Shields' Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery (1862 - 1865)

Updated: August 11, 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 September 10, 1862, the 19th Ohio Independent Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery organized at Camp Taylor, at Cleveland, Ohio. This organization was also known as Shields' Battery, named after Joseph C. Shields, one of the battery's captains. The men in the battery were to serve three years and primarily came from the vicinity of Cleveland.

On October 6, 1862, the 19th departed Camp Taylor for Covington, Kentucky, where the battery performed garrison duty and drilled. In July 1863, the battery left Covington and pursued Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's cavalrymen through Indiana and Ohio, before returning to Kentucky and joining the Reserve Artillery Corps of the Army of the Ohio. The 19th advanced to Knoxville, Tennessee in the late summer of 1863 and fought in the Union victory at the Battle of Cumberland Gap (September 7-9, 1863). The battery returned to Knoxville, and participated in the Siege of Knoxville, taking a position in Fort Saunders on the Union right.

In the spring of 1864, the 19th joined the 2nd Division, 23rd Army Corps. On April 28, 1864, the battery embarked upon William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. The organization fought in the Battle of Rocky Face Ridge (May 9, 1864) and participated in every major engagement of the campaign. During the Atlanta Campaign, the 19th's commanding officer issued the following reports:

HDQRS. NINETEENTH OHIO BATTERY, In the Field, May 21, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor herewith to make the following report concerning the marches and engagements of the Nineteenth Ohio Battery since May 7, 1864:

May 7, 5 a. m., marched nine miles in the direction of Rocky Face Ridge Ga.;camped for the night. May 8,7.30 a. m., moved up to the foot of the ridge, where we remained during the day; 6 p. m., moved west of the ridge, went into camp for the night. May 9, 10 a. m., moved round into the valley east side of Rocky Face Ridge, advanced slowly until 12 m., when we took position 1,200 yards from the enemy's works, and opened fire on them and in a short time silenced their guns; at 7 p. m. all was quiet except the skirmishers. May 10, 8 a. m., our lines commenced falling back slowly; after the lines had fallen back almost to a right angle to their former position the battery was ordered into camp; about 10 o'clock an alarm was given that the enemy was advancing, when we again took position on the northeast point of Rocky Face Ridge, where we remained for two or three hours, and were again ordered into camp, where we remained till the morning of the 12th. 8 a. m., started on our march in the direction of Snake Creek Gap, marched ten miles, and camped for the night on the Claybourn farm. May 13, 1 a. m., got ready to march, but did not move until daylight, passed through Snake Creek Gap at 2 p. m., a distance of nine miles, went into battery on top of a ridge; remained till 4.30 p. m., when our lines advanced, we marching in line in the rear until we reached the Dalton road, a distance of one mile and a half, where we remained during the night. May 14, a. m., lines commenced advancing through an open field; advanced through a skirt of woods and encountered the enemy; 2 p. m., battery was ordered to the front and went into battery on top of a hill near Resaca in rear of the Second Division, Twenty-third Army Corps. Opened fire on the enemy and drove them from their works, afterward shelling the woods until dark. Lost 2 horses during the engagement. None of my men killed or wounded. Ammunition expended, 188 rounds. Ceased firing about 7 p. m., but remained in position till the morning of May 15, when we were relieved by the batteries of the First Division, Twenty-third Army Corps: 12 m., moved with the division in the direction of Tilton to re-enforce the Twentieth Army Corps, but the enemy fell back and we bivouacked for the night. May 16, 1 p. m., left camp, marched ten miles, crossed the Connesauga River, went into camp at 9 p. m. May 17, 4 a. m., marched to the Coosawattee River, crossed over, remained till 7 p. m.. when we were ordered to move; halted at 3 a. m. morning of the 18th, after marching a distance of about eight miles; 8.30 a. m., marched about fifteen miles. May 19, 5 a. m., marched eight miles and went into camp. May 20, 6.30 a. m., moved out slowly on the road, passed through Cassville at 8 a. m., marching four miles south, driving the enemy before us; 8 p. m., went into camp near Pettit's Creek.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

J. C. SHIELDS,

Capt. Nineteenth Ohio Battery.

Brig. Gen. M. S. HASCALL,

Comdg. Second Division, Twenty-third Army Corps.

HDQRS. NINETEENTH OHIO BATTERY, Decatur, Ga., September 9, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following history of the Nineteenth Ohio Battery from June 1, 1864, to the present date:

June 1, 7.p. m., moved two miles and went into camp. June 2, 7 a. m., moved half a mile; 4 p. m., moved to the extreme left and went into camp. June 3, moved into position, 500 yards from enemy's works. June 4, 11 a. m., took position in rebel works; fired six rounds by order of Maj.-Gen. Sherman. June 5 and 6, nothing done. June 7, moved two miles and went into camp. June 8, nothing transpired. June 9, went on reconnaissance; went three miles and found the enemy in works; returned at 5 p. m. June 10, 6 a. m., moved four miles; took position in front of the enemy's works; fired two rounds. June 11, remained in position; fired forty-three rounds. June 12, moved farther to the left and fired fourteen rounds; 1 man wounded. June 13 and 14, all quiet. June 15, fired 159 rounds; shelled the enemy and drove them from their works. June 16, 9 a. m., moved one mile. June 17, 1 p. m., moved three miles and went into camp. June 18, remained in camp. June 19, 2 p. m., moved three miles. June 20, remained in camp; drew thirty-three horses. June 21, remained in camp. June 22, 10 a. m., moved four miles and took position in an open field; the enemy drove in our pickets, but were repulsed with heavy loss; fired 167 rounds. June 23, moved half a mile and 300 yards from the rebel works. June 24 and 25, all quiet. June 26, moved fifty yards to the front and built works. June 27, 6 a. m., opened fire and fired all day at intervals; fired 588 rounds; 2 men wounded. June 28, all quiet. June 29, no firing; 2 men wounded and 1 killed by sharpshooters. June 30, all quiet.

July 1, 6 a. m., moved four miles: went into position. Remained in position during the 2d and 3d. July 4, moved back into camp. July 5, moved one mile. July 6, 6 a. m., moved to the railroad and went into camp, where we remained until the 8th, at 4 a. m., when we moved six or seven miles to the Chattahoochee River, and took position on the bank and fired six rounds to cover the crossing of our troops. July 9 crossed the river and went into camp. July 10, moved into position on top of a high hill near Powers' Ferry, where we remained until the 12th, when we moved back to the river and went into camp. July 13, all quiet. July 14, moved two miles and went into camp. July 15, put two pieces in position, where we remained until the 17th, when we marched four miles and went into position. July 18, marched to Peach Tree Creek. July 19, 5 a. m., moved toward Decatur; put two pieces on the skirmish line and shelled the enemy and drove them into the town, when we again shelled them and the town and drove them from the place; we then went into camp for the night. July 20, 5 a. m., moved four miles toward Atlanta and went in to camp for the night. July 21, all quiet. July 22, moved in front of Atlanta; put one gun into position in the road; fired twenty-three rounds; afterward moved on the line, built works, and fired 187 rounds into Atlanta; one gun disabled, but was put in repair immediately. July 23, fired at intervals of fifteen minutes during the day; fired thirty-nine rounds. July 24, Sunday, all quiet. July 25, fired twenty-four rounds. July 26, no firing. July 27, fired 111 rounds. July 28, fired 128 rounds. July 29, fired forty-seven rounds. July 30 and 31, no firing.

August 1, fired forty-nine rounds; moved at 7 p. m.; marched three miles and bivouacked for the night. August 2, marched seven miles toward the right and stopped for the night. August 3, 1 p. m., went into position on the bank of Big Peach Tree Creek. August 4, crossed the creek and took position, and built works under the fire of the enemy's artillery; fired eighty-nine rounds and silenced the enemy's guns. August 5, 1 man wounded. August 6, moved back into camp, where we remained until 1 p. m. of the 7th, when we marched two and a half miles and went into camp. August 8, 11 a. m., took one section out in front of the skirmish line to shell the woods in front of Col. Strickland's brigade. 9th, moved the other two pieces up and built works, where we remained until 5 p.m. of the 18th; during that time fired sixty-eight rounds; moved one mile and a half into an open field on the extreme right of the Second Division. August 19, took one piece about 800 yards in front of the line and opened fire on the enemy's works; drew their fire from six different works; fired twenty-four rounds and retired to our works; 3 p. m., the enemy blew up one of our limbers by striking it with a shell; 1 man wounded. August 20, nothing transpired. August 21, moved back into camp, where we lay until the morning of the 28th, when we moved one mile and took position; no enemy in sight; 5 p. m., moved three n, miles and took position. August 29, moved two miles and went into park for the night. August 30, marched five miles; put the guns in position; built no works. August 31, marched seven miles and took possession of the rebel works.

September 1, marched eight miles along the Macon railroad and went into camp. September 2, 6 a. m., moved five miles; went into camp in rear of the Fourth Army Corps, where we remained until 2 p. m. of the 5th, when we started back for Decatur, where we arrived on the 8th at 2 p. m., and where we still remain.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant

J. C. SHIELDS,

Capt. Nineteenth Ohio Battery.

Capt. EDMUND R. KERSTETTER

Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Div., 23d Army Corps.

Following the Union's capture of Atlanta, Georgia in early 1864, the 19th encamped at Atlanta, before moving to Decatur, Georgia. On October 3, the battery returned to Atlanta until November 14, 1864, when officials ordered the organization to Nashville, Tennessee. On December 15 and 16, 1864, the 19th participated in the Battle of Nashville, assisting Union forces in subduing Confederate John Bell Hood's army. After the battle, the 19th's commanding officer issued the following report:

HDQRS. NINETEENTH OHIO BATTERY, In the Field, December 22, 1864

SIR: In compliance with orders from division headquarters, I have the honor herein to state that during the engagements on the 15th and 16th instant my battery was held in reserve and did not take part in the actions with the enemy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

FRANK WILSON,

Capt. Nineteenth Ohio Battery.

Lieut. S. H. HUBBELL,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

The battery participated in the Union's pursuit of Hood's retreating army as far as the Tennessee River.

Upon reaching the Tennessee River, officials ordered the 19th to Fort Fisher, North Carolina. The organization boarded transports and sailed to Cincinnati, Ohio. The battery then took trains and transports to Fort Fisher, arriving on February 22, 1865. The 19th immediately sailed to Wilmington, North Carolina, where, on March 6, 1865, the battery embarked upon the North Carolina Campaign. On March 21, 1865, the organization reached Goldsboro, North Carolina, remaining at this location until April 9, 1865, when the 19th moved to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Upon the Civil War's conclusion in late April 1865, the 19th performed garrison duty at Salisbury, North Carolina until June 15, 1865, when the battery traveled to Goldsboro and then returned to Cleveland, Ohio. The organization reached Cleveland on June 23, 1865 and mustered out of service on June 29, 1865.

During the 19th Battery's term of service, the organization had only two men killed on the battlefield and seven soldiers die from disease or accidents.

Cite this Entry

MLA Style

"Shields' Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery," Ohio Civil War Central, 2019, Ohio Civil War Central. 14 Oct 2019 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=837>

APA Style

"Shields' Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery." (2019) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved October 14, 2019, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=837

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