Burnap's Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery (1862 - 1865)

Updated: August 10, 2011

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 January 1, 1862, the 7th Ohio Independent Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery mustered into service at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio. Officials recruited the battery in Meigs County, Ohio. The battery was also known as Burnap’s Battery, named after the organization’s commanding officer, Silas A. Burnap. The men in the battery were to serve three years.

The 7th remained at Camp Dennison until March 18, 1862, when the battery marched to Cincinnati and traveled via train cars to St. Louis, Missouri. At St. Louis, the organization joined General Henry Halleck’s command. On April 6, 1862, officials ordered the battery to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, with the organization arriving at this new location five days later. On April 20, 1862, the 7th joined the 7th Division, and eight days later embarked upon the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi. After the North’s capture of this important railroad junction, the battery joined the 4th Division and marched, via the Tennessee communities of Grand Junction, Lagrange, and Cold Water, to Memphis, Tennessee, arriving on July 21, 1862. While at Memphis, the organization participated in several reconnaissances before moving to Bolivar, Tennessee on September 16, 1862.

On October 4, 1862, officials dispatched the 7th and the rest of its division to Corinth, which was currently facing a Confederate attack. On the march to Corinth, the battery and its division routed a Southern force at the Big Hatchie River. By December 12, 1862, the 7th had joined General Ulysses S. Grant’s advance on Vicksburg Mississippi and had arrived at Yacona Creek in Mississippi. Confederate soldiers captured Grant’s supplies at Holly Springs, Mississippi, prompting Grant to terminate the campaign. The 7th withdrew to Memphis, where the organization encamped until May 1863.

On May 13, 1863, the 7th departed Memphis and took part in Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign. The battery sailed down the Mississippi River from Memphis to Young’s Point, Louisiana and then traveled up the Yazoo River to Haines’ Bluff. The unit then entered the Union’s siege lines around Vicksburg, Mississippi, assuming a position on Hall’s Ferry Road. The battery remained at this location until the Union’s capture of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863.

Immediately upon Vicksburg’s capture, officials dispatched the 7th 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 7, 1863 and immediately laid siege to the city. On the night of July 16, 1863, Johnston’s force evacuated Jackson, and the Union soldiers entered the city unopposed the following day. The 7th departed Jackson on July 21, 1863, reaching Vicksburg three days later.

On July 27, 1863, the 7th sailed on transports from Vicksburg to Natchez, Mississippi. At Natchez, the battery mainly performed guard duty but also participated in several reconnaissances and also skirmishes with Confederate forces. On November 11, 1863, the organization returned to Vicksburg. On December 1, 1863, the battery was encamped at Camp Hebron, near Big Black River Bridge, Mississippi. On January 1, 1864, twenty-two members of the 7th reenlisted and received a thirty-day furlough to their homes in Ohio. In late January 1864, the remaining members of the 7th joined General William T. Sherman's Meridian Campaign. On this expedition, the battery participated in engagements at Baker's Creek and Ricker's Run. Upon the campaign's termination, the organization returned to Vicksburg.

On May 7, 1864, the 7th advanced with a Union force to Benton, Mississippi, where the Battle of Benton occurred. The battery had one man, Phersilius Austin, killed in this engagement. On May 22, 1864, the unit returned to Vicksburg, where it performed garrison duty until January 3, 1865, when officials provided the battery's members with muskets and assigned the men to Jackson, Mississippi as infantrymen. On January 6, 1865, authorities mustered out of service fifty-two men whose term of service had expired. The battery remained at Jackson and also at Hazlehurst, Mississippi, guarding the Jackson and New Orleans Railroad, until July 1865.

In July 1865, authorities ordered the battery to Camp Dennison, where the 7th mustered out of service on August 11, 1865. During the 7th Battery’s term of service, one man died on the battlefield, while thirty-two soldiers, including one officer, perished from disease or accidents.

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"Burnap's Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery," Ohio Civil War Central, 2022, Ohio Civil War Central. 16 Aug 2022 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=822>

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"Burnap's Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery." (2022) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved August 16, 2022, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=822

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