Civil War Louisiana (CWLA)

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.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


The second major call for Louisiana volunteers to "meet the call" came in March-April of 1862. U.S. Grant's capture of Forts Donelson and Henry in February, coupled with his quick landing at Pittsburg Landing near Corinth, Mississippi, caused a major rocus throughout south. In a quick jab, Grant was on the verge of capturing the entire Mississippi River defenses from Island No. 10 to Memphis. There was a widespread call by Confederate authorities for a major concentration of Confederate forces at Corinth.

Solid Red Lines Indicates Routes Taken by Louisiana Units to Corinth during February-March, 1862
Red Hashed Line Indicates Johnston's Retreat to Corinth
Solid Blue Lines Shows Pope's and Grant's Attack on the Mississippi & Tennessee Rivers

Various Louisiana units that were already organized and in the field were part of this move but there was also a call for volunteers across the state to meet the threat. From Mobile, Alabama, as part of Braxton Bragg's garrison, came the 1st Louisiana Regulars. Retreating from its outflanked position at Columbus, Kentucky came the 11th, 12th, 13th and 21st Regiments. Of these, the 21st Regiment would not reach Corinth until after the Battle of Shiloh and the 12th Louisiana was never sent to Corinth. Instead, the regiment went to Ft. Pillow and then to Memphis; never joining the Army of the Mississippi. Garrisoning the coastline of South Louisiana at Brashear City came the 4th Louisiana and from the city of New Orleans Daniel Ruggles was sent north with a brigade from that city's garrison consisting of the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th Regiments. Arriving later from New Orleans came the 20th Louisiana and arriving too late for Shiloh came the 25th Louisiana.

Desperate for as many men as possible, the Secretary of War authorized Governor Thomas O. Moore raise units for temporary service. Under this call, several 90 Day organizations were enlisted: The 24th Louisiana (Crescent Regiment), Orleans Guards Battalion and the 5th Company of the Washington Artillery.

Below is the list of Louisiana units serving in the Western Theater (east of Mississippi River). The list shows when the unit was mustered into service. It also shows from what location the unit came before arriving Corinth and also shows where they went if they did not go to Corinth. The units in red did not fight at Shiloh. All the units in black were part of the Army of the Mississippi at the Battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862).

UNIT Location Stationed
1st Louisiana Regulars Pensacola
4th Louisiana Brashear City, La.
11th Louisiana Columbus, Ky.
12th Louisiana Columbus, Ky. ->Pillow ->Memphis
13th Louisiana Columbus, Ky.
16th Louisiana New Orleans
17th Louisiana New Orleans
18th Louisiana New Orleans
19th Louisiana New Orleans
20th Louisiana New Orleans
21st Louisiana Columbus, Ky. ->Pillow->Corinth
24th Louisiana New Orleans
25th Louisiana New Orleans->Memphis->Corinth
Orleans Guards Bn. New Orleans
5th Co. Washington Arty. New Orleans

Similar to the eastern units the western units underwent organizational changes and reorganization. By August of 1862, only 7 of the 15 Louisiana units were left in the Army of the Mississippi:
  • 1st Louisiana Regulars
  • 13th Louisiana
  • 16th Louisiana
  • 20th Louisiana
  • 25th Louisiana
  • Austin's Battalion (formed from the disbanded 11th Louisiana)
  • 5th Company WA

The other eight departed the army for a variety of reasons:
  • 4th Louisiana Regiment: Ordered to Edwards Station, Mississippi. It was reorganized and joined the river defenses for Vicksburg and Port Hudson.
  • 17th Louisiana Regiment: Transferred to Vicksburg where it became part of that city's garrison.
  • 18th Louisiana Regiment: Was detached to Pollard, Alabama, with the 19th Louisiana, where they became part of the Mobile defenses. It eventually was transferred to Louisiana where it rejoined the 24th Regiment as part of Alfred Mouton's Brigade.
  • 19th Louisiana Regiment: Detached to Pollard, Alabama, with the 18th Louisiana, and became part of the Mobile garrison.
  • Orleans Guards Battalion: Unit disbanded at the end of its 90 days. From its ashes a company was organized and attached to the 30th Louisiana.
  • 24th Louisiana Regiment (Crescent): The regiment was disbanded with orders to re-muster itself in south Louisiana.
  • 11th and 21st Louisiana Regiments: Were both disbanded at the end of July and early August. Members of the 11th Louisiana were dispersed between the 13th and 20th Louisiana Regiments. Born from the 11th Regiment was Austin's Sharpshooters Battalion. Members of the 21st Louisiana mostly went to the 1st Regulars except for one company that was transferred to the 20th Regiment.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


On two occasions early in the war (April-August 1861 and March-April 1862) Louisiana provided two bulk waves of units/recruits to the war effort. The first concentration, from the outbreak of war through July of 1861, was the scramble to reach Virginia "before the war was over." The second mobilization of Louisiana units came to meet U.S. Grant's quick strike at Corinth, Mississippi. In both situations, Louisiana mobilized thousands of men and quickly sent them to the front. The first of these mobilizations has been best documented by Terry L. Jones' Lee's Tigers. Jones' book is about the Louisiana units that fought in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. This post is by no means ground breaking but I noticed that the majority of our units were mobilized and pushed into action to meet these two events (Jump to Virginia and Grant's threat of Corinth).

Two calls for volunteers came in April of 1861. To meet the call, Louisiana organized and sent a multitude of units to Virginia: 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 14th Regiments; Wheat's 1st Special Battalion, Dreaux's 1st Battalion, Coppens' Zouaves Battalion, Bradford's 3rd Louisiana Battalion, and a collection of independent companies that were eventually formed into Waddell's 4th Louisiana Battalion and St. Paul's 7th Louisiana Battalion. Topping off the list were four batteries of the Washington Artillery. The exodus of Louisiana units to Virginia began in early April of 1861 and continued until early August of 1861. The height of movements east was during May-June. Below is a chronological list of when units were mustered into Confederate service and then when they departed for Virginia.

UNIT Acct. into Service Ordered to, or Left for Va

Dreaux's 1st Bn. April June 15

Coppens' Zouave Bn. early April June 1

1st Louisiana April 28 April 29

Washington Artillery May 26 May 27

2nd Louisiana May 11

5th Louisiana June 4 June 5

6th Louisiana June 4 June 9

7th Louisiana June 5 June 6

Wheat's 1st Special Bn. June 5 June 13

8th Louisiana June 15 June 22

9th Louisiana July 6 July 13

10th Louisiana July 22

14th Louisiana ("1st Polish") June 16

3rd Louisiana Bn. ("2nd Polish") June 16 August 25

The exodus of Louisiana units to Virginia began in early April of 1861 and continued until early August of 1861. The height of movements east was during May-June.

It looks as though the average trip from the Camp Moore-New Orleans region was a 5-7 day trip. The route was pretty routine: North through Jackson and Grenada, Mississippi; Grand Junction, Tennessee and then east to Corinth, across northern Alabama and to Chattanooga; northeast through Knoxville and Bristol and then to Lynchburg. From there units either went on through to Manassas or east to Richmond. The exception was the trip of Dreaux's and Cozzens' Battalions from Pensacola, Florida.

The 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Regiments and Wheat's Battalion were sent to Northern Viriginia. These units formed the basis of what became the Taylor-Hays 1st Louisiana Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia. Eventually, Wheat's Battalion was disbanded in August of 1862 and disbanded to its sister units. Also, the 5th Louisiana regiment was attached following the Seven Days Campaign. The 9th and future 14th Regiments jumped a around a little bit but by October 1862 the 1st Louisiana Brigade took shape (one it kept until May 1864): 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Louisiana Regiments.

The 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 10th Regiments, along with Coppens' and Dreaux's Battalions, were sent to Southeast Virginia/Peninsula region. St. Paul's Battalion was originally sent to Northern Viriginia but then joined the Louisiana units on the Peninsula. This collection of units formed the basis of the eventual 2nd Louisiana Brigade. It was the Peninsual group that faced the biggest changes in organization due to the multiple battalions. In May 1862, Dreaux's Battalion was disbanded with one company joining the 1st Louisiana and a large group forming Fenner's Louisiana Battery. Several officers from Dreaux's unit made their way back to Louisiana where the found higher comissions in new regiments being formed for a new concentration out west (i.e., Captain Stuart Fisk becoming the new Colonel of the 25th Louisiana). Bradford's 3rd Battalion and St. Paul's 7th Battalion were combined on August 1st to form the 15th Louisiana Infantry. From October 1862 until May 1864 the 2nd Louisiana Brigade was organized as: 1st, 2nd, 10th, 14th and 15th Louisiana Regiments.

Of all the Louisiana units sent to Virginia Waddell's 4th Battalion became the exception. Itwas not a unit sent from Louisiana to Virigina. Instead, it was created in Viriginia from a collection of miscellanious companies that had arrived from Louisiana. It was created in Richmond in July and never joined the units in Viriginia was part of the future "Lee's Tigers" Louisiana Brigades. Instead, it served briefly in Richmond, then to the east coast and evnetually was transferred west were it was ultimately ordered to Gibson's Louisiana Brigade of the Army of Tennessee in November of 1863.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

1st LA Inf's Color-Bearer @ Gettysburg


Heroic Color-Bearer.
We learn from the Examiner that among the paroled prisoners who have reached Richmond, from the last flag of truce, is C. S. Clancey, color-bearer of the 1st Louisiana regiment, who was taken prisoner in the battle of the 2nd of July, at Gettysburg, while bearing his colors up to the very front of the enemy's breastworks, amid a perfect tornado of shell and bullets. Finding himself cut off from escape, and certain to be either killed or captured, Clancey tore his already bullet-torn flag from its staff, and secured it underneath his shirt. He was taken prisoner, and carried to Fort McHenry, Baltimore, and from thence sent to Fort Delaware, carrying his flag with him, not floating to the breeze, of course, but furled beneath his shirt. Clancey kept his own secret while in the fort, and when the sick and wounded prisoners were selected to be sent Southward, he feigned extreme illness, and was put on board the steamer, with a number of others, still holding fast to his regimental colors, which he brought safely away, and exhibited in this city yesterday. The flag bears the perforations of upwards of two hundred bullets and one shell, and the piece of another, passed through it in the fight at Gettysburg. Clancy is the sixth color bearer of the regiment, five having fallen in battle, with the identical flag in their grasp. The sixth, Clancy, has carried the flag for nearly a year, and he certainly can claim to have carried it farther into the North than the Confederate flag has ever yet been advanced, and, what is better, back again in triumph.

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