Louis Douglass Watkins

Louis Douglass Watkins, who was born near Tallahassee, Florida, probably on November 29, 1833, was taken early in life by his parents to the District of Columbia, where he was educated. During the 1850's he became affiliated with a Washington militia company known as the "National Rifles," but when the company entertained treasonable designs against the Federal government, Watkins resigned and joined the 3rd Battalion, District of Columbia Infantry—a loyal outfit. On May 14, 1861, he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Regular Army and served with the 5th Cavalry in the Peninsular campaign, during which he was severely wounded at Gaines's Mill. In July, 1862, he was advanced to captain and sent to Kentucky, where he acted as aide-de-camp on the staff of A. J. Smith during Braxton Bragg's invasion of the state; in October he was appointed chief of cavalry of the Army of Kentucky and accompanied S. P. Carter on the latter's raid into East Tennessee. Becoming colonel of the 6th Kentucky (Union) Cavalry in February, 1863, he engaged in a number of skirmishes in the neighborhood of Nashville and commanded a brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland, in the Chickamauga and Chattanooga campaigns. During the Atlanta campaign Watkins' brigade as a part of E. M. Mc-Cook's division was engaged in guarding the railroad in W. T. Sherman's rear. Subsequently, Watkins took part in the Tennessee campaign of November and December, 1864, and the pursuit of John B. Hood after the battle of Nashville. His brigade was broken up late in January, 1865, and in April he was made post commander at Louisville, Kentucky, where he did duty until the end of the war. Watkins had been brevetted a brigadier general of volunteers on June 24, 1864, and on September 25, 1865, was accorded the full rank. When the Regular Army was reorganized in 1866, he was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 20th Infantry and was stationed at Richmond until January, 1867, when the regiment was ordered to Baton Rouge. Watkins had married a daughter of General Lovell H. Rousseau in 1864 and, when ordered to Baton Rouge, seems to have established his wife and two children in New Orleans. He died there, while visiting them on March 29, 1868; and after temporary burial in the old Girod Street Cemetery his remains were ultimately interred in Arlington National Cemetery, next to those of his father-in-law, who by coincidence died nine months later in New Orleans.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.