Recruitment and Training
The Fifth Light Artillery Battery (5th Wisconsin Light Artillery Battery) organized at Camp Utley, Racine, Wisconsin, and mustered into the service of the United States on October 10, 1861. The unit left the state on March 15, 1862, for St. Louis, Missouri, then proceeded down the river to New Madrid, Missouri. They remained in Missouri until the surrender of Island No. 10.
On the 19th of April, the Fifth Battery moved up the Mississippi and Tennessee rivers, finally disembarking near Hamburg Landing, Tennessee, on May 7, 1862. The battery accompanied the army in the advance on Corinth and the Siege of Corinth. Later, the battery retreated with the Union Army northward into Kentucky and participated in the battle of Chaplin Hills (also known as the Battle of Perryville) during October 1862. The Fifth Battery also participated in the advance and Battle of Stones River (also known as the Second Battle of Murfreesboro) from December 31, 1862, to January 1, 1863, and in the Tullahoma Campaign which took place from June 23 to July 7, 1863. Later in the year they engaged in the advance on Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Next, the Fifth Battery was assigned to the Second Division of the Fourteenth Army Corps, and in May 1864, accompanied the advance of the Union army under General Sherman in the Atlanta Campaign. From May 1st until September 8th, 1864, the battery participated in many of the battles and all the marches of the Atlanta Campaign. The Fifth Battery assisted the Fourteenth Corps after the surrender of Atlanta, marching with them on the Savannah Campaign from November 15 to Dec. 21, 1864, and the Campaign of the Carolinas from January 1 to April 26, 1865.
In addition, they participated in many minor engagements and in the battle of Bentonville from March 19 to 21, 1865. The battery also took part in the Grand Review at Washington, D.C., remaining in camp thereabouts until the early part of June. Afterwards, the Fifth Battery returned to Madison. They mustered out of the service on June 6, 1865, and disbanded.
Casualties of 5th Wisconsin Independent Battery Light Artillery
The 5th Light Artillery lost 1 officer and 5 soldiers to mortal wounds, and 1 officer and 18 soldiers to disease.
For Further Research
Search our collections for photos and artifacts from Wisconsin in the Civil War. Read about other Wisconsin Civil War regiments. For detailed regimental histories of the U.S. Civil War, consult the Frederick H. Dyer, Compendium of the War of the Rebellion: Regimental Histories.
The histories above, unless otherwise noted, are adopted from Charles E. Estabrook, ed., Records and Sketches of Military Organizations, (Madison, 1914).