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.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Unimpressive Start

Camp Moore was the organizaitonal point for Louisiana volunteers dating back to May 14, 1861. On that date units from the newly formed 4th Louisiana Regiment arrived and began clearing grouds for the influx of volunteer companies that arrived. Companies began arriving by the dozens and for most volunteers Camp Moore was the first "taste" of soldiering for Louisianians. The experience of James Preston Geren of the Claiborne Greys (future Co. D, 19th Louisiana Regiment) is an great example of the average volunteer facing the realities of war. Notice the homesickness, disatisfaction with army life, sicknesses and VERY surprisingly Geren was already hoping, "peace will be made soon."

Camp Moore
November the 13th, 1861

Dear Mother:
I seat myself once more to write you a few lins to let you know that I am well, being as Mr. Wellden is going back to Minden, hoping these few lines may find you all enjoying the same blessing of life.
Thomas Truly and Frank Osten is going back home as they are not able for military duty. And several of the company is unwell. I have written three letters to home and I have been looking faithfully for one but I have not got one yet. Please send me a letter by Mr. Wellden, when he comes back for I want to hear from home. Several of the boys has received letters. Captain Scott has been to the sitty. He just got back last night. He did not bring any news.
I am in a very respectable [?] the sickleast I believe in the company. This is the place to find a person out who has got a good faith and who has got a weak one. Some of the officers I like very well. Some I do not think so much of, but I will get a long with them as well as I can. there is a man here that has to stand on a barrell 2 hours in every day and part of the tim emust mark time on the barrel. Once man has to work with a block tied to his leg and a guard standing by him. Tom Sharp has been court marsheled for slaping his first Lieutenant. Jeff Davis will decide the case. Ten of our company has to go on fatigue every day, and so such work as we are ordered. They have had me out one day making boards. They will keep some of us on fatigue until we get our arms. I don't know how long we will have to say here but I don't want to stay here long. It is too sickly here but the people that has been staying says the health is improving. They say health is much better now than it was a while back. There are Sisters of Charity here tending the sick. They stay at the hospital all of the day but they could not be to me as a Mother. If I keep my health I can get along very well. I hope peace will be made soon. I have no news to write to you if I did I could write with more pleasure. Tell [?] for me to be a good boy and mind wha tyou tell him and I am sure he will come out better than to do his way. I would much rather mind my Mother than I would a kind and feeling man. Much less than some of these brainless officers. If we don't obey them we will be punished for it. Give my love to Uncle Hiram and Aunt Sally and all inquiring friends. Give my undefiled love to Mr. Brady and wife and accept a portion for yourself. I will quit as ever your son.

J.P. Geren

Be sure and send me a letter by Mr. Wellden and continue sending them by male. Tell Cousin J.N. Geren to write me.

From Family Trails, Vol. 3, No. 1, Aug. 1979, 9-10.

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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