Civil War Louisiana (CWLA)

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Civil War Louisiana (CWLA)
CWLA seeks to provide an online resource of any and all material of the Civil War relating to Louisiana with a special interest in the war in Acadiana in southwest Louisiana.
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

THE MOUTON-GRAY BRIGADE


The two mainstay regiment's Mounton's Brigade were the 18th and 24th (Crescent) Regiments. These regiments were brigaded together the Confederate build up at Corinth, in March of 1862. They were part of Colonel Preston Pond's Brigade and fought at the Battle of Shiloh together. Following Shiloh, the two regiments took part in the Siege of Corinth and accompanied the army on its retreat to Tupelo. From here the two regiments eventually found their way back to Louisiana. The 24th Regiment disbanded at the end of its 90 Day enlistment in June. The regiment was organized and ordered to report to Richard Taylor's command in south Louisiana. The 18th Regiment was transferred to Pollard, Alabama in August of 1862 and stayed there until its transfer to Taylor in October. Both regiments reported for duty to Taylor at New Iberia.



Henry Gray

By September 1863, Mouton's Brigade consisted of the above units (18th Regiment, 24th Regiment, 28th Regiment, Clack's Battalion and Fournet's Battalion). The brigade was joind by another unit at this time, the 11th Louisiana Battalion. The 11th Battalion was formed in Monroe in May of 1862 under the command of Lt. Colonel J.D. Shelley. It operated in North and Central Louisiana until the Summer of 1863 when it joined Mounton's Brigade. It particpated in the marches across Central and South Louisiana from the Summer through November. Thus was Mouton's Brigade for the Overland Campaign of October and November of 1863.

In November, Mouton's Brigade underwent a consolidation. The nucleus of the consolidation were the 18th and 24th Regiments. Each of these units served as the base around which the 10th, 11th and 12th Battalions were merged into. On November 3rd at Simmsport, the 11th and 12th Battalions (Fournet's) were merged with 24th Louisiana to form the Consolidated Crescent Regiment. The 18th Louisiana and 10th Battalion (Yellow Jackets) were consolidated at Simmsport on November 14, 1863 to form the Consolidated 18th Regiment and Yellow Jacket Battalion Volunteer Infantry.

The brigade spent the winter of 1863 moving from Simmsport to Alexandria to Monroe and back to Alexandria. When the Red River Campaign began in March of 1864 the brigade broke camp near Alexandria and proceeded to retreat for the next weeks toward Shreveport. It participated in the Battles of Mansfield, Pleasant Hill and Yellow Bayou during the campaign. It was at Masnfield on April 8, 1864 that brigade had its "defining moment." More popular Louisiana units/brigades had signiature moments: The 3rd Louisiana's charge at Corinth and its stand at Vicksburg, Gibson's charge at Shiloh at the Hornets Nest, the stand of the Louisianians at 2nd Manassass and the Valley Campaign of 1862 were all defining moments in the history of Louisiana. For Mouton's Brigade, it was the charge on the fence line at Mansfield. It was here that Mouton was killed and command of the brigade officially passed to Gray (even though Gray was commanding while Mouton was put in charge of a ad-hoc division with the addition of Polignac's Texas Brigade).

Following the Red River Campaign the brigade muddled through Central and North Louisiana and Southern Arkansas. It spent the Winter of 1864-65 between Minden and Pineville. In May of 1865, the brigade marched to Mansfield where it received word of Lee's surrender. There were no surrender ceremonies like Waggaman's and Gibson's Brigades at Appomattox and Meridian. Instead, when word of Lee's surrender reached the brigade it was disbanded and the men went home.



  • Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr. has been the leading author on the Mouton-Gray Brigade. Over the past 30+ years he has put forth work on this brigade and its regiments. Listed below are some of the pieces he has written:
  • Bergeron, Guide To Louisiana Confederate Military Units(1861-1865) (1989).
  • Bergeron, The Civil War Reminiscences of Major Silas T. Grisamore (1993). Grisamore was part of the 18th Louisiana Regiment.
  • Bergeron, "A Colonel Gains His Wreath: Henry Gray's Louisiana Brigade at the Battle of Mansfield, April 8, 1864," Civil War Regiments 4 No. 2 (1994).
  • Louisianians in the Civil War, Lawrence Lee Hewitt and Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr. "Yellow Jackets Battalion," 50-71 (2002).

Other Sources:

Edited by Gary D. Joiner, Joiner S. Marilyn and Clifton D. Cardin. No Pardons to Ask, Nor Apologies to Make: The Journal of William Henry King, Gray's 28th Louisiana Infantry Regiment (Voices Of The Civil War) (2006).

Louisiana Tech Library: M-082 FELIX PIERRE POCHE (1836-1895), DIARY AND RELATED PAPERS, 1854-1955. Poche served in the 28th Louisiana. Box 001, Folder 003 contains Poche's Diary that spans 1863-1865.

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Coppens' Zouave Battalion

Coppens' Zouave Battalion
Lt. Colonel George Coppens (seated) and brother, Captain Marie Alfred Coppens.Image sold at auction on Cowan Auctions, for $14,375