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.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Texan on Battle of Bayou Borbeau

Texas soldiers were active in the defense of western Louisiana from 1863 to the end of the war. This is the reason why you will continually seen posts regarding Texas soldiers in Louisiana. I ran across the letter from a Texan out of the 11th Texas Battalion on the Battle of Bayou Borbeau, November 3, 1863. It was published in 1964 in the Beaumont Enterprise. I must give credit to the place I found this story posted. W.T. Block was a dedicated historian to the history of East Texas. His work has many things on the war in southwest Louisiana due to the heavy activity of Texas soldiers. Mr. Block made note that the Beaumont Enterprise mistakenly referred to this battle as the Battle of Carencro Bayou fought on October 13-14, 1863.

The letter is from Napoleon Weis:

Dear mother:
I seat myself by a little oak fire in the dark to write you a few lines. I can hardly see so you must do the best you can about reading it ... We are all around this same little fire in good health and enjoying ourselves as well as could be expected for soldiers.

We have had a little battle among all the little fights . . . We lost 37 men killed, 60 wounded, 15 prisoners. The Yankees lost 355 killed, and wounded I have no idea. We exchanged wounded prisoners with them and had 60 more than they had and we took a receipt for them. We also took 1,240 [muskets, perhaps -- meaning not clear]. Cousin David and Peter was (sic) in the fight and came out safe . . . The battleground is about 4 miles long. We also captured two pieces of artillery and a good many small arms. Some of the boys got . . . clothing and a good many horses . . .

I think they are leaving us as fast as they can. They have ruined this country from Opelousas down -- about 100 miles of very rich country . . . destroyed all fences, burned and torn down a great many houses and took away all the sugar and cotton in their reach. They also used up a great deal of corne
potatoes and beefe (sic) . . . they paid very dearly for it . . .

I almost forgot how you all look -- and I have not had a scratch of a pen from a Soule since I have been over here . . . take care of yourselves and do the best you can . . .

Your affectionate son, Napoleon.


  1. Jane,
    Have you read Block's "Schooner Sail to Starboard: The US Navy vs. Blockade Runners in the Western Gulf of Mexico"?

  2. Sorry Stuart, I thought I was responding to a different blog...LOL. M. Jane Johannsen.

  3. BTW, your book is nearing the top of the reading pile. I've never had a backlog this large before, but the pickings in the Fall/Winters catalogs are REALLY light this year so I can finally catch up.

  4. Excellent! I cant wait. Yours will be the first I am aware of.


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