Short Bios | Charles S. Cotter

Major Charles S. Cotter, Chief of Artillery
By Michael A. Peake

Charles S. Cotter was born at Ravenna, Ohio, to Ambrose and Mary Ann Pratt Cotter on September 20, 1827. In the decade before the Civil War, he established a renowned metal fabricating business, specializing in silver and brass plating.

Cotter’s Battery “A,” 1st Ohio Light Artillery joined McCook’s division at Camp Nevin in October 1861, and provided Willich’s men artillery support at Rowlett’s Station in December. On June 8, 1862, Cotter was promoted to major and chief of division artillery. Operating as McCook’s Artillery Chief at Perryville, Kentucky, Cotter was taken prisoner on October 8 on the Mackville road after inadvertently riding into the headquarters of Confederate Major-General Leonidas Polk. He gained parole two days later at Harrodsburg. For the remainder of the war, Cotter controlled the massive garrison artillery commands of Nashville and then, Chattanooga.

Cotter returned to Ravenna and built up the reputation of his business, served the State and engaged in politics. He died at the Columbus Hotel Gardner, January 27, 1886, on the eve of his retirement. Charles Cotter was interred amid a large gathering at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Ravenna.

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Major Charles S. Cotter, Chief of Artillery
Library of Congress: LC-USZ62-129688