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 21, 1862, the 17th Ohio Independent Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery mustered into service at Dayton, Ohio. This organization was also known as Blount's Battery, named after Ambrose A. Blount, one of the battery's captains. The men in the battery were to serve three years.
Upon mustering into service, the 17th traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio, where the battery received its arms and equipment. On September 3, 1862, the organization crossed the Ohio River into Kentucky and fortified a position in the rear of Covington near Fort Wallace. Union authorities expected an attack from Confederate forces under the command of General Kirby Smith. The Confederate assault did not occur, and the 17th marched via Lexington, Kentucky to Louisville, Kentucky, where the battery boarded transports for Memphis, Tennessee. On December 1, 1862, the organization accompanied General William T. Sherman's command down the Mississippi River to the vicinity of Chickasaw Bayou, near Vicksburg, Mississippi. The 17th assisted the Northern force in destroying a portion of the O. and S. Railroad and also fought in the Union defeat at the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou (December 26-29, 1862). The battery next fought in the Battle of Arkansas Post (January 9-11, 1863), before entering winter encampment at Young's Point, Louisiana.
In March 1863, the 17th moved to Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, where the organization joined the 13th Army Corps, and on April 15, 1863, embarked upon Ulysses S. Grant's Vicksburg Campaign. The battery participated in the Battles of Port Gibson (May 1, 1863), Champion Hill (May 16, 1863), Big Black River Bridge (May 17, 1863), and in the Siege of Vicksburg, which ended with the Union's capture of this city on July 4, 1863. The 17th next engaged in the Siege of Jackson, Mississippi, assisting Union forces in capturing this location. Officials sent the 13th Army Corps, including the 17th, to New Orleans, Louisiana, where the Northerners arrived in mid August 1863. In the autumn of 1863, the battery joined the Grand Teche Expedition and fought in the Battle of Grand Coteau, Louisiana on November 3, 1863. At this engagement, the 17th lost twenty-five men killed or wounded and twenty-one horses, one gun, and one caisson captured. Following this Union defeat, the battery returned to New Orleans, where it performed garrison duty until August 1864.
In August 1864, the 17th joined the Northern advance on Mobile, Alabama, helping to capture Fort Morgan. The battery returned to New Orleans after the Union's seizure of Fort Morgan. The organization joined the 16th Army Corps at New Orleans and returned to Mobile to assault Confederate soldiers in this city in March 1865. In April 1865, the 17th moved to Montgomery, Alabama. Before arriving at this new location, the battery engaged Confederate forces at Blakely, Alabama. After this battle, the 17th's commanding officer issued the following report:
HDQRS. SEVENTEENTH OHIO BATTERY, Near Blakely, Ala., April 10, 1865.
I have the honor to report the following as the amount of artillery captured April 9, 1865, by the Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, at Blakely, Ala.:
Eight light 12-pounder bronze guns, smooth; two 10-pounder Parrott guns, rifled; one 6-pounder bronze gun, rifled; three 6-pounder bronze guns, smooth; one 12-pounder howitzer, bronze; two 12-pounder howitzers, iron; one 7-inch siege gun, marked J. R. A. & Co., T. F., 1861; two 8-inch siege guns, marked R. L. B., Nos. 4 and 10; one 30-pounder Parrott gun, Selma, March, 1865; 4 iron mortars, Coehorn; total,21 guns and 4 mortars. Also 9 caissons and limbers complete; 11 limbers for guns; the complete running gear for 4 guns and 4 caissons; 1 battery wagon complete; 1 forge.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
CHAS. S. RICE,
Capt. Seventeenth Ohio Battery.
Maj. J. B. SAMPLE,
Upon reaching Montgomery, the battery performed garrison duty until early August, when officials ordered the organization to Camp Chase, at Columbus, Ohio. On August 16, 1865, the 17th mustered out of service at Camp Chase.
During the 17th Battery's term of service, the organization had only one man killed on the battlefield and forty-three soldiers, including one officer, die from disease or accidents.