1ST LOUISIANA NATIVE GUARD. COL. HENRY D. OGDEN
The 1st Louisiana Native Guard was a Confederate Louisiana militia of "free persons of color" formed in 1861 in New Orleans. On May 2nd, 1861, Governor Thomas 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 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 23rd, 1861 and January 7th, 1862. Enthusiasm waned as Confederate authorities gave the regiment few supplies and support. On February 15th, 1862, the Legislature effectively disbanded the unit but they were quickly reinstated by Governor Moore on March 24th as Farragut entered the Mississippi River. On May 1st, 1862, Union forces under 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 27th, 1862, the two regiments of the Louisiana Native Guard were organized to fight for the Union. Colonel Henry D. Ogden upon the surrender of the City had joined the Staff of General Mansfield Lovell and had evacuated with Lovell from New Orleans. He was assigned to Camp Moore, Louisiana and then promoted to Lt. Colonel on Governor Moore's Staff, 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 the organizing of the first Black troops to serve the Confederacy is little known, but documented as being the first and only white officer of this unit in 1861-62. Manuscript Document, likely in Ogden's hand, 3pp. 4to., [c. 1861-2] in pencil being extensive notes on drilling including forming lines of battle, forming columns, marching, counter-marching and other necessary maneuvers for training raw recruits. Likely used while training the 1st Louisiana Guard. Usual folds, light toning and marginal wear, else very good condition.