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5th Battery, Michigan Light Artillery
The rendezvous of Battery “E” 1st Michigan Light Artillery was at Marshall Michigan and was recruited along with the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics in the summer of 1861. It was mustered into the service of the United States, December 6th 1861, and left the state on the 17th of the same month. Once organized, the Battery was sent to Nashville Tennessee, where it joined the Western Army.
The Battery was engaged at Pittsburgh Landing on the morning of April 7th 1862, participating in the grand battle. Following Shiloh, the Battery was engaged at Fort Riley, Tennessee on the 20th of September.
Following Fort Riley, the Battery was sent into garrison at Nashville, where it remained, constituting part of the artillery reserve, until the 1st of June 1863 when it was attached to General Hard’s Brigade and ordered to Murfreesboro. After three months, the Battery was ordered to Nashville, participated in the Battle of Nashville and served there for the remainder of the year.
Fifty seven of the Battery reenlisted as veterans and received the customary furlough for this act, which they spent in Michigan.
During 1864 the battery remained in Nashville, except for one section whose guns participated in the raid made in July by the forces under Major General Rousseau, in Alabama and Georgia. Their guns were engaged with the enemy at Coosa, July 15th, and at Cheraw on the 20th.
In December of 1864 the Battery was attached to the 4th Army Corps, and in that month participated in the defense of Nashville against the attack of the Rebels under General John Bell Hood. The Battery gained an enviable reputation in that important battle and was engaged in pursuing his forces on their retreat southward.
The Battery remained at Nashville until February 1865; when it was ordered to Decatur, Alabama, where it constituted a part of the garrison of Decatur until it was ordered to Michigan for muster out of service on the 30th of July, 1865 at Fort Wayne, Detroit.
The original papers can be seen at the Marshall Michigan Historical Museum. The Battery’s original flag is on display at the Capitol in Lansing. All told, the Battery carried on its rolls 327 officers and men, lost one man who drowned, and lost 29 to disease.
Today, the 5th Battery carries on the traditions and uniforms of the original Battery. The Battery found its start on May 21, 1960, as the Lansing Light Artillery, being organized by Civil War buffs of the Lansing Muzzle Loading Gun Club.
The club soon changed its name to Battery C, 1st Michigan Light Artillery in order to join the North-South Skirmish Association (N-SSA) and take part in the 1961 Bull Run reenactment. A separation was made in 1962 and the club adopted its present name, 5th Battery, Michigan Light Artillery. It has remained active in all organized activities since. The men and women on our teams participate in Revolver, Carbine, Musket, and Henry competition as well as live cannon firing at the Historic Cannon Competition, sponsored by Loomis' Battery, and held annually at Camp Grayling, Michigan.
The Battery has two original 6 pound bronze cannons from the Civil War. These cannons are in demand for numerous public appearances where the cannon crew demonstrates cannon firing procedures. The Battery has honored requests to participate in the opening ceremonies for the State of Michigan Library and Archives, and the rededication of the Michigan State Capital. One of the Battery’s cannon was the centerpiece of a year long Civil War Exhibit, “Rally Round the Flags” at the Michigan Historical Museum, Lansing Michigan.