In the American Civil War, Ohio provided the federal government with 260 regiments of men, including infantry, artillery, and cavalry units. Ohioans also served in several other regiments from other states, most notably from Kentucky, West Virginia, and Massachusetts, as well as in federal units.
In the American Civil War, Ohio provided the federal government with 260 regiments of men, including infantry, artillery, and cavalry units. Ohioans also served in several other regiments from other states, most notably from Kentucky, West Virginia, and Massachusetts, as well as in federal units. Almost 330,000 Ohio men, including 5,092 African Americans, served in the Union military during the conflict.
Artillery batteries formed in Ohio became known as batteries of Ohio Volunteer Artillery. They served for varying lengths of time, averaging one hundred days to three years. On August 17, 1861, the 4th Ohio Independent Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery mustered into service at Cincinnati, Ohio. The battery was also known as Hoffman’s Battery, named after the organization’s commanding officer, Louis Hoffman. The men in the battery were to serve three years.
On September 30, 1861, officials dispatched the 4th, via Jackson, Missouri, to Sedalia, Missouri. The battery joined General Franz Sigel’s command and, on October 13, 1861, embarked upon a campaign to capture Springfield, Missouri from Confederate forces. Sigel’s men captured Springfield on February 13, 1862 and pursued General Sterling Price’s retreating Confederates until February 20, 1862. On the return March to Springfield, Confederate forces attacked the rear of the Union column, including the 4th, near Bentonville, Arkansas. Officials deployed the battery, which effectively stymied the Southern attack. The Northern force continued to Sugar Creek, Arkansas. In early March, the Union soldiers advanced from Sugar Creek to Pea Ridge, Arkansas, where the Battle of Pea Ridge occurred on March 7, 1862. In this Union victory, the 4th had four men captured and three soldiers wounded.
On March 12, 1862, the 4th and other Union forces began a march to Helena, Arkansas on the Mississippi River. Confederate soldiers harassed the Union troopers throughout the movement, which reached Helena on July 14, 1862. On August 16, 1862, the battery embarked on an expedition, with Colonel C.R. Woods’s command, down the Mississippi River to Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana. Upon reaching Milliken’s Bend, the Union forces seized the Confederate steamer Fair Play and, on August 21, 1862, captured the entire camp of the 31st Regiment Louisiana Infantry. As the Northern soldiers pursued the retreating Confederates, the Federals also destroyed a railroad depot and several train cars loaded with supplies for General Sterling Price’s Confederate army. On August 27, 1862, the 4th Battery returned to Helena, where the organization remained encamped until early October 1862.
On October 7, 1862, the 4th sailed to St. Genevieve, Missouri and then advanced to Pilot Knob by October 17, 1862, remaining at this location until November 11, 1862. On that date, the battery began a movement back to St. Genevieve and then sailed to Helena, arriving on November 23, 1862 and encamping at Camp Steele, Mississippi. The battery next participated in General William T. Sherman’s movement towards Vicksburg, Mississippi, fighting in the Battles of Chickasaw Bayou (December 26-29, 1862) and Arkansas Post (January 9-11, 1863), with the organization having one cannon disabled at the second engagement. By January 29, 1863, the battery had moved to Perkin’s Plantation, Louisiana, guarding the Mississippi River from enemy transports. Floodwaters prompted the organization to move downriver to Ballard’s Farm, Louisiana, where the unit performed the same duty until April 2, 1863. The 4th next advanced to Greenville, where the unit skirmished with Confederate forces. On April 26, 1863, the battery began a movement to Milliken’s Bend, arriving the next day. The battery moved to Grand Gulf, Mississippi on May 2, 1863 and embarked upon General Ulysses S. Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign on May 6, 1863. The organization fought in the Battles of Raymond (May 12, 1863), Jackson (May 14, 1863), and Champion Hill (May 16, 1863), and Bick Black River Bridge (May 17, 1863) and also participated in the Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, which resulted in the Union’s capture of this stronghold on July 4, 1863.
On July 5, 1863, the 4th joined the Union movement against Confederate General Joseph Johnston’s army, which was garrisoning Jackson, Mississippi. The battery participated in the Siege of Jackson, capturing this city on July 17, 1863. The organization then moved to Vicksburg, arriving on September 22, 1863, and then to Memphis, Tennessee, arriving on September 28, 1863.
On October 1, 1863, the 4th departed Memphis for Corinth, Mississippi. Eight days later, the battery marched to Iuka, Mississippi, where the Battle of Iuka occurred on October 20, 1863.The organization then moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee to assist the besieged Northern Army of the Cumberland. Traveling through Chickasaw, Florence, Pulaski, Fayetteville, New Market, Woodville, Larkinsville, Bellefonte, Bridgeport, Shellmound, and Whitesides, the battery reached Chattanooga on November 23, 1863, joining the 15th Army Corps. The 4th fought in the Battles of Lookout Mountain (November 24, 1863) and of Missionary Ridge (November 25, 1863), breaking the Confederate siege of Chattanooga.
Following the Battle of Missionary Ridge, the 4th remained encamped at Chattanooga until December 3, 1863, reaching Larkinsville, Alabama near the end of the month and Woodville, Alabama on January 1, 1864. The battery remained at Woodville until April 30, 1864.
In early May 1864, the 4th embarked upon William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. The battery participated in the Battles of Resaca, Dallas, New Hope Church, and Kennesaw Mountain. In mid July 1864, the organization rebuilt a destroyed bridge over the Chattahoochie River st Rossville, Georgia. The 4th next fought in the Battles of Decatur and of Atlanta, Georgia.
Before the Atlanta Campaign’s conclusion, the 4th Battery’s term of service expired. On August 14, 1864, officials ordered the battery to Cincinnati, Ohio, where the unit arrived on August 23, 1864. On August 29, 1864, the battery mustered out of service. and officials reassigned any men whose term of service had not expired to the 10th Ohio Independent Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery.
During the 4th Battery’s term of service, six men, including one officer, died on the battlefield, while twenty-seven men, including one officer, perished from disease or accidents.