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Pelican Rifles at the Pentagon Barracks in Baton Rouge.
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3rd LA Battle Flag
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Pelican Rifles March
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Pelican Rifles March
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Pelican Rifles March
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Pelican Rifles March
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Pelican Rifles Mess Song
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Lafayette Benton war letter to his father Robert (Pg.2)
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Lafayette Benton letter 002.jpg
Lafayette Benton war letter to his father Robert (Pg.3)
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Lafayette Benton letter 003.jpg
Lafayette Benton war letter to his father Robert (Pg.4)
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Robert Benton chest 003.jpg
Newspaper article remembering the deaths of Lafayette and his brother.
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Scrap of paper found in Lafayette's father's old chest.
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The 3rd Louisiana Infantry, received over 100 of these rifles in 1861, and armed at least one flank company with them.
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Pelican Rifles Military Buttons
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3rd LA Redan. Battle of Vicksburg
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The Southern Record.jpg
In 1866, William H. Tunnard produced a history of the 3rd Louisiana Infantry Regiment in which L.J Benton and J. E. Benton served. The book is available free on-line at http://archive.org/details/southernrecord00tunnrich.
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LJ Benton pg.263.jpg
Page from the book A Southern Record by William H. Tunnard.
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Page from the book A Southern Record by William H. Tunnard.
U.S.Confederate Army Casualty Lists and Reports 1861-1865 For LJ and EJ Benton.jpg
U.S.Confederate Army Casualty Lists and Reports 1861-1865 For LJ and EJ Benton.jpg

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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Lafayette James Benton 2
Full Name:
L J Benton 1
Birth:
29 Jun 1835 2
Louisiana 2
Death:
08 Jun 1863 2
killed June 8th in trenches at Herbert's Brigade at the seige of Vicksburg 2
Vicksburg, Mississippi 2
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Civil War (Confederate) 1

Branch:
Confederate Army 1
Enlistment Date:
Benton, L. J., Pvt. Co. K. 3rd La. Infty. En. May 17th, 1861, New Orleans, La. Present on Rolls to Aug., 1861. Absent, Hospl. Attendant, Sept. and Oct., 1861. Present on Rolls May, 1862, to Feb., 1863. 3
Enlistment Date:
1861 1
Military Unit:
Third Infantry 1
State:
Louisiana 1
Unit:
Third Regiment, Co K. La. Pelican Rifles 2

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Stories

Pelican Rifles DAILY GAZETTE & COMET [BATON ROUGE, LA], January 10, 1860, p. 2, c. 1 The Eighth.—As the "Glorious Eighth" did not come until the 9th, the demonstration was given us yesterday, in a very neat and creditable manner. The Pelican Rifles made their first regular turn out—armed and equipped. How the times have changed! Twenty years ago, Sunday would have been the day of all others for the Anniversary. Indeed, when such events came by appointment of the Almanac, in the early time, then the gallant Chasseurs, and the Guards, would fix Sunday for the parade, and come down early in the morning with an assault on Old Michael's; firing, but not falling back, until the going down of the sun. We have improved in more than one respect since the early time; though on the backward track in many things. Music came up from below by appointment, and at 12 o'clock every thing was in readiness to move from the head quarters of the company in Third street. So dense was the throng of men, woman [sic] and children who took possession of the capitol to witness the ceremony of presenting the banner, that the idea was abandoned of getting into the Senate chamber, which had been prepared for the purpose. The presentation took place on the steps of the east gate of the building.—Miss Phillie Nolan, presented it, in the name of the donor (our fellow-citizen Wm. S. Pike, Esq., and the citizens of Baton Rouge.) The speech was an elegant and appropriate one, and responded to by Capt. W. F. Tunnard, Commander of the company. After the presentation—and after parading through town, the company marched to the Harney House, where a sumptuous repast was spread for them, under the direction of the host of that establishment, Col. Rhodus. A long life to the Pelicans say we; may they prosper and grow strong with age, and turn out, long after many of us have turned under and gone to the great rest, that knows no waking. Where pray, was Col. Peirce and the Dragoons, on this occasion? Certainly they are not already hors du combat. Will the Col. drop us a line on this subject from Fort Hamilton?

DAILY GAZETTE & COMET [BATON ROUGE, LA], July 3, 1860, p. 2, c. 8

AnniversaryofAmerican Independence.

            The Volunteer Companies of this city will commemorate the Fourth of July by a parade at 7½ o'clock A. M.  At 8½ o'clock a flag presentation to the National Guards will take place at the Garrison Grounds, after which the Declaration of Independence will be read by Nolan A. Stuart of the Creole Guards and an address delivered by Fred. D. Tunnard, of the Pelican Rifles. The companies will then parade some of our principal streets.     
In accordance with the above arrangements the members of the different Companies will assemble at their several places of rendezvous at 7½ o'clock A. M., precisely, in Dress Uniform with blank cartridges, to assist in the Celebration of the Glorious Anniversary.               
                                    By order of                   
                                                Wm. F. Tunnard,                      
                                                Captain Pelican Rifles.              
                                                L. J. Fremeaux,                        
                                    Lieut., commanding Creole Guards,                  
                                                H. A. Rauhman,                        
                                                Captain National Guards

DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], February 24, 1861, p. 2, c. 2

 

The Twenty-Second.

 

 

 

The birth-day of our revered Washington was celebrated with unusual spirit in Baton Rouge on Friday.  O ur gallant State has dissolved her connection with the Union, but she did not leave Washington behind.  H e is still the Father of our country , and in no portion of the globe is his memory so sacredly enshrined as in the hearts of the people of the Confederated States.  L ong may the virtues of his illustrious and patriotic life continue to be honored, admired and imitated by the sons of the South; long may her citizens and soldiery strive to outdo each other in celebrating the day which gave to humanity a hero and statesman—to an infant nation a savior and protector.             At an early hour on Friday morning our military companies began to assemble on Boulevard street.  T hey formed in the order of seniority, to wit:  Peli can Rifles, Creole Guards and National Guards, then marched up to the Barracks where they were received by Capt. Farrar, commanding officer of the post, prior to hoisting the State Flag.  At 12 o'clock precisely, at the given signal, the beautiful new banner was run up, the companies saluting it with fife and drum, and two brass pieces worked by a well trained squad under Capt. Farrar's direction, thundered forth their booming welcome to the colors which will hereafter be the symbol of our State Sovereignty.             These ceremonies over, the volunteer companies marched to the headquarters of the Pelicans, where a magnificent and sumptuous lunch had been prepared by Capt. Tunnard for his guests.  C apt. Farrar, Lieuts. Beatty and Tew of the army, Hons. A. S. Herron, P. D. Hardy, Col. Louis Hebert, and other distinguished gentlemen were among those who sat at the table prepared for the guests.  T oast, song, sentiment and speech were the projectiles which flew across the tables. Altoget her it was a royal and pleasant day to every man who participated.   The company present numbered about 200 persons.

 

 

DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], May 12, 1861, p. 2, c. 3

Letter from Camp Walker.

                                                Camp Walker, Metairie Course, May 8, 1861.
Messrs. Editors—Amid all the excitement of military displays here, nothing as yet has eclipsed the review of yesterday.  The troops, nearly 3,500 strong, were marched from camp to the oaks, that famed duelling ground.  The grounds were filled to overflowing with spectators, a greater portion of whom were ladies.  They are everywhere present with pleasant smiles and encouraging words for the young volunteers.  I say young, Mr. Editor, for the simple reason that the army here is composed mostly of just such material as left Baton Rouge in the ranks of the Pelicans, all eager and ready for an affray with the minions of the military despot at Washington.     
Perhaps an item of a portion of the duties of camp-life will prove interesting to our friends at home.  At early dawn we are aroused from our slumbers by the roll of the drum and the shrill notes of the fife.  Roll being called, the boys are dismissed to put their tents in order.  Breakfast at 6 o'clock.  In the meantime, ten men are appointed to serve twenty-four hours in the main guard.  The main guard is composed of ten men from each company, whose duty it is to guard camp.  A police guard is also appointed who clean up all the dirt and filth about the tents, bring water for the company, wood for the cooks, and, in fact, keep everything in order.  During the afternoon we have squad drills; at sundown the companies muster for roll-call and supper; tattoo at 9 o'clock, P. M., when the men retire to their respective tents—fifteen minutes after, three taps of the drum compels every light to be extinguished and the cam is in darkness and quiet.  Everything is conducted with regularity and precision.  The promptitude and cheerfulness with which every duty is met and discharged by all the members of the company would surprise some of our friends at home.  We have everything necessary for our comfort and convenience, and the laughs, jests and songs heard on all sides attest the general satisfaction and good feeling that prevails.            
There are some talk of our speedy removal from here to more pleasant quarters a short distance above New Orleans.  Be assured that the Pelican Rifles will not return home until they have seen more active duty than mere camp life.      
With many kind wishes for friends at home, I remain as ever, respectfully, etc.                
                                                                                                                                                           W. H. T. 

DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], May 8, 1861, p. 2, c. 3

Letter from Camp Walker.

                                                                        Camp Walker, May 5, 1861.   
Editors Advocate—Presuming a few lines from the ranks of the Pelican's [sic] might be of interest to your reader, I will give you a brief summary of events which have transpired since we left the Capital. . . .          
We received quite an ovation at the hands of the ladies along the Railroad route, waving of handkerchiefs, clapping of hands, etc.       
One little incident worth mentioning was that of a young lady, who ran out with a flag waving in one hand, and while the cars were in full motion, handed us a magnificent boquet [sic] as large as a water bucket.  That young lady will long be remembered by the Pelican Rifles.         
We are divided into messes of six, occupying a tent about six feet square, each mess doing its own cooking, etc.            
It would do you good to see Felix Brunot cooking; he brags on being able to boil water as good as any man in the company. . . .       
Our company has had many praises bestowed upon it, and it is conceded here that we make the best appearance and are the best drilled company on the ground, outside of New Orleans.  I will write you again shortly, until then, adieu.                        
                                                                                                                                                           Bob. 

DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], May 7, 1861, p. 2, c. 2

Letter from Camp Walker.

                                    Camp Walker, Metairie Course, May 3, 1861. 
Mr. Editor—Here we are all safe and sound, becoming rapidly initiated into the regular routine of camp life.  We all find it a somewhat different matter from the holiday soldiering at home, but the duties imposed are cheerfully and bravely met.  It is a somewhat strange spectacle to see young men reared amid the comforts and luxuries of home-life, doing soldiers duty, bending over the camp fire, preparing meals or boiling coffee; tears streaming from their eyes caused by villainous smoke from these same camp-fires; carrying wood and water; and when the day's duties are ended, lying down upon a board or the bare ground, with a knapsack or stick of wood for a pillow and single blanket for a covering.  These are but a portion of the hardships undergone, yet the very fact that all these are endured cheerfully by those unaccostomed [sic] to such duties, shows the unmistakable spirit aroused among the Southern people by the aggressive policy of Old Abe. 
Since our departure we have been enthusiastically welcomed and cheered on our way, especially by the ladies, who, God bless them, seem most enthusiastic in our glorious cause, although with aching hearts and streaming eyes, they part, perhaps forever, from brothers, fathers and dear friends. 
There are upwards of 3000 troops encamped here, and each day sees the number augmented.  I counted 425 tents pitched upon these grounds, while every building is full.  It is a fine spectacle when night has thrown its dark mantle over the earth, to see the numerous camp-fires, surrounded by groups of men or the regular rows of this city of tents, all lighted up from within, while the laugh and song and jest mingled with strains of instrumental music, and the roll of the drum are borne away on the evening breeze. 
Among all the companies on the ground, the Pelican Rifles are best equipped, and thanks to the untiring preserverance [sic] and efficiency of our officers, (I say it with all due deference to our companions in arms,) the best drilled.           
During our short stay in New Orleans, our marching was highly commended. Whenever we were out, the pavement, balconies and houses were thronged with stout-hearted men and fair women, who gave us many parting tokens and a heart-felt God speed. 
Concerning our future movements, I can say nothing, but wherever we go, or whenever, I shall strive to drop you a line. 
Yesterday, the Davis guards, a gallant body of men from Louisville, left en route for Richmond, Va.  Be assured Mr. Editor, that the Pelican's [sic] wills [sic] never give Baton Rouge cause to be ashamed of her young first volunteer company.  With many kind remembrances for dear friends at home, I remain, respectfully, etc.                
                                                                                                                                               W. H. T. 

DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], January 9, 1861, p. 2, c. 1
The Eighth.—Our military companies were out yesterday in full force to celebrate the Eighth of January.  The National and Creole Guards made a splendid parade; and so did the gallant pioneer company, the Pelican Rifles. Their firing was universally commended by the spectators who witnessed it. 

DAILY GAZETTE & COMET [BATON ROUGE, LA], July 6, 1860, p. 2, c. 2

Properly Disposed Of.

            It cannot be said in the next century that the Eighty fourth Anniversary of Independence, was not duly observed and properly celebrated here at the capital; or if it is, and any body now living shall travel so far along the road of time as to reach that period, they can give it the flat denial.  Indeed to furnish an adequate idea, how the day was disposed of, a detailed and running account might, and would be given, if there was a cornerstone open, to receive the paper and bear it down to remote posterity.  But no, the light of the Comet like the flame of a candle, or more like gas, goes out—fleith as a shadow and where is it!"  What becomes of all the daily morsels of morality, culled, and condensed into this paper day by day, and published to "the world?"  Why they come from nothing and return to nothing.  This is of no consequence.  The "Fourth" commenced, here with the alarm of fire, at 2½ o'clock in the morning.  A frame building in the rear of the Asylum for Mutes and the Blind, belonging to Madame Keys, and occupied by Mr. Henry Stephens, was entirely consumed. The Fire department—distracted the week previous with the question "shall we turn out" was thus settled to the entire satisfaction of all parties interested. Shortly after, commenced the firing of a National salute, by the Pelicans.  The moon having paled his ineffectual rays, and streaks of promise for another day of sunlight appearing in the East, the capital got up—put on its best clothes, and came out to see what was to be done.  The beautiful ladies and lovely children who we had seen a short time previous, on the way to the fire, leaning listlessly, from balcony windows, and screened by half closed doors, in classic white—unhooped; now appeared in rainbow colors and spring time decorations.  A gentleman with a trumpet, had already been to the street corners, sounding the note for military preparation, and inspiring music enveloped the town with audable [sic] glory.  Here were the Pelicans, Creoles and National Guards, all noble and gallant fellows, armed and equipped in proper manner to take charge of the day and see it through.      
The tide ran in the direction of the U. S. Arsenal, where at 8 o'clock, Miss Eliza Botts, in behalf of the Surgeon of the Company, F. M. Hereford, presented Capt. H. A. Rauhman of the National Guards, a National banner, accompanied with the following language:  
["] Captain:--The pleasing duty has been assigned to me, by the Ladies; your wives, daughters, sisters, friends and compatriots, of presenting to you, and through you, to the officers and members of the Company, of the National Guards this "Star Spangled Banner."  You will observe, that it is composed of 13 stripes and a blue field of 33 stars—stars of hope for the down trodden and oppressed of every nation on the face of the earth!  May not one of those stars be ever struck from the glorious canopy of freedom's firmament; but may they increase in number and lustre until all nations shall be united in one brotherhood of civil and religious liberty!  It will be your duty, as well as your pride and pleasure, to guard and protect that national emblem of liberty and independence against the assaults of every foe.  Bear in mind, that Lafayette, Dekalb, Koskiusco, Pulaski, Steuben and many others of European birth, stood shoulder to shoulder with Washington and his compatriots, through the darkest hours of the American revolution, in their bloody struggle in the great cause of liberty—that constitutional liberty which is the loadstone of nationality. It was for this you left your homes and "fatherland," to dwell under the ample folds of this:     
"Star spangled banner, and long may it wave,    
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"["]  
To which the Captain replied in a gallant and proper manner.  After this ceremony the "Declaration" was read by Noland A. Stuart, of the Creoles and F. D. Tunnard of the Pelicans, delivered the address.  The military marched down town, and over to Alex. St. Martin's grove on North Boulevard, where Col. Nick Wax, of the Washington house, had fixed just such things as are calculated to put every feeling man in a good humor with himself, and the balance of the race.  Patriotic sentiments were scattered about in the most prodigal manner.  Some of the Guards, ran all night, says rumor.  At half past three in the morning of the 5th, the music after playing "Oh Susanna" in a very creditable manner, disappeared in Goose Hollow, and as far as Red Stick is concerned the Eighty Fourth Anniversary was disposed of. 

LIST OF CASUALTIES, 3RD REGIMENT LOUISIANA INFANTRY, HEBERT'S BRIGADE, FORNEY'S DIVISION, DURING THE SIEGE OF VICKSBURG, MAY 18 TO JULY 4, 1863.

 

COMPANY K, PELICAN RIFLES

Killed - Corporal M. Brandenstein, A. V. Duffy, E. J. Benton, L. J. Benton, B. F. Hickman, Corporal D. Echols.

 

Wounded Seriously - Sergeant E. Jolly, J. F. Chambers, W. L. Edmonson.

 

Wounded Slightly - Corporal S. P. Russ, H. Finlay

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