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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

1ST OHIO VOLUNTEER LIGHT ARTILLERY (OVLA)

1ST OHIO VOLUNTEER LIGHT ARTILLERY (OVLA)

The 1ST OHIO VOLUNTEER LIGHT ARTILLERY (OVLA), 1861-64, CIVIL WAR service, was recruited on a state-wide basis. Batteries A and B were recruited from the disbanded 1ST REGIMENT OF LIGHT ARTILLERY, sometimes referred to as the CLEVELAND LIGHT ARTILLERY (CLA). However, 829 Cuyahoga County men served in all 12 batteries of the 1st OVLA.

Col. JAMES BARNETT of Cleveland, commander, never led the entire 1st OVLA in the field at one time due to assignment to staff positions in the Western theater of the war. Batteries were assigned independently to armies in both the Eastern and Western theaters. The majority of men re-enlisted as Veteran Volunteers in 1864, serving for the duration of the conflict. The 1st OVLA suffered 469 losses: 84 killed or died from wounds, the other 385 from disease or illness. In 1865 the 1st OVLA was disbanded.

In 1872 the legacy of the 1st OVLA continued as the CLA resurfaced as an independent artillery militia company, until absorbed into the newly formed 1st Regiment, Light Artillery, Ohio National Guard (ONG), as Battery A in 1886, headquartered in Cleveland. Between 1886 and 1898 Battery A was activated during fire disasters and labor unrest disturbances. Redesignated 1st Battalion, OVLA, the unit was activated for Spanish-American War service (1898, never sent overseas) and for Mexican border duty (1916-17).