The Civil War in Louisiana



Louisiana 1st Infantry Battalion (Dreux)
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HISTORICAL NOTES:

    "The five original companies of this battalion went to Pensacola, Florida, in mid-April, 1861, as a part of the 1st Louisiana Regulars Infantry Regiment, which had not yet completed its organization. [Bergeron, p, 70: "This regiment was organized February 5, 1861, as part of the Louisiana State Army and transferred to Confederate service on March 13 with about 860 men. The regiment received orders in early April to report for duty at Pensacola, Florida. Only three companies—A, B, and C—had completed recruiting at that time, so the governor called upon volunteer units to fill out the regiment’s organization. Five companies responded and went to Pensacola with the three companies already mentioned. There the men spent the next several weeks drilling."] By late May, the remainder of the 1st Regulars’ companies had finished recruiting and had reported for duty at Pensacola. The five original companies then received orders to go to Virginia and left on May 30. On June 11, at Richmond, the companies were organized as the 1st Louisiana Infantry Battalion. They soon moved to join the garrison at Yorktown. Colonel Dreux took 20 men from each company on July 5 to ambush some enemy soldiers near Newport News. In the brief skirmish that occurred, Dreux and 1 other man were killed. Dreux thus became the first Louisiana officer, and probably the first Confederate officer, killed in the war. [Company C(2) joined the battalion on July 16 from the 1st (Nelligan's) Louisiana Regiment.] The battalion continued to do picket duty on the Peninsula until April, 1862, when General George B. McClellan’s Union army began operations against the Confederate defenses. On April 5, the men fought in a skirmish near the junction of the Warwick and Yorktown roads. Their term of enlistment expired during these operations, but the men agreed to remain in service until the operations ended. On May 1, just prior to the retreat of the army to Richmond, the battalion disbanded. Many of the men enlisted in a battery formed by Captain Fenner. The term of service of Company D had not expired, and it was assigned to the 1st [Nelligan's] Louisiana Regiment [on June 27]. In all, some 545 men served in the battalion. There were no battle deaths besides the 2 on July 5, 1861, but 16 men died of disease."

FIELD OFFICERS:

    First Commander: Charles D. Dreux, LTC [killed July 5, 1861]
    Field Officers: James H. Beard, MAJ [July 5, 1861]; Nicholas H. Rightor, MAJ, LTC [July 5, 1861]
ASSIGNMENTS:

    Pensacola (Apr-May 61); Department of the Peninsula (Jun-Oct 61); Williamsburg and Spratley’s [B.S. Ewell’s Command], Department of the Peninsula (Oct 61); Griffith’s Brigade, Magruder’s Division, Magruder’s Command, Department of Northern Virginia (Apr-May 62); Griffith’s Brigade, Magruder’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia (May 62)

BATTLES:

    near Newport News (July 5, 1861); Operations on Back River (July 24, 1861); Young’s Mill (October 21, 1861); Yorktown Siege (April-May 1862); Lee’s Mill (April 5, 1862)

ROSTERS:

    The composite roster of this regiment contains the names of 545 men.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

REFERENCES:

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