State Cavalry Battalion
7 1/2 x 9 3/4, imprinted form, filled out in ink, dispensing ammunition to Major H.D. Ogden, Comdg. 1st La. State Cavalry Battalion, itemized list includes 6000 Enfield rifle cartridges in two different calibers, 840 buck & ball shot, 1800 caps, and six packing crates, signed by Major R.L. Robertson, Major & Ordnance Officer. Dated June 27, 1863. On brown necessity paper. Exceptional condition. Rare.
Henry D. Ogden
The First Black Troops in Confederate Service, The Louisiana Native Guard
In May of 1861, 1,500 "Free Men of Color," gathered at an assembly in New Orleans with the intent of assisting the new Confederate Government in the defense of their city. On May 2, 1861, Governor Thomas O. Moore of Louisiana, accepted the regiment as part of the Louisiana Militia. All the line officers were men of color and the Governor appointed Militia Colonel Henry D. Ogden as the white commander of the regiment. Creoles had been used in the past by both the French and Spanish as militia troops during the previous century and free men of color fought with Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. These men were educated and most had trades such as doctors, silversmiths, carpenters, architects, tailors, etc. These free men of color were property owners and identified closer to the white population than the non-white sector of the city. They had two grand reviews which took place November 23, 1861, and January 7, 1862. Enthusiasm waned as Confederate authorities gave the regiment few supplies and support. On February 15, 1862, the Legislature effectively disbanded the unit but they were quickly reinstated by Governor Moore on March 24th as Admiral Farragut entered the Mississippi River. On May 1, 1862, Union forces under General Benjamin F. Butler occupied the city and the regiment melted into the population. Butler soon became aware of a threat to the city from Confederate forces and asked to create a regiment of the free blacks who had previously been in the Louisiana Militia. On September 27, 1862, the two regiments of the Louisiana Native Guard were organized to fight for the Union. Colonel Henry D. Ogden, upon the surrender of New Orleans, had joined the staff of General Mansfield Lovell and had evacuated with Lovell from the city. He was assigned to Camp Moore, La., and was then promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on Governor Moore's staff, and he served in various capacities in the Trans-Mississippi Department in Northern Louisiana. He surrendered at Natchitoches, La., in May 1865, and returned to New Orleans. His involvement in organizing the first Black troops to serve the Confederacy is little known, but it is documented that he was the first and only white officer of this unit in 1861-62.