Monday, August 6, 2012

150th Anniversary of the Battle of Baton Rouge-- Part 2: A Lincoln Connection

Confederate losses at the battle were 467 killed and Union deaths at 382.


Two of the Confederate casualties had connections to the Union's president, through his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.  One of the dead was Lt. A. H. Todd and one of the injured was Brigadier General Benjamin Hardin Helm, Marys half brother and brother-in-law.

Early in the battle, two Confederate units mistakenly fired on each other.  Lt. Todd was killed in the exchange of fire.  Helm's horse reared and fell on top of him.  Helms survived, but was killed September 21, 1863 at the Battle of Chickamauga.


Very sadly for the Confederacy, the CSS Arkansas was destroyed by its crew the next day to prevent capture.  It exploded near the present-day US-190 bridge in Baton Rouge.

About one-third of the city was destroyed in the battle, mostly near the river so the gunboats would have a clear field of fire.

On August 21st, the Union troops withdrew from the city, but went on a looting and burning spree while doing so.  In December, they returned and burned down the Capitol and occupied Baton Rouge for the remainder of the war.

I Must Admit, I Had Never Heard of This Battle, But Did Know Mary Lincoln Did Have Relatives Fighting for the Confederacy.  --Old Secesh

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