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, April 18, 2010

Rebel Yell

I want to begin posting accounts of the Rebel Yell. Through the years I have seen numerous remarks about it and recently decided it would be a good idea to start collecting them. Here's a list of several accounts I found from Yanks. Most of these accounts are from the Battle of Pleasant Hill (April 9, 1864) and Teche Campaign (April-May 1863). This will be a topic I hope to post about numerous times:

8th Vermont at the Battle of Bisland (History of The Eighth Regiment Vermont Volunteers, 1861-1865; p 103):

“About three o’clock in the afternoon the Union troops were startled by the most hideous of modern war cries, known as the ‘rebel yell’…This was the first time the Vermont boys had heard that fiendish sound, and it is not too much to say that they were appalled by it for a moment, and thought their time had come to be ‘wiped out.’”

Colonel William H. Heath, 33rd Missouri (U.S.) described the Rebel Yell as he watched Parsons’ Missouri Division cross the field to attack his position (Annals of Iowa, “Battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana,” 521.):

“They came on across the field and down into the dry ditch, yelling like wild Indians.”

New York Officer at the Battle of Pleasant Hill described Parsons’ Missourians as they attacked Brigadier General Lewis Benedict’s brigade (A Memorial of Brevet Brigadier General Lewis Benedict, 81-82):

“We immediately lay down and waited for them to come out of the woods. Just as they got to the edge of them, they halted and gave a most hideous yell, such as Texas and Border ruffians alone can give…”.

“…While laying down, as we were ordered to do, whole volleys from the Rebel ranks, which came upon us five lines deep, yelling furiously, passed over us…”.

Senator W.V. Allen of Nebraska, who served in the 32nd Iowa, Co. G, described the Arkansas and Missouri troops of Churchill’s attack:

“They broke forth in the ‘Rebel yell,’ which was simply a cheer from fine voiced men, a high piercing noise like the call of a woman made at long distance. It differed from the cheer of our men, which was heavier, heartier and more uniform.”


  1. You may already be aware of this but the Museum of the Confederacy sells a "Rebel Yell" CD, an audio recording of rebel yells performed by Confederate veterans. Their website has a link to two videos that discuss the making of the CD--the link is

  2. OH YES! Forgot about that. Let me add this! Thanks!


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