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.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Wayne Cosby of Camp Moore Museum in Tangiphoa, La. has been been the cornerstone of organizing and collecting an impressive amount of work on the burial sites of Louisiana soldiers. At the Camp Moore web site he's provided an online database of his work. It includes the names of 16,000 men and over 2,600 cemeteries. There is a link on this page that brings you to a "Cemetery List." The cemeteries are coded and you will need this list to see which cemetery a Louisiana veteran is buried.

  • I encourage researchers to check this excellent resource out.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


General Alfred Mouton
A much under appreciated Louisiana Brigade was Alfred Mouton's (later Henry Gray's) Brigade. This was the Louisiana Brigade that operated in Louisiana under Richard Taylor's department. The information I am putting below is by no means ground breaking material. Rather, it is an attempt to make sense out of a somewhat confusing story and load of information on Mouton's Brigade.

Mouton's Brigade consisted of, off-and-on, of the following regiments: 18th Louisiana, 24th Louisiana and 28th Louisiana. Unit names common to see in the history of Mouton's Brigade were the following: 10th Louisiana Battalion (Yellow Jacket Battalion), 11th Louisiana Battalion, 12th Louisiana Battalion (Confederate Guards Response Battalion), and 33rd Louisiana Regiment. Also, you will come across the Consolidated 18th Regiment and Yellow Jacket Battalion and the Consolidated Crescent Regiment. This is very confusing and I'll attempt to break down this confusing set up for you and track the progression of Mouton's Brigade.

The two mainstay regiment's Mounton's Brigade were the 18th and 24th (Crescent) Regiments. These regiments were brigaded together the Confederate build up at Corinth, in March of 1862. They were part of Colonel Preston Pond's Brigade and fought at the Battle of Shiloh together. Following Shiloh, the two regiments took part in the Siege of Corinth and accompanied the army on its retreat to Tupelo. From here the two regiments eventually found their way back to Louisiana. The 24th Regiment disbanded at the end of its 90 Day enlistment in June. The regiment was organized and ordered to report to Richard Taylor's command in south Louisiana. The 18th Regiment was transferred to Pollard, Alabama in August of 1862 and stayed there until its transfer to Taylor in October. Both regiments reported for duty to Taylor at New Iberia.

During this time, Mouton was recovering from facial wound he received at Shiloh. He initially went to New Orleans to recuperate. While there he received notification of his promotion to Brigadier General (April 17th) with orders to report to the Army of the Mississippi to take command of a brigade once healed. Mounton's wound, though, took a long time to heal and he went to Vermillionville to complete his recuperation.

It was at this point (October 1862) that Mouton joined these regiments. Mouton, wounded at Shiloh, went to New Orleans and finally Vermillionville to recuperate. While doing so, Mouton was promoted to Brigadier General (April 17th) and ordered to report back to the Army of the Mississippi. Mouton's facial wound, though, prevented him taking the field again until October. At this point, he was ordered to report to Taylor for duty and assigned to the Lafourche District. Mouton was put in charge of a small force that operated out of Thibodeaux with units spread from Donaldsonville to Bayou Des Allemands.

When Mouton returned to duty his command included the 18th Regiment, newly reformed 24th Regiment and the newly created 33rd Louisiana Regiment. The 33rd Regiment "enjoyed" an extremely brief life. It was created on October 10th near Donaldsonville. It was created by the consolidation of the 10th Louisiana Battalion and 12th Louisiana Battalion. It fought in one battle, Battle of Georgia Landing, and appears to have conducted itself unfavorably. There were problems between the two units consolidating into one regiment and on November 23rd Taylor disbanded the regiment back into its two distintive battalions. The battalions, though, are of special interest to the history of Mouton's Brigade.

The 12th Louisiana Battalion is also known as Clack's Battalion and the Confederate Guards Response Battalion. This unit was originally organized in New Orleans as the Confederate Guards Response Battalion. It formed in March of 1862 for 90 Days with two companies. It served in the Army of the Mississippi, fought at Shiloh, served in the Siege of Corinth and disbanded at Tupelo at the end of its service (July). It reorganized itself at New Iberia in August, with a third company added soon afterwards. After its brief role in the 33rd Louisiana it remained an independent Battalion, fighting in the Battles of Irish Bend and Bayou Fordoche. When the army returned to south Louisiana, Clack's Battalion was attached to Mouton's Brigade in August.

The other battalion used to create the 33rd Regiment was the 10th Louisiana Battalion or better known as the Yellow Jacket Battalion. This battalion was formed in St. Martinville in April of 1862 under the command of Antoine Fournet and thus it was commonly known as Fournet's Battalion. It operated in South Louisiana during late 1862 and was merged with the 12th Battalion in October to form the 33rd Regiment. After the break up of that regiment the battalion fought at Bisland and Irish Bend. Although it operated with the army during 1863 a large percentage of the regiment deserted when the army left the Teche Region. It was mounted and hunted Jayhawkers through the Summer. Once the battalion reconstituted itself at Vermillionville it joined Mouton's Brigade in September of 1863.

In November of 1862, the 28th Louisiana was attached to the brigade. The 28th Regiment was formed in May of 1862 under Colonel Henry Gray. Gray's regiment served with distinction at both Bisland and Irish Bend.

Henry Gray

By September 1863, Mouton's Brigade consisted of the above units (18th Regiment, 24th Regiment, 28th Regiment, Clack's Battalion and Fournet's Battalion). The brigade was joind by another unit at this time, the 11th Louisiana Battalion. The 11th Battalion was formed in Monroe in May of 1862 under the command of Lt. Colonel J.D. Shelley. It operated in North and Central Louisiana until the Summer of 1863 when it joined Mounton's Brigade. It particpated in the marches across Central and South Louisiana from the Summer through November. Thus was Mouton's Brigade for the Overland Campaign of October and November of 1863.

In November, Mouton's Brigade underwent a consolidation. The nucleus of the consolidation were the 18th and 24th Regiments. Each of these units served as the base around which the 10th, 11th and 12th Battalions were merged into. On November 3rd at Simmsport, the 11th and 12th Battalions (Fournet's) were merged with 24th Louisiana to form the Consolidated Crescent Regiment. The 18th Louisiana and 10th Battalion (Yellow Jackets) were consolidated at Simmsport on November 14, 1863 to form the Consolidated 18th Regiment and Yellow Jacket Battalion Volunteer Infantry.

The brigade spent the winter of 1863 moving from Simmsport to Alexandria to Monroe and back to Alexandria. When the Red River Campaign began in March of 1864 the brigade broke camp near Alexandria and proceeded to retreat for the next weeks toward Shreveport. It participated in the Battles of Mansfield, Pleasant Hill and Yellow Bayou during the campaign. It was at Masnfield on April 8, 1864 that brigade had its "defining moment." More popular Louisiana units/brigades had signiature moments: The 3rd Louisiana's charge at Corinth and its stand at Vicksburg, Gibson's charge at Shiloh at the Hornets Nest, the stand of the Louisianians at 2nd Manassass and the Valley Campaign of 1862 were all defining moments in the history of Louisiana. For Mouton's Brigade, it was the charge on the fence line at Mansfield. It was here that Mouton was killed and command of the brigade officially passed to Gray (even though Gray was commanding while Mouton was put in charge of a ad-hoc division with the addition of Polignac's Texas Brigade).

Following the Red River Campaign the brigade muddled through Central and North Louisiana and Southern Arkansas. It spent the Winter of 1864-65 between Minden and Pineville. In May of 1865, the brigade marched to Mansfield where it received word of Lee's surrender. There were no surrender ceremonies like Waggaman's and Gibson's Brigades at Appomattox and Meridian. Instead, when word of Lee's surrender reached the brigade it was disbanded and the men went home.

  • Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr. has been the leading author on the Mouton-Gray Brigade. Over the past 30+ years he has put forth work on this brigade and its regiments. Listed below are some of the pieces he has written:
  • Bergeron, Guide To Louisiana Confederate Military Units(1861-1865) (1989).
  • Bergeron, The Civil War Reminiscences of Major Silas T. Grisamore (1993). Grisamore was part of the 18th Louisiana Regiment.
  • Bergeron, "A Colonel Gains His Wreath: Henry Gray's Louisiana Brigade at the Battle of Mansfield, April 8, 1864," Civil War Regiments 4 No. 2 (1994).
  • Louisianians in the Civil War, Lawrence Lee Hewitt and Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr. "Yellow Jackets Battalion," 50-71 (2002).

Other Sources:

Edited by Gary D. Joiner, Joiner S. Marilyn and Clifton D. Cardin. No Pardons to Ask, Nor Apologies to Make: The Journal of William Henry King, Gray's 28th Louisiana Infantry Regiment (Voices Of The Civil War) (2006).

Louisiana Tech Library: M-082 FELIX PIERRE POCHE (1836-1895), DIARY AND RELATED PAPERS, 1854-1955. Poche served in the 28th Louisiana. Box 001, Folder 003 contains Poche's Diary that spans 1863-1865.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


The Library of Congress has an online project of scanned maps. I have found this site to be a GREAT resource in researching original maps from the Civil War. I did a search for 'Louisiana' and posted a link here (there are more than one page, make sure to click 'next page' at the bottom).

Here are a few links for examples:

Saturday, January 23, 2010


The Official Records (OR) and the OR Atlas are cornerstones of Civil War research. There are multiple sources emerging that are putting these sources online for your use. I am linking Ohio State University's eOnline project.

Here is a link to the OR Atlas: The maps are arranged by plate, just like the printed book form. If you click on an image (each image is a plate) you will notice a link below it that allows you to download the plates! GREAT STUFF!

This is the link to the ORs: Notice the different links below the picture of the book. You can search by volume OR do a "search" across the entire collection!


Monday, January 18, 2010

21st Louisiana: A Great Evil?

Colonel J.B.G. Kennedy

The 21st Louisiana Regiment did not enjoy a long and glorious career like many of its sister units in the Western Theater. The roots of the regiment are traced the the Jackson militia Regiment formed in New Orleans in June of 1861 under the command of Colonel C.C. Miller, Lt. Colonel J.B.G. Kennedy and Major John Newman. In August, Miller dispatched Kennedy and six of the regiment's companies to Columbus, Kentucky to join Major General Leonidas Polk's garrison. While there, the companies under Kennedy's command were organized by Polk as the 5th Louisiana Battalion.

Polk organized the 5th Louisiana Battalion into the 21st Louisiana Regiment on February 9, 1862. This was done by ordering the remaining four companies of the Jackson Regiment north. Logic would have it that Miller would come north and take command. Instead, Kennedy was promoted to Colonel of the new regiment. The question now arising is why was Miller not retained as the Colonel? Adding to the fuzziness is the total lack of hardly any roster records from the four companies from New Orleans.

When Columbus was evacuated the 21st Louisiana bounced between Island No. 10 and Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River. The regiment arrived at Corinth after the Battle of Shiloh, took part in the Siege of Corinth and accompanied the army on its retreat to Tupelo. In late July 1862 General Braxton Bragg ordered the 11th and 21st Regiments disbanded and dispersed to build up the rosters of other Louisiana units.

Why the 21st Regiment? In a review of the regiment made at Fort Pillow in April stated, "Discipline, very good; instruction, good; military appearance, very good; arms, mixed and worthless; accouterments and clothing, good...". We only have the comments of Braxton Bragg and a letter sent to the Government by C.C. Miller that gives us hints. On September 23rd, Bragg was ordered by the Secretary of War to reassemble the dispersed regiments. Bragg protested the order in a letter to the Secretary in November. He stated the impossibility of pulling the dispersed officers of the old regiment, saying some were behind enemy lines, gone home, in other units, etc. After putting forth his case for the difficulty of reassembling the regiment, Bragg finished by saying: "It seems to me, under all the aspects of the case, that we are endeavoring to overcome almost insuperable difficulties in order to accomplish a great evil."

A great evil? C.C. Miller's letter to the Secretary of War was a blistering attack on Kennedy and his character. He called Kennedy a "notorious thief" and "void of all principal, honor and integrity." Miller went on to say that Bragg knew of his "bad character" and thus alludes that being a reason why Bragg disbanded his regiment. Desertion was a problem in the regiment. Bragg was known for his dislike of deserters and mix his contempt for officers he deemed incompetent then perhaps we have the motive as to why Bragg disbanded Kennedy's regiment. Despite a vote of confidence from Polk, Kennedy's regiment was never reorganized.

Where did the men of the 21st Regiment go? One company under Captain Alexander Dresel (Co. C) became the nucleus for a new company in the 20th Louisiana Regiment. Dresel went on to have a long career with the 20th Regiment and actually rose to command that unit toward the end of the war. The vast majority of the men, though, were molded into the 1st Louisiana Regulars.

Side Notes:

  • A photograph of JBG Kennedy was found to be on auction in the past year and its owner is unknown.

  • Also, the old flag of the 5th Louisiana Battalion is housed at Confederate Memorial Hall in New Orleans.

  • The men merged into the 1st Regulars and 20th Louisiana maintaind a high rate of desertion and a high rate of taking the Oath of Allegiance when captured (either by desertion or on the battlefied).

30th La's Flag Captured at Ezra Church

Union newspaper describing the capture of the 30th Louisiana's flag at the Battle of Ezra Church on July 28, 1864:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Impressions of Opelousas

Opelousas and surrounding towns in the 1860's

Being from Opelousas, I take special interest in the community in the Civil War. After reading several accounts about the Teche Campaign and the Overland Expedition I took note that I read several comments about my town. So, I got curious and began looking at letters, regimental histories and the ORs to see what the combatants had to say about the town and surrounding area. There will be more to add to this as more is discovered. Here are a to enjoy:

Diary of 1st Sgt. H.N. Connor of the 11th Texas Battalion wrote in early 1864:

“Near Flat Town, (La.) [Ville Platte] two of our men were captured by Jayhawkers, not more than 500 yards from camp, were disarmed and taken 5 miles from camp and turned loose. They were picking huckleberries at the time. A few days before, the Jayhawkers had taken two men of the 2nd La. (Cav.) and murdered them in a horrible manner.At Opelousas we met a company of about 50 little boys, all armed with a Confederate flag, headed by a priest.”

Memoirs of John C. Porter, Co. H, 18th Texas Infantry wrote of November 1863 (Life of John C. Porter and Sketch of His Experiences in the Civil War by John C. Porter, 1874) :

“…I was completely exhausted. I soon overtook a wagon, and pressed it into service, or myself into it, and rode to camp, which was near Opalousas [Opelousas, LA], ten miles distant from the battlefield [Battle of Bayou Bourbeau on November 3, 1863]…”

“…Here, I should have stated that after the smoke of battle cleared away, and the wounded had been moved to Opalousas, it was found that the greater percent were from the 18th Reg't.
The ladies of the town proposed to make and present a flag to us; and on the morning we were leaving there, we were marched into the residence portion of town, halted in front of a nice home, and a little lady came out, and with a pretty little speech, presented us a beautiful flag. Lieut. Col. [Benjamin W.] Watson, although a gallant soldier, and a fine officer, was illiterate. He received it, and thanked the ladies. Maj. [Thomas R.] Bonner, however, came to his relief, and made an appropriate reply.”

Major General Richard Taylor in November 1863 following the Battle of Bourbeau (Campaigns of Walker’s Texas Division, p. 146):

“The court-house of Opelousas was made a hospital for our wounded, and there occurred a scene that melted into tears the most obdurate. It was the sympathy of the women. The ladies of Opelousas and its vicinity, young and old, Catholic and Protestant, came crowding in, and waited upon our men just as if they had been their husbands and brothers. Long will be remembered with heartfelt gratitude, by the Texas soldiers, the appreciative kindness and sympathy of the Louisiana ladies.”

"Catholic Church at Opelousas, Louisiana," from a sketch by C. E. H. Bonwill, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper,13 February 1864: 324.

John Mead Gould and Leonard G. Jordan, History of the First-Tenth-Twenty Ninth Maine Regiment, 404-405. As the 29th Maine marched through Opelousas in 1864 as part of Banks’ column in the Red River Campaign. The authors of the book, veterans of the 29th Maine, noted:

“March 19th, Saturday. Warmer. More straggling in consequence. We passed through Opelousas this forenoon. Here we saw a Roman Catholic establishment of some importance. The sisters of charity brought out the little children to see us pass, for which they must be thanked. Their clean white faces and garments contrasted favorably with the squalor and filth in the town. Across the road was a church or cathedral, of which a black man said was “mighty old.” The priests had arranged for a funeral, and had the hearse before the door. One of our officers took a fancy to the driver, and asked him if he would like to come along. “Come if you do!” said he to the hesitating darkey. The darkey came; and some one in our rear regiment fancying the horse, took him, and whether anyone tok the hearse I never learned, though it is said that in the campaign of 1863, every thing on wheels, from a coach to a hearse, was pressed by the stragglers to carry them, they were so foot-sore and weary.
We noticed many able bodied white men in the town, and learned that they escaped army service by being “black” in the eye of the law; - the law’s eye is sharper than ours, that is sure.”

The Regimental History of the 8th Vermont Infantry said that its march from Franklin to Alexandria (April-May 1863 following the Battles of Bisland and Irish Bend) as the following (History of The Eighth Regiment Vermont Volunteers, 1861-1865; p 107):

“Nothing of special interest occurred until the army neared Alexandria…The weather was hot and the roads extremely dusty, so that many of the men fell out by the way from sheer exhaustion, and were obliged to get into the ambulances and mule carts that had been taken from the plantations en route.”

The 25th Connecticut of their pass through Opelousas on April 21, 1863:

“Opelousas, April 21st. I will endeavor to give a few of my experiences at this place. Here General Banks gave his worn and tired army a rest. The Twenty-fifth Connectituct took position about seven miles east of headquarters, at Barre’s Landing…Opelousas was a very pleasant little city of several thousand inhabitants. There were some splendid masnsions with grouds laid out in fine style. There was a small foundry in the place and two magazines; one of its three churches was stored with powder and ammunition, abandoned by the Confederates in their flight. The people were more Union than any we had previously seen and were of a better class. Provisions were sold at fabulous prices; eggs fifty cents a dozen, coffee five dollars a pound, and flour fifty dollars a barrel, and scarcely any at that. We learned from some of our Rebel prisoners how their soldiers lived. They had only one commissary wagon drawn by three yoke of oxen for an army of five thousand men. They lived principally upon the plantations as they passed along, as we had done.
“The slaves appeared to me, all the way through this long march, to be contented and happy with their families in their cabins. I think they live principally on corn which they ground by hand powe rand made into corn bread and hoe cake, with plenty of sweet potatoes which grew abundantly in Louisiana. I think they must have gotten along pretty well. At many plantations where the Union soldiers would stop at nightfall for chickens, the slaves would come out of their cabins and plead with us to let them be. This, our boys were very loath to do, and chicken was a great temptation after a long hard say’s march.”

The 67th Indiana (October 1863) said (History of the 67th Indiana Regiment Volunteers, 49-50):

“…but on the following morning were up and on the move through Grand Cateau and beyond a little ways, and when we halted for the time, and after remaining here but a few days, we again resumed the march, and passing through Opolusus, the oldest town in the State (the old and dilapidated houses did not deny its right of title).

83rd Ohio (October 1863) said (History of the Eighty-Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 111-112):

“…we were ordered ahead towards Opelousas…It was at this time, a part of our lin was formed by a small regiment of colored troops, wearing bright red caps. They were on the extreme right. Our brigade was in the open, grassy plain, while the “read heads”, as we called them, were confronted by a field grown high with weeds. An enemy could like concealed until they could be stepped on before being seen, but the colored boys apparantly cared not for that, but marched with perfect alignment into the weeds, singing at the top of their voices, “John Brown’s body lies mouldering in the grave.”
“As the enemy did not appear to be strong enough to check our advance, we soon passed through Opelousas, our regiment being in the lead. After passing through the little town a short distance we turned Eastward. We went into camp in a pecan grove and we used all the nuts we could club from the numerous trees.
“As we had no tents along, we utilized a shed full of dried cow hides. These were all right and afforded us a good shelter and even kept the rain away, but when water soaked, our olfactories were compelled to do extra duty? We dubbed this “Cow Skin” Camp, but it is officially known as Barre’s Landing.
“This was a place on Bayou Cortableau, a bayou that enabled small boats to float when the waters were high…”.

96th Ohio (October 1863) in Services of the Ninety-Sixth Ohio Volunteers: page 39

“Halting here a few days [Barre’s Landing], we exercised our enterprise and forethought by gathering together a vast supply of sugar, molasses and corn, hoping that we might have an opportunity to use it. The final result was, that the Corps had a brief but luxurious feasting, closing with a magnificent bonfire, as we marched away….”

159th New York (April 1863) in The 159th Regiment Infantry, New-York State Volunteers, In the War of the Rebellion, 1862-1865, page 39:

“…on the 17th, starting at 6 a.m., marched twenty miles to Vermilion Bayou…April 19th, after a day’s rest, the regiment was detached to collect horses and cattle. The country was a vast prarie on which were feeding numerous herds, and we succeeded in collecting about five thousand head, as well as a number of horses and mules, which were driven by the regiment to Berwick city…”.

The following description is from Private Edwin B. Lufkin of Company E of the 13th Maine as it marched from Franklin past Opelousas. Most of this description is not Opelousas specifically but is of the South Louisiana-Acadiana area (History of the Thirteenth Maine Regiment From its Organization in 1861 to its Muster-Out in 1865, p. 34):

“On Tuesday, March 15th, at about 8 o’clock A.M., the Thirteenth took its position in the marching column of the Nineteenth Army Corps and left Franklin on the Opelousas Road. The route was along the fertile bottom lands of Bayou Teche, in what is justly called the garden of Louisiana, thickly dotted with elegant mansions and large brick sugar-mills. Bayou Teche (locally pronounced bayou tash,) which in the North, would be called a river, rises near the line between St. Landry and Rapids Parishes, and flowing in a generally southeast course through the parishes of Saint Landry, Saint Martin, Iberia and Saint Marys, empties into the Atchafayla (locally chofalair) just above Berwick, now Morgan City. It is much of the way a deep, narrow, winding stream with a slow current; and is navigable for most of its length by small vessels, when the channel is unobstructed.
“…The fourth day we marched about eighteen miles. Soon after starting, we crossed the bayou and passed through Vermillionville, which is quite a large village and the shire town of Lafayette Parish.
“Here is situated a convent at which the boys gazed with much interest while passing, as most of us had never seen one before. It was, however, no very strange sight, having the appearance of being a young ladies’ boarding-school-which, in fact, it is. Lafayette Parish and Vermillion, just to the southwest, are known as the Attakapas (tackapaw) Country, from the name of an almost extinct tribe of Indians whose home was in that section, and are principally inhabiated by the class of Frenchmen known as Acadiens, or as they call themselves, Cajuns…”.

Account of the 41st Massachusetts Infantry/3rd Massachusetts Cavalry in Opelousas and surrounding area from April 20 – May 11, 1863: (78-79)

“The Firty-first remained at Opelousas from April 20 until May 11, 1863. During this time order was maintained, the flag was respected and the Constitution enforced. Excellent service was rendered by the regiment in various other ways for the general welfare. Corn mills were set in moiton; a free market was opened for the poor; negroes in large numbers were fed. Six thousand bales of cotton were brought in; large quantaties of sugar and molasses received; while horses, mules and wagons, saddles and bridles were collected in large numbers. All this property was saved to the general government, and sent down to New Orleans. Ten thousand negroes, men, women and children, who had fled from the land of bondage, looked to our mean for protection, and were not disappointed. While at Opelousas, some of the men opened a printing office, issued a daily paper, and exhibited considerable Northern enterprise in a business way. Opelousas had been the Confederate capitol of Louisiana, and many valuable papers were found among the archives of the defunct State government.
“The time at length arrived when the men were to leave Opelousas for other scenes. All this property must be taken care of. Steamers were, therefore, ordered to come up the Teche to a place called Barre’s Landing, about six miles east of Opelousas. This was to be a base of operation for a time.
“ On the 11th of May, the regiment left Opelousas for Barre’s Landing.”

Sketch of Barre's Landing in 1863 (Leslie's Illustrated Weekly).

While at Barre’s Landing the 41st Massachusetts Infantry/3rd Massachusetts Cavalry were mounted with the confiscated horses from the Opelousas area:

“…Horses were given the men, and henceforth the regiment was to be mounted…There were many amusing experiences that came to the men during their stay at Barre’s Landing. The attempt to ‘break’ some of their fiery steeds furnished a large amount of fun. The negroes seemed to succeed better than the men of the Forty-First. Saddles, bridles, horses, everything was new to these infantrymen.
“…The taming of wild animals was something I did not dream of when I enlisted in ’62. I went to Louisiana to put down rebellion. I found at Barre’s Landing that rebellion had taken hold upon the brute creation. The horse assigned me had no intention of submitting tamely to military authority…”.
“On the morning of the 21st of May, the troops left Barre’s Landing for Brashear City…There was a large train of army wagons, some of which carried ammunition, then wagons of various sorts of sizes; negroes in large numbers, men, women and children. Piled high on these numerous wagons, were the belongings of the contrabands, who had fled from their house of bondage to the Union lines for safety. Beds and bedding, household furniature and cooking utensils, cows, geese and corn, cotton, tobacco, sugar, molasses, and other articles too numerous to mention, were packed into these various vehicles and drawn by various beasts of burden. The train, as it moved out on the road was nearly six miles in length…Following this train were five hundred emigrant wagons. Besides all these wagons there was a large drove of horses, mules, and beef creatures captured from the enemy. Next, there accompanied the troops about six thousand negroes, many of whom were to find employment either in the Lafourche country, or at New Orleans, or as servants of officers in the Union army...”

The descriptions from several of the Federal soldiers above slightly deviates from this story ran in Harper's Weekly titled "Foraging in Louisiana." I added the bold to stress the difference from the personal accounts from above the story:

WE give on the preceding page a spirited illustration of the war in Louisiana, showing the manner in which the army is at times furnished with supplies. Necessarily, in advancing into the enemy's country, our forces are obliged to depend in some degree upon the resources of the region occupied for supplies of beef, etc., and probably no experiences are more pleasurable and full of excitement than those which are ordinarily encountered in expeditions such as our artist has presented.
I believe the picture they included with the story is a more accurate representation

FOOTNOTE.COM (link provided to go directly to look up Confederate soldiers) is an absolute GREAT site for researching soldiers in the war. Trying to find something on your ancestor or perhaps you are attempting to build rosters for companies/regiments? This is THE place for you. The 1860 Census is also listed here. These are all the records out of the National Archives, scanned and at your finger tips. Here's a screenshot of one to give you some eye candy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Lazy Jacks Mess has done a great job in sharing a large amount of information on period uniforms. There is one particular piece that I found of interest and applies to the war in the Trans-Mississippi Department: Trans-Mississippi Confederate Uniforms. VERY informative and interesting article. Here are the three pieces:

Trans-Mississippi Confederate Uniforms Pt. 1
Trans-Mississippi Confederate Uniforms Pt. 2
Trans-Mississippi Confederate Uniforms Pt. 3

I strongly suggest checking out several of their articles.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Google Book downloads and Internet Archive downloads for Louisiana units. Again, this will be a work in progress. Here are a few to get you started. Click on the links below to download older books on these regiments (which are great resources):

3rd Louisiana Infantry

26th Louisiana Infantry

Richard Taylor's Destruction and Reconstruction

The Campaigns of Walker's Texas Division. This division of Texans fought across Louisiana from Millikens Bend in the Northeast to the Opelousas area in the south. Great account of events in Louisiana in 1863-1865.


Have you ever been confused when reading the Official Records (ORs) by commands like "the left oblique" and other terms or have you simply wondered how the regiments marched and their commands? No worries no longer. A reenacting group from Virginia, the 10th Battalion, 1st Division of the Army of Northern Virginia, has provided an EXCELLENT resource on the "School of the Soldier."

I also added this link to the Links Section to your left.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I would to officialy start the Louisiana Civil War Blog with this post. The scope and goal of this blog is to discuss, share and document the role of Louisiana in the Civil War.

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