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 7, 2012

Louisiana Artillery Plays Prank on Virginians

From The New Eclectic Magazine, Vol. IV, 1869, p. 616-617:

From New Orleans, La., we receive an account of a thrilling scene at the battle of Gettysburg. The writer says:

We were formed in line of battle on that memorable morning, and were waiting orders with feverish eagerness. Every soldier knows how trying is such a time, and how even the order to advance in the very face of death is felt to be a relief from the suspense and anxiety of inaction. A Virginia brigade was thus drawn up, and manifested some of the natural restlessness under such a state of uncertainty. An hour passed, and then another, but still the expected orders did not come. 

Their nervousness had reached a high pitch, when a mounted orderly was seen dashing up, holding aloft an envelope. "The orders have come!" cried the men along the line. The orderly galloped up, inquiring, "Where's the 49th Virginia regiment?"Hundreds of men called out to him, " Here's the 49th Virginia!" but he rode rapidly on, calling out, " Where's the 49th Virginia regiment ?" All order was at an end, one half the brigade broke ranks and deployed as skirmishers to intercept the bewildered orderly with those mysterious orders. Back he came, riding furiously, and still holding up his dispatch. All attempts to stop him were in vain. He galloped right through the 49th Virginia,snouting with all his might, " Where's the 49th Virginia regiment?" 

The men caught at his bridle, yelled to him to stop, but he eluded them all, and never slacking his speed, went out of sight of the brigade. The excitement now was beyond all bounds. Officers and men were eagerly inquiring, " Who is he ? What does it all mean ?" Some said that he was one of Lee's escort; others were sure that they had seen him with Longstreet . While the discussion about the mysterious stranger was being vehemently carried on, he made his appearance again, riding at the same furious pace, and holding up his dispatch as before. " Kill him or stop him this time ! " arose from hundreds of determined men. The orderly was halted at last, and conducted to the regiment he had been inquiring for so long. "Is this the 49th Virginia Regiment?" he inquired, waving ominously the big envelope. "Yes, yes, it is !" broke in many voices. "Well then, 49th Virginia regiment, lie down,for they are gwine fer to shell ye!" And off dashed the mysterious orderly like a shot from a Hotchkiss gun. 

It was that graceless scamp of the Louisiana Guard Battery. He had picked up an official envelope somewhere, and had borrowed a sergeant's horse, and thus equipped had been playing orderly for his own amusement. A. M.

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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