Battery "D" was organized along with the 11th. Infantry, having its rendezvous at Coldwater, mustering into the service of the United States on September 17, 1861. Its officers were: Captain Alonzo F. Bidwell, of Coldwater. First Lieutenant Josiah W. Church, Coldwater. First Lieutenant James M. Beedle, Union City and Second Lieutenant William Greene, of Wayne, Indiana.
The Battery left their rendezvous at Coldwater on December the 9th., taking its route to the field in Kentucky. There are no records of its movements prior to June 26, 1863, when they are reported to be under the command of Captain Church, Captain Bidwell having resigned on August 2, 1862. They were engaged in the action at Hoover's Gap, Tn, on June 26, 1863, then in the battle of Chickamauga on the 19th. and the 20th., September following. 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, bring off only a 12 pounder Howitzer. Their loss was nine wounded and three missing, Captain Church being among the wounded.
A newspaper correspondent 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 Road."
Another correspondent wrote:
"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.'
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. On the 24th., they aided in covering Hooker's advance up Lookout Mountain, then on the 25th., the assault on Mission Ridge.
On the 5th. of December the Battery left Chattanooga for Nashville, where they remained during the winter, engaging in the defence of that place from the 12th. to the 16th. of December.
On the 3rd. of March, 1864, they were ordered to Mufreesboro, where they remained during the year, occupying "Redoubt Brannon", the flag station of Fort Rosecrans. The Battery was then commanded by Captain H.B. Corbin, Captain Church having been promoted to Major in the regiment. While General Hood was operating against Nashville, his right resting near Murfreesboro, the Battery was engaged with his forces at various times, from the 12th. to the 16th. of December. They remained on duty at Fort Rosecrans until July 15, 1865, when they proceeded , under the command of Captain Jesse Fuller, to Michigan, reaching Jackson on the 22nd. They were mustered out of the service on the 3rd. of August, then soon after paid off and disbanded.
|Hoover's Gap, Tn||Chickamauga, Ga||Chattanooga, Tn|
|Mission Ridge, Tn||Nashville, Tn|
Organized at White Pigeon, Mich., September 17 to December 7, 1861.
Left State for Kentucky December 9, 1861.
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, Defences 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.
Mustered out August 3, 1865.
|Killed in Action||1|
|Died of Wounds||1|
|Total Casualty Rate||11.9%|