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.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Louisiana Commission at Gettysburg, 1894

This below article was graciously contributed by Dr. Terry Jones.

On November 20, 1894, the newspaper Gettysburg Compiler reported that a delegation of Louisiana Confederate veterans had arrived in town to help the Gettysburg National Park Commission locate the positions the Louisiana troops occupied during the battle.  The Louisiana veterans were the first state delegation to begin work with the commission.  The veterans included Pvt. Eugene H. Levy of the Donaldsonville Artillery; Capt. Andrew J. Hero of the Washington Artillery; Lt. Col. David Zable of the 14th Louisiana; Sgt. Hugh H. Ward of the 7th Louisiana; Corpl. Albert M. Levy of the Louisiana Guard Battery; and Sgt. Maj. C. L. C. Dupuy of the Washington Artillery.  The Louisianians worked with John B. Bachelder, who devoted his life to studying and preserving the battlefield, and park commissioner Major William Robbins of the 4th Alabama and commission chairman Brevet Lt. Col. John P. Nicholson of the 28th Pennsylvania.


Louisianaa the first to Send a Commission

As reported in our last, the Louisiana Commission, to locate positions of their troops on this battlefield, arrived on Wednesday, the party being composed of Eugene Levy, And. Hero, David Zable, H. H. Ward, A. M. Levy and C. L. C. Dupuy, and quartering at the Eagle.  Col. Bachelder and Major Robbins, of the Government Commission, the same afternoon with the visitors, started on a tour of the Field, covering not only the positions of the commands they represented
but the general movements of both armies.  Col. Nicholson of the Commission was also with them during part of their visit.

Louisiana had in this engagement 10 regiments, 5 each in Hays' and Nichols’ brigades, besides 7 batteries.  In locating their positions the party drove out the Harrisburg road and a veteran of Green's battery, Louisiana Guard artillery, quickly recognized their position on the edge of a strip of woods on the southeast side of the road, beyond the Bender farm.  This elevated site enabled the party to recognize the ground occupied by the troops of Hays' brigade of infantry and Jones' battalion of artillery.  Two of the rifled cannon of Green's battery were added to Gen. Wade Hampton's cavalry and participated in the battle near Hunterstown and also in the cavalry fight on the Rummel farm.  The infantry brigade of Hays supported and followed Gen. Gordon's
brigade and formed on East Middle street, connecting with Hoke's brigade, which extended to the Culp buildings.  On the night of the 2d Hays' brigade moved out of town and attacked the remnant of Barlow's division on East Cemetery Hill.

The party drove out Baltimore street, and along the Winebrenner lane, where a representative of Hays' brigade recognized the point where the 7th Louisiana infantry crossed the lane, south of where the 75th Ohio infantry monument now stands.  One of the party reached the Ricketts guns and engaged in the hand-to-hand contest over these guns.

In order to locate the Nichols brigade regiments the party drove out the Bonneauville road to the old Daniel Lady farm, where Gen. Lee spent the night of July 1st, 1863.   Col. Zable, who commanded the 14th infantry, represented the brigade, and showed how they passed over the Christian Benner farm, crossed Rock creek and took position on the slope of Culp's Hill, about 150 feet below where the 29th [?] Ohio monument stands, recognizing the position by the rocks.
 They were in the engagements of the night of the 2d and morning of the 3d.  The above tours occupying Wednesday and Thursday.

On Friday the party visited the first day's operations, where Col. Levy described the movements of Maurin's battery of the Donaldson artillery.  They drove out the Chambersburg pike and placed the stake 300 yards south of Herr's tavern, on the crest of the ridge, where they relieved one of the batteries of Pegram's battalion.  They then drove to the lane back of the Theo. Seminary and turned to the right, passing the old Shultz property, and marked positions of 2d and 3d days in the open field in front of and a little to the north of Miss Maria Shultz's cottage.

The positions of Miller's battery, of Eshleman's New Orleans battalion, Washington artillery, were next visited.  This battery moved along the Ridge and bivouacked in the field in rear of Henry Spangler's woods.  During the night they moved to the Emmitsburg road with the other three batteries of the battalion.  They went into position in Sherly's orchard, east of the barn, 100 yards from the Emmitsburg road, the line of batteries extending across the Emmitsburg road at the Smith place, and continuing to and beyond the Rogers house.  This is the line of artillery which carried on the Confederate part of that terrific cannonading which preluded the Pickett charge, the two guns which opened it being under command of Lieut. And. Hero, and located in the Sherly orchard.

During their visit, which lasted until Saturday evening, the visitors were shown the new avenue being built along the Confederate line and expressed their admiration of the work.

Col. Bachelder has for years been advocating the marking of both lines of battle and through his efforts this first move in that direction has been made.  It is the confident expectation that others of the Confederate states will follow and thus complete the marking of this the most important battle of the late war.

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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