The 1ST REGIMENT OF LIGHT ARTILLERY, comprised of 131 men from Cuyahoga County, campaigned for 3 months (Apr.-July) in western Virginia during the CIVIL WAR in 1861. Organized in 1860, the 1st Regiment, commanded by Col. JAMES BARNETT of Cleveland, was assigned to the 3d Brigade, 4th Div. of the Ohio Militia. The 1st was comprised of 6 artillery militia companies with one field piece each. Four companies of the CLEVELAND LIGHT ARTILLERY (CLA), organized in 1852, which traced its lineage to the Gun Squad of the CLEVELAND GRAYS, became Companies A, B, D, and E while the BROOKLYN LIGHT ARTILLERY became Co. C and the Geneva, OH, Light Artillery became Co. F. The 1st Regiment was officially redesignated Battery A, 1st Regiment of Light Artillery, Ohio Volunteer Militia after the outbreak of the Civil War, although it was commonly referred to as the CLA.
On 3 June 1861 Companies D and F, along with a brigade of Ohio and Indiana infantry regiments, routed a Confederate brigade at the Battle of Philippi, VA, which has been termed the first land battle of the Civil War. At Laurel Hill, on 12 July 1861, Companies D and F were again engaged, helping Union troops to force Confederate Brig. Gen. Robert Garnett's brigade to withdraw toward the northeast. In pursuit of Garnett, Col. Barnett, with two undesignated companies of the 1st Regiment, plus 3 infantry regiments, caught the Confederates crossing the Cheat River at Carrick's Ford on 13 July 1861. There, Barnett's men captured a rifled field piece, which became known as the SECESH CANNON; Garnett was killed directing a rear guard action, becoming the first general officer to die in battle on either side; and the remnant of the Confederate brigade retreated into the mountains, no longer a threat.
Its term of service expired, the 1st Regiment was ordered back to Cleveland; it arrived on 29 July 1861 with the Secesh Cannon to a warm welcome. The 1st Regiment was paid off and mustered out and re-recruited as the 1ST OHIO VOLUNTEER LIGHT ARTILLERY for 3 years of service.