Louis Douglass Watkins
Brigadier General, United States Army
NPFX: Brigadier General
Born: 29 NOV 1833 in Tallahassee, Florida
Died: 29 MAR 1868
Buried: in Arlington National Cemetery,Washington,D.C.
Father: Claiborne Anderson WATKINS, b. 1802
in Richmond County,Augusta,Georgia
Courtesy National Archives
Louis Douglass Watkins was born near Tallahassee, Florida, probably on November 29, 1833. He was taken early in life by his parents to Washington, D.C. where he was educated. Considerable discrepancy in various sources in regard to date of his birth, as well as to place and date of death. The data here is reconstructed from "Union Regiments of Kentucky," and the New Orleans Daily Picayune, Mar 31, 1868. Other information was derived from the Pension File in the National Archives, Washington, D.C.
During the 1850's he was affiliated with a Washington, D.C. militia company known as the "National Rifles," but when the company entertained treasonable designs against the Federal government, he resigned and joined the 3rd Battalion, District of Columbia Infantry, a loyal outfit.
On May 14, 1861, he was commissioned First Lieutenant in the Regular Army and served with the 5th United States Cavalry in the Peninsular Campaign, during which he was severely wounded at Gaines's Mills. In July 1862, he was advanced to Captain and sent to Kentucky, where he acted as aide-de-camp on the staff of A. J. Smith during Braxton Bragg's invasion of that state. In October he was appointed Chief of the Cavalry of the Army of Kentucky and accompanied S. P. Carter on the latter's raid into Eastern Tennessee. Becoming Colonel of the 6th Kentucky (Union) Cavalry in February 1863, he engaged in a number of skirmishes in the neighborhood of Nashville and commanded a Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland, in Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns.
During the Atlanta Campaign his Brigade was part of E.M. McCook's Division and engaged in guarding railroad in William T. Sherman's rear. He subsequently, took part in the Tennessee Campaign of November-December 1864, and pursuit of John B. Hood after battle of Nashville. His Brigade was broken up in January 1865, and in April he was made post Commander at Louisville, Kentucky, where he did duty until the end of war.
Had been breveted Brigadier General of Volunteers, June 24, 1864, and September 25, 1865, was accorded the full rank.
When the Regular Army was reorganized in 1866, he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 20th United States Infantry and was stationed at Richmond, Virginia, until January 1867, when the regiment was ordered to Baton Rouge. Had married a daughter of General Lovell Harrison Rousseau in 1864 and, when ordered to Baton Rouge, he seems to have established his wife and two children in New Orleans. He died there, visiting them, on March 29, 1868; after temporary burial in the old Girod Street Cemetery his remains were ultimately interred in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery next to those of his father-in-law, who by coincidence died 9 months later in New Orleans.
His wife, Mary E. Rousseau Watkins died at
St. Paul, Minnesota on July 8, 1869, aged 27 years, and was buried with
him. Her nickname was Mollie and a photograph of her separate headstone
is seen below.
The following year General Rousseau died at New Orleans after contracting an illness in Alaska while serving as representative of Secretary of State Seward in negotiating the purchase of that land. The bodies of General Rousseau and Lieutenant Colonel Watkins were brought to Louisville for burial where Mary Rousseau Watkins died on 8 July 1869. The bodies of the three were then taken to Arlington Cemetery where they are all buried together under one stone just a few yards from the front door of Arlington House.
Colonel Watkins had three children, Lovell Rousseau Watkins who born 28 June 1865 and died on January 9, 1892 at Garfield General Hospital in Washington, D.C. while serving in the Army; Eva W. Watkins born 18 September 1866 and Louis Douglas Watkins, 15 June 1868 and died 4 March 1869 at New Orleans. The General's daughter, Eva, died at the age of 9 in 1875 from meningitis.
WATKINS, L D
COL US ARMY
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown
DATE OF DEATH: 03/29/1868
DATE OF INTERMENT: Unknown
BURIED AT: SITE 1045
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
WATKINS, L R
WATKINS, MOLLIE W/O L D
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 23 April 2004