Yesterday, August 5, was the 146th anniversary of the battle of Baton Rouge. It was on August 4th that 2200 troops under the command of Brigadier General John C. Breckinridge CSA moved his men from the Comite River to positions no further in town than Magnolia Cemetery. Breckinridge was waiting for the ram 'Arkansas to arrive in Baton Rouge via the Mississippi River from Vicksburg Ms.
The ram never arrived, it had engine trouble on leaving Vicksburg and about 4 miles from Baton Rouge it was finished and the skipper and men abandoned ship.
While the confederates was waiting on the ram, the partisan rangers (of which two were my ancestors) accompanying the regulars took it upon themselves, or really their leader Colonel James H, Wingfield decided to run recon (check out enemy positions). Enemy pickets (watchers on the perimeter) spotted the rangers and opened fire. The partisan rangers on mounts hurried for confederate lines, when the regular confederate line saw them, they thinking it was the enemy opened fire. A regular General and others were killed in the fray.
The attack was on, both teams on full alert and battle ready. Confederates had the gravestones and tomes for cover, it is said that mini ball pits are still visible in the cemetery markers. The Confederates pushed the Federals back to the Mississippi River, but when the Rebels got within cannon shot of the gun boats and there was a spotter on top of the Old State Capital communicating the Confederates location to Admiral Faraguts' fleet the forces with Breckinridge had no other recourse but to withdraw to the Comite River in defeat.
The 27th annual Confederate commemorative ceremony at beautiful Magnolia Cemetery.