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Chalmette Regiment (Confederate)
Flag of Louisiana (February 1861).svg

March 1, 1861–May, 1862

May–September 1863
Country  Confederate States of America
Allegiance State of Louisiana
Branch Louisiana Militia
Type Infantry
Colonel Ignatius Szymanski
Lt. Colonel George W.Logan
Major Eugene Soniat

The Chalmette Regiment, Louisiana State Militia (CSA) was a Louisiana militia regiment that consisted of foreign volunteers. The Regiment was called into Confederate service for 90 days March 1, 1862. Mustered out in May 1862, the regiment was again called into service in May 1863 to defend Fort Beauregard.[1]

It's Company A "Scandinavian Guards", was the only all-Scandinavian unit in the Confederate Army, consisting of Norwegians, Danes and Swedes.

The Battle of New Orleans[edit | edit source]

On 18 April the Union Navy began a six-day bombardment of Forts Saint Philip and Jackson. On April 24, the Union fleet landed some 18000 men near Fort Saint Phillip after passing the forts. As a result, the Louisiana State Militia regiments were disbanded by Gen. E.L.Tracy. The entire Chalmette Regiment was captured and paroled at Quarantine Station on 24 April 1862 by Farragut's vessels, except company D.[2]

Company D of the Chalmette regiment, had been detached serving as artillerymen manning the floating battery "Louisiana" under Captain M.T.Squires and suffered one killed and two wounded during the battle of Fort Saint Phillip on April 26.[3]

The Bombardment of Fort Saint Philip

Lieutenant George H. Perkins of the USS Cayuga described the scene : "..The Cayuga still led the way up the river and at daylight we discovered a regiment of infantry encamped on shore. As we were very close in, I shouted to them to come on board and deliver up their arms, or we would blow them all to pieces. It seemed rather odd for a regiment on shore to be surrendering to a ship! They hauled down their colors, and the Colonel and command came on board and gave themselves up as prisoners of war. The regiment was called the Chalmette Regiment, and has been quite a famous one. The officers were released on parole and allowed to retain their sidearms, all except one Captain, who I discovered was from New Hampshire."[4]

Colonel Szymanski made a statement on April 18, 1863 at the military court of inquiry assembled in Jackson, Mississippi, to investigate the fall of New Orleans, about the surrender of his regiment; "When the forts were passed, just about break of day, the fleet came upon my small camp and opened fire. After losing some 30 men killed and wounded, without a possibility of escape or rescue- perfectly at the mercy of the enemy, he being able to cut the levee and drown me out- I thought it my duty to surrender. A single shell could have cut the light embankment."[5]

Many of the officers and enlisted men of the other units escaped the city before it surrendered and accompanied Lovell's regular Confederate units to Camp Moore. When General Benjamin Butler arrived in New Orleans, the officers and men taken as prisoners of war, paroled, and those who did not take the oath to the United States, were exchanged on the 8th of October, and then being delivered to Confederate officials at Vicksburg. While the majority took the oath, a number of the men who were paroled and exchanged, re-enlisted in Louisiana units on active duty in the Vicksburg area.[6]

Fort Beauregard[edit | edit source]

In May 1863, the Regiment was briefly called back into service to defend Fort Beauregard. Four Federal gunboats commanded by Commodore Selim E. Woodworth arrived on May 10, 1863 and after an unsuccessful demand for the forts surrender, three of the gunboats began shelling the fort, killing on officer and damaging the parapet of the fort, before withdrawing.[7]

The Chalmette regiment was stationed at Fort Beauregard until September 4, 1863 when evacuated by regimental commander Lt.Col. George W.Logan, totalling 40 men and four artillery pieces. Logan personally ordered and superintended the destruction of the breastworks, casements, commissary by fires and explosions before evacuating.[8]

Companies[edit | edit source]

Companies of the Confederate Chalmette Regiment prior to disbanding in 1862:[citation needed]

Company Name Commander Peak Strength Notes
Company A' Scandinavian Guards Capt. Edward Fry 73 men
Company B' Manassas Rifles Capt. G. Andrews
Company C' Plauche Rebels Capt. Chaery
Company D' Howard Guards Capt. Massicot
Company E' Gulf Guards Capt. Wiltz
Company F' Heation Guards Capt. William Chapman
Company G' Gentilly Rangers Capt. Valeton
Company H' Frappe d’Abord Capt. T. Wiltz
Company I' De Feriet Guards Capt. Frederick Losberg
Company K' Clouet Guards Capt. Jaquet

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1880–1901.
  • Stewart Sifakis. Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Louisiana. Facts on File, NY 1992 ISBN 0-8160-2291-7
  • Arthur W. Bergeron jr. Guide to Louisiana Confederate Military Units, 1861–1865
  • Lonn, Ella. Foreigners in the Confederacy. UNC Press. pp. 147–8. ISBN 0-8078-5400-X
  • Napier Bartlett. Military Record of Louisiana
  • Letter dated New Orleans, April 27, 1862 by Lieutenant George H. Perkins of the USS Cayuga.
  • Almuevennen, (Newspaper Christiania (Oslo), Norway) no. 45, 8 November 1862

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Sifakis p.120
  2. Bartlett p.
  3. Official Records Series 1, Volume 18, p.281-283
  4. Letter dated April 27, 1862
  5. Official Records Series 2, Volume 6, p.580
  6. Bartlett p.
  7. Official Records Series 1, Volume 24, p.700
  8. Official Records Series 1, Volume 26 (Part I), p.281-283

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