1st  Ohio  Light  Artillery, Battery  C
Battery “C” was one of twelve battery companies of the 1st Regiment, Ohio Light Artillery. Each Battery had its own separate history and served independently on several different fields of battle. Battery “C” consisted of 262 volunteer soldiers from the Ohio Counties of Ashland, Geauga & Lake that had enlisted for three years of service. They were organized at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio, and mustered into service for the Union Army during the Civil War on September 9, 1861.
After leaving their training quarters in Ohio, they followed the Army of the Ohio into Kentucky and first saw action at the Battle of Mill Springs in January of 1862. They were later attached to the Army of the Cumberland and took part in several major engagements including the Battles of Perryville, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and were with General William T. Sherman during the Atlanta Campaign. The surviving members of Battery “C” re-enlisted when their term expired and continued to fight until the end of the war. They witnessed the surrender of Confederate General Joe Johnston in North Carolina and then participated in the Army’s Grand Review at Washington D.C. The soldiers of Battery “C” were mustered out of service on June 15, 1865 and returned to their homes in Ohio.
History of the OVCWA’s
1st Ohio Light Artillery, Battery C
 
The reenacting group that portrays Battery C of the 1st Ohio Light Artillery began when the Ohio Valley Civil War Association was formed in 1997. Most of the founding members had been reenactors of the 35th Ohio Infantry as well as part of the old Midwest Artillery Association. Members chose to represent Battery C because the battery had fought as part of the same brigade that the 35th Ohio Infantry had belonged to.
The artillery piece that the group uses is a fully functional period reproduction that was built in the mid-1980’s by Gary North based on specifications for the Model 1841 six pounder smoothbore. Most often referred to as a cannon, this gun is manned by a crew of experienced reenactors dedicated to safety and procedure who are all members of the Association. New members that have been mustered into the group are trained how to properly work the gun and together they perform living history demonstrations at several locations every year. Educational programs have been conducted by the group at National Civil War Battlefields including Gettysburg, Antietam, Chickamauga, and Kenesaw Mountain as well as events in places such as Fort McAllister, Glendower, Tall Stacks, the Dayton, Ohio V.A., various schools, and many other venues.
The focus of the group is to explain the daily functions of Civil War artillery and to present the technology of that time period through demonstrations and displays.
-The gun crew conducting a living history demonstration at an event with the North-South Skirmish Association near Pleasant Hill, Ohio in August, 2011. (Photo by Phil Spaugy)
-Sgt. Motsinger instructs the "School of the Piece" to the visitors at Glendower. (Photo by Pat Taylor)
- Richard Snyder and Willard Motsinger with their artillery display at Glendower in September, 2011. (Photo by Rufus Guy)
- The 1st Ohio Light Artillery standing with one of their 6-ponder guns. (This is a pre-war photograph)
- The 1st Ohio Light Artillery, Battery C at a reunion in Madison, Ohio on August 31, 1906. (Photo courtesy of Tracy Doyle-Savage)
``The Piece``

The Piece

Model 1841 6-Pounder Smooth-bore

  • Bore Diameter: 3.67 inches
  • Standard Powder Charge: 1 to 1.25 lbs
  • Projectiles: 6 lbs solid shot, spherical case, shell, and canister
  • Tube Length: 60 inches
  • Tube Weight: 884 lbs
  • Effective Range (at 5 degrees): up to 1,523 yards

In the early to mid 19th century, the 6-pounder field gun was a lightweight and very mobile piece and was very popular during the Mexican War in the late 1840’s. By the mid-1850’s, the 6-pounder was considered to be obsolete and outdated due to its lack of range and the size of the projectile. Both the North and the South made use of it for the first couple of years during the Civil War until it was replaced by more effective weapons.

By mid- 1863 it was phased out of service on the front line in both the Western and Eastern Theatres of the war with the exception of Sherman’s armies where it wasn’t removed until the time of the Siege of Atlanta. The surviving six pounders were relegated to the backwaters of the war or to war effort foundries where they would be recast as larger twelve pounders were favored in production. The old six pounder was finally taken off Federal inventory in 1868.

This particular gun in the photograph that is used by the OVCWA was built by Gary North in the mid-1980’s based on specifications for the Model 1841 6-pounder smooth-bore. (Smooth-bore meaning that the barrel is not rifled.) It is a fully functional period reproduction and took nearly two years to complete.

The barrel is made out of 4143 steel with a strength of approximately 75,000 psi that is several times the strength of the original field pieces from the Civil War of the same design which makes it safer to use by modern standards.

- The Gun Crew at Gettysburg. October, 2008. Corpl. Snyder at the left. Front rank- Knasel, McGowan, and Mitchell. Rear rank- Spencer, Lady, and Barnett. (Photo by Ed Corley)
- Artillery artifacts at Glendower, 2011. (Photo by Walt McVicker)