Ohio Civil War » Objects » Entries » Hickenlooper’s Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery

Hickenlooper’s Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery


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 September 22, 1861, the 5th Ohio Independent Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery mustered into service at St. Louis, Missouri. Officials recruited the battery in Hamilton, Wayne, Jackson, and Mercer Counties, Ohio and immediately dispatched the recruits to Missouri, where the men joined General John C. Fremont’s command. The battery was also known as Hickenlooper’s Battery, named after the organization’s commanding officer, Andrew Hickenlooper. The men in the battery were to serve three years.

Upon mustering into service, the 5th immediately advanced, even before receiving weapons, with Fremont’s command from St. Louis to Springfield, Missouri. On October 11, 1861, officials ordered the battery to Jefferson City, Missouri, where the organization drilled and performed garrison duty. The battery did not receive its artillery pieces until January 17, 1862 and only after Ohio Governor William Dennison, Jr., personally acquired the weapons for the unit.

On March 7, 1862, the 5th boarded a steamer at Jefferson City and traveled, via Savannah, Tennessee, to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, arriving on March 19, 1862. On April 5, 1862, the battery joined the 6th Division of the Army of the Tennessee and encamped near the Shiloh Church, a few miles from Pittsburg Landing. The next morning, the Battle of Shiloh erupted. The battery was engaged the entire first day, with Confederate forces causing the unit to withdraw throughout the day. The 5th had two artillery pieces captured early in the battle but extricated the other four guns. The battery did not fight in the engagement’s second day, as the battery had no horses to move the cannons. In the Battle of Shiloh, the 5th had one man killed and twenty soldiers wounded.

Following the Union victory at the Battle of Shiloh, the 5th Battery participated in the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi. After the North’s capture of this important railroad junction, the battery remained encamped at Corinth, only joining a few brief expeditions, until mid September 1862, when the organization joined the Federal advance on Iuka, Mississippi. The battery did not participate in the Battle of Iuka (September 19, 1862) and returned to Corinth by early October. On October 4, 1862, the Battle of Corinth II occurred, with the 5th garrisoning Fort Phillips. The battery sustained no casualties in this engagement and joined the Union pursuit of the retreating Confederates to Ripley, Mississippi but quickly returned to Corinth as a Confederate force approached that location from the east.

The 5th next entered encampment at Grand Junction, Tennessee and prepared to join Ulysses S. Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign. Before the 5th departed Grand Junction, officials assigned the battery to the 4th Division of the Army of the Tennessee. In mid November 1862, Grant began his advance on Vicksburg, Mississippi. The 5th reached Holly Springs, Mississippi on November 29, 1862. On December 12, 1862, the organization went into camp at Yocana Creek, twelve miles south of Oxford, Mississippi. The Confederates’ capture of Union supplies at Holly Springs prompted Grant to terminate the campaign, and the battery retreated to the Tallahatchie River by Christmas 1862. On January 5, 1863, the organization arrived at Holly Springs, where the unit served as part of Grant’s rearguard, protecting the rear of the evacuating Northern soldiers. The 5th next traveled to Moscow, Tennessee, where officials assigned the unit to guard the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. On March 8, 1863, the battery began a movement to Memphis, Tennessee, where it encamped for two months, resting and drilling.

On May 17, 1863, the 5th boarded transports and sailed for Vicksburg, Mississippi to assist General Grant in capturing this city. While sailing down the Mississippi River, Confederate forces fired on the transports, prompting the Union soldiers to burn Greenville, Tennessee in retaliation. Upon reaching the vicinity of Vicksburg, the 5th encamped at Haines’ Bluff on the Yazoo River for several days. On June 1, 1863, the battery entered the Union’s siege lines around Vicksburg, remaining at this position as part of the 13th Army Corps until Vicksburg’s capture on July 4, 1863.

Immediately upon Vicksburg’s capture, officials dispatched the 5th and other Union forces to Jackson, Mississippi to engage a Confederate army under the command of Joseph E. Johnston. The Union soldiers reached Jackson on July 11, 1863 and immediately laid siege to the city. The next day, the battery participated in an assault on a portion of the Confederate line, suffering one man killed and eight wounded. On the night of July 16, 1863, Johnston’s force evacuated Jackson, and the Union soldiers entered the city unopposed the following day. The 5th departed Jackson on July 21, 1863, reaching Vicksburg three days later.

In late July 1863, officials ordered the 5th to Helena, Arkansas, where the battery arrived on July 29, 1863 and joined the 17th Army Corps of the Army of Arkansas. In early September 1863, the Army of Arkansas began a movement towards Little Rock, Arkansas. The Battle of Little Rock occurred on September 10, 1863, with the Union soldiers easily capturing the city. The 5th performed garrison duty at Little Rock, except for three minor expeditions, for the remainder of the battery’s term of service. Many of the unit’s members reenlisted on September 20, 1864, receiving a thirty-day furlough home to Ohio. In July 1865, authorities ordered the battery to Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio, where the 5th mustered out of service on July 31, 1865.

During the 5th Battery’s term of service, five men died on the battlefield, while thirty-six soldiers perished from disease or accidents.

Related Entries