Three Brothers: The Dutiful Son

On January 23, 1862, Louisiana enacted a draft for while males between the age of 18 and 45. The fall of Fort Henry and Fort Donaldson in Tennessee as well as the capture of Ship Island created panic that New Orleans was the next target for Union forces. Daniel Kingery traveled to New Orleans and enlisted in the 28th Louisiana Infantry (Thomas) Company F on April 19, 1862.


The timing of his decision tells us a few things. Daniel wasn’t carried away by emotional appeals to support the war. Secession was not universally popular in the South. Poor whites understood that they had the most to lose – their sons would be drafted into service, their farms raided by armies on both sides, their children left to starve.

The oldest son must have felt a strong obligation to the family. With Abram and J.J. gone, the next brother was Joel Taylor “J.T”. He was only 11 years old when the war started. His father was 57 years old. An old man in the nineteenth century.

The draft left Daniel with no choice. He could enlist or the Home Guard would take him.

On April 17th, Governor Moore issued a general order for all able bodied men in the state to gather in New Orleans. But the call to arms was too late. A week later, General Mansfield Lovell ordered all troops in the city to evacuate to Camp Moore. Daniel had been a private in the CSA infantry for just 5 days when he was ordered to board a train to the staging area 80 miles north of New Orleans. Box cars were so full that many men rode on top in pouring rain. Large numbers of new recruits never showed up in Tangipahoa Parish. They turned around and went home.

Thomas’ 28th Louisiana marched to Vicksburg two weeks later. Daniel spent most of his army service camped just outside of the city. The fall of 1862 was spent in drills and patrols. Union gunboats fired on the city a few times. Louisiana infantrymen did not see combat until December.

Vicksburg was called the “Gibraltar of the South” because the town is perched high on the bluffs over the Mississippi. If you’ve ever crossed the I-20 bridge at Vicksburg, keep in mind that you are not looking at the site of river bombardments of 1862/1863. The river changed course about 10 years after the end of the war. The current bridge is far south of the original city limits.

In 1862, the town sat opposite a narrow peninsula at the very tip of 180 degree turn in the river. Attackers were forced into a bottleneck when approaching from either direction. The entire effort to take Vicksburg lasted more than a year.


Chickasaw Bayou

Grant attempted to march down the middle of Mississippi in November 1862. He planned to attack the city from the east while Sherman led an amphibious landing at a small stream north of Vicksburg. A series of misadventures caused Grant to turn back but Sherman decided to carry on. Thirty thousand Federal troops suffered a resounding defeat at the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou. Daniel Kingrey was one of the infantry hidden in the bluffs over the landing area. Regiments from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas defended their positions from Dec 26 to Dec 29.

Daniel died in a Vicksburg hospital three weeks later. He may have been wounded at Chickasaw Bayou or he might have contracted pneumonia from lying in a muddy rifle pit for three days.

The young soldier was only 150 miles from home when he died. His grave marker sits in the Louisiana section at Soldiers Rest in the Vicksburg cemetery.

Kingery, D H muster roll

Statement about “The Lost Cause” interpretation of the Confederacy