SIDNEY — Battery M of the 1st Ohio Light Artillery was initially organized under Ohio’s militia laws in 1860 under the command of Colonel James Barnett. It was composed primarily of German-speaking men from Shelby County, with additional enlistees from Auglaize and Miami Counties.
With the outbreak of the Civil War, Battery M was reorganized at Camp Dennison near Cincinnati, Ohio. The troops were mustered in for a three-year enlistment on December 3, 1861. Major (later promoted to Captain) Frederick Schultz was given command of the unit. .
Battery M was ordered to Louisville, Kentucky on Dec. 3; then moved to Bacon Creek, Kentucky and saw duty there until February 1862. Battery M then marched to Nashville, Tennessee, Feb. 10-March 3, 1862, and to Savannah, Tennessee starting out on March 17 and arriving April 6.
Battery M participated in the Battle of Shiloh on April 7. They then advanced on and participated in the siege of Corinth, Mississippi from April 29 through May 30. Battery M participated in Buell’s Campaign in northern Alabama and middle Tennessee from June until August 1862. The battery was attached to the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Ohio, through September 1862.
They were then assigned to the 8th Division, Army of the Ohio, until November 1862 and during this time served garrison duty at Nashville, Tennessee.
The battery was briefly assigned to the 2nd Division, Center, XIV Corps, Army of the Cumberland, until January 1863. During this time, Battery M advanced on Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the march taking from Dec. 26 through Dec. 30. They saw action in the Battle of Stones River Dec. 30–31, 1862, and Jan. 1–3, 1863.
The battery was then assigned to the 2nd Division, XIV Corps until October 1863. During their time with this organization, Battery M had garrison duty at Murfreesboro until June, then participated in the Tullahoma Campaign June 23 through July 7. They were part of the occupation force that held middle Tennessee until August 16. Battery M then crossed over the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River participating in the Chickamauga Campaign August 16 through September 22. They saw action at Davis Cross Roads/Dug Gap on September 11 and then the Battle of Chickamauga Sept. 19–21.
Another change in assignment occurred in October 1863, while the men participated in the Siege of Chattanooga, Tennessee from Sept. 24 through Nov. 23. The battery was assigned to the 1st Division, Artillery Reserve, Department of the Cumberland until March 1864.
During this assignment Battery M participated in the Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign Nov. 23–27 and saw action at Missionary Ridge Nov. 24–25. They were then ordered to Nashville, Tennessee in December 1863.
While still in Nashville, Teneesee, they were again transferred, this time to the 2nd Division, Artillery Reserve, Department of the Cumberland in April 1864. After completing their duty in Nashville, Tennessee, Battery M joined Sherman’s army at Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia on June 25. They participated in operations against Kennesaw Mountain June 25 through July 2, and were engaged in the assault on Kennesaw June 27. They then saw action at Chattahoochie River July 3 through July 17, and at Peachtree Creek July 19–20.
Another transfer occurred during in August 1864 during their participation in the Siege of Atlanta from July 22 through Aug. 25. They were assigned to the Artillery Brigade, IV Corps, Army of the Cumberland through October 1864. Battery M was part of the flanking movement on Jonesboro Aug. 25–30, and was engaged in the Battle of Jonesboro August 31 through Sept. 1 while assigned to the Artillery Brigade, IV Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
Battery M was ordered to Chattanooga in September, and served there until December 1864. For the remainder of their service, Battery M was assigned to the Garrison Artillery, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Department of the Cumberland. Non-veterans were mustered out at Camp Dennison, Ohio, December 17, 1864. Veterans were garrisoned at Chattanooga until April 1865.
Battery M, 1st Ohio Light Artillery ceased to exist on April 11, 1865. All remaining troops were consolidated with Battery I, 1st Ohio Light Artillery.
The battery lost a total of 19 men during service; two enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 17 enlisted men died of disease. Many of the survivors joined Neal Post #62, Grand Army of the Republic in Sidney following the war.