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.

Monday, February 15, 2010

1st La Regulars Christmas Party


Murfreesboro', Christmas night, 1862.

The day has been observed here with more than anticipated festivity, considering the situation of our country and the surrounding circumstances. On Christmas day, wherever we may be, all our thoughts fly homewards and to distant friends. I cannot help thinking what a sad picture New Orleans presented to-day, under the iron rule of the Cyclops Beast Butler, to the happy family scenes of security and protection of Christmas a year ago! But the change is too sad and sorrowful to dwell upon, and but give place to thoughts and feelings of a stinging vengeance yet to be reeked upon the foe. Had Bouligny, the Creole duelist, have fallen in destroying the life of Butler the Beast, he would have left a name covered with glory—instead of which his defeat but doubly damns his infamy. But let us turn from such miserable contemplations to pleasanter reflections. Last night was one of joyous revelry. Besides the private entertainments on the occasion of Christmas eve, a grand ball came off a the Courthouse, given by the officers of the 2d Kentucky and 1st Louisiana Regiments. It was gotten up in splendid style, and with that exquisite taste which Louisianans and Kentuckians have ever excelled in. The following is a copy of the card of
Murfreesboro', Dec. 24, 1862. Mr. ______: The pleasure of your company is requested to a party to be given by the officers of the 2d Kentucky and 1st Louisiana Regiments, at the Courthouse, Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1862.
Committee of Invitation:
Mrs. Lewis Maney.

Mrs. Dr. Valentine
Mrs. Leiper

Col. Jno. A. Jaques, 1st La."

.Maj. Jas. W. Hewitt, Commanding 2d Ky."

Gentlemen not accompanied with ladies will be required to present this at the door. The grand ball room was magnificently decorated, the walls being festooned with evergreens and banners, while on the corners were stacks of arms with glistening bayonets. At the head of the hall was a beautiful wreath, with the letters "Ky. and La.", beneath which was the music stand, beautifully decorated with the colors of both regiments and Gen. Polk's battle flag. At the foot was written the word "Shiloh," and the letter B, in a circle of evergreens, to represent Beauregard, in which battle the 1st Louisiana distinguished itself. On the right was "Hartsville," with the letter B over it, encircled with evergreens, to represent Breckinridge, beneath which was a splendid silken flag of the old Union, drooping in disorder and disgrace, captured from the Abolitionists at Hartsville. Following on the same side, was "Donelson," with another B over it, for Buckner, in which the gallant 2d Kentucky fought with such heroism, and underneath was draped their battle flag. On the left were the words "Pensacola—Santa Rosa," with a B over both to represent Bragg, the Commanding General. Beneath were captured flags of the enemy. In the corners of the room were large branches of cedar trees, representing a grove, to which were attached different colored lanterns, giving to the hall a most rural and romantic appearance of illuminated garden bowers. It was the most elegant and select ball of the season, and drew together the most accomplished, beautiful and lovely women of Rutherford county which is so deservedly famed for its beauty and intelligence. "He who hath loved not here would learn that love, And make his heart a spirit; he who knows That tender mystery, will love the more, For this is love's recess, where vain men's woes And the world's waste, have driven him far from those, For 'tis his nature to advance or die; * * but * * * grows Into a boundless blessing! * * *

The coup d'oeuil was bewildering and dazzling as "the lamps o'er fair women and brave men," for beauty and chivalry were grouped together, forming exquisite tableaux in various parts of the hall—Generals Bragg, Polk, Cheatam, Breckenridge, Wheeler, all being surrounded by batteries of bright eyes, which were found far more dangerous and irresistible than the enemy's artillery. Deep emotions rose and fell with the swelling airs of voluptuous music, as fairy forms glided through the mazes of the dance, or bended gracefully to catch the broken whisper of the tale of love. The Marys and Medoras, Elizas and Ellens, Bettys and Kates, Alices and Annas, were all most exquisitely dressed, developing exquisite charms and irresistible fascinations. At 12, midnight, the band struck up a grand march, and the company repaired to the supper room, where a magnificent "spread" awaited them. There was no sparkling champagne, but the delicious egg nogg [sic] made up for it, and wit and sentiment flowed freely. It was one of the few assemblages in life's dreary voyage that I shall never forget. Kentucky and Louisiana were inseparably connected, and their destinies forever linked together.

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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