A Grassroots History of the American Civil War, Volume III: Captain Cotter's Battery


This is a history of the war as told by citizens and soldiers from the Portage County, Ohio, area. Documented sources include microfilm newspaper accounts, the Official Records, pension records, original letters and other printed matter. Cotter’s Battery follows the local artillery battery of Captain Charles S. Cotter, an interesting character from Ravenna, Ohio. Active prior to the war, Cotter’s Battery became the nucleus for Battery A, 1st Ohio Light Artillery. Since Battery A was oriented toward Portage County, a primary newspaper source for information regarding that unit was the Portage County Democrat. The Democrat readily extolled the exploits of its hometown hero, Captain Cotter, and the newspaper frequently published the uncensored letters from Battery A’s soldiers. These letters were a great news source for the folks back home. Although at times the letters contained inaccurate information and reported what seem to be trivial incidents to the reader, they still have importance because they contain the soldier’s thoughts and feelings and what they saw and heard, even if the latter may have been campfire rumors at times. The Democrat was also concerned with the letters from the 7th Ohio infantry, the 6th Ohio cavalry, and other units, all of which contained many of the local volunteers.

Richard J. Staats

(2002), 2016, 5½x8½, paper, index, 270 pp.

ISBN: 9780788422379