Civil War Louisiana (CWLA)

Civil War Louisiana (CWLA)
CWLA seeks to provide an online resource of any and all material of the Civil War relating to Louisiana with a special interest in the war in Acadiana in southwest Louisiana.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

21st, 22nd, 23rd...22nd Consolidated?

The 21st, 22nd and 23rd Louisiana Regiments are pretty obscure to the history books. Besides slipping between the cracks, these three regiments did not participate in many battles and so missed the glorified reports of sacrifice in battle. Vicksburg and Farmington stand out as the only two major encounter of these regiments. We have documented the fate of Colonel Kennedy's 21st Louisiana Regiment before. That regiment was disbanded in July-August of 1862 and dispersed between the 13th and 20th Louisiana Regiments. The 22nd and 23rd Regiments...well, its interesting. Get a drink, mute the cell phone...

The 22nd Louisiana Regiment (M.L. Smith as Colonel and Edward Higgins as Lt. Colonel) was organized in April of 1862 and was sent to Vicksburg the next month. It remained part of that city's garrison until the surrender in July of 1863. While at Vicksburg the regiment's title was changed to the 21st Regiment (likely due to the disbandment of Kennedy's 21st?). After their surrender the regiment went to the parolee camp at Enterprise, Mississippi. It remained here until January 1864, when it was merged with various units to create the 22nd Louisiana Consolidated Regiment. Easy enough...

The 23rd Regiment was originally organized in January of 1862 in New Orleans. When that city fell in April of 1862, most of the regiment disbanded itself rather than leave the city. One company, Co. I, was part of the Ft. Jackson garrison. In May, three companies and remnants of the other seven collected itself at Camp Moore. By consolidated the pieces of the other companies the old regiment was able to muster four full companies. Once "reorganized", the four-company regiment was sent to Vicksburg. Once there, the regiment was slowly augmented with exchanged prisoners to create a fifth company. Similar to the 21st (old 22nd Regiment), the 23rd Regiment was designated the new 22nd Regiment. Four of the regiment's five companies were captured at Vicksburg and they joined the parolee camp at Enterprise. While here, the 22nd (Old 23rd) was merged with the 21st (Old 22nd) to help created the 22nd Louisiana Consolidated Regiment.

The 22nd Consolidated Regiment? The Louisianians captured at Vicksburg was kept at a camp in Enterprise. They camped here waiting to be paroled so they could be reactivated. A large number of men, though, took advantage of furloughs to go to Louisiana and never return. Multiple numbers of men never returned to their former commands at Enterprise (There will be a follow up post on those men who reorganized west of the river into Brigadier Allen Thomas' Birgade). Those remaining at Enterprise were declared exchanged in late 1863 and were organized in January 1864 into the 22nd Consolidated Regiment. The following Vicksburg-Louisiana units made up the new regiment: 3rd, 17th, 21st, 22nd, 26th, 27th, 29th and 31st Regiments. The late and esteemed Art Bergeron put the regiment's numbers at 780 men. So few men remained east of the river that it took all eight of these regiments to put together that many men "on paper." The new regiment was organized as follows:

22nd Consolidated Regiment
Co. A-Co. A of 22nd (Old 23rd) Regiment
Co. B-Co. B of 22nd (Old 23rd) Regiment
Co. C-Co. C of 22nd (Old 23rd) Regiment
Co. D-Co. D of 22nd (Old 23rd) Regiment
Co. E-Co. E of 22nd (Old 23rd) Regiment
Co. F-Remnants of the 26th, 27th and 31t Regiments
Co. G-Remnants of the 17th and 29th Regiments
Co. H-Remnants of the 3rd Regiment
Co. I-Cos. A and B of 21st (Old 22nd) Regiment
Co. K-Cos. C,D and E of 21st (Old 22nd) Regiment

Mobile became the base of operations for this regiment for the remainder of the war. It eventually surrendered at Meridian in May of 1865. For the exploits of that regiment during the Mobile Campaign you should read Arthur Bergeron's "The Twenty-Second Louisiana Consolidated Infantry in the Defense of Mobile, 1864-1865," Alabama Historical Quarterly, XXXVIII (1976), 204-213.

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Coppens' Zouave Battalion

Coppens' Zouave Battalion
Lt. Colonel George Coppens (seated) and brother, Captain Marie Alfred Coppens.Image sold at auction on Cowan Auctions, for $14,375