20th Louisiana Infantry (Reichard's/Zinken's)

Luke Freet

First Sergeant
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Nov 8, 2018
Interesting unit. Both Colonels were of Prussian origin. Wonder if there was a considerable percentage of Germans in this regiment.
http://www.acadiansingray.com/20th Regt. Inf.htm#20th (Lovell) Regiment Volunteer Infantry
Colonel Leon von Zinken: http://cvacwrt.tripod.com/zinken.html
Fought as part of Patton Anderson's brigade at Shiloh. Transferred to the Louisiana Brigade; usually consolidated with 13th Louisiana. Fought at Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, the Atlanta Campaign (Notably Ezra Church where Colonel von Zinken was wounded; he'd detach from the regiment and became Commandant of Columbus, Ga), and at Nashville.
 

Luke Freet

First Sergeant
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Nov 8, 2018
Col. Leon von Zinken
1550239619609.png
 

AUG

Major
Retired Moderator
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Nov 20, 2012
Location
Texas
This is from Louisianians in the Western Confederacy by Stuart Salling, on Adams'/Gibson's Louisiana Brigade:

Another change in the brigade occurred in late May [1862], when on the twenty-seventh, the 20th Louisiana, under Colonel Augustus Reichard, was transferred from Walker's brigade. This transfer put Reichard in command of the brigade over Gober due to the seniority in date of rank. Reichard was described by a superior officer as "untiring energy and careful attention not life to the details of official business, than to the drill, efficiency and general well being of his command, he has shown himself an excelling tactician, a good disciplinarian and an accomplished officer." Reichard was born 9 April 1820 in Munden, Hanover. He immigrated to the United States in the early 1840s and settled in New Orleans. The young Reichard became a successful broker in cotton and sugar while serving as a consul to the embassies of Hanover and Prussia in the Crescent City.​
When the war started, Reichard was in command of the 2nd Brigade of Louisiana Militia. He attempted to unite the German companies of the city into its own unit. It looks as though his goal was to ascertain a general's rank in this adventure. Helping this goal, no doubt, was the fact that his business partner was the brother-in-law of none other than the secretary of war, Judah Benjamin. Four German companies, the Turner Guards, Steuben Guards, Reichard Rifles and the Louisiana Volunteers, were organized into the 6th Louisiana Battalion at Camp Lewis, outside of New Orleans, in September 1861 with 315 men. Reichard's battalion then became the nucleus of the 20th Louisiana Infantry Regiment. The regiment was formed on 3 January 1862 by the merging of six independent companies to the 6th Louisiana Battalion. This brought the regiment's numbers up to 879 men. Reichard was made the colonel of the new regiment, Samuel Boyd was made lieutenant colonel, and Leon von Zinken became major. Von Zinken was another German immigrant from Prussia. The 34-year-old Prussian came from a history of military training, himself having served in the Prussian army and his father having been a Prussian general. The prewar builder was made the major of the 6th Battalion, bringing with him much needed training.​

The regiment was sent to Camp Benjamin the day after being organized, and several of its companies were detached to posts across south Louisiana. When the regiment was ordered to Corinth as part of the buildup to face Grant, it left New Orleans with only eight of its ten companies. Companies B and E were left behind on garrison duty at Berwick City and New Orleans. Captain Charles Assenheimer's Company B was sent to Fort St. Phillip where it fought for New Orleans and surrendered. The eventual outcome of Company E is speculative; it probably was in New Orleans at the time of that city's surrender and disbanded. Once in Corinth the regiment was attached to Anderson's brigade of Ruggles' division. The regiment would not he brought up to the full status of ten companies until 19 August 1862: the Noel Guards of the 21st Louisiana was attached on July 28 to form a new Company B, and Company I of the 11th Louisiana was attached on August 19 to form a new Company E.​
For the Battle of Shiloh, the regiment was part of Anderson's Second Brigade of Ruggles' division. The regiment was short 372 men from its original 879 when it was mustered into service just three months before. Subtract the two detached companies and the small number of sick and unfit and the regiment's numbers stabilized at 507 for the fight at Shiloh. The regiment took part in the breaking of Sherman's division around Shiloh Church and then took part in the attacks on the Hornets Nest through Duncan's Field. Reichard was complimented by Anderson who said Reichard "deserves the highest commendation and praise for his indefatigable valor in leading his command wherever the foe was strongest." The regiment's German colonel was in the thick of fighting throughout and had his horse shot out from under him. The regiment lost 131 men or about 26 percent (16 killed, 83 wounded and 56 captured, of which 24 were already wounded).​

Col. Augustus Reichard. He later resigned July 7, 1863 and Lt. Col. Leon von Zinken then took command.
Colonel_Augustus_Reichard.jpg
 

BlueandGrayl

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2018
Location
Corona, California
Louisiana had a lot of foreigners especially in the southernmost half of the state. New Orleans being the South/CSA's crown jewel city rivaling the North/USA;s New York City and with NYC it attracted a lot of immigrants there.
 

Luke Freet

First Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
What I find most linteresting is future Colonel Zinken.
After he was posted at Columbus, when Wilson was making his way down, Zinken made requests to organize black troops to augment his pitiful garrison

"The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion show that on April 3, 1865, Von Zinken sent the following message to his former commanding officer and current Confederate States Secretary of War John C. Breckenridge:

Many negroes offered to volunteer. Could raise a brigade in a short time. Have telegraphed twice on subject. Please answer.


The records also show the following endorsement on April 8, 1865:


Please answer and confer authority as decided on at Richmond to raise companies. Officers to be appointed hereafter. - J[efferson] D[avis].

Von Zinken probably never received his answer. It was not the first time he had tried a creative solution to his manpower problems. In October of 1864, Von Zinken wrote directly to General Bragg asking: "Could I get authority to recruit immigrant foreigners from Federal prisoners often in our hands whose term of service had expired, to fill ranks of my Regiment? Please send proper order if possible." He was likewise denied that request."

Taken from http://cvacwrt.tripod.com/zinken.html
 
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