Baton Rouge Arsenal

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Baton Rouge Arsenal (1826-1869) - A U.S. Army arsenal established in 1826 as an arms depository and depot in Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. The arsenal and the adjacent Baton Rouge Barracks were surrendered to Louisiana State Militia forces at the beginning of the U.S. Civil War and later in 1861 were transferred to CSA control. Returned to Union control in 1862. Abandoned as an arsenal in 1869.

Baton Rouge Arsenal History

Construction began in 1819 on a powder magazine and ordnance building. The ordnance building was defective and was rebuilt in 1828. The main arsenal building was built in 1829 and destroyed by a storm after the U.S. Civil War.

The arsenal and the adjacent Baton Rouge Barracks were surrendered to Louisiana State Militia forces on 10 Jan 1861 at the beginning of the U.S. Civil War and later in 1861 were transferred to CSA control.

Union forces took back the barracks and arsenal for the duration of the war after the battle of Baton Rouge, 5 Aug 1862. They constructed an earthworks around both the arsenal and the barracks that was named Fort Williams (2) after Union General Thomas Williams (Cullum 902) who was killed in the battle of Baton Rouge. After the U.S. Civil War the arsenal was used to store surrendered arms and ordnance from dismantled fortifications.

Discontinued as an arsenal in 1869. A public sale was held in 1870 to dispose of the accumulated weapons and other gear. In Jun 1871 ordnance department personnel were withdrawn and the post was used by the Infantry and quartermaster.


Baton Rouge Arsenal Partial Commanders List (edit list)
Assumed Relieved Rank Name Cullum Notes
1839 1841 2nd Lieutenant Dearborn, Alexander H. 946
1841 1843 1st Lieutenant Whitely, Robert H. K. 599
1843 1844 2nd Lieutenant Dyer, Alexander B. 896
1849 1849 1st Lieutenant McNutt, John 1019
1851 1853 Captain Morgan, James M. 795
1853 1855 Major Todd, John W. 1541
1855-03 1856-06 Captain Rodman, Thomas J. 1065
1861 1861 Captain Booth, John C. 1392 Confederate
1861-01-12 1861-07-09 Colonel Sully, Alfred 1092 Infantryman in command
Dates are formatted in yyyy-mm-dd to sort correctly.
The Cullum Number is the graduation order from the United States Military Academy by year and class rank and links to a page for the officer on the website version of the Cullum Register. Listings without a Cullum Number indicate that the person was not a graduate of the United States Military Academy.

Current Status

The 1838 powder magazine remains as a museum in Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.


USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry:

  • Name: Old Arsenal Building Type: Historical Class: Military ID: 552815
  • Location: East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, US, FIPS Code: 22033
  • Latitude: 30.4576905, Longitude: -91.1845518, Elevation: 52 Map: Baton Rouge West
  • As Of: 1 Jan 1994
Source: U.S. Board on Geographic Names

Location: 900 State Capitol Dr, Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.

Maps & Images

Lat: 30.4576905 Long: -91.1845518

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Baton Rouge Arsenal Picture Gallery

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