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.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Port Hudson Prisoners

On August 9, 1863, the New York Times printed a piece from the Indianapolis Journal's August 3rd issue. The description of Confederate prisoners from Port Hudson is of interest. I put in bold the pieces about their clothing and condition.

From the Indianapolis Journal Aug. 3.

Yesterday afternoon about three hundred prisoners arrived vid the Jeffersonville Railroad from Port Hudson, and were escorted by a company of the Seventy-first regiment to Camp Morton. These fellows are not so very lean as we are apt to imagine rebel soldiers to look. They were not so thin, "by a jug full," as Hamlet's apothecary. On the contrary, they looked fat. We account for this in the fact that they have had but little to do for a good while past, and have had plenty to eat, for they of Port Hudson were not so foolish as to starve themselves on mule soup for the sake of a rotten Confederacy, as their deluded friends at Vicksburg. We have the story that they used to tantalize our troops by driving a herd of cattle over a bill every morning in full view of our men, ??? hinting they could ???soon be starved out. Their clothes, too, were good -- at least not ragged their clothes, too, were good -- at least not ragged; their sho???the ??? of ??? and altogether they were a pretty good-looking set of ohap??? To be sure their faces lacked the glorious radiance of the Union troops; the nasty stigma, of treason stuck out of them all over. As they trudged wearily along through the dust. We could not but pity the fate which had led such stout men to take up arms against the freest Government on earth. While we would not shield them from a single pang which their accursed crime has brought them; we could but ejaculate a prayer that the Father would interpose to crush the instigators and leaders of the rebellion, that these men and all others of their rank might be spared the punishment due all traitors.

Bringing up the rear of the procession was a fellow carrying a pretty heavy ball, with a chain attached to his ankle. He had been ugly, and was thus secured to insure his future good behavior, and as a warning to others who might feel disposed to follow his example.

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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