Baton Rouge Barracks
Baton Rouge Barracks (1819-1886) - A U.S. Army barracks established in 1819 in Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Abandoned in 1886. Also known as Pentagon Barracks.
Baton Rouge Barracks History
In 1816 after the end of the War of 1812 Baton Rouge was selected as the site of the Baton Rouge Barracks and Baton Rouge Arsenal. Construction of the barracks began in 1819 from a design by Lieutenant James Gadsden of Gadsden Purchase fame. The barracks was designed with four barracks buildings and a single quartermaster building arranged in a pentagon. Construction was completed in 1821 but the quartermaster building was defective and was torn down the same year. The four barracks buildings were built of brick and had a capacity of some 1,000 troops.
Just prior to the beginning of the U.S. Civil War Louisiana Governor Thomas Moore assembled a state militia force and demanded the surrender of the barracks and the nearby Baton Rouge Arsenal. The garrison commander, Captain Joseph Haskins, faced with a superior force, was forced to surrender both installations on 10 Jan 1861 and depart the area. After the war had started and the Confederate government was formed, the barracks and the arsenal came under the control of the CSA.
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.
The barracks housed U.S. troops during the reconstruction period until it was deactivated on 6 Jun 1879. A small caretaker detachment remained at the barracks until 1886 when it was turned over to Louisiana State University. The University transferred the property to the State of Louisiana in the 1920s and it eventually became state offices.
State office buildings now used as legislative residences in Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.
Visited: 9 Apr 2016