By Mike Jones
After the successful invasion of Louisiana by Lincoln's northern army, in April 1862, the men of Baton Rouge rallied to the Confederate colors by forming three volunteer companies of infantry and one of cavalry. Those Southern volunteers became the Campaigners, the Baton Rouge Invincibles, Lemmon Guards and Plain Store Rangers. They were organized into the 9th Battalion Louisiana Infantry on 15 May 1862 at Camp Moore in Tangipahoa, where many other volunteer companies were organizing to repel the ruthless military takeover of the state. Later that summer they were joined by the Caruther's Sharphooters of Livingston Parish to complete the battalion's organization.
The battalion served under Confederate Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge at the Battle of Baton Rouge on 5 August 1862. The land attack was successful but because the C.S.S. Arkansas broke down on the way, it was unable to attack the Union fleet at Baton Rouge. The major advantage in heavy artillery made the land attack untenable and the Confederates eventually had to retreat. During the battle Col. (Brig. Gen.) Henry Watkins Allen, the future governor of Louisiana, was severely wounded leading the 9th battalion. Also during the attack, the 6th Michigan captured the flag of the battalion.
However, seeing how exposed they were in Baton Rouge, in late August 1862 the Federals abandoned the town and the Confederates moved in to take charge. The men of the 9th battalion guarded there hometown for the next several months until the Union came back in force in December. The Confederates then fell back to their bastion on the Mississippi, Port Hudson, which was being fortified. Then men fought in the siege between 23 May-9 July 1863 and occupied part of the trenches on the Confederate right flank, a position known as The Citadel. After the surrender, the men went home on parole. The cavalry company, the Plain Store Rangers, had remained outside the lines during the siege, and it became part of a temporary cavalry battalion commanded by Captain John B. Cage. In early 1864, the paroled remnants of the battalion were consolidated into one company, mounted, and attached as Company D to Gober's Louisiana Mounted Infantry. As part of Gober's Mounted Infantry, they fought a number of skirmishes in 1864. At the end of the war, the remnants of the battalion were incorporated into Ogden's 9th Louisiana Cavalry Regiment and were paroled in May 1865 in Gainesville, Alabama.
Companies and Officers: 1
LIEUTENANT COLONEL. Samuel Boyd, retired because of wounds received 5 August 1862.
MAJORS. Thomas Bynum, resigned 2 May 1863; Bolling R. Chinn, acting.
Companies and Their Commanders
Company A, Campaigners (Baton Rouge). Thomas Bynum, promoted major 13 September 1862; William L. Burnett, died 7 August 1863; T. Winthrop Brown.
Company B, Baton Rouge Invincibles (East Baton Rouge). Thomas J. Buffington, appointed surgeon 15 September 1862; B.F. Burnett.
Company C, Lemmon Guards (East Baton Rouge). Bolling R. Chinn.
Company D, Caruthers Sharpshooters (Livingston). William D.L. McRae, resigned November 5, 1862; Alfred Bradley.
Cavalry Company, Plains Store Rangers (East Baton Rouge). John W. Jones, resigned 30 October 1862; Gilbert C. Mills.
1. Guide to Confederate military Units 1861-1865; Arthur W. Bergeron; LSU Press, Baton Rouge and London, 1989, pages 161-162.
The 9th Battalion Louisiana Infantry, like most Confederate units, probably had several different types of battle flags during its operational existence. The flag used by the battalion in the Battle of Baton Rouge was captured by the 6th Michigan Infantry. That flag survived the war and was returned by the State of Michigan to the State of Louisiana on 21 September 1942. Unfortunately the current location of the flag is unknown and no description of it has been found. No other flags used by the 9th are known to have survived the war.
Report of Captain Thomas Bynum