Enlisted as a private in Co. A, 102nd OVI, on 14 August 1862 at age 24. On 24 September 1864, while the regiment was stationed in garrison at Decatur, AL, Homer was assigned to a detachment sent in relief of Ft. Henderson at nearby Athens, AL, which was under siege by rebel cavalry under the command of CSA Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. After detraining, the detachment began fighting to gain the fort, and had made good progress, when the fort was unexpectedly surrendered by its commander. Forrest then forced the relief detachment to surrender as well. Homer was sent to Cahaba Prison, but was exchanged on 22 April 1865.