3rd Battery First Michigan Light Artillery
1861 (Battery C) 1865

The rendezvous of Battery C was at Grand Rapids. It was raised in connection with the 3rd Cavalry, but did not take the field with that regiment. The muster into the United States service occurred on the 28th of November, 1861 with a strength of 109 on the rolls.

The Battery left Grand Rapids December 17th, in command of Captain Dees, for the field in the western army. It was engaged with the enemy at Farmington, MS, May 9th, 1862, and at the siege of Corinth from the 10th to the 31st of that month.

On September 16th, the Battery, in command of Captain Dees, was sent from Burnsville on a reconnaissance towards Iuka, MS, made by the 2nd bridged, 2nd division, Army of the Mississippi. About six miles from that place the command was met by the enemy’s pickets, which was driven in, and the force advanced. The line of battle was formed on a hill commanding the country for about a mile. Two of the guns of the Battery were placed on the brow of the hill, throwing shot and shell. The other two guns were soon in position, and the firing continued for about fifteen minutes. The force advanced through an open field below the hill, reaching the wood on the other side, and turned to the right when the infantry and cavalry advanced and opened fire on the enemy. The firing was brisk on both sides for a short time, when a retreat was ordered, the battery covering. On falling back to the hill, a halt was made; the Battery reopened fire and shelled in several directions. On the advance of the skirmishers toward a wood about a mile distant, the enemy opened a brisk fire from the edge of the wood, when the battery again opened fire from a 10-pounder Parrot, shelling the enemy with such good effect that he very soon left wood. Soon night came on and the firing ceased.

On the morning of October 3rd, 1862, the Battery, in command of Lieutenant George Robinson, with a selection of the 8th Wisconsin Battery, all under the command of Lieutenant C. A. Lamberg, of Battery C, marched from a point on the Kossuth Road, four miles from Corinth, with the 1st brigade, 2nd division, Army of the Mississippi, toward Corinth, and took a position southwest of the town. On the morning of the 4th, the Battery was stationed on the north of the Memphis and Charleston railroad depot. About 4am, the enemy commenced shelling the town, throwing several shells into the battery, but without effect. The Battery was placed in position a short distance to the right, and afterwards in rear of General Rosecrans’s headquarters, with an Ohio battery on its right. Seeing the enemy’s skirmishers in front, firing was commenced on them about 8am, when they disappeared. Later in the day, a large force of the enemy appeared, advancing on the right and front of the Battery, when it again opened fire, driving them back into the woods. They soon advanced in greater force, when the guns were double-shotted with canister and a rapid fire was opened with a good effect for about an hour, but the enemy continued to advance. The infantry on the right of the Ohio battery broke, when it limbered up and retired, leaving the right flank of the Michigan battery exposed and without support. The enemy being within twenty yards of the guns, and unable to maintain the position, it limbered to the rear and moved to the south side of the Memphis and Charleston railroad, and from there to the rear of General Rosecrans’s headquarters, when the firing ceased, the enemy being driven back at all points in a very demoralized condition. During the engagement, the Battery lost 11 in wounded and missing, and had 6 horses killed and 8 wounded.

On this occasion it acquired a high reputation for the efficiency and bravery and as a serviceable and reliable Battery.

Marching from Corinth on November 2nd, 1862, it encamped at Grand Junction on the 4th, and on the 11th marched to Davis’s Mills. On the 29th one section engaged the enemy at Lumpkins’s Mills, disabling two of the rebel guns, and, with the cavalry brigade, forced the enemy into his earthworks at the Tallahatchie River. December 11th, the Battery, now in command of Captain George Robinson, was encamped at Oxford, MS, thence it proceeded to LaGrange, and returned to Corinth January 7th, 1863, where it was stationed until the 13th of May. On the 20th of April, one section accompanied General Dodge on an expedition into Alabama, and engaged the enemy’s cavalry at Town Creek, returning to Corinth May 2nd. On the 13th of May, the battery proceeded to Memphis, TN, where it formed part of the garrison until the 18th of October, when it marched to Iuka, and was there stationed November 1st. In March, 1864, it was stationed at Prospect, AL, and during that month moved to Decatur.

It was on the Atlanta campaign and engaged with the enemy at Resaca, GA, May 14; Dallas, GA, May 27; Big Shanty, GA, June 15; Kenesaw, GA, June 25; Nickajack Creek, GA, July 1; Decatur, AL, July 20; siege of Atlanta, GA, July 22 to August 25.

From November 1, 1864, until the 12th, it was engaged in the pursuit of the forces under General Hood. On the 15th it commenced the march with General Sherman’s army on the Savannah campaign, and on the 9th, 10th and 11th of December it encountered the enemy near Savannah, and assisted in driving them inside his works. On the 10th, they were engaged all day, and on the 11th silenced some of their guns, dismounting one. The Battery lay at Savannah until January 4, 1865, when it embarked on a transport for Beaufort, SC, and on the 16th was in camp at Pocotaglio. Breaking camp on the 29th, it moved on the Carolina campaign, and on February 9th came up with and engaged the enemy at the Sough Edisto River, losing one killed and one wounded, and reached Columbia on the 17th. Near Cheraw, on the 4th of March, it became again engaged and assisted in the capture of twenty-eight guns, and on the 13th crossed Cape Fear River at Fayetteville, NC, when it participated in attacking the enemy at that point, and in driving him from his position. At South River, NC, on the 15th, it again became engaged, and was in position at Bentonville on the 21st, and lay in camp at Goldsboro until the 10th of March, when it started for Raleigh, reaching there on the 14th, and remaining in camp until the 29th, when it moved, via Richmond, VA, to Washington DC, arriving there May 23rd, and soon thereafter started for Michigan, reaching Detroit June 13th, and on the 22nd was mustered out of service.

This Battery had carried on the rolls of 239 officers and men, losing 2 men killed in action, 1 died of wounds and 31 of disease. Out of the above 52 had reenlisted as veterans.

A Special thank you to Mr. James Wildt of Litchfield, MI for the use of his print titled “Rolling Thunder”

Today’s Third Battery

The Third Battery, First Michigan Light Artillery Inc. is a registered Not-for-Profit Corporation organized to educate the general public about the role of the artillery during the Civil War, 1860 – 1865.  This is accomplished through battle reenactments, military drill and demonstrations, living history encampments, live-fire shooting events, and memorial ceremonies.  The Battery owns and uses two full scale10 pound Parrott cannons and limbers.  Third Battery members are located across Michigan and Ohio.

The Third Battery will usually participate in two large reenactments within the state, two or three living history/demonstration events, one or two memorial ceremonies, and one or two small reenactments over a year’s time.

At least one large out of state event is attempted as well.  The Battery is unusual in that it also participates in a live fire demonstration in Comins, located in Northern Michigan, every fall. All members are encouraged to participate in any of these events, but there is no minimum number of events that a member must attend.  The Battery is a family oriented group and welcomes the participation of civilians and children.  Members enjoy recreating both battle scenes and camp life and many evenings are spent gathered around the campfire swapping “war stories” of past events.
The Third Battery is also active in the commemoration and preservation of history.  Some of its members are also members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War or the Women’s Relief Corps.  The Battery also donated funds to preserve one of the artillery guidons for Michigan’s Save the Flags program.

Although the Battery portrays Union, the membership is committed to historically appropriate reenactments and, on occasion, one or both guns may participate in reenactments as the Lookout Light Artillery a Confederate Tennessee Battery.

The Battery holds one annual meeting in the first quarter of each year, where business concerning the Battery is discussed and elections for the corporate directors and military officers/NCO”s are held. There is discussion of upcoming events for the year and a tentative schedule is set.

Dyer’s Compendium, Pt. 3 (Regimental Histories)


Michigan Volunteers


Battery “C” 1st Regiment Light Artillery

Organized at Grand Rapids, Michigan, November 23 to December 17, 1861, mustered in November 28, 1861. Left State for St. Louis, MO. December 17, 1861, and duty there till February, 1862. Ordered to Commerce, MO. Attached to Artillery Division, Army of Mississippi to April, 1862. Artillery, 2nd Division, Army of Mississippi to November 1862. 1st Brigade, 8th Division, 13th Army Corp (Old), Dept. of the Tennessee to December 1862. 1st brigade, 8th Division, 16th Army Corps, to March 1863. 4th Brigade, 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps, to November 1863. Fuller’s Brigade, 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps, to March 1864. Artillery 4th Division, 16th Army Corps to September, 1864. Artillery, 1st Division 27th Army Corps to November 1864. Artillery Brigade 17th Army Corps to June 1865.

SERVICE – Siege of New Madrid, MO., March 3-14th, 1862. Siege and capture o Island No. 10, Mississippi River, March 15-April 8th. Expedition to Fort Pillow, Tenn., April 13-17. Moved to Hamburg Landing, Tenn., April 17-22. Action at Monterey April 29th. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30th. Reconnaissance toward Corinth May 8th. Action at Farmington May 9th. Near Corinth May 24th. Occupation of Corinth May 30th. Pursuit to Booneville May 31-June 12th. Duty at Corinth till November. Reconnaissance from Burnsville toward Iuka and action September 16th. Battle of Iuka September 19th. Battle of Corinth October 3-4. Pursuit to Ripley October 5-12th. Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign November 2, 1862 to January 10th 1863. Duty at Corinth till April 1863. Dodge’s Expedition to Northern Alabama April 15-May 2nd. Rock Cut, near Tuscumbia, April 22nd. Tuscumbia April 23rd. Town Creek April 28th. Moved to Memphis, Tenn., May 13th and duty there till October 18th. At Iuka, Miss., till November. Moved to Prospect, Tenn., and duty there till March, 1864. At Decatur , Ala., till May. Atlanta, GA. Campaign May 1st to September 8th. Demonstrations on Resaca May 8-13th. Sugar Valley, near Resaca, May 9th. Near Resaca May 13th. Battle of Resaca May 14-15th. Advance on Dallas May 18-25th. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5th. Operation about Marietta and against Kennesaw Mountain June 10-July 2nd. Assault on Kennesaw June 27th. Nickajack Creek July2-5th, Ruff’s Mills July 3-4. Chattahoochee River July 5-17th. Sandtown July 6-7th. Decatur and battle of Atlanta July 22nd. Siege on Atlanta July 22-August 25th. Duty at Marietta till October. Pursuit of Hood into Alabama October 3-26th. March to the sea November 15-December 10th. Siege on Savannah December 10-21st. Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Fishburn’s Plantation, near Lane’s Bridge, Salkehatchie River, SC., February 6th. Binnaker’s Bridge February 9th. Orangeburg February 11-12th. Columbia February 16-17th. Cheraw February 28th. Fayetteville, NC., March 11th. Battle of Bentonville March 19-21st. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24th. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14th. Occupation of Raleigh April 14th. Bennett’s House April 26th. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D.C. via Richmond, VA., April 29-May 19th. Grand Review May 24th. Mustered out at Detroit, MI., June 22, 1865.

Battery lost 37 in total during service: 3 enlisted men were killed and/or mortally wounded and 34 enlisted men by disease.

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