Artillery Units: 1st Reg't. Ohio Volunteer Heavy Artillery
The biographical sketches here show only those members of the unit who wrote letters to their local newspapers. Information may be drawn from the unit roster, newspaper obituaries, or other biographical sources.
Joshua S. Preble enlisted as a 36 year old First Lieutenant on April 26, 1861 in Company G, 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The short summer campaign in Virginia ended and Lieutenant Preble was mustered out August 12, 1861. Following his stint with the 21st Ohio, he recruited Company K, 65th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and was commissioned Captain November 17, 1861, mustering into service December 10, 1861. He served with this regiment only briefly before resigning his commission effective April 14, 1862. The following year, he was commissioned Captain in Battery L, 1st Ohio Volunteer Heavy Artillery, receiving his commission May 30, 1863 and mustering into service August 12, 1863. Battery L was assigned to the Knoxville, Tennessee area and spent most of the remainder of the war in that vicinity. In the summer of 1864, Battery L was involved in operations targeted against guerillas, Captain Preble's report of which follows below. With the ending of the war, Captain Preble was mustered out of service July 25, 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky.
Letter: Hancock Jeffersonian: June 14, 1861
Report of Capt. Joshua S. Preble, First Ohio Heavy Artillery, of the pursuit of the Confederates and skirmish near Murphy, N. C.
HDQRS. CO. L. FIRST OHIO VOL. HEAVY ARTILLERY, Loudon, Tenn., August 5, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on the 1st day of August, in accordance with instructions from Lieut.-Col. Patterson, commanding post at Loudon, Tenn., I repaired (with Capt. Bivens, commanding a squad of eighty men detailed from Companies M, L, C, and H, First Ohio Volunteer Heavy Artillery, for the purpose of driving a band of guerrillas) to Athens, Tenn. We arrived at the latter place at 12 m. of said day to find the rebels gone. In accordance with my instructions I then took command of the detachment. I pressed all the horses and mules I could find and mounted sixty of my men, and with them and five citizens, at 1.30 p. m., started in pursuit. We pushed on some thirty miles until it became dark, following the trail of the scoundrels, which was a wide one, they having plundered everything indiscriminately which came in their way. At 3 o'clock next morning we again started in pursuit, but owing to the fact that most of my men were poorly mounted, it was impossible for them to keep up.
At 11 a. m. I came up with the enemy near the village of Murphy, in North Carolina, sixty-five miles from Athens. With fifteen of my men, all who had come up, I charged on the enemy. We killed 10 and wounded a number more. We captured 18 horses, 6 mules, 20 guns, 4 revolvers, and 2 small pistols, and a number of other articles. We took no prisoners. It is needless to add that the enemy were completely demoralized and fled in every direction. Our loss was 1 citizen-soldier killed. My men being very much fatigued and our horses completely done up, without rations or forage, I did not deem it advisable to pursue farther, and commenced our return, reaching Athens next day at 2 p. m. and reaching Loudon on the 4th instant.
It is with extreme pleasure I give my testimony to the good conduct of the brave men under my command. For three days, over a very rough and mountainous country, with but one meal, did these brave men toil on, yet not [one] word of murmuring was heard, but all anxious for the fray. I have only to regret that my men were not better mounted, so that they could have "been in at the death," for in that event I think I could have rid the earth of all the cursed gang.
The enemy's force consisted of part of the outlaw and murderer Vaughn's force and numbered sixty-three men, all well mounted, but under whose immediate command I could not learn.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
J. S. PREBLE, Capt. Co. L, First Ohio Vol. Heavy Arty., Cmdg. Detachment.
Edwin Parker enlisted as a 27 year old Private in Battery L, 1st Ohio Volunteer Heavy Artillery on June 16, 1863, mustering into service August 12, 1863. He served most of his military career in Kentucky, Tennessee, and southwestern Virginia, mustering out June 2, 1865 at Nashville, Tennessee.
Letter: Hancock Jeffersonian: August 26, 1864