Who We Were
The original Battery D, under the command
of Captain William W. Andrew, was mustered into service for the Union
army on Sept. 17, 1861 to December 7, 1861 in White Pigeon, MI and left
for the war on Dec. 9. The Battery was attached to 1st Division, Army
of the Ohio, to September, 1862. Artillery, 1st Division, 3rd Corps, Army
of the Ohio, to November, 1862. Artillery, 3rd Division, Center 14th Army
Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to January, 1863. Artillery, 3rd Division,
14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to October, 1863. Artillery,
2nd Division, Artillery Reserve, Dept. of the Cumberland, to March, 1864.
Garrison Artillery, Murfreesboro, Tenn., Dept. of the Cumberland, to July,
1864. 1st Brigade, Defenses of Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, Dept.
of the Cumberland, to March, 1865. 1st Brigade, 1st Sub-District, District
of Middle Tennessee, Dept. of the Cumberland, to August, 1865.
On January 11, 1862, Captain Andrew resigned, and was replaced by Alonzo
Bidwell. Captain Bidwell resigned August 2, 1862, and was replaced by
Josiah W. Church, who served as such until his promotion to major on the
23rd of March, 1864. Henry B. Corbin was then promoted to Captain, until
his discharge on Feb. 8th, 1865. Jesse B. Fuller then assumed command
until March 13th, when he was breveted to Lt. Colonel of the Battery.
The Battery saw duty at Camp Dick Robinson and Somerset, Ky., until January,
1862. They took part in the advance on Camp Hamilton, Ky., January 1-17,
Mill Springs, Fishing Creek, January 19, then moved to Nashville, Tenn.,
February 10-March 2. During March 20-April 8, they marched to Savannah,
Tenn. The Battery was next involved in the advance on and siege of Corinth,
Miss., April 29-May 30. Following this, they were also involved in the
Pursuit to Booneville, from May 31-June 12. Following this, they saw duty
at Iuka, Miss., and Tuscumbia, Ala., until August. From August 21-September
26, they marched to Louisville, Ky., in pursuit of Bragg. The Pursuit
of Bragg to continued to Crab Orchard, Ky., October 1-15. The Battery
was then utilized in the Battle of Perryville, Ky., on October 8. Following
this, they marched to Nashville, Tenn., during the period of October 16-November
7, and saw duty there until December 26. They were involved the advance
on Murfreesboro December 26-30, and were in the Battle of Stone River
December 30-31, 1862, and January 1-3, 1863. Duty at Murfreesboro resumed,
until June. The Middle Tennessee (or Tullahoma) Campaign occupied the
Battery from June 23 to July 7, and Hoover's Gap during June 24-26. They
were present for the Occupation of Middle Tennessee until August 16, when
they made passage through the Cumberland Mountains, and across the Tennessee
River, for the Battle of Chickamauga (Ga.) Campaign, August 16-September
A couple of newspaper correspondents wrote as follows:
"This battery was hotly engaged early in the battle of the 19th.,
being with the 1st. Brigade, 3rd. Division of the 14th. Corp. The enemy
advancing, the battery fired shell until they were within two hundred
yards, when seeing the support on the left break, it was ordered to double
shot the guns with cannister, and by firing low and rapid, with the help
of the infantry support on the right, the enemy were soon driven from
our entire front, so far as could be seen. On the 20th., at about 12 o'clock
at night, the battery was in the front line on the right of the 7th. Ohio
Infantry and on the left of the 11th. Michigan Infantry, belonging to
Colonel Stanley's brigade of Negley's division, and remained there until
after daylight. After changing position several times with but little
firing, until it arrived at the last position. It had been in this position
for about an hour when orders were received to limber up, the fighting
being heavy on the left and gradually advancing in front upon the battery.
While this was being accomplished the enemy attacked, and were immediately
engaged as they advanced, having an enfilading fire on a portion of his
force, and by hard fighting for about fifteen minutes his advance was
checked and a battery silenced which had been playing on the line. Firing
then ceased for a short time, and until the enemy again engaged. The front
was held in good order for some twenty minutes, when the enemy again advanced
obliquely on the right, and in such overwhelming numbers that the support
on the right was obliged to give way while endeavoring to change their
front. The enemy was then so near that Captain Church ordered the guns
double shotted with cannister, which kept them back for a short time.
The 7th. Ohio having fallen back, the 82nd. Indiana advanced to the line
as a support, taking possession of a slight rail breastwork, but the firing
proving too heavy for so small a body of men to contend with, they were
obliged to fall back. All support having failed and many horses shot,
orders were given to move the pieces off by hand, and four were retired
about fifty yards. Here three of them were limbered up with much difficulty
under a most galling fire, and got away, moving to a ridge in the rear
where the reserve artillery was posted. Firing continued here, and all
that was saved of the battery was a twelve pounder howitzer, having been
obliged to abandon the other guns for want of horses, when Captain Church,
with what was left of his battery, moved to the rear on the Chattanooga
"No battery was more skillfully handled nor did a better execution
on that bloody battle-field than Church's and although five of his guns
were captured after the horses were killed, he has the proud satisfaction
of hearing it said by his superiors that 'No commander could have fought
longer under like circumstances, nor retreated from the field with more
honor.' He maintained his position until the last, and made terrible havoc
among the rebel masses. At every discharge of his pieces--and the messages
followed each other in quick succession-- wide gaps were opened in the
ranks of the maddened foe, and strange to say, they as often closed such
gaps as regularly as on dress parade. When the rebel General Preston,
who led the charge, got possession of the guns, he looked around and inquired
of a wounded soldier lying on the ground, whose battery it was. 'Captain
Church's Michigan Battery.' 'Well' said he, 'If you live to see Captain
Church, give him my compliments, and tell him he had the d----est battery
I ever fought. I have lost over 400 men in taking it, but, thank God,
I have got it now, and mean to keep it.'
At Hoover's Gap, they inflicted severe damage
upon the southern forces. Their loss in this action was one man wounded.
At Chickamauga they were heavily engaged, and overwhelmed by numbers,
having to abandon five of their pieces, bringing off only a 12 pounder
Howitzer. Their loss was nine wounded and three missing, Captain Church
being among the wounded. On the 1st. of November, 1863, the Battery was
lying in camp at Chattanooga,Tn. They were on the 23rd., furnished with
a battery of 20 pound Parrot guns, and took position in Fort Negley, one
of the principal forts in the line of works at Chattanooga, and immediately
in front of that place. The Battery, from Fort Negley, shelled the rebels
during the battles of the 23rd.,24th., and 25th. of November. They also
aided in covering Hooker's advance up Lookout Mountain, and on the assault
on Mission Ridge. They were then ordered to Nashville, Tenn., December
5, and garrison duty there until March 30, 1864. They were then moved
to Murfreesboro March 30, and garrison duty at Fort Rosecrans until July,
1865, being involved in the Siege of Murfreesboro December 5-12, 1864.
It was mustered out of service in Jackson, MI on August 3, 1865, then
soon after paid off and disbanded.. While in service, it had on its rolls
334 officers and men, and had lost 1 man killed in action, 1 died of wounds,
and 38 of disease.
Who We Are
We are members of the National Civil War Association.
Our members are both relatives of those who served in the Civil War and
those who simply enjoy looking back and experiencing that period of time.
We come from every walk of life imaginable. We find ourselves, individually,
drawn to reenacting for several reasons: historical interests, comaradarie,
interest in guns and military studies, artistic interests (musical, theatrical,
and others), and more. Collectively, we aim to learn about history as
we teach it, mainly by bringing it alive to those who witness. Because
the most important thing to remember, is that in order to make a better
future, we must better understand the past. History is our record of our
development as a whole, including all of the mistakes made before. Understanding
history, is studying how to better handle the challenges that rise before
us. All ages are welcome and encouraged to join our organization, but
in order to serve on the guns you must be 16 years of age.
What We Do
We strive to portray the most historically accurate
presentation of life during the Civil War. We have regular reenactments
(battle AND living history), guest speaking appearances, and classroom
visits, where we try to teach and learn more about the way of life in
the 1860's, by providing an entertaining look at history. We also strive
to impress upon people today the trials and tribulations that the typical,
hardworking person underwent merely to survive in those times, notwithstanding
the pressures of war, and to teach our fellow human beings that the war,
and the symbols and reminders of it, should not be erased as signs of
hatred, but remembered as lessons of the past, and tributes to those who
gave uncompromisingly to build this Great Country in which we now live.
We have complete families assisting in this portrayal, from babies to
The Original Battery D has a monument in its honor
placed on the battlefield of Chickamauga, near the Poe House, erected
by the veterans in 1895, although now it has been the victim of vandalism.
Several of our members hope to one day raise enough support to assist
in restoring the monument to its original grandeur.
Jim Newkirk,our Founding member, is the
Past Commander of the National Civil War Artillery Association. He has also
been awarded the Daughters of The American Revolution's "American History
Teacher of The Year Award" for the State of Michigan.
Ethan Barnett is Past Secretary for The National Artillery
Association, and Present Commander of the National Civil War Artillery Association.
Many of our family are members of the Sons of Union
Veterans, amongst other honorable organizations.
Several of our members have been in the
movies Gettysburg and/or Gods and Generals, as well as the movie Kill