansas Cavalry.  

There was present one hundred and six men in the battle under command of Capt. George Robinson. We are now stationed in Memphis, Tenn., where we have been about two weeks. There are but few troops stationed here at present, but enough to hold the place against all the forces the rebels can bring against us. The Negro regiment is fast filling up, and will be full in a week. They are expected to be placed in the forts, to manage the siege guns. They make a very good appearance, and learn the drill equal to the best white soldiers. They will undoubtedly make good soldiers, and it is strange our Government has been so slow in finding this out, 100,000 black soldiers can be raised easily in the Mississippi Valley if our officers only set about it in good earnest.   

The soldiers here are justly indignant at the proceedings of the Northern “Copperheads” and woe be to them when we get home. They are all marked men, and posterity will look back upon them with the miserable contempt they merit. The soldiers in this division almost to a man, approve of the President’s Proclamation and only blame him for not being more strict with Northern traitors. There are several thousand traitors in the loyal States who ought to be served “a la Vallandigham” and sent home to Dixie.   Our Battery boys are enjoying first-rate health in this hot climate. But it is a monotonous life to live, and many of them have the blues for want of something to help kill time. I wish our friends in Michigan could know the eagerness with which letters are received and read by the soldiers. I believe they would cast pity on us, and write us more.
Yours Truly,         
Ed. - The author of this report is unknown as there was no member of the original Battery C with the initials, C.O.P. It was common to use pen-names or aliases when writing for publication.
  It is interesting that the Battery seemed to be ignored in the press, a rather typical occurrence for the Artillery in general, throughout the war in all theaters.     
It is also believed that this letter’s appeal for friends in Michigan to write the soldiers began the various correspondences and relationships between Pvt. Edward Pierson to Emma Goodman, and her sister, Julia Goodman’s eventual marriage to Pvt. Clinton Towne.
It is suspected that the author of this article may be Sgt. Alexander M. Hunter
who in November of 1863 was discharged from the Battery in order to accept a Commission as a Lieutenant in the 1rst Tennessee Battery (African Descent). Lt. Hunter later was listed as missing after the Massacre at Ft. Pillow, TN April 12, 1864.    

Detroit Free Press, January 15, 1864-     
Return of More Veterans.
The 3rd Michigan Battery, originally Captain Dee’s, now Battery C, arrived in this City Yesterday, direct from Tennessee. The men have re-enlisted for three years in the U.S. Volunteers, and now come home on furlough and to recruit. The Battery returned ?? , commanded by Captain George Robinson. This battery was raised in conjunction with the Third Cavalry, and rendezvoused in Grand Rapids. It left the State on the 17th of December 1861, and, in company with the Second Battery, was the first representative of that branch of the service, from Michigan, in the western department.   The third was engaged in the siege of Corinth, in May 1862, in the battles of Iuka, September of 1862, and aided in the repulse of the rebels at Corinth, October 4th. In the latter the battery especially distinguished itself, and was complimented in the highest terms by the commanding officer of the division. Since that time it has rendered effective service in Western Tennessee, participating in various skirmishes and engagements. Yesterday the men began a furlough of thirty days, at the conclusion of such time; they are to report at Coldwater, the rendezvous of the battery. The veterans appear happy at being once more in the State, and will, no doubt, enjoy their brief time here with a keen relish.

Ed. -  This was microfilmed in such a way that portions are unreadable.     

Detroit Advertiser and Tribune
, July 8, 1864-   
Battery C, 1rst Michigan Artillery
Near Kennesaw Mountain, GA. June 21, 1864   
At the battle of Resaca, our battery took an active part, and it is said our Parrott guns did good execution. We were very fortunate, not losing a man notwithstanding the balls serenaded us in force.   Our next action took place at Dallas, where we expended nearly 200 rounds of ammunition. Permit me to mention one incident, which took place at the battle of Dallas, We received an addition to our “critters” in the shape of a fine colt. It has been christened “Dallas” and is now the pet of the company. Speaking of fighting and animals, reminds me of what the old lady told us, as we rested ourselves for a few moments beneath her unpretending roof, “Why”, says she, “you uns drive we uns right smart. Capt. Sherman come in two streaks of fight, right in our garden, one foot and one critter regiment, but our boys was afeared the Capen would flank em, so they had to git out of that”  

We withdrew from Dallas on the 1rst of May, and slowly moving to the left, passed through to the little town of Acworth. There we remained three days to graze our stock on the wheat fields, that were numerous and fine for several miles around the town. We reached Big Shanty, our present camp, on or about the 10th, since which time, until yesterday, it has rained almost without cessation, but that has not prevented the two armies from fighting almost every day. Midnight charges have become all the rage. Our lines are sometimes charged six times during the night, but scarcely ever with success. Since we reached here, we have used our “Parrott’s” frequently- in one instance throwing some shell over the top of the mountain, which rather surprised us, Kennesaw being quite a high mountain. I anticipate we will not remain here a long time: we will either flank the enemy, or the mountain will be charged.

It will be a difficult thing to climb those rocky mountainsides, and carry those strong works by storm. Our lines are now at the base; the enemy’s guns cannot be brought to bear upon them, but they can reach our Batteries, and yesterday there was one continuous fire from the mountaintop. Our batteries played on them, bursting shell in their forts and all around them. It is amusement to sit and watch by the aid of a glass, the “Johnny Rebs” as they gather in little knots to watch the effects of their firing. You first see a cloud of white smoke curl upwards, in 10 or 12 seconds you hear the report of their piece, but perhaps ere the sound reaches you, a shell bursts in camp, creating not a little excitement; but shells do not trouble the boys as once they did, for they naturally fall in with Gen. Sherman’s plan, and by using a little strategy, they manage to “flank” the most of them.  

Among the Michigan regiments near here are the 4th Cavalry, 9th, 10th, 14th, 15th and 22nd Infantry, Batteries B and H.  There is a great dearth of reading matter in camp just now; our friends should send us more papers than they have during the past few weeks. They are eagerly looked for, as well as letters, every mail, but please don’t send the Free Press. It has had few friends who have the courage to enter the army.  

Below is a list of men in hospital: John McClure, Lorenzo Leffingwell, Austin Heywood, Stephen Percival, Corp. Royston.  Mason Safford was slightly wounded by a spent ball. Charles Prell (German) died in hospital this morning of a fever. If he has friends in the State, it would be well for them to look after his effects.                                              
R. Sinclair  
Ed. - This pseudonym for the author is interesting in the fact that there had been a Robert Sinclair who had been an Officer in the Battery, but he had resigned his commission and mustered out of service in June of 1862. So it begs the question, is the author really the same R. Sinclair, or is someone, who is still serving in the Battery, using Robert Sinclair’s name in the correspondence to the newspaper?

New York Times July 1864 article about the battle at Decatur, Georgia

Found in the May 11, 1905 issue of the National Tribune.  

Gun Captured at Cheraw, S.C.       

S. K. Hawley, Co. C, 63d Ohio, Second Brigade,
First Division, Seventeenth Corps. Hutchinson, KS writes:

I see articles from Comrade Nicholson and Comrade Rosenberry about a gun captured at Cheraw, S.C. How our recollections differ; or did we all look at different guns? I was at Cheraw. Joe Mower’s First Division, Seventeenth Corps, was the first Union troops in Cheraw. The 27th Ohio was the first regiment as they were in the advance of Division that day. I will go back a little and come up on the run.   About 10 miles west of Cheraw we found the Johnnies behind a line of good breastworks, and we thought, “Now we will have to fight” Gen. (Joseph) Mower was always ready for that kind of a deal. We formed line of battle, fixed bayonets, raised the yell and made for the works, expecting to receive a volley from the rebs; but to our surprise and great pleasure, they did not fire a shot, but leaving what little camp equipage they had, started for Cheraw on the run.

Behind the breastworks we found a goodly number of empty whiskey barrels, showing signs of at one time containing powder and whisky.   We followed the fleeing Johnnies at a good fast run clear to the end of the bridge at Cheraw. Now, some one may think this a long run. Well, I thought so at the time myself, and I don’t think I could make it now in so short a time. I must not forget the 3d Mich. Battery, as they took quite a hand in this race, as they kept two guns close after them. One gun would go down the road after them, unlimber, and give them a shot, while the other would limber up, reload and go after them. In this way they kept the road pretty hot for them. It is useless to say the Johnnies beat us to the bridge, for they started first. They had the bridge ready to set fire to, which they did without delay, and it went down in a very few minutes after we get there.  

We went in on the street that led direct to the end of the bridge. We passed between the two large piles of rosin that was on fire, that sent up a column of smoke that seemed to reach the sky. As we filed to the right at the end of the bridge towards the railroad depot, there were about 60 pieces of artillery that I suppose had been unloaded from cars. From this position we could plainly see the rebel wagon train, some yet in the bottom, and others going up a long hill into the woods.   The first two guns we came to were 20-pound Parrott guns, which the Michigan boys soon had playing on the wagon train. Near these guns was the one with the brass plate. As I recollect, it had this inscription on it: “Presented to the citizens of South Carolina by the citizens of London.”   I understood at the time this gun was sent to Washington, D.C.  Now, boys, speak up and tell us all about it.

Ed. - Mr. Hawley’s recollection provides an interesting look at the role that the cannoneers of Robinson's Battery played in this action. This corroborates other accounts which place the Battery at the front with the Infantry skirmishers, sometimes even taking the lead of the Union troops.   He was in error in reporting 60 cannon present; official reports total 28 guns. All of these pieces but two (the Blakely and one of the 20 pounders) were destroyed by bursting the barrels and/or pushing them over the bluff into the Pee Dee river at Cheraw, SC. The Battery was assigned to take charge of these prize guns, and they took them on their march into NC, finally giving them up for shipment to Washington DC when Gen. Sherman’s Army met with Gen. Terry’s Army near Goldsborough NC in late March 1865.

They likely remained in the Washington area for several years and then were shipped to Rock Island Arsenal where the Blakely was rediscovered and sent to Galena, IL and installed in Grant Park as a monument.   Judging from Mr. Hawley’s comments, there must have been some other stories written by a Mr. Nicholson and a Mr. Rosenberry in earlier editions of the National Tribune that discuss the Blakely at Cheraw. If anyone has access to the National Tribune 1904/1905 and can find those articles, please contact Robinsonsbattery@aol.com.    

Company Brigade Assignments

Company C, First Michigan Light Artillery was organized at Grand Rapids, MI during November and December of 1861. The company was originally organized to serve attached to the Third Michigan Cavalry but it never actually served with that regiment.

Members of the company were recruited in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Hillsdale and various other parts of Michigan. One hundred and nine Officers and enlisted men were mustered into service as members of the company.   Like almost all Civil War units, the company was often known by an alternate designation derived from the name of its commanding officer. Names of this type used by or for the company appear below:

     Capt. Alexander Dee’s Artillery
     Capt. George Robinson’s Battery
     3rd Michigan Battery
     Battery C, First Michigan Volunteer Light Artillery.  

The company was mustered into service November 28, 1861. On December 17, 1861, the Battery was ordered to St. Louis, MO.  It remained there until February 1862, when it moved to Commerce, MO. The Battery was assigned to the Army of the Mississippi at that place. Then in November of 1862, the Battery became a part of the Department of the Tennessee. It served in that command until March 1864. It was then assigned to the Army of the Tennessee, serving in that Army for the remainder of its service.

Listed below are the specific higher command assignments of the Battery:  

Attached to the Artillery Division, Army of the Mississippi                 February1862 - April 1862 
Artillery, Second Division, Army of the Mississippi                         April 1862 - November 1862

Artillery, First Brigade, Eighth Division, XIII Army Corps            November 1862-December 1862
     (Old) Department of the Tennessee                                    

Artillery, First Brigade, Eighth Division, XVI Army Corps              December 1862 - March 1863         Department of the Tennessee  

Artillery, Fourth Brigade, Second Division, XVI Army Corps                  March 1863 - May 1863       Department of the Tennessee.  

Artillery, Third Brigade, District of Memphis, Fifth Division,               May 1863 - November1863        XVI Army Corps,Department of the Tennessee  

Artillery, Fuller’s (Ohio) Brigade, Second Division,                       November 1863 - March 1864             XVI Army Corps, Department of the Tennessee  

Artillery, Fourth Division, XVI Army Corps                                 March 1864 - September 1864        Army of the Tennessee

Artillery, First Division, XVII Army Corps                              September 1864 - November 1864        Army of the Tennessee  

Artillery Brigade, XVII Army Corps                                               November 1864 - June 1865
       Army of the Tennessee

Battery “C” First Michigan Light Artillery took part in more than fifty various type engagements during its career which are listed in date order below. The number in front of each engagement corresponds to the number on the maps below showing the location of each event. 
(1)   Siege, New Madrid, MO  March 3 -14, 1862  

(2)   Siege and Capture, Island No. 10, TN  March 15 - April 8, 1862  

(3)   Expedition to Ft. Pillow, TN  April 13 -17, 1862  

(4)   Movement to Hamburg Landing, TN  April 17 - 22  

(5)   Reconnaissance and Action at Monterey, TN  April 28 - 29, 1862  

(6)   Reconnaissance toward Corinth, MS  May 8, 1862  

(7)   Engagement, Farmington, MS   May 9, 1862  

(6)   Skirmish near Corinth, MS  May 29, 1862  

(6)   Occupation, Corinth, MS  May 30, 1862  

(8)   Pursuit towards Booneville, MS  May 31 - June 12, 1862  

(9)   Reconnaissance from Burnsville to Iuka, MS  September 16, 1862  

(10) Skirmish, Iuka, MS September 16, 1862  

(10) Engagement, Iuka, MS September 19, 1862  

(6)   Battle, Corinth, MS  October 3 - 4, 1862  

(11) Pursuit to Ripley, MS  October 5 -12, 1862  

(12) Operations on the Mississippi Central Railroad from Bolivar, TN   October 31, 1862 - January 10, 1863

(13) To Coffeeville, MS  (Gen. Grant's Central Mississippi Campaign)  

(14) Action, Rock Cut near Tuscumbia, AL    April 22 - 23, 1863                    
(Gen. Dodge’s Expedition in Northern Alabama)  

(15) Action, Town Creek, AL   April 27 - 28, 1863  

(16) Combat, Sugar Valley, near Resaca, GA  May 9, 1864  

(17) Battle at Resaca, GA   May 13-15, 1864  

(18) Advance on Dallas, GA  May 18 - 25, 1864  

(19) Operations on the line of Pumpkin Vine Creek   May 25 - June 5, 1864

(20) Battle at New Hope Church, GA

(21) Allatoona Hills, GA 

(22) Operations about Marietta, GA    June 10 - July 2, 1864  

(23) Battle and assault of Kennesaw Mtn, GA  June 27, 1864  

(24) Operations on the line of Nickajack Creek, GA  July 2 - 5, 1864  

(25) Combat, Ruff’s Mills, GA  July 3 - 4, 1864  

(26) Operations on the line of the Chattahoochee River, GA  July 5 -17, 1864  

(27) Skirmish, Sandtown Ferry, GA  July 6 - 7, 1864  

(28) Battle at Decatur, GA  July 22, 1864  

(29) Battle of Atlanta, GA  July 22, 1864  

(30) Siege of Atlanta, GA  July 23 - August 25, 1864  

(31) Operations against Gen. Hood in Northern Georgia and Alabama    September 29 - November 3, 1864  

(32) Campaign, Siege and Battle against Savannah, GA  November 15 - December 23, 1864        (Gen. Sherman’s March to the Sea)  

(33) Action, Fishburn’s Plantation near Lane’s Bridge, Salkahatchie River, SC  February 6, 1865       Campaign of the Carolinas  

(34) Skirmish, Binnacker's Bridge, South Edisto River, SC   February 9, 1865  

(35) Skirmish about Orangeburg, SC   February 11-12, 1865  

(36) Skirmish about Columbia, SC  February 16-17, 1865  

(37) Skirmish near Cheraw, SC   February 28, 1865  

(38) Skirmish at Fayetteville, NC   March 11, 1865  

(39) Battle of Bentonville, NC   March 19 - 21, 1865  

(40) Occupation of Goldsborough, NC   March 24, 1865  

(41) Advance on and occupation of Raleigh, NC   April 10 -14, 1865  

(42) Surrender, Bennett’s House, Durham Station, NC  April 26, 1865  

On April 29, 1865 the Battery was ordered to Washington, DC where it participated in the Grand Review of the Western Army on May 24th. Immediately afterwards, the Battery was ordered to return to Michigan and on June 22, 1865 was mustered out of the Federal service at Detroit, Michigan.  

During the course of service, the Battery sustained the loss of four men killed or mortally wounded, an additional 34 men died from disease or other non-battlefield causes.

Battle Map 1

The Atlanta Campaign

Battle Map 2

Camp Blair

Camp Blair was the rendezvous point for the new recruits that enlisted in the Battery in early 1864.

Image of Camp Blair during the war years