Albumen photograph, 5.25 x 7.25 in., on mount, 7 x 9 in. (sight), framed, 9 x 11 in. A sharp studio portrait of a young infantry private identified as "Harden West," Co. H, Miles' Legion (32nd Louisiana Infantry), armed with a rifled-musket with bayonet. E. Jacobs: New Orleans, LA, ca 1862. Photographer's blindstamp in lower margin of mount.
Harden West is confirmed as having enlisted as a private in New Orleans. The infantry battalion of Miles' Legion (seven companies) is recorded in several sources as having been raised in the early summer of 1862, subsequently organized at Baton Rouge, and serving there in the garrison until surrendering on July 9, 1863. Miles' Legion existed for slightly less than a year and only a handful of Baton Rouge-related reports speak to its brief service, one recounting a fierce fight with the 116th New York. We do know that all of the surviving enlisted men were paroled on July 10, 1863, while the officers remained prisoners. West's parole dated July 10 indicates that he did serve at Baton Rouge throughout the siege until the surrender. Reference to Harden West is made on p. 241 in the authoritative Portraits of Conflict series, Louisiana volume, by Carl Moneyhon and Bobby Roberts.
Miles' Legion, or 32nd LA, was not reconstituted after Port Hudson. West seems to be the only so-named Confederate soldier with no later wartime service recorded. New Orleans fell in early 1862 and afterwards no longer served as a recruiting locale of the Confederate Army.
Provenance:Eugene R. Groves Collection of 19th Century Photography
Light soiling to image and mount, with the exception of slightly dark soiling/staining along perimeter of print where it meets the mount on right and left sides. Some surface wear/chipping to frame. Not examined outside frame.
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