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, January 28, 2012

30th Massachusetts' Tour in Louisiana, Part III

Henry Warren Howe was a member of the 30th Massachusetts during the war. Howe's regiment was organized in December of 1861 and served in Virginia before it was sent to Ship Island. From February 12th - April 15th, the 30th Massachusetts garrisoned Ship Island. The regiment was attached to the Department of the Gulf in August 1862 and served in Louisiana until the summer of 1864. Howe wrote a book following the war titled, Life of Henry Warren Howe, Consisting of Diary and Letters Written During the Civil War, 1861-1865: A Condensed History of the Thirtieth Massachusetts Regiment and Its Flags, together with Genealogies of the Different Branches of the Family.

We pick up with Howe's February 1863 entries:

February 1, 1863. Sunday. Rainy all day. Inspection at 9 a. m. Wrote home. Read in Handy Andy. It is reported that Stonewall Jackson is outside some thirty miles. Let him come, we are ready for him.
February 2, 1863. Rainy. There was to have been an inspection to-day by the Assistant Inspector of the Division, but the rain prevented.
February 3, 1863. Pleasant. In the morning our regiment was inspected by the Assistant Inspector of the Division. In the afternoon no drill.
February 4, 1863. Rainy. Drills as usual. No indication of the enemy about. Camp life is monotonous if lasting too long; a soldier desires constant change.
February 6 and 7, 1863. Pleasant. Drill on the 6th, none on the 7th. Our regiment is second to none in drill and soldierly bearing.
February 8, 1863. Sunday. Inspection and review by General Dudley. Captain E. A. Fiske has obtained three days' leave and gone to Donaldsonville to visit his brother, which leaves me in command. A flag of truce has gone outside under charge of Captain McGee, who goes as a Sergeant, toward Port Hudson, to ascertain anything about the enemy.
February 9, 1863. Pleasant, not so cold. Drill as usual, also brigade drill. The flag of truce has returned, the enemy's pickets are within six miles of our line. I feel tired to-night. At reveille, we form into line of battle, then wheel into columns of companies and the roll is called.
February 10, 1863. Pleasant. Brigade drill very good. The battalions were instructed in forming squares in a new way, viz., centre divisions march forward, then the companies on the right, left face forward and file right, the company on the left, right face and file left and the 10th company join the 1st. Very pretty and quickly executed.
February 11, 1863. Showery. In the afternoon, a brigade line was formed, and we were caught in a shower; got completely wet through. The officers, in the evening, called on the officers of the regiments in our brigade; we took a band along, and our Glee Club.
February 12, 1863. Manual drill. I drilled the company as skirmishers. Battalion drill this afternoon. I did not go out, as I had been summoned to attend a court-martial. A mail arrived to-day; no letter for me. All quiet at the front. I have only twenty-five men for duty; the regiment will never turn out 500 men again.
February 13, 1863. Pleasant. Company drill in the morning, brigade drill in the afternoon. The Captain has not yet returned. I wish a forward movement would be made; we have troops enough to accomplish something. A vocal and instrumental concert was given this evening, for the benefit of the Orphan Asylum here. The State has neglected it since the war broke out. The concert was given by our soldiers.
February 14, 1863. Saturday. Captain Fiske arrived to-day. No drills. Policing camp the order of the day.
February 15, 1863. Sunday. Review and inspection, afterwards a march down town. We have quite a brigade, five regiments. I am on picket duty to-day; have the right of the line, with forty-five men, quartered in an old building. The general officer and the brigade officer of the day visited me in the forenoon.
February 16, 1863. Cloudy. Was relieved from picket duty at 12.30 p. m., by Lieutenant Prince of our regiment; feel pretty tired; took a nap in the afternoon. Captain H. C. Wells has gone home on a leave of absence. I sent home, by him, my Quartermaster Sergeant's warrant. No indication of any fight about here.
February 17, 1863. Pleasant. Nothing new. They bury a soldier occasionally. The music of the funeral dirge causes sad feelings, and turns our thoughts homewards. The air is often whistled by our boys about camp, so much so, we have given orders to stop it, it is so solemn.
February 18, 1863. Pleasant. I made application for a leave of absence, to go to New Orleans to draw my pay.
February 19, 1863. Leave of absence granted; also one to Lieutenant Ferris, who goes on the same errand. Went on board the steamer Laurel Hill; started at 1 p. m. Made landings several times on the way down, to take sugar, cotton, etc., onboard; arrived the next day at 10 o'clock.
February 20, 1&63. Went to City Hotel to see if Lieutenant Ferris was there. Did not meet him. Went to Paymaster Sherman. No satisfaction there. Shall wait until Monday, then call on Major Vedder, our Paymaster.
February 21, 1863. Saturday. Met Ferris yesterday. To-day we did the city, "going the grand rounds," as we style it. Met many comrades.
February 22, 1863. Pleasant. Lieutenant Fuller of our regiment is here. An exchange of prisoners is to be made; secesh are on the streets and many are going to the levee to the steamer where the exchange is to take place; there are some four or five hundred to be exchanged. Nothing vexes me so much as to see the citizens carrying rebel flags, wearing badges, etc., emblematic of their traitorous cause. It would not have been allowed under Butler's administration. Think of it! also on Washington's birthday! Thefeelingis as strong as ever, only smothered. Mail from the North arrived to-day.
February 23, 1863. Pleasant. Called on Major Vedder; no satisfaction, no money; shall have to wait till pay day. I learned from the express office that my trunk, which contained clothing, was lost on the steamer Walla Walla, as she came from the North. She was run into and sunk. "Fortunes of War." I suppose the mermaids are sporting in my new clothes. I am "out" $60. I care more for the trouble my family have had in getting the things together to please me.
February 24, 1863. Started for Baton Rouge at 6.30 o'clock last evening. Made slow time during the night, it being foggy; arrived at 3 p. m. The boys were all glad to see me. I brought some express matter for the regiment. A company of Louisiana Cavalry and the 12th Massachusetts Battery came on the same boat. I had a pleasant trip; was gone six days. Met Mr. Fiske in New Orleans; he is coming to Baton Rouge to see his son, who is Captain of my company. He brought a bundle for me, a pair of pants and a vest. Received sister Lizzie's photograph; it is a good one. I have two loving and patriotic sisters.
February 25, 1863. Pleasant. Drill as usual. Brigade drill in the afternoon. We were caught in a shower and went to quarters. There is a report the enemy are coming down the river in boats to board our naval fleet to-night.
February 26, 1863. Rainy all day. No drill. Wrote home. At work on our pay roll. No appearance nor sign of the enemy. We have now some five companies of cavalry. Continued work on the pay rolls in the morning.
February 27, 1863. Cloudy. Drills as usual. No squad drills now. Made out a descriptive list of men of the company who are in the hospital at New Orleans. Brigade drill in the afternoon; went through street firing. Worked on pay rolls in the morning.
February 28,1863. Saturday. Rainy. No drill to-day. Mr. Fiske arrived. Wrote home.

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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