1862 August 5th

August 5 1862 Tuesday

Battle of Baton Rouge, LA (CWSAC Major Battle Union Victory)

Operations at Baton Rouge

Go to August 6 1862

Alabama. A skirmish with Confederate partisans occurred at New Market near Plevna. Union Brigadier-General Robert Latimer McCook was mortally wounded by Confederate Captain Frank Gurley under questionable circumstances. McCook had been riding in a carriage because of a debilitating bout of camp fever while scouting for suitable campgrounds for his troops between Athens, Georgia, and Decherd, Tennessee.

Alabama. Reconnaissance to Guntersville and Woodville began.

Arkansas. Union expedition from Helena to the mouth of the White River began. The gunboat USS Benton was accompanied by the USS Mound City, USS Louisville, and the rams USS General Bragg, USS Monarch, and USS Switzerland.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Confederate Major-General John Cabell Breckinridge formed his provisional corps into two divisions under Brigadier-General Charles Clark (with the brigades of Brigadier-General Benjamin Hardin Helm, and Colonel Thomas Benton Smith) and Brigadier-General Daniel Ruggles (brigades of Colonel A P Thompson and Colonel Henry Watkins Allen) for the attack on Baton Rouge. His 5,000 men had been reduced by sickness, exhaustion, and inadequate supplies to only 2,600 active men with eleven guns. They marched ten miles from Camp Moore and reached the outskirts north of the capital early in the morning. They exploited a dense fog to make a surprise attack at daybreak between the Clinton and Clay Cut road.
The Union garrison was commanded by Brigadier-General Thomas Williams with about 2,500 effective men and eighteen guns in seven regiments. His command was designated as 2nd Brigade, Department of the Gulf). The 14th Maine Infantry, 21st Indiana Infantry, and 6th Michigan Infantry were forced back at first and were later reinforced by 4th Wisconsin Infantry and 9th Connecticut Infantry from the left, and 30th Massachusetts Infantry from the right.
The Confederate attack struck the eastern side of the city while a smaller detachment, supported by artillery, attacked briefly from the north. They overran the Union camps quickly but the Union troops held on to the centre of Baton Rouge. Street fighting occurred around Florida Street and the Confederates began pushing the Union garrison right across the town. Bitter fighting also took place around the Magnolia Cemetery. Williams, the Union commander, was shot and killed early in the action and became the first Union general killed in battle since Nathaniel Lyon fell at Wilson’s Creek in 1861. Colonel Thomas W Cahill took over. Cahill ordered a retreat to a prepared defensive line nearer the river where they were offered protection by the heavy guns of the naval gunboat flotilla.
The Union gunboats in the river (USS Essex, USS Kineo, and USS Katahdin) began to find the range and caused severe losses with their heavy guns. More Union vessels were sent to defend the city including USS Hartford, USS Westfield, USS Jackson, USS Cayuga, USS Brooklyn, USS Clifton, and USS Sciota. The Confederate attackers could not long endure the fire of the powerful naval artillery.
The Confederates briefly assailed the new Union line, but without naval support from the ironclad CSS Arkansas, which sat four miles from the town. CSS Arkansas engine had begun to fail two days earlier but she pressed onwards under partial power and prepared to attack the USS Essex. The starboard engine then failed completely and the Confederate ironclad ran hard aground, unable to participate in the battle or to neutralise the Union gunboats.
Unable to endure or to reply to the Union warships the Confederates were forced to retire without recapturing the state capital. Breckinridge withdrew back to the Comite River and no pursuit was launched by the small Union garrison.
Confederate Brigadier-General Charles Clark was severely wounded and captured. Union Brigadier-General Thomas Williams was killed. Union losses were 299 (or 371 or 383 or 400), and Confederate losses were 372 (or 450 or 453 or 478). (CWSAC Major Battle Union Victory)


Union Department of the Gulf: Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler
Army of the Gulf: Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler
2nd Brigade (Gulf): Brigadier-General Thomas Williams
West Gulf Blockading Squadron: Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut USN
USS Kineo, USS Katahdin, USS Hartford, USS Westfield, USS Jackson, USS Cayuga, USS Brooklyn, USS Clifton, USS Sciota, USS Essex.

Confederate Western Department: General Braxton Bragg
District of Southern Mississippi and East Louisiana: Major-General John Cabell Breckinridge
Clark’s Division, (Southern Mississippi and East Louisiana): Brigadier-General Charles Clark
Helm’s Brigade, Clark’s Division, (Southern Mississippi and East Louisiana): Brigadier-General Benjamin Hardin Helm
Smith’s Brigade, Clark’s Division, (Southern Mississippi and East Louisiana): Colonel Thomas Benton Smith
Ruggles’ Division, (Southern Mississippi and East Louisiana): Brigadier-General Daniel Ruggles
Thompson’s Brigade, Ruggles’ Division, (Southern Mississippi and East Louisiana): Colonel A P Thompson
Maxey’s Brigade, Ruggles’ Division, (Southern Mississippi and East Louisiana): Colonel Henry W Allen
Mississippi River Flotilla: Lieutenant Isaac Newton Brown CSN CSS Arkansas

Missouri. Skirmishes at Newtonia and Cravensville.

Missouri. Union troops occupy Montevallo after a skirmish.

Missouri. Union Major-General John McAllister Schofield was shocked to learn that Independence had fallen to a combined Confederate guerrilla force of Colonel John T Hughes, William C Quantrill, Gideon W Thompson, and Upton Hays. Schofield ordered State Brigadier-General James Totten to concentrate his forces to suppress the guerrilla outbreak that had provoked eighty clashes during July and August alone.

Tennessee. Skirmish at Sparta.

Tennessee. Expedition to Fort Donelson began.

Virginia. Reconnaissance to Greenbrier River and Madison Bluff ended.

Virginia. Reconnaissance to James River.

Virginia. Skirmishes at Malvern Hill, Yorktown Road, and White Oak Swamp Bridge.

Virginia. Skirmish at Thornburg.

Virginia. Expedition by Union Brigadier-General John Gibbon from Fredericksburg to Frederick’s Hall Station, and Spotsylvania Court House began.

Virginia. Skirmish at Wyoming Court House.

Virginia. Confederate Brigadier-General James Ewell Brown Stuart led a cavalry force to Massaponax Church and encountered about 8,000 Union soldiers moving down the Plank Road. Most of his troops distracted the Union column while one regiment raided their wagon train. The Confederate attack worked perfectly and the wagon train was captured. Stuart withdrew to Bowling Green with 200 prisoners.

Virginia. Confederate Captain John Singleton Mosby reported to General Robert Edward Lee with news of Union movements. During his two weeks as a prisoner of war at Fort Monroe awaiting exchange, he had heard that Union Major-General Ambrose Everett Burnside’s command, now designated IX Corps, was to be transferred by sea to Aquia Creek and then would march overland to Fredericksburg. From there they would pose a serious threat to the command of Major-General Thomas Jonathan Jackson at Gordonsville. Lee decided to probe the Union camps around Harrison’s Landing for evidence of any movement of the Army of the Potomac.

Union Organisation

USA: Brigadier-General Thomas Williams was killed at Baton Rouge.

USA: Brigadier-General Robert Latimer McCook was mortally wounded near Plevna.

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln
Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin
Secretary of War: Edwin McMasters Stanton
Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

North Atlantic Blockading Squadron: Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough
South Atlantic Blockading Squadron: Samuel Francis Du Pont
West Gulf Blockading Squadron: David Glasgow Farragut
East Gulf Blockading Squadron: James Lawrence Lardner
Pacific Squadron: Charles H Bell
Western Gunboat Flotilla: Charles Henry Davis
Potomac Flotilla: Samuel Magaw

General–in-Chief: Henry Wager Halleck

Department of the Mississippi: Henry Wager Halleck

  • District of Corinth: William Starke Rosecrans
  • District of West Tennessee: Ulysses Simpson Grant
    • Sub-District of Jackson: John Alexander McClernand
    • Army of the Mississippi: William Starke Rosecrans
    • Army of West Tennessee: Ulysses Simpson Grant
  • District of Cairo: William Kerley Strong
  • Army of the Ohio: Don Carlos Buell

Department of the Missouri: Henry Wager Halleck

  • District of Missouri: John McAllister Schofield
  • District of Southwest Missouri: Egbert Benson Brown
    • Army of the Southwest: Samuel Ryan Curtis
  • District of Northwest Missouri: vacant

Department of the Gulf: Benjamin Franklin Butler

  • Army of the Gulf: Benjamin Franklin Butler

Department of Kansas: James Gilpatrick Blunt

Middle Department: John Ellis Wool

  • District of the Eastern Shore of Maryland: Henry Hayes Lockwood
  • VIII Corps Middle: John Ellis Wool

Department of New Mexico: Edward Richard Sprigg Canby

Department of New York: Edward Denison Morgan

Department of North Carolina: John Gray Foster

Department of the Pacific: George Wright

  • District of the Humboldt: Francis James Lippitt
  • District of Oregon: Benjamin Alvord
  • District of Southern California: George Washington Bowie

Department of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan

  • Army of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan
    • II Corps Potomac: Edwin Vose Sumner
    • III Corps Potomac: Samuel Peter Heintzelman
    • IV Corps Potomac: Erasmus Darwin Keyes
    • V Corps Potomac: Fitz John Porter
    • VI Corps Potomac: William Buel Franklin

Department of the South: David Hunter

Department of Texas: Vacant

Department of Virginia: John Adams Dix

  • VII Corps Virginia: John Adams Dix
  • IX Corps Virginia: Ambrose Everett Burnside

District of the Ohio: Don Carlos Buell

Military District of Washington: James Samuel Wadsworth

Army of Virginia: John Pope

  • I Corps Virginia: Franz Sigel
  • II Corps Virginia: Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
  • III Corps Virginia: Irvin McDowell

Confederate Organisation

CSA: Major-General Jones Mitchell Withers assumed full command of Reserve Corps (Mississippi), succeeding Major-General John Cabell Breckinridge.

CSA: Albert Gallatin Jenkins promoted Brigadier-General PACS 30 September 1862 to rank from 5 August 1862.

CSA: Brigadier-General Charles Clark was severely wounded and captured at Baton Rouge.

Commander in Chief: President Jefferson Finis Davis
Vice-President: Alexander Hamilton Stephens
Secretary of War: George Wythe Randolph
Secretary of the Navy: Stephen Russell Mallory

Military Adviser to the President: Vacant

Department of Middle and Eastern Florida: Joseph Finegan

Department of East Tennessee: Edmund Kirby Smith

  • Army of East Tennessee: Edmund Kirby Smith

Department of Henrico: John Henry Winder

Department of North Carolina: Daniel Harvey Hill

  • District of Cape Fear: William Henry Chase Whiting
  • District of Pamlico: Robert Ransom temporary
  • District of Roanoke Island: Henry Marchmore Shaw

Department of Northern Virginia: Robert Edward Lee

  • District of Aquia: Gustavus Woodson Smith
  • Army of Northern Virginia: Robert Edward Lee
    • Longstreet’s Right Wing Northern Virginia: James Longstreet
    • Jackson’s Left Wing Northern Virginia: Thomas Jonathan Jackson
  • Valley District: Thomas Jonathan Jackson

Department of South Carolina and Georgia: John Clifford Pemberton

  • District of Georgia: Alexander Robert Lawton
  • District of South Carolina: Roswell Sabine Ripley
    • 1st Sub-District of South Carolina: Arthur Middleton Manigault.
    • 2nd Sub-District of South Carolina: Johnson Hagood
    • 3rd Sub-District of South Carolina: William Stephen Walker
    • 4th Sub-District of South Carolina: William Stephen Walker

Department of Southwestern Virginia: William Wing Loring

  • District of Abingdon: Humphrey Marshall

Trans-Mississippi Department: Theophilus Hunter Holmes

  • District of Arkansas: Thomas Carmichael Hindman
  • District of Eastern Texas and Western Louisiana: Paul Octave Hébert
    • Sub-District of Houston: Xavier Blanchard Debray
  • Western District of Texas: Henry Eustace McCullough
    • Eastern Sub-District of Western Texas: Xavier Blanchard Debray
    • Sub-District of the Rio Grande: Hamilton Prioleau Bee
  • Trans-Mississippi District: Vacant
  • District of Arizona: Henry Hopkins Sibley
  • District of Indian Territory: Douglas Hancock Cooper
  • Defences of Pass Cavallo: John W Glenn

Western Department: Braxton Bragg

  • District of the Mississippi: Earl Van Dorn
  • District of Southern Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana: Earl Van Dorn
    • 1st Sub-District of Southern Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana: Daniel Ruggles
    • 2nd Sub-District of Southern Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana: William Nelson Rector Beall
    • 3rd Sub-District of Southern Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana: Martin Luther Smith
  • District of the Tennessee: Sterling Price
  • Gulf District: John Horace Forney
  • Army of Mississippi: William Joseph Hardee temporary
    • I Corps Mississippi: Leonidas Polk
    • II Corps Mississippi: Samuel Jones
    • III Corps Mississippi: William Joseph Hardee
    • Reserve Corps Mississippi: Jones Mitchell Withers
  • Army of the West: Sterling Price

Forces in Richmond: Gustavus Woodson Smith

Union Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

Major-General USA

George Brinton McClellan
John Charles Frémont
Henry Wager Halleck
John Ellis Wool

Major-General USV

Asterisk indicates concurrently Brigadier-General USA

John Adams Dix
Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
Benjamin Franklin Butler
David Hunter
Edwin Denison Morgan
Ethan Allen Hitchcock
Ulysses Simpson Grant
Irvin McDowell*
Ambrose Everett Burnside
William Starke Rosecrans*
Don Carlos Buell
John Pope*
Samuel Ryan Curtis
Franz Sigel
John Alexander McClernand
Lewis Wallace
Ormsby McKnight Mitchel
Cassius Marcellus Clay
George Henry Thomas
George Cadwalader
William Tecumseh Sherman
Edward Otho Cresap Ord
Edwin Vose Sumner*
Samuel Peter Heintzelman
Erasmus Darwin Keyes
Joseph Hooker
Silas Casey
Fitz John Porter
William Buel Franklin
Darius Nash Couch
Isaac Ingalls Stevens
Philip Kearny
Israel Bush Richardson
Henry Warner Slocum
John James Peck
John Sedgwick
William Farrar Smith
Alexander McDowell McCook
William Nelson
Thomas Leonidas Crittenden
Joseph King Fenno Mansfield*
John Gray Foster
John Grubb Parke
Jesse Lee Reno

Brigadier-General USA

Brackets indicates concurrently Major-General USV

William Selby Harney
(Edwin Vose Sumner)
(Joseph King Fenno Mansfield)
(Irvin McDowell)
Robert Anderson
(William Starke Rosecrans)
Philip St George Cooke
(John Pope)

Brigadier-General USV

Andrew Porter
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Thomas West Sherman
George Archibald McCall
William Reading Montgomery
John Wolcott Phelps
Charles Smith Hamilton
Rufus King
Jacob Dolson Cox
Stephen Augustus Hurlbut
Robert Cumming Schenck
Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss
Benjamin Franklin Kelley
Alpheus Starkey Williams
James Cooper
James Brewerton Ricketts
Orlando Bolivar Willcox
Michael Corcoran
Henry Hayes Lockwood
Louis Blenker
James Samuel Wadsworth
George Webb Morell
John Henry Martindale
Samuel Davis Sturgis
George Stoneman
Henry Washington Benham
James William Denver
Egbert Ludovicus Vielé
James Shields
John Fulton Reynolds
William Farquhar Barry
John Joseph Abercrombie
Lawrence Pike Graham
George Gordon Meade
Abram Duryée
Oliver Otis Howard
Eleazar Arthur Paine
Daniel Edgar Sickles
Charles Davis Jameson
Ebenezer Dumont
Robert Huston Milroy
Willis Arnold Gorman
Daniel Butterfield
Horatio Gouverneur Wright
William Thomas Ward
John Gross Barnard
Innis Newton Palmer
Seth Williams
John Newton
Winfield Scott Hancock
George Wright
Thomas Williams KIA
George Sykes
William Henry French
William Thomas Harbaugh Brooks
John Milton Brannan
William Wallace Burns
John Porter Hatch
David Sloane Stanley
William Kerley Strong
Albin Francisco Schoepf
Lovell Harrison Rousseau
James Scott Negley
Thomas John Wood
Richard W Johnson
Adolph Wilhelm August Friedrich Von Steinwehr
Joseph Bennett Plummer
George Washington Cullum
Jeremiah Tilford Boyle
Christopher Columbus Augur
Schuyler Hamilton
George Washington Morgan
Julius Stahel
John McAllister Schofield
Thomas Jefferson McKean
Zealous Bates Tower
Jefferson Columbus Davis
James Henry Lane
John McAuley Palmer
James Abram Garfield
Lewis Golding Arnold
Frederick Steele
William Scott Ketchum
Abner Doubleday
John Wynn Davidson
Napoleon Jackson Tecumseh Dana
David Bell Birney
Thomas Francis Meagher
Henry Morris Naglee
Andrew Johnson
James Gallant Spears
Eugene Asa Carr
Thomas Alfred Davies
Daniel Tyler
William Hemsley Emory
Andrew Jackson Smith
Marsena Rudolph Patrick
Isaac Ferdinand Quinby
Hiram Gregory Berry
Orris Sanford Ferry
Daniel Phineas Woodbury
Henry Moses Judah
Richard James Oglesby
John Cook
John McArthur
Robert Latimer McCook
Jacob Gartner Lauman
Horatio Phillips Van Cleve
John Alexander Logan
Speed Smith Fry
Alexander Asboth
James Craig
Mahlon Dickerson Manson
Gordon Granger
Edward Richard Sprigg Canby
Grenville Mellen Dodge
Robert Byington Mitchell
James Gilpatrick Blunt
Francis Engle Patterson
Quincy Adams Gillmore
Amiel Weeks Whipple
Cuvier Grover
George Lucas Hartsuff
Rufus Saxton
Benjamin Alvord
Napoleon Bonaparte Buford
William Sooy Smith
Nathan Kimball
Charles Devens
James Henry Van Alen
Carl Schurz
Samuel Wylie Crawford
Henry Walton Wessells
Milo Smith Hascall
Leonard Fulton Ross
John White Geary
Alfred Howe Terry
Andrew Atkinson Humphreys
James Henry Carleton
Absalom Baird
John Cleveland Robinson
Truman Seymour
George Dashiell Bayard
Henry Prince
Abram Sanders Piatt
Thomas Turpin Crittenden
Maximilian Weber
Pleasant Adam Hackleman
Jeremiah Cutler Sullivan
Alvin Peterson Hovey
James Clifford Veatch
William Plummer Benton
Henry Bohlen
John Curtis Caldwell
Isaac Peace Rodman
Neal S Dow
George Sears Greene
Samuel Powhatan Carter
John Gibbon
George William Taylor
Erastus Barnard Tyler
James Birdseye McPherson
Charles Griffin
George Henry Gordon
James Madison Tuttle
Julius White
Peter Joseph Osterhaus
Stephen Gano Burbridge
Washington Lafayette Elliott
Albion Parris Howe
Green Clay Smith
William Bowen Campbell
Philip Henry Sheridan
Benjamin Stone Roberts
Alfred Pleasonton
Jacob Ammen
Joshua Woodrow Sill
Catharinus Putnam Buckingham
Fitz-Henry Warren
Morgan Lewis Smith
Charles Cruft
Frederick Saloman
James Streshly Jackson
Cadwallader Colden Washburn
Francis Jay Herron
John Cochrane
John Basil Turchin
Henry Shaw Briggs
Conrad Feger Jackson
James Dada Morgan
Johann August Ernst Willich
Henry Dwight Terry
James Blair Steedman
George Foster Shepley
John Buford

Brigadier-General USA (Staff)

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (Quartermaster-General)
Henry Knox Craig
Lorenzo Thomas (Adjutant-General)
James Wolfe Ripley (Ordnance)
William Alexander Hammond (Surgeon-General)

Confederate Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission


Samuel Cooper
Robert Edward Lee
Joseph Eggleston Johnston
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
Braxton Bragg

Major-General PACS

Leonidas Polk
Earl Van Dorn
Gustavus Woodson Smith
Theophilus Hunter Holmes
William Joseph Hardee
Benjamin Huger
James Longstreet
John Bankhead Magruder
Mansfield Lovell
Thomas Jonathan Jackson
Edmund Kirby Smith
George Bibb Crittenden
John Clifford Pemberton
Richard Stoddert Ewell
William Wing Loring
Sterling Price
Benjamin Franklin Cheatham
Samuel Jones
John Porter McCown
Daniel Harvey Hill
Jones  Mitchell Withers
Thomas Carmichael Hindman
John Cabell Breckinridge
Lafayette McLaws
Ambrose Powell Hill
Richard Heron Anderson
James Ewell Brown Stuart
Richard Taylor

Brigadier-General PACS

Alexander Robert Lawton
Charles Clark
John Buchanan Floyd
Henry Alexander Wise
David Rumph Jones
Henry Hopkins Sibley
John Henry Winder
Richard Caswell Gatlin
Daniel Smith Donelson
Robert Augustus Toombs
Arnold Elzey
William Henry Chase Whiting
Jubal Anderson Early
Isaac Ridgeway Trimble
Daniel Ruggles
Roswell Sabine Ripley
Paul Octave Hébert
Simon Bolivar Buckner
Albert Gallatin Blanchard
Gabriel James Rains
Thomas Fenwick Drayton
Lloyd Tilghman
Nathan George Evans
Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox
Robert Emmett Rodes
James Heyward Trapier
Samuel Gibbs French
William Henry Carroll
Hugh Weedon Mercer
Alexander Peter Stewart
William Montgomery Gardner
Richard Brooke Garnett
William Mahone
Lawrence O’Bryan Branch
Edward Johnson
Maxcy Gregg
Raleigh Edward Colston
Henry Heth
Johnson Kelly Duncan
Sterling Alexander Martin Wood
John George Walker
John King Jackson
George Edward Pickett
Bushrod Rust Johnson
James Patton Anderson
Howell Cobb
George Wythe Randolph
Joseph Brevard Kershaw
James Ronald Chalmers
James Johnston Pettigrew
Carter Littlepage Stevenson
Daniel Leadbetter
William Whann Mackall
Charles Sidney Winder
Robert Ransom
John Bell Hood
Daniel Marsh Frost
Winfield Scott Featherston
Thomas James Churchill
William Booth Taliaferro
Albert Rust
Patrick Ronayne Cleburne
Samuel Bell Maxey
Hamilton Prioleau Bee
James Morrison Hawes
George Hume Steuart
William Duncan Smith
James Edwin Slaughter
Charles William Field
John Horace Forney
Paul Jones Semmes
Lucius Marshall Walker
Seth Maxwell Barton
Dabney Herndon Maury
John Bordenave Villepigue
Henry Eustace McCullough
John Stevens Bowen
Benjamin Hardin Helm
John Selden Roane
States Rights Gist
William Nelson Pendleton
Lewis Addison Armistead
Joseph Finegan
Martin Luther Smith
Franklin Gardner
William Nelson Rector Beall
Thomas Jordan
William Preston
Roger Atkinson Pryor
Henry Little
John Echols
George Earl Maney
Jean Jacques Alfred Alexandre Mouton
John Stuart Williams
James Green Martin
Thomas Lanier Clingman
Wade Hampton
Daniel Weisiger Adams
Louis Hébert
Samuel Garland
John Creed Moore
Ambrose Ransom Wright
James Lawson Kemper
James Jay Archer
George Burgwyn Anderson
Beverley Holcombe Robertson
St John Richardson Liddell
Nathan Bedford Forrest
Johnson Hagood
William Dorsey Pender
Micah Jenkins
Martin Edwin Green
Fitzhugh Lee
Harry Thompson Hays
Albert Gallatin Jenkins

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